Thursday, February 28, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: To Trust a Thief by Michelle McLean

To Trust a Thief by Michelle McLean
Publisher: Entangled Publishing (Scandalous)
Publish Date: January 21, 2013
eBook, 267 pages
Fiction, Historical Romance
 ISBN: 9781622668663

My Review:
To Trust a Thief is quite a delightful book. Not only does the plot draw you right into the book from the start with the mysterious necklace but then both the main characters shine and make you really care about the story.  I loved both aspects of this book.

The story starts out with a bang introducing us to the characters and then starts developing the characters.  I really like that it dives right in and involves the reader in the story.  I was enthralled and couldn't stop reading and then as I got to know Min and Bryant I could not stop reading.  Min's character is so fun.  She's a klutz and amusing and not a typical debutante.  I like her attitude and spunk.  Bryant is handsome and mysterious and I like how he feels about Min and how he falls for her.  His build up is interesting and really adds to the story line.  The secondary characters also add to the story and make this a great read just from the character standpoint.

The plot is wonderful and a great mystery.  The hunt for the necklace really adds to the romance and the characters of the book and makes the conflict in the romance very interesting.  Ms. McLean does an excellent job in weaving this plot.

An excellent historical romance romp for lovers of the genre.  Add in the bit of mystery and it's a wonderful exciting read.  I can't wait to read more from Ms. McLean in the future!

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:

Minuette Sinclair's parents are in trouble and her fake fiancé is too. A legendary lost necklace might be their salvation, and Min is determined to find it and use it to buy her family and fiancé out of their misfortunes.

Master thief Bryant Westley is also looking for the fabled necklace. He knows Min’s got information he can use so he poses as her dance instructor and tries to seduce it from her. What he doesn’t count on are his feelings for her. He offers to partner up in the search – even though she is a distraction he can’t afford.

Things become more complicated when Min realizes that her convenient engagement means more to her fake fiancé than her and that she’s fallen in love with Bryant. Bryant realizes that he can’t double cross the young lady he’s come to love. Can they find the necklace together and admit their love before it’s too late?

About the Author (from 
Michelle is the author of historical and paranormal romances, including TO TRUST A THIEF (Entangled Scandalous Jan 2013), a historical trilogy, BLOOD BLADE SISTERS (Entangled Scandalous 2013), and a zombie fairy tale retelling WISH UPON A STAR (Entangled Ever After Oct 2013). She is also the author of the educational non-fiction book HOMEWORK HELPERS: ESSAYS AND TERM PAPERS.

Michelle has a B.S. in History, a M.A. in English, and tends to be a bit of an overly organized mess with an insatiable love of books and more weird quirks than you can shake a stick at. She is also a contributor on The Naked Hero, and the Operation Awesome, Scene 13, and Scandalous book blogs as well as maintaining her personal blog.

If she's not editing, reading or chasing her kids around, she can usually be found in a quiet corner working on her next book. Michelle resides in PA with her husband and two young children, an insanely hyper dog, and two very spoiled cats.


Thanks to the publicist at Entangled I have one copy of To Trust a Thief in ebook format to give to one lucky winner.  Open Internationally, ends 3/8.

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FTC Information: I received this book from the publisher for an honest review. 

Cover Reveal: Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry (Entangled Teen)

Today I'm very excited to bring you the cover reveal for Out of Play by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry, a new title due out from Entangled Teen in August.  And judging from this cover, I can't wait to read the book!

About Out of Play

Rock star drummer Bishop Riley doesn't have a problem.  
Celebrities—especially ones suffering from anxiety—deserve to party, right? Wrong. After taking a few too many pills, Bishop wakes up in the hospital facing an intervention. If he wants to stay in the band, he’ll have to detox while under house arrest in Seldon, Alaska.

Hockey player Penny Jones can't imagine a life outside of Seldon. Though she has tons of scholarship offers, the last thing she wants is to leave. Who'll take care of her absent-minded gramps? Not her mother, who can’t even be bothered with the new tenants next door.

