Friday, March 29, 2019

Book Review: A Perfect Amish Match by Vannetta Chapman

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Series: Indiana Amish Brides Book #3
Format: eBook
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: NetGalley
Genre: Romance, Inspirational, Contemporay
Publisher: Love Inspired
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

After three failed relationships, Amish bachelor Noah Graber would rather disappoint his parents than try again. But when matchmaker Olivia Mae Miller agrees to provide courting lessons, Noah’s perfect match becomes clear—it’s Olivia Mae herself! With ailing grandparents at home, she hadn’t planned on love or marriage. Might a future with Noah be everything she’s been missing?

Review

***I received this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***

This was just precious. It's my first Amish romance and my 2nd Inspirational. I like the sexy times in my books, but never felt this was lacking for not having that. And I would definitely read more of these-especially books by this author.

The romance was sweet and well-paced. I don't know much about Amish culture, but it felt realistic. I loved the innocence, but not naivete of the characters and their love. 

Olivia Mae and Noah were both good and likable characters. And they both have nice families which I love reading about.

Dealing with Alzheimer's disease added an extra layer of emotion to the story. It was really nice to read a romance about a caregiver. So many people deal with the stress and strain of that. The whole story felt real and was written respectfully. 

Overall, this was a very calm and enjoyable read. It may be weird to call a book calm, but this was a relaxing and easy read. Sometimes you need that instead of battles and crazy tension.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, March 25, 2019

Book Review: Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry

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Stand Alone
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 365
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Tor Teen
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Jesse Lachlin is cursed. 

So the town folklore says, but while Jesse’s had his fair share of tragedy, the only curse he believes is in his grandmother’s will: in order to inherit his family farm he must win the approval of his childhood best friend, the girl he froze out his freshman year, Scarlett Copeland.

Scarlett Copeland is psychic.

Glory Gardner tells Scarlett she has hidden psychic abilities, but Scarlett thinks Glory is delusional. What is real is Scarlett’s father’s irrational fears, controlling attitude, and the dark secrets at home. Scarlett may have a way to escape, but there’s a hitch: she’ll have to rely on the one person she used to trust, the same boy who broke her heart, Jesse Lachlin.

Each midnight meeting pushes Jesse and Scarlett to confront their secrets and their feelings for each other. But as love blooms, the curse rears its ugly head.

Review

I've been putting of this review with the hope that I will be able to explain my thoughts. That has not happened so this is what you get.

This was very good, but incredibly hard to read. Both Jesse and Scarlet go through abusive situations. Reading those scenes were so hard. I just wanted to do something to help them and anyone who goes through that in real life.

The relationships were probably the best part of this story. Of course there is the friendship and eventual romance between the two main characters. That was nice to read. But I really liked the other interactions-especially between Jesse and his uncle. 

There was a lot in this book and while it was satisfying, I feel like there is so much story that can be explored-especially with some of the side characters.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, March 22, 2019

Spring TBR (2019)

I am back with my seasonal TBRs. The TBR lasts 3 months. In the last year, I made pretty good work with my TBR. So, I did something different this year. 

There still still be a list of 5 books.

Book #1
A TBR veteran. If it doesn't get read, it gets unhauled.

The Night Circus
13330943

Books #2 & #3
Two picks from my TBR jar of physical books

How to Entice an Enchantress
17571127

Court of Fives
18068907

Books #4 & #5
Two picks from my ebook TBR jar

Frostbite 
34530760

Winter's Beast
35272740

I filmed a video of this TBR which includes the pulling from my actual TBR jars. If you want to check it out you can watch it here:


Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Book Review: Soul in Darkness by Wendy Higgins

43981408
Stand Alone
Format: Paperback
Pages: 352
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: New Adult, Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Self-Published
Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

People travel from afar to the small isle in the Aegean Sea hoping for a single glimpse of Princess Psyche. Their adoration for the mortal woman is so all-consuming that citizens begin to shower her with the very gifts and offerings they once left at the alter of Venus, goddess of love and beauty. 

But gods are known for their jealousy.

Cupid, the god of love, takes pleasure in causing strife and mischief in the lives of humans. He uses love as a weapon, humoring in the weakness of people at the whims of their feelings. When his mother Venus approaches him about punishing the human girl who dares to steal her offerings and affections from the people, Cupid gladly accepts. 

Psyche's punishment is to be given to a mysterious creature who only comes to her in the dark of night under the pact that she will never lay eyes on him. She is terrified of this stranger, who the oracle described as a serpent. Her mate, however, is masterful in his dealings with his bride. He takes his time, morphing her fears into different sensations completely. 

Based on the Roman/Greek mythology of Cupid and Psyche by Lucius Apuleius, New York Times bestseller Wendy Higgins brings the tale to life, weaving layers that show exactly how a sacrificial lamb can be enchanted by an unseen monster.

Review

I didn't know about this book until right before it's release. I'm really I glad I did end up seeing in on Twitter. This is a Cupid and Psyche retelling which I like. I actually did a project on this type of story back in college.

Also, can there please be more New Adult that isn't contemporary? 

Psyche could've been a Mary Sue, but she wasn't. And I really enjoyed reading her story and getting in her head. Cupid was interesting but not quite as developed as Psyche.

The romance was pretty well done especially considering the forced proximity. Sometimes that can cause the romance to feel forced. The second part did fall a little, but I think a part of that was Ms. Higgins' loyalty to the original story. Maybe it would've been better as two separate books, but I also love that it was a stand alone.

I'm glad I picked this up. It was fun, fast-paced, and had great tension. It makes me want to read the Wendy Higgins books I've missed over the last couple years.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Monday, March 18, 2019

Book Review: Devil's Daughter by Lisa Kleypas

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Series: The Ravenels Book #5
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 384
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: Purchased
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Although beautiful young widow Phoebe, Lady Clare, has never met West Ravenel, she knows one thing for certain: he's a mean, rotten bully. Back in boarding school, he made her late husband's life a misery, and she'll never forgive him for it. But when Phoebe attends a family wedding, she encounters a dashing and impossibly charming stranger who sends a fire-and-ice jolt of attraction through her. And then he introduces himself...as none other than West Ravenel.

West is a man with a tarnished past. No apologies, no excuses. However, from the moment he meets Phoebe, West is consumed by irresistible desire...not to mention the bitter awareness that a woman like her is far out of his reach. What West doesn't bargain on is that Phoebe is no straitlaced aristocratic lady. She's the daughter of a strong-willed wallflower who long ago eloped with Sebastian, Lord St. Vincent—the most devilishly wicked rake in England.

Before long, Phoebe sets out to seduce the man who has awakened her fiery nature and shown her unimaginable pleasure. Will their overwhelming passion be enough to overcome the obstacles of the past?

Review

This book was almost perfect. If there had been just a little bit more at the end or maybe an epilogue it would've gotten 5 stars.

Lisa Kleypas is just a master storyteller and this book is no exception..

I'm not usually a fan of widow/widower books-especially if kids are involved-but I loved Phoebe. Her strength and compassion is beautiful. I also loved the story around her first husband. And she was such a caring and good mother. West is a lot like Phoebe's dad, Sebastian, and his growth over the series was very well done. He cares deeply for people and works hard which is respectable.

The romance was very mature. Phoebe and West have a mutual attraction and immediate chemistry. They also both have a reason to not act on that attraction, but the way they handle it feels very mature and adult-like. And who knew talking about farming and accounting could lead to a strong and interesting foundation for a romance.

The children were pretty adorable. Maybe now that I've turned 30 I'm turning into a softy. The easy and natural interactions Phoebe and especially West had with the boys was adorable. I want Justin to have a book someday just so I can read more about his relationship with West.

How can I talk about this book without mentioning my OTP: Evie and Sebastian. I love that Ms. Kleypas threw in a little scene with those two. And it was nice to see them as parents-especially Sebastian. Oh my gosh, every scene with him was just perfection. Oh, and the Merritt mentions were fun, too. I'm always game for Wallflowers references. I wouldn't complain if some Hathaways showed up as well.

I'm not ready for this series to be over, so hopefully it isn't. There is still one Ravenel not paired off so I'm hopeful. I also wouldn't be mad if Ms. Kleypas wrote about Sebastian and Evie's younger kids someday.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Friday, March 15, 2019

Book Review: Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Broka

34092885
Stand Alone
Format: ebook
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
How I Got It: Library
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Speak

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

Seventeen-year-old Megan Harper is about due for her next sweeping romance. It's inevitable—each of her relationships starts with the perfect guy and ends with him falling in love . . . with someone else. But instead of feeling sorry for herself, Megan focuses on pursuing her next fling, directing theater, and fulfilling her dream college's acting requirement in the smallest role possible.

So when she’s cast as Juliet (yes, that Juliet) in her high school’s production, it’s a complete nightmare. Megan’s not an actress, and she’s used to being upstaged—both in and out of the theater. In fact, with her mom off in Texas and her dad remarried and on to baby #2 with his new wife, Megan worries that, just like her exes, her family is moving on without her.

Then she meets Owen Okita, an aspiring playwright inspired by Rosaline from Shakespeare's R+J. A character who, like Megan, knows a thing or two about short-lived relationships. Megan agrees to help Owen with his play in exchange for help catching the eye of a sexy stagehand/potential new boyfriend. Yet Megan finds herself growing closer to Owen, and wonders if he could be the Romeo she never expected.

In their fresh and funny debut, Emily Wibberly and Austin Siegemund-Broka break down the high school drama to find there's always room for familial love, romantic love, and—most importantly—self-love. 

Review

I got this from the library after hearing Hailey from Hailey in Bookland.

I'll be honest. I remember being at 18% and considering DNFing this. But I decided to give it another 15 minutes to see if it would work for me.

I'm so glad I did.

Megan, the main character, is not my favorite, but in the end I enjoyed her story. She shows you don't have to identify with a character for a story/book to work. She's also different from a lot of YA heroines which is nice. She's flirty, bold, and owns herself. And she definitely has personality flaws.

The side characters were also interesting. I really enjoyed reading about Megan's relationships/friendships with all these different people. The romance was cute and I really loved how it evolved out of a friendship. I don't want to go into too much detail, but theses different relationships were fun to read about.

I see these two authors are writing another book and I would pick it up.

Thanks for reading!
Holly

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Book Review: It's Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch

39863367
Series: Wild Wicked Highlanders Book #1
Format: ebook
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟/5
How I Got It: NetGalley
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's

Synopsis courtesy of Goodreads

London socialite Amelia-Rose Baxter is nobody’s fool. Her parents may want her to catch a title, but she will never change who she is for the promise of marriage. Her husband will be a man who can appreciate her sharp mind as well as her body. A sophisticated man who loves life in London. A man who considers her his equal―and won’t try to tame her wild heart...

Rough, rugged Highlander Niall MacTaggert and his brothers know the rules: the eldest must marry or lose the ancestral estate, period. But Niall’s eldest brother just isn’t interested in the lady his mother selected. Is it because Amelia-Rose is just too. . . Free-spirited? Yes. Brazen? Aye. Surely Niall can find a way to soften up the whip-smart lass and make her the perfect match for his brother for the sake of the family.

Instead it’s Niall who tempts Amelia-Rose, despite her reservations about barbarian Highlanders. Niall finds the lass nigh irresistible as well, but he won’t make the mistake his father did in marrying an Englishwoman who doesn’t like the Highlands. Does he have what it takes to win her heart? There is only one way to find out.

Review

***I received this book via NetGalley from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***

The big picture: this was a fine book and I would read more books in the series when they are released, but am not dying for them.

The first half of the book felt very slow. The second half felt rushed. I guess that would average out to good pacing, but that's not how it works. The romance was fairly interesting-I liked that the characters built a friendship first. But, again, the ending was a little rushed.

I was more intrigued by the guys' mother. I'm hoping her relationships with her husband and sons will continue to be explored. Ms. Enoch could've easily made her a one-dimensional villain character and I'm glad she didn't. Family dynamics are always interesting to read.

If you like historical romance feel free to check this out, but maybe pick it up from the library.

Thanks for reading!
Holly