Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Review: Love Inc by Collins & Rideout

Love Inc by Yvonne Collins and Sandy Rideout
Publisher: Allison and Busby
Pages: 350
Format: ARC Paperback.

A special Thank you to Allison and Busby for sending me this book to review.

Zahra, Kali, and Syd would never have met if their parents' marriages hadn't fallen apart. But when the three girls collide in group counselling, they discover they have something else in common: they've each been triple-timed by the same nefarious charmer, Eric, aka Rico, aka Rick. Talk about eye-opening therapy. Cheerful, diplomatic Zahra is devastated. How could she have missed the signs? Folksy, flirtatious Kali feels almost as bad. She and Rick had only been on a few dates, but they'd felt so promising. Hardened vintage-vixen Syd is beyond tears. She and Eric had real history...Or so she'd thought. Now all three girls have one mission: to show that cheater the folly of his ways. Project Payback is such a success, the girls soon have clients lining up for their consulting services. Is your boyfriend acting shady? Dying to know if your crush is into you? Need match-making expertise? Look no further than Love, Inc.

Cute contemporary romance!  This is a John Tucker Must Die kind of book. You know?  All the girls are dating the same boy and when they realize it they plan a list of adventures to teach him a lesson.  Down right hilarious in parts! Characters are all so diverse this will appeal to many.

The girls set up their own business to help other girls in their relationship problems. What a novel idea! What is great is that the girls develop a relationship from strangers to best friends. Something good came out of all of it.

I enjoyed it!  I'm enjoying a lot of contemporary right now and this one was fun!

Monday, 28 November 2011

Review: Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly

Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly
Publisher: Cedar Fort
Pages: 410
Format: Kindle

Julia Darling never expected to cook for some cowboys in Wyoming, but when she breaks off her engagement in Salt Lake City, it's the perfect opportunity for her to escape. Determined to stick the job out, Julia faces her biggest challenge yet - letting go of borrowed light to find her own testimony. Set in the early 1900s, this is one romantic adventure you'll never forget!

I love the cover! It really does say what this book is about.  I'm always entranced by this time period.  Even with all the hardships, I think I would have liked to live in this time period. 

Julia Darling (love her name!) runs off to Wyoming to avoid a marriage.  She is cooking for some ranchers.  I love her adventures in the kitchen her first few weeks.  Kind of hilarious! While she cooks, a romance is blooming with the boss.  Love when that happens. 

This is another Latter-day Saint novel. I hate to say it, but if you aren't LDS then you won't know what's going on.  It is stereotypical LDS.  You may or may not like that.  I still enjoyed the story line enough to keep reading. 

I did liked it. There is something about this time period that always draws me in. I felt that the romance was organic and true.  

I liked the characters and wanted more of them. Good thing I don't have to wait! Enduring Light comes out in January 2012! 

"Come if you want Darling," he said over his shoulder.
"It's Miss Darling," she muttered under her breath.
"He calls everyone by their last name, miss," the station agent whispered to her.  He laughed, but softly. 
"In your case, it may be a trial."

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Review: Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez

Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 306
Format: ARC-paperback

A special Thank You to Simon & Schuster for sending me this book to review.

Now is not the time for Carmen to fall in love. And Jeremy is hands-down the wrong guy for her to fall for. He is infuriating, arrogant and the only person who can stand in the way of Carmen getting the one thing she wants most: to win the prestigious Guarneri competition. Carmen's whole life is violin, and until she met Jeremy, her whole focus was winning. But what if Jeremy isn't just hot ... what if Jeremy is better than her? 
Carmen knows that dating Jeremy can't end well, but she just can't stay away. Nobody else understands her - and riles her up - like he does. Still, she can't trust him with her biggest secret: She is so desperate to win she takes anti-anxiety drugs to perform and what started as a quick fix has become a hungry addiction. But now Carmen is sick of not feeling anything on stage and even more sick of always doing what she's told, doing what's expected. 
And, as Carmen starts to open up to Jeremy, she realises that sometimes being on top just means you have a long way to fall....