Penny’s too hung up on another guy to deal with Bishop’s crappy attitude, and Bishop’s too busy sneaking pills to care. Until he starts hanging out with Gramps. If Bishop wants a chance with the fiery girl next door, he’ll have to admit he has a problem and kick it. Too bad addiction is hard to kick…and Bishop’s about to run out of time.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop Hosted by I Am a Reader Not a Writer and Jinky is Reading.

For my giveaway I have one brand new copy of Reckless by S.C. Stephens, yes you know you want this, it's coming out next Tuesday so you would have it just a few days after it comes out.  And as an added bonus, if you haven't started this series, I have an ARC of Thoughtless and a finished copy of Effortless to go with it so you can read the whole series.  Only read Thoughtless, then you can have Effortless and Reckless, you understand how this works.  Again the only ARC is Effortless the first book, the other two are finished copies just like you would buy at the book store.  So enter away.  Open to US/Canada only (sorry, but funds are limited) and this runs Feb. 28 - March 7th.  I'll mail out by March 11th barring children and my sickness that would limit me getting to the post office :) 

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Book Review & Giveaway: Hysteria by Megan Miranda

 Hysteria by Megan Miranda
Publisher: Walkers Children
Publish Date: February 5, 2013
Hardcover, 336 pages
Fiction, Young Adult
 ISBN: 9780802723109

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

My Review:
I found Hysteria to be very intriguing.  I enjoyed reading it and liked Mallory as a character.  I knew something was up and something was going to happen and was entralled enough to keep reading and find out.

The beginning may seem a little disjointed and confusing, but I believe that is what the author intended.  I am personally glad that I kept reading because it was all worth it in the end when it all finally made sense.  The more I think about it the more I really like how the author did it.  So if you find yourself a little bogged down, keep reading, the book is definitely worth it.  The author works her magic to get to the end and really shows how a psychological thriller is done on the YA scale.

The characters are interesting and varied.  Some are your typical boarding school fare and some break the mold.  I love Mallory and Reid.  I love Mallory even though you are never sure of what happened that night with Brian.  I like her because I want to know what happened.  I also like Reid despite never being quite sure of him.  There is just mystery all around in Hysteria and you will just have to read it to see.  The characters and plot are interwoven masterfully and in such a way that draws the reader in.  The more I read the more I had to read and I eventually couldn't put it down.

If you are looking for a great YA psychological thriller then Megan Miranda's Hysteria can provide it.  You will be turning pages late into the night trying to figure out what exactly is going on in Mallory's life and at Monroe.  I know I did and now I wish it wasn't over.  I actually want to go back again and read it for clues.  Like going back to watch The Sixth Sense after you know the ending to see the clues all along.  I'm not sure they are there in Hysteria, because of the way it's written, but I loved the book enough to read it again for the nuances.  So check it out, if you haven't read Megan Miranda you may just find you a new favorite author.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:

Mallory killed her boyfriend, Brian. She can't remember the details of that night but everyone knows it was self-defense, so she isn't charged. But Mallory still feels Brian's presence in her life. Is it all in her head? Or is it something more? In desperate need of a fresh start, Mallory is sent to Monroe, a fancy prep school where no one knows her . . . or anything about her past.But the feeling follows her, as do her secrets. Then, one of her new classmates turns up dead. As suspicion falls on Mallory, she must find a way to remember the details of both deadly nights so she can prove her innocence-to herself and others.

In another riveting tale of life and death, Megan Miranda's masterful storytelling brings readers along for a ride to the edge of sanity and back again.

About the Author (from 
Megan is a scientist - turned - teacher - turned - stay-at-home-mom - turned - writer. She is not nearly as indecisive as she sounds. She lives near Charlotte, North Carolina, where she volunteers as an MIT Educational Counselor, does the mom thing by day, and writes by night.

Her first novel, FRACTURE, was published in January 2012 by Walker/Bloomsbury. HYSTERIA, a YA psychological thriller, will be published in February 2013. VENGEANCE, a companion/sequel to FRACTURE, will follow in 2014.


