Thursday, December 31, 2015

December Hiatus

Hi guys!! I apologize for the month long hiatus from the book reviews. Other than dealing with some writer's block all month, I had decided to make some changes in my life! While I'm waiting for some acceptance/rejection letters, I will be starting a new book blog with one of my closest friends (who is a lover of mystery books). Then, you'll get some variation from my romance, new adult, young adult, and fantasy books. I'll let you know when the new blog is up and running!

Since it is New Years Eve, I will end the year with my top 15 favorite books of 2015! It has been one crazy year. I have set a new record for myself by reading 219 books, beating the number of books I have read in 2014 (151 books). The year is not yet over so I might even finish another book by midnight (maybe!).

Here they are in no particular order:

My book resolutions for 2016:
  1. Reviewing more books
  2. Adding more variations of book reviews
  3. Changing up review format
  4. Coming up with more resolutions!
Thank you to all those who stop by to check out my blog! Hopefully, the new one will be even more exciting! See you guys in 2016!!

Lace Up by Shae Ross

Lace Up is a wonderful story filled with friendship, a healthy dose of competition and a chance at falling in love. As two rival universities battle it out in NYC, tensions run high when the end prize can change everything.

Team Ryan, an all girls team from MSU, is ready to take on any challenge thrown at them in the entrepreneurship competition. In addition to winning an internship at a prestigious business company, a large monetary sum can help cover law school tuition or medical bills for Ryan, Jade and Devi. The only people standing in their way is the all boys team.

Team Jett, a bunch of rich frat boys from U of M, needs to meet their families expectations. Winning this competition can give Jett the upper hand in gaining a position in his father's company. And losing it against an all girls team would be a never ending story. He'll do whatever it takes to make his team end up on top.

This was a very enjoyable read! As much as I love the different personalities of each team, the clashing between Ryan and Jett was my favorite. You can feel all sorts of tension tension from the moment they met to the ending when they announce the winners. There will be moments where you'll laugh out loud at their banter or swoon over Jett. As relationships begin to build between the teams, during their on and off times, winning in the end doesn't sound as great as it did in the beginning.

Another plus is the dual POV from Jett and Ryan. I absolutely love these types of books. You'll get a chance to see both sides of the story, the build up of the relationship, and the problems each team will have to face and solve. Lace up will definitely draw you in until the very end.

4 STARS - Really Liked It!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Steal Me by Lauren Layne

Where do I even start?! Lauren Layne has blown me away again. She is one of my all time favorite romance authors, covering all types of romance I love. From second chances to sports romance, she'll never disappoint! Steal Me is the second installment in her New York's Finest series, following the legendary Moretti family in the NYPD. It can be read as a stand-alone but I would recommend reading Frisk Me to get the whole experience. And with a little side note: If you love the show Blue Bloods, you will love this series!

As the oldest son of the Moretti family and Captain of the NYPD, Anthony deals with all types of drama in his life. On one end of the table, his father, former NYPD commissioner, keeps him on his toes about current cases. While on the other end, his Nonna loves to put his love life under the scope. With no complete answer to either case, he'll just have to deflect them until he does. The only way is to have no distractions...and Maggie is definitely a distraction.

Starting over after a disastrous marriage, the Darby Diner is the only place where Maggie Walker can make ends meet. Long hours and late shifts may be a couple downsides but seeing the faces of the Moretti family every Sunday morning is always something to look forward to...especially Anthony's. After a rough start of unintentional spills and grimaces, a case brings them together. In order to catch a sly serial thief, they'll have to cooperate, even through all the hot, heavy, sexual tension.

Everything about the book was amazing: plot line, character development, dynamics of secondary characters, and most importantly: chemistry. Romance without chemistry is like an adventure without plans. Can't have one without the other! And oh boy did Lauren Layne build that chemistry to an explosive romance. I love how Lauren took her time to build the tension. It's like falling in the love with the characters while they fall in love with each other. You can't help but fall for Anthony's brooding behavior and Maggie's fearlessness, just like Darcy and Lizzy. Who wouldn't want a Darcy hero? The plot had a great balance: as many thrills as there were laughs, from swoon-worthy moments to sexy times, and cameos of former couples and possible new ones. Lauren Layne knows exactly draw you in. My absolute favorite part of the book is the family dynamic. I just love how close they all are. Everyone is so relatable and likable. Especially Nonna! Her need to mettle with her grand children's love lives reminds me of another one of my favorite series, The Bet by Rachel Van Dyken. If you are also into suspense romances, like Julie James, you are in for a treat with Steal Me. All I can say is that it's one of my favorites of the year!


