#BookReview Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira

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Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira is a unique mix of suspense, thrills and fantasy!

This book surprised me with how fantastic it was – not often do I pick up a book with no reviews on Goodreads and it be absolutely magical in all the best ways! I feel like a really lucky reader who gets to yell “First!” in the comment section since I’ve found such a truly unique and addicting read!

Now, to the review:

This story is full of incredible descriptions that paint this story onto your eyes. The descriptions of the characters, their wardrobe, the food and the history of Portugal and it’s culture were just breathtaking! As someone with little experience or knowledge of the Portuguese culture, I felt like I connected and understood so much more from just this book! The portrayal of the culture and locations were respectful and made me feel like I truly dove into this world. Suzanne just has a way with words that makes you connect so well with the story and it’s characters. If anything, I’d suggest this book alone for the way Suzanne paints the narrative for the reader.

Some of the little quirks of this novel was the different aspects of the culture – burning ears means someone is gossiping about you, and black cats being good luck because they will absorb all of the evil. I really liked the little tidbits of information that were sprinkled around the plot development. I felt like those really enhanced this book up a notch on the review spectrum.

Now onto the plot! This book, at first glance, seems like a typical thriller set in an exotic land to the average fiction reader. But alas, good reader, this book mixes in so many genres in a truly unbelievable way that it should be in it’s own subgenre. First of all, our lead Talia is a journalist who is seeking out murderers of twin girls – check off that crime and thriller box on your checklist. Next, there’s a healthy helping of the black arts, a cult, some voodoo and omens to check off the fantasy or supernatural check box. There’s a teaspoon of romance (just barely a teaspoon), some murder and drama to mix all of the plot line together into an epic journey.

Talia goes off to Portugal with her boyfriend Jared and her friend Caryn after a family member dies. There’s a little romance and a little conflict that sends all three characters on their separate ways – Caryn chasing a man & Jared and Talia breaking up. Talia meets the super sexy Nuno and sets off on her journalistic adventure. The family drama left behind after the funeral ignites this journey for Talia, since she also wants to discover some of her family’s secrets. Once she goes off with Nuno though, her world unravels and the plot travels like a B&M roller coaster (lots of flips, turns and crazy speeds).

The plot itself sounds like a mess, but it’s just because this book is so hard to summarize! There is so much going on, but it all works so well together! Suzanne has crafted this excellent epic that I really loved! There’s so much drama and suspense throughout the book, I couldn’t even put it down!

If I’m tearing apart the speed of the novel, I felt like it was pretty even paced until 3/4ths through the book. Suddenly, it picks up speed and the action goes nuts! I really liked that aspect of it, because I do tend to get bored near the end if nothing exciting happens. Alongside that point, I feel that Suzanne made the story slowly unfold at a good pace. Each little important plot tidbit is thrown in to make the reader catch up to what is really happening, and I thought it was perfection! As I slowly began to piece together what was happening, a little tidbit was thrown in that made me go “Yes! I was right” and then the plot continued to bounce along.

But, dear reader, you may be asking if there were negatives – and of course there were! No book is ever perfect. Here’s my list.

1.For a journalist, Talia is really trusting of people! That does set of the plot, but to me she was a little too trusting…
2. Jared/Talia’s relationship was SO GOOD. I wanted more! This isn’t a bad part of the book because there wasn’t really room in the narrative to expand about their relationship and relationship issues, but I would have loved to see more of them! Their dynamic was so intriguing! Ugh!
3. The ending just seems to stop suddenly! Just like a snap of the fingers and it’s over! I really wanted to know what happened – who survives, who doesn’t, what was the point of the dreams/omens and what was a dream/omen, the fallout of all the action, etc. I liked this book to the point I wanted more (which is a rarity).
4. Evil villain explaining all the evil plans – it worked really well within this book, but I feel like it’s a cliche some readers might not like. Was it a negative for me? No, not at all! I actually liked it, but I know a lot of readers cringe at that thought so I threw it down here.

Overall, this book was really good! It really surprised me that more people aren’t picking it up because it is so good! It’s the perfect mix of action and suspense! I’d highly recommend it, especially if you love thrillers, mysteries and action!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from Suzanne Ferreira in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find out more about Suzanne Ferreira on:

Goodreads – Author Page

http://www.suzanneferreira.com/

Twitter – @sferreiradixon

Facebook – @sferreiradixon

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads – Cursed Vines

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles – Canadian Book Seller

 

If you enjoyed this review, leave me a comment below or give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay

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#BookReview Men Among Sirens by Jennifer Olmstead

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Men Among Sirens was a beautiful gem that I couldn’t put down.

