In "Absolutely True Lies," Holly is a down on her luck entertainment writer and Hollywood who's just trying to make it. She's working a dead end job sIn "Absolutely True Lies," Holly is a down on her luck entertainment writer and Hollywood who's just trying to make it. She's working a dead end job so when she has the opportunity to be a ghostwriter for an autobiography of one of Hollywood's hottest young teen starlets, she jumps at the chance. She has no idea how this is going to upend her life.
The premise of the story was interesting to me. Hollywood and all of the things that go on in that crazy town are interesting to me but definitely not anywhere where I would want to find myself so reading a book about all of the Hollywood craziness and living vicariously through Holly was perfect for me. This is a good light read. It takes readers on Holly's journey from L.A. to Miami to Rome to New York as she follows around Daisy Mae Dixson, the young starlet who's wholesome, squeaky clean image is simply a ruse. Daisy reminded me a lot of a Miley Cyrus or an Amanda Bynes or a lot of other young Hollywood starlets. Holly sticks around because she wants to do a good job and this also may be the only shot she has for her career to finally take off.
I enjoyed the story however the author definitely has a tendency to tell more than show in the book, which I found myself a bit frustrated with. A lot of the characters actions are explained so explicitly that it makes the book lose a little bit of steam. I like the work that a reader does as they are reading the book in order to really digest what is going on and that opportunity is not really there in this book. Sometimes it's better to leave some of the detail to the actions in the book rather than saying explicitly what is happening. This did bog down the story quite a bit. Overall, I enjoyed the story but I wish that there was a little less spelled out so explicitly for me....more
"The Curse of Anne Boleyn" is a re-release of the second book in C.C. Humphreys' French Executioner series about Jean Rombaud. Before reading this boo"The Curse of Anne Boleyn" is a re-release of the second book in C.C. Humphreys' French Executioner series about Jean Rombaud. Before reading this book, I did not realize that this book was the second in a series. I must tell you that had I known that, I would have read the first book first as I had a lot of questions about the characters in this book. The premise of this book is that when Anne Boleyn was buried, one of her hands was cut off. It's now been many years since her death and several people are now after the missing hand in this book.
I have read several other books by C.C. Humphreys at this point in time and many of the things that I liked about his previous books are also present in this book. Although this is billed as historical fiction, it can also be build it as historical action. In this book, the French executioner Jean Rombaud is now older. The book focuses on him as well as on his son, Gianni. There are also some sections about Princess Elizabeth, Anne Boleyn's daughter and her captivity. To me, these sections were more compelling in a lot of ways. I am a huge fan of Elizabeth I and it was interesting to me to see Humphreys' take on the events surrounding her mother who she barely knew's death.
Here is where you have to take into account the fact that I did not read the first book. I would've liked to see a little bit more development of the characters. The focus is really on the action of the book and therefore I feel like I didn't really get to know The characters well at all. I really wanted to know what their motivations were and what made them tick.
For other history lovers, I enjoyed that this book covers the siege of Siena, Italy, something that I did not know much about at all. The author uses a lot of historical detail to help the reader understand all of the different parties involved and that historical event. I always like learning something new! Again, I want to go back and read the first book in the series to see if it gives me any more background on any of the characters in this book. This book is great for readers who are looking for an action story with a little bit of mystery included....more
4.5 stars. "The Sound of Glass" is a story about a couple families who are connected in very unexpected ways. When Merritt inherits her husband's gran4.5 stars. "The Sound of Glass" is a story about a couple families who are connected in very unexpected ways. When Merritt inherits her husband's grandmother's house after he passes away, she leaves New England for a new life and a new start in South Carolina. She's hoping for some time to herself to deal with some of the hurt she felt at the hand of her husband. Her look for solitude is broken quickly when her stepmother, Loralee, and her half-brother, Owen show up at her house looking for a place to stay. Loralee says that they're only going to stay "a little while" but "a little while" turns into something much longer. Eventually Merritt begins to understand that her life is better with people surrounding her rather than trying to shut herself off from the world. As she is trying to put herself back together, she meets her late husband's brother, Gibbes, who will change her life in a lot of ways. This is a story of family, love, hurt and redemption and there is a good deal of mystery at the center of it. In the 1950s, Merritt's husband's grandmother witnesses a plane crash over her home. She becomes obsessed with trying to figure out what happened and why. In this book, we learn that the past can be connected to the present in the most surprising of ways.
I really enjoyed this book. This is the first book that I've ever read by Karen White but I know this is not going to be the last time that I read anything by her. There's so much going for this book! It has a lot of great characters, who feel really real. There's an interesting mystery that definitely kept me guessing through out the book. There's good thoughts on how important family is whether it's the family we have or the family we choose. There is even a good romance! I ate it all up. This is definitely one of those books that I was sad about when it ended. I wanted more!
The characters were definitely stand out for me. Even with as prickly as she is, I really liked Merritt. You can see that she's hiding a lot and is trying to cope with a lot on her own. I definitely felt for her. Loralee is loving and always has a little bit of advice for every given situation. These women are very different from each other however when they finally come together it's something really unique and special. I also just adored Gibbes. What a great guy!
