#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 Free Fall by Emma Barry & Genvieve Turner

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Free Fall by Emma Barry is one of the sweetest, feel good books of the year!

Thank you to Tamsen Parker who suggested I pick up books by Emma Barry! I can’t thank her enough, because Emma’s writing is beautiful and matches perfectly with my reading style.

Free Fall is about Dean and Vivian, an astronaut and the daughter of of a wealthy businessman, who happen to find themselves in a sticky situation. They are expecting a baby and they have to get married to “set things right”. This story follows their relationship and the troubles of Dean’s career.

This book really made me feel good – it’s ooey gooey cute and isn’t negative. It’s the type of book you’d want to read when you are in a bad mood because it will pick you up. Yes, there’s drama in this book (it’s a romance novel, there’s bound to be some kind of drama), but it doesn’t make you feel bad. I love a book that lets me sink into it’s words and feel great, and Emma does that perfectly.

I’m also so incredibly excited to see a book about a woman with a full figure that isn’t solely about her weight. Vivy embraces her full figure, and isn’t described as “fat”. I can fully relate to Vivian – I’ve always been athletic, and as a child I was told by other kids I was “fat” because I wasn’t super skinny like everybody else was in my classes. Being told to stay silent, be smaller, etc., just like Vivy was my life until I got older. It’s nice to see the storyline develop with the introduction to her body type, but not revolve around her weight. Too often do we see differences (whether it’s gender, sexuality, weight, etc) be used as the problem or plot line of the story, but this book embraced her as a person.

I’d like to see more of Dean and Vivian – I think they’re characters are well developed and could definitely hold their own in a series! I’m not sure where we could take them, but they were very cute! These characters do develop and face issues in this story.

Now the big question – do I have any cons (since I’ve listed many pros). If anything, I would have liked the book to be longer! Maybe a little more drama or action between the couple themselves. That’s my only suggestion to improve, because this was a really good book! It’s a worth while read! The book was “long enough”, but I could see this book including a few extra chapters and work just as well!

Overall, this book was truly beautiful! It’s a nice read to embrace on a soft, summer day! I highly recommend this book and declare it a romance must-read! It’s also not even close to an R rating (there are some sexy scenes, but nothing a PG-13 warning label won’t cover). So if you love romance and a happy ending, then this book will be for you!

Five out of five stars!

I received an ARC copy from the author Emma Barry in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

About Free Fall:

Authors: Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner

Book Title: Free Fall

Series: Fly Me to the Moon, Book 5
Houston, Texas, 1965
When an accident rocks the American Space Department, threatening the race to the moon, the agency is determined to eliminate distractions, including those in the bedroom.
Astronaut Dean Garland, on track to become the first man to walk in space, is fine with putting a temporary hold on his love life. Except the directive comes too late to prevent the biggest distraction of all: Vivian Muller… Garland. But now that he’s married, Dean is determined to follow the rules until he makes history with his spacewalk.
Vivy never expected to find herself pregnant or in a shotgun marriage, much less a sexless one. While her new husband might pretend to be perfectly happy sleeping alone, Vivy’s never believed in pretending or holding back. She’s determined to make her husband fall for her, even if it means bending—or breaking—the rules.
Dean’s resolve to keep marriage and work separate hits another serious snag: the suit he’s supposed to wear in the killer vacuum of space isn’t reliable, and his new father-in-law manufactured it. As Dean unravels the technical problem and Vivy tries to win her husband’s love, their hearts and his life hang in the balance.

 

Or purchase the book on Amazon:

Amazon.com – Free Fall

Amazon.ca – Free Fall

Give Genevieve (@GenTurner5), Emma (@AuthorEmmaBarry) and myself (@ReviewAlholic) a shout out on Twitter!
And check out Emma on her website: http://authoremmabarry.com/

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another one of my reviews including Emma Barry:

#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!

#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 Carry Me by Peter Behrens

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Carry Me by Peter Behrens is a beautifully woven tale of the world wars that gives a unique perspective into the life of people in those times.

The first half of this book was incredibly addicting to me, and I could hardly put it down. It was a solid five out of five stars, and I wish I could have kept reading! Unfortunately, life hit me and I came back a week later to this novel. When I started reading at about page 243 I found myself not as interested and the story began to drag on and on and on. Some of the information could have been left out and the story would have felt just as full when I got to the end.

While this book seemed a little to long, I think the descriptions Peter wrote were divine. I couldn’t believe how clear I could imagine this story in my head! The beauty in Peter’s words truly wow-ed me, and if you love a descriptive author/book then this one is for you! It’s truly exquisite, and I’m surprised this book hasn’t won many awards for it’s intense descriptions.

The story goes back and forth between World War 1 and World War 2. Sometimes I found it hard to distinguish between the time lines (even though it stated which was which), and I almost wish Peter would have written the timelines in different tones. This wasn’t a major issue, but it did make this book a little more confusing for me (personally).

