Monthly Archives: March 2020

Recent Release- The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren

The Honey don't list

itle: The Honey Don’t List

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Author: Christina Lauren

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Gallery Books, March 2020

Pages: 318

Rating: 3

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

**
This is an okay read if you are big fans of these authors. I was a fan until I read this book. It is a really clumsy attempt to disguise a very famous, successful TV remodeling couple. And then to throw in a side romance between two people who don’t even seem attracted to each other. I read it all the way through and of course could not like Melly and Rusty Tripp, there was way too much of their childish antics. As for Carey and James-Jimbo-Jimbaliya I just didn’t get their attraction. These authors are really talented and this is not up to what they usually deliver. So if you are a big fan then go ahead and get this one but if you are not then maybe better wait for the next book.

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Recent Release- The Two Lives of Lydia Bird by Josie Silver

The two Lives of Lydia Bird

Title: The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

Genre: Women’s Fiction/ Contemporary Romance

Author: Josie Silver

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Ballentine, March 2020

Pages: 432

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. But she was wrong. On Lydia’s twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants is to hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life—and perhaps even love—again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.

Lydia is pulled again and again through the doorway to her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.

**
This is a tearjerker. Be prepared with a full tissue box at your side. It is about grief and how it envelopes a life. Lydia is so distraught she cannot sleep. Her mother talks the doctor into giving Lydia a prescription for sleeping pills. Lydia takes the pink pill and finds herself asleep and waking in another dimension where Freddie is still alive and they are living their life together. But when she awakes from the sleep she is thrust back into the grief filled life without Freddie. This back and forth plays out over the next year. Lydia makes some independent strides and finds a way to live again. What didn’t ring true was Lydia’s job. She was away for months at a time and they still kept her on. Don’t we all want jobs like that.
I recommend this book only to those who won’t be pulled under by the sadness, it is a sad but eventually uplifting read.

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Recent Release- In Five Years by Rebecca Serle

in five years

Title: In Five Years

Genre: General Fiction

Author: Rebecca Serle

Source: purchase

Publisher: Atia Books, March 2020 (also available from Audible)

Pages: 266

Rating: 3.5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating:0

Description from Amazon:

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Dannie Kohan lives her life by the numbers.

She is nothing like her lifelong best friend—the wild, whimsical, believes-in-fate Bella. Her meticulous planning seems to have paid off after she nails the most important job interview of her career and accepts her boyfriend’s marriage proposal in one fell swoop, falling asleep completely content.

But when she awakens, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. Dannie spends one hour exactly five years in the future before she wakes again in her own home on the brink of midnight—but it is one hour she cannot shake. In Five Years is an unforgettable love story, but it is not the one you’re expecting.

**
I have mixed feelings about this book. It is a page turner. You will want to know what leads to that 5th year incident. Is it “real” or “fantasy”? I read this book because I read Rebecca Serle’s book THE DINNER LIST. I enjoy the way she attacks unique storylines and this book is another unique storyline. There is romance, heartbreak and everything in-between. Be sure and have a box of tissues handy. Yes, I can recommend this book with reservations, but only a few reservations.

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Filed under Book review, Books, General Fiction & Literature, Review, Romance, Women's Fiction

Recent Release- The Boy From The Woods by Harlan Coben

The Boy From the Woods

Title: The Boy From The Woods

Genre: Thriller

Author: Harlan Coben

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Grand Central Pub., March 2020

Pages: 385

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Thirty years ago, Wilde was found as a boy living feral in the woods, with no memory of his past. Now an adult, he still doesn’t know where he comes from, and another child has gone missing.

No one seems to take Naomi Pine’s disappearance seriously, not even her father-with one exception. Hester Crimstein, a television criminal attorney, knows through her grandson that Naomi was relentlessly bullied at school. Hester asks Wilde-with whom she shares a tragic connection-to use his unique skills to help find Naomi.

Wilde can’t ignore an outcast in trouble, but in order to find Naomi he must venture back into the community where he has never fit in, a place where the powerful are protected even when they harbor secrets that could destroy the lives of millions . . . secrets that Wilde must uncover before it’s too late.

**
Another up-all-night read! I look forward to every Harlan Coben book and he does not disappoint. This book is full of twists and turns, surprises and me saying “I didn’t see that coming.”. This feels like the start of a series because we are left wondering about “the boy” and his past. Wilde is the perfect mysterious hero. Hester is a force to be reckoned with. I hope to see them in another book . I gave it only 4-stars because there were a couple of too convenient issues which I won’t elaborate; so no spoilers. This would make a fun Netflix series.

