Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Monday, July 21, 2014

Between the Sheets by Robin Wells--A Review

What a joy to be able to read such a delightful book!

SYNOPSIS:

How do you have a life when everyone in America thinks you gave the president-elect a fatal heart attack during an illicit sex romp?
Emma Jamison never thought she'd have to answer that question, but here she is, smack dab in the middle of a political scandal that would make Monica Lewinsky blush. Trouble is, nobody believes that Emma wasn't the call-girl who killed the president-to-be with her, uh, carnal skills.
So Emma packs up and moves to small-town Chartreuse, LA, to escape her infamy and to start over. But when her grandmother starts dating the grandfather of district attorney Max Duval, the quiet life she was seeking blows up in smoke. 




FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

What a fun book Between the Sheets by Robin Wells was.   I borrowed this book from my mother and it was a lovely romance.  Published in 2008, this was a character driven read.   The main character Emma Jamison,  had it all together.   She was orderly, owned her own business, provided housekeeping services to high profile clientele, and in the blink of an eye, lost her reputation and her business, all because she was caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.   Can you relate to a life altering change in the blink of an eye?   I certainly can.

In attempts to cleanse her reputation, she had spent her savings in vain.   She finally decided it was time to re-invent herself and decided to  move to Chartreuse, Louisiana.   Her grandmother had signed over her home to Emma and moved into the Sunnyside Retirement Center.    Surely a small town would be just the ticket to re-invent herself.  But small towns are notorious for bringing unwanted scandal front and center and Emma was not welcomed into the small town's folds.

Emma's supportive cast consisted of her Grandmother, Dorothy, Dorothy's boyfriend, Harold Duval, his grandson, Max Duval and new found friend Katie.  Her aggravating nemesis was journalist, Louis Anderson, who this reader loved to hate!   Dorothy was always confusing her wise sayings and Emma always corrected her.   Harold was a dementia patient who was in and out of reality but he was also a very gentle and sweet old man.   Max was a chunk as Dorothy would say meaning hunk and he found Emma to be more than desirable.    And Katie, was an open minded woman who could accept Emma for what she actually was.   Louis, the journalist, didn't care what the truth was...he thrived on notoriety and perceptions; his desire was to sell it big and become famous.

The story was fun, romantic and hilarious in parts.   I laughed so hard at the antics of the old folks from Sunnyside Retirement Center that I couldn't breathe.   I also writhed with frustration over the aggravating and persistant journalist.

But overall, I enjoyed the book created by Wells and it will be a favorite for a long time to come...humorous, feisty, fun, and the quirkiest of characters that were believable and fun.

I rated this a 5 Wink read.




Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.







Friday, July 18, 2014

Don't Try to Find ME by Holly Brown--a Review

Families are so unique to the individuals involved and included in them.  They are work and they are imperfect.    Sometimes a family that is different from yours, looks so appealing....much like the grass is always greener.   Sometimes, it is your family that appeals to someone else.   Sometimes families are broken, comprised of broken people.

SYNOPSIS:

When a 14-year-old runs away, her parents turn to social media to find her-launching a public campaign that will expose their darkest secrets and change their family forever, in this suspenseful and gripping debut for fans of Reconstructing Amelia and Gone Girl

Don't try to find me. Though the message on the kitchen white board is written in Marley's hand, her mother Rachel knows there has to be some other explanation. Marley would never run away.

As the days pass and it sinks in that the impossible has occurred, Rachel and her husband Paul are informed that the police have "limited resources." If they want their 14-year-old daughter back, they will have to find her themselves. Desperation becomes determination when Paul turns to Facebook and Twitter, and launches FindMarley.com.

But Marley isn't the only one with secrets.

With public exposure comes scrutiny, and when Rachel blows a television interview, the dirty speculation begins. Now, the blogosphere is convinced Rachel is hiding something. It's not what they think; Rachel would never hurt Marley. Not intentionally, anyway. But when it's discovered that she's lied, even to the police, the devoted mother becomes a suspect in Marley's disappearance.

Is Marley out there somewhere, watching it all happen, or is the truth something far worse?


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

Don't Try to Find Me was definitely a psychological journey of a broken family into nightmare territory.  The story is told from the point of view of mother/daughter alternately.  Paul and Rachel had grown apart over the years, but they thought they were providing their daughter, Marley, with all the advantages she could ever want or need.   They even provided her with a therapist when she needed clarity and mental health care.   The parents were split on that issue.    Paul saw no point to a therapist and only attended one session.    Rachel, however believed it was helping her daughter and formed a strong friendship with the therapist.   Marley's perception of the relationship between her parents and the relationship between her therapist and her mother is what breaks her further.   With only the support of her secret facebook friend, she plans her escape into a new "family"--just the two of them.

