Thursday, January 29, 2015


An erotic tale that hints at being a little more than that, a memoir perhaps? Jessica Love is not only the narrator, she is the author, and nothing pleases her more than teasing the reader. Jessica recounts her early days, her college experiences, and meeting her husband. But her story doesn't start to get really juicy until she and her husband Mark decide to take their love life to the next level. They venture into Seattle's sex scene by going to a very kinky nightclub. At first they don't engage anyone but each other, but after a couple months they become a little more adventuresome and Mark elicits help from some very willing strangers. Jessica, doesn't mind, in fact she's thrilled by all the extra attention her body receives. Mark, on the other hand has a harder time dealing with it. They become estranged and both throw themselves into their work (they're both attorneys) doing what they can to forget about each other. On a whim Jessica decides to go back to the club alone, little knowing the impact it would have on her life.

While this book clearly has erotic elements, there is much more to the story than that. It's a memoir filled with suspense, the narrator blithely hinting at the craziness to come. An air of mystery builds as Jessica suffers one set back after another til the final crippling blow arrives. Unlike other erotic tales this story also has a major family component (and no not incest you perv!), Jessica is very attached to her French grandmother and builds her life (and her walls) along the advice of her grandmother.

I'll admit, I was surprised the complexity of the character and the depth of the story. It went well beyond sex and there actually was a plot. Good for fans of erotic suspense or people looking for an introduction to erotica. It wasn't too hardcore or overbearing (and the sex was mostly believable).

I received this book for free from the publisher in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Clash of the Couples

This anthology is quite funny and should definitely be required reading for newlyweds or couples going through a rough patch. No argument or fight is too absurd as this book clearly captures. Forty-six brave souls tell about their most absurd, infuriating fights, from stolen sandwiches, dirty houses, first kisses, and missing placentas, no stone goes un-turned. This book just proves that every couple has their disagreements, but time heals all... sometimes so does the absurdity. It is better to kiss and make up then it is to fume and divorce. Men and women tell their hilarious tales and in the process give time tested advice. Not all fights are about money, sex, or kids. Sometimes, it's the tiniest things that set us off and turn us into real monsters.

I felt that the quality of the stories were great, none were too long, and all were humorous. Written by bloggers, stay at home dads, grandparents, and other diverse groups, this book has something for everyone. I wish their had been a gay couple or two, but maybe on the next go around. This book made me wish I wasn't single... just so I could have someone to argue with and then laugh at the absurdity with. Sigh, someday.

I received this book for free from the editor in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Three Story House

I loved the concept of this book. Three adult cousins come together to save one of their grandma's old houses from being condemned. Over the course of the year they all confront their various problems. Lizzie, a star soccer player, is benched after she tears her ACL and is desperately trying to go through rehab and be better in time to try and make the Olympic team. She's also struggling with the fact that she is 28 and still has no idea who her real father is. The only reason she agreed to try and save the house was to try and get some leverage on her overly religious mother and stepfather. Isobel, a former child star and struggling actress, is trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. As the youngest in her family she craves attention, but is it what she really wants? Elyse is falling apart at the seams. Her younger sister is marrying the man she's in love with and she just can't cope. Together these three cousins share up and downs as they come together to save the weird, three story, spite house and they find themselves changing in ways they never could have imagined.

Like I said, cool concept but... I still didn't really love any of the characters. I was more intrigued with the house to be honest. Not a bad read, but not one that will stay with you. Good for the beach though.

Friday, January 23, 2015

The Metabolism Solution: The New Way to Lose Weight + Another Giveaway!

I can tell it's a new year because I'm reviewing a diet book, well... rather a lifestyle change book. January 1st, millions of Americans make the resolution to get back into shape. This generally lasts about two weeks, and then people say "to hell with it." For those few that really want to stick with it and have an iron resolve then I say, read this book! This book is not for the faint of heart. If you want the diet fad of the week or want an easy fix, then walk on by. Lisa Lyn's metabolism solution works (so I read, I haven't the monies to try it out personally) if you stick with it. Lisa, a celebrity fitness and nutrition expert, tells her personal journey and then goes into depth about supplements, the LynFit difference, thermogenic eating, serving sizes, workouts, setbacks, God, and ends with recipes. There's a little bit of everything in this book. It's not easy to stick with her plan, there is rigid structure, but if you do the payoff is great (lots of photos and testimonials in the book to prove it). If this book/ lifestyle change were more vegetarian friendly and if I had the money I would definitely give it a shot. The supplements, shakes, and bars aren't exorbitant, as diet material goes, but for a broke librarian, they're still a bit out of my reach (products available That being said, this book still has a lot of great advice to offer on leading a healthier lifestyle. Portion control, healthy recipes, good supplements, and workout tips can all be gleamed from this book without having to buy all of Lyn's other products.

Overall, a great book for someone with the willpower and wallet to change their lifestyle. The layout and quality of the book isn't as impressive as I would have imagined for a celebrity fitness expert but maybe she's trying to save readers money. Who knows, it's not distracting or anything, so honestly I don't know why I even mentioned it. Can be repetitive at times, but it is chock full of information!

