Review: Garden Spells (Waverley Family #1) by Sarah Addison Allen

garden-spellsWhat in the world did I do before I found Sarah Addison Allen when i needed a touch of magic in my life? Oh my….I just love her books more and more….I think I’ve appreciated and loved each book I’ve read more than the previous ones….I really enjoyed this one from SAA…..I’m sad that I only have one more to go….what will I do now? Where will I find the magic in everyday life? Yep…she needs to write faster!!!

If you haven’t ever tried SAA, please do. I never expected to love her so much. Don’t go thinking it’s all unreal and not believable because I mentioned magic. There’s just a tad…and only enough to assure you that, yes, magic really does exist in the world…and who doesn’t believe that, or at least wish they could believe in magic?

Until next time…
Urania xx

Buy it now Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Review: Taming Lily by Monica Murphy

01tameYES!!! It’s Lily’s turn in the spotlight. Well, technically she’s always in the spotlight, but it’s not for the right reasons. But I’ve been patient, and I’m quite happy I was. This story was filled with secrets, lies, a hefty amount of heartache and quite a bit of romance. All in all, I am very satisfied with the ending of this series.

I’m in trouble. Again. And instead of facing my problems head on, I’ve run away. Far away this time, and no one can catch me—not my two younger sisters, Violet and Rose, not my father, my grandmother, or that witch Pilar who wants to take control of my family’s cosmetics company. Now I’m in Hawaii, enjoying the sun and the sand and water, where nobody knows the hot mess known as Lily Fowler. And I’m loving every minute of it.

But someone is watching me. Following me. He’s gorgeous. And soon we’re talking, and against all my instincts, I reveal bits and pieces of myself to Max. It feels good, though I know he can’t be the man for me. These sudden feelings we share are way too complicated, too fraught, too intense.

Then everything explodes and I’m forced to return home. My intentions have always been true, but now everyone’s mad at me. I don’t know who to turn to anymore . . . except to Max. He’s who I want to trust. But I’m not so sure I should. Maybe it’s worth the risk—and what-ifs be damned. . . .

Lily has always wanted love and respect from her family. After losing her mom, in a very selfish way, and having her dad ignore her, unless she was bad, has left her feeling lonely. She has no one in her corner. No one to defend her. No one to support her. And when she gets herself into major trouble, she runs away, cuz she knows she’s on her own to fix it. What she isn’t planning on was finding Max.

“Keep me wild.”

For once, she may have found someone to put her trust in. Or has she? As she grows closer to Max, she finds herself wanting to tell him everything. All her deep dark secrets. But she has always been alone, so trusting someone is quite difficult for her.

Max has a way of tearing down some of her walls and soon she’s falling for him, faster than anyone before him. Their chemistry is off the charts hot. The sexual tension is so thick, I was squirming in my seat. But I loved every minute of it. But Max has a secret of his own. And when Lily finds out, her world is flipped and she’s beginning to question if there’s anyone she can trust.

I just want to be free. To fly. To lose myself and let this man to whatever he wants to me. I just want…to feel nothing.

And everything. All at once.

I enjoyed reading quite a few scenes with her sisters and brothers in law. I did wish, however, that her father somehow manned up and told her that he loved her. But I doubt that relationship will ever be like that. But that’s alright. She has the love of her sisters and Max, and that’s all she needs.


Release date: July 7, 2015
Buy Taming Lily: A Novel (The Fowler Sisters)

Review: Sweet Damage by Rebecca James

51slwSQHDkL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_This was one creepy and suspenseful book from the beginning until the very end. If you like scary, on the edge-of-your-seat stories, grab this one and settle in for the ride.

Tim Ellison’s an easy going fellow, happy in life for the most part. Surfing, working at his dad’s restaurant, pining over his crush on friend Lilla…he finds plenty to fill his days. But when things get a little too crowded crashing on Lilla’s floor, he’s forced to look for a new place to live. He can hardly believe his luck when he finds an affordable room in a fancy house in a posh neighborhood. Forget the fact that his new roommate is downright creepy, never leaves the house, is seriously depressed, and is likely sitting on the wrong side of sanity. But as he gets to know Anna, he discovers there’s more beneath the surface. And as he becomes closer and closer to her, strange happenings begin to occur.

