Playing the Part by Jen Turano 4/5 đŸŒŸ

Playing the Part by Jen Turano

http://www.jenturano.com

From Amazon: “Lucetta Plum is an actress on the rise in New York City, but is forced to abandon her starring role when a fan’s interest turns threatening. Lucetta’s widowed friend, Abigail Hart, is delighted at the opportunity to meddle in Lucetta’s life and promptly whisks her away to her grandson’s estate to hide out.

Bram Haverstein may appear to simply be a somewhat eccentric gentleman of means, but a mysterious career and a secret fascination with a certain actress mean there’s much more to him than society knows.

Lucetta, who has no interest in Abigail’s matchmaking machinations, has the best intentions of remaining cordial but coolly distant to Bram. But when she can’t ignore the strange and mysterious things going on in his house, it’ll take more than good intentions to keep her from trying to discover who Bram is behind the part he plays.”

To the point: It’s fast-paced, filled with romance and humor and completely fun.

Review: This is such an adorable book and though I haven’t read the first two in the series I think it did just fine as a stand alone. Author Jen Turano does really well with character development and definitely knows how to get some humor in her romances. I think it is extremely refreshing to read a book without anything weighing it down. This is purely fun. The mystery is suspenseful but not life threatening.

The plot is well though out and the characters have a lot of depth. The idea is unique and felt new to me (rather than reading the same old romance again and again). I really enjoyed the whole book and Turano has made it on my list of authors to keep up with. Go pick up the book, I think you’ll enjoy it.

Get it here>> Playing the Part

Playing the Part by Jen Turano. Paperback: 352 pages. Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (March 1, 2016). Romantic Comedy. I received this from Litfuse in exchange for an honest review.

 

Paris is Always a Good Idea by Nicolas Barreau 4/5🌟

Paris is Always a Good Idea by Nicolas Barreau

http://us.macmillan.com/author/nicolasbarreau

From Amazon: “Rosalie Laurent is the proud owner of Luna Luna, a little post-card shop in St. Germain, and if it were up to her, far more people would write cards. Her specialty is producing “wishing cards,” but where her own wishes are concerned the quirky graphic artist is far from lucky. Every birthday Rosalie sends a card inscribed with her heart’s desire fluttering down from the Eiffel Tower – but none of her wishes has ever been fulfilled.

Then one day when an elderly gentleman trips up in her shop and knocks over a post-card stand, it seems that her wish cards are working after-all. Rosalie finds out that it is Max Marchais, famed and successful author of children’s books who’s fallen into her life. When he asks her to illustrate his new (and probably last) book, Rosalie is only too glad to accept, and the two – very different – maverick artists become friends.

Rosalie’s wishes seem to be coming true at last, until a clumsy American professor stumbles into her store with accusations of plagiarism. Rosalie is hard pressed to know whether love or trouble is blowing through her door these days, but when in doubt, she knows that Paris is Always a Good Idea when one is looking for the truth and finding love.”

To the point: Such a heartwarming story with so much mystery!

Review: I adore stories that move between America and Europe and this one flawlessly seams American and French characters together. The characters are intriguing and it took me a lot of time to figure out their true personalities because everyone was caught in this underlying mystery. The whole story is a lot of fun, I thoroughly enjoyed every second reading it. The serendipity involved, of course, made my heart swell. It’s a story that made me feel so many emotions and I almost didn’t want it to end.

Everything about this book: the characters, the setting, the mystery and the plot throughout is completely wonderful. I easily got lost in the French setting and wanted to to wake up in a Paris (sadly I am still here and not Paris). I loved the descriptive language and the characters differences in personality relating to their own cultures.

This is a definite must-read. It’s fun and very heartwarming and positive.

Get it here!!>>Paris is Always a Good Idea

About the Author:

NICOLAS BARREAU was born in Paris, the son of a French father and a German mother. He studied romance languages and literature at the Sorbonne and worked in a bookshop on the Rive Gauche in Paris but is far from an inexperienced bookworm. With his other successful novels, The Ingredients of Love, The Woman of My Life and You’ll Find Me at the End of the World, he has gained an enthusiastic audience.