I've just finished this book.  I don't even think I was planning on getting to it for some time, but I saw some reviews popping up for it and I thought maybe I should move this up on my review pile.  I'm glad I did.  It is beautifully written. It reminded me of when I played the flute.  My senior year of high school and first yr of University I played the professional circuit (basically just getting paid to do gigs, nothing really big).  I had a love of music, still do actually.  I just enjoy it from another point of view now.

I can not even imagine the stress Carmen was under.  No way, no how. I liked Jeremy from the first moment.  There was something about him.  I'm a sucker for forbidden love.  I actually gasped when a certain question was asked from Jeremy to Carmen.  WHAT?! So so so wrong.  HOW could he ask her that? But then Carmen's family is wrong beyond repair!! The drama!!!

There had better be a sequel.  The ending wasn't necessarily a cliffhanger, but I do want more of the story.  I wanted more of Carmen and Jeremy's story. I need more romance!  I enjoyed it.  A bit slow in places, but not in a bad way.  It was slow in a ,"I'm thinking about all these feelings going on," way.  Liked it.

"That's to British," I countered. 
"What is?" 
"Making sweeping generalizations about Americans because that makes you feel better about having a national inferiority complex the size of the Atlantic Ocean. I was just trying to be helpful, but if folding your pizza threatens you sense of patriotism, you probably shouldn't do it." 

Monday, 21 November 2011

Review: Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke

Flying Blind by Deborah Cooke (The Dragon Diaries)
Publisher: Allison and Busby LTD
Pages: 380
Format: ARC-Paperback

A special Thank You to Allison & Busby LTD for sending me this book to review.

I will shift shape and I will cast dreams and I will be everything that I am forecast to be. I am the Wyvern. And I will claim my birthright, right here and now. Zoe Sorensson is a perfectly normal teenage girl. That's the problem. She's always been told she's destined for great things - she is a dragon shape shifter, a Pyr, and the only female one of her kind. But Zoe's powers are AWOL, so she's sent to Pyr boot camp. Zoe quickly realizes that she has to master her powers yesterday, because the Pyr are in danger and boot camp is a trap. The Mages want to eliminate all shifters and the Pyr are next in line -unless Zoe and her friends can work together and save their own kind.

Only one female dragon shifter?! OK! I'm game!  I'm a fantasy fan and it has been awhile since I've read anything good.  I was intrigued with the preface of dragon shape shifters.  If you've never read anything dragon, then you should. They are cool!  

Zoe is a young teenage girl who is suppose to be the Wyvern (only female dragon Pyr) but she hasn't shifted yet.  She doesn't have any powers and everybody is wondering what's going on.  She gets invited to an annual dragon boot camp to possibly help her figure out her powers and finally shift into a dragon already!  I loved that idea, a boot camp to learn how to be a dragon!  Will there be hot boys there? Of course! Hot dragon boys!

I loved it you guys.  I loved all the dragon interaction and I was just dying to know what color dragon Zoe would be when she finally shifted.  Would there be a love interest or not?  I wanted so much more dragon time and I can't wait for the next book. SO much to look forward too!  

Good thing I don't have to wait long. Winging It comes out January 30, 2012! 

"I thought we were finally going to wrestle," Nick looked mischievous.
"You could have shifted back to wrestle."
He grinned, "It's better dragon-style."

Friday, 18 November 2011

Review: Kissing by Melanie Marks

Kissing by Melanie Marks
Publisher: Thunderstruck Publishing
Format: Kindle

Three stories, three girls, three dramas.

The Kiss:
Nicole and Matt have been best friends forever. Sure Nicole has always fantasized about being more than friends, but Matt goes through girlfriends like lightening. So, Nicole figures her heart is safer if they just stay buds. But then—gasp!—one night Matt kisses her. And it’s everything Nicole dreamed it would be—everything—hot, tender, perfect, everything … except now it seems their friendship is ruined. Nicole desperately wants things to go back to the way they were. But The Kiss changed everything. 

