Monday, 31 October 2011

Review: Meg's Melody by Kaylee Baldwin

Meg's Melody by Kaylee Baldwin

Publisher: Cedar Fort 
Pages: 256
Format: Kindle

She paced the small confines of her bathroom as she waited the obligatory two minutes for the result. Yet, part of her sensed the truth. Not only did Austin take her self-esteem and plans for happiness, but he also took her get-out-of-this-marriage-free card.

The plus sign glared at Meg from the white plastic frame of the pregnancy test. The test fell from her hands and clattered into the bathtub as Meg’s back slid against the wall until she reached the floor.

“I’m pregnant,” she said into the quiet.

Meg never imagined she'd end up like this. With nowhere else to turn, she's forced to rely on the family she pushed away, the church she abandoned, and an unexpected friendship to help her find her forgotten melody. Meanwhile Matt is still mourning the loss of his wife. But determined to keep things together for his daughter's sake, he decides starting over in a new place might be just what his family needs.

I thought this sounded really good, but I was worried it would be too heavy for me.  Maybe too dramatic or something. It wasn't.  I loved it!  It was all believable and actually quite beautiful.  It was predictable, in a good way.  I wanted it to happen.  I was willing it too.  And it did.  I enjoyed the characters.  Even with their pain and situations, I could tell what kind of people they were and I knew I wanted to get to know them better.  I wanted to see good things happen for Meg and Matt. They deserved it.  I felt like a part of their story. 

I loved it you guys.  I really did.  I kind of wouldn't mind reading it again one more time before I move on to another book.  It just spoke to me.

"You can't mock the chef in her own kitchen.  You're just lucky that I'm a nice girl, and you're on your way to work, or else you'd get the opportunity to taste a pre-cooked pancake, as it's dripping from your hair to your mouth." Meg smiled sweetly as she walk toward him with the bowl in her hands. 

Friday, 28 October 2011

Review: The List by Melanie Jacobson

The List by Melanie Jacobson

Publisher: Deseret Book
Pages: 289
Format: Kindle

Ashley Barrett doesn’t want to get married. At least, not anytime soon. She doesn’t care how many of her friends and family members and fellow churchgoers had weddings before they finished college — the last thing she needs in her fun-loving twenties is the dead-weight of some guy. And that’s why she created The List. By the time she completes all twenty-five goals — from learning a language to skydiving to perfecting the art of making sushi — she’ll be more ready to settle down. Maybe.

This summer in California is a prime time for Ashley to cross two items off the list: learn to surf (#13) and have a summer romance (#17). And Matt Gibson, the best surf instructor in Huntington Beach and the most wanted guy in the singles ward, is the perfect man for the job. Ashley hatches a plan to love him and leave him before heading off to grad school in the fall (#4, get a master’s degree). But when Matt decides he doesn’t like the “leaving” part, Ashley’s carefully laid plans are turned sideways. Now Ashley faces an unexpected dilemma: should she stick to the safety of The List, or risk everything for a love that may tie her down — or might set her free?

This book was really enjoyable.  I got caught up in the California summer. I used to live in California and I totally miss it.  Now I really want to learn to surf!

I think Ashley is a smart girl.  She has made a list of things she wants to do before getting married.  Not such a bad idea in my mind.  I actually talked to my husband about this book when I was finished and we started making a joint bucket list.  I think it's a great idea!

Ashley has a fear of marriage though. This LIST is keeping her from forming relationships and looking toward the future.  It is more of an excuse.  Until she meets Matt that is.  He is so much more than she thought, and she is falling hard and fast (whether she wants to admit it or not).  Matt, though he doesn't know about the list is helping her fulfill the rest of the items on her LIST. What happens when she is done?

I'm kind of in love with Matt.  He is that summer fling hot surfer boy that I'd always dreamed about in high school.  He is the real deal though!  I absolutely love this book.  I actually want to read it again.  You have to let me know if you read it!


I needed the sensei of surf, the Obi-wan Kenobi of boards, the . . .oh, whatever. I needed Matt Gibson.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Review: The Widower's Wife by Prudence Bice

Title: The Widower's Wife
Author: Prudence Bice
Publisher: Cedar Fort Books
Pages: 200
Format: Kindle

When Jillian Grey answers Dalton McCullough s newspaper advertisement requesting a mail-order bride to take care of his three young children, they both agree that their marriage is one of convenience and nothing more. But when they realize their growing attraction for each other, they must decide if giving in to their feelings is worth the risk of upsetting their new family s delicate balance. This engaging debut from Prudence Bice is a wholesome love story that satisfies and uplifts while reaffirming your faith in the human spirit.

