Debbies World of Books
Debbie's World of Books

Review: Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

September 19th, 2017 by dsuzuki

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: June 6, 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Rating: ★★★½☆

About the book:

From the author of the New York Times bestselling Testing trilogy comes a sweeping new fantasy series, perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sarah J. Maas.

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

My Thoughts:

I love Joelle Charbonneau’s Testing trilogy so when I saw she had a new book out I had to read it. It took a bit to get into it but once it got going I read it in almost one sitting. I really enjoyed Carys’s character and while she initially comes across as a royal PITA once we saw underneath her outward facing mask I really felt bad for her. She lives her entire life protecting her brother and then in my opinion totally gets shafted.

The story line is intriguing though a lot of it is predictable. There are a few characters that I can’t wait to see how they turn the story in the next book. The main turn off to me was Carys’s twin brother, Andreus. I thought this was going to be more of a twins standing together against all odds but it’s really Carys protecting an idiot of a brother. I even ranted to a co-worker over how easily swayed Andreus is and how a woman can basically bat her eyes at him and he falls for her and lets her lead him about. I’m not sure if he is meant to be a true villain in the series. Initially I thought he was just going to be the misguided guy who was duped by a pretty face but he’s so unlikeable to me at this point that it would take a lot to redeem him.

Still I cannot wait to see what happens next and am rooting for Carys!

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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What Does Your Dream Book Nook Look Like?

September 15th, 2017 by dsuzuki

I have to admit that my current home decor is a mish-mash of left over furniture from my college days even though that is more years in the past than I care to admit. Now that my kids are getting older and I don’t have to worry quite so much about kid destruction I’ve slowly been trying to replace some furniture items with some more “adult” picks. My dream book nook has been harder to put together than I imagined. There are just so many different styles that I love. Do I go more formal? More rustic? Dark colors? Pastels? I admit I love them all. So here are some ideas and pieces I picked out from Arhaus.com, Pottery Barn, Target and more.

I love blues, greens and grays so here’s one route I love…

Or maybe pretty in pink?

 Do you have any pieces of furniture that you just love in your reading nooks? Drop me a link if you do. Here are some other Pinterest boards on items I’m pining for one day… 🙂

 

Kids Book Nooks

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Review: The Real Thing by Melissa Foster

September 13th, 2017 by dsuzuki

 

Source: Netgalley

Publication date: September 5, 2017

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book:

This sassy, spirited baker is fine with heat—but is her fake fiancé too hot to handle?

Bakery owner Willow Dalton’s friendship with Zane Walker has always been a bit complicated. Now a scrumptiously hot A-list actor, Zane’s always had a reputation as player. He’s arrogant, and he’s definitely not boyfriend material. Sure, he did Willow a favor by agreeing to take her virginity before college, but is that reason enough to go along with a fake engagement a decade later—even if it comes with a real diamond ring?

Zane should have known better. Nothing involving Willow has ever been easy. Still, he knows her better than anyone, and becoming America’s hottest new leading man means cleaning up his reputation. An “engagement” to curvy, sass-mouthed Willow is the perfect PR move . . . provided no one gets hurt.

Now Zane and Willow’s little white lie has turned into an irresistible recipe for sweet temptation. And soon no one will be able to tell the difference between their fake engagement or the real thing—including them.

My Thoughts

I had heard such good things about Melissa Foster but my first exposure to her writing was reading Read, Write, Love at Seaside under her other pen name, Addison Cole. It really didn’t grab me and I ended up putting it aside without finishing. So I was a little leery of jumping in again but this book sounded so cute I couldn’t resist. I’m glad I didn’t because this was such an enjoyable read.

I loved Zane so hard! He is nothing like what you would expect from one of the hottest actors in Hollywood. He is so sweet and I loved that he’s adored Willow since she was an awkward teen. Seeing him trying to win her over and convince her about his feelings made me fall in love with him. Once Willow stopped getting in the way of her own happiness I really came to enjoy her character as well. There were several side characters whom I also fell for and cannot wait to read their stories as well.

If you haven’t read Melissa Foster before I highly recommend this book. The Real Thing was a refreshing, thoroughly enjoyable read and readers will fall in love with Zane!

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

 

Giveaway

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | 1 Comment »

Review: The Four Legendary Kingdoms by Matthew Reilly

September 10th, 2017 by dsuzuki

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: May 2, 2017

Publisher: Pocket Gallery

Series: Jack West Jr. #4

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book:

The thrilling new novel featuring Jack West, Jr. from the New York Times and #1 international bestselling author!

