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Saturday, 3 May 2014

Hilarious Must Read! "Wallbanger" by Alice Clayton





Once upon a Time, at a Holiday Inn....or maybe a Best Western....(never mind those details, it was a hotel) was an exhausted family of four.
In the usual boring, standard room slept the pastor father, an innocent mother, a 15 year old sister and an 18 year old ME!!!!
(I can tell you are engrossed in this story already!)
We were traveling out west to a family reunion and after a long day of driving through Ontario, we pulled into a hotel for a well deserved rest.
Unfortunately, we were given a room next to people who wanted to rattle the walls all night long. They were screaming and moaning incessantly. Ugh.
Hindsight, I'm pretty sure it was Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele come to life, but we will never know.
Now, as you can imagine....my mother was shocked, but trying to keep her cool with a pillow shoved over her head. My dad was annoyed but tried to sleep none-the-less. My sister couldn't stop giggling and than there was me......sweet, innocent, lil ol' me........*enter angelic smile here*
At first I thought it was pretty funny but after awhile it was far too annoying. Even after I put my walkman on, I could still hear the banging!! (Walkman's are prehistoric iPods just in case any of you are confused)
My parents didn't want to say anything to the front desk, so as usual, I decided to be my family's saving grace.
I started jumping up and down on my bed and smacking the wall behind me yelling through it.
"OH YEAH, that's the stuff....."
"Could you people BE any louder?"
"HEY, PASTOR TRYING TO SLEEP! TAKE IT TO THE BATHROOM! WHILE HE PRAYS FOR YOUR SOUL!!"
"YOU'RE KINKY! IS THIS A PORN SHOOT?"
"DO YOU THINK YOU'LL GET PREGNANT???"
"WHAT IF THE CONDOM BREAKS??"

Yeah, I got reamed out by my parents, but guess what?

 It stopped.


Best Selling Novel "Wallbanger" by Alice Clayton (author of the Redhead Series) is another book that has been on my radar for awhile now. Since I am still down and out from whatever devil virus I picked up, I decided to treat myself to another novel. (Two new books in one week....I am such a rebel...spendthrift...book addict....)
Considering I have my own Wallbanger story to tell, reading a novel on the topic was a must!

I do not even know where to begin when describing this novel. It's so bloody hilarious, I wasn't even a few chapters in when I felt compelled to tweet this to the world:
Follow Me On Twitter! Say HI! I'll follow back!

This is a novel that I may end up buying a copy as a gift for my lil innocent mother to read. I think she would truly get a kick out of it!
Hands down Wallbanger is one of the most entertaining, laugh out loud books that I have read in a long time. I think it just shot to my number one favorite read of the year to date!
The witty banter, sarcastic narrative, clever jokes, sexual innuendos, humorous situations......Reading this book was like what it's like hanging out with my best friends, over glasses of wine, playing Malarky!! SO FUNNY!!
I honestly can't even nitpick, because I don't think there was anything in the book I didn't like. It was refreshing!

I personally thought this novel was so enjoyable that if you don't like it, may I be so bold to suggest you are dead inside? (Dead inside I say!)
I kid, we all have our unique tastes. but honestly if you don't even chuckle reading this, seek help! ;)

A quick run down now that I have done my over-enthusiastic 'must read' rant.

Caroline is hysterical. She's a bit like me. Always having to crack a joke, can be a teensy bit dramatic, loud.....a character after my own heart! She's on a bit of a dating hiatus after a terrible one night stand robbed her of any chance of getting to O-Town (and I am not talking Orlando Florida or the music group who sang Liquid Dreams) The fact that Wallbangers antics continuously rub it in her face that she's missing something in her life AND she is losing sleep makes Caroline grumpy to say the least.
Simon (aka Wallbanger) is her annoying neighbor who has a line up of woman on the go. (Pretty sure I met him once) Naturally he has to be the hottest guy she has ever laid eyes on, but it is hate at first bang on the wall. When she discovers he has some nicknames of his own for her....all hell breaks loose, and it's fantastic!

This story is told a few different ways. The majority of the story is told in Caroline's point of view....than as the story progresses, these hilarious chapters with text messaging between Caroline, Simon and other characters we meet in the novel (her best friends Mimi and Sophia and his friends Ryan and Neil) ....It's an entertaining way to have the time in the story pass! We also are treated to getting inside the heads of the characters during one extremely tense car ride. I really enjoyed those extra elements to the telling of the story and I loved being able to tap into what the other characters were thinking. (If only it was that easy in real life!)

Now I am totally hooked! Wallbanger is book one of The Cocktail Series and now I am overly excited to add these books, and her Bad Redhead series to my ever growing collection!

Five Stars.
Round of applause and some catcalls for author Alice Clayton!

Book Description:

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she’s gaining an—um—intimate knowledge of her new neighbor’s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy’s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed “dating hiatus,” and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly. . . .

In a delicious mix of silly and steamy, Alice Clayton dishes out a hot and hilarious tale of exasperation at first sight...

This is a novel that I WILL be reading over and over again!!!!

Book Two: "Rusty Nailed" releases on June 24th 2014 and is currently up for pre-order on Kobo and Amazon. I am so excited as Caroline and Simon's story continues in this highly anticipated novel!

Book Three: "Screwdrivered" releases on September 2, 2014 and is also up for pre-order. The third book in the Cocktail Series has us meeting new characters and more hilarious antics and Oh My God I can't wait!

You know I will have those reviews for you when I can!!!

Follow Author Alice Clayton on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAliceClayton
Visit her Website For More Information: http://aliceclayton.com

Now GO!
SCOOT!!!
BUY IT, READ IT, PEE YOUR PANTS!!


Happy Reading!!



Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Searching For Perfect ~ Jennifer Probst


WARNING: This book suggestion may cause you to purchase pocket protectors and lab coats for that special man in your life.




I chose a good day to be sick.
(Not that I really had a choice in this matter)
So whoever shared this virus with me,
I thank you.
Very little sleep, a stuffy nose, fever and wicked sore throat aren't getting me down.
Nope, not at all.

After all, it's absolutely pouring rain outside...so really is there anything better to do today than be forced to curl up on a couch to rest and read?

No, no there is not.

If you read my last blog (and you really should) than you know I have stumbled upon another great series and author...... and today was the release day of the second novel in that series:
Searching For Perfect by Best Selling Author Jennifer Probst.

I will cut straight to the chase on why all you sexy lil minxes should find a copy of Searching For Perfect:

Hot NERD sex.
WOW.
I mean, WOW.
*blink* *blink*

(Okay, the story was pretty good too)

Heck, Book One was pretty sexy....but in my opinion it was a tad milder compared to the fireworks in Searching For Perfect.
I was surprised that a few of the chapters I read today didn't cause my Kobo to spontaneously combust!

Me Likey!!

I think I have a bit of a book crush on Nate so I am going to tell you about his character first!
Nathan Ellison Raymond Dunkle (Hahaha, "Dunkle").....is such a nerd, even his name says so.
He's socially awkward, unkempt and married to his job where he literally IS a rocket scientist (oh, wait..."Aerospace Engineer".....) and he needs help finding a wife....(among other things.....) and he ends up as Kennedy Ashe's pet project at Kinnections, a match making agency she co-owns with her two best friends.
It turns out our feisty nerdy lil Ned, turns into hawt and naughty Nate.....
and it's great....
while they get ready to set him up on dates....
Kennedy resists the urge to mate....
(Cheesy rhyme, I know, but I am not editing it out)

As I anticipated from the first novel, we really got to take a look at Kennedy's bigger issues....She's this seemingly perfect female, beautiful, intelligent, successful.....but she is an inner wreck. Who knew that meeting Nate would throw a wrench into the perfect little bubble she created? She certainly didn't.
While her character back story is different from mine, I found Kennedy's story and struggles with eating, inner demons and body image very easy to relate to. I think that is one of the reasons I really like this series, the author's focus on not just telling sexy stories, but she invents characters that relate to inner and spiritual growth, who are still struggling to overcome very real hidden obstacles many of us face....(with the added bonus of romance and hot sex..... ;) )
The way Nate asserts himself with the overconfident Kennedy and throws off her game......meee-frackin'-yeow! Sparks fly in this story, so much I'm almost tempted to take up golf and get my sexy engineer hubby to teach me.
(I said almost...)
 
