The Sand Dollar by Maggie Christensen

The Sand Dollar (The Oregon Coast Series Book 1)The Sand Dollar by Maggie Christensen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Sand Dollar is a piece of contemporary fiction. Sixty year old Jenny lives in Queensland Australia. The company she works for is making her redundant which has rather shocked her. Jenny’s son and daughter believe this is good news as she’ll be able to help them both out with baby-sitting, but Jenny wants more from life.

She decides to travel to Oregon to visit her Godmother Maddy. Mike Halliday, a widower, has also decided to move to Seal Rock, Oregon after the death of his wife. He wants a quiet life where he can continue his research into Native Americans.

When Maddy has a fall Jenny and Mike must let down their defences and work together. Jenny discovers some old letters from her Mum to Maddy and is shocked by their content. It opens up a whole new direction of her life and leaves her with lots of questions.

This is a relaxed paced story about people in later life still finding reason to live and love.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads.

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Emily reviews The Night Porter by Mark Barry

Today we have a review from team member Emily, she blogs at http://lifebetweenbookends.tumblr.com/

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Emily chose to read and review The Night Porter by Mark Barry

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The Night Porter is comedic, dramatic and most of all incredibly entertaining. We are introduced to ‘The Night Porter’ who is a hardworking man so completely devoted to his job, he is only referred to by his title and above all he values his crucial dedication to the smooth running of The Saladin Inn.
When the Arkwright Literary Awards decide to pay for 4 of their shortlisted authors, Amy, Jo, Frank and Julian, to stay in The Saladin for two weeks, it is the Night Porters duty to ensure their every need is met. Though his charm and small talk welcomes the guests graciously, no amount of polite smiles could lower tensions between the authors themselves. We witness the Night Porter falter in his professionalism as he experiences attraction towards guests, an obvious disliking towards a colleague and inconspicuously tries to unearth the past cause of Amy and Julian’s blatant hatred towards each other.
As the awards loom and nerves rise, a sudden tragedy befalls one of the authors and the carefully organised awards night seems to be crumbling into pieces. We follow the Night Porter as he struggles to do what he usually does best- maintain order.
Mark Barry has managed to not only blend laughter and suspense so well into one story but also creates vivid characters and enthralling dilemmas. This book lacks nothing but it’s own literary award and overall was a delightful read.
Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Good Deeds Challenge Year 2 Week 49

Welcome to my second Year of Good Deeds, a challenge I set myself during April 2013. I decided to do at least one Good Deed a day for a whole year, now I am into my second year.

New Good DeedsThis week I’ve been doing the following;

March 22nd – I’m reading an excellent book by Alison Layland called Someone Else’s Conflict. Have put the finishing touches to my April A to Z Challenge theme reveal ready for tomorrow.

March 23rd – My morning volunteering at school. My April A to Z Theme reveal, here is a link if you missed the post http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-6B4

March 24th –  A lunchtime walk and picked up litter. I’m reading Kinetics: In Search Of Willow by Arbor Barrow

March 25th – Leant a book to a friend, bought birthday gifts in town and walked home picking up litter.

March 26th – I’ve been Spring cleaning my house and now it feels lovely to live in. A quick walk and litter pick over lunch-time. Am reading Imminent Danger: And How To Fly Straight Into It by Michelle Proulx

March 27th – Approving The proofs of my May book reviews for Fleet life, April issues due out next week. I’m loving this Spring sunshine, picked up more litter on my daily walk. I’m reading Before The Morning by Zee Monodee.

March 28th – Just a walk and litter pick today, really enjoying Zee’s book as mentioned above hoping to finish it later today.

Aquarius Addiction By Trish Jackson

Aquarius AddictionAquarius Addiction by Trish Jackson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Aquarius Addiction is a romantic suspense set in and around New Orleans. Arlette Xylander is a psychic who helps the FBI in cases they cannot solve. She’s just been called into a new case on the very day she’s had bad news about her own health. She meets Andre Rossouw, older brother of a young missing girl. There is an instant spark of romance between the pair but with Arlette’s health news and Andre being a client any future for the pair is a no-go.

Arlette lives in an old house inherited from her Aunt. She’s left Arlette the house and a mystery to solve. The house is haunted, but Arlette isn’t frightened.

Susanna is the missing girl that Arlette must find, she goes to the family home and hopes for some visions to give her clues. She gets a couple of glimpses and does a sketch for a photo ID fit, plus she has a couple of names to work on.

The photos cause trouble for Arlette when she’s the victim of a hit and run that leaves her in hospital. However she believes she’s got a lead as things soon start hotting up in the search for Susanna.

