#BookReview The Longing by Wendy Lindstrom

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The Longing was a beautiful historical romance novel that kept me wanting more!

The novel follows a marriage of convenience between Kyle Grayson and the beautiful Amelia. When they find themselves married and unsure of where they romance would go, drama ensues.

Not only does this book follow the romance, but it follows a bit of woodworking business as well! This novel is great for anyone who loves a good romance that is not just purely romance, but wants an emotional ride.

This book is part of a series, so I found some of the references confusing. But, you do not need to read the rest of the series to fully understand the book. Wendy Lindstrom does a good job feeding in the information you need to know as it comes. If you have read the series, some of the plot twists will probably be easier to predict, but it’s not a major problem in the book.

I found the book to be a little slow, but I am used to fast paced romance in fast paced genres. It’s a slow read, but it’s emotional and dramatic, which helps this slow plot develop.

I would definitely read the rest of the series after picking up this book! I saw no major plot errors and the character development is drawn out well over the novel. Fantastic novel!

I rate this four out of five stars because of the slow moving plot. It does not hinder the story, but it makes it harder to stick to the book. If anything, that would be the only potential problem I can knick-pick about!

This book would be great for anyone who loves: historical romance, romance in general, emotional and dramatic reads (such as The Fault in Our Stars – but in an adult genre instead of YA), and historical fiction in general.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite historical romance book? Comment below!
If you loved this book, then I highly suggest this book: #BookReview The Proper Proposal (A Regency Romance) by Sophy Hester

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #GraysonBrothers on twitter to start a conversation! @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Single Chicas by Sandra C. Lopez

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Single Chicas by Sandra C. Lopez is a fabulous anthology full of heart warming, heart breaking and funny stories about latina women!

This is one of those gems you don’t find too often – a series of stories that you can relate to, even if it’s not about you. The collection ranges from stories about a brother getting married and changing, to a woman trying to figure out why she wasn’t “perfect” enough since her boyfriend dumped her, to a studious girl nicknamed “Virgin Mary” as a joke. The stories tell many different views of a woman’s life, and it was just so fantastic! Even when I couldn’t relate fully to one of the story’s, it felt like it matched many of my friends.

I highly recommend this collection! The stories are short yet sweet, and can easily be binged or taken one piece at a time. It’s a feel good series of stories that make will make you proud to be a woman (or know strong women)!

My favourite was definitely the first story, where the sister is wondering why Benny (her brother, Benito) is marrying a girl he barely knows. It feels like the relationship could be not only siblings, but when you question a close friend’s choicest since you know them so well.

All of the stories ranged from a 3 star to a 5 star rating (the ones I related to obviously being higher) but they all were fabulously written and a delight to read. I was never bored and never wanted to put the book down! There were definitely some Latina/Latino themes within this book, and I think they were addressed well! I don’t fit into that community, but reading the stories gave me a real insight into some of the traditions (and sometimes issues) that come from their lives. Seeing the rebellion and the changes in the women was relatable even if you aren’t in that community. I think it approaches the themes in a mature fashion, and it’s easy to read, relate to and understand.

You’ll want to pick up this series if you like – comedy, a splash of romance, drama, women’s fiction, or general fiction. The stories are rather sweet and thoughtful, and won’t bring your day down at all. I highly recommend it, and it is a definite must read in my mind!

Five out of five stars! I will definitely be on the lookout for more books and pieces of work by Sandra C. Lopez in the future!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Sandra C. Lopez in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Single Chicas

Amazon.com – Single Chicas

Amazon.ca – Single Chicas

Check out Sandra C. Lopez on:

Goodreads – Sandra C. Lopez

Sandra-Lopez.com

 

Comment below – have you read this book yet? Do you plan too?
And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this post! #BriarsReviews @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

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My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh is a haunting yet beautiful tale about a tragic childhood.

This book has blown me away with how thought provoking it is! M.O. Walsh’s beautiful writing style tells the tale of fifteen year old Lindy (in our narrator’s point of view) and the horrors that occur in their neighborhood. Add in the setting of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the late 80s and you’ve got yourself the perfect coming of age story addressing some really tough issues that we are still seeing today.

