Monday, June 16, 2014

review: dancing on broken glass by ka hancock

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Lucy and Mickey agreed to never have children because of their genetics—her mother and grandmother died from cancer and Lucy survived it while Mickey is bipolar. Despite a tubal ligation, Lucy finds out she’s pregnant during one of her checkups. Although the timing is less than ideal with Mickey only just being released from the hospital, Lucy can’t see not having the baby regardless of their agreement. There’s so much hope between the couple, but then Dancing on Broken Glass becomes devastating. Be prepared with a box of Kleenex as these characters will break your heart.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Gallery Books.

Monday, June 9, 2014

review: sight reading by daphne kalotay

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Sight Reading follows two women, Hazel and Remy, along with the man they each married. When the story begins, Hazel and Nicholas are married and have a young daughter. As Sight Reading continues, Nicholas has an affair with Remy, who he later marries. With Nicholas and Remy being musicians, the musical themes of Sight Reading mostly work, but did seem a bit of a stretch at times. The book gets bogged down in the musical references. And perhaps because of the music theme, the story felt unbalanced whenever the focus turned to Hazel.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Harper Perennial.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

review: forever faithful by karen kingsbury

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In one large volume, the works that make up Karen Kingsbury’s Forever Faithful trilogy are brought together. Waiting for Morning centers around a woman who loses her husband and one daughter in a car accident that injured her other daughter. A Moment of Weakness deals with childhood friends reuniting as adults just as the cheating husband of one launches a custody battle. Halfway to Forever brings the characters of the first two together with the couples facing great strife. All three stories had great potential, but there was far too much heavy-handed moralizing. In the world Kingsbury creates here, there are clear lines between the good and the bad; and the good are always the Christians while the bad are always the nonbelievers. It’s just not that simple in real life. In the end, the plots were highly predictable and one-dimensional.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Multnomah.

Friday, June 6, 2014

review: learning to stay by erin celello

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Getting along while her husband was fighting in Iraq was hard, but Elise never expected it would be even harder when he returned with a brain injury. Elise struggles to care for her husband who doesn’t want her help, maintain their fixer-upper house, and work on an important case at the law firm where she needs to prove herself.

Learning to Stay was a difficult book. It was heart-wrenching to read how changed Brad was when he returned. Elise had to make some very difficult choices on her own and they weren’t always the best choices, but they are entirely understandable. The descriptions were eloquent and brought the dramatic scenes to life. After all the tears it was nice that Learning to Stay ended on an uplifting note, but it didn’t seem very realistic.
Review copy provided by the publisher, NAL Accent.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

review: the witch of belladonna bay by suzanne palmieri

With her brother in prison for murder, Bronwyn finally returns to her hometown after fleeing years ago. Until now Bronwyn had never met her 11 year old niece, Byrd, who possesses the same powers that led Bronwyn’s mother to the opium addiction that caused her death. The Witch of Belladonna Bay alternates between Bronwyn and Byrd’s narration, but also inserts a bit from Bronwyn’s mother. The use of three female narrators all with magical powers was confusing at times. Suzanne Palmieri included a lot of excess information (particularly about Byrd’s mother and Bronwyn’s fiancĂ©) while leaving out other details. The nature of the magical powers was quite vague, so that I was always wondering why the mother needed drugs to escape.
Review copy provided by BookSparks PR.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

feature: friends and lovers by vristen pierce

Today is the release of a steamy novella from Vristen Pierce. Friends and Lovers is the sequel to Pierce's Between Friends which is when Stacy met Evan and Justin. Friends and Lovers finds Stacy returning home after taking a job in London. That means she's back with Evan and Justin, but as it turns out they now want her to pick just one of them. The publisher, Hachette, was kind enough to share an excerpt from this eBook which you can buy pretty much everywhere except Amazon since Amazon is playing hardball with Hachette books right now.

I gave Hank my brightest smile. “I think I’d like a Screaming Orgasm.” Justin definitely brought out my mischievous side and I had to admit I enjoyed it. I especially enjoyed the way Hank’s eyes narrowed at my audacity. 

Justin wrapped an arm around my waist. “And I think I just may give you one or two before the night’s over.” 

I laughed just as Hank grunted and ambled off to get the drinks. 

Justin chuckled near my ear. “Did you have to order that?” 

“Yes.” I turned around and pressed a quick kiss to his lips. “You make me naughty.” 

He gave me a sexy smirk. “Oh, do I?” 

I nodded. 

“Care to prove it?”