#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 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 Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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I have been wanting to read books by Agatha Christie for years, yet whenever I made it to a bookstore I would get lost in the aisles and forget about my desires. Luckily for me, Kennett Branagh decided to remake Murder on the Orient Express. The movie was fantastic and everything I wanted it to be, which gave me perfect reason to find the book and give it a shot! And it was INCREDIBLE.

I’m amazed by how talented Agatha Christie was. The pure talent for writing shown in this book is so shocking, and it makes me desperate to read every other book she has written. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find them in my adventures!

This book is the 10th novel in the series, but it is very easy to pick up and start reading. I had no issue being pulled into the story and not wanting to put the book down. The language is a bit old fashioned (since it’s an older book) so there may be a disconnect for some present readers, but that seemed to be the only issue I could find when I picked this book apart.

In short, the plot for this book is there is a murder on the Orient Express train and Hercule Poirot (a wildly famous detective) is determined to solve it. The twist? Multiple suspects aboard a stalled train.

The book is fun, fast paced and wildly addicting. If you love a good mystery, trying to solve this story is absolutely delightful! Everyone has an alibi and Poirot can only find out information by asking questions and looking at their reactions (because…GASP!…there’s no electronic devices in the time period this book is set in). I knew the ending already from watching the movie, but trying to pick out the evidence that led to Hercule’s final thoughts was so much fun! I scrambled along the way and enjoyed every second of this book.

Overall, this book is a great read! If you want to read a classic, a mystery or just a fun book I really suggest this one! It’ll keep you hooked and make your head spin in circles.

Five out of five stars!

 

What is your favourite “classic” read? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this book review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

If you read this review, give me a shoutout on twitter using the following hashtags: #BriarsReviews #OrientExpress Briar’s Reviews on Twitter @ReivewAlholic

#BookPlaylist Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles

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Today on my blog we have a wonderful guest, the author Kelley Kaye Bowles! I recently read her book Down in the Belly of the Whale (which will be revealed on my blog on October 10th!!! I can’t wait!!), and I wanted to open your eyes to this author just a little more! Kelley offered to provide a playlist for her character Harper to honor World Suicide Prevention Day!

 

Harper’s Playlist

1. Belly of the Whale Burning Sensations ‘Belly of the Whale’   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZgtKt8K3ho

This is, of course, Harper’s theme song. She feels so isolated in her body – like most teenagers do – that it’s like she is down in the belly of a whale in the bottom of the ocean.

2. Closer to Fine Indigo Girls Indigo Girls – Closer to Fine
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZgtKt8K3ho

Harper‘s mom, Isabelle, introduced her to this song. Isabelle wrote a paper on this song when she was in college, and she’s loved it and the message ever since. Isabelle definitely feels this way—like the more you can go with the flow and roll with the punches, the better off you’ll be. Harper is trying.

3. No Roots Alice Merton
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUdyuKaGQd4

This, again, reflects Harper’s life theme. Since she’s not even sure she’s in the right family, she certainly doesn’t feel like she has roots anywhere.

4. The Man The Killers
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3xcybdis1k

 This song is for Harper’s Uncle Pasta—the gay uncle who lives in the basement. He’s hilarious and awesome—totally The Man! 😜

5. Uptown Funk Bruno Mars
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1F0lBnsnkE

Harper can’t help but dance to this song—but she only watches the video wiith all the old movies in it, like all the stuff Uncle Pasta watches.

6. Every Little Thing She Does is Magic the Police The Police – Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aENX1Sf3fgQ

Since Harper can envision her glorious future with basketball star Larson McCready—even though she’s never even talked to him—she can imagine him singing this song to her.

7. Breathe Anna Nalick- Breathe (2am)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdRHSuPxgXo

The ability to say the right thing at the right time is an important and as yet unrealized skill for Harper. This song confirms how scary it is to put yourself out there for others to judge, but the song helps her know she’s not alone in feeling that way.

8. Blackbird The Beatles
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xdRHSuPxgXo

Harper’s father, Michael, is this intense and driven man with very strong ideas and opinions. He’s the one who introduced her to the Beatles, but he was careful to explain that there are only a certain amount of Beatle songs that are genius, and some bubblegum poppy kinds that are lame. This, thankfully, he considers one of the genius ones because Harper thinks it’s beautiful, and feels like she is only waiting for HER moment to arrive…

9. Bohemian Rhapsody Queen
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ

Harper and Uncle Pasta like to headbang to this song.

