August 24, 2014

Review: How to Fall by Jane Casey

Product Description: 
Sixteen-year-old Jess Tennant has never met any of her relatives, until her mom suddenly drags her out of London to spend the summer in the tiny English town where her family’s from. Her mom’s decision is surprising, but even more surprising is the town’s reaction to Jess. Everywhere she goes, people look at her like they’ve seen a ghost. In a way, they have—she looks just like her cousin Freya, who died shortly before Jess came to town.

Jess immediately feels a strange connection to Freya, whom she never got to meet alive. But the more Jess learns about the secrets Freya was keeping while she was alive, the more suspicious Freya’s death starts to look. One thing is for sure: this will be anything but the safe, boring summer in the country Jess was expecting.

My Thoughts:
How to Fall was easily one of the best YA novels I've read in a while. It had all the elements of a good mystery and what I always feel is lacking in other books, a believable plot line. That's not to say I didn't cringe at Jess' antics half the time because she was the typical teen making bad choices. It was because everything that Jess did was logical for an inquisitive teen dead set on investigating her cousin's death. 

The characters that shared the story with Jess were so well done that I felt like I knew each and everyone of them when I was in high school. I'm definitely putting book two in the series, Bet Your Life, on my to be read list.

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one for anyone who loves YA and mysteries. 

August 23, 2014

Review: Death by Didgeridoo by Barbara Venkataraman

Product Description:
Reluctant lawyer, Jamie Quinn, still reeling from the death of her mother, is pulled into a game of deception, jealousy, and vengeance when her cousin, Adam, is wrongfully accused of murder. It's up to Jamie to find the real murderer before it's too late. It doesn't help that the victim is a former rock star with more enemies than friends, or that Adam confessed to a murder he didn't commit. 

My Thoughts: 

I thought that Death by Didgeridoo was a cute and quick read. The mystery was simple and easy to figure out. Jamie has a wonderful sense of humor and there were several lines in the book that made me laugh out loud. She was fun and I really wished that she would have had an opportunity to get to know the prosecuting attorney, Nick, a little better. Hopefully there will be a little more romance in book two of the Jaime Quinn series, The Case of the Killer Divorce.

My review is based on the audio book read by Carrie Lee Martz. Carrie's reading style was a too monotone for me and her portrayal of the PI Duke's southern accent drove me absolutely insane. Each and every word was slow and drawn out in an overly exaggerated manner. I feel that had I read the book, I would have given Death by Didgeridoo a full five star rating.

My Recommendation: 

I recommend this one for anyone who loves cozy mysteries. 

July 20, 2014

Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Product Description:
Georgie McCool knows her marriage is in trouble. That it's been in trouble for a long time. She still loves her husband, Neal, and Neal still loves her, deeply—but that almost seems beside the point now. Maybe that was always beside the point.

Two days before they're supposed to visit Neal's family in Omaha for Christmas, Georgie tells Neal that she can't go. She's a TV writer, and something's come up on her show; she has to stay in Los Angeles. She knows that Neal will be upset with her—Neal is always a little upset with Georgie—but she doesn't expect to him to pack up the kids and go without her. When her husband and the kids leave for the airport, Georgie wonders if she's finally done it. If she's ruined everything. 

That night, Georgie discovers a way to communicate with Neal in the past. It's not time travel, not exactly, but she feels like she's been given an opportunity to fix her marriage before it starts. . . .Is that what she's supposed to do? Or would Georgie and Neal be better off if their marriage never happened?

My Thoughts:
Who wouldn't love to have a way to connect with a loved one in the past? This book got me thinking about who I would call and what I would say to them. It gave my reading experience an added bit of whimsey and fun. 

The characters were so well done that I could totally picture them as part of my family. They were quirky and had real life drama that worked well with the contrast of the fantasy aspects in the book. 

The only thing that irked me a little was Georgie's relationship with her friend Seth. It was too predictable and didn't tie together with the ending. I wish the twist with Seth that Rowell put in at the end was completely left out but overall it didn't take away from me loving this book.

My Recommendation:
I recommend this one to anyone who loves contemporary fiction with a little bit of fantasy thrown in.

July 13, 2014

Review: A Woman of Fortune by Kellie Coates Gilbert

Product Description:
Texas socialite Claire Massey is living the dream. Her world is filled with designer clothes, luxury cars, and stunning homes. But her Neiman-Marcus lifestyle comes crashing down when her charming cattle broker husband is arrested for fraud. Suddenly, she finds herself facing attorneys, a media frenzy, and a trail of broken hearts. Betrayed and humiliated, Claire must start over against incredible odds to save her family--and discover a life worth living.

Poignant and emotionally gripping, A Woman of Fortune reveals the many ways we deceive ourselves and how resilience of the heart is essential to authentic living. Drawing on her experiences as a legal investigator, author Kellie Coates Gilbert delivers emotionally gripping plots and authentic characters. Readers will love Claire's unbending determination as she strives to keep her family from falling apart and learns to embrace the kind of fortune that lasts.

My Thoughts:
This one really sucked me in at the beginning. The prologue was so powerful that I just kept reading and reading until I got a little more than halfway. At that point I could clearly see what was coming and I lost a little interest. The characters were too shallow and their actions just seemed a little too overdone and I wasn't rooting for anyone anymore. The rest of the story from then on was just blah with an awkward ending. 

Overall I would still say that I did like it just not as much as the beginning made me thought I was going to love it. Being Christian fiction it was really light and a little change of pace for me but wasn't over the top religious. 

I recommend this for anyone who loves Christian romance. 

July 8, 2014

Giveaway: Poison Promise by Jennifer Estep

In book eleven of her New York Times bestselling Elemental Assassin series, author Jennifer Estep continues “one of the best urban fantasy series going on the market” (Fresh Fiction). Gin Blanco is hard-nosed, sexy, and lethal. Nicknamed “The Spider,” she’s a stone elemental assassin who brings her unique mix of magic and tact to every assignment, no matter the target. There’s a new drug on the streets of Ashland, and its name “Burn” sums up the potent effect it has on its users. When one of her restaurant employees is threatened by dealers of the drug, Gin steps in to set things straight…

Jennifer Estep is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author prowling the streets of her imagination in search of her next fantasy idea. Spider’s BiteWeb of LiesVenomTangled ThreadsSpider’s RevengeBy a ThreadWidow’s WebDeadly StingHeart of VenomThe Spider, and Poison Promise, along with the e-shorts Thread of Death, Parlor Tricks, and Kiss of Venom, are the other titles in her Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. 

The Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series and the Bigtime paranormal romance series are her other works. For more on Jennifer and her books, visit and @Jennifer_Estep.

Enter below for your chance to win one of two copies of Poison Promise. Giveaway ends July 20, 2014. US only please.