A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Her Brother's Shotgun Wedding Author: Noreen Riley Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 4 out of 5 Format:...moreA Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Her Brother's Shotgun Wedding Author: Noreen Riley Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 4 out of 5 Format: Paperback Source: Provided by the Author
Description: (Author's Website) “A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Her Brother’s Shotgun Wedding” is the story of Evelyn Dunleavy, her close knit circle of family and city-dwelling friends, and the chaos that ensues when her oldest sibling, Michael, announces that he is getting married. In London, where he now lives, to the girlfriend no one really knows. And by the way...she’s pregnant.
The rest of the story follows Evie over to London for a few months as the official family delegate charged with getting to know her soon to be sister-in-law. It certainly doesn’t hurt that because of his cramped living quarters her brother has lined up a room for her in the apartment of one of his groomsmen, Nate, that Evie feels an instant attraction to...despite his love of the music group ABBA, or the fact that he chooses curries over pizza. It doesn’t help that Michael still considers his sister to be off-limits from the advances of his friends.
She comes to the quick conclusion that wedding planning can be stressful no matter which side of the Pond you hail from, and it’s always more fun to have your best friends around you for a bachelorette party, especially when the bride-to-be is seven months pregnant.
From My Point of View: Once you move past the very long title, you'll find that Noreen Riley's A Funny Thing... is actually a really fantastic novel. I completely loved her writing style! Noreen has a very unique and hilarious sense of humor. I don't think a single chapter went by where I didn't find something that made me laugh out loud.
The storyline to this book was also perfection. I loved how the events unfolded and the characters interacted. All of the characters were fantastic! I think my favorite was Evie's mom and her British accent. =)
The one thing (just the one!) that kept me from falling head-over-heels in love with this book was the lack of editing. The writing was very unpolished -- typos, incorrect grammar, etc. Thankfully, I was able to overlook this and enjoy the brilliant story Noreen had written, but it was kind of challenging to do so. I will note though, that I lent this book to an aunt and she didn't notice this at all! She thought it was fine and mentioned it didn't hinder her reading or her overall feeling of the book (5 stars on this one for her). I think it must depend on your personality style? I am VERY O.C.D., so that is probably why I noticed all the little flaws.
In the end, I HIGHLY recommend this novel if you're a fan of chick lit and up for a good laugh. I will definitely be looking forward to more of Noreen's work and hopefully a sequel to this gem (I don't even know if that's what she's planning, but I vote yes)!(less)
The Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide Author: Stephenie Meyer Overall: 3 out of 5 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased by Myself
Description: (G...moreThe Twilight Saga: The Official Illustrated Guide Author: Stephenie Meyer Overall: 3 out of 5 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased by Myself
Description: (Goodreads) Fans of the #1 New York Times bestselling Twilight Saga will treasure this definitive official guide!
This must-have hardcover edition--the only official guide--is the definitive encyclopedic reference to the Twilight Saga and provides readers with everything they need to further explore the unforgettable world Stephenie Meyer created in Twilight, New Moon, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn. With exclusive new material, character profiles, genealogical charts, maps, extensive cross-references, and much more, this comprehensive handbook is essential for every Twilight Saga fan.
From My Point of View: As excited as I was for this guide, I found I was mostly disappointed in it. I was expecting loads of new background information, but in realty, most of what I read I already knew from reading the books.
I really did like learning about Alice's past. Her section of the book was great! Her story makes a lot more sense now.
There were quite a few things that bugged me about the guide. A big one was the character images. I LOVED these!! But I don't understand why they wouldn't do a picture for every character. It was inconsistent and it bothered me. Another thing that bugged me was the author interview... so boring! I didn't glean any useful information for this section.
All the art in the book was fantastic. I loved the pictures, maps, and artwork. VERY fun to look at.
Overall, I really liked the book, but it's just not the kind of book you sit down and read. It will be great for reference when re-reading the series, but I don't think I'll just pick it up and read some. It is a nice addition to complete my collection though. =)(less)
**spoiler alert** Save As Draft Author: Cavanaugh Lee Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 3 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5 Format: Hardcover Source: Won from Simon &...more**spoiler alert** Save As Draft Author: Cavanaugh Lee Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 3 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5 Format: Hardcover Source: Won from Simon & Schuster on Twitter
Description: (Author Website) Dear Reader,
Are we Facebook friends yet? I'm the wactress (waitress/actress) turned lawyer who lives her life on-line. (Don't we all these days?)