I read another book by this author the other day, The Kissing Tree, and loved it so much I sought out if she had written anything else. The Widower's Wife is what I found.  I was just as good, if not better!  This time period has always fascinated me.  The Wild West.  What must it have been like for women in those days?  The hardships they had to bare and what was life like? 

I was immediately drawn to Jillian and I fell head over heels for Dalton during his first scene.  All that was within the mere beginning pages of this book.  I knew I was going to love it.  I had the clearest picture of Dalton.  His strong arms and thick chest.  Handsome and young.  Yum!  What would it be like to be married to such a man as his mail ordered bride?!  I can think of a few things....

Anyway, this was a great story.  Finding love through loss.  I felt for the children and I was rooting for Jillian and Dalton to finally voice their love to one another.  I wasn't sure if they ever would!

If you like historical books, then this is for you.  It's got a western feel to it as well as a bit of adventure!  I loved it! I will be dreaming of Dalton tonight.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Review: The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Title: The Iron Knight
Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen (October 25, 2011)
Pages: 304

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.

Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.

With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.

To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.

And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

Amazing! I love this series. I do. It is jam packed with faeries, romance, action, friendship, honesty, and heartbreak.  I love that this book is told through Ash's point of view.  We finally get a glimpse into his thoughts.  I'll admit though that I missed Meghan as the narrator.  I was used to her, and I also was wondering the WHOLE time what she was up to.  I wish there had been a little bit of her thoughts thrown in there. 

If you haven't picked up this series, you should.  If you are into faeries or anything paranormal then this is for you.  I'm in love with Ash and I am really going to miss him. Such a fitting end for a wonderful series!

"I will be with her again, or I will die. There aren’t any other options"

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

Title: Midnight in Austenland
Author: Shannon Hale
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 288
Format: Kindle
Publication Date: February 6, 2012

A special Thank you to Bloomsbury and NetGalley for sending me this book to review.

When Charlotte Kinder treats herself to a two-week vacation at Austenland, she happily leaves behind her ex-husband and his delightful new wife, her ever-grateful children, and all the rest of her real life in America. She dons a bonnet and stays at a country manor house that provides an immersive Austen experience, complete with gentleman actors who cater to the guests' Austen fantasies.

Everyone at Pembrook Park is playing a role, but increasingly, Charlotte isn't sure where roles end and reality begins. And as the parlor games turn a little bit menacing, she finds she needs more than a good corset to keep herself safe. Is the brooding Mr. Mallery as sinister as he seems? What is Miss Gardenside's mysterious ailment? Was that an actual dead body in the secret attic room? And-perhaps of the most lasting importance-could the stirrings in Charlotte's heart be a sign of real-life love?

How does she do it? How does author Shannon Hale evoke so much emotion from me?  How does she make me feel like I have butterflies flying all through my body?  I got that feeling when you're just about to be kissed for the first time, you remember don't you?  I LOVE that feeling!

This book is hilarious.  It really is.  I was laughing out loud and my husband kept looking over at me wondering why I was laughing to myself.  It oozes sarcasm and those inner thoughts we're always having that we never voice, but we totally think those crazy things. You know what I'm talking about. I know you do.

This book is why I love reading.  As far fetched as a two week Austenland vacation seems, I can actually go there!  I can curl up with my book, anytime I want, and take my vacation to Austenland.  Thank you Shannon Hale.  Thank you for letting me get all dressed up and live a Regency romance in Austenland.  Anytime I want.

If you've not read the first book in this series you should! Austenland by Shannon Hale is just as amazing!  Don't feel like you have to read it before Mindight in Austenland though, they are about different people, same place.  It's a companion novel.  Enjoy! Let me know what you think!

"You don't have to entertain him," he whispered back.  "It is his job to entertain you."

