Nov 13 2014
Review: Karma by Carly Phillips
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

karma-cpPublisher: Berkley Books
Published: May 1, 2012
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 297
Form: Paperback
Series: Serendipity (3)
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Officer Dare Barron has had a crush on Liza McKnight ever since he was a teenager. But despite his lifelong attraction, the closest he’s ever come to interacting with her is watching Liza regularly bail out her brother at the police station.

Dare’s dark past with Liza’s brother, Brian, has always kept him from pursuing her. But suddenly Liza finds herself in need of protection and Dare appoints himself as the man for the job. And while the sizzling attraction between Dare and Liza draws them together, the past threatens to keep the two apart forever.

My Thoughts

Have you ever read a book that was so awful that you couldn’t help but to keep reading because you were compelled to see just how awful and ridiculous it was going to get?  Well this book fits that description for me.  I took notes all through my reading of it because it was that bad.  I had so many questions and was so annoyed while reading this that I can’t believe I even finished it.  But it was too bad not to.

This book is filled with nonsense.  There are so many stereotypes, assumptions, people rushing to judgement and shenanigans going on in this book.  There is a scene with Liza’s drunken brother at a dunking booth that was both silly and unnecessary.  Liza and Dare both moved to stop him from throwing the ball when if they had just left well enough alone he would have thrown his last ball and would have had to move on.  Because of their interfering, Liza gets whacked in the head with the ball and ends up with a concussion as a result.

The relationship between Dare and Liza set my teeth on edge.  Their communication was awkward, clunky, and clumsy at best.  The conversation was strange and stilted and at times made no sense whatsoever.  Liza is the most dimwitted character in the world.  When faced with indisputable evidence of her brother’s embezzlement, she still wonders if she’s jumping to conclusions and if her brother could possibly be innocent of the crime.

Also you cannot get away from the major issues and events driving the guilt these two characters still carry with them since they were teenagers because the author reminds us of it every other page and practically beats us over the head with it.  Okay, they both regret the death and cover up of the death of Stuart Rosserman that a drunken teenage Brian caused during a party he was not supposed to be having.  But these people are adults now and I would expect them to deal with their issues already and get the hell over it.  It all seemed so very trivial and petty too in the grand scheme of things.

Oh, and when Dare reveals to her that it was actually her brother who punched and accidentally killed Stuart Rosserman so long ago, Liza is baffled.  I find it completely implausible that she could have went all of those years and not know that it was her own brother that threw that fateful punch.  I don’t care how well their parents got it covered up, Liza would have found something like that out way before Dare had revealed it to her.

I have more notes on all the things that annoyed me about this book, but this review is rambly and long enough.  I was looking forward to reading Carly Phillips because people rave about her books.  But this book was a big disappointment and I don’t know if I’ll ever get around to trying her again.  I don’t even care to know what happened in the previous two stories.  Just ugh.


Nov 03 2014
Review: All That I Desire by Francis Ray
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

allthatidesire-frPublisher: St. Martin’s Press
Published: October 29, 2013
Copyright: 2013
Pages: 301
Series: Grayson Friends Novel
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter


Nothing can stop a woman like Skylar Dupree once she makes up her mind. Defying her family and leaving law school, she’s landed her dream job as an event director at the prestigious Navarone Resorts in Arizona. It’s all that Skylar’s ever wanted—until she sees Rio Sanchez, the resort owner’s bodyguard. He’s the hottest, sexiest, most striking man she’s ever met.


When Skylar starts planning a huge charity auction at the resort, it’s Rio’s job to keep an eye on the prized art she collects from donors. He’s not blind to Skylar’s beauty, brains, and other charms—but Rio is nothing if not professional, and he refuses to make a move. It’s enough to drive Skylar crazy…with desire. But when a mysterious stranger enters the picture—and puts Skylar’s life in danger—Rio has no choice but to protect her…and never let her go.

My Thoughts

I’ve waited so long for Rio’s story and Ms. Ray did not disappoint.  While I’ve been a little disenchanted with some of her most recent books, All That I Desire just served to remind me of why I fell in love with Ms. Ray’s writing in the first place.

Skylar is everything a heroine should be.  She’s smart, kind, compassionate, beautiful and thoughtful.  And her sensitive nature was the perfect foil for Rio’s steel edginess.  He is strong, and intelligent, with a strong sense of duty and loyalty.  Skylar and Rio’s chemistry was beyond electric and I enjoyed the journey of their love.

True to form, Rio fought being knocked ass over heels by love, but eventually he couldn’t resist the mini-tsunami that is Skylar, and her love and kindness finally broke down his defenses.  This was such a good story and this book has renewed my interest in Ms. Ray’s work!


