Books List 2019, Reviews

Review: This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher

this lie will kill youTitle: This Lie Will Kill You

Author: Chelsea Pitcher

Genre: Horror, Mystery, YA Fiction

Summary: 

One year ago, there was a party.
At the party, someone died.
Five teens each played a part and up until now, no one has told the truth.

But tonight, the five survivors arrive at an isolated mansion in the hills, expecting to compete in a contest with a $50,000 grand prize. Of course…some things are too good to be true. They were each so desperate for the prize, they didn’t question the odd, rather exclusive invitation until it was too late.

Now, they realize they’ve been lured together by a person bent on revenge, a person who will stop at nothing to uncover what actually happened on that deadly night, one year ago.

Five arrived, but not all can leave. Will the truth set them free?
Or will their lies destroy them all?

Continue reading “Review: This Lie Will Kill You by Chelsea Pitcher”

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Books List 2019, Reviews

ARC Review: An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris

an easy deathTitle: An Easy Death

Author: Charlaine Harris

Genre: Dystopia, Magic, Wild West-ish

Series: Gunnie Rose

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

Summary: 

In a new trilogy that presents a chilling alternate history of the United States where everyone believes in magic—but no one is sure whether they can trust it.

Gunnie Lizbeth Rose has been hired by a pair of Russian sorcerers as both their local guide and muscle through the small towns of East Texas as they search for a distant relative of an infamous sorcerer whose bloodline can help save their emperor-in-exile as an ever-increasing number of assassins tries to stop them.

After the assassination of FDR in the 1930s, the US collapses and is picked off by the UK, Canada, Mexico, and Russia. We find ourselves in the southwestern states now known as Texoma. It is here that the gunnie Lizbeth Rose tries to piece out a life, running security on runs from Texoma, across the border to Mexico where work and prospects are stronger. When two Russian magicians come looking for a man named Alex Karkarov, they hire Lizbeth to find him or his family, but there are problems: The man they’re looking for is dead, but he has a daughter they now need to find, as an ever-growing set of sorcerers and gunnies do not want them to succeed. It’s a good thing Lizbeth is a deadly gunfighter; too bad she hates sorcerers, even the ones she has to learn to rely on. Continue reading “ARC Review: An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris”

Books List 2019, Reviews

ARC Review: Slayer by Kiersten White

slayerTitle: Slayer

Author: Kiersten White

Genre: Horror-ish/Urban Fantasy/YA Fiction

Series: Slayer

Connected to: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992), Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1996-2003)

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

Summary: 

Into every generation, a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead, she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

Continue reading “ARC Review: Slayer by Kiersten White”

Books List 2019, Reviews

Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

what if it's usTitle: What If It’s Us?

Author(s): Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

Genre: LGBTQIA+, YA, Romance

Summary: 

Arthur is only in New York for the summer, but if Broadway has taught him anything, it’s that the universe can deliver a showstopping romance when you least expect it.

Ben thinks the universe needs to mind its business. If the universe had his back, he wouldn’t be on his way to the post office carrying a box of his ex-boyfriend’s things.

But when Arthur and Ben meet-cute at the post office, what exactly does the universe have in store for them?

Maybe nothing. After all, they get separated.

Maybe everything. After all, they get reunited.

But what if they can’t quite nail a first date . . . or a second first date . . . or a third?

What if Arthur tries too hard to make it work . . . and Ben doesn’t try hard enough?

What if life really isn’t like a Broadway play?

But what if it is?

Continue reading “Review: What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera”

Book List 2018, Reviews

Better Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

Better Not Pout - Banner Graphic 1.2

“Annabeth Albert delivers another charmer with Better Not Pout. A sweet and sexy holiday read that finds a grumpy St. Nick charmed by a do-gooder elf and his snowy town. Better Not Pout will warm your heart and soul this holiday season.”

— Layla Reyne, author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey and Trouble Brewing series

Better Not Pout was charming, sweet, and sexy all at once! I love everything Annabeth Albert writes and this was no exception.” — Cat Sebastian, author of The Soldier’s Scoundrel, The Ruin of a Rake, and The Regency Imposters series

BETTER NOT POUT by Annabeth Albert 9781488038686 Front CoverBetter Not Pout by Annabeth Albert

Publisher:

Carina Press (Harlequin)

Release Date (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: Monday November 12, 2018

Print (mmp): Tuesday November 27, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook):

Ebook: 288

Print (mmp): 288

Subgenre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male Romance, Holiday Romance, Military Romance

Order at:

Carina Press

Barnes & Noble (mmp)

Barnes & Noble (ebook)

Amazon

Book Synopsis:

One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.

