28/10/2014

Book Review: Low Expectations by Elizabeth Aaron




My Synopsis.

Imagine This: You are early twenties, a fashion student and you have a fetish for men with beards (the longer the length measurable in inches, the higher the attraction). New year comes with resolutions to be good at what you do (fashion, making the routine calls to your mum and meeting up with your friends for a girl’s night out). Of course, if a good man comes by, you could ditch your celibacy and stop shagging anything without beard and perhaps think of a more stable relationship.

Your life isn’t perfect. Or even what you hoped for. But at least, you’ve got friends who arm you with lots of their opinions on sex, relationship and men enough to get you writing an advice book. You’ve occasionally ‘interned’ for fashion designer who knows your name whenever he needs you on the job. You’ve got a paying job with a boss who you do not want to admit you have the hots for, and might also have the hots for you too (what with him not having a beard and all?). And you have been sleeping with this struggling musician from a band with a nice beard and a nice face. You wouldn’t want to think you are serious with him. But the relationship (or call it whatever) has passed normal Fuck ‘Em and Ditch ‘Em phase.

But then something seems missing in your life. Something you’d rather want than what Guy With Lots of Beard can give. Something you would want with clean-shaven boss but you wouldn’t admit. Until another lady comes in the picture.

But could your happy-ending be beyond gaining the man of your dreams (which you are nowhere close to), dumping the beard in your bed, or something more?

Georgie’s life summed up for your entertainment.

MY REVIEW

The storyline of this book was good. Girl going celibate because she gets dumped, hurt and heartbroken by men who are complete tossers, Girl works hours to bring out her fashion line in fashion school, Girl meets OK guy, Girl settles with OK guy, Girl has perfect guy in sight, Perfect Guy might have another girl in sight, Girl wonders if she’s really meant to choose OK because that’s better than choosing perfect and getting dumped amidst lending a sympathetic ear to the complicated problems of her friends. Beautiful.

Georgie had so much flesh as someone who couldn’t be fictitious. I’m not sure, but I felt I was reading the exact life of Elizabeth Aaron, like a memoir of the sorts. So there was no point in just enjoying the story, but having this connection with the main character as you would someone in real life is just super. From her lengthy thoughts on relationships, sex, and men, you get the feeling you are not reading just a book, but reading a real-life story penned in a book.── ★

The other characters made reading this title too worth it. From Georgie’s mom, who’s bent on letting Georgie forgo a degree and pin down that man for marriage. Georgie’s dad whose story with her mum and his mistress I enjoyed most. There’s also Sarah (the loud-mouthed friend), Henry (her boyfriend) and Alistair (her teenage ex she was having an affair with) whose drama I adored. Julian (the snotty gay friend), Theo (his boyfriend) and Marco (the co-worker blackmailing the former if he didn’t have sexual relations with him he’d make him lose his job and the love of his life). Beardy (the dodgy asshole kinda boyfriend), was an all-time jackass who stirred up emotions in me that kept me seething with anger throughout the novel. Scott (Mr. Scottish Perfect) also held my interest too. A star to the characters.── ★★

Humor was good. How could it not be if you had the world’s funniest, most opinionated friends with a hilarious take on mostly sex, relationships, men (douchebags) and feminism. I looked forward to Georgie’s night outs with her friends.── ★★★

I liked this book. But I really wanted to ‘love, love’ it. It had a good take-off, but then interest petered out as things became a bit monotonous, but raced towards some parts of the middle to the end.── ★★★★

My rating: Four stars (4/5).

Elizabeth Aaron’s fine debut which borders more on real life than it does on fiction is available on Amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves fashion or not. Anyone who wants chick-lit that seems more true to life or not. And anyone who wants one of those titles with a perfect end (because everybody really loves a book with a perfect ending teamed with reader/character fulfillment).

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.


21/10/2014

Book Review: What Nora KnewBy Linda Yellin



My Synopsis.
Imagine This: You work with an online magazine. All your boss passes on for you to handle is the shitty assignments. Of course, because you cannot tell her if you want to try on the new sweat-proof panties you’d book a holiday for yourself and go hiking in them. All you want is a column.

You are given a column.

All you want is a column you want to write. Whoever said romance and chivalry was dead must have been looking through the window from his studio apartment to your neighbouring own watching you and your boyfriend, um, co-exist. But then your boss decides to give you a column about romance which you, um, once knew about.