Buy the book by clicking on any of these links

Thanks to the publisher I have one copy of Hysteria to giveaway.  Open to US only.  Ends 3/6/13.  Enter using the Rafflecopter below.

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***I received this book from through Teen Book Scene for an honest review.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository, Alibris and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.  ***

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Book Review: Hidden by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast

Hidden by P.C. and Kristin Cast
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publish Date: October 16, 2012
Hardcover, 320 pages
Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal
 ISBN: 9780312594428
House of Night #9

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

My Review:
I know a lot of controversy surrounds this series of books. Some don't like that a certain word is used in it. I'm not fond of it and it's a word I instruct my children not to use. Some do not like the language in it. Some do not like the sex in it. Some think this series has gotten a little tired. Well I'm still reading it and after reading Hidden, Book#10, I will also be reading Book #11 when it comes out. I also read the side stories so as soon as my library has Neferet's Curse I will be reading it as well. I like this series. I am firmly invested in the characters and the storyline. Is some of it repetitive? Maybe, but I usually have enough time between books that I don't really care. I read for entertainment and the House of Night books are different to me and they entertain me with their host of paranormal creatures and the various difficulties that Zoey and her "nerd herd" must overcome book after book.

In Hidden, it has finally been revealed that Neferet has gone over to the side of evil and Zoey and her crew really have to step up. Especially because now Neferet has upped the stakes. The book moves fast. The repartee is entertaining as always and I really enjoyed the new character Shaylin who was introduced in the last book and further explored in Hidden. Aphrodite is as always entertaining but she, Zoey and Shaylin grow the most in this book, they are having to learn to use their powers for good to help with the problem that faces them and that is the focus of the book. I enjoyed it. There were a few surprises and some things that worried me. But all-in-all, it seems to all be fine, but of course, there is an ending that is open leading to the next book.

But there is growth in the characters, there is action to move the plot along and there is entertainment value. I actually felt this was one of the stronger entries into the series in awhile. I did not want to put it down and there wasn't a lot of lore to bog it down. It was definitely fast-paced, interesting and character-centered. If you enjoy the series, I highly recommend Hidden. While it's not the caliber of the first book, it is returning to that type of book. The authors do a great job on a series that is on it's tenth book. And I hope to continue to enjoy the books for quite awhile.

My Rating: 4.25/5.0

About the Book:

At last, Zoey has what she wanted: the truth is out. Neferet's evil has been exposed, and the High Council is no longer on her side -- but she's far from done wreaking havoc in the vampyre world. First, a mysterious fire ravages the stables. Then, Neferet makes a devastating move that will test them all.
With the seeds of distrust sown and Darkness breeding chaos at the House of Night, everyone must band together -- but that's proving to be more difficult than ever before. The twins are barely speaking and the House of Night's former enemy, Kalona, has now become their warrior, pushing their trust to the limit. To top it off, Zoey is pretty darn sure she might be losing her mind. She saw something when she looked at Aurox through the Seer Stone that she can hardly explain to herself, let alone her friends. Is it possible that Heath has come back in a different form? Is that why Zoey's so intrigued by Aurox, when it's so obvious that he's dangerous? And who would believe her if she told them? Zoey knows that following her instinct about Aurox might be just what they need to defeat evil . . . but if she's wrong, it could cause the destruction of those closest to her.
With the tension at a breaking point and friendships on the line, can the nerd herd come together to stop the spread of Darkness before it's too late?

About the Authors (from 
P.C. Cast was born in the Midwestern United States, and grew up being shuttled back-and-forth between Illinois and Oklahoma, which is where she fell in love with Quarter Horses and mythology (at about the same time). After high school she joined the United States Air Force and began public speaking and writing. With her tour in the USAF completed, she taught high school for 15 years before retiring to write full time. Ms. Cast is a #1 New York Times and USA Today Best-Selling author and a proud member of the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame. Her novels have been awarded the prestigious: Oklahoma Book Award, YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award, the Prism, Holt Medallion, Daphne du Maurier, Booksellers’ Best, and the Laurel Wreath. Her mega-hit young adult series, The House of Night, co-authored with her daughter, Kristin, has transcended the genre and, with over 20 million copies in print, appeals to readers of all ages. Ms. Cast's young adult, paranormal romance, and fantasy series can currently be found in forty-two countries. Ms. Cast lives in Oklahoma with an assortment of dogs, cats, horses, and one precocious burro.

