Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: Once Upon A Prince By: Rachel Hauck

Once Upon a PrinceOnce Upon a Prince by Rachel Hauck
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Susanna Truitt has her life planned out. She lives in her hometown of St Simons Island in Georgia, has her landscaping degree, works part time at her family's barbeque, and her long time boyfriend Adam.
Nathaniel Kenneth is escaping the plans that have been made since his royal birth on a holiday. The kingdom of Brighton is preparing for his father's passing and his crowning.
When Adam leaves Susanna, her life long secure plans begin to crumble and a chance meeting after a flat tire with Nate begins a whole new life.
Nate hides his identity for as long as he can going as far as cleaning the restaurant bathroom, Suz decides to up and quit her job and loosen the reigns of control that she has held too tight in life and soon hearts are exposed, only to be hurt when duty calls and a 100 year old law demands marriage material.
When you plan, God laughs - a story of letting go and putting your life into His hands, trust, forgiveness, and love. Love that is giving to the point of hurt, Love that is a blossom filled with fragrant joy, and the Love God has for us.
It isn't simple or easy to get Nate and Suz together, with political plotting, with unmended hearts but with well written characters, great dialogue, and a nice storyline you will enjoy every moment.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Review: Time Flies By: Claire Cook

Time Flies: A NovelTime Flies: A Novel by Claire Cook
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A husband that has left her for a younger woman, the empty nest of two grown children, a high school reunion around the corner - no wonder Melanie wants to lose herself in her work. Her best friend won't have that and between the pressure to return over 1000 miles to where she once lived, to try to rebuild the relationship she had with her sister, to quench her curiosity to the old flame that has reached out to her, and the need to have a selfish weekend - she goes.
Along the way, with a great soundtrack list, Melanie and BJ get to play Thelma and Louise and Romy and Michelle - checking off a list which includes tattoos and overcoming a few phobias.
Sometimes we have to go back for a moment to appreciate just where the future is taking us into the unknown.
I found this to be a "cute" book, filled with no real depth, but with fun, laughable moments.

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Review: Crime of Privilege By: Walter Walker

Crime of PrivilegeCrime of Privilege by Walter Walker
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Is the greatest crime silence?
When the past comes out to haunt us, where we once stood silent, will we have the courage years later to stand up for what is right?

George Becket knows the Gregory family and a few of their darkest secrets. He knows what they are capable of and at what lengths they go to keep things quiet and make it disappear. It should come to no surprise that years after a rape, murder from years ago reaches his attention and leads him back to that family.
George has found himself a pawn between two rich and powerful families - the Gregorys, who have a Senator to list on their resume and the Powells, who have powerful business and a trained ex special forces man, Roland Andrews. The rape he witnessed was that of Powell's daughter and years since he has been watched and manipulated, though it was the Gregorys that gave him his job as ADA in a small cape town.
A young town girl is found dead on the green of a golf course. For years this murder was not truly investigated - that is until George Becket meets with her father and begins to unravel the secrets of long ago.

I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5. I loved the story, I found that I couldn't put the book down - with the twists, turns, dangers, and secrets unfolding, but the main character was two dimensional, at times unlikable. This is a great beach read - you will not want to put it down, for when you enter between the gates of the wealthy beneath the exterior there is something much much deeper you will want to uncover.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Review: Insurgent By: Veronica Roth

Insurgent (Divergent, #2)Insurgent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Erudite faction has crossed the line, deciding to take over the minds of other factions. The Abnegation has gone into hiding, looking for safety in Candor and Amity. The Dauntless have been split between those that remain Dauntless and those that follow the new Erudite order.
... And yet, the hunt for the Divergents is still occurring. That means Tris is not safe.
In the famous line of Thomas C Hansard "the possession of great power necessarily implies great responsibility" - knowledge can be the cruelest of powers and those within the fence get to know this firsthand.
Ms. Roth makes every page action packed, filled with growth of the characters, with strong themes of trust, betrayal, and loyalty, and the questions of humanity.

