Thursday, February 28, 2013

Truth and Humility by J.A. Dennam

Review by Charlotte Lynn



Danny Bennett doesn’t just want to tear things down, she wants to build things.  That is why she takes a job with the Cahills.  The Family that has been feuding with the Bennett’s for as long as anyone can remember.  She takes the job to earn money to go to school.

Danny’s boss, Austin Cahill, wants revenge.  Revenge against Danny’s brother, Derek, who is accused of murdering Austin’s fiancĂ©e.  He decides to use Danny to get that revenge against the Bennett’s.  But, of course, things get complicated.  Austin finds himself full of desire for Danny.

At the start Austin is a jerk.  He is rude, mean, and extremely manipulative.  However, as Danny works hard and wins over the rest of the crew, she also starts to win over her boss.  J.A. Dennam wrote about the sexual tension they felt for each and I felt like a fly on the wall watching each scene play out.  It was so fun to watch them struggle with what they have been taught by their families, to hate each other, and what they feel for each other, love.

The plot was a page turner.  The romance was hot and heavy, but the suspense was what kept me reading.  The story was not predictable, which is what kept me turning the pages.  I had no clue who done it and am thrilled with the ending.

As I finished the book I wanted to know more, but still felt satisified, full, with the whole story.  I fell in love with the characters and their stories.  This is an excellent story that I highly recommend.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

For the Love of Jazz by Elke Feuer


Review by Charlotte


Josie Fagan decides to step out on her own and start her own restoration business.   Her first job is for Patrick Pullman, lawyer and senator’s son.  She is hoping for an endorsement to get her business off the ground.  Part of the job is staying at Patrick’s house.  A house haunted by Patrick’s Uncle Will and Josie’s Aunt Lola, who were married and lost each other tragically decades earlier.  A house that she finds out she has a true claim to.

The minute Patrick meets Josie the attraction is there.  After breaking an engagement a year later, he is willing to put his heart on the line.  The complications start when he learns of Uncle Will and Aunt Lola’s connection.  By working together will they find the answers they both need?  Neither Josie or Patrick can accept a relationship until the questions get answered.  They need to know the truth to what happen to Lola and if Patrick’s family is responsible for her death. 

For the Love of Jazz is a romance mystery that is wonderful.  It has mystery, love, sex, and suspense with some ghosts mixed in.  What more can a reader ask for?

I love Josie.  Her spunk and self-assurance made her a strong woman business owner.  She knew what she needed to do to be successful and was getting it done.  She was also very family strong.  When she found out she had an aunt who was killed she never doubted that she had to find out what happen and who was responsible.  Even if that meant putting her own life on the line.  Josie’s response to learning of what could be her inheritance made her truly upstanding.  I do not know many women who would turn that kind of wealth.

Elke Feuer wrote a story that had a great flowing storyline.  Characters you couldn’t help but love.  A plot that pulls you in at the beginning and won’t let you go until the very last page.  I high recommend For the Love of Jazz to everyone. 

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Monday, February 25, 2013

The Truth about Love and Lightning by Susan McBride

Review by Charlotte Lynn



A tornado goes through Gretchen’s farmland, bringing with it a familiar stranger.  This stranger is found under a walnut tree with no memory of who he is or how he got there.  The stranger reminds Gretchen of her long lost love Sam Winston the father of her daughter Abby and the man that’s been missing for almost 40 years.

Many years ago Gretchen told a very big lie.  She has lived in fear of that lie coming out since she told it.  When the Man Who Might Be Sam comes to the farm, she is scared the truth will come out and that the truth will truly hurt the people who meant the most to her.

Susan McBride wrote a clever and smooth story.  The changes in time periods are seamless.  The story is a no-rush, in depth tale of Gretchen, Sam, and Abby.  The suspense of if Sam has returned is built up gradually and kept me having to continue reading in hopes for the happy ending I so wanted for both Gretchen and Abby.

