Tag: 4-Star Rating

Review: Over Easy by Pamela Ford

Allie Parker’s had enough. Just because she’s a dog groomer, her overachieving family of doctors and lawyers treats her like a child. She’s convinced that a successful husband is all she needs to change their attitudes. So when she and her friends come up with a brilliant new way to meet eligible men, Allie squeezes into her sister’s stylish clothes and sneaks into continental breakfast at an upscale hotel to find herself the perfect guy. Before Allie has taken her last bite of syrup-laden waffle, she’s met the man of her dreams. But what she doesn’t know is that he’s a jewel thief who mistakenly thinks she’s his contact—and so does everyone else who’s after his stash of diamonds. Suddenly Allie’s world is crazily upended. And as she scrambles to prove her innocence and get back to her old life, she discovers happily ever after sneaks up when you least expect it.

Review

Over Easy is book one in The Continental Breakfast Club series. This is the story of three best friends who one day come up with this great idea to find men at a hotel during continental breakfast. I laughed so hard during this book. I absolutely loved Ford’s style of writing, and I just loved Allie. This was such a cute and delightful read. Fast-paced and funny, this is a great summer read that you can enjoy in one sitting. I definitely recommend this light-hearted chick-lit.

I’d like to thank iRead Book Tours for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


About The Author

 

Pamela Ford is the award-winning author of contemporary and historical romance. She grew up watching old movies, blissfully sighing over the romance; and reading sci-fi and adventure novels, vicariously living the action. The combination probably explains why the books she writes are romantic, happily-ever-afters with plenty of plot. After graduating from college with a degree in Advertising, Pam merrily set off to earn a living, searching for that perfect career as she became a graphic designer, print buyer, waitress, pantyhose salesperson, public relations specialist, copywriter, freelance writer – and finally author. Pam has won numerous awards including the Booksellers Best and the Laurel Wreath, and is a two-time Golden Heart Finalist. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and children.

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Review: A Scone To Die For by H.Y. Hanna

When an American tourist is murdered with a scone in Gemma Rose’s quaint Oxfordshire tearoom, she suddenly finds herself apron-deep in a mystery involving long-buried secrets from Oxford’s past. Armed with her insider knowledge of the University and with the help of four nosy old ladies from the village (not to mention a cheeky little tabby cat named Muesli), Gemma sets out to solve the mystery—all while dealing with her matchmaking mother and the return of her old college love, Devlin O’Connor, now a dashing CID detective. But with the body count rising and her business going bust, can Gemma find the killer before things turn to custard?

Review

A Scone to Die For is the first book in the Oxford Tearoom Mystery by H.Y. Hanna. I thought this book was a cute and light cozy mystery. Jane Austen’s fans are certainly going to recognize a little influence of her novel Persuasion. I liked the plot, and I was surprised with the twist in the end. Gemma’s character is likable and down-to-earth. I really liked the interaction between Gemma and Devlin and hoped for more in this book, but I’m certain that the relationship will be better explored in the next books in the series. Another thing that I liked about this book was all the descriptions of food and the English life. The English scone recipe at the end of the book is certainly a plus. This book is an easy-read, cozy mystery that I recommend to the fans of the genre.


About The Author

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H.Y. Hanna is an award-winning mystery and suspense writer and the author of the bestselling Oxford Tearoom Mysteries. She has also written romantic suspense and sweet romance, as well as a children’s middle-grade mystery series. After graduating from Oxford University with a BA in Biological Sciences and a MSt in Social Anthropology, Hsin-Yi tried her hand at a variety of jobs, before returning to her first love: writing. She worked as a freelance journalist for several years, with articles and short stories published in the UK, Australia and NZ, and has won awards for her novels, poetry, short stories and journalism. A globe-trotter all her life, Hsin-Yi has lived in a variety of cultures, from Dubai to Auckland, London to New Jersey, but is now happily settled in Perth, Western Australia, with her husband and a rescue kitty named Muesli. You can learn more about her (and the real-life Honey and Muesli who inspired the characters in the stories).


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Review: Those Summer Nights by Mandy Baggot

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Imogen Charlton is sorted. Dead-beat husband? History. Dream job? Application sent. But then her impulsive brother, Harry, spends every last penny on a Greek restaurant in Corfu, and is determined to run it himself. It’s up to Imogen to bring him to his senses. When sexy millionaire Panos Dimitriou offers to buy back his family taverna, Imogen wonders if all her prayers have been answered (and all her fantasies about to come true). But Harry won’t budge, and his enthusiasm is infectious. Bright pink bougainvillea tumbling over whitewashed walls, endless blue skies, the sparkling Mediterranean; it’s hard not to fall for Corfu. And that’s not all Imogen is falling for…As the sparks of passion fly between Imogen and Panos, is Imogen having second thoughts on selling the restaurant? Will she have to choose between love and a new dream?