Anyway, I've got this problem... There's this guy. His name's Peter. He's my best friend and co-worker, and we just started dating which is potentially a huge mistake. But that's not all. There's this other guy, Marty. I met him on eHarm, and he ran with the bulls in Spain. I can't get him off my mind. What a mess. I'd love your advice if you can take a second out of your crazy, high-tech life. Shoot me an e-mail. Or text me. Or BB messenger me.
And friend me if you haven't already! You can find me on Facebook under SAVE AS DRAFT!
From My Point of View: This is the first book I've ever read that was written in an e-mail format (meaning the entire book just e-mails). It was definitely fun and interesting. My only real complaint about this format is you don't really connect with the characters. Tweeting and E-mailing is, I think, pretty impersonal. Since that's all this book contained, I didn't find myself really feeling anything for the characters. I felt like I was just an observer rather than a participant. Every book I've ever REALLY loved pulled me right into the story. The formatting of this type of book simply doesn't allow for that.
Aside from that issue, I loved the characters. Izzy was great. Funny, quirky, and entertaining. Peter was also a favorite of mine, even if he was pretty weak as a person -- I'd have quit that job a LONG time ago. And, of course, there was Marty, who I did not like given his stalker-esque tendencies.
I enjoyed the overall plot of this story, but was left feeling pretty unsatisfied with the ending. For the sake of not spoiling the ending -- DON'T READ PAST HERE!! =) [ I tend to expect books with love triangles to end with the main character choosing one or the other and that didn't happen here. I was so annoyed that Izzy ended up alone. I realize neither guy was a good choice for her, but I was after a neat and tidy ending. This book didn't give me that. ]
Overall, it was a great lazy Sunday kind of read. I wouldn't hesitate to try another book by this author or even written in this style. (less)
William and Kate: A Royal Love Story Author: James Clench Overall: 4 out of 5 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased by myself
Description: (Amazon.com) The t...moreWilliam and Kate: A Royal Love Story Author: James Clench Overall: 4 out of 5 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased by myself
Description: (Amazon.com) The true story of Prince William and Kate Middleton's fairy-tale romance--and the Royal Wedding that will capture the hearts of people around the world.
He was the boy who would one day be king, and she the middle-class girl who had harbored a crush on him. In 2001, both new students at the University of St Andrews, Prince William and Kate Middleton met for the first time. Though competition for William's affections was fierce, and the scrutiny of the paparazzi (and all England) daunting, love blossomed and Kate won her Prince Charming.
Now the sound of wedding bells is about to ring loud and clear for the joyful couple. Wiilliam & Kate celebrates their much-awaited upcoming nuptials and tells the story of their remarkable romance. Written by The Sun's Royal correspondent, it features 150 beautiful photographs and is the perfect keepsake of this memorable, once-in-a-lifetime event.
From My Point of View: I realized just now this is second William and Kate book I've read and they've both had the exact same title. I guess non-fiction authors arn't unique with titles anymore??
At any rate, this book was MUCH better than the first Will and Kate book I reviewed. My favorite part is that it's mostly pictures, which is really all we care about right? =)
The information presented in this book was much the same as that in the other Will and Kate book, so it was reassuring that the information is being presented consistently. I had my reservations about the content of this book given that it was written by an employee of The Sun, a tabloid newspaper in London, but it the information presented seemed truthful and was a better caliber than reading a tabloid.
I can't help but compare this biography to the last, so I was disappointed when the information in this book was much more vague than the other novel. I would guess this is because of size and content. As I mentioned, this book had a lot more pictures and it was smaller to begin with.
Another thing that annoyed me was that the author constantly referred to The Sun and only in a positive light. He would say things like, "The Sun first reported this breaking story on..." and "But, like a good publication, The Sun did not take advantage of this opportunity because it could be detrimental so and so." I understand wanting to promote The Sun in a good light, but it was a bit much at times.
