Tag Archive | 5 Stars

REVIEW: Finding Clara by Jannie Lund

Finding Clara by Jannie Lund

Read: October 26, 2015

Format: Kindle Ebook

My Book Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance

 

Eve Quinn was kidnapped. 27 years later, Clara Christensen discovers she is really Eve – a victim of a ‘white laundering kidnapping’ scheme. Her adoptive parents, now dead, had no clue their daughter was procured illegally. Now, Clara finds herself in a foreign country on the doorstep of her birth parents, preparing to meet the family she never knew—the family who has spent 27 long years waiting for her return.

In a twist of fate, the Quinn’s had taken in (though not officially adopted) a young man named Duncan. A man who would go on to meet and fall in love with a Danish woman named Clara while on vacation, only to find the phone number she gave him illegible.

This was my first book by Jannie Lund and it will not be my last. She has a way of making the characters real and come to life.

This is a sweet, clean romance. It’s also Clara’s story of discovering who she really is, learning to adapt to a large family who remembers her as a baby, and her parents having to realize that the Eve they lost will never return, and having to learn to accept Clara as she is.

And, as far-fetched as it is that the Duncan Clara met on vacation would just happen to be the same man her biological parents took in as a boy it’s easily overlooked. This is a feel good story I didn’t want to end.

Should you read Finding Clara? YES! If you enjoy sweet contemporary romances I think you’ll love this story.

 

Disclaimer: I work for the company that released this book, however I receive no monetary compensation for any sales of this book. My employment with the company in no way changes my opinions or rating of the book.

REVIEW: The Way Forward by Jill Bisker

The Way Forward by Jill Bisker

Series: The Ghostly Way #2

Read: December 17, 2015

Format: Kindle Ebook

My Book Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance

 

Laney sees dead people. It’s a gift she’s recently discovered, and a gift she wishes she could give back.

The Way Forward is the follow up to Jill Bisker’s debut novel, Finding the Way Back. What I love about reading an authors first book, then going on to read their second or third, is seeing how much they’ve grown as an author. In FTWB, at times I grew a little bored at all of the details given, but with TWF, Ms. Bisker has found the perfect balance of describing just enough to set the scene without bombarding the reader with too much superfluous information.

In book 1, Laney discovers the ability to see and speak to ghosts when she takes on the task of de-cluttering and renovating her recently deceased grandfather’s house, with the help of her cousin, Connie. It is during that ordeal that she also meets and falls for ghost hunter Emmett.

In book 2, things are not all cupcakes and roses for Laney and Emmett. He’s pressuring her to learn to use her gift and help ghosts move on, while she’s trying her hardest to suppress her ability. But really, it’s hard to blame her—being nearly killed by a ghost would make nearly anyone hesitant to use their gift!

When Emmett informs her that a ghost is haunting a little boy, against her better judgment, Laney agrees to try to help. She gets more than she bargained for when the boys father—a recent widower—shows romantic interests toward her, causing more friction in her relationship with Emmett.

TWF does a great job of guiding us through Laney’s journey of finding out more about her gift, all the while trying to help free the little boy of his ghost, on top of her own ghost drama in her own home!

You can certainly read this book without reading book 1, however you’ll miss out on the blossoming romance between Laney and Emmett which occurs in book 1. I think any fan of ghosts and romance will enjoy this story.

 

BONUS: Coming early 2016, Ms. Bisker is releasing an ebook short featuring the ghosts from book 1—read the full story of their tragic romance!

 

 

Disclaimer: I designed the cover for this book so I do receive a small monetary compensation for sales of the book. This in no way affects my review of the book. If I wanted to be dishonest, every book I design covers for would be a 5 star read! 😉

REVIEW: The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot

The Bride Wore Size 12 by Meg Cabot

Series: Heather Wells #5

Read: October 11-12 2015

Format: Audiobook

My Book Rating: 5/5 Stars

Narrator Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance (New Adult)

 

Meg Cabot’s Mediator and 1-800-Missing series’ are two of my all time favorites. The last time I ventured into her adult books I was less than impressed. So, I shied away from them for a while. Therefor, this is my first Heather Wells book, and after reading (rather listening to…) this book, I’m kicking myself for not picking them up sooner!

Former pop superstar Heather Wells is in the midst of planning her wedding to PI Cooper Cartwright while working her job, helping run a dorm at the local collage. Things are going smoothly until a resident in her building ends up dead.

The events in this book are improbable and crazy, but Meg Cabot has a way of making them work. She makes a book about a murdered girl seem lighthearted. Her characters are fun, interesting and at times, down right hilarious.

Possibly my favorite character was Detective Canavan. He wasn’t in the book much, but he stole his scenes. I laughed out loud when he told Heather she has a habit of “kicking up shit.”

This book is definitely for the older teens to new adult crowd, but while there is sex, it’s pretty much innuendo and “off camera.” Which is what I prefer.

I’m eager to read the rest of the series and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys lighthearted mysteries with romance and humor.

