Review: It Started at Sunset Cottage by Bella Osborne

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Fun fun fun British rom-com! Author Kate stays a while at Sunset Cottage to help translate her novel into a screenplay. While she’s there, lead actor Timothy comes to hide out from the paparazzi. They form a friendship and wend it among the challenges of celebrity: a diva lead actress, script changes, personal fears, a maniacal dog, and breaking down emotional walls.

To add to the antics, Kate’s best friend Sarah must deal with the criminal father of her young daughter. Kate’s ex-mother-in-law cracked me up… and made me grateful for my own in-laws. I was pleasantly surprised to see Sarah finding love…

Overall, I enjoyed the comedic ride, the look into making a film, the British bits, and the tender falling-in-love moments. Those melty scenes are the best. Sigh.

-calliope

buy IT STARTED AT SUNSET COTTAGE

Review: Ember by Rachel Van Dyken

01emberHow does Rachel make me cry so much in a mafia book?? HOW!?!?! I knew Phoenix would have a great story, but I had no idea how heartbreaking it would be. I think she broke my heart, from the very first page, chiseled at it a few times, dumped salt on it for a while, and then finally decided to fix it, almost at the very end. My nerves were all twisted up.

SYNOPSIS
I am a Killer. A Rapist. A Monster.
I know only pain and survival.
That is until the Cappo’s sister walked into my life.
And changed everything.

She’s a light who makes my darkness darker, her smile makes my heart turn to ice, and I can’t escape the fear her seductive looks instill–knowing it’s only a matter of time before I fail–again, and take her for myself.
This is the story of my redemption.
But it’s not pretty…I died, and now I’m alive, but not living, breathing but not surviving. I am Phoenix De Lange, son to a murdered mob boss, estranged brother, horrible friend, monster in the making, newest leader to one of the most powerful families in the Cosa Nostra.
And I will have my vengeance.
Or die trying.
I am Phoenix De Lange.
Death is all I know.
Until she offers me a piece of life–I can’t resist taking.

Phoenix’s life wasn’t easy, by any stretch of the imagination. He born of a monster and brought up to be a monster. He deserves nothing good. He is evil. But then she shows up and is determined to prove to him that the past can’t change her feelings for him. But he can’t let it go.

“You are everything that’s beautiful and pure in this world, and you deserve so much better than this life, than what any of us have to offer. Than what I have to offer.”

Bee has been alone all her life. She’s lived with an evil father who would’ve let horrible things happen to her, until Phoenix came in and defended her. He was he only friend. She needed him. She wanted him. She loves him. But how can make him realize that? No matter what she does He keeps pushing her away. Light and dark can never be together.

Sometimes watching Bee love Phoenix so much, and having him dismiss her, was painful to see. She just wants to be wanted, but he is there as her protector, nothing else. Day after day he turns her down, but she is very determined.

“The best thing you can do is love him from afar.”

“But I want to love him close.” I choked on the words. “I want to save him, I can do it, I know I can, if he just tried..”

“It slices me open to say this, Bee, but Phoenix,” her eyes filled with tears. “He’s beyond saving.”

This is a story about redemption, forgiveness of others and oneself, and of course, love. No matter how dark your past is, no matter how much hurt you caused, there is a way to redeem yourself. You just have to find the right people to help you achieve it, and accept that you are worthy of it.

~Melpomene

Buy Ember (Eagle Elite Book 5)

Start from the beginning of the Eagle Elite series:
Elite (Eagle Elite Book 1)
Elect (Eagle Elite Book 2)
Entice (Eagle Elite Book 3)
Elicit (Eagle Elite Book 4)
Enforce (Eagle Elite)

Review – My Life in Middlemarch by Rebecca Mead.

17883928I received this review copy in exchange for an honest review from bloggingforbooks.org

Have you a favourite book?  A book that has stayed with you through thick and thin?  Of course you have.  Everyone does.  This is a book about a book, or more accurately, a book about the love of a book.

I don’t usually venture into the genre of non-fiction, but the premise of this book intrigued me.  Rebecca Mead loves Middlemarch by George Elliot.  It is her favourite book and the events in the story, and indeed the life that Elliot led, resonates on a very deep level with Mead.   As I’m a sucker for learning about what makes people tick, particularly if it has to do with literature, I delved into this book straight away.

Now, I’ve not read Middlemarch, and that right there was my downfall.   Chapter by chapter, we get a mini biography of Elliot and her family.   We also get a LOT of analysis of Middlemarch.  I did my degree in English Literature, and even I couldn’t help but skip the many pages of theory and analysis.   You’ve really got to like, or have studied, Middlemarch to understand and enjoy those pages.

Even though I was overwhelmed by the biography and literary analysis featured in the book, I did find the insights that we occasionally got of the author’s life, love of Middlemarch and literature in general, very interesting.   Unfortunately, for me, there wasn’t enough of  that.  I went into this book believing that there would be more personal reflection.  Saying that, I think if it was about an author that I loved or had studied a lot, then I would love this book.  If you are a fan of George Elliot, then I definitely recommend that you seek out this book.  If you are not a fan, then I recommend you save your money.

Bit of a disappointment this week, but as my TBR pile keeps telling me, there are many more books to read!

Until next time,

Pegasus.

