Thursday, October 8, 2015

Blog Tour Review | Finding A Way by T.E. Black

Finding A Way by T. E. Black
Published September 28th, 2015

Author's Website | Goodreads | Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

I am finally free.
This is my chance for a fresh start. 
My chance to live the way I want to. 
Boston is my destination.

Just when I think things are going to get better from here, I meet him.

Malcolm Davis.

He is the image of masculinity, with rough edges I would love to soften. Although I wonder what it would be like to be with a man like him, I know it would never work. But, I do know two things, ever since I met him, I’m happy and he makes me feel safe. Both of those things lured me into taking a chance. I mean what’s life without taking any chances? It’s not much of a life without the risk of getting your heart broken.

I imagine that for Malcolm Davis, falling in love with someone would be akin to a hurricane; anything that stands in the path of what he wants; gets demolished.

Well, I guess my theory will be put to the test.

What I Thought....

I have to say, for a first time author, this book was fantastic! Black does a great job of introducing well-rounded, complex characters that evolve steadily throughout the novel. This was a clean, no cliff-hanger, adorable romance novel that captured my interest from the very first page. 

Callie Matthews has had a rough start to adulthood. When her ex-fiance Derrick is killed because of a drunk driving accident, she struggles to stay above the surface. With any bout of depression, Callie does unspeakable things that eventually led her to hospital stays and therapy. However, three years later, she's headed to Boston University with her best friend and is ready to make the most of whatever life has to offer. 

Malcolm Davis is your picture perfect bad boy. Tatted up, with a sailors mouth, he couldn't be much more delicious, or more different then what Callie was picturing for herself. After Callie's best friend enlists a couple of men to help them move, she gets her first up close and personal interaction with Malcolm, or Mac, as he prefers her call him. What Callie doesn't realize is that meeting Mac is the beginning of a very long road of recovery. He very well may be just what the doctor ordered....

In order to understand the full relationship between Callie and Mac, this novel is a twice read due-over. I read it once, then again to make sure I didn't miss anything, then a third time just because I was that connected to the characters. The only negative thing I have to say is that the last fourth of the novel is a bit rushed; especially with character feelings. I felt like it could have been more drawn out, but it still did not take away from the novel. As always, if you haven't purchased this yet, do it! You won't regret it!

Victoria ♥

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blog Tour Review | QUICKSAND by Carolyn Baugh

Quicksand by Carolyn Baugh
Thriller/Mystery/Crime Published September 29, 2015
Forge Books
Author's website  |  Goodreads  |  Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The beginning of an engrossing new suspense series featuring Philadelphia policewoman Nora Khalil

Officer Nora Khalil is used to navigating different terrains. As part of a joint task force set up by the Philadelphia Police Department, the FBI, and the local sheriff’s offices, she works to keep Philly’s mean streets safe from gang violence, while trying to honor the expectations of her traditional Egyptian-American family. She can hold her own against hardened murderers and rapists, and her years as a competitive runner ensure that no suspect ever escapes on foot.

Nora tries to keep her professional and personal lives separate, but when a mutilated body is discovered in a tough section of town, Nora must rely on both her police training and her cultural background to find out whether this is another gang-related killing or the grisly evidence of something even darker and more disturbing.
My Thoughts...
I have to say that I really enjoyed this book.  I started it one day while I was on my lunch break at work and because of all my school work wasn't able to pick it back up for 4-5 days, but once I did I finished it in one sitting.  I was pretty much hooked from the 2nd chapter and now I am going to have a hard time waiting for the next book in the series to come out.  What I really liked about it is that this book is pretty much a self contained story, but a tiny thread of romance that will hopefully be the "thing" that carries over to the other books in the series.

Nora Khalil is a young police officer who has been tapped to join a special gang task force that's been set up with the FBI.  John is her older more experienced male partner who loves her like a daughter while at the same time teaching her what she needs to know to survive her job.  She's Egyptian and her family is very strict in their beliefs and traditions.  She's falling in love with Ben, one of the FBI officers that she works with, and vice versa, but inter-racial dating/marriage is not something that's looked on kindly in her family so she keeps him at arms length.  Nora and John, along with Ben and his partner are working on a case where a very young girl is murdered.  They believe it's gang related and it pulls them in to a much bigger and potentially deadly situation.  Some of the key players in this case are Muslim and Nora's language skills and her cultural knowledge and background are the things that help to crack the case wide open.  At the same time, she is finding out things about her own family that will aid her in decisions that she must make about her own life and future, both personally and professionally.

I felt like this novel was very well paced and pretty much action packed from start to  finish.  The whole of the case plays out over the course of about a week, maybe a little more.  All of the characters are very well developed, especially Nora and John.  You can't help but feel for Nora and what she's going through and when she stands up for herself and her beliefs you feel the need to root for her.  This is the first Carolyn Baugh book that I have read, but it definitely won't be the last.  I think that she has tapped into something that is possibly lacking in this market.  Her knowledge of the Egyptian and Muslim community is extensive because of her education and I think that her choosing to use it in this way is excellent.  It's a lighter way to bring topics such as these to peoples attention.

