Review: Huckleberry Spring by Jennifer Beckstrand

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So, Book 4 in the Matchmakers of Huckleberry Hill series. Oh that grandmother Anna can be sly. And grandfather Felty is definitely not on board with the deceit. But the matchmaking keeps succeeding, so they keep on doing it.

Spring brings Emma to the farm to help grow a pumpkin. Then Anna tells a few white lies to get her grandson Ben back to Wisconsin from Florida. He had escaped there after breaking off his engagement to … yes, Emma. And the re-matchmaking begins.

This time, it’s more than just hearts on the line. Ben has a medical issue he’s not willing to share. Emma has strength of spirit but also a will to not get her heart broken again.

I just love the innocence and Godly love in Beckstrand’s Huckleberry Hill books. I appreciate the family loyalty and the harmless jokes. And there’s always a sense of adventure!

I found this book especially romantic, because I could truly feel the love between Emma and Ben… and they could too.

Thanks again, Ms. Beckstrand.

-calliope

By the way, Book 1 in this series is on sale for $1.99. buy Book 1

Book 4 buy HUCKLEBERRY SPRING

Review: Where the Road Takes Me by Jay McLean

01 where Let me wipe off my tears before I say anything. WOW. This book was a non stop emotional roller coaster. One minute I’m giggling, the next, crying.

Synopsis
Chloe has one plan for the future, and one plan only: the road. She’s made a promise to herself: don’t let anyone in, and don’t let anyone love her. She’s learned the hard way what happens if she breaks her rules. So she’s focused on being invisible and waiting until she can set out on the road—her dream of freedom, at least for a little while.

Blake Hunter is a basketball star who has it all—everything about him looks perfect to those on the other side of his protective walls. He can’t let anyone see the shattered pieces behind the flawless facade or else all his hopes and dreams will disappear.

One dark night throws Chloe and Blake together, changing everything for Blake. For Chloe, nothing changes: she has the road, and she’s focused on it. But when the so-called perfect boy starts to notice the invisible girl, they discover that sometimes with love, no one knows where the road may lead.

Chloe has lost people in her life and she knows how that can destroy a person. So she is determined to stay invisible and not make people love her, or fall in love herself. But what she didn’t plan on was Blake Hunter. No matter what she does or says, Blake is determined to change her mind about leaving.

Blake has everything he could ever want, except love. He lives in a house, but it’s not a home. When he meets Chloe and her family, he realizes that he wants more from his life than just college or the Army. He makes it his personal mission to show her that she is worth loving, even for the short time she is there.

“You’re my unexpectedly phenomenal, Chloe. You’re my red letter day.”

My heart was one big twisted mess. This story was filled with the silliest of scenes that played out so tenderly. The emotions of the characters were so real, I felt the heartache and love. I mean, these kids are 18, so they should be emotional. It was so nice to read a book that portrayed this way.

“Today will live forever in the memory of tomorrow.”

It was a non stop read. I was never bored or felt myself skimming. I needed to read every word, on every page, and absorb them into me. This was my very first Jay McLean book, but I know, for a fact, that this won’t be my last. If she can draw this amount of emotions from me, then she may find herself another super fan. Well done, Jay!!

~Melpomene

Release day-2/10/15
Buy Where the Road Takes Me

Review – The Good Suicides by Antonio Hill.

18507507*Full disclosure – I received this book from http://www.bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review.*  

This is my first time reading anything by Antonio Hill – in fact, the thing the attracted me to the book was not the blurb, but indeed the title.  I like authors that tend to write outside of the proverbial box, and judging from the title, I thought why not give this one a try.   I am pleased to say that I’m glad that I trusted my instinct.

The blurb reads like a typical thriller.  Set in Barcelona, we have a group of work colleagues who go on a team bonding weekend and come back with a shared secret.  Suddenly, a few members of this group start to die in circumstances that resemble suicide.  Is it coincidence or are there elements of foul play?   Inspector Sadalgo must investigate before anyone else ends up dead.