The Love Song:
When Irelan’s boyfriend breaks her heart she doesn’t think she’ll ever find love again. She doesn’t even want to. But maybe love is closer than she thinks. Maybe it’s the smokin’ hot guy she’s always longed for, but assumed was out of reach.

Stalking Aiden:
Hmmmmm … is stalking bad? Sara’s starting to think so. Especially when the guy she craves starts calling her “Stalker.”

This is a collection of short stories.  

I enjoyed what was written, but just as I was getting into the story, it ended. I guess that's why they call it a short story!  Just as I was getting into it, it ended! I liked all the characters, and have been finishing their stories in my head.  I'm hoping author Melanie Marks will tell us more about them someday.  If you are looking for a quick read, then this is your book! A collection quick enough to read while you're in the waiting room at the Dr!

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Review: Crossed by Ally Condie

Crossed by Ally Condie
Publisher: Puffin
Pages: 304

A special Thank You to Puffin Books for sending me this book for review. 

Rules are different outside the Society. Chasing down an uncertain future, Cassia makes her way to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky-taken by the Society to his certain death-only to find that he has escaped into the majestic, but treacherous, canyons. On this wild frontier are glimmers of a different life and the enthralling promise of rebellion. But even as Cassia sacrifices everything to reunite with Ky, ingenious surprises from Xander may change the game once again. Narrated from both Cassia's and Ky's points of view, this hotly anticipated sequel to Matched will take them both to the edge of Society, where nothing is as expected and crosses and double crosses make their path more twisted than ever...

I LOVED Matched and was eagerly awaiting Crossed.  There is no doubt that Condie can write. It is a beautiful book, laced with poetry and feeling.  

It was just too slow for my taste. I felt like nothing was really happening. Ok, maybe small bits here and there, but it felt like this was a filler to get us to the goods in the 3rd installment.  I was expecting more from the romance too.  It was just slow.  Really, really slow. I was expecting much more suspense.  I have no doubt that many people will enjoy this book. I'll be tuning in for the finally, I'd like to know what happens with the Rising! 

"Cassia and I sit as near to each other as we can. She leans into me and I keep my arms around her. I don't fool myself that I hold her together- she does that on her own- but holding her keeps me from flying apart." 

Monday, 14 November 2011

Review: Crave by Melissa Darnell

Crave by Melissa Darnell
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 432
Format: Kindle

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

Savannah Colbert has never known why she's so hated by the kids of the Clann. Nor can she deny her instinct to get close to Clann golden boy Tristan Coleman. Especially when she recovers from a strange illness and the attraction becomes nearly irresistible. It's as if he's a magnet, pulling her gaze, her thoughts, even her dreams. Her family has warned her to have nothing to do with him, or any members of the Clann. But when Tristan is suddenly everywhere she goes, Savannah fears she's destined to fail.

For years, Tristan has been forbidden to even speak to Savannah Colbert. Then Savannah disappears from school for a week and comes back…different, and suddenly he can't stay away. Boys seem intoxicated just from looking at her. His own family becomes stricter than ever. And Tristan has to fight his own urge to protect her, to be near her no matter the consequences….

I'm not really sure what to say about this book.  There was so much I liked about it, but there was a lot left to be desired also.

So, I'm going to start with what I liked.  It has been awhile since I've read anything Paranormal.  There are only so many vampires, werewolves, and faeries a girl can handle.  But I thought it was time to get back into it, because I do enjoy the genre.  I thought the preface was a neat idea.  WHAT Savannah actually IS and WHAT it actually does.  But, when I told my mom she totally laughed.  If you think about it, it really is kind of funny where she gets her energy. I liked the interactions between Savannah and Tristan, I wanted MORE though.  I thought the ending was well played, and all though I hate cliffhangers, this one wasn't too bad.  I'm looking forward to the other books in the series.

