Review, Blog Tour, & Giveaway: Friction by Sandra Brown

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**Be sure to check the links at the end to enter the giveaway**

25114548I haven’t read Sandra Brown in years. This book is a big reminder that I shouldn’t overlook authors just because I’ve read them and because they are well known….yes, there are some authors out there that I believe have gotten lax over the years and taken their popularity for granted, not putting out their best efforts, however, Brown has shown me in this novel that she isn’t one of them.

From the very first chapter, I couldn’t read fast enough to hear all of Crawford Hunt’s story. Hunt is a Texas Ranger that is seeking back custody of his five-year old daughter, Georgia. After an unexpected episode happens during the custody proceedings, Ranger Hunt finds himself as the rescuer of the sitting family court Judge Holly Spencer. Once this happens the action never stops.

I loved this book, but I couldn’t help to be to look for some unexpected twist. Some hidden motives behind the obvious that made some of the characters act out the way they did. That never really happened. However, that doesn’t mean I was disappointed. Sometimes, as in real life, people hold onto the past and let it dictate how they act in the present. So although I found some of the storyline a stretch, in other ways, I found that maybe at the end of the day, those stretches, in fact, kept the story real to life.

I believe Ranger Hunt’s behavior in the past was a bit “gun-ho” and, indeed, reckless. As much as it pains me to say, I found his behavior, many times, in this book the exact same way. I couldn’t believe how he handled some of the situations. TBF, yes, it would have been nice to see that he was less reckless now as the years went on…but is life really that way? I don’t imagine he will ever change. He will always be reckless, however, his heart is often in the right place, and his intentions always seem to be. The fact that I even say that about a fictional character just points out how much I really enjoyed this book!

Whilst I didn’t think Judge Spencer acted reckless in her past, I did find some of her behaviour in the present a bit reckless. Having said that, I can’t exactly say I wouldn’t have acted the exact same way if I were in the same situation. At the end of the day there were several characters I really enjoyed in the novel. I genuinely wanted things to turn out okay for them as well.

Bottom line, I started this book and couldn’t put it down. I enjoyed it from start to finish. Once I finished the novel I was sad that my adventure was over and I was already worried about trying to pick up another book that would leave me half as satisfied as this one did.

If you’re a Sandra Brown fan this book will not disappoint you. If you’ve never read Sandra Brown, this book should convince you to become a fan. Finally, if you’re like me and just a lax fan that’s been away for a few years, this book will remind you of what a fun writer she is! Don’t hesitate, run out and grab your copy now!!!

Until next time…

Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley, Grand Central Publishing, and Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review

Follow the rest of today’s Sandra Brown Friction tour right Here

Buy it now Friction by Sandra Brown

Giveaway <a href="http://a Rafflecopter giveaway “>10x coffee cup plus a signed copy of Friction

Review and GIVEAWAY: Sharing You, by Molly McAdams

01sharLet me start out by saying that I hate cheating. Therefore, I HATE cheating books. They bother me like crazy. That being said, I wasn’t sure I wanted to read this book. However, when I was reading the novella, Capturing Peace, you see a glimpse into Brody’s life and see the heartache and turmoil he deals with. So then I was curious how Sharing You was going to turn out.

Synopsis:
Twenty-three year old, Kamryn Cunningham has left all she’s ever known and moved to a small town where no one knows her name, who her parents are, or her social status in the horseracing world. Months after opening her own bakery and evading attempts of being set up by her new best friend, she meets Brody. Kamryn fights the instant pull between them because there’s a detail she can’t dismiss. Brody’s married.

To say that twenty-six year old, Brody Saco has had a rough marriage would be an understatement. After marrying his pregnant girlfriend, he spends the next six years in a relationship filled with hatred, manipulation and guilt involving a tragedy that happened five years earlier. When he keeps running into his sister-in-law’s best friend, Kamryn, he can’t ignore that she makes him feel more with just one look than his wife ever has; and soon he can’t continue fight his feelings for her.

When staying apart proves to be too difficult, Brody and Kamryn enter a relationship full of stolen moments and nights that end too soon while they wait for Brody to file for divorce. But the guilt that comes with their relationship may prove to be too much for Kamryn, and Brody might not be strong enough to face the tragedy from his past in order to leave his conniving wife.

Watching Brody suffer, at the hands of his evil witch of a wife, got me thinking that even though I don’t condone cheating, I’m almost willing to make an exception in this case.

