This is a love story about a woman named Venetia Ashton-Montague (quite the moniker!) and an Italian Don Juan, named Paolo Barone. The two meet during the Carnival in Venice, after Paolo rescues Venetia from an attacker. They are instantly intrigued by one another. Venetia has moved to Venice to work in her grandmother’s architectural firm. After she begins working on a beautiful home in Tuscany, Venetia stumbles upon a mystery. The romance of Venetia and Paolo is a tortured one, with both characters possessing deep scars from their past. There’s also a bit of suspense with an Italian count and a young rival.
The book is really not my style. First of all, it’s not chick lit – definitely more along the lines of a traditional romance, with some gothic undertones. I really didn’t care for the doom and gloom factor that hoovers over the story. The heroine, Venetia, was very hard to warm up too. I didn’t understand why she was so damaged after ten years, which was a long time to harbor hurt and anger over a young love. Even after she was supposedly in love with Paolo, she was unwilling to trust him. I needed more character devolvement sooner in the story. I also didn’t feel the chemistry between the two, so it was hard to be invested in the romance. The mystery was somewhat interesting. Fielding is technically a good writer, but she was way too detailed in descriptions of the architecture, scenery and food. The details were overwhelming. As I noted, it wasn’t my genre of choice, but it you like a suspenseful romance and are a fan of things Italian, this may be the story for you.
Ms Frost is an uptight, tightly wound Manager of an upscale restaurant who doesn’t do relationships, trust, or even know how to let loose. On top of that she ends up with her broke abused mother sharing her small flat because she lost everything in a bad relationship. In comes Aiden who from the moment he meets her, sees more than just the walls she has built. Aiden forces her to see how much she is missing out on life and slowly but surely he melts Ms Frost…..
If you are looking for a fun holiday’ish book, with a lot of steamy romance, this is the book for you. The bedroom scenes could melt the ice like an ice cream cone in July.
This is a fun story with a lot of romance’y type scenes, but it also has depth hidden in the story. Ms Frost comes with her share of troubled issues that interferes with having any type of personal life. Aiden comes off as a bad boy looking to “tap” the ice queen-but there is more to his story then one would think.
Aiden is the first to see through the icy exterior that Ms Frost puts on, but not only that he sees what an amazing person she is and that she hides it from the world all to protect herself from getting hurt and being used like her mother. But in doing that she also stops herself from ever really being happy. Aiden and “Ms Frost” relationship compliments each other and their story was a sweet read.
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review
During the man-made apocalypse in the 21st century, a group of elites killed off a majority of the population. Only two groups of survivors remained––those selected to reside inside the Los Angeles City Center and the rebels, relegated to live on the Outside.
Centuries later, Ava Rhodes is one of five potential successors competing to become the next Queen of the City Center. A week prior to the final competitions she encounters Joseph, a rebel from the Outside, and discovers her utopian home is actually a prison and breeding facility aimed at designing the perfect human. She escapes with Joseph to the Outside world, sending the City Center’s leader, Chief Morray, into an obsessive pursuit for his property.
Along the journey, Ava falls in love with Joseph and discovers an even darker secret about the fate of her people. She must decide whether to stay with Joseph, or save her people from destruction.
Take a splash of Hunger Games and a pinch of Elizabethan England and mix it in a technologically-advanced society, and you’ll have an interesting recipe for a YA/NA dystopian. The societal set up was complex but intriguing. Set three hundred years in the future, this novel shows some very real, very frightening possibilities for America’s future. It truly isn’t difficult it to imagine DNA modifications, mood modifiers pumped into public facilities, and governmental monitoring even in private homes, and let’s face it, most people already believe the powerful elite control everything from elected officials to media streaming. So, at times, I felt a chill at seeing a glimpse of a conceivable 24th century LA. However, it was difficult to get past the similarities between what has quickly become a mainstay in dystopian fiction. The pageantry of the City Center citizens, the outrageous beautification procedures, the populace vote in a competition (though not for life or death), the handlers of the candidates—all of these have that formulaic feel which Katniss fans will see immediately.