Sunday, November 29, 2015

First Touch by Laurelin Paige

When I read the description for First Touch, I knew it would be a pretty amazing read. It had a mix of romance, mystery, suspense and thriller. The second you start reading, you won't be able to put it down.

What would you do if you got a voicemail from a friend you haven't heard in years? You would return their call and make plans to catch up, right? Well, it wasn't easy for Emily's case. When her former best friend, Amber, calls out of the blue, two spoken words sent chills up Emily's spine. Their safety words. They always looked out for one another, especially during messy times. With no way to return contact, it made matters worse.

The only way to find Amber is to trace back to the last place she was seen, on an exclusive ranch with Reeve Sallis. He was Emily's last connection to Amber and she would do whatever it takes to find out what happened to her. Seducing him won't be a problem but falling for him might as she spends time to gain his trust and unlock his secrets.

Everything about the book was so intense: the plot line, interactions, and chemistry between Reeve and Emily, You can't tell if they were acting or if it was real. They were both manipulative, using each other for their own benefits. But, they didn't know until its too late. His domineering nature smoothed out her restlessness while her hotheadedness made him more protective. With Emily digging deeper to find Amber, you don't know if you can trust Reeve. Is Amber just missing or is she dead? The plot line just drew you in and wouldn't let go. Even to the last page. You just might bang your head against the wall, wanting to know what will happen next.

5 STARS - Loved it!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill

Call Me, Maybe by Ellie Cahill is a cute read about moving past insecurities and finding oneself. It doesn't mean you necessarily have to find love to do so. All you need is a push in the right direction. 

The Daly name is legendary and Clementine doesn't want to disappoint her family. Her siblings have figured out their lives, but she has yet to figure out hers. Hoping to guide Clementine into the family's real estate business, her grandparents invite her and her brother to their headquarters. While they board from Chicago, she runs into a handsome fellow and only few words were exchanged. Surprisingly, she didn't expect to hear from him after they landed in LA. As It turns out, her brother accidentally grabbed the wrong phone and she is without it for a week. Making sure important messages get answered, daily phone calls and texts turn into an unexpected friendship. But will friendship turn into something more when the week ends? 

Ellie Cahill has written a delightful story that seems too perfect. When swoon worthy phone calls turn steamy, Justin knows all the right words to say. And the moment when them meet face to face has to be one of my favorite scenes. Like I said, everything about Justin seems too perfect, which made me a bit suspicious of his actions and question if they are truly genuine. As the story goes on, Cahill knows how to keep you on your toes with all the secrets. If you want a light and easy read, Call Me Maybe might be the book for you!

4 STARS - I really liked it!

Friday, November 20, 2015

The Truth About Him by M. O'Keefe

The Truth About Him starts right where Everything I Left Unsaid left off. When one issue get resolved, another one pops up along the way...then another one and another one. The plot line keeps you wondering if they'll ever have a happy ending. While the first book was focused on Annie's story, O'Keefe has written a good transition into Dylan's story. 

The beginning questions the future of Dylan and Annie relationship. With the appearance of a forgotten character, will Annie face her demons in order to move forward? While events unravel, they leave her questioning her morality. Unable to stay away, Dylan wants to protect Annie after learning her secret. As his past catches up with him, Annie begins to understand why Dylan lives alone on the mountain. Threats are made against Dylan when his brother goes missing. In order to protect the people he care about, he needs to find Max. 

Why three stars? The plot was well written but a bit choppy. Similar to the first book, the author uses first person POV with one main character and third person POV with the other. If it was kept consistent, the writing would have been more smooth. Although there was was great chemistry between Dylan and Annie, readers might have a better connection with secondary characters than the main ones, leading to a loss of interest with the story. Without the secondary characters, the story wouldn't be as enjoyable. Overall, the story was good. O'Keefe keeps readers on their toes but it was a bit predictable.