KC(Kamryn) has made a brand new life for herself. She was beyond done with doing what her snobby parents wanted and expected her to do. She wanted freedom. She wanted a life of her choosing. And by golly, she was doing it.

She never told people her background, at the risk of them knowing who she was. She didn’t want them to have any preconceived ideas of how think she would be. Kamryn was nothing like her family or ex boyfriend. She was happy with the life she made for herself.

Since it’s only been a few months since she left, she wasn’t in a rush to start dating. After having a boyfriend for 6 years, she needed a break to discover herself and to just be content. So she was completely shocked at the instant attraction she had for Brody. And since he was married, she felt horrible. She didn’t want to have feelings for a married man. And most definitely did not want to act them.

Brody is miserable with his wife. He wants to get her help. She is always up and down and he would like to move on, but only if he doesn’t have to worry about her. She is manipulative and is always bringing up the accident and blames him for it. He blames himself enough, he doesn’t need her always doing it. But leaving her is hard when he doesn’t want another loss, on his shoulders.

When he meets KC, it’s a major shock to his system. He hasn’t had feelings for anyone in almost 5 years, and that includes his wife. But he was married and he has no right to act on these feelings. But sometimes you can’t help who you fall in love with.

Again, this was a hard one for me. But as I was reading, I was convinced soul mates do exist. Well done, Molly. Well done.

~Melpomene

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Buy Sharing You: A Novel

Read the novella, Capturing Peace: A Novella

Review, Discussion, GIVEAWAY: Summer House With Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

20140601-190211-68531752.jpg Want to win a copy of this book? Comment on this post on Facebook or twitter or on this blog (below). We will randomly choose a winner and mail you off a copy of this compelling read!

[The giveaway timeframe has ended. Thanks for the great comments!]

Calliope: This book definitely intrigued me. My eyes were gaping wide at every turn. I was astounded by everyone and everything. Would a doctor really DO that? Do doctors really THINK like that? Do wives actually turn such a blind eye to their husbands’ criminal behaviors? Is the human body truly so disgusting?
Pegasus: Whilst the rather extreme views that some characters possessed did interest me, I did feel as though some were completely unrealistic. I would give some examples, but wouldn’t want to spoil anything.

Calliope: I kinda couldn’t get over how graphic Marc was about the human body. Yes he’s a doctor, and I understand he would see things objectively, but he seemed so negative about it. The people I know in the healthcare field have an APPRECIATION for the human body, not contempt. So WHY? Why was he a doctor and why was he so grossed out by stuff?

Pegasus: I’m not easily grossed out by descriptions. Not at all. However, I felt physically sick with some of his musings regarding the human body. I kind of understand why the author chose to portray Marc like this, and to be fair it was very effective if it made me react in such a way.

Calliope: Not only was Marc a little odd, I couldn’t for the life of me understand the family dynamics. Any father I know would choke the life out of any grown man who laid a hand on his daughter. This guy was like Oh hey, it will be fine, let it be, let it be. And the mother went along with it! Maybe this happens when people are traumatized? I don’t know. It made me mad.
Pegasus: that whole scenario made me so mad! Unrealistic, and frustrating!

Calliope: The writing was great and the characters were interesting, but I thought the plot would be more thrilling. Instead it seemed to plod along, with complaints about bodies, complaints about other people, narration of the comings and goings of the children, and the acquiescence of the wives. The best I could come up with is that it’s not supposed to be exciting, rather maybe just social commentary? If so, everything makes a whole lot more sense! I was getting a little annoyed at how disrespectful everyone was. But then again, I’m used to reading Happily Ever After Chick Lit Romantic Comedies that make me laugh, then cry, then laugh, then cry happy tears. 🙂

Pegasus: I really have mixed feelings. On one hand, yes, I did think the writing was at least original, but on the other hand, I felt it did not flow properly. Maybe I just wasn’t In the right mood? Who knows. Calliope is right insofar as saying that this is social commentary. Society isn’t perfect I suppose, and there will always be factions of it with wich we don’t agree.

Calliope: By the end of the book I realized Summer House With Swimming Pool is more literary fiction. For one thing, the whole eye infection scene begged to be torn apart and analyzed. The enormity of that eye infection, the perspective of the doctor, the healing of the eye…. But I won’t analyze it here and ruin it for everyone else. For another thing, the tension between Ralph and Marc wasn’t anything I’ve seen in real life. It seemed like a metaphor. Ralph and Marc each represented something much more than themselves. And the treatment of women in Summer House With Swimming Pool was so egregious that, were I still an undergrad, I could write my senior thesis based on it. As a woman, I wanted to shake these guys out of their stupid stupors. *eyeroll* I’m getting fired up thinking about it.

