Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Look of Love by Sarah Jio

“Jio has become one of the most-read women in America.” –Woman’s World

Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.

My thoughts...The Look of Love is slightly different from Jio's normal dual storyline. This novel follows current day Jane Williams as she is dealing with a new realized gift of seeing love, though she hasn't experienced it in her own life. The novel is magical and sweet having me falling for a great little group of characters. Everyone around her is dealing with a large gambit of love issues and I really was never sure where any of them was going to end up. The most frustrating part of the novel for me was not knowing what the six types of love were. I kept wanting all these perfect happily ever afters. I actually thought about doing an online search for the six types so I could get everything straight in my head. I'm so glad I didn't. I absolutely loved how Jio tied everything so perfectly together at the end. I sat there going from smiling to crying as a few stories flat our surprised me.

If you are looking for just an all around enjoyable read, grab this! Reading The Look of Love will warm you up during this cold season. Also a perfect Christmas gift (but seriously, all her books are amazing and would make fabulous gifts)! I am a HUGE fan of Sarah Jio and I absolutely enjoyed this from first to the last page. Jio proves again why she is my favorite must read author! Highly recommending.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Spotlight: BLEEDING HEART by Liza Gyllenhaal + Giveaway

Liza Gyllenhaal has charmed readers with her
gripping and deeply perceptive” (Ben Sherwood, Author of Charlie St. Cloud) novels. Now the author of A Place for Us brings us a captivating new story about a woman’s struggle to rebuild her life after scandal destroys her marriage....

After her accountant husband disappears with millions of dollars stolen from his company’s clients, Alice Hyatt flees New York City and moves to her family’s longtime summer home in a small town in western Massachusetts. There she begins to make a new start, reconnecting with old friends and finding peace—and a growing sense of pride—as a landscape architect.

When extremely wealthy newcomer Graham Mackenzie asks her to design an elaborate garden for him, she can’t turn down the opportunity despite misgivings about Mackenzie’s energy company, which specializes in the controversial practice of fracking.

But just as the project nears completion, she learns Mackenzie’s offer is not all that it seems. Once again, Alice finds herself embroiled in someone else’s crimes, this time putting her newfound success—and possibly her life—in jeopardy....

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

On my Wishlist...

Hello From the Gillespies by Monica McInerney

For the past thirty-three years, Angela Gillespie has sent to friends and family around the world an end-of-the-year letter titled “Hello from the Gillespies.” It’s always been cheery and full of good news. This year, Angela surprises herself—she tells the truth....  The Gillespies are far from the perfect family that Angela has made them out to be. Her husband is coping badly with retirement. Her thirty-two-year-old twins are having career meltdowns. Her third daughter, badly in debt, can’t stop crying. And her ten-year-old son spends more time talking to his imaginary friend than to real ones.  Without Angela, the family would fall apart. But when a bump on the head leaves Angela with temporary amnesia, the Gillespies pull together—and pull themselves together—in wonderfully surprising ways....

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

The Paris Winter by Imogen Robertson

Imogen Robertson's break-out novel - a deep, dark and opulent tale of Belle epoque Paris, and the secrets and dangers hidden beneath its luxurious facade. Maud Heighton came to Lafond's famous Academie to paint, and to flee the constraints of her small English town. It took all her courage to escape, but Paris eats money. While her fellow students enjoy the dazzling joys of the Belle epoque, Maud slips into poverty. Quietly starving, and dreading another cold Paris winter, Maud takes a job as companion to young, beautiful Sylvie Morel. But Sylvie has a secret: an addiction to opium. As Maud is drawn into the Morels' world of elegant luxury, their secrets become hers. Before the New Year arrives, a greater deception will plunge her into the darkness that waits beneath this glittering city of light.

My thoughts...In this breathtaking tale, Robertson takes you to Paris 1909. I could see, feel and touch the poverty surrounding Maud Heighton. Her English background keeps her from letting anyone around her know of her dire circumstances. She is so close to completing her time at Lafond, she just needs to get through one more Paris Winter. I'm not sure I've met a protagonist I could relate more closely with than Maude. Her integrity meant so much to her. When a job for the Morel family falls into her lap, it seems an answer to prayer. The perfect job. She quickly becomes friends with Sylvie and wants nothing more than to help her, carelessly forgetting to be wary of something being too good to be true. Suddenly with almost no warning the tides change. Maude is no longer the quiet English girl.

The first part of the novel, I simply loved reading the beautifully written detail, getting to know the characters, being carried away by the romance and beauty of the time and yet at the same time seeing poverty and darkness the rest of Paris had to offer. Then I kept waiting for something bad, something big...when things for Maud begin to unravel I was taken aback. I wasn't ready nor could I figure out what was going on (I love that!). I had to know. I had to understand.

The twist and turns of The Paris Winter had me reading into the late hours. Not only was the story itself keeping me fully engaged, but the characters themselves. I wanted to watch how everything would come together or fall apart. I don't want to say too much about the end because I'm not a fan of spoilers and if I say too much I take away from the reader experiencing everything. I will say the closer to the end of the book the harder and harder it became to walk away from the story. Light a fire, cuddle up with a blanket and a copy of THE PARIS WINTER! Highly recommending!

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

What books are on my wishlist?

Even though I have a number of emails in my inbox requesting me to review, that doesn't always mean I get requested to review every book I am interested in. I also try to be careful not to accept more books than I can read. When I notice my review pile filling up it means I need to add some fantastic books onto my ever growing wishlist. I love sharing about books I'm reading, but I also want to let people know what books I would love to read and just haven't had the chance to. I mean just because my review pile is sky high doesn't mean some of my followers might enjoy hearing about other great books.

Another book that has caught my attention is, The Good Girl by Mary Kubica! I have read nothing, but fantastic book reviews (and I follow some of the best bloggers out there).

From GoodReads:

"I've been following her for the past few days. I know where she buys her groceries, where she has her dry cleaning done, where she works. I don't know the color of her eyes or what they look like when she's scared. But I will."

Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

An addictively suspenseful and tautly written thriller, The Good Girl is a compulsive debut that reveals how even in the perfect family, nothing is as it seems…

Buy a copy The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

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“Psychologically rich and pulse pounding, THE GOOD GIRL had me hooked from the very first sentence and didn’t let go until the final word. I can’t wait to see what Mary Kubica comes up with next.”

~Heather Gudenkauf, bestselling author of The Weight of Silence and Little Mercies

“A twisty, roller coaster ride of a debut. Fans of Gone Girl will embrace this equally evocative tale of a missing woman, shattered family and the lies we tell not just to each other, but especially to ourselves.”

~Lisa Gardner, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fear Nothing

“Kubica’s powerful debut…will encourage comparisons to Gone Girl. Unlike that dazzling duel…this Girl has heart – which makes it all the more devastating when the author breaks it.”

~Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“Kubica’s debut thriller builds suspense steadily and will have readers guessing what’s really going on until the final pages.”

~Booklist Review

“…this excellent debut is compulsively readable and highly recommended for anyone who loves a mystery, a suspense tale, or a psychological puzzle.”

~Library Journal Review