3 STARS - I Liked It!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Trouble with Destiny by Lauren Morrill

This is my second book by Lauren Morrill and I liked it as much as Meant to Be. Like all young adult books, the plot had a little bit of everything: drama, conflicting love interests, and lasting friendships. When it all takes place on a cruise makes it even more interesting. No matter how big the ship can can't run away from all the drama.

Liza's heart lies within her band. But with program on the brink of getting cut, she's determined to do whatever it takes to win the $25000 prize to keep it afloat. And it's not an easy journey...with an ex-best friend (Demi) as her top competitor, her childhood crush (Lenny) idling in the wings, and a band member (Russ) who's an ex of the enemy. Will she stand a chance against Demi? Will a relationship blossom with Lenny? Is Russ actually there to help them win or sabotage their chances? With the help of her friends, will she be able to win both the prize and a chance at love? 

The story is easy to read, characters filled with different personalities, and love interests stirring more competition. Overall, It was a very cute read but highly predictable. Like most young adult novels in a high school setting, you have your usual cliques: jocks, band geeks, and popular crew. Popular girls mingling with the hottest guys, belittling the band geeks and scheming to get on top. The outcome may be predictable but the journey there was interesting and the ending was very cute. 

Why not higher rating?
Character development and chemistry are two important factors in any story. Although there was some character development and love sparks, it all felt rushed near the end. It's nice to see a character develop slowly throughout the book. One moment, they rarely communicate. But the next, they become very close. Then, all of a sudden, they're together in the end. I just wished there was more time for the relationship to develop. Overall, everything just needed time to build.

3 STARS - I liked it!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Nuts by Alice Clayton

Ever since I came across Alice Clayton, I didn't think I would find another book of hers that would top off the funny, charming and saucy characters from Wallbanger. Boy was I wrong...Clayton actually kicked it up a notch with Nuts. Although I love everything about Simon from Wallbanger, I have to say...I love Leo a little bit more.

Roxie Callahan is a private chef, catering clients all over LA. Ever since she was younger, food is her passion. Anything you want, she can make it. The only difficult thing is dealing with a particular client and her obnoxious requests. When one tiny detail goes wrong, everything falls apart. On top of that, she receives a call from her mom asking her to come home after so many years apart. As much as she loves her, she is hesitant to go back to the place she always wanted to leave. But with the request of just staying over the summer to look after the family diner, she is willing to step in. It's only three months, right?...then she can go back to her life in LA. The only unexpected part of the plan was forming close connections with the people she met, especially Leo. Leo is one of the town's local farmers, supplying produce to local businesses. Known as the town's hottest bachelor, will Roxie be the one to hook Leo? Or will it be the other way around?

Chemistry and dynamics between characters is always a key factor for me. If you don't feel the chemistry, you can't connect with the book. I just loved Nuts! Roxie and Leo had major chemistry, from the point them met to the end. Oh gosh, the meet-cute and the different face-to-face moments in the beginning of the book were hilarious. It was just perfect. Leo was so charming and Roxie was so sassy! They had a great balance in dynamics as their relationship grew. There were also parts of the book that I didn't see coming which made it more interesting. I just love a little bit of drama. As for secondary characters, I just love Roxie's high school crush and how he adds something to the table. As well as her best friends from cooking school, I can't wait to read their stories in the series. I wish Cream would come sooner!!

5 STARS - Loved it!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Childstar 1 by JJ McAvoy

JJ. McAvoy has done it again! She is one of my favorite authors and I love her writing style. You can easily connect with the characters and immerse yourselves in her books. When I started this one, I couldn't put it down! Can't wait for the other releases!!

Amelia London and Noah Sloan had a history. Growing up as child stars, Amelia has the image of America's sweetheart, whereas Noah is known as the bad boy. As children, they went from coworkers to friends. As teens, friendship develops to love and then poof. It all falls apart because of a scandal, leaving Amelia with a broken heart and a determination to never cross paths with Noah again. Now, as their fame begins to dwindle, a opportunity emerges when a bestseller makes it to the big screen. One audition led to another and they come face to face after all those years apart. The attraction is still there but can they put their differences aside during film production?