The thing is, you’ve tried romance, you’ve tried the jitters, you’ve tried all the sparks-fly crap. And in the end, it left you signing the divorce papers being divorced from, um, someone who handles divorces for a living. Now all you want is to just be comfortable with someone you love. Or at least think you should love.

Then you meet a sexy author who gets ladies’ panties thrown in his face all the time. You hate that he’s romantic at all. You hate that he’s a successful writer which you bet he slept his way around to get there. You hate that he loves Sleepless In Seattle and says all the things ladies want to hear. Except you.
Except you, right? Because the last thing you want is romance. You are perfectly fine with a boyfriend who keeps turtles he makes you speak for and talks about the mattresses of his previous girlfriends. Isn’t that the good life? But for a second, what if you want to take a glimpse at what a perfect life can be?
Molly’s life summed up for your entertainment.

MY REVIEW
It’s a nice thing to read about main characters who are writers. But when they are struggling writers, it’s just so not hard to fall for the whole story-line of the book. I loved the story-line. Girl hates odd tasks her EIC gives her, Girl has to challenge her inner Nora Ephron to come up with something romantic so a topic of a column could be possibly up for discussion with her boss, Girl wonders just how she could pull this romance thing if she wants nothing at all of it. Fabulous story-line.── ★

Who really, doesn’t adore Nora Ephron?── ★★

So you know the main character, Molly, was a winner with me. You would love her voice, her humour, her kill-joy attitude towards anything romance-related. The nicest thing about Molly’s voice which I’d love to put across is, she didn’t make this book feel like a story, it felt personal, like her life was an opened book in front of you to enjoy and relate to. A star to her.── ★★

Some of the characters in this book made reading it fun. I loved Kristin, Molly’s friend going through guys and sex on Match.com and constantly reminding her she’s not happy. Angela, the compulsive tweeter who would tweet anything she considers tweetable. Molly’s mum who just decided catering for family holidays and being a conventional mum had to go because none of her diners were worthy of slaving hours for. Russel, the OK-boyfriend who would flare up for telling him chiropractors aren’t doctors. Cameron, the annoyingly romantic writer who wants to charm the pants off our lead but wouldn’t go outright to admit it.── ★★★

Humor, check, check.── ★★★★

My rating: Four stars.

What Nora Knew by Linda Yellin’ is available on amazon.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their chick-lit laced with humour.  Anyone who loves Nora Ephron. And anyone who is a (secret) romantic at heart should read this fun, rom-com.


My work not done here. Off to post my review on goodreads.

13/10/2014

Blog Tour+Review : Christmas At The Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan



Christmas at the Cupcake Café
Cupcake Café  # 2
By: Jenny Colgan
Releasing October 14th, 2014
William Morrow


Blurb

Issy Randall, proud owner of The Cupcake Cafe, is in love and couldn’t be happier. Her new business is thriving and she is surrounded by close friends, even if her cupcake colleagues Pearl and Caroline don’t seem quite as upbeat about the upcoming season of snow and merriment. But when her boyfriend Austin is scouted for a possible move to New York, Issy is forced to face up to the prospect of a long-distance romance. And when the Christmas rush at the cafe - with its increased demand for her delectable creations - begins to take its toll, Issy has to decide what she holds most dear.

This December, Issy will have to rely on all her reserves of courage, good nature and cinnamon, to make sure everyone has a merry Christmas, one way or another. . .

Indulge yourself and your sweet-toothed friends with Jenny Colgan’s new novel, simply bursting with Christmas cupcake recipes and seasonal sugar-fuelled fun.


Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13596423-christmas-at-the-cupcake-caf?ac=1

Buy Links


MY SYNOPSIS

Imagine this: You own a café. A café you’ve worked throughout the year to stabilize. You have the perfect boyfriend with a not-so-perfect/too-eco-conscious little brother who doesn’t deter you from loving him so. You’ve built a network of friends who find solace in your café working to earn a living and dreading Christmas is around the corner.

You cannot wait for Christmas to get by. It would be an amazing time of the year for you since for once you have a perfect life (career-wise, relationship-wise and almost family-wise), never mind your adorable boyfriend hasn’t yet proposed but everyone is sure he would pop the question in the season.
Until New York steals him away. Obviously with his question too.

Long-distance might be a hefty task, but you and your boyfriend would pull it off with the grace you exhibit in your kitchen baking the finest cupcakes.

