The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake Book Review (Blog Tour)

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I am so happy to be today’s host in The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake Blog Tour.
I really enjoyed reading this book and I am excited to share my review.
I’d like to thank Janne Moller from Black & White Publishing, for giving me this opportunity.

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About the book:

Daisy Delaney’s life is pancake-flat. A talented baker and passionate lingerie specialist, she has wound up with no one to bake for and a career that hasn’t proved successful. But when she starts a delicious relationship with famous French author-chef, Michel Amiel, everything begins to look a bit more exciting.

That is until Michel’s bestselling cookbook is knocked off the top spot by newcomer ‘Lucy Lovecake’. His outdated recipes slide down the charts, while the popularity of Lucy Lovecake’s new dating cookbook is rising like the perfect sponge.

As Daisy teeters on the brink of love, how can she ever tell Michel that she is the mysterious Lucy Lovecake? Could he ever forgive her for finishing off his career? And more importantly, does Daisy even want to be with a difficult, egotistical, down-on-his-luck Frenchman just as her career is beginning to take off? Especially when she has some other very interesting offers…

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My Review

They say “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover”, but when it comes to The Secret of Lucy Lovecake, you should.
Why?
Because the story of this novel is exactly like the cover – girly and cute.

However, when it comes to synopsis, in this particular case, the story does not follow it in a way one would expect. Everything that’s being said is true, but there’s also a big part of the story that hasn’t been mentioned.
This is a story that talks about love interest and Daisy keeping secret from her lover, but it also talks about aspiring author on her way to become a published one, and her life after having a best-seller.

I really appreciated that aspect of the story, because it showed what publishing a book looks like, and in a way it made me learn something I didn’t know before.
I think mentioning it in synopsis wouldn’t hurt.

The story is written in first person, following Daisy’s POV.
Daisy’s voice is quirky and is really easy to read.
With really short chapters (84 in total) the book reads pretty quickly, and it is very likely that faster readers will finish it in one sitting.

On a quick note, I think the story would have been better without first four chapters (in those chapters we got to see Daisy’s life now when her book is bestseller, and then we go back into the past and follow the story from the beginning).

I liked characters in this story.
The one that stands out the most was Michel Amiel, who is also Daisy’s love interest.
I know it is stated that he is her boyfriend, but I wouldn’t use that word to define him.
He’s very complex and there is so much more then meets the eye when it comes to him. He suffers from depression, self medicates it with alcohol, he is very self centred, grumpy and overall one bitter man.
On the other hand, he can be fun and sweet.

Since this story is told from Daisy perspective, I wish the author (or should I say Daisy) gave us a chance to fall in love with him, or just like him better.
I mean, Daisy likes him, but we don’t see what she likes about him. Almost everytime she talked about him or described scenes with him, there was something problematic about him.
I wish we got to see why she fell for him.
Honestly, I feel like there was more connection between Daisy and Michel’s mother then between the two of them.

The end was very sweet and cute.
I can’t say I was 100% satisfied with the way the story was wrapped up, because it felt like the author decided to turn a blind eye on Michel’s depression (or maybe that is something that will get more attention in the next book).

Overall The Secret Life of Lucy Lovecake is a fun novel that I would highly recommend to chick-lit lovers.

3,75

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About Pippa James:

Pippa James is a full-time writer with a love for food, fashion and all things French. She is best known as Janey Louise Jones, author of the fantastically successful Princess Poppy series, with sales of over 4 million copies to date. Before Princess Poppy took over her life, Pippa James had always intended to write contemporary fiction and this debut novel is the start of a brand new series, perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes and Sophie Kinsella.

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Follow the tour:

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Book Review: The Summer That Melted Everything by Tiffany McDaniel

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Title: The Summer That Melted Everything
Author: Tiffany McDaniel
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Date: July 26th, 2016
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: from Author for a review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Fielding Bliss has never forgotten the summer of 1984: the year a heat wave scorched Breathed, Ohio. The year he became friends with the devil.

