Chasing Olivia – Review

chasing-oliviaWhat do you do when there is a sequel to one of your favorite books with the same main characters? Of course you read it. That’s what I did back in August 2015 as well as this month with Chasing Olivia.
Trace and Olivia are still together and happier than ever. The obstacles that were thrown at them in the past, made their bond even stronger. But after two years, the fearless adventurers are replaced with an “old married couple”. To get their spark back, Trace and Olivia are headed on a roadtrip of a lifetime. But is it just a roadtrip to get their spark back or does Trace have some hidden agenda? Nevertheless, Olivia can’t wait to escape her “soap opera life” for a few weeks, but unfortunately one can only run away from reality for so long.

I love roadtrips. Period. I have been on a few myself in the past and the next will begin in just a few days actually. Yay! Roadtrips make me think of freedom: it’s just your car, your friend(s) (or boy/girlfriend), the road and some great music. Continue reading “Chasing Olivia – Review”

Finding Olivia – Review

oliviaWhen I picked up Finding Olivia for the very first time in August 2015, I had never heard of that book, that series or even that author before. The blurb, however, sounded interesting enough and why not give another indie author like Micalea Smeltzer a chance? And believe it or not, but this book here made me fall in love with Micalea, her characters and her books. Up until now I have read every single novel she has ever published (apart from her fantasy series, since I’m not really keen on that genre) and I personally think that she gets better with each new release. Some readers may find her stories and characters too lovey-dovey, too silly or too cheesy but I really love them and you might fall in love with her books as well. You might as well start with this novel, which is the first in the “Trace + Olivia” series.
While growing up with a strict preacher father, Olivia  was never able to fully live her life. She hopes to accomplish as many things as possible from her Live List during her four years at college. Unfortunately, she was only able to cross off four things up until now. Then she meets Trace and things begin to change in the best possible way. When Olivia tells him about her list, Trace is more than happy to help her out. Plus, he gets to spend more time with the girl he can’t seem stop thinking about. But neither of them expected what was waiting for them along the way. Continue reading “Finding Olivia – Review”

Background Music – Review

As a huge fan of J.R. Rogue’s poetry, I was eager to get my hands on her upcoming novel Background Music. Her writing has opened my world to a love and enjoyment of poetry I have never experienced before. I trust her ability as an author to make me feel her words, and I was prepared for a full range of emotions with Background Music.

BLURB

“You’re more than background music for someone else’s life.”


It’s the message that will change everything.

The message Kat Roberts receives from a man she’s never met.

The message no one else is supposed to see but her.

The message that leads to the greatest violence

against her body she will ever know.

 

Prologue

Kat

I’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER THE BACKGROUND MUSIC that played downstairs that night. Those notes will forever haunt me. They played softly as midnight struck, as our friends and family raised glasses and kissed lips. So softly, so delicately, as my husband raped me in our upstairs bedroom. As he pinned my arms behind my back. As he told me not to cry out. As he convinced me it was what I deserved.

After reading the prologue, I couldn’t wait to discover more of Kat’s story. I don’t mind dark subject matter, as it usually leads to the most emotionally riveting stories.  I also remembered Kat as Sera’s best friend from Rogue’s first novel, Burning Muses. While this book is a standalone, it is always fun to make connections with an author’s previous novels.

I believe J.R. Rogue was able to really hone her storytelling with this book. I was impressed with the plot, plot twist near the end, and the character development in Rogue’s second novel. This makes for a more memorable story and more of a connection with the characters. While I was prepared for a darker story, I was pleasantly surprised with Rogue’s delicate handling of the rough subject matter. If the prologue makes readers nervous, be comforted in knowing there are no graphic descriptions or details on the subject of rape. It simply adds a deeper aspect to Kat’s past and leads readers to understand her more fully in the present.
My favorite facet of the story was reading from Andrew’s perspective. He was a witty, light-hearted, and refreshing voice. I was rooting for him to get the girl and to become the man he was longing to be.

“Do any of us look at ourselves with the same lens everyone else is using?”

“I’d wager a guess you don’t see yourself the way I see you right now.”

Continue reading “Background Music – Review”

Dearest Clementine – Review

clemPeople say “The third time’s a charm” and they are absolutely right when it comes to Dearest Clementine by Lex Martin. And no, it is not that I finally finished the novel on the third attempt, because it was so bad. It is rather the opposite actually: it was my third time reading this story, as it is one of my absolute favorite books – ever. Dearest Clementine has everything I love in a novel and so much more. It definitely classifies as new adult since the characters are in their early twenties and attend University. I won’t judge you for thinking that this is “just another college-new-adult novel” because this was my first impression too after reading the blurb. But believe me when I say that this novel is way more than that. The storyline has real depths and the characters are very well thought through. The story is funny, romantic, serious and also a little angsty. But let me tell you a little bit more about the book I love so much.
Clementine is a senior at Boston University and doesn’t date – ever. Her ex-boyfriend from high school and her freshman professor who stalked her made sure she lost hope and trust in all men. When she finds herself in a romance writing class and in need for inspiration, she turns to Gavin Murphy. The heartthrob of the entire campus is more than willing to take over the part of her book boyfriend. Clementine relcutantly accepts, anything in the name of research… right? As Clementine and Gavin grow closer, they get involved in the mysterious disappearing of a student and Clementine may be next. Continue reading “Dearest Clementine – Review”

Preston’s Honor – Review

prestonshonorMia Sheridan can always be counted on to craft beautiful, intense love stories, and she does not disappoint with Preston’s Honor.  Out of the wonderful 17 books I’ve read in 2017 thus far, Preston’s Honor is my favorite.  I was drawn in from the first chapter, immediately making it a book I didn’t want to put down.  The times I had to do boring adult-y things, I was reliving every word of this story and dying to know what was going to come next. For me, Preston’s Honor is up there with Archer’s Voice as one of Mia’s greatest works, something not to be taken lightly.