I love the character development. As you read the story, layers begin to fall apart and you begin to understand what went wrong with their relationship in the first place. You can also see how they bring out the best and the worst out in each other. While I read it book, it felt like I was watching a movie because the chemistry between the two was SO GOOD! All their interactions were well written from the auditions to filming. I just love all the bickering, snide remarks, and the need to see each other when their brains say no. It's like there is an invisible line connected between them. When things are revealed and a plot twist occurs, you just want more! Overall, I love the book and wish all three books came out at once so I don't have to wait!!

4.5 STARS - Really Liked It!

Meet Me in Manhattan by Claudia Carroll

Let's just say I will be reading more Claudia Carroll books! I absolutely loved this one. It took me a while to get through the first couple chapters but I'm glad I powered through. It turned out to be a very sweet, funny and adorable novel! Makes me want to take my own trip to Manhattan during the holidays. 

Holly Johnson is like any single woman out there, hoping to find love. With technology these days, it's faster and easier to meet people online. Although I'm not quite of fan of online dating, Holly manages to connect with a guy who seems to be perfect. Andy McCoy is a pilot, family man, a guy who is willing to call first thing in the morning and right before you fall asleep. Unfortunately, emails and phone calls will only do for now with the Atlantic between them. So when there are opportunities of his plane landing in Ireland, promising arrangements to meet were made. After a couple of missed connections due to work conflicts, third time's a charm right? Sadly, no. A third cancellation leaves Holly wondering if this guy is even real. Through connections, she discovers that Andy's messages originate from New York City...not Atlanta where he is stationed. As a journalist, Holly wants to investigate and confront the guy behind the messages. So a surprise trip to Manhattan ensued and it leads to an unexpected adventure of discovering herself and finding love. With Christmas around the corner and snow fall in Central Park, it all makes the trip even more exciting. 

Carroll loves details so as you read, a picture was always painted. That's what I loved most about this book. It just makes you want to keep reading until it's finished. There are some twists and unexpected scenarios that makes you think: oh no! There are not many books that I've read, which started with two characters meeting online. So, it was refreshing to come across it. In the end, the book makes you wonder if the people you meet online are really who you think they are. It's true that people lie occasionally online but how far would the lies go?

4 STARS - Really Liked It!

Little side note: I just came back from a trip to Manhattan so it made me want to go back even more. Especially to all the places the characters traveled to! Next time, I'll have to add those to the list. Maybe, I'll even find a love like they did in the book. One can only hope! :)

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Falling Hard By Tina Wainscott

I'm a sucker for second chances romances! Filled with drama in a small town, Tina Wainscott's Falling Hard brings together two loves who didn't get the chance to fall in love the first time around. 

The moment they linked eyes at the race track seven years ago, Gemma knew she is a goner. Pax felt the searing connection as she walked up to his car. Even though they just met, he was tempted to kiss her right then and there. But Gemma couldn't...she couldn't get involved with a guy known for causing trouble. She was quickly thrown into a loop of friends who gave her a sense of belonging. Something she was looking for, for a long time. An unfortunate incident occurred, leaving her shamed by everyone, including Pax. She had no choice but to leave. 

After hearing about her father's accident, Gemma returns to take care of the only things she care about: her father and the B&B. When she crosses paths with Pax, she didn't expect him to fall on the list too. Pax knew he would run into her eventually but staying away from her was going to be difficult. He promised her father that he would take care of everything. With differences aside, Pax and Gemma have to work together until her father recovers. The more time they spend together, the truth begins to unravel and Pax doesn't know what to believe anymore. He begins to see the true Gemma and not the girl everyone described years ago. 

There was great character development in the book. Gemma grows to feel more comfortable in her own skin and finds her true self. Pax breaks down the walls placed my his family's expectations and follows his own dreams. Together, they discover new things about each other and fall in love along the way. Books with second chances are meant to have happily ever afters. A missed connection going in the right direction.

3.5 STARS - I liked it!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Broken Resolutions by Olivia Dade

Olivia Dade's Broken Resolutions started out strong. I did like the concept of a New Year's Eve singles night at a library. Who wouldn't want to fall in love surrounded by books? The event was fun to read and the games were hilarious. However, I felt the plot was rushed and I just lost interest halfway through. 

Penelope is a shy librarian, who has given up on the prospect of love because of past disastrous relationships. It's hard for her to trust any guys so her New Year's Resolution is not to fall love. Of course it all changes when Jack walks into the library. Jack is a writer, who goes by a pen name because he likes to keep his personal life private. So when he meets Penelope, he is hesitant of revealing his true identity. 

