Tag Archive | Reading

Book Review: Six Months To Get A Life by Ben Adams

sixmonthsGraham Hope had it all – a wife, two perfect children, a detached house in the suburbs and a huge TV. Until today. He now has an ex-wife, lives in his parents’ spare room and gets the kids and the dog at weekends. He might be lost and lonely, but Graham is not a victim. Six months from today he will be forty-three. He vows to sort this mess out by his birthday. He gives himself six months to get a life. Will Graham play a meaningful role in his boys’ lives? Will his mates take him under their wing? Will he move out of his childhood home? More importantly, will he ever have sex again? For Graham, failure is not an option.

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Is there is such a thing as man-lit? If not, this is it. Although, that isn’t exactly true, because as a woman, I very much enjoyed Ben Adam’s debut, Six Months to Get a Life.

I was truly genuinely surprised with how much I enjoyed this book. Told in diary form from the perspective of Graham, a forty-two year old divorced father of two, I wasn’t sure how much real life details could be given when one is essentially talking to themselves. But, Adams’ smooth writing style gives a refreshing spin on this unique storyline.

Sometimes brutally honest and not so likable tale of life after divorce, Graham Hope finds himself stuck in a rut and unhappy with where his life has led. Working a job that seems to be going no where, living with his parents and bitter over the split and shared visitation arrangements of the kids with his ex-wife, he sets about to make changes and gives himself six months to get his life back together. Included in those goals is to dip his toes back into the dating pool.

While at times, Grahams self-loathing could be annoyingly frustrating, I also found his uncertainty to be endearing and truly believable. He’s had some setbacks, some of which make him bitter, but he’s man enough to recognize it and push forward to try and work past his issues. You can’t help but like him and find yourself reading on because you want to see how his story ends.

I hate giving away spoilers, I do, but I just have mention that there was one aspect of the story that really irked me. Throughout the book, Graham never mentions his ex’s name and always refers to her as “my ex.” This is just one of those pet peeves that really annoys me. So, I was beyond happy to see this addressed at the conclusion of the story and loved how Adams ties it in and addresses it.

A well written, enjoyable, contemporary drama of life after divorce, told in a witty and honest perspective, it’s a light and relaxing read that will leave you with a smile at the end.

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Book Review: Double Click by Lisa Becker

double_Fans of the romantic hit Click: An Online Love Story will enjoy another voyeuristic dive into the lives of Renee, Shelley, Ashley, Mark and Ethan, as Double Click picks up with their lives six months later. Are Renee and Ethan soul mates? Does Mark ever go on a date? Has Shelley run out of sexual conquests in Los Angeles? Will Ashley’s judgmental nature sabotage her budding relationship? Through a marriage proposal, wedding, new baby and unexpected love twist, Double Click answers these questions and more. Readers will continue to cheer, laugh, cry and cringe following the email exploits of Renee and friends.

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I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review/

Double Click is the second installment of the Click Trilogy and takes right up where Click leaves off. Written in the same format, as a series of emails shared between friends, I found Double Click much easier to follow along even though I continued to skip over each email heading which names the subject and addressee.

Like Click, Double Click is filled with the same witty correspondence and sometimes friendly, sometimes catty dialogue that Becker has a knack for writing. The friendships make this story. They are fun, light, but also touch on some heartfelt issues that bring a serious note to the storyline.

For me, I felt Click was mostly about Renee and her journey of finding love and I truly felt Double Click should have been Shelly’s story. I would have loved to have seen things mixed up a bit and the majority of the correspondence come from Shelly to the other’s. She’s by far been my favorite character and I think she had so much more to add this time than Renee did. As for Ashley, she grew on me a bit. I didn’t care much for her personality in the beginning, but we see her grow as a person and I really like that. Once again, I felt like Mark was on the sidelines. I really like him and always want him to play more of a role, but his interactions come across vague and standoffish. I have not yet read the blurb for Right Click, but I’m hoping we get more of Mark there. As for the newcomer to the group, I’m on the fence with Cassidy. I neither like nor dislike her and I’m curious to know what she might had to the next part of the story.