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Paris is Always a Good Idea by Nicolas Barreau. Paperback: 304 pages. Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin (March 29, 2016). Contemporary. I received this copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley 4.5/5🌟

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley

https://www.facebook.com/Aidan-Donnelley-Rowley-397246287127473/timeline/

From Amazon: “For fans of J. Courtney Sullivan, Meg Wolitzer, Claire Messud, and Emma Straub, a gorgeous and absorbing novel of a trio of confused souls struggling to find themselves and the way forward in their lives, set against the spectacular backdrop of contemporary New York City.

Set in the most magical parts of Manhattan—the Upper West Side, Central Park, Greenwich Village—The Ramblers explores the lives of three lost souls, bound together by friendship and family. During the course of one fateful Thanksgiving week, a time when emotions run high and being with family can be a mixed blessing, Rowley’s sharply defined characters explore the moments when decisions are deliberately made, choices accepted, and pasts reconciled.

Clio Marsh, whose bird-watching walks through Central Park are mentioned in New York Magazine, is taking her first tentative steps towards a relationship while also looking back to the secrets of her broken childhood. Her best friend, Smith Anderson, the seemingly-perfect daughter of one of New York’s wealthiest families, organizes the lives of others as her own has fallen apart. And Tate Pennington has returned to the city, heartbroken but determined to move ahead with his artistic dreams.

Rambling through the emotional chaos of their lives, this trio learns to let go of the past, to make room for the future and the uncertainty and promise that it holds. The Ramblers is a love letter to New York City—an accomplished, sumptuous novel about fate, loss, hope, birds, friendship, love, the wonders of the natural world and the mysteries of the human spirit.”

To the point: Family drama is always fun.

Review: I love when a story shows how beautifully screwed up someone can be. When it’s an entire family (or people who have known each other long enough to be a family)  it’s even better. The characters Rowley invents takes this to a whole new level. Clio, Smith and Tate have a lot to work through and more to figure out but their personalities won’t make it exactly easy.

I felt a lot of the characters personalities really expressed the character of the city. Alive, sometimes overwhelming and with an abundance of history – good, bad and ugly.

So the plot is good. We’ve covered that. The characters are intruiging and mysterious. The writing style is smooth and poetic. The book is good. It’s one you want to pick up and know more. It will keep your attention and even more it begs for your attention. It’s a book that onve you’ve read, you’re glad it’s been a part of your life. It’s what the hobby is all about.

Get it here>> The Ramblers

The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley. Hardcover: 400 pages. Publisher: William Morrow (February 9, 2016). Women’ Fiction. I received this copy from BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.

 

Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany Book Review 5/5☆

Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany

http://www.amyhatvany.com

From Amazon: ” What happens when two sisters who were torn apart when their young mother abandoned them—and grew up in tragically different circumstances—reunite thirty-five years later to find her? For readers who love Jodi Picoult, acclaimed author Amy Hatvany fearlessly explores complex family issues in her gripping, provocative new novel.

Natalie Clark knew never to ask her sensitive adoptive mother questions about her past. She doesn’t even know her birth mother’s name—only that the young woman signed parental rights over to the state when Natalie was a baby. Now Natalie’s own daughter must complete a family tree project for school, and Natalie is determined to unearth the truth about her roots.

Brooke Walker doesn’t have a family. At least, that’s what she tells herself after being separated from her mother and her little sister at age four. Having grown up in a state facility and countless foster homes, Brooke survives the only way she knows how, by relying on herself. So when she discovers she’s pregnant, Brooke faces a heart-wrenching decision: give up her baby or raise the child completely on her own. Scared and confused, she feels lost until a surprise encounter gives her hope for the future.

How do our early experiences—the subtle and the traumatic—define us as adults? How do we build relationships when we’ve been deprived of real connection? Critically acclaimed author Amy Hatvany considers controversial and complicated questions about childhood through the lens of her finely crafted characters in this astute novel about mending wounds by diving into the truth of what first tore us apart.”

To the point: A deep, emotional adventure you won’t want to miss.

Review: Wow, this book is REAL. Talk about emotions. This book will get you diving deep into your own emotional history and have you ask yourself how you became who you are.