Like I said, the plot felt a bit rush. One moment Jack was brooding over the situation he was in and the next moment he was trying to win her love. Can you really fall in love in half a day? Possibly. But the way he did it was poorly executed. There were some cute moments but I just I couldn't connect with the characters. Their relationship didn't take time to develop. You'll want to fall in love with the characters as they fall in love in the book. It just didn't happen for me. Although I was a bit disappointed, it was an interesting plot line. 

Will I read the second book in the series? Probably. Angie is a secondary character who also works in the library. She is quite the opposite of Penelope and her boldness makes her stand out. I like her personality so it will be interesting to see how she falls in love.

2 STARS - It was okay.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Everything I Left Unsaid by M. O'Keefe

I'M BACK!! After a couple weeks of studying, I can finally post up some reviews! My first review will be the latest book I have completed. Then following book I will review later will be the ones I have read but didn't have the time to write reviews for. If you're wondering when I read them, I'll include dates finished in the end. So here it goes!!

This is my first book by O'Keefe! After reading the blurb, I was really curious of how it will all play out through phone calls. But after finishing the book, I was a little disappointed. 

Annie is the girl, who's running away from an abusive relationship and ended up in a trailer park, hoping to stay hidden. A ringing comes out of nowhere and it can't be hers....she left everything behind. Dylan's name flashes on an abandoned phone and she is left deciding to decline or accept. Curiosity wins and a very attractive voice answers (of course right?!) At first, everything is innocent but as they reveal bits and pieces of each other, it becomes intense. I'm not going to lie but their conversations were surprisingly hot but on a creepy side. I would be so uncomfortable doing that to a complete stranger! But as they continue this "relationship", they couldn't help but form a major connection and have a 'need' for that connection through the phone. But as more information is reveal and a dangerous situation looms around the corner, they would have to eventually meet. And when they do meet, I had a Beauty and the Beast moment haha That is when everything unravels and everything left unsaid is said. Would the revelations get in the way of their strange relationship? We wouldn't know because duh duh duh....there is a cliffhanger! Would I read this book again? Maybe not....but would I read the sequel? Yes, because I'm curious about how they will end up together. I'm hopeful for a HEA. 

Why not more that 3 stars? The layout of the book was a little weird. Annie's chapters were from a first person POV, while Dylan's chapters were from in third person POV. I wish the author would keep it consistent, alternating from Annie and Dylan's chapters from a first person POV. Most books I've read from alternating POVs were in that format.

3 STARS - I liked it!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

More Reviews to Come!

It's be pretty crazy these past couple weeks but I will say there will be more book reviews coming your way! Hopefully I won't get too far behind! :P The next couple weeks are crucial for school so after they're complete, you will get a boatload of reviews.

Books to look forward to:

Feel free to check out the links and add them to you to-reads list! Ryker is part of a sports romance series so if you're in the mood for one, pick one that interests you. You don't have to read them in any order but it's nice to read their story before they make their cameos later in the series. 

Happy Reading and see you in the next couple weeks!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Irresistibly Yours by Lauren Layne

You can never go wrong with a Lauren Layne novel. Her books are so sweet, funny, and filled with swoon-worthy guys (especially those in suits)! You can't help but fall in love with the them.

I'm a huge fan of her Stiletto series so when I heard about a spin-off with her Oxford guys...I almost died from happiness. You don't have to read the Stiletto series before this book but I would highly recommend it because you'll have some background information on the other characters in the book. You'll have a better understanding of their quirks and relationship dynamics. You just need the whole experience! 

Cole Sharpe is a freelance sports writer at Oxford, looking to join the team full time when they decide to expand the sports column. Wouldn't be so hard since he's buddies with most of them, right? Wrong. In walks Penelope Pope, who is a great contender with her special skills in sports history and writing analysis. Not only does she have the same tastes as Cole in sports but their attraction for each other is undeniable. So it's hard for them to resist each other when circumstances pull them together. Rules were set to prevent any clashes of personal and professional matters while not falling in love was on the top of their the agenda. My question is: How can you not fall in love?! Penelope has set up walls from previous infatuations and she can't accept the possibility of love in her life. But as Cole continue to surprise her with his amicable charm, there might be chance at more than just friends.... 

