Beach Reads in August Giveaway Hop

Beach-Reads-in-August-Hop

Welcome to Beach Reads In August Giveaway Hop, hosted by Valerie from StuckInBooks.

In this giveaway, I am giving you a chance to win a book of your choice, worth 20 US$ or less, from The Book Depository.
Right now, TBD have great books in their bargain section so you can even choose more then one book for 20$.

The giveaway is international as long as TBD ships to your country.

After you enter this giveaway, don’t forget to visit other blogs for more giveaways.

 

You can enter here:

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Book Review: Just Kiss Me by Rachel Gibson

just kiss me

Title: Just Kiss Me
 Author: Rachel Gibson
 Publisher: Penguin Random House UK, Corgi
 Date: July 28th, 2016
 Pages: 384
 Format: Paperback
 Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): The latest hot and funny love story from New York Timesbestselling author Rachel Gibson, author of RESCUE ME and NOTHING BUT TROUBLE.

It’s been years since Vivien last saw Henry. She was scrubbing houses for a living, he was the gorgeous son of rich parents, not fit for the likes of her.

She had vowed to get out of Charleston, become a big Hollywood star and stick it to the snooty girls who made her cry. Vivien got what she wanted – and more – but why does her glamorous life seem so trivial?

Henry got out too . . . making it all the way to Wall Street, until his life took an unexpected twist and he traded in his cufflinks for carpentry back in Charleston.

But escaping his heritage is nearly impossible. And now he’s come face-to-face with the one who got away. He’s not looking for love. He’s not even looking for sex . . . so why is resisting her the hardest thing he’s ever done?

The one that got away just came back . . .

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Review:

Rachel  Gibson is a well-known author to romance readers. She has several books out and, as it seems to me, a decent fan base.
I only read few of her books (Nothing But Trouble is my favorite and if you haven’t, I highly recommend you to read it) and from what I read, I can see why this author is the one that readers keep coming back to.
When doing my research I noticed some bloggers saying that Gibson’s books are perfect to get you out of the reading slump. Even though I haven’t been in one when reading this book, I can totally see why is that, because her books read fast and are fun, this one not being exception.

Just Kiss Me follows a story of Vivien, a woman originally from Charleston, who became a big Hollywood star.
After her mother passed away, Vivien has to go back to Charleston to arrange the funeral, see what she’ll do with her inheritance and revisit people she grew up with.
Henry is one of those people, and, even if she hated him when she was a child, the mutual attraction between the two is almost touchable.

This story warmed my heart and left me in a happy place.
You know you’re reading a good romance novel when all the time while reading you just feel happiness, even though there’s nothing happy actually going on in the story.
Don’t get me wrong, this story has more then few happy situations, but even on those pages that were far from happy, there was still that positive feeling I felt.

I decide to blame it on the writing style, because it is so easy to read, full of pop culture references that I welcomed wholeheartedly (because I am a celebrity freak!).

This novel is a romantic story, but it also holds elements of family prose.

It is written in third person, but we also get to see pages from Vivien’s diary from when she was a young girl, that were written in first person.
Although I liked those parts, I often felt like Vivien came too childish, but then again, it pictures perfectly what a sassy teenager she was.

Vivien was a really good character. I liked her most of the time even though I couldn’t agree with every move she made.
Henry was fine love interest, even though I didn’t swoon over him.

The character that left the biggest impression on me was Nonnie. At first she was not-so-likeable and was quite mysterious. However, as the story progressed, I started to admire her, as she behaved herself bigger then most people in her situation would.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading this book that I finished in only two days (which is pretty fast in my case).
There is one thing that I feel you should be warned about.
This book does contain some descriptive sex scenes, but they were not too much or out of taste.

I think romance lovers would enjoy this book so I do recommend it, especially if you like books with pop culture references.
I also think that family-prose lovers would approve Just Kiss Me because it does have aspects of that sub-genre.

I, personally, am really grateful that I had an opportunity to read Just Kiss Me and I can’t wait to read more of Rachel Gibson’s work.

4

The Name I Call Myself: Book Review (Blog Tour)

the name I call

Today is the last day of The Name I Call Myself book blog tour and I am honoured to be today’s host.
I would like to thank Rhoda Hardie for giving me this opportunity.

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About the book:

All Faith Harp wants is a quiet life–to take care of her troubled brother, Sam, earn enough money to stop the poverty wolves snapping at her heels, and to keep her past buried as deep as possible. And after years of upheaval, she might have just about managed it: Sam’s latest treatment seems to actually be working, Faith is holding down a job, and she’s engaged to the gorgeous and successful Perry. But, for Faith, things never seem to stay simple for long. Her domineering mother-in-law-to-be is planning a nightmare wedding, including the wedding dress from hell. And the man who killed her mother is released from prison, sending her brother tumbling back into mental illness.

When secretly planning the wedding she really wants, Faith stumbles across a church choir that challenges far more than her ability to hold a tune. She ends up joining the choir, led by the fierce choir-mistress Hester, who is determined to do whatever it takes to turn the group of ragtag women into something spectacular. She also meets Dylan, the church’s vicar, who is different than any man she has ever met before . . .