So okay, this book is basically a therapist. But about the writing, it is intelligent and flawless. The characters are realistic and extremely complex. The plot is smooth and moving. I don’t think Amy missed a thing when writing this book. If it took her any trouble, we’ll never know. This book is read effortlessly.

I enjoyed the book thoroughly. It’s fun and emotional, thought provoking and suspenseful at times. It’s a best friend in a book. That’s me, recommending this book, to you.

Get it here>> Somewhere Out There

Somewhere Out There by Amy Hatvany. Paperback: 368 pages. Publisher: Washington Square Press (March 1, 2016). Women’s Fiction. I received this copy from BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.

Spotlight: The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett by Jan Birley

Jan Birley
Author of The Lost and Found Life of Rosy Bennett

Jan

Rosy loved her London life – her job in a designer shop, her gorgeous West London family house and of course her gorgeous family (although young sons are enough to test anyone at times). All that disappears when, one unremarkable morning, after one unremarkable school run, her husband collapses on a crowded tube carriage and dies. As she struggles her way through the grief, she discovers her husband’s secret life: secrets accounts, secret deals that their solicitor knew nothing of, secret debts and what looks like a secret “very close friend” at least. Totally unprepared and suddenly in debt, Rosy is forced to leave London to start a new life with her incredibly reluctant boys in the countryside. Can angsty urban teenagers cope with farm life, let alone enjoy it? More to the point, can their
mother? It’s certainly not going to be easy but when you are at rock bottom the only way is up.

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About the Author:
So – all about me ………
I went to live in London when I was 17. Pretty young really, amazing
that my parents let me go – after six years at a draughty boarding
school in Yorkshire, my knowledge of life was hardly encyclopaedic.
Mind you, whose is at 17? Initially, I trained as a radiographer but
didn’t like it much and dabbled in other worlds where I couldn’t find
anything I really wanted to do. Apart from sit and read a book, of
course. Nanny? Nope. Not after attempting to look after two hideous
children who only spoke Dutch. Cooking in a restaurant in Cornwall?
Not really my thing, especially as my role seemed to consist of doing
the washing up. So back to London where I spent many years in
Wandsworth, getting married and having three fabulous sons, two of
whom are twins. Now I live in Dorset, but am unwilling to give up
totally on city life and so I still go back there to work at LSE one day a
week. I’m a dyslexia support tutor. I also work at a local girls’ school
and because of the lovely, long holidays I’m able to spend a good part
of the year with all my boys at our holiday home in Italy. Along with our elderly dog, we relish the time
we’re able to spend in la bella Umbria. My husband is the Deputy Mayor of our town here in Dorset which
keeps him busy.
I’ve recently published, on line, my first novel with the second one to follow shortly. The third one is still
in the process of being written. All of them are stand­alone books. Although I’ve been writing for many
years, it never seemed a possible financial option as a career but belatedly I’ve realised that if I don’t
pursue my dream right now, that’s all it will ever be. The result is The Lost and Found Life of Rosy
Bennett.
Find her here:
http://janbirley.co.uk/

 

Hesitation (2)

Amazon ­ $5.99 ebook
B&N ­ $5.49 ebook
Book Details:
Publish Date: 11.04.2015
Publisher: Acorn Independent Press
ASIN: B017MF6B0I
Pages: 279
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Sign up for the Book Tour Here:
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Losing the Light by Andrea Dunlop Book Review 4.5/5🌟

Hey guys, I’m back for more with a review of another spectacular book. I have the habit of reading the first page of every book I receive and every now and then I find I can’t put the book down the rest of the day. There I am cutting fruit while a very unstable glass holds my book open just enough to read a couple of pages. Nowadays it seems rare I get to indulge in reading for an hour, we adopted a dog a couple of months ago and she seems to have one health issue after another (but we all love her!). My son recently had his 2nd birthday and my daughter had her 4th, it just flies by. I’ve been on a house cleaning binge – collecting bags and bags of anything I can for donation. I had an awful Lupus flare where I could not even get myself out of bed and slept for what felt like 22 hours a day. Usually upon regaining some health I get rid of a lot of stuff so I can easily manage the daily chores without all the “extra” in the way. Here I am, on the upswing, enjoying it while it lasts. Today was absolutely beautiful outside and my family spent the day in the yard, where I am writing this – awkwardly facing the house so I still get wi-fi.

