Book Review: Heaven Scent by Vicki Lewis Thompson


Happy Valentine’s Day!

I’ll be posting every day this week with a theme of romance! So keep coming back or subscribe to get emails, because everyone can use a little love in their life…

Warning: May Contain Spoilers

Synopsis: Jamie Ruskin has been in love with her best friend’s brother for years. So when Jamie needs a male opinion on what is sexy for her new aromatherapy company, she asks Dev… and then uses her newfound knowledge to finally go after the man of her dreams.

Author: Bestselling author Vicki Lewis Thompson says “writing romance is the most fun you can have while vertical.” Not only writing for Harlequin, Vicki has a few paranormal novels and a contemporary series where nerdy men are the heroes (also great reads!).

Writing Style: Vicki’s pen creates the rom-com of novels. Sweet romances aren’t enough; they have to also be funny and a little bit sexy too. Vicki has you alternating between giggling to yourself and thinking, I’ll take two of him.

Character: It is nice to know that even men can be insecure about asking a girl out. Dev is not only rich, gorgeous, and adorable, but has a lack of arrogance that keeps him from being the stereotypical snob.

Romance: Jamie and Dev’s romance reminds me a bit of Shakespeare’s comedies in a way –it’s one of those madcap relationships that just needs a wise fool to smack everyone upside the head.  Because neither Jamie nor Dev are completely honest with each other, their future as a couple could go up in flames… and not in a good way.

Quote: Tiny people can’t drink as much as big people.

The Verdict: An adorable read you don’t want to pass over.

What would you do to win the man of your dreams? Have you ever pretended to be something you’re not?

 

 

Previous Reviews: The Summoning, The Awakening

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Books In My Mailbox (Feb-3)

This meme is hosted by The Story Siren.

Well, it is the week of Valentine’s Day, so let’s kick it off with some romantic novels shall we? Today’s IMM features some hot reads from Harlequin courtesy of my local library.

Accidentally Expecting by Lucy Gordon
Twins Under his Tree by Karen Rose Smith
Into the Night by Kate Hoffmann
Jump Start by Lisa Renee Jones

So what are you reading in honour of Valentine’s Day?


 

Previous IMM: Feb-1, Feb-2

Simple Smile Saturdays! (Feb-1)

Allo m’dears!

Last weekend HannahHelt and JLArmentrout were (lovingly) making fun of me. They said that I “get excited over the simplest things” which is totally true. I have two theories about life -maybe more but I don’t remember what they are at the moment- and they are as follows:

1.) Everyone should have three hugs a day to let them know someone cares.
2.) It’s the simple things in life that make life worth living.

So thanks to those two, I’ve had my own personal brain-child. From now on I will try to post something “simple” that I get excited over just to show you that the smallest things really do make you smile :0)

To start, you get to see none other than… socks!

In honour of Valentine’s Day here are just two of my heart-patterned socks. I think I got the red one on the left last Valentine’s Day, and I got the purple pair as a Christmas prezzie this past year. As you can see, I don’t wear my heart on my sleeve, but on my feet!

Loving socks is weird, I know, but when I had a school uniform I only saw white or navy tootsies everywhere I went. After transferring from that school (not because of the socks) I refused to wear solid coloured socks for years and, also, a lot of people started giving me really kewl socks for Christmas.

What simple things made you smile today?

Book Review: The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

Have you read my review on the first book of this trilogy? The Summoning

Warning: May Contain Spoilers

Synopsis: Chloe manages to escape the Lyle House with a few of her newly found friends. They have discovered that their “powers” were because they had been part of a science experiment that genetically altered them.  Oh, and Chloe is constantly followed around not only by ghosts but by animated corpses because she keeps accidentally raising the dead.

Character Development: Chloe keeps growing as a person, becoming stronger and more self-reliant while still knowing when to ask for help (or at least she’s trying). Everything that happens makes you grow as a person, makes you grow-up, and Chloe is slowing learning to accept who she is.

Publisher: Unlike the first book of the Darkest Powers Trilogy, The Awakening was not published by HarperCollins but by Doubleday Canada. You can tell the difference not just by checking for the company logo, but just by looking at and touching the book.

Cover: While Doubleday stayed in keeping with the original cover image – a girl holding a jewel that has a touch of spot varnish to make it shiny- that is where the similarities stop. The Summoning cover has a matte finish, which gives a rougher texture and feels a bit unusual to someone not used to it, plus the title and authors name are embossed (raised text). The Awakening, while it is not glossy, it has a smoother finish that feels a bit more satin-like. The author and title are also shiny –gilt, I believe?- but not embossed. (If you want to check, run your hand over the inside of the cover, you will feel indents in one book but not in the other.)

Pages: Another difference is the cut of the books, both the cover and the pages. The Summoning cover is what you would expect of a trade paperback, while The Awakening has a paperback version of a dust jacket. Also, The Summoning has perfectly squared edges while The Awakening has unevenly cut pages. If you look closely at the pages, you can see a pattern as to the width of each section, but the intent is to mimic an old book. These types of pages look great but are a bit harder to turn.

Quote: “This is my normal now.”

The Verdict: Didn’t you listen the first time? Go. Read. The. Trilogy!

What cover style do you prefer? Matte, satin finish, or glossy?  Do you like a perfectly squared novel, or ones with rough-cut pages?

Previous Review: The Summoning

Teaser Tuesday (Feb-1)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Should Be Reading Share the title & author, so that 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!

