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Saturday, March 30, 2013

Three Sisters Blog Tour Review

Three Sisters by Susan Mallery
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
Published: 26, February 2013; Harlequin MIRA paperback
FTC: ARC was provided by Meryl L. Moss Media Relations, Inc. as part of blog tour.
"After Andi Gordon is jilted at the altar, she makes the most impetuous decision of her life – buying one of the famed Three Sisters Queen Anne houses on Blackberry Island. Now the proud-ish owner of the ugly duckling of the trio, she plans to open her own pediatric office on the first floor, just as soon as her hunky contractor completes the work. Andi's new future may be coming together, but the truth is she's just as badly in need of a major renovation as her house.

When Deanna Phillips confronts her husband about a suspected affair, she opens up a Pandora's Box of unhappiness. And he claims that she is the problem. The terrible thing is, he's right. In her quest to be the perfect woman, she's lost herself, and she's in danger of losing her entire family if things don't change.

Next door, artist Boston King thought she and her college sweetheart would be married forever. Their passion for one other has always seemed indestructible. But after tragedy tears them apart, she's not so sure. Now it's time for them to move forward, with or without one another.

Thrown together by fate and geography, and bound by the strongest of friendships, these three women will discover what they're really made of: laughter, tears, love and all."
Three Sisters was the perfect blend of humor, love, and angst. Three Sisters reminded me of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, but instead of pants connecting the girls together, the houses tied the women together. Even though Andi, Deanna, and Boston don’t have much in common, but their houses, they still work together and help one another. Each tries to comfort the others using humor, snark, or just a good bottle of wine.

Initially, the multiple POVs and jumping right into the story can be daunting, but once you start, it’s had to stop.

For me, I enjoyed reading Deanna’s POV the most. Her story hit me the hardest and I remember lying bed just full on ugly crying by the middle of her story. I enjoyed the juxtapositioning of her need on control of her life by washing herself and the destruction of her family. But Andi and Boston hold their own as well. Both have had experiences that hurt them terribly and unable to move on. I had more trouble relating to them because I never experienced what they went through, but I was sympathetic to their troubles and rooted when lives started to come back together again.

I loved the setting and the sexy men and the fact that even though Three Sisters is the 2nd installment to the Blackberry Island series, I didn’t have to read the 1st book to follow this. I really loved the stories even though Boston had moments when I just wanted to punch her and Andi’s storyline seemed to go off tangents at times. I would definitely pick up another book by Susan Mallery.

You can follow the rest of the tour here: http://blogtoureditors.booktrib.com/2013/02/28/blog-tour-three-sisters-by-susan-mallery/

Visit Susan Marlley: website / facebook/ twitter

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Dark Heroine Blog Tour Review

The Dark Heroine by Abigail Gibbs
Grade: 1.5 stars out of 5
Published: March 5, 2013; trade paperback; William Morrow
FTC: ARC was provided by publisher for blog tour

Oh how I wanted to love this novel. My favorite genre is paranormal romance, and this was up my alley. The synopses was something that I wold pick up in a heartbeat, but as I've learned, the synopses does not always agree with the book. 
When Violet Lee witnesses a killing in front of her, she is taken captive by none other than Kaspar Varn, heir to the throne of a vampire kingdom. Together, Violet and Kaspar will succumb to fate and their passion.

Smack dab on the cover of The Dark Heroine, it is claimed that this is “The Sexist Romance You’ll Read This Year”. Quite honestly, you might say this is indeed sexy; it is full of kisses, sex, rape, and don’t forget the orgies. Vampires, however, don’t seem consider the time and place for most of these actions though. Just a fair warning, all of that does occur. The book was not graphic though, but there are many cusses.

I do enjoy Gibbs’s world building. Her idea of multiple dimensions and parallel connections and a prophecy of nine women tying them all together were intriguing. It is something a little different from the other paranormal romances I’ve read. I also appreciate her slow introduction into the world; there’s nothing more boring than reading pages and pages of information just thrown in your face. The Dark Heroine, however, has only covered 1 dimension in which the vampires reside. The sequel will cover where the magicians reside, so it is a slow world building, but definitely more gratifying than word vomiting.