I felt a deep connection to both Gretchen and Abby.  Gretchen managed to have a happy life even after her horrible mother kicked her out and left her to take care of her blind twin sisters.  Abby knew what she wanted, or more what she wouldn’t settle for, and kept her head high never compromising.  When the Man Who Might Be Sam appeared I felt the hope they each had, for the man Gretchen loved and lost, and the dad Abby never knew and needed so badly.

This is a story of love and hope.  Exquisitely written grabbing me from the very beginning.  I was unable to put this novel down.  I highly recommend everyone picking up The Truth about Love and lightning, you will not be sorry.

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Something New by Janis Thomas

Review by Charlotte Lynn


It appears Ellen Ivers has everything.  A great house, wonderful kids, and an amazing husband.  But Ellen is bored with her life.  She starts working out losing weight and feeling good about herself.  Her cousin, Jill, tells her she has to do something for herself and tempts her to start writing again and enter a blog competition.
Ellen’s self confidence grows as the hits of her blog post grow and as Ben Campbell, a married detective gives her attention.  That attention leads her down a dangerous path, where friendship is tempted to give in to something more.  As Ellen’s world starts to unravel she has to make some hard decisions about what she really wants in life.

I had to read this novel when asked.  I loved the idea of a wife wanting to try something new, something just for her.  I have been at that spot and that is why I am writing reviews and working out (sounds familiar).  Who hasn’t felt overwhelmed with life and responsibilities?  Added bonus of her starting her blog, which I just did also.  I read over half the book in one sitting and smiled and laughed through all of it.

Ellen was a character that I disliked immediately, but I enjoyed disliking her.  I felt like she was very selfish.  She put on the good act of being a good mom and a good wife, but really resented the demands that went with being a mom and wife.  She is catty to her husband over anything and everything he does or says.  She resents all her kids’ activities and their demands on her time.  But it was extremely entertaining watching her find herself and realize that her life was not as rough as she thought it was. 

I did find it unnecessary the amount of swearing in the story.  I do not know of any of my mom friends who talk in the language Ellen does.  Even Jill spelling the swear words annoyed me.  I felt like there was not a conversation without bad language throughout the entire novel.

Janis Thomas wrote an amazing novel that every mom or wife can relate to and enjoy.  It was witty and charming to read.  I recommend it to all my friends and cannot wait for the next novel to come out. 

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Friday, February 22, 2013

The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers

Reviewed by Laura Kay

The lives of three women intersect, because of one man. Nathan is married to Juliette and they have two boys and a beautiful life together. For reasons he can't explain he begins an affair with Tia, a young woman from the South side of Boston. Nathan has the best of two worlds until Tia tells him she is expecting a baby. Nathan tells her to take care of it and walks out of her life. He later confesses his affair to his wife.

Tia trying to redeem herself from having an affair with a married man refuses to have an abortion. Instead Tia decides the best choice is adoption.

Caroline is a dedicated pathologist, she works long hours and hates leaving her lab. But she loves her husband very much and he's pressuring her to adopt a baby. Against her better judgement she follows through with the adoption.

Five years later, Tia can't let the idea of Nathan go. When her yearly envelope arrives with pictures of her young daughter Tia decides to send a letter to Nathan. When the letter and pictures arrive at Nathan's home, its his wife Juliette who gets the letter. Nathan never told her there was a baby, and yet there in front of her is the proof of his affair...a little girl who looks remarkably like their youngest son.

Juliette becomes obsessed with the little girl and where she is. It doesn't take long before the lives of these three women become more entangled and the outcome for all of them is uncertain.

Talk about a book you can't put down! The more I read the more I was captivated by the story. I mean I didn't even know how I wanted things to play out in the end! I kept thinking what's going to happen? Oh I don't like her or I get her, but. None of these women are perfect. You have Tia on one hand that is simply a hot mess. She needed to move on from the life that disappeared five years ago or more the life she thought she was going to have. Then Caroline, I couldn't relate to her work before everything focus. But I did like that she was trying to the best of her ability. Last, Juliette who I got. I can't imagine finding out my husband cheated. Then you work so hard to move forward to find out there was even more to the story?!? Yet, I felt for her wanting her marriage even though it was broken.

