Jaclyn’s Review: Tangled Up (Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls #2) by Robyn Neeley

Tangled Up (Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls, #2)Tangled Up (Bachelors of Buttermilk Falls #2)
written by Robyn Neeley
published by Robyn Neeley, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) AmazonGoodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did! Full disclosure–this book is the second in a series. The series is about the people in a small town, two of whom can do magic. I did not read the first book, and they did enough of the backstory in the second that I didn’t really NEED to read it. Before reading this you need to accept that 1) the characters do magic, and 2) there is enough drama in this small town to warrant multiple books. Once you accept that, this book is actually pretty cute.

The main character has a few one-night stands with the town hottie (can you have multiple one-night stands with the same guy??).  She decides he’s not ready to settle down, but she is–so, the obvious thing to do is magic. She casts a spell to make him forget they ever met. However, as soon as she casts the spell she decides she really DOES want a relationship with him. She then spends the rest of the book trying to make him fall in love with her, WITHOUT magic. It’s a cute read, and the characters are well written. You want them to fall in love at the end.

 

Would I recommend it: I’d recommend this to a girlfriend for some light reading.  t was fun and quick with just enough drama to move the plot along.

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: Abby Stevens doesn’t know what’s gotten into her, but getting tangled up nightly with the latest bachelor to Buttermilk Falls has to stop. Sure, Brandon Swift’s got rock hard abs and blue eyes to die for, but the Los Angles playboy is not the man for her. To end things between them once and for all, she might need some magical help.

Brandon is settling into small-town life thanks to his new bartending gig and the cute redhead sharing his bed. He suspects she might be looking for more than a fling. After a bitter divorce and a few months of playing the field, he might finally be ready, too.

But when Abby presents him with an enchanted cupcake that reverses his attraction to her, both discover strong feelings they didn’t realize they had. Is it too late to reverse the spell?

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: Jay Walking by Tracy Krimmer

Jay Walking (Pastime Pursuits #2)

Jay Walking
written by Tracy Krimmer
published by Amazon Digital Services, 2015

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooksBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I really wanted to like this book, but I just couldn’t. The more I read, the less I liked the characters. The idea of this book is good–single mom with toddler decides to take her life back, starting with an exercise program. She bumps into random, gorgeous stranger who immediately takes a liking to her, and they embark on this healthy lifestyle together. Sounds great! Obviously the plot needed some drama, so the author chose to introduce the biological dad as a protagonist. Again–the IDEA of that is OK, but the execution was not good.

The main character is in her early twenties but behaves as if she’s 14. As you read deeper into the book, she just becomes less likable. The hottie that she meets isn’t realistic at all. A gorgeous doctor suddenly starts chasing a young girl with baggage? His behavior is borderline obsessive. As if that’s not enough, he’s very secretive about his own life–then introduces all sorts of restrictions on their relationship. Now let’s talk about the biological dad. What a deadbeat! A character like this can be good for a plot, if done well. But he just wasn’t. Every part of this book was a flop.

 

Would I recommend it? Nope. There are just too many things wrong with this plot and the characters aren’t written well. I would definitely recommend skipping this one.

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: Chelsea Wyatt, a single mom trying to build a life for her and her son, is sick of the body she sees in the mirror. A daily diet of Cookie Crisp cereal is not doing wonders for her mood or her figure, and it’s time for a change. Setting out to get fit, she commits herself to a daily walking plan, forcing herself to give up her all-sugar and carb diet, a difficult task at her donut obsessed job.

But her plan goes sideways when a stumble on the ice puts her in the arms of Jay, an attractive young man out on a run. They grab coffee together, and Chelsea finds herself thinking about him long after their short meeting. The thought of dating again hadn’t crossed her mind in years, and she doesn’t even know if Jay is available, or if he would be interested in her despite her unfit body.

Just when she has a handle on her new routine, her past catches up with her, throwing her blossoming relationship with Jay and the rest of her life into chaos. Can Chelsea hold onto the people she loves most, or will a wrong turn set her up for failure?

This is book 2 of the Pastime Pursuits series, and can be read as a stand-alone novel.

