February 1, 2015

Book Review: For Real by Alison Cherry

Summary (GoodReads)
No parents. No limits. No clue what they're in for.

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister's shadow. While Miranda's life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it's Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They'll outshine Miranda's fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life... or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what's for real?


My Thoughts:
Gosh, I was so excited about this book. I really, really was. My favorite reality show - bar none - is The Amazing Race (or as my sister and I call it "The Best Show in F*****g Television!") and is one of the very few things my sister and I watch together.

So, For Real seemed to be like the perfect book for me... and it had so much potential!!!!! But then we got hit with the twists... and I think those twists were in detriment to the story, because what I thought would be a book about two sisters traveling around the world, turned out to be about a dating show.

Claire and Miranda spend very little time together and Miranda wasn't very likable for the little time she was with Claire - and she treated Claire like she was a helpless two year old in the most annoying and patronizing way - and Claire was so hung up on a guy that she never really even enjoyed the experience.

All in all, this book could have been so much better, as it is, it was nice but forgettable.
starstar1/2

January 31, 2015

Book Review: Indecent Proposal by Molly O'Keefe

Summary (GoodReads)
With his chiseled jaw and his thick blond hair, Harrison Montgomery was born to lead. Four generations of Montgomery men have served the state of Georgia and now he’s next in line. Harrison, though, is driven to right wrongs: namely to clean up the political mess left by his father’s greed and corruption. But Harrison must first win his congressional bid, and nothing can get in his way—not even an angel who served him whiskey and gave him a shoulder to lean on and a body to love for a night. Problem is, she’s pregnant. Scandal is brewing and there is only one solution: marriage.

Damage control? Ryan Kaminski can’t believe that a cold, calculating political animal now inhabits the body of the emotionally vulnerable stranger who’d given her the most unforgettable night of her life. Really, she doesn’t want anything from Harrison, except to be left alone to have her baby in peace. But Ryan is broke, jobless, and essentially blackmailed by Harrison’s desperate family to accept this crazy marriage deal. For two years, she will have to act the role of caring, supportive wife. But what is Ryan supposed to do when she realizes that, deep in her heart, she’s falling in love


My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the set up for Indecent Proposal, because during that first encounter, Ryan and Harrison had a lot of chemistry and it was fun. After that? well, I liked Ryan a lot more than I did Harrson. 

Ryan was smart and was trying to do what was best for her baby, even if that meant going through with the whole charade marriage and actually helping Harrison with his campaign - I respected that she really did her best for him and tried to be what he needed; and that her experience acting and modeling came in handy there and that it was acknowledged.

Also loved the bond that formed between Ryan and Harrison's best friend - really, they were probably my favorite relationship in the book - who had more in common than what seemed at first. 

Harrison? Well, I thought he meant well but other made dumb mistakes trying to avoid repeating the mistakes his parents made. He wasn't particularly warm or likable, though you could see that he cared for the people in his life. 

By the end, I sort of felt like Ryan could have done better than him, though. 

Another thing that sort of bothered me was how much time was spent in the campaign and in Ryan's back story, rather than focusing on Ryan and Harrison's actual relationship, the other stuff was much more developed than the romance and that's just not what I expect of a romance book. 

And I was WAY more intrigued by, say, Ryan's brother than by Harrison or any of the other characters. 
starstar1/2

January 27, 2015

Release Day Blitz: Bridges Burned


Bridges Burned
By Chris Cannon
January 27, 2015


Don’t just fight the system…burn it.
Since discovering she is a shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon on her sixteenth birthday (surprise!), Bryn McKenna’s world has been thrown into chaos. Being a “crossbreed”—part Red dragon and part Blue—means Bryn will never fit in. Not with dragon society. Not with the archaic and controlling Directorate. And definitely not when she has striped hair and a not-so-popular affection for rule-breaking…

But sneaking around with her secret boyfriend, Zavien, gets a whole lot harder when he’s betrothed to someone else. Someone who isn’t a mixed breed and totally forbidden. And for an added complication, it turns out Bryn’s former archnemesis Jaxon Westgate isn’t quite the evil asshat she thought. Now she’s caught between her desire to fit in and a need to set things on fire. Literally.
Because if Bryn can’t adapt to the status quo…well, then maybe it’s time for her to change it.

Excerpt:

On the drive back to school, Bryn reflected on how her life had recently gone to hell. It had all started when flames shot out of her mouth on her sixteenth birthday, proving she wasn’t completely human. Since then she’d been shipped off to a secret school for dragons—the Institute for Excellence—where she was learning how to control her shape-shifting dragon powers. She’d faced discrimination, death threats, and poisoning. She’d been blown up and involved in a battle to the death with a radical Revisionist member—and she’d been there for only a few months.

Though not everything about her new life was bad. She had a sexy boyfriend, Black dragon Zavien Blackthorn, and two good friends, Clint and Ivy. Being a crossbred dragon meant she had both the Red and Blue dragons’ breath weapons, fire and ice, and even though she was the only crossbreed, she could still outfly even the fastest Blue. Of course, that’s why some of the other Clans hated her. She’d upset the natural order of things in this color-coded world, where the Directorate dictated what Red, Black, Green, Orange, and Blue dragon Clan members could do as a profession and whom they could marry. It was absurd. Yet most dragons didn’t question it.

