Friday, August 25, 2017

REVIEW: Jack and Jill Went Downhill by R.J. Gould

Title: Jack and Jill Went Downhill
Author: R.J. Gould
Publisher: R.J. Gould
Publication Date: May, 2016
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description: Jack and Jill meet on Freshers Big Party Night at university and for both of them it’s love at first sight. Despite their backgrounds, personalities and interests being poles apart, the relationship flourishes during their university years. It’s not quite as comfortable when their studies are over and they start work, Jack in the City and Jill as a teacher.

Way back when they first met, they’d shared the joke that their names were those of the nursery rhyme. Down the line, they fail to recognize that their lives are matching the plot – Jack falls down and Jill comes tumbling after.

Their relationship is on the rocks. Can it survive?

My Thoughts: An entertaining story by new to me author R.J. Gould about love found, love lost and love rediscovered. Jack and Jill meet at university and immediately fall head over heels for each other in what appears to be a solid relationship, despite their different backgrounds and personalities. As they finish university and begin their lives together, the reality of adult life of bills and responsibilities sets in and begins to fracture the relationship as they both make decisions that further damage the relationship beyond repair.

I enjoyed this story and liked both Jack and Jill immensely, flaws and all. Surprisingly, I never felt myself taking one side over the other. I thought these characters were written very realistically and easy to relate to. The plot kept me engaged throughout the entire story; my curiosity was quite high about what would happen and whether or not this couple could make their way back to one another. The road getting there was quite bumpy for them both and not without a few tumbles and falls.

My Final Verdict: Readers who enjoy the chick-lit genre overall will enjoy this offering by Mr. Gould. Witty and funny with several twists that keeps the story engaging and interesting.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Jack and Jill Went Downhill from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Monday, July 31, 2017

New Additions To The TBR Pile In July

Title: A Spirited Tail by Leighann Dobbs
Description: Middle-aged bookstore owner Willa Chance is looking forward to the opportunity of appraising a valuable private library that hasn't seen the light of day for fifty years ... until she finds a dead body in the backyard and the ghost of the home's previous owner anxiously waiting for her inside.

Hampered by the persistent ghost who insists on keeping secrets from her, Willa navigates a sea of confusing clues as she struggles to uncover the connection between the recent murder and two murders fifty years ago.

Is the answer contained in the secret she found in the library? Or the unusual bequest left by the long-dead owner of the house? Or maybe it has something to do with the mysterious journal that everyone seems to be after.

Once again, Willa's cat Pandora has to help her figure out the clues, while she and the other cats of Mystic Notch try to keep vital mystical knowledge from getting into the wrong hands.

Can Willa discover the identity of the killer in time or will she end up being the fourth victim?


Title: Bride For A Time by Audrey Adair
Description: Jaime Abernathy's life has been turned upside-down -- she no longer has a boyfriend, a job, or a place to live, but has a yearning for something that she can't quite place. She decides to follow her heart to Scotland, the home of her ancestors. Her parents have passed, and she feels called to the place of her roots. Her first morning there, while out walking in the woods of her ancestral family home, she falls and awakens in the 16th Century, in the arms of Alec McDermont.

Alec is soon to be Laird of the McDermonts. He is to be married to the wretched Alexandra Gillie of a warring clan in a pretence of creating peace, but he senses something trecherous. He'll do anything to keep the marriage from happening, and when he finds Jaime in the woods, he senses a way out.

Jaime doesn't believe she's in the 16th century. Alec doesn't believe she's time traveled. But their feelings for each other pull them closer together as everything else is tearing them apart. Will they find happily ever after?

Sunday, July 30, 2017

REVIEW: This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Title: This Man (This Man #1)
Author: Jodi Ellen Malpas
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Publication Date: October, 2012
Genre: Erotica
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Description: Young interior designer Ava O’Shea has an appointment for a first consultation at The Manor with the owner, Mr. Jesse Ward. She is expecting nothing more than an overweight, cravat wearing, well-to-do countryman, and on arrival, nothing would suggest otherwise. How wrong could she be? This Man is devastatingly handsome, charming and confident. He is also a conceited, hedonistic playboy, who knows no boundaries. Ava desperately does not want to be attracted to him, but she can’t control the overwhelming effect he has on her. Every instinct is telling her to run, so she does, but Jesse Ward is not so willing to let her go. He wants her and is determined to have her. She knows she is heading for heartbreak, but how can she run when he won’t let her?

