Monday, November 24, 2014

Book Review: First to Fall (Avalon, #1) by Carys Jones

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Aiden Connelly turns his back to the city life. Looking for a new start for his family, together with his wife and daughter, they move to the small town of Avalon. In a small place where everyone knows everyone, life seems so simple. But nothing is what it looks like. Connelly's first case seems pretty plain: the wife killed her husband and confessed the murder. Simple and plain case that has to end very soon. But it takes just one visit to the local prison for his gut to tell him different things, that this woman is not a murderer. Looking for new evidence, Connelly digs up some old skeletons that have to stay buried. The victim was local favorite boy and everyone loved him. He came from a respectful family and was some kind of local celebrity. But his wife, the most beautiful woman who won a beauty contest as a teenager, had no proper home and a had a drug addict for a mother. Everyone was so surprised with their marriage, but no one was surprised when she was arrested for his murder. "That sl*t deserves a death penalty!" Did Brandy really kill her husband? What is hiding behind her angel face? Can she twist men around her little finger or is she a victim of long-term domestic violence? Aiden Connelly has his hands full of work. 

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Book Review: Mistletoe Mansion by Samantha Tonge

*ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Kimmy dreams for having her own baking business. She loves gossip magazines and celebrity DVDs. But her long-term boyfriend doesn't share same things. He wants steady job, security and roots. After a fight with him, Kimmy finds herself jobless and homeless. Her best friend also finds herself jobless and homeless, so it's time for plan B. The owner of Mistletoe Mansion needs a housekeeper until the mansion is sold. It's a perfect opportunity for Kimmy and her friend. The dream finally comes true! Living like a celebrity! And the kitchen, perfect for a cooking show!

But what Kimmy doesn't know is that living in the Mistletoe Mansion comes with a catch. The mansion is possessed. Strange things are going on. Strange sounds, lights, smoke, music that no one is playing. Is there a logical explanation or the house is really haunted by ghosts?

Book Review: Married by Midnight by Talli Roland

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Christmas is around the corner, so is Kate's wedding day. She trusts the stars so much, she and her mother read the horoscope every single day. On the day made for big decisions, Kate goes to vintage shop to choose her wedding dress. What she finds is the most perfect dress from 1930-ties, but with a note. A note from the previous owner. OMG! It must be very romantic story behind that dress. And Kate is going to find out. Posting the images of the dress on Facebook and Twitter, she is in the search for the bride who wore that dress on her wedding day. In the very same time, Kate is preparing for her own wedding day. But is her destiny really written in the stars?

Talli Roland is one of my favorite rom com authors whose books always lift my mood. Her humorous and warm writing style always makes me giggle and feel positive. I've read several of her books and this one is not exception. My only complaint: too short, finished for half an hour. I want more of it. I often find short stories with poorly developed plots and very few characters, what makes them hardly page-turners. But Talli Roland can make an interesting story out of nothing, fill it with twists and turn-overs and develop that story into a real page-turner. Married by Midnight is easy-breezy romantic comedy with a little bit mystery in it. Perfect for cozy afternoon with a blanket and cup of tea.

My opinion: 4.5 /5.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Book review: The Boy in the Cemetery by Sebastian Gregory

*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This a book that I do not usually read, but as a participant in #sundaychallenge hosted by me and my blog buddy Ananda on This Chick Reads, I decided to give it a try. The week's challenge was to read a book from an unknown author for me. I tried and I didn't regret.

With Halloween around the corner, the spooky stories are the most popular in this part of the year. The story starts about two hundred years ago, with a boy who loses his mother and is forced by his father to steel from corpses. But at the cemetery lives a creature that takes his soul and possesses his body. 

More than two hundred years later, Carrie Anne lives a life that no child should ever live. She is abused by her own father. Her mother knows that and she does nothing to stop him. "Family is important" both parents say to Carrie Anne, "if you tell, the family would be separated". What family?!? A child should be child and live the life of a child! But running away "to keep the family together", Carrie Anne's father moves the family in a small neglected house, with a cemetery in the backyard. A cemetery that Carrie Anne sees as a sanctuary, where she notices a pair of strange eyes that are watching her. But nothing is more scary than her father in her room, on her bed. Carrie Anne meets the boy.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Book Review: Crossing the Line by Frédérique Molay

*Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I don't know many French authors of crime books, simply because not many of them are translated in English. So I was very excited when I found a gem like this one. Crossing the Line is actually second in the series and I figured that out by requesting the third one on Netgalley. After the third one, I came back for the previous books. I didn't find the first one, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the next book in the series.

The story begins with anatomy class at medical school when a strange message is found in a tooth of a corp. "I was murdered"-it says. Is it a sick student's joke or is there something more going on? The body belongs to a well-known pharmacist who has committed a suicide. But why would someone who is suicidal leave a message "I was murdered"? 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book review: The French for Christmas by Fiona Valpy

*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Christmas is the most joyful time of the year. While everyone is celebrating, Evie cries all the time. She has lost her baby. Her marriage is falling apart. It is not Christmas for her this year. Lucky for her, her friends are always there by her side. They send her in their house in rural France so she can escape from everything and find herself again. But when you don't expect to find something, you will find it. In the middle of nowhere, while the snow storm lurks around, Evie finds friendship and love, a completely new beginning. Can she finally find herself and start her life again?

Evie's story is very touching. She loses her baby even before the baby is born. Her husband is running away all the time, it is his way of coping with pain. But Evie is a fighter, even if she runs in rural France just to escape Christmas. With little help from her grandmother's cooking book and lots of help from the neighbors, she starts all over again. And nothing can stop her. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Book review: Snow Angels, Secrets and Christmas Cake by Sue Watson

*Copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Sue Watson did it again! After Younger, Thinner, Blonder and Love, Lies and Lemon Cake, I wasn't expecting anything less from this fabulous author. Every single word in her stories is sweetened with chocolate, vanilla and cupcakes and there is no way you'll feel down after reading them. Every one next is even better and better and this time she really nails it.

The plot centers around Angel sisters. Sam is young widow with little son. She owns a bakery, she runs it since her husband died, it's her escape from the outside world. Tamsin is very rich, but when her husband leaves her and she loses her house, the only one she can turn to is her little sister. Tamsin hides a very big secret, their childhood wasn't like Sam remembers. Tam did everything in her power to protect her little sister. But now it is time for Sam to protect her big sister.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review: Thin Girls Don't Eat Cake by Lindy Dale

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

Olivia is being dumped by her boyfriend just because he thinks she is not that attractive with her clothes off. That guy Connor thinks she is fat. Following her mother's advice she starts zumba lessons. But as clumsy as she is, she hurts her foot and meets the knight in shining armour. Does Cole also think that she is fat? 

The story has a great start and I was hooked from the very first page. But as I continued reading  I've found the writing style little bit confusing. I had a feeling that two different people were writing the book. The story starts as a chicklit with lots of comic moments. Olivia is the main character and the story is written in first person. And than goes Cole and his emotional story is written in third person, but when Olivia is mentioned in his story, she is also in third person. That confused me little bit. It is ok if the story is told from two different POVs or from main character's POV, but this was like reading two different books.  I am not sure if this is the idea of the author or it needs some editing. But that's just me.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Blog Tour: The Strangler Vine by M. J. Carter (Book Review)

This was a rather interesting read and definitely not my usual one, but I enjoyed it greatly nevertheless. It’s an interesting story set in 19 century India, in a time when India is ruled by the East India Company. Xavier Mounstuart, famous author, goes missing and William Avery and Jeremiah Blake are called in to find him. William and Jeremiah can’t be any different. William is not fascinated with India and dreams of the day when he’ll be back home. Only thing he does seem to enjoy is the friendship of his Scottish friend and the British girls who’ve been brought to India to find a husband. This all can be very funny to most of us, but arranged marriages are totally acceptable even now in some part of the world, so it was rather interesting reading about this. Jeremiah seems to have blended in, retiring from the company and enjoying India and the way natives live, and of course he’s not very interested in going on this quest to find Xavier Mountstuart.

Is there a point to this quest? Could the famous writer be alive or has fallen in the trap of the Thugs, the murderous sect of Kali-worshippers?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Book review: Dangled Carat by Hilary Grossman

*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*

I've read a few memoirs in my life and some of them were really inspiring. So, when Hilary offered me her memoir for reviewing, I said to myself: "Well, why not?". And I wasn't wrong.

This is a story for a girl who I can easily compare with the ugly duckling that becomes a beautiful swan. From a shy girl who lost her father at the age of fourteen and was bullied at school, she becomes beautiful  and smart woman who knows what she wants from life. She is in a relationship with a guy she loves and he loves her, but he is afraid of commitment. I must admit that she has a lot of patience. I would kick this guy out of my life after a year or two. But not her. She gave him unconditional love and patience and she waited.