Monday, April 10, 2017

Book Review: Spring at Blueberry Bay

10/10 for Spring at Blueberry Bay by Holly Martin

Welcome to beautiful Hope Island where the sea sparkles, the daffodils are blooming and a blossoming romance is just around the corner…  
Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined…  
But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman.  
Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again? 

I'm absolutely honoured and excited to have been asked to be part of another awesome blog tour!
Today is the first day of a week filled with reviews and I'm ecstatic to be part of it together with a bunch of other awesome bloggers.

Also sharing their review today are the following bloggers: Hummingbird Reviews, Star Crossed Reviews, M's Bookshelf & Shaz's Book Blog

Every time Holly announces a book I get this little tingle of excitement! She has proven along the way that she has great skill and her stories never fail to brighten up my day. Spring at Blueberry Bay is no exception.

We enter Hope Island, which is as picturesque as it sounds. A town filled with friendly islanders and beautiful cottages. The way it is described makes me want to pack my bags and go there immediately!

This time we meet with Bella and Isaac.
Isaac is the big CEO of some very important companies in the big city and also the founder of a charity called 'The Umbrella Foundation'. Having moved his charity's base to Hope Island he is spending a lot of time there.
After a rollercoaster of events Bella starts working for him. But is it really smart to be working with a woman he is so incredibly attracted to and wants to take advantage of every chance he gets?

When we meet Bella she is struggling a little. Having lost her previous job and very short on money, things aren't looking good. When a strange man stands outside her house, she is a little wary of him. She invites the homeless man in and her kindness soon pays off.
After applying for a job at the Umbrella Foundation and finding out that her new future boss is not who she expected to be, things really start to pick up.
Bella feels attracted to Isaac and she knows the two of them have this rare connection that only happens to a lucky few.

Bella and Isaac are inevitably drawn to each other and as they try to hide their blooming relationship from the people at work and on the island - which they fail at miserably - it becomes clear that they're both holding back. Their connection is one of a kind but they both have to deal with some issues they have to get over with.
Especially Bella who has built walls around her heart so high that it's almost impossible to get through to her. Clouded by her past, she struggles to truly believe that this might be love in its purest form. Can the two of them find a way to get over all of this and will Bella let herself finally explore what real love is?

* * *

Spring at Blueberry Bay is absolutely perfect! I am racking my brain to see if maybe I missed something because as far as I am concerned this story has no fault!

The two main characters Isaac and Bella were well thought out and had real depth, which reflected in the story. Bella has this really great family behind her and I'm really looking forward to find out more about Bella's siblings when they get their turn in their very own story.
As a character she really showed development and that made her even more interesting to me.

Isaac, too, has captured my heart. He is absolutely swoon-worthy and has the kindest heart around. He's like the perfect guy put onto paper and I kinda wish I knew him in real life!
He is everything you want for your main hero to be in a story like this and you were routing for him from the beginning. Actually, I was routing for both of them from the beginning until the very last page. 

I'm running out of things to say because what can you say about a perfect book. All I can do is tell you to go read it and find out for yourself. You will not be sorry!
This book simply had everything I want and need from a story. And it is filled with Holly's greatest writing skills. I'm sure I've mentioned them many times before as we've been blessed with many of her great tales but let me, for good measure, sum them up once more. 
Iiiiiiiiiiiit's supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!
All joking aside....what more could you want from a book then: characters with awesome and interesting jobs, thrilling chemistry, hot scenes, a lot of laughter and packed full of beautiful friendship. I really don't think you could ask for more?!

I just want to squeeze myself in this story and be a part of it! That's how perfect it is!

Check out everyone elses reviews:

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Book review: We Were on a Break

6/10 for We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk

Is it a break? Or is it a blip? 'You've just had a holiday,' I pointed out, trying not to yawn. 'Wasn't that enough of a break?' 'I don't mean that kind of break.' There's nothing worse than the last day of holiday. Oh wait, there is. When what should have been a proposal turns into a break, Liv and Adam find themselves on opposite sides of the life they had mapped out. Friends and family all think they're crazy; Liv throws herself into work - animals are so much simpler than humans - and Adam tries to get himself out of the hole he's dug. But as the short break becomes a chasm, can they find a way back to each other? Most importantly, do they want to?
Source: goodreads 

Over the years Lindsey Kelk has graced us with some brilliant stories and smashing, laugh out loud tales. So when I heard about We Were on a Break, the title in itself being genius, I was itching to get my hands on it!!