Now that I have waited all this time to get a copy of Searching For Perfect and it's over, now I'm antsy about reading Arilyn's installment when it's ready....and Oh MY GOD what is going to happen with Genevieve's storyline????????!!!!!!!!
(Who is Genevieve you ask? Read the book)
I love the fact that this series crosses over with the Marriage Merger series so we continuously keep up with some of our favorite characters!

I am truly impatient. I don't want to wait for the next book to release....unless it releases tomorrow....that I could handle....


Here is the Searching For Perfect synopsis from Amazon.com:

"The up-and-coming matchmaking agency Kinnections is the hottest thing to hit Verily, New York—just like Kennedy Ashe, social director for the service she owns with her two best girlfriends. A coach, consultant, and cheerleader rolled into one super-sizzling package, Kennedy creates dream dates, encourages singles to shine, and never refuses a challenge—not even Nate Ellison Raymond Dunkle, rocket scientist, nerd extraordinaire, and Kennedy’s newest client.

Kennedy vows to work her magic and transform this hot mess in a lab coat with a disastrous relationship track record into the most wanted man on the Verily dating scene. If only she could turn the wand on herself…though she radiates confidence and sex appeal, Kennedy harbors deep-seated insecurities from a tormented past and lifelong struggle with weight issues. When she realizes she and Nate are cut from the same cloth and might be perfect together, can Kennedy learn to let her heart lead the way? Or will her fears sentence her to the sidelines as Nate finds love—with someone else?"


Remember to check out my blog on Searching For Someday (Book 1) and get your cute little arses a copy of each title!


Contemporary Romance Lovers make sure you check out the author's website for more information and even more title suggestions! http://www.jenniferprobst.com/books/
Follow Jennifer Probst on Facebook.....
and while you're at it....
Follow Me on Facebook as well.




Happy Reading!




Saturday, 26 April 2014

Searching For Someday ~ Jennifer Probst






"Matchmaker.....Matchmaker....Make me a match.....Find me a find.....Catch me a Catch......"

SING IT WITH ME!!!!

I used to love that song as a kid. My sister and I used to put Fiddler on the Roof on to specifically sing and act out that song/scene....(well that song and 'If I were a rich maaaan......') Truth be told, I don't ever remember seeing the second half of that film..I always just wanted to watch the first....

Yeah, I like me my musicals.

But guess what? I am not reviewing a musical.....though if I get enough requests, I will try to sing a paragraph out of this novel for you....or maybe a portion of this review and post it on You Tube....Just make sure that if you want to see such nonsense that you've also supplied the wine in which I need to drink to do such a thing...(I kid. I don't need alcohol to do silly things, it's just a natural part of my charm)

Back to the topic at hand.

Searching for Someday, the first book in a new series by New York Times Best Selling Author Jennifer Probst.

 I feel like I am doing this blog slightly ass-backwards by writing about this particular novel before I have even blogged about her Marriage Merger novels. (Which I love by the way)
While a completely separate series, the Searching novels find us revisiting some characters and a mysterious purple spell book that is the common thread in all the Jennifer Probst books I have read to date. (I love it when authors connect their series, makes it that much more interesting!)

I don't know if it was the Millionaire Matchmaker Marathon I watched the other day.....but I was in the mood to pick this book up give it a re-read and finally get around to telling you all to get out your wallets and buy this one!

This book is a great read for those of you who want to cozy up with a new romantic series and are scratching your head over what to read next. 
It's easy.
THIS ONE.
A sexy comedy, this book is full of pop culture references and a lil bit of 'magic'. This first novel revolves around Kate Seymour, one of the owners of Kinnections, a matchmaking service she co-owns with her two best friends Arilyn and Kennedy. The three ladies have an amazing friendship and a special back story to tell, that I can't wait to learn more about as the series progresses. What we discover is that they have each overcome personal odds. The three of them are unique and each bring their own special something to their business, let alone their friendship.
Kate also has a little secret talent that helps her make matches. She's a modern day cupid with an electric touch.....but it when it finally goes off for her, she tries to fight it. While she is great at making other people find love connections, she's a bit dense when it comes to love for herself. (Aren't we all?)
She's caring, compassionate and wants to be in love or content in a committed relationship....she just would prefer her idea of perfect...and boy is Kate wrong about what she thinks she really needs in a man.
Slade Montgomery is a jaded divorce lawyer, out to prove Kinnections is a scam as he tries to save his sister Jane from further hurt. It's very amusing what happens once he and Kate start bumping heads......(It may lead to bumping other things....or will it?....Kate is really against the idea....) He's a bit clueless himself. I found myself irritated with his character. He has a tendency to jump to conclusions and see everything in a negative light, but deep down he has a good heart. Slade ends up giving Kate a seemingly impossible challenge she gladly accepts....even though she's an idiot for doing so (and he's an even bigger idiot for asking)
If there were ever two characters I'd like to jump in the novel and smack some sense into, it would be these two.
 
One of my favorite parts of this novel is toward the end. Without any spoilers, it takes your classic love scene, it takes your ideas of how you think it is going to end....throws it in the blender and voila we have a bit of a fresh new twist that sets it apart from cookie cutter novels from the genre....and I guess you will have to see how it plays out..... (For those who have read it, I am talking about events in Chapter 14)

I think this is a book that romantics will read again and again (and secretly hope a movie is made...I'm talking to YOU people in Hollywood that actually arrange such things....)

I always keep my eye out for novels with a matchmaking theme. I have read quite a few. I'll admit I find the process intriguing....I think it would be a fun occupation!

If you love sexy rom-com's than you want to check out Jennifer Probsts novels. You can bet I will have more blogs about some of her other books in the future.

Here is the full synopsis of Searching For Someday:

 In charming Verily, New York, Kate Seymour has a smashing success with Kinnections, the matchmaking service she owns with her two best girlfriends. But Kate’s more than a savvy businesswoman: She’s gifted with a secret power, a jolting touch that signals when love’s magic is at work. It rocked her when she picked up a strange volume of love spells in the town’s used bookstore . . . and it zapped her again when she encountered Slade Montgomery, the hot-tempered— and hot-bodied—divorce lawyer who storms into Kinnections demanding proof that playing Cupid won’t destroy his vulnerable sister, Kate’s newest client. The only way to convince this cynic that she’s no fraud, and that love is no mirage, is for Kate to meet his audacious challenge: find him his dream woman. Can Kate keep their relationship strictly business when her electrifying attraction nearly knocked her off her feet? Or has the matchmaker finally met her match?


The good news from those who are interested in reading this series! The next book drops in a few days! April 29th I will be grabbing my e-copy of 'Searching For Perfect' which tells Kennedy's story! I can't wait!.............
**Edited to add**  Release Day is here......You can click this link to take you to my Searching For Perfect review! 

