#BookReview Fly With Me by Hudson Lin

 

If you’re looking for the cutest romance ever, pick up this tremendously amazing book by Hudson Lin.

The always fabulous Tamsen Parker introduced me to Hudson Lin, and one thousands thanks for her! Hudson Lin has been a recent favourite of mine so I jumped at the chance to pick up another book by this incredible author.

Fly With Me is an adorable, short novella by Hudson Lin following two flight attendants in Europe. Vivian Ng is a headstrong, feisty lady who can hold up her own. Marco Chang is a sexy, well intended man who forgets he met Vivian years ago. When their lives collide, they collide hard!

I love that this book features diverse characters – Asian-Canadians, a bisexual man, Asians from Peru, just to name a few. This book doesn’t force the diversity upon you, it just is. It’s natural, which is absolutely lovely. It felt like the world I live in – there are many diverse people all around, and we get to follow the story of two of them.

Vivian being so head strong made me relate to her on a very personal level. She loves her parents, wants to make sure they are taken care of and doesn’t want anybody telling her what to do. She butts heads with Marco a fair bit, but they end up building quite the friendship. Add a dash of romance, and this book just screams “BRIAR YOU NEED TO READ THIS”.

Overall, I loved this sweet book! It’s short enough to binge, lovely enough to fall in love with and fits wonderfully on my always decreasing space on my Kindle (haha…whoops!).

I highly recommend this book if you love short romances, diversity, novels set in Europe, and Canadian stories.

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book via Hudson Lin’s subscriber list.

 

You can find this book on:

Kobo
Barnes & Noble
Indigo, Chapters, Coles – Canadian Bookseller
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

If you liked this book or review, check out another you might enjoy!
#BookReview Three Months to Forever by Hudson Lin
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Dare to Dream by Hudson Lin from the Rogue Nights Anthology Collection

 

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

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#BookReview The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a book that I have been debating over since high school. Everyone I know from high school absolutely HATED this book (with a ridiculously strong passion) yet I had this feeling that I should read it anyways. After watching the 2017 television adaptation and LOVING it, I decided it was probably best to just bite the bullet and pick up this book. Of course, I had to remember to buy it to be able to read it and that took some time.

So, during this wonderous break from school and work I decided to indulge myself a little and pick up a book I REALLY wanted to read. Luckily, this book was within sight and reaching distance so I devoured it in under two hours. I binged this book SO HARD and it was SO WORTH IT.

If you’ve watched the television show, you know the basis. The show expands a lot more on the content (and changes some) but you’ve got the jist of the story. Offred is a Handmaid to the Commander and Serena Joy. Her “goal” is to get pregnant and give them a baby, and that isn’t going to well. So she hatches a plan with Serena Joy to be able to have a baby to get out! But… nothing ever goes to plan, and chaos ensues. That is the non-spoiler synopsis.

This book feels all too real even all these years later. It faces political, environmental and religious tones in such an amazing way that it really blew my mind. Margaret Atwood’s writing just adds to this story and gives it way more depth than I ever expected. Every little twist and turn makes me question who you can trust, if Offred is a reliable narrator (at times) and if this world can ever change. Unfortunately, you don’t find that last point out in this novel. The book ends rather abruptly and leaves me feeling cheated. I want to know what happens OH SO BAD. That’s the only reason I enjoy the television show just a little bit more – it expands a lot on the narrative and we will most likely get some kind of ending (eventually… it’s only at two seasons currently at the time I write this review).

You could definitely tear this book apart for “plot holes” – like… how did society crumble so fast? How could these women not over power some of these leaders? How did people let this happen? There’s so many questions that I want answered, but I don’t think that’s the purpose of this book. It felt like a warning tale, like 1984 by George Orwell or any of the Shakespeare tales. It’s a different take on society as a whole and is criticizing it in some way (and it’s also just really good fiction, let’s be honest).

My biggest flaw is how short this book is – I want more and I want to understand more. This world is just way too good, complex and big to not explore! I hear there’s another book coming out soon (oh please give us a sequel I want mooooore) but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Overall, this is a book that makes you think. I love books like that because I can sink into my chair (or couch… or bed…) and just let myself fall into the story. I escape this world and all of my worries and just take in this whole new world. I think Margaret Atwood is a seriously good author with ridiculous amounts of talent and I will for sure be looking for more books by her. Books like this make me SO happy that I love to read and have the time and ability too. Books like this make reading an absolutely breath taking hobby!

Seriously, if you love dystopian fiction, books that you can theorize and form conspiracies over or books that you probably would have read back in your high school English class- PICK THIS BOOK UP!