We meet with Liv and Adam. A story told through both their eyes.
Liv is on edge as she knows that her longterm boyfriend is about to propose to her on their Mexican getaway. But when things don't go as planned everything else also seems to topple down too and before either of them really know what happened they are on a break.
Only, if they thought the break would slow things down a little and allow them to assess things peacefully and quietly then they were wrong.

Not only is Adam under immense pressure with a new job he's acquired, he's also in constant battle to keep his brother and his entire family happy. Adding the fact that this new job also introduces him to another woman. A super model lookalike who's shamelessly flirting with him.
Adam, already confused about the entire situation, feels drawn to this beautiful newcomer and all of a sudden life doesn't seem so black and white anymore.

Liv on the other hand is blown away by all that is happening in her life. Now that her dad has thrown her a surprise, she feels like everyone else has decided how her life should go. Struggling to make sense of everything and feeling the pressure of everyone else's expectations, she feels like it's too much. When on top of that she spots Adam with a woman that looks like a Victoria Secrets' model everything goes slightly haywire.

Can these two find their way back to each other even when it seems that there were more issues than they both knew? And if they can, is it still worth salvaging in the first place?

I've been a fan of Lindsey Kelk for years. She had made me laugh and snort out loud on many occasions and had me yelling at her characters more than I'd like to admit.
We Were on a Break, as brilliant as the title may sound, lacked a little of that magic for me. I didn't get that typical feeling when reading a Kelk book. Usually I'm hooked from beginning to end and feel as if the characters are part of my own friend group/family. This time the story left me a little indifferent to the characters and the plot. It's made this story fall a little flat.

I also think I would've liked it with a different sort of ending (no spoilers, promised). I felt it was a little rushed, maybe even misplaced, but this ending just didn't sit right with me. I didn't feel like the issues had been resolved but more brushed under the carpet.
But most of all, I missed the suspense of wanting to find out what'd happen next. The heat, the chemistry, the things that get me hooked. And most of all: the laughter.

It was okay but I wish it had been so much more!


Friday, March 17, 2017

Flash Review: How To Be A Woman

5/10 for How To Be A Woman by Caitlin Moran 
Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant talk about babies? And do men secretly hate them? Caitlin Moran interweaves provocative observations on women's lives with laugh-out-loud funny scenes from her own, from adolescence to her development as a writer, wife, and mother.

I struggle with this one because I'm not quite sure how I feel about this. It wasn't bad but it wasn't mindblowing either.
This book had a few very good bits and there were definitely a few key points in which I felt myself scream in agreement. YOU GO CAITLIN MORAN, 4 FOR YOU GLEN COCO!
And then there were bits where I sighed, rolled my eyes and wished for the book to pick up already.
I think I struggled a lot with the memoirs. Some of them really underbuild a point or were a good build-up to a next chapter etc. Other parts seemed to be unnecessary.

The fact that I felt this book existed more out of memoir than feministic pamphlet - as described by many people around - is probably why I struggled.
Some books just come with certain expectations (created by the public/publisher/writer/my mother/....), completely out of their own power. But sadly, sometimes that's when it can't live up to what's expected.
It feels like this was the case with this one....

On the plus side, I definitely had a few laugh out loud moments.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Book Review: A Winter Affair

4 out of 10 for A Winter Affair by Minna Howard

With a recent divorce and empty nest Eloise Brandon is facing Christmas alone until a harried phone call from her godfather changes everything.

Accepting his challenge, Eloise finds herself en-route to Verbier and to her godfathers chalet in the beautiful Swiss Alps to help cater for some seriously rich, high rolling guests.

What ensues makes it a Christmas to remember. A heady alpine mixture of old friends, ex-husbands, mega-rich, super demanding guests, a dishevelled proprietor and Bert the dog.
Source: Goodreads 

I was sent a review copy through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I don't know where to start. I am still so confused about this. What sort of story was this supposed to be?
I feel like a part of it was accidentally deleted during publishing....
In any case, it was definitely too rushed.