Going in, I didn’t know a single detail about this story except for the Gemini connection as it is A Sign of Love novel, which made me suspect the story would feature twins. I was a little nervous there may be a love triangle involved, but my fears were unfounded.  I know Mia writes some of the most alluring novels I have ever read, so it was an easy decision to reach with grabby hands for her newest book.

One of the things that made this book so exemplary to me was being able to relate so personally to Annalia.  Her character came to life for me.  I felt so drawn to her, devastated for her, and proud of her at times.  The heart-breaks and desolation Lia felt throughout the story were described so vividly I felt as if I was there, feeling that pain, wanting to comfort her.  I despaired with her and shed empathetic tears for her through much of the novel.

“As it turned out, financial strife   even financial desperation    was much easier and more pleasant than emotional despair.”

The flashbacks leading up to present time, then merging together were one of my favorite aspects of reading.  I love a good back story, as it leads to a deeper connection for me with the characters.  I like to know the details that made them the “person” they are and to be able to see their growth in the present and future.  Another facet of this story I found surprisingly touching was Lia’s Mexican heritage and the grief her mother faced as an immigrant.  I enjoyed how Mia was able to weave this into the story so effortlessly, while being able to teach readers an important lesson in the process    simply, we are all human no matter where we come from.  I love that readers are able to get a look into two social classes melding together, to show how we really are the same deep down, despite the actions of some of the crappier characters (i.e. Alicia and Mrs. Sawyer) in the book.

Just like the last time I read a Mia Sheridan novel, I want to pick up everything she has ever written and completely binge on it.  She awakens emotions in me that have been dormant for years, and makes me cry over things I would never expect to freaking sob over.

This book is releasing in 3 short days!  I highly recommend 1-clicking this beautiful story.   Continue reading “Preston’s Honor – Review”

Mists of the Serengeti – Review

mistsMists of the Serengeti is not the typical book I would ditch my TBR pile for. However, after a friend gifted me this book and I saw the overwhelming number of positive reviews, I decided to jump in.  This book had everything I look for in a story– beautiful writing, plenty of emotions, educational moments, and love!  What more could a girl ask for?

“…we’re all connected in strange, mysterious ways.  Pull a thread here and a life unravels there.”

Normally, I find stories set in Africa outside of my realm of interest.  I’ve never been very inspired by African culture, environment, or history.  I’m happy to say, Mists of the Serengeti broadened my horizons in ways I wasn’t prepared for.  First, this novel completely caught me off guard by featuring albinism.  The strangest coincidence happened the day I started reading this book.  I was watching television with my husband and he pointed out an Albino basketball player in one of the games he was watching.  Later in the afternoon, he switched it to an episode of Cops (yes, interesting TV choices that day) where one of the police officers was an Albino man.  While I have personally seen a couple of people with albinism in my life, I had never given the condition much thought.  I started wondering what struggles people of African decent may face if their skin is white, and decided to start my own research. At this point, I had yet to reach the description of Scholastica walking out of the shadows in the story    my jaw was on the floor when I read it.  What are the chances of randomly seeing two people with albinism on TV, being curious about it and researching the subject, and then reading about it in a book all in the same day?  It’s not as if this is an everyday topic many of us come face-to-face with.  This odd bit of Kismet had me drawn to the story in an unforgettable way. Continue reading “Mists of the Serengeti – Review”

God-Shaped Hole – Review

When Tarryn Fisher recommends a book, I read it, like a good little sheeple should. I’ve had God-Shaped Hole on my TBR for a while, but when I saw Tarryn and Tiffanie’s live Facebook video a couple of weeks ago I bought it, finally.
Now let me start by saying, I cannot give this book a star-rating. It doesn’t feel right for this book because of Jacob:

“He believed that any work an artist puts forth which contains the truth as he or she sees it is worthy of consideration, and any commentary of the work beyond that is nothing more than pure individual opinion and should not be considered relevant to the work itself.”

With that said, let me give my irrelevant opinion. Going in, I didn’t know what to expect since I rarely read blurbs or reviews prior to reading a book. The prelude gives us an idea of what may be to come, but even with this knowledge the story still has the ability to rip readers’ hearts and guts out and stomp all over them. I will not be recovering from this book for ages, and I mean that in the best way possible.  God-Shaped Hole is funny, smart, and heartbreakingly real. I’ve never read a love story that felt as realistic as this one. Beatrice and Jacob’s relationship wasn’t the perfection that is often depicted in most contemporary books. Their arguments were how they play out for real couples    full of pride and pettiness.  Their character traits made them seem like people I know. I loved how at times, Beatrice wanted to give in to end a stand-off, but her pride wouldn’t let her.  How many times do we as humans want to say, “I love you, you idiot. Let’s be happy again,” but our egos get in the way?  Beatrice was a girl after my own heart, with her genuine personality and hate of materialistic people and the culture of Los Angeles.  I remember going on vacation to California and being most excited to visit LA, then feeling ridiculously let down afterwards. What is with all of the hype? San Francisco, on the other hand, is where it’s at. Continue reading “God-Shaped Hole – Review”