Thursday, February 23, 2017

Audiobook Review: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
July 15, 2014
337 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

I absolutely loved this book. I loved everything about it (except that Ove was 59; I imagined him older). This story takes us on a journey of Ove's past and present - the tragedies of his past, the struggles of his present. He comes off as this miserable, grumpy, dislikable man. But the layers he wears on the outside don't necessarily reflect the man inside. And I dare anyone not to fall in love with Ove. I sure did.

I can't even begin to discuss all the things I loved about this story. There are so many layers to Ove. But there are also so many integral characters that bring Ove's story to life. This odd community formed around Ove, and I loved the part that each person played. I found myself laughing out loud, and also tearing up. This journey was so beautiful, I recommend it to everyone.

On a side note, I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was wonderful. 'A Man Called Ove' is a new favorite of mine.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Preorder Blast: Don't Speak by Katy Regnery


"AMAZING ... especially if you're a "Little Mermaid" fan, which I totally am." -- Heidi McLaughlin, New York Times bestselling author

Don't Speak by Katy Regnery releases SOON! Check out the trailer for DON'T SPEAK by Katy Regnery and enter the PREORDER GIVEAWAY!


RELEASING FOR ONE DAY ONLY ON FEBRUARY 25th iBooks: Barnes & Noble: Kobo:

Will go LIVE on Amazon and FREE with #KindleUnlimited on FEBRUARY 27th Amazon:

Watch the trailer here:

From New York Times bestselling author Katy Regnery comes a new twist on a beloved fairytale. 

 In this modern retelling of The Little Mermaid, a fisherman's daughter from an Outer Banks island untouched by time, meets the son of the North Carolina governor at a fancy party where she is working.

 Laire, who wants more from life than her little island can offer, is swept away by wealthy, sophisticated Erik, who is, in turn, entranced by her naiveté and charm. The two spend a whirlwind summer together that ends on the knife-point of heartbreak and forces them to go their separate ways.

 Years later, when fate finds them together once again, they will discover the terrifying depth of the secrets they kept from each other, and learn that shattered hearts can only be healed by a love that willfully refuses to die.

All novels Katy Regnery’s ~a modern fairytale~ collection are written as fundraisers. 10% of the e-book sales for in March and April 2017 will be donated.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
 Don't Speak is part of the ~a modern fairytale~ collection, which includes six standalone, completely unrelated novels inspired by beloved fairy tales: The Vixen and the Vet (Beauty & the Beast) - available now Never Let You Go (Hansel & Gretel) - available now Ginger's Heart (Little Red Riding Hood) - available now Dark Sexy Knight (Camelot) - available now Don't Speak (The Little Mermaid) - available soon Swan Song (The Ugly Duckling) - available late-2017

About the Author: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Regnery started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract and Katy’s first novel was published in September 2013. Twenty-five books later, Katy claims authorship of the multi-titled, New York Times and USA Today Blueberry Lane Series, which follows the English, Winslow, Rousseau, Story, and Ambler families of Philadelphia; the six-book, bestselling ~a modern fairytale~ series; and several other standalone novels and novellas. Katy’s first modern fairytale romance, The Vixen and the Vet, was nominated for a RITA® in 2015 and won the 2015 Kindle Book Award for romance. Katy’s boxed set, The English Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1–4, hit the USA Today bestseller list in 2015, and her Christmas story, Marrying Mr. English, appeared on the list a week later. In May 2016, Katy’s Blueberry Lane collection, The Winslow Brothers Boxed Set, Books #1-4, became a New York Times E-book bestseller. In 2016, Katy signed a print-only agreement with Spencerhill Press. As a result, her Blueberry Lane paperback books will now be distributed to brick and mortar bookstores all over the United States. Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, two dogs, and one Blue Tonkinese kitten create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

  Author Links: Website/Newsletter Signup: Goodreads: Amazon: Facebook: Twitter: Pinterest:

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Review: The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens

The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
October 14, 2014
303 pages
Genre: Mystery
Contains: language, sexual references

College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same.

Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran--and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home, after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.

As Joe writes about Carl's life, especially Carl's valor in Vietnam, he cannot reconcile the heroism of the soldier with the despicable acts of the convict. Joe, along with his skeptical female neighbor, throws himself into uncovering the truth, but he is hamstrung in his efforts by having to deal with his dangerously dysfunctional mother, the guilt of leaving his autistic brother vulnerable, and a haunting childhood memory.

Thread by thread, Joe unravels the tapestry of Carl’s conviction. But as he and Lila dig deeper into the circumstances of the crime, the stakes grow higher. Will Joe discover the truth before it’s too late to escape the fallout?

I loved this book. I switched between the kindle version and the audiobook. The narrator is incredible, so this may be part of why I loved this book. But I also loved the blending of lives in this story, the likable characters, the relationships forged, and the desire to see the mystery solved and justice rendered. There were so many layers to this story, and I loved the journey, even when it hurt. Joe and Carl were especially compelling, finding the unlikely camaraderie with the other, a relationship that should have never been, yet changed their lives completely. Then adding in Joe's brother and neighbor, and we got a story that completely hooked me to the very end.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: Close to Home by Lily Everett

Close to Home by Lily Everett
(Sanctuary Island #5)
February 7, 2017
304 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Standalone
Contains: some sex (not explicit)

The best journeys take us home….

