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.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

New Additions To The TBR Pile In April

Title: Buzzing Easter Bunnies by Nick Spalding
Description: Every story needs a decent climax...

There are plenty of things Christina Barclay would like to do before she hits thirty at Easter. Having an orgasm with somebody else in the room is most definitely one of them.

Up to now, her love life has been sorely lacking in the toe-curling department - but luckily for Christina, she's just started dating Matthew Adrian Bunion, a man whose bedroom inexperience is more than made up for by his never-ending enthusiasm. Mr Bunion will not rest until his new girlfriend is satisfied - no matter what the cost in rechargeable batteries, physical injury or public embarrassment.

From the best-selling author of BLUE CHRISTMAS BALLS and LOVE... FROM BOTH SIDES, this is the story of one woman and one man on an epic quest to come together, and celebrate an Easter birthday in style.


Title: Ella’s Ice-Cream Summer
Description: Ella’s life just hit rock-bottom, but can a summer by the sea mend her broken heart? When life gives you lemons… make ice-cream!

Life hasn’t always been easy for single mum Ella, but she has just hit an all-time low; she’s jobless, loveless, very nearly homeless and, to make matters worse, now the owner of a pocket-sized pooch with a better wardrobe than her.

Packing her bags (and a bigger one for the dog), Ella sets off for the seaside town of Appledore in Devon to re-live the magical summers of her youth and claim her portion of the family ice-cream business: a clapped-out ice-cream van and a complicated mess of secrets.

There she meets gorgeous and free-spirited solicitor, Ben, who sees things differently: with a little bit of TLC he has a plan to get the van – and Ella – back up and running in no time.


Title: Handcuffs, Truncheon and a Polyester Thong by Gina Kirkham
Description: Meet Mavis Upton.

As mummy to 7-year old Ella, surrogate to far too many pets and with a failed marriage under her belt, Mavis knows she needs to make some life-changing decisions. It's time to strike out into the world, to stand on her own two feet … to pursue a lifelong ambition to become a Police Officer. I mean, what could go wrong?

Supported by her quirky, malapropism-suffering mum, Mavis throws herself headlong into a world of uncertainty, self-discovery, fearless escapades, laughter and extra-large knickers. And using her newly discovered investigative skills, she reluctantly embarks on a search to find her errant dad who was last seen years before, making off with her mum's much needed coupon for a fabulous foam cup bra all the way from America.

Follow Mavis as she tackles everything life can throw at her, and revel in Gina Kirkham's humorous, poignant and moving story of an everyday girl who one day followed a dream.


Title: Hindsight by Melanie Casey
Description: Cass Lehman has a terrifying 'gift'...The youngest in a family of extraordinary women with supernatural talents, Cass is cursed with the not-so-sexy gift of seeing the past...but not just any past; she sees death. For years she's hidden herself away in her family home. Now, desperate for a better life, she ventures into sleepy Jewel Bay, only to stumble upon murder and mayhem and a killer at large who's long been lurking in their midst. Taking a chance, Cass volunteers to assist Detective Ed Dyson with the investigation. Will Cass be able to save the latest victim - and herself?


Title: I’ll Eat When I’m Dead by Barbara Bourland
Description: When stylish Hillary Whitney dies alone in a locked, windowless conference room at the offices of high-concept magazine RAGE Fashion Book, her death is initially ruled an unfortunate side effect of the unrelenting pressure to be thin.

But two months later, a cryptic note in her handwriting ends up in the office of the NYPD and the case is reopened, leading Det. Mark Hutton straight into the glamorous life of hardworking RAGE editor Catherine Ono, who insists on joining the investigation. Surrounded by a supporting cast of party girls, Type A narcissists and half-dead socialites, Cat and her colleague Bess Bonner are determined to solve the case and achieve sartorial perfection. But their amateur detective work has disastrous results, and the two ingenues are caught in a web of drugs, sex, lies and moisturizer that changes their lives forever.

Viciously funny, this sharp and satirical take on the politics of women's bodies and women's work is an addictive debut novel.


Title: Kiss Don’t Tell by Avril Tremayne
Description: It’s going to be ever so hard to keep this secret!

David wants Lane and she wants him back.

But to a known lothario like him, how will Lane ever measure up in the bedroom? With just one disastrous sexual encounter to her name, Lane knows she needs help in that department, and fast – before David loses interest.

So when Adam, her best mate’s brother (with his own impressive reputation), agrees to her bizarre proposal, she’s ready to learn everything he has to offer about how to please a guy in bed. But as she soon discovers, there is no textbook for love…


Title: Let’s Try This Again by Jordyn Woodtke
Description: One girl. Two guys. It's complicated.

First there is Isaac, the ex-boyfriend who threatens her move to a sunny new life on the west coast when he suddenly comes back into the picture. The chemistry is intoxicating and Josie starts eating, breathing, and sleeping with him again until the move. Things are hard enough saying goodbye to her childhood home and very best friends, but when Isaac makes it seem like he might actually want her to stay, Josie wonders if she’s giving up on him too quickly.

Josie takes the plunge and moves to California.

Then comes Carter. Sweet, doting - and, oh my god! - former boy band heartthrob, Carter. Josie’s new life falls into place, with new friends and a job working as the personal assistant for Carter as he plans the re-launch of his career. When it seems like there might be something between Josie and her new boss, she can’t help but hold back in fear of crossing a line and, worse yet, getting her heart crushed. Once again.

What spirals into a complicated, heart wrenching, unexpected love triangle forces Josie to face a decision that she is not sure she can make. Carter or Isaac. Or - who knows?

It’s Sex in the City meets Bridget Jones Diary under the Hollywood sign. A masterful debut novel of love, sex and rock & roll in the New Adult genre.


Title: Love The Wine You’re With by Kim Gruenenfelder
Description: Three best friends decide to open a wine bar in Echo Park LA, where they encounter the trials and tribulations of dating, love, and life in Kim Gruenenfelder's Love the Wine You're With.

Jessie is finally about to realize her life-long goal of owning her own house, the first step to a wonderful marriage, kids, and life with her boyfriend of three years, Kevin; except after they find the perfect place, Kevin suddenly gets cold feet.

Nat is having a passionate affair with her gorgeous British boss Marc—unfortunately, he’s married. Now what?

Holly is an actress who still waits tables to pay the bills, and who is coping with the recent loss of her father. A particularly bad audition, where she snaps and tells off a big director, leads her to wonder what to do when you stop loving what you do. (And also what to do about her hot neighbor. Because, you know, hot neighbor.)

After each girl finishes a particularly awful workday, the three friends meet at their favorite wine bar, which has been sold by its owner for a huge profit and will close that night. In a moment of tipsy brazenness, Jessie suggests that the three of them open their own wine bar in the gentrifying Echo Park area of Los Angeles. An unapologetically girly place for good wine and good friends—which leads to a challenge for each woman: how do you fix a life that’s not actually broken, but needs an upgrade?


Title: Mr Make Believe by Beezy Marsh
Description: Marnie Martin’s formerly perfect life is not quite going to plan.

Hard-hitting newspaper journalist turned stay-at-home mum and part-time failing food columnist, Marnie is wondering when her life went so wrong.

While her husband Matt’s career takes off, she’s left with the impossible task of pairing socks and locating Lego. His late nights at the office are turning into late nights who knows where else and they haven’t had a proper conversation in weeks, sex in months, or a full night’s sleep in years.

On the brink of losing everything when a fantasy about movie star Maddox Wolfe leads to a missed deadline and a disastrous case of food poisoning, Marnie becomes Mrs. Make Believe: anonymous blogger, secret spiller, and voice of imperfect mums everywhere.

However, Marnie Martin could never have imagined that her movie star daydream would walk off the screen and into her reality, turning her already muddled world totally on its head.

Will Marnie find happiness in the arms of the (literal) man of her dreams? Or will she find that true love is just make believe?


