Author Archives: Ashley LP

About Ashley LP

I'm a twenty something who loves nothing in this world more than travel and reading. It is for this reason I run a (not so well used) travel blog, and work as a travel agent. It is also why I run a (more used) book blog. There are two types of travel we can have in life, travel in fiction, or non-fiction and real world travel. I have a firm belief in both.

Review: As You Wish by Chelsea Sedoti

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Title: As You Wish

Author: Chelsea Sedoti

Genre: YA Fantasy

Summary:

What if you could ask for anything- and get it? 

In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.

Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.

<b>Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review</b>

This book is an intriguing premise. What would you wish for if you could wish for anything and get it? (As long as it doesn’t impact the outside world).

It seems like an easy answer, but unfortunately the language you use matters, and it shows in this novel as Eldon, one of the main characters tries to figure out what his birthday wish will be.

You can wish for a business, but it might not be successful. You can wish for unlimited donuts, but it won’t stop you from gaining weight if you don’t specify (no this is not an example of a wish in the book).

The struggle in this novel is extremely well written, even as Eldon is almost irredeemably arrogant and immature. But then, some teenagers are. However he is not without growth, even as he naivete takes him to some interesting places emotionally.

The characters I liked most were Eldon’s father, who is a warm, put sad character, stuck in Madison like most of them, and Merrill, Eldon’s best friend who is loyal even when he should probably walk away.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes their YA sprinkled with existential crisis’ as I definitely enjoyed this.

Title: Dark Horse by BJ Daniels

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Title: Dark Horse

Author: B.J. Daniels

Genre: Romance and Suspense

Rating: Image result for heart emojiImage result for heart emojiImage result for heart emoji.5

Summary:

Burdened by family secrets, this cowboy rides alone

For twenty-five years, the case of the McGraw twins kidnapping has remained unsolved. As the eldest son, Cull oversees the McGraw horse ranch, wary of prying eyes. So when true-crime writer Nikki St. James comes forward with new information, Cull can’t believe his father invites her onto the compound.

His family has suffered enough–he’s not about to let St. James snoop and ruin them completely. But Nikki finds the eldest McGraw’s protectiveness as endearing as it is aggravating. After all, this case is personal to her, too… And her secrets can set the truth free–if they don’t destroy the McGraws first.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

This book drew me in at the beginning with a very captivating, intriguing scene which is definitely an attention grabber. I’m a sucker for suspense, so sue me? (Actually don’t, I’m broke as a joke.)

Nikki St. James is a character I can definitely appreciate, as she is tenacious as she is smart, and definitely doesn’t know when to let go, even if it gets her in a touch of danger. She is a good character, with secrets of her own.

Cull McGraw is a tough guy. But not quite as tough as he thinks he is and I, for one, am perfectly okay with that. “Tough guys” appear in abundance. He also has some secrets, only his are far more tragic.

I was so disappointed that this book ended, and that I’d read it so quickly. The pace was quick moving, something I truly appreciate, and it was a nice, quick read. I will be looking for the next one and adding it to my to be read list.

This is recommended for anyone who likes mystery, and romance, with a touch of suspense. Don’t let the Harlequin label scare you off like I almost did.

Title: Miles Morales by Jason Reynolds

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Title: Miles Morales

Author: Jason Reynolds

Genre: Superhero/YA/Suspense/Awesome

Rating: Image result for spiderweb clipart Image result for spiderweb clipart Image result for spiderweb clipart Image result for spiderweb clipart

Summary:

“Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the importance of the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

I started reading this book because it was Spider-Man. I kept reading this book because it is awesome.

Miles Morales is a good kid. A good superhero. He’s got a good heart and is written out in a very human way. He isn’t perfect. He’s filled with guilt and teenage angst. He’s not infallible which makes him better, more interesting. He is all the best parts of being a teenager, and some of the worst as well, as he fumbles in talking to girls, sometimes doesn’t communicate the best with his family and bottles everything up inside

A teacher is meant to teach you, and help you become a better person, but some aren’t there to do that. Some people are just not meant to teach and this novel shows you how.

This novel also shows you how to stick to what you think is right, and stand up for what you believe in, in the best possible way.

I would recommend this to not only any fans of Spider-Man, and Marvel, but to anyone who wants to read a YA novel filled with a lot of heart. If you want that then this is the book for you.

Also it introduced me to a new form of poetry and I’m not going to complain about that.

Review: Jane of Austin by Hillary Manton Lodge

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Title: Jane of Austin

Author: Hillary Manton Lodge

Genre: Romance

Rating: Image result for heart emojiImage result for heart emojiImage result for heart emoji

“Know your own happiness. You want nothing but patience – or give it a more fascinating name, call it hope.”―Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility

Just a few years after their father’s business scandal shatters their lives, Jane and Celia Woodward find themselves forced out of their San Francisco tea shop. The last thing Jane wants is to leave their beloved shop on Valencia Street, but when Celia insists on a move to Austin, Texas, the sisters pack up their kid sister Margot and Jane’s tea plants, determined to start over yet again.