At 19-years-old, Kristin is thrilled to be coauthoring the YA series, THE HOUSE OF NIGHT, with her mother. The first book in the series will be her first published novel. She has won awards for her poetry, as well as served as journalist for her intermediate high school newspaper, Tiger Tales, and as editor for her high school magazine, Tiger Eye. Kristin attends Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, and is working hard to fulfill her goal of becoming a veterinarian without bankrupting her mother. One of the Scottinators belong to her, although we’re not telling either of the dogs that she’s going to someday be their veterinarian. Kristin would love to hear from her fans, and can also be reached through her mother’s website.



***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  I do make money from purchases made at The Book Depository, Alibris and B&, but all money is used to fund giveaways and shipping for giveaways from the blog.***

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Book Review: Luck of the Draw by Kelley Vitollo

Luck of the Draw by Kelley Vitollo
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publish Date: January 13, 2013
eBook, 149 pages
Fiction, Contemporary Romance
 ISBN: 9781622668144
Shamrock Falls #2

My Review:
After reading Kelley's first book in the Shamrock Falls series I knew I had to read Luck of the Draw.  I had to know Rowan's story.  But if you are coming in and haven't read Lucky Break, don't worry, this book stands on it's own fine.  There is a benefit to reading the first book just because it's a great book as well, but you don't have to read it to read Luck of the Draw.

I loved Rowan in the first book so I knew I would like her in this book and I did.  From the opening scene until the end she entranced me.  I felt everything she felt and understood all of her motivations fully and her feelings as well.  And Breck, what an interesting and scarred man.  He's been hurt, he has a transient lifestyle and he thinks he's not ready to settle down.  But after awhile spent in Rowan's company this all begins to change.  Yes they are both stubborn and yes there are obstacles to overcome.  Yes you will want to beat them over the head, but isn't that what makes a romance.  Well that and the sparks that fly between the characters.

And the sparks do fly.  But I like how things really develop in this book. Yes there is the opening scene, but after that, they become friends and I really like that.  Ms. Vitollo does an amazing job of developing their relationship in this book and giving us a little more insight into Jace and Betsy who I can't wait to read about in the next book.

Romance, friendship, conflict and a surprise from the beginning.  This book is a wonderful heartfelt and happy read that brings us back to the town of Shamrock Falls which I love.  Luck of the Draw was another winner for me and it was a wonderful story that will stay with me for awhile.  In the end it makes you want to go to your loved one (if you have one) and hug them tight and remember how and why you fell in love.  And now I cannot wait for book #3.  Great job Kelley!

My Rating: 5.0/5.0

About the Book:
Rowan McKinley isn’t looking for one wild night while vacationing in Vegas, but she gets it anyway when she meets professional poker player—and professional ladies’ man—Breck Wilder. Breck’s easygoing charm and lighthearted banter draw in the reserved Rowan, and though she’s always dreamed of the kind of forever love her best friends Sidney and Kade share, she’ll settle for one night with the charismatic player.

After their crazy one-night stand, Breck never expected to see the mysterious redhead again. So when he shows up at a Shamrock Falls B&B looking to get away for a few weeks and Rowan answers the door, he’s floored. Breck’s rolling-stone lifestyle and ill-fated history with women means he’s not interested in anything long-term. But the longer he stays at the B&B, the more he considers dropping the poker face and putting all his cards on the table…for Rowan.

 About the Author (from her website): 
Kelley has been writing for as long as she can remember. She won her first writing contest in third grade for an essay she wrote on, “Tomorrow’s Leaders on the Move”. Like dreams sometimes do, they fell to the background for a while. She married her best friend, worked full time, and started her family. In 2004 Kelley, her husband and their new baby girl made a move from Oregon to Southern California and that’s when everything changed. As a stay-at-home mom for the first time, her passion for writing flared to life again.

