#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker

 

 

The Inside Track is an absolutely hilarious, fun and romantic read by the always wonderful Tamsen Parker!

This is definitely one of my favourite books, and I’m not just saying that! I found this book to be so upbeat and fun as well as utterly romantic and cute. Nick and Dempsey are just the perfect set of lead characters to be the front runners of this not so typical romance novel.

Nick is a “Tasmanian devil”, as Dempsey says in the novel. He bounces all over the place, moving a mile a minute. The boy can barely focus on one thing at a time, but he’s still ridiculously cute and sweet. He might have his “flaws”, but man is he a great leading man! He’s sassy, goofy and full of fun throughout the entire book. On top of that, he felt quite real.

Dempsey is quite the opposite – she’s an introvert and has an anxiety disorder. Her and Nick make this perfect pair – despite being total opposites, they understand each other. They work through things together and felt more real than a lot of romantic pairs I’ve read in the past little while. I would strive to be like them to be brutally honest.

I love that this book made these potential issues feel real and not go too over the top. I can understand being introverted and having anxiety to the n-th degree, which made me really feel for Dempsey. I think this book made our character’s issues feel real and do in a respectful way. That’s really all I can ask for in a novel.

What really made this book stand out for me was Tamsen’s way with words – “A breeze in a sealed off room”. Like, wow! I really do feel honored to be able to join Tamsen on her writing journey. With every book she’s keeps getting better and better! The metaphors and similes in this book just blew me away! And it’s not just her way with words, it’s that the sentence felt so true in the story. Seriously, A+ in English for Tamsen! A freaking plus!

If I had one downfall for this book, it would be the following: This book does take place over time, but it didn’t feel like it. That’s probably on me since I binged the whole book (can you blame me? I love Tamsen and her writing) but that stuck out to me. Out of the whole book, that was my only issue. Tamsen does make the time jumps clear, but my brain didn’t want to accept it.

Overall, another lovely book! I’m always down for a cute book from Tamsen and this hit the spot! I can’t wait for the next read! This book will sit high upon my digital shelf for being one of my favourite romances of all time. The fun, the style, the sassiness, the sarcasm, the hilarity and the utter cuteness of this couple ranks high upon my lists!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

 

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 If I Loved You Less by Tamsen Parker

 

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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#BookReview Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule by Jennifer Chiaverini

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Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule is a riveting drama that follows the lives of Julia, a young and wealthy woman, and Jule, her slave.

If I had to limit this book’s description to two words, I would call it a historical drama. Typically, I am not a fan of books like this but somehow Jennifer Chiaverini made me feel attached to these characters. I lost my drive partway through this novel, but I couldn’t help myself to jump back in to know the ending of this story.

I felt this book followed Julia more than Jule, but somehow it felt right that there was one star of the show. I would have liked to follow Jule and Gabriel’s story a lot more (because I truly felt more attached to those characters than Mr. and Mrs. Grant), but Jennifer decided to follow Julia and her life more actively in the novel. Julia definitely had her flaws since Jennifer made sure to have the character not be the perfect, rich girl. I did appreciate that sentiment, because I’m a little tired of historical novels where the leads are utterly perfect and do no wrong. At times, I did find Julia to be the antagonist more than the protagonist, but that’s merely because of her view of the world (which was very typical of the time).

I did not have much background on this book, so it amazed me that Julia and Ulysses Grant were real people! This story is a fictionalized version of their life, but it felt almost real. Due to this book being as interesting as it was, I decided to look up more about Julia and Ulysses Grant. To me, as a reader, I love when a book can open my eyes to a world I didn’t realize existed or happened. I am not well versed in American history (since I am Canadian, and my schooling did not involve much of the USA’s history), so I’m glad a book like this exists! In my opinion, this book does what I want a book to do – make readers more interested in the topic.

Is this book perfect? No. I felt there was some really slow parts of the book that drove me away from it. That being said, I like constant movement of the plot so the book isn’t intended for an audience like me. It’s a slow paced book that is about history. I also would have liked to see Julia and Jule interacting more as adults, since the book suggests it is about their relationship. If anything, the misleading title and synopsis are the worst parts of this book. Although, it’s a fantastic read and I’d highly recommend it if you love historical fiction, fictionalized stories of real life events, a heartfelt drama, a splash of romance, civil war era books, or American history.

Overall, this book is well written and a nice story. I’d love to read more by Jennifer Chiaverini just to see if she can open my eyes to more historical stories.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

 

Find out more about the author, Jennifer Chiaverini, on her website:

http://jenniferchiaverini.com/

Or check her out on Goodreads: Goodreads – Jennifer Chiaverini

 

Find Mrs. Grant and Madame Jule on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter @ReviewAlholic and recommend a book for me to read!

Also, if you enjoyed this review, why not check out another book you might enjoy? Quick Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

#BookReview A Love Thing Anthology by Laura Kaye & More!

