Monday, September 28, 2015

REVIEW: A Kiss And A Cuddle by Sophie Sloane

Title: A Kiss And A Cuddle
Author: Sophie Sloane
Publisher: Sophie Sloane
Publication Date: December, 2014
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon

Description: Rose West is about to play the most important, breakthrough gig of her life, when Rex Byron swans into the club and steals the spotlight, with a flurry of fans and flashing lights. It was hate at first sight. Rex is the British heir to his father’s multimillion dollar art fortune and is known for getting into trouble around the world, particularly with no clothes on. Rose’s mesmerizing singing voice catches the eye of the playful and aggravatingly persistent heir, and he is determined to teach her the fine art of flirting, but she is not interested in being involved in his next American scandal.

But is there more to Rex than what meets the eye? Is he an arrogant, pompous twit or a sensitive soul with a troubled past? More importantly, will Rose even give him the time of day? This is another romantic comedy filled with flirting and fun by Sophie Sloane.

My Thoughts: A Kiss And A Cuddle is a cute story about Rose West, a singer whose career is beginning to take off and Rex Byron, a British bad boy who spends his time causing trouble and creating scandal everywhere he goes. Upon their first meeting, Rose despises everything Rex is and stands for. He interrupts her gig and steals her spotlight, infuriating Rose and strengthening her resolve to avoid him at all costs. Where this story gets interesting is in spite of Rose’s hostility to Rex, he seems determined to sweep her off her feet. As Rose gets to know Rex, she learns he isn’t all the tabloids make him out to be and begins to wonder if he is her destiny.

I enjoyed this story and liked Rose and Rex. I enjoyed watching their relationship blossom as Rose’s defensive wall comes down and Rex opens up about his past. I liked that these two emotionally tortured souls could move past the pain of their pasts and find a kindred spirit in one another that blossoms into love. A Kiss And A Cuddle is a feel good story that will leave the reader with a smile on their face.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of A Kiss And A Cuddle from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

REVIEW: Mommy Tracked by Whitney Gaskell

Title: Mommy Tracked
Author: Whitney Gaskell
Publisher: Bantam
Publication Date: August, 2007
Genre: Chick Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description: For Anna, Grace, Juliet, and Chloe, the idyllic town of Orange Cove, Florida, is home…but even in paradise, balancing the challenges of motherhood and life is never easy.

With a son in the throes of the Terrible Twos, divorced restaurant critic Anna has too much on her plate to reenter the frightening world of dating—no matter how expertly her new admirer wines and dines her….Grace has three beautiful daughters and the perfect husband, yet she’s increasingly obsessed with one nagging flaw: her excess baby weight…. Ambitious Juliet is desperate to make partner at her law firm. Fortunately, her husband stays home with their twins. But at the office, Juliet is finding more than work to occupy her time....When newest mom Chloe gives birth, her husband seems indifferent to parenting their son. Chloe is so overwhelmed that she finds herself slipping into a nasty habit she thought she’d overcome.…

My Thoughts: Interesting story of the ups and downs of motherhood, relationships and life. Each character is unique and individual but complement one another quite well. I liked all of them and thought they could easily be women you would want to be friends with. The author does such an excellent job of illuminating their situations, triumphs and challenges that made their personalities come alive and made it easy for me to empathize with each of them. I do have to say that there was a brief moment when I thought I would give up on this book because of the direction Juliet was headed, but her actions ultimately made my earlier doubts about her vanish. The pace of the story was a little slow for me in the beginning, but started to pick up half-way into the story. Though the pace dragged for me some, my interest and curiosity about the characters remained intact.

My Final Verdict: Overall, this is a good story that will appeal to fans of the romance and chick-lit genres who enjoy stories that focus on interpersonal relationships, both the good and the bad. Readers who like stories about the challenges of real-life and overcoming adversity will enjoy this story. Raising children is hard work and this story is a reminder how important it is for a mother to have a good support network around her.


Friday, September 11, 2015

REVIEW: Poppy's 3 Men by Sophie Sloane

Title: Poppy’s 3 Men
Author: Sophie Sloane
Publisher: Sophie Sloane
Publication Date: December, 2014
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon

Description: It is the wedding day for Poppy Shillington, a young, American woman. Everything is perfect: the white dress, the veil, the orchestra, except for one thing. Who is the groom? She stares into the mirror in her dressing room, and reminisces about her relationships with the three men she dated in her twenties: Dax, Mike, and Simon. A good-looking guy with bad manners, a straight-forward sensitive soul, and an adoring intellectual.

She remembers the passionately devastating trip to Paris, her humiliating adventures in the Great Outdoors, and a traumatizing game of Scrabble with the in-laws. As she shares the embarrassing, funny, and romantic stories of each man, it becomes increasingly challenging to predict which man she will end up with.

