#BookReview Three Months to Forever by Hudson Lin

 

I have instantly found a new author to binge read! Hudson Lin has created one fantastic novel that has blown my mind!

Three Months to Forever is a short yet sweet novel about two impressive men falling in love in in Hong Kong. Add in the fact that Canada is also a big part of this book, and you have me instantly hooked! Hudson Lin really did these communities justice with this book, since it is beautifully crafted and respects the cultures.

If I had to compare it, I’d say it was a beautiful Romeo and Juliet -esque story with a splash of Fifty Shades of Grey (but way better, of course). It is R rated though, due to the incredibly sexy scenes Hudson depicts throughout the book. I did find the dominance aspect of the book to be a little repetitive (since it seems to be in every book these days), but that didn’t make me want to put the book down.

One major part of this book was the relationship between Sai and his parents. I think the book managed to pull this relationship off and explain the subtleties in an understanding tone. I felt like I understood how Sai felt, even if I hadn’t experienced a similar relationship before. I also really liked that there was some ethical issues being discussed. Bringing light to some of the darker sides of business within a romance novel was a nice change within this genre!

It’s a fast paced book and follows a very typical narrative, but it still felt so different and real. It’s rare to find a good book that opens itself up to so many different communities AND that’s a good read. I’d highly recommend it, especially if you love romance! It’s high tier reading, and it’s not too long so you can easily binge it.

This book is worth every single penny! I want more by Hudson Lin ASAP and I want more readers to be picking up this author’s book! What a gem! This book deserves all of the stars!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Hudson Lin in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find out more about this book and Hudson Lin on:

Goodreads – Three Months to Forever

http://www.hudsonlin.com/

Twitter – @hudsonlinwrites

Amazon.com – Three Months to Forever

Amazon.ca – Three Months to Forever

 

Are you going to read this book? Do you have another suggestion for a book you want to be featured on this blog? Give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira

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Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira is a unique mix of suspense, thrills and fantasy!

This book surprised me with how fantastic it was – not often do I pick up a book with no reviews on Goodreads and it be absolutely magical in all the best ways! I feel like a really lucky reader who gets to yell “First!” in the comment section since I’ve found such a truly unique and addicting read!

Now, to the review:

This story is full of incredible descriptions that paint this story onto your eyes. The descriptions of the characters, their wardrobe, the food and the history of Portugal and it’s culture were just breathtaking! As someone with little experience or knowledge of the Portuguese culture, I felt like I connected and understood so much more from just this book! The portrayal of the culture and locations were respectful and made me feel like I truly dove into this world. Suzanne just has a way with words that makes you connect so well with the story and it’s characters. If anything, I’d suggest this book alone for the way Suzanne paints the narrative for the reader.

Some of the little quirks of this novel was the different aspects of the culture – burning ears means someone is gossiping about you, and black cats being good luck because they will absorb all of the evil. I really liked the little tidbits of information that were sprinkled around the plot development. I felt like those really enhanced this book up a notch on the review spectrum.

Now onto the plot! This book, at first glance, seems like a typical thriller set in an exotic land to the average fiction reader. But alas, good reader, this book mixes in so many genres in a truly unbelievable way that it should be in it’s own subgenre. First of all, our lead Talia is a journalist who is seeking out murderers of twin girls – check off that crime and thriller box on your checklist. Next, there’s a healthy helping of the black arts, a cult, some voodoo and omens to check off the fantasy or supernatural check box. There’s a teaspoon of romance (just barely a teaspoon), some murder and drama to mix all of the plot line together into an epic journey.

Talia goes off to Portugal with her boyfriend Jared and her friend Caryn after a family member dies. There’s a little romance and a little conflict that sends all three characters on their separate ways – Caryn chasing a man & Jared and Talia breaking up. Talia meets the super sexy Nuno and sets off on her journalistic adventure. The family drama left behind after the funeral ignites this journey for Talia, since she also wants to discover some of her family’s secrets. Once she goes off with Nuno though, her world unravels and the plot travels like a B&M roller coaster (lots of flips, turns and crazy speeds).

The plot itself sounds like a mess, but it’s just because this book is so hard to summarize! There is so much going on, but it all works so well together! Suzanne has crafted this excellent epic that I really loved! There’s so much drama and suspense throughout the book, I couldn’t even put it down!