This is another book that I wish would have been around in my high school years. I think this would have been perfect reading material that addresses the growth and change of a child to an adult, and the big issues in society that are still happening. M.O. Walsh made the story light hearted and fun (at times) in a setting that could have been extremely brutal.

As the book moves forward, the effects on the town and Lindy slowly unravel and the mystery of it all falls into place. The ghosts of everyone’s past comes to a nice close at the end of the book, so don’t worry about cliffhangers! The last few pages of the book are the perfect summary, better than anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s a real shame I don’t see this book (or eventually more) by M.O. Walsh on bookshelves at my local bookstore. This book is top tier writing!

My Sunshine Away had effects on me similar to 1984, To Kill a MockingBird and Shakespeare’s best works. The book tells a story and a narrative, but has grande themes that can be picked apart. On top of that, the book feels nostalgic of what most adults had in their childhood (I can relate to talking on the phone when your parents answer it and hold it for you). The surprise of a safe neighborhood not really being all that safe. Also seeing some of the non-fictitious aspects of our world (like the Challenger and Jeffrey Dahmer) really made this book feel real.

The characters also felt like people I would have known in my childhood – nerdy kids, the “weirdos”, that one girl everyone loves – they all were relatable. Seeing them change and how they ended up in adulthood was also a nice touch that helped close the story.

When I read this book, I thought it was a very soft adult novel – but apparently it’s a Young Adult novel! It’s a really nice read that Young Adults could handle. It has some tough themes, but nothing graphic. I’m actually even happier that this book should be on a Young Adult shelf, so those readers can get the impact of this story in their environment.

Overall, this book is an emotional, yet melancholic ride that will pull at your heartstrings and play with your emotions. It’s so well developed, it’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel! It feels like an expert in his craft wrote it! I highly recommend this book, and it’s a definite must read! I’m sad I didn’t pick this book up years ago! What a truly fantastic novel!

PS – What a stunning cover! This cover calls out to me, even though it’s so simple yet so elegant! What a gem!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads: Goodreads – My Sunshine Away

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – My Sunshine Away

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – My Sunshine Away

 

Find out more about M.O. Walsh on his website: http://www.mowalsh.com/

Or give us both a shout out on Twitter! @M_O_Walsh & @ReviewAlholic

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Crime Seen by Kate Lines

And comment below! What is your favourite novel?

#BookReview My Best Friend is a Secret Agent by Richard Clark

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This book is serious fun! It’s silly, zanely and full of hilarity!

The pictures in the book are incredibly amusing, and go along perfectly with the story! The story is a little out of this world (a kid designing a microchip that goes on your tooth and make you a secret agent?!) but that’s why it’s so good! This is the type of creativity and imagination I needed in my childhood books! I’ve been waiting for this kind of awesome for years!

I’d say this book is a mix of secret agents, superheroes and comedy! Our lead is kind of the Q or Alfred to his best friend who’s the Batman or James Bond (less broody, of course). There’s also the cute love interest, the mean bully, and other school tropes you’d expect. It’s not as intense as those adaptions of spies (obviously), but it felt like the kid friendly version – with lots more silly commentary and goofy plot lines.

This book could easily be read to your child (maybe 6 years and up? Do 3 year olds know what secret agents are?…) or used as a middle grade book. It doesn’t seem to have some moral theme behind it, it’s most just for fun!

I could easily see this being the next kid’s television show with it’s awesome plot. It almost felt like the book adaption of a movie.

The worst part of this book was the cliffhanger! Now I have to get the rest of the books to know how it ended!!

Overall, this book is awesome! I’d definitely recommend this book as a fun read! It’ll have you giggling at every page!

Four out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

Find out more about the illustrator on:

Facebook

www.richtoons.com

Youtube – RichToonsTV

Twitter – @richtoonstv

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

#BookReview Filthy Wicked Love by Lili Valente

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Filthy Wicked Love by Lili Valente is one steamy, super sexy, hotter than the summer read!