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Review: Not My Type by Melanie Jacobson

Title: Not My Type
Author: Melanie Jacobson
Publisher: Deseret Book
Format: Kindle

Twenty-three-year-old Pepper Spicer is not living the dream. She ended her engagement at the last minute because her fiancĂ©—a musician and soon-to-be reality TV star—wanted her to sacrifice her own career ambitions for his. Now she’s stuck at home sharing a room with her little sister, trying to pay off massive debt for a wedding that didn’t happen, and spending Friday nights Facebook-stalking everyone who has a better life. Her therapist father urges her to choose her career dreams and count her blessings by writing weekly thank-you notes, but gratitude is a tall order when she botches an important job interview and has to settle for writing an undercover dating web-zine column—the last thing in the world she wants to do. Still, as Pepper (byline: Indie Girl) chronicles her bizarre and hilarious blind dates, she gives her father’s challenge a try and slowly finds herself leaving self-pity behind. Life takes a major upswing as Pepper’s column hits the big time and she tastes the exhilarating thrill of success. But there’s one tiny problem: the intensely hot man she’s falling for is having issues with her job (again). Will Pepper trade her personal ambition for another chance at love?

I thought this book sounded so me. If you know me, then you know that I have quite the dating stories.  My boss use to say I should write a column called No Sex in the City.  I just knew this book was for me.  I got into this book pretty fast.  It felt very real.  The dating stories were hilarious and I could relate.  I'm sure we all have crazy dating stories!

Can I just say that I love her name, Pepper Spicer?  It is so cool!  I wish I had a cool name like that. I felt like Pepper was like me (when I was single).  Feeling down on my luck in everything, not just love.  Trying to figure out what I wanted to be when I grew up and just feeling stagnant in life.  But, Pepper's father helps her figure things out.  He gave her challenges to help her be thankful for the blessings she has and he helps her stretch and grow as a person.  It makes ME want to do the challenges. 

I think all the best love stories come from friendships and this is no different.  Pepper almost doesn't see it coming.  She is trying not to get caught up in a romance.  She's been badly burned and doesn't want to be in a relationship that would make her give up on her dreams.  She has a lot to think about. 

I loved this book.  Plus, the cover is so cute!  I'm also a little bit n love with Tanner.  Great story!  I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.

"Proposals. You can't be too careful when you're a prize like me."

Review: The Kissing Tree by Prudence Bice

Title: The Kissing Tree
Author: Prudence Bice
Publisher: Cedar Fort Books
Format: Kindle

A special Thank you to NetGalley and Cedar Fort Books for sending me this book to review. 

“Ridge! It’s really you!”  Her eyes were drawn to his mouth, and she remembered the last time she had seen him five years ago…Now here he was rescuing her from a most humiliating circumstance, and all she could think about was that kiss.
Five years ago Georgiana stole a kiss from Ridge Carson under the community “kissing tree” the day before she moved away. Now eighteen, she finally returns to Colorado to live with her grandfather and help him with the cooking and cleaning on his ranch. Though she was taught how to be a proper young lady and flourish in New York’s high society, her heart never stopped yearning for home—or her childhood crush.
But when she unexpectedly finds herself facing the grown-up Ridge, with his Wild West ways, all her proper training begins to unravel. Now she isn’t sure she can fall for his improper cowboy style. 

What can I say?  I loved this book.  I really did.  Every single thing about it.  It just spoke to me.  I'm all about a little bit of period drama, and this was just enough.  I fell for the characters and their charm.  Such a simple story with a love that left me dreaming.  

I loved this so much I immediately went to find if author Prudence Bice had written an other novels.  She has!  I ordered The Widower's Wife immediately on my kindle and I can't wait to get into it.  

If you're looking for a little bit or romance then this is your book.  I'm in love! 

"There you have it, Ridge Carson." She beamed down at him, proud she hadn't lost her nerve.  "I've stolen a kiss and you can never have it back!"

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Review: Fall For Me by Melanie Marks

Title: Fall For Me
Author: Melanie Marks
Publisher: Thunderstruck Publishing
Pages: Novella (17,000 words)
Format: Kindle

When Zoey’s long-time boyfriend, Finn, cheats on her—kissing a girl he “just can’t resist”—he gives Zoey a “Free Pass,” telling her she can kiss any guy she wants. Finn is so cocky and sure of their relationship that the arrangement seems perfect. He’s not worried Zoey will fall for another guy, and he’s itching to get rid of his feelings of guilt.

But the thing is, Zoey knows exactly who she wants to kiss—longs to kiss— Finn’s best friend, Riley. But, she wants the kiss too much. She knows that. So, she resists the “Free Pass.” Still, she’s pushed into it when Finn loses a bet to Riley, and Riley wants his payment—a kiss from Zoey.