Overall, this would make a great coffee table book. I don't think I'll ever actually read it again, but I will certainly be checking out the pictures many times over. =)(less)
Anyone Can Die Author: James LePore Characters: 3 out of 5 Plot: 3 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5 Format: Paperback Source: Provided by Pump Up Your Book Book...moreAnyone Can Die Author: James LePore Characters: 3 out of 5 Plot: 3 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5 Format: Paperback Source: Provided by Pump Up Your Book Book Tour
Description: (Book Tour Website) Anyone Can Die is a collection of three emotionally charged stories written by Mr. LePore from the world of his widely acclaimed novel, A World I Never Made. Till Death Do Us Part: A young couple on their honeymoon in New Mexico find a bond they did not know thay had when they are forced to confront trouble in the form of a surly trio of locals. God’s Warriors: A cynical American woman on her own in Europe makes a decision that both reveals and belies her true character. Max: The childhood roots of Max French, a quirky, deadly and, in his own eyes, oddly lovable F.B.I. Agent.
From My Point of View: I have to start this review by saying you should definitely read A World I Never Made before picking Anyone Can Die up. The three stories told in Anyone Can Die are short anecdotes involving characters from A World I Never Made. While I immensely enjoyed LePore's writing style and fast pace, I had a hard time following what was going on in the mini-stories since I lacked any knowledge of A World I Never Made.
Till Death Do Us Part was an easy storyline follow regardless of my lack of aforementioned knowledge. It was, in my opinion, also the most action packed. This story was the only one I really felt I grasped the entire plot to.
God's Warriors, even though I didn't really understand Megan's background, was my favorite story. LePore does an awesome job bringing the story to life and I could easily visualize what I was reading (which isn't always the case with some books. I often end up filling in the blanks with my own ideas).
Finally, Max was probably the most disturbing story. I was happy to see Max avenge his mother's death, but for him to do it in such a way and feel no remorse was what made the story disturbing for me. I guess if I were in his situation, my feelings might be different. Again with this story, LePore's writing was fantastic and the story was really brought to life.
All three stories were quick and easy reads that quickly got a kept your attention. I only wish I'd read A World I Never Made beforehand so I knew what was going on!(less)
Delirious Author: Daniel Palmer Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 4 out of 5 Format: Paperback Source: Provided by the Author
Description: (Au...moreDelirious Author: Daniel Palmer Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 4 out of 5 Format: Paperback Source: Provided by the Author
Description: (Author's Website) Charlie Giles is at the top of his game. An electronics superstar, he’s sold his start-up company to a giant Boston firm, where he’s now a senior director. With his dog, Monte, at his side, Charlie is treated like a VIP everywhere he goes.
Then one day, everything in Charlie’s neatly ordered world starts to go terrifyingly wrong. His prestigious job and his inventions are wrenched away from him. His family is targeted, and his former employers are dying gruesomely, picked off one by one. Every sign, every shred of evidence, points to Charlie as a cold-blooded killer. And soon Charlie is unable to tell whether he’s succumbed to the pressures of work and become the architect of his own destruction, or whether he’s the victim of a relentless, diabolical attack.
In a desperate struggle to save his life, Charlie races to uncover the truth, all the while realizing that nothing can be trusted—least of all his own fractured mind…
From My Point of View: I don't even know where to start with this review. This book simply blew me away. I'll admit, before beginning the book, and even through the first few chapters, I was skeptical. I wasn't sure this was going to be the book for me. I'm fairly tech-savvy, so I understood most of what the characters were discussing in regards to their up and coming InVision system, but at the beginning I was really thinking this book would be over my head. However, that turned out to be, thankfully, so untrue. Palmer did a fantastic job of making the book in depth, but also easily understandable.
And for a this being his first book, I was really impressed with how well written it was. Not that I assumed it would be awful since he was a breakout author, but from past experience, I've found it can sometimes take a few novels for the author to catch their stride. That was not the case here. This book was amazing. The story line was so intense and fast paced that at times I felt I couldn't read fast enough. There were quite a few twists and turns and I questioned Charlie's sanity just as much as he did most of the time. I'd started the book thinking, "now I know Charlie isn't really the bad guy," but about halfway through, I really had no idea who was responsible. And let me just say: I never saw the real bad guy coming. The end was a fantastic twist.