Each woman feels a connection to the child. Each woman questions what it means to be a mother. Each woman has to deal with an inner struggle.

I never knew exactly where the story was headed, I didn't know where I wanted it to go. In the end, perfect ending. Loved everything about this book. This is a perfect book for a book club! So many topics to discuss! Highly highly recommend!

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The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice.  We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Clearing by Shalini Boland

Review by Charlotte Lynn


Taken from Goodreads.com:
In the ravaged future, children are disappearing.

Riley lives safely behind her Perimeter Fence, but soon she’ll have to confront the terrible truth of what’s happening outside. An old enemy is approaching. Threatening to extinguish her way of life. 

To save herself, she will have to fight to save another. She must put herself in the last place she ever wanted to be. 

This is the terrifying sequel to the post apocalyptic thriller OUTSIDE

Review:

As the second book in the Outside Series, I was unsure what to expect.  I read book one right before this one and enjoyed it, so I was hoping this one would be just as good.  I was very happy with it.  The writing flowed just as easily.  I was able to totally understand and relate to each character, loving how they developed as the story progressed.

I loved Riley.  She is the heroine of the story.  The young lady who wants to help make the world a better place.  She does not live in a bubble, but she has lived in a protected world.  It seemed Riley had no fears.  She was able to put her own safety to the side and put her life on the line in order to save the others in the novel.  She was also so compassionate towards others.  The world she lived in is so different than the world we live in, but it could be our future, and she embraced it and all that it entailed.  Riley has all the characteristics that our young adults now should wish to have.

Luc was also amazing.  He not only stood up for his family and friends, but he put himself in dangerous situations to help total strangers.  He also was extremely protective of Riley and I am itching to see where their relationship heads, as there were hints of the feelings they have for each other.  He was a young man with manners, feelings, and so brave and daring. 

The ending of the book had an amazing twist, I never saw it coming.  It was definitely a cliffhanger, leaving you wanting more.  The Clearing is perfect for anyone looking  for adventure on a future Earth.  

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

THE GOOD DAUGHTER by Jane Porter + Giveaway

Reviewed by Laura Kay

The second book in the Brennan Sisters trilogy, focuses on Kit Brennan. Kit is about to turn forty and she is still single and without kids. She loves her job as a teacher at Memorial Catholic High School, but she is ready for a family. With her days filled with teaching, but at night and her weekends are filled with helping take care of her mother. Her mother, the woman she looks up to is dying of terminal cancer. Between her mother's illness and having gone on a number of bad dates Kit realizes maybe a husband isn't in her immediate future, but maybe a baby could be. Kit is considering adoption.

After telling her girlfriends her plans to adopt, they push her to keep dating instead. Well to date everyone except that scary biker guy, Jude Knight. So instead she goes out with Michael. Michael, good looking, smart, appears to be perfect. The right kind of guy. Kit is the good daughter, maybe she should keep dating Michael even though she really wants bad boy Jude. Battling her own inner voice Kit unravels a childhood secret, one that may just finally free herself to trust her instincts.

Jane Porter is one of my favorite authors. I've always enjoyed reading her books, but THE GOOD DAUGHTER is by far my favorite novel by her. Maybe it's because I connected to Kit so much. I was privileged enough to take care of my mother was dying of terminal breast cancer. The scenes with Kit and her mother were so well written, so truthful...I was laughing while still wiping away my tears.