Now, I’ve read many a book that has been translated into English and elements have definitely been lost due to translation issues.   The translator, Laura McGloughlin, has done a very good job; not once do you feel as though there is a break  or fragment in the prose.   For his part, Hill has created some very realistic and three dimensional characters, even if Inspector Sadalgo does sometimes fit the formula of a tired detective who sometimes goes rogue.

Readers of thrillers and crime fiction need not fear that they will guess the ending or the theory behind the conclusion; Hill expertly manages to divert the reader down many different paths, albeit very believable paths.   This isn’t an easy read in the sense that Hill does not let you off the hook with a simple crime-investigation-conclusion formula.  You do get this, but it is a rocky, and fun,  path along the way.

If you want to read a good crime story, then I really recommend this book.  It is a slow burner that will ultimately provide you with hours of satisfaction.

The Good Suicides: A Thriller

Until next time,

Pegasus.

Review: First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

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Fifteen-year-old Bay has come to terms with being part of the magical Waverley family. She accepts her mother’s and aunt’s special abilities, and is totally fine with her power to know where things – and people – belong.

But she’s still a teenager. She has the knowledge of where she belongs, but she doesn’t feel a sense of belonging. Unless she’s at Aunt Claire’s house, watching magic happen in the kitchen. Or in the backyard at the apple tree, waiting for it to blossom during the first frost of the year.

When Bay falls in love with a popular boy at school, she knows they belong together, but HE doesn’t know it. And to mix things up a little more, there’s a shiny con man appearing in random places, stories of Bay’s grandmother having the power of frost, and Aunt Claire forgetting where she really belongs.

At first frost, everything falls into place. The family, the apple tree, the con man, and a boy’s heart.

This story is magical without being about magic. It’s a warm, cozy, relaxing tale that wraps you up in wonderment. I can’t explain why else I loved it, but I did.

-calliope

buy FIRST FROST

Book Review: Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

station elevenI won’t lie. It took me a while to get into this novel but at the end of the day I have to say I really did enjoy it! I’ve heard a few friends mention that they didn’t care for it because they kept waiting for something to happen….maybe that’s why I did end up enjoying it so much…I finally stopped trying to figure out any surprises or to look for something to happen….let’s face it…the story itself is what is happening….from start to finish life and the end of life is happening….this is one of those rare books that you don’t have to look for the unexpected. You don’t have to follow a storyline of ups and downs…you just need to sit back and follow along in the life of the day of survivors of an epidemic that has wiped out the majority of Earth’s population.

However, if you think this is a novel about a post-apocalyptic world you would think wrong. This is a novel about what it means to be human. About what it means to remain human in the face of adversity…

I believe that with the success of this book that there will be a second novel….it would be wonderful if we are lucky enough for Mandel to grace us with another…I would love to hear more about Station Eleven. I would love for all the characters to meet up at some point…having said that, don’t go into this feeling you might be disappointed with a storyline that didn’t end….remember! This isn’t that type of book….

It’s well worth the investment of your time….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Review copy provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel

More Book Signing Fun: Instagram Edition

TOMORROW!! #KMM #BookSigning

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This past weekend, I was lucky enough to go to Kentucky and meet Karen Marie Moning, JR Ward and Phil Gigante. Honestly, lucky isn’t even the right word for it. Blessed seems more like it. Karen was here promoting her newest book, BURNED, and JR was her to support her. And Phil was here to entertain us.

Look at that stack of BURNED!! #BookSigning #Burned #KMM

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The way this signing worked was that you had to go to the Barnes and Noble, when they opened, and show your proof of purchase for Burned and then you get a numbered wristband. The lower the number, the better seat you would get. Well, that means getting up early and getting in line. So for myself, that means getting up at 4 am and leaving at 5 to get there.

I'm about 25 in line. #KMM #Burned #BookSigning

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Around 7:30/8ish, a couple of girls from Team KMM came and surprised us. It was a blessing. Thank, girls!!

They brought us donuts and coffee. #TeamKMM #BookSigning #Burned #getburnedbykmm

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After that little pick me up, waiting for the store to open was a bit more bearable.

So, from 9 am til noonish, we were free to hang out or go back and get ready. I was dropped off, so I stayed and chatted and made new friends.

By the time all these seats were put up, it was almost time to be seated.

Waiting patiently for #KMM #BookSigning #Burned #TheFeverSeries #getburnedbykmm

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Once we were seated, you could feel the excitement everywhere. I mean I was practically trembling….

And then Phil came out. And this happened.

Yep. That's me SITTING ON PHIL GIGANTE'S lap!!! #dying #Burned #FeverSeries #KMM #Barrons

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If that’s how the day was going to go, then I was destined to have another banner day. For those who don’t know who Phil Gigante is, he’s the voice behind Barrons, Ryodan, Lor and basically all the men in the Fever series.

And then JR Ward came out to chat and introduce Karen. I was lucky enough to get a question answered. Made my day.

JR Ward!!!! #BookSigning #Burned #FeverSeries #BDB #BlackDaggerBrotherhood

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And then the Queen came out. Gorgeous, right??

KAREN!!!! #KMM #Burned #FeverSeries #BookSigning #dying #getburnedbykmm

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So after we chatted with Karen for a bit, the signing started. And then this happened. #Faints

JR Ward!!!!! #BookSigning #dying #selfie #BDB #BlackDaggerBrotherhood

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I mean, seriously!!!! I got a selfie with JR Ward!!! #bucketlist She was gracious enough to sign a couple of books for me.

Got a couple of JR Ward books signed. #ZisMYBrother #JRWard #BookSigning #BDB

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Then I met Karen. I was so nervous, but she was wonderful and so very sweet. She had the friendliest smile the whole time. She complimented my embellished Barrons shirt, pendant and my phone case, which showcases many of my favorite books, which includes Shadowfever.

Hate this pic, but at least I met #KarenMarieMoning #KMM #Burned #BookSigning #getburnedbykmm

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Then I was able to get a better shot with Phil. And he was able to sign my books as well.

Phil and I again. #KMM #Burned #BookSigning #getburnedbykmm

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Then I was able to snag a clearer shot of JR again. She just looks so classy. I feel like a silly little girl, next to her.

Better pic of me and JR Ward. #BookSigning #Burned #BDB #JRWard

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Thank you, Karen, for signing my books and shirt and for being one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met.

This day is now ranked among my top moments in my life. Never would I have imagined jumping into this book world and then finding authors with such passion and heart that makes me want to drive HOURS, or even get on planes, to go and meet. These are memories I will take with me forever.

Thank you, Karen Marie Moning, JR Ward, Phil Gigante and Barnes and Noble for making this day amazing.

~Melpomene

Be sure to get Burned: Fever Series Book 7
But make sure you get caught up with the series first. This is one of my all time favorite series EVER. If you really wanna feel these books, grab the audible versions. *fans face*

Darkfever: Fever Series Book 1
Bloodfever: Fever Series Book 2
Faefever: Fever Series Book 3
Dreamfever: Fever Series Book 4
Shadowfever: Fever Series Book 5
Iced: Fever Series Book 6

Review: Don’t Look Back by Jennifer Armentrout

3123874I have to start off by saying how much I enjoyed this book. I expected it to be decent, good even. But it was much better than I had anticipated.

The story beings with Samantha surfacing from some type of traumatic event. She has no knowledge of what happened and no memory of the person she used to be. She does know, however, that she was likely the last person to see best friend Cassie, who is now missing. In addition to trying to regain her memory, Samantha starts to realize that she doesn’t like the person she used to be. She’s rich, popular, beautiful, has a handsome boyfriend, and is a typical mean girl. So in fact losing her memory gives her a second chance at life, at becoming the person she wants to be. But when her memories start to resurface, she realizes that something dangerous is lurking in the background.

This was an excellent story for me. I really liked Samantha, and her interactions with the other “mean girls” were entirely believable. There’s also a nice little thriller element to the story with a few surprises towards the end. A highly compelling story that was hard for me to put down!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Don’t Look Back (A Novel)