#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

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#BookReview Hotwives and their Dirty Desires by Kay Brandt

Hotwives and their Dirty Desires is packed full of stories for every steamy romance lover to enjoy!

This R rated book is full of sexy scenes, not intended for a young reading audience.

The first short story, Berlin and Cody, features a young 21 year old painter named Cody and the beautiful Berlin who meet through a dating agency. Ms. K runs a super sexy dating agency where older women can meet younger men, which starts out story off. This pair is straight to the point about what they want, which is a fantastic and unique quality for the romance novels I usually read.

This story is super hot, sexy and full of steamy scenes. I wasn’t even a couple pages in and the heat had already been turned up to 100! If you’re the type of reader who likes to get right into the action, then this story is for you! The one thing that really got me about this book, though, was that they were getting hot and heavy in a cab and the driver didn’t notice?! Maybe my city’s taxi drivers are just too into chatting with the customers, because they were getting it on and not a single word was said to them! Seriously, I’d love to see the comedy side story of that guy explaining to someone how his day went.

Story number two – The Post-Marital Lesbian Affair. This time, a lovely woman named Autumn wants to welcome Berlin into her marriage with open arms. Berlin and Autumn take center stage for this steamy love affair. This story is a bit darker and a bit steamier, cranking up this room to a sauna.

Story number three, Berlin and Cody’s First Menage, brings Cody in on the action with the ladies. Story four continues on with Autumn’s husband and story five introduced Casey and Paul.

Each story got bigger and more full of erotica. I would definitely label this book under erotica and not romance, if you’re particular about your genres. Kay Brandt can clearly write an erotic scene and make it hot and dirty.

I did have one major worrying point from this set – Cody and Berlin didn’t use protection. That’s, you know, their choice and all, but it seemed mighty weird for a story to not even bring it up. They just jumped in, not knowing one another and hoped for the best. It’s not a downside but it’s not an upside either.

Overall, this book is super raunchy (in a good way). If you like hot, steamy, erotic books that go right into the action then you’ll love this book!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

 

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

Find this book on:

Amazon.ca

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Rakuten Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

 

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**Photos courtesy of the author.

#BookReview Backyard Hullabaloo by Junia Wonders

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I was lucky enough to find this book for free via BookBub!

Backyard Hullabaloo is a fun and spunky picture book by Junia Wonders and Divin Meir!

What I liked about this book was that there was a little more reading content in it. The picture books I have been picking up lately had barely a sentence per page, but this book had multiple sentences and even paragraphs per page! Having a little more content made this book a little more fun and inventive when I was reading it.

We follow Mr. Bagoo, who overslept since his alarm clock didn’t ring! We also meet his neighbors along the way as he tries to get his chores done! Everyone seems to be in a bad mood for some reason! Mr. Bagoo and his neighbor aren’t getting along, and they must solve their issues with each other.

I also loved that there was no rhyming scheme to this book – it moved at a nice pace and didn’t feel forced. It was written in a tone that felt professional and yet humorous or child-like all at the same time.

The artwork was a style I don’t see to often – it looked like digital crayons! I really liked this different art style, especially since it felt like it belonged with the story. I couldn’t see any other art style fitting with the tone and silliness of this book!

Overall, I’d highly recommend this book! It’s a great picture book with a fantastic story! I could see this book easily being used for story time at a school!

Four out of five stars!

 

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Goodreads

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Amazon.com

If you enjoyed this book or review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Half Done Fun by Katja Vartiainen

 

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Photo via Goodreads.

#BookReview Seeds and Trees by Brandon Walden

Seeds and Trees by Brandon Walden is a super cute illustrated story.

I absolutely love the main title page – the flowers, thorns and bird are absolutely stunning. The art style felt unique yet beautiful, which is something I crave in picture books. I love seeing different art styles that connect with the story.

An added touch was the letter from the author at the beginning. As a child, I probably would have skipped by it and not cared in the least, but as an adult I like reading into the mind of the author. Seeing the reasons behind the story is always a little pleasure of mine!

The story itself worked well with the art style. The contrasting There was a bit of a rhyming scheme at certain points of the story, but it didn’t feel super forced.

The theme and story itself tells a really important tale about positive vibes. I definitely think this book would be a great read for parents to bond with their children or for a school to pick up. I could see young classrooms picking this story apart and telling great tales!

Five out of five stars!

I found this book for free on BookBub.

 

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And comment below – what children’s books do you absolutely love?

#BookReview Coming Out by Danielle Steel

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I found Coming Out by Danielle Steel at a local store that typically does not sell books. It was on sale, probably cheaper than it should have been yet it was in excellent shape! I always wanted to read something by Danielle Steel but never seemed to remember to pick up a book by her whenever I was out looking, so I decided to purchase this book.

This book was made in 2006, but it felt more along the lines of the 80s or 90s due to some of the comments within the book. There never seems to be a strict date of when this book is set, but some of the opinions don’t seem to be that of 2006 (or maybe my hometown was just way more open at that time). The comments about how bad tattoos are seem to date this book more than intended too, seeing as it is 2018 and tattoos seem to be everywhere and widely accepted. If anything, that would be my biggest con for this book! It dates itself with the opinions within!

I did really enjoy this book – it was a light, dramatic read that I could easily put down and pick it back up. The story follows a rich, upper class family as they intend to go to an exclusive ball in New York. The twin daughters are on opposing sides (one wants to go, the other doesn’t and decides to rebel), the Mother wants to go, the step Father doesn’t, and so on and so forth. There is some romantic drama, some family drama, some “rich” drama, and it all seems to work well within the story.

That being said, this book is hit and miss – if you don’t mind reading about privileged rich people with silly problems, it’s a good read! I didn’t mind that they complained about simple yet silly things, in fact I found it to be fluffy and funny at times. It felt like a soap opera I would watch on T.V. back in high school. The soap opera side is what kept me hooked, to be brutally honest. The drama was over the top, the reactions were big, and it felt like the perfect, stormy day read.

The book is relatively short and moves at a good pace to keep you interested. That is what also kept me interested in this book. I didn’t think that the book felt too long or too short. To me, the book was the perfect length. I also really liked that the title of the book has multiple meanings in the book! Tied in with that title, the ending took me by surprise! The ending did seem to suddenly stop, but Danielle tied in one of the small plot points to finish this book up.

Overall, I think this book was cute and is a nice, soft read. It is in it’s own little niche, so reader beware!!

Three out of five stars!

 

Check out of this book on:

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If you enjoyed this book or review, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted

 

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Photo via Goodreads.

#BookReview Under The Visible Life by Kim Echlin

Under The Visible Life is a moving story by Kim Echlin that will knock your socks off!

To be blunt and up-front, this book was not the book for me. That being said, it was a truly mesmerizing story! It was very hard for me to get into this book but it was still beautiful nonetheless. I want to say that upfront since my rating is based off my opinion of the book (and I wasn’t pulled into the book) but the story is still a worthwhile read! I am sure many other readers will be able to connect with this story and fall in love with it in ways that I couldn’t. Kim Echlin is amazingly talented and I highly suggest this novel.

I did love that this story revolved around women and their realistic lives. The book didn’t feel over the top. It felt honest and real in ways that other books haven’t lately. I think this is how the book will sit well with people. Somehow, this story felt like I could have been hearing or reading a non-fiction novel. The struggles felt real and the characters felt like I could have walked by them on the street. Kim Echlin deserves a lot of recognition for just being able to do that in one book. It’s mind-blowing!

So, why was this book not for me? I found it really hard to sink into. I had to force myself to read each chapter and it felt way too slow. I like a fast paced book that gets me hooked, and this book is not that. It’s raw, real and slower paced. The book isn’t boring by any means, it just wasn’t made for me (which is a good thing!). As a reader, sometimes you have to admit that you won’t love ALL books. But that’s art! I can still appreciate how absolutely stunning this book was. And I will highly recommend it every single day because this book is definitely made for other readers!

I will say my favourite part about this book: it has a lot of culture. It will open you up to worlds you may not have known about before (Afghan culture, for example). Books that include other cultures (in a respectful manner, on top of just including them) are books that need to be read! So, I will shout from the hill tops that this book needs to be read! I liked reading about a culture that is not my own.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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#BookReview Sleepy Animals by Gerald Hawksley

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Sleepy Animals is a picture book full of colourful drawings of very tired animals!

This book is definitely aimed towards the younger audience (mainly toddlers, and up to five years old). The pictures are simple and sweet, which makes this book the perfect resource for learning (whether in daycare of kindergarten classes). With over 20 pages of animals falling asleep, it could also be used as a bedtime story for the toddlers!

Yet again, the illustrations really stand out and make this book as great as it is! The storyline are very linear (tired animal falls asleep) and doesn’t require too much thinking. It’s simplistic, which is why it is so good for the target audience. If you pair this book alongside some of Gerald Hawksley’s other books, you’ll have a great baseline of books to introduce kids to!

Five out of five stars!

I found this book via BookBub.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads – Sleepy Animals

Amazon.com – Happy Animals & Sleepy Animals 2-pack

Amazon.ca – Happy Animals & Sleepy Animals 2-pack

 

Find more books by Gerald Hawksley on Goodreads.

 

If you enjoyed this book review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

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