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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Review: Belle Epoque By: Elizabeth Ross

Belle EpoqueBelle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

belle é·poque
An era of artistic and cultural refinement in a society, especially in France at the beginning of the 20th century

A wonderful, beautiful story weaved in Paris 1888. The construction of the Eiffel Tower lends to the a tale of beauty, friendship, forgiveness, dreams, and art.
Maude Pichon has run away from home to escape her father marrying her off to the butcher. She wants life, she wants to experience the world - so from the seaside town in Brittany she goes to Paris. The dream and illusion of Paris reveal hardship and choices of either eating or having a place to live.
By chance she answers an ad - for ugly women. This is where she is introduced to the position of a repoussoir, a woman set up to repulse the sight of a potential suitor, bringing his eyes back to the girl she stands beside with a new comparison.
Enter Countess Dubern... she hires Maude to stand beside her daughter Isabelle and creates a lie that Maude must follow. Isabelle is not to know who or what Maude is. Maude walks a tightrope between work and dreams, between friendship and betrayal, truth and lies.

As a reader, you will get lost in Paris. The vividness that Ms. Ross displays on the pages, the rich history, and the complexity of the characters - simply divine. A must read.

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Review: Sweet Peril By: Wendy Higgins

Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy, #2)Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The action of Sweet Evil continues into Sweet Peril.
Anna Whitt (half angel, half demon) was saved at the Summit of Demons by angels when we last read. Time has gone by and the revelation of a prophesy is place into her hands to fulfill. She and her father, Belial have gone forward to collect allies.
Traveling and meeting up with previous Nephs, we also are introduced to a few more. This is a risk at the expense of their lives to even communicate with each other. The search takes Anna from Syria to Australia, England and California - - where Kaidan Rowe, the boy who holds her heart, is living.
I enjoyed this installment in the series and look forward to the next novel. There are times in the novel I found myself holding my breath, and I know you will be too. So Enjoy.

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Saturday, June 15, 2013

Review: Wish By: Beth Braken and Kay Fraser

Wish (Faerieground Trilogy, #1)Wish by Beth Bracken
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I couldn't resist the artwork in this book. A story of faeries, a lost child, a fateful wish, an evil queen, and simple magic of the world, friendship, and love.
A nice story, although I am sure that we have heard similar tales, but the amazing artwork makes this worth the buying and travel into the pages.

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Review: Divergent by: Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is how a dystopian should be written.
Beatrice Prior lives in the dystopian Chicago. The book begins with her going through the tests and gathering an understanding of which faction she will be fit for and which one she should choose. Factions are set up for personality, where you live, what you wear, to what you do for a living - leaving people to only fine tune one part of a personality - be it truth, kindness, selflessness, bravery, or knowledge. Tris, as she is later called, is special, she contains multiple traits, she is Divergent.
Divergent are feared, they make the rulers and leaders scared, and so she must keep this very quiet.
Divergent is the beginning, it is after she chooses the Dauntless faction, it is when she must go through the initiation and develop more of her capabilities, where she meets a boy, and where she uncovers a vile conspiracy that can destroy all she has known about the world.
I devoured this book, I could not put it down - action packed, filled with great multi-dimensional characters filled with history and personality. A definite must read.

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Review: Here I Go Again By: Jen Lancaster

Here I Go AgainHere I Go Again by Jen Lancaster
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Just before of her high school reunion, Lissy Ryder gets thrown out of her health club, gets her credit cards cut, gets fired, and has her husband leave her.. things can't get worse, can they? Yes. She moves into her parents house, goes to her reunion and finds that she has not the reputation of cool, popular, or looked up to - but that of a b*tch.
What is that could change? What if she could go back and do a redo?
When she does, things in the future have changed, but not necessarily for the benefit of everyone else's life. Will she go back to make it right, to "sacrifice" herself for those she has come to care for?
This is a fun in the sun type of book. I really felt reminiscent with the music, clothes, and insanity - being that Lissy graduated the same year I did. Take a walk down memory lane, the lockers still stand and the people are still there, enjoy.

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) By: Mindy Kaling

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Part autobiography, part opinion, part comic, part observation, and part genius.
Mindy Kaling will have you laughing out loud with her look at life, relationships, work, and herself. This was not just witty but filled with profound rawness and honesty that she becomes your best friend that you have known for years.
A great, fun read that will have you laughing days after reading. And don't forget "Revenge Fantasies While Jogging", it will change how you look at exercising and the calories you burn.