In Arlette’s personal life the appearance of a Voodoo priestess has it’s own mysteries and her Aunt urges her to find the women again.

I enjoyed this mystery particularly the links to New Orleans and the Voodoo, plus the sizzling romance between Arlette and Andre which was fun.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Terry reviews The Relationship Shoppe by Susan P Clark

Today we have a review from team member Terry, she blogs at http://terrytylerbookreviews.blogspot.co.uk/

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Terry chose to read and review The Relationship Shoppe by Susan Paulson Clark

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THE RELATIONSHIP SHOPPE by Susan Paulson Clark

3.5 stars

Marian Sheffield and her friend Belle start a website and bookshop based around self-help for people suffering relationship difficulties and break-ups.  In the meantime, though, they are both working through their own post-divorce transitional periods, and coming to terms with single life and meeting new men.  Central also to the story is a singles’ group, the structure of which I have to say I found rather odd, but this might be just because of cultural differences between England and Texas, where the book is set.

I found this book to be written in an easily readable, conversational fashion, with many elements in it to which women might relate.  I liked the way in which the story is half love stuff and half business, the latter of which I found interesting.  Ms Clark writes well, and the book is professionally presented with minimal errors.  Some of the characters are cleverly drawn: the volatile Belle, her horrible father, and the hilarious Agnes—the slightly nutty middle-aged woman who isn’t able to move on from her marriage break-up that happened years and years previously.   Some good comedic moments there!  The character that didn’t work for me, though, was Marian.  Sadly, I couldn’t ‘see’ her at all.  Much of the time she comes across as a tad sanctimonious and too set in her expectations of people for a girl in her twenties.  Alas, her understanding of others seems to come mostly from the pages of the books she sells; I wasn’t sure if this was done on purpose or not.

Generally, I felt the book needed a good content edit.  There is a fair bit of unnecessary activity at the beginning; Belle’s walking out of the business then walking back in, and an unrealistic scene in which Marian walks out of her job to work full time on Stairstepz; a single woman with children to support, walking out of a well-paid job because of a remark made by her boss.  Okay, it happens!  But there are too many coincidences—a chance meeting with someone in a café who’s perfectly placed to help her, a friend’s son who just happens to invest in new technology businesses—too many developments and characters’ reactions that were not particularly feasible but just there to move the plot along, sometimes to the point of being contradictory to what’s been said before.  However, this is often to be found in debut novels, and something that lessened as the book went on.

I did guess who Marian was going to end up with very early on in the book though I don’t think it was glaringly obvious, and I found the whole attitude towards relationships a little old-fashioned but, again, this might be just cultural differences.  To sum up, it’s a novel with a lot of potential by someone who clearly has the ability to write engagingly; it just needs a bit of sorting out!

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

Crashing Into Love by Melissa Foster

Crashing into Love (Love in Bloom, #20; The Bradens #12)Crashing into Love by Melissa Foster

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Crashing Into Love is Book #20 of The Love In Bloom series and #12 of The Bradens. It’s hot romance and ticks all the boxes for romance readers.

Jake Braden is an LA stuntman, he leads a fast life, women, parties, cars at a whirlwind pace. Anything to avoid the silence which will bring him crashing down in painful thoughts.

Fiona Steele is a geologist at the Bureau of Mines and Geology and for the last sixteen years she’s been avoiding Jake as much as he’s been hiding from her. As teenagers they dated but when Fiona’s father abandoned her mother, it caused upheaval in all their lives, with Fiona due to leave home for college, her Mum’s advice was to let Jake go and spread her wings.

It broke her heart to leave Jake and he never got over it either. Now Fiona wants him back, but can she break down the barriers and slay the demons which have taken over? When both are home in Trusty, Colorado, Jakes brothers set him up to meet Fiona in a bar. The meeting is tense and doesn’t go well.

Fiona has been bold, she’s taken unpaid time off work and for the next few weeks she’s going to be her friend Trish’s assistant on the set of a new film where Jake is the stuntman. He can’t stay in denial long when he sees Fiona everyday and soon he starts to question the life he leads and what he really wants. But what about the future? Fiona has a huge job promotion offer and Jake will have more film work all over the world. Can they possible compromise to make a relationship work?

Another great book is this series.

This review is based on a free copy of the book given to me by the author via Brook Cottage Books

View all my reviews on Goodreads

 

 

Crashing into Love Tour Banner 1

Only one woman could hurt ultra-alpha bad boy Jake Braden.

Only one woman can heal him.