This was a very intense read as Rachel and Paul come to grips with the problems they knew existed but for whatever reason could never confront.   Under public scrutiny after turning to social media to find Marley, nothing was sacred or "secret" any longer.  But at least they did have a unified cause....find Marley.    Second guessing one another, second guessing the motives of those closest to them in the search, and trying to second guess Marley led to a lot of angst and revelation, until there were no more  secrets.

This story was relevant and pertinent to the world we live in today, where the vulnerable are sought out and found by predators, through the same social media Marley had been both lost and found.   The story moved fluently, and this reader was invested in the read immediately.  Characters were frustrating and believable.   The storyline and plot, both frightening and so sad.   Broken people, broken family--and so much rested in the perception of said family members.

I rated this book 5 winks!



Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like. I received a complimentary copy from the author or the author’s representatives in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Autumn Reflections by Katie Mettner--A Review






SYNOPSIS:

 1 Corinthians 13:8: Love never fails.

Grayson Hanson likes to pretend he’s a superhero, sent to earth to fight off the bad guys. In reality, he’s a seven-year-old boy who wears those same superheroes on his leg braces, and fights off bullies at school. His mother, Dr. Autumn Hanson, will do anything to protect her son, including leaving her prestigious position as one of Duluth’s top orthopedic surgeons. Hoping for a fresh start, she moves Grayson to Cloquet, Minnesota and opens her own clinic. Steadfast in her desire for a new life, Autumn agrees to be interviewed for a feature article in the local paper. Kade Franco is a well respected journalist, who at forty-two has had his own share of love’s regrets. As the city’s most eligible bachelor, Kade can have any woman he wants, but he’s waiting for his meant-to-be. Where he doesn’t expect to find her is in the beautiful hazel eyes of the newest doctor in town. Autumn finds Kade Franco’s sexy chocolatey brown eyes and strong lumberjack physique to be her kryptonite. She’s spent the last seven years building a wall around her heart, but fears it isn’t strong enough to withstand a man of steel determined to show her love never fails.

EXCERPT:

I heard a knock and looked up. Phoenix stood at the door with a man close behind her. “Dr. Hanson, Kade Franco is here to see you.”
She stepped aside and I stood up, my eyes locking with the very chocolate brown ones of Kade Franco. “Thank you, Phoenix.” She left and I stuck my hand out across the desk. “Nice to meet you, Mr. Franco.”
He shook my hand firmly, not too hard, but no wimpy jello-hand either. “Just call me Kade, Dr. Hanson. Thank you for meeting with me this afternoon.”
I smiled against my will. This man certainly wasn’t twenty-two, pimply faced or eager. He was lumberjack tall, trim, and had legs that went on forever. His barely there wire rims did nothing to conceal his long black lashes and his neatly trimmed scruff surrounded his melt me into a puddle smile. A tuft of curly brown hair topped off the man. My mind was stuck on the thought of how I’d like to wrap my fingers in it. Whoa, sister, back up the boat and stop staring like an idiot.
“Please, call me Autumn. Thank you for offering to do a story about my clinic.” I gushed. Good God woman, take it down a notch. You come face-to-face with a good looking guy and you can’t rub two brain cells together. Sit. He’s sitting already. Sit your butt down in the chair.





FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

Wow, let me say wow.    I was asked to review Katie Mettner's upcoming release of Autumn Reflections.   Katie writes "spicy" Christian novels.   And wow, I'm a fan!   What a blessing to me to be asked to read and review this book.

I read it in one day and enjoyed every minute of it.  Katie captured the innocence and yet the awesome
wisdom of a child in the character of Grayson Hanson, a seven year old, so much more than a  handicapped or disabled child!   His mother, Autumn, was a successful and beautiful doctor who had been disappointed by so many men and to keep a man out of her life.   But then there was Kade, big and caring and trying to help her recover from her past hurts.   He's the man!   Another book hero I could fall completely in love with!

The story made sense and followed a beautiful plot line that filled in any mystery of the past bringing both Kade and Autumn to a possible future together.   The scripture used was so absolutely pertinent to the story and made it fluent and cohesive.