For more information on the author and her novels, please make sure you visit her website: http://www.jenniferprobst.com/books/

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Divergent Trilogy ~ Veronica Roth

I'm currently suffering the effects of a book hangover.....
and I am blaming my friends.

That's right, I am blaming YOU people who kept asking me if I had read the Divergent series yet.
(You know who you are!! ;)  )

The good news is......

I have read it now!!



Now, considering the fact the movie is already in theaters, it was only right that I should bump this series to the top of my list.
Now that I have read it, I am like 'WHOA'. (For lack of a better description)
I'm currently trying to make plans to catch the film while it's still in theaters. Lucky for me, handsome hubby wants to see it too. (Date night!! Cue romantic music!)

So many of you asked if it was worth reading, others wanted my thoughts.......Considering only 20minutes ago I finished reading the novel and ran to my nearest computer to start writing this..... I am more than willing to give them to you.

First off, if you do not even KNOW what Divergent is about, than you're in luck if you are reading this blog.
(And please know that you are forgiven for not knowing what it is about, because I haven't even read Hunger Games yet....these things happen....)

My Thoughts:

Okay, so like usual I really don't want to give any spoilers and it is very hard not to!!
The entire series is a crazy ride. I honestly hadn't even seen the movie trailers or read a description of the novel until I picked up the book, so I really didn't know what to expect myself.  My ten year old daughter (who's friends had seen the film) was constantly chasing me around "I know what happens! My friends told me" (Great, here's a pat on the head, now hush and let me find out myself)

Beatrice Prior, the lead protaganist makes some choices that will change her life, but even she has no idea what the impact of those choices will be, and how quickly she will need to grow up. Finding out she is considered a 'Divergent' and needs to hide it....her natural curiosity for the truth sends her on a wild adventure. Never mind in the meantime, she ends up involved with the mysterious, sexy and edgy 'Four'.....
(Which by the way is now my new favorite number....meee-ow)
Beatrice is probably one of my favorite heroines I have ever encountered to date. She's incredibly brave, selfless but has that youthful innocence going for her. I loved how the balance between girl to womanhood played out. She grows into her own person as the series progresses, and her character comes full circle in Allegiant.

Now, the whole concept of the series surrounds the 'Factions' that their society is divided into.
Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite.
Each one represents a type of personality and they work together using their talents to maintain a 'perfectly' functioning society. (Or so they think)
You can be born into one Faction, but after some tests, based on those results you choose which group you will live in, and that can ultimately change your life, as it did for Tris.
"Faction before Family" is what's preached... and heaven forbid you become "Factionless" or worse....let it be discovered that you are "Divergent".
While I never, ever in a million years would ever want to live in such a world..... I found the politics and concepts fascinating. Anyone interested in social sciences, here's a Dystopian read for you to dissect. I wish that this book had been on the reading list when I was in high school. I would have had a field day with the book report! (So any teachers out there, do your students a favor and get this on the required reading list...there are lots of great questions in the Divergent Bonus Material section!)

While the majority of the series is a roller coaster ride, there is a romantic story line. I found it less cheesy than other young adult romances in popular novels. Tris and Four put sense of duty ahead of their relationship which causes some tension and continued frustration for the two. (Can these crazy kids make it work?) Regardless, they are adorable together. (swoon....sigh)

Divergent is the slower paced novel of the three. It gradually picks up steam as the story goes, but don't think that because I say it is 'slower' that the others, that I mean it's boring or uneventful....because that is not the case. I found Divergent enthralling. We learn, we watch the story  unfold and by the end of it I was on the edge of my seat....
For me I would compare it to climbing to the top of the first hill of a roller coaster and whooooooosh....down it goes into the next novel....(This is what led me to skip dinner and run to the store to buy the next two installments)

In the second novel Insurgent, we really are inundated with knowledge and this is where the whiplash starts to kick in. We learn more and even more twists, turns and action are thrown our way....It was a reading rush....

Allegiant, the third book..... well, usually I am never fond of the third installment of any series....and I will admit in this one, I didn't exactly like where the story went.....However, I did like the book and felt it was well done. Gah! I am so conflicted!!
This novel really frustrated the hell out of me and I find that I don't 'want' to like it.....but I did. (I hate myself for that)
Another tidbit, while the other novels are told from Tris's POV, the third book is told from both Tris and Four's perspective. It was nice to get into his head and see what was going on....
That is all I am telling you. Read it for yourself.

Word of Advice: If you haven't read this series yet, than definitely read them all in one shot. Do not read these novels out of order!!

All in all, I saw a fantastic story about why we shouldn't discriminate or label, not to mention on how trying to become 'pure' or 'perfect' is disastrous.
I hope that people walk away actually thinking about the real meaning of the story....and not just how awesome of a thriller it was or how cute and adorable Four is..... 

(And he really really is........*sigh*)

A Bit of Fun:
After reading this series, I decided to take two separate "Which Faction Do You Belong To?" Quizzes.... (They are easy to find using your favorite search engine!)

The first Online Quiz had these results for me:


The second quiz came from my Divergent novel's bonus material. While the quiz was similar (but worded a bit different) and I somehow ended up with a three Faction tie....
Oh oh...perhaps I should have kept that a secret! (shhhhhhh)

Do I recommend this series: Hell-to-the-YES!

I have to say, I am on the fence about the age appropriateness of letting my 10 year old see the movie or read the book as she is bugging me to do, but I did purchase the trilogy as hard copies, rather than e-books so I could eventually let my daughter read them. I'll make that decision only after I have seen the film first. Until then, her friends can keep telling her all about it.

So what are you waiting for? Buy them, read them, go see the film.....and as much as I hope the film version does the novels justice....is it wrong of me to wish they'd rewrite the third installment?

Happy Reading.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Housework Harmony ~Andrew McAllister

Housework......
UGH.

Actually, typically I don't mind it, but lately it is just getting too monotonous and repetitive.
It was a stressful winter, a lot of it stuck indoors thanks to the craptastic cold weather (Up YOURS Polar Vortex!) so that means that the house is needing extra TLC because the children were going stir crazy exploding toys, crayons, paper, books, pots, pans...whatever they can get their paws on..... and somehow it all ends up in my livingroom.

You don't know pain until you have stepped on lego pieces, three times in a row.

Spring cleaning is upon us now, and I got a head start last weekend, which is good because my list is through the roof.

Now I am a stay at home mom, so the bulk of household responsibility falls on my shoulders. That was never a problem until child numero deux came along.
With my first child, I was June F'n Cleaver....it was all so easy. People really got annoyed with me. The house was always spotless, things always belonged in a place, she even loved to help, we had so much free time....But alas she's older now and my second let's just say I love her so much, wouldn't trade her for the world....but she's a busy one....
Now, between both of my kids, appointments, activities, housework, meals, homework, sleeping issues...etc...I'll admit it, I can no longer keep up! I have been waving my white flag for the past year. Just when I think I catch up, boom.... I don't. My hobbies (like this) get put on hold because my to-do list is long. Too Long.
That's actually one of the many reasons I am so behind in my blogs in the past year. It's getting harder and harder to keep up with everything I need to do, let alone WANT to do.

My husband, I try 'not' to put to much pressure on him... I get it.... I stay at home, he works hard to provide for us.... but at the end of the day, I am not a maid. I'm not an employee. I'm a wife. I know when to give up control (hahahaha, it's soooo haaaard)  I need help.

So when Andrew approached me about reading his new book about domestic partnership and housework for review, I was so thrilled to grab a copy for review! (took me a while to get around to reading but I got to it!!) I knew he had been writing it and had been counting the days for it to become available!



My reading 'Housework Harmony' is probably WHY I did not throttle my husband on the weekend when all hell broke loose over my daughters messy room.