And, for 10., Harper chose Michael Jackson, because, well, any playlist is incomplete without Michael Jackson! Michael Jackson – Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yURRmWtbTbo

 

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Find out more about Kelley Kaye Bowles on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye Bowles

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @kelkay1202

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter to let me know you read it! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Jeep Tour is another stunning women’s fiction novel by Gail Ward Olmsted.

Seriously, this lady KNOWS what I’m feeling and thinking! Just the quote alone “A series of unrelated and seemingly random events that can singularly cause stress and anxiety” is my life right now – college, working, life, EVERYTHING! Within this sweet, women’s fiction are words of wisdom I never would have appreciated until I became an adult and finally understood what “adulting” meant! The metaphor comparing whack-a-mole made it even better, to be brutally honest. That’s is how life feels sometime!

This novel is the first in the “series”, but like the rebel I am – I read Jackie’s daughter’s story first! So, it was only necessary to read Jackie’s story as well! The two books can easily be read apart, but if you want a little more sanity and understanding, reading them in order would be helpful. I do have to say, you can tell that Gail has improved in her writing (not that she was bad to begin with, but you can see the growth and I LOVE when that happens! I’m a nerdy little birdie for seeing authors grow and change into sophisticated and more talented authors!).

Now, back to the story!

Middle-aged Jackie is divorced from her husband and decided to go on an adventure and hop on a Jeep Tour. She ended up meeting uber sexy tour guide Rick, and he gave her his number! Rick is young, hot, and flirty!

I related to Jackie in many ways – troubles with her job, a “Linda” in their life, troubles with relationship and wanting to just run away. But the one thing I really liked about Jackie was her ridiculous sense of humor! “Waa-mbulance” was one of the best comments I’ve ever seen, and I will definitely be entering that into my verbal thesaurus for the next time life gets tough. The accounting metaphors also had me chuckling, since I’ve taken some accounting classes (and the comments really fit how I see some of my accounting friends…).

Even the relationships in this novel felt real, which was shocking! I don’t know many people who got divorced and started sleeping with their ex when the papers were signed, but Gail made me feel like I did! I felt like Jackie and Robbie could have been my neighbors or friends of mine! It was weird, but incredible. But that’s raw talent for you! Although, sometimes I felt like this relationship was a little bit… tumultuous, or not healthy. Knowing the contents of the second book made me feel better about it, but there was still this ache in the back of my head going “NOOOO JACKIE NOOOO YOU DESERVE BETTER – NICE GUY AND GOOD SEX! YOU CAN HAVE BOTH! DON’T SETTLE FOR ONE!”

The journey Jackie embarks on is definitely a beautiful story. The ups, the downs and everything in between will make you feel! It was a beautiful story to sit down, admire the summer air and fall into. It was a relaxing read, something that women’s fiction definitely needs!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who wants a soft, simple read with a little splash of drama and romance. It’s a PG rated, flirty and fun book that will whisk you away into the life of a of truly incredible character. It’s a must read that will be added to my shelf!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads: Goodreads – Jeep Tour

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Jeep Tour

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Jeep Tour

 

 

Check out the sequel with Jackie, Robbie and their daughter in Driving on the Left!

Goodreads – Goodreads – Driving on the Left

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – Driving on the Left

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – Driving on the Left

 

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

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

 

Comment below – have you read any novels by Gail Ward Olmsted?

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Dreams and Other Lastings by RJ Sobel

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Dreams and Other Lastings was a beautiful set of poems that left me breathless and feeling warm (despite it being the “winter” Season).

I truly loved these poems – I always love a good set of poetry, but I could really relate to these stories. This isn’t a long book, and isn’t filled to the brim with poems, but the content within them makes this small set of poems worth every single word.

Reflection, aging, and memory are just three of the many topics discussed within these poems. I found myself reflecting on my own life and finding ways to see how these poems mirror situations I’ve had. For example, wanting to write someone and letter and reflecting on life, the good and the bad. It was so beautifully written, it almost pains me to think this was the last of the four books (of course, I could find the first three in the series to fill that void to fix that problem).

I 100% recommend Dreams and Other Lastings to anyone who wants a quick read, something to relate to, or just some good, old-fashioned poetry to warm their nights.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another book you might enjoy! Quick Book Review: Song of the Earth by Susan Nunn