A RUTHLESS KIDNAPPING

Jack West, Jr. and his family are living happily on their remote farm when Jack is brutally kidnapped and he awakes in an underground cell to find a masked attacker with a knife charging at him.

THE GREAT GAMES

Jack, it seems, has been chosen—along with a dozen other elite soldiers—to compete in a series of deadly challenges designed to fulfil an ancient ritual.

With the fate of the Earth at stake, he will have to traverse diabolical mazes, fight cruel assassins, and face unimaginable horrors that will test him like he has never been tested before.

TO HELL AND BACK

In the process, he will discover the mysterious and powerful group of individuals behind it all: the four legendary kingdoms.

He might also discover that he is not the only hero in this place…

My Thoughts:

I can’t believe I missed the release of this book. I blame it on the fact that I no longer have a bookstore close enough to visit every week like I used to. I miss those trips where I could browse the New Releases table or displays. But needless to say once I saw this book had come out I jumped on it. I love Matthew Reilly and really enjoyed his Jack West Jr. books.

This one lived up to almost all of my expectations. The action was there, the thrilling, how will he get himself out of this mess scenes were plentiful AND best of all!!!! Scarecrow is in it! When there was the first mention of the Marine with the anti-flash wraparound glasses my heart jumped wondering if it would actually be Scarecrow. And then there’s the reference to the large, mean looking female Marine with him and my hopes truly soared. This book was like my dream come true with two of my favorite characters from Matthew Reilly mixed up in one story. I would have liked to have seen a little more of Scarecrow and have him take a more active role but he was truly there as more of a support character to Jack which was fine. I’m just happy to see more of him.

This book is obviously setting up for several future books which has me all excited and I cannot wait. My only other mild disappointment was that we don’t get as much involvement from the rest of Jack’s crew. Horus is laid up early on, Lily is almost useless and while Alby does help in one part of the book it’s just a small part. I would have liked to see more of them playing an active role in the story. Still Matthew Reilly remains solidly on my must read authors shelf and I cannot wait for his next book!

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

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Ready to Run by Lauren Layne – Review + Giveaway

August 22nd, 2017 by dsuzuki

 

Named Best Book of the Month by Amazon and iBooks 

 

READY TO RUN
I Do, I Don’t #1
Lauren Layne
Releasing Aug 22, 2017
Loveswept

The Bachelor meets The Runaway Bride in this addictive romance novel about a reality TV producer falling for her would-be star: a Montana heartthrob who wants nothing to do with the show.

Jordan Carpenter thinks she’s finally found the perfect candidate for Jilted, a new dating show about runaway grooms: Luke Elliott, a playboy firefighter who’s left not one but three brides at the altar. The only problem? Luke refuses to answer Jordan’s emails or return her calls. Which is how she ends up on a flight to Montana to recruit him in person. It’s not Manhattan but at least the locals in Lucky Hollow seem friendly . . . except for Luke, who’s more intense—and way hotter—than the slick womanizer Jordan expected.

Eager to put the past behind him, Luke has zero intention of following this gorgeous, fast-talking city girl back to New York. But before he can send her packing, Jordan’s everywhere: at his favorite bar, the county fair, even his exes’ book club. Annoyingly, everyone in Lucky Hollow seems to like her—and deep down, she’s starting to grow on him too. But the more he fights her constant pestering, the more Luke finds himself wishing that Jordan would kick off her high heels and make herself comfortable in his arms.


MY THOUGHTS
I absolutely adored this book! It’s my second book by Lauren Layne and she is now on my must read list. Walk of Shame had me laughing out loud and Ready to Run made me both laugh and cry. Any author who can bring out that range of emotions in me is a real winner to me.I adored Luke and initially it is hard to believe he would jilt 3 women and once we learn the reasons I really felt bad for him. He is a total hottie and a sweetheart on top of it. Jordan is a spitfire and I loved seeing her push Luke. The story line is great and like I mention will tug out of you all sorts of emotions. Watching the sparks fly between Luke and Jordan was mesmerizing and the cast of supporting characters was excellent. I loved Jordan’s best friend, Simon, and adored every scene that he was in.

I cannot wait until the next book comes out and highly recommend this book if you love a good romance that can both make you laugh and cry as well as fall in love with the entire cast of characters.

NOW AVAILABLE!

EXCERPT 

 

Luke started to load up the gear and, realizing he was doing it alone, glanced over his shoulder to see where the hell his partner was.

Unsurprisingly, his friend was chatting up City Girl. Neither Charlie nor Ryan seemed to mind in the least that these two fancy pants had swooped into their town to capitalize on Luke’s past.

What was more surprising was that Jordan Carpenter was chatting right back, her smile seemingly genuine, her laugh real.