Book Description:

Looking after your home and your children can place constant demands on your energy and free time, which is why housework is so often the flashpoint that brings out relationship challenges. Housework Harmony turns this problem into an opportunity by showing you how to replace tension and resentment with supportiveness and a growing sense of closeness. This book uncovers the many behavior patterns, commonly held assumptions, societal pressures, and other hidden landmines that influence how couples choose to share their domestic workload. Housework Harmony provides alternative approaches that will have you and your significant other cooperating like never before, opening the door to a loving partnership that will spill over into all aspects of your relationship.

My Take:

The first chapter made me laugh. Andrew brings a fun sense of humor to his writing.
As I fully immersed myself into reading, I started searching my home for video cameras... because so many of the scenarios, attitudes, thoughts he uses and describes in his book, are ones that take place here on almost a daily basis. Like my husband and I were Sam and Nicola (the fictional couple in the scenarios provided) 
It doesn't just stop at me. Reading 'Housework Harmony' scenarios was like reading any discussion I have ever had with my friends, colleagues, read in parenting forums or even drama that plays out on Facebook.
The good news is, the arguments and emotions that take place in this house are NORMAL.
It happens.

I AM NOT ALONE.

*PHEW*

So what did I think?
I think this is a must read for couples, housewives.... etc....
Because not only did he provide the explanations for how 'I' feel, as a reader Andrew gave me the male perspective and it.made.SENSE.  
(Men, you also get to see the female perspective)
He breaks it down for us in different scenarios and uses "Win Principals" to help relate, and you will relate!
 (If not...than I know you have a maid and full household staff....BITCH)

It's reasonable, it's sound advice and most importantly.....it....makes sense.

I LOVED Chapter Six.
Chapter Six made we want to stand up and applaud.
Andrew deserves a standing ovation for the common sense, breakdowns and advice in regards to certain stereotypes that are rampant in today's society. He took them on beautifully (I especially appreciated the stay at home mom ones! ;) )
What else can you expect from this book? A pop quiz! A his and hers quiz! Something you both can do individually than work on using the advice within the pages of the book to your advantage.
Everything is eloquently written, easy to follow and the steps to get you and your spouse on the same page.

Do I think I can get my husband to read it? HA! My husband will agree that I have a better chance of teaching a monkey wearing high-heels the Electric Slide in icy -30 degree weather..... but at least now I am armed with some extra insight as to how to deal with the Housework Battle woes that plague us and I have already explained some to him from the book and it's working!!
We actually joked the other day that we are on the same page about a chore and I started jumping up and down, gave him a hug and a kiss yelling 'Screw being on the same page!! We are finally in the same Chapter and that in itself is enough!!'
We both laughed, he agreed.

I think from now on, every wedding I attend, I am going to gift a copy of this book to my friends.... heck, why just stop at my friends. Maybe I should just be like that crazy British Lady who crashes that wedding in that commercial to talk about Bums....(ewww) but instead I will crash events to plug Housework Harmony. I'll even put on a fancy accent when I do it....maybe even a wig....I digress....

All in all, I advise you all to truly seek out a copy of this exceptional, helpful book.
And Andrew....please....could you remove the video surveillance now?

Author Andrew McAllister, Ph.D. has a blog called To Love, Honor and Dismay.
I encourage you to click the link to check it out!

Also be sure to check out "Unauthorized Access" the 5 Star novel by Andrew McAllister called you can find my blog review regarding that novel here!

                                          ***GIVEAWAY***


Need some domestic bliss in your life? Do you need help to gain some perspective when it comes to the he cleans-she cleans arguement? Do you want your own hardcopy edition of your very own? The Author has been kind enough to gift one to one of my readers!

All you have to do to enter is email me: reeniediva@gmail.com with 'Housework Harmony' in the title and your Name, Age, State/Province in the body, and name your least favorite chore. The one you want more help with!

One entry per person.
Open to residents of Canada and the US.
Must be 18 or older.


Contest Closes and Draw will be held on April16th at 8pm!!
As soon as the draw is complete, I will contact the winner via email and announce it via my Facebook Page!

Good Luck!



Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Decision ~ Penny Vincenzi

Can you pinpoint that one decision in your life that really steered your life in a different direction?

Do you regret that decision? Or wish you had made it sooner?

No matter what, we all make choices in life, and they have brought us to the exact place we are now. (like...duh!)
Some are major, some are minor.....some are repetitive. (and some are just stupid....stupid I tell you)


I'd be lying if I said I didn't sometimes think about choices I have made in my past and wonder what life would be like had I gone in a different direction. What things would be like had I not made that big move, or bold move, or kept quiet, or spoke out.....(or had I not dated that moron....or ten....)
While I like to at times ponder these things, at the end of the day given the choice, I wouldn't change any of it, even my mistakes.
Why? Because changing even the slightest thing could mess up all the good now and I don't want to mess with that. (Hellooooo Butterfly Effect) 
Live and Learn!


I maintain the following. There is no sense in worrying or having regrets, because let's face it, that attitude gets you no where and does nothing but causes unnecessary anxiety! As long as you can pin point the mistakes and learn from them, you're golden!
Chin up, Chest Out, Forge Ahead and as Queen Elsa sings in the Disney Musical Frozen "Let It GO"
(Great. I can't get that song out of my head and now I'm using it in my book blog to drive a point home....Thanks a lot DISNEY!)

If there is one novel that demonstrates the impact of how your choices, whether selfless or selfish, can effect those around us, than it would be this one.
Grab the Kleenex for when you read.........

The Decision by Best Selling Author, Penny Vincenzi.



Book Description:

Set against a vibrant sixties backdrop, this is the story of two bright young things: Eliza, an ex-deb making a splash in the world of fashion, and Matt, a working-class boy carving out a serious name for himself in property. Their story begins with a love affair, closely followed by a marriage, followed by a baby. But whilst their relationship is at first fueled by passion, it's not of the enduring kind, and soon what started out with such promise descends into a harrowing divorce case and an epic custody battle. With everything at stake for both Eliza and Matt, and neither party willing to give up their little girl without a fight, it's high drama in the courts. Let battle begin...

My Take:

While I did enjoy the book, it left me feeling a bit down. This is not a happy-go lucky read at all, so don't expect a fairy tale or cut and dry happy endings. I came away from this novel really having absorbed a lot of the characters frustration, anger, remorse etc...It is truly amazing how a book can affect your mood. I felt like I needed a good cry after this one.
I always enjoy books by Penny Vincenzi. (I love her novels about the Lytton family) 
When I pick up one of her novels, I know I am in for a story that's well written, very well developed and 'real'. Her novels also have a touch of glamour and prestige but with a sense of realism and drama. I always feel I should be wearing Chanel, munching on caviar covered crackers, sipping on Dom P while reading her novels. (Oh-la-la.)
The Decision revolves around protagonist's Eliza and Matt and the people that surround them.
The novel is written from several different character POV's, twists, turns... You won't be bored. I found it a bit slow to start, waiting for Eliza and Matt's relationship to take off.... this novel really takes it's time getting to the meat of the story, but you are entertained along the way as there is a lot going on.
Eliza is trying to prove herself in the world of fashion, and Matt is trying to build his business from the ground up. When the two add family and a devastating series of events to the mix... life eventually comes crumbling down around them and the claws come out.
As far as the characters go...... Just when you think they are likeable, they aren't. I felt bad for the child Emmie and what she has to go through watching her parents battle it out in divorce court. It was heart wrenching. I didn't agree or like the majority of the characters choices or behavior and that is what made the book incredibly fascinating to me.

