Thursday, June 22, 2017

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid



Summary:


     Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

     Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

     Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

 

 

My Thoughts:


     Monique is a 35-year-old, recently separated reporter at Vivante magazine where she has been working for less than a year when a new assignment comes her way.  Evelyn Hugo, one of the world’s most famous actresses, wants her to write her story.  Monique’s biggest concern is “why me?”. 

     I read this nearly 400-page book in ONE DAY, y’all! I read a bit in the morning then started it back up around noon and finished about 10:30 pm last night with hardly any breaks…. I haven’t done that in years.  The last few books that I read where heavy on darkness and violence so I wanted something light and heard this would be a great palate cleanser. It was exactly what I needed!

     Now before you get started, this is not a totally light, airy read.  I teared up several times but I also laughed a few times too.  Reading this story was like reading a juicy memoir from one of your favorite movie stars and while there were sad parts it was also just plain old enjoyable reading.  I hate to say it is a fun and mindless read because these characters have depth and it is a wonderful story of how you must live life with no regrets and learn to go after what you want but it isn’t a deep, psychological tome either.

  This is book is the perfect, enjoyable story to cleanse your mind after dark/disturbing reads or anytime you just want to read a great story.  4.5/5 stars

 

Author’s site: http://taylorjenkinsreid.com

Monday, June 19, 2017

The Changeling by Victor LaValle



Summary:


     Apollo Kagwa has had strange dreams that have haunted him since childhood. An antiquarian book dealer with a business called Improbabilia, he is just beginning to settle into his new life as a committed and involved father, unlike his own father who abandoned him, when his wife Emma begins acting strange. Disconnected and uninterested in their new baby boy, Emma at first seems to be exhibiting all the signs of post-partum depression, but it quickly becomes clear that her troubles go far beyond that. Before Apollo can do anything to help, Emma commits a horrific act—beyond any parent’s comprehension—and vanishes, seemingly into thin air. 

     Thus begins Apollo’s odyssey through a world he only thought he understood to find a wife and child who are nothing like he’d imagined. His quest begins when he meets a mysterious stranger who claims to have information about Emma’s whereabouts. Apollo then begins a journey that takes him to a forgotten island in the East River of New York City, a graveyard full of secrets, a forest in Queens where immigrant legends still live, and finally back to a place he thought he had lost forever. This dizzying tale is ultimately a story about family and the unfathomable secrets of the people we love.
 

 My Thoughts:

     In the beginning of The Changeling I was enjoying the story and very interested in the main character, Apollo.  I was very interested in learning more about him and finding out where his story would take him and also, what really happened with his father.  Apollo’s job as a rare a used book dealer also was intriguing to me for obvious reasons!
     The more that I read in this book, the more bizarre and confusing it became.  My concern for and interest in Apollo became smaller and smaller the more I read.  There were mysterious chains, horrible deaths, and for fun? Hidden, mini lectures about posting pictures on social media….
     This book will forever be stuck at 46% on my Kindle: DNF (did not finish). I appreciate the effort but this just wasn’t for me.  1/5 stars



*This book was classified in the Horror genre and I am counting it towards my 2017 Reading Challenge for the category of “a genre you usually avoid”. 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Beartown by Fredrik Backman


Summary:


People say Beartown is finished. A tiny community nestled deep in the forest, it is slowly losing ground to the ever encroaching trees. But down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded this town. And in that ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals, and they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of this place now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys.

Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden, and the semi-final match is the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and, like ripples on a pond, they travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected.

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

 


My Thoughts:

     Much like The Dry by Jane Harper, Beartown is full of interesting characters but the town as a whole and the surrounding environment are also a big part of the story.  Hockey is the life’s blood of Beartown and everyone in it.  If you want to be liked and if you eventually want to get out of this cold, wilderness town you will have to be good at hockey.  Those that are gifted at the game are treated like royalty and the inhabitants rely on them to win at any cost to help pull the town out of its increasing economic downfalls.
     This is the first of Backman’s writing that I have read but I have always heard great things-now I know why.  Many people have said that this is quite different than his other works in that it is darker and the subject matter is something that may bother some people.
 Fredrik Backman’s writing style and the design of this book should be confusing because every chapter jumps around between several townsfolks’ viewpoints.  At first when you are learning who everyone is, it is a bit confusing but I quickly picked it up and was able to continuing reading with little to know trouble.  Almost all of the characters are rich, complicated and well developed and all of them are relatable in some form. 
     This is a wonderfully written novel about tough subjects and while it was emotionally tough at times I think it is a very timely subject that was handled perfectly by the author. I will be recommending this one to everyone.  5/5 stars

Favorite quotes:

God, how much he annoys her sometimes, but God, how she loves him. It wasn’t a love that developed gradually; it hit her like an affliction. It’s an ongoing condition.