My Thoughts: Well, whatever shock and surprise Ava had upon meeting Jesse Ward is nothing compared to how I felt when I met him. Where is my Jesse Ward? Yes, he’s damaged and broken, but I don’t care! The determination he possesses in his methodical pursuit and seduction of Ava had me shaking in my boots…oh wait, I don’t have any boots. The intense passion he demonstrates from the second he lays eyes on her is almost predatory. Show me a woman who doesn’t want a man to desire her like that and I will call her a liar to her face.

Ava wastes a lot of time trying to convince Jesse and herself she doesn’t want him. Girl, why even bother? You know you are going to lose this debate, so either go for it or get the hell out of the way. Of course, most women are hoping that Jesse has some redeemable qualities and can be “fixed”. Please don’t fix him. I like his bad boy naughtiness and wouldn’t change a thing about him.

My Final Verdict: This is the first installment and there are loose ends galore here, so I have to get book #2 so I can find out what happens next now that Ava has learned some things about Jesse and has her panties all in a twist. It's off to a good start, so if you want some heat and more heat in your reading, this is a good choice.


Saturday, July 15, 2017

REVIEW: Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark

Title: Killer Ambition (Rachel Knight #3)
Author: Marcia Clark
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: June, 2013
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Description: When the daughter of a billionaire Hollywood director is found murdered after what appears to be a kidnapping gone wrong, Los Angeles Special Trials prosecutor Rachel Knight and Detective Bailey Keller find themselves at the epicenter of a combustible and high-profile court case. Then a prime suspect is revealed to be one of Hollywood's most popular and powerful talent managers--and best friend to the victim's father. With the director vouching for the manager's innocence, the Hollywood media machine commences an all-out war designed to discredit both Rachel and her case. KILLER AMBITION is at once a thrilling ride through the darker side of Tinseltown and a stunning courtroom drama with the brilliant insider's perspective that Marcia Clark is uniquely qualified to give.

My Thoughts: Killer Ambition by Marcia Clark is the third installment in the Rachel Knight series. One of my favorite things about this series is not that it’s a Rachel Knight series. No, Marcia Clark, does better and goes one step further by writing a series with several characters that the reader gets to know and bond with.

This story packs a punch right in the feels when Rachel and Bailey are brought in to investigate the murder of the daughter of a Hollywood mover and shaker after it appears she has been kidnapped. This story hit me hard because the victim is so young and it bothers me when life is snuffed out so needlessly, but even more so when the victim is young and has so much life to live. The story delivers a swift kick when the prime suspect of the murder turns out to be the best friend of the victim’s father. My first thought, was “with friends like this, who needs enemies?”

As more details about the case emerge and the Hollywood machine gets ugly, I was so impressed with how Rachel and her posse continue to persevere and dig for the truth and not take anything at face value.

My Final Verdict: This is an amazing series that I highly recommend reading in order. I truly hope there will be more Rachel Knight stories, though there appears to only be four at this time. Marcia Clark writes intriguing stories with characters that are easy to relate to and connect with.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Killer Ambition from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, July 01, 2017

New Additions To The TBR Pile In June

Title: I Had A Nice Time And Other Lies…How to Find Love & Sh*t Like That by The Betches
Description: The New York Times bestselling authors of Nice Is Just a Place in France and creators of the online humor and advice phenomenon Betches.com and Instagram account @Betches return to explain the brutal truths of how to date like a true betch, with insights from the Head Pro. In the age of Tinder, Hinge, or any other dating app that matches you with randos, the dating game has grown complex and confusing. Cue the Betches—first, we helped you win at basically everything, and now we’re going to help you win the most important battle a betch can face: dating. Maybe you’re a Delusional Dater who needs to get in touch with reality (seriously, he’s just NOT that f***ing into you) or perhaps you’re a TGF who needs to stop being so desperate and start playing the game. Or maybe you’re just tired of swiping left and ready for the pro of your dreams to put a 15-karat diamond ring on it so you can stop pretending to do work. Either way, we’ve got you covered. So put away the Ben & Jerry’s fro-yo (just because it’s low fat doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat the whole tub) and start dating like a winner.