The pacing to The Dark Heroine was awkward and clunky. The shifts between politics and romance were abrupt. In one chapter there’s talk about going into war and fighting hunters, the next chapter some vampire guy is hitting on Violet and asking her to a dance/ball. What?

Anyhow. Violet Lee is not one of my favorite heroines. She’s a damsel-in-distress and constantly forgets that is a hostage that may cause a war. She’s spunky and has plenty of lip, but I find Violet so frustrating and too naïve. In a hypothetical scenario where I was held captive in a building full of people who can kill me and happily drink my blood, and my death can cause a full on war, I would not play a prank on someone who does seem to like me very much. I love sleep and all, but if it was between my life and not getting a good night’s rest, I would choose life. There is a time and place to play pranks. There is also Violet’s thinking that they should treat her better. I laugh and laugh because she is a hostage and that thought pattern eludes her. Throughout the novel, the vampires do treat her kindly, but when they threaten and are physically rough she cries. Get over it. (As a side not, Violet’s eyes are violet, but there is no real significance to her eye color so I do not quite understand why it was mentioned so often.)

Then there’s Kaspar. I have few more colorful words than jerk, a term most commonly used by Violet in describing Kaspar. (Really, is jerk all that you can come up with?) Kaspar is the typical bad boy turned good guy by the right girl. He is obnoxious, a manslut, arrogant with an ego that can fill the room, with bits (tiny bits) that show him to be gentle and caring. There are some chapters when Kaspar’s emotions are at a high that it will be in his POV which offer some insights. I wished these chapters were more frequent as many of his actions were at odds to what he says and what (he says) he feels.

The romance between Violet and Kaspar appeared to be forced. Riding on the fate track works and calling it love was contrived. I found the foundation of the romance to lean more on lust and the rest (conversations, intimate moments, commonness) hastily thrown  on top.

The side characters on average were eh. I liked some, but many were cliché. Violet’s best friend is of course beautiful and flirty. To the readers, she doesn’t sound like a very good friend. Kaspar’s best friend, Fabian, doesn’t sound quite a great friend either. And I do not, do not, understand why being rejected by a girl is a good to participate in an orgy. I would name more, but the list will get too long.

In all, I would most likely not read the sequel toThe Dark Heroine. While I find the world building fascinating, the characters and writing style did not click for me. I rolled my eyes and scoffed too many times for me to consider this book something I would want to read again.

On another note, The Dark Heroine is pitched for lovers of Twilight and A Discovery of Witches. I have not read A Discovery of Witches so I can vouch for that comparison, but comparing The Dark Heroine to Twilight is pushing it.

follow the tour

Friday, March 8, 2013

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins
Published: February 26, 2013; mass market paperback; Harlequin HQN
Grade: 4 stars out of 5
FTC: book was provided by publicity firm

Why are all the good men taken, gay, or married?

For Faith Holland, Jeremy was the perfect guy. Respectful, sweet, smart, just perfect, but because of Levi Cooper, Faith was left at the altar.
"Now a little older and wiser, she's ready to return to the Blue Heron Winery, her family's vineyard, to confront the ghosts of her past, and maybe enjoy a glass of red. After all, there's some great scenery there….

Like Levi Cooper, the local police chief—and best friend of her former fiancé. There's a lot about Levi that Faith never noticed, and it's not just those deep green eyes. The only catch is she's having a hard time forgetting that he helped ruin her wedding all those years ago. If she can find a minute amidst all her family drama to stop and smell the rosé, she just might find a reason to stay at Blue Heron, and finish that walk down the aisle."

Ever had the feeling where you read so many teen lit that you become desensitized and you just want something different. You want something spicier, a little more mature, but still craving fun and humorous. I found that with The Best Man by Kristan Higgins.

