Book Review: The Princess Plan by Julia London

princessplanSynopsis: All anyone can talk about is the visiting prince, Sebastian, who has come to England to discuss trade agreements and choose a british bride. But when his personal secretary is found murdered after a ball, even a local Ladies Gazette speculates on the culprit after receiving an anonymous tip. Sebastian tracks down the gazette owners, and teams up with Eliza to catch the murderer. He was not expecting to fall for a commoner –something his father would never allow– and now he has to choose between his country or his heart.  Continue reading “Book Review: The Princess Plan by Julia London”

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Book Review: London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton

LBtMSynopsis: Alex is an outsider —a geeky fangirl—with dreams of becoming a playwright in a city she’s loved from afar yet never visited: London. After a devastating betrayal she heads to England for a new start in a place she feels like she’ll belong. Except there is no way to escape the demons of her past, the broken relationships, the panic attacks, and a jealous rival determined to destroy her new life. Alex begins to question everything from her life-long dream to her new friends to whether London is where she truly belongs.

Continue reading “Book Review: London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton”

Teaser Tuesday (LBTM)

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 (or more).

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!!!

London Belongs to Me by Jacquelyn Middleton

“What you leave behind says as much about you as what you bring along.” 

“Welcome to London, kid. Any excuse to end up in a pub.”

“We’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one.” 

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Book Review: Absolutely Positively by Heather Webber

Synopsis: Cupid has blessed all members of the Valentine family with the ability to see auras that help in matchmaking endeavours; Lucy however was struck by lightning and her ability changed from seeing auras to seeing missing items.  Combining her new ability with her family’s tradition/business, Lucy has set up a “Lost Loves” division with her boyfriend Sean, PI, to help find people’s old sweethearts… trouble is, one of those lost loves is also accused of murder.

Plot: The novel is a combination of three subplots where Lucy trying to find out what happened to Mac the missing man, locate Tristan the ex-con, and figure out who the mysterious “Lone Ranger” is.  Even with all the twists and turns and hints, the storyline is easy to follow.

Character: The homeless man is actually a very important piece of the novel. He may wear grubby clothes and speak only in rhyme, but he is always present when the “Lone Ranger” tosses cash in the courtyard and shops at the same consignment store that Mac has been known to frequent.

Romance: The relationship between Lucy and Sean already exists, but Lucy is still struggling with her fear that Sean will leave her. While the paranormal aspect of their coupledom is not very realistic –her seeing their future and him feeling her emotions- their effort to work through the obstacles of maintaining a relationship like anyone else is something everyone has to deal with.

Character Development: Lucy has a power she isn’t quite sure how to use, but by the end discovers a person who may be able to help. But the major change in Lucy is starting to move on from her fear that Sean will leave her, as all other loved ones of the Valentine’s have. Now she is beginning to deal with her worry that Sean’s heart problem will cause him to leave her in a different way.

Note to Reader: This is the third book in a series and, while still a novel that can stand alone, it would be so much easier to follow the family dynamics had the first two books been read previously.

Quote: He kissed me. A soul-searching, heart-pounding, all-out-curl-a-girl’s-toes kind of kiss.

The Verdict: An all around cute book. It has a dash of the paranormal, a bit of romantic comedy, and a touch of mystery. I just wish I knew there were two previous books in this series, and that the fourth was already out!

 Previous Reviews: Heaven ScentDiamond MineSheer DelightArrangedMatched

Teaser Tuesday (Feb-2)

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!!!

Love Poems and Sonnets by William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? 
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: 
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; 
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature’s changing course untrimm’d;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest: 
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

The Holy Bible by God

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast,
it is not proud.
It is not rude, it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered,
it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts,
always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.

 Previous  Teasers: Jan-3Jan-4Jan-5

Book Review: Personal Demons by Lisa Desrochers

Synopsis: Frannie Cavanaugh is special. She has skills no one has ever or will ever have, which is why both heaven and hell want her so bad. When two new boys enrol at school and show an interest in her, Frannie has a hard time deciding which to choose. What she doesn’t know is Luc is a demon and Gabe is an angel, and both are trying to win her soul.

Author: This is Lisa Desrochers first novel, with a sequel in the works.

Cover: Frannie and Luc are in the foreground, with Frannie’s hand resting on Luc’s chest. This may indicate that while Frannie wants to be close to him, she is also keeping the demon at a slight distance… or she has her hand on his heart. Coming down the school’s hall behind them is look looking beyond gorgeous and his wings rampant behind him, as he is always there to be Frannie’s guardian angel.

Plot: The basic storyline vaguely reminds me of Vampire Diaries, but instead of the choice between good vamp/bad vamp, Frannie must pick angel or demon. The difficulty is that, not only does Frannie love them both, though in different ways, she is terrified of love and what it means.