Review

Last year I had the pleasure of reviewing Mandy Baggot’s Truly, Madly, Greekly . It was my first book by Baggot and I simply loved it. This time around she comes back with a new summer read, Those Summer Nights, and I jumped right in to request this ARC. One of the things that keep me bringing back to her books is Baggot’s ability to transport the reader to Greece with her detailed descriptions of Corfu and the delicious Greek food.  I love Greece, and I had the opportunity to go to Corfu many years ago. Unfortunately, Corfu is nowhere near my future travel plans so reading this book really made me go back to that place and experience a little bit of Greece one more time. I liked Imogen and Harry a lot. I had very mixed feelings about Panos at first, but I loved Imogen and Panos interaction as the book went on. This is another great summer read. It’s sexy, its exotic, and romantic. I definitely recommend it.

I would like to thank Bookouture and Netgalley for allowing me to read an early copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

 

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

 

Review: The Silence of The Sea by Yrsa Sigurdardottir

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In The Silence of the Sea, the sixth installment in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series, a luxury yacht arrives in Reykjavik harbor with nobody on board. What has happened to the crew, and to the family who were on board when the yacht left Lisbon? What should Thora make of the rumors saying that the vessel was cursed, especially given that when she boards the yacht she thinks she sees one of the missing children? Where is Karitas, the glamorous young wife of the yacht’s former owner? And whose is the body that has washed up further along the shore? The most chilling novel yet from Yrsa Sigurdardottir, an international bestselling author at the height of her powers.

Although The Silence of The Sea is the 6th book in the Thóra Gudmundsdóttir series, it is definitely a book that stands alone. I can’t remember how I heard about this book, but I can tell you that I searched a few libraries for it and had to wait a few days for my inter-library loan to arrive. I’m glad I requested this book. This is my first novel from Icelandic author Yrsa (pronounced UR-suh) Sigurdardorttir (pronounced SIG-ur-dar-daughter). Wow! That’s a mouth full, so when you get passed all the different spellings and difficult sounding names in the novel what you get is a book with a great start and a great hook. Sigurdardortti’s narrative starts out slow and creepy. She sets a great vibe and atmosphere with her chilling descriptions of Iceland in the winter and an abandoned yacht. This book has a feel that is partially ghostly/paranormal and partially thriller/crime.

The book’s narrative alternates between Thora’s accounts of the events and how she gets involved in the investigation and the description of the events that are happening in the Yacht, told by one of the passengers named AEgir. I really liked this novel. It reminded me a bit of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, and towards the end when the mystery is about to be solved, I felt an element of Scooby-Doo with “and I would have gotten away with it if it weren’t for….”

I’m definitely recommending this chilling, suspenseful novel. I was very impressed with Sigurdardortti’s writing and I’m looking forward to reading her other novels.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: Five Roses by Alice Zorn

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Fara and her husband buy a house with a disturbing history that reawakens memories of her own family tragedy. Maddy still lives in the house, once a hippie commune, where her daughter was kidnapped twenty-seven years ago. Rose grew up isolated with her mother in the backwoods north of Montreal. Now in the city, she questions the silence and deception that shaped her upbringing.

Fara, Maddy, and Rose meet in Montreal’s historic Pointe St-Charles, a rundown neighborhood on the cusp of gentrification. Against a backdrop of abandonment, loss, and revitalization, the women must confront troubling secrets in order to rebuild their lives. Zorn deftly interweaves the rich yet fragile lives of three very different people into a story of strength and friendship.

Alice Zorn writes a beautiful story against the backdrop of rural Quebec. Montreal is certainly on my bucket list of places to check out and thanks to Zorn’s description of the rural outskirts of Montreal as well as the city, the reader gets a chance to be transported to this side of the world. I loved the way Zorn depicted each one of these characters allowing the reader to truly empathize with each one of them.

This novel has some sad parts, some slow parts, but for most of the book, you get a well-crafted story with believable and captivating characters.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: Love for Lydia by H.E. Bates

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Lydia – shy, sheltered, beautiful and just 19 – glides into Evensford one wintry day, stirring up feeling amongst the town’s young men. But it is the young Mr Richardson that she befriends. As winter turns to drowsy summer, his world becomes a wondrous place, full only of Lydia; but a change comes over the once retiring girl as she discovers the effect she has on other men. As his closest friends fall under her spell, the love Richardson feels for Lydia becomes tangled with jealousy and resentment, a rift that may never be repaired.