But life in Austin isn’t all sweet tea and breakfast tacos. Their unusual living situation is challenging and unspoken words begin to fester between Jane and Celia. When Jane meets and falls for up-and-coming musician Sean Willis, the chasm grows deeper.

While Sean seems to charm everyone in his path, one person is immune – retired Marine Captain Callum Beckett. Callum never meant to leave the military, but the twin losses of his father and his left leg have returned him to the place he least expected—Texas.

In this modern spin on the Austen classic, Sense and Sensibility, the Woodward sisters must contend with new ingredients in unfamiliar kitchens, a dash of heartbreak, and the fragile hope that maybe home isn’t so far away.


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Review: Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

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Title: Anatomy of a Scandal

Author: Sarah Vaughan

Genre: Courtroom Suspense

WARNING: Rape

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

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Review: Tanner by Sarah Mayberry

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tanner.jpgTitle: Tanner

Author: Sarah Mayberry

Genre: Romance

Rating: Image result for heart emojiImage result for heart emojiImage result for heart emoji

He’s used to risking it all in the ring, but nothing prepared him for love…

After flying half-way around the world to surprise her boyfriend, Evie Forrester finds herself heartbroken and stranded in a strange city. What could be a total disaster becomes something else when a tall, dark bull rider turns out to be a white knight in disguise. Evie isn’t sure she needs saving, but Tanner Harding is a difficult man to deny. He’s even harder to resist…

Tanner Harding can tame a monster bull with ease, but he never expected to be floored by someone like Evie. Sparks fly between them until injury threatens to end Tanner’s career –and suddenly he’s the one in need of a rescue.

Evie can’t turn her back on her wounded hero and, as Tanner struggles with his recovery, she’s not sure she can guard her heart against him either. Tanner knows Evie has slipped under his skin, but she lives in Australia and his future is under a cloud. Can two people with too many reasons to walk away make the bold decision to stay?

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Review: Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

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Title: Two Nights

Author: Kathy Reichs

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Rating: ★★★★

#1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs steps beyond her classic Temperance Brennan series in a new standalone thriller featuring a smart, tough, talented heroine whose thirst for justice stems from her own dark past.

Meet Sunday Night, a woman with physical and psychological scars, and a killer instinct. . . .

Sunnie has spent years running from her past, burying secrets and building a life in which she needs no one and feels nothing. But a girl has gone missing, lost in the chaos of a bomb explosion, and the family needs Sunnie’s help.

Is the girl dead? Did someone take her? If she is out there, why doesn’t she want to be found? It’s time for Sunnie to face her own demons because they just might lead her to the truth about what really happened all those years ago.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: The Practitioner by Ronica Black

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Title: The Practitioner

Author: Ronica Black

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Contemporary Romance

Rating: 

Johnnie Hamilton has conquered a lot in life. An anxiety disorder, loss of her business, and homelessness have been difficult to overcome. But Johnnie has come through the other side to find success as an artist. Now, however, she’s lost her creative drive and she’s struggling to produce.

Elaine Taylor has an interesting job. She’s a “creative practitioner,” known to awaken her client’s creative side by using many different approaches, including a sensual or sexual approach. Most of her clients are male and she likes it that way. Women are the last thing she wants in her life, having lost the most important woman she’s ever known, her wife.

Fearing she’ll lose all she’s worked so hard for, Johnnie takes her friend’s advice and calls a lone number on a business card, steps into Elaine’s office, and shakes up both their worlds forever.

I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: The Steel Shark by Rebecca Cantrell

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Title: The Steel Shark

Author: Rebecca Cantrell

Series: Joe Tesla

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Rating: Related image Related image Related image Related image

A dog. His computer. The tunnels under New York City.

That’s all Joe Tesla’s agoraphobia has left him with—the inside world, the dark world—and now the black depths of the sea.

In the latest book in this award-winning thriller series, Joe Tesla seeks to expand his world beneath. He buys a personal submarine to join an underwater scavenger hunt. The competition turns deadly when a mystery sub targets Joe. His search for answers drives him and his service dog out to sea where he alone might find answers in time to save the city he loves from annihilation.

But can a man trapped inside by his own fears save the larger world above?

Received a free copy of this book via the author and publisher in exchange for an honest review.

It truly does suck that my dream man is an agoraphobic fictional character who lives under Grand Central Station. Joe Tesla, in this, the fourth novel in Rebecca Cantrell’s Joe Tesla series, remains a character who is full of heart, warmth and an intelligence that just won’t be stopped by anything. Not even crashing submarines.

This newest installment caught me from the first page, making me quite anxious to get into my reading and finish the book, but at the same time I desperately didn’t want to because I didn’t want it to end.

Without spoilers I will tell you there is a lot of character development for Joe, as well as Vivian, and the mystery isn’t so much a mystery as it is a determined, forceful plot-line pulling you through the book. The wonder in this is that even though there is no big huge whodunnit mystery in this book there is still enough of a mysterious tone to keep you guessing as to what might happen next.

Rebecca Cantrell’s strength in writing for me has always been the way in which she captures my attention with just a single moment in her books. In this book there were so many moments if I had been holding a physical book I would’ve gotten paper cuts by how quickly I would’ve turned the pages.