***

Annabeth Albert says that, “BETTER NOT POUT is a male/male holiday romance featuring endearing characters with a fun, flirty plot that will remind readers of their favorite holiday rom-coms.”

Excerpt:

        Not that this cranky Santa seemed particularly enamored of him or easy to get to know, but Teddy was determined to give the guy a pleasant day, especially after the disastrous start. Not that he’d call it a disaster—any time he got a glimpse of a muscled ass that spectacular was a win—but Nick’s discomfort had been almost palpable. And yeah, he seemed to be rather attached to his rank and title, but Teddy simply wasn’t that formal. Commander Grace had always insisted that they call her Miriam, and he was on a first name basis with plenty of other military personnel.

“So the first stop is the old Lee barn,” he said. “That’s outside of town, then we’ll work our way back to the resource center with a few other stops.”

“Are people really going to be able to guess one barn from another?” Nick sounded highly skeptical.

“Oh yeah. The Lee barn is part of a historic estate and it’s open for tours during daylight hours.”

“But after dark…” Rhonda laughed knowingly. “The estate is a favorite make-out spot for teenagers, and no amount of chase off from the police can stop them. Everyone will recognize the barn, but no one will want to cop to why. That’s why it’s perfect.”

“I see. Watch the road, MacNally. Posted limit is fifty-five. You don’t need a ticket.”

“We’re good.” Teddy tried not to show his irritation at the rebuke. He supposed he could have compromised and let Nick drive himself to the sites, but as usual Teddy had had a plan and didn’t want to deviate from it, even if it meant putting up with the backseat driving. “And it’s Teddy. There are so many MacNallys in and around Mineral Spirits that you’ll get twenty heads swiveling if you call for MacNally.”

Review:

This book is so good, and cute, and lovely, and wonderful and definitely provides some warmth in the holiday season.

Teddy is like the holiday spirit in the form of an actual person, and I wouldn’t have him any other way. I love that he is such a good person, and it’s just so great to have a character like him, who is flawed but inherently good.

Nowicki is also a good person, he just doesn’t want anyone to know it but it does get revealed piece by piece in reading this book. It’s a good novel, especially at this time of year, and in the climate we’re in where everything seems to be going wrong.

It’s a comfort to see something go right.

Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: Building Forever by Kelly Jensen

building foreverTitle: Building Forever

Author: Kelly Jensen

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance

Summary:

Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.

Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.

But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.

My Thoughts:

Loooove is in the aaaaiiiir!

The love between the two main characters in this book. My love for the two main characters and the plot, and the author and everything.

Simon is a character who I just want to wrap in blankets and hug him so so so tight because he needs to learn how to open up. He needs love! Better love than stupid Brian provided him with.

And Charlie, oh wonderful father, wonderful writer Charlie who needs to look around him every so often and not into the past. He needs to learn how to look forward.

This book hurts, but it’s so good all at the same time and none of this review makes sense and I almost don’t care but you seriously just need to pick it up and read it. Go to your local bookstore, your local library and give it a read. You will thank me for bathing you in some wonderful warmth in the incoming holiday season, with all the cold weather upon us.

So good.

Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: Floored by Sara Barnard; Holly Bourne; Tanya Byrne; Non Pratt; Melinda Salisbury; Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood

Title: Floored

Author(s): Sara Barnard; Holly Bourne; Tanya Byrne; Non Pratt; Melinda Salisbury; Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood

Genre: YA, coming-of-age 

Summary:

The Breakfast Club meets One Day in Floored, a unique collaborative novel by seven bestselling and award-winning YA authors: Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood.

When they got in the lift, they were strangers (though didn’t that guy used to be on TV?): Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means when you hear her name and it doesn’t match the way she looks, or the way she talks; Dawson, who was on TV, but isn’t as good-looking as he was a few years ago and is desperately hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it, and who used to have a poster of Dawson on her bedroom wall, and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but who wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.

My Thoughts:

This book had a really intriguing premise for me, though part of it seemed a little too good to be true. And in a way part of it really was.

I like so many of the authors who helped create this book, and I wanted to be able to love the characters but in all honesty I didn’t really find many of them all that likeable.

Hugh is the one who progresses the most throughout the novel, with what I felt was the most character growth but it still does not excuse previous actions. Sorry, but no. 

Velvet was most interesting to me because she was one of the ones who was most interesting and I love flawed, hard working characters.

Dawson and Joe would probably be next up, followed by Sasha and last would be Kaitlyn who to be honest is a little much.

I don’t want to spoil this too much, because it is a book that each person who reads it will have a drastically different opinion especially since there is so many characters that each reader can latch onto. 

So pick it up if you can, give it a go and let me know what you think.