If I’m tearing apart the speed of the novel, I felt like it was pretty even paced until 3/4ths through the book. Suddenly, it picks up speed and the action goes nuts! I really liked that aspect of it, because I do tend to get bored near the end if nothing exciting happens. Alongside that point, I feel that Suzanne made the story slowly unfold at a good pace. Each little important plot tidbit is thrown in to make the reader catch up to what is really happening, and I thought it was perfection! As I slowly began to piece together what was happening, a little tidbit was thrown in that made me go “Yes! I was right” and then the plot continued to bounce along.

But, dear reader, you may be asking if there were negatives – and of course there were! No book is ever perfect. Here’s my list.

1.For a journalist, Talia is really trusting of people! That does set of the plot, but to me she was a little too trusting…
2. Jared/Talia’s relationship was SO GOOD. I wanted more! This isn’t a bad part of the book because there wasn’t really room in the narrative to expand about their relationship and relationship issues, but I would have loved to see more of them! Their dynamic was so intriguing! Ugh!
3. The ending just seems to stop suddenly! Just like a snap of the fingers and it’s over! I really wanted to know what happened – who survives, who doesn’t, what was the point of the dreams/omens and what was a dream/omen, the fallout of all the action, etc. I liked this book to the point I wanted more (which is a rarity).
4. Evil villain explaining all the evil plans – it worked really well within this book, but I feel like it’s a cliche some readers might not like. Was it a negative for me? No, not at all! I actually liked it, but I know a lot of readers cringe at that thought so I threw it down here.

Overall, this book was really good! It really surprised me that more people aren’t picking it up because it is so good! It’s the perfect mix of action and suspense! I’d highly recommend it, especially if you love thrillers, mysteries and action!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Find out more about Suzanne Ferreira on:

Goodreads – Author Page

http://www.suzanneferreira.com/

Twitter – @sferreiradixon

Facebook – @sferreiradixon

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads – Cursed Vines

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles – Canadian Book Seller

 

If you enjoyed this review, leave me a comment below or give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay

#BookReview The Wife’s Tale by Aida Edemariam

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The Wife’s Tale is a beautiful history of a family that will pull at your heart strings.

My goodness, this book was impossible for me to put down. This breath taking recount of a woman’s life in Ethiopia was truly incredible. I’m Canadian and I haven’t left North America, so reading about other people’s lives has always been something I enjoy. Seeing into this woman’s life and the troubles and triumphs that occurred… It’s so incredible that there are hardly words.

This memoir is worth every second and needs to be read by everyone (in my humble opinion). The life of this stranger and how she lived will give you insight to a world you might not have been aware existed. Yetemegnu’s life and journey is so mind blowing! I highly recommend this book and it’s a must read for me!

This woman was married young, had many children, learned so much and felt so many emotions throughout her life. It was mesmerizing and made me really think about my own life as well. The reflection this novel brings on is worth every penny.

This book may be difficult to follow – some words are not in English, but in my ARC there was a little dictionary at the back. Additionally, it’s not some action packed story – it’s following a woman’s life, so at times it’s not super exciting. It’s a slice of Yetemegnu’s life.

This story of bravery, determination and love is one of my top books of the year now. I want to see it on every bookshelf in town! If you’re looking for a book to open up your horizons, pick this book up! Seriously, make it one of the few books you read this year!!

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book in ARC form via Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out Aida on twitter: @AidaE

Give me a shout out too! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

Check out another review you might enjoy! #BookReview So Near the Horizon by Jessica Koch

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Guessing at Normal by Gail Ward Olmsted

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Guessing at Normal is a roller coaster ride of emotions from the ever-fantastic author Gail Ward Olmsted.

Gail’s writing just clicks with me – it pulls at my emotions, it keeps me hooked and has me addicted to every word on the page! Picking up this novel, which follows a rock star and his girlfriend, was a true delight that I have to share with everyone!

Jill Griffin is your everyday, normal girl working the hotel night shift. Then one day, in walks a rock star – James Sheridan. Everyone knows his name and his band Nomad, including Jill. These two fall in love, and their lives unravel throughout this soap opera-like story. This book isn’t your Harlequin, perfect romance – it follows the ups and downs of relationships and the rock star life. Relationships aren’t perfect, and this book highlights the true insanity that relationships can be.

The character arcs and development are to die for! Seriously, these characters go through so much throughout this novel. And on top of that, they aren’t perfect (which is a good thing)! The characters have flaws, there’s bumpy roads and fights that happen, and sometimes they aren’t squeaky clean Plain Janes. As the novel progresses, you can see Jill changing and learning to deal with the life she has chosen to live, and you can see how James embraces his rock star life. The book is mostly focused on Jill’s side of the story, but we do venture into other character’s lives briefly as well.