At first when I began the novel, I was unsure if it would have a good plot. The novel follows three generations, but mainly the “middle” or middle aged couple. The mother, Ainsley, describes to Ruby her past after Ruby finds out a dark family secret.

Overall, I found the plot very exciting and realistic. Even though there wasn’t exploding cars action or Fifty Shades romance it was incredible! This novel shoes the strength of a woman when she is facing a crisis in her family. The characters felt real, and the situations felt real as well. Tragedy does happen, and Jennifer Olmstead shows just how people actually react to it in this amazing novel.

If there was anything wrong with the novel, I would have wanted to see more from Ruby’s point of view or the Grandmother’s. I would have liked to see all three generations play a bigger role than just following Ainsley’s story. Even without seeing all three generations’s stories, it was still excellent!

This fictional novel was fantastic! I honestly couldn’t put it down!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite book to feature a tragedy? Comment below!
Check out another review you might enjoy reading: #BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell

Give me a shoutout on twitter using the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #MenAmongSirens @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark

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Richard Clark has made yet another super cute novel!

This time around Jonas wants a dog, and by luck and chance he gets one! I thought the idea behind this story was super unique and I had never thought much about renting a dog before. It was a silly topic that I would have loved to read as a kid.

The book was an easy enough read, and would definitely be a perfect fit for any middle grade reader (or a story to read to younger kids). Who doesn’t want to rent a dog who’s super famous? I also think the adventures and shenanigans that Jonas goes on is epic and the perfect plot for this book!

The pacing of this book was awesome and it felt like the perfect length. I couldn’t see any real cons other than I want more from this author and soon! His characters are believable and lovable, and his stories are truly unique. I don’t know how Richard gets inside the head of a kid, but he manages to make it extremely realistic. It almost feels like a kid is behind this book (with the expertise of a great writer and awesome editor). Jonas is perfectly flawed (like any kid) and full of creativity and fun!

Even the ending was super cute and sweet! I kind of wish there were more adventures for Jonas, Chloe and Rascal on the way!

Five out of five stars! What a treasure!

 

Find out more about this book on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

 

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

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

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

#BookReview Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin from the Rogue Nights Anthology Collection

Due to time constraints, I was only able to read Hudson Lin’s story. But, if the rest of these stories are half as good as Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin, then this anthology is absolutely fantastic!

This story follows Diego and Derek, two laws students, and their growing bond. Diego is a DACA recipient who learns the importance of standing up for what you believe in. Not only is there some super sexy scenes between Diego and Derek (because, we all know how magical Hudson Lin is with her romance/sexy writing abilities) but there is a lot of character growth within this short story.

I would definitely recommend this anthology series – I’ve read many of the previous ones. The political themes that are mixed in with romance (and sometimes erotica) make this a unique set of stories that don’t fit the typical romance mold. Not all stories will work for all readers, but you are guaranteed to have at least one story you love or can relate to.

My biggest problem was that this story was way too short! I want more from each of these stories!

Five out of five stars!

I received an advanced reader’s copy because I am apart of Hudson Lin’s ARC review team!

 

If you are interested in this book, you can locate it on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles

 

Check out my other review of the Rogue anthology series:

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

#BookReview Rogue Affair by Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker and more!

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

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter and Facebook!

#BookReview Harry’s Lovely Spring Day by NGK

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Harry’s Lovely Spring Day is a whimsical, cute adventure for all to enjoy!

To begin with, the cover is absolutely stunning! Lots of bright colours, flowers, butterflies and a lovely font all mashed together make for the perfect eye catching cover!

The water colour trees that are the background for the acknowledgements and information at the front of the book are also a nice touch! It was very pretty and set the mood.

The story itself is about Harry (who is a cute, little mouse who lives in a box) during spring. His house blows away suddenly, and he has to deal with this tragic problem! Harry meets Katie, another cute mouse (but she has an umbrella, a bow and a rain coat!) and begins to chat with her. Harry learns how nice it is to help others in rough times from the cute mouse Katie. Additionally, he learns how to thank those who help him and the importance of being kind. The ending is super cute (but I won’t spoil it for you).

