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

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Only You by Lorna Peel--A Review





SYNOPSIS:

Jane Hollinger is the wrong side of thirty, divorced and struggling to pay the mortgage her cheating ex left her with. As a qualified genealogist, teaching family history evening classes is a way for her to make ends meet. But she begins to wonder if it’s such a good idea when a late enroller for the class is a little... odd. “Badly-blond Bloke” both scares and intrigues Jane, and when she discovers he is her all-time favourite actor and huge crush, Robert Armstrong, she’s stunned. Even more stunning to Jane is the fact that Robert is interested in her romantically. He’s everything she ever dreamed of, and more, but can she overcome her fear of living in the public eye to be with the man she loves?




Only You’s (Other) Dramas

Only You’s Jane Hollinger loves watching drama, especially television period drama. She loves them so much that she has a huge DVD collection to help her escape from the routine of every day life. She has almost every period drama the BBC has ever produced and is also a huge Johnny Depp fan!

Despite all the period dramas, Jane certainly isn’t a prude. She first notices actor, Robert Armstrong, in The Lady of the Woods - a sexy modern remake of Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It doesn’t hold back on sex or nudity and, according to her sister Mags, Jane practically wears out her DVD by going through most of the series frame by frame!

Jane’s favourite novel is an historical called The Hunger set in Ireland at the time of the Great Famine of the 1840s. She knows the period of history inside out - having studied it at university - and she is of Irish descent through her mother, whose family emigrated from Connemara in the west of Ireland during the Famine.

Jane has always imagined Robert as The Hunger’s main character, a landlord called Edward Rowley, and can’t quite believe it when he lands the leading role in an epic TV adaptation. She helps him with all the background research for the role but can’t help but worry as she sits down to watch the preview DVD Robert sends her. What if the adaptation is awful? What if Robert as Edward Rowley isn’t how she pictured him to be? What if she can never read her favourite novel again? You’ll have to read Only You to find out what her reaction is!

EXCERPT:

“I had some good news today from Marie,” Robert said.
Oh?”
When I finish The Will, my next part is in The Hunger.”
Jane almost dropped her knife and fork.
“The William Simpson novel about the Irish Potato Famine?”
He nodded. “You know it?”
It’s my favourite novel. Will you be playing the landlord? Edward Rowley?”
“Yes, why? What’s the matter? You don’t think I’m right for the part?”
No! I mean, yes.” She put her cutlery down before she did drop them. “Oh God. Ever since I read it for the first time, you were the only man I could see as Edward Rowley…” She tailed off and blushed furiously. She hadn’t meant to say that much.
“Thanks very much,” he replied dryly. “He’s not exactly a happy chappie, is he?”
“No. Sorry.”
“Do you think about me a lot, Ms Hollinger?” he asked. Jane met his eyes. They sparkled with mischief. “Because when I read the script, and no matter which actress plays the part, you are the only woman I will see as Edward Rowley’s wife.”
“But she doesn’t love him,” Jane whispered.
“No. But he loves her. Very much.”
“Yes.”
“Have you ever worn a corset?”
Jane caught her breath and began to cough.
“No?” he continued. “Might have to remedy that sometime!”
“I look forward to it, Mr Armstrong,” she retaliated and he laughed. “Is it film or TV?”
“TV. A six-parter. The BBC and RTÉ, the Irish state broadcaster, are really going to town on it. It’ll be one of the most expensive dramas they’ve ever done.”
“I can’t wait to see it. I did nineteenth-century Irish history at university. Mum’s ancestors were from Ireland. They came to England to escape the Famine. I realised that I knew little or nothing about Ireland so I chose that module. I shouldn’t say that I loved it because it was such a terrible tragedy, but—” She stopped. She was rambling, but it was Robert gazing at her with a gorgeous smile on his face which really stopped her in her tracks.
“You’ll give me a hand with all the background, then?” he asked. “My maternal grandmother was Irish. I know a little bit of Irish history, but what I do know probably only scratches the surface. My great-grandfather’s brother fought in the Irish Civil War, but I know little or nothing about the Famine.”
“Won’t there be researchers or something?”
“Yes, but it’ll be much more interesting coming from you. I mean, if it weren’t for you, what would I know about genealogy?”
“You could have gone out and bought a book,” she teased.
“No, I needed to see why people get so addicted to it and, thanks to you, I have.”