What I didn't care for:  There was too much fluff.  I felt like all the mundane things of life were there, over and over again.  Just move on already and tell us what was really happening!  All the stuff with Greg.  Did that really need to be told in such detail? The point would have gotten across without all of that.  It took like 60% of the book before anything actually happened.  They could have cut 150 pages and gotten to the point better and it would have been an intense book.

Overall, I did like it.  I read it fairly quickly and the characters were enjoyable.  I'm not wanting to spoil anything, so I won't tell any details.  If you like paranormal then this is your thing! Go for it!

"I understood then why humans have noses. So we can find each other to kiss in the dark." 

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The Kissing Tree Blog Tour

I'm so excited to be a part of The Kissing Tree Blog Tour! I fell in love with this book, and I just know you will too.  Today I've got my review of the book, an interview with author Prudence Bice and an excerpt for you to read.  Enjoy!

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. 
A special Thank You to Cedar Fort Books for sending me this book for review.

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.

Georgiana is a lady, but she knows how to take care of herself and others.  I love this about her.  I love that she is such a good cook and that is she isn't afraid to help out around the ranch. Riley is a man among men, I could picture him in my minds eye.  I'm still picturing him...Yum! 

I loved this so much I immediately went to find if author Prudence Bice had written any other novels.  She has!  I ordered The Widower's Wife immediately on my kindle and WOW did I LOVE it!

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

************************Author Interview**********************

1.  For those who haven't read your books, give them a pitch about what they can expect.

They are clean, feel good love stories that will have you laughing, crying, and hopefully swooning a time or two.  They are filled with love, a dash of adventure, sometimes a pinch of tragedy, and plenty of endearing moments to treasure and share.  

2.  What do you like most about writing in this historical time period?

There is so much to like about this period of our history: the simplicity, the language, and the graceful way of living.  Men were gentlemen and honored a woman's virtue (at least the good guys).  Women were proper ladies, but still has spunk.  They stood up for what they believed and guarded their own with passion.  Though sometimes times were tough, most were willing to carry each other through it. They worked hard, grieved often, but when it came time to party, they sure knew how to have a party. 

3.  What is the best thing about being a published author?  The worst?

I should say the best thing is being able to share my stories with so many people, and that is definitely something that thrills me.  But, I'd have to say the best thing so far is all the wonderful people I've met, young and old.  I'll never forget the first child that timidly walked up to my signing table.  "Are you really an author" she asked.  "I want to be an author someday."  My response, "Just keep reading and writing and one day I'll be on that side of the table and you will be on this side."  After that signing, I went down to Barnes and Noble and bought a little leather bound book.  When ever a child comes up to me, I have them sign and date my book.  "I'll be rich one day, when you make it big and I have your autograph from when you were young" I tell them.  I had a boy come up to me one day when I was doing a second signing in a store and ask to see his autograph to make sure it was still there.  It was.  What a privilege it is to encourage the dreams of children wherever I sign.   In addition, I have met women and men who have touched my life and continue to do so.  I autographed a book for a woman who was dying and a woman who was just beginning to live again.  I even had a ninety year old man purpose to meet me once.  I was undeniably flattered.  What a joy it has been so far.  

The worst thing...the travelling.  Definitely the travelling. 

4.  What are some of your favorite books?

Let's see, this is hard because I am discovering new favorites every day.  I've read a lot of young adult fiction.  One would definitely be Robyn McKinley's, The Blue Sword, then there is Jane Austen's, Pride and Prejudice.  I love the Harry Potter series, and The Hunger Games, and there are many, many more favorites just waiting to be read.  

5.  Can you tell us anything about what you're writing next?

I actually have a third book completed that I have been editing.  It is a mid-evil romance, with some fantasy mixed in.  I may set it aside though.  I am considering upping the fantasy part another notch.   I've decided to turn my attention to a different historical novel I've started.  It is about a young immigrant girl who is separated from her father and is reunited ten years later.  It is ultimately a romance, and the hero is a yummy one, but I can't say more than that without giving too much away. 