Fiona Steele has arrived…

Fiona Steele has a great career, strong friendships, and a loving family. To an outsider, her life appears happy and fulfilling. But the one thing that’s missing is true love, and the only man Fiona wants is the one she can’t have, sinfully handsome and seductively intense Jake Braden—the man whose heart she broke, which she has regretted ever since.

As an LA stuntman, Jake Braden’s at the top of his game. He’s hired for all the best movies, hooks up with the hottest women, and lives an unencumbered lifestyle where his needs come first—and where he doesn’t have to examine his life too closely. Except when he visits his family in his close-knit hometown of Trusty, Colorado, where he spends his time avoiding Fiona—the only woman who knows who he really is.

When Fiona’s best friend is hired to act in Jake’s movie, Fiona jumps at the chance to try to win him back. There’s no denying the white-hot attraction burning between them. With every encounter, Fiona hopes Jake can’t resist falling back into the love they once shared. But her well-orchestrated rendezvous doesn’t go over well with the brooding heartthrob. Living in the fast lane is perfect for a guy who’s buried his emotions so damn deep he’s not sure he can remember how to feel—and he’s not sure he ever wants to.

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Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes contemporary romance, new adult, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the  World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on  Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an annual Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Authors Links:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Goodreads

Sign up for Melissa’s newsletter to stay up to date with releases and giveaways

http://www.melissafoster.com/newsletter/

 

 

BUY LINKS

Kobo

Google Play

ibooks

B & N

Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Giveaway – 3ecopies of the previous book in the series – Dreaming of Love
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Emily Braden is a leader in architectural preservation, a pillar in her small hometown, and successful in everything she does—with the exception of finding true love. She’s watched several of her brothers fall in love, and she needs this trip to Tuscany to get away from it all and to stop focusing on what she doesn’t have.

Dae Bray doesn’t do flings, and he never stays in one place for very long. As a demolitionist, he goes where jobs take him, and the more often he travels, the better. His trip to Tuscany is all work—until he meets smart and sexy Emily, who makes him reconsider his fear of settling down, his no-fling rule—and just about everything else he’s ever believed about himself.

Passion sizzles as Dae and Emily explore the history and beauty of Tuscany. Their romance moves beyond tourist attractions to the bedroom, blossoming into a deep connection neither can deny. But their worlds collide when Emily wants to preserve the property that Dae is there to demolish. Can a woman who sees the beauty in preservation and a man whose life is spent tearing things down find a solid foundation for their love?

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Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Chris reviews The Girl in the Black Pajamas by Chris Birdy

Today we have a review from team member Chris,

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Chris chose to read and review The Girl In The Black Pajamas by Chris Birdy.

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The Girl in Black Pajamas is part crime thriller, part mystery, and wholly full-on adventure. It is effectively comprised of two related stories that race along their meandering paths.

The main character, holding the various strands of the story together, is Bogie, a hacker. He flies to his ‘agency’s’ headquarters in Boston to help solve the mystery of why one of their employees was shot and his IT system breached. Joining forces with a convicted felon and his team, Bogie attempts to understand what his enemy has planned before he and his friends become the next targets. Throw in a missing laptop, some suspicious cops, a hacker nemesis and a number of back stories, and the action doesn’t let up.

Accompanying Bogie on his trip to Boston is his 4-year-old, genius daughter, Isabella. She aspires to learn the Five-Point-Palm-Exploding-
Heart-Technique from Kill Bill 2, and keeps Bogie and his colleagues entertained with her witticisms and innocent view of the world. She inadvertently prevents the murder of her father on the flight, but will she be able to do it again?

Holding the fort at home in Florida is Bogie’s pregnant wife, Bailey, who is left to look after a troop of three: her and Bogie’s baby son, Bogie’s elder daughter, Amanda, and Bogie’s granddaughter. This is made harder by the fact that Amanda’s shopaholicism and inability to deal with her infant leads to her husband leaving her and her friends trying to entice her to make porn movies with them. But why is her husband being targeted by his ruthless police colleagues?

Overall, the book’s writing style took a while to get used to, with its frequent changes of point of view and quick jumps from one scene to the next. The action was constant and didn’t let up, jumping from fights between families to car chases to murder attempts between Boston and Florida.

I haven’t read The Girl in White Pajamas, and this may have hampered my ability to warm to the large cast and their complex back stories. But the characters, besides being plentiful, were certainly colourful and the one thing that this book could not be accused of being is boring.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

Reality Is In A Dream by Lauren Mayhew

Reality is in a DreamReality is in a Dream by Lauren Mayhew

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reality Is In A Dream is a debut YA paranormal fantasy. It’s storyline is a complex mix of dream worlds and reality. Liliana Mallory wakes on the morning of her sixteenth birthday from a dream, but all is not as it would seem, she doesn’t recognise her parents and asks after a brother who does not exist.