The story is told through full pictures and circular ones. The creativeness and uniqueness of this idea really caught my eye, since I haven’t seen a storybook told like that before! In fact, all of the colours were quite lovely and I really enjoyed the pictures. There was also a cute rhyming scheme (that was sometimes forced, but kids don’t normally notice that kind of stuff) that carries on like a beautiful tune.

I would definitely want to read more in this series (even as an adult) because of how cute it was! The book is sweet, full of nice pictures, and definitely something I would want to read to kids! I could see this being a lovely reading buddy or bedtime read!

Five out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub!

 

Find out more about this book on:

http://www.harrythehappymouse.com/

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

If you enjoyed this review, why not check out another book you might enjoy? #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

Comment below with your favourite children’s books!
And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books

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Schmuck the Buck is yet another hit by EXO Books!

Recently, I’ve been on a picture books/children’s books binge so of course I would be interested in another goofy, picture book full of Christmas mischief!

This book felt like my inner sarcastic child’s dream of a Christmas story. Forget the main reindeer team! Those losers aren’t as school as Santa’s Jewish reindeer, Schmuck the Buck! His real name is Larry, but we call him Schmuck. Because, let’s be honest, those nasty reindeer who called Rudolph names picked on everybody else too!

This poor reindeer is the biggest nerd in his high school, but that doesn’t bring him down! He got a degree in Accounting and even went to Yale! This is the type of awesome I strive to be!

The humor was down right hilarious. I was almost laughing out loud from the silly jokes and gags that littered this book. Texting the parents about batteries? That is the kind of hilarity only the goofiest kids would think of!

I felt like this story was the perfect way to show kids that you don’t have to be the popular “Rudolph” character. You can be super cool and get your own starring role as a normal kid with different interests!

It is a little “longer” – there are small paragraphs instead of just one word on each page. I think it was the perfect way to tell this story though! It’s a real winner! I would love to see this book alongside all of the Rudolph merchandise in my local book stores.

I’m not sure where to rate this book. It is satirical and ironic, but it also was pretty G rated. I think some older kids would find this absolutely hilarious, while younger ones could just enjoy the pictures. I’d maybe suggest reading this to children aged ten and up, because they would probably get some of this humor. But, it’s definitely something adults would love to read!

Overall, I loved this cheesey, funny and lovable story! It’s definitely worth the read! I mean, who wouldn’t love a book with an HR reindeer named Shirley? That just seals the deal.’

Five out of five stars!

P.S. Shout out to Karina Shor the illustrator! I absolutely loved the pictures. They were classic and elegant yet childish and fun!

I received a free copy of this book from EXO Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles

 

Want to check out another book review of an EXO Book’s book? Then check out my review of The Last Day of Captain Lincoln! #BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books

What else do you want to see on my blog? Let me know in the comments below, tweet me at @ReviewAlholic or tell me on Facebook!

#BookReview Something Like Love by Sara Richardson

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Time for a quick book review of a super, fantastic book that I am totally obsessed with!!!

 

Something Like Love was an excellent romance/drama novel!

I loved this book! Lately I have been craving a good romance novel, and this filled the void! Sara Richardson did an excellent job writing this book!

I very rarely found it boring. I can’t remember a time reading it where I felt the need to put it down. While it didn’t have me hooked at every single word, I craved to continue the story and know what was going to happen to Paige and Ben.

The novel moves smoothly and doesn’t have any chapters that seem out of place. All of the situations seem realistic and not like a cheesy soap opera. It was a good quality romance novel! I became super attached to Paige and Ben, and I already have multiple copies of other books by Sara Richardson physically on my to-be-read shelf at home for a rainy day! I can’t wait to pick up more, and I highly suggest this author and her books!

Her books aren’t rated R by any means-  they are super sweet and contemporary (with a hint of sexy cowboy). I’d highly recommend this book! It’s an absolute must read from this reviewer!

Overall, I loved it! I want to read the first novel in this series and continue on with the rest of the books.

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Something Like Love

Amazon.com – Something Like Love

Amazon.ca – Something Like Love

Check out Sara Richardson on:

Goodreads – Sara Richardson

http://www.sararichardson.com/

Twitter – @SaraR_Books

 

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

And comment below with your fave novel of all time!