Book Review – The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

September 3, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The Lantern by Deborah LawrensonThe Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson
Published by Harper on August 9, 2011
Pages: 400
Genres: Gothic, Historical Fiction, Mystery
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: The Sea Garden

four-half-stars

Set in the lush countryside of Provence, Deborah Lawrenson’s The Lantern is an atmospheric modern gothic tale of love, suspicion, and murder, in the tradition of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. Drawn to a wealthy older man, Eve embarks on a whirlwind romance that soon offers a new life and a new home—Les Genévriers, a charming hamlet amid the fragrant lavender fields of Provence. But Eve finds it impossible to ignore the mysteries that haunt both her lover and the run-down old house. The more reluctant Dom is to tell her about his past, the more she is drawn to it—and to the mysterious disappearance of his beautiful ex-wife. An evocative tale of romantic and psychological suspense, The Lantern masterfully melds past and present, secrets and lies, appearances and disappearances—along with our age-old fear of the dark.

The Lantern is a superbly written and beautiful story that is completely enthralling. I found it hard to put down because the mystery of the story is so fascinating. I found the author’s writing style to be quite wordy at first, but each description causes the scene to unfold as if you were actually experiencing it. I’ve incorporated several lines from the story itself to add some of that descriptiveness to my review and because they were some of my favorite quotes.

The story is about the relationship between Eve and Dom and the life they build together. From the beginning of the story you’re involved in their troubled relationship and the internal conflict that Eve is currently having. Not all is revealed, you’re only given bits and pieces, but it’s quite captivating.

‘Until it happens to you, you don’t know how it will feel to stay with a man who has done a terrible thing. Not to know whether the worst has happened or is yet to come; wanting so badly to trust him now.’

The couple purchases a rural house in the south of France and immediately feels that this was all meant to be somehow.

‘The property drew us in immediately. Not love at first sight, exactly, not as explosive as that: more a
deep, promising undertow, as if it had been waiting for us, and we for it.’

As much as they love the property, the more time they spend there the more the uneasiness begins to set in.

‘The longer we stayed, the less it seemed to belong to us.’

When Eve sees an apparition of a woman on the property, her mind is unable to fully comprehend what she had just seen.

‘Everyone wants answers and tidy conclusions, but in life they don’t always materialize. You settle for the best outcome you can manage, and accept that you can’t explain everything. The subconscious mind sometimes makes surreal connections, like the ones in dreams. Tricks of the light were all around.’

As the story continues, the story begins switching back and forth between the past and the present, between Eve and Bénédicte. Bénédicte is a young woman who in the past used to live in the same house that Eve and Dom currently reside at. The past and the present ultimately collide and the revelation behind all the constant mystery is quite intriguing.

Throughout the story the author constantly keeps your interest as she’ll throw you a tid bit here and there about what may be potentially going on, but will leave it at that, a simple sentence. This is a great novel to do as a read along (speaking from personal experience as I read this with another) because there is an enormous amount of information that is easier to sort out if you’re able to discuss with someone.

The books ending wrapped all the questions culminated throughout reading this book quite nicely even though it ended up being not quite what I had originally thought.

‘All of which goes to show how dangerous it is to assume connections where there are none, to link events that have no link, to want tidy storytelling when real life is not like that, to draw too much on the imagination when it is so often misleading.’

Lovely novel.

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Book Review – The King’s Courtesan (English Restoration #2) by Judith James

September 2, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review – The King’s Courtesan (English Restoration #2) by Judith JamesThe King's Courtesan by Judith James
Series: English Restoration #2
Published by Harlequin on September 1st 2011
Pages: 382
Genres: Historical Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


three-stars

Her Body Is A Battleground

Sensuous, beautiful and determined, Hope Matthews is a favored mistress of the king. Her many charms have helped her rise from the gutter to the king’s bed. But with the new queen’s impending arrival, her nights in the royal chamber—and her hopes for security—will swiftly come to an end.

His Honor A Distant Memory

Haunted by his past, hardened by the recent civil war, Captain Robert Nichols lives only for revenge. When told he must marry the king’s courtesan to provide a cover for their affair, he’s faced with a new low. Both are pawns of a great man, but married to their dreams of independence, their clash is inevitable. Can these two wounded souls realize the answer to all their dreams might lie in each other’s arms?