Luke ground his teeth.

He couldn’t say he’d put much thought into the woman behind the name as he’d been unceremoniously deleting her emails and voice messages, but if forced to assume, he’d have guessed aggressive shrew.

He suspected he was wrong there. Because while there was no mistaking the ambition in the woman, it wasn’t the cutthroat, ball-busting kind.

Her lean body might be all angles and long lines, but there was a softness to her as well. The way her hair did its own thing. The easiness of her smile, the quick laugh. The small but pert breasts.

Damn. He was staring.

He slammed the door shut. “Bander,” he shouted at Charlie across the lawn. “Let’s clear out.”

Charlie leaned into Jordan, whispering something in her ear that made her laugh, before walking away with a last wink.

Luke rolled his eyes. Really? This was happening?

“Hey, Elliott,” Ryan called. “You want to come over for a barbecue tonight?”

Luke crossed his arms and studied his friend suspiciously, waiting for the catch. “Who’s on the guest list?”

He saw Jordan and her purple-shirt friend exchange a look. Well, that answered that question.

Damn. Ryan never had been able to resist the urge to stir up trouble.

“It’s no problem if you don’t want to join us,” Jordan called out, lifting her hand to shield the afternoon sun from her eyes. “I’m sure your friends here can fill me in on everything there is to know about Luke Elliott.”

All about Luke Elliott’s romantic history was more like it. City Girl wasn’t even pretending to be coy about the reason she was here.

All former positive thoughts about her evaporated. Only the worst sort of human would use another’s failed relationships to advance her own career—for entertainment.

Luke turned away without another word, hauling himself into the driver’s seat of the truck as he waited impatiently for Charlie to get done shouting goodbye to every single person within earshot.

He drummed his thumbs against the steering wheel, refusing to even think about going to the BBQ tonight. If his friends wanted to stir up trouble, they could do so without his cooperation.

As for the two New Yorkers, they’d flame out all on their own. Weren’t East Coasters known for being impatient and fast moving?

Surely they’d be off to find some other glory-seeking asshole if he ignored them. One of the other guys could play the role for all he cared.

As Charlie hauled his ass up, Luke started the truck, his eye catching on Jordan Carpenter, who was watching him with a stubborn, determined look on her pretty face.

Damn it. She’d stir up all sorts of trouble unless he ran interference.

Luke pulled out his phone to text Ryan.

I’ll be there. Have beer.

Charlie leaned over, unabashedly reading Luke’s iPhone screen. “Ha. Knew it.”

“What?” Luke glared at his friend.

Charlie grinned wider, gesturing over his shoulder. “You’ve got a boner for the hot blonde.”

“Are you kidding me with this? She wants me to be the next bachelor.”

How were Ryan and Charlie not getting the absurdity of this?

Charlie shrugged. “So? Maybe it’d be good for you.”

Luke stared at his friend for a moment longer before putting the truck in drive. “The only thing that would be good for me is to push you out of this truck.”

Charlie was waving goodbye to Jordan and Simon. “See you tonight!”

Luke ground his teeth harder. He was already dreading the BBQ, but not going would only make matters worse. Clearly he needed to have a very blunt conversation with Jordan Carpenter.

 

Lauren Layne is the New York Times bestselling author of romantic comedies.  She lives in New York City with her husband.
A former e-commerce and web marketing manager from Seattle, Lauren relocated to New York City in 2011 to pursue a full-time writing career. She signed with her agent in 2012, and her first book was published in summer of 2013. Since then, she’s written over two dozen books, hitting the USA TODAYNew York Times, iBooks, and Amazon bestseller lists.
 

 

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Review + Giveaway: Leave the Night On by Laura Trentham

August 2nd, 2017 by dsuzuki

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge–life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot hotter . . .

 

LEAVE THE NIGHT ON
Cottonbloom #4
Laura Trentham
Releasing Aug 1, 2017
St. Martin’s Press

 

Rating: ★★★½☆

 

Love, betrayal, and sweet revenge–life in Cottonbloom is about to get a whole lot
hotter . . .

Sutton Mize is known for lavishing attention on the customers who flock to her boutique on the wealthy side of her Mississippi town. So when she finds a lace thong in her fiance’s classic cherry-red Camaro, she knows just who she sold it to: her own best friend. In an instant, Sutton’s whole world goes up in flames. . .Wyatt Abbott has harbored a crush on Sutton since he was a young kid from the other side of the tracks. He witnessed Sutton’s shocking discovery in the Camaro at his family-owned garage–and it made him angry. What kind of man could take lovely, gorgeous Sutton for granted? But then Sutton comes up with an idea: Why not give her betrothed a taste of his own medicine and pretend that she’s got a lover of her own? Wyatt is more than happy to play the hot-and-heavy boyfriend. But what begins as a fictional affair soon develops into something more real, and more passionate, than either Sutton or Wyatt could have imagined. Could it be that true love has been waiting under the hood all along? 