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Recent Release- In Bed With The Earl by Christi Caldwell

In bed with the Earl

Title: In Bed With The Earl (Lost Lords of London, book #1)

Genre: Historical Romance/ Regency

Author: Christi Caldwell

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Montlake, March 2020

Pages: 383

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

To solve a mystery that’s become the talk of the ton, no clues run too deep for willful reporter Verity Lovelace. Not even in the sewers of London. That’s precisely where she finds happily self-sufficient scavenger Malcolm North, lost heir to the Earl of Maxwell. Now that Verity’s made him front-page news, what will he make of her?
Kidnapped as a child, with no memories of his well-heeled past, Malcom prefers the grimy spoils of the culverts to the gilded riches of society. Damn the feisty beauty who exposed the contented tosher to a parade of fortune-hunting matchmakers. How to keep them at bay? Verity must pretend to be his wife. She owes him.
The intimacy of this necessary arrangement—Verity and Malcom thrust together in close quarters—soon sparks an irresistible heat. But when the charade ends, the danger begins. Will love be enough to protect them from a treacherous plot devised to ruin them?

**
Christi Caldwell never gives us a “bad” book. This enemies to lovers trope doesn’t disappoint. Although Ms. Caldwell has done the seedy side of London in past books, this time we really find the deep dark and very dirty sewers of London and the criminals that inhabit them for profit and power.

Verity is not a typical woman of her time. She is desperately trying to become a news reporter and meeting all kinds of male imposed obstacles. But she needs the job to support her teen sister and her childhood nursemaid. Finding the Lost Heir would be her door to a job at the newspaper.

Malcolm has no memory of his early childhood when he was kidnapped. He has fought his way to become the king of the sewers attaining a fortune in the process. He has no desire to enter polite society as the Earl, but it is being forced upon him. He doesn’t want to be found by any reporter including Verity.

I enjoyed the way the author brings to life the grittier side of London in the Regency time period. As usual with Ms. Caldwell we get superbly nuanced characters that leap off the page. Although not one of my favorites of this author it certainly was a unique, entertaining read.

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Happy St. Paddy’s Day

st-patricks-day-cartoon

Hey, I know this cartoon is old news but it never gets old for me.  Enjoy your corned beef and cabbage. Mine is simmering away on the stove.

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Limited Time DEAL- Mimi Matthews’ The Matrimonial Advertisement

The Matrimonial Advertisement

ON AMAZON: This e-book is on sale for $.99 and if you purchase it you can add the wonderful audio book for $1.99.  So for a pay-out of $2.98 you will have a terrific audio and a terrific e-book.  Such a deal!!

THE MATRIMONIAL ADVERTISEMENT is the first book in the PARISH ORPHANS OF DEVON series by Mimi Matthews.  The audio book is narrated by the talented Justine Eyre.  When I read and reviewed this book I gave it  4.5-stars.  Mimi Matthews is an auto buy author for me.  Everything she writes is filled with Victorian sensibility true to the time period, is superbly constructed and is splendly entertaining.

If you would like to see all 4 of my Orphans of Devon reviews please go to the left column on my blog site and type in “Mimi Matthews” in the search box.

NOTE: If you have a Audible Escape account this audio is included for free.

 

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Review- Elevation by Stephen King

Elevation

Title: Elevation

Genre: General Fiction/Fantasy

Author: Stephen King

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: Scribner

Pages: 161

Rating: 4

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 4

Description from Amazon:

Although Scott Carey doesn’t look any different, he’s been steadily losing weight. There are a couple of other odd things, too. He weighs the same in his clothes and out of them, no matter how heavy they are. Scott doesn’t want to be poked and prodded. He mostly just wants someone else to know, and he trusts Doctor Bob Ellis.

In the small town of Castle Rock, the setting of many of King’s most iconic stories, Scott is engaged in a low grade—but escalating—battle with the lesbians next door whose dog regularly drops his business on Scott’s lawn. One of the women is friendly; the other, cold as ice. Both are trying to launch a new restaurant, but the people of Castle Rock want no part of a gay married couple, and the place is in trouble. When Scott finally understands the prejudices they face—including his own—he tries to help. Unlikely alliances, the annual foot race, and the mystery of Scott’s affliction bring out the best in people who have indulged the worst in themselves and others.