Overall, I didn’t get that same carefree feeling that I got from reading Click, but this story does not disappoint. Running along the lines of more chick-lit than romance, Double Click is an easy read that doesn’t take you through a gamut of emotions. Light and comical, it’s one that you’ll breeze right through. 3/5

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Book Review: Happiness in Jersey by Jacinta Howard

JerseyThe only thing in Jersey Kincaid’s world that she has time for are keeping her grades up so that she doesn’t lose her scholarship to South Texas University, playing the bass in her band, The Prototype, and satisfying her coffee addiction. Oh, and the occasional random hook-up she indulges in to pass the time.

Love? Eh, not so much. Save that crap for a Katherine Heigl or Natalie Portman movie.

Jersey’s seen enough in life (courtesy of her Pops) to realize that undying romance is nothing more than a myth used to sell books and movie tickets. As she knows too well, the only thing inevitable in life is death— love is definitely not promised.

That’s why when Jersey meets Isaiah “Zay” Broussard with his soulful gray eyes, quick wit and easy charm, she’s determined to remain aloof. She doesn’t have time to get sidetracked by fleeting fantasies, even if she does feel an unexplainable connection to Zay she’s never experienced before.

But when his interest in her only seems to intensify, despite her attempts to brush him off, she gets to see a side of him and herself she didn’t expect…

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A complimentary copy was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Finding that one person in life who makes you a better person is never easy. Love takes time and patience. It also takes two people willing to make it work. But when your soul has been trampled on and beaten down to the point that you don’t feel as if you deserve the happiness they can give you, it makes for a tough and rocky relationship, even if you know that relationship can be everything you want it to be. Such is the story of Jersey and Zay.

Emotionally broken and carrying around a ton of baggage, Jersey is a tough character to like in the beginning. Her past is truly heartbreaking and you so badly want to understand and sympathize with her, but at the same time, smack her upside the head for some of her actions. Living with an emotionally and verbally abusive father after losing her mother, hardened her in ways no one should have to be. Mentally she tries to come across tough, but we all know it’s those types who are usually hurting the worst and it’s only a matter of time until they fall apart.

Zay is perfect in every aspect. I mean, I totally fell in love with him. He’s beautiful, talented, flawed, tough and just about the sweetest damn man on earth. Dealing with his own issues, he’s been where Jersey’s at, so he understand where she’s coming from and through that understanding, he commits himself to helping her work through her past. But, please don’t take his sweetness and confuse it with being a mushy pushover, because he’s anything but. Jealous and opinionated, he has alpha tendencies without being severely dominating. He’s patient, kind, but also more than willing to call Jersey out on her actions and feelings. I honestly think he’s the most perfect hero that I have ever come across. There is just something about him you can’t help but love.

“That wall you have up? I’m patient and curious enough to find out what behind it.”

Full of emotions that literally drive this story home, Happiness in Jersey is an outstanding read, which I’d highly recommend. I teetered on the edge of 4 or 5 stars. Four only because it took me a while to get into it. The beginning is a bit slow and as I mentioned, Jersey isn’t one that you immediately fall in love with. Five because when it takes off, it drags you in and you won’t want to put it down. It’s one you’ll be thinking about when your away from the story and continue to care for and want to know about the characters even after it comes to an end. For me that is always deserving of a five star read.

Clear and beautiful writing with believable and attention grabbing dialogue, Ms. Howard delivers a heart-wrenching tale of finding that one person in life who makes you whole.

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Book Review: The Art of Going Home by Nicole Sorrell

ARTFor the first time in a decade, Maddie Chandler returns to her small home due to the unexpected death of her surrogate mother, her beloved “Aunt” Ceci. To deal with her overwhelming grief she finds herself relying on the steadfast strength of her high school crush, local attorney Zac Redondo. Though she scolds herself for depending on him so much, she can’t seem to find the strength to resist their mutual attraction.