I don't want to give too much away about the mystery surrounding the plane crash at the center of the book so I won't say too much on that aspect. I love when an author can keep me on my toes and keep me guessing and the author definitely did that throughout this book. I definitely didn't see what was coming at the end of the book! It's always nice not to be able to guess how things are going to come together.
I think this book had a really good message about how the past doesn't have to be doomed to repeat itself even when it seems like it's inevitable. Overall, this book was definitely a delight and I look forward to reading more by the author in the future!...more
Abraham Lincoln has always been one of my favorite presidents. There's a lot of reasons that I like him. He was a reader. He seemed to have a great seAbraham Lincoln has always been one of my favorite presidents. There's a lot of reasons that I like him. He was a reader. He seemed to have a great sense of humor. He was very smart. He seems like he had some really fantastic life experiences and it's hard to get around that whole presidential career. In Abe and Fido, I found a new reason to love our 16th president. Apparently he was a huge animal lover, as am I. In this book, we learn about his history with animals. This book includes a whole lot more as well. If you're looking for a light historical read, this may be a great pick for you.
I was attracted to this book by the idea of learning something about Abraham Lincoln's life that I didn't really know about before. I loved that he was an animal lover and wanted to know more about that aspect of his life. This book includes a lot more about many other famous people who loved animals. I love history books that are off the beaten path and this but definitely fits that bill.
The writing of the book is pretty good. It's clear that the author did a lot of research. There is a lot of information on Abraham Lincoln and his animals, particularly his "yeller" dog, Fido, as suggested by the title. During Abraham Lincoln's time, Fido was so famous that after Lincoln was assassinated, people ran around trying to grab pieces of Fido's hair as a souvenir!
The book also includes a lot of other information about other people and their animals. While it's interesting, some of the information simply seems to be thrown in there so parts of the book feel like a list of interesting facts. I liked the facts but the way that the book was organized made it a little bit disjointed. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It is always fantastic to learn something new about a famous person who I've already read a ton about....more
"Wolf Bride" is a historical romance/ erotic fiction with a heavy dose of hotness. It's set during the time of the Tudors (books like this show me tha"Wolf Bride" is a historical romance/ erotic fiction with a heavy dose of hotness. It's set during the time of the Tudors (books like this show me that I am still not over the Tudors). As this book opens, King Henry VIII is married to Anne Boleyn, who is suspected of having dalliances with many men other than her husband. However, this book does not focus on Anne Boleyn or Henry really but one of her needs and waiting, Eloise.
Eloise is a naïve woman who has promised to a man who scares her a little bit while at the same time also intrigues her. Lord Wolf is powerful and a little bit intimidating. When Eloise becomes his wife, she is attracted to him in a way that she has never been attracted to another man. I really loved the relationship between Lord Wolf and Eloise. The author did a great job of showing the development of the relationship between the two characters so that everything that happened felt really real. The way that their relationship evolves over the course of the book was really interesting to me. There is a ton of passion and a lot of hotness and this book which I really enjoyed!
A lot of the book focuses on the initial misunderstandings that Lord Wolf and Eloise have of each other. It almost feels as if they are chasing each other in a way, of which I really enjoyed. While for most of the book, the Tudor setting merely plays a backdrop for Lord Wolf's and Eloise's relationship, I did appreciate that the author really tied the characters to their places at court. I think a lot of times historical romances and eroticas can suffer because the time period in which they are set seems undeveloped. This is definitely not the case here! Overall, I enjoyed this book!...more
4.5 stars. There are a handful of authors that make me giggle deliriously and uncontrollably. One of those authors is Jen Lancaster so I was absolutel4.5 stars. There are a handful of authors that make me giggle deliriously and uncontrollably. One of those authors is Jen Lancaster so I was absolutely thrilled to be able to get my hands on a copy of her latest book, compliments of the publisher (a thousand thank yous!!!). Jen Lancaster's memoirs are so funny and I've never been disappointed with one of her memoirs. "I Regret Nothing" is definitely in that category. If you haven't read anything by her and you're looking for a really funny and witty but that will keep you reading long into the night, this one is a great choice.
In this book, Jen has realized that her 40s are upon her and she wants to begin to do some of the things that she always said that she would do that she has yet to get around doing. Who doesn't have a list like that? Jen's list will take her from buying an adult tricycle (seriously they exist) to taking Italian lessons. All of these items are undertaken with that signature Jen Lancaster panache that I have come to love in so many of her books.
