Review: This is Not the End by Chandler Baker

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What if, instead of dead actually being forever, there was a possibility of bringing your loved ones back to life?  Instead of losing those closest to you forever, you had the power to undo their death?  That’s exactly the premise in this chillingly semi-futuristic story.

In one instant, Lake’s world is shattered.  A tragic car accident takes the lives of both her best friend and her boyfriend.  Miraculously she survives.  But she’s left with an unimaginable dilemma.  You see,  technology has given people the ability to be resurrected.  Not just randomly and at will, mind you.  Instead, every person receives one resurrection on their eighteenth birthday to be used on whoever they choose.  That’s one resurrection, though.  And Lake can’t imagine making that choice.

To make matters even more difficult, her resurrection choice has already been promised to her older brother who was tragically paralyzed years earlier.  She’s not even close to her brother anymore, so she surely can’t imagine wasting this precious gift on him. Especially when the love of her life and her best friend have died.

Things aren’t always what they seem, of course.  As Lake struggles to come to terms with the accident, while also recovering from her own injuries, she discoveries that nobody is who they seem to be.  And then, of course, there’s a new guy to complicate matters.

This story is a lot of things.  It’s science fiction, for now at least.  It’s a romance.  It’s a teen drama.  And it’s a mystery with one heck of a twist at the end that I sure didn’t see coming.

~Thalia

Buy It Now:  This is Not the End

 

Review (quick and dirty #5 FINALLY): Summer at the Little French Guesthouse by Helen Pollard 

I’m all caught up! Here’s the fifth and final Friday night quick and dirty book review: 

I love this series set in the French countryside! Emmy is a wonderful Jane-of-all-trades at Rupert’s lovely inn, and there’s no shortage of chick-lit drama. “Interesting” guests, crazy ex-wives, and family secrets drive the plot forward fast and furiously. I like that Emmy is soft-hearted yet doesn’t stand for any nonsense… and the other characters appreciate that about her as well. What most impresses me is how Pollard writes about real life issues with lightness and whimsy. GUESTHOUSE is so fun that you don’t even realize you’ve read about divorce, grief, mortality, trauma, and tolerance. All you feel is love, laughter and friendship — which are balms for all of life’s messy parts. C’est bon. 

-calliope

Buy SUMMER AT THE LITTLE FRENCH GUESTHOUSE

Review (quick and dirty #4): The Rules of Love and Grammar by Mary Simses 

I chose this cute story because it’s set on the Connecticut shore, where I spend some time on the beach with my children each summer. I liked meeting Grace, and seeing the family dynamics as she temporarily stayed with her parents. I enjoyed meeting the people in her hometown, especially the bike shop peeps. But then Grace got a little unlikeable: immature (re)actions toward men she’s crushing on, blundering through her home life, and making some disappointing choices. The bike rides were beautiful, though, and so was the happily ever after, but the ride could’ve been a little smoother. 

Note: If you like your heroines seriously flawed, you’ll appreciate this book more than I did. 

-calliope

Buy THE RULES OF LOVE & GRAMMAR

Review (quick and dirty #3): Secrets of the Tulip Sisters by Susan Mallery 

I was so happy to read this smart, fun, contemporary, relatable book about two very different sisters — the farmer and the fashionista. What’s underneath is what really matters, of course, but the ladies needed to find that out themselves. There were nosy gossips, nice guys who definitely didn’t finish last, big jerks who get sent on their merry way, and a couple of romances that made me sigh with giddiness. You’ll get all you bargained for and more in this novel with terrific dialogue and likeable characters. Reminded me of Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor books. Excellent writing. 

-calliope

Buy SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS

Review (quick and dirty #2): The Blessing by Wanda E. Brunstetter 

Love Amish books, and love the main character Heidi (and her husband Lyle). Brunstetter does a good job writing dialogue and action for this married couple without children. I enjoyed Heidi’s cooking classes and her visits with friends. But the secondary characters…. oh my. The unrealistic, over the top, and inconsistent personalities drove me crazy. I struggled to get through their stilted dialogue. The only reason I finished is because I always need to know how a book ends! Plot and main characters get 4 stars from me, but the execution of secondary character development completely failed. 

-calliope

Buy THE BLESSING

Review (quick and dirty #1): Marry Me at Willoughby Close by Kate Hewitt

I’m behind on book reviews, so here’s my attempt at redemption: Five quick and dirty reviews on a Friday night. 🙂 

This is the BEST of the Willoughby Close novels — light, fun, witty, believable. Loved Alice’s story, including her realistic fears about feeling settled after being a drifter for so long, and her reactions to handsome-but-snobby Henry. Alice was the perfect companion to elderly and frail Lady Stokely, unobtrusive and kind. I liked the cameos by the Willoughby Close neighbors from previous books in the series, and Hewitt did a fabulous job having them stay true to themselves — as did Alice, even when she fell in love. This is one of my favorite summer British chick lit reads, but you might want to prep by reading book 1 first. 