It’s hard to give more of a review without giving away too much of the story, so I’ll leave it at that. This is a good story, quick and easy to read but hard to put down. There are plenty of twists and turns in this psychological thriller to keep you turning pages long after it’s bedtime.


Buy It Now: Sweet Damage: A Novel

Review: The City by Dean Koontz

thecityIt’s been many years since I’ve read any Dean Koontz….okay…by many I mean at least 20….oh dear, I am getting so old! Without going into just how stupid I am, I was a bit confused at the start of this book….this was in NO WAY Koontz’s FAULT….it was my own….When it started to make sense to me…well….I still wasn’t swept away with the story. It was interesting….but a bit long-winded to me…However, at about 30% into it, I fell in love. This goes to show that it doesn’t matter what the story is… bad it is….how good it is…..if a character wins your heart…well….the book owns you….

Don’t get me wrong…this isn’t a bad story….there is one bit that doesn’t really tie in for me….The mysterious lady from the 6th floor really is never fully explained to my satisfaction…and no, I won’t go into this as I hate spoilers!

However, the tenant from the 4th floor absolutely won my heart over….He wasn’t the main character….but he was the one that completely owned my heart…

I enjoyed this story, but I can’t say that it really reminded me of the Koontz that I used to read…and if not for the love I felt for the gentleman I have mentioned, I believe that I would have liked the story alright, but could not have been motivated to review it or to give it a second thought after finishing the final page….

There is a bit of the supernatural going on in the novel, but it is not heavy…and it’s certainly not horror….more suspenseful than scary….

This is a story told Jonah Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk……yes…..that’s correct….please don’t make me repeat it….let’s just make it easier on all of us and say Jonah….

Jonah is an older man when this story begins…it begins when a friend tells him he needs to talk about his life…..he asks if this includes “the dark stuff” and is told that “the dark stuff” needs to be included as well… Jonah starts to tell his story….he mostly goes back to when he was 9-11 years old and the events that occurred during this time…We meet his parents, and his grandparents and many others that reside in “The City”… the end we learn that it is not really the buildings and the location that makes a true city….A city is made up by the people who live within it….

I realise that this might sound very simple….and kinda boring…..but hey ho….weren’t you paying attention at all when I said that there is a character in here that makes the entire book worth your time? Go on…..stop reading this looking for spoilers….you won’t find any here…..all you’ll find is my recommendation that you should give this one by Koontz a read…..move on now…nothing more for you here…..go get the book…..go on…move it…..shoo….

Until next time….

Urania xx

ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review

Buy it now The City by Dean Koontz

Review: Four Years Later(Drew+Fable #4), by Monica Murphy

001four Owen makes me feel like a cougar. He really does!! I should be ashamed, but I’m really not.

I knew he was going to have a great story to tell. Tragic, yes, but still great. No story is perfect after all. And since we saw what kind of life he had, growing up with Fable, are we really shocked how he behaves and lives?? Not so much.

When Owen makes one wrong choice after another, his world is turned upside down. When he is told to either stop messing up and take control, or he is done with college and football, he has only one choice to make, shape up. This is where Chelsea comes in.

“You’re not a bad seed. You’re just a flower waiting to bloom.”

Chelsea is a super shy, super smart overachiever, with a secret she wants no one to know. She wants people to just get through college without anyone knowing where she came from. She needs to tutor students in order to make ends meet. And this is where Owen comes in.

“I’m not like most girls.”
“I know. That’s what I like most about you.”

At first, their relationship is strictly tutor and student. But then soon, they find themselves wondering if they mean more to each other than that. The classic virgin and manwhore. I love how they always get thrown for a loop. Neither one sees it coming.

I felt so bad for both of them. Owen just wanted to be loved and he was willing to do some very dishonorable things, in order to produce that feeling. Chelsea was sick of her mother always choosing her deadbeat worthless father over her. She just wanted to be loved, but was to scared to go looking for it.

As they started to grow closer, you started to see bits and pieces of the broken young boy, who grew up without a mom who cared, and who tried to make every happy. He was so lost, he needed Chelsea to hold on tight and keep him together.

I loved seeing a bit of Drew and Fable sprinkled in the story. I loved seeing the way they accepted Chelsea, and knew she was perfect for Owen, even if he didn’t.

It’s sad to see these characters go. I’ve enjoyed peeking into their lives. But all good things must come to an end.


