Review: Thrill Me by Susan Mallery

  
Susan Mallery is a genius! She wrote Thrill Me as part of her long-running Fool’s Gold series, but it’s also part of a mini-series trio.  I love that! If you’re new to Fool’s Gold, or you don’t keep up with series, you can read the Hold Me, Kiss Me, Thrill Me trio and be totally satisfied. (You can read any of the Fool’s Gold books as standalones, but they’re much more fun together.)

In Thrill Me, Maya and Del separately return to their hometown to work on a project for Mayor Marsha. Maya works in video editing, and Del is a charmer on camera. Their work chemistry is easy and natural, and even though they had decade-old romantic history together, Del and Maya renew their relationship in the form of friendship. 

Mallery impresses me by coming up with new and exciting professions for her characters. I LOVE the video production descriptions in this book.  Plus, it’s a good backdrop for Del and Maya getting close in the editing room.  ;)

Maya and Del are loveable and fun characters, perfect for each other, and perfect for Fool’s Gold. Their romance was mostly in their own minds until they finally admitted feelings for each other and decided on Happily Ever After.  Another Susan Mallery winner! 
-calliope

Buy THRILL ME

Review: Somebody Up There Hates You by Hollis Seamon

17302690I usually don’t pay much attention to reviews. A contradiction, I know, coming from someone who shares my love of great stories by writing reviews. But let me clarify. I don’t pay much attention to reviews unless they come from someone whose opinion I know and trust, someone who enjoys the same types of stories that I do. So I hope that’s how you view us here at the Muses, trusted friends who offer a little bit of something for everyone.

Having cancer sucks, even more so when you’re seventeen years old. That’s just what Richie is facing. And even worse, he’s been moved to hospice. We all know what that means. He’s the youngest person on the hospice ward with the exception of Sylvie. So of course there’s a romance brewing. If the story ran on that alone, it wouldn’t be nearly as interesting. It’s the cast of supporting characters that adds so much more. There’s Richie’s crazy but fun uncle who manages to sneak him out for a night of fun on Halloween. There’s his grandma who is complicit in helping him sneak around with Sylvie. Sylvie’s dad, by the way is one scary dude. Staying out of his reach becomes a full-time challenge in itself for Richie. And then there are the nurses and staff members, all full of personality and compassion at the same time.

I think it’s unfair to compare this story to The Fault in Our Stars as so many reviews have done. Because let’s be honest, that was a one of a kind, once in a lifetime story. And I don’t say that to take anything away from this book. It’s a different kind of book that just happens to share a few common characteristics with TFIOS. But it’s just as good in its own way.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Somebody Up There Hates You: A Novel

Review (revisited): The Coldest Gril in Coldtown by Holly Black

12813630I really enjoyed this book. However, I must warn you, it is predictable….and although I Black has said that this is a stand alone book….well I just don’t see her leaving it as it ended…there is just so much more she can do with the storyline….

This novel centers around a teenager named Tana. She lives in a world were vampires live in walled “Coldtowns”….when Tana wakes up after a party and discovers her and a friend might be infected she ventures into Coldtown, knowing it’s her only chance for survival but also knowing that once you become a resident of Coldtown there is little chance of ever leaving….

This whole vampire/paranormal//teenager/love triangle/save the world thing has been done over so many different ways and times…well it’s hard to get really excited and feel like you’re reading something new and different….

Having said that, I really think Black has taken the best of all of those numerous books out there and meshed them together to form a really enjoyable read. You have bloggers connecting the vampire world with the outside, human world. You have vampire fans that would do anything to be turned into a vampire…you have a love interest….you have revenge….you have betrayal….you have family issues….and Black does an excellent job in laying all those out to make a fast paced read…..

But at the end of the day….you still know what’s gonna happen….so if that doesn’t bother you….well I say read on! If you like a book full of surprises and an ending you can’t imagine….well…..perhaps you should move ahead and skip over this read….it might not be for you….

Until next time…

Urania xx

Buy it now The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black

Review: Ascension Trilogy by Gaelen Foley

01 asc Lately I’ve been feeling kind of blah with my reading. I’ve read so much this summer and most of it is blurring all together, not making an impact on me whatsoever. I was ready to turn in the towel and just swim all day, even though I HATE swimming, I was that fed up. I wanted something new. I wanted something real. Basically I wanted something with emotion, and not all the angst and unrealistic emotions that my recent books have been giving me. I thought I was in the mood for something different, perhaps historical romance, or even pirates. Surely this will help. 01 asc3I could escape in a world of adventure and romance, without the crass language and over the top craziness. So I went to one of my book clubs and asked for some recommendations and someone mentioned Gaelen Foley’s Ascension trilogy. I grabbed my computer and checked my overdrive system and low and behold, they had a million of her books. Well, not a million, but a good chunk. The book gods were smiling on me, because they had most of them ready and waiting for me to check them out. No holds needed. So I grabbed the Ascension trilogy, downloaded them to my kindle and sat down, hoping to be wowed. Well…..I was.