Faith Holland is this blend of nativity, whimsical, in-your-face directness that makes her endearing. If this were an urban fantasy novel, she’ll probably be gutting down demons with her adorable dog at her side. Alas, this is contemporary, but Faith can definitely hold her own against men. Her string of bad luck with men only draws more sympathy and definitely laughs out loud scenes. Faith also has epilepsy, and while 90% of the novel does not focus on it, it does place a heavy burden on Faith’s shoulder. Faith isn’t always sunshine and rainbows, and with the death of the mother and her father’s non-interest of getting back into the dating pool, Faith’s guilt and the darker of her personality comes through.    

Levi Cooper, when initially introduced, is an ass. Plain and simple, he is a complete ass. Gradually over the course of the novel, my impression of him changed; he became dynamic, softer, caring, damaged. After several terms in a war, a failed marriage, a deadbeat father, and a childhood where money was very tight all the time, Levi had an edge to him. But as the novel delved deeper into his back-story, his sweet nature started to appear. What appeared to be an act that destroyed a potentially great marriage was actually an act of true friendship. Levi is a true and great friendship that will stick by someone through thick and thin. He has his own sense of justice that showcases his compassion. Granted there are still moments where he is a complete ass, but I believe his intentions are good.

The relationship between the two was a mixture of sweet, sour, bitter, and spicy. Their personalities at times can clash as neither fully trusts each other nor can they can admit that they like each other. Actions, however, can speak louder than words so while sweet nothings are hardly ever whispered in their ears it is undeniable that the two have a connection.

Family is huge in this novel and rightfully so. And while I can’t talk much about it without explaining and possibly spoiling the entire novel, I can say that it’s a nice break from the emotional tug-of-war which is love.

The Best Man is a delicious blend of dark, gritty experiences and light, fun humor. Kristan Higgins writing is crisp, easy to follow and straight to the point. I find her writing style appealing and her novels always entertaining. This being my fourth or fifth novel of Higgins I will say that it wasn’t my favorite of hers—mostly for wanting more from Levi in regards to his outright affection for Faith—but The Best Man was still one that I thoroughly enjoyed.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kristan Higgins writes down-to-earth romantic comedies...real life, true love and lots of laughs.

Find Kristan on Twitter or visit her website.

Purchase your copy of The Best Man on Amazon.

Booktrib.com is also doing a Live Chat with Kristan on March 12 at 3:00 PM EST. You can ask her any questions you might have, and hear about her new projects!!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Real Vampires Know Hips Happen Blog Tour and Giveawy

REAL VAMPIRES KNOW HIPS HAPPEN is the ninth book in the hilarious series about the adventures of an older-than-dirt female vampire with a weight problem and her on-again, off-again hunky Scottish vampire lover.
Even though full-figured vampire Glory St. Clair knows a kilt won’t do her hips any favors, she’s willing to travel to Scotland and beyond for Jeremiah Blade, her hunky on-again, off-again lover. Glory is thrilled when their reunion is a welcome one—until an attack leaves Jerry with amnesia, unable to remember their centuries together.

While Jerry doesn’t remember Glory, he’s more than willing to take what she freely offers—her ancient blood and her voluptuous body. But when she tries to get him to travel to the New World in a flying machine, he thinks she’s cracked, especially since she wants him to work with his ancient rival to get his memory back.

With her lover stuck in the past and an unknown enemy working against them, Glory isn’t sure where to turn. But when Jerry puts his life on the line to save her, Glory knows the man she loves is still there—and she’ll do anything to get him back…

Gerry Bartlett figures that vampires are pretty much like everyone else except for the liquid diet. Eternity or Mexican Food? Tough call. Then there's the whole problem with sunlight. When would she treasure hunt for her own antique business on the historic Strand of Galveston? Gerry's a native Texan and lives halfway between Houston and Galveston.

(NOTE: This is a Rafflecopter giveaway, so it may not be visible in Google Reader)