This was a cute novella.  I enjoy novella's because they are short and sweet and you can finish them very quickly.  But, I don't like them because I always want more.  More from the characters, the story, just everything.  I liked it a lot, but the ending made me really want to read more.  I don't want to leave it up to my imagination.  I want to know what happened!

If you're in the mood for something cute, then this will be just your thing.  I was rooting for Riley and Zoey the whole time!  I think I'd like to get to know Riley better. ;)

"It's so hot int he kitchen. I'm dying."
Riley flinched his jaw, gazing from my sweaty tank top, back to my legs, then up to my eyes. "Do you really want to play this card?"
My stomach dropped. "What card?"

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Review: The Next Door Boys by Jolene Perry

Title: The Next Door Boys
Author: Jolene Perry
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Format: Kindle

A special Thank you to NetGalley and Cedar Fort for sending me this book to review.

With her body still recovering from last year's cancer treatments, Leigh Tressman is determined to be independent. Despite the interference from her overprotective brother, the ever-expanding line of young men ready to fall in love with her--not to mention the physical frustrations and spiritual dilemmas Leigh discovers what it actually means to stand on her own and learns that love can be found in unexpected but comfortable places.

When I started reading this book I didn't know it was a Latter-day Saint novel. I had no clue.  To my surprise, it was really very good. 

The characters have depth.  I love learning the details of people. Why they are the way they are. What makes them tick? I wasn't lacking for any information on my favorite characters Leigh and Brian.  The characters are very well developed and the dialogue flows.  Like a normal conversation would, or even your normal thought process.  It "feels" right.  Not forced in any way.

The plot line kept me going, and there were plenty of twists and turns to keep me interested but also keeping very close to home.  This is about the characters though, not necessarily the plot line.  Both meshed well and I enjoyed this so much I am sure hoping that author Jolene Perry will write a sequel.  I'm just dying for more of this story!

Very good book. I loved it in fact!  If you're willing to give a Christian Latter-day Saint book a try then I'd say go for it!  It was really very good! I loved it!

"When I realized I had no control....that was when everything changed.  There are a lot of things I have control over, but there are a lot more things I have no control over.  When you're no longer afraid of death, there are a lot of things you're not afraid of anymore."

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Review: Marshmallow Skye by Cathy Cassidy

Title: The Chocolate Box Girls: Marshmallow Skye
Author: Cathy Cassidy
Publisher: Puffin Books
Pages: 278
Format: Hardback
Reading Level: 9+
Series: The Chocolate Box Girls: Cherry Crush 

A special Thank you to Puffin Books for sending me this book to review!

SKYE and SUMMER TANBERRY are identical twins, and SKYE loves her sister Summer more than anyone else in the world. They do everything together, but lately Skye’s been feeling like second-best – it’s the story of her life. And when her friend Alfie confesses he’s fallen not for her, but for Summer, it hurts.

Skye wants to be her own person, but with an effortlessly cool twin, how can she? Will Skye ever step out of Summer’s shadow and find her own chance to shine?

This is seriously such a cute book!  The cover alone is gorgeous!  How could you not want to read this book?! This is the 2nd installment in the series, and it is just as good (if not better) than Cherry Crush! Marshmallow Skye has a spooky feel to it too, which is perfect so close to Halloween.

Skye is an identical twin and is really searching out who she is apart from her sister. She hears a spooky ghost story on Halloween night and then her mother find a trunk full of old things belonging to the girl in the ghost story. Spooked yet?! Skye starts having dreams and everything goes out of control.

I love the Tanberry Bed and Breakfast and I love love love that old Gypsy Caravan! I want one! Now! Not to mention all of Paddy's homemade chocolates.  I could actually smell marshmallow in the air.  Taste that sweet stick fluffy treat on my tongue.  The descriptions are great.  I need s'mores. Now.

This series has much more to tell. There are 3 more sisters stories, and I wish I had the books now!  This will make a perfect book for a niece or daughter just around this Halloween season!  I loved it!

"I don't believe in ghosts," Summer says firmly.  " I'm not crazy! But, I'm telling you, there is something weird about all this stuff.  It makes me uneasy."

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Top Ten Books Whose Covers/Titles Made Me Buy the Book!

I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish. I'm not a meme kind of a person, but I think this one is fun. So here it goes, my Top Ten Books Whose Covers or Titles Made Me Buy the Book!