This is a very different book, than THE GOOD WOMAN (the first book in the series). This for me was a page turner. I wanted to know if Kit would give in and go for Jude, how Kit would deal with her relationship with Michael. There is an issue with one of Kit's students and you want to see how that whole story unfolds. I didn't want to say good bye to the end of this book and I don't get that a whole lot, but I am very happy to know THE GOOD WIFE will be out this fall and I get to catch up with the sisters again. I HIGHLY recommend!
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The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice.  We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Afterwife by Polly Williams


Review by Charlotte 




Sophie Brady dies young after a traffic accident.  She then attends her own funeral and watches her friends mourn her.  Sophie has moved out of her life as a human, but still can watch those she left behind.  Unfortunately, it seems that only animals will realize she is there.

Sophie’s friends, including Jenny her best friend, have banded together and are helping Ollie, Sophie’s husband and Freddie, Sophie’s son.  They bring meals, arrange daycare, and anything else that the grieving Ollie and Freddie need.  Sophie realizes that he needs more than just things and decided that Ollie needs to find love again and sets about finding the perfect woman. 

As Jenny keeps helping Ollie and spending time with Freddie, her feelings change.  They all help each other mourn Sophie, but also become friends. Not friends because of Sophie, but friends with each other.  Although Jenny is engaged to Sam with the wedding very quickly approaching she is struggling with getting excited for her wedding.  She just feels that something is wrong.  Something just isn’t quite right with the reasoning that Sam is pushing her to get married now, after a long relationship with no rush towards marriage.  Her feelings are also changing.  She is no longer enjoying spending time with Sam and is spending more and more time with Ollie and Freddie, which causes more conflict in her relationship with Sam.

All the characters were amazing in Afterwife.   Everyone was easy to relate to and believe in.  Tash made me cringe.  She seemed to be that friend who really wasn’t. Taking the information her friends shared and using it to get what she wanted.  When she brought drugs into the story she instantly became that character I hated.   Sophie made me wonder.  Can the dead see their life and affect what happens after they are gone?  I loved how she only wanted what was best for Freddie, Ollie, and Jenny.  The relationship between Ollie and Jenny was perfect.  At first just being there remembering Sophie, then becoming friends, and then caring more and more.  Both were cautious and not rushing into anything, actually trying to deny how close they were becoming.  It was great to see a true relationship develop, not just sex and lust. 
 
Afterwife is a story of love, friends, grief and loss, and finally finding love again.  I was worried that it would be sad or morbid, but it really wasn’t.  The story was fun to read, yes I giggled at some parts.  I truly enjoyed this from the beginning to the end and cannot wait to share it with my friends.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

The Girl’s Guide to Love and Supper Club by Dana Bate

Reviewed by Charlotte 


Hannah Sugarman’s parents have guided her to a successful life.  She works at a think tank in Washington D.C.; her boss is someone her parents know.  She lives in a great apartment with her high achieving boyfriend.  The only problem, Hannah isn’t happy.  All she wants to do it cook.  Cooking is not considered a successful career by her parents or her boyfriend.

When Hannah’s world turns upside down, she makes it an opportunity to do what she has always wanted and opens and underground supper club.   Her supper club becomes the most sought after meal in town.  But it is not quite legal.  The health department does not check her out, she has no licenses, and is using her landlords apartment without his knowledge.

Hannah is one of my favorite characters.  She is crazy (in a good way), independent, and funny.  I was constantly laughing and hoping everything would work out for her.  I easily related to her love of cooking, even though I don’t cook as fancy as she does.  But I can hope to try some of the recipes included in the book.   I loved watching her struggle with her guilt of using her landlords apartment and then cover her tracks when she leaves little clues behind accidentally.  She is a horrible liar, but somehow she never gets caught.  My favorite part was when she stands up to her parents.  Finally telling them how she is done living her for them and is going to do what she wants to do. 

Jacob and Blake were interesting.  I knew something was fishy with Jacob and loved it when she confronted him.  But was hoping he wouldn’t blow the whistle on her supper club, especially with Blake standing right there.  Blake was amazing.  Even with his pirate and fishing talk he was so likeable.  It seemed that he just got Hannah.  Although I don’t know of any men that would be able to forgive someone for the mess Hannah made of his home and career.  I loved how supportive and pushy he was with Hannah’s career goals. 

