Monday, October 29, 2012

ARC Review: The Lost Son by Tamra Torero

The Lost Son
From the blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Jacob has always been able to charm his way out of trouble with the law. But when he’s sentenced to work at a family Christmas tree farm in place of Cody Matthews—a boy killed in Jacob’s last DUI—Jacob is in for a harsh reality check. This emotional story of loss, love, and redemption is impossible to put down.

My rating:

The subject of this book and the message it sends is neither new nor original, but the packaging in which it is delivered was rather enjoyable.

Jacob is a typical teenage boy. He has a girlfriend, but it's not above cheating on her with another girl, he drinks, he parties and he doesn't take life too seriously. When his girlfriend confronts him about kissing another girl at a party, and the other girl's boyfriend gets in his face, Jacob drunkenly drives home. On his way he causes an accident in which he kills a boy about his age. The boy's father, injured in the same crash, asks the judge for leniency during the ensuing trial and requests that Jacob's punishment be to stay on the father's Christmas tree farm until December 24th to help out with the trimming and sale of the trees.

What develops then is a story of redemption, forgiveness and new beginnings, with a sometimes heavy religious undertone that reminded me of my favorite Karen Kingsbury novels. The author did a nice job of weaving her tale but never making it sound preachy. Jacob is not the only one who has a few lessons to learn.

I enjoyed reading this book. The characters were multi-dimensional, struggling with their choices and results from those choices, and growing throughout the story. A satisfying read to curl up with on a cold winter night by a warm fireplace, sipping a mug of hot cocoa. Bring your tissues.

I received a free ARC from the publisher via Netgalley. A positive review was not promised in return.

Goodreads Book Page

Goodreads Author Page

Thank you for reading. Please leave a comment with your thoughts.

Until next time,

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Naturally, Charlie by S.L. Scott

From the blurb:

Twenty-five year old Charlotte “Charlie” Barrow is caught between her old life and the one she is beginning to build when she crosses paths with a handsome stranger on the subway. Not looking for romance, she closes her heart off to the possibilities of love. With a knack for mishaps, Charlie maintains her sense of humor while befriending the kind stranger who seems to be there at all the right times. New York freelance writer, Charlie Adams, is forging his own path beyond the expectations of the society circles of his childhood. Rejecting family money, and fast-lane friends, he is snubbed by his family as he follows his own compass to a life more extraordinary. Through a coincidence of events, they come to rely on each other for comfort. This is the tale of two Charlies learning to trust again while fighting their fates to create their own destiny.

My rating:

There's romance books, and then there's romance books. This was the latter. I loved it, for the natural story-telling and the ease with which the author's words drew me in.

I waited a few days before writing up a review because I needed to get a grip on my inner fangirl first. If I hadn't, this review would be full of happy, swoony gifs, and nobody wants to see a grown woman go all gushing fangirl over a book, right? Also, for those of you that know me, I'm usually more reserved in my reviews. Anyway...

Just One Night by Eve Gaddy

Just One NightFrom the blurb:

They spent one passionate night together, a night neither could forget . . . But it isn’t until Bomb Unit Detective Alexandra “Alex” Sheridan is assigned to investigate architect Luke Morgan about the bombing of his new building that Alex is forced to face the man–and feelings–she’d run from earlier. Drawn to the charismatic man who'd soothed her grief with their shared passion, she finds herself wanting more from him. As the case progresses, however, she questions his innocence and his feelings for her. Can she trust him, ignoring his past and the evidence pointing to his guilt? Or will she have to be satisfied with just one night?

My rating:

Just One Night is a quick read, a good romantic suspense, albeit a bit heavy on what happens between the sheets.

At a convention, speaking about bomb awareness, Bomb Unit specialist/investigator Alex(andra) Sheridan meets Luke Morgan, an architect who attends her lecture. The two spend a torrid night together after which Alex goes home and tries to forget about Luke. Her departure is so quick that Luke doesn't even get a chance to say goodbye, or tell her that he lives in the same town.

If I Were You by Lisa Renee Jones

If I Were You (Inside Out Trilogy, #1)From the blurb:

When Sara McMillan finds a stack of journals in a storage unit, she’s shocked and enthralled by the erotic life the writer led. Unable to stop reading, she vicariously lives out dark fantasies through Rebecca, the writer—until the terrifying final entry. Certain something sinister has happened, Sara sets out to discover the facts, immersing herself in Rebecca’s life. Soon she’s working at the art gallery Rebecca worked at and meeting Rebecca’s friends. Finding herself drawn to two dangerously sexy men, the manager of the gallery and a famed artist, Sara realizes she’s going down the same path Rebecca took. But with the promise of her dark needs being met by a man with confident good looks and a desire for control, she’s not sure anything else matters. Just the burn for more.

My rating:

This was excellent. Sensual and dark, and a rollercoaster until the end. OMG, the end. What the heck? Abrupt and without conclusion.I did not expect it to end like this, in the middle of a scene. And I'm supposed to wait until next year for the continuation? I'm a little ticked off.

Sara is in her late twenties, a teacher who lives off her modest salary, even though her passion is art. Since art doesn't pay much, and she doesn't want to live off her rich father whom she hates, she is content with what she has.

At the start of summer break, Sara's best friend Ella decides to elope and leaves Sara with a key to a rental storage unit, with instructions to empty it out before the contract expires.

Inside the unit, Sara finds journals written by Rebecca, that tell an erotic tale of submission and domination. Intrigued, Sara begins to read but as she gets deeper into the private words inside the journals, she becomes determined to find Rebecca and return her belongings. Her search leads her to an art gallery, and to Mark, the owner/director. He's impressed with her knowledge of art and hires her on the spot to take over Rebecca's job for the summer.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Damaged Goods by Alexandra Allred

Damaged Goods
From the blurb:

When Joanna Lucas moves to a small town to escape a scandal and a scoundrel, she finds herself in trouble again when she befriends a stripper-turned-Mormon, a one-legged woman thanks to a loose tiger, and a dirty-minded troublemaker with a love of inane questions, and they take on an industrial town. Erin Brockovich has nothing on these ladies! Prepare to laugh out loud and cheer them on as they set out to right a terrible wrong . . . no matter how outlandish things get.

My rating:

I read the blurb prior to accepting this book as an ARC from the publisher and thought I was in for a humorous little chicklit book similar to The Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Boy, was I wrong. Not about the humor, because there's riotous laughing to be had inside, but this book went far beyond chicklit and tackled some heavy issues that reminded me of Erin Brockovich.

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