Five out of five stars.

 

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If you enjoyed this review (or book!) check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Romance Novels

It’s time for another Top 10 List!! This time around I’m tackling romance. I typically read a lot of romance novels, so this list has been growing rapidly. Luckily, there are so many good books out there that I can make multiple lists! This will be Part 1 of my romance list. All of these books are shuffled throughout and given a random spot on my list.

Elevator pitch time!!

 

1. The Raven by Sylvain Reynard
Canada represent! Sylvain Reynard has a truly magical, fantasy book full of romance in The Raven. This book is dark, sexy and truly intriguing. Sylvain knows how to craft a magnificent book that keeps you hooked at every sexy turn. Historical art, sexy strangers, and knights in (not so) shining armour make this book a staple on my romance shelf. Seriously though, this book introduced me to Sylvain and I’ve been a fan ever since. These books are really hard to put down.

Purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

2. The Gaucho’s Lady by Genevieve Turner
Blame Tamsen Parker for this one, because she recommended me one fabulous book! Genevieve Turner crafted one super sexy book in The Gaucho’s Lady. Sweet Eliana tries to run away, and accidentally runs into the arms of Juan. If you want a steamy book with a really tough outlaw, this book won’t let you down! But watch out, it gets pretty hot… to the point you might as well be in a steam room.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

3. Something Like Love by Sara Richardson
Time for a MAJOR throwback… Way back in 2015 I read a book by Sara and I instantly fell in love. Ranch hands, politics and second chance romances? Heck yes! This delicious book is super cute! I need to jump back into Sara’s book ASAP because these books can hardly contain the adorableness they hold. This book is an easy read, full of romance and packs a good punch.

Read this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

4. Lexington and 42nd by Kim Carmody
I LOVE a good sports romance, so Lexington and 42nd hit all the right notes for me! This sexy read matches quarterback Will with Emma. These two will flaunt their “will they? won’t they?” romance and keep you hooked at every turn. Kim Carmody might not be well known (YET!) but she’s got one heck of a talent! Sports romances need to make a comeback ASAP!

Click the links for Lexington and 42nd:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

5. Happy Ever After in Christmas by Debbie Mason
30, flirty and thriving… Right? This series by Debbie Mason is an absolute must in my home town. The Christmas, Colorado series is a lovely romantic series, but this particular book fell into my lap. Jill and Sawyer (an ex-hockey player, come on… you know I love those sports romances) are the “it” couple of this novel. Their ups and downs are on display, and man is it a cute, quick read! If you want a romance that isn’t too erotic, this book is a great fit!

This book can be found on…:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

6. Saving the CEO by Jenny Holiday
This contemporary romance is super sexy! Jenny Holiday introduces us to Jack and Cassie – Jack’s the CEO and Cassie is a bartender. When they walk into each other’s lives, things just get… complicated. Will they ignite a super sexy romance? Will it work? Oh man, this book is just too good! It’s full of rule breakers and changes the romance game on it’s head. What a delight!

Purchasing links include:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

7. So Near the Horizon by Jessica Koch
So Near the Horizon is one of my top books of all time. I brag about it all the time, because it randomly appeared on my TBR when Jessica Koch recommended it to me. I am SO SO SO grateful she did, because it’s a real winner. This story follows Jessica and Danny and their whirlwind romance. It also addresses some tough issues, like HIV and living with someone who’s struggling. I highly recommend this book. I still get chills thinking about it to this very day.

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

8. Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker
If you thought I would make a romance list without Tamsen Parker, you’d be wrong! This is one of the few Tamsen books I picked up late in the game, but it was worth it! In this novel, the story follows an Orthodox Jewish marriage. It’s a little different than the other books on this list, but I love it for it’s diversity. It’s not the normal romance novel, but it truly is mesmerizing. If you want to expand the diversity of your romance shelf, this book would be a great start.

Click the links for access to purchasing sites:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

 

9.  Cowboy Boots for Christmas: Cowboy Not Included by Carolyn Brown
This sexy cowboy story is adorbable! Our leads met in the war and are reuniting…and of course he’s a cowboy! Throw in the Christmas holidays, a little brother who needs protection and long lost friends and you’ve got yourself a real treat! This is a soft, sweet read and is full of cute romance. I loved reading this book because it’s so simple and lovely yet so perfect!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

10. Return to You by Samantha Chase
Oh, The Montgomery Brothers. What do you get when you throw a man who wants to marry the woman of his dreams in a romance novel? You get one epic chase! James Montgomery gets his starring role in this book as he chases the woman he lost – but he won’t let her get away this time! Will he win her heart back? Will she let herself fall head over heels? You will have to wait and see!