This was a fun and sometimes silly book.  I loved learning about Hannah and her relationships. Definitely an easy read with a great story. 

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding

Review by Charlotte Lynn

Twenty-five year old Coral Sinclair has just lost her father.  She is heading to Kenya to claim her inheritance, the estate of Mpingo.  On the trip from England, she meets a handsome and secretive French stranger.  As she keeps running into him; at the beach; at the nightclub; her attraction to him keeps growing.  When Coral’s childhood nanny realizes what is happening Coral is warned to stay away from Rafe de Monfort.  Saying he is the devil, a womanizer, and a man who took advantage of Coral’s father.

As Coral finds out more and more about Rafe’s reputation, she resigns herself to stay away him.  But when Rafe’s life is in danger she rushes to his side and makes peace with him, but can she accept him and move forward with a relationship?

The exotic location of Kenya with the descriptions of African wilderness was so enchanting that I felt I was right there with Coral and Rafe as their love story developed.  The secrets of Rafe kept me turning page after page having to know what he was hiding.  Just when I felt I had a clue to what his secrets were someone would tell another tale and I would doubt myself.  Then there was the black magic of the African tribes adding to the ever growing plot.  Definitely kept me on my toes and thinking. 

The romance between Rafe and Coral moved along perfectly.  Not too fast and not too slow.  I felt as if I really got to know both character.  I enjoyed watching Coral go from a young, innocent girl to a grown woman both in finding herself and her love and trust of Rafe.  Rafe was a perfect gentleman.  Trying to pull back from his feelings to keep Coral from getting tarnished.  This just endeared him even more to me, making me cheer on their relationship.  I was really wanting to see him redeemed in the eyes of those that passed judgment on him.

Burning Embers is an excellent read.  If you’re looking for intrigue and romance this is the novel for you.  I highly recommend it. 

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Comfort of Lies by Randy Susan Meyers

Reviewed by Charlotte Lynn



The Comfort of Lies is a strong story of three women all dealing with their lives and how they intertwine with each other.  The story starts five years ago.

The first woman is Tia.  Tia entered into an affair with a married man, Nathan.  When she ended up pregnant, he left her and she gave up the baby for adoption. 

Next is Caroline.  Caroline has an extremely important job with long hours, but adopted Tia’s baby just to please her husband, Peter.  She is now questioning whether she can be a mother and wife.

Finally, there is Juliette, Nathan’s wife.  Nathan told Juliette of his affair with Tia, but never mentioned that Tia was pregnant when he walked away from her.  Juliette finds a letter in the mail from Tia to Nathan.  Inside the letter are pictures of their daughter.  This crumbles Juliette’s world.

Fast forward five years. All the woman know of each other and are trying to put the lives back in the right.

Each woman had their own life and their own flaws.  I enjoyed watching each work through their life and figure out how to live again.  Tia struggled with her decision to give up the baby and never gave up the idea of loving Nathan.  Caroline struggled with being an adoptive child’s mother.  Felling like she has no right to complain, as all mothers do at times, because her child is adopted.  Juliette is just angry.  Angry with everyone, but not sure why.  It was extremely touching and real watching each woman move through their struggles.

I found Nathan to be the man I wanted to hate, but somehow I couldn’t.  He came across as devoted and sorry for the affair.  Devoting his life to his current family, not giving a second thought to his affair or Tia.  When it all came back to the front burner, he tried to deal with it, but struggled as any person would.
The baby, Savannah, was also given a place to give her point of view.  I loved how it was a focal point and that Savannah was left to be a child.  Not made too old or mature.   The feelings she had were true to what an adopted child put in the position of knowing her biological parents should feel and question.

