Review: Love Like the Movies by Victoria Van Tiem

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It’s rare to read a book that touches you on so many levels. LOVE LIKE THE MOVIES is more than a rom-com; it’s about love, life and choices–the ones we make and the ones that are forced upon us. And courage, of course.

Kensington Shaw finally has the boyfriend that’s guaranteed to win her battles with her family. Bradley Connors is the one…or so she thinks until her ex, Shane Bennett, comes back into her life. To secure her job, she has to make nice with Shane (who’s hiring her agency), and if it includes living–acting out–movie moments with him, then she’s game. But what happens when these scenes reach inside to rediscover the girl who’s been hiding beneath all these years? Continue reading

Review: Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny by Cindi Madsen

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Cindi Madsen takes us on a wild, thrilling ride in CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY, which is unexpectedly fun to read.

Lindsay is a great narrator; I love her voice and her strength, especially the way she turned her life around and made the goal of pursuing her dream. More than her though, I love Ryder, especially the way that Lindsay’s past didn’t matter to him, and that he only wants “her future”. If only more men were like him! Both characters are lovable and relatable, and I kept rooting for them all the way! Continue reading

Review: The Librarian and the Spy by Susan Mann

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I was intrigued by the summary–I mean, a librarian caught up in spy games–and I took a chance, and boy, was I glad I did! THE LIBRARIAN AND THE SPY exceeded my expectations, being a compelling read with original, unforgettable characters.

Susan Mann seamlessly weaved popular culture (Harry Potter, LOTR, etc… the only thing lacking was Game of Thrones) into Quinn’s and James’s conversation, and their banter and quips were quick and lively and engaging. Quinn is an amazing heroine–refreshing and strong and confident in herself. I love how she totally loved books (kindred spirit there!) and how they need her mad librarian skills to solve the mystery. I also love the way she lived and breathed spy novels–it’s in her every pore and pours out in her conversation and actions. I thought she, the untrained civilian, would overshadow James the spy, but I was glad to see James held his own in the end. Continue reading

Review: Brother’s Ruin by Emma Newman

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BROTHER’S RUIN is my first in the gaslamp fantasy (sub)genre, and I was intrigued and fascinated all at the same time. I love the mix of magic with the historical era, in this case, Victorian, if I’m not mistaken. This is a novella introducing the Industrial Magic series, and it’s a good first book in the series, as I want the next one now!

In Charlotte’s world, people who show magic–especially one as powerful as hers–are often taken away to be trained in the Royal Society of Esoteric Arts. While the mages are then trained to control their magic, the downside is that they lose their freedom. Or so Charlotte believes. Thus, she hides her magic, but when her father became indebted and needed money, he had no choice but to report her brother, Benjamin, who had exhibited some talent so that the family could be compensated for “losing” their son to the arts. But Ben isn’t the talented one, but his sister… Continue reading

Review: Disenchanted by Susan Carroll

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DISENCHANTED is one of the best fairy-tale retellings of Cinderella I’ve read. Susan Carroll writes a compelling tale that is full of magic and enchantment, yet also flawed and very human characters. Needless to say, I was in love from the first page, and I can’t wait to read more!

First, the worldbuilding. Ms. Carroll built a totally new world that is full of magical elements, complete with fairies (not the small, lovable types), witches, magic potions, and more! The descriptions of the places–Midtown, Misty Bottoms, etc–were so vividly done that I can totally see them and imagine myself there.

Next, the characters. I love the total reversal of Ella’s family, that instead of the wicked stepmother, she had a kind one who really treated her as her own daughter, but she, as well as her daughters, had some character flaws that resulted in Ella doing everything for the family because it was just easier that way. See? This is what I liked about Ms. Carroll’s story. The same elements in the original fairy tale are there, like Ella being a servant in her own house, but there was a twist, and the twist also makes sense. It makes you see things differently. How wonderful is that! Continue reading

Review: Lord Dashwood Missed Out by Tessa Dare

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Tessa Dare is back with another fun, funny, romantic novella in the Spindle Cove series.

Elinora Browning is on her way to Spindle Cove to give a talk (she’s an authoress) when the coach left without her. Forced to share a ride with Lord Dashwood, her friend who’d left her so precipitously years before and who “unknowingly” inspired “Lord Ashwood Missed Out”, the pamphlet she wrote that made her famous, she hoped just to get to her destination unscathed. Alas, Dash was determined that she prove to him what he missed out on…

I’m not sure what it is about the Spindle Cove series, but it seems to inspire Ms. Dare to write the kind of stories I love–light, funny, with artful turn of phrases and tongue-in-cheek humor that made me breeze through this novella in one sitting and wishing for more. (And yes, there’ll be more with a Spindle Cove book #5 in 2016! Yay!) Continue reading

Review: Sleeping with Her Enemy by Jenny Holiday

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Sometimes I get the urge to read something light and fun, and SLEEPING WITH HER ENEMY certainly fits the bill. What I didn’t bargain for was how much I would enjoy this book, or that I would add another name to my must-read list of authors!

Amy Morrison has just been jilted on her wedding day, and who should she run into but Dax Harris, her office enemy. Surprisingly, while he and Amy have always sniped at each other, Dax couldn’t leave her alone when she was so obviously heartbroken and torn apart. So, he bought her a drink (or several) and then whisked her away to safety to his island home. Amy decided then to enjoy life as a single woman, something she’s missed out on during her seven long years with her ex, and who better to have casual hookups with than Dax, the king of hookups himself? Continue reading