***Please note that I did format this book for the author and this review in no way reflects my formatting business or services. Angelisa is a dear fr...more***Please note that I did format this book for the author and this review in no way reflects my formatting business or services. Angelisa is a dear friend and this review is strictly personal for me as a reader***
First of all, this story was near and dear to me being that it's set in Charleston, South Carolina, one of my favorite places in the world. The setting was described in vivid and accurate detail and I could picture being on the streets of the Holy City right along with the characters. This was a sexy, witty, and well thought out plot with lots of surprises I wasn't at all expecting. Yay for a curvy woman to be the conquest of a hot and mysterious man. That was number two on my selling list. You will fall in love with Katherine's witty and snappy side and will swoon over Dre throughout the entire story.
I loved the non traditional structure of the book, with no true chapters... just alternating points of view. I was rapidly turning pages and stayed up until 3:30 am because there was no way I could sleep without finding out what happened.
Yes there was some angst, yes there was humor, yes there was very well versed and crafty writing, and yes there was some serious "steam." This being Angelisa's first novel, she has proven that she's a master of spinning a fabulous tale that readers will love.
Check this one out if you are looking for a fresh and unexpected love story that lurks a bit out of the box. I can't wait to see what Angelisa is plotting for her next novel.
4.5 Stars Joint review from The Indie Bookshelf by Angela McLaurin and Erin Roth
Angela- Life is never perfect and even though we don’t realize it, som...more4.5 Stars Joint review from The Indie Bookshelf by Angela McLaurin and Erin Roth
Angela- Life is never perfect and even though we don’t realize it, sometimes that’s what makes it perfect!
Erin- Coming home, moving on, and growing up; the perpetual quest of everyone on Earth.
What we learned about life…
Angela- It’s hard to move on, especially when the past constantly haunts you. Time changes people and sometimes happiness is where you least expect it. The ups and downs are not always bad things, sometimes it just what we need to be on the correct path!
Erin- Quest is a story about acceptance and love, and it reminded me that I don’t always know the real story about someone from the outside, and that it’s easy to pass judgment on others because of what I’ve heard about them or what I remember of them from growing up. Ryan’s character, in particular, reminded me that it’s true what they say, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” I actually think that’s a French proverb, but I remember the Bon Jovi song…
Our favorite part of the book…
Angela- I loved getting to know all of the different characters. I could relate to all of them and they felt more like friends as I kept reading rather than just people I was reading about. I loved how we got to see the backstories of the characters as well throughout the story. The characters made the story real and something we can all relate with.
Erin- I loved the interactions between the characters as friends, especially at the post-karaoke party, because it was so much like my life. I especially loved the descriptions of everyone in high school versus now, and how most of them were very much the same. “Hookerboots” never gets old.
Things we pondered after reading…
Angela- I was an emotional mess after I finished this story. It was heartbreaking and emotional. I was left with hope that Michelle and Tammy will keep writing and that the story will continue!
Erin- I finished the book and sat on the couch for a while with a teary blind stare. I was sad that the book ended and hoped I’d see my friends from J.P. again. I hugged my babies and called my physician sister to remind her not to disarm any crazies that came into the hospital. I’m not sure I actually pondered anything, but I definitely sat and decompressed. I might still be decompressing, since nothing seems to be holding my attention.
Our thoughts on the characters…
Angela- There is no way you could not fall in love with every person in this story! Not only do you love them, you know them in your real life. Lauren with her snarky self may have been my favorite, though. Her witty banter helped lighten the seriousness and in my opinion, made this story!
Erin- The best thing about Quest was the REAL PEOPLE in the cast of characters. I mean, who doesn’t know a Nicole? Or a Lauren? I definitely know Avery, Jack, and Aaron; and that cute Sean. And Ryan—I know at least 5 Ryans. My husband is Shilah, minus the drunken father. That’s what made this book engrossing and real and likeable, the fact that it had characters we all know. I’m kind of torn over who I liked best, though. Every time I think I’ve settled on someone, I change my mind. My favorite couple was Avery and Shilah, though. Hands down.