  1. Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr- This whole series has the most beautiful covers I've ever seen! Aren't they gorgeous?!  They represent a faerie world! 
  2. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain- Gorgeous silky white legs wrapped in chiffon, say no more! This book is about werewolves! 
  3. Faery Rebels: Spell Hunters by RJ Anderson- Isn't she gorgeous?  I could see her staring at me.  This book called to me.  It was great!  It's about faeries, if you couldn't tell.
  4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins- Isn't it cute? I saw the cover and needed to know what this book was about.  It is probably one of the best books I've read.  I just love it! 
  5. Eve by Anna Carey-  It's the red hair.  Doesn't it look intriguing?  I wondered what she was looking at.  Even the font of her name intrigued me.  I enjoyed this dystopian, it comes out in November.
  6. Fallen by Lauren Kate- It's the dress.  I mean come on!  Isn't it gorgeous?  Wouldn't you have wanted to wear that to your High School Prom?  This book looked dark and mysterious to me.  It's about Fallen Angels!
  7. The 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison- How whimsical is this?! All the books in the series are this way.  It's about faeries!  I'm sensing a pattern.  Faerie books have the best covers!
  8. These is My Words by Nancy Turner- Again!  The title intrigued me.  What was up with the incorrect grammar?  There had to be something to it.  Oh, and there is! 
  9. Wings by Aprilynne Pike- This book just called to me in the book store.  I was walking around and I just gravitated towards it. Then I found it buried in a stack of books.  It had just come out a few days before.  I read it twice on my flight to America. I loved it! It's about faeries! Go figure?!
  10. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull- What a great fantasy series! One of my favorites! Each of the books are colorful and have something fantastic about it.  I recommend this to everybody!  It is written for middle grade, but I'm telling you, this is for everyone!
What book covers or titles made you buy them on the spot?

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Review: The Guardian by Anita Stansfield

Title: Gables of Legacy: The Guardian
Author: Anita Stansfield
Publisher: Deseret Books
Pages: 324
Format: Kindle
Series: The Gable Faces East, Gables Against the Sky, The Three Gifts of Christmas, First Love and Forever, First Love Second Chances, Now and Forever, By Love and Grace, Home for Christmas, and then THE GABLES OF LEGACY series (6 books)

Over the past few years, Tamra Banks, a confused, new convert from a troubled family has blossomed into a faithful Church member. Friends, family history, a mission in the Philippines, and the sacrifice of all she knows bring about this change. But stability in life does not mean stability in love. And now, Tamra is faced with her greatest challenge.

Tamra moves into the home of Michael and Emily Hamilton, a couple from Australia she met during her mission. The Hamilton's son, Jess--burdened by the guilt of being involved in an accident that killed his brother and sister-in-law--believes that life is no longer worth living. And though Tamra at first finds Jess brooding and harsh, she cannot deny her attraction to him, because she sees who he once was, and who he could become. Living in his ancestral home, sharing the stories of his family's history, Tamra begins to connect with Jess, and a cautious love develops between the two. Jess's depression runs deep, however, and the day is fast approaching when he may choose isolation over marriage, and a permanent end to his pain.

If you can't tell from the list above, this series is HUGE. Epic really. Each book is neatly tied up though. The books just gather momentum to create the whole family saga.  You'll meet the whole family from the late 1800's to current times! Which I love!!!

I read this book almost a decade ago, and I still LOVE it.  I was craving it and it gave me everything I'd hoped for.  This family saga is amazing. Seriously. So full of drama, romance, Australian men, horses, and heartbreak.  What's not to love?!

If you haven't read this family saga, which I'm pretty sure you haven't, you should! It is going to cost me a fortune to get this whole series on my Kindle. My paperbacks are back in the states. I'll have to see if my family will mail them out to me. I'm dying to read them all!! I forgot how much I loved them!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Review: Gables Against the Sky by Anita Stansfield

Title: Gables Against the Sky
Author: Anita Stansfield
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Pages: 567
Format: Kindle
Series: The Gable Faces East 

It has been nearly two decades since Alexa Byrnehouse and Jess Davies married and started a family, and their twins, Emma and Tyson, have now grown to young adulthood. The Byrnehouse-Davies family is one of the richest in Australia, known for its exceptional handling of horses and abandoned boys. Boys like Michael Hamilton, who seems born for trouble. Still, he holds a special place in Alexa’s heart-and he loves Emma helplessly, hopelessly from a distance as he works in the stables. Will their two worlds, now so far apart, ever come together?

