#BookReview The Perfect Fit by Mary Jayne Baker

Mary Jayne Baker’s hit The Perfect Fit is an amazingly British story that brightened up my day!

Mary Jayne is one of my newest, most favourite authors around. Her stories are full of romance and comedy, as well as so much British slang and jokes that I can’t help but be addicted to them! My childhood was full of family members from England, so I absolutely dig all of the British-ness packed tight into this story. Let alone, the fact that this story has an awesome plot and continues the story started in A Bicycle Made for Two.

This time around, Becky Finn is putting on a pantomime for charity! She came up with the idea after taking a special little girl to a special little production of Peter Pan (“Why are pirates called pirates? Because they arrrrrrre.” Seriously, this book is a gem, people!). Becky is engaged to a wonderful man but is feeling left out. She wants kids but he wants to get married first and he is always away. In walks Marcus – a friend who she may have some feelings for. Who will she end up with?! Will the pantomime be successful? Will there be more cheesey jokes? You will have to read to find out.

Although, I promise there are LOTS of cheesey jokes. Lots of innuendos too! My gosh, the innuendos were amazing…

This book definitely far exceeded my expectations. I find that most sequels are hit and miss, but this book did the impossible! It grew the story and made me love it just as much as the first one! I definitely want to continue picking up books by Ms. Baker (Mrs. Baker? Dr. Baker? Whatever). I feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside after reading books like this.

You definitely don’t need to read the first book to understand this one. Yes, there are some characters present from the other book in this series, but it doesn’t affect the story. As a reader, you are given all of the information you need to understand and read your little heart out! That being said, I would highly recommend reading the first book because it’s funny and romantic like this one!

But… you may be thinking… this review is way too positive! There must be some negatives! And there absolutely are. While I think this book is definitely amazing and worth reading, it falls flat with some of the character development. It felt very stereotypical, but that doesn’t bother me too much. I didn’t come for an Oscar-winning movie-esque book. I came for funny jokes, a splash of romance and lots of British slang. If you’re looking for the next Notebook, you’ve come to the wrong place. This book is all about fun! I was smirking most of my way through it because it was such a treat.

On a side note: I did enjoy that there was a lot of realism in this book despite all of the comedy. This book features a gay couple who adopts a beautiful, little girl named Pip and it felt very fitting. It wasn’t used as a joke or a gag, it just fit right in. Throw in the parenting struggles about adopting to begin with (since a straight couple is also trying to adopt) and having life pass adults by. All of those struggles are super real but addressed very well in this book. I applaud Mary Jayne for adding these. It felt really good to see them.

Overall, this book gets five inflatable boobs out of five inflatable boobs.

If you don’t understand the reference, read the book to find out!

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

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

Find out more about the amazing Mary Jayne Baker on:
http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk/
Twitter – @maryjaynebaker
Goodreads – Author Page

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#BookReview A Bicycle Made for Two by Mary Jayne Baker

Oh, Mary Jayne Baker. It’s like you wrote this book just for me! It’s 100% British and took me back to my youth when my Dad used every British slang word and saying he could all day, everyday. Meanwhile, it’s a cute, comedic romance that reminds me I’m an adult. It’s safe to say, this book was a nostalgia trip for me and a half!

If I had to pick one word to describe this book, it would be quirky! It doesn’t totally fit into one category for me, and that’s totally okay. It has a lot of comedy, a pinch of romance, some epic drama and lots of fictional heists to follow. Just labelling it one of those words (or genres) would be a tragedy! This book is just too good to be put into one little corner.

So, down to the meat of it: Lana Donati is our lead, but her brother Tom, friends Yolanda, Gerry, and Sue, a sexy television star named Hunter, and the love interest/former pro cyclist Stewart all take part in this story too. This book starts out seeming like it’ll be your typical romance: Lana and Stewart have a date but then… oh yes… the date goes sour. Stewart doesn’t call Lana and life goes to the pits. Her Father passes away and leaves the siblings his restaurant and the Tour de France is coming to town! Big things are coming Lana’s way…

For reference, I’m Canadian (half British, but good ol’ Canada is my home) so I don’t have many British references to give you. If I had to pick one that the masses from North America and the U.K. would understand, I’d relate this book to Coronation Street. It has the fun and quirky characters, the dramatic plot and British-ness I love about the show. But, sometimes that show can get depressing so imagine the funny and romantic storylines.

The banter itself is golden. I started highlighting all of the hilarious comments on my ecopy and I almost highlighted half the book (whoops!).

Since I don’t want to deal with too much copyright, here’s two excellent comments that made me laugh hysterically and giggle and chuckle and all of the fun laugh terms:

“Scott Spen, 26. Looks like a sheep, sounds like a sheep, may actually be part sheep.” Like, dude, who doesn’t look at dating profiles and think stuff like that?! Just me? Cool.