 

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Summer Reading Challenge 2017: The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion

 

The Best of Adam SharpThe Best of Adam Sharp
written by Graeme Simsion
published by St. Martin’s Press, 2017

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazoniBooksTargetWalmartBook DepositoryGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
It’s a good read. Simsion’s prose is lovely, and his characters are full and round and flawed and REAL. I’ve been thinking a lot about the complexity of relationships lately–about why people make the choices they make–and though this plot is a bit more exciting than everyday, the messages still translate: There are different kinds of love; they’re all valid. Choosing to spend your life with someone is just that–a choice. One you must make over and over and over again, constantly. The relationships between Simsion’s characters are spot-on, and while there are just a few too many lyrical references for my taste, I suppose it fits for a book about a pianist. The Best of Adam Sharp is a solid novel. I enjoyed it.

GOLDEN LINES

“They were deep into a conversation about tactics for defending a drunk-driving charge, and Angelina managed to convey without words that she was pleased that I had come and if I could put up with her friends’ rudeness in not pausing to let her introduce me, she would do so in due course. Although she might like to contribute to the discussion first. And, in the meantime, don’t go away.”

 

 

Would I recommend it: It’s certainly an interesting story.

 

Melissa

 

About the book – from Goodreads:

From the #1 bestselling author of The Rosie Project and The Rosie Effect, an unforgettable new novel about lost love and second chances

On the cusp of turning fifty, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT.

But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than twenty years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find—and then lose—love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?

And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?

 

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: Waiting for Prince Harry by Aven Ellis

Waiting For Prince Harry (Dallas Demons, #1)Waiting for Prince Harry
written by Aven Ellis
published by Aven Ellis, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Did I enjoy this book: 
This book is adorable!!! Poor Kylie is an introvert, but her family seems to ignore this. In an attempt to escape them, she bumps into a strange man who entices her to stop and talk for a bit. They have deep conversations and a strong connection, but she never learns his identity. As fate would have it, he finds her a few days later–and she learns that he is the star of the Dallas hockey team. We spend the rest of the book attempting to navigate their complicated attempt at a relationship.

This is the first book in a series about the “Dallas Demons” hockey team.

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely! This is a fun read. The characters are well written and the whole plot is fun. Even the low points weren’t really all that sad. I’m looking to add the next books in the series to my To Be Read pile!

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: Twenty-four-year-old Kylie Reed has always been a rule follower. Organized and cautious to a fault, her dreams for life are often filed away for future use—when she has a house, when she meets her future husband, when she has been at her visual display job at a chic Dallas boutique longer…Kylie always has a reason for living her life in the future, not in the present, and not living her life to the fullest and reaching her dream of becoming a fashion designer.

The only exception to rules, of course, would be running away with Prince Harry—Kylie’s ideal man. A hot, fun ginger boy would be worth breaking all the rules for, of course. And Kylie is sure Harry just needs the right, centering woman to settle him down. But living in Dallas and not knowing Prince Harry make this a non-option.

Or does it?

Because when Kylie accidentally falls into the lap of a gorgeous ginger boy—yes, even more gorgeous than the real Prince Harry—all bets are off. Could this stranger be the one to show Kylie how to take a chance, to face her fears, and live in the present? And could this stranger be the Prince Harry she has been waiting for? Kylie’s life takes some unexpected twists and turns thanks to this chance encounter, and she knows her life will never be the same because of it…

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: We Are Unprepared by Meg Little Reilly

We Are Unprepared

We Are Unprepared
written by Meg Little Reilly
published by Mira, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iBooks, WalmartBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
Wow, did I love this book! This sat on my To Be Read pile forever–I just couldn’t seem to find the will to pick it up. Once I did I couldn’t put it down! I loved the characters, Ash and Pia, then I hated them for a bit, then loved them again–I kept flip flopping. The author manages to make The Storm justifiably terrifying but reasonably realistic as well. The story was completely plausible. I would read a few chapters, then set down the book and try to think about how I would react in that particular scenario. How often do you find a book that captivates you AND makes you think at the same time?!?

 

Would I recommend it: Absolutely! This book was well researched and well written. I was immediately drawn into the story, and I could not put this book down. The few times I had to put it down, I found myself dwelling on the characters and the story, trying to anticipate what would happen next and how they would respond. Read this book! Now!

