(BookR)The Tycoon’s Forced Bride

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Pages: 232

Cover: ★

Book: ★★

Publishing Date: 1/28/16

*** ARC kindly provided by the publisher Tule Publishing, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***

My Review:
This romance felt like it was written after someone watched 50 first dates by Adam Sandler. It was well written and had some great components (Ballerinas and Scottish Billionaires) but fell short of my expectations after seeing that Jane Porter is a USA Today bestselling author. I wanted to see Ava have a little more fight in her (She is supposed to be a Latin lady who left home at 13 to chase her dream of dancing). Overall it wasn’t a bad story and had the classic happily ever after ending.

Description:
Malcolm McKenzie will never forget that night in New York when he put Ava Galvan in a taxi following a heated argument, and the Argentine beauty was involved in an horrific accident—one that ended her career as an acclaimed soloist with the Manhattan Ballet, and impaired her memory and ability to live an independent life.

The Scottish tycoon and philanthropist lives with his guilt, and another consequence: Ava was pregnant with his child the night of the accident. Ever since that night, Malcolm has raised Jack as a single father.

But Ava is stronger now, and Jack wants his mommy to come home. Malcolm has never stopped wanting her and he’s determined to do whatever it takes to claim Ava—with or without her consent.

About the Author:
Jane Porter

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of forty-nine romances and women’s fiction titles, Jane Porter has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award five times and won in 2014 for Best Novella with her story, Take Me, Cowboy, from Tule Publishing. Today, Jane has over 12 million copies in print, including her wildly successful, Flirting With Forty, picked by Redbook as its Red Hot Summer Read, and reprinted six times in seven weeks before being made into a Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear. A mother of three sons, Jane holds an MA in Writing from the University of San Francisco and makes her home in sunny San Clemente, CA with her surfer husband and two dogs.

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(BookR) The Grownup by Gillian Flynn

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Pages: 64

Cover: ★

Book: ★★

Publishing Date: 11/03/15

My Review:

I saw that this book was more novella style than an actual book, as it was originally published in another anthology, but I was still disappointed with how abruptly this novella ended. I am usually a fangirl whenever it comes to Gillian Flynn, I have read every novel that she has had published so far and love all of the different twists and turns they take. It felt like she had a deadline to meet so she just threw words onto the page. She was endlessly descriptive with the backstory of the main character (unnamed) and tells a story of how said main character tries to help a family deal with their haunted house. Then she reveals the plot twist and ends the story in what seems like the last two pages. If she was going to republish this as a standalone book, it is my opinion she should have rewritten it and expanded on the ending.

Description:

A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses beautiful, rich Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the “psychic” visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Miles, Susan’s teenage stepson, doesn’t help matters with his disturbing manner and grisly imagination. The three are soon locked in a chilling battle to discover where the evil truly lurks and what, if anything, can be done to escape it.

“The Grownup,” which originally appeared as “What Do You Do?” in George R. R. Martin’s Rogues anthology, proves once again that Gillian Flynn is one of the world’s most original and skilled voices in fiction.

About the Author

Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri to two community-college professors—her mother taught reading; her father, film. Thus she spent an inordinate amount of her youth nosing through books and watching movies. She has happy memories of having A Wrinkle in Time pried from her hands at the dinner table, and also of seeing Alien, Psycho and Bonnie and Clyde at a questionable age (like, seven). It was a good childhood.

In high-school, she worked strange jobs that required her to do things like wrap and unwrap hams, or dress up as a giant yoghurt cone. A yoghurt cone who wore a tuxedo. Why the tuxedo? It was a question that would haunt her for years.

For college, she headed to the University of Kansas (go Jayhawks), where she received her undergraduate degrees in English and journalism.

After a two-year stint writing about human resources for a trade magazine in California, Flynn moved to Chicago. There she earned her master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and discovered that she was way too wimpy to make it as a crime reporter.