In prose as vivid as the blue Australian sky, author Anita Stansfield expertly fashions a powerful saga of passion, betrayal, forgiveness, and ultimate redemption. In the end, when lives and virtue are threatened, true love and commitment are put into perfect perspective-and a happy ending is guaranteed!

This is everything I hoped it would be and more. I thoroughly love a good romance novel and a period drama is even better. You know how those historical romance novels are usually pretty cheesy? Well, this one isn't! I'm not sure I would even put it in the same class as a regular historical romance.  This is way out of their league! It is totally believable and you fall for the characters immediately. The setting is very desirable. Australian outback, gorgeous rich family, horse racing, and even a home for wayward boys!

Emma is my favorite character. She is so strong and smart. Very down to earth.  I wasn't so fond of Lacey though. I knew she was going through a lot, but  after all she had been given she shouldn't have been acting like that. She really needed to get over it sooner than she did.  I fell in love with Michael and Tyson.  I wanted more Tyson actually. 

The plot just kept moving.  There was always something new happening and I just fell in love with the surroundings.  Author Anita Stansfield writes as if you ARE part of the family.  I know them so well.  I know where my room is, and where my horse stays, and what we'll be having for dinner. I felt a part of their life.  She is a master writer!

I'm hooked!  Thank goodness there are more books in the Byrnehouse-Davies & Hamilton Saga! I'm in love!  If you are looking for a clean, historical romance then this is for you.  

"Where's she gonna ride?"
"With me of course, " Michael stated, hardening his gaze on Emma. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Review: The Gable Faces East by Anita Stansfield

Title: The Gable Faces East
Author: Anita Stansfield
Publisher: Covenant Communications
Pages: 499
Format: Kindle

A Sweeping Historical Drama of Love, Hate, Revenge, and Destiny.

When Jess Davies and Alexandra Byrnehouse meet, they unwittingly take on decades of mistrust, deception, and deep betrayals of the heart. Together they are confronted with arson and murder as they discover unbelievable secrets that first bind them to each other, then tear them apart. If they are to survive, they must learn that passions cannot be chosen-and only the most perfect love can heal the deepest scars.

Oh my goodness, this book was amazing! I'd read the subsequent books about 8 yrs ago, but I hadn't read this prequel yet. It was everything I was hoping for. Australian men in the outback on a horse ranch?! Say no more! I've always been intrigued by Australia and I love a good romance.

This book is so full of drama, mystery, hurt, and an undying love. I was gripped at every page.  I wanted more and the author gave it to me. I love period drama's and this delivered on so many levels. The characters are very well developed. It is like you know them on every level possible. They are so well rounded. I've also fallen in love with Jess. He is a man among men! Swoon!

I always think proper romance novels are too short, this series proves to be THE best I've ever read! You MUST read it!

"You can't possibly train a horse in skirts," he stated with a demeaning tone, as if it fully represented a problem."
"I don't intend to," she retorted, and again his left eyebrow went up. "f you had any sense, Mr. Davies, you would concentrate more on my abilities than my apparel."

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books That Left My Mouth Hanging Open!

I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday at The Broke and the Bookish. I'm not a meme kind of a person, but I think this one is fun. So here it goes, my Top Ten Books That Left My Mouth Hanging Open. 

