Random House Bingo Challenge

I have recently discovered that Random House has started a Book Bingo Challenge, which I thought was fantastically interesting fun! I decided to post the bingo card here and track what books I manage to read. Anything in bold is what I’ve filled, and anything crossed off are completed “BINGO!” as I managed to get my first line just the other day. Are you going to play Book Bingo too?

Reading-Bingo

1.B) Choose because of the cover – Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly
1.I) Saw someone reading –
1.N) Help with your career – ‘Set by Luke Walker
1.G) Saw on TV –
1.O) Animal on the cover – Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
2.B) From the library – Smart Girls Think Twice by Cathie Linz
2.I) Out of your Comfort Zone – Platinum by Jeffe Kennedy
2.N) Award Winning – The Downfall of a Good Girl by Kimberly Lang
2.G) Recommended by local bookseller – Goodnight Tweetheart by Teresa Medeiros
2.O) Young adult novel – Cursed by Jennifer L Armentrout
3.B) Been on your shelf over five years – Mandie and the Midnight Journey – Lois Gladys Leppard
3.I) Someone recommends to you –
3.N) *
3.G) With a great first line –
3.O) Written by a celebrity –
4.B) More than 400 pages –
4.I) Book of Poetry –
4.N) Heard about on the radio –
4.G) Has pictures –
4.O) Recommended by your barista –
5.B) Recommended by a celebrity –
5.I) By a Canadian author – The Calling by Kelley Armstrong
5.N) Have or should have read in high school –
5.G) Would have picked up as a teenager – Stand In Star by Rachael Johns
5.O) “Everyone” but you has read –

WWW Wednesday (Jan-5)

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  All you have to do is answer these 3 questions: 

1. What did you recently finish reading?

2. What are you currently reading?

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

I am finished reading “Smart Girls Think Twice ” by Cathie Linz
I am reading “’Set” by Luke Walker
I am next reading “The Prophet’s Dreams ” by David Pilling & Martin Bolton

Teaser Tuesday (Jan-5)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts

“You’re nearly always cheerful, optimistic, and good-natured even when you bitch.”

“You’re not a slob. You’re just a bit relaxed with your personal space.” 

Book Review: Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly

waking up marriedSynopsis: Megan planned to live her life free of men and the faulty relationships they cause, intending to get IVF to have a child and raise it alone. But after her cousin’s bachelorette and a lot of liquor, Megan wakes up married. And the biggest surprise: he refuses to get a divorce.

Cover: The image on this book is bright and energetic; I love it. Harlequin Kiss’ logo bar in an eye-catching fuchsia contrasts nicely with the orange, lime, and aqua tones of the photograph. The blond, giggling girl beside the proverbial tall-dark-and-handsome man gives it a great sense of flirty fun.

Publisher: Harlequin may not be one of the “big six” in publishing, but it is the leading company for women’s fiction –particularly romances. The company has over a dozen lines, from non-fiction to inspirational to teen to paranormal to… You get the idea. But as of February of this year they are rolling out a new line called Harlequin Kiss with bold, fresh, contemporary novels.

Writing Style: The tone of this book was very much like a conversation with your gal pals; it has a vibe not unlike getting together with your besties for coffee. There were moments of clichéd speech between the hero and heroine, but for the most part the novel really did have a “fresh” feel to it while still maintaining the usual overall aesthetic that you find in a Harlequin.

Hook: A drunken wedding in Las Vegas that the bride doesn’t even remember, and a groom who wants to make the marriage work.

Plot: Even though there has probably been more than one person to get married on a whim in Vegas, I didn’t find the storyline to be at all believable. The novel seemed to skim the surface of the story; I felt there could have been more scenes to help it flow more cohesively into a well-rounded tale, as well as pull the reader in with greater emotional depth.

Character: Jeff, who is Conner’s best friend, comes across as rather flat and interesting at the same time. Admittedly, I don’t remember much from the beginning of the novel having not had a chance to read for nearly a week, so there may be more about Jeff that I’m not recalling. Jeff was not a major playing in the book, mostly being a phone call here and there, but he ended up playing a pivotal role towards the end of the story. Due to his lack of presence Jeff doesn’t have much depth, but by the same token it allows him to be a mystery that you want solved. In the aforementioned scene, the guy is caring and intriguing and humorous and sensitive and smart and… you get the idea. Basically, you want the guy to have his own story just so you can get to know him better.

