I knew going into it that there was no "happy ending". Yes, dear reader, I committed that cardinal sin -- I sought outAhhh why do I do this to myself?
I knew going into it that there was no "happy ending". Yes, dear reader, I committed that cardinal sin -- I sought out spoilers before I would pick this one up.
While this book was raw and real and beautiful and bittersweet, I knew beforehand that I wouldn't LOVE it, and I was right.. self fulfilling prophecy? Perhaps. Either way, I have to admit that I did connect with the characters, and the ending hurt. Oh how it hurt.
Honestly, I think I'll stick to traditional romance with its Happily Ever Afters (no matter how "unrealistic" some may find them) and save myself from bawling my eyes out at the end of a book.
Expected Release Date: August 7, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: EternalThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: August 7, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Eternal Press Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://monicamarlowe.blogspot.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the Author Part of a Series: No Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Warm
I felt like the official blurb was totally misleading. When I read it, I thought that this would be a fairly straightforward forbidden-type romance between a New York City divorcee slash workaholic and a tranquil yet slightly troubled Italian Monk, and that together they would find a balance and fall in love and ride off together into the sunset or whatnot. Instead, there was a complicated love triangle that ended in painful tragedy and a large amount of melancholy, and while the ending could possibly be considered "bittersweet", it was in no way in line with what I was expecting going into the story.
I think that perhaps the problem lies in the categorization of this novel. You see, I prefer to read romance. And yet, I feel that this book would be better categorized as chick lit. Now, before you pull out the pitchforks and torches, there is nothing wrong with Chick-Lit. It's simply not typically my genre of choice. While chick-lit typically focuses on the main female character and her evolution over the course of the novel, learning to forgive and love and accept herself and yada yada, romance focuses on the relationship between two (or more in polyamory, but that's a totally different topic) main characters. Finding Felicity is about Madeline learning to let go of her hurt and anger at the betrayals of the past and allowing herself to be open to true happiness and inner peace. But "romance" it is not.
That said, the spiritual elements were absolutely gorgeous. Several quotes stood out to me, such as "Wars don't happen because G-d forgets about man, Marco. Wars happen because man forgets about G-d.", and "We all have our own way of relating to G-d. For some of us, it's not at all. The beautiful thing, though, is that G-d is always relating to us whether we know it or not." (the dashes are mine, the book contains correct spelling). Madeline and Anthony both have a spiritual crisis of sorts, and together, they're able to see that G-d is truly everywhere, and that there are many ways to celebrate Him and His glory.
In the end, however, the lovely spiritual elements and the gradual transformation and growth of Madeline's character could not make up for the fact that by the time I was finished, I felt utterly betrayed. Had I gone into this book expecting a "poignant love story" with a "bittersweet ending" or somesuch, I think this book would have rated much higher for me. Instead, based on the blurb, I went in expecting that Madeline would go to Italy to see her estranged sister, fall in love with a monk, be there as her sister dies, and then they would both move to New York, face some challenges, but in the end, live happily ever after. What I read, however, was so far from that as to be considered an entirely different book altogether.
To be completely fair, the BOOK'S TRAILER VIDEO absolutely mentions the love triangle that is present in this book. I was sent the link to the trailer when I received this book, and it was completely my own fault that I did not watch it before I started reading.
Removing my feelings about the misleading blurb, and looking at the book from the perspective of a character-driven women's fiction novel, I must admit that Madeline's story actually did keep my attention. The entire book focused on love, passion, betrayal, forgiveness, and spirituality, and Madeline is not the only character who evolved over the course of the novel. When the book opened, Madeline was a workaholic, fairly frozen in time because of the hurt she continued to hold on to from a betrayal several years prior. Her bitterness, cynicism, and refusal to open herself up to that kind of pain again kept her from being happy, no matter the fact that she was incredibly wealthy, beautiful, and successful. Traveling to Italy to reconcile with her dying sister changed not only Madeline's life, but Madeline herself. Allowing herself to finally let go of some of the anger at her family's betrayal, but also the anger at herself, Madeline opened herself up to the beauty of not just Italy, but of moving past mere physicality and lust and into something so much more powerful.
So, my suggestion to readers is this: go into this knowing that there is a love triangle, and that Madeline does engage in sexual relations with two different men over the course of the novel. Know that there are some incredibly painful family issues that this book deals with. Know that there is a bittersweet ending, but also know that the ending really was perfect for the book, based on the journey Madeline's character took. Above all, however, go into this knowing that it is not a traditional "boy meets girl" romance (or, I suppose, in this case, "CEO meets monk"), and disregard the blurb entirely. I think that if readers are sufficiently prepared for these things, they're going to enjoy this story.