I also had some problems with Ava’s character. Sometimes, she seems strong and intelligent, like when she recues Joseph from execution or when she escapes David’s nefarious clutches, but at other times, she’s weak, easily malleable, like whenever James yells at her. She relies on others to take care of her, too, literally slipping in and out of consciousness multiple times in the novel in situations requiring her full attention and mobility. This combat-trained girl, semi-devoid of human emotion can’t seem to stay awake when her life depends on it, and at the moment she builds a fire, caveman style, I began to lose interest.
The novel’s crescendo coup d’état was just too easy and borderline cheesy, explaining everything away in half of a chapter. The end also becomes didactic with a great deal of social commentary at the expense of the plot.
Great beginning but a bit rushed at the end
Jane Austen Fans are going to love this tribute book! Undressing Mr. Darcy is a modern day story about how one woman finds herself face to face with a modern Mr. Darcy, and drenched in the life and times of Jane Austen.
I cannot say enough good about this book! It was a fabulous read! It’s the story of a PR specialist that is so hooked to the social media world that she forgot to experience real life, let alone love. This is when Darcy walks in her life and her world changes.
But as we often find in the best stories, not all is what it seems. And such is the case with Mr. Darcy; sometimes your prince charming is disguised in swashbucklers and pirate boots. Vanessa soon finds herself with two men vying for her attention, not to mention she begins to discover why her Aunt spent some many years trying to convince her to give Jane Austen’s writing a chance. Once Vanessa catches the Jane Austen bug she actually surprises herself and enjoys what she learns and reads. Something which ends up changing and inspiring her to change some things in her life.
Undressing Mr. Darcy is a wonderful read, one that was sent to me non-digital and was definitely an unexpected pleasure to read. When I picked up this book I was expecting a romance centered around Mr. Darcy, this book is far more than and as a delight to read.
Ellie Redford has a husband, a job and a home. According to the rest of the world, it’s baby o’clock already. Shame life doesn’t come with a recipe…
Ellie knows that starting a family with lovely husband Pete would be an amazing adventure. Pete would make a brilliant dad and she’d have an excuse to eat shed loads of Cherry Bakewell. But Ellie’s bestie would rather she was up at 3 a.m. with a bottle of Malibu, not formula. And with redundancies looming, Ellie’s boss isn’t exactly going to throw her a shower if she disappears for a year, with pay.
While Ellie juggles her feelings (and everyone else’s) as competently as a drunken clown, she finds herself signing up for a baking class, alongside the young, free and sizzling hot Joe. As they work buns and shape tarts, is there more to their friendship than a shared appreciation of Paul Hollywood?
Ellie’s soufflés may be rising, but her personal life is one big soggy mess. If she doesn’t make a decision soon, she may just lose everything that matters to her. Maybe it’s time to take off the pinny and face up to the truth: there’s more to life than cupcakes…
It seems apropos that Poppy Dolan would write about a foodie who works at a food magazine. Poppy’s name is enough to have me salivating over the thought of my favorite muffins. (So cruel; I’m off carbs. Ugh!) The food theme pops up in witty ways throughout the novel. But the food wasn’t the first thing I noticed.
My first impression of There’s More to Life than Cupcakes was “oh boy, is this long.” I thought it was the odd sense of length given by the lack of physical pages. (I still can’t quite get used to reading on my Kindle; increasing percentages just aren’t the same as feeling the pages turn.) At 295 pages, it’s certainly not the longest romantic comedy; it just felt that way. For this reader, there was simply a tediousness to the narrative—not to Ellie’s dilemma, that is totally valid. There was something in the storytelling that took away from the plight of this modern woman instead of shedding light on it. Perhaps I didn’t understand some of the Briticisms and missed the joke—that’s definitely possible. But it seems like more than a few lost punch lines. There’s simply so much going on in this book and I’m not so sure that all of it is necessary. I can’t go into detail without spoilers, so I’ll just say that Ellie has many relationships and I’m not entirely sure that they all help move the plot along or help Ellie figure out anything about herself or her dilemma. And Ellie’s dilemma is worthy of focus.
To have a baby or not to have a baby? That is the question.