Title: Mr. Right-Swipe by Ricki Schultz
Description: Rae Wallace would rather drown in a vat of pinot greezh and be eaten by her own beagle than make another trip down the aisle--even if it is her best friend's wedding. She's too busy molding the minds of first graders and polishing that ol' novel in the drawer to waste time on any man, unless it's Jason Segel. But when her be-fris stage an intervention, Rae is forced to give in. After all, they've hatched a plan to help her find love the 21st century way: online. She's skeptical of this electronic chlamydia catcher, but she's out to prove she hasn't been too picky with men.

However, when a familiar fella's profile pops up--the dangerously hot substitute teacher from work (Nick)--Rae swipes herself right into a new problem...


Title: Only Twelve Days by Eileen Thornton
Description: This heart-warming story is set in a time when computers and mobile phones were still in their infancy...

It is almost Christmas – one of the most wonderful times of the year. Nearly everyone is eagerly looking forward to spending the festive season with their loved ones. Children see it as a magical time. A time when wishes come true and longed for gifts miraculously appear under the Christmas tree.

But what about those who are facing Christmas alone? When Christmas means nothing more to them than working from home, rather than the office or the college?

Bill and Sally are two such people. Both are shy and rather lonely; both left behind when the rest of the country was caught up in the changes of the swinging sixties. Will they avoid the holiday season, as they usually do and spend it alone? Or, this year, just for a change, will Christmas catch up with them?

Though this story is set during the run up to Christmas, it is a tender love story to be enjoyed at any time of the year.


Title: Right Here Waiting for You by Rebecca Pugh
Description: We used to be best friends…

Magda used to be the girl everyone wanted to be – most likely to achieve her every wish. That is until suddenly her perfect life seems to be anything but!

Sophia has never regretted her life, sure it isn’t perfect, but being a single mum to a daughter she loves is pretty great. Perhaps she never moved away from home, or got to live out her dreams, but what she has right now isn’t so bad.

That is until an invitation to their school reunion arrives, throwing both their lives into a spin – because these two used to be friends and it might finally be time to face up to that one big mistake that happened all those years ago…


Title: Sins of The Heart by Eve Silver
Description: Dagan Krayl, the Underworld's most powerful soul reaper, is the demigod son of the evil god Sutekh. He's on a mission to find his murdered brother's remains and resurrect him, but resurrection means that the secrets carried into death would be released and, with them, a war that could end gods and mankind alike.

Roxy Tam is searching for the same thing, but for completely different reasons. She means to make certain that the remains don’t fall into Sutekh’s hands, and that the soul reapers do not reanimate their fallen comrade. As a Daughter of Aset, Roxy is tasked with the protection of the human race, and if that means thwarting an all powerful soul reaper and making certain his dead brother stays dead, so be it. But when Roxy sees Dagan face-to-face, she realizes that she has met him once before—a meeting that changed her life forever.

Neither Dagan nor Roxy expects to join forces for the sake of mankind. Or to have their loyalties tested as they struggle against treachery, betrayal and the potent desire that threatens to consume them both.


Title: The Birthday Girls by Pauline Lawless
Description: They'd met on their first day at school four little girls who were all very different from each other but who somehow became close friends. Their friendship has now lasted thirty-five years.

As their birthdays all fall in the same week they long ago made a pact to spend each big decade birthday together. So far they'd managed it.

Now as their thirty-ninth birthday looms, Angel, a famous Hollywood actress, announces that this will be her last birthday. Terrified of aging, she absolutely refuses to turn 40. So Lexi, the mother hen of the group and an artist, invites them to Florida for a week-long celebration of this, their last birthday together. Brenda, mother to five grown-up children, flies in from Dublin, eagerly looking forward to her first foreign holiday ever. Mel, however, has to be pried away from New York where she is a successful partner in a law firm - Mel is a workaholic with no other friends or love in her life.

The four come together for the celebration but soon things start to unravel and the week ends disastrously. Lexi is distraught. Can their friendship endure? Only time will tell.


Title: The Bridal Squad by Samantha Chase
Description: The Friday Night Brides are back! And this time, it’s their first season running the business! It was one thing to just model in a weekly fashion show, it’s quite another to be the ones calling the shots and making future brides’ dreams come true. Their first client has them wondering if they’re really prepared for their new roles!