I read this book because it was in “A Love Thing” anthology that is full of super, uber sexy books! I wasn’t sure what to expect because the synopsis didn’t pull me in – but oh my gosh does Lili Valente’s writing! The story itself is a million times better than the synopsis! It’s full of really hot, steamy sex scenes that give it crazy erotica tones, and there’s a splash of action and adventure. Throw in a mob boss, a cute little kid, and some epic love triangle drama and you’ve got this book!

Clay and Harley are super sexy together, but clearly have some issues they will need to resolve. They battle each other constantly, yet can barely keep their hands off each other. Oh, and did I mention they have a child named Jasper that Clay hasn’t met? What a storyline! It’s like a soap opera on steroids!

The book will keep you addicted at every turn, and it felt like a pure adrenaline rush of insanity!

I read this book without reading the first in the series, and it was easy to get into. Normally, I prefer reading a book series in order but since this book was in the anthology and I wanted to finish the entire anthology, I dove right into book two (a.k.a this book!). Lili catches you up on everything you need to know, but it might make a teeny, tiny bit more sense if you read the first book. But remember, it’s a series and at this point in time has four books in it – so the story is not closing at this chapter.

The sex scenes in this book are really hot (I mean, the author WARNS you about it, but most of the time we all just disregard those warnings…). This pair was made for each other in ways I cannot explain. It’s definitely a hard R for the sex scenes, so if you’re not prepared for some really intense and descriptive scenes, don’t pick up this book!

Normally, I’m not into this kind of book but Lili made it work for me! It wasn’t so reluctant between the pair that I was put off, it seemed more playful. Both participants were into the playtime they had together, but never was there a time where it seemed to push the limits. The playfulness is what made this book so good in that category.

If I had any con for this book, it’s the cliffhanger! Now I desperately need to get myself a copy of the next book because it left me hanging and wanting more! Seriously, this book is a fun ride. You might not enjoy it if you don’t like some hardcore erotica or some almost non-consensual relationships though. If you’re cool with those two defining features of this book, read away and enjoy the passion and pleasure these two characters bring!

Overall, I liked this book! I’d like to pick up the rest of the series and more books by Lili in the future! She clearly has a talent for this kind of writing and really draws you in with these out of the box characters!

Four out of five stars!

 

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Goodreads – Filthy Wicked Love

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Filthy Wicked Love

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Filthy Wicked Love

Find out more about Lili Valente on her website: http://www.lilivalente.com/

Or give us both a shout out on Twitter! @Lili_Valente_Ro & @ReviewAlholic

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another review you might enjoy! #BookReview Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye

#BookReview If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker

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If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker is a super sweet, PG rated romance!

As a fan of Tamsen Parker, I’m always down for whatever book she throws our way! She tends to switch up her genres, her writing style, her narratives and her character types. This time around THE BOOK ISN’T FOCUSED ON SEX. That’s mind blowing all on it’s own, that Tamsen took a big step out of her “comfort zone” (per say) and jumped into a more dramatic and contemporary world. While that jump could have ended up poorly (let’s be honest, she could have sunken the ship), I think it worked out wonderfully! So, if you want to peek inside my brain and see what I thought of this Emma retelling, continue on…

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This book is a rarity for Tamsen – why? Because this one lacks sex scenes! (There is a sentence that says the main lady has a wonderful time with herself, but it’s only a sentence). That being said, this book was still a fantastic read by this always wonderful author!

I did really like that Tamsen took a step back from the uber sexy novels. While this book felt fluffy and more on the contemporary side, it also showcased a more dramatic side of Tamsen we don’t see as often with the overly sexual books. In this book, the focus is all on the retelling of Emma in a Hawaiian environment.

I haven’t read Emma (I plan to, but I just haven’t been able to yet), but I read many summaries on various sites to try to get a better understanding of what this book was about. To me, this book seemed to be an excellent “reboot” of Jane Austen’s extremely famous story. The general plot of this story is Emma retold from our main character’s point of view. This time around, Theo (our lead) lives in Hawaii, teachers surfing and is madly in love with the baker.

In my humble opinion, I think Tamsen did this story justice! When I read this book, I felt like the story respected the source material and changed just enough to make this book stand on it’s own. At the beginning I felt that the book moved a little slowly, but as the chapters went on the pace picked up and I became more enchanted by the tale woven within Tamsen’s words. Some of the characters I felt could have been left out, but I’m under the impression these characters are based on character’s from Emma. If anything, that’s the worst part for me – I would have loved to see way more of Theo and Kini than some of the side characters (Tamsen just made them oh so lovable and relatable! I felt like I would know these characters outside the book, in the real world!).

The romance in this book is not max-ed out or hyped up. This felt like a slow burn novel, where we finally get our sigh of relief at the end. Having Theo be the match maker for the town gave us little glimpses of hope and excitement for romances to bloom, but as with any Jane Austen novel – things don’t always work out the way we want. I think that worked fantastically within this novel – it didn’t feel like the romance was forced or that there was too much romance. It’s just a pinch and a sprinkle throughout!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! If you’re looking to get into Tamsen’s books but are a little hesitant on the sexy ones, then pick this book up! I feel like it’s the perfect book to be introduced to Tamsen’s writing, and then move on to her hotter books (I could recommend a few…).

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Tamsen Parker in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Google Play

 

Find out more about Tamsen Parker on her website: http://www.tamsenparker.com/

Give Tamsen and I a shout out on Twitter!@TamsenParker & @ReviewAlholic

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out part of my collection of reviews of Tamsen Parker books:

#BookReview Thrown Off Track by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview Rogue Hearts (Anthology) by Tamsen Parker, Amy Jo Cousins, and more

#BookReview Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview #OnTheBrinkofPassion by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker

Book Review: The Cartographer by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview Scars by Ruth Miranda

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There is a BIG time jump (and by big, I mean two years) in this novel. There is a slight summary of the first book in this series, which is helpful, but if you haven’t read the first novel in a LONG time, maybe read a quick summary or a few reviews to get yourself caught up!

Scars follows Marcus and Cai as they search for their Father (Titus). Life is getting trickier with their abilities, but they are determined to track him down no matter the consequences. Has their Father taken on a new name? Will some ghosts from their past come back to haunt them? And will their new friends betray them? These are all worthy questions to ponder as you make your way through this book.

I have to say, I liked this better than the first one! I think this sequel ups the thrills and fun, especially with Marcus and Cai interacting. It is a bit darker than it’s predecessor, but I thought it was a great addition to this series! Although, the worst part of the book is the cliffhanger. Ruth likes to leave you hanging and desperate for the next novella! So, we’ll all have to wait and see what happens to our boys and their new friends and family in the final book of the trilogy.

The book is a fantasy novel, full of vampires, fey and witches. It’s not horror, but does have one sexy scene that makes it closer to R than you’d expect. There are dark tones and themes, but nothing that will scare you or disturb you too much.

It’s also rather fast paced. I felt myself easily reading this book and suddenly it was over! But it was a delightful read. So as short and quick as it was, the book turned out excellent! Some of the scenes are quite shocking, and I didn’t see them coming. Ruth has a real talent at throwing those twists and turns at you, throwing you off guard for the next scene.

On a side note, I love that the titles of these books actually play into the stories! Blood was a big scene stealer in the first novella, while scars are often discussed in this one. I always love seeing the titles having some relation to the book, but this one really worked well!

Overall, this book was a real gem! I’m definitely getting more into this series and I want to read more by Ruth Miranda! Her books are truly excellent!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Check out Ruth Miranda on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15263413.Ruth_Miranda

Find Scars on:

Goodreads – Goodreads – Scars

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Scars

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Scars

Find Blood, the first book in this series on:

Goodreads – Goodreads – Blood

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Blood

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Blood

Find some more reads by Ruth Miranda:

Amazon.con – A Study for Love / Amazon.ca – A Study for Love

 

Amazon.com – Ruth Miranda

 

If you read this review, use the hashtag #briarsreviews and give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic