#BookReview My Little Pet Dragon by Scott Gordon

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My Little Pet Dragon is a unique children’s read full of fantastical fun!

I really liked the cover page with the CD art of the dragon on a skateboard. To me, that really stood out compared to other children’s books I’ve seen around recently. The entire book is continues to pack each page full of the awesome 3D art that’s on the cover.

Each page has just a few words on it and a 3D picture that matches the plot that’s carrying on.

I’d say the general age group for this book would be between 2 to 9 years old. The story is rather simplistic, but is extremely cute.

At the end of my copy, which was an eBook I found via BookBub, it has a story about how Scott got into writing. While I thought it was a touching story to include, I felt that it didn’t need to be in a children’s novel that a child might read themselves on a parent’s tablet or phone. As an adult I loved reading it, but it felt out of place (in my humble opinion). It is a motivational and inspirational set of words though!

The version I was reading also included lots of sneak peaks at his other books! While it does a great job advertising these books, it didn’t feel right sitting in a book that a child could be reading. You’re introducing them to a couple chapters and then they can’t necessarily finish it. As someone who has studied marketing, I understand the need to market and advertise your books, but it just didn’t mesh well with the way this book was set up. Maybe put sneak peaks as links at the end or on your website? Not in the book that ends up taking WAY more pages than the story itself.

The final bit (I promise!)… It asks to support the author on Patreon. Again, I totally understand the need to support artists and writers, but it felt out of place.

Overall, this book was really cute and I’d love to read more by Scott Gordon! I think he has lots of potential and he appears to have quite the catelogue!!

Four out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about the author, Scott Gordon, on:

Goodreads – Scott Gordon

Scott Gordon’s Blog

 

If you enjoyed this review, give me a shout out on Twitter or my Facebook and let me know what other books you’d like to see on my blog!

 

And if you enjoyed this book, why not check out another you might enjoy? Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1

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#BookReview A Cup of Redemption by Carole Bumpus

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If I had to describe this book in one word, I’d use the word “journey”.

This incredibly breath-taking tale by Carole Bumpus wow-ed me more than I can say in a few words. When I started reading this book, I just figured it was another Women’s Fiction novel that would be a great ‘on the side’ read to keep my mind off of my homework. Once I got into the book, I was instantly hooked and amazed at how Carole can weave words into the most beautiful and heart breaking tale I’ve ever read! It’s an Oscar-worthy book that is shockingly under-appreciated! Seriously, this is in my Top 10 reads now from how freaking fantastic is was!

A Cup of Redemption follows multiple generations in one family. Sophie’s Mother (Marcelle) has just passed and she is asked to investigate her family tree. She goes on this wild adventure about her heritage with her friend Kate, and enlists the help of some of her siblings. Along the way, we learn about the haunting past of her, her mother and her grandmother. These tales are seamlessly written and tie in with one another throughout the story. This book will break your heart, warm your heart, and then make you believe in familial love all over again.

There’s a splash of history in this book, since it goes over the World Wars and other historical events that occur behind the scenes (or during the scenes!) of the story. There’s a wee bit of romance, a whole lot of drama, and a splash of mystery as well! If you like fiction where the story slowly unfolds and everything comes into view, then you will love this book! The ending isn’t right out there, you have to learn through Sophie and the other characters what really happened in the past – and I loved that aspect. I’m glad the ending wasn’t obvious like some mystery novels.

I loved the characters and how they interacted with each other. Even when Carole is changing back and forth between the decades, she makes these characters lovable and feel real. At times, I could relate way harder to these characters than I ever expected to. That realism is what really sets this book apart from other stories like this. I almost felt like this could be a non-fiction retelling of a woman’s life. Seriously, it’s that good.

The downfalls of this book are as followed:
1. There’s a lot of characters to follow, and if you put down this book a few times like me – you might forget who’s who!
2. There are some plot points that don’t end up resolved, but they aren’t major ones. I would have liked a few more of my questions answered, but the story does come to a close so I guess that’s a bit of a positive…
3. This book can be quite…upsetting. There’s rape, sexual assault and other dark occurrences in the book that aren’t for the light of heart.

By the end of this book, I couldn’t put it down! I absolutely loved it! Even with the slow start, it slowly burned a hole into my heart and I absolutely need more by Carole Bumpus! If you haven’t picked this book up, seriously, get on it! I’m utterly surprised by how well this book connected with me and I want to make sure more readers are able to connect to books with this much talent in it!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Kobo

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – eBook

Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Paperback

Barnes and Nobles – Paperback

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about Carole Bumpus on:

Goodreads – Carole Bumpus

http://www.carolebumpus.com/

Twitter – @CaroleBumpus

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

 

While you’re at it, check out another book review you might enjoy! #BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted

#BookReview After Namaste by K. Kris Loomis

After Namaste is a collection of short essays by K. Kris Loomis full of eye-opening motivations.

I won’t lie, I loved the essay about a swimmer. What can I say? I’ve always been quite the fish. And man oh man, does this book hit close to home. Reinventing yourself is something many people try, but truly have no idea what they’re doing. Seeing K. Kris Loomis’s take on yoga and doing right by one’s self is a nice and refreshing read.

Some of the lessons she delivers in this book are:
1. Teachers can be anywhere – not just professors or instructors. Sometimes your best motivators are people you’ve only seen and never met. Let them motivate you and give you inspiration!
2. Never be afraid to lead by example!
3. Small changes add up to big changes.
4. We change over time, so respect your person.
5. Change can be a gradual process.

And, of course, way more than just this!

I like how enlightening and honest this book was. It’s not exactly a self-help book, it’s more of a collection of opinions. You can read what the author feels is good to learn from her life experiences and they all relate to yoga.

I’d definitely recommend this book to people who want to learn. It’s a lovely set of informative essays that are very knowledgeable without feeling like a textbook. You don’t need to be someone who does yoga (or ever wants to, for that matter) to get something out of this book. I think just seeing someone else’s experiences and how they’ve grown and changed is reward enough from this book! And if you end up joining a yoga class, I’m sure K. Kris Loomis would be proud!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free from the author K. Kris Loomis in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

Photo courtesy of K. Kris Loomis.

 

 

If you liked this book, check out more by K. Kris Loomis on my blog:

#BookReview Survving Revision: How One Writer Finished What She Started by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories by K. Kris Loomis

 

 

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

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#BookReview Best Women’s Erotica of the Year, Volume 4 by Rachel Kramer Bussel et al.

When I saw that my fave Tamsen Parker had a short story in this collection, I jumped on it! She is always apart of the best compilations and anthologies, so this book became a must read for me. And of course, this book did not let down! There are stories for every erotica lover (whether you love the crazy hot and heavy, or the sensual and romance).

The best part about this collection is that there are so many varieties of stories. Not only does this introduce the reader to each author’s work, but it’s just enough to get your mouth watering for more. When I read anthologies like these, I love picking out new authors to follow. You can test the waters with each little story to see the true potential of each author to open up your bookshelf for a few more readers.

I definitely had my faves from the collection – Tamsen Parker, Alessandra Torre and Mica Kennedy to name a few – but they were all fantastic! I think this is the best way to check out some new authors without committing to 12+ 300 page novels.

Each story had a few chapters to sink the reader’s teeth into, and all of them were spicy! The diverse types of stories is also a nice touch – BDSM, existing couples, new couples, experimenting, kinks and more! It dabbles in each “category” of erotica to spice up the reader’s life.

Overall, I think this is an excellent collection. There’s a little bit of erotica for every type of reader and it is truly the best way to find a new author (or two!) to add to your collection.

Five out of five stars!

I received an ARC of this book from the editor.

 

Find this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Indigo/Chapters/Coles

Barnes & Nobles

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

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#BookReview Sons of York by Lesley J Nickell

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Sons of York by Lesley J Nickell was a beautiful read that I highly suggest to fans of historical fiction.

It’s a real shame that Lesley J Nickell has passed, because she was such a fabulous writer. This story had me hooked from the first chapter, and from then on I was obsessed. Historical fiction rarely gets me this excited, but Lesley managed to make me LOVE historical fiction. The romance and drama that was woven into the story was so perfectly sprinkled in!

The story followed Edward IV and his fictional mistress Janet and their affairs through the times. Janet’s story is full of tragedy, but the way Lesley writes this story makes you feel so connected to her and everything she goes through. I cared so much for Janet and I wanted her to have everything she ever desired even if she was given a bad hand at life. I wish there were more novels following this woman! Lesley created such a strong and powerful character that was also so soft and sweet. She even had me liking Edward IV (which I had a strong distaste for at the beginning).

I almost wish a ghost writer would come in and continue this beautiful series in honor of Lesley (similar to VC Andrews). This story is enchanting and full of potential! It’s a highly recommended book from me!

I did find the last few chapters not as thrilling as the majority of the novel, but that might be because I knew this beautiful book was coming to an end!

Four out of five stars

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy. #BookReview A Long Way Back by J. Everett Prewitt

Use the hashtags #SonsofYork and #BriarsReviews on twitter to talk about this review!

#BookReview Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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I have been wanting to read books by Agatha Christie for years, yet whenever I made it to a bookstore I would get lost in the aisles and forget about my desires. Luckily for me, Kennett Branagh decided to remake Murder on the Orient Express. The movie was fantastic and everything I wanted it to be, which gave me perfect reason to find the book and give it a shot! And it was INCREDIBLE.

I’m amazed by how talented Agatha Christie was. The pure talent for writing shown in this book is so shocking, and it makes me desperate to read every other book she has written. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find them in my adventures!

This book is the 10th novel in the series, but it is very easy to pick up and start reading. I had no issue being pulled into the story and not wanting to put the book down. The language is a bit old fashioned (since it’s an older book) so there may be a disconnect for some present readers, but that seemed to be the only issue I could find when I picked this book apart.

In short, the plot for this book is there is a murder on the Orient Express train and Hercule Poirot (a wildly famous detective) is determined to solve it. The twist? Multiple suspects aboard a stalled train.

The book is fun, fast paced and wildly addicting. If you love a good mystery, trying to solve this story is absolutely delightful! Everyone has an alibi and Poirot can only find out information by asking questions and looking at their reactions (because…GASP!…there’s no electronic devices in the time period this book is set in). I knew the ending already from watching the movie, but trying to pick out the evidence that led to Hercule’s final thoughts was so much fun! I scrambled along the way and enjoyed every second of this book.

Overall, this book is a great read! If you want to read a classic, a mystery or just a fun book I really suggest this one! It’ll keep you hooked and make your head spin in circles.

Five out of five stars!

 

What is your favourite “classic” read? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this book review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

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#BookReview The Gaucho’s Lady by Genevieve Turner

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The Guacho’s Lady was the cutest, sweetest, most adorable historical romance I’ve read this year!

I won’t lie, when I first started this book I was a little wary. Historical romances have been hit or miss for me, but somehow Genevieve Turner craved a beautifully written tale that really had me hooked. Seriously, I couldn’t put the book down. I had to for about twenty minutes to drive home and it was absolute torture! I managed to find time to binge the rest of this super cute book so I didn’t have to wait to know how my new fave characters ended up.

So, onto the good part!

This is a historical romance following Eliana and Juan. Juan is a Gaucho, who Eliana enlists to help “kidnap” her and whisk her away from a potentially horrible marriage. As she runs away from her Father and this wicked husband-to-be, the pair begin to grow on each other. Juan has his own difficult past, with a deceased wife and child that are haunting his thoughts. The pure, innocent Eliana has her eyes open to a new world with Juan! And, of course, there’s a little bit of an adventure along the way!

I would highly recommend this book if you love romance books that aren’t just purely romance (but are mostly romance). The world building and little side adventures that happen along the way were a nice touch! Juan and Eliana’s romantic story is a little typical (fearless hero with a tragic back story and a pure, innocent lady who needs to be shown the world) but it worked so well! Seeing both characters change and grow within the story made that trope turn into a fabulous plot point instead of a ‘con’.

Another nice point about this book is that it talks about Argentina. I don’t know about other readers, but that’s not a setting I read about very often! While it’s a small little thing to notice about a book, I like it when books open up new worlds and introduce us to other cultures. I don’t know if the book is wildly accurate, but it may open some readers up to learning more!

To sum of some of the ‘touchy’ points for some readers, here’s an attempted spoiler free list:
1. Marriage of convenience
2. Death of wife/unborn child (don’t worry, it’s not graphic or described – it’s just in passing, but it’s still sad)
3. Super, sheltered, innocent virgin

To me, those points weren’t necessarily a bad part – but I’ve seen many readers out there who despise those tropes. So, if you’re one of those readers, you’ve been warned!

If I had to list the best parts of this book, it would be as followed:
1. A man who knows consent! OMG Juan cares about his lady and wants to only have sexy time when they both want it AND wants to consider her feelings. Do you know how nice that is to see in literature?! 10 stars for that alone!
2. Headstrong, ‘feminist’ woman. She knows what she wants and doesn’t necessarily want to be submissive. I like that she had her own mind and was willing to learn, change and adapt.

My two cons are as followed:
1. The word “mound”. Yes, an entire word is one of my two cons. That’s my version of “moist”. Is it a con for the story? No. But I just don’t like the sound of it. What can I say? I’m picky.
2. Juan teaching Eliana the ways of ‘sexy time’ was a little cheesey. I understand why it happened and it was cute and silly, but I found it to be just past the amount of cheese I wanted. It also didn’t take away from the story, but for me…well, I don’t know what would have been better.

My overall opinion on this book is that it’s amazing! It was fun, cute and absolutely lovely! I love a good romance story that whisks me away to another world and has a lovely, fulfilled ending. If I get the chance, I absolutely am picking up more stories by Genevieve Turner.

I 100% recommend this book to those who love romance, historical romances, light-hearted and fun stories (even though there is some “darker” content suggested), and who want a bingable story.

Five out of five stars!!

I do owe a GIANT thank you to the author Emma Barry who recommended this book to me and gave me the opportunity to read it. Without her, I wouldn’t have realized how amazing this book was!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Coles/Indigo/Chapters

 

Check out the author, Genevieve Turner, on:

Goodreads – Author Page

Twitter – @GenTurner5

 

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