Part of Zavien’s appeal lay in the fact that he headed up the student Revisionist group that petitioned the Directorate to change outdated laws. Bryn glanced at Directorate lawyer Merrick Overton, who was driving the Cadillac SUV hybrid she was riding in. Her classmate and former nemesis Jaxon Westgate rode shotgun. She and Jaxon no longer hated each other. Scratch that: he no longer hated her based on his father’s vendetta against her mother, but that didn’t mean they were friends. Funny how saving someone’s life could turn you from enemies to…what? Not friends. Frenemies, maybe? Who knew? It’s not like she wanted to hang out with him, but there was a weird level of trust between them now that she didn’t know what to do with.


BUY IT ON AMAZON, ITUNES, BARNES AND NOBLE, & KOBO: http://www.entangledpublishing.com/bridges-burned/

~*~ABOUT CHRIS CANNON~*~


Chris Cannon lives in Southern Illinois with her husband and her three dogs, Pete the shih tzu who sleeps on her desk while she writes, Molly the ever-shedding yellow lab, and Tyson the sandwich-stealing German Shepherd Beagle. She believes coffee is the Elixir of Life. Most evenings after work, you can find her sucking down caffeine and writing fire-breathing paranormal adventures. Going Down In Flames is the first book in Chris Cannon's shape-shifting dragon series.

January 26, 2015

Book Review: What I Love About You by Rachel Gibson

Summary (GoodReads):
GIMMEE A B-R-E-A-K!

Ex-high school cheerleader Natalie Cooper could once shake her pom-poms with the best of them. But she's paid for all that popularity—her husband's run off with what's left of their money and a twenty-year-old bimbo named Tiffany. Leaving Natalie to manage a photo store and having to see some pictures she, well, really shouldn't.

GIMMEE A S-H-O-T!

Then she comes toe-to-manly chest with Blake Junger. Exiled to a remote cabin in Truly, Idaho, Blake wants nothing to do with anyone. Instead, he's determined to struggle with his demons and win—all on his own. But the last thing he needs is Natalie distracting him with her luscious curves and breaking down the barriers of his heart.


GIMMEE YOUR H-E-A-R-T!

My Thoughts:
What I Love About You was a very sweet read, very quick and easy to read. I liked both Blake and Natalie, and Natalie's daughter Charlotte.

In fact, I think the relationship between Charlotte and Blake was probably what I liked best about about this story, they are each other's best friends and it's adorable.

Blake on his own? well he had issues, mainly his drinking which I don't think was handled all that well all the time - he has near daily stare downs with a bottle he keeps in his house, just to prove to himself that he can, which seems counterintuitive to me - and he could be a little mean sometimes, but over all he was a nice guy.

Natalie was more uptight but I appreciated she wanted to do the best for her kid in all circumstances, and really tried to make that happen. I also liked her job as a photographer and photo developer, it was fun when she was in the shop.

All in all, a solid novel, I enjoyed going back to Truly, Idaho and getting tangential updates on characters for past books.
starstarstar1/2

January 24, 2015

Book Review: Undertaking Love by Kat French

UK Covers are so cute!!!
Summary (GoodReads):
When Marla Jacobs discovers that the shop next to her Little White Wedding Chapel is to become a funeral parlour, she declares all-out war.

Marla’s chapel in the sleepy Shropshire countryside has become a nation-wide sensation, but the arrival of Funeral Director Gabriel Ryan threatens everything Marla has worked for. She can picture the scene: wedding limos fighting for space in the street with hearses; brides bumping into widows; bouquets being swapped for wreaths.

Marla’s not going down without a fight. She enlists a motley crew of weird and wonderful local supporters, and battle lines are drawn. But, as soon as Marla meets her nemesis, she realises just how much trouble she’s really in. His rugged good looks and Irish lilt make her stomach fizz – how is she supposed to concentrate on destroying him, when half the time she’s struggling not to rip the shirt off his back?


My Thoughts: 
There were many things I liked about Undertaking Love: it was cute, I liked Gabriel a lot and I enjoyed the whole Wedding Chapel vs Funeral Home war thing (even if the war was mostly in Marla's head) and the whole dynamic of the small town. 

I loved that Gabriel actually had a good reason as to why he was a funeral director and was proud to be good at his job - he thinks it's important to help people during that difficult time; and that funerals are as much about love as weddings are - and that he wasn't willing to back down. 

Marla sometimes annoyed me though, mostly because she thought her business was simply superior because who doesn't like a wedding more than a funeral? But she's not all bad either, she cares about her adopted town and her friends and she has moment where she's very likable and nice. 

Also, I felt like the cast of characters was a bit large and we were covering a lot of subplots at the same time, and the only subplot I really cared about was the one about Marla's best friend and her marriage.

Anyway, Undertaking Love was a good read, even if at times it felt a little long.
starstarstar