The Bride: Julianne is big on fitness, small on patience. And planning her wedding is grating on her every last nerve. As a Zumba instructor, she loves the freedom to create and choreograph her routines and help others achieve their goals, but having to stand back and let others choreograph her big day has her wanting to hip-hop toward eloping!

The Matron of Honor: As the only married member of the bridal party, Natalie considers herself the aficionado on all-things weddings. And even though her time in the spotlight is over, that doesn’t mean she isn’t full of ideas on how her best friend’s wedding should look and feel and be! And it doesn’t take long for her to realize that maybe it’s not so much that she’s wanting to help as it is that she’s afraid of her own honeymoon ending.

The Bride’s Sister: Nothing screams unwanted relationship advice than when your younger sister gets married before you. It’s not that Harper doesn’t want to get married, after three failed engagements she really does! But finding the right man to walk down the aisle with is proving harder than she thought. And it gets even harder when constantly being compared to the perfect couple!

The Reluctant Bridesmaid: There is nothing Kayla wants more than to see one of her best friend’s get married…if only the whole process wasn’t so exhausting! Travel and adventure and being on the go fuels her. Having to stay in one place for an extended period of time while wearing taffeta? Not so much. Her job tends to take her away on a moment’s notice and this is one time she may have to pass up the trip of a lifetime in the name of friendship.


Title: The Dating Game by Avril Tremayne
Description: You need to learn the rules, fast!

Sarah’s brother Adam has been educating her best friend Lane in the arts of the Kama Sutra for weeks, all in the pursuit of Lane’s real target, David Bennett. So when Sarah finds herself alone with David at an exhibition, weeping over her own terrible dating history, they strike up a conversation. A budding artist, he wants to paint her, so she agrees in return for a guarantee that he’ll find her a relationship that can last more than three weeks (her rather dismal personal best).

She reassures herself that she isn’t betraying Lane. After all, Sarah wants marriage and 2.5 kids, and David has made it more than clear he will never want that. Plus he’s going to sleep with Lane any day now. Isn’t he?


Title: The First Year by Genevieve Gannon
Description: The first year of marriage is hard no matter what. Throw in jealous exes, high-pressure careers and two wildly different families, and the degree of difficulty goes up a few more notches. Determined to beat the odds, one couple comes up with a plan to keep their romance alive - but life has other ideas.

Saskia is an up-and-coming jewelry designer, waiting tables at a trendy cafe to keep her fledgling company afloat. Andrew is a corporate lawyer who wants to be known for more than his family's money. They're passionate about their work and each other, but with Andy's job in jeopardy and Saskia's jewelry label taking off, the pressure is taking its toll.

As life pulls them in different directions, the two of them are forced to decide: Just how important is their marriage? And how hard are they willing to work to protect it?


Title: The Heist by Janet Evanovich
Description: FBI Special Agent Kate O’Hare is known for her fierce dedication and discipline on the job, chasing down the world’s most wanted criminals and putting them behind bars. Her boss thinks she is tenacious and ambitious; her friends think she is tough, stubborn, and maybe even a bit obsessed. And while Kate has made quite a name for herself for the past five years, the only name she’s cared about is Nicolas Fox—an international crook she wants in more ways than one.

Audacious, handsome, and dangerously charming, Nicolas Fox is a natural con man, notorious for running elaborate scams on very high-profile people. At first he did it for the money. Now he does it for the thrill. He knows that the FBI has been hot on his trail—particularly Kate O’Hare, who has been watching his every move. For Nick, there’s no greater rush than being pursued by a beautiful woman . . . even one who aims to lock him up. But just when it seems that Nicolas Fox has been captured for good, he pulls off his greatest con of all: he convinces the FBI to offer him a job, working side by side with Special Agent Kate O’Hare.