Losing the Light by Andrea Dunlop

http://www.andreadunlop.net

 

From Amazon: “A smart, obsessive debut novel about a young woman studying abroad who becomes caught up in a seductive French world—and a complex web of love and lust.

When thirty-year-old Brooke Thompson unexpectedly runs into a man from her past, she’s plunged headlong into memories she’s long tried to forget about the year she spent in France following a disastrous affair with a professor.

As a newly arrived exchange student in the picturesque city of Nantes, young Brooke develops a deep and complicated friendship with Sophie, a fellow American and stunning blonde, whose golden girl façade hides a precarious emotional fragility. Sophie and Brooke soon become inseparable and find themselves intoxicated by their new surroundings—and each other.

But their lives are forever changed when they meet a sly, stylish French student, Veronique, and her impossibly sexy older cousin, Alex. The cousins draw Sophie and Brooke into an irresistible world of art, money, decadence, and ultimately, a disastrous love triangle that consumes them both. And of the two of them, only one will make it home.”

To the point: Addicting and thrilling! A fun ride through a crazy rollercoaster!

Review: When I opened up this book I was sucked in right away. The characters are delightful and so realistic. They are enthusiastic and their story is full of fun and disaster. I loved the comparison between the two worlds – the US and the European ways of life. The characters have very realistic evaluations of the different cultures.

The author uses beautiful descriptive language in her narrative. She has a talent for writing and an intoxicating way  with words. Her story comes to life in your palms and reality drifts away as the characters become people you know. The food described, the language, the culture are all so realistic that I felt I was taking a vacation away from American culture for a brief time.

Of course the drama is amazing. The thrill, mystery and unknown are so exciting I couldn’t put the book down. Definitely give this book a read, you might fall in love with it.

Get it here>> Losing the Light

Losing the Light by Andrea Dunlop. Paperback: 336 pages. Publisher: Washington Square Press (February 23, 2016). Women’s Fiction. I received this copy from BookSparks in exchange for an honest review.

 

A review of TWO new healthy books

So here’s the news people: I’ve been out of commission for a little while due to a series of unfortunate events (hehe). My surface pro decided to go all hardware malfunction after mandatory updates and it took me longer than it should have to get it taken care of (by the way, thank you for the good customer service Microsoft!). Also, the Blogging for Books program I often write about banned me and I am still unable to get this situation resolved (this means – no review copies and slow customer service). In good news, BookSparks sent me a beautiful package with amazing books, one I have already gobbled up and will post soon. Also, I found Litfuse and they accepted me as a reviewer, you’ll find a ton of books from them in April.

But as for reviews right now I have a two-for-one special for you guys: The 5 Day Real Food Detox by Nikki Sharp and The I Quit Sugar Cookbook by Sarah Wilson. I won’t be putting a comparison of these books because they are completely different and could be wonderful to use together. I just found that the subject of both might work well in a review together.

The 5 Day Real Food Detox by Nikki Sharp

http://www.nikkisharp.com

From Amazon: “Discover the safe, effective, delicious cleanse that took Instagram by storm! This 5-day detox program allows you to eat whole, nutrient-rich foods—and feel satisfied and energized while dropping pounds!

As a professional model, Nikki Sharp traveled constantly, barely slept, skipped meals, and relied on quick fixes to stay skinny, all of which took a toll on her physical and emotional health. Realizing she needed to make a serious change, she began to study integrative nutrition—and learned that the key to weight loss, radiant skin, and overall well-being is not starving yourself but eating. That’s right: eating! Sharp created her detox plan based on the knowledge that in the right combinations, real whole foods—grains, vegetables, fruits, and spices—can aid digestion, burn body fat, flush out toxins, reduce bloating, banish fatigue, and clear up acne.