Sal seems to appear out of nowhere – a bruised and tattered thirteen-year-old boy claiming to be the devil himself answering an invitation. Fielding Bliss, the son of a local prosecutor, brings him home where he’s welcomed into the Bliss family, assuming he’s a runaway from a nearby farm town.

When word spreads that the devil has come to Breathed, not everyone is happy to welcome this self-proclaimed fallen angel. Murmurs follow him and tensions rise, along with the temperatures as an unbearable heat wave rolls into town right along with him.

As strange accidents start to occur, riled by the feverish heat, some in the town start to believe that Sal is exactly who he claims to be.

While the Bliss family wrestles with their own personal demons, a fanatic drives the town to the brink of a catastrophe that will change this sleepy Ohio backwater forever.

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Review:

Here is the truth: this book is perfect.
When you look at every single element of this story, every single character, phrase and all of the parts of the plot, you get one perfect whole, compliteness that leaves you breathtaken in an absolutely literal way.

I am sorry if I already used the word perfection too many times at the very beginning of my review, but the truth is, I am lost for other words. This book, to me, was pure perfection.

It played with my emphaty in a way I can’t describe, it broke my heart, torn me apart and I am still picking myself up, days after I finished it.
I am lost for words and I already know that my review won’t do a justice to this masterpiece, but I will try my best.

The Summer That Melted Everything talks about summer in a year 1984, the year when the HIV virus was discovered and scientists gave it a name.
It takes place in Breathed, a small town in the West America, where people are still afraid of unknown and are very judgamental.

Even though this book contains more then few diverse elements (like gay people, black people and people with dwarfism), the way characters talk about people and things that are diverse or different is plain brutal.
For example, people say that AIDS is God’s punishment for gays, God’s tool to get rid of them.
Those kind of references you’d hear even from characters you’d like.
Keep in mind that it is 1984 and even though that kind of phrases were hard to read about, they also represent the reality of the story.

The novel is written in first person, following two different times: first being placed in 1984 when Fielding was a 13 years old boy and the second that takes place when Fielding is and old angry man, and we can see how much tool summer 1984 took on him, how happenings from that summer shaped him as a person and destroyed him in a way.

The writting style is astonshing. McDaniel’s voice is so beautiful. It is different from other voices I read and it probably has a lot to do with the fact that The Summer That Melted Everything is a piece of literary fiction.

This book reminded me how much I enjoy reading literary fiction, even though I don’t read it too often.

My opinion is that this book demands to be read more then once. I know I will reread it for sure in my close future.

This is not a happy book, it will probably leave you under an impression and you won’t be able to stop thinking about it.
I already knew this was a five stars read for me after I finished it, but I also learned to appreciate it even more after some time passed.
I would give it all the stars in the world.

This is the best book I have read this year and it is one of the best books I read in my lifetime.

Tiffany McDaniel surprised me with her debut novel and after reading only one book written by her, I already know I want to read everythig she’ll write in the future.

Recommending books is something I often do in my reviews, but if there’s one book I would recommend of all the books I liked, it would be this one.

I really, wholeheartedly recommend you to read this book!

5

Book Review: Five Ways to Fall by K.A. Tucker

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Title: Five Ways to Fall
Series: Ten Tiny Breaths #2
Author: K.A. Tucker
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Date: July 3rd, 2014
Pages: 384
Format: paperback
Source: Purchased

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Purple-haired, sharp-tongued Reese MacKay knows all about making the wrong choice; she’s made plenty of them in her twenty-odd-years. So when her impulsive, short-lived marriage ends in heartbreak, she decides it’s time for a change. She moves to Miami with the intention of hitting reset on her irresponsible life, and she does quite well…aside from an epically humiliating one-night stand in Cancun with a hot blond bouncer named Ben. Thank God she can get on a plane and leave that mistake behind her.