Title: Jack and Jill Went Downhill by R.J. Gould
Description: Jack and Jill meet on Freshers Big Party Night at university and for both of them it’s love at first sight. Despite their backgrounds, personalities and interests being poles apart, the relationship flourishes during their university years. It’s not quite as comfortable when their studies are over and they start work, Jack in the City and Jill as a teacher. Way back when they first met, they’d shared the joke that their names were those of the nursery rhyme. Down the line, they fail to recognise that their lives are matching the plot – Jack falls down and Jill comes tumbling after. Their relationship is on the rocks. Can it survive?


Title: My Big Fat Demon Slayer Wedding by Angie Fox
Description: Lizzie Brown is about to have the destination wedding of her dreams. But as this former preschool teacher knows, being a demon slayer makes everything more complicated. The vengeful Earl of Hell is still on her tail. And now it seems that one of the guests at the eccentric, seaside mansion is possessed and trying to kill her. Maybe she should just elope. The groom, studly shape-shifting griffin Dimitri Kallinikos, vows to protect her at all costs. Yet even he is acting suspiciously. And minions of the devil are popping up everywhere. Now Lizzie must protect her socialite mother, her Greek in-laws and her grandmother’s gang of biker witches – all of whom are convinced they know what’s best for her, and her big day. As the wedding draws closer, Lizzie has to learn who is behind the attacks – and fast – or risk losing everyone she loves.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

New Additions To The TBR Pile In May

Title: Inconvenient Murder by Amanda A. Allen
Description: Ingrid and Emily are spoiled, incompetent witches who are attempting to begin a new life in the San Juan Islands when someone they both despise dies in their book shop. To prevent themselves from getting arrested for a crime they both totally would have committed, they decide to solve the mystery themselves before going back to their rigid schedule of naps and pedicures.

They probably shouldn't have so much fun trying to prove their innocence even when their spells go awry. But they do!


Title: Mid-Life Ex-Wife by Stella Grey
Description: Nora Ephron meets Bridget Jones's Diary in Guardian columnist Stella Grey’s heartrendingly honest, witty memoir about her online odyssey to find real love in a virtual world.

Singers may croon about love being lovelier the second time around, but it can also be far more complicated. When Stella Grey’s husband leaves her for another woman, she fears she'll be unhappy and alone for the rest of her life. But daytime vodka-drinking and ice-cream are only short-term consolations. Realizing that she needs to take her future into her own hands, Stella dives into the world of online dating. What follow are 693 days of hilarious, depressing, and baffling encounters that unfold both in person and online. Stella quickly discovers that the more perfect a man appears on her screen, the warier she should be. It's a game of chance, with some players perfectly willing to lie to get what they want, whether that’s a lifetime of love or a very brief encounter.

Amid flirty emails, Skype chats, and awkward small talk over glasses of bad wine (which may or may not lead to awkward sex), Stella struggles to remain optimistic. To succeed, does she have to redefine the kind of man she’s looking for—or change the kind of woman she is? Funny, raw, and heartwarming, this book is a brutally honest account of the world of online dating—a world which so many of us are a part of, no matter our age—drawn from Stella’s hugely popular Guardian column, “Mid-life Ex-Wife” (and expanded with new material) about her search for a second chance at love.


Title: Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones
Description: The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

Annis always suspected that her father was himself a spy, and following in his footsteps to unmask his killer makes perfect sense. Alas, it does not make sense to England’s current spymasters—not even when Annis reveals that she has the rare magical ability to sew glamours: garments that can disguise the wearer completely.

Well, if the spies are too pigheaded to take on a young woman of quality, then Annis will take them on. And so she crafts a new double life for herself. Miss Annis Whitworth will appear to live a quiet life in a country cottage with her aunt, and Annis-in-disguise as Madame Martine, glamour artist, will open a magical dressmaking shop. That way she can earn a living, maintain her social standing, and, in her spare time, follow the coded clues her father left behind and unmask his killer.