Nothing to Lose by Norah McClintock

“They have beady, black, evil little eyes… And their toenails, or whatever you call them, can be as sharp as razors.”

“There were two angry marks on his back, faded, but you could tell they had been deep when they were made.”

Books In My Mailbox (Feb-2)

This meme is hosted by The Story Siren.

It’s the first Sunday in February, and I’ll actually be posting an IMM on the right day!  I usually go to the library every other Friday and so I have gads of books out that I’m hoping to read without getting behind on my school work… *glances over at assignments that must be completely by monday*

In this IMM photo, I only included one book if I have multiple from the same author or series. This is partially because I now have more books from the same author that I didn’t when I took the original picture last week. It is also because I didn’t want to try to cram it all into one photo and I didn’t want to take more than one photo either.

Frewin Jones -> Destiny’s Path
Kelley Armstrong -> Frostbitten and Waking the Witch
Norah McClintock -> Picture This, Masked,  and the ten Robyn Hunter Mystery series

 

 

Previous IMM: Feb 1

The Truth about Book Bloggers

I have just finished reading Catherine Ryan Hyde‘s blog “About Book Bloggers“. She made some really good arguments about why bloggers are a good thing. I was attempting to crafts a short reply, but I’ve always been a littel bit wordy, and so my response is long enough to be a blog post.

I’ve only been active for five days and already I have been hearing some disgruntlement about book review bloggers. I mean, how terrifying is it to be told that you’ll never be accepted into the publishing industry if you say anything remotely negative about a single book? I have thought about becoming a writer, and I definitely want to be an editor, but the thought of being blackballed from the world I love most is frightening to face.  I was beginning to think that I started writing at a really bad time, and maybe I shouldn’t at all,  but –thanks to Catherine’s post- I now know that it is only a few people who are coming to their own conclusions without looking at both sides of the argument.

So, as a newbie, here is my take on the debate about the truth behind book bloggers…

1) Reviews don’t sell books?
Once I started reading book reviews, I now have a To Be Read list around a hundred books strong. At the moment I can’t afford to buy any books -school tuition and living expenses sadly must come first- but I make note of the books (on goodreads) to either buy them at a later date or beg my library to purchase a few copies or both. If I do read the book through the library first and really like it, I will still buy it so I can read it again and again, whenever I want, without being on the library waiting list. Two+ sales (my library never just buys one copy).

Add to that I will of course tell all my friends and fellow bloggers about an awesome new book and they will look for it themselves or ask about it at their library. If they like the book, they will tell their friends, and their friends will tell their friends, and… so on.  Guaranteed multiple sales right there, and not just from my immediate circle, but all over the world.

2) Just want ARCs?
Book bloggers do reviews because they want to share their fabulous finds. When they get started, like me, there are no ARCs. In fact, there may never be ARCs for any blogger, it’s not guaranteed.

First a blogger has to establish a following, because there is no point in the reviews if no one reads them. Well, other than for your own enjoyment, but it does lessen the sales factor. Most bloggers will get a few of their friends and maybe some strangers subscribe, but unless they network like crazy they may never be large enough to get the attention of publishers and authors.

Next, they have to contact publishing houses and authors to ask for ARCs in order to review them. Some bloggers don’t want ARCs and so never make contact. Some don’t have the nerve and will just hope they are noticed. Some do contact the pub houses and authors, but get told no or are not told anything at all. And lastly, sometimes bloggers get the ARCs they asked for or are asked if they would like an ARC which is a real accomplishment for any blogger.

Third, a lot of bloggers do giveaways of said ARCs so that they can share what a wonderful book it is and get more hype out there. Trust me, contests are a big hit with everyone. Because the original blogger really liked the book themselves, they go out and buy a copy. Even if they don’t give away their ARCs, a few of them still buy the book when it hits the shelves to support the author. And it’s not just ARCs that are the prizes in these contest: it’s older books, ereaders, posters, stickers, tshirts, and all sorts of other swag. Bloggers aren’t about wanting ARCs, they enjoy anything to do with their passion.

But the biggest reason that bloggers would want an ARCs is simple. IT’S A BOOK!

3) Should not post bad reviews?
Everyone knows that there is no such thing as perfect in this world. If a blogger always wrote how great all the books they read are and said nothing bad about them, you’d be skeptical and stop going to their site. You know that all things have a little bit of both good and bad in them.

A blogger should discuss both aspects in each book, because telling the truth will build trust, and if your readers trust you then they will go out and buy the books you’ve reviewed. Even if you post about why you didn’t like a book, it is completely biased and the reader might decide that what you don’t like is something they would like.

Besides, don’t PR agents say that there is no such thing as bad publicity? People are weird enough to go out and buy whatever gets dissed just to see what the big deal is. I’ve heard of more people saying that they did not read a book, because of all the good publicity it got and wanted to avoid it all. So maybe it’s possible that a negative review can sell more books than a good one… It’s something to think about, anyway.

Conclusion:
Authors and publishers should want book bloggers to have ARCs and post honest reviews.  The companies wouldn’t be making ARCs if they didn’t realize that this form of free publicity works. Pub houses can only afford up to one dollar per book they print towards promoting it. That’s not a lot, you have to admit.

So many books hit the shelves each day without people knowing anything about them, because there is no money to advertise. Book bloggers ask for no compensation for their time, and if they manage to get a free book out of doing something they love? Well, they deserve it. They are getting word out about your books and doing everything in their power to promote your sales and all because they just love reading.

So, please, play nice.

 

 

Previous Blog: And so it begins