I was totally into this story.  Caught from the beginning and unable to put it down. This is definitely more than just a chic-lit novel.  It has heart and feeling along with a real life story.  Anyone who picks this novel up will love it.  

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The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice.  We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Darlings by Cristina Alger

Reviewed by Laura Kay

Paul Ross is married to Merrill Darling, whose daddy just happens to be Carter Darling a billionaire financier. When Paul loses his job his wife persuades him to take a position in her dad's company as the head of the legal team at Carter's hedge fund. 

When an unexpected suicide of a dear friend of the Darlings puts a spot light on the hedge fund and a regulatory investigation begins. An old friend from the SEC meets with Paul with a chance to turn on the Darlings or go down with the ship. 

The Darlings is an energized novel filled with characters, New York high society, and reminiscent of the 2008 financial crisis. 

For me, this wasn't a book I could just sit down with and read right through. First there are so many characters to get straight and for awhile you don't see how one fits to the others. Once the story gets moving you really get a strong sense of who Paul is. I personally really liked him. And you felt for him. The more you read the more you will want to read! I really wasn't sure what was going to happen and like I said you really aren't sure who some of these people are and how they are going to play into the story line. But then they do...the big AHA moments start to happen. 

I really thought The Darlings gave a really unique look at the Wall Street types we are always hearing about in the news. I guess you kind of expect them to have these amazing lives, but for me their lives seemed to be lacking. But don't confuse that with the book! I very much recommend The Darlings by Cristina Alger and it didn't lack anything!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Bella Summer takes a Chance by Michele Gorman

Reviewed by Charlotte




Book description taken from Amazon.com:

When is enough not enough? 

Bella's career and relationship are her life's foundation wear: not glamorous and perhaps a bit binding, but supportive enough... until she realizes that they are not enough. Her life is sagging badly. She's never been in love with her boyfriend, despite a decade together. And somehow she stopped being a musician-with-a-day-job and became a consultant-who-was-musical. So she takes a terrifying leap of faith, leaving her relationship and resolving to follow her musical dreams no matter what. 

But the life you walk away from doesn't always let you walk away. 

With a wonderfully warm and witty cast of friends, all navigating between their ideals and the realities they face, together they'll find out what love and compromise really mean in this empowering tale about grasping life with both hands.


REVIEW:

Bella Summer takes a chance is a book about love.  Falling in love, realizing loving someone but not being in love, and the love of friends.  Many times I read part of the story and stopped and thought Yup, so true or Wow, never thought about love like that.  Michele Gorman kept me turning page after page needing to know more.

I really liked Clare.  Pregnant, from her late night “Shag,” she is single and unsure of what she wants.  The Shag being a man Clare wanted a relationship with and he wasn’t willing and is now the man looking for a relationship and Clare is not all that willing.  My favorite part was the labor and delivery.  The fact that Clare included all her best friends and The Shag showed exactly how close they truly are.  I also loved that Clare was the type of woman that everyone hopes they won’t be during labor.  I totally laughed out loud. 

Bella’s, or B, musical career was kind of a background story.  Following her almost non-happening career to being a much more active career was so entertaining.   The fact that B’s job was suppose to just hold her over until her career took off and that when she lost that job her career made turns in the right direction was something I saw coming, but still truly enjoyed reading about.

Having read Michele Gorman’s books before I know what I was hoping for and was not disappointed.  The quirky characters, easy reading, and flowing storyline were all exactly what I was hoping for.  I would recommend any of her books, this one included. 

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Monday, February 11, 2013

The Power Trip by Jackie Collins

Review by Charlotte Lynn



Billionaire Russian Aleksandr Kasianenko has a yacht built for his girlfriend, Bianca.  For the maiden voyage and Biana’s birthday, Alek invites 5 couples to join them.  The couples; Senator Hammand Patterson and his wife Sierra;  Movie Star Cliff Baxter and girlfriend Lori;  UK Footballer Taye Sherwin and his wife Ashley;  Latin singing sensation Luca Perez and his boyfriend Jeromy; and Journalist Flynn and his friend Xuan; are all in for a vacation they will never forget.