>>Find More About Her Here<<

(BookR) The Daughters of Palatine Hill by Phyllis T. Smith

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Pre-order now for 46-27% OFF

Pages: 412

Cover: ★★★

Book: ★★★★¾

Publishing Date: 02/16/16

 

Before I begin my review I have to admit to a fascination with this period in history from the time I was a small child. This started with this book:

cleopatra

 

My Review:

I found myself absolutely in the thrall of this book from the moment I opened it up. The character descriptions were unbelievably vivid. The description is a tiny bit misleading where it talks about Cleopatra Selene being a companion to Julia (Augustus Caesar’s Daughter), while they do live in the same household they didn’t really seem to be what I would call companions either. This is one of those books that jumps from one characters point of view to another characters point of view. This is usually a book killer for me, because I will pick a character I like and only read their parts. I didn’t have that problem with this book since I formed an emotional attachment to all of the characters. My emotional attachment evolved as the characters moved from childhood to adulthood and as they interacted with each other, which I think is a hallmark of a truly talented writer. Overall, I loved this book and I think I will be adding I am Livia to my list of books to read in the future.

 

Description:

Two years after Emperor Augustus’s bloody defeat of Mark Antony and Cleopatra, he triumphantly returns to Rome. To his only child, Julia, he brings an unlikely companion—Selene, the daughter of the conquered Egyptian queen and her lover.

Under the watchful eye of Augustus’s wife, Livia, Selene struggles to accept her new home among her parents’ enemies. Bound together by kinship and spilled blood, these three women—Livia, Selene, and Julia—navigate the dangerous world of Rome’s ruling elite, their every move a political strategy, their most intimate decisions in the emperor’s hands.

Always suppressing their own desires for the good of Rome, each must fulfill her role. For astute Livia, this means unwavering fidelity to her all-powerful husband; for sensual Julia, surrender to an arranged marriage and denial of her craving for love and the pleasures of the flesh; for orphaned Selene, choosing between loyalty to her family’s killers and her wish for revenge.

Can they survive Rome’s deadly intrigues, or will they be swept away by the perilous currents of the world’s most powerful empire?

About the Author

Phyllis T. Smith was born and currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and a master’s degree from New York University, Phyllis pursued a practical career in computer applications training, yet she found herself drawn to writing fiction and to the history, literature, and art of the ancient world. Her first novel, I Am Livia, was a #1 Kindle and Digital Book World bestseller. She plans to write more novels set in ancient Rome.
**I was provided with an Advance Readers copy of this book for reviewing purposes**

(BookR) Caillou, Easter Egg Surprise

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Pages: 24

Cover: ★★★★

Book: ★★¾

Description:

The Easter Bunny has hidden eggs all over Grandma’s garden. Caillou loves hunting for them, but it’s even more fun hiding eggs for Rosie to find. Caillou feels just like the Easter Bunny! This books includes a reusable stencil for you to create your own Caillou-inspired Easter art.

 

My Review:

My son was looking over my shoulder when I was looking for books. He saw this one and just HAD to read it, so the cover definitely works. This book had a few illustrations and they were great, but this is definitely more of a story book than a picture book. My son is four and doesn’t have the patience to have all the text read to him, so if you have a small child this probably wouldn’t be a good investment (2-3 years old)(. The physical hard copy is supposed to have a stencil that you can use to make easter decorations so that might make it better.) Overall the story was nice. The illustrations were true to the Caillou show, and if my son were a little older this might have worked a little better for him.

 

**An advance readers copy of this book was provided for review, This book will be published 2/10/16**

About the Author/Illustrator:

Kim Thompson is a filmmaker, television writer and children’s book author. She wrote numerous Caillou screenplays and two titles in the Ecology Clubseries. She lives in Vancouver.

>Find more by her here<<

Eric Sévigny is a graphic artist and the illustrator of numerous Caillou titles, such as Caillou: Every Drop Counts, Caillou: Happy Holidays, and Caillou Puts Away His Toys. He lives in Montreal.

>>Find more by him here<<

[BookR] See Me by Nicholas Sparks

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Pages: 490

Cover: ★★

Book: ★★

My review: While I am typically a big fan of all books by Nicholas Sparks, I found this book to be a little bit of a letdown. I had a little trouble pushing myself to get through it (hence my lack of new reviews over the last 5 days). Colin was my favorite in the entire book, his character was definitely well developed. (Cue snickering). Southern belle Lilly came in close second.  I guess what really killed this book for me was the fact that the prologue really engaged my attention and then gave away the plot for the entire book and it killed the potential for real suspense. 