My Life in Middlemarch

Review: Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

PerdidoHard to rate this one. I loved the story. I hated the main character of Isaac. I found him flat, boring, and a coward. However, Garuda is the one that I spent the entire book wondering about. I so wish this story had been told through his eyes. Garuda is one of the most complex characters I have encountered in a book. His story begged to be told. His voice demanded to be heard. If only Isaac had been the one in the background instead of Garuda…my entire thoughts about the book would be completely changed. Even with the shocking ending, I still love Garuda. Now THERE is a character worthy of his own entire book. I found myself only reading the parts of the book to reach the end of a part to just hear Garuda’s thoughts. Every moment I spent bored by Isaac was triple rewarded when I reached a part that I could hear Garuda’s thoughts. If Mieville had written as he did when Garuda spoke it would have been an all time favourite book…as it was, I’m just glad it’s over…

The ending of the book, which some would say, should have changed my opinion of Garuda and of Isaac did nothing but make me 100% sure….Garuda is a deep, multi layered character….Isaac is a f*cking pillock….that is all……

After reading this book I have no doubt at all that Mieville deserves all the recognition he has received for being a brilliant writer that no one else can match…based both on his voice, storytelling skills and originality….however, after reading this book I also have no doubt that he is just as deserving to all the criticism he has received as well…I don’t think I have every read such a brilliant book that was also made up of so much rubbish….

Until next time….

Urania xx

Buy it now Perdido Street Station by China Mieville

Review: Since You’ve Been Gone by Mary Jennifer Payne

21445463Young adult novels are all the rage these days for readers of all ages. Almost every topic has been covered, from the inevitable end of the world to bullying to love gone wrong. This first novel by Mary Jennifer Payne is both similar but different enough from others to make it worth reading.

Just as fifteen-year-old Edie is beginning to settle into a somewhat “normal” life, she and her mom, Sydney, must leave their home once again. Almost everything gets left behind, even Edie’s beloved cat, Peaches. She understands the reason they must flee yet another home, but that doesn’t make it any easier. Still, she’s a strong girl who goes along with her mom’s new plans willingly. However, when Sydney doesn’t come home after working her first shift at a new job, Edie fears the worst. Has their past caught up with them? Should Edie trust the authorities to help find her mom or is she utterly, completely on her own?

This was a quick, engaging book that had me sitting down to finish it in one evening. The author pulls you in from the moment Edie and her mom go on the run and holds you captive until the very end. It’s easy enough to guess that they’ve been victims of domestic abuse, most likely at the hands of Edie’s father. But there’s still enough of the unknown to make it an intriguing story. The characters are both likable and entirely believable, which is not very common in young adult literature these days. It’s also a fairly safe read for teens with just the hint of past and future violence. Add this one to your list of debut releases from promising new authors!

~Thalia

Buy It Now: Since You’ve Been Gone

Review: Here’s to Tomorrow by Teagan Hunter

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Wanna read a sweet story filled with real people? Wanna experience all the feels of a romance that’s slow and steady, and not insta love throw them on the bed right now? Well then, this is the story for you. 🙂

SYNOPSIS
Rae Kamden has no idea what she wants to do in life. She thinks leaving her small town is the way to go, but after running into car trouble (and the sexiest man she’s ever seen), she begins rethinking everything she thought she wanted out of life.

Hudson Tamell isn’t your typical twenty-four year old. The last seven years haven’t been a cake walk. But after finally getting his life just where he wants it, he meets Rae and her impossibly unfiltered mouth. She’s like no one he’s ever met before, totally throwing him off that carefully paved road. But can she handle his life and all the baggage that comes along with it?

Now the girl who doesn’t really fit into his world is the one person he wants in it…no matter what demons she has.

Rae is trying to find her place in this world. She’s not real sure what she’s going to do, but she thinks she has to leave to do it. She is a straightforward, speak her mind kinda girl. She says it like it is. No sugar coating whatsoever. And when she stumbles upon Hudson, leaving town doesn’t look all that promising anymore.

Hudson hasn’t the greatest past few years, but he’s worked his tail off to get to this point in his life where everything is just about perfect. And then he meets this little spitfire of a girl and she knocks him for a loop.

I loved the realness of this story. From the sweet talking to the honest to goodness struggles of each person made me feel like I was reading non-fiction. This was a nice surprise from a debut novel. I can’t wait to see what comes next for these characters!!

Well done, Teagan!!

~Melpomene

Buy Here’s to Tomorrow

Review: February Fever by Jess Lourey

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Holy Moly, Jess Lourey! Here I thought I was embarking on another cozy mystery, threaded with a teensy bit of romance and some humor. But no. Instead I got Murder on the Orient Express sends Valentine’s Day off its tracks, and Things Are Not What They Seem goes deeper than a good disguise.

I laughed a whole bunch at the beginning of Mira’s train ride with nutty Mrs. Berns. All the elements of a good mystery came into play, with Lourey’s usual wit causing me to chuckle. The writing rocks, too. My favorite line about being stuck in a snowstorm: “Overhead, snow fell heavy like dirt on a casket.” Foreshadowing at its finest.

After the halfway mark, however, things got serious. Murders needed to be solved, people’s safety was at risk, and any laughter was only from pure comic relief.

By the end of February Fever I was crying like a baby. Mira may have solved the mystery on the train, but she also brought full-circle some unresolved heartaches.

Writing a funny mystery that naturally turns serious takes talent. Ending same book with a funeral takes guts. And leaving me hanging about the next step for Johnny and Mira’s romance? Pretty clever. When can I read the next book?!

-calliope

buy FEBRUARY FEVER