Buy Four Years Later: A Novel (One Week Girlfriend Quartet)

Review: The All You Can Dream Buffet by Barbara O’Neal

20140309-221901.jpg As a blogger with a handful of blogger friends, I adored reading this fun and quirky novel about four women who blog. They become friends, and then much more than friends – emotional supporters, caretakers, heirs, protégés, mentors.

I took special interest in the romantic relationships the women had. One lost her spouse in a tragedy and was lost as to how to relate to her surviving daughter. Another suffered a break-up with a longtime boyfriend – I never thought she’d get over him! But Barbara O’Neal surprised me and put together a perfect, authentic goodbye. What strength Ruby had! A third woman tried to make inroads in her bad marriage, but her husband just sabotaged every effort. After some wishy-washy-ness and some unexpected magic, it all works out for Ginny, much to the chagrin of her arrogant husband.

O’Neal wrote characters I admire. All four of them had flaws, but they each took their dealt hand and played the game with honesty, vulnerability, and heart. Most importantly they stayed true to themselves, stood up for themselves, and made themselves paths for personal and professional success.

I’m not much one for magic, but the wonders of The All You Can Dream Buffet touched my soul and gave me a hankering for something, oh, lavender maybe.



Review: The Deepest Secret by Carla Buckley

20140131-203205.jpgFor a self-proclaimed bookworm such as myself, there is no greater joy than finding a story that pulls you in from the first page. It calls to you late at night when you know you should be sleeping. You find yourself rushing through the pages to find out what happens while at the same time slowing down the pace because you don’t want it to end. This new release by Carla Buckley was that and so much more for me.

Fourteen-year-old Tyler is living with a rare medical condition. He’s confined to his house during daylight hours as exposure to UV light can be deadly. Of course, his serious illness wreaks havoc on the family dynamics. Mom Eve is his protector. Her life revolves around keeping Tyler safe. Monitoring the household UV levels, petitioning the neighbors to keep them from using halogen light bulbs, planning nighttime family excursions…she does it all, often at the expense of the rest of the family. Dad David commutes to work in part to support the family but also to avoid the stress and responsibility at home. Sixteen year old sister Melissa is dealing with normal teenage drama along with feelings of being neglected. Tyler’s only contact with the outside world happens after the sun goes down. During the night he secretly explores his neighborhood, gaining glimpses into his neighbors’ lives unseen by others. He realizes that we don’t truly know what goes on behind closed doors. When tragedy strikes the neighborhood in the form of a missing child, there’s no shortage of suspects.

This is a deeply disturbing book on many levels. There’s so much going on in this family, but it never detracts from the main story. It makes you question your values and ask yourself exactly how far you would go to protect those you love. This was my first book by Carla Buckley, and I absolutely loved it. Her writing style reminds me very much of Jodi Picoult, which is a high compliment. She’s a relative newcomer on the literary scene with three published books to her name. I will definitely be reading more by this author!

~ Thalia

Buy it Now: The Deepest Secret: A Novel

Review: Golden State by Michelle Richmond

goldenstate***Sneak Peek Review! “Golden State” will be released on February 4, 2014***

I picked up a book years ago that was entitled “The Year of The Fog”. I devoured it in hours. I absolutely loved it. I rushed out, purchased multiple copies and sent them out in the mail to the only readers I knew at the time. I then proceeded to read her other works. Sadly, that’s been over 7 years ago! I’ve never forgotten how much I enjoyed TYotF and I often browse looking for a new release from Richmond. I joined up for her newsletter via her website and heard very little. Then FINALLY!!! I got an email that said she had a new book coming out! I quickly checked my ARC websites and saw the book in both NetGalley and Edelweiss….I quickly applied to both sites to snag my copy…and surprisingly enough I was approved by both websites. I can’t remember being so excited about a book for a while now.

It wasn’t soon that I was completely worn out from hooting and hollering and dancing around the house from all of my excitement. Suddenly, as I sat down to catch my breath, I was dejected. I had waited so long for this book to be written, now it was here…what if I hate it? What if the love I felt for TYotF was just a fluke? What if I am so disappointed in this novel that it even takes away from my previous feelings of obsession to getting to my next Michelle Richmond read? What if the writing is so awful that I start to doubt what I felt in the past? I was torn….to start the book or to stare at its cover for a time and just imagine what might be between the covers?