******************Excerpt from the Book***********************

Taking a deep breath, Georgiana let it out slowly as she took another glance up and then back down the boardwalk.  She wanted to see everything at once but it was getting late.  It wouldn't be long before all the businesses were closed up for the night, with the exception of the saloon, of course.

"Oh Grandad." She turned back toward him and hugged her arms around her middle.  "It feels so good to be home."

Thrusting her arms out away from her sides Georgiana spun herself around a couple of times in a moment of pure exhilaration, once again ignoring the assiduous and exacting lessons on how a proper young woman was expected to act in the public eye.

On her second time around, she caught a glimpse of a tall man standing in the road watching her.  Startled she had an attending audience, Georgiana lost her balance and stumbled.  She let of a small scream as she felt herself falling backward off the steps.  There was a look of astonishment on her grandfather's face as he tried to grasp hold of her outstretched hand in an attempt to keep her from falling.  Almost instantly the look was replaced by a grin and a bout of hearty laughter as she felt herself being caught from behind by a pair of long, sturdy arms.

"Whoa there missy," she heard a very deep and inherently masculine voice say.  "That there is not a proper place to be dancin' and prancin' about."  Georgiana gasped as she looked up into the unmistakably familiar, yet grown up face of Ridge Carson.  He smiled and continued as if he hadn't a clue who she was.  "Though, if you're needin' a lesson or two, I might be willin' to give it a go with ya, but definitely somewhere..."  He paused, unabashedly winked at her, and pronounced, "More private."

Monday, 7 November 2011

Review: A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies

A Beautiful Dark by Jocelyn Davies 
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 390
Format: Kindle

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

On the night of Skye’s seventeenth birthday, she meets two enigmatic strangers. Complete opposites—like fire and ice—Asher is dark and wild, while Devin is fair and aloof. Their sudden appearance sends Skye’s life into a tailspin. She has no idea what they want, or why they seem to follow her every move—only that their presence coincides with a flurry of strange events. Soon she begins to doubt not just the identity of the two boys, but also the truth about her own past.

In the dead of a bitingly cold Colorado winter, Skye finds herself coming to terms with the impossible secret that threatens to shatter her world. Torn between Asher, who she can’t help falling for, and Devin, who she can’t stay away from, the consequences of Skye’s choice will reach further than the three of them could ever imagine.

I just finished this a few hours ago and I am still thinking about it.  There is so much happeneing that I feel like I need to process it.  I absolutely loved it.  Love love loved it!

Skye has so many layers to her.  I would love to know her and be her friend.  She meets two boys on her seventeeeth birthday and thus starts the love triangle.  Some of you don't care for a love triangle, but I for one LOVE them!  I'm all about the romance and the more boys to choose from the better, I say. She actually has three boys to choose from. Lucky girl!
This story is deep in a secret world that holds Skye's past captive.  I felt completely drawn in by everything that was happeneing and I was trying to guess what was coming next, but nope, I couldn't.  This had me guessing the whole way through. I don't want to say too much, you know I don't like to give anything away.

I was actually shocked with the ending. Then I was sad.  I actually liked this one character and was rooting for him and am shocked by what happened.  This is such a wild ending that I did NOT see coming!

I can not wait for book 2!  I actually want to re-read this immediately to let it sink it a little bit more before I move on to the next book.  Totally great read! Plus, the cover is gorgeous right?!

“This was like something from the nature channel: wolves trying to mark their territory.  Finally Ian picked up the crumpled bill and begrudgingly made change.
Well, I never asked to be marked.”   

Friday, 4 November 2011

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski

The Sweetest Thing by Christina Mandelski
Publisher: Egmont
Pages: 336
Format: Kindle

A special Thank You to Edmont for sending me this book to review.