One of the things I I have always really enjoyed about Lancaster's memoirs is that she has a way of writing that makes you feel like you are one of her closest friends. You get to see her successes and you also get to see her failures. The successes are sweet but usually the failures tend to be more funnier to me. Jen obviously gets the joke as the failures are infused with a dose of very funny snark and self deprecation on Jen's part....more
3.5 stars. When Tilda moves to the small cottage on a Welsh lake that she and her husband were supposed to live in before he passed away suddenly, she3.5 stars. When Tilda moves to the small cottage on a Welsh lake that she and her husband were supposed to live in before he passed away suddenly, she feels like maybe she is working towards closure with dealing with her husband's death. What she finds is that there is a whole new world awaiting her that will shock and surprise. Brackston's latest offering has a heavy dose of magical realism that pulled me in. This is another one of her Witch books that I ate up
Tilda is definitely an interesting character to me. She starts the book being very upset about her young husband's untimely death and rightfully so. She pushes away anyone that gets too close and seems to want to shut herself away from the world. Very quickly, she realizes that this new cottage on a lake may hold the key to showing her who she actually is and that she can have a life after her husband. A lot of the book focuses on her self realization and she goes from being totally unaware of her and the power of the past that she holds to realizing that things are not always as they seem. I really enjoyed following her journey!
Tilda is not the only character in the book. The book is also told from the perspective of Seren, a Celtic healer and witch who lives in the past. Tilda and And Seren will be connected in ways that neither one can imagine. Although I enjoyed reading about Tilda's journey, I really enjoyed the writing of Seren's sections a little bit better as we get a first person point of view of her life back in the 900s. Tilda's sections are told from the third person present point of view which almost made me feel that we were being held at arms length as readers. The book started out being fast paced but as the book went on, I did think it lost a little bit of momentum but not enough to take away too much for my enjoyment of the book....more
Wild Wood is the story of Jesse, a young woman living in 1981 who finds out as an adult that she has been adopted. She freaks out and leaves the onlyWild Wood is the story of Jesse, a young woman living in 1981 who finds out as an adult that she has been adopted. She freaks out and leaves the only home she's ever known in Australia to figure out her origins in Great Britain. When she arrives in England she suffers a accident that makes her end up in the hospital. Strange things start happening after her accident and she can draw things that she has never seen before. Her neurologist, Rory, finds out that she may be drawing pictures of a castle from the estate that he grew up on. I had seen the story billed as being the next Outlander. While not totally unfounded (at least when it comes to the structure of the story), this book left me wanting a little bit more after expecting to have a more Outlander-ish story.
The story is told in two times. The present-day time is 1981 and Prince Charles is about to marry Diana Spencer. The past time is set in the Scottish Highlands in the 1300s. The author differentiates between the two time periods by telling them in different voices. This gets a little bit confusing at times.
This book has a lot of mystery surrounding Jesse's contact with the past as it's figured out through the story. Her own origin story is also figured out. I was really drawn in by the beginning of the book, however, eventually the story lost me a little bit towards the end. The momentum seemed to slow for me during the middle.
All in all, this book was a mixed bag for me. I did like the writing style, particularly that of the sections of the book set in the distant past. I would love to try some other books by this author....more
"The Royal We" is the story of Rebecca, an all-American girl, who moves to England in order to study art at Oxford (yeah, that Oxford). While she's th"The Royal We" is the story of Rebecca, an all-American girl, who moves to England in order to study art at Oxford (yeah, that Oxford). While she's there she meets the heir to the British throne, Nick, and they end up falling in love. The book follows the very high ups and the very low downs of their tumultuous relationship. Any relationship takes work but a relationship with one of the future king of England adds a whole 'nother level of craziness and stress. This was such a fun read! For my fellow royal watchers, it has a lot of shades of Will and Kate (yeah, that Will and Kate). Even if you aren't a royal watcher but you like romances with lots of twists and turns, you will find a lot to love about this book! This was a great book to just sit back and relax with.
The book is told from the perspective of Bex, which I really liked. It allowed me to really get close to the story and have a front row seat for everything that was going on. Bex is a thoroughly endearing character. She is a very normal girl that finds herself in the middle of something extraordinary. This book has a little bit of everything. There is a love story but there's also a undercurrent of drama (love and maintaining a relationship with a prince is not easy).
When the book opens, it's almost the morning of the royal wedding between Rebecca and her prince. The narrative goes back-and-forth between when Rebecca's first arrived in England to next to some key events in the relationship between Bex and Nick. That's definitely kept me on my toes and I loved being surprised by the ending. This book was so much fun!...more
"The Day We Met" is an incredibly touching story by Rowan Coleman. In this book, we meet Claire, a woman who should be in the prime of her life, howev"The Day We Met" is an incredibly touching story by Rowan Coleman. In this book, we meet Claire, a woman who should be in the prime of her life, however, She is dealing with early onset Alzheimer's disease. It's incredibly difficult for Claire because she wants so badly to be able to remember things like her children and what they're doing and their names and more importantly, she wants to be able to remember her husband but is worried about saddling him with her health troubles. It was a touching picture of what it means to love and to care for one's family.
I cannot begin to imagine what it would feel like to go through something like early-onset Alzheimer's disease. It would be horrible to go through at any age in a persons life, however, there's something even more sad about it happening so early to person. Coleman does a great job of showing what Claire is going through so that the reader can understand where she's coming from and how much of a difficult time she is having.
I really liked how the book focused on each of the characters so we really got a chance to know them well. Claire's narrative was especially compelling.
I really love books that can take me through a whole gambit of emotions. This book definitely did that for me. You go from feeling really sad for Claire to feeling hopeful for her future by the end of the book. This book had my emotions all over the map. And I loved every second of it!...more