In the end, however, I was not prepared for this book to be women's fiction, and so my disappointment at the turns the plot took stained my overall feelings in the end. Were I rating this as a "chick-lit" novel, rather than a romance, I believe my final rating would have been either 3.5/5 or 4/5 stars. As it was, in reviewing this as someone who had been expecting a more traditional happy ending, my final rating rests at 2/5 Stars....more
Expected Release Date: May 30, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self PublThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.
Expected Release Date: May 30, 2011 (Available Now!) Publisher: Self Published Imprint: N/A Author’s Website: http://www.lilianahart.blogspot.com/ My Source for This Book: Gift from the author Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Addison Holmes series Series Best Read In Order: N/A Steam Level: Steamy
Okay, this book is hysterical. It’s a true comedy of errors. Poor Addison is a high school history teacher with an incredibly awesome (and expensive) car, a penchant for ice cream, and a horrible run of bad luck. Having been left at the altar by her scumbag fiance, who was of course busted banging her bimbo arch-nemesis (also the home-economics teacher from the same school she teaches at), and living in an apartment about to be condemned, she doesn’t currently have the funds to buy the adorable house of her dreams. Having made a bargain with the local sleezebag banker to have the money to him in 60 days, she’s desperate for money.
Enter her ill-fated — and incredibly short-lived — career as a stripper. Not only does she have absolutely zero talent for stripping, but she spies her Assistant Principal from school in the audience. Immediately after her only dance, her career as a stripper is over, and grateful to make her escape and put this horrible day behind her, she literally trips over a dead body in the parking lot of the strip club.
Unfortunately for Addison, things are rarely simple, and the body she stumbled over belongs to the same Assistant Principal who minutes ago was getting a lap-dance from another dancer and taking lewd photos of Addison during her performance.
Enter police hottie detective, Nick Dempsey. Immediately at odds with Addison, both feel an intense pull of attraction. However, neither lets that small fact get in the way of their animosity, and soon it seems that Addison can’t decide whether she wants to rip Nick’s clothes off and have her dirty, dirty way with him, or clobber him over the head with whatever heavy object happens to be handy. Or maybe both.
When Addison’s best friend, Kate, who also happens to be a private detective, takes pity on Addison and agrees to hire her to do some surveillance for her agency in exchange for $100 a day. Addison jumps at the chance, but she’s not exactly the most circumspect woman in town, and while she does get some good results, her methods are unorthodox to say the least…
Overall, I loved it. A perfect summer read, this is lighthearted and funny, while still possessing a pretty well executed (no pun intended) murder mystery. While Nick and Addison never go all the way, I think romance readers will still enjoy all the UST, the transformation from enemies to partners, and the delicious moments where it looks as though these two crazy kids might actually score.
While Addison does have a tendency to have quite a few Too Stupid To Live moments, the sheer amusement gained by reading her escapades is enough, in my opinion, to make it worth reading. And since at the moment it’s only $0.99 for the Kindle version, you really can’t pass it up.
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN AuthoThis is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic
Expected Release Date: July 26, 2011 Publisher: Harlequin Imprint: HQN Author’s Website: http://www.susanandersen.com/ My Source for This Book: Netgalley Part of a Series: Yes, Book 3, Sisterhood Diaries Series Best Read In Order: Worked well as a standalone Steam Level: Steamy
On Netgalley, this book was categorized as “FICTION – ADULT: Other: Coming of Age”. I admit that I didn’t notice that when I requested the book, and probably wouldn’t have requested it if I had, because I simply don’t “do” chick-lit. However, I am incredibly glad that I didn’t see the category before I requested it, because I would’ve missed out on a real gem of a book!
In short? I loved it! It was light while still dealing with life issues, steamy without being trashy, and sweet without being saccharine. Ava has never fully embraced her curves, despite the fact that she’s worked hard to get and maintain her curvy figure of a fit size 12. Cade has never been able to fully make up to her for his cruel prank in high school. Throw in her work as a successful concierge, his skill as a producer/director of hit documentaries, a little intrigue about some missing diamonds, two friends who would walk through fire for our heroine, and some delicious chemistry, and you’ve got a truly enjoyable read.
Recommended for fans of realistically sized heroines, righting a wrong that’s plagued you since high school, and having BFF’s who stick with you through everything. A very enthusiastic 4/5 Stars
Eh. Not really my thing. More "chick-lit" than romance.. It was really preachy about body size and self acceptance and how commercial media messes wEh. Not really my thing. More "chick-lit" than romance.. It was really preachy about body size and self acceptance and how commercial media messes with people's minds and blah blah blah. Not something I'd actively seek out to read...
Plus, while it definitely had its funny moments, author Cathie Linz seemed to rely too heavily on "embarrassment humor" as I call it -- you know, where it's "funny" because someone stuck their foot in their mouth and humiliates themselves in public (or worse, in front of the hero/heroine)? *shakes head* I don't care for that type of humor because I always end up just feeling bad for the characters rather than being able to laugh about it.
Plus, you know something's up when I only get to use a couple of my keywords instead of tons like I usually do ;)