I received this book for free from iRead Book Tours in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

Old Fashioned

Sometimes you just need a light, fluffy read that has a predictably cheesy happily ever after ending. I was getting the January blues and this definitely fit the bill for "gentle read." Normally I don't like books based on movies (although I love them the other way around), but since I hadn't seen the movie, "Old Fashioned" I was totally ok with the book. I have no idea how it is compared to the movie though since the movie is releasing on Valentine's Day this year (it's competing against 50 Shades! Good luck old boy!).

Chivalry makes a comeback. Free spirited Amber, is constantly jumping from one adventure to another. When her car runs out of gas in quaint little college town she decides to give it a chance. She finds the perfect little apartment for rent that comes with an adorable landlord. The only problem is, her landlord is the most old fashioned person she's ever met. He won't even be in the same room as an unmarried woman and doesn't believe in dating. That doesn't stop Amber though, she keeps "breaking" things in her apartment so her landlord has to stop by. Even though she's regulated to standing on the stoop and talking to him through the screen door, it doesn't deter her. Clay, her reclusive landlord, is hiding from a past. He's radically changed his life in the past nine years but he still feels the burden of his guilt. When carefree Amber waltzes in his life, he feels a pull he hasn't felt in years. But he's soo scared of repeating the past that he knows he has to do things much much differently this time.

Pretty adorable story, with obvious Christian undertones. Looks at alternatives for dating and discusses redemption for sins in the past. Definitely one of my favorite inspirational reads (trust me, that is hard saying. inspirational romance is NOT my go to genre!).

I received this book free from Tyndale press in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Finally, a good fantasy book for teens! It's The Hobbit mixed with Harry Potter... but set in Eragon... kinda. It's got great fantasy and adventure elements and is a great read for middle schoolers, high schoolers, hell, even adults!

Augum hasn't had a very exceptional life, as a fourteen year old orphan in the service of an old knight, he hasn't experienced much in the ways of the world.  When the Legion comes to town murdering everyone and setting the village on fire, he flees for his life, only to be nearly killed in a massive storm. When he comes to, he is being cared by an old women, a warlock. Not only does magic (arcane) exist, he is to master it and help ward of the forces of evil. Mrs. Stone begins to teach him the ways of the arcane and soon he finds himself struggling to keep up with her teachings and reconcile his dark past. With the help of two new friends, Bridget and Leera, the trio begin the long journey of mastering the art of the arcane and trying to save the world from the iron grip of the Lord of the Legion.

Funny, insightful, and chock full of adventure, this story will resonate with readers. I can't wait for the next installment. I must know what happens!

I received this book for free from the author in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in my Farmhouse

This is food porn. And I mean that as the highest compliment. It's absolutely the most beautifully photographed cook book I've ever seen. Every recipe has AT LEAST one photo to accompany it, but often times there is more than one. Just stunning. My mouth was watering the whole time.

This book is ingeniously divided into four sections, one for each season. The recipes in each section feature seasonal vegetables, herbs, and nuts. Each recipe is broken down and easy to follow, even for a cooking novice like me. Before each recipe there is loving description that absolutely makes you want to try it out. Even as a vegetarian I found plenty of recipes to try, many could easily be substituted with meat alternatives. I especially can't wait to try the chou farci, it's the most beautiful cabbage dish I've ever seen. Even though it contains meat I'd like to put my own spin on it.

This book is a must have, even for cooking beginners. It's beautiful, easy to follow, and contains soo many unique recipes. I have several cookbooks at home but most of the recipes found in this tome were completely new to me. Granted I don't cook a lot of french cuisine, but still. Buy this book! You won't regret it!

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Friday, January 16, 2015

The Alcatraz Rose

It's a shame that there isn't more of an online following for the Lawrence Kingston mystery series, or maybe there is but not in America. I would have loved to have stumbled upon this series sooner! I love good ol' murder mysteries, especially English ones, and this one is very reminiscent of Ellis' Peters' Brother Cadfael series. Not in the same time period obviously, and our main character isn't a monk, but they both seem to be wrapped up in mysteries that involve flowers or fauna. Which may sound lame but is actually kinda cool.

Lawrence Kingston is a respected botanist and acclaimed amateur sleuth. When a thirteen year old girl approaches him asking if he'll look into her mother's disappearance several years prior he can't refuse. What starts off as a simple cold case of a missing person rapidly evolves into a murder mystery, followed by the discovery of a once thought extinct rose on Alcatraz Island. Kingston discovers that many loose threads might actually be connected and he find himself trekking all over England and across the sea in America.

I may not be very good at predicting mystery endings, but this one left me doubly stumped. I would never have figured it out on my own had I not read all the way through. I look forward to reading the rest in this series. For fans of English murder mysteries.

I received this book for free from the author in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Last Light Falling: The Covenant Book One

Wow. Quite literally the BEST young adult christian book on the market. The characters are real, they aren't picture perfect Christian cut outs portrayed in soo many other Christian fiction titles. They have faults, they curse, they act like normal teens (minus being killing machines chosen by God). It was really refreshing, and I think the author did an amazing job making his characters real and relate-able unlike many other books on the market.

