Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: The Prenup by Lauren Layne

August 14th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: July 9, 2019

Publisher: LL Book Co

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

My name is Charlotte Spencer and, ten years ago, I married my brother’s best friend. I haven’t seen him since.

Charlotte Spencer grew up on the blue-blooded Upper East Side of Manhattan but she never wanted the sit-still-look-pretty future her parents dictated for her. Enter Colin Walsh, her brother’s quiet, brooding, man-bun-sporting best friend, and with him a chance to escape.

He’s far from Charlotte’s dream guy but they need each other for one thing: marriage. One courthouse wedding later, Charlotte’s inheritance is hers to start a business in San Francisco and Irish-born Colin has a Green Card.

Ten years later, Colin drops a bombshell: the terms of their prenup state that before either can file for divorce, they have to live under the same roof for three months.

Suddenly this match made in practicality is about to take on whole new meaning…

My Thoughts

Lauren Layne is one of my go to authors but I have to admit the last book I read from her, Passion on Park Avenue, was a bit of a dud so I was slightly leery reading this one. I’m glad to say The Prenup had the banter and sassiness I loved in the other books I’ve read from Lauren Layne and I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved Charlotte’s character. I had expected her to be one of those flighty, immature characters who are initially unlikeable but I actually really enjoyed getting to know her. She has her flighty moments but she has a good heart and is doing her best to make the most of an awkward situation. What kept this from being a 5 star read was I wasn’t as much of a fan of Colin’s. While on the surface he seems like he’s supposed to be the upstanding guy who has dinner with the parents Charlotte abandoned I thought he was a bit of a jerk. He plays at being the nice guy but I thought the way he treated Charlotte was horrible. I’m not sure if the end really makes up for all of his previous behaviors but the rest of the story itself was an enjoyable read.

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Ransom by Julie Garwood

August 10th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: Nov. 1, 1999

Publisher: Pocketbooks

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Overflowing with all of the majesty and intrigue of medieval glory days, this magnificent New York Times bestseller is a page-turner of passion and loyalty, justice and honor. Beloved storyteller Julie Garwood steps back to the silver-shrouded Highlands of her classic tale The Secret–and hails the return of two unforgettable warriors: Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. In the dark days after the death of Richard the Lionhearted, lives and lands would fall into upheaval at the hands of a power-hungry British ruler and his violent minions. One victim of the scourge is innocent Gillian, who is a mere child when the cruel and ambitious Baron Alford slaughters her father and tears her family apart. Alford, determined to recover a jeweled box for the despotic King John, is furious when the precious treasure slips through his fingers–only to be lost for more than a decade.

Now a beautiful young woman, Gillian finds the key to resolving her past in handsome Scottish chieftains Ramsey Sinclair and Brodick Buchanan. With the cunning and courage of the daring Scotsmen, and with the friendship of a new ally, Bridgid KirkConnell, Gillian at last fights the unscrupulous Baron Alford, laying claim to her home, her family, and her father’s reputation. But in the presence of the mighty warriors, Gillian and Bridgid discover that desire can be a weapon of conquest…betrayal can slay trust in a heartbeat…and the greatest risk of all is surrender–to the deep emotions of unexpected love.

My Thoughts

Julie Garwood was one of the first romance authors I have ever read and I fell in love with her historical romances. Ransom is one of my favorites from Julie Garwood and is a fabulous follow up to The Secret. Both The Secret and Ransom made me laugh which is one of my favorite things about Garwood’s writing style. I loved both Broderick and Ramsey’s characters from the moment we met them in The Secret and both Gillian and Brigid were wonderful heroinces. Gillian’s spirit and her relationship with Alex warmed my heart. All of the supporting characters played their parts perfectly to keep the story line moving along at the perfect pace and it made me immensely happy to see Ian and Judith also make an appearance. If you love a good Highlander romance you definitely should pick up this series!

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Protect the Prince by Jennifer Estep

July 2nd, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: July 2, 2019

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Series: Crown of Shards #2

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Magic, murder, adventure, and romance combine in this second novel in the exciting Crown of Shards saga from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep.

Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.

First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.

Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.

But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.

But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s . . . well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.

Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…

My Thoughts

Wow! I just have to say how blown away I have been by this series. I loved the first book, Kill the Queen, and have been on pins and needles waiting for Protect the Prince. Often times I feel like book 2 in any series suffers a bit of middle book syndrome and doesn’t live up to the epicness of the first book but if anything I may have enjoyed this one even a smidge more than Kill the Queen.

There is a whole lot going on. Everleigh is having to adjust to being queen, dealing with her own insecurities about being queen, the plots to assassinate her along with the complications of her feelings for Sullivan. Each subplot is handled superbly and the book never dragged.

The saddest part was that it had to end and now it’s a waiting game again for the next book.

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Review: Beyond the Limit by Cindy Dees

June 25th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Netgalley

Publication date: June 25, 2019

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the book

Skylar Tate, former Miss Congeniality, is a media officer for the Navy, but she itches to get on the field—and she can prove she has what it takes. But convincing others that she can become one of the first ever female Navy SEALs? That might be tougher than the agonizingly brutal training.

Griffin Caldwell and his teammates in his Navy SEAL platoon, the Reapers, are tasked to secretly train women candidates to become the first female SEALs. But when he meets Skylar Tate, it’s friction—and lust—at first sight. Griffin can’t believe the former pageant queen has what it takes, and Skylar can’t believe his arrogance. But when one deadly mission goes wrong, it’s up to Skylar and Griffin and their unprecedented bond to save the day.

My Thoughts

This book took me a long time to get into it. I have to admit if I hadn’t received it for review I probably would have set it aside. Despite the storyline being about how a woman being capable of becoming a Navy SEAL a good portion of the beginning of the book focused on how hot both the hero and heroine found each other. It fed into all the stereotypes of why women shouldn’t be in the military. Couldn’t they at least wait until they got to know each other before wanting to rub up against each other?!

Once we finally get to know Skylar and Griffin beyond the fact that they’re both hot I actually came to enjoy both characters. I came to admire that Skylar was able to hold her own and that Griffin honestly came to respect her and the other Valkyries abilities. Once Skylar finally makes it to BUDs training I felt the story finally picks up and I enjoyed it much more. So if you can past the first 1/4 of the book the rest is enjoyable.

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Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Review: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

June 14th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: February 16, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners’ leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back. . . .

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

My Thoughts

I have to just say again what an amazeballs series this has been. I read all 3 books in the span of 4 or 5 days because I could not put them down. It’s been about a week since I’ve read them and I’m still telling everyone that they have to go read this series. A good friend started it the other day and finished book 1 the same day as well. So trust me, this is a must read.

Firefight really left me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. Who was going to survive? What was David going to do? There were some twists and turns I didn’t see coming. While this book was good I did give it 4 stars instead of the 5 I gave books 1 and 2 as I felt the ending was a bit rushed. I was still left with some questions and while it looks like the series is now done I didn’t feel like every thread was wrapped up. Still a pretty satisfying conclusion. Could have been stronger but still a must read series and I can’t wait to read more from Sanderson.

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Fantasy, Young Adult | No Comments »

Review: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

June 12th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: January 6, 2015

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Babylon Restored, formerly Manhattan, may give David answers. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

My Thoughts

If you read my review of Steelheart you know I immediately went looking for this book as soon as I finished Steelheart. I just had to know what was going to happen with Firefight and what up next for the Reckoners now that they had defeated Steelheart. Sometimes I feel like book 2 in series tend to be the weaker book as it tends to be a lot of setup for the culmination of a series in book 3 but this one definitely did not suffer from that curse.

We meet some new characters who were fine but Tia, Professor, and the rest of the original gang really hold my heart. Sanderson kept me guessing about this new villain, Regalia. I couldn’t decide if she was truly evil, was trying to fight the evil that came with her power or somewhere in between. The story line again was fascinating as we enter a new environment that is so different from what we saw in Steelheart. And then OMG, that ending! You definitely will not see it coming and just warning you, be prepared with book 3 on hand!

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Fantasy, Young Adult | No Comments »

Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

June 7th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: September 24, 2013

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

My Thoughts

If you’re looking for a new series to binge read I highly suggest you pick this one up and then clear your calendar. I was thinking for something different to read and this has been sitting on my Kindle for awhile. I’m glad I finally read it and glad that I had the weekend free because immediately upon finishing it I had to go get books 2 and 3.

If you love X-Men this series is right up your alley. It’s actually an interesting take on how would people behave if they were to suddenly develop special powers. Does power corrupt? Would people use their powers to help others? How would you react?

The main character, David, cracked me up. He’s not what you would expect from a typical hero. He’s kind of bumbling and comes up with the most hilariously random metaphors for every situation. I actually had to stop at times to laugh out loud and share his latest metaphor with my daughter. There were a few parts of the book that it killed me to stop reading to get some work done and the entire book was riveting. Definitely a must read series!

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Fantasy, Young Adult | No Comments »

Podcast Thoughts: Jim Kwik – Activate Happiness in 5 Minutes with Alex & Mimi Ikonn

June 5th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

I’ve only recently started listening to Jim Kwik’s podcast and while out walking yesterday I listened to the episode about the 5-minute journaling. So many podcasts I listen to swear by journaling but I have to admit that it’s just something I haven’t been able to get into. I tried it after reading The Miracle Morning, I tried it after listening to Losing Weight with Phit ‘N Phat and it also came up during a parenting course I listened to but it just hasn’t stuck.

This 5 minute journaling did appeal to me. It wraps in several concepts I’ve been studying such as gratitude and listing things you are grateful for. It also includes daily affirmations which is something The Miracle Morning also stressed.  The other one that stuck out for me was reflecting on your day and look for the positive things that happened that day. They also suggest doing journaling first thing upon waking up and then right before bed.

I do want to try this so will see how it goes. To listen to the full episode you can check it out here.

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