ABOUT LORNA PEEL:

Lorna Peel is an author of contemporary and historical romantic fiction. She has had work published in three Irish magazines – historical articles on The Stone of Scone in ‘Ireland’s Own’, on The Irish Potato Famine in the ‘Leitrim Guardian’, and Lucy’s Lesson, a contemporary short story in ‘Woman’s Way’. Lorna was born in England and lived in North Wales until her family moved to Ireland to become farmers, which is a book in itself! She lives in rural Ireland, where she write, researches her family history, and grows fruit and vegetables. She also keeps chickens (and a Guinea Hen who now thinks she’s a chicken!).




FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

I enjoyed Lorna Peel's romantic take on a completely normal woman and the actor she ultimately falls in love with.    This was a fast and easy read with very well developed characters.   I was invested in the relationship between Jane Hollinger and Robert Armstrong within minutes of beginning the read.

These two main characters had their work cut out for them.    Robert sought honesty and a normal relationship in his life.   Jane sought life out of the public eye, and had had her trust abused by her first husband.   It was a struggle for them to find a place in the middle where they could both feel safe and loved.  Be that as it was, there was no doubt they both felt a deep bond for one another...one that would potentially be their saving grace in the years to come.

If you enjoy a fast read, a simple romantic tale with viable obstacles to be overcome, I would highly recommend this read.   

I have rated this a 4 WINK read.    Quite enjoyable.


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.




Thursday, October 23, 2014

Two Blue Lines by S C Montgomery--A Review


Release day for Two Blue Lines

by SC Montgomery!

It's finally here! Two Blue Lines, SC Montgomery’s first novel in her new Crossing the Lines series, is available for purchase!

Genre: Young Adult

Release Date: October 23rd




Blurb for Two Blue Lines (Crossing the Line, Book #1):

His fear . . . Her secrets . . . Their choice.

What if the only girl you’ve ever loved lied to you?

Lied to everyone?

Those two blue lines changed everything for Reed Young and Melissa Summers. In more ways than one.

And now, he must decide for himself . . .

Man up or walk away?


SC Montgomery has created an emotional tale of first love, difficult choices, and impossible secrets.  A deliciously angsty debut you need to read for yourself.


***Reader Warning*** Two Blue Lines is the emotional, honest story of two teenagers whose lives are about to change forever.  While not glorified, or portrayed in detail, there are themes of sexual assault and teen pregnancy, as well as allusions to teenage drinking and some foul language.  It is all meant to create an honest, relevant novel, but please be aware and read only if you’re comfortable.

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Barnes&Noble

***


Excerpt:

Tears filled her eyes, reflecting the kaleidoscope of colors from the sky above. “I don’t know what I’d do if I ever lost you.”

I scooted over and pulled her close. “Why would you lose me?” Okay, sure, I’d had the fleeting thought of running for the hills, but I’d never leave her. Baby or not. My heart was too fully invested. God, didn’t she realize she was the first girl I’d ever kissed? She was the first person I thought about in the morning, the person I wanted to call when I was happy, when I was bummed . . . Melissa Summers had become my everything since I laid eyes on her in that middle school cafeteria. I couldn’t think of one single solitary thing that could make me leave her now. Besides, I had a responsibility to this baby.

She threw her arms around my neck and her tears soaked through my T-shirt. “What if you decided you hated me or the baby? What if . . . ?” She choked on a sob as I squeezed and shushed her.