REVIEW: Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

Dark Heart of Magic by Jennifer Estep

(The Black Blade, Book 2)

 

Read: September 2015

Format: ARC Ebook (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Urban Fantasy YA

 

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

When I requested to read and review Dark Heart of Magic from NetGalley, I didn’t realize it was the second book in a series. I actually didn’t realize until partway through the book!

I do recommend starting with book one, because I’m pretty sure this one is full of book one spoilers. Even without starting at the beginning this was highly enjoyable and I was not lost.

Lila is a thief and makes no excuses for it. She’s a strong female lead and absolutely entertaining to read about. Lila also a person of magic in a very unique town. Set at the base of Cloudburst Mountain, Cloudburst Falls is full of magic and monsters, and the ruling families (mobs) have taken full advantage, turning their little town into a tourist trap. People come from all over to see the monsters that live in the parks, petting zoos, forests, and on the mountain.

Lila works for the Sinclair Family as bodyguard to their leaders son, Devon. There’s obvious chemistry between the two, but Lila is all business. She’s doing her job as a means to an end — revenge on the Draconis family, those responsible for the murder of her mother.

Trying to blend in and stay invisible (she’s a thief, remember?) becomes very difficult, however, when Lila is entered into the summer Tournament of Blades, an annual battle of magic among the families, and fodder for the tourists. And, it seems as though someone is out to get Lila.

There’s magic and mystery, action and romance. And, though I figured out who was behind it all before the characters did, I enjoyed every second. So much so, that soon after, I one-clicked book one for my Kindle!

As a fan of The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare, I think other fans of that series will love Jennifer Estep’s series. While in TMI the magic is kept hidden from the normal humans, in DHoM the magic is flaunted and used as a source of income. The magic system is pretty cool as well, with everyone who has magic having some variation of strength, speed or senses as well as some level of power – minor, moderate, or major. Some powers are more rare and desired than others. Some are more of a curse than a blessing as well, we learn in this story.

The end of the book was a satisfying conclusion to this story arc, yet it left me thirsting for more of Lila, Devon, and the rest of their crew.

Dark Heart of Magic is available from Kensington Books on October 27, 2015. Until then, you can check out book one, Cold Burn of Magic. (Book three, Bright Blaze of Magic will be available May 2016.)

 

REVIEW: The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone

This one is for the gamers and geeks out there!

The publisher describes this book as: “for fans of The Guild, New Girl, Scott Pilgrim, Big Bang Theory, Veronica Mars, or anyone who has ever geeked out about something.”.

 


 

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone

Read: September 2015

Format: Ebook ARC (Kindle)

My Book Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: New Adult Mystery – humorous

 

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Confession: I used to be a World of Warcraft addict. It’s true. I participated in lan parties in my boyfriend’s apartment with his roommates and their girlfriends. We were cool like that.

What does this have to do with The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss? Well, this book is ideal for anyone with basic knowledge of MMORPG’s. (That’s massive multiplayer online role playing game’s for those not in the know.)

This book is absolutely ridiculous in all the right ways. Everything that happens is so completely unbelievable, it’s believable.

Dahlia has been out of work for over a year. She graduated college with her fancy business degree, then proceeded to spend a year interviewing and not getting hired anywhere. Enter Jonah. He offers Dahlia $1,000 to find out who stole a digital weapon in the MMORPG he plays. Why? She has no background in detective work – save two days as a temp answering phones. She’s the worst (wo)man for the job, but she’s broke. So she takes his money and gets to work.

I can’t say too much about the plot without giving anything away, but it’s a ride. There’s murder, crazy people, gamers (another variety of crazy people – trust me, I know) and learning to deal with the cards life has dealt.

Another confession: I didn’t read this book, while working I used text to speech on my Kindle and it was read to me in a very robotic female voice which I now identify as the voice of Dahlia Moss. I believe this made the humor in this book a thousand times funnier. I actually had a moment where I had to stop working and stifle my laughter, which was turning to tears. It was hilarious. There are references to MMORPG’s (obviously), Pokemon, gaming conventions and so much more. One of my favorite parts was while in the game gathering clues, Dahlia discovers one of Jonah’s guild members is pregnant, and another guild member says said pregnant gamer will be leaving the game soon, because that’s what happens when female players have babies. Real life takes over and they quit their MMORPG’s. I laughed a lot, and shared this part with my husband, because when I had a baby I quite playing WoW.

The best part about the book is Dahlia herself. She’s gotten to the the point where she just doesn’t care. Nothing is working out, so she’ll just roll with the punches. If that means dying her hair pink, so be it. If that means planning a virtual in game funeral for the death of a real person? Why not. She’s surrounded by an oddball cast that are too insane not to be real. Like her roommate Charice, who has completely spontaneous theme parties in her apartment (which incidentally lead to Jonah showing up to offer Dahlia the detective job).

The mystery in this book is resolved perfectly. The clues are all there, though I didn’t have an inkling of ‘whodunit’ until nearly the big reveal.

Seriously, anyone who has ever submerged themselves in geek culture must read this book. It’s a healthy dose of Veronica Mars (though slightly less competent) and The Guild. In a movie, Felicia Day would play Dahlia. There’s simply no other choice.

If there’s a sequel I want to read it to find out what mess Dahlia will get herself into next!