While home, Maddie is haunted by childhood memories of her twin sister Angeline, who was killed at the age of ten. She is persuaded to investigate the unsolved murder only because she fears refusal will threaten her very sanity. Her mother eventually succumbed to madness in her grief over Angeline’s death, and Maddie is terrified she will inherit her mental illness. Her inquiries into her sister’s case uncover years of deceptions that were maintained to safeguard her from the brutal truth. Not only is her life threatened by her pursuit of justice for her twin, it ultimately causes her world to shatter.

Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, Maddie’s personal journey exposes her vulnerabilities as she learns the true meaning of family from a boisterous clan that is not linked to her by blood. Come along with her as she struggles to accept the love of the man who holds the key to her future happiness. And as she copes with the hostilities of her estranged father, she unwittingly strengthens the fragile bond with the one relative she was determined to say goodbye to forever.

This novel is intended for mature readers.

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When Maddie Chandler is forced to return home she’s ready to deal with the naysayers and the family she left behind. However, she’s not quite ready to hear her sister’s voice in her head again—one of the many reasons she left in the first place. Not long after arriving her sister does indeed begin to speak to her, but this time it’s different. This time, her sister wants her to uncover the person responsible for her murder.

As Maddie follows the little clues Angeline gives her, she uncovers secrets so dark they twist her stomach. The truth behind Angeline’s death is far worse than she could possibly have imagined. Though Maddie is surrounded by people that love her, as the past comes back to haunt her, she begins to question their motives, pushing away the one person who wants to be there for her above others.

So much goes on in this book that it’s impossible to write a brief rundown without giving things away. The book really fouses on Maddie’s journey to uncover her sisters killer and her budding relationship with old friend Zac.

The romantic element to this book was A1 excellent. The growing relationship between Zac and Maddie was perfectly captured and the heat—wow. If the author ever steps away from women’s fiction to contemporary romance, there will be some very happy boyfriends and husband’s in this world! Rare is it that an author can capture a relationship and the tumultuous feelings within it as well as Sorell has. However, the author does such a food job making Maddie’s personal journey intriguing that I can’t wait to read more of her lovely style.

The mystery part to the plot was also very well done. I didn’t guess it, so when the reveal came I was wowed.

Mostly though, the poignancy to this tale had me in tears. One of the things the book explores is child abuse which I can say that I usually avoid at all costs – I just can’t cope with it. However, the abuse is not condoned in any way and treated with great care and it is only fleeting within the pages.

No part of this book left me wanting, no part left details out. Beautifully crafted with stunning clarity, this book will knock you on your ass with it’s attention to detail.

Maddie’s journey is both emotional and powerful. It was a real joy to read and I love the happy ending to the book, though it doesn’t reach a full conclusion. I will most certainly read the next installment and very much look forward to it.

If you want a book with depth, soul and a fantastic plot as well as a host of intriguing characters and a scorching hot love interest, this one’s for you. It is honestly one of the best books I have read this year. Have the tissues handy and set aside some time, it’s a real page turner and all round fabulous.

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Book Review: Getting Lucky Number Seven by Cindi Mardsen

gettingsevenWhat’s your lucky number?

Lyla Wilder is done being the shy, chemistry nerd extraordinaire. While every other college student is out having fun, Lyla is studying. With her cat. Well, she’s played it “safe” quite enough, thank you. So she creates a “College Bucket List”?with item #7 being a night of uninhibited, mind-blowing sex…

But she needs some help from her man-whore best friend.

Hockey player Beck Davenport thought Lyla’s transformation would be subtle. Man, was he wrong. With every item she ticks off, Beck finds himself growing seriously hot for his sweet, brainiac best friend. And if he’s not careful, he’ll end up risking their friendship in order to convince Lyla that he might just be her lucky #7…

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A copy of this book was received from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

After being subjected to a failed setup, Lyla’s had enough of being seen as the ‘fugly’ nerd. Feeling that the time has come for an aesthetic overhaul, Lyla decides that she needs to ditch the frumpy layers and formulates a plan on how to make it through the rest of the college year while stepping out of her comfort zone and having fun.