  1. The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins- The cliffhangers in these 2 books are unreal! I was going crazy needing to know what was happening next! Best series EVER!
  2. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins- I did NOT like the ending of this series. I'm sorry to say it, but I didn't. I just didn't. I tried not to throw the book across the room through the whole thing.  The ending was trite in my opinion, and I had invested 3 yrs into this series and this book made it seem like I didn't know the characters at all. Hated it.
  3. These is My Words by Nancy Turner- I'm going to keep adding this to my top 10 list until you read it! When I turned the last page I was crying so hard that I had to call my sister. I just wept on the phone with her. Best book ever! You need to read it!
  4. Godmother:The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon- The ending of this book made me shocked.  I had to keep asking, "did that just really happen?" What kind of ending is that?!?!" I was furious. Shouldn't have been that way. At all. What a waste. 
  5. Illusions by Aprilynne Pike- What a cliffhanger! This is the 3rd installment in this faerie series and I love it!  The ending made me want to crawl into the book and hope to find the rest of this story.  I'm dying to know what happens. Plus I'm a huge Tamani fan.  
  6. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne- The ending of this book left me in shock.  I actually couldn't speak.  My hand was over my mouth and I gasped but no words would come.  Not for hours after I finished.  Such a powerful book. Deserves a place by The Diary of Anne Frank.
  7. City of Bones  by Cassandra Clare- If you haven't read this series then you must be living under a rock! When I finished this book it was about 2am and I was in bed.  I couldn't wait to start the next book so I went into the Kindle Store and boom, had the next book in 60 seconds and started reading it! I was tired the next morning, but I couldn't stop reading! AMAZING!
  8. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger- This book left me in awe.  Really. It is so beautifully written.  I was, of course, crying at the end. An elegy to love and loss. Amazing.
  9. That's all I've got. Maybe I'll think of some more.  
What books left you with a WHAT THE HECK?! at the ending?

Monday, 3 October 2011

Review: It All Started with Autumn Jones by Jack Weyland

Title: It All Started with Autumn Jones
Author: Jack Weyland
Publisher: Deseret Book
Format: Kindle

When Nick Baxter signs up for a class from the infamous Dr. Thomas Penstock, all he wants is the “A” he needs to get into law school. What he isn’t counting on is the outspoken girl in his class: Autumn Jones. When Autumn stands up on the first day of class and openly disagrees with Dr. Penstock, Nick is amazed, but also a little scared for her. Doesn’t she know Penstock is the meanest, most narrow-minded professor on campus? He can’t believe it when he actually convinces himself to stand up with Autumn and defend the beliefs they share.

Nick and Autumn begin studying together, preparing arguments for the discussions in Penstock’s class. Autumn is like no one Nick has ever met, and as they spend more and more time together, he finds himself falling for her. There’s just one major complication: Autumn doesn’t feel the same way. Autumn and Nick make a great team, but she is writing to a missionary and doesn’t want to let go of that relationship.

When Nick is able to help Autumn with a family crisis, he realizes she really is the girl he wants to spend the rest of his life with; but how can he compete with her perfect missionary? Will Autumn ever realize she and Nick could be more than just a good team?

OK, I need to be honest here. I was not impressed with this book. I thought the characters needed developed badly, and their dialogue left much to be desired. Plus, it just wasn't believable. I've had some pretty strong professors in college that debated my beliefs, but this was overboard. No professor I ever came in contact with treated students with such disdain.  Let alone, no student had such a lack of respect for the professor and the other students. 

I did like the plot. I thought it needed to be worked out more, it was just too short. But the story line was good. Maybe that is why I finished it instead of tossing it aside.  It has good bones, I just wanted so much more. But, I think all books should be 500 pages and I enjoy details!

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Review: Lola and The Boy Next Door by Stehanie Perkins

Title: Lola and The Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publisher: Dutton Books
Pages: 384
Format: Kindle

For budding costume designer Lola Nolan, the more outrageous, the outfit - more sparkly, more fun, more wild - the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins move back into the house next door.

When the family returns and Cricket - a gifted inventor and engineer - steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

Brilliant! This is a companion novel to Anna and the French Kiss and you know how obsessed I am with that book! For anybody who has ever felt different, this is the book for you.

Lola is such a fun character. She wears colorful wigs, and a new costume every single day. I'm not a fashion freak by any means, but I couldn't stop wishing that I was an artist or designer and could draw/create these costumes in the flesh. They are fabulous!

I really really like how author Stephanie Perkins makes her love interests  friends first. Not just friends, but best friends.  I think it shows that's how it's suppose to be!  I love Cricket, the boy next door. Even his name is different!  He is that nerdy, smart boy with his own style.  What's not to love?!  He is shy in all the right ways and confident in who he is. That makes him very loveable.

Lola is from such a different background and her personality is so different.  She is just different. I love that about her.  She isn't afraid of being who she is, especially in high school when everyone is trying to fit in.  She was born to stand out!

Lola and the Boy Next Door is full of style, honesty, and first loves.  I'm all about it! It is a beautiful book.  And yes, Anna and St Clair make a few appearances too!!

"What just happened?"
"Your father invited the former love of your life in for pie."
"Yeah, that's what I thought."

"Sometimes a mistake isn't a what. It's a who."
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