My Thoughts: Poppy’s 3 Men by new to me author Sophie Sloane is an enjoyable story about Poppy Shillington, a young woman we meet on her wedding day but we do not know who the groom is. This story is an entertaining reflection by Poppy into her dating past of three specific men, one of whom is the mystery groom. As the reader meets each of Poppy’s suitors, Dax, Mike and Simon, through Poppy’s memories, the reader is given an inside glimpse into each relationship and the reader is left to try to guess who is the one to ultimately win Poppy’s hand in marriage.

I really enjoyed this story, though I had a hard time trying to decide which suitor I wanted to see Poppy end up with as all three had both good and annoying characteristics. I found the journey through the story and Poppy’s recollections very sweet. I really liked Poppy and found her very easy to relate to, the story moves at a great pace and kept me entertained all the way to the conclusion. Fans of this genre will enjoy this quick and light read, as well as the guessing game of the identity of the groom.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of Poppy’s 3 Men from the author in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

REVIEW: The Creatives by Lindsay Lewis

Title: The Creatives
Author: Lindsay Lewis
Publisher: Smashwords
Publication Date: November, 2014
Genre: Chick-Lit
Buy The Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Description: Like all cubical-bound underlings at Stranton Advertising, Lissy Swanson is desperate to become a Creative. Her impossibly chic superiors enjoy liquid lunches at hip restaurants where intricate bits of sushi are served on bare midsections of androgynous models while she buries herself in dreaded data entry.

When her dreams of Creativedom are finally realized, Lissy is thrilled to work on her first real account - a new drug that scorches fat, bronzes skin and fires up dormant libidos: the Barbie Pill. She plans the perfect campaign, targeting new mothers dying to shed baby weight and rekindle their more adult desires.

When Lissy discovers the beauty pill's ugly secret, she must choose between a promising new love interest and succeeding in the glossy world of Los Angeles advertising.

My Thoughts: With The Creatives by new to me author Lindsay Lewis, we are given a very good story about a woman who suddenly finds herself achieving her dreams of success and acceptance but realizing those dreams come with a heavy price. As one of the invisible peons at Stranton Advertising, Lissy Swanson wants nothing more than to be recognized for her contributions to the agency and move up the ladder and become a Creative, a group of ad execs who enjoy the perks and bennies of being one of the elite. An employer who takes their employees on a week-long trip to Hawaii to “recharge” their creative genius is a very nice aspect of Lissy’s job and one of the many reasons why the underling Muskrats claw and clamor for a shot at becoming a Creative. Lissy is finally given her chance when she wins a spot on the Creative team and her agency takes on a pharmaceutical company producing a miracle pill. Despite her doubts about the pill, Lissy moves forward and pitches the perfect campaign. One of the things I found quite interesting about this story is it isn’t all frothy silliness. The author does a brilliant job of adding a side story with very dark undertones that creates some monumental changes in Lissy’s life.

I quite enjoyed this story. I found Lissy to be a breath of fresh air. She has grown up in her younger sister, Cat’s shadow and I felt deep empathy for her when I learned how her sister contributed to her lack of self-esteem as teenagers. I didn’t care for Cat. I thought she was spoiled and selfish who uses Lissy repeatedly and I got frustrated more than once that Lissy allowed herself to be treated that way. On the other hand, Lissy’s best friend, Amir, was a great character. He describes himself as a “gay Muslim who knows everything about inhibitions and orgasms.” His antics and observations provided quite a bit of comic relief. Additional supporting characters such as Lissy’s mother, boss, Brendan Brody and love interest, Oliver add an interesting dynamic to the story.

My Final Verdict: Overall, this was a very good book that pulled on all my emotions. The plot was entertaining and kept me engaged throughout the entire story. The author does a very good job of describing the scenes with such clarity that I felt like I was there with Lissy and Amir, especially during the Hawaii trips. I highly recommend this book to readers who like complex characters and storylines that resonate with the reader long after the last chapter is read.

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


Tuesday, September 01, 2015

New Additions To The TBR Pile In August

A little more productive month for me. Unfortunately, my reading mood has been all over the place. I started six books in August, but gave up on 3 because of my mood. My mood had no impact whatsoever on the new arrivals, I am happy to report. Eleven new review requests arrived in August and I am looking forward to reading them all.

Title: #PleaseRetweet by Emily Benet
Description: How to mess up your life in 140 characters

Social media whizz kid, May Sparks has landed her dream job. Well, not quite, but the salary is great and all May has to do is handle the online profiles of Z C – list celebrities who have the tendency to say inappropriate things. Easy, right? #wrong

May’s clients include an ex big brother star (who she's definitely not going to sleep with #neversaynever), a disgraced TV presenter (who wants May to sort out his marriage as well as his Twitter account), and a woman who once flashed her boobs on X-factor. They're all relying on her to turn them into stars. But they're not going to make her job easy.