As a woman in her early 30s in the year 2013, I understand this question. Ellie happens to be married in this story, but even unwed women of our age are standing at the same precipice. We all know that our eggs do expire and that expiration date is not printed on our bums. The 30s is the uncertain danger zone. Are my eggs turning to dust? It’s a valid thought. One that is scary and without a definite answer, even with extensive, expensive testing. All of Ellie’s antics in dealing with the scary, overwhelming, life-changing-regardless-of-what-you-do problem are very familiar. At my age, everyone wants to know either “So when are you getting married?” or “When are you gonna pop out some grandbabies?” Can I just figure out who I am first! I hear you, Ellie.
While I didn’t find this book quick reading, I do find it interesting. There are some gem moments here that made it worth the read (e.g. the reason for the title—stunner!). I also love the cultural references (that I got) that made me realize I am now in that 30-something group I used to think was old—it really isn’t; just yesterday I was in high school. And that’s part of the point. This book is a great reminder that, in the words of the immortal philosopher Ferris Bueller, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
3 ½ Stars
Cat Lavoie is now on tour with CLP Blog Tours and Zoey & The Moment of Zen
When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all.
This was the cute, funny, “we’ve all done that crap” or we have “a friend who’s done the exact same thing” kind of book that I love. Zoey is in love with a guy and she just can’t seem to forget him – although their relationship has been over for a year. Despite the encouragement of her friends, she just can’t forget him. Once she sets her sights on a new man, though, it’s full throttle fun. Characters & relationships grow and evolve, and although at times I wanted to scream at Zoey and tell her “NO! STOP IT!” – I loved her. I enjoyed this book from cover to cover, and Cat did a wonderful job writing. A great book with a nice story, perfect writing and character development, you definitely want to read “Zoey & The Moment of Zen.”
I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
As chaos descends on a crippled Earth, survivors are tormented by strange psychic gifts. In this time of apocalyptic despair, love is put to the test. One woman with mysterious healing power guides eight children to safety. Charismatic Arthur offers her a haven. Slowly Emma falls for him. But at the moment of their sweetest love, his devastating secret is revealed, and they are lost to each other. The award-winning first book in the acclaimed After Series.
I’m afraid Fallen fell a bit short for me. Lots of action? You betcha. Lots of characters to remember? You betcha. Lots of ‘mist’ rules? You betcha. Protagonist catchphrase that drove me as crazy as the mists? You betcha. Post-apocalyptic bliss? Not so much.
The idea of the novel isn’t really unique. These “end of the world we are all so dead” novels seem to be pretty common nowadays, probably because of the doomsday tv of late; however, this one did, at least, have a novel method-o-destruction—the mist. This ubiquitous mist rises at unpredictable times and consumes everything in its path, buildings, people, and apparently sanity as well. If you are lucky enough to escape its insidious grasp, you could be left a few sticks shy of a campfire but not always. You see, that was my issue. There were lots of (for lack of better term) ‘rules,’ but those rules seemed to be as fickle as the mist itself. The mist kills but not everyone. The mist crazes but not always. The mist returns but not everywhere. The mist grants supernatural powers but only to some. Confused yet?
The character turnaround was overwhelming, too. Obviously, characters will come and go when you live with a semi-nomadic—but extremely intelligent—band of rag tags converging in France from all over Europe and Asia, but I became completely frustrated by all the names, backstories, and former occupations. However, I’m thinking this might not be such a terrible place to live considering the wealth of knowledge converged in camp. Emma seems to be the only useless character in the whole place; thank goodness she developed that whole healing thing, that and she’s apparently great in the bedroll. Otherwise, why would Arthur keep her around?
Forget what you thought you knew about this story, because everything is about to change.
With Alyssa near death, Luke, Jacob and their companions make a desperate attempt to reach Boston with the final ingredient needed for the plague antidote. They must travel through the Canadian wilderness, some of the roughest country in North America. Along the way they are joined by new friends and old as they fight to reach their destination and save Alyssa. What they don’t know is that something is hunting them.
Something evil is lurking, waiting to strike when they least expect it.
After years of fighting courageously against the living plague, they’d thought they knew their enemy. They’d believed their wits, bravery and strength would be enough to win this fight against the threat that had overrun so much of the world they once knew. But they were wrong.