Pegasus: This book was definitely more than what it portrays on the surface. A part of me felt like that it was trying to be too clever in some parts, and, in my opinion, that added to the feeling of it being disjointed. Also, because we’re not reading it in the original Dutch, translation may have been a contributing factor.

Calliope: In any case, this book spilled open some topics that are probably uncomfortable for most people to deal with: the human body, cancer, sexual immorality, the power of patriarchy… Heavy stuff told in a way that turned my stomach, made me question people’s motives, and made me wish that our world was nicer than it is.
Pegasus: I’m glad that I read this book, and it did definitely have it’s merits. Not too sure if I’ll be reading Koch’s next book, but we’ll see. However, opinions are like… Well, you know the phrase, so give this a read and hopefully you will enjoy it!

Remember, comment below for a chance to win a copy of Summer House With Swimming Pool!

-Pegasus and Calliope

buy SUMMER HOUSE WITH SWIMMING POOL

Giveaway and Review: Eternal Redemption by Paul Andreas Wunderlich

eternal redemptionI will be the first to admit, I’m not a huge fan of novellas or short stories….however, this is one I really enjoyed! I admit I was a bit worried after the author contacted me and I accepted his offer of a free copy to read. He was very polite in his offer and very informative as well. I was just a bit worried that I would hate the book and have to give it a low rating….or worse…that I would hate it so much that I would be forced to give a less than favourable review! As I seem to be learning more and more in my later life…the thoughts and worries I constantly have rumbling around in my head are usually unfounded….life usually turns out so much better than I had hoped….This novella was no exception. I really did enjoy it.

When I contacted Paul (Paul Andreas Wunderlich’s webpage ) to thank him for the gift and to tell him just how much I enjoyed the book and wished to feature it in this blog, he once again showed his generosity and offered not one but THREE free copies to our readers. Just comment on this blog post for a chance to win!

Now back to the review…

This novella reminded me of the fables or mythology that I loved as a teenager…no, let me rephrase that….as I first loved as a teenager and continue to love now. Here you have a main character that gets exactly what he wishes for the most in the world….alas, only then does he realise that what he wanted was actually exactly what he already had….he tries to rectify his past mistakes and true to life…finds out that you can’t always go back to how things were…and many of us are doomed to repeat the same mistakes over and over in this life…and perhaps the next life as well….

It says a lot that my favourite character of this novella was the Devil himself. It also reminds all of us that the most evil person in the room might be the one who can appreciate, understand, and see the most pure and beautiful in that very same rule. After all, how can one know beauty without knowing it’s total opposite as well? What is happiness and love if we have never known pain and suffering to compare it with? The trick is in the knowing of how to keep the one in your life instead…or perhaps, in spite, of the other….

The title is also something to give you much to ponder….if we seek to find eternal redemption, whom should we be seeking it for? Ourselves or those that we have wronged? Can we be redeemed whilst we have no chance of ending our own suffering? Is it enough for those that we have wronged to be happy, even at our own expense? Should we feel shorted if the happiness of our loved ones comes on the back of our own suffering? Sure, it’s easy to say yes….but we’re talking about human nature here….Can one really be happy for our loved ones if we are never in a position to personally share their happiness? To see their laughter every day through the sheen of our own tears?

If I have one complaint in this novella it is that perhaps Wunderlich has too much of a fondness of adjectives. By the end of the book, I wasn’t bothered at all and I really did enjoy this short read. I also admit that since I went into this not at all sure I would like this novella, I might have had a part of my mind (the annoying part that is ALWAYS speaking and never shuts up!!!) that was looking for parts of the story to justify my original worries of the novella….

If you’re in-between a couple of chunky novels and need something to break them up, this might be the perfect read for you. You should have no problem finishing it in one sitting…and there is much moral contemplations to ponder whilst you do….

Until next time….

Urania

***Please don’t forget to comment to this post for a chance to win a free copy of this novella***

Buy it now Eternal Redemption by Paul Andreas Wunderlich

Review and a GIVEAWAY#1!!!!

Are you wondering what book??? One word……..SLAMMED. Are you excited??? Not only that but it is a SIGNED copy!!!

This is a book that is really hard to describe for me because it’s one of my favorites, by one of my favorite authors. Okay, I’ll start with a summary and try to go from there and see if I can make any sense.

At 18, Layken, her mother and her younger brother pack things up and relocate to Michigan after her fathers’ death. The first person she meets there is her neighbor across the street, Will, and his little brother. They have a sudden, intense attraction to each other that only intensifies after a fantastic first date. Layken is thrilled that this move isn’t turning out to be as horrible as she feared.

However, almost immediately after the first date they are shocked to discover they cannot see each other anymore. Layken and Will are both miserable, which is made even worse by having to see each other daily as neighbors and as their odd little brothers become best friends. They try to deal as best they can but Layken is ready to explode.

That description does absolutely nothing for the book because the book is awesome. The dialogue is incredibly funny between the little brothers who are both nerdy and ridiculous but adorable. The slam poetry is amazing. I found myself reading and re-reading each slam, trying to get the intonation that would make it sound best. Layken’s best friend Eddie, is great and provide both an outlet for Eddie and more laughter the book needs to balance out the seriousness it has.

I literally both laughed and cried while reading this book. I don’t cry a lot when I read. I mean, I did cry reading Little Women and Gone With the Wind at certain points if you know what I mean…not to give any spoilers away. But I don’t cry at the majority of books, and I read a lot of angsty stuff. This one made me cry, but I was laughing while I cried. It’s so hard to explain. But other Colleen Hoover fans get it because once you read Slammed you will want to read Point of Retreat. Then you realize she’s written a few other things. Then you’re pretty much hooked. You’re welcome for that!

A couple of us muses were lucky enough to go to a book signing this week and we have a few signed books to giveaway. In case you didn’t notice the #1, there’s more to giveaways to come. The first will be this wonderful, awesome, gut wrenching book. We’re also including some swag Atria Publishing was kind enough to give out at the signing! With the SIGNED book you will also receive a great Hopeless bookmark, an I ❤ Atria Authors card and a great purple Colleen Hoover bag! You know you want it. So we'll make it easy, just like our Facebook page and comment on this post and that's it. We'll keep it open til next Thursday. Good luck!!!

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Giveaway Winners

helium-balloons Thank you to everyone who entered our very first giveaway! We all appreciate you guys taking the time to read our reviews and/or joining in the discuss on Facebook with us.

I used Random.org to pick the winners for both books – mom2cyrusncash won Pivot Point and Loida won The Sea of Tranquility! Congratulations to both of you and check your emails for more details. 🙂

Thanks for participating everyone. Stay tuned in the future for more possible giveaways. Feel free to check out our Facebook page along with the blog. We post daily with different things – from price drops and new releases to general book discussions

~ Clio

Review: Pivot Point by Kasie West (and giveaway!)

11988046 You know how you buy some books because they sound good-ish at the time and then when you finally read them months later you wonder why the heck you bought the book in the first place? (Maybe that’s just me…) Well, this book was so the opposite of that. I was expecting an average book when I began this but got an amazingly well written and captivating book instead. Yay to pleasant surprises!

Addie Coleman lives in a city where everyone has a type of paranormal power of the mind. Her power is a form of clairvoyance that allows her to take a decision she needs to make and see into the future (within limits) both paths that the choices would lead to. When her parents get a divorce she has to decide which parent to live with. Her mother is staying in the city Addie has grown up in and her father is moving out of the city into the normal world where no one has powers. Addie chooses to look into the future over the next 6 weeks to see which one she should choose.

Just the plot of this book is rather unique, with all of the YA books that I read I haven’t come across another with anything close to it. This is the author’s debut novel and I was blown away by that because of how well written and thought out the book comes across. I was surprised many times by different twists and plot points. Pivot Point has some suspense, a little bit of YA romance and while some of the characters have paranormal powers it is not heavy on that part. So if you normally stay away from the paranormal type books I would give this a chance!

Even better than the plot are the characters. Addie and her friends are all very fleshed out. Addie, in particular, was great – I understood her emotions and all of her actions made sense to me. I completely hate when I read a book and I spend most of the time wanting to smack the main character. Happily, that was not the case here.

If you’d like to win a copy of Pivot Point you need to do 2 things – follow this blog and comment on this post. I’ll post the winner next Thursday the 15th.

5 stars

~ Clio

Buy it Now Pivot Point