#BookReview Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Jeep Tour is another stunning women’s fiction novel by Gail Ward Olmsted.

Seriously, this lady KNOWS what I’m feeling and thinking! Just the quote alone “A series of unrelated and seemingly random events that can singularly cause stress and anxiety” is my life right now – college, working, life, EVERYTHING! Within this sweet, women’s fiction are words of wisdom I never would have appreciated until I became an adult and finally understood what “adulting” meant! The metaphor comparing whack-a-mole made it even better, to be brutally honest. That’s is how life feels sometime!

This novel is the first in the “series”, but like the rebel I am – I read Jackie’s daughter’s story first! So, it was only necessary to read Jackie’s story as well! The two books can easily be read apart, but if you want a little more sanity and understanding, reading them in order would be helpful. I do have to say, you can tell that Gail has improved in her writing (not that she was bad to begin with, but you can see the growth and I LOVE when that happens! I’m a nerdy little birdie for seeing authors grow and change into sophisticated and more talented authors!).

Now, back to the story!

Middle-aged Jackie is divorced from her husband and decided to go on an adventure and hop on a Jeep Tour. She ended up meeting uber sexy tour guide Rick, and he gave her his number! Rick is young, hot, and flirty!

I related to Jackie in many ways – troubles with her job, a “Linda” in their life, troubles with relationship and wanting to just run away. But the one thing I really liked about Jackie was her ridiculous sense of humor! “Waa-mbulance” was one of the best comments I’ve ever seen, and I will definitely be entering that into my verbal thesaurus for the next time life gets tough. The accounting metaphors also had me chuckling, since I’ve taken some accounting classes (and the comments really fit how I see some of my accounting friends…).

Even the relationships in this novel felt real, which was shocking! I don’t know many people who got divorced and started sleeping with their ex when the papers were signed, but Gail made me feel like I did! I felt like Jackie and Robbie could have been my neighbors or friends of mine! It was weird, but incredible. But that’s raw talent for you! Although, sometimes I felt like this relationship was a little bit… tumultuous, or not healthy. Knowing the contents of the second book made me feel better about it, but there was still this ache in the back of my head going “NOOOO JACKIE NOOOO YOU DESERVE BETTER – NICE GUY AND GOOD SEX! YOU CAN HAVE BOTH! DON’T SETTLE FOR ONE!”

The journey Jackie embarks on is definitely a beautiful story. The ups, the downs and everything in between will make you feel! It was a beautiful story to sit down, admire the summer air and fall into. It was a relaxing read, something that women’s fiction definitely needs!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a soft, simple read with a little splash of drama and romance. It’s a PG rated, flirty and fun book that will whisk you away into the life of a of truly incredible character. It’s a must read that will be added to my shelf!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy from the author Gail Ward Olmsted in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads: Goodreads – Jeep Tour

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Jeep Tour

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Jeep Tour

 

 

Check out the sequel with Jackie, Robbie and their daughter in Driving on the Left!

Goodreads – Goodreads – Driving on the Left

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Driving on the Left

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Driving on the Left

 

Find out more about Gail Ward Olmsted on her website: http://www.gailolmsted.com/

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

 

Comment below – have you read any novels by Gail Ward Olmsted?

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#BookReview The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

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The Light Between Oceans is a bittersweet novel that will crush your soul (in a good way).

This is M.L. Stedman’s first book, and it is one fantastic first novel (to be brutally honest). This book was beautifully written, it pulled at my heart strings and it demanded my attention. Typically fictional novels that are more focused on “drama” don’t pull me like this book did! I was obsessed and had to finish reading it, I had to know what was going to happen to Tom, Isobel and Lucy.

The layers of love and affection in this story, mixed with the difficult decision making (and catch-22’s, as most reviewers are saying) make this a really intriguing story. It really made me question myself and my own choices – if I was Isobel in that time period (or Tom for that matter) and went through what they had been through, would I keep the baby? Would I admit I kept the baby? What would I do?

It’s a difficult decision, and you see one plot line of how this story can go. It’s not like a crazy soap opera, it seems realistic (to me, anyways). It’s a story all about bad decisions being made by good people, and the tension and fall outs that happen because of it. Were they really doing a bad thing, if their hearts were in the right place?