Things haven’t been the same since.

With two incredible daughters, an awesome husband and her days spent writing what she loves, Kelley considers herself the luckiest girl in the world. She still resides in sunny Southern California, where she loves spending time with her family and sneaking away to the bookstore with her laptop.


FTC Information: I received this book from Entangled Publishing for an honest review.  I do not make money on the B&N or Amazon links given.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: Forbidden Sister by V.C. Andrews

Forbidden Sister by V.C. Andrews
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publish Date: February 26, 2013
Paperback, 432 pages 
also available in Hardback from Gallery Books 
Fiction, General Fiction
 ISBN: 9781439155059

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery
My Review:
I remember finding Flowers in the Attic at the store when I was a teenager and reading through the first 50 pages just standing there (okay my Dad was the manager of the store and I think I was waiting for closing or for my Mom to talk to him or something).  I went on to buy the book and rush through it and the rest of the series.  I also remember sharing it with all my friends.  I think we all did that back in the mid-late 80s or maybe before, I'm not sure when the books came out, but that's when they were a hit with my friends.  So I'm a sucker for a new V.C. Andrews book even though I know she has passed on and they are written by a ghostwriter.  I read one last year and really enjoyed it and I read the cover copy for this one and was really intrigued so I said yes to the review.  And to repeat what I say so often, I'm glad I did.

Forbidden Sister feels like old V.C. Andrews but it isn't the same old storyline revisited.  Yes there are controlling parents, but these are kinder gentler ones, well at least to Emmie who is the center of this story.  I liked Emmie and found myself turning page after page and wanting to pick the book right back up after putting it down.  It was an interesting story.  Separated sisters.  One who chose a life of being an escort or at least that's what Emmie thinks.  Emmie wants to know Roxy and tries to find her, but shies away at the last minute from seeing her.  I won't go into more details because I don't want to spoil the book, but what follows is a very interesting read.  I often wondered where the book was going, but was surprised to find it did go somewhere and found I liked it.

The characters are interesting, the storyline captivating.  I could empathize with both Roxy and Emmie so the story felt real to me.  I truly enjoyed this book and look forward to the next story in this series.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
When Emmie Wilcox, the younger daughter of Norton and Vivian Wilcox, was seven, her father, frustrated with his older daughter Roxanne's misbehavior and defiance, told her to get out. At seventeen, Roxy left. Norton forbid her name be mentioned again and refused to call the police to find her and force her to return. Nearly eight years later, Emmie learns that her sister has become a highpriced New York call girl, living in a fancy hotel only a dozen blocks away. She sets out to spy on her sister and thus sets off a series of events and adventures that nearly tear her fragile family apart.

About the Author: 
One of the most popular authors of all time, V.C. Andrews has been a bestselling phenomenon since the publication of her spellbinding classic Flowers in the Attic. That blockbuster novel began her renowned Dallanganger family saga which includes Petals on the Wind, If There Be Thorns, Seeds of Yesterday and Garden of Shadows. Since then, readers have been captivated by more than sixty novels in V.C. Andrews's bestselling series. Forbidden Sister is the first of two captivating novels featuring the Wilcox sisters, Emmie and Roxy. V.C. Andrews's novels have sold more than 106 million copies and have been translated into twenty-two foreign languages.

Buy Links:



Thanks to the publisher, I have one paperback copy of Forbidden Sister to giveaway.  I will be mailing this so this giveaway is open to US/Canada only.  Simply fill out the Rafflecopter below.  Giveaway ends 2/28/13.

