Thursday, September 15, 2016

King of the Friend Zone (Power of the Matchmaker) by Sheralyn Pratt

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Title: King of the Friend Zone

 Author: Sheralyn Pratt
  Published: September 1, 2016
 Publisher: Wicked Sassy
Series or standalone: series (loose)
Format: e-book
 Source: for review








I received a copy for review.

Summary from Good Reads:

Esme Taylor has an amazing fiancé, a lifelong best friend, and a problem.

The problem stems from the fact that her best friend is named Hunter and, well. . .he’s kind of (totally) hot. It’s hate at first sight when her fiancĂ©, Jon, and Hunter meet. Jon’s convinced that Hunter is in love with Esme, and that Hunter must be out of the picture if their upcoming marriage is to succeed.

Esme thinks Jon is paranoid.

The truth is, Jon’s not that far off. Hunter is in love with his best friend and always has been. What Jon has wrong, however, is that Hunter never had any plans of ruining Esme’s happily ever after. Hunter wants what’s best for Esme, even if that’s not him.

When Jon pushes hard to end Esme and Hunter’s friendship, opposition comes from the most unlikely of places. It’s an eccentric lady with a cookie cart who suggests a different solution to Esme’s problem: Hunter and Esme should give each other a chance.

They’ve both thought of the possibility over the years—of course they have. But with a ring already on Esme’s finger and a heap of hurt feelings and broken trust in the mix, there hasn’t been a worse time to explore the depths of their feelings for each other.

Both Esme and Hunter think it’s time to move on and leave childhood crushes in the past. The question is: Can one woman and the taste of one cookie change their minds?
 

My Review:

This is the 9th book in the loosely related series, Power of the Matchmaker, and the third book that I read.  At first glanced, I thought the title of the book was so funny, but I was hesitant about the blurb of the book due to the mention of Miss Pearl, the matchmaker in the series, wanting Esme and Hunter to give each other a chance while she was engaged.  It really didn’t sit well with me.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book at first because I found the very beginning hard to get through, but I found myself flipping through this book pretty fast.  It was definitely a quicker read for me.  I will say that I loved Pearl in this more than the other 2 books I’ve read in the series, but the other 2 had much cleaner content.  I was definitely put off by the content of this book.  I’ve been waiting for Miss Pearl to have a role more in the line of the Asian lady in the movie, Freaky Friday.  There was definitely that kind of fun, pushy personality that I loved.

All my qualms aside, I still rather enjoyed the book as a whole.  The one major downfall for me was the mild innuendos, and I really didn't like Jon and Hunter that much.

Monday, September 5, 2016

An Uncertain Choice by Jody Hedlund

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Title: An Uncertain Choice
 Author: Jody Hedlund

   Published: March 3, 2015
 Publisher: Bethany House
Series or standalone: An Uncertain Choice #1
Format: paperback

 Source: for review








Good Reads Summary:

Due to her parents' promise at her birth, Lady Rosemarie has been prepared to become a nun on the day she turns eighteen. Then, a month before her birthday, a friend of her father's enters the kingdom and proclaims her parents' will left a second choice. If Rosemarie can marry before the eve of her eighteenth year, she will be exempt from the ancient vow.

Before long, Rosemarie is presented with the three most handsome and brave knights in the land. But when the competition for her heart seemingly results in a knight playing foul, she begins to wonder if the cloister is the best place after all. If only one of the knights the one who appears the most guilty had not already captured her heart.
 

I really enjoyed this book.  I don’t read too many books in the medieval setting, but I definitely want to read more.  I think most of the major plot points are easy to guess, but that didn’t bother me. 


There a couple of torture scenes that bothered me.  Definitely not for anybody squeamish.  Also, I didn’t like reading from the male character’s POV.  There weren’t that many POV’s from him, but sometimes I felt like it seemed like a girl POV instead. That may just be me though. 

For anybody that prefers one knight of the other, Jody is writing a book that features each knight.  I am interested in the others in this series, but I am really hesitant about picking them up if they have more gruesome scenes like the one in this one.

Although I enjoyed the book, I cannot recommend this book for younger teens.  Just be really cautious if you pick this book up.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

September TBR

I never really post any TBR on my blog because I usually never plan what books I'll read.  Mood reader for life.  I'll try my best to stick to my list.  

Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

I wanted to finish Pride and Prejudice in August because I signed up for Zoe's, Read by Zoe, Good Reads Book Club, Austentatious Book Club.  We read a Jane Austen book each month.  She also has it where we watch some of the movies that go with the particular Jane Austen book.  I'm not that far into it. 
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Persuasion by Jane Austen

This is the book we are supposed to read for this month.  I've watched the 90s movie adaptation and enjoyed it a bit.  I'm hoping it will be easier to understand than Pride and Prejudice so far. Fingers crossed.

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King of the Friend Zone by Sheralynn Pratt

I got a copy to review.  I have read a couple in this loosely related series, Power of the Matchmaker.  I think the title sounds so fun.

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P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

I've been wanting to read a lighter read.  I want something so light I can float.  I just have been reading books that have heavier elements on and off for a little while and want something that's not going to feel like have had loads put on me.  This will be my first book by her and am looking forward to it.

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Beauty Pop (Volume 1) by Kiyoko Arai

I have read the first 4 out of 10 in this manga series didn't read more because those were the only ones I had.  I plan on rereading the ones I have.  I just love this series.  It's a really fluffy and want I can remember I think it was a cleaner manga. I can't claim that 100% because it's been so long, but for now, I highly recommend this one.

I've been wanting to read Christmas books, but I'm not sure what so I might to an update to this later or just wait for a wrap-up.  I'm just not sure yet.  Feel free to leave links to your September TBRs or your list in the comments.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Fading Starlight by Kathryn Cushman


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Title: Fading Starlight
 Author: Kathryn Cushman
  Published: May 3, 2016
 Publisher: Bethany House
Series or standalone: standalone
Format: paperback
 Source: for review












Good Reads Summary:
A Tale of Unexpected Friendship and Old Hollywood Glamour 

Lauren Summers is hiding. Her fashion house internship should have launched her career, but a red carpet accident has left her blackballed. The only job she finds is unpaid, but comes with free lodging--a run-down cottage in the shadow of a cliff-side mansion. Unsure of what comes next, she's surprised to be contacted by a reporter researching a reclusive former Hollywood ingEnue who lives in the nearby mansion. 

Kendall Joiner wants Lauren's help uncovering the old woman's secrets. In return, she'll prove the red carpet accident was a publicity stunt so Lauren can regain her former job. With all her dreams in front of her, Lauren's tempted by the offer, but as she and the old woman get to know each other, Lauren realizes nothing is quite as it seems.

*I won a copy from the publishers via Good Reads

This is the first book I have read by Kathryn Cushman.  Mostly because hers deal with sadder issues.  I remember seeing this on Good Reads and thinking it sounded interesting.  I was bummed to learn it had hardly any romance, but I still enjoyed the book quite a bit without it. 

I’ve read some other reviews about how the incident seems unlikely to lead to being blackballed. I think it could go either way depending on the circumstances.  I believe it is kind of likely.  It might have bothered me a little bit because I know that has really happened in the fashion industry with celebrities but never have heard the designers receiving the backlash.

Anyway, I really liked Lauren and though she was a like-able character.  I do admit I understand why she wanted to work with Lauren because of wanting to clear her name.   I can sympathize with Lauren in her attempts to become friends with Charlotte, the woman who Kendall wants information on.  Charlotte was a hard character to like, even near the end of the book, it was hard for me to get past what she was doing and had done.

I thought this story was well-done.  I had minor qualms with the book.  I thought the name Kendall Joiner was way too close to Kendall Jenner.  I never thought that the story dragged.  I felt like I read this one rather quickly for being a trade back size.


If anybody has ever wanted to read a book by Kathryn, I highly recommend starting with this one because as far as I can tell, this is definitely a more lighter read than her other books.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School Freebie



Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.


For this week, I am including books/series that I read for myself and books that I liked for class.  All of these I'm trying to stick to only high school reads.  Some of these are short stories.

Read for fun:

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Twitches series by H. B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfeld

Most people who have heard anything about this, is probably going to be from the Disney Channel Movie adaptation of Twitches or Twitches, Too.

I remember being bugged with how the movie was portrayed.  Now, I do really like the Disney Channel movies, but I really love the book series as well. They are pretty different.  They do have some of the same characters, but Elena and Karsh was not an item. They were more like a student and advisor/friend relationship.  Huge, huge age gaps.

The magic and villan aspects are different, too.  There is no mention of "The Darkness" in the series.

I did not mean to have a mini-rant.  It's just I loved this series when I was about to begin or just beginning high school.  This is a pretty long MG/YA series with 10 books to the series.

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The Hunter (Forbidden Game #1)  by L.J. Smith

'Til this day I have not read the 3rd and last book to this trilogy.  I loved this trilogy but I just know my heart will hurt reading it.  L.J. Smith reminds me a lot like R.L. Stine with her earlier works.

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Dark Guardian series by Rachel Hawthorne

This is a fluffier, werewolf series that I inhaled when I was in high school.  There are 4 books in the series, and each features a different couple, but the others make a cameo in the others for the most part.  This would be a good starter series for people wanting to start reading shapeshifter/werewolf book because it is a really light paranormal series.

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Dead is the New Black by Marlene Perez

This series reminds me a little bit like Buffy because it centers around a girl who thinks she is normal in an abnormal town.  This does have a spin-off of like 2 or 3 books that take place in the town, but with a younger sibling of a character in the series.  Definitely an underrated series.  I believe this is also a good choice if you don't want a paranormal series that is really heavy.

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Miss Match by Wendy Tolliver

This is one of the many Simon Romantic Pulse Comedies that I've read in high school.  The imprint is a very fluffy, contemporary.  This book is about a sister that is helping the new guy woo her sister.

Read for class:


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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I am currently reading a little bit of Pride and Prejudice, but Jane Eyre is one if not the only classic I have read by any of the classic female authors.  I remember reading this and I began it very hesitantly.  I read this one pretty quickly for me, especially considering the length and that it is a classic.

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The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

My absolutely  favorite short story by Poe.  I always feel crazy when I read things by him, but I definitely think that is his intent.  I didn't feel as crazy as reading this one.

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Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

This is the only William Shakespeare play I've really read because when my class did Romeo and Juliet, the teacher did not have a lot of time to spend on it, so we only hit major points to the play.  I didn't expect to like Julius Caesar, but I liked it a lot more than Romeo and Juliet.  I think this is largely due because I couldn't stand how the actress was in the movie version of Romeo and Juliet.

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Lady or the Tiger by Frank R. Stockton

This is a very open-ended  short story that I really loved.  It's really not long at all and highly recommend this, especially if you love speculating what decision someone made.

The Most Dangerous Game















The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell

This one is also pretty different.  A guy gets stranded on an island with a man who does hunting a little differently and wants the stranded man to join in.

Monday, August 29, 2016

In Firefly Valley (Texas Crossroads #2) by Amanda Cabot


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Title: In Firefly Valley 
Author: Amanda Cabot
  Published: May 19, 2015
 Publisher: Revell
Series or standalone: Texas Crossroads #2
Format: e-book/hardback
 Source: for review/library









Summary from Good Reads

Marisa St. George is devastated when she is a victim of downsizing and has no choice but to return to the small Texas town where she grew up. Though it's a giant step backward, she accepts a position as business manager at the struggling Rainbow's End resort. The only silver lining is Blake Kendall, a new guest who is making her believe in love at first sight. But will her dreams of happily-ever-after be turned upside down when she discovers who he really is?

*I received a copy for review from the publishers via Net Galley

I have not read the first in this series, and the couple from the first book appears in this book.  I was a little bummed when I found that out, but it is not a big deal since in these types of books you pretty much know who is going to end up with whom.

This is my first Amanda Cabot book that I read, and I did enjoy it.  I will say it took me several sittings.  I don’t blame it on the book.  I’m just a heavy mood reader, and once I get something to review, it has been taking me several sittings to read a book.  I enjoyed this book enough that I would read the first book in this series.

I liked most characters in this book.  I was not a fan of Blake at times in the book and had a pretty up and down view of him.

I did like reading about Lauren and Drew, but I would rather that they had their own story or at least a novella. I preferred Drew to Blake if I’m honest.  Not many books I’ve read do this, but Lauren had a little bit of her POV in it.  I can see that it added to the story that I’m not sure could have been done well without being in her POV.  I really don’t like that her POV was there just because I believe the POV should have stayed in Marisa and Blake’s.

As I mentioned, I would rather have had a novella that went into depth about Drew and Lauren.  Maybe that’s one reason I gave this book a four stars.  I was more into reading about Lauren and Drew compared to Marisa and Blake.  I was more sensitive to Marisa as a character.  Blake rubbed me the wrong way in some parts, but he does have moments that made me root for him more.

It may not seem like it, but I really did enjoy this book.  I just wish certain things were set up differently in a couple of places.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Healer's Apprentice by Melanie Dickerson


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       Title: The Healer’s Apprentice
 Author: Melanie Dickerson
  Published: September 15, 2010
 Publisher: Zondervan
Format: paperback
 Source: own









Goodreads Summary:

Two Hearts. One Hope.

Rose has been appointed as a healer's apprentice at Hagenheim Castle, a rare opportunity for a woodcutter's daughter like her. While she often feels uneasy at the sight of blood, Rose is determined to prove herself capable. Failure will mean returning home to marry the aging bachelor her mother has chosen for her—a bloated, disgusting merchant who makes Rose feel ill.

When Lord Hamlin, the future duke, is injured, it is Rose who must tend to him. As she works to heal his wound, she begins to understand emotions she's never felt before and wonders if he feels the same. But falling in love is forbidden, as Lord Hamlin is betrothed to a mysterious young woman in hiding. As Rose's life spins toward confusion, she must take the first steps on a journey to discover her own destiny.

Book Review:

Normally, I try to write my own synopsis, but felt the one for this book was really good and thought it described a whole lot better than I could.

I spoiled myself on this book before I even read it.  I have no idea why I didn’t think it through, but I read the discussion questions and spoiled a major plot point.  Hopefully, I’ve learned my lesson. 

This is a retelling about Sleeping Beauty.  I absolutely love fairy tale retellings, but I believe this is the first Sleeping Beauty retelling I have ever read, largely because Sleeping Beauty is not even close to being a fairy tale that is a favorite.  I really enjoyed Melanie’s retelling.

I think one of the main reasons I rated the book 4.5 stars is I kept putting the book down to do other things.  I don’t blame this on the story at all.  I think I was in some kind of mood where I wanted to something other than read, but I didn’t know what.

I will say I preferred one male character over the other and felt the character I didn’t like had more time with Rose than I would have liked.  Also, there is conjurer in the book, and the moments in the book that anything related this really disturbed me.
  
Although, I really enjoyed this book, I cannot recommend this book for younger teens.  I know this might not bother some, but I cannot stomach those scenes.  I have and do plan on reading more by Melanie, but I will avoid any books that reflect that kind of content.

I do believe Melanie can write really well and look forward to more of her books.