Unlike other cleanses, The 5-Day Real Food Detox allows you to eat five times a day—and shed a pound a day—with meals and snacks developed by Sharp (and backed by a nutritionist and a registered dietician). Even better, the recipes, including Love Pancakes, Spinach & Chickpea Hummus, Black Bean Burgers, Cauliflower Mash, and Taco Bowl, have been taste-tested by Sharp’s many of 300,000-plus Instagram followers, who have done the plan and seen amazing results. In The 5-Day Real Food Detox, you’ll discover

• nutrient-dense foods that encourage detoxification and weight loss
• the facts on juice, smoothie, tea, and raw food cleanses
• yummy foods to substitute when you crave unhealthy ones
• ingredients to avoid and how to decode food labels
• the secret to great-tasting meals—use spices instead of salt
• strategies for lowering stress and combating insomnia
• troubleshooting for food allergies, mood swings, bloating, and other detox issues

Complete with gorgeous full-color photos, success stories, shopping lists, and meal plans, The 5-Day Real Food Detox lays the groundwork for eating well and feeling wonderful for the rest of your life!”

To the point: A lot of filler. Without all the junk it could be a great detox book.

Review: I hated flipping through this book. I hate saying that but it felt like an Instagram ad over and over again. This detox program is sound, it can really work if you stick to it and the author doesn’t need to promote the book within the book. Worse than that, the “progress” photos of before and after the detox didn’t really convince me the detox worked. I wish I received this book without all the extra junk in it.

The information is smart. Chemicals, pesticides, and the nutrients in our food and what it does to our body really makes a difference. The life changing abilities of food are spectacular. Healthy eating can be a medicine. For those who don’t have any ailments and just want to look better, detoxing to get you there too. While I think I might go through with this whole detox, I will probably need to get rid of those before-and-after pages first. Nikki Sharp is, well, sharp. I’m too observant (some might say) so the progress might be encouraging to most.

The 5 Day Real Food Detox by Nikki Sharp. Paperback: 288 pages. Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 22, 2016). Healthy Living. I received this book from a Goodreads Giveaway.

Get it HERE>>The 5 Day Real Food Detox

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook by Sarah Wilson

http://www.sarahwilson.com

From Amazon: “Find your happiest, healthiest self

When Sarah Wilson gave up sugar for good, she developed a new repertoire of inventive, go-to dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. With 306 satisfying recipes for one-pan wonders, grain-free breakfasts, leftover makeovers, smoothie bowls, and more, this comprehensive cookbook makes living sugar-free easy, sustainable, and delicious.

Bacon ’N’ Egg Quinoa Oatmeal
Gift-Wrapped Miso Cod
Caramelized Leek, Apple, and Rosemary Socca
Green Spaghetti and Meatballs
Two-Minute Desk Noodles
Broc Bites and Cauli Popcorn
Carrot “Bacon”
Red Velvet Crunch Bowl
Chocolate Peanut Butter Crackles
Strawberry Cheesecake Mug Cake”

To the point: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS COOKBOOK!

Review: This cookbook is fantastic and I am aware I say that often about healthy cookbooks but here’s what makes this one special, it is no sugar added. There are recipes for cakes, dinners, lunch boxes, snacks, and everything in between. Plus she gives you all the good info about what tools to use and helpful hints of what ingredients you can freeze. Actually, the first 35ish pages are all about how to use the kitchen, prepare ingredients and what tools are best.

The book is organized really well too so it’ super simple to figure out what you want. OH WAIT, did I mention there are 306 friggen recipes. I am serious. And I’ve been trying to make a sugar-free hot chocolate for about 3 years now, and yes, there is a recipe in here.

You can see some recipes included in the description above so I’m resisting my temptation to go all crazy with every page I flip. I love the anti-inflammatory aspects of these recipes which are completely necessary in my life. I definitely recommend this cookbook for the unique combinations, the thrifty nature of it and the healthy ingredients.

The I Quit Sugar Cookbook by Sarah Wilson. Paperback: 384 pages. Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (March 15, 2016). Healthy Cooking. I borrowed this copy for review.

 

Get it HERE!!>>The I Quit Sugar Cookbook

What about you, have you tried either of these? Let us all know your favorite recipes in the comments below! Tried another healthy cookbook or detox book? Tell me about it in the comments!