“Never trust people who don’t have something in their lives that they love beyond all reason.” 

Author’s site:
http://www.fredrikbackmanbooks.com/



Warning and slight spoiler below....











*this story involves a rape so if that is something that bothers you, it might be best to pass on this novel.


Monday, June 12, 2017

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris


Summary:


Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…
 

 

My Thoughts:


     This is the first novel by B.A. Paris that I have read and I was very much looking forward to a great, twisty thriller.  The Breakdown was rather good but at times it felt like…too much.  Don’t get me wrong, the story and premise is very intriguing but there were times I really just wanted to reach into the book and give Cass a good shake and yell “Just tell them already!”

     Honestly, this is a good summer thriller (I feel like I keep saying this) if you are looking for a thrill ride that won’t overly tax your brain. Just sit back in your lounge chair, read, and enjoy the ride.  About halfway through the book you will probably get annoyed like I did what with the same silent calls and the same reaction by Cass. Every. Single. Time. Keep plugging along because it may be slightly annoying but the ride, although predictable, is worth it.  3.5/5 stars 

Author’s site:  https://us.macmillan.com/author/baparis/

Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Dry by Jane Harper



Summary:

Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well...

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret... A secret Falk thought long-buried... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface...
 



My Thoughts:

Be forewarned:  the prologue of this book sucks you in immediately! You will not want to stop reading this book. Jane Harper draws you in immediately to the dry, desolate and brown-ness of the small town of Kiewarra and its’ desperate people. 

     In The Dry just know that you can’t trust anyone. I like the main character, Aaron, but I’m not even sure he can be trusted.  Everyone in Kiewarra has a secret but whose secret is the most dangerous? Would they kill to keep it quiet?  The characters in this small town know everyone’s business or at least think that they do and as in real life, things and people are complicated. 
      I don’t know about anyone else but I had no clue what the conclusion of this story would be until right as it was being revealed.  I don’t usually try too hard to figure things out, but a lot of books make it fairly obvious (to me anyway) and I end up knowing without trying or wanting to figure it out.  I love that in The Dry I was learning and figuring things out right along with Aaron.  This is a dark but very intriguing story and appears to be the first in a series-YAY!  5/5 stars




*This is the first book pick of the Modern Mrs. Darcy Summer Reading List-check out the full list here.

Author's site: http://janeharper.com.au/

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

"Carly Phillips is synonymous with red-hot romance."

- Lauren Blakely, New York Times Bestselling Author

Lucky Strip of Covers

The Lucky Series, a sexy series of standalones by Carly Phillips is available now!!


Lucky Charm

Derek Corwin is well aware of the family curse - every Corwin male who married for love would be destined to lose his woman and his fortune. He decides to outsmart the prophesy that has plagued his family for generations by breaking up with his first love—and marrying someone else. Now, divorced and broke, all he has left is his teenage daughter, a boatload of regret … and wariness when it comes to love.
Until Gabrielle Donovan returns, determined to rekindle their passion. Will her stubborn streak and her unwavering love be the lucky charm Derek so desperately needs?

Read Today!

Google Play: https://goo.gl/aTiaZD
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/RXbReN

Lucky Break

Jason Corwin knows he should resist his attraction to Lauren Perkins. After all, it was one of her ancestors who came up with the curse that has plagued every Corwin male to misery and the single life. But after one night of mind-blowing sex with his supposed—and very seductive—enemy, he can't bring himself to stay away.
All Lauren wants is to sell her late grandmother's old house and leave the past behind forever. But that's not an easy thing to do with gorgeous contractor Jason Corwin whispering sweet, sexy somethings in her ear. About staying. Can she be the lucky break that Jason needs?

Read Today!

Google Play: https://goo.gl/wb8NR5
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/4KoKLO

Lucky Streak

When Mike Corwin awakens after some wild partying in Vegas $100,000 richer and married to Amber Rose Brennan, the gorgeous woman he met the night before, he thinks he's hit the jackpot. The bad news is that Amber's a con who takes his money and runs. Seems the family jinx has finally hit him. Hard.
But to Amber, Mike isn't business as usual. If only she didn't need the money to ensure her father's safety, she might actually have fallen for the intense lawman. Instead, she's forced to betray him.
Now Mike's hell-bent on divorce and Amber's on the run…but when a twist of fate reunites them, can they turn their run of bad fortune into a lucky streak that lasts forever?

Read Today!