For today, I’ve included a short little review about an excellent anthology! Almost all of these books have been featured on my blog and they are all on my Goodreads! But, I did want to include a little info about this fabulous collection if you were looking for a romance anthology!

 

This anthology has taken me forever to read, but boy was it worth it!

A Love Thing has an excellent collection of sexy reads for those romance readers who want a great selection! There’s cute romances, sexy reads and steamy affairs that will set your heart on fire! Each story definitely brings the heat!

My ratings were as followed (in no particular order);

The Prince and the Player by Tia Louise – 2.5 stars
Masterings her Senses by Laura Kaye – 5 stars
The Pawn by Skye Warren – 3 stars
Willing Victim by Cara McKenna – 5 stars
Spin by C.D. Reiss – 4 stars
Filthy Wicked Love by Lili Valente – 4 stars
Diamonds by K.A. Linde – 5 stars
A Week in New York by Louise Bay – 5 stars
Assumption by Aurora Rose Reynolds – 3 stars
Personal Geography by Tamsen Parker – 5 stars

I’ve put a review on each individual book from this collection, so if you’re eager to find out my thoughts then venture to each individual review (keep your eyes out on my blog, they’ll be coming or they’ve already appeared!).

As for my overall review – this anthology is seriously worth every penny! There’s a wide selection of books that are uber sexy and you are bound to like at least one! I have found a few new fave authors in this collection that I will be definitely looking out for!

Five out of five stars!

 

Here are just some of my reviews for the book in this collection:

#BookReview Assumption by Aurora Rose Reynolds

#BookReview A Week In New York by Louise Bay

#BookReview Spin by C.D. Reiss

#BookReview Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye

Quick Review – Personal Geography by Tamsen Parker

#BookReview Willing Victim by Cara McKenna

#BookReview The Pawn by Skye Warren

 

If you enjoyed this review, give me a shout out on Twitter @ReviewAlholic or give me a like on Facebook @BriarsReviews

#BookReview Stolen by Kelley Armstrong

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Kelley Armstrong is one of my favourite authors, and not just because she’s Canadian! Her Women of the Otherworld series has always and will always knock my socks off!

This novel follows Elena yet again, but as the title suggests – this time she is “Stolen”. This book amps up the action, making it equal (if not better) to the original “Bitten” novel. I found this book so strong as a sequel, that it was really hard not picking up the third book immediately after this one! Elena and her pack, as well as the rest of the ladies that eventually lead this series, are a force to be reckoned with! Kelley knows how to write her characters strong and passionate!

This series is definitely for adults (although, there is a YA series if you’re interested…), due to some of the brutality the story can get into. It’s not an R rated novel, but the themes are better suited for adults (some mature YA audiences could easily read it, I know I originally read these as a teenager).

I also really enjoy Elena and Clay together. Their relationship isn’t the smoothest, and it has it’s rocky moments, but they work really well together. Knowing that their relationship builds well over multiple books, I can look back and be impressed with how Kelley built them over time. The other characters and their relationships are also very strong, but these two really shine in the Elena books.

Kelley will pull you in and have you hooked almost instantly. If you haven’t read anything by her, get on it! I love this author, and she always meets my expectations and surpasses them!

If there was one series I’d highly recommend, it’s this series! It has drama, action, adventure, romance and comedy all packaged into a fantastic Canadian series! It’s well worth the read, and worth every penny I’ve spent on this series (even when I accidentally bought doubles and triples of the books, because I forgot the order…whoops!). If I did have one recommendation, try not to read this series far apart from each other. I find it’s a great binge read, because the story is so full of lore and excitement!

And if you couldn’t get enough of this series, there’s a television show based off of the book (it’s pretty close for first season, but second and third are loosely based – but it’s still incredble!).

Five out of five stars! Can I make that six out of five? No? Darn. I guess it’ll stick to five!

 

Check out this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11922.Stolen

Or purchase this book on: Amazon.com or Amazon.ca

 

If you enjoyed this review, why not check out another book you might enjoy? Quick Book Reviews: Menagerie by Rachel Vincent

And while you’re at it, follow me on Twitter to stay up to date with my latest reading antics! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Diamonds by K.A. Linde

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Oh. Hot. Damn.

This book is ridiculously sexy, super hot, and HAS A FREAKING CLIFFHANGER THAT KILLED ME.

I’ve been putting off reading this book (it’s in A Love Thing anthology that I bought months ago), mainly because the device I was reading it on kept dying before I could open the app. I finally put enough charge on it to get to this story, and it was the best one so far!

Diamonds is a tale of a young high-schooler falling for for an older (30-something) year old man. Right off the bat we have a juicy story that is all about forbidden love!

This book gets hot and steamy – R-rated steamy. It’s a mix of dominance, crazy hot sex, and sexual exploration. Throw in a romantic story line, an evil step-brother and the rich and famous and you’ve got yourself a home run!

