#BookReview: Restless in LA by Robin Finn

restless in laSummary:

It was an innocent online flirtation. Until it wasn’t.

Alexandra Hoffman thinks she has it all together. She lives with her work-obsessed husband Jason and their three challenging children in upscale Los Angeles. She never meant to “friend” her old boyfriend, Matt Daniels. She hasn’t seen him in twenty years. But as Alex’s fortieth birthday approaches, she finds herself re-connecting with Matt online—and re-reading her college journal, which details their intense connection and unresolved ending. But Alex’s hands are full with the kids, one of whom she just can’t help, no matter how hard she tries.

Lonely and alienated by the helicopter moms, and from Jason who is never around, Alex’s flirtation quickly moves from on-line to real-world. Alex realizes—too late—that she cannot trust herself. When she meets Matt for dinner, the attraction is undeniable. And when he touches her face, it’s electric. As her life spirals out of control, she clings to her free-spirited life coach, Lark, to make sense of the mess she’s made. But Lark’s advice is clear: Alex must confront her past and find the courage to face her future, even if it means risking everything.

Review:

Whew. This was quite the read. I started this without reading the synopsis, so I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting into. It quickly became clear this was going to be a very emotional, raw, and realistic read. We follow Alex, who is very clearly unhappy to me, even if she can’t understand why she is so unhappy and at first is troubled to admit it. Between her lackluster marriage, three children, and lack of friends besides bestie Laurie, it’s easy to see why Alex isn’t happy-go-lucky. As she meets Matt, I just kind of wanted to yell at her to turn around. Don’t go with him. Don’t keep going back to him. Why risk your marriage, why disrupt your family? But it was also clear Alex and Matt has something so special, and something that can’t be ignored. I don’t want to get into too much more detail because I wasn’t sure what choices she would make and would like you to be surprised as well, but this was a really good read. I couldn’t always understand Alex and her actions at times, like when she was constantly blaming others for her decisions, but also found her very relatable. There are some fairly erotic scenes sprinkled throughout which I thought it would be important to mention, and overall I found this to be a good read. Not an easy read, but still gave me plenty to think about.

4 stars

#BookReview: Down, Then Up by Beth Labonte

down then upIn Down, Then Up by Beth Labonte, we meet Lauren Oswald, who is in Vegas for her sister’s bachelorette party. When her sister and her friends need a drunken late night snack, it’s Lauren who gets put on donut duty. Since making the decision to get sober, Lauren is the odd one out at the Vegas bachelorette party and heads to the elevator – where she runs into her ex, Jamie Mullins. Jamie’s cousin is marrying Lauren’s sister, and the guy are also in Vegas for the bachelor party. Lauren has been keen to avoid her old flame, but now, there is no avoiding him. Lauren and Jamie decide to make an adventure out of their late night Vegas run, and the old sparks soon begin to fly. Lauren begins to realize that Jamie was the one who got away – but could she ever possible get him back?

This was such a sweet novella! I have read from Beth Labonte in the past and was excited to try out this novella, and it was fantastic! There was a perfect blend of past and present, giving us enough information that I felt I understood the characters and could make a connection with them, but it wasn’t too much for a short story. Lauren definitely has quite the past from her wild college years, yet I felt like I got just enough information without being overloaded or brought down. I read this in one sitting and highly enjoyed it. Would definitely recommend this short and sweet novella!

4 stars

Reviewed for Readers Favorite

Book Review: The Angel Alejandro by Alistair Cross

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.The Angel Alejandro

 

Reviewer: Andrea

The Summary:

Angel or Demon?

Naive and heart-stoppingly handsome, he calls himself Alejandro, and Madison O’Riley has no clue what to do with him. As they set out to recover his lost identity, Madison realizes the mysterious man who saved her life harbors deep, otherworldly secrets that will put her in grave danger.

The Devil is in the Details

Gremory Jones has something for everyone, and for a price, he’s willing to make a deal. Walking the streets in top hat and trench coat, he tempts the citizens with nefarious wares from his shiny black briefcase. But buyer beware: All sales are final – and fatal.

A Scorching New Terror Has Come to Town

The townspeople are changing in appalling ways and it’s up to Madison – with the help of a psychic, a local priest, and the new chief of police – to help Alejandro unlock his forgotten powers before an unspeakable evil tears apart the fabric of existence … and costs them their very souls …

The Review:

This book is so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn’t fin
d it with binoculars! When I was approached about reviewing it, I thought it would be an interesting change of pace from my norm. Was I right? Yes and no.

The novel itself is well-written and complex. The plot is a winding journey into depravity. With tons of characters and at least ten changes in POV, the reader will need to pay close attention. Seeing the story from so many angles made the story more developed. BUT that’s where I began to have a problem.

At over 500 pages, this one is a serious time investment, and many, many scenes could have been shortened or even deleted. I was overwhelmed by all of the stomach-churning deviancy. When the devil comes to town, people lose their minds–I get it. The perverted actions quickly made me uncomfortable and disgusted. “Fade to black” would have worked after the first, or tenth, scene, and I really wish the banishing of evil could have had as much emphasis as the perversion.

The portrayal of angels was unique. If you are thinking of those sweet little cherubs or even those white-winged creatures in long robes, think again. Alistair Cross’s angels prefer nudity and smell like whatever you love most. (And I have been racking my brain trying to decide what very own Alejandro would smell more like, buttercream frosting or Fabreze.) Alejandro was kind and naive, to the point I wanted to shake him at times, but his sweetness kept me reading. His Snow White effect on animals was weird, but hey, if he smelled that great, I’d chase him down the street, too.

3.5 Stars