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My Review:

Don’t let the cover of The Name I Call Myself fool you. It screams qirky and funny chick lit in all it’s glory.
And yes, it was quirky, it was fun at times and you could say it is a chick lit (even though it is a true piece of women’s fiction in my opinion), but it is also so much more.

The story follows Faith, 25 years old girl who is engaged to Perry, who’s family come from the old money.
Faith has some trouble preparing for the wedding as her mother-in-law likes to have everything under control, from Faith’s wedding dress to wedding invitations, every possible aspect of Faith’s big day.
While trying to arrange what church the wedding should be in, Faith and her best friend Marilyn stumble upon a choir and decide to join.
What hurt can some choir practice bring, right? Especially where there’s a cute church vicar involved…
But Faith also has so much more on her plate. The life she lived before, her unreliable brother she’s taking care of and some ghosts from her past will shake her everyday life and make her question her decisions in a search for herself.

This book took me by surprise. I enjoyed reading it as much as I expected, but what I didn’t expect was the seriousness that the story took.
At first, it started as a typical chick lit, with a clumsy protagonist and humoristic scenes that even made me roll my eyes.
But as the story progressed, it took another turn and it became more serious, covering some pretty important issues like addiction, violence and abuse.

Characters we met in this novel had more dimensions and I liked how they seemed real.
Faith was a great protagonist. The writer made her relatableand at some points, even though I didn’t agree with her, I saw where she was coming from.

I only wish we got to see more scenes with Perry. In that case, we’d got a chance to meet him better so he wouldn’t be so mysterious. I can’t even tell if his absence came as a planned part of the story or if his character was just neglected in the process of writing.
Whatever it is, I think it would be better if there was more of him.

The writing style was really good. From pacing to describing, everything is well managed and the book reads pretty quickly.

This was my first time reading the work of Beth Moran.
I am glad I had a chance to read The Name I Call Myself because now I’d like to try Moran’s other work.

If you are a women’s fiction lover, I highly recommend you to put The Name I call Myself on your to-be-read list.
In my opinion, it is worth giving a try.

4

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About the author:

Beth Moran has a background as a research scientist and adult educator. She now concentrates on church work and is part of the national leadership team of the UK women’s network Free Range Chicks. She is married with three children and lives in Nottingham, England.

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Visit other blogs that were part of this tour:

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Somniare: Book Blitz + Giveaway

Somniare
D.T. Dyllin
(Somniare, #1)
Publication date: July 19th 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

Remy Novem was murdered…

But she didn’t die.

Forced to escape to Somniare, a dream landscape, Remy must somehow survive living nightmares, and endless torment without using her magic. Her only hope for freedom is to hitch a ride with a human back into reality, tricking the poor creature into believing no harm will befall them.

Remy isn’t troubled by the fact that she must kill to live…

Until love changes everything.

Goodreads / Amazon

*Are you a reviewer? Request a review copy of Somniare here!*

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Author Bio:

D.T. Dyllin is a bestselling author who writes both paranormal and contemporary romance. Anything with a love story is her kryptonite. Her obsession with affairs-of-the-heart is what first drove her to begin twisting her own tales of scorching romance.

D.T. was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Black & Gold for life, baby!) She now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas with her husband and two spoiled German Shepherds.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

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Giveaway (INTL):

  • 3x signed paperback copies of Somniare, each with a set of the character illustrations (4×6)

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The TBR Tag

If you follow this blog for a while, then you probably noticed I don’t usually do tags.
(I plan to do those I was tagged with at some point, don’t worry).

However, I recently visited Zoey’s blog Magiverse and saw that she did a tag called The TBR Tag.
Even though this tag is pretty old, I never had a chance to do it, and since I find it pretty interesting, I thought why not?

This Tag was originally created by Rachel from A Perfection Called Books and Dana from Dana Square

So, without further ado, here is the tag:

 

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I have my tbr list on Goodreads, but I also have some mental notes about books I also want to read but I haven’t shelved them yet.
I also have some phisical books that are not listed anywhere.
So the truth is, I am very bad in keeping track with my TBR pile.

Is your TBR mostly print of e-books?

I have more phisical books then ebooks. At least at this point.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

Before I was a mood reader, but these days I pick books I have to review and of course, I try to read them all before their releasing day but sometimes I find it hard to keep up.
So basically, review obligations are ones that determine which books to read.

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?
According to Goodreads, Matched by Ally Condie has been the longest on my tbr. matched
A book you recently added to your TBR pile?
We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk. we were on a break
wither
A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?
I am guilty when it comes to judging books by their covers. One of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen is the one for Wither by Lauren DeStefano. I’m not gonna lie, I added it to my tbr strictly because of the cover.
A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading?
I don’t have that kind of book. If the book is on my tbr, I plan to read it at some point.
An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?
We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk and P.S. I Like You by Kasie West.
A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?
The Selection by Kierra Cass.
A book on your TBR that everyone has read except you? 
Once again, The Selection by Kierra Cass.
A book on your TBR that you’re dying to read? 
I feel like I’m repeating myself, but I can’t wait to read We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk.
The Number of Books on your goodreads TBR shelf?
At this very moment, I have 384 books on my GR tbr shelf.
Yeah, I have to make piece with the fact that I probably won’t be able to read them all, but there’s always hope!
And that is it.
I hope you enjoyed it.
I’m not gonna tag anyone because I feel like everyone has already done this tag, but if you want to, feel free to do it.