XOXO, Shelly

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.*

Friday, September 25, 2015

Blog Tour Review | Sucking in San Francisco by Jessica McBrayer

Sucking in San Francisco by Jessica McBrayer
Published September 8th 2012 by Mess of Geckos

Author's Website | Goodreads | Buy the Book on Amazon

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Working at a Suicide Prevention Center in San Francisco, Lily Goodwill thinks she’s heard it all—then she gets a call from a man about to jump off the Golden Gate Bridge. Something about the caller, maybe his yummy British accent or Lily’s ability to understand his crushing ennui, makes her break all the rules and rush to meet him. After all, she is a vampire and if she can’t talk him down she can glamour him.

But things don’t go according to plan. Her caller glows with blue fire and turns out to be a vampire-hating Djinn. Suddenly, for the first time in centuries he’s found something intriguing. Is Lily really a vampire with a conscience and an obsessive-compulsive disorder, involving Handi-wipes and Lysol, or is she just another bloodsucker? 

Add in another vampire, with a history of female lovers stretching over three centuries, who swears he’s reformed and declares his undying love for Lily. Stir in a mean pair of witches and a vicious warlock, who are staking vampires around the city and you have a recipe for riotous adventure of supernatural proportions. 

Lily Goodwill is a quick thinking, smart-talking vampire who’s still figuring out how she feels about dining al fresco in the City by the Bay

What I Thought:

I am going to keep this short, because unfortunately I wasn't a fan of the book. It had great potential with some of the themes that are present, but overall it just wasn't realistic. 

Lily Goodwill is probably one of the softest vampire characters I've ever met. She is compassionate, down to earth, and a bit naive. Aidan on the other hand, is a much darker, sarcastic character. When he phones in to a suicide prevention call center, Aidan doesn't count on a vampire being the volunteer. Just to goad Lily, Aidan makes an outrageous claim that if Lily doesn't meet him at the Golden Gate Bridge, he's jumping. Here is where I first had a bad taste of the novel. Nothing about this scene is realistic. Granted, Aidan isn't serious about committing suicide, because as a djinn, he can't die the way a real human being could. Putting that aside, it still messes with the mood of the scene,which in my opinion was the beginning of the decline of the entire novel. 

Next, we are introduced to Sebastian, Julian, and Helena, vague friends of Lily's. We see through the novel that Sebastian has romantic feelings towards Lily, but she's more or less stuck in a love triangle that never really goes anywhere. Also, I felt like half the novel was taken up by the two witches, Iris and Indigo. Don't get me wrong, Iris and Indigo and their clan was a very interesting topic, however, I didn't think so much of them belonged in here. Again, the overload of characters and separate experiences overrides the intended main theme. 

Overall, it just wasn't for me. I felt like there was too much going on to get a clear picture of feeling from this novel. Sometimes, less is more. 

Victoria ♥ 

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Blog Tour Review | Alphas Love Curves (Curve Envy #1) by Scarlett Avery

Alphas Love Curves by Scarlett Avery
Published June 11, 2015 
Absolutely Naughty Publishing

Synopsis from Goodreads:

After partying her head off to forget yet another bad boyfriend, curvy girl Candy Westerman accepts her best friend’s invitation to brunch on a sunny Sunday morning hoping to shake off the latest drama in her dating life.  
Little did she know a debonair and dangerously sexy stranger would turn her world upside down the second she lays eyes on him.   
Although she’s instantly attracted to the ruggedly handsome hunk, she chooses to brush off the chance encounter as a one-time thing and does her best to erase the stranger’s devastating smile from her memory. 
Determined to move on with her life, she loses herself in her daily routine and the work she loves. 
It’s business as usual until a date to have drinks with her out of town cousin Trish puts her unexpectedly face-to-face with her mysterious admirer. 
When Max Keller, a domineering Billionaire Alpha Male, catches sight of Candy’s luscious curves, all best are off.  
How can casual drinks turn into a night of unspoken raunchiness on the forty-first floor of a swanky New York hotel?

What I Think.....
As always, when I sign up for a blog tour, I always scope out the potential material on Goodreads, just to get an idea of what the novel is about. With this, I was stoked! I absolutely adore it when writers go out of the norm and write about bigger woman. I think it's beautiful and must be done just right, in order to be complimentary. Coming from a bit of experience, I believe there is a certain eloquence that must be present in BBW literature, so anytime I can get a hold of some, I do!  

Candice Westerman is an exquisite individual. She is extremely smart, working in the plus size fashion industry, and beyond talented with her blog. Not to mention, she's got curves for daysssss! It's such a shame though, that she fails to see her own beauty. She is very insecure in her weight, as well as appearance, which causes some problems later in the novel. So when she is approached by a sexy stranger in a coffee shop, she has absolutely no idea how to react. Candy know's that there are other women far more beautiful then she for this delicious stranger, but what she doesn't know is that he only has eyes for her. 

Max Keller is one of a kind. Tall, rich, deathly handsome, he's has the world at his fingertips. Or so he thinks, until he meets Candy. She's everything that makes his blood boil. He's always loved BBW, and Candy is his idea of perfect. Once he knows what he wants, he gets it.... usually. Who knew one woman could be so difficult?

Even though this novel was shorter then what I was expecting, I really liked it. Again, I'm fascinated with how author's create such unique characters out of a concept that is a major hot topic in today's society. I feel like BBW do not get nearly enough attention as they should, since having curves seems to be a bad thing. Avery does a fantastic job of expressing real women doubts and fears but as well as real life experiences. My only negative comment is that sometimes the word choice for a particular scene doesn't fit. I felt like certain words were overused, but I think that's to be expected with new writers. Again, love the series! You know what they say, real women have a little meat on their bones ;) 

Victoria ♥

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

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