“It’s okay, Mel. I’m not leaving you, and I could never hate you. Never. Or the baby. How could I?” I stroked her back as the fireworks popped furiously above us in a resounding finale.

It finally grew quiet, the smoke from the show settling down over the water, people around us mumbling and picking up their chairs. I continued to hold her, my eyes straying to a couple holding hands as they strolled, another not holding hands, not touching, obvious tension shimmering between them as they towed a fussy toddler. My heart ached that I couldn’t do more to ease her. “God, Mel, I love you so much,” I whispered, wishing she’d believe me. Wondering why she’d suddenly doubt. We may be in a heap of trouble, but I never wanted to lose the spark that made us. Even at sixteen, I knew it was special.

She finally pulled back and looked up into my eyes. I used the pad of my thumb to wipe the tears from her cheeks. She simply stared for several moments. We said nothing. I let her look. Maybe she’d find whatever reassurance she was seeking. Then, gently, her eyes slipped down to my mouth. I leaned in and kissed her, giving her all the love, all the promises, all the comfort I had.

And all the hope.

***





SC Montgomery is a self-proclaimed nerd and readaholic.  She has dabbled in telling stories since she was very young by letting her imagination play out with her Barbie dolls and her bestie many a weekend.  She also writes Contemporary adult romance under the pen name Shauna Allen, and it was in one of those novels that the YA bug bit when she wrote in a teenager loosely based on her own son.  Her first story, The Summer of Lettie, was penned as a gift for her mother, but was published with her blessing, and it’s just taken off from there.

SC is married with three teenagers of her own, who give her plenty of inspiration and advice, and are a constant source of laughter and new terminology.  Besides writing, she loves reading, movies, singing and dancing reality shows and going to the beach.

You can sign up for her newsletter here: http://eepurl.com/RLQQz









Praise for Two Blue Lines:

An emotionally intense story about two teens having to grow up way before their time . . . Hard to put down, this story will stay with you for a long time.
-New York Times bestselling author C.C. Hunter

FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

Intense was the first word that came to mind about this official first in the Crossing the Line Series by S C Montgomery.    I can not believe the feelings that coursed through me and caused meto hold my breath as I read Two Blue Lines.   The two main characters, Reed Young and his girlfriend, Melissa Summers were so believable, so realistic and so vulnerable throughout the read.   The most character growth was seen in Reed as he struggled with the thought of becoming a parent at the age of sixteen and eventually reached the point that he yielded to real love.  I do believe the maternal instinct of a female, allows the mom to be to accept the concept of parenthood sooner than the baby's daddy.   

There were many young adult issues brought out in the book and some language, so the book is designed for older teens to read and enjoy and would possibly be helpful to those teens facing the same situations and  decisions.   My favorite part was where Reed admitted all his fears to his dad on the beach and his father credited him for standing up and taking responsibility.   It was at this point the reader witnessed Reed Young maturing and accepting his daddy role, right before our eyes.

I found this read to be sensitive and endearing and highly recommend it to older teens, teachers and parents alike.

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 ARC  from the author or the author’s representatives in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Submerged by Dani Pettrey--A Review




SYNOPSIS:

Bailey Craig vowed never to set foot in Yancey again. She has a past, and a reputation--and Yancey's a small town. She's returned to bury a loved one killed in the plane crash and is determined not to stay even an hour more than necessary. But then dark evidence emerges and Bailey's own expertise becomes invaluable for the case.
Cole McKenna can handle the deep-sea dives and helping the police recover evidence. He can even handle the fact that a murderer has settled in his town and doesn't appear to be moving on. But dealing with the reality of Bailey's reappearance is a tougher challenge. She broke his heart, but she is not the same girl who left Yancey. He let her down, but he's not the same guy she left behind. Can they move beyond the hurts of their pasts and find a future together?