When Tessa Alexander came to Sanctuary Island, she left behind a marriage to a man who didn’t love her the way she loved him. When she finally found the strength to set them both free, she discovered friendship and self-acceptance in her adopted hometown. Now she’s settled into a quiet life on her own—never expecting to see her husband again.

Johnny spent almost two years deep undercover, unable to let his wife into his cold, dangerous world. He’s shaken to the core when he comes home to find her gone. It’s painfully clear that Tessa is no longer the timid young woman he married—she’s become a force of nature, a brave and determined beauty. Johnny can’t let her go without a fight so he sets out to seduce his own wife. But will passion alone be enough to convince Tessa that her new life should include a second chance at happiness with a man who must learn to believe in love?

'Close to Home' was a heart-warming second-chance romance between Johnny and Tessa, who have been married "in name only" for the past eight years. While Johnny has been hiding away, saving the world, Tessa has been finding her own personal strength, realizing she wants more in life and in marriage. Johhny comes home to a rude awakening after his last lengthy mission, and must now decide how, and if, he can win his wife back.

I really enjoyed Johnny and Tessa's story. The tie-in with their unique backgrounds brought a tender dimension to their personalities, and what made them tick. But now they are older, and after eight years of marriage, which was really just eight years of living as roommates, they are finally realizing that the life they have been living was just a half-life. And despite eight years of marriage, they hardly knew each other. So this is really a new beginning for them, with the added complications of shedding their old selves, and learning about the person they thought they were closest to all these years.

Johnny is a stand-up guy, always a protector, but who has walled off his heart. Tessa has come into her own over the last year on Sactuary Island, and away from Johnny. She's independent, strong, and happy, but she still loves her husband. The reality is that these two have to break down Johnny's walls and Tessa's doubts. I loved discovering if Johnny could love his wife the way she needed him, and if Tessa could believe that he was more than just a protector. The journey was sweet and tender, honest and heartfelt. These were two beautiful souls that were really meant to be together.

Added to this story, that I had not expected, was some entertaining suspense. Johnny is still coming down off his mission high, so he's a bit paranoid. But not all of his paranoia should be brushed aside. I got a kick out of watching Johnny not only fall in love with his wife, but also discover himself at the same time. And as a bonus, there were some great side characters here. I loved Miss Patty. I also liked Marcus and Quinn. Marcus was so stubborn and Quinn was such a sweetheart. I can't wait to read the rest of their story.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Post: Weekly Wrap-Up (02.19)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news, recap the past week on your blog, showcase books, share upcoming news, etc. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme 

What I Read Last Week:
The Cad and the Co-Ed by LH Cosway & Penny Reid
Close to Home by Lily Everett

What I Listened To Last Week:
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

My Reviews Last Week:
Hungry Ghosts by Stephen Blackmoore (my 4 star review)
Riveted by Jay Crownover (my 4.5 star review)
The Feeling of Forever by Jamie Howard (my 4 star review)
Indecent Proposal by Molly O'Keefe (my 4.5 star review)

What I'm Reading Next:
Don't Speak by Katy Regnery

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Stacking The Shelves (199)

STSmall_thumb[2][2]Stacking The Shelves, hosted by Tynga's Reviews, is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

Paperback Pretty:
Riveted by Jay Crownover

ARC Awesomeness:
Blush for Me by Kristen Proby

Friday, February 17, 2017

Review: Indecent Proposal by Molly O'Keefe

Indecent Proposal by Molly O'Keefe
(Boys of Bishop #4)
September 30, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance 18+
Contains: sex, language

With his chiseled jaw and his thick blond hair, Harrison Montgomery was born to lead. Four generations of Montgomery men have served the state of Georgia and now he’s next in line. Harrison, though, is driven to right wrongs: namely to clean up the political mess left by his father’s greed and corruption. But Harrison must first win his congressional bid, and nothing can get in his way—not even an angel who served him whiskey and gave him a shoulder to lean on and a body to love for a night. Problem is, she’s pregnant. Scandal is brewing and there is only one solution: marriage.

Damage control? Ryan Kaminski can’t believe that a cold, calculating political animal now inhabits the body of the emotionally vulnerable stranger who’d given her the most unforgettable night of her life. Really, she doesn’t want anything from Harrison, except to be left alone to have her baby in peace. But Ryan is broke, jobless, and essentially blackmailed by Harrison’s desperate family to accept this crazy marriage deal. For two years, she will have to act the role of caring, supportive wife. But what is Ryan supposed to do when she realizes that, deep in her heart, she’s falling in love.

This was a great book where two people meet and have instant chemistry, but it's just for a night. They are two strangers living in different worlds. But when an accidental pregnancy and a nosy brother force these two back together, there's a lot of misunderstanding, misconceptions, and mistrust to wade through. But there are deeper feelings than either is willing to admit in the beginning, especially with political craziness and obnoxious family members interfering with the kindling of their relationship. But what started as a one time fling and an accident, turned out to be a perfect match for Ryan and Harrison.

I absolutely loved Ryan. She made this book! Her character is layered. She has flaws, but has overcome so much. She's the breath of fresh air that Harrison didn't know he needed. Harrison was fine. I liked him. But he had so much garbage from his upbringing to overcome that it took him a while to really hit his stride and start to become the man he needed to be. Thankfully, with a little help, he got it together. But Ryan was awesome. She saved Harrison. She found herself. She's reason alone to read this book.