Problem is, teaming up to stop a corrupt investment banker who’s hiding on a private island in Indonesia is going to test O’Hare’s patience and Fox’s skill. Not to mention the skills of their ragtag team made up of flamboyant actors, wanted wheelmen, and Kate’s dad. High-speed chases, pirates, and Toblerone bars are all in a day’s work . . . if O’Hare and Fox don’t kill each other first.


Title: The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney
Description: The hole they dug was not deep. A white flour bag encased the little body. Three small faces watched from the window, eyes black with terror.

The child in the middle spoke without turning his head. ‘I wonder which one of us will be next?’

When a woman’s body is discovered in a cathedral and hours later a young man is found hanging from a tree outside his home, Detective Lottie Parker is called in to lead the investigation. Both bodies have the same distinctive tattoo clumsily inscribed on their legs. It’s clear the pair are connected, but how?

The trail leads Lottie to St Angela’s, a former children’s home, with a dark connection to her own family history. Suddenly the case just got personal.

As Lottie begins to link the current victims to unsolved murders decades old, two teenage boys go missing. She must close in on the killer before they strike again, but in doing so is she putting her own children in terrifying danger?

Lottie is about to come face to face with a twisted soul who has a very warped idea of justice.


Title: The New Beginnings Coffee Club by Samantha Tonge
Description: Everyone deserves a second chance…don’t they? Jenny Masters finds herself living the modern dream. Wife to a millionaire, living in a mansion and mother to Kardashian-obsessed ten-year-old April, there isn’t anything missing. Until, her whole world comes crashing down, forcing Jenny and April to leave behind their glittering life and start over with nothing.

With village gossip following her wherever she goes, she finds refuge and a job in the new coffee shop in town. As the days pass Jenny fears she doesn’t have what it takes to pick herself back up and give April the life she always wanted to. But with the help of enigmatic new boss Noah, and housemate Elle, Jenny realises it’s never too late to become the woman life really intended you to be!


Title: The Wild Woman’s Guide To Traveling The World by Kristin Rockaway
Description: Objectively, Sophie is a success: she's got a coveted job at a top consulting firm, a Manhattan apartment, and a passport full of stamps. It isn't quite what she dreamed of when she was a teenager dog-earing pages in exotic travel guides, but it's secure. Then her best friend bails just hours after they arrive in Hong Kong for a girls' trip, and Sophie falls for Carson, a free spirited, globetrotting American artist. He begs her to join him on his haphazard journey, but she chooses responsibility and her five-year plan.

Back in New York, that plan feels less and less appealing. As Sophie recalls the dreams she's suppressed, the brief international jaunts she sneaks in between business trips no longer feel like enough. Carson isn't ready to let her go either, but as they try to figure out their relationship, Sophie realizes she may have to pursue her passions with or without him.


Title: This Man by Jodi Ellen Malpas
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?


Title: Until Love Do Us Part by Anna Premoli
Description: What happens when two people who hate each other are forced to cooperate by law? A fun, feisty, feel-good romance for fans of Sophie Kinsella and Lindsey Kelk.

Amalia and Ryan met at Yale Law School, from which their mutual dislike for one another was born.

Amalia Berger is a successful, high society New York lawyer. Chicago based lawyer Ryan O'Moore is the eldest of four sons whose chaotic family run a pub in the heart of the Big Apple.

New York beckons after Ryan is offered a promotion. But when the defence lawyer of his first case is the one and only Amalia Berger, things become complicated.

The courtroom clash escalates between them to the point that the judge sentences them both to a punishment of community service, forcing them to spend time together...


Title: VIP by M. Robinson
Description: Ysabelle

They say in order to find yourself you have to go home, but what if home is what you’re escaping from. I went to Miami to discover myself; never in my wildest dreams, did I think home would become a three-letter word.
VIP.
I was the dream.
I was the illusion.
I was the fantasy.
Until him…
Everything went to hell in a hand basket the moment we laid eyes on each other.
I wanted him.
He wanted me.

Sebastian

I have always been a man who made decisions based on other people’s feelings, wants, and desires.
I was selfless.
I never wanted to hurt anyone.
Especially her.
The moment I met her… I wanted her.
I loved her.
For the woman she was.
For the woman she wanted to be.
But most of all…
For the woman she was, when she was with me.