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***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  I do make money on purchases from The Book Depository and any affiliates on this page, but all profits go to help fund giveaways and ship giveaways. Any links to Amazon do not profit me and are here solely to help you find the book.***

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Book Review: Mind Games by Kiersten White

Mind Games by Kiersten White
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publish Date: February 19, 2013
Hardcover, 256 pages
Fiction, Young Adult, Paranormal, Suspense
 ISBN: 9780062135315
Mind Games #1

My Review:

First up, let me say I have not read the Paranormalcy series by Kiersten White, so I have nothing to compare Mind Games to.  Also from my understanding it's best to take that series and Mind Games as two different things because I understand that Paranormalcy is very light and fluffy and Mind Games is anything but.

That out of the way, let's get to what I thought.  I was dying to read this.  I ordered it through Amazon vine and dove into it a week after receiving it and usually my review schedule doesn't allow this, but I made time.  At first it was a little hard to get into.  I couldn't really find the voice of Fia and Annie, not to mention that Fia scared me a little. She seems quite a bit out there to begin with.  But then as the story weaves together moving both forward and backwards in time telling Fia and Annie's story, I really fell into the story and started to love the story and understand Fia much better.  I liked her then.  But it took a little time.  I think the time to like Fia was intentional.  I think the me getting into it was just me.

So once I was really into the book, I could not put it down. What would happen next, what happened in the past. Ms. White did a marvelous job going back and forth and distinguishing between the two well enough to keep you enthralled and entertained.  The pieces start to come together and you can't turn the pages fast enough.  The ending starts coming and you wonder how she could tie it up in so few pages left, but she does.  No spoilers, but wow.  What a book.

Annie and Fia are great as sisters and they aren't lovey-dovey sisters no matter what they have been through and I like that. Ms. White made them real.  They fight, they have problems, but in the end they care about each other and love each other no matter what is said or done.  I like them and liked getting to know them.  The story that surrounds them.  Wow, it's well-crafted, and well-woven because I was blown away by how it all evolved through the book.  Great suspense, very twisty, very good.

If you enjoy your YA dark then this is a book for you. If you enjoy suspense this is a book for you. If you like to think and try and figure out what is going on then this is definitely a book for you, though I must warn you, I tried, and did not fully succeed, but thankfully Ms. White mostly explained all by the end . . .

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
Fia was born with flawless instincts. Her first impulse, her gut feeling, is always exactly right. Her sister, Annie, is blind to the world around her—except when her mind is gripped by strange visions of the future.

Trapped in a school that uses girls with extraordinary powers as tools for corporate espionage, Annie and Fia are forced to choose over and over between using their abilities in twisted, unthinkable ways… or risking each other’s lives by refusing to obey.

In a stunning departure from her New York Times bestselling Paranormalcy trilogy, Kiersten White delivers a slick, edgy, heartstoppingly intense psychological thriller about two sisters determined to protect each other—no matter the cost.

About the Author (from 
Hi! I'm the New York Times best-selling author of Paranormalcy and Supernaturally. I also give the most awkward hugs in the world. You should probably opt for one of my books over one of my hugs, but then again, maybe you like awkward hugs.

As for me, I like writing flirting scenes, and fighting scenes, and sometimes I write scenes that fall somewhere in between the two, but only if I can't avoid it.


***I received this book from the Amazon Vine Program for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Monday, February 18, 2013

Book Review: Temptation by Kathryn Barrett

Temptation by Kathryn Barrett
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Publish Date: February 2013
eBook, 336 pages
Fiction, Romance, Amish meets Hollywood
 ISBN: 9781622669615

My Review:
If you have been reading my blog this year you may have noticed my love of Entangled Publishing books.  Their publicists are awesome at selling you on their books.  And then after you read a few all I have to do is get an email from a publicist I know is from Entangled, glance through and make sure it's a type of book I read and then I quickly shoot back an email and beg for the book. Entangled is really a great publishing house and is really being noticed.  And I am thrilled. It's fun to have followed them since almost the beginning and see how they have grown.  I honestly want to read all of their books and try to get as many of them for review as I can.  So the other day I was going through Netgalley and Temptation caught my eye.  Hmmm, I hadn't gotten a note on that one, but the premise is interesting, so I requested it, got it and read it over the weekend.  And the verdict, another winner for Entangled.

