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Time After Time (Time Between Us #2) by Tamara Ireland Stone

Time After Time - Tamara Ireland Stone

Second book in Time Between Us series.

I have not read The Time Travelers Wife, so I really can't compare those books, but I can imagine that this is somewhat a YA version of this book.

 

The love story of Anna and Bennett who are trying to find a way to stay together although 17 years between them and living in a different cities.
In this second book Bennett is testing his time-traveling abilities to the limit and almost loses Anna during his experiments to change the past events.

Good story, interesting twists and good writing as well. Very refreshing YA book without constant drama and angst and surprisingly mature characters.

Lord's Fall (Elder Races #5) by Thea Harrison

Lord's Fall - Thea Harrison

 

Fifth book in Elder Races series and with familiar main characters - The Wyr Lord Dragos and his mate Pia.

 

Dragos and Pia are not my favorite couple in series but still this was a good story.

 

This time Pia tries to help Dragos settle an old dispute between Wyr and Elves. She travels to Elves demesne to meet the Elven leaders but something unexpected happens and once more Dragos has to come to rescue.

 

Somehow slow beginning but then fast pace action, not much Elder Races politics I don't particularly care about and the ever amusing power struggle between Dragos and Pia makes this book really enjoyable. The old dragon lord still struggles to control his young stubborn mate and learns to trust in her decisions and let go of his autocratic need to rule her like his subjects. I must say there are really powerful feelings between those two and Thea Harrison does a good job showing it through her writing.

 

 

 

"We might make a list of pretty words that we can call each other or use for our relationship, but I don't feel pretty things for you. I feel things for you that are volcanic and dangerous, and I'm not safe at the best of times."

 

This series gets better with every book and as the sixth book has just been published, I can't wait to read it ASAP.

 

 

 

Death and the Girl Next Door (Darklight #1) by Darynda Jones

Death and the Girl Next Door - Darynda Jones

I don't have much to say about this book.

It was a hot mess from the beginning.

I barely finished it and I love the Angels theme usually.

The story was all over the place and while reading, I felt like some chapters were missing or things were happening out of the blue quite randomly,  without any reasonable explanation.

 

There was some good and witty dialogue occasionally but not much more.

Sadly, another paranormal YA series not worth continuing.

This girl loves Travis, too!

Girls Love Travis Walker - Anne Pfeffer

I've been wary with NA and YA books lately. Lots of similar and mediocre stories. Recently my best reads in those genres have come from Indie Authors and I have discovered couple of really good authors by taking chance on reading outside mainstream publishers.

Girls Love Travis Walker has won National Indie Excellence Award 2013 and had some great reviews, so I put aside all my bestsellers in waiting and picked it up.

Honestly, I expected the book to be another bad-boy-falls-for-good-girl, insta-love-sort-of-story and easy, fluffy read. Oh boy, was I wrong.
I did not expect this book suck me in and tell me a story that makes me look at some things in life differently and I certainly didn't expect it to be an unputdownable read.

So, yeah, there is a reason why girls love Travis Walker and as I'm also a girl, I can't help but love him, too. It's not just his undeniable charm and good looks, but the determination and strong will to become somebody and fight the really crappy circumstances, tough luck and bad background.
Travis refuses to give up and become a looser, so he fights. He fights to find help for his sick mother, he fights to find a job and pay rent, he fights to stay in a program of learning to do something he really loves. All odds against him, he almost breaks and becomes one of those homeless people we all have seen looking for food in dumpsters and living in a cardboard box.

Travis's story shows us the other side of becoming a homeless person. There is so much prejudice, pointless assumptions and overwhelming bureaucracy that most people caught in the middle of all this never get a chance, they just break and give in and end up on the streets. You can run against the brick wall only for so long.

Of course there is also a love story. In the middle of all the hardship, Travis finally looks behind the pretty face and starts to value different treats in a girl. Such as kindness and compassion and loyalty. It takes time and it's not easy for him to trust another person, open up and ask for help.

Author has done a really good job in telling the story. Despite the difficult subject matter and many adversities, this book manages to stay positive and avoid the all embracing angst and overflowing emotions so typical for NA and YA novels these days. It is also considerably closer to a “clean romance” than the majority of books in those genres.

All in all, a great story from an Indie Author to watch, great characters and maybe a small life lesson to learn for all of us fortunate people.

