#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 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:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

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

 

Give me a shout out on Twitter with your book recommendations! I’d love to hear them! @ReviewAlholic

 

 

 

Photo via Goodreads.

#BookReview Diamonds by K.A. Linde

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Oh. Hot. Damn.

This book is ridiculously sexy, super hot, and HAS A FREAKING CLIFFHANGER THAT KILLED ME.

I’ve been putting off reading this book (it’s in A Love Thing anthology that I bought months ago), mainly because the device I was reading it on kept dying before I could open the app. I finally put enough charge on it to get to this story, and it was the best one so far!

Diamonds is a tale of a young high-schooler falling for for an older (30-something) year old man. Right off the bat we have a juicy story that is all about forbidden love!

This book gets hot and steamy – R-rated steamy. It’s a mix of dominance, crazy hot sex, and sexual exploration. Throw in a romantic story line, an evil step-brother and the rich and famous and you’ve got yourself a home run!

I did really enjoy this book. It was the perfect mix of drama and sexiness that it somehow worked. Was it slightly creepy? Yeah, the age gap was a little much, BUT…I simply wrapped my mind around her being a tiny bit older (like, college age) and I was able to accept that this book can be just as sexy. It does cross the line a little bit, which is where readers might step back from this story, but it’s still awesome! I 100% want more K.A. Linde in my life now as soon as possible!

The one interesting part of this story was it felt like a YA story/author (due to the way Bryna’s mind was working in the book) but with a Fifty Shades of Grey-esque plot line thrown in. Honestly, it’s the Fifty Shades of Grey book I wanted in my life, because it’s WAY better and seems way more realistic. It was so addicting I finished it in a couple hours and I’m now clammering for the next book. Seriously. I need this book. If K.A. Linde wants, I’ll read every single book she has on catalogue just to get this next book.

Overall, this book is HOT HOT HOT! If you’re looking for a forbidden love with lots of angst, this is the book for you!

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Kobo

Chapters/Cole/Indigo #1 / Chapters/Coles/Indigo #2

Barnes & Nobles

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about K.A. Linde on:

http://www.kalinde.com/

Goodreads – K.A. Linde

Twitter – @authorkalinde

 

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

And if you liked this book or review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview A Week In New York by Louise Bay

#BookReview A Cinderella for the Greek by Julia James

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A Cinderella for the Greek by Julia James was an interesting take on the classic tale “Cinderella”.

This book didn’t sit well with me even though I really wanted to like it. The story itself is a classic that I love (who doesn’t love a Cinderella/Princess tale?) but what lies within the story is what bothered me. The big problem with this book for me is the comments about Ellen (our Cinderella’s) weight. She isn’t as thin as her step sister Chloe, and our male counterpart Max points that out a few times. The comments weren’t healthy criticism’s either, but he gets over her “ugliness” to be able to fall in love with her. It’s that part of the story that turns my thoughts sour on this book. Everything else within the novel is quite lovely – the tale, the romance, the plot lines – it’s all great but that little part. At first, Max does not describe Ellen as beautiful, but slowly he begins to love the way she looks. It felt kind of silly in my mind, since the description of her sounded to be nice (but comparing her to the thin step-sister…).

I liked that Max wasn’t forceful as many male leads are these days. He’s caring and tries his best (even if at times it seems a little forced). I liked that he was interested in Ellen’s charity and that he seemed to be overall a good guy. The other characters (like the Evil Step-Mother and Evil Step-Sister) were perfectly evil in every way. The plot line followed the narrative it should have as well.

I felt this book got a lot better once it moved forward and continued to grow the relationship between Max and Ellen. That adds an extra star in for me as a reader. I think there was lots of potential here, to be honest! I’d like to read more by Julia James because I’m sure she has gotten better as her writing has continued.

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely! It is a really good book, it’s just not for me! It is a lovely Harlequin Romance that should definitely be picked up if you love an ooey, gooey romance or a retelling of Cinderella!

Two out of five stars.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

If you enjoyed this review or book, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Always Been You by Sadie Allen

Give me a shout out on Twitter with your recommended reads! I’d love to hear them! @ReviewAlholic

 

 

 

Photo via Goodreads.

 

#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

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview The King’s Peace by Kevin Hammond

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The King’s Peace is an epic fantasy read to add to your collection!

Fantasy is one of those genres where it can go anywhere – medieval, dragons, superheroes, magic, gods, monsters, creatures, etc – so reading a fantasy book is always a pleasant surprise! This novel focuses on Kings, Dragons, Magic, Gods and action adventure. We follow Nathaniel on his journey, where the King has been murdered and drama and hectic adventures ensue. The book is fast paced and will keep you interested at every turn. For me, I felt this book teetered close to an R rating – so maybe don’t read this to your children. There were dark parts of this book, but it’s not unbearable R (no endless swearing, excessive gore, etc).