There is a small bit of romance in this novel, but you can hardly call it romance. While that was part of what drew me to the novel (you read the back of the book and it makes it seem like an epic war story with a splash of romance), yet there wasn’t much there in terms of romance. There was attraction and sweet comments, but it was more just happening in the story – there was no focus on the romance specifically. This could be a pro or a con for you, but to me I felt the marketing portrayed the romance as more than it was.

The battles in this story were well written – the war itself, the battle between leaving and staying in a place you love, and the troubles of complete opposites (woman vs men, idealisms, romanticism, etc). If you’re into themes and like reading into a book, there is so much potential to pick apart in this novel.

And then the ending is somewhat expected (I mean, most people know about history so we kind of know where it was going), but it still blew me away. Without spoiling, I think the way Peter tied this story together and increased conflict was truly incredible.

Overall, this piece of writing is a definite must read for fans of history, war stories, descriptive fiction and historical fiction. I normally stray far away from novels about history, but this one was fantastic!

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Comment below with your favourite historical war stories!

Check out my review on Goodreads: Carry Me Review by Briar’s Reviews

Find Peter Behrens on his website: http://www.peterbehrens.org/

Or give us a shoutout on twitter! @PHBehrens and @ReviewAlholic

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

#BookReview Throne of Grace by Cecily Wolf

Time for a quick book review!!

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Throne of Grace is one of the only Christian romance novels I have read. I saw it was free on Amazon, and I decided I might as well pick up a different type of book.

The book is sweet and simple, if I’m putting it lightly. The historical aspect made it seem so much sweeter than I expected it to be, and to be honest I didn’t mind the religion aspect of it. I didn’t find it to be “in your face”, which was a pleasant surprise.

I found the relationship to build up a little quickly, but that is more of a personal comment. Reading other reviews, I’ve found most people haven’t mind this aspect (since I haven’t read many Christian romance books, I’m not sure if this is normal or not, but it worked). I also enjoyed the drama and other relationships within this book. It was unique and made the story much more than just a “romance” book. If anything, my only request would be to make the book move faster, but the relationship a little slower.

Overall, this book was a nice, clean book.

Three out of five stars.

 

What is your favourite Christian romance? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Pop Sonnets by Erik Didriksen

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #ThroneofGrace to talk start a conversation about this book on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Anita – A Heroine of Two Worlds by Liz Gavin

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Anita by Liz Gavin is an awesome, short story that will leave you breathless.

I downloaded this book free from a newsletter I was sent, and man was I blown away! I am really annoyed that this is a “standalone” (currently…) because the ending was the worst cliffhanger EVER!

This book was a time travel, romance novel – and O-M-G was it addicting. The 76 pages felt way to short for this wonderful world Liz was building. The book is unique (with a lead who is a historian with a PhD) and it really hit all the notes I wanted it to. The historian finds a locket and can travel through time, and then some romantic shenanigans occur to make this story wild and lusty!

Overall, I LOVED it! I want more by Liz Gavin immediately and more in this series ASAP! This author is one to watch for sure.

Five out of five stars.

 

What is your favourite indie book? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Poetry for Strangers by Elisabeth Sharp McKetta

Give me a shou tout on twitter using the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #Anita if you read this review!

Check out Liz Gavin on her website http://www.lizgavin.com/ or twitter @LizGavin_author

#BookReview The Second War of Rebellion by Katie Hanrahan

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Somehow, I managed to pick up this book and finish reading it but then put it right back on my “to read” bookshelf so I completely forgot how long ago I read it! So the accuracy of the dates of when I read this is quite wrong! I’ll just say August 2017 since that’s when I re-read and found it again!

For some reason, this book did not stick with me. It was very hard to finish despite being beautifully written. I really, really wanted to like it but I wasn’t hooked and I had to put it down many times.

This book is a great historical romance/drama for those who are interested in those types of books. I found Katie to be a beautiful descriptive writer despite me not getting hooked into the book. I would definitely suggest this to other readers – it just wasn’t a good book for me, personally.

That being said, I did find that this book had pacing issues. Sometimes, this book was absolutely fantastic and moved at a fast pace that made this book super awesome! And then it would slow down to a snail’s pace and make it difficult for me to continue on. While the plot itself was fantastic and the characters are extremely well developed, I think with some pace fixing this book could have hit a home run.

Maddie is a strong female lead who could rival some of the big named “blockbuster” leads – like Katniss, Hermione, etc. She is perhaps the best part of this novel, in my opinion.

Overall, this book is a strong contender in the top historical romances I’ve seen recently. It’s a must read for those craving a good, strong female lead with a dash of historical romance in it.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

You can find Katie on her website: Katie Hanrahan

Or take a peek at her Goodreads: Katie Hanrahan on Goodreads

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