#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

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#BookReview Hidden Fires by Sandra Brown

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This book took WAY to long to read for me, if I’m being brutally honest.

Normally I am SO OBSESSED with a romance novel that can get me away from the world and take me to my dreamy state of mind, but this book didn’t do it for me. It was a little disappointing, but I still think this is an excellent book by Sandra Brown. It didn’t help I was cramming for exams and was worrying my days away about how my marks would look, so my lack of relaxation wasn’t totally Sandra Brown’s fault!

This book is centered in 1800s Texas, and we’ve got a preacher’s daughter and a rebellious man. Isn’t this just the stereotypical norm for a really great, mind numbing romance? To some people, that’s the worst norm in the world, but sometimes that norm just gets me! I loved that this book took me back to the past and away from my problems. Sandra Brown’s speaking tone in this novel gets you in and gets you hooked!

This is apparently one of her older books (I hate to admit it was made before I was born… 1994…wow), so I’m very tempted to pick up a more recent one. Most likely, her talent has increased the more she has written. It does stand the test of time (if you ask me), but it’s historical fiction so that helps it out a lot.

Was this book mind blowing? No. It didn’t knock me off my feet like some romance novels do, but I like that it was simple, sweet and to the point. It’s a good book to just sink away from the world in, if that’s what you are looking for.

It fits close to the “good girl, bad boy” stereotype, but with a little more “cheese” factor in it. It will tear at your heart strings a bit as well!

Overall, this book was a nice, melodramatic, romance novel. I definitely want to pick up more by Sandra Brown (and luckily I have another hiding on my shelf…) in the near future.

Three out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview Life of Pi by Yann Martel

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I have been yearning to read this book for a long time. Everyone I spoke to was obsessed with this book to the n-th degree, so I figured I might feel the same way once I read it.

I was highly mistaken.

I found this book to be slow moving and boring, even though it is well written. This book was just not for me (which happens, by the way. Not every reader has to like every book ever written). That being said, I still wanted to give it a quality review. For me, the stars are low – but keep in mind this book is still excellent and the idea was intriguing.

To keep the plot short: A boy is trapped on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger after his family was trying to move their zoo animals across the sea. Tragedy strikes, and now Pi (our lead) is stuck with Richard Parker (our cat).

I found that this story went in many different directions. At first, this story seemed to be all about animals and how Pi’s father ran a zoo. I thought there might be more information in regards to him opening a zoo in the future, or having some great story arc involving it. Unfortunately, this didn’t go very far. It seemed to just be an introduction into the character rather than making it an integral part of the story (except for the animals on the lifeboat, of course). Then religion is thrown into the mix!! Pi enjoys practicing three different religions and this causes strife with his family, and then the plot point is essentially gone. There could have been lots of room for improvement in this discussion further along in the book, but all we get is that Pi is “praying” a lot. To me, having all of these opportunities to follow through with these plot lines was a bit of a waste. Why just have these points as an intro to the character? Why not use them to your advantage?

I also found this book to be SO FREAKING SLOW AND BORING. It’s inspirational, but when it’s close to two hundred pages of “stuck on a boat, send help, I am praying, there’s a tiger, i need to drink water” over and over, it gets a little tiring.

When I look at other reviews and theories about this book, I understand the theme is about religion. You can pick your story to follow God – just like picking apart this book. There’s multiple stories to follow, and you can pick the one you like. I don’t know how I feel about this theme and the way it is presented, but it worked.

This book also has some gore in it, so if you don’t want to read about an animal being ripped apart in description then this book might not be for you!!

Pros:
1. The chapters are short – I like when books don’t make long chapters. Having a chapter that lasts one hundred pages tires me out. Having the opportunity to stop where I want to with a small chapter is a nice quality about this book.

2. The cover – The cover is absolutely gorgeous. It’s simple, it’s colourful and it gets to the point. I appreciate a well thought out cover.

3. Beautiful language – Yann Martel can present a scene well with his words. There are some moments in this book where I got lost in his choice of words.

Cons:

1. Slow and Steady doesn’t always win the race.

2. Religion. This seems like a bad place to put it, but I know many people who would lose their minds having religion be a theme in the book (some would have it as an AMAZING PRO). That being said, I’m putting it in cons because of the strife it may cause some readers. There’s also times I think that religion was mentioned to much, like the author was trying to hit us over the head with it. Just because you leave religion out for one page doesn’t mean we’ll forget about it!

3. The story drags with the same thoughts and concepts.

Overall, this book was not my cup of tea. It is beautifully written and was a unique take on religion I hadn’t seen before. I had high hopes and expectations for this book, but it didn’t bode well for me. I blame a lot of the really great reviews and everyone saying it was the best book ever to make me have such high expectations, but putting the blame on them really won’t get me anywhere, will it?

Two out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh

Check out Yann Martel on twitter! @WriterYann

Give me a shoutout on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

#BookReview The Pawn by Skye Warren

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The Pawn by Skye Warren is a dark, erotica novel.

I found this book in the A Love Thing anthology that Tamsen Parker told me about! It was free on Amazon at the time, so I was definitely down for some free reads.

This book was not for me, but it was definitely a good book. This is another story that is unique and not something I have ever read before, so I really wanted to review it (despite it not being my favourite book ever. This could surely be someone else’s book!).

The storyline for this novel made me feel kinda gross and weird (creepy Uncle alert, that really made me feel gross). There are some darker and touchy material in this book to be aware of. It’s not for the light hearted! But it is an erotic novel, for those who are interested.

Skye Warren is incredible at writing, to make me feel for these characters when I was feeling “off” about the story. I wanted to finish reading it, because she is so talented. Plus, when you mix in the crime drama, greed, and an alpha male you know this story will be mind blowing.

Essentially, Avery auctions off her virginity to Gabriel, and she is his. This is much darker than the normal trope, which made it intriguing. It felt like a big game (hence, “The Pawn” as the title), with changes in power and chemistry throughout. Skye weaves the erotic content, the intensity of the novel and the light hearted parts beautifully, making this story so freaking intense it’s unbelievable. There is a sequel coming out, so be aware of that.

Overall, this book was not for me but it was really intriguing! I think Skye Warren is an excellent author who should not be missed if you love romance, erotica or dark storylines.

 

Comment below with your most recent read!

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview On The Edge of Scandal by Tamsen Parker

Check out more by Skye Warren: http://www.skyewarren.com/

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #ThePawn to chat about this review on twitter with me! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye

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Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye is one mega hot novel that will leave you breathless.

I picked this book up as apart of the anthology A Love Thing – I was told by the amazing author Tamsen Parker that the anthology book (full of tons of sexy ebooks) was free on Amazon, so I picked it up. I had already read Tamsen’s books and loved it, so I figured her book Personal Geography had to be alongside some books similar that I might enjoy. Luckily, I was right!

I really enjoyed this novel! It was fast paced, super sexy and kept me interested and hooked to every word! I love a sexy, erotic novel but I tend to get bored easily (which is one of my biggest flaws as a reader). Laura Kaye mixes the perfect amount of drama, sexy scenes and excitement in this book.

We are introduced to Cassia, who is a submissive, and Quinton (Q) who is a dominant. Now, that’s all fine and dandy and your typical BDSM trope, but Laura has more instore for us – Q likes sensory deprivation. Yup, that’s right. I have honestly never read a book in regards to that subject before, so this was a new adventure for me (and it was a crazy, sexy adventure that was so totally worth it!). The premise was interesting, and it makes this book stand out among other erotica novels.

Side note: This book is the second in the series, but I have not read the first one as of writing this review. The book was easily understood without having to read the first novel.

I also found the book to just be long enough. It ended where you’d like it to in terms of the story telling – there wasn’t any more information I wanted out of the book, and I didn’t feel like it had been cut short. The book is also super sweet and leaves at an ending that made me feel all happy and ooey gooey inside.

Overall, this book is epic! I love Laura Kaye’s writing in this book and I 100% want to read more ASAP! It’s a must read from me!!

I definitely want to read more by Laura Kaye! I might have found a new favourite author out of this anthology (and I’m only on the first book, so I’m sure I’ll find some more authors to read after I finished!).

PS Thanks to Tamsen Parker for suggesting I pick up this anthology!!

Five out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview On The Edge of Scandal by Tamsen Parker

If you read this review, give me a shoutout on twitter using the hashtags #BriarsReviews & #Blasphemy @ReviewAlholic

Check out Laura Kaye on her website http://laurakayeauthor.com/ or give her a shoutout on twitter! @LauraKayeAuthor

#BookReview Saving Me by Sadie Allen

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Saving Me by Sadie Allen is a unique YA novel.

This story is centered around Ally, who is a depressed/suicidal hurdling high school student who gets severely injured in a race. Her boyfriend has been cheating on her with her best friend for three years, and a boy with a lip ring has a crush on her. There is endless drama on every page that makes me believe this book is the teenage version of a soap opera.

I’m not sure how I feel about it, because I think it’s an intriguing story but I think there was just to much going on. I couldn’t figure out what the real plot of the story was. Was it for Ally to not kill herself? Was it to showcase the craziness that can be high school? There was so much high school drama that seemed so wildly unrealistic that I wasn’t sure how I felt when I finally read the last page of the book.

I did enjoy that the book moved fast and had constant action/drama. That kept me interested and I didn’t want to put the book down. I also enjoyed some of the sugary sweet romance that goes down.

The things I didn’t enjoy just hit to close to home for me – an (almost?) abusive parent, and some of the stupid decisions Ally made (but let’s be honest, everyone made stupid mistakes in high school). I also think this book was closer to an R rating than intended. It seemed like the book was aimed at a YA audience but contained some purely adult themes. And my final part was…Sterling. He felt to perfect, despite having flaws. It was kind of the hero complex that made me question him, does Ally really need a boy to save her? That’s just my own thoughts though.

Was it uplifting? In my opinion, I have no idea. It was definitely a coming of age story set in modern times. It included social media and texting as a big portion of this story. One major part of this book was how Sadie described Ally’s feelings, and I think many can relate to her dark descriptions. Everyone feels lost and alone at times, so that hits a home run.

Overall, this book is well written but I’m not sure where I stand on it. I think it’s fantastic and I liked it, but I’m stuck on the fence of whether this was a YA or adult novel. It honestly could swing either way.

Great novel! Three out of five stars!

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

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt

Check out Sadie Allen on Goodreads! Sadie Allen on Goodreads

Have you read this novel? Give me a shoutout on twitter! Briar’s Reviews on Twitter @reviewalholic

#BookReview Rogue Affair by Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker and more!

Hot and sexy young couple in love embracing

Dedication of a Lifetime by Tamsen Parker

I’m torn – I don’t know how to feel about this story. I enjoyed it, but at the same time I was hoping for a little bit…more? Let me explain – I have many points!

1. I love Tamsen Parker and her writing style – she matches with me so well. So writing style wise, I really enjoyed this story. It is smooth and flows easily, which made it easy to read. She gets point for that.

2. But…I felt like there wasn’t much of a plot. It felt more like a discussion, a few random situations, and lots of “sexy time”. I couldn’t see the plot line this story was following. It just seemed to random for me.

3. That being said, this may not have been the best time for me to read it. I’m incredibly frustrated at the moment and I thought some reading would help me. Also, the tablet I read it on now has a random crack and that put me in an even worse mood – so I kept looking at the little crack in my screen as I read it…. Sooooooo… I think I just threw all of my frustration at this story. I picked it apart WAY more than I typically do when casually reading. So keep that in mind…

So, in summary – this book is another great read by Tamsen Parker. It’s an easy, contemporary (yet really sexy) read that is great for one sitting. It’s nothing mind blowing – no crazy “Inception” like plots to follow, it’s just a casual read. Which means, if you are looking for a nice, easy read that involves some heavy romance – you’ve got it!!

Four out of five Stars.

I also read through some of the other stories, so I will rate them as followed:
Ainsley Booth’s Personal Proposal – 4 stars.
I have never read anything by Ainsley Booth before (not that I can remember, anyways) and I think I might have to pick up a few of her books/stories. This story was definitely within my my interests.
Side note: AND SHE HAS A CANADIAN EROTIC ROMANCE SERIES?! I’m totally in. Where can I find this lady’s books?!

Olivia Dade’s Work of Heart – 3 stars.
I spent way to long spelling Olivia as Olicia as I tried to write this review.
This story was cute and I enjoyed it! I just found that this story didn’t wow my socks off. I would like to read more by Olivia to give her a chance because she seems like a really great author. I liked her writing style and the story moved at a good pace for me. I think if she had more room & chapters to expand her story, I would REALLY like her writing.

Kris Ripper’s The President’s Protector – 3 stars.
I’m not super crazy into political romances, but this story was a good read. It was very casual, and flowed easily. I liked Kris’s ability to build characters within this short amount of time – I just don’t think this specific story if my (personal) cup of tea. I would definitely suggest readers giving this story a try because it is REALLY good.

Amy Jo Cousins’s Fallacies & Flirtations – WAS NOT IN MY COPY. It’s in it when it’s released. I’m kind of sad, I won’t lie…but hey! You can’t have everything, can ya? 😉

Emma Barry’s The Fourth Estate – 4 stars.
I liked this story! I thought it was really sexy and I am determined to find more stories by Emma Barry! I love anthologies like this where I can find new authors easily by just reading little snippets of their work!! I really enjoyed reading about Drew and Brynn and their strange relationship. I would have loved for this little concept to be an entire book, because the writing was just fantastic!!

Adriana Anders’s Such Great Heights – 4 stars.
Adriana Anders is another author I HAVE to read more by. I keep falling in love with her little stories – so at some point I will read her books!!! Adriana has a lot of writing talent – her writing isn’t exactly my “style”, but I still get hooked and addicted. It takes quite a bit for an author to do that – so I’m impressed! The story is smooth, it moves fast enough to keep my attention held and it’s well written. Four stars Adriana!! Looooove it!

Kelly Maher’s Dissent and Desire – 3 stars.
Kelly Maher has a great story within this anthology! She definitely is a writer to watch out for!!

Stacey Agdern’s Mr. Klein Goes to Albany – 4 stars.
A Canadian hockey player turned diplomat…That alone got me hooked. I can’t help it, my inner Canadian gets excited about Canadian centered stories (that doesn’t mean every Canadian story is good, but this one was)!! This story had me hooked at the start and kept my attention all the way through. I definitely need to pick up more by Stacey! This story was a pleasant surprise! I’m always a little worried about silly Canadian stereotypes, but this story did not disappoint!

Jane Lee Blair’s Take a Knee – 3 stars.
Another story where the author’s writing shines through!! Jane’s story telling is addicting… I’m really interested in the stories she can tell with her voice!!

Thank you Tamsen Parker for sending me this wonderful advanced reader’s copy! It’s a real joy getting these books BEFORE all the spoilers come out – I’m horrible at reading spoilers!! It’s just to tempting…

 

Visit Tamsen parker at www.tamsenparker.com !!
Follow her on Twitter: @TamsenParker or Facebook! www.facebook.com/tamsenparker

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another one you might enjoy! #BookReview In Her Court by Tamsen Parker