Monday, July 30, 2012

Pieces of Us by Hannah Downing

Pieces of Us

Title: Pieces of Us
Author: Hannah Downing
Publication Date: April 5, 2011
Source: Bought
Summary (from Goodreads):

Charlotte Barnes believed her life was perfect until a betrayal forced her from everything she knew and loved. Devastated and trying to put the past behind her, Charlotte sought a new life in a new town.

Now, five years later, her fiancé has convinced her it’s time to return home and face her past. But will the truth she learns and the people she reconnects with destroy her carefully crafted happiness?

Hannah Downing has created an emotional rollercoaster about lost love and the way one indiscretion can change the course of your life. Charlotte questions every decision she’s ever made, but she may discover that when you lose everything, you can truly find yourself.

When I started reading Pieces of Us I was immediately overcome with a sense of déjà vu. I started looking through my pile of books. Had I read this one already and not written a review for it? Nope. Turned out I had read it before, but back when it was fan fiction and I hadn’t finished – can’t remember why now. Maybe I just became too busy or maybe I just grew bored. *sigh* Either way, I trudged ahead and I’m glad I did.

The story starts off with a little back story of our two characters Charlotte and Cameron as teenagers-early twenties. And then we’re thrown into the future by two years where Charlotte and Cameron are a happily married couple – or not. Charlotte starts the chapter off by finding a text from her best friend to Cameron and an affair is revealed. Charlotte, having the strength not all of us would have, leaves her unfaithful bastard husband and eventually flees her tiny town and in doing so meets Owen.

Can I just saw how much I loved Owen? He was my favourite. My heart bled for this character so many times in the book. He just pulled me in so deeply.

Owen and Charlotte move back to her hometown and that’s when trouble begins with her ex-husband and Charlotte is torn between her love for both men. Yes, she’s still in love with the lying, cheating ex.

But is all as it seems?

Downing pulls you in with her writing, even when you want to roll your eyes at some of the childish antics of the characters. I wasn’t a fan of the confrontation in David’s office at all and thought that was a real low point of the book.

Although the book didn’t end the way I had hoped, I did think the story had a cute ending and wrapped the book up but still let you imagine for yourself what happens after.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Interview with Alexandrea Weis

Afternoon all!

Back in March I wrote a  review for Broken Wings by Alexandrea Weis. She also wrote a guest post following the review. Well, Alenxandrea is back with another book, another blog tour and an interview this time around.

About the book:

Describe your book in one sentence. Head of an organization of elite spies, Dallas August is asked to uncover what secrets a reclusive woman, Gwen Marsh, is hiding about a mafia kingpin’s death
Give me a quick blurb about the book and do pitch on why you think readers will enjoy it. A roller coaster ride filled with intrigue and plot twists that will leave the read hungry for more, the life of Dallas August, secret broker, is about to get very interesting.
As the head of an organization of elite spies, Dallas is asked to uncover what secrets a reclusive woman, Gwen Marsh, is hiding about a mafia kingpin’s death. Dallas must pose as a bodyguard in order to get close to Gwen. Soon Dallas learns that others are interested in Gwen when he stumbles upon the FBI monitoring her every move. But Gwen does not make it easy for Dallas and he is challenged by her intelligence and stubbornness at every turn. But with the FBI and the Mafia vying for the woman’s information, he can’t afford to lose his objectivity When Gwen finally lowers her defenses and confides in Dallas, his job is done. He returns to his organization in New York. Ann unexpected turn of events leads Dallas back to Gwen’s doorstep, where he discovers the Gwen Marsh he thought he was protecting, wasn’t Gwen Marsh at all. Who was Dallas protecting? And where is the real Gwen Marsh? Dallas August is about to find out how dangerous life can be as one of …The Secret Brokers.   

How did you come up with the idea for the book? It is part of a series but I like exploring the characters in depth. The storyline comes as I write it. I never know where a novel is going half the time and surprise myself in the process.  

When did you start writing it, and how long did it take you to finish it? The entire novel took about 2 to 3 weeks. I write pretty quickly from start to finish. Then I go back through it and fill in more detail. The entire writing process takes about a month.