I’ve never read anything by Judith James so I went in to this not sure what to expect. About halfway through I found out that this is actually a follow-up novel to ‘Libertine’s Kiss’ but ‘The Kings Courtesan’ still held its own as a stand-alone novel. I love a good historical romance novel every now and again; however, this one wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped it would be. It took me FOREVER to read because I could not get into it for some reason… I kept putting it back on my to-read shelf and coming back to it on various occasions.

Hope Matthews is the courtesan to King Charles; however, that will be ending soon as the King has agreed to marry the Queen of Spain and it would not be in his best interest to continue to keep his courtesan around. Knowing this, Hope asks Charles for a little place of her own so that she can leave court with her dignity intact. Charles, failing to understand how she could be willing to leave so quietly, decides to make a deal with Robert Nichols and forces him into marriage with Hope in order to still keep her close by. Naturally, the two are unable to get along at first, especially since Hope thought it was all a joke rather than a real marriage. As the two grow closer and love develops between them, Robert is forced to make a choice between his wife and an old vendetta that has eaten at him since he was a child.

Not my favorite romance novel but nonetheless enjoyable.

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Book Review – Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

September 2, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee BenderThe Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
Published by Anchor on May 26, 2010
Pages: 306
Genres: Contemporary, Magical Realism
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

The wondrous Aimee Bender conjures the lush and moving story of a girl whose magical gift is really a devastating curse.

On the eve of her ninth birthday, unassuming Rose Edelstein, a girl at the periphery of schoolyard games and her distracted parents’ attention, bites into her mother’s homemade lemon-chocolate cake and discovers she has a magical gift: she can taste her mother’s emotions in the cake. She discovers this gift to her horror, for her mother—her cheerful, good-with-crafts, can-do mother—tastes of despair and desperation. Suddenly, and for the rest of her life, food becomes a peril and a threat to Rose.

The curse her gift has bestowed is the secret knowledge all families keep hidden—her mother’s life outside the home, her father’s detachment, her brother’s clash with the world. Yet as Rose grows up she learns to harness her gift and becomes aware that there are secrets even her taste buds cannot discern.

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is a luminous tale about the enormous difficulty of loving someone fully when you know too much about them. It is heartbreaking and funny, wise and sad, and confirms Aimee Bender’s place as “a writer who makes you grateful for the very existence of language” (San Francisco Chronicle)

This storyline certainly had the potential for being a fascinatingly original novel about a young girl, Rose, who on the eve of her 9th birthday realizes that while eating a piece of homemade cake, that her mom is extremely sad. Confused, as a 9 year old would be, she doesn’t realize till it begins happening again and again, that by eating food prepared by someone she’s able to tell what kind of mood they are in.

I found this to be a variation of synesthesia, where individual letters of the alphabet and numbers are designated a color, where sounds can produce colors that arise around the produced sound, and where words can cause involuntary taste sensations. I first learned about synesthesia in Ultraviolet and found it to be quiet fascinating. Obviously in this story she’s not suffering from synesthesia; however, I found it to be a similar concept and was quite interested in the originality of it all.

The overall tone was quite dreary because this little girl was unable to explain to her parents why the dinner feels “empty” and why she knows that even though her mother manages to put on a happy face, it’s far from the truth. As the story progresses and Rose starts learning how to deal with her ‘gift’ she’s able to pick up more and more subtleties like why her mom is sad, why the baker who made the chocolate chip cookies is angry, and is even able to determine where the food has been and who has unknowingly passed on their emotions into it. After one particularly rough meal when her mother, for once, seems happier, Rose soon finds out the reason behind it.

”After I’d bussed the rest of the table, I wrapped up the remaining roast beef in plastic and put it in the refrigerator for some adultery sandwiches the next day.”

This was all in the first 1/3 of the book or so. Then the author decides to throw in the fact that her brother has a ‘magical ability’ as well… and suffice it to say, it was laughable. (view spoiler) Also, the lack of quotation marks drove me absolutely batty. How hard is it to put quotes in so I know what’s being said versus what’s being thought? Very difficult to read like that. Very upsetting because I was really excited about reading this, but I was extremely disappointed with the final outcome. By the end I was ready to give this book 1 star but because I was thoroughly intrigued by the first half of the book I decided to give it 2 instead.