My Thoughts:

When I signed up to review Leave the Night On I didn’t realize it was book 4 in the series but there is no problem reading it as a standalone. I didn’t even realize who the couples from the previous three books were until I looked them up on Goodreads.

This was a really cute story. It’s not the most original but I still enjoyed reading it and seeing Sutton blossom after recovering from the shock of finding out her best friend and fiance were having an affair. She’s a sweet character and I felt bad for her though she was a little too sweet and forgiving for my tastes but that’s just me being vindictive on her part. lol. I loved Wyatt’s character and seeing how he was the glue among his brothers. Their relationship was sweet and predictable. Still the writing was sweet enough that I would love to see Wyatt’s twin brother’s story next!

Excerpt

“Can I ask you a question? Something serious?” Sutton asked.

“Alright,” Wyatt said cautiously.

“Do you find me doable?”

His hand jerked on the steering wheel and sent the car skidding on the shoulder before he righted it. “Do I what?”

“Find me doable? Because that no-necked bouncer and those two brothers did.”

He choked on a gulp of air. What was happening? Had he crossed the river into the Twilight Zone instead of into Mississippi?

Her voice was as bland and conversational as if discussing commodity cotton prices. “Because I find you doable. Very, very, very, very doable.”

Her string of “verys” slurred together. She was drunk, which meant her thinking was impaired. Or . . . he glanced at her. Maybe, just maybe, the whiskey had stripped away her social niceties like turpentine to peeling paint, and she was being honest.

The woman had been put through the wringer by her best friend and her fiancé. Despite her wishes otherwise, she was nice. And sweet. And cute. And unbearably sexy in a way she didn’t even understand. Not yet anyway.

No way could he let this opportunity to be with her in whatever way possible slip through his fingers. While the ramifications went on repeat in his head, she slipped out of the car and headed to her door.

He rolled down his window and shimmed half-way out to see her over the top. “Hey, Sutton!”

She turned with only a slight wobble, jutted a hip, and set her hand on it. “What?”

“For the record, I find you extremely doable.”

 

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Review + Giveaway: Bliss by Lynsay Sands

July 24th, 2017 by dsuzuki

About the book:

No one blends humor and sensuality like New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands in this captivating story of feuding nobles forced to marry…and destined to fall in love 

Love thy neighbor, ’tis said. A fine idea, except when the neighbor in question is Lord Holden. Lady Helen Tiernay has complained frequently about his treatment of his people. Toofrequently perhaps, for the king intends to curb their constant bickering by ordering them to wed. Helen can’t refuse a royal decree, but she’ll do everything possible to drive away her devilishly attractive husband-to-be.

Holden has faced all manner of horrors on the battlefield. But marriage to “the tyrant of Tiernay” is still a worrying prospect—until he glimpses Helen in the flesh. What flesh it is…soft, lush, made for his touch. If she weren’t so intent on thinking up devious ways to prevent consummating their bond, Helen would see how perfect they are together, and that a marriage begun as enemies can turn to absolute pleasure.

My Thoughts:

This book was so much fun to read. It combines laugh out loud scenes, a strong heroine and a hero that will make you swoon. I’ve been leery of Lynsay Sands ever since I read one of her paranormal books and wasn’t impressed but she has really won me over with her historical books. So far I’ve enjoyed every one of her historicals I have read.

The story itself was clever and I enjoyed the determination and strategizing Lady Helen did to try and avoid marriage to Lethe. It was so much fun to watch and then when Lethe started to get in on the scheming well watch out!

Lynsay Sands is now on my must read author for historcal romance!

Find it online:

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Excerpt

“Lady Tiernay,” Templetun greeted, jogging up the last few steps to come abreast of Hethe as he passed before their two hostesses. “May I introduce Lord Hethe of Holden. Lord Holden, this is Lady Helen of Tiernay and her aunt Lady Nell Shambleau.”

Hethe moved up another step so that his face and Helen’s were on a level, and managed a smile as he gazed into his fiance’s sky blue eyes that matched her gown. Actually, his mouth was responding to his nether regions, and it fashioned itself into a beaming grin of pleasure for the woman—until she smile back and said, “How do you do?”

His smile died an abrupt death, becoming a dismayed grimace. It wasn’t the woman’s words that affected him so but her foul breath that blew at him as she spoke. The shock of it made Hethe take a hasty step backward. He would have tumbled down the stairs had William not steadied him with a fist at his back.