Football scholarship and frat parties with hot chicks? Part of charmer Ben Morris’s plan. Blown knee that kills any hope of a professional football career? So not part of the plan. Luckily Ben has brains to go with his knockout looks and magnetism. After three long years of balancing law school with his job as a bouncer at Penny’s Palace, he’s ready to lead a more mature life—until his first day of work, when he finds himself in the office of that crazy, hot chick he met in Cancun. The one he hasn’t stopped thinking about.

If Ben truly were a smart guy, he’d stay clear of Reese. She’s the boss’s stepdaughter and it’s been made very clear that office romances are grounds for dismissal. Plus, rumor has it she’s trouble. The only problem is, he likes trouble, especially when it’s so good-looking…

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Review:

This book was a pleasent surprise for me.
I expected for it to be good. I just didn’t expect for it to be that good.

I have already read Ten Tiny Breaths and tought it was a really good book.
By the time the second book in the series came out, I had some bad experiences when it comes to NA and decided to take a long break from that genre.
This book, and this author, reminded me not all the books in the same genre are the same. There will always be the bad ones, but there will always be the good ones too.

This book didn’t have any of those NA clichès I was sure that almost every book in this genre has (at least one of them).

Main characters had some baggage from the past, but they weren’t shattered people because of that.
The plot wasn’t surrounded with drama all the time. Actually, there weren’t any drama. At least not in term that I use it for.
There was zero slut shaming.
There was no “damsel in distress” scene.

The love between main characters took it’s time to develop. Although there was an instant attraction, the characters were smart enough to know the difference between attraction and love.

I gladly welcomed the tone of this story. I expected dark feelings, but instead I got light feeling melted with joy.
I even laughed out loud at some scenes (view spoiler) .

Anyway, I am glad I read this book and I am looking forward to check K. A. Tucker’s other work.

4,5

Book Review: Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

winner's crime

Title: The Winner’s Crime
Series: The Winner’s Trilogy #2
Author: Marie Rutkoski
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date: March 3rd, 2015
Pages: 416
Format: Hardback
Source: Purchased

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): Book two of the dazzling Winner’s Trilogy is a fight to the death as Kestrel risks betrayal of country for love.

The engagement of Lady Kestrel to Valoria’s crown prince means one celebration after another. But to Kestrel it means living in a cage of her own making. As the wedding approaches, she aches to tell Arin the truth about her engagement… if she could only trust him. Yet can she even trust herself? For—unknown to Arin—Kestrel is becoming a skilled practitioner of deceit: an anonymous spy passing information to Herran, and close to uncovering a shocking secret.

As Arin enlists dangerous allies in the struggle to keep his country’s freedom, he can’t fight the suspicion that Kestrel knows more than she shows. In the end, it might not be a dagger in the dark that cuts him open, but the truth. And when that happens, Kestrel and Arin learn just how much their crimes will cost them.

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Review:

This book should have come with the warning.
It contains violence on such a strong level that it left me uneasy.
I wondered how the book, that you can find in a children’s books section in a bookstore, can have so many well-described scenes with violence in it.

It starts with the bang, and it surely continues in the same tone trough the whole novel.

There’s a huge story development and even bigger character development.

Kestrel became stronger, smarter and she learned how to play the war game.
She still likes to play piano and her dream about becoming someone’s wife is so close to become the truth because she is engaged to emperor’s son.
Even though she is not a warrior in a literal sense, she has a mind of one.

Arin is a leader now. He is smart but still, his feelings do lead his actions more then they should be.
He still wants Kestrel but he also wants for his people to have the power they once had.

There are some new characters that were introduced to us in this, second book in the series.
Some of them were very likeable and some of them were just cruel, but very important for the story.

There is another tribe that came to the picture and I welcomed them with pleasure.
I have a feeling they will have a big part in the next, the last book of The Winner’s Triology.

In my opinion, The Winner’s Crime was better The Winner’s Kiss.
It took the story in a whole another level and it reminded me a lot of Game of Thrones.