Purchase this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Kobo

 

That concludes my elevator pitch for Romance – Part 1! Have you read any of these books? What other romance novels do you recommend? Comment below with your faves from the list or from your own shelf! I’d love to add some more to my ever growing TBR!

 

Don’t enjoy romance? Why not check out my other Top Books Lists!
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Fantasy Reads, Part 1
#TopBooksList Young Adult Novels, Part 1
#TopBooksList Children’s Novels, Part 1

 

 

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#BookReview Tamisan by Susan McKenzie

Tamisan by Susan McKenzie was an epic, action-packed, sci-fi fueled novel!

Action. Adventure. Sci-Fi. New Adult. Thriller. Suspense. Fantasy. Supernatural.

All of those terms can directly be applied to this magnificent novel by Susan McKenzie. Seriously, I didn’t know what I was in for when I picked up this book! The synopsis makes this seem like just another fun, sci-fi novel yet it was so much more than I expected! Zhenna/Tamisan was a lovely character to follow along her absolutely insane journey and I can’t wait to see more of her!

Zhenna is traveling to assist in some space science experiments when things go horribly wrong. She’s the only survivor of her crew, but that’s not the only thing wrong. Her soul has also been moved into the body of one of the gorgeous natives to the planet. This disturbing science experiment changes her life forever and sends her on a troubling journey in a foreign land. Slowly, she discovers the powers this woman held and all of the magic that goes along with being supernatural. Oh, and there’s a little romance in store for her too!

This book had a lot packed into one book, and that’s why the book is so good! But that is also the book’s weak point – I felt like this book could have been split into two or three novels. I seriously loved every minute of it, but there’s was just SO much. Most readers will be okay with this, since Susan delivers with a fast-paced and thrilling adventure, but some may not be as fond of it.

Whether you’re looking for a fantastical book or a science fiction, this book is definitely worth the read. It has a lot of marketing potential with the various genres it holds inside. I like that it didn’t just stick to one genre because it did make this book far more unique. If anything, I felt like I was most confused on which age group it should be marketed too. The genres was easy – it mixes fantasy with science fiction and thrills and suspense. There’s so much in there! But at times it felt like it was moving close to an R rating (with potential rape scenes and some harsh violence) but then it slowed back down in the romance department and felt like a Young Adult novel. My best guess was it was going for New Adult and it seems to fit well there.

Overall, this book was one solid thrill ride! The positives of this book far outweigh the negatives and I’d highly recommend it! It’s a little on the longer side but it’s worth every word on every page!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles

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

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If you liked this book, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview I Am Radar by Reif Larsen

I am Radar by Reif Larsen is a character study of a black man born to white parents.

This book was very slow and hard for me to read, I have to be upfront about that. The book is written beautifully and Reif Larsen is a terrific writer, but I just couldn’t get into this book. It took me months to get through because it’s so packed full of narrative. It is packed full of science, relationship drama, history and major character conflicts and soul searching.

I wish I would have loved this book more, because I am amazed at Reif’s writing style. I fell in love with these characters, but then the story would switch up and go somewhere else. I just got devoted to Radar and his parents and then the story switched around and took me somewhere I didn’t want to go. I wanted to watch Radar’s life tumble in front of my eyes, but I didn’t get that. Honestly though, Radar and his parents were my favourite part of this story. Watching them grow and react to life was a real gem. I wanted way more of that, because I absolutely loved them.

If you like books that follow the entire story of a person, including their backstory and their family’s story – you’ll love this book. It truly is a cool character study. Following Radar is the main purpose of this book, but we learn so much more about other characters as well. It’s a fictional drama story that is written beautifully. That’s where it stands with me. It also includes great illustrations and historic notes making it feel more non-fiction than fiction at times. Oh, and did I mention lots and lots of science and radio waves?

I would definitely suggest this as a book for an English class. I’d love to see someone pick it apart and explain it to me. I was just not invested enough to re-read sections and to go back and understand a lot of the book. It’s not a book to just sit down and binge – it’s too full of knowledge and information. You have to be willing to go back and understand everything that’s happening to really get it. So, it’s just not for me at this point in time.

Overall, the over 600 pages were not my cup of tea. I think Reif is a wonderful writer and I hope he finds his readers! He’s too talented, I don’t want it to go to waste! Pick up this book if you love a good drama full of science and knowledge. I’m honored to have read this book, because it is really cool. I’m just not his ideal reader.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Goodreads

 

Check out some other books and reviews you might enjoy:

#BookReview Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia

#BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books

Quick Book Review: Escape Vector and Other Stories by Bryan Young

 

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

#BookReview Rogue Ever After Anthology Collection by Tamsen Parker, Hudson Lin, et al.

This final collection in the Rogue series has proven to be another lovely addition!

This LGBTQ+ book is full of sweet (and sometimes sexy!) stories. F/F, M/M, poly and more, with each having a different focus. Some of the stories center around politics, Hollywood and even just good, old-fashioned relationships.

I can’t get enough of these short stories, because they are so easy to slip into. They aren’t difficult to follow, they make me smile, and I just love these authors. Since every story is different, you get a really good mix of romance and erotica.

I focused on three stories from the collection, but all of them were marvelous.

Hudson Lin’s Ipso Facto ILU follows Jonny and Brandon, who are OMG levels of cuteness. Brandon is a political science PhD candidate and Jonny is a famous podcaster. Following their super sweet love story was such a treat! Brandon’s shyness and adorable nature made me love this couple oh so much! Throw in some funny lines about Zest body soap and Canadian references and you’ve got me totally engaged in this story. Honestly, it felt like a fan girl’s heaven. This story was definitely a 5 out of 5 stars for me!

Ainsley Booth’s Love Your Love was a lovely poly romance which following Win and Penny (and Tanya, you can’t forget about Tanya). Cute crushes, spooning and fun quotes about beaming and blooming flowers fill this little story up. I like Ainsley’s way with words – it somehow felt so elegant yet so natural! This story moved very quickly and felt a little shorter to me, but it was still super sweet. 5 out of 5 stars!

And to top it off, Tamsen Parker’s Starlet Struck shed some light on causes AND included some super sexy F/F romance. Archer and Hadley make one wild pair – an activist and a Hollywood actress. The characters bring up causes dear to their heart, like the Rivera House which helps homeless LGBTQ teens, and I have to say that made me respect this book even more! At the end, we get the hottest ending that will rock most erotica fan’s socks off. The tension that built up to that part made it even better than I expected! Five out of five stars!

Overall, this is a great anthology for romance and erotica lovers. It’s definitely an R rated book, but it’s worth the read if you love some sexy scenes.

Five out of five stars.

Thank you to Tamsen Parker for providing me a copy of this book to review.

 

Check out this anthology on:
Goodreads
Kobo
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Indigo / Chapters / Coles – Canadian Retailer

 

Check out my other reviews from this 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 if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Safe Landings by Kay Brandt

 

 

Safe Landings is a very strange title for a book as risky and erotic as this one.

This book is pure erotica. We start out with a woman who’s having an extramarital affair yet still seems to have a relatively happy marriage. Each page is filled with naughty comments, and eventually R-rated sexy material. But this book isn’t just all love scenes and sexy comments, there’s an epic plane crash that takes this book on a wild narrative.

It was honestly so refreshing to read a book that focuses on erotic content have an actual plot. I like when there’s a story to follow along that isn’t just a few people bumping and grinding on each other. The plane crash and the drama of the aftermath was a really interesting story to follow and I have to give some massive creds to Kay for writing it in. Plots like this switch the genre up and make it way more interesting the readers instead of having the same old, same old. The therapy, post traumatic stress, early retirement and life changes a traumatic event causes were all parts of this story. Even just a little bit of awareness is better than nothing, so I have to say I’m impressed on that note.

If you thought Kay Brandt was just an erotic novel writer, you’d be wrong. Seriously, if you had any doubts that she had serious writing abilities, this book will change your mind. This is only from 2015 so I can’t imagine how much better Kay has gotten over the years. I guess I will just have to find out when I read more of her books!

My favourite part of this book was the innuendos. Whether intentionally or not, they absolutely kill me. They had me laughing and giggling like a school girl. I suddenly felt like a kid again when someone said spell ICUP when some of the innuendos showed up.

If I had one negative thing to say about this book, it would be that some of the conversations didn’t feel “real”. They were very forced and didn’t seem like a normal person would have that sort of conversation. At least, I don’t have conversations like that so who knows! It wasn’t every conversation, it was only a few, but it felt very strange reading them.

Overall, this book is one hot, erotic story. If you want lots of sex scenes then this book is for you! Safe Landings also has a good plot line, so it’s not just smut, but it is highly erotic and R rated.

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free form the author Kay Brandt in exchange for an honest review.

Find this book on:
Kobo
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble
Amazon.com

Check out Kay Brandt’s Amazon page, Twitter, Facebook and publisher Excessica.

You can also check out my review of another book by Kay Brandt!
#BookReview Hotwives and their Dirty Desires by Kay Brandt

 

 

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