#BookReview Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber

Back on Blossom Street by Debbie Macomber is a lovely tale woven with friendship, romance and care!

I love to knit, even though I’m not very good at it, so a book like this is right up my alleyway! A knitting group, a flower shop, a love affair, a baby, a wedding and endless amounts of girl drama fill the pages of this book! Lydia, Colette and Alix are the three main leads, and wowza did Debbie do a good job making this story! I one hundred percent need to read the rest of this series – especially since I love Colette!

Debbie Macomber’s writing style is very lovely. It’s soft, sweet and easy to read. There are times where the plot took sudden turns that seemed out of character (someone magically being in love when before it seem a bit sinister…?), but she somehow makes it work and be believable. She writes a woman’s tale so easily, and makes it feel like they could be my friend, sister or mother. These women face real problems that many of my friends have faced themselves! This relatable factor makes this book so much better than I would have anticipated.

Despite being over four hundred pages, it truly didn’t feel that way. I was so connected to Alix and Colette’s story that I managed to binge this book in under two days. For me and my busy schedule, that’s quite the feat! But that just shows how great Debbie is at making an addicting story! I wouldn’t have been so interested in these characters and their stories if Debbie hadn’t done such an awesome job of writing the book.

I did have some “major” negatives about this book though:
1. I didn’t enjoy Lydia’s story because it does mirror some of my own past horrors and demons. Due to the loss of my Father, it was really hard to read her struggles with her Mother. Instead of pushing through it, I decided to lightly skim past that part. Should this affect other readers and their score against the book? Absolutely not! For me, it was just a little too hard to read, emotionally. It doesn’t affect my score at all, but I do have to admit I wasn’t as connected to her.
2. Christian just suddenly changed his mood. I would have liked to see a more gradual movement in his feelings, but the book is already over 400 pages long so I can understand why Debbie didn’t.

To list some of the amazing positives (that I haven’t already included):
1. The knitting quotes were fabulous! They really added a fantastic touch of personalism to the book.
2. The cover is gorgeous and colourful. If you’re going to judge a book by it’s cover, judge this book!
3. It was the perfect mix of contemporary, drama, women’s fiction and romance. I wouldn’t change a thing (minus some more Christian, of course).

Overall, this book was truly lovely! I’m glad I picked this book up years ago at a local department store! Although, I’m slightly upset it took me so long to read it! This book is a true gem that I’d recommend to ladies who love knitting, want a light, fluffy story or just want to dig into a sweet book!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca

If you enjoyed this book (or review!) check out another you might enjoy:
#BookReview Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro
#BookReview Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
#BookReview Fly With Me by Hudson Lin

 

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#BookReview I Am the Night by Ruth Miranda

Ruth Miranda has a way with words that really pulls me into her books.

I Am the Night is a continuation of the Blood Trilogy series. It takes place inbetween the first and second novels, but it’s still one marvelous read.

In this little novella, we take a peek into Marcus’s life. His back story of becoming a vampire is more fleshed out this time around. I have to say that I really enjoyed it, despite all of it’s brutality. There’s lots of blood, gore and sex yet it doesn’t feel over the top. Somehow, Ruth also manages to mix in the raw emotion and crazy roller coaster that Marcus is going through. The highs and the lows are all present, and somehow she moves seamlessly from one to the other. It’s really intriguing to read, to be brutally honest.

I was totally addicted to the Blood trilogy, so this little novella made perfect sense to me. I wouldn’t recommend picking this story up unless you’ve at least read the first book in that series. It won’t make much sense otherwise. I’d label this book a “companion” novel to that main series. I’d like to see more little side stories like this one in the Blood trilogy series. It’s such a good series with so much plot and development! It deserves little stories like this to keep it alive!

I’d give this book an R rating for the intense horror of blood and death. It’s not overly horrific, but if you don’t like hearing about vampires killing people or blood then this book won’t be for you!

Overall, this book is epic! I love Ruth Miranda and her work! It’s no surprise that I’d binge read this book in one sitting too. It was well worth the wait and I hope Ruth brings some more books my way!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, Ruth Miranda, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find more books by Ruth Miranda on Amazon:
Amazon.com – Ruth Miranda

Check out my reviews of other books by Ruth Miranda by clicking the links below:
#BookReview Blood by Ruth Miranda
#BookReview Marianne by Ruth Miranda
#BookReview Scars by Ruth Miranda
#BookReview A Study for Love by Ruth Miranda

 

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#BookReview Babyland by Holly Chamberlin

Babyland by Holly Chamberlin felt like a soap opera of emotions!

I’m in this weird adult phase where I feel like an adult and want to think about marriage and babies but also feel like a child still (college does that to you, I hear). Picking this book up was part of my ‘I’m an adult who likes babies and marriage and soap operas’ phase. I have to say, it didn’t disappoint on what I wanted it to deliver.

I nabbed this book as a discount book store and I was stoked. I love getting books from random authors I’ve never heard of and I love sales. After reading the reviews for this book, I figured I needed to go in expecting a dramatic ride full of babies and girl gossip, and it delivered on that front!

I have to say, I really enjoyed this book! I wanted exactly what it delivered on and I couldn’t ask for much more. I want to read more by Holly Chamberlin because she does have her own style, and I dig it.

Anna is married to Ross (think Ross from friends) and they decided they aren’t going to have children. Then, TA DA!, she gets pregnant. The drama coming from this event, plus his family being rich, stereotypical jerks and her questioning her life brings out my inner soap opera addict. It’s full of silly drama, insane gossip and twists you can probably guess if you’ve ever watched a soap opera. Will she stay with Ross? Will she want another baby? Duh, duh duhhhhhhh. There’s lots of questions and this book doesn’t end up answering half of mine, but I still liked it.

My negatives for this book was that it felt a little too long and that I didn’t get to see the final happy ending shot of Anna and her man. I really wanted to hear about the happily ever after, but I didn’t. Oh well.

Overall, I liked this book. It was a nice change and it was easy to read. I was able to binge this book within a couple hours even though it’s so long, but that’s because Holly knows how to write a good book that’s easy to read.

Three out of five stars.

 

Check out this book on:
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Indigo, Chapters, Coles – Canadian Retailer

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#BookReview 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis

This book features one hundred drabbles (stories with one hundred words) by K. Kris Loomis. I had never heard of a drabble before, but man does it sound tough! How does one write a story and perfectly sum it up in one hundred words?! I’m awful at describing myself in little words, so kudos to K. Kris Loomis for making it possible! It’s a real feat!

These stories are really short (well, obviously. One hundred words isn’t actually a lot – it’s just a few paragraphs worth at most!) but they really pack a punch! My favourites include: “The Perfect Ring” with the surprise ending I didn’t see coming, “The Sentry” that reminded me of our former neighbourhood cat and my numerous reactions to him, and “A Knock” where the Grim Reaper makes a mistake (I actually laughed out loud at this one).

Despite the length of these stories, I felt like I related to them (and sometimes wanted a little more!). “She Was Going Dancing” packs a lot of parental disappointment in such a small story. “A Night at the Theatre” had me shivering because I knew what would come next. “I Know He Loves Me” highlights the pain of a woman in a tough situation. “Phobias” highlights Santa Claus at a doctor’s office. “Flowers” had me cringing for the poor lead man. “The Wedding” just broke my heart! “A Great House” left me feeling spooked. “The Flight” reminded me of my childhood. “Kiss a Frog” takes a twist on an old fairy tale. And those are just some of the many stories!

There’s so many good stories in this bunch! There’s at least one that you’ll enjoy. Anthologies like this are always so much fun, especially since they’re quick and easy to read, yet just as easy to jump back into. I also love that there’s so much hinted at – you can just imagine what would go down next. Creativity and imagination are great aspects of drabbles!

This lovely anthology shows how strong K. Kris Loomis is with her craft. She’s a real master of writing, so if you get the chance… pick this book up! It’s well worth the read!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, K. Kris Loomis, in exchange of an honest review.

You can find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Goodreads

Here’s some more books by K. Kris Loomis featured on my blog:
#BookReview The Murder of Leopold Beckenbauer by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview After Namaste by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview Survving Revision: How One Writer Finished What She Started by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

 

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#BookReview Dear Haiti, Love Alaine

I love exploring new cultures, so having the opportunity to pick up Dear Haiti, Love Alaine was absolutely thrilling for me!

This novel follows the lovely Alaine as she gets sent to Haiti to fulfill a school project. Along the way she helps out her Tati’s PATRON PAL app/company, meets a cute guy, learns who her real friends are, and deals with some large, life altering issues. Oh, and did I mention this book felt so darn real?!

It was a true gift to receive the opportunity to read this book. The authors make Alaine feel like a real person and present this book in a really unique matter. Emails, letters, postcards, diaries, text messages and so many different mediums of communication are present in this novel! All of these mediums make it so easy to jump in and out of the book and I felt like I lost nothing! It truly was a marvelous feat and it makes me want more from these lovely sisters and their writing abilities.

The big standout for this novel is Haiti. Obviously, it’s in the title, but Maika and Maritza make it feel like you’re there. The cultures and traditions are presented so beautifully and naturally. I didn’t feel like anything was forced, it felt so REAL. It’s hard sometimes – being a Canadian who has only visited the U.S.A and Canada because I don’t know what other places are like. Sometimes reading a book like this, you get caught up and wonder if the authors actually knew what they were talking about. But this book? It read so wonderfully and you could tell the authors weren’t just making up what they thought Haiti was like. I LOVE it when that happens.

The other lovely standouts of this book are:
1. Alaine’s sassiness is legit how I felt as a teenager. She did have some worrisome moments (like the reason she was sent to Haiti to begin with), but she had the teenage angst we all had back in the day. Other words you might use to describe her are: feisty, fierce, and fabulous! She’s such a strong lead and she has flaws which makes her more lovable. She’s no Mary Jane/Mary Sue!
2. Jason, Estelle, Roseline and our large assortment of characters didn’t feel like background characters. They were used effectively and written in a way that made them have a point to being there.
3. Alzheimer’s. Medical issues SUCK, but having a book that shows the good and the bad sides of these diseases is PERFECTION. This book wasn’t just ‘boo hoo Alzheimer’s’, it also showed the hope people can have.
4. The relationship between Alaine and her parents made me feel really connected to her. I had a parent that worked more than I wanted too and I am sad to say I lost a lot of time with them. Seeing that exact feeling put into a book (but have a more happy ending) made me have butterflies and feel really affectionate towards this novel. Maika and Martiza connected with teenage me SO HARD with this plot thread.
5. PATRON PAL. I’m always down for a plot line that brings up actual, real-life issues and presents them in a manner that makes sense. How can we help people? Make an app! Donate! Help people who need help! This book also presents helping poorer countries/nations in a really smart way – we want to provide them a sustainable way to pull themselves back up and take care of themselves, not just give them money forever and wish them luck. I’m glad they pointed that out in this book because it’s a REALLY important lesson for people to learn.

I would love to hear the thoughts of reviewers who are Haitian, Haitian-American or have lived in Haiti. I think this book is pretty darn swell, but my background isn’t of this culture. One thing that I hope comes out with this book is more people want to read about other cultures. Books like these make me want to know and learn more!

Do I have any negatives? Yes. I would have liked a couple of more chapters to see what happened after the project, but the book wasn’t set up that way. I really grew to love these characters and I wanted a little more time with them. Other than that, my negatives are non-existent. I think this book is unique, beautiful, and full of stories that need to be heard. I truly respect these authors and love that there are books like this out there. We need more authors and books like this.

Also, the cover? Oh-my-gosh it is stunning! Having a physical copy of this book in my house is a real gem for me! It’s eye popping and gets your attention but at the same time it’s really fabulous and subtle. I LOVE IT!

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
http://www.maikaandmaritza.com/
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo (Canadian Retailer)

 

If you enjoyed this review (or book!) check out something else you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Rainbow Vintner by Geza Tatrallyay
#BookReview Peter Green and the Unliving Academy by Angelina Allsop
#BookReview Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

 

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#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade

Tiny House, Big Love is a super cute, property show-inspired story.

I love myself a sweet, little book! Especially books that pack on the cutesy romance in a fast-paced environment. This short novel by Olivia Dade hit all the right notes with me!

This book follows Lucy, an enviromentally friendly massage therapist, and Sebastian, a Guatemalan-American engineer, as they pursue a tiny house for Lucy. They go on a Property Brothers, House Hunters or HGTV-esque show to try to find Lucy a cute, mobile home that she can live in. Along the way, sparks fly (to no one’s surprise)!

There’s so many sweet parts about this book. Olivia’s writing style is fast paced, easy to read and wildly addicting. She also has some marvelous quotes that made me giggle at her word choice. “First butt to butt contact” is just one of many quotes that had me laughing. The fact that there was a former nudist’s house and a school bus also made this story absolute hilarious. I’ve watched many of these house searching or building shows, and this book felt spot on. There’s always some weird background to the houses that make you cringe!

Lucy and Seb’s relationship was lovely. The friends to romance plot line was used here and I think it was used well. It wasn’t too fast for a book of this size, but it didn’t leave me hanging either! I think it was really well written and felt very soft and sweet. The fact that the space between them was the main reason they started growing closer was ironic. But it did work really well! How could one resist when he’s describe to be gorgeous?!

This book is a lovely read if you’re looking for a short romance novel, a soft book, or a book that’s positive. It really lifted my spirits on a very anxious day! Happy books like these deserve spaces on more shelves! And to top it off, the dialogue in this book didn’t feel forced. It felt like I was actually listening in on the characters’s conversations (not in a creepy way… I swear!).

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author, Olivia Dade, in exchange for an honest review.

Check out this book on:
Amazon.ca
Goodreads
Kobo

 

Find out more about Olivia Dade:
http://oliviadade.com/
@OliviaWrites

 

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#BookReview Drug Gang Takedown by Neil Walker

“Let’s finish this series with a bang” – Something I imagine Neil Walker said during his writing process.

Drug Gang Takedown is an epic finale to the Drug Gang series, and boy does it not disappoint! We jump right in after the sequel and go on one wild ride! This time, we’re in Sydney, Australia and things are NOT going well. Lisa is in trouble, John is screwed and there’s more violence than ever! Don’t forget some legendary criminals to make everyone’s day worse!

The sequel novel had you thinking John was out for good, but this book takes it to a whole new level. I feel like Neil couldn’t just leave it at the sequel, he had to go for bigger and better (which, of course, he did). The book moves quickly, is full of blood and gore and really leaves a mark on the reader. It’s an R rated hit with lots of punch, and you better be ready to binge it! It’s one crazy ride, you’ll never want to put it down. There’s lots of swears, hatchets and knives a-flying! It’s an absolutely bonkers ride! The plot twist, the ending… it was well worth the wait, that’s for sure! Neil Walker has crafted one excellent trilogy!

It did take me a while to work through it, but only because life got in the way. If I had it my way, this book would have been binged in a couple of days.
I loved all the song references in this book – I had to add them to my catalogue to listen to later. I love some good, old fashioned rock and roll! It was something little, but it did add a little grin to my face when I knew what songs the characters were referencing.

I would recommend reading the full series to get the full impact of this book. I think it could standalone, but I wouldn’t want any readers to lose out on the ever expanding universe Neil has created. It just feels better knowing what happened in the first two novels.

I’d give this book four out of five stars. I’m not crazy into blood, gore and violence but it was a really good read! I’d highly recommend it if you’re wanting to pick up some R rated reads in your future!

I received this book for free from the author, Neil Walker, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out Neil Walker:

On Goodreads

On Twitter @NeilWalkerWrote

On Facebook

 

Find this series on:
Goodreads – Drug Gang Takedown
Amazon.ca – Drug Gang Takedown
Amazon.com – Drug Gang Takedown

The Sequel:

Drug Gang Vengeance #2 on Amazon.co.uk

Drug Gang Vengeance #2 on Amazon.ca

Drug Gang Vengeance #2 on Amazon.com

Find the first novel, Drug Gang, on Amazon:

Drug Gang #1 on Amazon.co.uk

Drug Gang #1 on Amazon.ca

Drug Gang #1 on Amazon.com

 

 

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