This book seems to be 50/50 for people – you either love it, or you don’t. I enjoyed the slight romance, dramatic fiction, heart wrenching tale that it is….but…I also didn’t read any reviews before and went in knowing I just wanted to read the book to see the movie. I had 0 expectations, and I came out loving it. In my opinion, some people seem to be reading way to far into the book. Are there themes? Yes. Is this a book that will be compared to Shakespeare (or even It…) in relation to it’s themes? No. Does it identify how good people can make bad decisions? Yes. Do you have to agree with their decisions? No. Do the characters decisions have to be your decisions? No. It’s simply a novel that is well written and shows one story of bad decision making.

Overall, this book is well written and is a fun read. All I can say now is, I can’t wait to watch the movie!

Five out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this book? Review not enjoy another! #BookReview The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

In the comments below, tell me your favourite book that has a film adaption!!

Check out M.L. Stedman and her work! M.L. Stedman

#BookReview Night School by Mari Mancusi

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Night School is another hit by Mari Mancusi that will leave you hooked and breathless.

So we’ve seen vampires, and we’ve seen lycan…but can you believe that Mari Mancusi added in another magical creature? Yup. She did! Fairies! When I initially read these books when they came out, I’ll admit I didn’t like the fairies that were added. But now, as an adult who constantly sees giant film and book universes I understand the need for such an addition – and it does, oddly, work!! I think it’s a cute addition, and I would like to see Mari build more into these ideas in future installments.

Rayne is our lead in this book, and her sassiness is there (as always). And, as always, this book is fast paced and kept me interested. Plus, on top of it all, Mari tops her plot lines and goes a little crazier. She always seems to know how to go bigger and better.

One thing I really like about these books is Mari seems to understand that it can be lengthy between the times you read her books – so she summarizes what happened last. In the first couple books it annoyed me (because I was reading them back to back) but when I realized that there is typically a wait in between and you might forget what our heroines were up to, then I was all on board! If this is something you don’t like, you can always skip!! But I think this is a nice addition that’ll help readers out.

I did have an issue with this book – we’ve grown to love Jareth and Magnus so much, and they weren’t in this book as much as I would like. Yes, they weren’t integral to the story but it was a shame to pick up this book and not have some epic storylines with them. They were still there, but not as much as they could have been.

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Mari’s roster of books on Goodreads!  Mari Mancusi on Goodreads

Or visit her website – Mari Mancusi’s Website

See what Mari’s up to on Twitter – @MariMancusi

Did you enjoy this series? Check out it’s website!  Blood Covens Series by Mari Mancusi

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Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#BookReview Guessing at Normal by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Guessing at Normal is a roller coaster ride of emotions from the ever-fantastic author Gail Ward Olmsted.

Gail’s writing just clicks with me – it pulls at my emotions, it keeps me hooked and has me addicted to every word on the page! Picking up this novel, which follows a rock star and his girlfriend, was a true delight that I have to share with everyone!

Jill Griffin is your everyday, normal girl working the hotel night shift. Then one day, in walks a rock star – James Sheridan. Everyone knows his name and his band Nomad, including Jill. These two fall in love, and their lives unravel throughout this soap opera-like story. This book isn’t your Harlequin, perfect romance – it follows the ups and downs of relationships and the rock star life. Relationships aren’t perfect, and this book highlights the true insanity that relationships can be.

The character arcs and development are to die for! Seriously, these characters go through so much throughout this novel. And on top of that, they aren’t perfect (which is a good thing)! The characters have flaws, there’s bumpy roads and fights that happen, and sometimes they aren’t squeaky clean Plain Janes. As the novel progresses, you can see Jill changing and learning to deal with the life she has chosen to live, and you can see how James embraces his rock star life. The book is mostly focused on Jill’s side of the story, but we do venture into other character’s lives briefly as well.

This book is an easy read, and has lots of drama to keep you busy. You’ll be guessing what will happen next, and Gail’s epic plot twists will keep you on edge. I find Gail’s writing to be descriptive yet soft – it’s not a book that you will struggle to understand. She picks the perfect words to describe the situation, but nothing so difficult that you are dragging out the Webster’s dictionary to understand the book.

I’d say this book is PG-13. There isn’t any hard romance scenes or erotica mixed in. It’s a fun book that even teenagers could enjoy. There are some drug and alcohol comments, but nothing too brutal that most teens haven’t heard about already.

Forewarning: bring a box of tissues if you are the light of heart! There are some sad scenes in this story, but it’s worth it in the end!

Overall, this is another gem that I’m putting on my must read romance pile! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance novel, some juicy drama, or celebrity/rock star based plots! It’s a fun book for a fantastic summer day!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this novel from the author Gail Ward Olmsted in exchange for an honest review.

 

Purchase this book on:

Amazon.com: Amazon.com – Guessing at Normal

Amazon.ca : Amazon.ca – Guessing at Normal

 

Find out more about Gail Ward Olmsted on:

Her website: http://www.gailolmsted.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gwolmsted

 

Comment below – have you read any novels by Gail Ward Olmsted?

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

#BookReview Always Been You by Sadie Allen

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Always Been You by Sadie Allen is a roller coaster of a ride full of romance, drama and action!

Wow. Wow. Wow! I did not expect this book to be so packed tight of insanity! Sadie Allen does a fantastic job of writing a fantastical tale about a long lost romance, but she throws in some thrills and chills to keep the reader hooked!

I absolutely loved Emma and Braz’s relationship, but Skye was the real winner for me. This teenage girl steals the show, and makes me desperate to grab the next book! Honestly, the wait to pick this book up was SO worth it. I don’t know how, but Sadie has managed to blow my expectations out of the water.

The story follows Emma Taylor coming back to her home town, and her long lost relationship with Braz. The two of them had a bit of a falling out, and now they have a chance to rekindle the flames they built up years earlier in high school. There is a bit of a twist though, Braz had an ex who was the psycho bully back in high school and they share a child together. This story has ups, downs, twists and turns that will leave you breathless and desperate for more! This book is not your typical romance novel!

I think Sadie did really well with this book! I truly only expected some ooey, gooey romance and not the eccentric thrills she added in! That may turn off some romance readers, but for me it added to the epic goodness Sadie has created in this world.

I 100% want to continue reading this series, and I want more by Sadie Allen in general. She’s a very talented writer who manages to surprise me each time I pick up her books. I hope the next book continues Emma and Braz’s story, but I have the feeling it will be another set of characters (since their story ties up nicely in the end).

The only negative thing I could say about this book was that it crosses over genres (and that’s hardly a negative). In my eyes, that might be the only “downfall” for some readers who are expecting purely romance.

If I was to give this book a rating, I would say it’s PG-13 to R rated. There is a scene where someone gets shot, and some suggestive sexual scenes but it’s not insanely graphic. So it lands somewhere between those two ratings.

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Always Been You

 

Find out more about Sadie Allen on:

www.authorsadieallen.wixsite.com/books

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

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If you read this review, comment below with your favourite romance novel and give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

 

And if you enjoyed this review, why not check out another one of my reviews of books by Sadie Allen? #BookReview Saving Me by Sadie Allen

 

Promotional Material for your reading fancies!

Always Been You  

by Sadie Allen

Cedar Lake Series, Book 1

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Design: Oh So Novel

Release Date: July 19, 2018

Synopsis

Emma Taylor ran away from home in a cloud of dust, taking the pieces of her broken heart with her. Fifteen years later, she is back to care for her grieving father and to face the boy who once broke her heart. 

Brazos Huntswell was dealt a bad hand. Life hasn’t turned out the way he envisioned it in high school. He’s a single father to a moody teenage girl and trying to make a go of the cattle ranch his father left him.

Trouble is brewing in the town of Cedar Lake, and people are turning up dead. Will Braz and Emma be able to weather the coming storm and take a chance on forever? Or will a ghost from the past destroy that chance… permanently?

Add to your Goodreads TBR List:

https://bit.ly/2HggKxk

Buy Links:

 Amazon: http://a.co/e65mHJP

Books2Read: https://bit.ly/2ux5NmH 

 

About the Author

Sadie Allen lives in Texas with her husband and three young children. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, catching up on her favorite shows, or chasing her family around the house.

 

Social Media Links:

Website: https://authorsadieallen.wixsite.com/books

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Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SadieAllen

Amazon: www.amazon.com/author/sadieallen

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorsadieallen/

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/238185666721154/

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Giveaway

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/f421f3092/?

#BookReview Uninvited Quests by Lex Wilson

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Uninvited Quests is a comedic journey full of fantasy and hilarity!