I did really enjoy this book. It was the perfect mix of drama and sexiness that it somehow worked. Was it slightly creepy? Yeah, the age gap was a little much, BUT…I simply wrapped my mind around her being a tiny bit older (like, college age) and I was able to accept that this book can be just as sexy. It does cross the line a little bit, which is where readers might step back from this story, but it’s still awesome! I 100% want more K.A. Linde in my life now as soon as possible!

The one interesting part of this story was it felt like a YA story/author (due to the way Bryna’s mind was working in the book) but with a Fifty Shades of Grey-esque plot line thrown in. Honestly, it’s the Fifty Shades of Grey book I wanted in my life, because it’s WAY better and seems way more realistic. It was so addicting I finished it in a couple hours and I’m now clammering for the next book. Seriously. I need this book. If K.A. Linde wants, I’ll read every single book she has on catalogue just to get this next book.

Overall, this book is HOT HOT HOT! If you’re looking for a forbidden love with lots of angst, this is the book for you!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Kobo

Chapters/Cole/Indigo #1 / Chapters/Coles/Indigo #2

Barnes & Nobles

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about K.A. Linde on:

http://www.kalinde.com/

Goodreads – K.A. Linde

Twitter – @authorkalinde

 

If you enjoyed this review, give me a shout out on my Twitter @ReviewAlholic or give me a shout out on my Facebook page @BriarsReviews or comment below!

And if you liked this book or review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview A Week In New York by Louise Bay

#BookReview The Stickman’s Legacy by Benjamin Appleby-Dean

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The Stickman’s Legacy is a fantastical, horror novel that will keep you hooked.

This book feels like something my friends and I would come up with when ad lib-ing stories together. It’s fantastical, it has some horror elements, and is packed full of mystery! It jumps right into the action (which makes me, a fan of action packed stories, very happy!) and very rarely moves at a slow pace. Sure, the book is mighty long, but every page is worth it. I will say though – it’s not a binge worthy book. This book requires a lot of mental effort to read (lots of terminology and story plots you need to follow) so I’d suggest reading this over many nights. If you spend your time with it instead of rushing, you’ll find this book way more enjoyable.

Mary Martin/Spindle is the lead character of this story. We follow her journey on solving the mystery of her father – Jeremy Spindle – The Stickman of this story’s legacy. We find out lots of interesting story elements along the way – he left her his house in London, her childhood flashbacks involving Uncle Hob, a past car accident, and strangers leaving her cryptic messages along the way. Uncle Hob and Mary’s various family members all give us explanations to help push this story along and fill in any blanks we are missing as readers.

I found this book to be quite unique – it didn’t fully feel like a pure fantasy, pure horror or pure mystery novel. Benjamin Appleby-Dean does a great job of weaving this story together and slowly introducing us to all the major plot points. Mary (being a slightly unreliable narrator) was also very interesting. Each chapter gave up a little bit more about her back story to make the reader more engaged with the story. Throw in some secret societies that are reminiscent of Scientology (if you want the info, you better join…) and some magical elements, and you’ve got yourself one wacky ride! Add a dash of swords, falling bookshelves and a name like Nimbleknock and you’ve got yourself an epic, fantasy, adventure too!

The worst part of the novel was one specific plot point – Mary is asking questions from some special characters within the story… AND THEY DON’T GIVE HER DIRECT ANSWERS. For a plot point, this is awesome! It opens up the story a little more to keep pushing Mary forward. But for me, as an impatient reader… I would never survive in this story. My impatience would lead me to a little temper tantrum if I would have been her. I wanted to throw the papers across my desk in animated frustration because it would have driven me insane as a person.

Overall, I think this book is really cool! It’s a unique story that has many different perspectives that could draw in a wide variety of readers. To me, it felt like a New Adult novel instead of a teen (Mary was a teenager, but this book didn’t feel like strictly YA) but it would be loved regardless. As long as you’ve got a mature audience who can focus on the bigger picture of the novel, you’re set!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author Benjamin Appleby-Dean in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Goodreads

Check out Benjamin Appleby-Dean on:

Twitter

Goodreads

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And like me on Facebook for more urgent updates! @BriarsReviews on Facebook

Or follow my on Goodreads: Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

 

 

**Photo courtesy of the author.

Quick #BookReview Snowman Paul and Kate’s Olympic Dream by Yossi Lapid

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The last book of this boxset, Snowman Paul and Kate’s Olympic Dream, adds to this epic series of tales! Kate, Paul’s friend, knows how to skate! She’s really good, but wants Paul to teach her how to win! Dan and Paul worked with Kate to practice her jumps, speed and twirls so she could get better and make it to the Olympics! With the encouragement of Paul and Dan, they made Kate realize that she shouldn’t give up on her dreams! The more she practiced and believed in herself, the better she did! And after all was said and done, they helped Dan out too!

 

Find out more about Snowman Paul on:

Goodreads

The Author’s Goodreads Page

Facebook

MySnowmanPaul.com

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca