#BookReview The Braid Book by Sarah Hiscox & Willa Burton

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The Braid Book by Sarah Hiscox

As someone who has a background in Hairstyling, I have to say this book is an AWESOME idea. Just reading about a braid bar made my day – because there are days I want my hair done up but I don’t want to do it (and my stylist is always mega busy so booking with her the day of is almost IMPOSSIBLE). So, to say that I was excited to finally pick this book up is an understatement!

This book is a fantastic visualization for those who want to learn to do braids. At the beginning, it even includes what supplies you will need (like crocodile clips, hair bands, etc). This do it yourself book is perfect for those who want to learn how to do hair, but don’t necessarily want to watch YouTube glamour videos all day. This book even includes some outside references if you are looking for, say coloured hair strips or flowers!! Epic!

Care for your hair is also included in this book, which is a nice touch! I find a lot of videos about how to do your hair don’t include the before and after care actually needed (which is stressed in hair school, by the way!!! If you don’t take care of your hair, how do you expect it to stay rocking all day?!).

I really enjoyed the pictures in this book – I find it horribly hard to do my own hair!! I can do other peoples hair easy peasey, but my own? Nope. Not being able to see my own hair makes it difficult, so seeing the back of the head of what I should be feeling/doing made it easier to wrap my mind around it! (Haha…wrap….braid…yeah. Cheesey jokes, I know).

Different braids are explained and shown, so you don’t have to worry about being limited to only a few. This book gives you the works!

If anything, I found some of the pictures a little to dark to be able to actually see the hair/style that was going on. I would have liked to see the same style on a few different models with different hair colours (blonde, red, brown?) so you can see the style a lot better.

Overall, this book was a fantastic idea and it really should be a lot bigger/popular than it is!!

Five out of five stars.

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#BookReview Three Summers by D.N. Maynard

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Three Summers by D.N. Maynard

Three Summers is a young adult centered novel about the coming of age of our main character Nathan. You follow his story as he bonds with his cousin Dennis over many years (or three non-consecutive summers).

This story would be a good fictional read for someone who wants a book aimed towards Young Adult readers. I found this book didn’t keep me hooked to it that easily, but I did enjoy the writing style. The story has a slow moving pace and very little “action” in it. This book would be a much better read for someone just wanting to get their mind off life for a little while. It’s not a crazy action/adventure, or a thriller, or horror, or even drama. It’s just a coming of age tale that’s very slow moving and doesn’t create much interest in my eyes.

But this story is beautifully written. D.N Maynard clearly has a knack for writing. This story might be better placed as a high school reading project rather than a big hitting best seller. The nostalgia and faith aspects of the novel can make for a great essay-esque book. The story is also set in the past with the nearest timeline being in the 90s.

Overall, this story about maturing in life was well written, but I didn’t find it to wow my socks off. For that reason, I’m going to give it a 2 out of 5. It is still an excellent read, but my personal view on it is a solid 2.

#BookReview Once Upon a Vampire by Mari Mancusi

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To say I was a huge fan of the Blood Coven novels when I was younger would be an understatement. I remember going to high school sporting events and having to sit on a bus for hours to get to our location so we could compete – so of course I would brings books by authors such as Mari Mancusi, Zac Brewer, Ellen Schreiber, and other fantastic YA novelists. I was heartbroken when the series ended and I was hoping one day Mari might come back to it.

AND GUESS WHAT?! SHE DID!!

Once Upon a Vampire is more of an adult novel than YA (although, I’m sure YA fans could pick it up and not be totally disgusted with it. This book is a great continuation).

While it might not be a direct continuation with our former leads, this book environment wise is similar. Hannah and Logan follow a similar path to our former leading ladies and their respective fellows. Rayne is a big part of this story and Jareth also appears, but they aren’t our main leads – even if Rayne takes a bigger role than expected. Magnus is also referenced, but does not make an appearance.

I was definitely hooked to this book – my book cravings had been something easy to read, sexy with a dash of fantasy, and nothing mind blowing (like Game of Thrones), so this book fit the bill. It’s super easy to read, it’s easy to fall in love with these characters and the nostalgia is perfect for any previous YA reader who was as obsessed with Mari’s work as I was.

<spoiler>My “problems” with the novel – the conversation of blood mates was brought up twice, with two different reactions. One that the mate killed herself, the other that he didn’t have one…I’m slightly confused. Maybe I read it wrong, but it really threw the story off for me.</spoiler>

The romance was a beautiful line of this story, and I loved how Mari slowly introduced it. It wasn’t just sudden, and our character’s own pasts helped make the story a little more believable. It might not be a crazy realistic scenario (a 200 page story over a few days with vampires trying to kill someone. Please let me know if you’ve experienced this before so I can edit the review…) but it fit beautifully into the story. I really loved it.

I finished this book in about half an hour, I was that obsessed and couldn’t stop reading. I didn’t want to put it down, and I can’t wait for more books by Mari!! If there are more books in this series, I would be the happiest little reviewer in the world!! I would love to see more Sunny appear, since Rayne was visible in this story…But I’m not picky. Even just another book will fill my desires for more Blood Coven novels!

And we won’t have to wait to long…Dark and Stormy Vampire is next! And of course, as per usual, Mari leaves us off with a horrible cliff hanger! I swear Mari loves to torture us readers by leaving us with cliffhangers AND making us wait for more books…

Side Notes: Mari’s description of Logan is beautiful, but my recent obsession with Gilmore Girls can only see Logan Huntzberger. It oddly fits though…

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Mari Mancusi and our epic Read and Review team for providing me a copy of this novel!! I can’t wait for the next one!!!

 

Check out Mari on Goodreads! Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or her website! Mari Mancusi’s Website

She can also be found on Twitter! @MariMancusi

Blood Covens also has it’s own website for your viewing pleasure!! Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Or follow me on Twitter! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

 

To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW

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To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year lunch is a love letter to all who have a family – blood bond or not.

Diane Keyes has done one miraculous job I had never expected to see in my life – she wrote a novel collecting Wendy’s, family, love, and warm, happy feelings all in one. This book truly hits all the right notes for me – it’s sweet, inspiring, heart melting and everything I needed in my life today. It’s a book that celebrates family – whether it be by blood or through experiences. And I can’t recommend this book enough!

This small but mighty book is a non-fiction recount of how a family came together for lunch once at week at Wendy’s. Diane highlights some of the rough and tough times that will make your heart clench up, but she also delivers some beautiful, motivating stories as well. Your heart won’t be able to take the extravagant roller coaster Diane makes in this book!

One lesson I learned from this book: Family is powerful.
Blood does not always define the family, and Diane shows this. She not only shows her strong bond with her genetically related family, but the friendships and bonds you can make with others. These simple lunches (that seem like such a silly but genius idea) really highlight how one small change (like meeting up with friends once a week) can really affect you!

I truly appreciate Diane’s hard work. You can tell this story is coming from the heart! Not only does it give a historical background, but it gives you an emotional one too. I am totally inspired by this novel, and I recommend everyone who wants a little splash of happiness and empathy in their life to pick this up.

Five out of five stars.

Quick Book Review: BELIEVE by JAN WALTERS

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Book Title: Believe
Book Author: Jan Walters

Introduction: I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Review:

This book is beautifully written, and it’s definitely one of the more interesting books I’ve received from Goodreads. I really appreciated Jan Walters attention to detail and historical romance she entwines in this story. This time hopping story reminds me a bit of “Outlander”, a woman being transported in time and to England. It’s a great take on a traditional story (time travel and romance),

I did find this book slow moving and I wasn’t super into it. It took me a very long time to finish this book, which made me not as interested in it. I love a fast paced book – slow moving books tend to bore me and get me disinterested. There were also a few inconsistencies, which had me disinterested as well.

Overall, this is a great book. It didn’t interest me due to the slower pace, but it’s still a fantastic book! I would recommend it to anyone who’s interested in historical romances and time travel stories!

Three out of five stars.

#BookReview Rogue Desires by Tamsen Parker, Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins and more!

Rogue Desire, an anthology of incredibly sexy stories, will play with your temptations.

This anthology holds stories from Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker, Dakota Gray, Emma Barry, Jane Lee Blair, Ainsley Booth, Amy Jo Cousins and Stacy Agder.

If you’re looking for some sensual stories to fulfill your fantasies, this is the book for you. Especially if you want some quick, easy reads instead of a super long romance novel to fill up your time – you’ve found what you’re looking for!

I wouldn’t necessarily call it just contemporary romance – some of these stories are a bit more sexy than that name hints – but this still hits all the notes of a sexy, steamy romance.

For me, as a Tamsen Parker fangirl extraordinaire (can I get a button or something pronouncing my love for Tamsen’s writing? I feel like I’m apart of the fan club by now) I really love that her writing is growing yet again. I grew to love and feel for the characters in such a small set of chapters, and melt into a puddle reading the sexiness in that story. And I probably blushed a lot – that story was really steamy…

I will applaud this anthology as a whole though. Normally anthologies all have very similar stories or similar styles of writing – this one does not. Yes they are “similar” – you know, romance and sexiness all over – but they all have different themes and plot lines. Not just ‘hey you’re sexy, let’s get together” plot lines. Also, each writer is unique and completely different than the others. It’s not just carbon copies of the same type of author over and over writing a slightly different story. So, you will most likely find at least one story in this if you like romance – or hopefully more than one!

I kind of wish I could give each individual story star ratings, but they all rate between 4 and 5. Some of the stories weren’t necessarily my cup of tea, but they were all great reads – they kept me hooked and interested, I felt invested in the characters, and I enjoyed reading the stories. It didn’t feel like work or like I was forcing myself through the stories.

Reading some other reviews, I have seen that some people think these stories are “rushed” and yes, I might agree – but you need to remember these are short stories with little wiggle room for giant character development. Many of my favourite short stories seem “rushed” to me – The Veldt – but they still worked. If given the opportunity, I would love to see all authors expand on these stories, but to me they felt like they were just “rushed” enough – not so crazy fast it’s unbelievable, but not to slow to make it an entire novel.

Another great point about this book is the new authors you will be introduced to. While I’ve seen the names of some of these authors floating around Goodreads and Twitter, I never really looked into them – and now I know I should! Being able to see some of these authors write a full length novel instead of a tiny, itty, bitty story will be delightful!! So you may find your new must-read in this series!!!

My other thought from other reviews I peeked at after reading – “political” is a word used a lot, and it does seem fitting but I, for whatever reason, don’t like that word necessarily being put with this. Sexy politics seem so off…yet the politics behind each story made each a little bit better. It’s not like your following a sexy election from beginning to end, which is what that word leads me to believe when I see it pop up. So readers beware!

Overall, five out of five stars. It was sexy and a great read!

I received an uncorrected proof from Tamsen Parker for an honest review.35654211

#BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books

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The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books

Sometimes when I read books, I don’t know what I’m in for, and this book fit that description. You look at the cover and the blurb, think “Hm, will I like this?” and then begin reading. And shockingly, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I like reading all types of books and not sticking to just one particular type because it expands my horizons – and this short, sweet book made me agree with opening myself up to different books.

This book seems like something I would have read in my Grade 12 English Class (that’s not a bad thing, I promise!). We read lots of short stories with different meanings, and this seems like it could have fit into that unit. It’s well written, and seems like something an English class would yearn for – a different take on a beautiful story.

Life and Death appear to be a big theme (it’s in the title, so if you couldn’t guess that already…), but this book delves into more than just that. The philosophy and thought process behind this man’s last day is what makes it so brilliant. Lots of books discuss death, but this one just had something different about it.

There are pictures in this book, some poetry, some prose, a splash of song lyrics, and some beautiful descriptive scenes. It’s a book for those wishing to expand their thought process and delve deep into their own soul. It’s not for the weary hearted, that’s for sure.

This book definitely has it’s slow and boring moments, but it’s thought provoking and wonderful at the same time. Since it’s not a super long book, these slow moments are bearable for the reader, at least in my point of view. I found it very beautiful and touching.

If you’re looking at other reviews, you can clearly see it’s a book you either love or hate. Like some of the other books I’ve reviewed lately, it sits in a niche category. It’s not for everyone!

Overall, this book is DEEP. It’s a very deep book (with a giant splash of sci-fi!) and will not be for everyone. Yes, it can be very boring for those who want fast action (normally I do, but this book just hit me the right way). Take that in strides – it’s not for everyone. This book was not made to make everyone love it, it was made with it’s themes in mind. This story doesn’t seem to be some giant world building, Star Wars/Star Trek-esque novel that takes you on wild action adventures all over the galaxy! It’s a slow moving, thought provoking, deep deep deep novel.

Four out of five stars.