Overall, this book was really well written. It took me a few chapters to get into the groove, but once I did, I couldn't put it down. If you're in the market for a great thriller, this one is it!(less)
Description: (BN.com) Prepare for an exhilarating journey across the boundary of death into a shadowy, daring new world. As da...moreChristmas with a Vampire
Description: (BN.com) Prepare for an exhilarating journey across the boundary of death into a shadowy, daring new world. As darkness falls on another year, five fanged rebels are ready to celebrate like never before.
It's a time for bloodlust and stolen kisses, for clandestine bites and forming new bonds beneath the mistletoe. Succumb to the forbidden as these powerful vampires give you a Christmas you'll never forget….
From My Point of View: Christmas with a Vampire is an anthology containing five Christmas related vampire stories. I've reviewed each book separately below, with a final review of the book as a whole after that!
Christmas with a Vampire: A Christmas Kiss (Story 1 of 5) Author: Merline Lovelace Characters: 5 out of 5 Plot: 5 out of 5 Overall: 5 out of 5
A Christmas Kiss is a story about Oklahoma State Trooper Brett Cooper. One night, he stumbles upon Delilah Wentworth, a one-hundred year old vampire, in the woods near his house. Against his better judgement, Brett takes Delilah home with home with him where he soon discovers Delilah's dangerous secret.
I thought this story was a great read. I really wish it would have been longer than 100 pages. I loved both Brett and Delilah's characters. I loved to storyline and I was honestly surprised by the ending. There isn't much to say about a story this short aside from, "it was a great read." It's highly likely I will be looking up more books by this author as I adored this tale.
Christmas with a Vampire: The Vampire Who Stole Christmas (Story 2 of 5) Author: Lori Devoti Characters: 5 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 5 out of 5
The Vampire Who Stole Christmas is a story about Drystan Hurst, a vampire who falls in love with Aimee Polk, a daimon who's most recent charge killed himself on her watch. This short story follows the two as they battle with who they are and who they really want to be.
This story was a good as the first in the novel, actually better I would say. Again, I really wish the story was a book of it's own. I loved Aimee's character and her abilities. I also loved Drystan's character. I would have liked to see the relationship between Drystan and Ben fleshed out a little more after Drysten's reappearance at the end, but given this is a short story, I can see why the author didn't do so. This is another author that I will be looking up for some more good reads. =)
Christmas with a Vampire: Sundown (Story 3 of 5) Author: Linda Winstead Jones Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 3 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5
Sundown is the tale of vampire Abby, who runs the local bar called Sundown. Leo is the local cop who moved to town three months ago and is smitten with Abby. I think we know where the story goes from here. =)
Sundown was not my favorite novella in this book. I like the author's writing, but after already having read a story about a cop and vamp, I wanted something new. Additionally, I didn't like the way Abby was so standoffish with Leo and then all of a sudden, she was hot for him. I know she's a vampire, but does that mean she's bipolar too? I felt like there should have been more of a transition from point A to point B. Other than my weariness at the near repeat of the story, it was a nice, good read. Since it's already in the book, you might as well enjoy this one too. =)
Christmas with a Vampire: Nothing Says Christmas Like a Vampire (Story 4 of 5) Author: Lisa Childs Characters: 5 out of 5 Plot: 5 out of 5 Overall: 5 out of 5
Nothing Says Christmas Like a Vampire is the story of Julian, resident vampire for this novella, who sweeps Sienna off her feet, literally, at her grandmother's funeral. Turns out the two have quite a past, but Sienna doesn't know it yet. Nor does she know her life is currently in danger and Julian is the only one who can save her.
This was a truly fantastic novella. It was my favorite one so far from the book. Again, I wish this would have been it's own novel. I felt the story moved along too quickly, but given the short nature of the tale, that was to be expected. My only other complaint was the Grandfather. He was seemed too quick to forgive and forget all his trials and tribulations with Julian at the end of the novel.
Aside from those to quirks, this novella was everything a love story should be. In my opinion, it's a perfect wintertime read.
Christmas with a Vampire: Unwrapped (Story 5 of 5) Author: Bonnie Vanak Characters: 5 out of 5 Plot: 5 out of 5 Overall: 5 out of 5
In Unwrapped, Adrian, resident vampire, is gifted Sarah, the werewolf, for Christmas by his gremlin pals. Turns out the two have a history -- one that involves both of them being horribly wounded. The two have not seen each other since that fateful day when Sarah fled Adrian's side, leaving him burning in the sunlight. Now that she's back, will Adrian discover the real reason she ran? More importantly, will they finally discover how to make a relationship between a werewolf and vampire work?