Description:

Colin Hancock is giving his second chance his best shot. With a history of violence and bad decisions behind him and the threat of prison dogging his every step, he’s determined to walk a straight line. To Colin, that means applying himself single-mindedly toward his teaching degree and avoiding everything that proved destructive in his earlier life. Reminding himself daily of his hard-earned lessons, the last thing he is looking for is a serious relationship.

Maria Sanchez, the hardworking daughter of Mexican immigrants, is the picture of conventional success. With a degree from Duke Law School and a job at a prestigious firm in Wilmington, she is a dark-haired beauty with a seemingly flawless professional track record. And yet Maria has a traumatic history of her own, one that compelled her to return to her hometown and left her questioning so much of what she once believed.

A chance encounter on a rain-swept road will alter the course of both Colin and Maria’s lives, challenging deeply held assumptions about each other and ultimately, themselves. As love unexpectedly takes hold between them, they dare to envision what a future together could possibly look like . . . until menacing reminders of events in Maria’s past begin to surface.

As a series of threatening incidents wreaks chaos in Maria’s life, Maria and Colin will be tested in increasingly terrifying ways. Will demons from their past destroy the tenuous relationship they’ve begun to build, or will their love protect them, even in the darkest hour?

Rich in emotion and fueled with suspense, SEE ME reminds us that love is sometimes forged in the crises that threaten to shatter us . . . and that those who see us for who we truly are may not always be the ones easiest to recognize.

About the Author

With over 100 million copies of his books sold, Nicholas Sparks is one of the world’s most beloved storytellers. His novels include 12 #1 New York Timesbestsellers. All his books have been New York Times and international bestsellers, and were translated into more than 50 languages. Ten Sparks novels have been adapted into major motion pictures, with The Choice coming in February 2016.

(BookR) A Reaper of Stone

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Pages: 90

Cover: ★★★★

Book: ★★★¾

Description:

A Lady is dead. Her noble line ended. And the King’s Reaper has come to reclaim her land and her home. In the marches of Aedaron, only one thing is for certain. All keeps of the old world must fall.

Elinor struggles to find her place in the new world. She once dreamed of great things. Of becoming a hero in the ways of the old world. But now she is a Reaper. And her duty is clear. Destroy the old. Herald the new.

My review:

This novella knocked my socks off! To be only 90 pages long, it was packed with action and adventure. (And my favorite character- Con- see my previous post for Broken Banners) (Broken banners is the second novella in the series, I read them backwards) This is the perfect read for someone who likes adventure novels with strong female leads but doesn’t have full length novel reading time.

About the authors:

Mark and Joe have been writing and telling stories together for the last 25 years. They share a love for the classic fantasy tales of their childhood. Their Echoes of the Ascended series brings those old epic characters and worlds to new life.

>>Find more about them here<<

(BookR) Broken Banners

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Pages: 90

Cover: ★★★★

Book: ★★★¾

Description

Broken Banners is a thrilling, fast-paced fantasy tale. It is the second novella of the series A Reaper of Stone. Reviewers compare it to the works of Brandon Sanderson, Sarah J Maas, and Joe Abercrombie. It is recommended for readers who enjoy epic fantasy, myth and legend, action, and/or stories with a strong female protagonist.

Slaughtered and left for crows, soldiers of the King’s Army lay dead in a field. A grim reminder: the king’s law ends at the gates of the capital.

Elinor fought for what she believed and now she is an outcast. No soldier will follow her. No officer will stand with her. Yet when she finds her brothers and sisters slaughtered, she cannot turn her back on them.

Long ago, they swore an oath. Not to the king, but to each other.

And woe to those who break that bond.

My Review:

An unfortunate decision. A life altering consequence. In this story you follow Aldis and Elinor, two leaders of the kings regiment’s in their struggle to lead and maintain honor (or in some cases what’s left of it). The cover is eye catching, and I really enjoyed con’s character. The main drawback being that as soon as I really got into the story it was over and I have to wait for the next one. I would post a longer review, but as this is a novella any more and it would give away the entire story.

 

**An advance readers copy of this book was provided for review, This book will be published 2/15/16**

About the Author:

Joe King spent most of his childhood doing what he loved most – building things with his friends. He built friendships, stories, worlds, games, imagination, and everything in between.

Joe believes in the power of stories, dreams, family, friendship, and getting your ass kicked every once in a while.

More than anything, he wants to tell a good story, and, for him, Gelineau & King is the constant reminder that it’s never too late to start building the things you love.

>>Find more about him here<<

(BaubleR) Assasins Creed: Syndicate

Rating:★★★★

My review:

I have played the (almost all) games from the Assassins creed set. I was sorely disappointed in the Unity release. (Not only because of the glitches but because of the update to fix the glitches that caused my game to crash after I had reached Legendary status that corrupted the save file.) So I was hesitant to buy the Syndicate release. Overall the graphics are nice, but my favorite part of the game is the building up and customizing of my hideouts which I felt was a little lacking in this release. I was pleased that they brought back the Whistle, and I am able to lure  my enemies in and I really like the new version of the rope dart that allows you to glide from house to house. I am pleased that they finally incorporated a female character into the story line.

Overall I have to say that I find the story to be a little lacking and repetitive. The graphics are amazing and I encountered minimal glitches. I don’t know what more I was expecting… maybe being in a hero in Victorian London just isn’t as appealing to me as being a swashbuckling pirate commandeering the seas, but I progressed about 80% through the story line and feel no compulsion to finish.

(BookR)Fire Study

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Cover: ★★

Book: ★★¾

Description:

The apprenticeship is over— now the real test has begun.

When word that Yelena is a Soulfinder—able to capture and release souls—spreads like wildfire, people grow uneasy. Already Yelena’s unusual abilities and past have set her apart. As the Council debates Yelena’s fate, she receives a disturbing message: a plot is rising against her homeland, led by a murderous sorcerer she has defeated before.…

Honor sets Yelena on a path that will test the limits of her skills, and the hope of reuniting with her beloved spurs her onward. Her journey is fraught with allies, enemies, lovers and would-be assassins, each of questionable loyalty. Yelena will have but one chance to prove herself—and save the land she holds dear.

 

My Review:

In a continuation of Yelena’s journey, we find her in Sitia and all the work to build up Cahil’s character is finally put to some use. He free’s Ferde and disappears into the Avibian desert. When Yelena finaaaally manages to capture him and the warpers he is working with and sends them back to the Citadel to be dealt with she is in for a surprise when she gets there and he has become the First Magicians best friend. This book had just enough suspense to keep me going, though my interest did start to lag around the middle of the book. A lot in this book seems like it could have been edited out to make the story a little faster paced. The fight scenes and rescues are beginning to feel a little repetitive. I was confused by Yelenas sudden distrust of moon man and would like to have seen more of Dax. All in all,  I was pulled back in during the last two chapters and enjoyed the ending.I am curious to see what will become of Yelena in the next release of the series.  Night Study is due to be published on January 26th, 2016.

About the Author:

Maria V. Snyder is the New York Times bestselling author of the Study series, the Glass series, the Healer series, Inside Out, and Outside In. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she earned a Bachelors of Science degree in Meteorology from Penn State and a Master of Arts degree in fiction writing from Seton Hill University. Unable to part ways with Seton Hill, Maria is currently a teacher and mentor for the MFA program.

>>Find her here<<

 

(BookR) Magic Study

Cover: ★★

Book: ★★★¾

 

My Review:

I felt that the cover of this particular copy could have used a bit of help. This is a continuation of the Study series (book 2) to be exact. In this story Yelena has made it safely back to her family in Sitia, but meeting her family is more difficult than she anticipated. She makes her way to the Citadel where the other magicians reside and finds herself once again the outcast of the situation. I really didn’t like Cahil’s character, he seemed a little silly but maybe Snyder is setting the scene for a huge upset in the next book in the series. I guess I will find out soon. Overall it was a good book but I like the first book in the series the best so far.
Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Magic Study