 

jaclyn

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Ash and Pia’s move from Brooklyn to the bucolic hills of Vermont was supposed to be a fresh start—a picturesque farmhouse, mindful lifestyle, maybe even children. But just three months in, news breaks of a devastating superstorm expected in the coming months. Fear of the impending disaster divides their tight-knit rural town and exposes the chasms in Ash and Pia’s marriage. Ash seeks common ground with those who believe in working together for the common good. Pia teams up with “preppers” who want to go off the grid and war with the rest of the locals over whom to trust and how to protect themselves. Where Isole had once been a town of old farm families, yuppie transplants and beloved rednecks, they divide into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools

 

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Melissa’s Review: Doppelganger by Shawn Stern

DoppelgangerDoppelganger
written by Shawn Stern
published by Invader Press, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & NobleAmazonBook Depository, WalmartGoodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I did! The prose is nothing to write home about, but the story itself is pretty cool. Shane handles the crazy string of events way better than I would–I’m pretty sure I’d be weeping in a corner for days even if I was just a random person who walked by the bank while it was being robbed. So, yeah. Shane’s my kind of guy (and it doesn’t hurt that he gets a bit hunky when he absorbs Cole). I can’t wait to see what happens next!

 

Would I recommend it: Sure! It would be a great beach read . . . hmm . . . now I need to go to the beach . . .

 

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads:

WHAT WOULD YOU DO…
IF A DUPLICATE STOLE YOUR LIFE?

The day Shane Fisher is mistaken for one of the thieves of a bank robbery, his ordinary life is turned upside down. Propelled into a dark dangerous world, he must race to discover the truth about himself and a reality he never knew existed. With the help of a mysterious stranger, Shane discovers that he possesses powers and abilities far beyond his wildest imagination.

DOPPELGÄNGER is an adventure of murder, betrayal and chaos; one man’s loss – and discovery of personal identity.

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: Lessons From A Kindred Sister by Neeta Nahta

Lessons From A Kindred Sister
written by Neeta Nahta
published by CreateSpace, 2013

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Book Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
This book grabs at your heart strings from the start. Sarah’s fiancee has just dumped her and she is devastated. She is drinking bottles of wine, hiding under the covers, ignoring phone calls–kind of devastated. Her mother sends her a diary written by some mysterious woman who offers advice on how to recover from this kind of disappointment.

The advice that the mysterious woman offers is truly good advice. Unfortunately, as Sarah attempts to follow this advice, you quickly learn that she is intolerable and probably deserved to be dumped. With every layer that we peel back and learn more about Sarah, we find out that she is shallow, has poor taste in friends, is a rich, entitled brat . . . the list goes on. As if that weren’t enough, she then stumbles into an invitation to a billionaire’s party–and he suddenly falls in love with her. While this is all written in a realistic manner, the life that the author describes is very hard for most people to relate to.

 

Would I recommend it? All in all, I did enjoy reading it. I was genuinely sad that I started to hate Sarah, and she definitely became more likable by the end of the story. I would recommend reading the story for the advice from the Kindred Sister: it’s universal and a good reminder of how to live life.

 

jaclyn

About the book – from Goodreads: A delightfully decadent tale of dishy drama, feel-good inspiration, and saucy humor…

Intelligent, fun-loving Sarah Evans is in need of a glass of wine. After all, being unceremoniously dumped by your fiancé who leaves you with a ridiculously expensive apartment that makes you even more of a slave to a job you hate can really put a damper on things. (If you think that last sentence was a lot to take in, try living it…hmmm, better make that two glasses of wine.) As her sips turn to gulps, Sarah receives a journal from a mysterious Parisian woman known only as a ‘kindred sister’. What lies inside has the power to change her life forever. Before Sarah’s world can begin to sparkle like champagne, things take a decidedly vinegary twist when she learns of a dear friend’s horrible betrayal. Will the journal be enough to keep Sarah’s life from fully uncorking, or will her glass of cabernet be relegated to being forever half-empty?

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: Grace Not Perfection by Emily Ley

Grace, Not Perfection: Embracing Simplicity, Celebrating JoyGrace Not Perfection 
written by Emily Ley
published by Thomas Nelson, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, Amazon, TargetiBooks, Book Depository, WalmartGoodreads

Did I enjoy this book: Oh my goodness, I NEEDED to read this book! This book was the wake-up call I needed–a reminder to live life purposefully. It is so easy to get caught up in the need to be busy, the need to do it all (sound familiar?). This really hit home with me. The author does a great job sharing stories from her own experience without sounding “preachy.” She doesn’t tell you how to live your life, but she gives you a gentle push to look at things from a different perspective. I related so much to this book. There were times I broke down in tears because I have actually said the same words as she has in moments of exasperation, specifically, “I can do this. I can MAKE this work. I just need to try harder.” Newsflash–that usually doesn’t work!