So to the actual book.  I have read Amish fiction on and off for several years now and really enjoy it, but let me tell you if you shy away from it, this is not your typical Amish fiction novel.  It's called Temptation for a reason.  But don't let that scare you either.  I felt that Ms. Barrett handled a tough and interesting situation very well.  What you have is a woman who is an actress, but basically, Laura is a good woman, she wants to be an actress but she wants to escape from some of the trapping of her life (her mother for one, and some other leeches on her life as well) and while she is making a movie focused on an Amish character she finds peace in a house she buys and the people around her even though they don't always like her.  And she finds Jacob, an attractive Amish widower with a child and a mother who is facing his own battles within himself as well.  Of course the sparks fly between the two of them, but Jacob is strong in his faith and tries to stay away from Laura.  I won't give much else away, but a lot of the book is a struggle.  I had a hard time reading at times because I could feel the struggle of both characters, more of Jacob's.  At times I felt that Laura thought things were too easy, but as the book progressed she grew and I became less frustrated with her.

I loved the characters.  Even with my frustration with Laura, I really liked her. She had a good heart, she was just trying to find her way.  And in Hollywood today we know that can be so hard.  Jacob I truly admired for his battle between his heart, mind and his faith.  I found some of the Amish to be so strict but I understand they have to be that way.  But I loved the Bishop and his gentle way.  He was one of those guiding leaders that taught by instructing to follow what was in your heart and let God guide you.  He never seemed judgmental and I really liked him and I really like how things work out with him.

Temptation is truly a different type of romance and Amish book. I applaud Ms. Barrett for writing it.  I truly enjoyed it the whole time I was reading it because I didn't know what would happen. It truly felt real, the struggles were tough and they meant something to the characters.  They weren't whims that they could just decide on and not care the next day.  They were deep decisions not to be taken lightly.  It was a fascinating story and I am really glad I found it and read it. I highly recommend anyone who enjoys reading about the Amish and reading a good romance (warning again this is not your typical Amish romance, it involves an Englisher involved with an Amish).  It's not hot and steamy throughout, but let's just say it can get interesting in a good way ;)  I'll end this review with a simple well done Ms. Barrett.

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:
Laura Hayes has been acting since she was an infant, making Hollywood the only home she has ever known. But when she moves to Pennsylvania's Amish country to film her next movie, she discovers there's more to life than a pair of Jimmy Choos and a Marie Claire cover.

Intrigued by the Amish simplicity, she's soon gardening and baking plum pies—and enjoying it. And when her neighbor turns out to be the local heartthrob and a talented furniture maker, she realizes that what's missing from her life might be the love of a good man—not to mention the perfect heirloom tomato.

Jacob fights the urge to question the teachings of his Amish beliefs—despite his desire to create furniture that is beautiful as well as useful—and struggles with his longing for the sexy stranger who makes him feel truly alive for the first time. As his attraction grows, so do his doubts, until he's forced to face temptation and decide once and for all what is truly worth the fight.

The Trailer:

About the Author (from 
Kathryn Barrett reluctantly put aside childhood dreams of becoming an author and took a more practical approach, majoring in Business Administration in college. But after marrying an Air Force officer, she realized a career in high finance didn’t suit an itinerant lifestyle. She happily returned to her first love, writing stories that feature larger-than-life characters, family relationships, and of course, a happy ending.

Having lived all over the United States, Kathryn and her family now live in England, just outside London. She enjoys walking her dog in the Chiltern hills and exploring crumbling castles, and only occasionally reads the Financial Times.


***I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway Link: Easter Bunny Murder by Leslie Meier

Easter Bunny Murder by Leslie Meier
Publisher: Kensington
Publish Date: January 29, 2013
Hardcover, 256 pages
Fiction, Mystery, Cozy

 ISBN: 9780758229359
A Lucy Stone Mystery #19

My Review:
This was my first Leslie Meier Lucy Stone mystery and it won't be my last.  Even though I started with book #19 I didn't see it as a problem.  Yes I would have known a little more about the characters if I would have read the previous 18 books, but since this is a mystery and the books are focused on the mystery plot it wasn't too much of a problem coming into book #19 and learning the characters on the fly.  I felt like Ms. Meier gives good background into each of the main characters so that I never felt lost in Easter Bunny Murder and that it felt like a stand-alone.  With that being said, after finishing this one, I want to go forward with the series as new books are released and also read from the beginning of te series as well.