Heck!!!!!!! You guys know me, RIGHT???????? I ripped into this baby so fast!!!!! I couldn’t wait to start it! Was I disappointed? Heck no!!!!!! It’s a Michelle Richmond novel! I absolutely loved it from start to finish!

I think I might have loved it even a bit more than TYotF….

This novel is a day in the life of Doctor Julie Walker. Of course, it’s no ordinary day. California is in the midst of a game changing election day. Her sister needs her help pronto. Her Jeep is broken into. And two men in her life are not where she needs them to be. And this ladies and gentlemen is only the beginning….

Now let me forthright and honest here for just a moment….I wish there was a bit more to the ending…that Richmond had taken it just a little bit further…I wanted to see just a smidgen more of the side story of the novel (and for sake of spoilers, that’s all I will say on that subject)

Also, it needs pointed out that Richmond has a unique writing style. She doesn’t blurt out the plots. They are just there…yes, you sort of know what they are, but at the same time, you’re not 100% sure. All the while, Richmond drops bread crumbs along the trail and confirms her story or throws in a small twist that has you wondering….

At the same time, she jumps back and forth. It can be frustrating if you want things laid out in a straight path to follow. One moment, the main character is in the present, the next second she is 3 hours earlier or a decade earlier. The only way you have to follow is to simply LISTEN to thoughts of the main character. Soon enough, if you just relax, you can follow along just fine.

I was sitting there after I finished the book, pondering it all (did I mention I LOVED the book?) and I realised, really, think about it, isn’t that how we really are? We jump from the present to what we had for breakfast this morning…and then a moment later a song, or a smell, or for some reason we don’t even know, think back to a time in our past. To a memory. Pondering how we got to this place in time. Memories are a great tool. They help us live our current lives and they help shape our futures as well. Memories are not just something that we leave behind and forget. We never know when they are going to hit us.

I think that is why I love Richmond so much. She has a way of writing that I really feel like I can connect with the character. I am there with them, confronting the memories. Dealing with their guilt. Or their anger. Or their confusion. I am there feeling them realise their imperfections. Accepting their blame. I am the one trying to find forgiveness. I am the one who is trying to change for the better. I can’t recommend this book enough. I really can’t. I won’t say that it’s a perfect format for writing. I won’t say this is a literary gem that will challenge all the writings throughout time. But I will say, PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT YOU HOLD HOLY, DO NOT MAKE ME WAIT ANOTHER 7 YEARS FOR THE NEXT BOOK, MICHELLE RICHMOND!!!!

Bwhahahahahahaahahahaha….go get this book!!!! As fast as you can! Still not convinced? Maybe a few quotes will do for you…

I understand how families become estranged, not by design, but by embarrassment. You come to a point when so much time has passed that it seems impossible to make the first move.

We tend to see life as a continuum, Julie, but really, it’s a series of phases, generating a series of different selves. You leave one life behind and start another. And each time, a different version of yourself emerges.

I guess I’m just stuck on the idea that there’s this monumental machine, and we’re all part of it. Most of the time, we don’t even stop to think about how it works. We just go about our business, doing our part, trusting that everyone else will do their part, and the machine will keep functioning. But all it takes is for someone to come along who isn’t thinking straight, some who’s not paying attention, or worse, hell-bent on self-destruction and everything turns to shit.

Go on then! Buy the book!!!!

Until next time….

Urania xx

Buy it now Golden State

ARC provided by NetGalley and Edelweiss for an honest review.

Review: One Week Girlfriend(Drew+Fable#1), by Monica Murphy



This book completely caught me off guard. I saw NONE of this coming!!

Drew has to go home for Thanksgiving and he doesn’t want too. He hasn’t been home in two years and he likes it that way. So he decides he needs a buffer and asks Fable to act like his girlfriend for the week. There is no way he’s going back there on his own!!

Fable lives with her useless mom and 13 yr old brother. She works two jobs just to take care of her bother, since her mom doesn’t care about anyone but herself. She hates her jobs and feel alone. She hates being alone. So when Drew offers her money, in exchange for one week of pretending, she jumps on it. How hard can it be?? Little did she know…

The secrets and lies that surround Drew are so horrible, I felt awful. No wonder he never goes home.

Fable didn’t understand why he didn’t wanna go home every chance he got. After one week, she knew why. And things will never be the same again.

Word of warning, this ends in a minor cliffy. But at least the second one is out, so you can jump right to it. So no worries.


Buy it now One Week Girlfriend: A Novel