Now for the spicy.  Ok, I admit it, I would rather leave sex to the reader's imagination.   Ok I'm old fashioned and somewhat prudish.  As I read young adult romance, I'm getting more used to it, but I still have my preferences of the mind.   That said, I did enjoy the spicy.   I wanted Autumn and Kade to be together so bad, but I applauded him for holding back.    He had such a strong moral compass and such sound reasoning.   So awesome.

I rated this book 5 Winks!   And I have a new author to follow!

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Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like. I received a complimentary copy from the author or the author’s representatives in exchange for an honest review.


This blog tour was sponsored by Tobi Helton and Forget the Housework, I'm Reading!
http://forgetthehouseworkimreading.blogspot.com/

Monday, July 14, 2014

Gold Digger by Frances Fyfield--A Review

I love reading a book from a new to me author.  Such is today's subject of this blog.   I had never heard of Frances Fyfield, but she will definitely appear in future reviews.

SYNOPSIS:

The warmth of him, the glorious warmth, was fading by the minute.


In a huge old school house by the sea, full of precious paintings, Thomas Porteous is dying. His much younger wife Di holds him and mourns. She knows that soon, despite her being his sole inheritor, Thomas's relatives will descend on the collection that was the passion of both of their lives.

And descend they do. The two needy daughters, who were poisoned against their father by their defecting mother, are now poison themselves. The family regard Thomas's wealth as theirs by right, with the exception of young Patrick, who adored his grandfather and is torn between his parents and Di, the interloper.

The family know Di's weaknesses, and she has to learn theirs. After all, she met Thomas when she came to his house to rob him. With the help of an unlikely collection of loners and eccentrics, she sets a trap to hoist the family members on their own greed. And on the night they are lured to the house, Di will be ready.

Or will she?


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

I thoroughly enjoyed Frances Fyfield's Gold Digger.  This was the first of her books I had read; suffice it to say, I was not disappointed.  

The characters were unique and refreshing and best of all quirky and damaged.  Thomas Porteus, gentle, a collector, big hearted and misunderstood by most.   He shared his life with Di Quigley Porteus, a thief, his rescuer and his co-collector in the art world.   Jones, a retired cop, uncle of Di who had arrested her when she was young for breaking into the Porteous house in attempts to steal car keys.
Saul, Thomas's friend, believed to be gay, and loved the art world and the collection Thomas had accrued.  Peg, a stray, a runaway with legal problems of her own, taken in by Di and Jones.  Gayle and Beatrice Porteus, daughters of Thomas, hated him and hated Di.  Edward, Gayle's husband, with hungry eyes for all that was belonging to Thomas.   Quig, Di's father, fearing one another with the knowledge they each had on the other.   Patrick, the grandson that loved Thomas and Di.   And Monica, the beautician who was always sticking her nose in where it didn't belong.   Together this awesome cast of characters created a tale of greed, dysfunction, and mayhem.   I loved DI and her supportive cast of misfits and their efforts to protect DI from the dysfunctional family Thomas left behind.

I found the plotline to be entertaining and well plotted;   The characters were strong in who they were and complicated in their actions and desires.   The little secrets along the way, only strengthened the suspense and were revealed in timely essence.    You could feel the solid relationship Thomas had with Di.   I could easily mourn with her, if she would have had time to mourn at all.   But Thomas had thought to protect her from his own well before his death.   It was his plan put in motion that both put her in danger and saved her from it.   Definitely a thrill seekers book from start to finish!

I gave this a 5 Wink rating!



Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like. I received a complimentary copy from the author or the author’s representatives in exchange for an honest review.




Friday, July 11, 2014

Twilight by Sheryl Woods--A Review

Cloudy and  rainy here in the Midwest.  Can you believe how close we are to the middle of the month?   When you are a reader, the time flies, but you see so many different worlds and books create that passageway.

Today's review features author, Sherryl Woods and her novel, Twilight.    Trust me there are no vampires in this wonderful romance tale, but there is plenty of romance and tension between the characters.

SYNOPSIS:

New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods demonstrates that when faith and love are tested,they often wind up stronger than ever.

For former private investigator Dana Miller, there can be no peace of mind until she finds the person who killed her husband. Now a single mother to three boys, Dana wants closure. But it turns out she'll need to form an alliance with the man she holds responsible for the death. And uncovering answers may mean bringing down the program her husband believed in.  Rick Sanchez has no intention of letting Dana destroy all the good he and Ken Miller worked for. As he and Dana try to learn the truth about what happened, he discovers that he and his old friend have something else in common; an undeniable attraction toward this intrepid, high-spirited woman who fights for the people she loves.

FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

My mom gave this novel to read; her favorite genre being romance, clean romance.   I enjoy romance reads and have a couple yet to read this month.   Like her I do not really want the explicit details, I have an excellent imagination contained within my mind's eye.    I was quite surprised that Wood's book, Twilight, has met my standards of  intimate revelation.   There was a steamy night and some kisses too, but absolutely nothing explicit.   Go Sherryl Woods!

This book was actually a mystery romance, with both , Dana Miller and Rick Sanchez trying to ferret out who had slain the honorable Reverend Ken Miller.   By joining forces, they formed an unlikely alliance, challenged by mistrust of one another, and strengthened by a bulldog stubbornness to find those precious answers that could lead to truth, trust, and just maybe anther shot at love.

I enjoyed this book immensely.   The characters were strong and independent and with their conversations you could "hear" that spanish lingo.    The plot was well developed and although there were many bodies left for discovery,   it was very near the end when the murderers were revealed.  It was quite an interesting read.

I rated this read 5 winks!


Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I borrowed this book from my mother!

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Blissful Tragedy--Promo

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BlissfulTragedy[1]Ambitious 22-year-old Lexie Waters is intent on taking the advertising world by storm.  When she’s offered the soon to be open position she’s been vying for at a swanky advertising agency, there’s only one last summer separating her from dreams of corporate success.  Still bitter from catching her boyfriend cheating, she heads out for a night of fun to see her favorite band, Devil’s Garden, but fun turns into utter embarrassment when she insults the enticingly confident lead singer, Van Sinclair.  Van is intrigued by Lexie’s ability to resist his charm and secretly obtains her cell number.  Shocked but eager to get to know this captivating rocker, Lexie accepts Van’s invitation to see his next show, which requires an overnight stay.  The overwhelming feelings that follow take them both by surprise, and with two months left before starting her sought after new position, Lexie joins the tour. As she’s catapulted into the world of groupies and wild parties, she questions Van’s commitment to her. So what happens at summer’s end when time runs out?

Praise For Blissful Tragedy

This book is very good and I couldn't get enough of Van and Lexi's story. I was so sad that the book ended. I can honestly read about these two all day long! - Amazon Customer

Their whirlwind fling and the intensity of new love where every phone call, every text, takes your breath away captures the essence of what it’s like to be twenty something and in love. - BookChickLovesLit (Amazon)

AMAZONBARNES AND NOBLE 
WEBSITE/ FACEBOOKTWITTERGOODREADS
About Amy L. Gale
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Romance author by night, pharmacist by day, Amy Gale loves rock music and the feel of sand between her toes.  She attended Wilkes University where she graduated with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. In addition to writing, she enjoys baking, scary movies, rock concerts, and reading books at the beach.  She lives in the lush forest of Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, six cats, and golden retriever.
         

AMAZONBARNES AND NOBLE 

WEBSITE/ FACEBOOKTWITTERGOODREADS


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Monday, July 7, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman--A Review

What was the scariest thing in your childhood?  I remember a lavender room at the end of the hall and at night you could see a red flashing light against the night sky.    Now I remember a stairway in the closet, but my mom told me the house did have two sets of stairs, but it never had a stairwell in my closet.   Well, I hated that room and I would sleep with my brothers or my parents every chance I got.    I do not know why that room scared me so, but I absolutely detested it.    It took years for me to enjoy the color purple in any shade and now it is a favorite.   But even if that house still stood, I would never return to that lavender room!

Today's review is a childhood memory of a 7 year old boy, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

SYNOPSIS:

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

I had never read Neil Gaiman's work before and it was enjoyable and exciting.    He certainly knows how to evoke the emotions of the reader.  The story was strong and well developed, read smoothly and hooked the reader immediately.   I was drawn into the world of a seven year old boy, and I became afraid for him and his family.

It is never really explained who the Hempstock family was or what they were, more to the point.    But they were neighbors and the only people our little boy trusted and felt comfortable with.   Without them, I doubt he would have survived his childhood.    And his childhood memories soon became jumbled with reality, never to be remembered correctly again.

This was an extremely frightening and gripping read and it felt like I lived it with the main character.   I felt his angst, his fear, and his heartbreak.

I gave this book a rating of 4 Winks!



Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like. I received a complimentary copy from the author or the author’s representatives in exchange for an honest review.