Enter Beck…best friend and ladies’ man extraordinaire. He knows what guys look for in their latest catch so he seems the perfect tutor.

Though Beck thinks Lyla is perfect the way she is, he agrees to help Lyla draw up a college bucket list. First on the list: makeover. Beck finds himself trawling the shops with Lyla to help her pick out her new look. Hitting the mall isn’t really Beck’s style, but Lyla insists she needs him, and he’ll do anything to put a smile on his nerdy best friends face.

As Lyla’s transformation begins, though Beck still prefers the old Lyla, the new hot Lyla has fuelled a spark he didn’t know he carried for her. As the two work to scratch off the items on Lyla’s college bucket list, Beck feels the innate need to protect his friend from crass college guys and as time goes on, he finds it harder and harder to resist falling for her.

Becks protective side sparks a whole new side of him that Lyla hadn’t realized was there and as the two spend more and more time together, Lyla’s feelings develop into something more than friendship.

I absolutely adored Lyla—she’s a real nerd, full of heart and a total sweetheart. I found her uncomfortable rambling when faced with a hot guy really funny, especially her tendency to talk about her cat. She feels inadequate, always doing what she’s been told to by her mother—covering up what God gave her with layer upon layer of bright colors. She’s perfectly imperfect and her sometimes hilarious confusion over her feelings for Beck drew some face palming from me.

I knew better than to get the flutters over Beck Davenport. The guy had longer relationships with cereal boxes than girls.

Beck—oh myyyyy, where do I begin?! He’s hot as hell, sweet as sugar and his protectiveness for Layla had me drooling. Beck’s pretty closed off about his personal life. Tragedy has left him questioning if love even exists and if it does, he’s not sure it’s worth it. Yet he finds himself opening up to Lyla, divulging parts of his past that he’s never told anyone about. Being with Lyla is easy—she’s his friend, after all, but even as Beck falls deeper for her, the screaming alarm to run like the wind that he usually gets with other girls, never goes off.

But Beck doesn’t want a long term relationship, however, when he spots the last item on Lyla’s bucket list: have mind blowing sex, he can’t stand the thought of it being with anyone other than him. As Beck gives into his desires, he finds himself heading into unfamiliar territory.

As I peered into her eyes, at the green and brown battling it out for control, I found myself wanting to take the next step with Lyla. If I did believe in relationships and love, Lyla would be the perfect girlfriend. Being with her like this made me want to take a risk.

But more revelations from Beck’s family only serves to strengthen his negative opinions on love, relationships and everything in between, causing me moments where I wanted to fling my kindle across the room.

Through everything that these two adorable characters go through, I found myself really rooting for them. The chemistry between them is written so well that I could practically feel it zinging through my fingers as I held my kindle in my hand. My heart flipped, skipped and broke as Lyla and Beck became closer and kudos to Beck—he already found Lyla perfect the way she was.

Leading the way in the New Adult genre, Entangled Embrace has done it again. This superb book zings with chemistry, sweet heat, and a clever and witty story line. The Dual POV allows the reader an insight into both characters thoughts and feelings and is just another reason why I know that my insatiable appetite for the New Adult genre will be satisfied at least for a little while when I pick up one of these books.

Light, easy and fun, a well deserving 5/5.