-calliope

Buy Marry Me at Willoughby Close ($3.99!)

Review: Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

firefly-laneThis is the story of two best friends and follows their 30 year friendship. This was an alright read..it’s not the best I’ve read but certainly it isn’t the worst either….it’s just that it seemed like it went on and on for 30 years as I was trying to read it! Yammer Yammer Yammer…that’s all I heard in my head…the longer it went on the more I was annoyed. Honestly, no matter how good a book is (or isn’t) you don’t want it to feel as if you are actually experiencing every single one of the 30 years…

Have you guessed yet? I didn’t much like this book. It was a miss for me…

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Review: The Secret of India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen


What a fun story! I was not expecting this at all.

Two years ago Sophia Elliot received a letter from Anthony Blake that changed her whole world. She was stunned and hurt and never thought she’d see him again. But when her travels bring her in the path of Anthony, she tries to keep her heart hardened to him, but it’s just not possible. She loves him and knew he still loved her, so she was always trying to get a rise out at him. It was cute to watch as he suffered so much.

Anthony has regretted leaving Sophia, but he had no choice. He left to protect her and her family. When she shows up on his doorstep, he tries to maintain his cover, but that doesn’t seem to work out as well as he’d hoped. He loved her with all his heart and knew he broke her heart when he left. But when her life is put in danger, he has to solve this investigation and fast, or else she’ll be taken away from him permanently.

I loved Anthony and Sophia. They were the perfect team to solve this. She was determined to help, even thought he wanted her far away from danger. She knew she could help so she jumped right in. Stubborn girl. 🙂

I thought this story would be just a second chance romance, or sorts, but it was so much more. It was filled with lies, intrigue, kidnapping and murder, plus a nice little romance tossed in.

~Melpomene

Buy The Secret of India Orchid: http://amzn.to/2vYKitA

Review: Secondborn by Amy Bartol

Fantasical and exciting! I was sucked in from the very beginning. Amy Bartol knows how to write fantasy that is gripping and emotional.

Roselle has lived her life in front of cameras. Being a secondborn, her life is not her own. When’s she’s transitioned, it seems that very few people are on her side. She must find a way to survive and make this new life her own. Each decision she makes not only affects her, but the world around her as well.

I liked Roselle. A lot. She’s 18 and had this new life thrust upon her and had to choose to give up or fight. She’s got a lot of spunk and it’s quite wild to watch her. What I most especially like is that I know this is the type of book my daughter will love. A girl who isn’t the damsel, but the knight. I can’t wait till she reads this!

“I want to write the story of my life to suit me. I want to see the world without restrictions. I want to use my mind to obtain freedom, like she had.”

I really enjoyed diving into this new world. As with most first books in a series, there’s a lot to cover and introduce you to. I’m happy to say that I wasn’t overwhelmed with all the information. I tend to struggle with first books. My brain can’t seem to keep up. On top of that, the scenery was described in a way that I could imagine being right in the midst of it all. There are quite a few characters for you to love, and perhaps a couple to hate. My mind is turning with all my theories for the future. I’m gonna need the second book ASAP.

Well done, Ms. Bartol!!

~Melpomene

Buy Secondborn http://amzn.to/2vp2tMM

Review: Enrage by Rachel VanDyken


I love this mafia family. They aren’t perfect, but they’re family. When one of their own starts to go down a path that’s not what the majority wants, it’s up to them to reel them in and point them in the right direction. But sadly, sometimes that isn’t always easy to do.

When we first met Dante, I was very curious about him. I knew they were going to train him, but I didn’t know how much of an participant he would be in the family. Man, oh man, did he make his presence known.

My heart was in my stomach by the end of this book. I had NO IDEA what direction it was going to go. Frankly, I was shocked. Utterly shocked. But after I had a few days to think and ponder it, I realize why this happened. What people project on the outside isn’t always what’s going on on the inside. Lives will forever be changed. Hearts will be broken. The family will never be the same.

Rachel is the master at this mafia gig. Truly. I could read and reread these books and never be bored. You should really start from the beginning and read all the books. You won’t fully understand all the emotions that are packed into this one until you do. They’re filled with such fantastic characters with wild and crazy stories. They’re family and family always sticks together, even during the hard times. Blood in. No out.

~Melpomene

Buy Enrage HERE