MAD ABOUT THE BOY (Bridget Jones #3) by Helen Fielding

Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy - Helen Fielding

2,5 stars

First of all - (view spoiler)
Not good, not good at all.
Also, not sure why I bothered with spoiler tags. Everybody in a book world have heard about this blasphemy anyway.

Well, nothing I can do about it to correct this unjustice, so this leaves us with Bridget. We are fastforwarded five years A.M.D. (view spoiler) and Bridget is trying to manage her two young children, re-start career, have a relationship with 30-year old toyboy and deal with batshit crazy friends in her own charming way. As always. She still diets, counts alcohol units and makes to-do lists.

Bridget is older now (51 !!!) but not any wiser. Basically same old, same old with some new characters. Some LOL moments, lots of twitter and message chat, some house fires and happy ending.

I must say, I have always loved the Bridget-movies more than books. I think this one will look better on screen, too. Who knows.

UNTEACHABLE by Leah Raeder

Unteachable - Leah Raeder


I have read a lot of popular YA and NA lately. Some of the highly rated books in those genres certainly do earn their stars but in some cases, I have failed to understand the appeal of certain characters ( Travis Maddox, really??!! )

After reading Slammed by Colleen Hoover, which I loved by the way, I looked up more teacher/student stories. Besides the thrill of an obvious taboo subject, it felt like those books have less whining and more mature characters because one of the leads actually is an adult.
That is how I found Unteachable.

Holy smokes!
I stayed up really late to finish it and this is something I don't usually do. My sleep is sacred and nighttime reading is in the past.
This book left all the other NA/YA, I've read lately, in the dust. I loved the lyrical and flowing writing. I read the book like watching a movie. All the details, descriptions and feelings I literally saw and felt with characters.

“...You should love something while you have it, love it fully and without reservation, even if you know you'll lose it someday. We lose everything. If you're trying to avoid loss, there's no point in taking another breath, or letting your heart beat one more time. It all ends. That's all life is. Breathing in, breathing out. The space between two breaths.”

“You can call it love, or you can call it freefall. They're pretty much the same thing.”

Just beautiful!

About the characters. I love Maise. Life has not been kind to her and at 18 she is more mature and independent than other girls. She can handle almost everything but falling in love with the wrong man. (Well, unfortunately, Evan will not reach anywhere near my top ten heroes, for sure.)
My heart broke with Maise many times during the story and also in the end, or in the end I can picture yet to come after reading the last page.
The ending was my only issue with this book. OK, I had a teeny-weeny problem with Maise's drug dealing also, but anyway, I wish the book had ended differently. Still, a beautiful story with real, raw emotions.

Well done, Ms. Raeder, very well done for a debut novel!

 

 

City of Bones  - Cassandra Clare

I like to read a book before I see the movie.
So I picked it up, FINALLY.

Yeah, this was an "ok" book, BUT ...
I can imagine I would have enjoyed it much more if I would not have read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling or Twilight by Stephenie Meyer before or seen the Star Wars movies.

While reading the book, I found out that there have been made accusations of publishing fanfic and even plagiarism against the author and I would say that, sadly yes, there was very little of uniqueness in world building and characters.

Desipte the above, I can imagine this is one of the books that should look good on movie screen like all the Harry Potter movies do.


Hopeless - Colleen Hoover I'm so disappointed.
I loved Hoover's "Slammed" books and now this.
There was just too much crammed into this book - too much of emotions, too much drama, too much teenage hormones and intensity. It was just extremely over the top of everything and the context just felt wrong for the very serious subject matter of heroine's past.
I guess, I had my overdose of NA genre for now.
Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger - Beth Harbison

The title draw my attention as soon as I saw it. Very witty and funny, but the book, sadly, didn't live up to its promise.

The story was a good chick-lit material but somehow turned weird and I had an issue with main character Quinn who just could not let go her wedding fiasco that took place ten years ago when she was 21-years old.
Come on, at that age you lick your wounds and go on with your life not turn into a bitter boring old maid constantly poking around past events.
Unfortunately this was not my only turn-off about the book. I have to say that I didn't like the writing style of Beth Harbison. Too little dialogue and too much inner monologues about the same issue over and over again. Aargh ....so frustrating.

So why the relatively good rating of three stars after this rant?
Well, there were couple of things I loved about this book.
The secondary characters were fantastic and colorful and I loved the background stories of Quinn's bridal shop customers brilliantly included into story line.