The plot starts as the annual Easter Egg hunt seems to be a no-go and a man dies in front of everyone on the lawn of prestigious Pine Point.  Lucy, the main character of this series, is a reporter for the local paper which is just a weekly and she mainly handles features not investigative reporting, but she just can't seem to help herself and she has to get to the bottom of what is going on at the local mansion and what is happening to resident millionaire VV.  This starts the book and her sleuthing. With the help of others in the town, Lucy starts to get to the bottom of things.  I like this book because she doesn't seem to always be in danger like in some books.  This was what I really think of as a cozy mystery.  She's solving the crime, but kind of out-of-the-way.  But as she gets closer and closer things get more and more interesting.

I was drawn in by Lucy and her friends and the other people that populate the town.  I love small town settings, I'm from a small town.  I'm familiar with knowing most everyone and having everyone know your business.  I like how Lucy is proper and nice and tries to go about solving the murders in a way that doesn't hurt anyone.  She's just a nice lady.  I also like the slices of her family life that are shown.  The mystery was interesting and it kept me guessing.  By the end I was able to see the clues that were there, but I missed them when I read, so that was good.  Some may find it predictable but I didn't.  I found it to be a very enjoyable read.

Over the last year I have started to read more and more cozy mysteries and I am glad I got the chance to try out Leslie Meier.  The Lucy Stone series has great promise for me and I look forward to reading more books in the series.  Easter Bunny Murder was a strong entry in the series at least for me, but I have nothing so far to judge it against.  It was an enjoyable read, fit the full bill of a cozy for me and kept me entertained for hours.  I found it hard to put down and it was another book I found easy to read even with life and TV going on around me.  I felt like I was right in the middle of the chaos and mystery that surrounded Lucy.  I also loved the Easter theme, and Lucy's grandson Patrick,  he reminded me of my boys when they were just a little smaller.  Kudos to Ms. Meier on a job well done! 

My Rating: 4.5/5.0

About the Book:

Lucy Stone’s on the hunt for a killer with a deadly case of spring fever…

Spring has sprung in Tinker’s Cove, and Lucy Stone has a mile-long to-do list. From painting eggs with her grandson, to preparing the perfect Easter feast, to reviving her garden after a long, cold winter, she hardly has time to hunt for a killer with a deadly case of spring fever… 

Lucy has always loved covering the annual Easter egg hunt for the Pennysaver. Hosted by elderly socialite Vivian Van Vorst at Pine Point, her luxurious oceanfront estate, it’s a swanky event where the grown-ups sip cocktails while their children search for eggs that are as likely to contain savings bonds as they are jelly beans. But when Lucy arrives with her three-year-old grandson, VV’s normally welcoming gates are locked, and a man dressed as the Easter Bunny emerges only to drop dead moments later…

Lucy discovers that the victim is Van Vorst Duff, VV’s grandson, and soon learns that not all is as it seems at idyllic Pine Point, where the champagne and caviar seem to be running dry. Always a social butterfly, VV has been skipping lunch dates with friends, and her much-needed donations to local charities have stopped with no explanation. Maybe she’s going senile, or maybe her heirs are getting a little too anxious to take over her estate…

As Lucy gathers a basketful of suspects, she’s convinced someone’s been hunting for a lot more than eggs, and she’ll have to chase the truth down a rabbit hole before the killer claims another victim…

About the Author: 
LESLIE MEIER is the acclaimed author of eighteen Lucy Stone mysteries and has also written for Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine. She is currently at work on the next Lucy Stone mystery coming in October 2013.


Giveaway (Click to go to the site to enter)

***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  ***