Google Play: https://goo.gl/4Y1NAN
Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/YFw8pt
LuckySeriesAN QUOTE

Meet Carly Phillips:

6 - 1P0A8410_1Carly Phillips is the N.Y. Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of over 50 sexy contemporary romance novels, including the Indie published, Dare to Love Series. She is happily married to her college sweetheart, the mother of two nearly adult daughters and three crazy dogs. Carly loves social media and is always around to interact with her readers.

Connect with Carly:

Sign up for Carly’s Newsletter at: http://www.carlyphillips.com/newsletter-sign-up/ Sign up for Blog and Website updates at: http://www.carlyphillips.com/blog Sign up for Text Updates of New Releases: http://tinyurl.com/p3upm5s Friend Carly on Facebook: www.facebook.com/carlyphillipsfanpage Hang out at Carly’s Corner! (Hot guys & giveaways!) http://smarturl.it/CarlysCornerFB Instagram: https://instagram.com/carlyphillips Twitter: www.twitter.com/carlyphillips Website: www.carlyphillips.com

Monday, June 5, 2017

My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn Blog Tour and Review!

SBPRBanner-MyBestFriendsEX-BT.jpg

My Best Friend’s Ex, an all new sexy, laugh out loud romantic comedy from Meghan Quinn is available now!

MyBestFriendsEx

My Best Friend’s Ex by Meghan Quinn Publication Date: June 1st, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

When I found an eviction notice taped on my apartment door, I had two options: find a comfortable cardboard box to call home, or move in with Tucker Jameson.
Seeing that cardboard makes me feel itchy, I chose the latter. Which shouldn't be that big of a deal since Tucker is one of my good friends. And because he's still pining after his ex-girlfriend and I'm trying to finish my nursing degree, there is nothing to worry about in the romance department, making my last semester an easy one to conquer.
Boy, was I wrong.
Rules are set, dinners are made, conversations are had, and a shirtless, swoony roommate walks around in nothing but a pair of black briefs, ruining me for every other man.
Before I know it, I turn into a panting, lust-filled woman begging for Tucker to kiss me, touch me, and show me exactly what is hiding under those briefs.
But with great orgasms, comes great consequences.
Tucker might be my friend and roommate but he’s also my best friend's ex-boyfriend, making him completely off-limits. At least that's what my brain is telling me, my heart is speaking an entirely different language.


My Thoughts: 

     Oh Meghan Quinn, how I love you! She always manages to give you a sweet, sexy love story and still make you laugh out loud like an idiot while you are reading it.  I love Emma and Tucker!  This is slightly surprising considering I didn’t think I was going to like Tucker after meeting him in Co-Wrecker.
     This is a stand-alone novel but it is connected to Co-Wrecker without you having to read one before the other.  If you like a good second chance love story you should add this one to your summer reading list.  The characters are great and relate-able and the secondary/best friend characters are even great.  This is definitely a funny and swoon-y read that is perfect for the summer!      4/5 stars

Favorite quote:

 “I will make it rain period products...Feminine hygiene will be your worst nightmare, son!”



Excerpt:

“Morning,” Tucker’s deep voice rattles off the cabinets. It’s his morning voice, deeper, throatier—if that makes sense—and I hate to admit it, because he’s just my friend, but sexier. Once my pupils adjust to the light, I take Tucker in. He’s standing in front of the stove, rubber spatula in hand, wearing a white long-sleeve Henley shirt, the top two buttons undone, a pair of worn jeans with a few paint stains on them, and tan work boots. Sweet Jesus, he makes construction look good. Strap a tool belt around his waist and stick him in front of a camera for the benefit of all womankind. “Morning,” I say in reply, using the counter to help hold up my tired body. “You’re up early. What time do you have to go into work?” “Around seven thirty. I like to get an early start before the boys come in.” He looks me up and down, a small smile at the corner of his lips. “You look good.” He motions around his head with his hand. “I really like what you did with your hair.” I turn toward the window in the kitchen and check out my reflection. Sure enough, my long brown hair looks like a lion’s mane poofed out and framing my face with an abundance of volume. Beautiful. There is no use in taming it, so I leave my hair as is and turn back toward Tucker. “Not many people can get this kind of height while sleeping.” I pretend to fluff my hair. “Impressive.” He chuckles and then points to the coffee maker with the spatula. “Coffee is done, mugs are above in the cabinet. Grab me a cup, will ya? Eggs will be done shortly, bacon is warming in the oven.” I do as directed, thinking it’s kind of cute how he’s including me in on his little morning breakfast. “I didn’t even know you had eggs. I was expecting to hit up Dunkin’ Donuts or Tim Horton’s this morning.” He turns off the stove and reaches for two plates from the dish rack. “I went to Walmart this morning. Picked up a few things.” “This morning?” I pour two cups of coffee and turn toward him. “What time did you wake up?” “Four thirty,” he answers casually. “Got a quick run in, did some weights, took a shower and then went to Walmart.” He fills our plates with bacon and eggs and then nods toward the dining room, plates and silverware in hand. “I have a surprise.” I follow him to the dining room where he flips on the light and reveals a card table fold-out dining set. “You got a table.” I chuckle, loving that it’s a fold-out card table with matching chairs. Anything is better than the floor. “And placemats,” he adds, as he lifts two plastic placemats from one of the chairs. “The options were bleak so I went with dinosaurs for me and Trolls for you. Given the look of your morning hair, Trolls was the right choice.” Clever bastard. He sets them on the table and then puts our plates on top of them. God, it’s too freaking cute. Chuckling, I take a seat and hand him his coffee. “Look at you getting all domestic. I never thought you would be a placemat kind of man, I stand corrected.” He rests a napkin on his legs, which are spread drastically, almost the length of the table and leans over to fork some eggs into his mouth. “Didn’t want our food to damage the plastic of this high-class table.” I love the humor in his voice, it reminds me of all the good times we had, before the end of his relationship with Sadie. “Smart man, you want this table to last.” “Of course, you don’t see fine furniture like this in houses anymore. Everything has to be so sturdy. What ever happened to rickety furniture and living through a meal with the threat of your food possibly kissing the floor at any point in time?” “The horror,” I joke. He looks up at me. Some of his hair is still wet from his shower. Pointing his fork at me he says, “Are you ready to be schooled?” “Schooled on what?” I take a bite of bacon and my stomach jumps in excitement for finally rewarding it for waking up early. All right, I will admit it, getting out of bed was a smart idea. “It’s Monday, babe. DJ Hot Cock has his song picked and ready to show you what real music is.” “When was my music taste ever questioned? I like good music.” “We’ll see.” He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone. I watch as he flips through it until he lands on the song he wants to introduce me to. He presses play and sets his phone on the table. The light pickings of a guitar fill the small dining room. I don’t recognize the song, but I like the sound of it so far. Just as I’m settling in to the sweet pickings of a guitar, the distinct voice of Zac Brown chimes in. I’ve known Tucker for loving EMO growing up, so his choice in a country song is very surprising to me, but when I look up at him, pure hometown country boy sitting across from me, it makes perfect sense. And then the lyrics hit me. My Old Man. Zac sings about his father, hoping he’s proud of the man he’s become. I’m transported back to a dreary day in Whitney Point, where we grew up, when Sadie called me one Saturday morning. I was getting ready for the day. We were in middle school. Tucker’s dad was killed by a head-on collision, the dad Tucker just reconnected with, the dad Tucker had plans on moving in with to get away from his neglectful mom. Those next few days—and weeks—were a whirlwind of sorrow. Attending his funeral, my first ever funeral, seeing the look of devastation on Tucker’s face, wondering what he might be feeling, trying to channel his hurt, it was so much to take on as a teenager. Glancing up, I take in Tucker’s expression. He’s lost in the music, in the words, just like me. When the song ends, I lean over and place my hand on his, our eyes meet and there is an unspoken understanding between us. I don’t have to say anything about his dad, about the tragedy we went through so many years ago together as friends. It’s all said between this silent exchange. MBFE-AN

Read Today!

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MBEteaser


About the Author:

MeghanQuinnA BLONDE AT HEART Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped. Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking. Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!
 

Connect with Meghan:

Sign Up for Meghan’s Newsletter: http://bit.ly/MQWrapUp



*Thanks to +Autumn Gantz at WordSmith Publicity for the chance for review!
 I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*



Thursday, June 1, 2017

May Reads




     May was a great reading month! I got eight books in and there were some pretty great ones.  Check them out:








All Over the Place by Geraldine DeRuiter:  A very moving and funny travel memoir.  See my full review here.
















The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck: a bit of a disappointment-full details here.


















Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham: A fun memoir that would be great for any Gilmore Girls or Parenthood fan!


















Excess Baggage by Laura Barnard: A bit of an immature, predictable romance.  My full thoughts are over here.



















Feel Me by Cecy Robson:  A great installment of a romantic series but slightly overly dramatic.  Full review is over here.

















Into The Water by Paula Hawkins: The dark and creepy second novel by The Girl On The Train author.  Just as disturbing and enjoyable!


















The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green: A fun summer time, dysfunctional family story. Full review is here.


















He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly:  Dark, psychological thriller to start summer reading off right.  My full thoughts are over here.