The plot is easy to read, filled with girlfriends who you wish were your friends, charming fellows who you wish were real, and humorous office powwows that will leave you wanting more. So excited for what Lauren Layne has in store for the next two in the series because I can't wait to fall in love with them too. (Especially Lincoln's)

4 STARS - Really liked it!

Saturday, September 26, 2015


As I sit here waiting
Waiting for you to come
My mind flashes back
Back to when you've gone

Silence had taken over
Over a single moment
Where everything went dark
Darker than we expected

Before words were spoken
Spoken irrationally and untrue
You knew how I felt
Felt about loving you

As things slowly changed
Changed to understanding
How deception can ruin
Ruin everthing we had created

Walls have been built
Built against our better judgement
Refusing to accept love
As love began to diminish

Was I wrong to wait
Waiting for your return
Can it be fixed
Fixed or completely done

Thursday, September 24, 2015

No Interest In Love by Cassie Mae

Cassie Mae has done it again! I just love love love her books. Her stories are unique, funny, charming, and such a cute read. I just couldn't stop smiling. No Interest In Love one of those stories where you're not looking for love but end up falling when you least expect it. 

Jace and Shay have know each other for years but only through several random encounters. When fate throws them together again, she is assigned as his agent and help him land his next major role. While she was immune to his advances before, she could do it again right? He's the type of guy she doesn't want, a guy who wants only one night with no attachment or love. And she's the type of girl he doesn't need, a girl who wants to be taken seriously. As a new role opens up across the country, Shay will have to do whatever it takes to prove to herself that she can do her job without anything getting in the way. What begins as simple as a one way plane trip turns into a series of mishaps and an unexpected road trip. As things begin to fall apart, they each reveal something new along the way. Things you can't help but fall for. 

I love the dynamic between Jace and Shay. After those run-ins over the years, they developed this playful banter filled with inside jokes, slight smiles, and never ending arguments. You just can't help but wonder why they aren't together. Although they have their reasons, they can always find their way around them. Jace is such a charming character. Since it is from his POV, you can't help but swoon over the thoughts that ran through his head when their dynamic changes throughout the trip. He does go through quite a bit of character development and I love the way Mae has written it. I like how Jace discovers more about himself and doesn't know what he wants until it's right in front of him. 

I love the format of the book. Instead of the usual chapters, days and times marked the start and end of their journey. It's actually a refreshing change and you get reeled in even more.

4.5 STARS - Really liked it!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Doing It For Love by Cassie Mae

I have loved Cassie Mae's How To series and after reading this blurb, I was excited for it because it was different. Most books describe the process of falling in love that may or may not lead to a happy ever after. But not many books describe what happens the ever after. What happens after the years you have been together where the love isn't is as exciting as it used to be but is still there? When it's not as spontaneous and became more of a routine? Mae was able to capture that aspect and turn it around.
Liz Fanning and Landon Wangford have met Freshman year in college and hit it off right at the start. Years have past and everything is not as romantic as it used to be. Real life and responsibilities take the front seat. Landon is busy directing a movie while Liz works overtime to make ends meet. Exhaustion takes over so how do they have time for each other? While Liz wants the strawberries and whip cream, they'll have to settle for the peas and carrots. When Landon pops the question, Liz tries to rekindle the love by placing a bet on the table, hoping to make the wedding day more special. 

The plot had great character development. Even though they each want something different in the beginning, they slowly begin to discover new insecurities about each other and changes happen. Although the love is always there, the process of preparing for the wedding, getting along with your future in-laws, and saving up for the honeymoon have added a few problems along the way. They just have to figure out how to get around it without losing some love in the process. 

It is a cute read! It didn't quite capture my attention in the beginning because you just have to be in the mood to read a certain book. But after putting it on hold and coming back to it, I actually really liked it despite putting it down. After all the little discoveries and falling into a deeper love they never knew they had, I love how it ended. Overall, it was a great read!

4 STARS - Really liked it! 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sounds Like Me - My Life (so far) in Song by Sara Bareilles

This is actually my first non-fiction book I've reviewed and I'm so glad it was Sara Bareilles'. She is such an amazing song writer and I knew she'll be able to take us on her life journey. 

It's always a treat to get to know the artist behind the music. All the emotions artists have to process while writing, recording and performing should be told to help listeners get the full experience. Then you get a better connection to your artist! I believe Sara was able to do that. 

There was a great flow with the layout of the book. I love how each chapter of her journey was titled after one of her songs. It makes the chapters even more unique. Sara was able to captivate my attention with her experiences of heartbreak, struggles, and break-throughs. When you know the story behind the song, you actually appreciate it much more. Gravity has to be my favorite chapter with Brave as a close second. In one sitting, I have cried, laughed, and smiled. (People might've thought I was crazy haha) Her stories show you that people can go through similar struggles and emotions. The only difference is finding your way around it. 

I also love how she incorporated letters and stories written by the people she have met (friends, artists, and fans). She also changed up her style by having a chapter dedicated to letters she has written to her 13 yr. old self. It actually made me want to write letters to my future/past self. By incorporating all these personal materials, you can feel the connection. 

I know this book might have been a struggle to write for Sara but I think she did an amazing job. I wish she was able to come to Philadelphia for a book tour because it would be different experience to meet her in person. But it didn't make the cut, which I totally understand with her busy schedule with Waitress and new album release! I can't wait to see what she has next up her sleeve because I know she'll be awesome at it too!

4 STARS - Really liked it!

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Friction by Sawyer Bennett

Sawyer Bennett is one of my favorite contemporary writers. She just knows how to hook you in with her plot lines, especially her Legal Affairs Series and spin-offs. This book definitely had the Good Wife feel to it (reminded me of Will and Alicia) because it had two strong-willed protagonists. They are both top-notch lawyers, on opposing counsels, determined to win their case until love gets in the way. 

Leary Michaels, coming from a not so fortunate childhood, has to use her skills and charm to succeed in a field dominated by men. She'll do whatever it takes to be at the top of her game. So what happens when she meets the opposing counsel with the same game plan? Sparks fly. Reeve Halloway knows his way around the courtroom but an encounter with Leary changes everything. 

The chemistry between the two characters is amazing because Sawyer Bennett knows how to build the tension (in and out of the courtroom). As their relationship changes from enemies to lovers, walls begin to break down and it can potentially turn into something more. But as the case takes a serious turn, will they risk it in order to win? 

I love books with dual POVs because you can see the plot at different angles. Especially since some scenes take place in a courtroom, you'll get to see how each of them process and build their case against the other. You just get the full effect. Even when the relationship grows outside of the courtroom, you'll get to see their thoughts and emotions. No need of wondering how the guy feels in a situation or vice versa. 

It's a really great book. I don't even know how to describe how great it is. If you love banter between two very charming and tenacious characters, you'll love this book. This might be my favorite Sawyer Bennett thus far. I can't wait to see what happens next in the series! I hope there will be more because Ford deserves one. We'll just have to wait!

5 STARS - Loved it!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Make Your Own Rules Cookbook by Tara Stiles

I usually don't read cookbooks but this one was a treat. My sister is a fan of Tara Stiles so I decided to check this out before buying it. It's such an inviting read. 

The color scheme chosen for the book is eye catching and not distracting. With it's bright colors, cool designs, and small illustrations, it makes you want to flip through it over and over again in case you missed something. 

The layout of the book is simple and easy to follow. The first section starts out with what you need in general for your kitchen so you are always prepared. From appliances and tools to produce and spices, she'll help guide you through the process and keep you organized. As for the recipes, I love the way she titles them because it gives them a bit of a personality. She also gives a description for each recipe, sharing her experiences/thoughts about why she chose it or why it's special. The pictures included also gives the book a more personal touch. Not only does she share the end result of some recipes, there are pictures of the people she met and places she have gone to gather information for these recipes. It's like a story book of recipes. 

Overall, it is easy to follow and easy to make so if you are a newbie in the kitchen, this may be a great book for you. She includes alternative ingredients to make dishes more healthy without losing the flavor or authenticity of the dish. If you want to change your eating habits (and not by a lot), you will love it. I will definitely buy this book for myself and for my sister!