This isn’t a love story, but a story about love.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

REVIEW: The Dress Shop of Dreams by Menna van Praag

Title: The Dress Shop of Dreams
Author: Menna van Praag
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: December, 2014
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Description: Since her parents’ mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her Grandmother Etta’s dress shop. Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta’s charming tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets: With just a few stitches from Etta’s needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to free a woman’s deepest desires.

Etta’s dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter. Cora’s studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever. Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt’s collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora. But magic spells—like true love—can go awry. After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she’s set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora’s life in extraordinary and unexpected ways.

My Thoughts: An enjoyable story by new to me author Menna van Praag, The Dress Shop of Dreams could have used more magic to really knock my socks off. The magic that is referred to and inferred throughout this book really doesn’t have an impact on any of the characters and certainly not brought on by Etta. The magic of this story is that it resides within each of the characters and is up to them to reach for it and bring it to life within their lives.

This story is not a fast read. It’s very methodical and moves at a snail’s pace at times. Normally, that would annoy me, but with so many characters and their stories overlapping and intertwining with one another, if this book moved faster than it did, I would have been hopelessly lost.

Parts of this story made me laugh, made me cry and made me so angry I wanted to throw the Kindle against the wall in frustration. The magic awaiting all of the characters was a joy to behold and I had a hard time deciding which character was my favorite.

My Final Verdict: This is not a great book or what I would call “keeper-shelf”, but it was a good story that kept me engaged and interested in the characters and what would become of them all. I recommend this book to readers who have a curious nature about what will happen next.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of The Dress Shop of Dreams from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Saturday, April 22, 2017

REVIEW: Now You See Her by James Patterson

Title: Now You See Her
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: June, 2011
Genre: Thriller / Mystery / Suspense
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Description: The perfect life

A successful lawyer and loving mother, Nina Bloom would do anything to protect the life she's built in New York--including lying to everyone, even her daughter, about her past. But when an innocent man is framed for murder, she knows that she can't let him pay for the real killer's crimes.

The perfect lie

Nina's secret life began 18 years ago. She had looks to die for, a handsome police-officer husband, and a carefree life in Key West. When she learned she was pregnant with their first child, her happiness was almost overwhelming. But Nina's world is shattered when she unearths a terrible secret that causes her to run for her life and change her identity.

The perfect way to die

Now, years later, Nina risks everything she's earned to return to Florida and confront the murderous evil she fled. In a story of wrenching suspense, James Patterson gives us his most head-spinning, action-filled story yet--a Hitchcock-like blend of unquenchable drama and pleasure.

My Thoughts: Good story about a woman who is trying to outrun her past only to discover that the person she thinks she can trust the most is the one she should have avoided in the first place. I enjoyed the story and the build-up to the ending was quite intense with several nail-biting scenes.

My Final Verdict: Fans of thrillers and suspense novels will enjoy the way this story plays out. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys intense story lines with characters that aren’t all they appear.


Saturday, April 15, 2017

REVIEW: Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich

Title: Top Secret Twenty-One (Stephanie Plum #21)
Author: Janet Evanovich
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: June, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy the Book: Amazon | Audible | Barnes & Noble

Description: Catch a professional assassin: top priority. Find a failure-to-appear and collect big bucks: top score. How she’ll pull it all off: top secret.

Trenton, New Jersey’s favorite used-car dealer, Jimmy Poletti, was caught selling a lot more than used cars out of his dealerships. Now he’s out on bail and has missed his date in court, and bounty hunter Stephanie Plum is looking to bring him in. Leads are quickly turning into dead ends, and all too frequently into dead bodies. Even Joe Morelli, the city’s hottest cop, is struggling to find a clue to the suspected killer’s whereabouts. These are desperate times, and they call for desperate measures. So Stephanie is going to have to do something she really doesn’t want to do: protect former hospital security guard and general pain in her behind Randy Briggs. Briggs was picking up quick cash as Poletti’s bookkeeper and knows all his boss’s dirty secrets. Now Briggs is next on Poletti’s list of people to put six feet under.