The descriptions of the action in this novel are phenomenal. I really felt like I was transported into this story through Kevin’s writing. Mixing that in with the fantastical quest Nathaniel embarks on makes this book soar to a whole new level! I really enjoyed the action and found myself finding this book fun! Throw in a few funny comments and enticing characters, and this book is all around good fiction!

When analyzing the characters, I liked how Nathaniel developed throughout his quest – the thief is sometimes portrayed as a silly or dumb character, but Kevin makes Nathaniel likable and have an actual personality.

Additionally, the further I got into the novel, the more interested I was in the book. Since the writing style doesn’t coincide perfectly with my reading style, it took me a little longer for me to attach to the story. At about page 85 I found myself gripping my device and yearning for more, unable to put it down!

My con for this book is the con I have with all fantasy book – I never know how to properly pronounce the names! All of these cool names are introduced with Kevin’s characters, and I’m lost and probably pronouncing every name wrong! It doesn’t ruin this book at all, but it always makes me chuckle when I look up the pronunciation of the names after I’ve read the book and I’ve created some really weird sounding names in my head. For example – Kelda. Kee-lda? Kel-da? Is the l silent? Is the d silent? Is the k silent? Such a beautiful name, but I probably pronounced it wrong the whole book!

Personally, the writing style didn’t mesh well with my reading style. Just because that little fact is true, doesn’t mean that this book isn’t good. Honestly, it was fantastic! It was kind of nice to have a change from my normal reads to dive into this beautifully written tale.

Overall, this book was awesome! I think it’s a fun fantasy book that should be on my local bookstore’s shelves! Considering this is more of an indie fantasy novel, it will really blow you out of the water! I never expect this much talent and creativity in a novel, let alone from an indie author! This book could be converted to the big screen with how beautifully it was written.

I’m giving it a 3 out of 5 based on my rating system – 3 means I like it! If you look at the Amazon rating, it’d be a 4.

I received a free copy of this novel from the author Kevin Hammond in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find out about the King’s Peace on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21279183-the-king-s-peace

Purchase this book on: Amazon.com – The King’s Peace or Amazon.ca – The King’s Peace

If you read this novel, give me a shout out on Twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below with your favourite fantasy novel!!

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Driving on the Left by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Driving on the Left is a beautiful character drama following a mother and a daughter on their trip in Ireland.

This beautiful story really blew my socks off – I wasn’t expecting this fantastic story in what sounded like a cheesey romance novel. Following Jackie and Becca and their somewhat parallel stories was breathtaking and addicting! Seeing two women develop over this novel and how their lives are intertwined was a real treat that I highly recommend!

When reading the book, I drew parallels to Big Little Lies in the character development aspect (not the murder or soap opera like story lines), and the elegance of The Crown. While the book was more heavily focused on growth and development (with a splash of romance) over action, this book was still fast paced and kept me hooked. Having Jackie and Becca switch point of views also gave unique perspectives into the same situations (both past and present). And seeing these characters make big, life changing decisions along the way was also so incredibly moving. It was a book I’d love to bring to a book club and digest with an entire group of women!

The background of Ireland was also incredible. I’ve never been to Ireland, so I had to do some research online to see what Gail was talking about, but I felt like she gave the right descriptions to set the tone. Her descriptions were breath taking enough that I want to go to Ireland now and have my own little adventure!

This book was easily read as a stand alone (but apparently it’s a part of a series!), and would be a great book to devour in one sitting. I want a sequel to see how these characters grow and develop more, since Gail did a tremendous job of making me fall in love and feel for these characters. She does it so flawlessly, and I didn’t even notice myself yearning to know these characters and relating to them.

My only con for the book is that I want more! I want more of these characters as soon as possible! This book tells a lovely tale of reminiscing and life changes through the ages. With the addition of a Mother-Daughter story on top of the drama and romance… yeah, it’s a real hit!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Gail Ward Olmsted in exchange of an honest review.

 

About Driving on the Left:

Jeep Tour

myBook.to/JEEPTOUR

To move forward, you need to let go of the past…. Jackie Sullivan decides it’s time for a fresh start, after her marriage falls apart and she loses her job. Meeting a sexy tour guide inspires her to build a new life for herself among the red rocks of Sedona, Arizona. But Jackie is looking for more than just romance. Fueled by an unflagging sense of humor and lots of caffeine, she sets out on a journey of self-discovery and she plans to get it right this time. Jackie’s had her happy, now she wants her ever after!
Purchase the book on Amazon:

Amazon.com – Driving on the Left

Amazon.ca – Driving on the Left

 

Find Gail Ward Olmsted on her website: http://www.gailolmsted.com/

Or give us both a shout out on Twitter! @GWOlmsted & @ReviewAlholic

 

Comment below – what is your favourite romance novel?