Hook: Who wouldn’t want a pseudo-dangerous bad boy and an angelic love-filled being fighting for their heart?

Point of View: The book alternates between telling the story from the perspectives of Frannie and Luc. I would have also liked to see the tale through Gabriel’s eyes as that would have given more balance to the story, make Luc and Gabriel more equal contenders as Frannie’s love interest. The fact that Gabriel does not tell his side of things may partially be due to Lisa not finding much of interest to say from such a “good” being, and that it is easier to sway the reader into giving Luc more of a chance as the rightful winner of Frannie’s heart even though he’s a demon.

Character: Mary Frances Cavanaugh, also known as Frannie or Fee, hates her name. I remember reading somewhere that Lisa dislikes the name herself, but no other name she tried felt right for the character… and Frannie really is something else. Not only does this girl have some serious super-skills, but also has a black belt in judo to kick teenage boy and hell-demon butt.

Pondering: Frannie says that she does not believe in heaven but she does believe in hell. Her lack of belief in God is due to tragedy in her childhood that made her loose faith in that Greater Being’s existence. Frannie also fears love, says it does not exist. This may be due to the people Frannie loves often being taken from her, but it could be because she doesn’t believe in God. The Bible says that God is love and if Frannie believes that God doesn’t exist than neither can she think that love does.

Character Development: Lucifer Cain goes through an extreme change throughout the novel –physically, mentally, and emotionally. Luc is a demon born of hell who knows nothing but pride and gives no second chances. Yet over time he falls in love with Frannie and is willing to do or be anything just to keep her safe, would willingly give his life just to protect her.

Point of Interest: In the book Luc can smell people’s emotions, their “psyche signals”. Ginger is lust, citrus is fear, garlic is hate, anise/liquorice is envy, rose is sadness, black pepper is fury, vinegar is guilt, chocolate is love, while clove and current is the scent of your soul ready for the taking.

Sidenote: Sorry Luc-lovers, Frannie can keep him because I am Gabe’s girl!

Quote: I let him hold me for a long time, feeding off his energy. If you asked me right now, I’d have to say I believe in love, ‘cause that’s what this feels like: Pure love.

The Verdict: A fabulous novel filled with not only the hell that is high school but the supernatural. There is romance, action, and suspense all woven into one great story. Go read this book… now!

Would you choose Gabriel the angel or Lucifer the demon, and why?

Previous Reviews: The ReckoningDark Flame,   Wildefire

Book Review: A Place Called Home by Lori Wick

Synopsis: Christine Bennett always loses the people she loves in life. Her parents died when she was a child, and her grandfather –whom she had been living with- passed away when she was nineteen. When her grandfather’s will was read, it said that should Christine die everything would go to her grandfather’s partner Vince Jeffers. Christine knew her grandfather would never write such a thing and that her life was in danger, so she fled and ended up in the town of Baxter. There, Christine met the Cameron family and just may have found a place to finally call “home”.

Author: Lori Wick is a fabulous Christian author of many inspirational stories. Some of her books are historical-based and others have a more contemporary setting. She has eight series, and a few stand-alone novels as well. No matter what book you pick up that Lori has written, it is an amazing testament of faith.

Format: This book is a Thorndike Press large print hardcover novel. I have never been overly fond of hard covers only because they are uncomfortable in my hand, and, to be honest, the cover art is often less than impressive when no dust jacket is in evidence. While I don’t need a large print novel at my age, I like the idea that this book is available for people with failing eyesight, that those who have vision problems are not overlooked and can enjoy reading.

Writing Style: Lori includes a fair amount of scripture within her tales, as opposed to Steeple Hill that often only has a single verse at the beginning. One of the verses in this book is from Proverbs 3:5-6, which is “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and not your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.”

Plot: It is hard to define what genre this book is. Definitely an inspirational novel, yet it has both elements of romance and –sort of- mystery or suspense. Christie’s life is in danger, and, as a reader, we know the villain and have a pretty good idea why, but what we don’t know is which incidents were coincidental, which were murder attempts, and when the next might happen.

Character: Calvin and Charles are two little boys who are far more generous than most adults. While they could be selfish and think to their own pleasure, instead they prayed for God to make something happen that they thought would make Christine happy. We can learn from children’s easy faith, their ability to believe is amazing.

Quote: You didn’t withhold your love from a person just because it might be risky.

 God won’t hide His answers from you. If this is what God has for you, you’ll know. If you continue to trust, He’ll continue to be your guide.

 No one knows how long his time on earth will be. Don’t wait! Go to Christ and open your heart to Him. He is waiting for you with open arms.

The Verdict: If you cannot stand books that include scripture, this is not a story for you. But if you are willing to have an open mind, or enjoy reading about those with faith in God, Lori Wick definitely someone you should be reading.

Previous Reviews: A Scottish Ferry Tale,
ClickCassandra’s Song