Unfulfilled Promise: Megan’s cousin, Gail, and the other two bridesmaids—Jodie and Tina—seem like they would play a bigger role in the story, but only appeared three times. Once to kick off Megan’s drunken marriage, the second time at Gail’s wedding and are being nasty to Megan, and finally for some arbitrary reason on a video chat with Megan towards the end of the book. I think there was the potential to push these characters into being more involved in the plot, rather than just being pulled in when the author needed a device to move the main characters along in their tale.

Romance: Conner’s and Megan’s pasts –and their reasons for having reservations about relationships in general—seem a bit contrived, but did give the couple a reason for marital obstacles to overcome. I did quite like how Conner wants to put an effort into making the marriage successful, trying to work past all of Megan’s uncertainties, and not allowing the small things to grow into a divorce.

Quote: And she felt… free. Safe. As if maybe fairy tales come in varieties she hadn’t known existed. And this one was hers.

The Verdict: For all my previous negativity, I did enjoy reading this book.  It is light and fluffy, making it perfect for relaxing after a stressful workweek. If someone is looking for a book to help them unwind, I would suggest it, but it’s not a story that is so amazing I’d go out of my way to recommend it. I prefer novels to grab me a bit more, forcing me to invest myself into what happens, and this just didn’t do it. I don’t regret reading it, but I doubt I’d read it again.

Teaser Tuesday (Jan-4)

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading. Share the title and author, so others can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences.

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly

“The woman I thought was so incredibly strong I married her on the spot is actually a quitter who runs from challenge, a coward too afraid to even try, a liar who makes promises she won’t keep, and a cynic too bitter to believe what is right in front of her face.”

“Have you ever stopped yourself from taking more than someone wanted to give?”

Book Review: Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right by Kieran Kramer

dukestoleft,princestoright.kierankramerSynopsis: Lady Poppy Smith-Barnes is a member of the Spinsters Club, a group of young ladies who refuse to marry for anything but love, even if it means they never marry at all. Poppy has fantasized about a Russian prince since she met him six years prior when she was fifteen, but that isn’t what she tells her current suitors. Instead, when those men propose, she says she met the Duke of Drummond three years past and they fell in love. What Poppy never expected was for the real Duke of Drummond to appear, let alone propose to a woman he has never met…

Author: Kieran Kramer is a fairly new author, just debuting her first book this past year. I don’t recall how she came to my attention, but perhaps it was her awesome book titles that caught my eye. One of the most amazing things about Kieran is that used to work for the CiA, which, at one time, happened to be a career I was interested in (I think I was twelve). With such an interesting background and promising plots, what else could I do but give her books a try?

Writing Style: Kieran’s style of writing is fairly unnoticeable. There was nothing that stood out as a beyond stunning mastery of phrasing, but neither was it abysmal or awkward or just plain old bad. The words were just unassumingly there, allowing the reader to take it into the realm of their own imagination. There were pleasant moments, funny moments, angering moments, and sad moments. I love books that allow the words to just fade into the background and allow me to be whisked off into an enthralling new world.

Plot: Nothing like a convoluted love tangle to make things interesting.  Poppy is in love with Sergei who is brother to Natasha who is trying to force marriage upon Nicholas who is using a fake engagement with Poppy to create a cover for his work in the “Service” of getting close to the Natasha and Sergei but Poppy finds out and wants to join the fun of “acquiring” a painting from Natasha and Sergei without them knowing only to find out that the painting is of someone Poppy knows who had secretly been working for Nicholas’ boss who isn’t what everyone thinks he is and… well, you get the idea.

Character: Poppy’s two best friends Eleanor and Beatrice definitely deserve a spin-off series of their own. This book falls under The Impossible Bachelors series, which are Nicholas’s friends, whom I believe may be in the Service as well. It is only fair that these awesome Spinsters get their own time in the spotlight. I mean, who doesn’t love to read about a pair of young ladies who are willing to injure and embarrass foreign royals on their bestie’s behalf?

Quote: Hell will freeze over before we give up our passions, and give into our parents to marry men we don’t love… The Spinsters Club? Never heard of it.

The Verdict: A very pleasant and light read. I am looking forward to the rest of this series.

W.W.W. Wednesday (Jan-3)

WWW Wednesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading.  All you have to do is answer these 3 questions: 

1. What did you recently finish reading?

2. What are you currently reading?

3. What do you think you’ll read next?

I am finished reading “The Field of the White Bill” by David Pilling & Martin Bolton
I am reading “Waking Up Married ” by Mira Lyn Kelly
I am next reading “Hex Hall” by Rachel Hawkins