As May is sucked further and further into her job she begins to lose her grip on real life. Her friends don’t ‘like’ her Facebook posts anymore and even her gorgeous neighbour, who once seemed to be on the same wavelength, criticises her career choice. Worse, May’s clients start getting trolled by an annoying tweep, who May happens to agree with.

Then May’s secret online identity is leaked, causing her to start trending on Twitter. It looks like the status update is over. Unless May can leave the superficial social media word behind and find her own voice again…

Title: A Better Man by Leah McLaren
Description: Every couple has a wish list.

Maya wants
Nick to come home earlier
To engage with their children
To engage with her

Nick wants . . .
A divorce

Having decided that their marriage is over, Nick is determined to leave quickly and with dignity. But when he looks into the financial realities of splitting up, he realizes that more of his hard-earned income than he can handle will go to Maya.

Then a mutual friend proposes that Nick improve the marriage in order to end it amicably, because the better father and husband he is, the more self-sufficient Maya becomes and the cheaper his pay-out will be at the end.

But as Nick sets out to be a better man, he starts to feel like one. Time with his kids, dinners with his wife, fewer hours in the office has the strange effect of making him happier. As Maya starts to feel appreciated by her husband again, she starts to blossom, to unclench her fists from the parenting reins and start to do things for herself.

Nick and Maya feel like they are falling back in love. How odd, how funny, how serendipitous. But if Maya knew what had promoted this marital metamorphosis? Then it would be war.

A BETTER MAN is the story of a modern marriage on the rocks, how we constantly change in and out of relationships, and the price of love.

Title: Chick Lit And Other Formulas For Life by Abby Rosmarin
Description: Life isn’t a fairytale – or chick lit.

It’s 2005 and Katy Sinclaire is two years out of college. She still lives with her old university roommate and still works at the same bookstore that she’s been with since she was a teenager. She spends her days avoiding customers, making fun of the books in the store, and counting the minutes until she can clock out. It is an increasingly unsatisfying life, but it’s also a life that she does not question. That is, until a chain of events forces Katy to confront the painful truth: she is going absolutely, positively, nowhere in life. She realizes that she needs to do something, and now.

Only one problem: Katy has absolutely, positively, no idea what the first step should be.

The other problem? From her harebrained misadventures, to her chisel-jawed boyfriend, to her best guy friend (who is not-so-secretly in love with her), Katy’s life starts mimicking the very chick literature she mocks. Only life isn’t as predictable as a storybook, a lesson Katy is forced to learn as she desperately tries to figure out her purpose in life – if such a purpose even exists.

Title: Cocktails At Le Carmen by Isabelle Andover
Description: When job cuts at Chloe Saddler’s London communications firm result in an unexpected transfer to Paris, she finds herself leaving behind her friends, family, and boyfriend Scott to start a new life in the City of Light. Getting to grips with La Vie Parisienne and keeping a long-distance relationship afloat is not made any easier by the culture shock. Committing the odd French faux pas and inadvertently indulging in a few too many flirtations with her very sexy (and very taken) boss, Jean-Luc, is just the start of it. Factor in her bridezilla of a sister’s wedding (the hottest event of the year in the Saddler family’s social calendar), an unexpected session of hot, naked yoga, a slightly psychotic stalker, and one incredible kiss at an infamous Montmartre nightspot, and Chloe can say au revoir to her old, safe London life and bonjour to the romance, splendour, and glamour of Paris.

A delightful debut that harks back to the early days of Chick Lit when heroines were flawed, funny, and forever battling for love and happiness. With quirky characters and classic comedic charm, Cocktails at Le Carmen is pure fun from page one.

Title: Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin
Description: Fairytale Beginnings: A heartwarming romantic comedy

Love is an open door…except when it keeps slamming in your face.

Hopeless romantic Milly Rose has had her fair share of heartbreak. Obsessed with all things Disney, she refuses to give up on finding her Prince Charming – he’s out there somewhere, isn’t he?

When Milly is given a job to investigate the origins of an historical building in the village of Clovers Rest, she’s not sure what to expect. What she discovers takes her breath away - a beautiful real life Cinderella castle, complete with turrets, a magnificent drawbridge AND a very handsome owner…Cameron Heartstone.

As Milly and Cameron begin to unearth the secrets of Clover Castle, they can’t ignore the intense chemistry building between them. But they’ve both been hurt badly before. Can they take a big leap of faith and find their own happily-ever-after?

Title: Friction by Sandra Brown
Description: From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctually and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?