If your book was made into a movie, who would you want to play the main characters?
 I don’t like to pin my characters to an actress or actor in my head. It takes away from what I am writing. I think I would have to go through a lot of casting calls until I found someone who fit what I was writing. There is a lot more to it than looks for me.

About you as writer:

When did you begin writing? I was eight and stared with poetry, by high school I was writing mostly short stories.

When did you first think, wow I have made it as a writer? I am still waiting for that moment. I think all writers are still waiting for that moment.

Do you have any special rituals you do when you sit down to write? Gum. Always have plenty of gum on hand.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers out there? Write. No matter what just keep writing. The more you write the better you get.  

Silly questions:

Favorite color? Red

Salty or Sweet? Salty

Favorite author? Ian Fleming

Favorite book? The Nature of Alexander/Mary Renault

One thing you cannot live without? Running.

Vampire or werewolf? Vampire

Monday, July 16, 2012

Nursing Second Chances by Maggie Greene

Nursing Second Chances

Title: Nursing Second Chances
Author: Maggie Greene
Publishing Date: May 13, 2012
Source: ABG Reads Book Tours
Summary (from Goodreads):

 A Honey Creek Sweet Romance

Kiersten Hart left Honey Creek the minute she graduated high school and never looked back. When her sister Jeanine is widowed and left to raise two children alone, Kiersten moves back on a temporary basis. When Charles steps in and sweeps her off her feet, she has to decide if the wounds from her childhood can be mended.

After his wife died, Charles Webber swore he’d never love anyone again. He buried himself in his work and didn’t look up until he found out his son was sick. Moving to Honey Creek was supposed to make things easier. Kiersten does little to help keep things simple. Though he is taken with her, he soon realizes the casual relationship they agreed on is turning serious. As their expiration date approaches, Charles must decide if Kiersten is worth the risk.



Don't forget to check out Maggie Greene's guest post about what inspired her heroine.

 I always have mixed feelings when it comes to novellas. I like a well thought out plot with characters that have depth. I want a back story. I like to know where they’ve come from, what makes them tick and what has led them to be the kind of people they are. I want conflict and intrigue that’s drawn out enough to keep me interested but not so long that I lose interest and it becomes boring because I just don’t care what happens anymore. And then I want an ending that feels like it has really completed the story- happily ever after or not, it doesn’t matter. I just want to feel like I’ve gotten something out of the read. It’s hard (for me) to feel like I can get that from a novella.

Nursing Second Chances is a sweet story, it really is. I think it has a lot of potential to be a great book, but I just wasn’t feeling it as a novella.

I didn’t really learn anything about the characters besides a few thrown in facts. Charles used to be a big time lawyer and lost his wife in childbirth. How? Not exactly sure because all we’re told is it was “some weird complication.” That could have been built on so much from Charles’s point of view, but it was left at that. Oh, we also learn that he’s a volunteer fireman. Um, yum! That earns Ms. Greene brownie points right there. 

Kiersten ran away from the small town she grew up in because of rumours. Yes, rumours. Again this could have been such a great plot! Found in the backseat of a truck with your boyfriend? Not a big deal, really. Found out your boyfriend made a secret sex tape and showed it around? Yes, that would have definitely been humiliating enough to run away from. If a character is going to run from something, make it worth running from. I just thought the author exaggerated the fallout from the rumour that was spread about Kiersten in high school. I know small towns are built differently – I’ve lived in them and know how suffocating they can be – so yes, it would have followed her around for a while. But, as a reader, I just don’t believe it would have had the consequences the author wrote about. Sure Kiersten would want to run away from her past and go somewhere where she could start over. That I totally get. But…I don’t know. I just don’t think it would have been as blown out of proportion as it was perceived.

I did, however, really love Jason. He was such a sweet little boy and his actions to gain Kiersten’s attention toward the end was almost heartbreaking. I would have loved to have read more interaction between Charles, Kiersten and Jason as a “family” unit. And I really did enjoy the budding relationship between Kiersten and Charles. They were a sweet couple, both coming with baggage and uncertainty about what they wanted, but it was that part of them that helped them discover what they together.