All in all a solid, quite entertaining, fast read chick-lit.



Point of Retreat (Slammed, #2) - Colleen Hoover I've learned something about my heart.

It can break.
It can be ripped apart.
It can harden and freeze.
It can stop. Completely.
It can shatter into million of pieces.
It can explode.
It can die.

The only thing that made it start beating again?

The moment you opened your eyes.

Colleen Hoover

GOOD (Too Good #1) by S.Walden

Good  - S. Walden

 

First of all, I personally hate quoting Bible and preaching in romance novels, that's why I steer clear of Christian Fiction.
This one did not come with warning.   To make things worse, I think the author just discovered a new genre with this book - Christian Erotica . It sounds wrong and it was ... so wrong, so very wrong.

Actually, I love to read about forbidden relationships and teacher/student romance should be just that with an undeniable chemistry between characters so the story won't come out as weird. Well, it didn't work out that way here. This book was like watching a train wreck. Highly uncomfortable, but you just can't help yourself.
The immature supposedly very religious good Christian girl straight out of Juvie (I know, too funny :) and a 28-year old math teacher ?
Weird, and again, this just felt wrong.

 

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Close Encounters of the Sexy Kind - Karen Kelley I didn't expect much when I picked up this book but I have always been fascinated by books about aliens living among humans, so I gave it a try.
Oh boy, was I surprised in a very good way!
This book was funny, well written and characters were very likable and if the story faltered in some parts, it didn't distract me at all.

Mala is an alien woman from the planet Nerak where only women lived and they used for their needs a companion units designed to fulfill their every wish.
At Nerak there was always peace and nobody caused trouble, it was boring, so Mala wondered -
"What would it be like to live on Earth where you
could have animals and space? Where you could
eat chocolate and have sex whenever you liked? It
was paradise"
So she took a spacecraft and came looking for an Earth man.
And the fun started with her experiencing sex, different feelings, food, animals and people on Earth.
Unleashed - Cherrie Lynn I do occasionally pick up an erotic romance to have a quick easy read between more serious books and when I do, I expect the real hot chemistry between h&H.
This is , in my opinion, what separates the good writers from the wannabes riding on the hype of the genre right now.

Cherrie Lynn did a very good job telling the story of friends-to-lovers. The chemistry between Kelsey and Evan was hot, hot, hot! I could feel their desire for each other and I didn't just flip through the sex-scene pages like I usually do in some not so good romances.

Maybe there was a bit much of misery and moaning about the things happend to them in the past but that didn't bother me and I enjoyed the story all the way to the HEA.

I would take Evan Ross to be my book-boyfriend anytime :)
The Edge of Never - J.A. Redmerski Camryn and Andrew meet on a bus ride. They were both kind of running away from themselves and from the boring "normal life". Neither of them looking for relationship or love, on the contrary, this is something they want to avoid no matter what. But the roadtrip to nowhere they started together brings them close and the denial of the feelings between them gets harder and harder.

We've slept next to each other and touched one another, yet still here we are, standing on opposites sides of a thick glass wall. We reach up and touch our fingers to the glass, we look into each other's eyes and we know what we want but the glass won't fucking budge.


A beautiful love story and maybe a bit overly dramatic sometimes but I couldn't help myself together with Camryn to fall in love with Andrew :)

THE HEART ALWAYS WINS out over the mind. The heart, although reckless and suicidal and a masochist all on its own, always gets its way.
A Beautiful Lie (Playing with Fire Series) (Volume 1) - T.E. Sivec 3,5 stars

I was surprised by this book in a sense that this is written by the same author who is behind Chocolate Lovers series - Tara Sivec.
These two books can't be more different and I think it's a good thing when author can jump between genres so freely.
Good romantic suspense book, lots of twists and secrets but I just didn't bought the story completely. There were some questionable parts here and there but, hey, it's a fiction for entertainment not a reflection of the real life, right?
By the end of the book I almost got used to those long inner-monologues of the characters and all in all an enjoyable read if you happen to like romantic suspense genre.
Paris in Love: A Memoir - Eloisa James

3,5 stars

Little bits and pieces of american family's everyday life in Paris during one year. Mostly about dealing with children and family but also little fragments about the city. Just the way I adore Paris too. A memory of christmas lights and snow falling on Champs-Elysee, lunch in little bistro, mannequins on shop windows, flavors and sounds.