To top things off, Ranger—resident security expert and Stephanie’s greatest temptation—has been the target of an assassination plot. He’s dodged the bullet this time, but if Ranger wants to survive the next attempt on his life, he’ll have to enlist Stephanie’s help and reveal a bit more of his mysterious past.

Death threats, highly trained assassins, highly untrained assassins, and Stark Street being overrun by a pack of feral Chihuahuas are all in a day’s work for Stephanie Plum. The real challenge is dealing with her Grandma Mazur’s wild bucket list. A boob job and getting revenge on Joe Morelli’s Grandma Bella can barely hold a candle to what’s number one on the list—but that’s top secret.

My Thoughts: Stephanie Plum is back and shenanigans are running high when she has to track down Jimmy Poletti and protect Randy Briggs, a 3 foot tall thorn in her side and pain in her ass. If that isn’t enough to keep a girl awake at night, Stephanie also is working with Ranger who is trying to bring down a professional assassin who has Ranger in his cross-hairs. Then there’s Grandma Mazur, who is out to get Joe’s Grandma Bella, evil eye curses be damned. Frankly, I’m surprised that Stephanie hasn’t packed it all in and high-tailed it out of Trenton long before now. How many times can someone endure having her apartment and vehicles blown up? Trouble seems to find Stephanie no matter what she does, but what I love about this character is that she continues to get on with her day in spite of the bad luck that seems to follow her. Of course, having two hot dudes like Ranger and Morelli at her beck and call (most of the time) is definitely a check-mark in the “pro” column of the “why I should stay in Trenton” list. I would probably put up with ex-hookers and grandmothers packing heat too if I had a Ranger on my speed dial. Just sayin’…

This series is a lot of fun. The characters are so realistic in their chaos and dysfunction, that I am pretty sure I know them in person. Stephanie has a big heart that often gets her in trouble and she is willing to go out of her way to help someone in need, even if that someone is Randy Briggs. Grandma Mazur is in top form, providing plenty of hilarity when she discloses items that are on her bucket list. When she and Lula are in the same room, I know it will be an interesting, if not hilarious, moment.

My Final Verdict: A really good installment in the Stephanie Plum series, I recommend reading the whole series for hours of side-splitting pee your pants laughter, action, adventure, eye-candy with a Cuban accent and characters that stay with you long after the story is over.


Monday, April 10, 2017

REVIEW: Devoted In Death by J.D. Robb

Title: Devoted In Death (In Death #41)
Author: J.D. Robb
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: September, 2015
Genre: Mystery / Thriller / Urban Fantasy
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

Description: Eve Dallas tracks a couple whose passion is fueled by cold brutality in the newest crime thriller from the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of Obsession in Death and Festive in Death.

When Lieutenant Eve Dallas examines a body in a downtown Manhattan alleyway, the victim’s injuries are so extensive that she almost misses the clue. Carved into the skin is the shape of a heart—and initials inside reading E and D . . .

Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, had been separated while Darryl was a guest of the state of Oklahoma, and now that his sentence has been served they don’t ever intend to part again. Ella-Loo’s got dreams. And Darryl believes there are better ways to achieve your dreams than working for them. So they hit the road, and when their car breaks down in Arkansas, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy and they wind up killing someone—an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again.

As they cross state lines on their way to New York to find the life they think they deserve, they will leave a trail of evil behind them. But now they’ve landed in the jurisdiction of Lieutenant Dallas and her team at the New York Police and Security Department. And with her husband, Roarke, at her side, she has every intention of hunting them down and giving them what they truly deserve . . .

My Thoughts: First of all, I absolutely love this series and cannot wait to see what Eve and the Scooby gang are going to be involved in. Devoted In Death does not disappoint and delivers a solid story that has Eve and the gang racing the clock to track down two sick twists who are on a killing spree because they love each other and will do anything to stay together. Never mind the idea that living legitimate lives and contributing to society as functioning and responsible people never crosses either of their minds. No, they much prefer to take what they want, from who they want, no matter the outcome. I hated these two immediately and was rubbing my hands together in glee, knowing what’s in store for these losers once Eve gets her hands on them.