Love for Lydia was first published in 1952 and it is still an extremely poignant novel. This is by far one of the greatest love stories of the twentieth century. It is a beautifully written, classic love story. The prose is exquisite and the descriptions of the outdoors and countryside scenery are a delight. I’m very glad a gave this novel a chance. A timeless, steamy love story that I highly recommend.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: The Blue Bath by Mary Waters-Sayer

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The Blue Bath by Mary Waters-Sayer is the story of Kat Lind, an American living in London with her husband Jonathan and their son Will. Kat comes from a privileged family and in her early twenties she lived in Paris where she was studying French literature. While studying in Paris, Kat meets David, a British young artist, who was also studying in Paris and they start a powerful and obsessive romance. Twenty years later Kat is now married to Jonathan and living in London. So when a friend invites her to attend an opening at a prestigious art gallery, Kat is shocked to see her face on the paintings, an evidence of her long-ago affair with the artist David Blake. Kat and David once again rekindle their passion, but when her portrait catches the attention of the press threatening to reveal not only her identity but her infidelity, Kat has to make a choice that could mean losing everything.

I want to start by saying what I really loved about this novel. The cover of this book is simply superb. The writing is beautiful, and Mary Waters-Sayer’s description of Paris and London really allows the reader to be transported to those places. The characters, although not super developed are believable, and the story is developed well enough to make it an easy read. The ending is probably the only part that lost points for me. It felt a little rushed, but it was still a very enjoyable read.

The Blue Bath is a novel that deals with themes of love, trust, obsession, betrayal, and tragedy. A novel that stays with you long after you are done reading it. I highly recommend it.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on May 3, 2016.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: Break in Case of Emergency by Jessica Winter

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Jen has reached her early thirties and has all but abandoned a once-promising painting career when spurred by the 2008 economic crisis, she takes a poorly defined job at a feminist nonprofit. The foundation’s ostensible aim is to empower women, but staffers spend all their time devising acronyms for imaginary programs, ruthlessly undermining one another, and stroking the ego of their boss, the larger-than-life celebrity philanthropist Leora Infinitas. Jen’s complicity in this passive-aggressive hellscape only intensifies her feelings of inferiority compared to her two best friends—one a wealthy attorney with a picture-perfect family, the other a passionately committed artist—as does Jen’s apparent inability to have a baby, a source of existential panic that begins to affect her marriage and her already precarious status at the office.

I loved Jessica Winter’s Break in Case of Emergency. Although the book started out a little slow for my taste and the story alone was not that interesting, Winter’s prose, her writing, and dialogues just really got a hold of me. Her story is funny, witty and it had me laughing out loud a few times. It was really refreshing to read something this different, fresh and invigorating. Definitely not your typical chick-lit. I highly recommend it as a great summer read.

I received an early copy of this book for free from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review. The new edition of this book is scheduled to be published on July 12, 2016.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: If I Fall, If I Die by Michael Christie

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This is the story of a young boy Will and his agoraphobic mother Diane. They live in Thunder Bay, a port city on Lake Superior. At the time of the novel, neither Will or his mother have ever left the house, and thanks to today’s technology they are able to order everything to be delivered to their house. Diane created an entire world for Will and even homeschooled him.

The book begins with young Will deciding to venture outside the house. He soon meets a boy named Marcus and realizes that outside is not as dangerous as his mother thinks. As Will becomes more fearless, his mother’s fears intensify and the inability to protect her son if she can’t leave the house is at the core of this book which deals with issues of anxiety and mental illness.

Micheal Christie did a superb job at creating these complex, real-life characters, and a wonderful and complex story that captured really well the difficult relationship between mother and son. I really enjoyed this book.

“And how dearly we depend on the lone muscle convulsing in our chests. On the two flimsy balloons that so narrowly rescue us from suffocation. On the wobbly paté in our heads that preserves our very selves. all of it so ad hoc, so absurd, so temporary.” 5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

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On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the passengers disappear into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs–the painter–and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of a wealthy and powerful media mogul’s family.

The book starts with a small plane that falls in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with 11 people on board. Scott, a struggling middle-aged artist, and a four-year-old boy are the only survivors. The crux of the book is finding out the cause of the crash and events that led to the disaster.

I really enjoyed reading this book by Noah Hawley. The first couple of chapters are suspenseful and impossible to put down. There is a great message about the ridiculous power of media covering tragedies. It does slow down a bit as it alternates between the aftermath of the crash and the lives of the passengers before the accident (the fall), but overall a great summer read.

Before The Fall by Noah Hawley is one of those great suspenseful books that you can read in one sitting. A fast-paced, page-turner that keeps you guessing until the end. I’d definitely recommend it to fans of the genre.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on May 31, 2016.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars