Tuesday, July 21, 2015

What Do You Think of the Idea of Love?



Summer brings out the list of my favorite writers and one of them is Patti Callahan Henry.  This is my first time to share one of her novels.  Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for a copy of The Idea of Love.  I am also giving away a one copy of this novel.  So sit back and be ready to be enticed for a great story!

Synopsis:

Blake Hunter is looking for his next story.  He writes screenplays which come to the big screen in Hollywood.  There is only one problem he hasn’t had a hit in a long time.   So he travels to Watersend South Carolina to see what he can find under and assumed identity of Hunter Adderman.  What happens when he comes across a local woman Ella Flynn?   Is she telling him the truth?   Will he ultimately find his story and maybe a little romance of his own?

My Thoughts:

This is my first time to share one of Patti’s novels.  I am honored for the opportunity to share The Idea of Love.  I enjoyed the story!  I have met Patti a few times over the years.  I recently attended a luncheon where she described her writing process.  Patti said to just see what would happen next.   The novel is plotted well.  I really enjoyed the character of Ella and wanted to root for her to succeed throughout the novel. I admittedly had my doubts initially about the chemistry between Hunter and Ella, but I found the conclusion interesting!

 I look forward to reading her next novel!

Rating:
4.75/5
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Monday, July 20, 2015

What to Do with Choices? by Tina Guyden



Beautiful Girl pushes beneath the physically attractive exteriors of its characters to the messy but still attractive interiors hidden from the view of the reader. Thank you to Fleur Philips and Spark Press for sharing a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review. Another great novel to include at the beach!

Synopsis:

Melanie is seventeen and beautiful. Of that there is no question. She models and auditions and spends all of her time preparing for the next round of auditions and casting calls, which makes her mother Joanne happy.  She gave up her own career to raise Melanie. It feels to her that she has no choice about the life she’s living. No one truly understands how much she hates this life! She just wants to be a normal teenager, dating, gossiping, and getting ready to go off to college.  Melanie crashes her car and develops scars on her face, and is forbidden to leave the house unless going to the doctor. Although she is able to rest at home will a trip to Montana help Melanie to recover? When she discovers Sam a Native American teen will their relationship become more or just a small discretion over the summer?
 
My Opinion:

I don’t typically read Young Adult novels. It always felt that after I had read a couple of pages I could write the rest of it myself. The predictability was not for me. Beautiful Girl was not at all what I expected. It was hard to hear how Melanie felt about herself, an inner dialogue that made it hard for her to see how anyone could love her before the accident. The accident only made it harder to wait for something amazing to happen to her. What moved me most was how she learned that we all wear masks to protect ourselves.  The ones we love and the freedom you feel when the mask is destroyed and that inner beauty blooms. Thank you for the reminder, Ms. Philips.

Rating:

5/5

Please visit Fleur on her Facebook page, Twitter, or her Website.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Best Beach Read I Have Read In a Long Time!



Thank you to Atria books for a copy of Lake Season by Hannah McKinnon in exchange for an honest review.  I have read many novels, but none like this.  So when a story really grips me and compels me to finish then I know that I can’t want to share it with you!  The Lake Season makes a great beach read this summer!

Synopsis:

Nothing seems to be going right for Iris Standish.  She can’t get her family on the right track once her husband Paul tells her that he wants to separate.  Then an embarrassing episode takes place at her daughter’s soccer game.  What could be the solution?  How about a break to visit her family in the lake country in New Hampshire.  While she received a card from her sister asking to come up this summer, is there more to the story?  Will Leah truly tell her what has been going on as she prepares for her wedding? Or will Iris find it out from a different source? 

My Thoughts: 

I loved this novel!  I highly recommend this it for a great beach read!  I loved the style of writing of how the author kept me both interested and ready to move forward in progressing through the novel.  The plot wove beautifully within the story.   The characters are great fun to read.  It left you wondering what is truly going with Leah and their mother?

The delimma that Iris faced in this story I truly understand.  Even now I have a friend who asks me what is it that I really want?  This is something that Iris has to decide throughout the novel. I was initially disappointed with her choice but the author had a satisfying conclusion.

Rating:

5/5

Please visit Hannah on her Facebook Page, Twitter, and her Website.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Can You Put Your Big Girl Panties on?



Last year I had the opportunity to meet Stephanie Evanovich at Decatur Book Festival.  I chose to share her novel Big Girl Panties with all of you.  For those of you who don’t know Stephanie is the niece of Janet Evanovich.  What would her story telling be like?  Is she as good writer as her aunt?

Synopsis: 

Logan is a personal trainer to many professional athletes and other clients.  He is flying back from Montreal after working with one of his clients.  When he sits in his seat he meets Holly Brennan who is more than an average person in size.  He offers to help her out with some training.  Would Holly take him up on his offer?  Yes and the relationship become more than either thought it would be.  Will it hold up after Holly sees the true Logan?  The true Logan only prefers slim blonds and not much else.  How could Holly ever be what he is truly after?

My Thoughts:

Stephanie Evanovich is a new author to me.  I had a hard time getting into this novel, and getting behind a character like Logan.  He grows more as the story progresses.  I guess my issue is the direction that the author decided to take with this story.  I can totally understand the side that was presented in this story.  Authors tend to write what they know.  The problem is how to get there?  Are we really all about looks and no substance? 

Some may find this story very entertaining but I didn’t see the humor in it.  I may not be the audience for her future work.  I loved the baseball aspect of this story! 

Rating: 

3.75/5

Please visit Stephanie on her Facebook page, Twitter, and Her Website.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Is Balance Truly Possible? by Tina Guyden



 
The Balance Project attempts to answer the question posed by men and women the world over—is it possible to give equally of yourself to all facets of your life? Thank you to Susie Orman Schnall and SparkPress for sharing a copy of the novel in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis:

Lucy Cooper is so much more than an assistant to Katherine Whitney, chief operating officer of Green Goddess & Company. When we meet Lucy, she is waiting in the green room of the Today Show as Katherine is being interviewed by Matt Lauer about her book “The Balance Project.’ Its premise being that it is entirely possible to be a successful executive, a fully engaged spouse, an involved parent and happy. This premise motivates Lucy along with countless other women who have read the book to strive for that elusive balance. Lucy’s plan was to use working with Katherine as a springboard to her own career as a marketing and content web designer. However, being Katherine’s assistant, helping her to maintain a balanced life, has caused the complete opposite in Lucy’s life. Will she be able to keep the balance?  Will the people in her life such as her boyfriend be supportive?

My Thoughts:

I did enjoy reading The Balance Project. However, it was difficult to feel much empathy for either Lucy or Katherine. My overall feeling was that neither woman was completely honest with herself about what their respective lives truly looked like. I am not against a wife or mother having a successful career. I am against this notion that anyone can truly give equally to all aspects of life. It’s just not possible all the time. If you need help maintaining balance, be honest about that, and respect those that make your balanced life possible.

Rating:

3.5/5

Please visit Susie on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

To purchase a copy of the Balance Project go to Amazon.