This book is broken down into easy to digest chapters. They contain stories about the author’s life, suggestions for how to change your own life, and a whole lot of positive thinking. I finished reading each chapter feeling more empowered than after the last chapter. Loved it!

 

Would I recommend it: Yes! Read this book–now! I plan to skim back through it and take some notes, then hand off my copy for others to read. Someone blessed me by sending me this book, and I want to bless others by passing along this wisdom. Please go, read this book, then let me know so we can talk about it!

 

jaclyn

 

About the book – from Goodreads: I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection.

As a busy wife, new mother, business owner, and designer, Emily Ley came to a point when she suddenly realized she couldn’t do it all. She needed to simplify her life, organize her days, and prioritize the priorities. She decided to hold herself to a standard of grace rather than perfection. This mantra led to the creation of her bestselling Simplified Planner®, a favorite among busy women everywhere—from mamas to executives and everywhere in between.

Grace, Not Perfection takes this message from a daily planner to an inspirational book that encourages women to simplify and prioritize. Designed with Emily Ley’s signature aesthetic, this book gives women tangible ways to simplify their lives to give space to what matters most. With a focus on faith, Emily reminds readers that God abundantly pours out grace on us—and that surely we can extend grace to ourselves.

Have you been told you can have it all, only to end up exhausted and occasionally out of sorts with the people you love? Are you ready for a new way of seeing your time? Learn to live a little more simply. Hold yourself and those you love to a more life-giving standard in Grace Not Perfection,and allow that grace to seep into your days, your family, and your heart.

Ideas include:

List Making 101—tips to create effective to-do lists and get through them one step at a time
Simplify your life by simplifying the three major areas: your space, your time, and your mind
Strategies to center your day around an intentionally slower rhythm of life

 

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Jaclyn’s Review: How Meg West Was Won by Libby Mercer

How Meg West Was WonHow Meg West Was Won
written by Libby Mercer
published by Libby Mercer, 2016

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazoniBooks, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book? 
I did like this. It was a cute, quick read. This isn’t some deep novel with hidden meanings and plot twists. This is exactly what it promises to be–light, fun, and a little predictable. Heading to the beach this summer? Grab this book for an afternoon distraction. The characters were likable and the plot was (somewhat) believable.

 

Would I recommend it? I would recommend this to anyone looking for some light, no stress reading. Would I talk to random strangers about how awesome this book is? Probably not. But if you are debating picking this up–I say go for it! You won’t regret it!

 

jaclyn

 

About the book – from Goodreads: Whoever heard of a white knight showing up in a pair of old, scuffed cowboy boots?

She may be smart as a whip, but Meg West’s co-op is in a heap of financial trouble. When sexy and rugged cattle rancher, Dutch Hargrave, makes her a job offer, the vegetarian California girl can’t afford to refuse. And quite frankly, she hasn’t got the strength to turn down a man with a slow, Texan drawl that makes her toes curl.

Enlisting the help of the feisty bombshell is the answer to Dutch’s prayers—and his fantasies. Meg has the professional know-how to help lead his ranch into the 21st Century.

Before long, Meg and Dutch are as busy as a stump-tailed bull in fly season, working around the clock trying to preserve Dutch’s heritage. But while the grueling work brings them closer together, the heat on the ranch starts to rise. Will Dutch find a way to win over Meg West while saving his family’s farm?

 

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Melissa’s Review: What We Leave Behind by Matthew Alan

What We Leave BehindWhat We Leave Behind
written by Matthew Alan
published by Createspace, 2014

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
No, but in my defense I likely should not have tried to read it while on vacation.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

Here’s a synopsis: Jane undergoes scores of tragic, stereotypical events and becomes a strong, beautiful, selfless, wonderful, amazingly loving person with no flaws. Then, she dies. It’s depressingly predictable. Maybe if I’d have read this while PMSing after just having been dumped I might have enjoyed it more. Maybe.

Would I recommend it: No.

Melissa


About the book – from Goodreads: 
What We Leave Behind – A story about struggle, a story of hope, and mostly, a story about love. A journey with a unique young girl who is so sure of what is out there waiting for her, that she never compromises her belief in finding it. Jane Rawley Solomon’s humor, character, and passion for others, serve as a reminder that we choose our own path to happiness, regardless of the events that impact our lives.

 

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