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

Dani Pettrey wrote an inspirational romanctic suspense novel with Submerged.
She wrote convincing characters and made them believably human.  I adored Cole as he seemed irresistible and protective.   He saw Bailey's hurts and brokenness.  He was the love and reassurance that she needed desperately.

The mystery dealt with Russian artifacts in the Alaskan history of Russian immigrants.   The story was well plotted and moved swiftly.

I rated this a 5 wink read.    Romance and mystery readers alike will enjoy this book!

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 purchased a  copy of this book for my personal collection.

     

Monday, October 20, 2014

Elvis Is A Keeper by Shauna Allen--A Review




SYNOPSIS:

Hook . . .

Em Reed’s life is complicated enough—thank you, very much. As a single mother struggling to take over the family fishing guide business, she yearns to make her beloved father proud. He is the only man she trusts—the only one who has been there for her through every heartache.

Line . . .

And the last thing she needs is to fall for some brainiac writer who is only in town temporarily. Even if he does bear a fascinating resemblance to the King of Rock ‘n Roll—the only man who still rocks her world.

And Sinker . . .

But as her life takes a horrific turn for the worst and her father is accused of a brutal crime, can she keep her family together, her father from confessing to save the love of his life, and her own heart safe?

Or is Elvis a Keeper?


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE: 

Anyone familiar with my blog in the slightest surely knows how I feel about Shauna Allen and her writing.   She is an amazing romance writer.

I decided I was going to read something outside of the Cupid Chronicles and selected Elvis Is a Keeper.  This is a mystery romance and was a charming read.  Her characters were affable and quirky.  I enjoyed the fact that Em Reed was a huge Elvis fan and that one day her customer, Vance turned up and was an Elvis look a like...except a brown eyed Elvis.

I also liked the spin on the Mason's and how they were represented as brothers and family.    When one member was in trouble, they were all feeling that pain and needed resolution.

I think the storyline was pretty unique and interesting.

The only problem I encountered was the sharp change in point of view within the chapter from one character to another and it sometimes took a minute to realize the point of view was that of a different character.  Once I adjusted to this, I found myself involved in a very satisfying read.

I rated this book 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 purchased a  copy of this book for my personal collection.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Hide 'n Go Seek by Dale Meyer--A Review




SYNOPSIS:

A twisted game of Hide'n Go Seek forces an unlikely alliance between a no-nonsense FBI agent and a search-and-rescue worker.

Celebrated search-and-rescue worker Kali Jordon has hidden her psychic abilities by crediting her canine partner Shiloh with the recoveries. But Kali knows the grim truth--The Sight that she inherited from her grandmother allows her to trace violent energy unerringly to victims of murder. No one knows her secret until a twisted killer challenges her to a deadly game of Hide'n Go Seek that threatens those closest to her.

Now she must rely on FBI Special Agent Grant Summers, a man who has sworn to protect her, even as he suspects there's more to Kali and Shiloh than meets the eye. As the killer draws a tighter and tighter circle around Kali, she and Grant find there's no place to hide.

Are her visions the key to finding the latest victim alive or will this twisted game of Hide'n Go Seek cost her...everything?


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE: 

Dale Meyer is an author who can create paranormal thrillers that are exciting and full of twists and turns!   And she also includes a bit of romance with her writing.

Hide N Go Seek was indeed a thriller with Kali Jordan being a rescuer of victims in natural disaster situations.  She was accustomed to the grueling rescue work, but the losses took a toll upon her and the rest of the team.   Losses comprised of almost rescued, were hardest to accept.   How much strife and loss of life would push a rescuer to the breaking point?

Grant Summers was an FBI agent who had worked with a well known psychic in the past.   He had learned a measure of trust for the paranormal due to his relationship with Steven Kronos.   And Kronos would be helpful in training Kali's with her own unique gift.  The strong and wonderful FBI agent would have to overcome some of his insecurities and jealousies as he worked to save Kali from the harm threatening her survival and those close to her.