If I had to describe this book with a quote from within it, “You’re a worrier, and I am a warrior.” It’s one of the best quotes of the novel, and the book’s tagline could easily be ‘Are you a worrier or a warrior?’.

At first glance, this book seems like it could be a children’s novel – but with the mention of brothels and “slurphy sounds”, I’m saying 13+. That being said, it’s a wild ride for adults to indulge in! It’s funny, it’s exciting, and it’s surprisingly wicked!

Have you ever played a video game and got distracted by the side quests? That’s what this book is! These heroes have a mission, but the side quests are just way more interesting to partake in! Our warriors, Lucan and Manrel, meet Brae along the way (who is a half-ogyr, half-human warrior all on her own) and get into amusing situations. I have to admit, I really loved the comedic take on conversations about religion. The lighter and funnier comments about the way people speak about religion was what really had me chuckling – especially when you consider some of the words we use can be seen in a different context depending on the way you interpret them.

The play on words reminded me of earlier Arrested Development episodes – everything is connected and taken out of context! Most of the time, I was either laughing or rolling my eyes at the horrible yet fantastic humor. The abundance of puns and play on words was ridiculous! But oh so good! If you’re looking for other comparisons – this book gave me vibes of the hilarity of Thor: Ragnarok or Monty Pythons: The Holy Grail.

Character wise: Lucan and Manrel are a fun pair. They are hilarious, bond well together, and will keep you on your toes. The silly adventures and their one liners (come on, who wouldn’t scream about slimy walls? That’s disgusting and horrifying if you are in the dark!) make this book fast paced and delightful. I could easily see this being a comedy show or film with it’s excellent writing and perfectly timed jokes.

Cons: Every book has them in some form, but this book’s single con wasn’t that bad. Personally, I found the prologue really interesting, but we weren’t introduced to our leads right away so it threw me off a little bit. That being said, it’s incredibly well written and connects well to the story once you’re reading it.

Overall, this book felt like an epic satire of a warrior’s quest in mythology. It was absolutely hilarious and a must read for anyone who loves comedy or satire! I highly recommend picking this book up if you want a good laugh! Or, if you miss the fun you had reading children’s novels! This felt like the adult version of the silliness in children’s books.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this novel from Lex Wilson in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

About Uninvited Quests:

She’s a half-human paladin on an apology tour for a (formerly?) evil god. He’s supposed to be someone else’s squire. It’s up to them to save the kingdom. But first… another sidequest?

Check out Lex Wilson:

On Twitter: twitter.com/alexotica

Via the interwebs: http://lexwilson.com

Purchase this book:

Amazon.com – Uninvited Quests

Amazon.ca – Uninvited Quests

 

Comment below – what is your favourite comedic novel?

And while you’re at it, give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Batman:Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison

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I love comic books, but this one didn’t do it for me.

I didn’t like the art style, even if it was quite beautiful. For me, this style of comic didn’t do Batman justice. It seemed very messy to me, and it didn’t let me focus. I think this art style could work well with other characters, but not one where I want to pay attention to detail. It just felt to fuzzy.

There’s footnotes in this edition, which seems really weird to me. Why does a comic book need footnotes? Shouldn’t you be able to get the point across within the story?

At least there was a script at the end to understand what was going on. It just seemed really weird to me that I had no honest idea what was happening. It didn’t seem like a Batman comic, more like a parody of a Batman comic. Having to go back and forth between the comic and the script also left me incredibly frustrated. I don’t understand how this comic book was supposed to hit audiences.

The idea of having the inmates takes over Arkham Asylum seems awesome and this could make for the best story, but this art style didn’t do it justice. I could barely tell what characters were who, and I’m obsessed with Batman. I also didn’t understand the haunted part of the plot.

I get this book was supposed to be a psychological thriller/horror that was supposed to attract adult and mature audiences, but it just didn’t feel that way to me. The allusions and references went over my head, and I felt like there could have been so much more added to make it flow better.

Overall, this book was super frustrating for me. I wanted to love it (especially when I paid way to much to get my hands on this book) but I just couldn’t. I had high expectations and it came short.

Two out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another? #BookReview AMYM:The Mamluk Who Defied Death (New York Vampire 1.5) by K.D. McQuain

Why not give me a shoutout while your at it? @reviewalholic

Check out Grant Morrison on Goodreads! Grant Morrison on Goodreads