This book is an easy read, and has lots of drama to keep you busy. You’ll be guessing what will happen next, and Gail’s epic plot twists will keep you on edge. I find Gail’s writing to be descriptive yet soft – it’s not a book that you will struggle to understand. She picks the perfect words to describe the situation, but nothing so difficult that you are dragging out the Webster’s dictionary to understand the book.

I’d say this book is PG-13. There isn’t any hard romance scenes or erotica mixed in. It’s a fun book that even teenagers could enjoy. There are some drug and alcohol comments, but nothing too brutal that most teens haven’t heard about already.

Forewarning: bring a box of tissues if you are the light of heart! There are some sad scenes in this story, but it’s worth it in the end!

Overall, this is another gem that I’m putting on my must read romance pile! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good romance novel, some juicy drama, or celebrity/rock star based plots! It’s a fun book for a fantastic summer day!

Five out of five stars!

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

 

Purchase this book on:

Amazon.com: Amazon.com – Guessing at Normal

Amazon.ca : Amazon.ca – Guessing at Normal

 

Find out more about Gail Ward Olmsted on:

Her website: http://www.gailolmsted.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/gwolmsted

 

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

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

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Twisted Fates by Geza Tetrallyay

 

To begin with, I think Julia needs to stop going outside or something. This girl keeps going missing and getting kidnapped! Get this girl a map and some bodyguards, and maybe we won’t need a book four…

This epic finale to the Twisted trilogy follows Greg, Anne and Julia yet again. Julia has been kidnapped (again) and Greg & Anne are determined to save her! The action, adventures and insanity that ensues is sure to make you cling to the pages of this book!

I almost felt this book was a little repetitive, but it somehow worked. I found the jump from the first to second book to be a big, grande plot while this one didn’t live up to the hype I had put into my head – but let’s be honest, I’m not sure where it could have gone. The action and antics has definitely been upped though! And the stakes of not completing the mission is much worse! Although, I might have liked Julia not to be kidnapped again, but the plot line fits well within the book.

Some of the cheesey lines from the bad guy gave me Charlie’s Angel’s vibes. The baddies in that television series had some of the strangest lines, and the Twisted antagonists had a similar speech. They are a thousand times darker than that television show, but it did give a little bit of brightness in the dark “twisted” world of this series.

I hated the ending, but I’m a happily ever after type of person. Realistically, this book was on spot – life is not always perfect, there is some pretty dark material that happens in this book that is totally true, and people don’t always get through these tough times unscathed. Is the ending bad? Absolutely not! I think it is really telling that Geza would portray something realistically. Does that make me like the ending any better? HECK NO! Vengeance, I want vengeance! Although, I must admit… I kind of saw the ending coming from book one. I just had this feeling a certain thing would happen…

The book slowly rolls into a close, and it felt just right. I wouldn’t have wanted a fast, epic ending – a nice, slowly rolling, almost like film credits finale made this series close just perfectly! I think it brings the story full circle and makes it feel like a complete series. (Although, why do they keep visiting Vienna when bad things keep happening to them there? That’s my real question.)

The best part of this novel is seeing how the characters turned out in the end. One of my biggest pet peeves is the book ending and I don’t get to know how their life unfolded. It’s a silly pet peeve for me to have, but we all have our quirks! Geza’s final chapter really helped me settle down and see this book as the finale. And it was quite the beautiful chapter, if I do say so myself.

The book has some rape and dark scenes (it’s about sex trafficking, so it was a given), so I’d say it’s an R rated novel. I wouldn’t be reading this as a bedtime story to your kids anytime soon (but hey, you do you I guess…). The bad guys are extra bad as well, with their brutality increased to the ten fold.

If I had any con for this book, it’s a personal one. I had a PDF copy and I let my device lock and I lost my page! And then I forgot what page I was on… But hey! That’s a good con to have! The book was a fantastic ride!

Overall, this was a lovely (yet brutal) finale to this epic series! If you haven’t read this series yet, get on it! Geza does a great job summing up parts of the series in this novel, so if you wanted to jump into the last book you could. Would I recommend it? No! This book works much better within the series, but it could “stand alone” if you didn’t want to read the first two books.

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Geza Tatrallyay in exchange for an honest review.

Check out more books by Geza on his website: www.gezatatrallyay.com

Check out this book (Twisted Reasons) the first in the series on Amazon:

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

Check out the sequel (Twisted Traffick) on Amazon:

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.com

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.ca

Check out this novel (Twisted Fates) on Amazon:

Twisted Fates (#3) on Amazon.com

Twisted Fates (#3) on Amazon.ca

And check out Twisted Fates on: Goodreads for more information!