There was one thing that really felt off and that was the reason behind Kiersten moving back home. She was supposed to be there to help her sister after her husband’s death. But we never see Kiersten actually doing anything to help her sister. Considering she was supposed to be there to help with the kids she was rarely with the kids. I just think that could have been included more in the story so we get a real sense of why she’s there.

I know that novellas are rushed stories and it’s hard to fit a lot of information into it because that would defeat the purpose of writing a short story. But as a reader, if I’m going to read a short story I want it to be one that’s well written and interesting. As sweet as Nursing Second Chances is, I really didn’t get enough out of it. And I hate to say that with this one because I truly believe it has the potential to be amazing. 

**I received a free copy of Nursing Second Chances for an honest review

You can find the schedule for the rest of the tour here

Nursing Second Chances is available from
Turquoise Morning Press 
Barnes & Noble

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky

Not My Daughter

Title: Not My Daughter
Author: Barbara Delinsky
Publishing Date: January 5, 2010
Source: Bought
Summary (from Goodreads):

When Susan Tate's seventeen-year-old daughter, Lily, announces she is pregnant, Susan is stunned. A single mother, she has struggled to do everything right. She sees the pregnancy as an unimaginable tragedy for both Lily and herself.

Then comes word of two more pregnancies among high school juniors who happen to be Lily's best friends-and the town turns to talk of a pact. As fingers start pointing, the most ardent criticism is directed at Susan. As principal of the high school, she has always been held up as a role model of hard work and core values. Now her detractors accuse her of being a lax mother, perhaps not worthy of the job of shepherding impressionable students. As Susan struggles with the implications of her daughter's pregnancy, her job, financial independence, and long-fought-for dreams are all at risk.

The emotional ties between mothers and daughters are stretched to breaking in this emotionally wrenching story of love and forgiveness. Once again, Barbara Delinsky has given us a powerful novel, one that asks a central question: What does it take to be a good mother?


Not My Daughter is a book about four teen friends that make a pact to become pregnant and raise the babies on their own, sans fathers. The book is mainly centered on Susan and her daughter Lily, who is one of the pregnant teens. Susan, a high school principal, single mom (and a former teen mother herself), is pushed to the limits within the pages both emotionally and professionally when it becomes known that the pact is not only in her school but involves her daughter as well.

At first I wasn't sure I wanted to read it, but I'm really glad I did. I can identify with the main character as a mother, and it made me stop and think 'what if my kids did this?' All the questions that are raised in this book about what makes a good mother definitely ran through my mind. If my child fails in society is it my fault, or is it all on her/him? Did I not spend enough time teaching them right from wrong, good from bad? Did they do this to draw attention to themselves from others or to get attention from me? The relationship between mother and daughter is tested, in what I think, are very real emotions and thoughts.

Even though Lily’s parents are not together, her father is still a part of her life. He’s absent most of the story until Susan tells him about their daughter’s pregnancy and all of a sudden, wonder dad is present and in their lives full time. I found that a bit forced, given Susan never wanted him around in the first place, or at least never wanted to marry him and insisted he go off on his own to find his own life.

I was slightly disappointed in the ending, wishing Delinsky would have put a little more focus on Lily’s labour and birth. But it really is a book based on how a mother feels and what she goes through, despite it being about a teenage pregnancy, so I can understand why she ended like she did. I would have also liked to know why the girls wanted/thought they needed babies. That was never mentioned in the story, and I think it should have been a conversation mother and daughter had.

All in all I thought it was a good read, mainly because it made me think of what I would do in the situation. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

Liebster Blog Award...Part 2


Thank you, Kristen, for my second nomination for a Liebster Blog Award! If you haven't yet you should definitely check out her blog Home is where the book is

Since I've already been through this once before and did my nominations for the other blogs - you can check that out here - I'll go ahead and answer Kristen's questions.

