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Book Review: Love on a Lease by Falon Ballard.

Book Review: Love on a Lease by Falon Ballard.

My book loving friend Irena asked me to buddy read this book with her. As always, our buddy reads are enjoyable and we have great chats about the book, the plot, the characters and plenty of non book related chats too. I am very glad we buddy read this book together as the book itself was sadly a disappointment.

Description:

Beach Read meets The Flatshare in this warmly funny and delightfully sharp debut rom-com about a down-on-her-luck young woman who turns an innocent mix-up between a dating app and a roommate app into a new chance at love.

After getting passed over for an overdue—and much needed—promotion, Sadie Green is in desperate need of three things: a stiff drink, a new place to live, and a one-night-stand. When one drink turns into one too many, Sadie mixes up a long-ignored dating app for a roommate-finding app and finds herself on the doorstep of Jack Thomas’s gorgeous Brooklyn brownstone. Too bad she’s more attracted to his impressive real estate than she is to the man himself.

Jack, still grieving the unexpected death of his parents, has learned to find comfort in video games and movie marathons instead of friends. So while he doesn’t know just what to make of the vivaciously verbose Sadie, he’s willing to offer her his spare bedroom while she gets back on her feet. And with the rent unbeatably low, Sadie can finally pursue her floristry side hustle full-time. The two are polar opposites, but as Sadie’s presence begins to turn the brownstone into a home, they both start to realize they may have just made the deal of a lifetime.

Published February 1st 2022 by GP Putnam

My Thoughts:

I buddy read this book with Irena, and I’m so glad that I did because that was by far the best part of this reading experience.
I went into this book, not expecting it to be completely realistic as it is a rom com, chick lit book. I think this served me well, as the plot and characters of this book were more fairy tale like than rom com.

The female lead character accidentally mixes up her dating app with her apartment share app and ends up meeting Jack who she agrees to be his new room mate. So as the two share Jack’s house, we see their relationship progress and I would have expected to see their characters develop.
Nope, Jack is the fairy tale guy that I think is intended to come across to the reader as ‘perfect’. In actual fact, I found his personality to be dull, and far to concerned with doing everything for Sadie.

Sadie (in my opinion) is selfish, inconsiderate and unlikable. Sadie is described, as having suffered emotional abuse from her father as a child and is therefore described to be under confident and hard on herself all the time. However the way she came across in the book to me was not this way at all. She constantly spoke of herself being “so hot” and she took big life risks. I found the description and the way the character spoke to be completely contradictory, so much so that while reading it Irena and I both commented that this could be triggering or dismissive of people who have been emotionally abused.

On the plus side to this book, the cover is lovely. The writing and chapters are very easy to read and they flow well. The book was a good length, didn’t seem to short or to long. Sadie has great friends and their characters seem a bit more developed and real to me. One is a teacher who doesn’t much like her job and so when she is not at work, she swears constantly. (Because she cannot do it at work). It came across to me as frustration at her lack of contentedness.

This wasn’t a memorable read for me, but saying that there have been some good reviews. If you like easy to read chick lit books with a ‘Prince Charming‘ that will completely dedicate everything he has to the girl, then you may enjoy it. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a book that I will remember for any good reason.

Links:

 
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Posted by on February 20, 2022 in Books

 

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Book Review: I Have Something To Tell You, by Susan Lewis

Book  Review: I Have Something To Tell You, by Susan Lewis

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher Harper Collins for my copy of this book. I asked my book loving friends Irena and Ani if they wanted to buddy read this with me, which made the reading experience a lot more enjoyable.

Description

High-flying lawyer Jessica Wells has it all. A successful career, loving husband Tom and a family she adores. But one case – and one client – will put all that at risk.

Edward Blake. An ordinary life turned upside down – or a man who quietly watched television while his wife was murdered upstairs? With more questions than answers and a case too knotted to unravel, Jessica suspects he’s protecting someone…

Then she comes home one day and her husband utters the words no one ever wants to hear. Sit down… because I’ve got something to tell you…

Now Jessica must fight not only for the man she defends, but for the man she thought she trusted with her life – her husband.

Published September 16th 2021

My Thoughts:

I have read quite a few of Susan Lewis’ books, so I had high hopes for this one. This Author has never disappointed me before. Unfortunately there is a first time for everything and this one did not meet the expectations I had from her previous books.

I Have Something To Tell You gives the impression in the blurb of being a legal thriller, a lawyer defending a man who is accused of killing his wife. Then the lawyer’s husband has something to tell her. I rightly or wrongly went into this book with some kind of pre expectations of what the plot would be. I was wrong!