But what if you are not thinking of the future? What if you are not thinking one of you would have to make a big, career compromise to be with each other? What if you are not thinking you would love New York so but not with your boyfriend in it? What if you want your relationship, but with your cupcake café as well? And what if your boyfriend might just have a cupcake girl fetish and might swap you for the first inorganic, industrial, thin and pretty hot cupcake girl New York offers him?

Issy’s dilemma summed up for your delight.

My Review
You know, can anyone ever go wrong with a book filled with cupcake recipes to the max? Yes. They can. But not Jenny Colgan. She demonstrates that not only a baking heroine who shares off recipes and gives a step-by-step instruction manual on how to make each cupcake is enough to win the hearts of all readers (because who doesn’t bake? Because who hasn’t let go watching their weight this festive season? Because who doesn’t adore cupcakes). But with a great storyline to match, how exactly could anyone return their book and demand a refund? A star to the storyline.──

I loved Issy. So many of you women would relate to her because who doesn’t like a café manager who gives out all their recipes? You would love her for her insatiable need to make everyone around her happy with just the right cupcake for the right mood. You would be rooting for her as she finds it hard not to fall in love with New York even when she’s taking away her boyfriend (because who doesn’t want to be a secret New Yorker at heart?). Her motherly voice is refreshing and her ability to make everything just right would be admired by the reader.──★★

You would also find the other characters interesting. Especially her employees at the cupcake café with their very complicated lives praying for just another Christmas miracle just as Issy is. From  Pearl, the assistant manager who has the most adorable son and dealing with his father who isn’t all too adorable. Caroline, she’s got too much snark in her to light up the café and piss everyone off in the process, going through a divorce and trying to keep a sane head at the same time. Helena, the best friend who’s too occupied with her very obnoxious daughter who is all she seems to talk about when Issy makes an appearance. Issy’s mum who spends her time travelling the world to finding herself enough to bother about her daughter and changing her name frequently to suit every religion she’s taken up. Darny, the too-eco-conscious brother of Austin, Issy’s boyfriend who poses way too much trouble. So much more characters I loved I cannot mention, because I am afraid this review would burst at its seams.──★★★

This book had a very romantic-comedy-like ending that gives you just the right amount of chest-expansion after finishing it. Though very predictable, you would wish you could finish this book at a sitting if the main character wasn’t always insisting you needed to get your Christmas baking over and done with.──★★★★

My rating: Four-point-five stars.

I recommend this book to anyone who loves their seasonal reads with just the right touch of romance and comedy. Anyone who loves their chick-lit character giving away recipes evenvthey consider as very secretive. Anyone who loves anything with enough warmth to last them through this hectic festive season. And anyone who just loves to stop, munch on a cupcake and relax because there are lots of cupcakes in this title.
My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads. 

Author Info

Jenny Colgan is the author of numerous bestselling novels, including Christmas at the Cupcake Café and The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris, which are also published by Sphere. Meet Me at the Cupcake Café won the 2012 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance and was a Sunday Times Top Ten bestseller, as was Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweetshop of Dreams, which won the RNA Romantic Novel of the Year Award 2013. Jenny is married with three children and lives in London and France.
Author Links
Website:  http://www.jennycolgan.com/
Facebook:  
http://www.facebook.com/jennycolganbooks
Twitter:  
http://www.twitter.com/JennyColgan
Goodreads:  
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/39272.Jenny_Colgan





06/10/2014

Book Review: Double Strike (Davis Way Crime Caper series #3) by Gretchen Archer





MY SYNOPSIS
Double Strike (#3) takes reins from Double Dip (#2) to tell the story of Davis Way’s mysterious/romantic/hilarious/undercover life.

If you were Davis Way, here are a few pointers to begin with your (very chaotic) life:

1. You are on the security force of a casino, sort of a spy on the team.

2. You are not easily ruffled by theft, murder, shooting because that’s what you headbutt on a daily basis.

3. You are the splitting image of your boss’ wife (if you coat an additional heavy layer of foundation, pull on some contacts and spray-dye your hair) and that—unfortunately—makes her your boss too.

4. Your relationship with you boyfriend-now fiancé is as stable as it can ever be… if your ex-ex husband doesn’t rear his shit-head, his mother doesn’t have a plan up her sleeves to throw you under a bus (literally, if she just knew a bus driver).

5. There’s a wedding date looming, but all you can think is, ‘big yay! Ya-ay! Yay? Oh, crap yay’, when your ex-ex husband drops the biggest bomb that leaves you thinking.