I think if I had to choose, my favorite character in this novel would be Eliza's friend Mariella (and she's no Saint either) as I enjoyed her story line the most. She has a great life, married to a fantastic man, seems deeply in love......."but" perfection is an illusion and the heart wants what it wants.....(read the book, you'll see)....

At the end of the day, do I recommend 'The Decision'? Oh Yes.
If you love reading the intensely dramatic or immersing yourself in the crazy lives of the rich and successful, than this is for you. It's a very large paperback, so it may take you some time. It actually took me a few days to read cover to cover. *gasp*
If ever there was a novel to leave with you a book hangover, this is one of them. Make sure you have something a bit light-hearted and fluffy to read afterwards.You're going to need it.

Book Clubs....This is a novel to certainly consider if you are looking for a topic to generate conversation. 

And for a final thought, while I do enjoy reading novels by this author, I will let you in on a little secret.......
I was initially drawn to this book because of the cover. I totally want to own that red jacket!
Shhhhhhhhhhh

I can't wait to see what kind of drama Penny Vincenzi can cook up for us next!

Happy Reading!

Visit Penny Vincenzi's website for more information!


Friday, 14 February 2014

It's a Valentines Day Book Boyfriend Swap!

 Happy Valentines Day!!

Since it's the 'Most Romantic Day' of the year  also known as the 'Biggest, Cheesiest, Cash Grab' of the year.... (You choose which title you wanna to go with, personally I am PRO Valentines) I thought that it would be fun to be a bit silly and kick it up a notch by celebrating this fine day with our 'Book Boyfriends'
(Don't worry, it's not considered 'cheating' if he's make-believe...)

A book boyfriend can fall into whatever category you want:
A hero that you have a bit of a crush on.
A hero that you love to read about.
A hero that you wish was real.
A hero that you admire.

Some people (mainly our husbands, boyfriends etc...) can be annoyed by the term 'Book Boyfriend'.
Some people think us book nerds are a bit crazy getting so caught up in our books, let alone kinda crushing on a fictional character. (Non-readers are a crazy bunch, we don't need to listen to them!)
Others (like me) love cracking jokes about having one....(Innocent fun)
And than there are a small few that take it far to seriously (Yeah, I am talking to you people who actually fight over who-gets which imaginary dude....STOP THAT! It's almost as bad as teeny boppers fighting over which hunky celeb they'll end up marrying. The answer is none of them! Quit kissing your posters! #LifeLesson #ToughLove) 
I digress.....

Since it's Valentines Day, instead of telling you what romantic, sexy books I recommend, I am going to let YOU tell everyone who your book boyfriend is!

Let's trade info on our favorite fictional men!

I'll go first.

Honestly, I can't pick one. I guess you could say I am a bit 'naughty' when it comes to choosing book boyfriends, I have several! (The good news is I am monogamous in real life and that's all that matters)  Asking me to choose which handsome man of fiction I'm crazy about is like asking me what my favorite book is. Impossible....can't happen.Too many to choose from and too many good ones out there!
That said, I will point out some of my favourites in no particular order:



From Sexy Novels Based in Modern Times.......

1) Bennett Ryan from Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren. ~If you've read this book you will know why...Seriously....WHO wouldn't want this guy? Not only is he smart, successful, loaded, and comes from a great family...but he's fiesty, fiery and has freshly fucked hair. Not to mention butting heads with him works as a turn on. Welllll alrighty than! Sounds like a perfect match to me! I could read books with him ALL day. (and I have...) I'm hoping eventually the authors continue on with the series and Lord only knows I can't wait for the movie!

2) Will Sumner from Beautiful Player by Christina Lauren ~ Yup, another character from authors Christina Lauren.... they know how to write them...(I could have added Max Stella from their book Beautiful Stranger to my list, but the whole photog-fetish thing isn't really my thing......) Though I hate running, I love how into fitness and health Will is and the whole former player, sexy smart guy thing.....Yum! He's also deep down a genuine good guy and his sense of humor cracks me up! His relationship with Hannah is adorable. Hmmmm, and as I write this...I realize I have yet to finish that particular blog review for you all......it's coming and this is a preview of how good the book is. :)

And because a lady sometimes wants a lil Historical Romance......and a Title.....

3) Sidheah James Lyon Douglas (aka Hawk) from Beyond the Highland Mist (Karen Marie Moning)
It's actually been awhile since I have read this book, but he always stands out to me when I think of a sexy main character..... and even the Faery Queen agrees....(Yes I said 'Faery Queen' ....I'm not drunk when I write this) You're just gonna have to read the book to find out why....but taking on the mischievous, magical and sexy Adam Black....Hawt. If I was the leading lady in this novel, choosing to stay back in time with him is a no brainer.

4) Clayton Westmoreland from Whitney My Love by Judith McNaught.
 A Duke. A handsome English Duke who will do whatever it takes to get the girl he wants, even if she doesn't know him yet......SOLD! I could totally be a Duchess in the 1800's..... (Think they'll let me bring my hair dryer?) He has his ups and downs....a bit old fashioned (well, to us Modern Era Gal's anyway) but he is gallant, a bit romantic and what girl doesn't like to be chased?

So there you have four of my choices....so far......

Let's see who everyone else chose!

Megan: "Book boyfriend... Hmm.. well I'm going to have to go with Ethan from Hit List by Anita Blake. First because the fact he carries four strains of tiger shifter in him gives him incredibly cool hair and also because he's super sweet and a little broken. I have a thing for the sweet, broken tough guys. He's badass and has a body that makes even Anita sweat.. so I'd love to cuddle up with him and see if my inner tigeress could find a nice playmate. I just love Anita's books for their suspense, the characters and of course the steamy love scenes and relationships help as well."

 Shilo: "My book bf is from The Infernal Devices series (By Cassandra Clare). I want what Tess had, the best of both worlds... Will Herondale AND James Carstairs. What can I say? Together, they're perfect."
(She also goes on to tell me)
"These guys are Parabatai. Which means they are battle soul mates. They live for each other. There is even a ceremony to connect them. They both fall for Tess and she falls for both of them. It's quite the little love triangle. I loved the whole Shadowhunter series."
(I am intrigued!)

Erin: "I think I would have to go with Edward Cullen....(Twilight)... has too many temper tantrums to have a long term thing with and Gideon is way too controlling (although I would submit to both of them!! LOL) But boyfriend/husband material?? Edward always treated her as an equal and protected her with everything he had as did his family, especially once she turned! There was complete trust and respect between them. The road to trust with the other two would be a LONG one!"
 
Brenna: "Rhett Butler....Gone With The Wind" (Margaret Mitchell)

Miranda: "James Fraser from the Outlander series" (Diana Gabaldon)

Erin: "Currently Clayton Danvers from Bitten" (by Kelley Armstrong)

Sarah: "Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre" (Charlotte Bronte)

And I am going to end with the following choice(s) because like me.....this lady can't just choose one!!

Amanda: "Peeta Mallark (Hunger Games) Gideon Cross (Crossfire Series ~Sylvia Day) Christian Grey (50 Shades ~ E.L. James)"

So there you have it folks...... why not take some time this Valentines Day to snuggle up and read with your 'Book Boyfriend' or become acquainted with a new one from our list.

Now, I have a vacation to plan for. My hubby surprised me today with tickets for a romantic vacation to Cuba! Wonder which of your book boyfriends I'm gonna take with me...... ;)

A big shout out and THANK YOU to everyone who shared!! Want to be more interactive? LIKE my page on Facebook and join in!
 

Happy Reading!








Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Goddess of Vengeance ~ Jackie Collins



You know, sometimes I wonder what my life would be like if I was famous actress. (And I should be.....)
Would I still be the same person? (Ha, I'd like so say yes...just a richer, more expensively dressed version of who I am now......)
Would I have vices and fall into that Hollywood Party Trap? (If my youth is any indication, than that's a no brainer...)
What kind of house (mansion) would I live in? What car would I drive? (I already drive my dream car every summer!...Mustang Convertible...HOLLA!)
Would I get into cat fights and rivalries with fellow celebrities? (I'm looking at YOU Taylor Swift...)
How would my Hollywood husband Channing Tatum feel about me kissing other men on screen? (WHAT!? A girl can dream.....)

Yeah.
Sometimes my mind wanders...that's how it works. I like to daydream, imagine and play the What-If game...
 It's part of my charm....  but the reality is: I have what I have and I wouldn't change it for a million bucks. 
(Though wouldn't it be nice to have this life PLUS a million bucks.... ;) Shhhh, none of that grass is greener crap...let me dream)

The reason I am babbling about the Hollywood life is because I just picked up and read a book by one of the reigning queens of juicy celeb/society inspired novels......The One...The Only...Best Selling Author Jackie Collins!
*cue applause*

At first when I picked up the novel 'Goddess of Vengeance', I was under the impression that I had never read one of her novels before. Truth be told, after reading it I'm still confused because somewhere, somehow, I am actually aware of the character 'Lucky Santangelo' and familiar with some of the story......days after reading this novel, the feeling of deja vu is nagging at me.....(Perhaps I should lay off the blonde dye jobs?)

Book Description via Amazon.com: 
Lucky runs a high profile casino and hotel complex, The Keys in Vegas.
Lennie, her movie star husband, is still writing and directing successful independent movies, while Max, her stubborn and gorgeous teenage daughter is about to celebrate her 18th birthday, and her son, Bobby, owns a string of hot clubs. Lucky has everything. Family. Love. Life.
And everything is exactly what billionaire businessman Armand Jordan is determined to take from her one way or the other.
Born a Prince in the small but affluent Middle Eastern country of Akramshar, Armand comes to America with his American mother at an early age, and rises to become a real estate business titan. Armand regards women as nothing more than breeding mares or sexual playthings, so when his people inform him that the one property he covets more than anything, The Keys, is not for sale, he is shocked. That a mere woman would dare to turn down his offer to buy The Keys is unthinkable, and Armand vows to force Lucky’s hand whatever it takes. And so the battle for power begins . . .
Meanwhile Bobby is dealing with shady Russian investors, while his girlfriend—smart and independent Denver Jones—is becoming a Deputy D.A. in the L.A. drug unit.
And Max, Bobby’s seventeen year old sister, is busy embarking on a forbidden affair with a sexy young movie star. An affair they have to keep on the down-low lest Lucky finds out.
The word is that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” and what happens in Goddess of Vengeance will blow your mind! 

My Take:

Let me introduce you to the three characters that really stood out to me~

Lucky Santangelo
I don't even know how to begin to describe this character. To say that she is 'strong' is an understatement. This chick has Balls. Big ones. (Metaphorical ones)
She has such an amazingly dramatic background, how Lucky is still standing on top of the world and not curled up rocking back and forth in a corner popping Valium is beyond me. She is beautiful, intelligent and will kick your ass into the next century if you mess with her. She's a wife, mother, daughter of a 'well known' mob-like Father. She's career driven, wildly successful and always in survival mode. It doesn't seem there is anyone or anything she is afraid of....I can't wait to read the other novels and learn more about her and her past that is mentioned in this novel.

Max is Lucky's 17 year old daughter on the cusp of her 18th birthday. She is a chip off the ol' block and trying to fly away, but doesn't know how to avoid having her wings clipped by her mom. Lucky isn't quite convinced Max is ready for the world yet and worries about her heading to New York. This girl has big shoes to fill living in the shadows of both her parents, but she is determined....To add to the drama, Max ends up falling head over heels in love with someone a bit older who has a a history with Mama Bears best friend.......This may not go over so well with the parental units.
Max is smart, fiesty and sweet. She was one of my favorite characters.

Armand Jordan...or should I say 'Prince-Who-Needs-Kicked in The Nads- Hard-By Someone Wearing Steel Toed Boots...'
This character is without a doubt one of the most sadistic and disgusting I have read about in a long time. To call him old fashioned and misogynistic would be an insult to both old fashioned AND misogynists minded men everywhere. His temper and ego knows no bounds....(somebody has a God complex....)....to the point he thinks he can actually buy anyone or anything he desires. Fueled by alcohol, crack and rage... When he finally meets Lucky, claws come out....and it is beautiful! #TeamLucky
That was probably my favorite part of the book.

Goddess of Vengeance, while this isn't the first book installment, in my opinion it doesn't seem to me that you necessarily have to read the whole series in order to appreciate what is going on in this novel. (Perhaps those who are more familiar with her series can clarify this for me?)
We get plenty of back story, not to mention several blossoming story lines, so if you wanted to get a taste of her books and writing style, reading it as a 'stand alone' book doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Of course, I'm sure that does somewhat spoil some of the other novels should you (like me) want to track backwards and now read them all in order...Perhaps I will change my mind about that when I do get around to reading all her books, but for now I stick with that opinion. (The rest of her series has now been added to my massively large TBR pile, so if anyone wants to send me a million bucks to afford all these novels, that'd be swell.....)

I was quite enthralled with the novel. I loved the multiple character and plot lines.....each of them as entertaining as the next. Reading the 'behind the scenes' L.A. attitude and salacious behavior of the Rich and Famous set is almost as good as reading an article on TMZ..... I won't lie....At times I wondered if characters purposely had the 'qualities' of certain celebs.....or if some of the shenanigans were 'loosely based on gossip'.... (What? I'm curious.......)
It's a long read. Took me most of a day. (My superpower is speed-reading)
I would classify it as a book to read when you do not know what you are in the mood for!


 There is so much I could tell you about this book, the series etc... but this blog will turn into a novel itself, so if you want anymore information on Goddess of Vengeance, click here on the link for the author's website where there is tons of info! There is even a free chapter you can download!
I have been on her website trying to figure out where to start and what to read next and a few books have caught my attention...(Keep in mind these are not necessarily in a series, or in order...but just as they have caught my eye)
The Bitch
Confessions of a Wild Child 
Poor Little Bitch Girl
Drop Dead Beautiful
Hollywood Divorcee

And that is just to name a small few.....I'd better wrap this blog up, quit writing and get to reading.....

SOOOOOOOOO to sum it up.....

I most certainly recommend this book if you are looking for something classy, trashy and a little bit sassy!

Happy Reading!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Before I Go To Sleep ~ S.J. Watson

Can you imagine waking up one day and not knowing a thing about the day before?
(Ha, okay, well perhaps we have been there- done that after a night of binge drinking in our idiot youth....but that's not what I mean....)

Imagine waking up next to a person you don't know or recognize (One night stands don't count....) 
Imagine looking in the mirror assuming you are a youthful 20 year old, but the shocking reality is you are much older than what you remember.....(Okay, I'm guilty I do that every morning)
Imagine having to your life told to you over and over again on a daily basis, by a stranger who you learn is your husband.
Imagine learning that when you go to bed at night, your memory will be wiped clean and when you wake it will all start over again.

It reminds me of that Adam Sandler -Drew Barrymore comedy.....(50 First Dates).....but this novel is far from comedic.
It's tragic and frightening.

Released in 2011 "Before I Go To Sleep" by S.J Watson is an absolute MUST READ for people who like a dramatic thriller..... or anyone looking for an amazing novel to lose themselves in!!



Book Description:



Christine wakes up every morning in an unfamiliar bed with an unfamiliar man.
She looks in the mirror and sees an unfamiliar, middle-aged face. And every morning, the man she has woken up with must explain that he is Ben, he is her husband, she is forty-seven years old, and a terrible accident two decades earlier decimated her ability to form new memories.
But it’s the phone call from a Dr. Nash, a neurologist who claims to be working with Christine without her husband’s knowledge, that directs her to her journal, hidden in the back of her closet. For the past few weeks, Christine has been recording her daily activities -- tearful mornings with Ben, sessions with Dr. Nash, flashes of scenes from her former life -- and rereading past entries, relearning the facts of her life as retold by the husband she is completely dependent upon. As the entries build up, Christine asks many questions. What was life like before the accident? Why did she and Ben never have a child? What has happened to Christine’s best friend? And what exactly was the horrific accident that caused such a profound loss of memory?
Every day, Christine must begin again the reconstruction of her past. And the closer she gets to the truth, the more unbelievable it seems.

My Summery and Take:

There is a surefire reason this book is getting buzz and has a major motion picture coming out! This novel is beyond intense.
The plot had me completely hooked. Christine wakes up every day feeling young only to discover that is far from the case. She is shocked to discover she is much older than she remembers....and that strange man in her bed is her husband. It's his job on a daily basis has to fill her in and reintroduce her to what has become of her life.
She learns she is keeping a journal and with the help of a Dr. Nash.....a psychologist who contacted her in hopes of studying her usual case.The thing is, it's to be kept a secret from her husband (who has given up on her ever remembering). She and the doctor secretly work together as she struggles to remember and regain her memory. His methods seem to work as the more she documents, the more triggers she's shown.... the more flashbacks she has. As we read her entries, we discover bits and pieces and learn things that don't quite add up. The question is, why has nothing worked until now?
 As the novel progresses, you really start wondering if you can trust anyone....including her journal entries. Can she even trust herself?? Is she documenting everything in her journal correctly? What kind of person was she before she lost her memory? What will happen if her husband was to discover the journal? Where are her friends and family from before the accident? What is real and what is her imagination???
This book gave me chills. I always like to put myself into the characters shoes and really digest a novel like this but not even I can even fathom what this character goes through. The paranoia, the distrust.....your life having been stolen from you and you can't recall anything or anyone. This is a novel that will haunt your thoughts long after you have read it. It's a truly frightening thought to know that people suffer from amnesia on a daily basis and my heart goes out to those who suffer from this condition.
It's been days since I completed the novel and I still can't shake the story. That's the mark of a great read!
A wonderfully written novel, it captures the desperation and struggle of Christine's character beautifully. I do believe I may have suffered from some anxiety reading it which would explain why I didn't want to put it down. I needed to know how it ended so I could relax! I highly recommend this one!

On a side note...It's very rare my husband shows any interest in books, let alone in one I am reading. I don't know if it was the cover of the novel or if I was making sounds while reading it.....but my husband started asking questions about what it was about. I summed it up for him, this turned into a discussion on related movies-books-situations (Odd....) and I was quite happy when he said "If that was a movie, I would see it!" (...because Heaven-forbid he actually picks a book up....)
One Google search later and it looks like we have a date!!! Before I Go To Sleep is releasing in theaters later on this year....starring Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth and Mark Strong.
(Now, if only I could read a few passages to him from Fifty Shades of Grey....maybe... just maybe I can convince him to see that one with me as well? ;)  )

Ladies, Gentleman.... Add "Before I Go To Sleep" to your reading lists and be sure to see this one once it hits theaters!! Make a night of it! ;)


Happy Reading!


Saturday, 11 January 2014

Omens ~ Kelley Armstrong



I do not know where to start with this blog!!!
Why is that you ask?
Well, it just so happens that I am writing about an author who's work I am a HUGE fan of!
(The proof is on my bookshelf, never mind my e-reader)

Kelley Armstrong ranks extremely high as one of my favorite authors!
That statement led me to wonder how I could actually choose 'who' could win the title of my 'All Time Favorite Author'. After giving it much thought.....and ditching the idea of them fighting to the death (we don't want that) I'm convinced there is only one way I could be forced to name a winner:
Picture it, I hold a meeting with them where I give them all a challenge....Throw out character names (Lead character will obviously a charming blonde named Irene....) a plot outline, tell them to than pick their own genre and than GO!! Whoever writes the best novel wins my top spot.....(Reasonable request...no?)

Not only is Kelley Armstrong a Canadian (Eh!) but she writes one of the most incredible paranormal series of all time.....Women of the Otherworld. (If you have not read or heard of this series, please remove yourself from thy rock, oh sheltered one.....)
It is no secret to anyone who knows me well, that I am completely in awe of that series. I LOVE IT.
I love it so much that I don't like lending her books to people. I would rather spend the money to buy you a copy to keep, than lose one of mine. I love the writing style, the characters, the plot lines, the Canadian content, the twists, turns.... the way she turns monsters like vampires and werewolves into believable, every day creatures.
This is an author to read and recommend and I am not the only one who thinks so! It's safe to say that in my social circles author Kelley Armstrong is a popular choice!


I was lucky enough that she came into my neighborhood for a book signing a couple of years ago, and I did attend! I'm not gonna lie....I totally geeked out. I mean, I stammered, smiled, could barely talk to her because to me, meeting my favorite author is a total rock star moment. I actually forgot to ask if I could get a proper picture with her. (Dumbass that I am) It was awfully embarrassing and completely out of character for me. (Ask my friends or family how often I am ever speechless or shy.....)
HOWEVER, having her sign a book for me was amaze-balls. (Can people over 30 use the term amaze-balls??)


 Anyway....now that I have totally geeked out again via my blog, I shall continue......

Omens has been on my reading list since I first heard whispers about it. Since I have been trying to read a lot of books on my TBR list, I decided to hold off on this novel. Holy Moley this book did not disappoint, and if you want the truth I'm a bit upset with myself that I waited so long to get a copy.



The synopsis from Amazon.com:


Twenty-four-year-old Olivia Taylor Jones has the perfect life. The only daughter of a wealthy, prominent Chicago family, she has an Ivy League education, pursues volunteerism and philanthropy, and is engaged to a handsome young tech firm CEO with political ambitions.
But Olivia’s world is shattered when she learns that she’s adopted. Her real parents? Todd and Pamela Larsen, notorious serial killers serving a life sentence. When the news brings a maelstrom of unwanted publicity to her adopted family and fiancé, Olivia decides to find out the truth about the Larsens.
Olivia ends up in the small town of Cainsville, Illinois, an old and cloistered community that takes a particular interest in both Olivia and her efforts to uncover her birth parents’ past.
Aided by her mother’s former lawyer, Gabriel Walsh, Olivia focuses on the Larsens’ last crime, the one her birth mother swears will prove their innocence. But as she and Gabriel start investigating the case, Olivia finds herself drawing on abilities that have remained hidden since her childhood, gifts that make her both a valuable addition to Cainsville and deeply vulnerable to unknown enemies. Because there are darker secrets behind her new home, and powers lurking in the shadows that have their own plans for her.



My Take:

You could not pry this book (or my e-reader) out of my hands if you tried.