“God’s teeth!” he gasped in horror, bringing a perplexed and even slightly offended look to their hostess’s face. It also brought him a rather sharp and confused look from Templetun, reminding him of his manners. Forcing a false smile of apology to his lips, Hethe turned his face slightly to avoid the noxious fumes and excused himself by muttering, “Nearly lost my footing.”

“Oh, well, you must be careful, my lord,” his betrothed breathed at him sweetly. Leaning closer, she snatched his arm through her own, presumably to save him from losing his balance again. She then smiled brightly and sighed gustily into his face. “Such a handsome man. We would not wish you to tumble down the stairs and break your neck! At least, not before the wedding, hmmm?” she teased, her eyes sparkling.

Hethe nearly whimpered. His head was swimming under the onslaught of her poisonous exhalations. Sweet Saint Simon! He had never smelled anything quite so raw or putrid. He hadn’t thought it possible for such a scent to come out of a human’s mouth. And the fact that it was coming from the sweet bow-shaped lips of the lovely woman before him just seemed to make the horror of it that much worse.

“Shall we go inside?” the woman’s aunt suggested cheerfully.

“Aye,” Lady Tiernay agreed. “I am sure you gentlemen are ready for a nice mug of ale after your journey.” She spoke the words to Hethe, her breath wafting over his face like an ill wind carrying the stench of death. Feeling his stomach roil, Hethe nodded faintly, more than eager for any excuse to move and avoid the situation he was in.

Lord love me, I have to marry this wench, he thought as he hurried rudely up the last step and into the keep, dragging her a step behind. She would be breathing this putrescence at him for the next fifty years or so, he thought faintly, too dismayed to even realize how rude he was being by pulling Lady Tiernay about and leaving her aunt and the others to follow.

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Review: Make-Believe Wedding by Sarah Mayberry

July 17th, 2017 by dsuzuki

Publication date: July 28, 2014

Publisher: Tule Publishing Group

Series: The Great Wedding Giveaway #9

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book:

Everyone in Marietta, Montana, is in love and getting married – at least that’s the way it feels to Andie Bennett the night of the Valentine’s Ball. As she watches the man she’s loved from afar for half her life dance with another woman, Andie allows herself a moment of sheer fantasy as she fills out a stray entry form for the Great Wedding Giveaway. Andie channels years of fantasy and yearning for Heath McGregor onto the page, but she never intends to actually enter the Giveaway. Only a crazy woman would do that. But fate has other ideas….

When Heath learns he and Andie are last minute finalists in the Great Wedding Giveaway, he’s completely baffled. How on earth could anyone make such a ridiculous mistake? When it becomes clear that Andie will be humiliated if the slip-up becomes public, Heath does what any good friend would – he suggests they pretend the engagement is real until the Giveaway is over and then quietly “break up” when no one is paying any attention. It’s the perfect solution, except Heath very quickly realises that pretending Andie is his is no hardship at all. In fact, it may just be the best thing that’s ever happened to him…

My Thoughts:

I found this one while browsing the free books list on Amazon and it sounded like a cute read. It definitely lived up to my expectations and left me with a happy feeling upon finishing.

I really liked Andie’s character and I could sympathize with her for pining over her older brother’s best friend. I can imagine the torture she must have gone through over the years of watching him date other women and not viewing her as anything more than his best friend’s little sister. It was also nice seeing a strong female character who worked in a male dominated industry and who held the respect of her male colleagues.

Despite being so clueless to Andie’s crush on him I adored Heath. I had to give him mad props for not freaking out over the situation Andie got them in and for respecting her feelings about appearances with her co-workers instead of immediately freaking out over the mention of a wedding. I thought it was sweet that he was willing to go through with the charade especially after his ex verbally attacks Andie. Watching his eyes open to the wonderful woman Andie is was heart touching and I loved seeing their relationship flourish.

If you are a looking for a low angst read that will leave you with all the happy feelings definitely check this one out!

Find it online:

Amazon | B&N | Goodreads

The Great Wedding Giveaway Series

Prequel: Beauty’s Kiss by Jane Porter
Book 1: What a Bride Wants by Kelly Hunter
Book 2: Second Chance Bride by Trish Morey
Book 3: Almost a Bride by Sarah Mayberry
Book 4: The Unexpected Bride by Joanne Walsh
Book 5: The Reluctant Bride by Katherine Garbera
Book 6: Game Of Brides by Megan Crane
Book 7: The Substitute Bride by Kathleen O’Brien
Book 8: Last Year’s Bride by Anne McAllister

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