In the world of Sheridan Wells, life is perfect when she’s decorating a cake. Unfortunately, everything else is a complete mess: her mom ran off years ago, her dad is more interested in his restaurant, and the idea of a boyfriend is laughable.
But Sheridan is convinced finding her mom will solve all her problems—only her dad’s about to get a cooking show in New York, which means her dream of a perfect family will be dashed. 

I seriously need a piece of cake after reading this.  A nice cupcake with buttercream frosting is a must.  This is such a cute book.  Sweet even. The details were amazing, and I could picture every single cake creation with vivid colors in my mind.  The story was cute, sad in times though.  I felt like I needed to give Sheridan a big hug.  Especially since I'm a mom now. My heart broke for her. 

It is a lot deeper than you would ever suspect from the cover and preface.  So much is actually going on!  I was pleasantly surprised!  A decadent read of pure confection! Enjoyable.  Something I'd give a 15 yr old for Christmas actually. Enjoy!!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Author Interview& Giveaway: Melanie Jacobson

I'd like to welcome author Melanie Jacobson 
to The Sweet Bookshelf!  

Books by Melanie

For those who haven't read your books, give us a little pitch on what they can expect. 

My stories are about twenty-something girls on the verge of possibility.  They're living the single life, often determined to avoid commitment, and busy having fun, building careers--until the Hot Guy (with a really cool personality) shows up, and then they suddenly have to re-evaluate their priorities. 

Did you set out to write Latter-day Saint novels?

I started with LDS novels.  I saw a place for stories that weren't being told, stories that were fun and light-hearted with strong, confident girls.  Stories that weren't necessarily issue-driven, where testimonies are firm and there aren't trials of faith.  They're built around this idea that it's fun to be LDS and dating and that being Mormon doesn't have to be super serious and hard all the time.

Have you written a bucket list? If so, what are some items on your list?

Definitely I have a bucket list.  It includes going to an LSU football game in person, visiting Costa Rica and Israel, and running a 5K (I'm so not a runner). 

What is the best part about being a published author? The worst? 

The best part is sharing your stories with people and making new friends as a result.  The worst part is the neuroses, the constant worrying about whether my books will sell well so that I can keep writing.  They've both done really well, but I still worry.  I'm told I'll get over it with time. 

What are some books in your to-be-read pile?  

I read such a broad range of stuff.  I'm about to re-read Peace Like a Riiver by Leif Enger, and then I'd like to read The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater, Obsession by Traci Abrahamson, and The Death Cure by James Dashner. 

You met your husband online.  I met my husband online.  I have a lot of stories!  Were any of the dates in Not My Type your personal dating mishaps? 

Luckily, none of those exact situations happened to me, but I did have some pretty equally ridiculous situations come up during all my online dating experiences.  I think the one that always makes me laugh when I think about it was this guy I went out with who wore cargo pants with legs that could zip off to make shorts.  I have never seen anyone stuff so many things into cargo pockets.  He kept putting more and more things in his pockets until they bulged like crazy, but that didn't seem to bother him at all.  I tried not to laugh, but it was hard to walk around with bulging pockets man and keep a straight face.

Can you tell us about anything else you are working on?

I have two more books coming out next year in the spring and fall.  Both have internet dating elements but they're set on opposite coasts.  The first is in Washington and the second in Washington DC.  The main characters in each story are really fun girls.  I'm excited for readers to meet them. 

What and Where are some of your upcoming events?

I'll be doing a book signing on Friday, November 25th at the Deseret Book in San Diego from 12-1:30pm.


So what can you win with this giveaway?

  • The List by Melanie Jacobson (Kindle edition)
  • Not My Type by Melanie Jacobson (Kindle edition)
This is an E-book Kindle giveaway! I'm so exciited about it! I'm obsessed with my Kindle, so I wanted to give some e-books away.  If you have a Kindle, or a kindle app on your iPod, iPhone, Blackberry, etc you can enter.  This giveaway is International. You just need to have an Amazon or Amazon UK account. 

Just fill out the form and you are entered! This giveaway will end on November 8, 2011. 

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