Oct 20 2014
Mini-Review: The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson
Written By: Jade | | Tags: , ,

thenameofthestar-mjPublisher: Speak
Published: October 2, 2012
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 372
Form: Paperback
Series: Shades of London (1)
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London to start a new life at boarding school just as a series of brutal murders mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper killing spree of more than a century ago has broken out across the city. The police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man believed to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him – the only one who can see him. And now Rory has become his next target…unless she can tap her previously unknown abilities to turn the tables.

My Thoughts

  • Nice pace, intriguing, and quite suspenseful.
  • The oddity and mysteriousness of Alestair and the grayish bald guy who Rory thinks is the suspect is creepy.
  • I like the whole pretense of a copycat Jack the Ripper, but I think the execution of the concept could have been a bit cleaner and tied better into the actions of the murderer.
  • I think it’s kind of cool to have a police force for unruly shades.  Especially considering the heinousness of some of the crimes they perpetrate on the living.
  • Jo is pure awesomeness.

Overall I liked the book.  While I feel that the conclusion could have come together a little more smoothly, the mystery was cool and it certainly kept me flipping the pages anxious to see what would happen.  I will definitely be looking for the next book in the series and other books by this author.


Oct 03 2014
Review: Rose Galbraith by Grace Livingston Hill
Written By: Jade | | Tags: , ,

rosegalbraith-glhPublisher: Living Books
Published: July 1, 1991
Copyright: 1940
Pages: 284
Form: Paperback
Author: Site | Facebook

Young, beautiful Rose is desperate!  She and her beloved mother had planned to travel to Scotland so that Rose could discover her heritage.  Then, suddenly, Rose’s mother had died.  To honor her memory, Rose went through with the trip, though doing so meant going to live with the wealthy relatives who had shunned her mother for marrying outside of Scotland’s elite.

But the glamour of her relative’s castle and its priceless possessions can not hide the heartlessness of the inhabitants…or calm Rose’s fear of the unscrupulous aristocrat who is scheming to marry her.  Rose’s only hope and comfort come from the letter she receives from handsome Gordon McCarroll, a friend she became reacquainted with a she began her journey.  But can even Gordon save her from the people who seem determined to take control of her life…?

My Thoughts

I had no idea this was a christian fiction book when I picked it up from my local used book store, but I’m very glad I did.  After Rose’s dear mother dies, Rose decides to continue on with their plans to visit her mother’s family in Scotland, and then continue on to visit her father’s family.  But when Rose shows up at her maternal Aunt’s castle, she finds the hard and bitter woman her Aunt has become and a greedy and manipulative Uncle eager to marry her off to the son of the man her mother shunned.  They think to get their hands on Rose’s ‘inheritance’ that was left to her by her father.

Poor Rose loses her mother and then shows up at her mother’s childhood home only to be manipulated and prodded into marrying a wretch of a man.  Thank God she had the foresight to get out if there as soon as she could, and thank God for her correspondence with Gordon, without which she may not have had the courage.  While spending time with her father’s family, Rose grows closer to them and Gordon as they continue to correspond with each other through the mail.  They both feel and unmistakable connection and kinship even though an ocean separates them.

I like that when Gordon finally shows up and declares his love for Rose, she works up the fortitude and courage to go back to her mother’s family and try set things right.  This story is pretty cheesy and hokey, but I actually adored that about it.  My only complaint about this book is that sometimes I couldn’t figure out what was being said when her father’s family got to speaking in their Scottish dialect.  It was hard to decipher it all.  Other than that, I really enjoyed this book and even went back to that book store to pick up more books by this author.


Sep 23 2014
Review: The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

thewitchsboy-kbPublisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Published: ARC Expected Publish Date September 16, 2014
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 372
Form: Paperback
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter

When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived.  But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic that Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it’s Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community.

Meanwhile, across the forest lives Aine, the daughter of the Bandit King.  She is haunted by her mother’s last words to her: “The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his.” When Áine and Ned’s paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to make their way through the treacherous woods and stop the war about to boil over between their two kingdoms?

My Thoughts

  • This book reminds me of a middle school, watered down, version of Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter, but not necessarily in a bad way.
  • The power of the magic seems a bit confusing, as far as how powerful it is, how to wield it, who can use it, and so forth.
  • I think this is an appropriate and lovely story for middle schoolers.  But as someone who has read the aforementioned series, I couldn’t help but feel the author incorporated a lot of the elements present in those books.  Even down to a character who has a thick tongue and terrible lisp and the main character sharing his name with the patriarch of the Stark clan from Game of Thrones.  I don’t know if that was the author’s intention, but it’s just how I felt and what I picked up on while reading this novel.
  • Continuously having to  read Ned’s stutter throughout the novel got on my nerves.

For me the story was cheesy, yet endearing.  I think that it will thoroughly captivate and entertain the audience it was written for.  As for me, I found it entertaining but it wasn’t quite my cup of tea.

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