At school the strangeness continues when she already knows what present her friends will give her. New best friend Justin tries to help her out and listens to everything she wants to tell him. They have a platonic relationship, no romance at all more like brother and sister.

Through further dreams and periods of unconsciousness Lily’s story unfolds, she remembers herself aged five with a brother and magical powers, this setting is in the past as their clothing reflects. A different Justin is in her dreams too and he tries to give her hints and lessons for the future, but Lily must find her own answers.

Lily soon discovers that she is a Custos, a guardian and her magical power allows her to move into reflective surfaces like mirrors. She’s conscious of a lady watching her from the sky at times and events occur which make her question the reality she is living. She fears the lady in the sky and must heed the message from Justin – “You must Run”.

This book took a while to get into, the back story is all dreams, I felt the book began to pick up pace when Justin disappeared and Lily was taken to Cornwall. This made Lily think for herself and the storyline came together for a cliff hanger ending ready for the second book in the series.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

View all my reviews on Goodreads

Rosie’s Avid Readers #RBRT African Me and Satellite TV by Jo Robinson

Rosie's Avid Readers

Rosie’s Avid readers are people who like reading and have a book to tell us about, they are the voice of a friend who says ” I just read this book….”

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Avid Reader’s thoughts.

I shall never forget this book, so many points of view so wonderfully expressed.  It asks history should we have gone there? Should we try to put our values & customs onto people who have no idea what we are talking about? I think back to my childhood in Sunday school where we were told what wonderful work the missionaries were doing, but were they?  Exploitation is a terrible thing, it still goes on.

This book shows deeply that all peoples evolve at different rates and the cultural shock of suddenly finding yourself several century’s in the future among people who think that you should think like them regardless is a disaster. It reminds us that we have no patience and cannot wait for others to catch up, then we move on again.  Lessons from the book are that the world is there not only should we look after it but we should also look after the people & not interfere for our own selfish lives. Other cultures may well need help to understand our cultures but not at their expense.

Book description.

For many years Suzette has managed very well to live her life without actually taking part in it, avoiding any possibility of pain by very carefully ignoring reality. Until something happens. Something so terrible that she has no choice but to abandon her cocoon of safety.
After the brutal beating of an elderly domestic worker, Suzette takes her in, and sets off a chain of events that leads to devastating heartbreak. And an unexpected hero changes everything. Finally finding her voice, she speaks out, and her world explodes, culminating in the death of a very special man.
On her path to make amends, she discovers the story of his life, connects with the people of his past, and finds the chance to fully live her life once again if that’s what she chooses to.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

We welcome recommendations especially from non-authors for this feature, and would love to hear from anyone who would like to leave a comment and follow the blog.

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Judith reviews Death In The Family by Helen Treharne

Today’s book review comes from team member Judith, she blogs at http://judithbarrowblog.com/

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Judith chose to read and review Death In The Family by Helen Treharne

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Yet again I’ve found myself reading a genre that is not my usual cup of tea. But, before I continue I have to say how much I enjoyed this book; it exceeded my expectations. Helen Treharne’s writing is so powerful and evocative, any reservations I had were swept away. The story is contemporary, the protagonist, Sophie Morgan, exists within what I call the ‘normal world’, with all the trappings of an everyday life. Except that she lives with the knowledge that vampires are omnipresent and unstoppable.
I always try to write reviews by setting out the techniques of the book that I enjoyed, so I won’t give away any spoilers.
Sophie, is a well-rounded, believable character; easy for the reader to empathise with. Indeed, the author brings all the characters, Kasper, her father, Mickey Kelly, her erstwhile lover, Charles Ferrers, the adversary, Margeaux Renard, self-appointed matriarch, to life with subtlety and foreshadowing. And the various points of view, shown through the omniscient narrator, works well.
At one point, through the author’s description of the Welsh town, Bethel, alongside that of the village of Bethesda, I had an immediate sense of place. I was instantly there. The internal dialogue of the protagonist that follows is an example of the clever intertwining of the horror and tension and the humour; “Why a vampire had decided to rock up there, heaven alone knew”. And this was one of the reasons I enjoyed this novel.
That and the fact that the plot is interesting (little spoiler here:- there is a mystery about an ancient manuscript) with twists and turns
Death in the Family is the sequel to Relative Strangers. But it is also a stand-alone book. I didn’t feel that I had missed out or was confused by any of the action.
I thought this book was perhaps one I might struggle with. I was wrong. And I would certainly recommend this book and Helen Treharne as an author.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com