I love how the novel began. It has a heart pounding-creepy-tricky vibe to it that really helps set the story up....I thought it was a cleverly executed way to set the mood!
It's hard to really describe Olivia's character before she discovers her true identity as Eden Larsen. We really don't get to know too much about her 'before' she discovers the truth of her parentage, but we know she is intelligent, beautiful women and has the world laid out at her feet. She has a plan! Marriage, career, maybe kids one day....As the story continues you can see how losing her identity actually helps her grow as an individual. We discover that she is brave, willful and even stronger than anticipated. I have to say, I was a bit surprised at times when Olivia would have a thought or made a decision that seemed 'outside the box' for her personality. An example would be how she comes to treat both of her mothers, especially the one that raised her. (Those who have read the story will know what I am talking about) That plot line alone makes me wonder, Does Olivia's sixth sense have something to do with her behavior toward her adoptive mother~ making it 'more' than just the typical shock and anger one might have? Is there more to that particular storyline that meets the eye?? (undoubtedly, there is......)

The whole novel leaves you wanting more and questioning everything!

All that said, you don't need to read too far into the novel before you see how Olivia's life comes crashing down on her and it is like a run away roller-coaster ride. There are omens everywhere throughout the book and the more they show up, the more she realizes there is more to this than just weird rhymes popping into her head out the blue. She ends up in Cainsville, a mysterious town that even by the end of the first novel leaves you guessing and coming up with theories. There are so many eerie and strange layers to that creepy, sleepy town.... the people, the gargoyles, the ravens, even the cat.....Cainsville is a big ol' bag of worms that I am dying to know more about, never mind the actual mystery about the serial killings and who is really behind them.

One character to watch is Gabriel Walsh.....He's a smarmy lawyer who represented her birth mother once upon a trial, and at first I just did not know what to make of this guy. Even though he is rather unlikable, he really grows on you as the novel develops, but even toward the end of book one, he's remains a very strange mystery.....I look forward to seeing how his character is to develop along the way and I am hoping a romance develops between the two.....

This novel combines styles we have seen from Kelley Armstrong in the past. The incredible imagination and paranormal-fantasy of the Otherworld series mixed with the more mainstream, mystery-thriller seen in her Nadia Stafford series....She writes with a great wit and captures the sense of foreboding in a way that makes me want to draw comparisons to the likes of Stephen King, Anne Rice,VC Andrews.....
When describing her novels when recommending them to my friends, I typically give the same speech "She takes the unbelievable and makes it believable...You're going to want more of it!"
You can tell the author puts a lot of thought into how she creates her characters and plots. No stone is left unturned and we are left with incredible tales. Kelley Armstrong novels are ones you can read over and over again!
She gets more than 5 Stars from me!

A fun fact about Omens: At the start of the novel there is an authors note regarding little 'Easter Eggs' she has dropped throughout the novel. If you are wanting to get ahead of yourself with the mystery than you can follow these Easter Eggs and do your own search ahead of Olivia and the story.
I personally decided to pass at this game, I want to go a long for the ride as the novels unfold....but for any of you who like a good mystery.....well there is your bonus incentive on why you should add this book to your reading list! 

As you can imagine, I am on pins and needles waiting for the next installment in the Cainsville Series to release. Look for Visions (Book #2) to release in August 2014. I am so excited about the next novel that I actually created a reminder on my phone. 

**Bonus News** Tonight on Space in Canada (Or on January 13th on Syfy in the US) is the release of "Bitten" (Women of the Otherworld!) and we get to watch Elena and Clay in action!!! I can not wait!! Check your local listings!!!!

Visit the authors website for more information: http://www.kelleyarmstrong.com/

To sum up this review:

If you love Kelley Armstrong novels. Read Omens.
If you have never read her novels. Read Omens.
If you need a great thriller. Read Omens.
If you need a great paranormal. Read Omens.
If you don't like the way your hair looks today. Read Omens.
If your husband or wife asks you to complete a chore today. Read Omens.

Get it? Got it? GOOD!!

Happy Reading!!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Private Paradise ~ Jami Alden

Baby it's coooooold outside.

Don't get me wrong....I enjoy winter...I love the snow... Never mind hibernating...there is so much to do....snowshoe through the woods, go tobogganing, build snow sculptures (Mere snowmen are not enough!)....Hey, I even have fun shoveling!
Look! Proof I'm an Angel! Or Crazy. You decide.


 Alas not everyone does appreciate the cold, wintery weather like I do...That said, I certainly know when to throw in the towel when the temps outside reach -40 below! (GO AWAY Polar Vortex!!!!)
All that said, while I like winter, if you have followed my blog for awhile you know that I love to jet off to the Caribbean sun for a week to relax. Unfortunately sometimes (like this year) that isn't an option.
(@#$%^&!!) 

I am here in spirit!!


Whether you are escaping this frigid cold weather by vacationing to an island (TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!) or taking a time out in a hot bubble bath (DO NOT TAKE ME WITH YOU!!!)...... I recommend grabbing a copy of this sexy book to keep you company and help warm you up!


 
Book Description from Amazon.com:

 After years of catering to the whims of the rich and famous at one of the Caribbean's most luxurious resorts, there isn't much that can rattle Carla DeLuca.
Until Sam O’Connell shows up.
Tall, dark, and sexy, Holley Cay's new security chief is no stranger. He's the irresistible bad boy who seduced her over a long, hot summer only to leave her heartbroken, humiliated, and determined to never again fall for a player like him. But though her heart still stings with the memory of his rejection, her body can't forget the all-consuming pleasure of his touch.

Sam never forgave himself for his too cruel rejection of Carla over a decade before. Young, reckless, and convinced it was only a matter of time Carla regretted hooking up with a trouble maker like him, Sam pushed Carla away before she could realize her mistake. But when Sam lands a job working for Carla in paradise, he seizes the chance to finally make things right.

When a hurricane strands them alone on the island, Carla is unable to resist the passion simmering between them. She doesn't fool herself that what they have will last past the storm. But little does she know, Sam will do whatever it takes to make her his – forever this time.

My Take:

I liked it! So much so that my standard complaints apply to this review. It wasn't long enough for me, could have used more detail, why did it have to end so soon?? I enjoyed the characters chemistry, however the novel at times felt rushed to me (Gah, I hate when that happens!) I found myself wanting 'more'....more story, a few more twists, turns, more details etc...just to keep these characters and novel going a bit longer.... That is not a negative thing at all. It just means I like "MOOOORE" (I totally just sang that word like the Madonna song on the Dick Tracy sound track...Google it...)

I think it is safe to say that my favorite type of love story involves two characters with a past connection.....I also give extra bonus points for the scenarios that involve some level of animosity... (I maintain there is something extra sexy about those scenarios....the fiery and passionate the better..just sayin'!)
Sam and Carla have this amazing chemistry and it's pretty obvious that after all the years, they are still hot for each other. This novel follows both their points of view, so we are treated to the good ol' His and Her version of what went down all that time ago. The full story eventually reveals itself through flashbacks. (....and I wanted to slap him for her)

I have already read this book twice and will do so again. I've added author Jami Alden to my 'authors to read' list. I really enjoyed her writing style and the sense of humor. It made for a fun, sexy read.

A link to Jami Alden's website for those curious about her work!  http://www.jamialden.com/

Contemporary Romance Lovers....or anyone interested in giving this novel a read. You are in luck! If you have a Kobo run to the site and grab yourself a copy while it's still being promoted for free.....and while you are there, pick up the rest of her novels too!
If you have a Kindle..don't feel left out.....Amazon.ca currently has it for free as well!

Dr. Reenie's Cure for the Cold Weather Blues:
A romantic-sexy book with a tropical setting.
Hot Coconut Scented Bubble Bath.
Glass of Wine...or if you really need to get away in your head, mix up a Mimosa or make a Pina Colada!

Keep Warm, Stay Safe
Happy Reading!!