“A honking good pair.” Without context, sounds brutal. Read the book and you’ll be giggling along with me.

Comedy like THIS is what gets me laughing. Witty sarcasm is the best kind of humour, so I absolutely loved this novel.

Did I have negative? Of course I did! No book is perfect.

In some places online, this book was marketed more like a romance, and it’s not a pure romance. It’s more comedic romance, not Hallmark or Harlequin style romance at all. If a reader comes specifically for that romance, they will be let down. But… does that ruin the book? Heck no! That’s just my point of view.

Overall, this book is an absolute delight and totally fits into my wheelhouse! I love Mary Jayne Baker’s writing and will definitely be sticking around for the long haul. This book was marvelous!

Five out of five stars!

I received a book for free from the publisher in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

Find out more about the amazing Mary Jayne Baker on:
http://www.maryjaynebaker.co.uk/
Twitter – @maryjaynebaker
Goodreads – Author Page

 

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#BookReview China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan

Oh man, oh man, oh man!

I was SO PUMPED to find the last two books in this series at a local discount book store. I cannot tell you how exciting it was for that kind of find! I absolutely LOVED the first book and I adored the movie, so of course I would want to continue reading this series! Unfortunately, as a student I wasn’t in a place where I could get this book as quickly as I wanted… UNTIL THAT BOOK STORE!

So here I am! A couple weeks after my purchase since I totally binged this book. It was such a pleasant delight and I am happy to say I liked it! Buuuuut… (yep, there’s a but) it didn’t hit me like the first book did. It’s that funny little problem with middle books. It continues the story but doesn’t hit you with all of the good content until the last book. I’m almost certain the last book is going to knock my socks off, but this book just warmed my heart (and not much more!).

To start my review, I have to say that I LOVE Rachel and Astrid but I wasn’t as interested in Kitty’s story (although, she was quite the interesting character). I also have to say I now hate Michael and wish ill of him (what a jerk bag…), I have a strong fondness for Nick, Carlton seems pretty cool and I have a lot of sympathy for Charlie. NOW HURRY UP AND GET SOME OF THESE CHARACTERS TOGETHER KEVIN.

This story has a lot of interesting (and dramatic) plot points. Rachel’s Father is found by Eleanor (because of COURSE she found him) and he’s CHINA RICH. That’s really rich for those of you who haven’t dipped their toes into this magical universe. Rachel’s Father’s wife is not too impressed with his bastard child and wants her GONE… meanwhile Rachel’s half-brother Carlton got into a major accident but becomes quick friends with Rachel. Jumping ship to the next character, Astrid and Michael’s relationship is on the rocks while her former relationship with Charlie is blossoming. Also, Kitty tries to fit into more with society while giving some absolutely hilarious insight into her life.

AND IT KINDA ENDS IN A CLIFFHANGER BUT KINDA DOESN’T.

I found the first quarter and last quarter of this book to be fast and exciting, but the middle was a little slow and boring (as boring as a soap opera could be, obviously). That’s what is making me excited for the last book. You can tell something is brewing and coming down the pipeline but Kevin couldn’t give it to us yet.

I have so many good things to say about this book, so I’ll put some points down to contain my thoughts:

1. I like Kevin Kwan’s references. I am a Canadian with British and French roots, so I don’t know much about Asian culture. The languages, the social cues, and all the other information he gave was awesome! I felt like I was welcomed into this world and could enjoy this book so much more. It also made me really happy to know diverse books like this are being welcomed into the reading space and actually read by people!

2. This book is a crazy soap opera full of romance and drama. AND I LOVE IT.

3. I love these covers. I know you aren’t supposed to judge a book based on it’s cover… but come on! It’s gorgeous!

Things I didn’t like:

1. Now that Awkwafina has cemented herself as Peik Lin in the movie universe… I WANT MORE OF THAT CHARACTER. She wasn’t in this book as much and that made me so sad!

2. The middle was too slow.

Overall, this book is FABULOUS and EXTRAVAGENT. I’m absolutely reading the next book soon (especially since I physically have it! I’m so pumped!). I would recommend this book if you love soap operas, books that have movie adaptions (seriously, I LOVE reading a book and then seeing the movie regardless of the genre… it’s fun!), or a book that will keep you hooked and is a lot of fun!

Side note: WHERE IS THIS BOOK AS A MOVIE?! OMG I WANT TO SEE ALL OF THE BEAUTIFUL OUTFITS.

Three out of five stars.

You can find this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Indigo

Check out my review of the first book in this seires:
#BookReview Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

 

If you enjoyed this book (or review!) here’s some others you might enjoy too!
#BookReview Fly With Me by Hudson Lin
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade

 

Why not give me a shout out if you read this review?!
Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic #briarsreviews

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#BookReview Seizure by Kathy Reichs

I was absolutely thrilled that I bought the first two books in this series together, because I NEEDED to continue this series. The first book, Virals, was an absolute hit for me and Seizure continued the insanity!

This time around Tory, Ben, Shelton, Hi and Cooper are off on another adventure…. except… get this… PIRATES. The loss of LIRI absolutely sucked because the loss of potential science plots devastated me. So I was reading it, hoping that somehow these authors had some cool science-y plot to follow and NOPE! But they got the next best thing – pirates and treasure!

LIRI is going to be shut down, so the Virals need to acquire some funds to try to help their parents keep their jobs. Otherwise, all of them will be moved around the continents and might never see each other again. This is a big problem since they are Virals with their crazy powers. In walks a famous myth about a female pirate and her treasure. And, of course, she buried it near the home of our lead characters! Our Virals decide to go on a treasure hunt, and get in LOTS of trouble along the way. And I mean A LOT.

I loved the sense of adventure in this book! I was hooked to every word and it was really difficult to put the book down. There’s a good mix of 75% action and 25% goofy, high school drama. Tori takes on Madison in this book and the drama is hilarious. I’ve never considered these books to be “serious” or “realistic” books (come on… Tori’s eyes turn yellow and she has magical powers), so I absolutely loved the angst that was added in this book. Also, cue in potential love triangle? Or square… Either way, I see one coming. It’s a YA book, you KNOW the romance is gonna be thrown in there eventually.

So, what are my cons?
1. Kit seems mighty dumb in this book. Did he really not notice Tori sneaking away so much? I know he works a lot and is busy… but dude. Kit is related to Tempe and he’s this dumb?

2. The bad guys were predictable and also dumb. I’m honestly not sure how Kathy could change this (I don’t have any constructive criticism about this, to be honest) but I have to say it. It was one of my cons.

But along with the cons, I have some mighty pros:
1. This series isn’t focused on romance like most YAs. There is a pinch (and I mean a PINCH, like a pinch of salt. Very little) but the story mostly focuses on friendship and adventure. That makes this book way more fun when you’re not worried about who’s gonna kiss who.

2. Riddles, myths and legends make everything more interesting. Some of the riddles are easy to solve, but some of them were a little more difficult.

3. This book has comedy in it! There’s some seriously funny quotes lined in this book that made the action and adventure just feel more fun. I’m tired of mopey YA books, we need more positivity in this world!

4. This book is super knowledgeable. Various animals species, the Gaelic language and more science-y info is shared with the reader. Kathy Reich’s books are always smart! It’s just another reason to love this series.

Overall, this book was AWESOME! It was a fun read for me and I really want to continue this series. It’s closer to PG-13 mainly because of the language (a couple swears) but the fun could easily be read by middle grade.

Five out of five stars!!

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Indigo

 

Check out the first book, Virals, by clicking the links below:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Looking for something else to read? Here’s some other books I’ve reviewed that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Dear Haiti, Love Alaine
#BookReview Virals by Kathy Reichs & Brendan Reichs
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller

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

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#BookReview Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis is a fabulous romance novel.

When three sisters come back to Lucky Harbor to take over their deceased Mother’s former Inn, things go awry. The Inn is in shambles (both physically and financially) and the girls just can’t get along. We follow Maddie, a former L.A. resident who is running far away from her old job and ex, who seriously wants this Inn to get back on it’s feet. When she’s there, she almost runs over one sexy motorcycle rider who turns out to be more than what he says he is…

I really liked Maddie’s arc. She starts out as “The Mouse” and slowly works her way up to being a total bad a**. She has an attitude, knows what she wants and is working on making herself a stronger person. She absolutely deserves it after a trash of an ex. And lucky for her, Jax might be the man to help her realize love isn’t all that bad. Jax is sexy, a former lawyer and good with his hands (I mean carpentry… right?). He’s a character with lots of back story and isn’t the “perfect” man, which is why I loved him.

Oh boy! There is SO much going on in this book and I am SO frustrated it left on a cliffhanger. I need the next books in this series as soon as possible! I need to know what happens with Maddie, Chloe, Jax, Ford and every other kooky character from this series! Will Ford end up with Tara? I feel something heating up there. Will Chloe ever find romance during her asthmatic state (oh man, can I relate. I NEED HER STORY!)? Will Jax and Maddie end up happily ever after?! There’s so much going on and Jill has left me speechless!

If you like romance and drama, then this book is perfect for you! There’s a pinch of Christmas and comedy as well. Honestly, I wasn’t disappointed. I was expecting a boring, old, romance novel but I was left with an addicting, quick read that is making me absolutely desperate for more of Jill’s work. Seriously, it’s worth the read. The title is Simply Irresistible, and that’s just what this book is – irresistible.