The book seems to exist out of a long build up, filled with stuff that felt more like background details rather than actual content.
The ending, if you could even call it that, was rushed and lacked sophistication. It was such a disappointment to read chapter after chapter and wondering when the story would actually pick, only for it to finish before it could.
I mean, the flirting hadn't even begun yet and all of a sudden they're in love?
Maybe I missed it? I definitely didn't find it and I'm pretty sure it wasn't in between the lines either.

I mean, I could've forgiven it if the rest of the story wasn't so....bland.
Eloise wasn't a great main character for me either. Constantly second guessing, doubting and overreacting. Most of all, constantly repeating herself to the point where I rolled my eyes at her! The same old issues over and over again until they became a bore to read!
It's not like it's an unrealistic character, I'm sure there's plenty of people out there (myself included), but that's the thing...she was too realistic.
We need our female protagonists to show strength.
But Eloise, whenever she did act and proved resilience, strength, growth, character and an actual spine, she immediately retreated back putting herself down.

It was a cute cover and a promising title but that's all it was.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

2016 review wrap-up

These reviews have been long overdue!
I let them drag on too long and now that 2017 has started, I seriously needed to wrap up the ones that had still been waiting around for me to type them up.
My last three flash reviews of 2016 (even though we're already 2 weeks well into 2017) are finally here! All stories were provided to me through Netgalley

The killing game by J.S. Carol
I expected to be on the edge of my seat throughout this entire story. Though at moments this was definitely the case, I didn't feel the urgency to get back to the book whenever I had to put it down.
That's not what you want with a thriller (or any book for that matter). There's a mulitude of different point of views in this and it has positive and negative consequences. It gave a broader perspective of the situation and this story definitely needed this. This story couldn't have existed without the different point of views. Sometimes breaking up in small cliffhangers helps build up the tension but I felt that in this case it did the opposite. It broke the tension for me, making it fall flat.
I had high expectations for this one but maybe I expected too much?

Paper Hearts, Volume 2: Some publishing advice by Beth Revis
I return to Paper Hearts with the 2nd volume and already have high hopes for this installment. As an aspiring writer it is the publishing part that is like a mysterious world. But Revis pulls me through the wardrobe an reveals this publishing Narnia in a clear way, filled with comments, explanations and advice.
Volume 1 had already felt a little like picking up grandma's cooking book, filled with tips and tricks, but this one's even better! Revis provides us with a broad view of ways to get your book published an touches upon the different ways to do that. She compares pros and cons and keeps her advise as clear and honest as possible. It made me feel like anything was possible.
This volume is incredibly useful and though volume 1 provided some good help, Most importantly, advise that I understand, a complicated world broken up in easy chunks. Almost like a guideline, if not a lifeline. I feel that with this one I finally have the tools to help me get on.

In this Revis doesn't preach or tell you which path to chose but explains what either road entails and how it would suit you. She remains neutral and unbiased, pointing out what did and didn't work for her. Quite refreshing in comparison with others who scream that everyone should do it their way.
The only wrong I could find with this entire volume was that she often repeated herself in the section of self publishing. At some point, I even doutbed if I'd gone back to the wrong page.
Aside from that, I think I have found my personal bible and I'm pretty sure I'll be using this for future reference a lot.

One Christmas in Paris by Mandy Baggot
This story was absolutely adorable!
How I loved spending time in wintery Paris accompanied by Ava ad Julien. For starters, I liked every single character that appeared (even the annoying mother).
Ava was an interesting main character that steared clear of the cliches. Her unique traits add to the charm of this book.
As we're on the subject of charm...let's talk about ouur handsome lead shall we? Mr Julien Fitoussi.
Where do I sign up to be shown around Paris by him? Filled with beautiful places and delicious food, it would be an amazing adventure!
Of course, magic isn't made with two main characters, uplifting side characters and a beautiful setting alone - though it helps. Mandy Baggot has a way of writing that makes her characters come alive and the story pop off the page. I have loved every second with this story and was sad to say my friends goodbye. Let's hope we'll get to reunite with them once more at some point?

I hope everyone has had a great Christmas break, spend the holidays with their family and started 2017 with a bang. There'll (hopefully) be more from me in 2017!!!