01 asc2This trilogy was just what the doctor ordered. I was in heaven. It had all the action I wanted. Pirates, princesses, kidnappings and sword wielding warriors. And of course, romance. I gotta have my romance. I wanted the epicness of Outlander, but with a quarter of the pages. I love the fact that each book is about the same family. The first, The Pirate Prince, is about the parents. It’s the start of this entire family. It introduces us to one of the main characters in the next book, but we have no idea. The second book, Princess, is about the daughter(obviously) and about her fierce protector. I adored this one!! I love the friends to lovers books. They tend to have so much love already, this would be the next step in their relationship. Book 3, Prince Charming was just right. It takes place almost 10 years after Princess and we get to see how the son gets healed by someone he least expects. That book was perfect.

While I never cried in these books, my heart was still very happy. So if you’re looking for an epic romance, with swoon worthy men and women who know how to fight for what they want, you must try this series!! Now, I’m about to grab another series by Gaelen, and I have high hopes that this will keep the book blahs away from me.

~Melpomene

Buy The Pirate Prince (Ascension Trilogy Book 1)
Princess: (Ascension Trilogy Book 2)
Prince Charming (Ascension Trilogy Book 3)

Review: Damage Done by Amanda Panitch

19542831Wow. Can I just leave it at that? Seriously, if I went no further and that compelled you to read this book I think you’d agree completely. But, since that really doesn’t qualify as a review…

Julia and her family have moved to a new town, taken on new identities and histories. They had to after her twin brother committed an unforgivable crime that pushed them to the edges of society. So they’ve started over, and they’ve left the past behind. But it’s not as simple as separating the “before” and the “after”. There isn’t enough time or enough miles to keep the past away.

Julia, or Lucy as she’s now known, finds herself looking over her shoulder. She’s sure that she’s being followed. But what could they want from her? She doesn’t remember what happened during those horrific twenty-two minutes. Or so she says.

This debut novel by Amanda Panitch does not disappoint. It’s full of more twists and turns than you can imagine. Figure it out and then something else happens. From the gripping first pages to the unforgettable conclusion, it’s a book that I’ll be recommending to friends far and wide.

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Damage Done

Review: The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy

  
Only Pat Conroy can write such terrible things so beautifully. Only he can turn a phrase in such a way that he makes his point succinctly and eloquently at the same time. Conroy’s inner conflicts imbue this autobiographical work with the love and hate he has for his father, and to a lesser degree, his mother and siblings. 

I think Conroy is a master wordsmith. I appreciate the beauty and flow of his writing in all the Pat Conroy books I’ve read. But I struggle with The Death of Santini because it’s almost like hearing a child whine. I can read a spectacular passage, and then be disrupted by Conroy’s complaints and persuasion, trying to convince me that his childhood really did happen the way he says it did, that it was as bad as can be, that he is indeed telling the truth.  

I believe him. I don’t need to be convinced. I think his father needed to be convinced. I think his siblings and his extended family need to be convinced. I think Conroy is whining to the wrong crowd. 

Unless. Unless this book isn’t meant for me or you or anyone EXCEPT his family… and Conroy himself. And I think it is. 

That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it. I just don’t feel like in the intended audience. I do think that if Santini admitted his transgressions while Conroy was a child, the psychological damage would have been minimized, and The Death of Santini would not have had to be written. 

The Death of Santini offers a window into the moments of Conroy’s early life that inspired his best-selling novels, and moments of Santini’s later life that inspired Conroy’s love and forgiveness for his father. 

-calliope

Buy THE DEATH OF SANTINI

Review – The Little Paris Bookshop, by Nina George

23278537This isn’t my usual type of read at all. However, past experiences of dipping my toes in other genres have proven successful in finding one of my favourite reads (The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel), so I thought I’d give it another go! Now, I’ll tell you upfront, this book didn’t turn out to be a favourite read of mine, but a solid choice nonetheless.
Nina George is German based writer, and so I was initially concerned that this book may get lost in translation (remember my experiences with the Dutch novels?), however, it remains rather neutral.
Set in modern day Paris, The Little Paris Bookshop follows Jean Perdue, a bookseller that sells his products from a river boat. Jean is very in-tune with his customer’s feelings and knows exactly what they should read in order to make them feel better, much like a chemist, but the prescription is books!
We learn that Jean’s wive left him quite a few years ago, and one day he finds a letter that explains a lot. This sets of a trip he takes down the river Seine and throughout France.
Along the way he meets a host of characters and experiences life like he never had whilst in Paris.

George writes a good story and I will be reading further offerings from this author. The characters are realistic (to a point), and are given enough emotion so that the reader cares about them. If you’ve never been to Paris, or France in general, you will want to go after reading this, so start saving those pennies! If you’ve been before, you will want to re-visit, so again, I say to you, start saving those pennies!

This novel is a mixture of heartbreak, comedy, and passion. Passion for fellow human beings and indeed passion for books. Sometimes, an eye roll did almost occur, however, this is a nice light read and should be taken for what it is. If you’re looking for something different, but not too different, then definitely give this one a chance!

Pegasus.

The Little Paris Bookshop: A Novel