#BookReview: Owning It by Leah Marie Brown

owningitSummary:

The chance of a lifetime . . . or just another bad decision?

Delaney Lavender Brooks needs to grow up. At least, according to her parents. After getting evicted from her apartment and wrecking her car, Laney is almost ready to trade in her paintbrushes and surrender to a more sensible 9-to-5 existence. Almost. Until she’s awarded an internship at a prestigious art gallery in Paris. What else can the free-spirited artist do but follow her dreams? Even if her latest attempt at chasing rainbows might cost her a real future . . .

Once in the city of lights, Laney is almost undone by the glaring truth: maybe she isn’t sophisticated or talented enough to make it as an artist—or an independent woman, for that matter. And when she’s hotly pursued by a seductive Frenchman, she has to wonder if she’s about to be a fool for love, too. Soon Laney’s greatest challenge is not proving herself to her parents, but having the courage to live the life—and love—of her dreams . . .

Review:

Owning It was a fast-paced chick lit read that had me smiling while imagining myself in Paris. I thought the beginning was such a funny way to start the book, and it captured my attention immediately. When Laney got to Paris I was still definitely engaged in the story, but I didn’t quite feel the connection between Laney and her romantic interest. I did enjoy meeting the secondary cast, especially Rigby, and the interesting scenarios Laney always managed to find her in.  I wish I would have felt more between Laney and Gabriel but still a fun read.

4 stars

Book Review: Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

Publication date: June 27, 201733547390

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?

Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher—an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches—Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. . .and cannot resist.

Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest. . .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?

“Witty, sensual historical romance that will captivate readers.” —Romance Junkies

Duke with Benefits is the second in Manda Collins’ Studies in Scandal series set in Regency England.

 

The Review:

This is my second in the Scandal’s series, and I enjoyed it nearly as much as the first one. The great, and usually unusual, aspect of this series is that the novels actually have a plot. I hope that all four “bluestockings” have their own novels. I’ll read every one!

This novel centers around Daphne. Daphne knows everything there is to know about math and decoding, but she knows nothing about interacting with other people. Her blunt (to the point of rude–something I’ve been accused of more than once) speech is often funny and cringe-worthy. There were times when she seemed too ignorant, unbelievably so, though. She’s smart; she would know the common sayings, but I still enjoyed her character.

Dalton, the hunky Duke, is patient beyond patient with his socially awkward love. His character seemed a little underdeveloped to me. I would have liked to see more angst, a little more grime on him so to speak. He was awfully squeaky-clean. Here’s a guy who’s so honorable that he refuses take Daphne up on her indecent proposal–just seems a little unrealistic.

The plot was interesting, like the first in the series. The novel is a treasure hunt complete with clues and intrigue where Daphne will be forced to use her amazing talents. Unfortunately, the hunt ended too soon in my opinion.

Overall, I liked the novel but not quite as much as the first.

4 Stars

 

#BookReview: All The Best People by Sonja Yoerg

all the best peopleSummary:

Vermont, 1972. Carole LaPorte has a satisfying, ordinary life. She cares for her children, balances the books for the family’s auto shop and laughs when her husband slow dances her across the kitchen floor. Her tragic childhood might have happened to someone else.

But now her mind is playing tricks on her. The accounts won’t reconcile and the murmuring she hears isn’t the television. She ought to seek help, but she’s terrified of being locked away in a mental hospital like her mother, Solange. So Carole hides her symptoms, withdraws from her family and unwittingly sets her eleven-year-old daughter Alison on a desperate search for meaning and power: in Tarot cards, in omens from a nearby river and in a mysterious blue glass box belonging to her grandmother.

An exploration of the power of courage and love to overcome a damning legacy, All the Best People celebrates the search for identity and grace in the most ordinary lives.
Review:

This review might be a bit complicated, but this is a complicated read. To be honest, the beginning didn’t grab my attention as quickly as I would have liked. I had trouble connecting right away, but I’m happy I stuck with the story. It ended up being incredibly fascinating, twisted, and much more than I expected. From the 1930s to the 1970s, I was fascinated at the different perspectives we got. The book really focuses on mental illness, and how that was dealt with in the 30s and how drastically it was changed by the 70s. There were slow moments for me throughout, but then moments it picked right back up and I had to have my Kindle near me. I highly encourage you to pick up this book, and if the beginning starts off slow for you, keep going. You will not be disappointed with the story, and the ending truly made this hard to put down.

4 stars