When Russian mobster, Sergei Zukov, finds out that Alek is the one who killed his brother he decides to get revenge.  Sergei works with Cruz, a master pirate, in hopes of getting revenge by pirating The Bianca and their guests for ransom.

The Power Trip is exactly what I hope for when reading a Jackie Collins book.  Although the story was different than her others (which I love), it was just as amazing.  There were a lot of characters to get to know at the beginning, but they were easy to keep straight and really easy to get to know.  I could instantly decide if I loved or hated each character.  The Senator was my hated character.  A man who is that two-faced just doesn’t deserve any respect from anyone and Hammand was the most two-faced person I had ever read about.  I was torn between my most loved character.  I really liked Taye.  He put up with a lot of verbal abuse from his wife, but never stepped out or gave up on his family.   I also really liked Flynn.  He told it exactly as it was.  Then when he went into action after the pirates, he showed how amazing he really was.

Jackie Collins has outdone herself.  I was so caught up in this book and its characters my husband actually asked if I was almost done with it.  Jackie knows exactly how far to push the hot and sexy without going too far.  Every detail adds just the right touch to the story.  The ending was so very unexpected, with loose ends that seem to lead to a possible sequel.

This just might be one of my favorite books of 2013.  Jackie Collins has shown she has what it takes to still draw in readers.  I loved this book and am sure all my friends will read it and love it also.

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The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice.  We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

You'll Be Swell by Jim David

Review by Charlotte Lynn



Lucy Dixon has inspired to be an actress from a very early age and has worked very hard to accomplish everything.  After acting in some plays and musicals in high school, she heads to New York to make it big.   During a lull she decides to go on a cruise.  The cruise is a vacation from hell.  While pretending to be a Kate Winslet in Titanic she falls overboard and sets of a crazy chain of events that changes her life forever.  Along the way to stardom Lucy Dixon is stalked, charmed by the ship doctor, and held at gunpoint while in a gorilla suit.  Lucy also struggles with her weight, self esteem, and her personal life. 

I can say I laughed out loud many times while reading this funny and witty story.  Every chapter was another story in the life of an over-weight, smart, comedian’s climb to stardom.  The struggle with weight-loss and self esteem is something most women can relate to, although I sometimes felt like it was almost too much of the story.

Lucy was an easy character to fall in love with.  She never totally gave up on her dreams and took the bumps in her path as they came.  She was willing to work hard to get where she wanted to go, but never forgot her friends and family or where she came from.  I loved seeing her be able to laugh at herself and move past her not so glamorous clumsy moments.  A skill I wish I could master.

You’ll Be Swell is a light hearted, fast paced story.  If you’re looking for a funny book that will make you laugh out loud this is definitely the book for you.

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The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice.  We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.


Thursday, February 7, 2013

2:32 am by Emily Ford

Reviewed by Charlotte


At 2:32am Cat wakes up to find a mysterious man sitting on her bed, instead of being afraid she felt calm and comfort.  Then he was gone.

Seventeen year old Cat has to make a choice of whether to accept magic or keep living life as she has.  Having moved many times with her family, Cat has settled in Savannah, Georgia.  She has made many friends and reconnected with Todd, a friend from many years before.  Now she has to decide if Todd is her future of if her genie friend, Rolf, is it for her.

2:32 am is a fantasy romance about a young girl learning about a whole nother world.  A world that is either out to get her or wants her to take on some extremely strong magic and join them.  I really like Cat.  For being seventeen she is strong willed and very honest with herself and those around her.  I loved that she did not give in to her typical teenage boyfriend, Todd, and have going away sex with him.  Cat also had great friends.  They shopped, studied, and hung out just as you would expect teenagers to do.  I truly enjoyed reading a paranormal book with so much normalcy and reality in it.