Five out of five stars.

P.S. This book is TOTALLY R rated. It has some super sexy scenes that are not suitable for your PG-13 audience. Just an FYI for anyone looking for something totally contemporary – it’s not! This book gets hot and heavy!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo
Kobo

 

Check out some other romance novels you might enjoy:
#BookReview Tiny House, Big Love by Olivia Dade
#BookReview Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
#BookReview The Inside Track by Tamsen Parker

 

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 Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive by Joe Montaperto

Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive by Joe Montaperto is a story full of personality!

One thing about Joe Montaperto is that he knows how to write with style. He has a very particular tone in his writing that makes you feel like you’re out in the back, having some beers and listening to Joe tell his tales.

This book is a continuation of Joe’s previous works (Lovely Chaos) which invites the reader into Joe’s actual life. This time around the comedian/writer takes us on a tour that involves… well… you guessed it, catering. The entire book is full of raunchy and hysterical humor and even throws in some educational tidbits along the way.

The thing about this book… I’d really like to hear it in audiobook form. I felt like this could have been a stand-up performance or a story Joe would tell you when you’re hanging out with him. It felt very real and honest, but there were some funny comments that would have been SO much better if I heard them. Some of the comments flew right over my head as a reader. I’m sure if Joe were telling it like it is, I would have gotten way more of the jokes.

That being said, it’s still a fun and relatively short book. It’s honest, amusing, and even goes into some controversial topics (ever heard of Roundup?).

I did enjoy learning a bit about catering though. It makes sense, working for more than one business to make money.

Overall, this book is a nice addition to my shelf! I’m glad I got to dip my toes in the water again and pick up a book by Joe. His books are almost niche because of his wild, unique writing voice. He stands out in the crowd – but that’s what comedians are supposed to do.

Four out of five stars.

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

 

 

Check out some of the work by Joe below:

www.joemontaperto.com

Goodreads – Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive
Amazon.ca – Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive
Amazon.com – Nobody Gets out of Catering Alive
Smashwords – Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive

Check out another book in this series:
Goodreads – Lovely Chaos
Amazon.ca – Lovely Chaos
Amazon.com – Lovely Chaos
Smashwords – Lovely Chaos

and on Authors Den!

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#BookReview Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

 

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren felt like a book personally made for me.

This novel following Hope Jahren’s life and trials of becoming a geobiologist is a serious gem for my collection. Every sentence of this novel felt like it was crafted for me – it a smart, female scientist rocking out in her field. She wins awards, she builds laboratories and she is a genius in her field. How can I not love this book?! On top of it all, it’s a non-fiction novel which is not my normal read, yet I was SO OBSESSED WITH THIS BOOK. All caps. Yes, I was that obsessed.

So, down to the nitty gritty: This biography is not all sunshine and roses. Along the way, Hope deals with all sorts of trials and craziness. We follow her as a lab tech in a hospital, as a scientist trying to get grants, and as a friend to Bill and mother. Mixed in with her personal story is loads of facts about trees and nature. There are entire chapters devoted to the complexity of how trees work and live, which was one of the coolest parts of the books for me. I wish Hope had taught my high school biology classes, because for once I actually felt like I understood what trees go through. Everything was relatable, and there were lots of metaphors.

The best part of this whole book was the comedy. Our author clearly has a fantastic sense of humor, which involves a LOT of sarcasm. I am incredibly sarcastic so I loved every second of every snarky comment. I felt so connected to Hope, because I could relate. That’s where I think this book really shines! Very few books connect with me on a such a personal level, so I loved every second of reading this book. I didn’t want to put it down and I wanted to read it again (which is very rare for me, by the way).

I believe there is something in this book for everyone: science, sarcasm, an incredible friendship between Hope and Bill, the trials and errors of being a mother, and mental health.

And, to be brutally honest, I don’t really have any negatives to say. It was the perfect book for me in every way. Other readers will have their doubts, but I connected with this book so strongly that I can’t see faults. Every reader wants a book like that, and I’m glad I found mine. Thank you Hope for sharing your wonderful story.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

BONUS: Some of my fave quotes included below:
“Fortunately, for the patient, there is a sleep-starved teenager apprenticed to a chain-smoking barmaid in the basement who is ready for action.”
“Working in the hospital teachers you that there are only two kinds of people in the world: the sick and the not sick. If you are not sick, shut up and help.”

That second quote has been my life motto for years, so hear someone as dedicated as Hope to say it… Yes, my heart has swelled up so much!

Check this book out on:

Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Indigo/Chapters/Coles – Canadian Retailer

 

If you enjoyed this book or review, check out another you might love:
#BookReview Life Seemed Good, But… by Richard Bell
Book Review: Ugly by Robert Hoge
Quick Book Review: Dora Versus Picasso by Cecil Jenkins

 

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