Arena and Gabe are twins and they have no idea how much their world is about to change. They are living with their foster parents and the end times are near. The government is falling apart, guns are outlawed, homeless people are killed, and public executions are the norm. If they thought high school was rough, things are about to get a whole lot harder. On their fifteenth birthday they receive a key in the mail, a key that will open the doors to a whole new future. a future that God has planned for them. Arena must help overthrow the corrupt regime and prepare the world for the end times, her brother standing by her side helping with logistics and weapons. It's lucky that she has trained for years in the martial arts because those skills are going to come in handy as she unleashes her lethal art form on the evil. Along with her uncle, her martial arts instructor, and her brother Gabe, they must fight the corrupt soldiers city by city and save God's people.

A wonderful apocalyptic novel for teens. While it can be violent and sometimes nearly unbelievable that a fifteen year old can wreak so much havoc, I think teens will thoroughly enjoy the badassery of Arena. Soo glad that teen heroines are the new thing!

I received this book for free from the author in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

Saturday, January 10, 2015


Crummey, Michael. Sweetland. 8 CDs. unabridged. 9.25 hrs. High Bridge Audio. 2015. ISBN 9781622316256. $39.99. 8CDs. 

Crummey (Galore) creates a compelling and epic story of one man's quest to stay on his beloved island on the Newfoundland coast after a government buyout. Moses Sweetland refuses to leave the island his ancestors founded, it holds too many memories and he feels compelled to stay for reasons he can't quite articulate. As the island's residents slowly start to leave he finds himself  reminiscing on his and the town's history. From the eclectic residents to old traditions, Sweetland finds solace in looking back on the island's past. Soon he finds himself utterly alone and all he has to keep him sane are his thoughts. The story alternates between the present story, Sweetland's youth, and various other memorable moments in his lifetime. Narrated beautifully by the prolific John Lee, who does an impressive job creating distinct voices for all characters, most notably in Moses Sweetland. Verdict Fans of literary novels, and rugged island life will enjoy this astonishing tale of an old man determined not to let go of the past.  - Erin Cataldi, Johnson Co. Public Library, Franklin, IN

Friday, January 9, 2015

Across Great Divides

"Across Great Divides" is a wonderful tale of resilience, family, and following your moral compass. Author Monique Roy, based this inspiring story on her own grandparents journey across countries, continents, and beliefs to try and find safety from the Nazis.

Told through many viewpoints, and over many years, this tale is about the lengths one must go in order to keep family together. Oskar, a successful diamond business owner in Berlin, must flee with his wife, two twin daughters, and young son, in order to escape the Jewish persecution by the Nazis. With the help of others they manage to flee to Belgium, but it isn't far enough away from the Nazi's grip. Over many years they must leapfrog across countries trying to find safety and trying to stay together as their family grows. Throughout all the hardships they manage to stay positive by finding the beauty around them and falling in love. When they eventually find safety in South Africa they face a new struggle, apartheid. Even though the discrimination against them is gone they must decide if they are willing to fight the struggle against the new underdogs, Blacks in South Africa.

A compelling tale, great for middle school readers and up. Not only does it talk of Hitler's ascent into power, it discusses the Jewish discrimination, apartheid, and the complexities of the diamond business. Not told through any one particular character, the story offers many different viewpoints and experiences, although at times the characters can come across a little flat.

I received this book for free from the author, in return for mu honest, unbiased opinion.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Sense & Sensibility

Re-reading this book just solidified my opinion that it is the best of the Jane Austen novels. I know everyone has their hearts set on Pride and Prejudice and Mr. Darcy, but I believe that her first novel is raw and real and much more relatable. It truly remains as fresh a cautionary tale today as it ever was. The Dashwood sisters learn that the path to love isn't always straight and narrow and sometimes your heart has to be broken for you to appreciate how whole a heart can be. Filled with memorable characters, witty dialogue, and unforgettable romance, this is a book readers won't soon forget.

I really enjoyed discussing the book with my library Jane Austen Book and Film Club, we talked about how societal obligations have changed but the heart has remained the same and then we watched the Masterpiece Theater version. Overall, a must read. And if you haven't watch the 1995 movie version. It's amazing and you won't regret it.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dead Gorgeous

I hadn't read a good old fashioned murder mystery in a while and this certainly whet my appetite. Elizabeth Flynn creates an absorbing read with a likable cast of characters, especially the lead,  Detective Inspector Angela Costello. She's a detective with heart, not some jaded PI like we're so often used to. She's methodical, jovial, and hard as tacks; she knows how to get the job done but she doesn't lose herself in the process.

When young aspiring model, Kristy Manners, is found dead Angela finds herself sucked into the world of fashion. She has to sort out Kristy's fashion designer boss, the jealous ex-boyfriend, the secretive flatmate, and other likely suspects. It's not so easily solved though, and in the process of trying to sort out the murder of beautiful, ambitious Kristy, Angela discovers that lurking behind the fashion industry's door is prostitution, drug addiction, and theft. A page turner that will leave you guessing til the end.

I received this book for free from Kregel Publications in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.