Ella-Loo and Darryl, forever known as “The Losers” find their way to New York City leaving a trail of violence and bodies in their path, a trail that began in Arkansas. The Losers get off sexually killing people and they have increased the stakes by grabbing two victims to torture simultaneously. Let me tell you, I was biting my nails down to my elbows with the anxiety of wondering if Eve will be doing a rescue or a recovery. Have no fear, Eve Dallas fans, she never disappoints and the loss of my manicure is well worth the outcome.

I especially loved that Peabody finally gets her shot to be “the bad cop” and what a treat that was. I am so proud of how our Peabody has evolved into the kick-ass Detective she is now. She has come so far from when she first got assigned to Dallas. It has been a real joy to see it and if Eve were here, she would tell you the same thing…if she were sappy and sentimental, that is. I did get a little misty-eyed at some of the events with Baxter and Trueheart. I enjoyed Carmichael and Sanchez’s role in this story on assignment out of state and the arrival of Arkansas Deputy Banner to assist Eve and the team. As always, Eve and team provide excellent comic relief. When you get to the “my boot in your ass” part, you will understand completely.

My Final Verdict: Devoted In Death is number forty-one in this series and there is no indication this series is nearing a conclusion, to my extreme delight and happiness. Some books in this series are better than others, but overall, I highly recommend this entire series to anyone who craves entertainment and an escape from reality with characters that make quite an impression and leave their mark on your mind and in your heart long after the story ends.


Saturday, April 08, 2017

REVIEW: Husband Hunters by Genevieve Gannon

Title: Husband Hunters
Author: Genevieve Gannon
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: December, 2014
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description: Clementine, a psychologist specializing in couples counselling, is reeling from the discovery that her boyfriend is married. Annabel, an ex-model, only seems to attract men who want her as a trophy. Daniela, a civil engineer, is stuck in the friend zone.

Abandoning the romantic notions of true love that haven't worked out for them, the three decide to use their considerable professional skills to find a partner. This isn't about hearts and flowers; it's about being practical.

Warm and witty, Husband Hunters is about what happens when you try to engineer love.

My Thoughts: Husband Hunters by, new to me author, Genevieve Gannon introduces the reader to three friends who decide to toss out all their ideas and everything they know about dating, love and romance and take a more practical approach to finding the perfect mate. Clementine is a psychologist who counsels couples whose marriages need help. Her world takes a sucker punch to the gut when she discovers her boyfriend is married. Annabel is a former model who now runs her own public relations company and struggles with finding a man who will take her seriously and appreciate her for her brains and not just her cleavage. Daniela is an engineer who works for a construction company and pines for a man she has known since college, but who seems to regard her as one of “the guys.”

The author does a marvelous job of bringing to life characters the reader easily feels comfortable with and cheers for. I loved that each character got equal time on her personal situation and the reader gets a good opportunity to get to know each one individually. As each of these remarkable women embark on their plan to find the perfect husband, I looked forward to what would transpire with each meeting and date. I especially liked that these women weren’t just about wanting to commit their lives to any man or relationship. They come across as realistic and organized in their endeavor, knowing that they may not succeed and being OK with that too. This story made me laugh out loud several times at some of the antics they have to endure on their journey and there were some bittersweet and sad moments too. The author does a fantastic job of drawing on the reader’s emotions while keeping the story unique, fresh and entertaining. There were some surprises along the way, but at the end of the story, I was pleased at who Clementine, Annabel and Daniela end up with. The story left me wanting more and I would love to see a story that revisits these remarkable women and where their lives take them next.

My Final Verdict: Husband Hunters was a lot of fun to read and I highly recommend it to readers who have a romantic streak. Readers who know that the happily ever after we all seek can be elusive and is a lot of work will enjoy this book as they join these characters on their hunt. Readers who enjoy a story that makes them smile and laugh and cheer for characters that are easy to like and bond with will eagerly turn the pages to find out how they do.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Husband Hunters from the publisher 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)