While the legal case of the man who is accused of killing his wife gripped me for the first half of the book, from the second half onwards I felt it was being dragged out longer than necessary and I became a little frustrated that it wasn’t moving along faster.

The plot about Jay ( the lawyer) and what her husband has to tell her is a good storyline and does add the personal part to Jay’s story. But again I thought this was far to drawn out and her husband was given too many chances ( in my opinion).

I read in the acknowledgements that this is based on a real life story, although made to be fictional so I can’t say that the plot was unrealistic, however I would not appreciate a lawyer like Jay. I felt Jay was quite unprofessional in many ways. I certainly would not want to her to represent me.

I became totally dismayed with the book at about three quarters of the way through when a plot twist is revealed. If it had stayed this way, my rating would have been 2 stars. It was only raised that extra star because of a later twist that redeemed it slightly.

I hope that future books by Susan Lewis will go back to the standard of her earlier works.

Links:

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2022 in Books

 

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More End of 2021 Mini Reviews. There is a favourite in here!

More End of 2021 Mini Reviews. There is a favourite in here!

If you saw my last post, you will have seen that I read a lot of books in 2021, but I didn’t manage to review them all. So these few days of posts will be mini reviews of some of the books that I read but hadn’t reviewed until now. They were read over the past year, so my reviews will be shorter than normal, but I will give you the jist of what I thought of each of them.

The Secret Bridesmaid by Katy Birchall

Published May 4th 2021 by St. Martin’s Griffin

I buddy read this book with Irena, and what a fun time we had with this one. We both agreed that this was one of the best books we’ve read in 2021. It was easy to read, funny and a really pleasant surprise from an author that was new to us both.

Sophie is a professional Bridesmaid, people hire her to be their Bridesmaid and to ensure that their Wedding goes perfectly. Yes, she pretends to be whoever the customer / Bride wants them to be, and she ensures she plays the perfect Bridesmaid and that the Weddings go exactly as planned, sometimes even edging her clients in the right direction if they seem a bit lost in all the planning.

Sophie is hired by Lady Victoria, to be Bridesmaid for her daughter Cordelia. Cordelia does not feel this is necessary and here is where the fun starts. Cordelia is hilarious and does her best to throw a spanner in all Sophie’s plans and asks her to do the weirdest things.

If you have seen and enjoyed the film ’27 Dresses’, then you will love this book even more. That film was fab, this book is even better in my opinion.

Definitely among my top books of 2021. I look forward to reading more from Katy Birchall in 2022.

Romance By The Book by Sarah Ready

Published September 14th 2021 by Swift & Lewis Publishing LLC

This book appealed to me because of the title and the blurb. Book loving, librarian Jessie has loved Gavin since she was a child. She lives in a town called Romeo, where there is a psychic who can predict people’s soul mates. Of course Jessie is over the moon to hear that the guy she has loved for so long is her actual soul mate, but the problem is that he is already engaged. So, Jessie makes plans (based on literary romantic scenarios) to show Gavin that they are soul mates.

I liked that this was escapism, easy reading. The plans that Jessie came up with were stereotypical ideas of romance, but the way she went about them were amusing.

The book was predictable, but then most romance books are, so that wasn’t a problem. I found it a little strange that we hear about Jessie’s friends in the first few chapters, but when it comes to putting her plans into action, she enlists the help of a group of older ladies from the library. I wonder if this was for amusement factor? Though to me, it made it a little unrealistic. I would have liked to hear more from her friends.

This is book 3 in the ‘Soul Mates in Romeo’ series. I hadn’t read book 1 or 2, and I think there were enough spoilers in book 3 that I wouldn’t go back to previous books. But this did work ok as a standalone.

I buddy read this book with Irena, and we both enjoyed the book and the discussions that we had while reading it. A nice easy read, with a few chuckles and a predictable ending.

Let me know any of your favourite books of 2021, I’m always looking for recommendations to add to my reading list.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2022 in Books

 

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Book review: Spooky Halloween Reads.

Book review: Spooky Halloween Reads.

I read some great Halloween reads over the last month. The first I will tell you about is a horror book, which is entirely out of my usual comfort reading zone. But I was buddy reading it with Irena, which would make it enjoyable whatever I thought of the book. Luckily for me, I rated the book 4 out of 5 stars.

Description :

Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats.

Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind.

As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children.

The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland.

My Thoughts:

I think this is my first proper horror book that I have read in quite a few years. I used to enjoy Stephen King books when I was a lot younger. But since then, my genre preferences stayed between thriller and womens fiction. Branching out to a horror book at Halloween seemed the perfect time to give it a go. Even better, I got to buddy read it with Irena.

So, onto House of Hollow. This book starts with three sisters who are as close as sisters can be. They have arranged to meet up as only Iris now lives at home. Vivi and Grey are out living their own lives. Grey as a famous model, and Vivi in a band. The three sisters share a bond like no other as they disappeared as children for 1 month, and when they were found unharmed except for a scar on the throats, they remembered nothing.

The mysterious things start to happen pretty much straight away in this book. Grey doesn’t turn up for their meeting so Iris and Vivi start to look for her. This leads them on a journey neither of them were expecting, and gives them answers and many more questions about their lives along the way.

The writing in House of Hollow is so descriptively amazing and really painted a picture in my mind. It was good to discuss these parts with Irena, as some parts of it really made me cringe, but Irena had different views. When I first saw the cover, I thought it was lovely, as I read on and discovered these were flowers of death, it seemed more creepy than nice. It wasn’t the traditional horror story with blood and gore, or ghosts and ghouls. This horror had mythical dark fairytale vibes, the type that is super creepy to me. While I didn’t know much about faeries at the time (I knew only that fairies were good and faeries were not so good). Irena knew quite a lot about them, so I also learnt about faeries and myths while reading the book.

The concluding chapters to House of Hollow are gripping, fast paced, earie and answered all the questions that I had built up over the read. The ending was both sad, happy, weird and so imaginative. There was an epilogue which was not really necassary and may or may not have been written with a book 2 in mind?? I’m not sure. Personally, I think House of Hollow ended and should remain ended in this way. But saying that I really did love this Author’s writing style and creative imagination. I would read Krystal Sutherland’s books again. I didn’t think I would say that before I started this book, but again my buddy reads have pulled me out of my comfort zone and found something exciting. I highly recommend House of Hollow. Thanks to Irena for suggesting the book and buddy reading it with me.

See this amazing trailer, if my review didn’t convince you to read, then this will.

 
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Posted by on October 31, 2021 in Books

 

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Book Review: The Owl Always Hunts At Night, by Samuel Bjork.

Book Review: The Owl Always Hunts At Night, by Samuel Bjork.

Thank you to publishers Transworlds Books for gifting me this copy of ‘The Owl Always Hunts At Night’. This book was translated from Norwegian to English, which we British booklovers have greatly appreciated! This is the first book I have read by Samuel Bjork, I know the previous book ‘I’m Traveling Alone’ was very popular, and readers of that were excited to read this new book. However, ‘The Owl’ was fine to read as a standalone. 

I read this book as part of a buddy read with one of my favourite bookbloggers and lovely friend Irena. She read in Croatia, and I read in Scotland, and we spoke while we read about our thoughts and ideas about the book. It made reading the book even more fun. Irena is a brilliant blogger and person, and will also be writing a review of this book. You can find Irena’s Blog – BookDustMagic! and Twitter

 book friend

Description:

When a young woman is found dead, the police are quick to respond. But what they find at the scene is unexpected. The body is posed, the scene laboriously set. And there is almost no forensic evidence to be found.

Detective Mia Krüger has been signed off work pending psychological assessment. But her boss has less regard for the rules than he should. Desperate to get Mia back in the office, Holger Munch offers her an unofficial deal.

But the usually brilliant Mia is struggling and the team are unable to close the case. Until a young hacker uncovers something that forces the team to confront the scope of the murderer’s plans and face the possibility that he may already be on the hunt for a second victim.

 

owl

Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Publication: March 23rd 2017 by Transworld Digital

My Thoughts:

This book wasn’t what I expected it to be when I first picked it up. The first chapter tells a story from years ago when some of the characters were younger, as the book progressed, my thoughts kept returning to this first chapter as I tried to figure out what had happened. I did not figure it out, until the twists told us so!! I like a book where I cannot guess the twists, this is a winning book for me. However, the very strange and different thing about this book for me was that I didn’t have a clue who the culprit was for the majority of the book, and I am always suspicious of practically everyone, but not in this tale. Honestly, it confused me a bit. This is one of the reasons that  enjoyed buddy reading this so much, so that at the end of each reading marathon, I would check in with Irena and see what she thought. 

This is the first book that I have read that is based in Norway, and the way the characters describe it, it sounds so cold and uninviting! But having a friend who is Norwegian I know that there are very beautiful parts of Norway, and I can only deduce that the negative way the characters spoke of the country (more so the weather) was part of her state of mind.

There are a lot of different elements to this story, a lot of characters and a lot of divided off stories. It made me wonder how it was all going to link up, but link up it did and it did it very well. It was a book that I had to concentrate on because of the many characters, but because of this I got very involved in the story and it completely wrapped me up for the week I was reading it.  I haven’t ever read a book like this before, with very strange ideas and a total mix of characters. The Author even mentioned Anonymous and Black Hackers (which I hadn’t heard of before, but I know of now after reading this).

Overall the book was gripping, thought provoking and a very different kind of thriller. 

 

Links:

Goodreads

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

 

 

 
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Posted by on March 11, 2017 in Books

 

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Book Review: Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr

Book Review: Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr

If you have been reading my posts or my tweets you will know that Irena from BookDustMagic and myself took part in an Easter readalong for this book. We planned to read 9 chapters a day and had a tweet discussion about our thoughts at the end of each day. If you want to check out our chat, you can look for #BloggerGirl on Twitter. It was a lot of fun, and thanks to Irena and our third buddy reader Mary who also joined us in reading and chatting, I had a really great Buddy Read. 

I would also like to thank Author Meredith Schorr for gifting myself and Irena a copy of her book to review and buddy-read. Thank you Meredith, it was a great book choice for our buddy read and I really enjoyed the chat, and the book. 

Here is my review. This book has been out for a while, so if you have read it I would love to hear your thoughts too.

Published by Booktrope (first published August 2nd 2013)

me as becky

Description:

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving-challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most-hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox – for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

Published by Booktrope (first published August 2nd 2013)

blogger girl

My Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this read. The first few chapters were my favourite because there was a lot of talk about the main character Kim that I could totally relate to. Kim is a bookblogger, she loves books, reading and blogging. As I got further along in the book, I also realised that she quite enjoys her food too. Sounds very similar to myself so far!!!

Kim’s blog is called Pastel is the New Black, and I think that the Author wrote a very realistic version of a bookblogger and blogging in general. This was what attracted me to the book in the first place, and it was one of the reasons that I loved the book.

Along with the blogging side of the story there is friendship – sweet and bitchy! There is love…. and challenges! and there is food talk! All sounds pretty great so far doesn’t it? Keep reading.

Nicolas is Kim’s love interest, and I was surprised that I wasn’t taken by Nicolas’s character for the first half of the book, but as I continued reading, The Author’s character building allowed me to see why I thought what I did of Nicolas. Sound intriguing??? Well if you read it you can let me know your thoughts.

Part of my Twitter chat was about the food that Kim eats, the Author informed me that the Shake Shack is a real place in America, it sounds delicious. I also have a new found temptation for artichokes!  

I thought that all the characters were really well written as they each have their own story going on, and they all link up in ways too. The characters were realistic, believable and as in good chick lit books, all gave me a different feeling towards them. (empathy, distaste, fondness to name a few).

If you know Meredith Schorr’s work at all, you may notice how cleverly done the cover of this book is?…… If you can see it, let me know in the comments. I love it! 

This was a really enjoyable book that I read over the weekend. (which is very fast for me). I would definitely recommend this book to all lovers of blogging and chick lit. Now, I can’t wait to read the sequel ‘Novelista Girl’. 

In honour of Kim and Pastel is the New Black, I give this book 4 pink champagne flutes!

You can read Irena’s review HERE!

champagne

 

Links:

GOODREADS.

AMAZON.COM

AMAZON.CO.UK

Twitter – MeredithSchorr

MeredithSchorr.com

 

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
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Posted by on April 5, 2016 in Books

 

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Buddy Read for #BloggerGirl by Meredith Schorr

Buddy Read for #BloggerGirl by Meredith Schorr

Do you fancy joining us for a buddy read over Easter weekend? Me and my book buddy Irena from BookDustMagic will be reading Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr. We will begin reading on Good Friday (March 25th) and whilst reading it (together but apart in our separate countries) we will be tweeting and discussing the storyline, characters and basically whatever our thoughts are. 

books are people

Description:

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm.

While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving-challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most-hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox – for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

blogger girl

Published by Booktrope (first published August 2nd 2013)

This book has been out for a while, but Irena and I decided as neither of us had read it, this is the book we should read together. It sounds perfect for a buddy read that we will be blogging and tweeting about. 

If you want to join us, then grab the book either from the library or one of these links and watch out for the hashtag #BloggerGirl. 

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

Everyone is welcome, just follow me and Irena at the links below, and join in the fun.

Irena at bookdustmagic.wordpress.com

Twitter – Irena_BookDust

My Twitter – Amanda Chocolate_Pages

Author’s Twitter – MeredithSchorr

 

book friend

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
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Posted by on March 21, 2016 in Book Spotlights., Books, events

 

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