I have a feeling The Winner’s Kiss will be an epic read and I can’t wait to read it and see where the story is going to go.

4,5

Book Review: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

what's left of me

Title: What’s Left of Me
Series: The Hybrid Chronicles (#1)
Author: Kat Zhang
Publisher: Harper Collins
Date: August 13th, 2013
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): I should not exist. But I do.

Eva and Addie started out the same way as everyone else—two souls woven together in one body, taking turns controlling their movements as they learned how to walk, how to sing, how to dance. But as they grew, so did the worried whispers. Why aren’t they settling? Why isn’t one of them fading? The doctors ran tests, the neighbors shied away, and their parents begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced healthy and Eva was declared gone. Except, she wasn’t . . .

For the past three years, Eva has clung to the remnants of her life. Only Addie knows she’s still there, trapped inside their body. Then one day, they discover there may be a way for Eva to move again. The risks are unimaginable-hybrids are considered a threat to society, so if they are caught, Addie and Eva will be locked away with the others. And yet . . . for a chance to smile, to twirl, to speak, Eva will do anything.

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Review:

Imagine that you weren’t alone in your body.
Imagine there’s another soul, another person sharing it with you.

In this unique world Kat Zhang created, everybody comes to earth with two souls.
With time, one soul becomes dominant and the other disappears.

At least, that’s how it should be.
But even though the body she came with is now seventeen years old, and her sister Addie is the one having control over it, Eva never disappeard.
She still lives, but other people can’t see her.

Nobody but her sister knows it.
They are keeping their secret from the rest of the world because, otherwise, they would be in a serious danger.

Written in first person, narrated by Eva, the soul that shouldn’t exist anymore, What’s Left of Me is one intense read that kept me on the edge from the first to the very last page.

What I liked the most about this book is the idea of the world that was builted in it.
Two souls in one body and the government trying to suppress the natural evolution of humans, was interesting to read about.
And even though, in my opinion, in a war with evolution the evolution always win, I couldn’t help but be curious how the government would react to hybrids and even though I pretty much understood their reasons, I still wanted to read about them.

Unfortunatelly, in this book, the first in the series, I didn’t get many answers to my quasi questions.

Another thing that I kept thinking about is how it would be interesting to see what kind of religion those people in this world would have, if that aspect was explored.
I know this is not important at all because two souls in one body was justified with scientific reasons, but since I, personally, refer soul with faith, I couldn’t stop my thoughts that lead me to those questions…

The characters in this book were pretty likeable and interesting, but I can’t say that any of them made me want to know more about them.

This book, even though I say it is unique, still reminded me of The Host by Stephenie Meyer, so I think that fans of that book will probably enjoy reading this one too.

The book is the part of triology, but it ended with pretty opened end and I, personaly, could live without reading the rest of the series and be pretty satisfied.

In my mind, this could also be a standalone with an open end.
However, some people probably wouldn’t agree with me.
In the end, it is on the reader to make his decision after he finishes the ride that this novel gives.

4

Book Review: The Uninvited by J.A. Templeton

the uninvited

Title: The Uninvited
Author: J.A. Templeton
Series: The MacKinnon Legacy #1
Publisher: Self-published
Date: March 17, 2015
Pages: 200
Format: ebook
Source: from Author for review

 

Synopsis (from Goodreads): For readers who loved the international best-selling YA paranormal romance series, The MacKinnon Curse, here is a new spin-off series!
Madison Sinclair has a secret. She can see, hear and feel the dead.
At seventeen, Madison travels to Edinburgh to study and discovers that university is not the only adventure to be found there. The historic Scots city is a hotbed of paranormal activity and Madison’s talents and empathy are tested when she meets the spirit of a missing teen, Jaime.
Madison befriends Shane, a fellow student and very human charmer from her home town, who also knows a thing or two about ghosts and their ways.
Madison’s spirit friend, Jaime, has a flesh-and-blood brother. Haven is a sexy, tattooed bad boy with a dangerous reputation, but is drawn to Madison because of the enticing truth she could give him about his little sister.
Shane and Haven help Madison use her gifts to uncover the secrets surrounding Jaime’s disappearance, which puts Madison in danger from more than wayward spirits. The psychopath that killed Jaime now has Madison in his cross-hairs, and he has no intention of letting her reveal the truth.
THE UNINVITED is book one in The MacKinnon Legacy series and is intended for readers over 17+ due to language, sexual situations, and violence.