So now that we are settled on your character, let’s brief you on your mission. One, your boss’ son is in connection with the son of drug lords for dealing in boarding school which has gained him a suspension. It’s your duty to solve up this ‘mystery’ which you wouldn’t classify as mystery at all, because as far as you are concerned, he’s bad news, his parents just have to realize that. Two, as if these fucking drug lords aren’t posing enough problems for you on case one, they are trying to close down the casino by gambling with drug money? Find out if their legal tender isn’t legal tender at all and get the FEDs on them before they cause over three hundred employees including yourself, to become redundant. Three, the sight of the newest casino manager gives you the strangest feeling, like you know he’s up to something with his little Strike It Rich Casino within your casino to which he’s hired new staff for. Whatever the hell, he’s doing behind closed doors, it’s your duty to find out even if that means getting on some contacts and a different hair colour to work under a thirteen-year-old shape-shifted into the body of a thirty-year-old whose giddiness makes you want to shoot a bullet through your head and hope someone does the same to her just so no one passes through your plight.    

As if all the above isn’t problem enough, one fucking lawyer is causing a stir in your family by chairing the divorce between your grandmother and her husband, you have to learn how to use twitter like a pro else you lose your job, your boss’ wife is getting you into the most outrageous gigs because apparently playing her in public with her husband (enough to get your hair, which she supposes it’s hers, burnt!) isn’t enough and your boyfriend doesn’t see no future (kids) with him if you happen to keep your (very dangerous job, not to mention) after the wedding (which you are praying Alabama courts would ever let happen).

Welcome to your life… your life as Davis Way. You have big shoes to fill, unless of course your boss’ wife gives you ones twice smaller than your real size.

MY REVIEW
Do I even need to write a review for this title? Aren’t you tired of me screaming at you to go get all Gretchen Archer’s works??

I adored the storyline! Could I not really? When Gretchen Archer throws in moments you haven’t ever read in any title. One of the reasons I love about Gretchen’s Davis Way series is she takes out all contemporary topics contemporary women face on a daily basis (lack of commitment, career-hungry bitching) and puts a whole marvelous spin with lots of action(!) never pulled off that way in any chick-lit title.──

Davis Way as usual was fantastic! Beautiful voice, humorous voice and a hilarious way of hash-tagging to completely express a thought other writers would have made her waste a whole paragraph on (Hashtag Impressive). Davis Way never disappoints and she leaves you hungry for more in subsequent upcoming titles in the series.──★★

Oh, I did love the comeback of the characters that I fell in love with in Double Dip (#ThrowbackThursday) and the introduction of some fun, funky characters that made this book #VeryEntertaining. No Hair, the team leader who is always getting pissed at our lead for having the tendency to give everyone a nickname. Fantasy, the ex-women’s prison guard who could slap a fugitive into calming down even when they knew a life-sentence was breathing down their neck. Baylor, the five-year old partner shape-shifted into the body of an adult who would never get serious on assignments. Bianca, the boss’ wife with very high standards for whoever wasn’t willing to impersonate her. Eddie The Ass, the ex-ex husband who’s always in time to remind our lead girl how much of a bitch she is. Bea, Eddie’s mother who hasn’t quite forgiven our lead for splitting the world into #TeamDavis and #TeamEddie in their blood-boiling nasty divorce battle (which to her dismay, led to her son’s fanatics defeated). Hashtag Elspeth, the twitter-nutter who would stop at nothing to teach our lead just how to create the right hashtag topics in her tweets. It’s a characterization party in this novel. #Amazing #JadoreDior!──★★★

Humor, check. Suspense, check. #LolRead #VeryGripping──★★★★★

My rating is obviously a five star! And I am very sure I’d keep giving a hundred-percent to all the books in this series before they are even conceptualized because… #GretchenFuckingWritesGood!

Double Strike as part of Henery Press’s mystery Davis Way series, “if you like one, you just might (really, really, they mean it,) like all.” Is available on Amazon in both paperback and kindle.

I recommend this book to anyone who’s been a spy or not. Anyone who loves a good mystery in their chick-lit. Anyone who’s turned on by Women Sleuths. And anyone, just anyone who wants anything to keep them laughing out loud. If you very much hate sitting on the edge of your seat during your leisure time, warning, this is not a novel to relax to! But really, how can you relax with a title so fast-paced if you blink you might have to start all over!

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.