Publisher: Carina Press

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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Book Review – Craving Perfect by Liz Fichera

August 15, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 1 Comment

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 – Craving Perfect by Liz FicheraCraving Perfect by Liz Fichera
Published by Carina Press on July 25, 2011
Pages: 241
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


five-stars

A Life Less...Hers

Grace Mills craves being perfect almost as much as she craves raspberry scones. In fact, her life would be perfect if only she could lose ten more pounds, if only the pastry café she co-owns with her sister would turn a profit, if only the hottest guy at the gym would look her way...

And then "if only" comes true. Grace is suddenly straddling two lives: an alternate reality where she's a size two, weathergirl celebrity and being chased by the hot guy. Only Mr. Gorgeous isn't very nice.

In her other life, she's starting to realize her sister is less than happy running the family café, and hunky Carlos, the gym's janitor, seems to have a secret crush on her. Maybe there's more to him than meets the eye...

Grace is living two lives and it's beginning to cost her. Is there a way to pick one...that's perfect?

I was totally in the mood for something different and since I rarely read chick-lit I opted to give this one a shot. Reading the summary it sounded like your typical chick-lit but with enough originality to make it interesting plus there’s even…

Magic Treadmills!

I won’t expand upon that… I’ll let you all read about that interesting funny tid-bit. 🙂

Craving Perfect tells the story of Grace Mills, a baker in a pastry café that she co-owns with her sister Kathleen. Grace and Kathleen are quite close considering they are the only family each of them has left after the deaths of their parents. Grace is constantly ‘craving perfection’ and is always trying to lose more weight so that she can hopefully catch the eye of the hot guy at the gym, Max, that she’s been ogling over for several weeks. Which kind of turned me off from this novel and Grace in general because it’s more than a little obvious that Max is a superficial jerk, but don’t worry, you’ll end up loving Grace just like me.

One day when Grace is at the gym she hops on one of the brand new treadmills (Yes! The Magic Treadmill!) and proceeds to black out and wake up as someone completely different. She comes to and finds herself the spitting image of perfection (read: Barbie) and engaged to Max. But is what she’s always dreamed of actually what she wants in the end?

This book was GREAT and I loved it… super quick, fun, light read that took me maybe 24 hours to read. (Yes I slept). I loved how the author developed the characters and I loved how I ended up loving Grace in the end. Carlos was plain adorable and I loved how infatuated he was with Grace even with the extra weight she always said she needed to lose. The writing was spot on and completely enthralling. It was an interesting and extremely original story!

The one and only low point in the novel that made me cringe (but still didn’t manage to lower the 5-star rating) was the professions of love after the very first date. You just don’t say I love you after the first date. It’s corny, clichéd, and it totally makes me flash back to my junior year of High School and how I agreed to go on a date with this guy because I totally loved his car and he told me he loved me after the first date. In case you’re wondering, yes, I did learn my lesson.

One word of warning there is a lot of talk about raspberry scones. You will end up with a massive craving for them… I know I sure did. To make matters worse there is even a recipe at the end. I’m running to the store to buy raspberries right now.

Don’t miss out on this little gem of a novel. Highly recommended as a light summer read.

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Short & Sweet – Blood of the Maple (Maggie’s Grove #1) by Dana Marie Bell

July 16, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011, Short & Sweet Reviews 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 & Sweet – Blood of the Maple (Maggie’s Grove #1) by Dana Marie BellBlood of the Maple by Dana Marie Bell
Series: Maggie's Grove #1
Published by Carina Press on April 11, 2011
Pages: 236
Genres: Diiiirrrrrrttyyy, Paranormal, Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Amazon
Goodreads


two-stars

A seduction-gone-wrong leaves vampire Parker Hollis with a new vegetarian lifestyle and on the run from a vengeful witch. Moving to small-town Maggie's Grove, Parker meets a redheaded dryad with green, leafy blood that draws him in a way he hasn't experienced in decades. His new neighbor smells divine, and it isn't long before craving gives in to need.

In a unique community of supernaturals, tree-loving outcast Amara Schwedler has never quite fit in. She's scarred by a traumatic incident and feared by the local townsfolk. She's convinced Parker will look elsewhere for a mate once he discovers she's not one of the O-positive set, and can't believe it when Parker finds her irresistible.

When the witch who's been plaguing Parker's life discovers the newfound attraction between Parker and Amara, she takes out her anger on the town. Can the supernaturals of Maggie's Grove accept Amara and band together in time to withstand the assaults of the enraged witch?

I had really been looking forward to this book, I thought it was going to be A LOT better than it ended up being. The story was extremely fast paced, set in this ‘Stepford’ type society, just with supernaturals, including a vampire, Parker, cursed to be a vegetarian. Go figure he finds a dryad, Amara, that solves that exact problem. Anyways, the crazy ex-girlfriend that put the curse on Parker is still trying to come after him and cause problems, and that’s the story in a nutshell. Sorry, this is half-assed.

The relationship between Parker and Amara was a bit irritating… I have read plenty of novels where the characters fall madly in love almost immediately, but these two were married by date number two. Not only that, but there was no real connection between the two other than the fact that Parker wanted to suck her dry. It reminded me a lot of the relationship between Diana and Matthew in A Discovery of Witches , but not in the best way.

Unfortunately I don’t think this is a series that I will be continuing.

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