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Book Review: The Mine by John A. Heldt

themineIn May 2000, Joel Smith is a cocky, adventurous young man who sees the world as his playground. But when the college senior, days from graduation, enters an abandoned Montana mine, he discovers the price of reckless curiosity. He emerges in May 1941 with a cell phone he can’t use, money he can’t spend, and little but his wits to guide his way. Stuck in the age of swing dancing and a peacetime draft, Joel begins a new life as the nation drifts toward war. With the help of his 21-year-old trailblazing grandmother and her friends, he finds his place in a world he knew only from movies and books. But when an opportunity comes to return to the present, Joel must decide whether to leave his new love in the past or choose a course that will alter their lives forever. THE MINE follows a humbled man through a critical time in history as he adjusts to new surroundings and wrestles with the knowledge of things to come.
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Just days away from their college graduation in the year 2000, Joel Smith and his friend, Adam, are on a trip through Yellowstone when they happen upon an abandoned mine. Curious, Joel enters the mine alone, but when he comes out Adam is gone. In fact, everything he once knew is gone.

Zapped back into the year 1941, the ever arrogant Joel is quickly thrown into a humble life of living on the streets. With nothing more than the clothes on his back and a few things he’s unable to use in the past, his keen wit helps him travel from Montana to his hometown of Seattle where he befriends a young man and embarks on an adventure that will change the course of his life.

I must admit, this was my first time travel read. Time travel isn’t something that has ever piqued my interested before, but being I’m a bit obsessed with the World War II time period and love movies like Pearl Harbor and Saving Private Ryan, I thought The Mine might be something I would enjoy. It definitely did not disappoint. Although a little slow in the beginning, it does not take long to completely pull you in. The whole idea of going back in time and meeting your grandmother during her college years completely intrigued me. Not to mention, all of it transpiring during one of the worlds most memorable and critical time periods.

This story is told from several different POV’s, which usually I find overwhelming, but I had no trouble following along with each characters thoughts as their stories unfolded. Mr. Heldt does a fantastic job of connecting us to each of them and I loved the interactions between the college friends who took Joel in and adopted him as one of their own.

I did have apprehensions going into the story. The cover and the blurb led me to believe this was more of a time travel story with a romance on the side, but that is not the case at at all. The heart of this storyline is a true, old fashioned romance that tugs at all your heartstrings and makes you want to become a part of it. I wanted to be there. I wanted to dive into the book and meet Joel and his friends. Yes, I cried in parts and I couldn’t seem to read fast enough because I wanted so badly to know how the story ended and then when it did, I wanted more. For me, that is what a five star read is all about. One that leaves you a little heartbroken when it’s finished simply because it was so beautiful.

Absolutely compelling in every way. If you like slow moving, modest romances or if time travel is your thing, this is one you should definitely read.

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Book Review: Hot Secrets by Lisa Renee Jones

hsRoyce Walker, a former FBI Agent, who’s opened a private security firm with his brothers, has always had the hots for the prim, proper Assistant District Attorney, but considered her hand’s off because of a family connection. However, when danger threatens Lauren, he isn’t willing to stand by and watch her get hurt. Now the passion for survival is only rivaled by the passion burning between them. And that passion, might just be the death of them both.

 

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Assistant DA, Lauren Reynolds, is used to getting hate mail. It comes with the job of putting hardened criminal behind bars, but with an upcoming death penalty case, she’s feeling a little more on edge than usual.

As soon as former FBI agent, Royce Walker, lays eyes on his newest security detail, he knows he’s in trouble. Hired by the State Senator to investigate threats to his daughter, Lauren, Royce feels uneasy keeping that bit of information a secret when he realizes there is much more between them than work.

Former military/law enforcement turned security operant is an old storyline and maybe I’m just a sap for them, but they never get old. I love the alpha male who sweeps in to protect a woman in distress. Royce portrays everything a good alpha represents. He’s bossy, possessive, jealous and overbearing. And while Lauren is rattled with the threats she’s receiving, she does have a bit of spunk to her. The two are fun together. Their chemistry is smooth and realistic with witty dialogue that keeps you entertained.

I found it a bit predictable in places, but loved the addition of the other Walker brothers into the story.

Filled with everything a good romantic suspense entails; highly attractive characters, action and sweet romance, Hot Secrets, is a excellent start to the Tall Dark and Deadly series.

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