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Review: Changing Lanes By: Kathleen Long

Changing LanesChanging Lanes by Kathleen Long
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Abby Halladay begins her journey with her boss firing her, the home she and her fiancee bought being structurally damaged, and her fiancee running away to France two months before the wedding. Going back home she is met with Mick O'Malley - the boy who left town with her heart.
Who said going back is easy, especially when everything that defined you has changed.
This book is filled with the heartbreak, the laughs, the joys, and fears that fill our lives, giving us moments.
The perfect quote, "I'm changing lanes. I'm done watching life go by." This is a story of Abby and what happens when we meet ourselves and chase our dreams and how it ripples through those we love.
I LOVE this book. It is quick, but there is a message that lies within the words that touched me as a reader, I hope it will for you.

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Review: Beautiful Chaos By: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Ever get that feeling that you have read this before? That the storyline follows a certain line that you have seen again and again?
Well, I got that feeling reading this. Again with the moon, the secret library, Abraham Ravenwood ... maybe if the book wasn't filled with over 200 pages that could have been edited out.
Etahn Wate and Lena Ravenwood know that since her "claiming" there is a crack within the worlds, unfortunately, it has hit Gatlin. The heat, the lubbers, the strange tornado, the cracks in the earth - no wonder Mrs. Lincoln thinks it is the end of the world.
Strange things are occurring and at first they believe that it has more to do with the strange capabilities that John Breed has and what Abraham wants with him.
Now, I went and saw the movie Beautiful Creatures (the first in this series) and was disappointed in the way it was presented, with the exception of Jeremy Irons and having his voice in my head as Macon. Like I felt when I left the dark theatre, I felt as I turned the last page in this installment and I am questioning whether I want to continue on this journey.

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Review: Tidal By: Amanda Hocking

Tidal (Watersong, #3)Tidal by Amanda Hocking
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third installment of The Watersong Series keeps the intensity going.
Gemma has let Alex go, singing a siren song to make him hate her, she is not feeding and yet hears the call, she is looking for a way out without getting herself killed
Penn has been searching for Gemma's replacement, she also has this draw to Daniel- since he can resist her physically and her song that has become an obsession
The action begins as the set up for the final and next installment in the series will be release next month. I love the flashbacks of the sirens, the complexity that is showing within every relationship (from Gemma's parents to the Sirens themselves). This book was extremely fast moving and fast to read leaving you wishing Elegy was already in your library.

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Sunday, June 9, 2013

Review: Sweet Evil By: Wendy Higgins

Sweet Evil (The Sweet Trilogy, #1)Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Anna Whitt has known that she isn't "normal". She has senses that no other human could possess, she sees emotions and auras, and lately she has been able to see a mist floating with people. Her memory goes as far back as in utero. When she meets bad boy Kaidan Rowe - she realizes she is not alone - She is one of the Nephilim, she is the daughter of the fallen angel, Duke Belial aka Jonathan LaGray.
Anna goes to her father, who is in prison, to find out her story - a story he tells as love between angels, a separation, and a rejoining in human form. He tells the story of her mother, Mariantha - a Guardian Angel.
Part story of coming into oneself, part story good vs. evil, part story of free will and that of the Nephs, and part story of love of one you can not have.
I found this book to be entertaining. It was an interesting take on some beliefs and other fiction that I have read. There are times that it seems longer than necessary and that 100 pages could have been edited out, but there is a follow up book Sweet Peril that might have needed some much fill in.

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: Towering By: Alex Flinn

ToweringTowering by Alex Flinn
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I don't understand what inside that makes me reach for Alex Flinn's books- is it the modern fairy tale, the quick read - yes to those, but for some reason I was very disappointed in this modern take on Rapunzel.
Somewhere in the story set in a small New York State town, where drugs have taken over, there is a prophesy of a girl that would bring it down. - Yeah, exactly - oh, she was put away in a tower hidden in the woods only to be found by the one that could release her. Let's not forget the abundance of missing people that the cops don't search for.
How I really wanted to like this - but I can't say that without rolling my eyes. It felt like it was dialed in, not invested - which left me not invested in the characters or the story.
If you are an Alex Flinn fan, check the book out at the library - otherwise, skip it.