Most memorable quote…
Angela- “But I guess no one really has their shit together. Everyone’s on the quest for the perfect life…but the secret is there’s no such thing”
Erin- I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t highlight a single thing as I was reading. I was so completely engrossed in the story that I couldn’t be bothered to stop and make a note. The only line I really remember is Ryan’s epitaph: “It’s not the length of life, but the depth. Ryan jumped into life and never touched bottom.” It reminds me of a friend (not a Ryan, and maybe not even someone from J.P.) who left us too soon. Quite fitting…
Our thoughts on Michelle Pace and Tammy Coons as a writing team…
Angela- I’m still trying to wrap my mind around how two people can work together so flawlessly to craft a story so touching and real. I think they are a dynamic duo and I hope they keep working together and delivering more beautiful stories!
Erin- I am still kind of baffled that this was co-written. I actually asked the author I knew if the other one was a figment of her imagination, thinking perhaps the co-author route is a marketing scheme. It seems that they both exist and somehow co-wrote this book seamlessly. I’m dying to know how they did it…
Why readers should buy this book NOW…
Angela- It’s a book that you will not want to put down. Yes, it’s that good! You will laugh, cry, and find some unexpected little surprises. This is a story you don’t want to miss!
Erin- It’s a reread. I haven’t read a book in a long time that’s been filed on my Kindle in the “Reread Collection,” but this most definitely is. I felt instantly at home in Jefferson Point; the characters are normal, everyday people, and were portrayed as such, with no illusions or fancy clothes. Quest is a true snapshot of America.(less)
Heartbreak, loss, longing, love...oh boy, this story had me "hanging by a thread" emotionally. Stella dealt with a seriously emotional and tragic even...moreHeartbreak, loss, longing, love...oh boy, this story had me "hanging by a thread" emotionally. Stella dealt with a seriously emotional and tragic event and is trying to figure out how to simply survive. With the help of her friends and roommates, and of course the bartender, George, she is able to slowly start to live again.
I loved the humor in this story. Even when dealing with a rather dark subject, there were lines that had me giggling out loud. The group of friends and their relationships reminded me of my own friends and I could really connect with them. This is a story that will suck you in and you won't want it to let go.
R. L. took a turn that I was totally not expecting and the cliffhanger at the end just left me wanting more. I don't want to give away anything about the story, so I'm just going to tell you to add this one to your TBR list. If you are looking for a simply wonderful book to loose yourself in, you must pick this one up! I'm looking forward to the next story and can't wait to see what else R. L. Griffin crafts for all of the contemporary literature lovers out there. You will love this story!
I loved every minute of this story! I am a huge fan of contemporary love stories with humor that keep me doubled over with laughter. Jodie Beau did no...moreI loved every minute of this story! I am a huge fan of contemporary love stories with humor that keep me doubled over with laughter. Jodie Beau did not disappoint with this story. Her character development was outstanding and she made Roxie into a fallen woman that we can all love and relate to. Roxie's inner dialogue was phenomenal and I loved the transformation she made during the story as she moved from "The Good Wife" to finding "The Good Life."
"Your future is an unwritten script. Make it award-worthy."
This was a quick read, but it wasn't a short story, I just couldn't put it down. I wanted more! There wasn't a dull moment and yes, there was a swoon worthy male who I was rooting for the entire time. Jake was left behind when Roxie ran away to college and New York chasing her dreams, but when she came back home after splitting with her husband, she found him still waiting. As she worked on her "Good Life" list compiled by her equally humorous friend, Hope, she discovered that she really hadn't found herself in New York. She was still searching for the girl she wanted to be.
"-But some things are worth facing your fears for, right?"
This was a five star read for me all the way. There was humor, love, some unexpected twists, and a whole lot of wonderful. If you are looking for a great story on the lighter side, this is one you don't want to miss. Jodie Beau is now on my watch list and I will be anxiously awaiting her next work of brilliance. Fantastic job, Jodie!(less)
Andrea Randall has always been a phenomenal author, but In the Stillness has launched a whole new level of brilliance for her as a writer. Deep and em...moreAndrea Randall has always been a phenomenal author, but In the Stillness has launched a whole new level of brilliance for her as a writer. Deep and emotional, this novel will pull at your heart strings and take you to a dark place that you will not soon forget. PTSD, 9-11, first loves… it’s all woven into a work of excellence through the eyes of a young mother struggling to just survive. Five stars, my thoughts… they are simply not worthy of how outstanding this masterpiece was to me as a reader, mother, and wife. Truly amazing!(less)
4.5 Heart-wrecking stars! Wow!!! Talk about some smoking hot loving and a swoon worthy man! Wreck Me had me on the edge of my seat and I didn't move u...more4.5 Heart-wrecking stars! Wow!!! Talk about some smoking hot loving and a swoon worthy man! Wreck Me had me on the edge of my seat and I didn't move until I was done. Now that my heart has slowed down, I'm still left dying to know what happens next, because she left us with a cliffhanger that only has me wanting more! I loved Jo and how raw and real she was. She was one tough chick and I only wish I had half of her spunk. Damon was a total hunk and such as sweet guy! Throw in a tragic accident, a hilarious grandma, the old Captain, and you've got a story that will wrap it's arms around you and squeeze for dear life. Great work JL!!(less)
This book is the first novel for Lisa De Jong and she has stolen my heart! I instantly fell in love with Dane and boy oh boy, he is super swoon worthy...moreThis book is the first novel for Lisa De Jong and she has stolen my heart! I instantly fell in love with Dane and boy oh boy, he is super swoon worthy. Alex can't help but fall in love with him as well. She's constantly battling with her path in life. Does she choose the path her parents have set for her, or does she follow her heart into places she never even imagined?
This story flowed effortlessly and I could not put it down. It was one of those books you read just dying to find out what happens next, yet curse yourself for reading too quickly. I simply did not want it to end. I laughed, swooned, and cried with the characters. Lisa is a master writer of angst and Plastic Hearts was bursting at the seams with gut wrenching plot lines. This was a story that twisted my gut and heart into a mangled mess, but it "hurt so good."
Lisa, who was once a book reviewer and blogger, has found her new calling as an up and coming Indie Author. The story was fabulously edited, beautifully scripted, and smoking hot. Dane and Alex will win you over and you'll be panting for more. Pick this one up and don't wait another second. It will easily be added to the top of your "5 Star Reads." Outstanding job, Lisa, and we will all be anxiously awaiting your next book!(less)
A joint review from The Indie Bookshelf with Angela McLaurin, Lisa Rutledge, and Stephenie Thomas.
Angela- A beautiful tale of family relationships and...moreA joint review from The Indie Bookshelf with Angela McLaurin, Lisa Rutledge, and Stephenie Thomas.
Angela- A beautiful tale of family relationships and love here on Earth and what happens when we leave those love ones behind.
Lisa- Always There is phenomenal story about loss and growth, but it’s also a guaranteed heart warmer.
Stephenie- I fell in love with this book hard and deep from the very first page!
What we learned about mother/daughter relationships…
Angela- Sometimes the things that crush us the most are things that roll off the other’s back. Just love to the fullest and don’t take one single moment for granted!
Lisa- What I learned was to cherish every possible second you have with your mother or daughter. Every second is very precious, because you don’t know when you your time will be up with her.
Stephenie- That they are so precious and pure. Few people are on your side as fiercely as your mother is. She’s the first person that you think of when something wonderful or terrible happens to you.
Things we pondered after reading…
Angela- I was fixated on the clothing you end up wearing in heaven. You ended up wearing for an eternity the outfit you sported on the most important and monumental day of your life. What would mine be? I know we all think we know what it would be, but as Lila and Betheny found out, it’s not always what you planned or expected. Now I will most definitely be more aware of my clothing choices on important days!
Lisa- What outfit will I be wearing when I am in Heaven, and exactly which day was my “Happiest” time in life. Because honestly, I think I have way too many. J< 3
Stephenie- The whole book is simply brilliant but when Shelby realizes that she’s been wrong. The scene was beautiful and heart wrenching, you can understand why she’s so reluctant to let people in; she’s been dealt with so much sadness in her life.