Rolf, Cat’s soul mate, made me leery.  I feel like there is a lot of secrets behind him and wonder if his love is as true as he says it is.  I’m hoping we will get more insight to him in the future books in this series. 
This is the first book I have read about genies and I truly enjoyed it.  I would recommend this to young adult readers or anyone who enjoys fantasy romance books.

Purchase 2:32am by Emily Ford

The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice.  We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dangerous Embrace by Dana Mason

Review by Charlotte Lynn


First grade teacher, Sarah Jennings, only wants a quiet lonely life.  Hiding from an abusive ex-boyfriend she is finding just what she wants.  When leaving school one night she gets attacked.  Lucky for her, good guy Mark Summors was there to help her and just won’t let her go, promising to keep her safe.  Sarah’s immediate reaction is to run, but Mark refuses to let her.

Dana Mason did an amazing job with Dangerous Embrace.  I loved all the character and couldn’t stop reading it.  The independence and stubbornness of Sarah made her a true survivor and heroine.  Even with Sarah’s checkered past and being forced to deal with it she is a character that you instantly love and care about.  Feeling her fear and terror while dealing with her present and future only make her a more lovable and believable character.

There there is Mark…oh, man, man of my dreams.  Not only is he there to help the night of Sarah’s attack, but he stays with her after.  Making sure she feels safe and secure and not alone.  Marks determination to keep her safe and win her trust makes him a true keeper.  He does all of this while still letting her have control of her life.  The bedroom scene was amazing touching.  To see a man want a woman so much, but still be able to give her the control over the situation.  Totally YUMMY!

I had to keep reading this book.  Each chapter kept me wanting for more.  The dark happenings of this book are over shadowed by the strength and romance.   I highly recommend this to any adult woman looking for action and romance. 

Purchase Dangerous Embrace by Dana Mason

The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice.  We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.


Monday, February 4, 2013

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

Reviewed by Laura Kay





Calling Me Home is a story that interweaves past with present, as Miss Isabelle McCallister and her friend/hairdresser Dorrie make a cross country trip to a funeral. Miss Isabelle is an elderly woman living alone and has asked Dorrie a young single black hairdresser to drive her from Texas to Cincinnati. With Dorrie's crazy life, she kinda will get a break from everything going on at home plus the added bonus of learning a bit more about Isabelle's guarded past.

As the head out of town, Miss Isabelle begins her story...Kentucky 1939. With miles of road behind them she shares the story of her true love, a forbidden love. 17 year old Isabelle had fallen in love with 18 year old Robert Prewitt, a black youth whose mother worked for Isabelle's family. The closer they get to Cincinnati the more Dorrie learns of Isabelle's heartbreaking story and realizes the funeral is of utmost importance.

While driving, Dorrie's hectic life seems to be following her. She feels pressed with her own son and with the new man in her life. But as she sits and listens to Miss Isabelle's story she quickly realizes there are many truths in her story that Dorrie can use in her own life. Once at the funeral, when all the truth is revealed the two women are more connected than ever.

What can I say? I loved Calling Me Home! With the beginning of the romance you can't help but think oh no! Not in that time! You know what was done to young black boys if they even looked at a white women back then! I wanted to talk some sense into her, but at the same time you want them together because they love each other! It's a struggle reading about the appalling treatment...it's like you read and realize how far things have come and at the same time realize there is so much more to be done.

This is a book you really don't want to put down. You can't help but want to know what's next and I LOVED how Dorrie was not just another person is the story, but was also hearing the story just as I was. I sat with this book crying as it came to an end.

I highly recommend Calling Me Home.


Calling Me Home is the February She Reads book club pick. 

She Reads is giving away 10 copies, courtesy of St. Martin’s Press! Just follow the link to the She Reads website (here's the link!) and leave a comment! Winners will be chosen Friday! Good luck!





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The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice.  We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.