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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: Waking Up In Heaven By: Crystal McVea

Waking Up in Heaven: A Mother's Remarkable Journey to Heaven and the Story God Sent Her Back to ShareWaking Up in Heaven: A Mother's Remarkable Journey to Heaven and the Story God Sent Her Back to Share by Crystal McVea
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A remarkable account of a woman who died for nine minutes and walked with God. Filled with an amazing recount, a story of life and pain, and the true gift that has been given.
Crystal never had it easy, from an abusive childhood, troubled teens, the cycle of abused in marriage and upon oneself - feeling unworthy, filled with shame she never knew God - oh, the words were there, but the faith wasn't. She bravely tells her story from the ugly details to the miraculous journey never leaving anything out.
The true lesson of faith and love and how deep God's love for us (even when we feel unlovable) is.

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Review: A Girl Like You By: Maria Geraci

A Girl Like YouA Girl Like You by Maria Geraci
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Bridget Jones - esque type novel, filled with the complications of love, loss, misunderstandings all in the life of a "girl" in her thirties looking for forever.
Emma Frazier's life has never been simple, even though she comes from a small town, life from the beginning was complicated. She considers herself a 5, maybe a passable 7 and over analyzes everything - which comes in handy as a journalist, but not a woman looking for Mr. Right.
She has a crush, ends up the the popular boy from high school, hunts down a fellow high school outcast that has made it big for the perfect interview, uncovers some long forgotten secrets, and finally ends up with the right man. All this is done with humor and plight that hits - in some cases - too close to home.
Wonderful characters come to life and Ms. Geraci appears to be getting better and better with every novel. A quick read, perfect for the beach or to choose in a female book club. You will not be disappointed.

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Monday, June 3, 2013

Review: Thanks For The Memories By: Cecelia Ahern

Thanks for the MemoriesThanks for the Memories by Cecelia Ahern
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The magic in saving a life. What is it about people that receive transplants that causes them to change their habits? Cellular memory, maybe. But what about something as common place as the blood that flows from your heart - if you donate that part of you, what if it contained part of you, your cellular and emotional memory?
Joyce Conway is rushed to the hospital during which time she receives a blood transfusion, what happens after is a search to find out why she is experiencing a strangeness within her. At the same time there is Justin Hitchcock, who is missing a piece of himself and experiencing an electric charge when seeing a mystery woman.
Ms. Ahern makes the reader believe, sit on an edge of your sit with each missed encounter, only to fill you with the great gift of possibility.

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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Review: Fevre Dream By: George RR Martin

Fevre DreamFevre Dream by George R.R. Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

George RR Martin has made a masterpiece in this vampire novel set along the Mississippi. The imagery comes alive, engulfing your senses, entering your imagination and mind's eye.
Abner Marsh, a riverboat captain who is down on his luck, is approached by a stranger offering a business partnership to make his dreams come true as long as he doesn't ask any questions. Abner's dream of creating the biggest, fastest steamboat that could take all others becomes a reality. Through the beauty of silver, crystal, mirrors, and wood carvings lives this great boat, The Fevre Dream. But not all dreams are good and when something shines so bright it can tarnish easily.
Joshua York holds his secret from Abner for as long as he can and once the truth is revealed, so is something or someone truly ugly and evil, Damon Julian.
Amazing multi-demensional characters, wonderful and detailed writing leaving the reader long afterwards still within the pages.

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Review: Thinking of You By: Jill Manswell

Thinking of YouThinking of You by Jill Mansell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is Ginny Holland's story - after divorce, after her child goes off to college - this is about her and her loved ones and the quest for love and truth.
Ginny has nothing but time and an empty house, she has a know it all but loveable ex, and a best friend from across the street. When she places an ad to let a room, she opens the door to possibility - something she otherwise had no time for. Ginny also has an unforgettable encounter with a man that soon becomes her boss.
Life can be messy and the relationships we have with the people around us, from misunderstandings to betrayal, from loss to joy.
This book follows Ms. Manswell's writing and plots, it makes for beach reading and a happy, light ending.

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