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Review:

J.A. Templeton is one of my favorite authors for years now. I have read five of her novels before this one, and loved every-single one of them.

This one was no exception. I really, really liked it!

This story takes place five years after The Departed.

Although this is a spin-off, it is not fully tied to it’s predecessor. What I’m trying to say is that you are not obligated to read The MacKinnon Curse series in order to read this one.
Yeah, most of the characters are in both series, and stories are connected but are two separated pieces.

Regardless, if you still haven’t, I suggest you to read The MacKinnon Curse because it is an enjoyable read.

Our main character Madison is all grown up and she started college in Edingburgh. I enjoyed reading her story and getting to know the person she became. She is one interesting girl who’s still not fully independent but is on a good way to be.

It was so nice to see Shane again. I was always fond of him and I haven’t change my mind. I am really looking forward to read more about him.

Actually, it was nice to see everyone once again and to find out how Riley and Kade are doing. I only wish we got to know more about Cait‘s life.

I think J.A. Templeton is really good in creating likeable characters. There is really not one character that I didn’t like and although it could sometimes be a flaw, I don’t think it was in this case.
However, I am curious how the story will develop from this book on because what seems flawless now could easely became drawback later if not shaped right.

Do I think we should have more character development trough the series? I do.
But I have no doubt Templeton will do a good job, as she always does.

We do have a glimpse of a love triangle but I didn’t pay too much attention to it because to me, it was clear who should win in this love game. Still, I want to know if I was right and where the author will take us with it.

While reading this book I had a vibe I had way back when I was watching “Ghost Whisperer” TV show.
If you liked watching that show, I think you would like this book.

The novel ends with something I like to call The perfect cliff-hanger.
It makes you wonder what is going to happen’ next but doesn’t leave you desperate for the sequel. You don’t feel like you have to have it in your hands right away, but it does announce to you that the sequel will be soooo good and you are looking forward to read it because you know you’ll enjoy it more then this book you just finished.

4

Waiting on Wendesday (#6): The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans

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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:

the butterfly summer

The Butterfly Summer by Harriet Evans

Publisher: Headline Review

Publication Date: May 19th, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Harriet Evans is the Sunday Times bestselling author of A Place for Us and her new novel, The Butterfly Summer, is a compulsive tale about forbidden and enduring love and the secrets we keep that somehow grow beyond all proportion. You’ll be desperate to add it to your shelf alongside the best of Santa Montefiore, Jojo Moyes and Kate Morton.

‘Harriet Evans is a master at creating characters you feel like you know inside out’ Heat

What magic is this?

You follow the hidden creek towards a long-forgotten house.

They call it Keepsake, a place full of wonder … and danger. Locked inside the crumbling elegance of its walls lies the story of the Butterfly Summer, a story you’ve been waiting all your life to hear.

This house is Nina Parr’s birthright. It holds the truth about her family – and a chance to put everything right at last.

Harriet Evans. She brings you home.

Why am I waiting for this book?

To be honest, this book grabbed my attention when I saw people were talking about it on Twitter, and those who were lucky enough to get an early copy of it all seemed to like it.

The premise sounds really good, the cover is just beautiful, but what “bought me” to add this book to my tbr list is the video with some readers’ reactions after reading this book. When I saw many emotions written on their faces, I just knew I have to read this and find out what my reactions to this beautiful novel will be.

Author Website * Amazon UK * Amazon US * Goodreads * The Book Depository