Book Review: The Paris Secret by Karen Swan

The Paris secret

Title: The Paris Secret
 Author: Karen Swan
 Publisher: Pan Macmillan
 Date: July 14th, 2016
 Pages: 352
 Format: eARC
 Source: from Publisher for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): 

Not every door should be opened . . .

With stunning locations and page-turning tension, The Paris Secret is an intense and gripping tale from bestselling author Karen Swan.

Somewhere along the cobbled streets of Paris, an apartment lies thick with dust and secrets: full of priceless artworks hidden away for decades.

High-flying fine art agent Flora from London, more comfortable with the tension of a million-pound auction than a cosy candlelit dinner for two, is called in to assess these suddenly discovered treasures. As an expert in her field, she must trace the history of each painting and discover who has concealed them for so long.

Thrown in amongst the glamorous Vermeil family as they move between Paris and Antibes, Flora begins to discover that things aren’t all that they seem, while back at home her own family is recoiling from a seismic shock. The terse and brooding Xavier Vermeil seems intent on forcing Flora out of his family’s affairs – but just what is he hiding?

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Review:

I have a confession to make: I never understood the art.
You can put me infront of the most phrased art work in the world, and I will just stand there, totally confused, forcing my brain cells to see the beauty everyone talks about.
I was never good at art class. I hated it. As an outcome to that, I didn’t particularly enjoy learning about it either.
Therefore, when it comes to art culture, telling you that I am bad would probably be understate.

Main theme of this book is the discovery of an abandoned apartman full of paintings collected during World War II.
You can imagine my reaction when everything about it was divulged, all those masters who stood behind those masterpieces.
Yes, I was confused, but I also tried my best to keep up.

Although the name of this novel is The Paris Secret, Paris is not the only city Karen Swoon took us to in the adventure she created.
We also got to visit London, Vienna  and Antibes.
However, not one of those places, Paris included, was explored enough to make me feel like I was there or like I was learning something new about those places.

Although the art theme was somewhat miss in my case, I found the story behind the main theme pretty fascinating.
All those secrets that were revealed and consequences that came with their revelation gave interestingness to the story.

I only wish that the love aspect took a bigger part of this book.
I also wish that it was observed more and in my opinion stronger love feature is the one ingredient that missed.
I usually don’t crave for love in books I’m reading, but in this particular novel, on page 70, I cought myself hoping there would be love interest already to spice up this (until then pretty boring) book.

From all the characters in the book, there were only two I wanted to know more about: Xavier and Natascha. They were mysterious and I knew from the moment we met them that there is something about them, that there is more then meets the eye. Although their characters have a part in this novel through the whole story, I honestly wish we got the chance to get to know them even better, especially Natascha.

This is the second book by Karen Swan I read. I read her Christmas at Tiffany’s in December 2015 (you can read my review here) and fall in love with it.
Although The Paris Secret didn’t live up to my expectations, I am more then happy to know that Karen wrote many books before this one and I am looking forward to read them.
It exceptionally makes me happy the fact that most of her books are taking part during Christmas or are Christmas themed, because I really, really enjoy reading Christmas stories.

I would recommend The Paris Secret to everyone who loves art, who likes reading stories about secrets and who enjoys reading family prose.

3,5

Waiting on Wendesday (#12): We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk

wow

Waiting on Wendesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. It spotlights upcoming releases we can’t wait to read.

This week I am eagerly anticipating:

we were on a break

We Were On A Break by Lindsey Kelk

Publisher: HarperCollins UK

Publication Date: October 6th, 2016

Summary:

The hilarious new novel from Lindsey Kelk, author of the bestselling I Heart series

LIV and ADAM are in love. LIV and ADAM are supposed to be getting engaged. Until ADAM accidently suggests they take a break. And LIV starts thinking

Friends, family and bystanders all have an opinion and one complication leads to another as Adam and Liv try to muddle through in this hilarious, heartwarming comedy.

Are they split up – or are they on a break? What exactly are they allowed to get away with? And, most importantly, what do Liv and Adam really want?

Why am I waiting?

As you probably already know, Lindsey Kelk is one of my absolutely favorite authors. I loved every single book I read by her and she is the creator of the best chick lit series out there: I Heart.

I have been quetly stalking her for a while now (since I opened my twitter acc) and ever since I saw she was working on her new book, I was beyond excited to see what she prepared for us this time.

This book should be a bit different from her previous work because the story will be told from two POVs, one of them being from a guy.

Something tells me I’m going to love this one!