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

Announcemet, Book List 2018, Reviews

Release Day: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl by Karen Booth

secrets_sunnygirl_cover_1600x2560Title: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl by Karen Booth

Release Date: October 16, 2018

Length: 318 pages

Subgenre: Romantic Women’s Fiction

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Summary:

As sisters, they tell each other all their secrets…except one.

With divorce and infidelity hanging from nearly every branch of her family tree, Katherine Fuller sees no point in marriage. Boyfriends? Sure. Sex? Of course. Wedding vows? No, thanks. Still, when her younger sister Amy gets engaged, Katherine gathers all the enthusiasm she can. She won’t let Amy down. She’s done enough of that for a lifetime.

Sunny Girl Teaser 1As the sisters embark on wedding plans, Katherine’s college love resurfaces. It nearly killed Katherine to part from sexy Irish musician Eamon more than a decade ago, but falling under his spell a second time forces her to confront everything she hid from him. The secrets surrounding her mother’s death are still fresh and raw in her mind, but one has haunted her more than the others. She can’t bear to tell anyone, especially not Amy. It could ruin far more than a wedding. It could destroy a sister’s love forever.

 

About Karen Booth:

Karen Booth is a midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ‘80s music and repeated readings of Forever by Judy Blume. An early preoccupation with rock ‘n’ roll led her to spend her 20s working her way from intern to executive in the music industry. When her kids came along, she traded late nights for early mornings, writing contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Karen was a finalist for RT Magazine’s Series Romance of the Year and Gold Seal of Excellence, and the 2018 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages.

Connect with Karen: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway: Win a signed print set of Karen Booth’s three Romantic Women’s Fiction novels: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl, Bring Me Back and Back Forever, or 1 of 2 e-copies of Bring Me Back!

About Bring Me Back: Nearly forty, Claire Abby had thought life would be a whole lot smoother by now. Single parenting her college-bound daughter is trying, her journalism career is fading, her sister’s a handful, her dad is worse, and her mom has been gone so long it’s hard to remember what it was like when she was here.

So it’s both a lucky break and a jaw-dropping distraction when Claire lands an interview with British rock star Christopher Penman. Claire spent her teenage years fantasizing he was her boyfriend. In person, Chris is everything Claire feared—off-the-charts sexy, ridiculously charming, and utterly nerve-wracking. He’s not about to discuss the rumors he’s dodged for a decade. She must earn his trust and unearth the truth, but she never banked on the heartbreaking secret behind it.

His blockbuster story is her first priority when she returns home, a nearly impossible task when Christopher starts calling. And flirting. There’s no denying his wit or his buttery British accent, and once she agrees to see him, it’s beyond anything her teenage brain ever imagined. But when Christopher’s painful past repeats itself, can Claire smooth out her life and save the man she could never forget?

 Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

Continue reading “Release Day: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl by Karen Booth”

Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

norse mythologyTitle: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Genre: History, mythology, super awesome audiobook

Summary:

Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok. 

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

My Thoughts:

Oh my gods. This is one of the best books I’ve read and the best audiobook I have ever listened to.

I now own a full Neil Gaiman audiobook collection because this man is so nice to listen to. His care for his writing and subject matter really does shine through in his reading of this work.

I have long loved reading about the different myths, and legends from other countries, and did read rather extensively about the Norse Gods when I was in college, but this was one of the most wonderful re-tellings I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.

There is no dryness to this writing, but rather life is breathed into every tale, injected with humour and tragedy where needed. The Gods come to life in a way they have not in many years, and with it a different point of view of Norse life.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves Gaiman, mythology, or just plain good literature.

Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton

my plain janesTitle: My Plain Jane

Author(s): Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton

Series: The Lady Janies

Genre: Alternate History, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Summary: 

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights

My Thoughts:

I wish I could express to you how much I was excited about this book, and I mean truly, mind-numbingly excited. I absolutely loved the first book, I read it four times in the last year because it was  so humorous, and the story was woven so tightly I could hardly find fault with it.

This book was good. Please do not think that I didn’t enjoy it because I did. But…I didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as I had enjoyed the first one.

The parts I wanted more of (the ghost hunting adventures), I got very little of, and wished it had been expanded upon. The parts I could’ve done with a little bit less of (the actual plot of Jane Eyre) I got too much of.

I did like the twist on the story, but it wasn’t as twisty as some of my other favourite Jane Eyre works (The Eyre Affair for example), and the character I actually enjoyed the most was Charlotte Bronte, I was left with very little interest in Jane herself.

The characters alongside Jane are enough to keep the book going, and the end truly does build to a rather satisfying climax, but it’s just not quite enough.

Now a novel with more of Charlie and Blackwood? I would be behind that in a second.

And as for the next book, My Calamity Jane? I can’t freaking wait to read that one.