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Book Review – Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1) by Janet Evanovich

September 2, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1) by Janet EvanovichWicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
Series: Lizzy & Diesel #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on September 14, 2010
Pages: 322
Genres: Funny-ha-ha, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Life in Marblehead has had a pleasant predictability, until Diesel arrives. Rumor has it that a collection of priceless ancient relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins have made their way to Boston’s North Shore. Partnered with pastry chef Lizzie Tucker, Diesel bullies and charms his way through historic Salem to track them down—and his criminal mastermind cousin Gerewulf Grimorie. The black-haired, black-hearted Wulf is on the hunt for the relic representing gluttony. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzie soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins.

With delectable characters and non-stop thrills that have made Janet Evanovich a household name, Wicked Appetite will leave you hungry for more.

Fun, highly entertaining read for when you’re in that kinda mood. There’s no dramatic (or even realistic) world-building, there’s no real plot development, so if you’re in the mood for some serious novel you are definitely looking in the wrong place. This is the book when you’re looking for a good time and want to read some real funny fluff.

Lizzy is a pastry chef who makes some seriously fabulous cupcakes with an average and fairly normal life until she meets Diesel. Lizzy is informed by Diesel that she’s an “Unmentionable” and that she can detect magical objects and he needs her to locate them for him.

“Did you know you were an Unmentionable?”
“No. I thought bras and panties were unmentionables.”

As Maja warned me from the very beginning: “I hope you like cupcakes. And monkeys.” Suffice it to say, the word cupcake appears 125 times in this novel. I had one major cupcake craving by the time I was done. Big as in:

Now that’s a cupcake.

The monkey’s (or unicorn if you’re Wendy :D) name is Carl and, well… Carl is hilarious. He’s not a freaky talking money or anything, but he loves cheez whiz, froot loops, and he loves flipping people off.

There’s also Hatcher, but he’s kind of a freak. He’s some geek who insists on dressing in medieval garb which does in fact include a sword. And then there’s Cat 7143. Yes, that’s his name. He has a glass eye, half a tail, and he’s apparently a ninja.

There’s the obligatory bad guy, Wulf, and the required hot guy, Diesel. All of these great characters are all in search of the seven stones which happen to contain the seven deadly sins. This is the first in the series, and I’m assuming it will only be 7 in the series, but I can’t wait for the next book! The ending was cute and left a smile on my face.

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Book Review – Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1) by Lish McBride

August 30, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011, YA 0 Comments

Book Review – Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer #1) by Lish McBrideHold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride
Series: Necromancer #1
Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) on October 12, 2010
Pages: 352
Genres: Fantasy, Funny-ha-ha, Paranormal
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.

Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.

With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?

This book was great, highly enjoyable, and extremely funny. And it had EVERYTHING! Usually when an author throws in an odd assortment of paranormal creatures it tends to get a little messy and slightly corny; however, Lish McBride totally made it work. I mean we’ve got some necromancers, werewolves, zombie pandas, lawn gnomes came to life and poked people with tiny shovels, there was a tiny flying dragon, and even a talking severed head. As Sam states so eloquently, “Once a severed head talks, life’s possibilities seem endless.”

This was a thrill ride and highly addictive read… it may have taken me forever and a day to finish this but only because of my current schedule so don’t let that deter you. The best part about this book were the characters… these were people that you totally wanted to personally befriend. Brooke was my favorite because she was a total smart ass and full of spirit. The main character, Sam, was awesome and very realistic as far as paranormal stories go. This story was really about him finding himself and who he is (after feeling lost for so long). His is a great story.

This book doesn’t have any cliffhanger or anything even though this is the first book in a planned series. The next book comes out May 2012 so mark your calendars! (And get this one read ahead of time). 🙂

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Short and Sweet Review – Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick Hanson

August 26, 2011 Bonnie Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short and Sweet Review – Just One Thing: Developing a Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick HansonJust One Thing: Developing A Buddha Brain One Simple Practice at a Time by Rick Hanson
Published by New Harbinger Publications on October 1, 2011
Pages: 232
Genres: Non-Fiction
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

You’You've heard the expression, “It’s the little things that count.” Research has shown that little daily practices can change the way your brain works, too. This book offers simple brain-training practices you can do every day to protect against stress, lift your mood, and find greater emotional resilience. Just One Thing is a treasure chest of over fifty practices created specifically to deepen your sense of well-being and unconditional happiness.

 

Just one practice each day can help you:

  • Be good to yourself
  • Enjoy life as it is
  • Build on your strengths
  • Be more effective at home and work
  • Make peace with your emotions

This was a well written positive little how-to guide on how to be mindful of your happiness on a daily basis. This is a novel for everyone. It’s an easily understandable guide that doesn’t go into the ‘science’ of anything or even religion. This is definitely a great read for anyone interested in trying to make their days just a bit better.

The first time I read this novel I read it front to back and I enjoyed it. I did understand; however, that some of the situations the author would discuss didn’t necessarily apply to me at the time of reading. This is going to be a great book to keep on hand for whenever I encounter a situation where a little guidance is needed. I have a feeling the ‘Relax’ chapter will have its work cut out for it though. 🙂

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Book Review – The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon’s Law #2) by J.A. Saare

August 26, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – The Renfield Syndrome (Rhiannon’s Law #2) by J.A. SaareThe Renfield Syndrome by J.A. Saare
Series: Rhiannon's Law #2
Published by Mundania Press on August 21, 2011
Pages: 212
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Gifted
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between

four-half-stars

Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my.

Rhiannon thought facing off against a deranged child vampire was the most dangerous task she would ever have to undertake, but she’s about to discover making a deal with a demon is far, far worse. Sent forward into another reality, one in which vampires are now dominating nearly extinct humans, she realizes the sooner she returns to her vampire lover, Disco, the better.

Unfortunately, time changes a lot of things; including those most trusted around her. When she’s faced with a loss and betrayal unlike any she has ever known, her focus shifts from severing the debt between the demon that wants to kill her, to exacting a revenge that will bring forth consequences she never could have fathomed. By reaching out to the darkness lingering within her, she’ll find the strength to push forward despite the circumstances that would see her dead and buried.

After all, when it’s all said and done, all that she has left to lose is her soul.

Rhiannon’s Law series

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon's Law, #1)

Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between (Rhiannon’s Law #1)

“Vampires, and werewolves, and demons, oh my”

….. INDEED.

Highly recommended that you read book number one, ‘Dead, Undead, or Somewhere in Between’ prior to reading this book or my review. You have been warned! 🙂

The Renfield Syndrome picks right up from the cliffhanger that ‘Dead, Undead, and Somewhere in Between’ left us all with. But all is not right in Kansas, oh no. Rhiannon is now 101 years in the future after making a deal with the demon Zagan in order for him to forgive his deal with her vampire lover Disco. In a nutshell? The world 101 years in the future is one insane crazy ass place where all kinds of creepy crawlies have decided to come out and play… and they’re not limited to just the nighttime. Rhiannon has to find Disco in order to fulfill her debt to Zagan and she only has a limited amount of time in which to do this.

This book was one wild rollercoaster ride. It seemed like every other page Rhiannon was kicking someone else’s ass… and it was great! She’s evolved into one serious badass chick. I thought ‘Dead, Undead, and Somewhere in Between’ was awesome; ‘The Renfield Syndrome’ was the perfect continuation to a great story. Fortunately for my sanity, the ending to this book wasn’t as huge a cliffhanger as much as the first one was; however, it still managed to leave you wanting more.

As other readers have stated, it’s pretty damn near impossible to really talk about the book without revealing anything that’s vital to the story. Honestly, the majority of the book needs to be experienced first-hand so I don’t want to ruin it for everyone. So what are you waiting for, go pick this one up… you won’t be disappointed.

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Short and Sweet Review – Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3) by Chloe Neill

August 23, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Short and Sweet Review – Twice Bitten (Chicagoland Vampires #3) by Chloe NeillTwice Bitten by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #3
Published by NAL on June 23, 2010
Pages: 372
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Some Girls Bite, Friday Night Bites, Drink Deep

five-stars

Merit, Chicago’s newest vampire, is learning how to play well with others. Other supernaturals, that is. Shapeshifters from across the country are convening in the Windy City, and as a gesture of peace, Master Vampire Ethan Sullivan has offered their leader a very special bodyguard: Merit. Merit is supposed to protect the Alpha, Gabriel Keene—and to spy for the vamps while she’s at it. Oh, and luckily Ethan’s offering some steamy, one-on-one combat training sessions to help her prepare for the mission.

Merit must accept the assignment, even though she knows that she’ll probably regret it. And she’s not wrong. Someone is gunning for Gabriel Keene, and Merit soon finds herself in the line of fire. She’ll need all the help she can get to track down the would-be assassin, but everywhere she turns, there are rising tensions between supernaturals—not least between her and a certain green-eyed, centuries old master vampire.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)
Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires, #2)

Wow… just wow. This was by far the best book in the Chicagoland Vampires series (so far at least). Total 5 stars… LOVED IT. And okay, it’s official. This book has made me an official card carrying member of the Ethan Sullivan fan club. lol That’s all I’ll say.

Twice Bitten opens where the 2nd left off… Gabriel Keene is coming to town and he has requested that Ethan and Merit be in charge of his security detail. Gabriel is working to bring together all the shape shifters so that a vote can be conducted on whether they stay in Chicago or return to their home in Alaska.

This is going to be a super short review because so much happened that I would hate to ruin for readers of this series. Suffice it to say, this book was one major roller coaster ride that I never wanted to stop. The characters were all sorts of spectacular, except I did kind of want to beat Ethan on the head on several occasions, but my opinion did change by the end. Merit and Mallory have kissed and made up, which was phenomenal because their interactions are beyond hilarious. I mean how can you not laugh at a line like this:

“And leprachauns might poop rainbows on your pillow.”

All in all this book kept me enthralled and I can’t wait to dive into the next installation!

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Book Review – Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires #2) by Chloe Neill

August 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 0 Comments

Book Review – Friday Night Bites (Chicagoland Vampires #2) by Chloe NeillFriday Night Bites by Chloe Neill
Series: Chicagoland Vampires #2
Published by NAL on September 2, 2009
Pages: 368
Genres: Romance, Urban Fantasy
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Some Girls Bite, Twice Bitten, Drink Deep

four-half-stars

Vamps in Chicago!

You’d think headlines like that would have provoked the fine citizens of the Windy City to take up arms against us bloodsucking fiends. Instead, ten months later, we’re enjoying a celebrity status reserved for the Hollywood elite—fending off paparazzi only slightly less dangerous than cross and stake-wielding slayers. Don’t get me wrong, Joe Public isn’t exactly thrilled to be living side-by-side with the undead, but at least they haven’t stormed the castle yet.

But all that will change once they learn about the Raves—mass feeding parties where vampires round up humans like cattle and drink themselves silly. Most civilized vampires frown on this behavior, putting mere mortals at ease with their policy of asking a person’s consent before taking a big gulp of the red stuff. However, that doesn’t make good copy for a first time reporter looking to impress his high society family.

So now my “master,” the centuries old, yet gorgeously well-preserved Ethan Sullivan, wants me to reconnect with my own upper class family and act as liaison between humans and vampires—and keep the more unsavory aspects of our existence out of the media. But someone doesn’t want people and vamps to play nicey-nice—someone with an ancient grudge.

Chicagoland Vampires series

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)

Some Girls Bite (Chicagoland Vampires, #1)

The second addition to Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire Series picks up where the first left off (and it’s recommended you read the first before diving into this one.) Merit is still learning to adjust to her new status as a vampire but as Sentinel to Cadogan House. News that vampires are conducting raves where humans are practically slaughtered causes Merit to have to become reacquainted with her family members in order to act as a buffer between vampires and humans. Merit’s ‘separation’ between her and her vampire starts becoming more and more problematic.

The Relationship(s)
So slowly but surely we’re heading in the love triangle direction and I am not all for this… however it’s not the most painful one I’ve encountered. Merit and Ethan obviously have the hots for each other but neither seems willing to act on it… but the tension is still definitely present. Merit and Morgan were practically forced into a courtship at the end of the last book but the emotions aren’t exactly forced, I’m not talking arranged marriages here; however, Morgan certainly has far more feelings for Merit than she does for him.

So I was all for Ethan in this book (as most of you are)… especially after the scene where he (view spoiler) I mean way to touch the squishy parts of my heart. But there’s just something I really like about Morgan… maybe it’s the tall, dark and handsome thing he’s got going for him.

I went to Chloe Neill’s website and she has a picture posted of her interpretation of Morgan and … oooh. I like him even more. Hahaha Up until then I’d be imagining Morgan along the lines of this:

*Swoon*

I actually enjoyed this one even more than number one… it was funnier, far more interesting, and way more exciting. Believe it or not I’m actually moving straight on to book 3! 🙂

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Short Story Review – Second-Guessing Fate by Claire Robyns

August 20, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short Stories 0 Comments

I received this book free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Short Story Review – Second-Guessing Fate by Claire RobynsSecond-Guessing Fate by Claire Robyns
Published by Carina Press on September 26, 2011
Pages: 167
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

Can She Outwit Fate?

Gemma is on a collision course with heartbreak. At least, according to the fortune-teller her best friend drags her to see. Gemma doesn't believe a word of it, but when other predictions start to come true, she begins to suspect that gorgeous, gray-eyed Nick is the man foretold to break her heart before she can find her soul mate. Too bad she's never met a man she's wanted more, because now she has to get him to dump her before she falls too hard.

Nick has plans of his own. He's ready to settle down with Ms. Right, and everything points to the beautiful Gemma. He's determined to prove to her that he's the perfect boyfriend—even if she does seem to be trying her best to scare him off…

Second Guessing Fate is the story of Gemma. Gemma visits a fortune teller, Madam Hooch, and she tells Gemma “Eez a bad, bad time. Eet is – how you say – big achy heart.” At which point in time I wanted to bust out singing Billy Ray Cyrus – Achy Breaky Heart

But Madam Hooch continues spouting her magical knowledge. “Eez a big love and the man, ah, he eez dark and so handsome, but eez no good for you. He break your heart. First the big breaky heart and then you find soul mate. How you say – tears before happy, no? Time eez up. Goodbye.

That woman is quite obviously full of brilliance and I can totally understand why Gemma took every single word she said to heart. Madam Hooch is described as being ancient with snow white hair… kinda like this!

Not saying she was giving out poison apples or anything… but then again, who knows.

So Gemma starts dating Nick after they’re both involved in a car accident. Which I guess Madam Hooch predicted… I don’t know, I think I missed that part. Nick asks Gemma out and they go to dinner. After Date #1 she starts to have a ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ moment because he took 2 days to call her after their first date, because he asks her to dates on Monday rather than the weekend, and oh noes! He keeps making out with her but has yet to sleep with her by date 5; however, she continues accepting his requests for another date… because Madam Hooch told her to. Because the next guy she dated was supposed to break her heart and she has to let that happen in order to meet her soul mate! Gemma wants to dump him but her friend Helen convinces her not to:

“You can’t be the one to say cheers. He has to dump you—otherwise you may corrupt the fate-line. Changing the order of events could split your destiny path and even block the branch to your soul mate.”

Yes. The FATE-LINE. Dun-dun-dun.

I could’ve done without the fortune teller stuff or it could’ve at least been done differently. I actually really liked Nick; he was my favorite character because he seemed the most real and down to earth. Here’s this guy that’s trying really hard to get back into a relationship but he’s continually scared he’s going to screw it all up… again. I really felt for the guy.

And what was up with Gemma constantly wondering when he’s going to take her to bed? I don’t know it was just off for me… Gemma didn’t even seem to like him and that made me feel bad for him. It totally made me think of ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 days.’ Here’s Gemma who’s already expecting to get dumped by this guy (because Madam Hooch told her) and she’s basically trying to speed up the process so she can get on to meeting her soul mate (because Madam Hooch told her). But she’s also trying frantically to get him to sleep with her. So Gemma was kind of an oxy-moron to me.

All in all, this story just fell flat for me. I was bummed because it sounded like this super cute romance novel that I was completely in the mood for but it ended up missing the mark for me.

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