Now Luke, Risa, Jacob, DeAndre and Jonathan face their most dangerous trials yet as they battle the ever-present zombie threat, along with a new challenge they never saw coming. How many ways can this plague try to kill them? Find out, in the latest installment of the Mad World series.
I have been following this series from book one, and I was actually surprised by how much I liked these reads. I’m not a huge fan of zombies or apocalyptic books, but I found myself very much looking forward to the second and the third books. The third is different from the first two as we hear the story from Luke’s POV instead of Alyssa’s. Alyssa is actually near death after a battle with zombies, and her family, including son Luke who is half-zombie half-human, are on a mission to help get what could be the antidote to help cure her – and everyone else. The book has the same fast-paced action as the others, with a lot of graphic scenes and thrilling situations. While I enjoyed this book very much, I don’t think the writing was quite as tight as the first two. Some of the scenes felt rushed or forced. I still very much liked this book and the series as a whole, and I’ll be eager to read the fourth and final novel.
**Everyone who leaves a comment on the tour page will be entered to win a $20 Amazon gift card! Anyone who purchases their copy of Mad World: Desperation before December 16 and sends their receipt to Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com, will get five bonus entries.**
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Kelly Callahan had everything going for her. Everything that is, except for a relationship. It wasn’t for the lack of trying, it just seemed like she was a magnet for all the wrong ones. But all of that was about to change the minute she laid eyes on Jake.
On a dare from her close friend, Michelle, Kelly accepts a challenge to date and become Jake’s girlfriend within three months. The consequence of losing is global humiliation, and she refuses to lose.
Enlisting the help of her childhood friend and confidant, Brian, Kelly manages to catch Jakes attention. She also unknowingly hooks Brian who tries to sabotage the plan. Kelly finds herself with a dilemma; take the final step with Jake and win the plan or follow her heart and reveal her feelings for Brian.
Much like its San Diego setting, this novel is as light and sunny as spring-break at the beach. It’s a reminder of that heart-fluttering, “OMG, I can’t wait to see him!” feeling. With little to no sub-story, the plot is uncomplicated, making for an easy read, without the overload of characters and all their accoutrement. In fact, the only real drama belongs to Kelly, and oh to have Kelly’s dilemma! Two guys—the newcomer, with his dark hair and surfer’s body, and the best friend, with his curling blonde locks and “fix me” complex—vie for Kelly’s hand,. My, oh my!
A warning, though, the novel is predictable. Any chick flick fan will see the plot playing out well in advance of the ending. I felt like I was watching a teen movie on Nickelodeon (but with a lot of sexual tension and a hangover). It all sort of fell into place a little too simply and unrealistically for me. Everyone, even the man whore friend, seemed too squeaky clean. For example, when Brian sleeps with a girl then orders her out the next morning, she quickly forgives him at the next party and even propositions him again. When he refuses, she offers to drive him home! I don’t know a single woman who wouldn’t want to remove vital parts from his perfect physique, and other than yoga and walking her dog, Kelly doesn’t do much. Even Brian, who does at least work, waits tables at a beachside hangout frequented by his friends and lots of eye candy. Maybe this is real life for today’s twenty-somethings, but I’m not completely buying it.
I did like the climactic scene, which was sweet and cornily romantic. However, I’m not certain it fully redeems the rest of the novel.
DA’s. Cops. Good guys. Bad Guys. Thriller. Suspense. Love Story.
Ellie Marston – has bad luck on her side. She is involved with something so wrong and doesn’t even know it. Her character unfolds a fictitious world she lived in to reestablish herself…
Paul Santiago – the man she accidentally falls for and has to figure out if he is the liar, the truth, or behind it all…
Be careful what you say…
The End was a quick and easy read. I found some parts of the plot to be a confusing web, needing a graphic organizer to keep the story straight. However, I enjoyed getting to know Ellie and watching her character grow. While I was not a huge fan of this book, it did keep my attention, but it was just not for me. Only my honest opinion. 3 ½ stars.
Regret was one of those things I sprinkled on my cereal for breakfast.
I’m a pushy jerkface wadcake because I don’t want anything to happen to you. You’re special to me.
Go ahead and fall baby. Fall hard. I’ll catch you, cause I’m already here.
Dire circumstances sometimes produced a certain aura of false bravado around me, making me bolder that I ought to be.