**
I got this book because I love Stephen King but not all his horror/thriller writings. After reading his semi-memoir, ON WRITING, I was a converted King groupy.. I want you to know up front that this is a novella, only 161 pages and I tossed it off in a casual 3 hours.

Scott Carey is lightening up weight-wise at a rapid pace and he begins to understand that this is a phenomenon that he can’t stop or control. He tries to make friends with the Lesbian neighbors but Deidre has a gigantic chip on her shoulder and Missy is open to friendship but rather demure. Scott participates in a 12k race with Deidre and he manages to make a break through in their relationship. Doc Ellis, a friend, is also part of Scott’s support.

This is a book about prejudice and overcoming that. It is also a fantasy. It is heartwarming and sad.

 

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Recent Release Review- Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie

Been there married that

Title: Been There Married That

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Author: Gigi Levangie

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, Feb. 2020

Pages: 336

Rating: 2

Sexy Rating: 0

Violence Rating: 0

Description from Amazon:

In a world where therapist look like the Real Housewives of Equinox, where friends dispense Xanax like Pez, and where a woman’s status is directly linked to the how few carbs she eats…can one Hollywood wife take back her life?
Agnes Murphy Nash is in big trouble. When she returns home one evening only to find the locks changed on the gates of their mansion, the security guard breaks the news: her famous producer husband has filed for divorce. And he’s not going to play fair. Trevor Nash wants custody of their tween daughter, Pep, but only for the sake of appearances. And Agnes can’t let him win. With the help of her ex-con sister, a Hollywood psychic, a ballsy female lawyer, and a host of friends and “frenemies,” Agnes realizes that when he changes the locks, she needs to change the rules. But a crisis can lead to opportunity, and for Agnes, this gigantic betrayal brings her to a crossroads that will have her asking herself what she really wants out of life, who she really wants to be, and which man she really loves.

**
I read this book cover to cover thinking that “it must be me”. I must not be reading correctly or I wouldn’t always be so confused. Then it occurred to me that it was this book that was giving me grief. It was supposed to be humorous but it was try-too-hard humor, which means it was not funny. Often one scene would morph into the next scene with no discernible break between the two.

The heroine, Agnes, was often her own worst enemy, going off to rehab for a day for no reason. Allowing strange construction workers into her mansion when she had no idea what they were doing (spoiler: they were up to no good). Allowing prospective mansion-buyers to live in her house for a weekend and steal her piano and Tiffany clock. There was much more ridiculous stuff.

Trevor, the self indulgent, narcissistic husband, was so unlikable as to be irritating. How did she live with this man for 12 years?

Side characters like her ex-con sister, Fin, and the three Latino nannies were just filler, although often more interesting than the protagonists.

No, I can’t recommend this book, if I did I would be insulting your intelligence.

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Recent Release- Wild, Wild Rake by Janna MacGregor

Wild Wild Rake

Title: Wild, Wild Rake (The Cavensham Heiresses, book #6)

Genre: Historical Romance

Author: Janna MacGregor

Source: Free for review from the publisher

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks, Feb. 2020

Pages: 361

Rating: 5

Sexy Rating: 5

Violence Rating: 5

Description from Amazon:

Her first marriage was an epic fail.
Lady Avalon Warwyk never did love her husband. Arrogant, selfish, and cruel, it’s a blessing when she’s widowed and left to raise her son all by herself. Finally, Avalon can live freely and do the work she loves: helping fallen women become businesswomen. She’s lived these past ten years with no desire to remarry—that is, until Mr. Devan Farris comes to town.
Can he convince her to take another chance at happily ever after?
Devan Farris—charming vicar, reputed rake, and the brother of Avalon’s son’s guardian—is reluctantly sent to town to keep tabs on Avalon and her son. Devan wishes he didn’t have to meddle in her affairs; he’s not one to trod on a woman’s independent nature and keen sense of convictions. But she’ll have nothing to do with a vicar with a wild reputation—even though he’s never given his heart and body to another. If only he could find a way to show Avalon who he really is on the inside—a good, true soul looking for its other half. But how can prove that he wants to love and care for her. . .until death do they part?
**
This is definitely a 5-star read. There is history of abuse for Avalon which makes us feel deeply for her struggle and success. Devan has a wicked reputation for a Vicar but he is kindhearted and not at all as rakish as he is believed. Thane, Avalon’s son, is very astute and tries to force Avalon and Devan together. I could not put this book down, although life got in my way and I found myself rushing to get back to reading it. I highly recommend this book and the series.

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