This was definitely the most creative novella in the book, that's for sure. The concepts the author dreamed are pretty creative -- in a good way. Fortunately, the author provides enough background in this short tale that we are able to understand what's going on and who has what strange powers. This was a great conclusion to the book!
Entire Christmas with a Vampire Anthology: Characters: 4 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 4 out of 5
All in all, I would say this book was a good read. I don't usually read books comprising of many novellas, so for me it was a bit weird to be engrossed in one story for 100 pages and suddenly it's a whole new world with new characters. I thought the novellas flowed relatively well together. Obviously they were all very different stories, but the Christmas theme helped to bring some consistency to the book.
If you're a fan of vamps, or even paranormal in general, then I'd say this book is for you. =)(less)
Dating Mr. December Author: Phillipa Ashley Characters: 3 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5
Description: (Author Website) When a nice girl asks...moreDating Mr. December Author: Phillipa Ashley Characters: 3 out of 5 Plot: 4 out of 5 Overall: 3 out of 5
Description: (Author Website) When a nice girl asks twelve men to get naked, it’s sure to cause a scandal…
Emma Tremayne leaves her high-powered PR job and moves to the Lake District looking for peace, quiet-and celibacy. So perhaps it’s not the best idea when, in the spirit of “community-mindedness,” she agrees to help the local mountain rescue team fund raise by putting together a “tasteful” nude calendar. Especially since quite a lot of the community seems to mind what she’s up to-including the tall, dark and handsome Mr. December, Will Tennant, who appears to have gotten the wrong impression about Emma’s intentions. So how does she convince him that he’s more than just the flavor of the month?
From My Point of View: This book had me torn. There was so much to love about it, but on the other hand, so much that annoyed me. First, I thought the plot was great. Although I did feel like it moved too fast in the beginning. When we finally got to the juicy fight and makeup at the end, it felt too soon in Emma and Will's relationship. But maybe that was just me. The author made sure to mention "x number of months passed since the photoshoot... since the proofs came back... since etc. etc." but I felt like I needed more story to feel that passage of time, as opposed to that one line.
As far as the characters go, they were both good characters, but I felt they had flaws that kept them from being great. Emma was so hung up on the fact that Will had a reputation and bad history that she focused on nothing but that and didn't even care to make sure she got the truth. That annoyed me. Will was perfect when he was moody and arrogant, but he said "sweetheart" way too much for my liking when he was playing nice. It got to the point that the sweethearts were so annoying they distracted me from the story (but, then again, I hate the word sweetheart, so that is probably just me and my quirks)!
With that being said, this novel would make a great light and quirky read. Perfect for when the stress of the holiday becomes too much and you need a way out.(less)
Happily Ever After Author: Nora Roberts Characters: 5 out of 5 Plot: 5 out of 5 Overall: 5 out of 5
Description: (Author Website) As the public face of Vow...moreHappily Ever After Author: Nora Roberts Characters: 5 out of 5 Plot: 5 out of 5 Overall: 5 out of 5
Description: (Author Website) As the public face of Vows wedding planning company, Parker Brown has an uncanny knack for fulfilling every bride's vision. She just can't see where her own life is headed. Mechanic Malcomb Kavanaugh loves figuring out how things work, and Parker is no exception. Both know that moving from minor flirtation to major hook-up is a serious step. Parker's business risks have always paid off, but now she'll have to take the chance of a lifetime with her heart...
From My Point of View: Happily Ever After, the fourth book in the Bride Quartet Series (following Vision in White, Bed of Roses, and Savor the Moment) was everything I anticipated it would be and more. I adored the first three novels in the series and expected to like this one as much, but what I hadn't expected was the storyline. Sure - I was looking for boy meets girl, they fall in love, they fight, then they make-up, like all good love stories, however, I wasn't expecting Kavanaugh's backgroud and the interesting twist it provided the novel. The first three the books were pretty straightforward, no real surprises, not even Mac's mom, who was delightfully awful. This novel, in my opinion, was the best in the series thanks to the depth Roberts put into Kavanaugh's portion of the story. It was nice to see a not-so-perfect, not-so-easy love. It was realistic. And as such, it was a great read.(less)