Our thoughts on the characters…
Angela- The characters were real and true with humor and wit we can all relate to. Each of us has a crazy aunt and whether or not you have siblings, I think we all share the types of relationships described with someone special in our lives. The characters made this story the phenomenal tale that it was!
Lisa- First off I have to say all of the characters in this book were very real to me. I fell in love with all of them, especially Shelby Lynn and Chance (sawoon!).
Shelby Lynn is an exceptional character. She has a personality that is bigger than life. But she also needs to learn to let go and move on. I really love her, a ton.
Darby is a great “Big Sister.” She pushes Shelby Lynn to be a better person, a stronger person.
Vaughn makes me smile. He is such an awesome “Big Brother.” He really loves Shelby Lynn. He is her rock at all times. But he still encourages her to move and continue her life.
Aunt Lila intimidated me a bit. But in a good way. She loves her nieces and nephews a ton. She was their second mother after all, and she was always looking out for them.
Betheny and Carl aka Mom and Dad-Are strong and fantastic parents. They love their children immensely, even if they weren’t there for them when times were tough.
Johnny only made a tiny appearance in this book, but enough to leave an impression on me. I loved him. He was a kid with a heart of gold. I loved how her respected Carl so much and looked up to him like an older brother or father. They were a good team, Johnny and Carl!
Chance was a total swoonsicle! He won my heart instantly. He is so very romantic and caring. Plus he is a single father with a very precious daughter, who I loved too. How could you not love him? And he loves Shelby Lynn! I could keep gushing about him, but then I would ruin the book for you readers J
Stephenie- I loved each and everyone of them! Especially Shelby and Chance. I think losing your parents when you're young hardens you and makes you bitter especially to friends who still have both of their parents. I think Shelby was a perfect “orphaned adult”.
After reading this book…
Angela- I’m an emotional mess! Enough said!
Lisa- I was stunned and a hot mess. Carol Ann pierced my heart and my soul, deeply. This was a beautiful yet powerful story. It helped me put my life into perspective and possibly ready myself for when my parents pass away. I do however have a couple of questions: One what happened to Johnny? Two who did Adam belong to?
Stephenie- I just finished this so I’m still a blubbering mess but I loved this story. It was like an emotional roller coaster of feelings. I felt everything that Shelby and Beth experienced. Ms. Eastman didn’t sugar coat death or cancer she explained it perfectly! One of my favorite lines from the book was this, it explains it all! “People try to be therapists, Buddhists, priests or something helpful, when they really should just leave all of those trite comments like, “She’s in a better place” or “She’s with the Lord now” in the car before they even think about entering the funeral home. Those asinine comments just make people angry and do nothing to ease the pain. My least favorite has always been, “At least the suffering is over.” I always want to respond to people who say that with, “Really? Because my suffering isn’t you fuckhole, so thanks a lot!” She nailed it!!!
Our thoughts on Carol Ann Albright Eastman as an author…
Angela- Carol Ann is a fantastic story teller who can capture your heart and squeeze until you fall in love with her words. She has a beautiful gift and a beautiful message!
Lisa- Two words sum up Carol Ann Albright Eastman. Beyond Talented. She writes in a way I didn’t think was possible. She writes with passion, depth, and meaning.
Stephenie- I think that I have a new author crush! She is completely brilliant and I loved her book. She put her heart and soul into this book and I devoured every moment of it. I needed this book. Thank you Ms. Eastman, you blew my mind!
Why readers should buy this book NOW…
Angela- You must own this story because it will force you to think about your own relationships and ponder if you will be satisfied with your intentions and choices when you leave this world. We are never promised tomorrow and we need to do everything we can TODAY to make sure that we are living and loving to the fullest!
Lisa- This book will make you think. It will make you see Heaven in different light and your loved ones there in a new light. I loved the alternating aspects of Heaven and Earth. It put a very unique spin on this book.