5 STARS - Love it!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Should've Said No by Tracy March

Where do I even start?! This is my first book by Tracy March and after reading this, I am definitely reading more books in this series. Should've Said No takes place in a small town called Thistle Bend. Although it's not real, it was based off of Crested Butte, Colorado (gonna add that to my list), which is filled with various mom & pop stores, beautiful scenery, and a handful of interesting characters. March reels you in to become part of it and it's just so darn cute.

It starts off with Lindsey Simms, a museum curator whose job went from organizing the Smithsonian in DC to a not so known place in the middle of nowhere. Although she may not like the change, it will be a challenge to organize the town's history when a feud between two families runs deep. (It had a Romeo and Juliet kinda feel to it) So who is the Romeo, you may ask? Carden Chreshaw. Not only is he the most eligible bachelor in Thistle, but the most swoon-worthy character. He knows how to woo a woman while not trying to woo a woman. haha The chemistry between the two is so strong that you wish there is someone out there like him. I just love it.

The feud is what drives the story. While trying not to take sides, Lindsey has to figure out the true story behind the land deal without getting on someone's bad side. As the history unravels, it gets harder for her to not reveal any secrets. Since Carden has a few secrets of his own, there is bound to be some drama. There may be a plot twist and it all depends on how good you are with predicting things. Overall, I love the way it is written. It's detail oriented, has alternating POVs, quirky secondary characters and great character development. You never know what might happen! Will the feud ever be solved? Will she finish what she is set out to do? Will they fall in love and live happily ever after? You just gotta read it. :)

5 STARS - Love it!

Monday, September 14, 2015

This Love of Mine by Miranda Liasson

Just finished my first ARC from NetGalley today! This Love of Mine by Miranda Liasson is a cute HEA read. Overall Rating: 3 stars

When I read the description for This Love of Mine, I knew instantly that it will be a good one. I am a sucker for small town romances, especially series of which follow different family members/friends and their quest of discovering love.

Meg Halloran is an independent, tell it how it is kind of women. And Benjamin Rushford is a big hot shot, always gets what he wants kind of man. While she is busy running her own bridal store and he aiming to get a promotion as an ER doctor, fate throws them together again in an elevator years later. This may not be a second chance romance where a couple falls out of love and falls back again. But it is a second chance of putting everything that happened in the past aside and being able to fall in love. 

Why not 4-5 stars? 
Some parts of the book were easily predictable. I usually like a twist in the plot to make it more exciting. And everything that can possibly go wrong, went wrong and it all magically gets resolved. I just couldn't help but laugh at the parts when everything is just perfect and it all falls into place. It just wouldn't happen in the real world for me but it may for someone. If you like a book where every character gets a happy ever after, you will love this book! On the flip side, there was great chemistry between the two, swoon-worthy moments, and charming side characters! I love Grandma Gloria and her sassiness. Especially Ben's sister, Sam, and her own little drama with love. And I bet Sam will get her love story in the 3rd Mirror Lake Novel. I hope it is because it was actually one part of the book that was not fully resolved! I also love books with weddings and doctors it was good read overall! 

3 STARS - Like it!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Start of New Chapter

Life is a roller coaster because it is filled with ups and downs and turns when you least expect it. Three years ago, I have started this blog for a Journalism class. I never thought I would continue it after but here I am. I am ready to start a new chapter in my life.

Since I want to improve on some writing techniques, I thought I should start writing reviews. Whether it is a review about books, food, movies, music, or t.v. shows, I want to broaden my horizons. It does sorta sound like a clique but isn't that part of life? Doing different things and discovering new things about yourself? You wouldn't know until you try, right? So this is me trying. I'm just going to do it and hope I that can become a better writer. I'm not the best but anything can be improved with a little bit of practice.

I love reading so I thought it will be easier to do a couple book reviews. It has been a few years since I have written in my blog but one of my entries have been book review. If you want to scroll back, it will be on one of my favorite books of all time called The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It was going to become a movie but I haven't heard any progress. It's upsetting because it does have the potential to become an exciting film. There hasn't been a lot of movies with magic lately. Not since the last Harry Potter movie was released in 2011. And I miss it! Harry Potter actually had it all: magic, adventure, rivals, friendships, and love. If they can complete the screenplay for The Night Circus, I will ecstatic! For now, all I can do is wait. It may not come but hoping is always a good feeling to have.

5 STARS - Love it!