It can’t be any harder than navigating the London social season, can it?


Title: My Sister’s Wedding by Vicky Pattison
Description: For better or worse, two families are about to become one . . .

The Ashworth sisters couldn't be more different. Becky is focused, driven and about to marry her lovely fiance, Daniel Balfour. Lizzie, on the other hand, bounces from one temp job to another, keeps falling for the wrong man and is a whirlwind of chaos in Becky's otherwise well-ordered life. But they love each other fiercely and the Ashworth way has always been family comes first.

As preparations for Becky and Daniel's wedding get underway, it soon becomes clear that the Ashworth way is not the Balfour way. Daniel's family have never thought Becky was good enough for him but he loves her and that's always been enough for the happy couple. But when Lizzie gets caught in the crossfire between Becky and the Balfours, Becky and Lizzie find themselves drifting apart at a time when they need each other the most. Will they be able to repair the damage before Becky walks down the aisle?

Warm-hearted, fun, witty and romantic, My Sister's Wedding will have you crying with laughter one second, and then crying with emotion the next. It's Vicky Pattison at her very best!


Title: Reported Missing by Sarah Wray
Description: Four months ago, Rebecca Pendle’s husband disappeared. So did 14-year-old Kayleigh Jackson.

Just a coincidence? Rebecca wants to believe so… But as the police start to draw parallels between Chris and Kayleigh, it’s getting harder for her to trust his innocence.

Faced with an angry town that believes Chris has abducted the teenager, Rebecca tries to discover the truth.

But what she finds shocks her more than she ever thought. How well does she really know the man she loves?


Title: The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
Description: You never know what's happening on the other side of the wall.

Your neighbour told you that she didn't want your six-month-old daughter at the dinner party. Nothing personal, she just couldn't stand her crying.

Your husband said it would be fine. After all, you only live next door. You'll have the baby monitor and you'll take it in turns to go back every half hour.

Your daughter was sleeping when you checked on her last. But now, as you race up the stairs in your deathly quiet house, your worst fears are realized. She's gone.

You've never had to call the police before. But now they're in your home, and who knows what they'll find there.

What would you be capable of, when pushed past your limit?


Title: The Dream Keeper’s Daughter by Emily Colin
Description: An archaeologist discovers her presumed-missing boyfriend is trapped more than a hundred years in the past—a love story that transcends time and place, from the author of the New York Times bestseller The Memory Thief.

Eight years after the unsolved disappearance of her boyfriend Max Adair, archaeologist Isabel Griffin has managed to move on and rebuild her life with her young daughter, Finn, her last tie to Max. But after a series of strange incidents, Isabel begins to wonder if Max might still be alive somewhere, trying to communicate with her. She has no idea that the where isn’t the problem—it’s the when. Max has slipped through time and place, landing on his ancestral family plantation in 1816 Barbados, on the eve of a historic slave uprising. As Isabel searches for answers, Max must figure out not only how to survive the violence to come, but how to get back to his own century, the woman he loves, and the daughter he has only ever met in his dreams.


Title: The Husband Maker by Karey White
Description: Charlotte’s a girl with nicknames. She may not love being called Charles or Chuck, but the hardest nickname to take is the one she was given in college, the one that’s followed her now for too many years. They call her “the husband maker” and sadly, it fits. Every guy she's dated since high school has gone on to marry the next girl they date. Not two or three girls down the road. The very next one.

Is she doing something wrong or is she just cursed?

When Kyle Aldsworth enters the picture and sweeps her off her feet, Charlotte begins to hope that maybe she's not destined to be single forever. A senator’s son with political aspirations of his own, Kyle is wealthy, handsome, and in need of a wife. Will Charlotte be disappointed yet again, or will she finally be able to make a husband for herself?


Title: The Player by Denise Grover Swank
Description: Book two in The Wedding Pact series.

Divorce attorney Blair Hansen is convinced that marriage should be based on practicality, not passion. But as her own wedding approaches, she finds herself remembering her law school boyfriend, the only man she's ever loved, and regretting what might have been. Then a twist of fate lands Garrett back in her life, and the man who loomed large in her past is suddenly casting a shadow over her wedding, making her question everything. To complicate matters further, the job she loves is in peril, and she can feel the ‘perfect’ life she’s fashioned for herself start to crumble under her feet. Could everything she's believed about life and love be wrong?

Garrett Lowry is a divorce attorney who's ready to settle down. The problem is that he can’t find a woman who suits him nearly as well as the one he loved and lost. He broke her heart by playing the field after their break up—something he’s always regretted. But after months of pining for Blair, Garrett stumbles across her in a freak coincidence—and then destiny keeps throwing them together, the coincidences becoming ever more unlikely. He’s convinced it's a sign they should give their love a second chance, but Blair is engaged to another man—a man who is absolutely wrong for her.

Can Garrett convince Blair that a player once isn’t a player forever, and that happy endings aren’t just for dreamers


Title: The Wedding Charm: The Wedding Whisperer by Susan Hatler
Description: Maid of honor Sarah Carlton hasn’t failed at anything since her high school science project was sabotaged by a relentless competitor. So, she’ll do whatever it takes to make her best friend Jill’s wedding absolutely perfect. That includes taking the next flight out of Sacramento to retrieve the panicked bride’s cherished family wedding charm from her late grandmother’s attic in Atlanta Georgia.

Unfortunately, someone else has offered to come to the bride’s rescue—best man Ben Atkins, the same man who destroyed Sarah’s high school science project all those years ago. Now he wants to one-up her by retrieving the charm first? Sarah refuses to let that happen. The race is on.

When Sarah and Ben arrive in Atlanta, instead of finding the wedding charm there’s a letter from the bride’s grandmother directing the bride and groom to complete a series of tasks in order to prove their commitment to each other. With the wedding only two days away, Sarah and Ben must join forces by pretending to be the bride and groom in order to earn the wedding charm. Should be a cinch. After all, how hard can it be to fake true love for forty-eight hours?

Friday, May 05, 2017

REVIEW: Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman

Title: Perfect Girl
Author: Michele Gorman
Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Publication Date: October, 2014
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy the Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description: Cinderella meets Falling Down in this wickedly funny tale about having it all

Carol is perfect… at least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality she’s sinking fast – her family treats her like their personal assistant and her boyfriend is so busy with work that he’s got her single-handedly running their relationship. Not that her job is any easier. As the only woman on the bank’s trading floor she spends twelve-hour days trying not to get sworn at or felt up by colleagues who put the "W" in banker.

How long can she go on pleasing everyone else before she snaps and loses it all?

With humor and empathy, Perfect Girl lays bare the balancing act that working women face in a man's world

My Thoughts: Michele Gorman is one of my favorite authors in the chick-lit genre. Her stories and characters come alive with such bright, vibrant color, the reader feels a personal connection with the characters that is like being a participant in the story instead of a bystander.

I liked Carol immensely. She is easy to relate to with her intense desire to please everyone and though it bothered me how she is treated by the people in her life, she finds her courage and spine and comes out on top. In her shoes, I would probably be in jail facing homicide charges. It was easy for me to see a lot of myself in this story and I am sure other readers will have the same revelation.

I admired Carol for her strength of character and ability to remain sane while she is being pulled into so many different directions and then to top it off, she has to work for the boss from Hell who will throw her under the bus for his unethical behavior. She has a selfish mother and sister who think the world revolves around them and expect Carol to drop everything when they beckon and when Carol stands up for herself, the guilt trip is slathered on so thick, you could choke on it. Carol’s boyfriend, Ben, is a tool. He takes Carol for granted and expects her to make all the effort in the relationship. It’s a good thing he is a fictional character because when I found out just how much of a heel he turns out to be, I would have happily throttled him with my Kindle until he fell down and stopped moving.

My Final Verdict: If you are looking for a very good story about a woman who is a doormat, trying to be everything for everybody, but comes out on top, I highly recommend Perfect Girl by the very talented Michele Gorman. Don’t stop there. Just read all of her books…seriously.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Perfect Girl from the author in exchange for an honest review.


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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at sharalsbooks@yahoo.com Happy Reading! :o)