Meyer's characters were pretty realistic and carried a strong sense of right and wrong.  The story was character driven and the twists and turns provided a satisfying and thrilling story.

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.  I purchased a  copy of this book for my personal collection.

 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Finding Cinderella by Colleen Hoover--A Review

I am so excited to share my review of Saving Cinderella by Colleen Hoover.   Cinderella was one of my favorite fairy tale stories as a little girl and now my three year old granddaughter calls her Cindelella...especially after her Cinderella Storybook Adventure 3rd birthday party.

Anyway, I'll move on from my memories of the original Cinderella to Hoover's story.

SYNOPSIS: 

A chance encounter in the dark leads eighteen-year-old Daniel and the girl who stumbles across him to profess their love for each other. But this love comes with conditions: they agree it will only last one hour and it will only be make-believe.

When their hour is up and the girl rushes off like Cinderella, Daniel tries to convince himself that what happened between them only seemed perfect because they were pretending it was perfect. Moments like that with girls like her don’t happen outside of fairytales.

One year and one bad relationship later, his disbelief in insta-love is stripped away the day he meets Six: a girl with a strange name and an even stranger personality. Daniel soon realizes the way he pretended to feel about Cinderella and the way he really feels about Six may not be so different after all. Especially when the two loves of his life end up being one in the same.

Unfortunately for Daniel, finding Cinderella doesn’t guarantee their happily ever after…it only further threatens it.


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

Colleen Hoover has such a unique writing style and I absolutely love reading her stories.   They include romance and humor and some very quirky characters!   Finding Cinderella was such a story...the first encounter of Daniel, hiding in a school maintenance closet and having Cinderella fall on him and interrupt his solitude was hysterical.   And both he and Cinderella were happy to play a make believe love story within the hour they spent together.

Hoover's characters are refreshingly unique and awesome.  Somehow, with every book of hers that I read, I fall in love with them all.....except maybe the antagonists...and even they serve their purposes well. 

If you haven't read Colleen Hoover yet, you really should try it for yourself.   Everything I have read of hers thus far has been a pure delight!

I rated this short Novella 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.  I purchased a  copy of this book for my personal collection.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Peace By Piece by Carol Fragale Brill--A Review



SYNOPSIS:

Peace by Piece deals with unshakable first love, family, relationships, the difficulties of being a stepparent—all shadowed by the curse of anorexia/bulimia.
Six years after fleeing college and Thomas’s betrayal, Maggie has nearly given up on love.
Enter Izzie, a motherless eight year old, and every maternal instinct kicks-in. With Donald, Izzie’s dad, Maggie waits for the thrill—for anything magic: a spark, a quickening, a quiver racing up her spine. The magic never comes, but it is precisely the ordinariness of his kisses and subsequent proposal that make her feel safe. She imagines that loving Izzie is enough to finally lock Thomas out of her heart.


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

Maggie, librarian turned third grade teacher, befriended a motherless child, Izzie, at the library where she waited for a ride home.   As their friendship bloomed and grew,Maggie realized her greatest desire to be a mother.   The book is told from present day chapters, alternated with reminiscent chapters from the times of college and her first true love.

Maggie's character was disappointing in some respects as she surrendered desire for passionate love for motherhood to Izzie, hoping her husband Donald, would fulfill her dreams in the future.    Donald was an aggravating character who truly believed he knew best for his daughter and his wife, but more often than not, he missed the mark by miles.

I hated how controlling Donald was.   I hated that Maggie settled.   But I loved that she was given a second chance with Thomas and the decisions she made that were hard and ugly.   This was also a story of issues and I appreciated how they were dealt with.

I enjoyed this novel, although I wasn't always in the mood to deal with Maggie's turmoil.   But I appreciated her growth throughout the book and that she did finally deal with things head on.   I love a character driven book.

I rated Peace by Piece a 4 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.  I purchased a  copy of this book for my personal collection.