1. Kindle or Book? Kindle because it's convenient when I have so many books on the go.
2. Favorite Book? Water for Elephants
3. How long have you been blogging? Three months or so
4. Favorite Author? It's hard to pick one, but I adore Lauren Dane
5. Birthday or Christmas? Christmas
6. Favorite Season? Spring
7. What author living or dead would you like to meet? Stephen King
8. Hardback or paperback? Paperback
9. Favorite song? Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol
10. Favorite genre to read? I'm cheating and saying both paranormal romance and adult/erotica romance. Mix the two together and you've got my attention
11. Favorite TV show? The Vampire Diaries

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Trust in Advertising by Victoria Michaels

Trust in Advertising

Title: Trust in Advertising
Author: Victoria Michaels
Publishing Date: July 27, 2010
Source: Bought
Summary (from Goodreads):

Lexi White finds herself at a crossroads. After putting everything on hold to care for her ailing father, it’s finally time for her to start living her life again. An exciting new job holds the promise of a fresh start, until she comes face to face with someone from her past who has always stopped her dead in her tracks, and who evidently still has the power to make her forget her own name. This time around, Lexi’s a grown woman who refuses to back away from her dreams, even if it requires working with her old high school crush. Side by side. Every day. Will he end up being her downfall or exactly what she needs?

Vincent doesn’t even remember Lexi from high school, but he begins to take notice when the fiery young woman is hired as his new assistant. Quickly, Lexi turns his world upside down and becomes an invaluable addition not only to his team, but to his life. Having learned a few hard lessons about trust in the past, Vincent is reluctant to let down his guard, especially when it appears that someone is out to sabotage his family’s advertising agency. Professionally, they are dynamite together, but when sparks fly between them personally, will Vincent let lies and jealousy ruin everything between them, or will he finally learn not only how to love, but ultimately trust…in advertising?

Victoria Michaels once again delivers a can’t-put-it-down novel loaded with engaging characters, cheeky dialogue, and powerful emotions. Trust in Advertising is a cleverly woven tale about two people getting to know each other and ultimately themselves.


Before I read Trust in Advertising I read some of the reviews for it. There seemed to be a lot of 1 and 2 star ratings. That didn’t give me too much hope for this book, but I went ahead and read it anyway. What do I have to say about those ratings now that I’ve read it for myself? Crazy, people!

There really isn’t anything I can say about this book that isn’t going to sound like a teenage girl squealing over a Justin Bieber sighting. To say I loved this book would be an understatement. I loved, loved, LOVED this book! It was hot without even getting raunchy. And I’m all for raunchy. Honestly, no one is more surprised than I am that I enjoyed this as much as I did considering I know it originally was a fan fiction. If I’m not aware that the story originated a FF then it’s all good. But when I know that it’s been out there as something else that kind of turns me off.

In this case, I’m glad I didn’t let that stop me from reading it.  

I was Vincent Drake’s bitch the second his arrogant ass showed up in the pages. He owned me from the very first text he sent Lexi. Owned. Me. There wasn’t anything that didn’t make me want to rip his clothes off. Although, we could have found a sexier name than Vincent, couldn’t we? Yes, we could have. But I can overlook the name because that’s what a good, infatuated bitch does.

Lexi was cute and I liked how she didn’t take his shit. She was feisty, yet composed all at the same time. My favourite part of the book was the family cookout and the little playtime between her and Vincent. Ahh-dored the pool play. And don’t even get me started on Hope and Sean because I could go on forever about how great they were! Hope and Lexi were the perfect set of BFFs. Their relationship was fun, honest and loyal.

Usually I don’t like books that draw out the two main characters avoiding the hook up the entire story. I mean, sure it can be a tease to wait, but there’s waiting with a payoff and then there’s the way Michaels wrote it and gave me no sexy play! None! I kept waiting to read the naughty bits but nothing! And yet, I still loved it. Have I mentioned how much I loved it?

Do yourself a favour: grab a glass of wine, settle in with the book in any way you can get your hands on it, and read, babes. Sure you might not like it since that seems to be a popular opinion, but I think it was great and definitely worth checking out.

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