Title: Picnics In Hyde Park by Nikki Moore
Description: The last story in the fun & flirty #LoveLondon series from exciting new chick lit author Nikki Moore! The perfect novel for reading in the sunshine… and falling in love with London.

A summer to remember…or forget?

When Zoe Harper returns to the UK after five long years in New York, the last thing she expects is to find her younger sister Melody jobless, homeless, broke and dumped. Unfortunately, life has a way of delivering the unexpected. She should know that, given her ex-fiancĂ© Greg’s faithless behaviour.

Filled with rage and determined to get revenge on the infamous Reilly brothers for her sister’s heartbreak, as well as get some answers, Zoe hatches plan Nannygate. Unfortunately that means moving in with the gorgeous but uncaring music producer Matt Reilly to be nanny to his two adorable, complicated children. But something isn’t adding up, and over the course of the hot London summer, she starts to think that perhaps Matt isn’t so bad after all.

Let down by his last nanny and weighed down with guilt about his wife’s death three years before, wealthy but camera-shy Matt has spent a long time pushing people away, including his own kids. His stunning new nanny challenges him every single day in completely different ways, but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing?

But what happens when you open your heart, and someone isn’t who you thought they were? And can it really be true love when it’s on the rebound, and starts off with a plan for revenge?

Title: Pretty Lawless by Jodi Linton
Description: She's about to go vigilante on his ass...

Laney Briggs was almost certain that her sexy-assed Texas Ranger, Gunner Wilson, was gonna pop the question. Instead, he went and pulled one helluva fast one—he arrested her best friend, Luke Wagner, and skipped out. Now Pistol Rock's firecracker deputy is ready to go Wild West on Gunner…if she can just keep that raw, sexual chemistry under control.

Gunner was planning to propose, and it all went to hell. Now he's boots-deep into an investigation with ties to the Dirty Southern Mafia and corrupt cops. Yep, Laney is definitely gonna have his hide. Especially when she finds out just how much he's been keeping from her…

But Laney has a weakness for Gunner's delectable cowboy hotness. And for him, she will break every rule in the book—including the ones she's sworn to uphold.

Title: Stirred With Love by Marcie Steele
Description: Sometimes the best friends can be found where you least expect them …

Still grieving after the loss of her beloved husband, Lily Mortimer is determined to do something with the time she has left.

After the end of her fairytale marriage, thirty-something Kate is trying hard to mend her broken heart.

Chloe, a young woman with the world at her feet, is struggling to know what to do with her life.

When Lily embarks on a new venture in the picturesque town of Somerley, the three women come together to open The Coffee Stop, the most charming café for miles around.

But opening a coffee shop is never as simple as it seems, especially when you add neighbouring competition, local heart throbs and heartbreak to the mix.

When tragedy strikes, can the three women pull together to make the new business fly, or will Lily’s last chance disappear down the drain along with yesterday’s coffee grinds?

As comforting as a cappuccino and a better pick-me-up than a grande Americano, Stirred with Love will captivate readers of Milly Johnson, Carole Matthews and Jenny Colgan.

Title: The Curvy Girls Baby Club by Michele Gorman
Description: Life, love and a Christmas due date

Ellie is fresh back from her honeymoon and can’t wait to share her news with her best friends Katie and Jane. To everyone’s surprise, mother-of-two Jane has news of her own… The women are due a day apart, on December 25th and 26th, and Katie can’t wait to be an honorary aunt to the babies.

But it’s hard to keep your sense of humor, not to mention your self-esteem, in the face of hemorrhoids and elasticated waistbands. Add a clingy mother-in-law, a career in cardiac arrest and a sex life that makes Mother Theresa look lusty, and soon their lives are as out of control as their bodies.

As the co-founders of The Curvy Girls Club, where loving yourself is the only rule, will the friends be able to practice what they preach?

Title: The Misadventures Of A Playground Mother by Christie Barlow
Description: New term. New dramas. New friendships. And that’s just the parents…

After a year of country living, Rachel Young is finally getting into the swing of things. Her four kids are happy and content at the village school, and she’s managed to navigate the choppy (shark-infested) waters of the playground mafia.

Or… so she thought.

When playground mum Penelope Kensington moves herself and her kids into Rachel’s home, after discovering husband Rupert has been having an affair, Rachel knows she must ask them politely to leave. The problem is, Penelope never takes no for an answer.

As Rachel tries to deal with Penelope, she also meets new school mum Melanie. Melanie is a breath of fresh air, but her arrival sends ripples of gossip through the playground. Melanie has a few secrets in her closet, and it seems she’s not the only one…

Hilarious and entertaining, with characters you won't forget in a hurry, fans of Fiona Gibson, Kerry Fisher and Tracy Bloom will love this book.

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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)