Give Geza and myself a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review! @GezaTatrallyay & Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview – The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

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The Mountain Story by Lori Lansens

This action/adventure novel hits a home run in this genre and is a must read for those wanting a fast paced, adventure novel!

Normally, these types of books aren’t my thing but for whatever reason this book stuck with me and I could not put it down. I’m slightly annoyed I didn’t pick this book up early, because it was a fantastic read, leaving me to believe I absolutely need more Lori Lansens in my life.

This book isn’t just a survive out in the wilderness story – it has heart, a plot, and lots of backstory. There are definitely survival aspects, but it’s not just survival/wilderness porn. It’s a fantastic blend of action, adventure, suspense, mystery and a splash of romance (just a tiny splash). We follow our leads throughout the story revealing truths about themselves and developing their personalities and lives. It’s not cookie cutter or the norm, which is why this book is such a great read.

Why is it not a five star you may ask? There were definitely some slow/boring parts for me. There were a few times I put the book down and thought I might not pick it up, but decided that I needed to. Once you get past those few boring chapters, the book keeps chugging along at it’s fast pace.

This book has plot twists and turns that make it interesting – you think it’s going one way and then it swings in another – all while maintaining a PG/PG13 rating that I believe any reader will enjoy – not just adults, perhaps young adults too?

The book isn’t sensory in it’s description, but it’s well written that you can almost imagine yourself with the characters. I applaud Lori for writing this novel – it’s a fantastic read that I’ll definitely be recommending to fellow readers!

Overall, this fascinating novel is a truly spectacular ride! Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

#BookReview – Apocalypse the Memoir by CS Oliver

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Apocalypse the Memoir by C.S. Oliver

I am sad to say this book somehow got swept up into my house and disappeared for a while. I remember writing it down on my “to read” list and then being unable to find it. I went through all of my book shelves (there are many) and was annoyed and confused on where it could have gone. I gave up the search until I did a little spring cleaning and found it deep under a couch that didn’t seem like anything could have fit under it. Interestingly enough, I decided it was still in beautiful working condition and that my cats must have stolen it. So, many many reads later – here it is! My review of a book I’ve been dying to read for far to long.

This story centers around Indy, our 15 year old narrator who seems to be in a zombie apocalypse in Canada. It’s a humorous take on what seems to be a very common story now, but this book is unique. This book not only has crazy zombies, but a funny narrator, sassy side characters and an interesting back story.

This novel is brutal and definitely R-rated, but it’s fantastic in a sort of Deadpool way. While you’re cringing at the blood and gore, you’re laughing along with Indy’s thoughts and descriptions. The zombies aren’t exactly your typical slow moving, “let me eat your brains” zombies – they are nasty, predatory creatures that give you a movie-monster-esque vibe. I liked that aspect – slow moving zombies always seem kind of boring to me.

Bonus Points: Canadian cities (I’m a Canadian, what can I say?).

“Are hot dogs miracles?”

If that line doesn’t explain the whole book, I don’t know what does. Reading from the view of a 15 year old narrator, I can definitely say that thought is accurate. I am almost certain at that age that sort of thought would be randomly popping into my head.

This entire book seemed to be written with my sense of humour in mind. I don’t see all readers understanding it, but as I read along I couldn’t help but chuckle. I rarely find books funny, but I related with Indy, our main character, far to much. I really enjoyed her spunky thoughts and I wish more novels had narrators like her – different, odd and absolutely hilarious.

There were two “downfalls” to me for this book:

The biggest downfall of this book was that the conversations in this novel did not have quotation marks around them. That was probably the worst part of this novel – the story was fantastic, the humor was on point, but the lack of quotation marks threw me off a bit. To someone like me, it’s slightly annoying. To most readers? Probably not something that would turn them away from the book.

The second downfall or question I have – was this book all a metaphor? The first half of the book seems like an epic, film ready novel for a zombie dystopia/apocalypse. The second half seemed so interesting and more like a 1984 novel ready to be dissolved and taken apart in an English class. I loved seeing these two kind of smashed together into one book, but it gave me far to many questions. I want to march up to CS Oliver and ask so many questions… But maybe that’s a good thing.

Overall, this book is deemed worthy by me. I definitely want to read more by CS Oliver and I hope any more books created by CS are just as sassy and thrilling!

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.