Saturday, August 27, 2016

Book Review: Sting by Sandra Brown

When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something definitely sparks. Shaw gives off a dangerous vibe that makes men wary and inspires women to sit up and take notice. None feel that undercurrent more strongly than savvy businesswoman Jordie, who doesn't belong in a seedy dive on the banks of a bayou. But here she is . . . and Shaw Kinnard is here to kill her.

As Shaw and his partner take aim, Jordie is certain her time has come. But Shaw has other plans and abducts Jordie, hoping to get his hands on the $30 million her brother has stolen and, presumably, hidden. However, Shaw is not the only one looking for the fortune. Her brother's ruthless boss and the FBI are after it as well. Now on the run from the feds and a notorious criminal, Jordie and Shaw must rely on their wits-and each other-to stay alive.

Miles away from civilization and surrounded by swampland, the two play each other against their common enemies. Jordie's only chance of survival is to outwit Shaw, but it soon becomes clear to Shaw that Jordie isn't entirely trustworthy, either. Was she in on her brother's scam, or is she an innocent pawn in a deadly vendetta? And just how valuable is her life to Shaw, her remorseless and manipulative captor? Burning for answers-and for each other-this unlikely pair ultimately make a desperate move that could be their last.


I went into this book completely blind. I didn't know anything about it, I didn't read a blurb and I didn't need to. If the cover has the name Sandra Brown on it, I know I'm going to love it and this one was no exception. 

I don't really want to say much about this one because I don't want to spoil anything but I will say this ... there are surprises consistently throughout the pages of Sting. One of them towards the beginning really knocked me on my ass and I was TOTALLY shocked. I can sometimes pick out what is going to be the plot twist with a book but that NEVER happens with Brown's books. I think that's why I love her novels so much and it's definitely why I never miss a book by her.

The characters were amazing, as usual. Jordie was perfectly stubborn and infuriating while Shaw was extremely terrifying and ridiculously mysterious and handsome. The push and pull between these two characters was almost mesmerizing and the great thing is you never really knew what either of them was going to do or say next. Oh! And how Jordie was with her brother was both sad and endearing. I wish that I could say more because the dynamic between those two was interesting and constantly changing and expanding into something that you don't expect. 

The plot is as expected from Sandra Brown, it's quick moving and totally encompassing. You'll not finish this book wishing that some things were explored more deeply - everything is totally fleshed out and explained. Also, as usual, there weren't any spots that slowed down and dragged the story with it. It was just a perfectly plotted book. 

This is one of those books that will stick with you for a while. Of course, I'm a bit biased ... I adore anything by Sandra Brown. She could start writing the back of a tampon box and I would love it and force everyone I know to read it also. Reading a book that is abundantly filled with suspense and passion is why I just can't put Brown's books down. If you like suspense and a snarky female heroine, this book is for you. If you like a man that is as intimidating as he is handsome, this book is for you. If you love sitting down with a book and becoming completely entranced with a swiftly moving plot line that wraps you up so tightly that you don't want to stop reading, then this book is for you. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: Me Before You (Me Before You #1) by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

The literary world seems to have just blown up because of this book. Everyone is just tripping over themselves to shove it into someone's hand. That's a great thing. I'm all for getting non-readers to pick up a book and this book has accomplished that. But I'm also all for a book that can stand up to the hype for me. This one just didn't. And I wish that it had. 

I didn't know what to expect when picking this book up. Well, that's not true. From what everyone was saying, I expected to fall in love with this book and just bawl my eyes out. I didn't on either account. After I finished the last page, I just felt ... nothing. I immediately went online to check out Goodreads to see what all of my friends had thought. I read review after review from people that just adored Me Before You. They all said something about crying and needing a box of tissues and I'm sitting over here, dry-eyed and irritated. 

I started this book with a hopeful heart. I was hoping for an earth-shattering reading experience. But what I actually got was a very slow first half of the book. I had to force myself to go to the next page. Now, some books are just like that ... they take a while to set everything up and then BAM! you find yourself in the middle of the best read of the year. This wasn't one of those books. I kept reading hoping that something would click. That something would make me say, "WOW! This is why..." but that didn't happen. It felt like I was chasing a mirage the whole time. 

Basically, I ended up feeling like a heartless witch when I finally reached the ending. I didn't cry, not one tear. I didn't have the urge to cry and I feel pretty horrible. Did I miss something? Am I just completely uncaring since I couldn't cry at the absolutely earth-shattering situations these poor characters are going through? I have no heart. That has to be it.

All of that being said, the book was really well written. The characters had a depth that most authors strive for and the story wasn't missing any detail that I wish that I had had while reading. I just didn't connect with it. I understood the plight of the characters but I had absolutely no attachment to any of them. I wanted to love this one. Maybe I would have if I wasn't so obviously dead inside. 

Available Now

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Book Review: To Have and to Hold (The Wedding Belles #1) by Lauren Layne

Discovering her fiance is an international con man just moments before they exchange vows devastates celebrity wedding planner Brooke Baldwin's business—and breaks her heart. Now a pariah in Los Angeles, she seeks a fresh start in New York City and thinks she’s found it with her first bridal client, a sweet—if slightly spoiled—hotel heiress. Then she meets the uptight businessman who’s holding the purse strings.

Seth Tyler wishes he could write a blank check and be done with his sister Maya's fancy-pants wedding. Unfortunately, micromanaging the event is his only chance at proving Maya’s fiance is a liar. Standing directly in his way is the stunning blonde wedding planner whose practiced smiles and sassy comebacks both irritate and arouse him. He needs Brooke’s help. But can he persuade a wedding planner on a comeback mission to unplan a wedding? And more importantly, how will he convince her that the wedding she should be planning... is theirs?


Here's the deal: Lauren Layne is one of those authors that I know if I pick up her book, I'm going to love it. She wrote one of my favorite series: New York's Finest. You really need to read that series, by the way. Unless you're someone who doesn't like good books with hunky dudes that make you want to break the law. Just cuff me already, I don't know what I did but it was something.

Back to this one ... it's just perfection. That's really the only thing that I have to say. I blew through this one late one night when I should have been sleeping but I just couldn't put it down. I usually jot notes down as I go so that my review is really specific to what I was thinking as I read but I didn't write one damn thing down. I didn't need to and honestly, I just didn't want to stop reading to take the time to write something about how amazing Layne is or how I'm going to book-stalk her forever or how her characters are perfect and if Seth was a real person that my husband would be in serious danger of becoming the ex-husband. 

You follow Brooke's life just after she experienced a soul-crushing blow ... her fiance left her at the alter. Basically because he was skeezy. It's not an easy road to get over this skeezy dude but it was heart-warming to watch Brooke struggle through all of those emotions. Layne really makes you connect with her characters and I found myself instantly wanting Brooke to be my friend and I can only wish that I would be so brave if I went through the same type of experience. Although if it were me, there would probably be something about kicking skeezy dude in kiwis ... that was unfortunately missing from these pages but it's something I'll overlook because Seth. Ugh. I just love him. I love how he was this bumbling idiot about how to handle things and how he was just ... Seth. He's so authoritative and for some reason, that is sexy as hell.

I'm telling you, you have to pick this one up. You won't be disappointed. The storyline zips along at a wonderful pace and nothing slows down or gets boring. The characters are interesting and I loved them almost as much as Brooke and Seth. I wouldn't change one sentence, word or comma in this book. Just go to the bookstore today, pick this up and send me a message when you're done and we'll see who read it the fastest. But since I read it first, I get Seth. Go find your own book boyfriend. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now

Monday, August 1, 2016

Book Review: Heartfall by J.B. McGee

Claire Ross has never been good enough. Not for the girls in the elite group of dancers in her class and certainly not for the approval of her ballet teacher, Mr. Robins. She definitely doesn’t like what she sees in the mirror. Simply put, she doesn’t love herself, so how could she possibly love someone else?

After twelve years of friendship, Sebastian Reyes’ adoring gaze holds more. They soon find themselves unable to control their feelings for one another.

When tragedy strikes, Claire finds herself in a very unlikely and unfavorable position. Regardless of the weight of the emotion, she must make difficult decisions that impact the rest of her life.

Will Claire see that her true love has been right in front of her? Happily ever after isn’t just for fairy tales. To get hers, all she has to do is trust, open her heart and fall.


This is the first book that I've read about ballet and even though I had no idea what anything associated with ballet was before I cracked this one open, it was pretty good! This is also the first book that I've read by J.B. McGee.

From the very first page, this book reminded me of Center Stage. It's really nothing like that movie and Heartfall  probably reminded me of it because it's the only other thing I've ever read or watched that was about ballet and the life of someone who participates in it. Not knowing anything about ballet most certainly didn't detract from the enjoyment I got while reading. 

I enjoyed the characters and I was a little surprised by the depth of the characters since the beginning of the book is YA. That's not to say that there aren't deep characters in YA novels, so don't start attacking my review, there was just more to Claire and Sebastian than I had anticipated. That's a great thing, it drew me into the lives of each of them much more quickly than it would have if they had been written differently. The strength behind Claire was a beautiful thing to experience while it was developing. I loved her from the beginning. 

You think you know what you're getting yourself into when you read the back of this book. But it's more. It is so much more than just the blurb. It was beautiful and heartbreaking and basically, a captivating read. The plot does jump around quite a bit. There were parts of the book where I would have been more than fine with hearing more about but it was just glossed over. That was a little upsetting because I just wanted to know more about the characters and what they were going through. Don't get me wrong, McGee left nothing out of the plot that was necessary information, she covered everything I just wanted more ... I didn't want the jumps in time to happen because I'm greedy. 

Excluding the scenes that I wanted just a tad more out of, this was a great book. It was sad. So sad but a good read. Until the epilogue. It came out of NOWHERE. It made sense and closed out the book correctly but talk about left field. I enjoyed how the epilogue really buttoned up everything nice and pretty but it almost felt like an after-thought because it was a little bit random at first. Great book, I'll try another by this author in the future probably. 

* I received this novel in exchange for an honest review *

Available Now