Stephenie- This book was very personal for me but I think everyone will appreciate its beauty. It’s honestly a journey that will make you laugh out loud and cry crocodile tears. It’s a story that needed to be told because of how pure and honest it is. All of us will one day lose our parents, some of us sooner than later and Ms. Eastman told how difficult those moments are.(less)
This is Kathryn's first novel and I have to say that it was a breath of fresh air. The setting for the majority of the book was...more4.5 Beautiful Stars!!!
This is Kathryn's first novel and I have to say that it was a breath of fresh air. The setting for the majority of the book was in Okinawa and was described in beautiful and vivid detail. As a reader, I loved being taken out of America to discover this foreign land right along with Nicole. Katherine did a marvelous job of making me feel like I was there with the characters in the story, experiencing the culture and sights just as they did.
"No turning back, no regrets, and no second guessing. I knew at that moment, gazing into the sea-green ocean that my life was about to begin."
I found Nicole to be a strong character, sure of herself and ready to experience a new chapter of her life miles and miles away from her family. Her passion for dance and music led her to Okinawa to study in a prestigious dance program with a host family she would learn to love as dearly as her own. When she meets Jonathan, she is intrigued but also guarded. She's never had a boyfriend, never even been interested. He storms into her new life and she discovers things about love, relationships, and trust that were as foreign to her as the ancient Japanese island of Okinawa. Add in her spit-fire best friend back home, Annie, and her new host family's daughter, Emiko, and the story only intrigued me more.
"Only love and truth, okay? Only love and truth from now on. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
Kathryn's writing style was captivating and hooked me from the beginning. This novel was beautifully scripted and flowed quite effortlessly making it an enjoyable and unforgettable adventure. A true romance novel with the themes of music, dance, culture, independence, and young love woven so beautifully into her thoughtful words, Love and Truth is sure to be a new favorite for any reader looking for escape to an exotic and fictional world. (less)
What first drew me to this book was the beautiful cover! A gorgeous cover always peaks my interest. I also learned that Ashley is from South Carolina...moreWhat first drew me to this book was the beautiful cover! A gorgeous cover always peaks my interest. I also learned that Ashley is from South Carolina which was another bonus for me. Going in, I knew there was no way that I wouldn't love this story!
This truly was a haunting tale of friendship and loyalty and all of the things that can go wrong in between. I loved the relationship between Katherine and Ben! Reading about a brother and sister being so incredibly close was refreshing and sweet. Their relationship was strong until Katherine's roommate in college, Emma, entered the picture. Ashley did a phenomenal job of creating the character of Emma. She was sweet, obsessive, scary, and revengeful all wrapped up in a pretty package. I went in thinking this would be another college love story, but I couldn't have been more wrong.
The story starts out with a mystery of a disappearance on New Year's Day and then backtracks to fill us in on the story that brought us to that point. There were relationships explored between brothers and sisters, roommates, childhood friends, and parents and their children. The book ended up turning me into an emotional wreck and I loved every twist and turn of the plot. From the incredibly complex characters she created to the surprising plot, Ashley Farley has written a haunting tale you won't soon forget!
I am anxious to see what Ashley has in store for readers next and she has taken an official place on my "authors to watch" list. Also, you must go and check out her website. It's a wonderful resource for readers and writers alike and I'm following it closely for new information daily!(less)
Holy hot wow! I devoured this steamy read in one day and am still reeling over the beautiful bastard that is Bennett Ryan! He was a hot ticket that I...moreHoly hot wow! I devoured this steamy read in one day and am still reeling over the beautiful bastard that is Bennett Ryan! He was a hot ticket that I will not soon forget. The sexy banter and interludes between Bennett and Chloe flowed at the perfect pace to keep me on edge and constantly wanting more. This is one of my favorite "steamy" reads of 2013. 5 hot and delicious stars!
Review to come closer to release!!! I am fortunate that Elizabeth is a dear friend of mine and that I was asked to beta read this book. You are going...moreReview to come closer to release!!! I am fortunate that Elizabeth is a dear friend of mine and that I was asked to beta read this book. You are going to LOVE it!!! Seriously, the best mature YA of the year for me!!!! Mark it "to read" now!!!!!!(less)