Tag Archives: Netgalley

Wicked Heart (Starcrossed, book 3), by Leisa Rayven

5 May

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Format: e-ARC, 320 pages

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Published: 17 May 2016

ISBN: 9781250065988

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: Liam Quinn is talented, gorgeous, and one of the biggest movie stars in the world.

He’s also the only man Elissa Holt has ever truly loved.

After being out of her life for six years, he and his gorgeous fiancé are set to star in the new Broadway show Elissa is stage managing. The only trouble is, when late night rehearsals bring Elissa and Liam together, the line between what is and what could have been gets blurred, and one moment of weakness will lead to a scandal that echoes around the world.

Elissa knows that falling for Liam again would be a tragedy in the making, but as any good romantic will tell you, love doesn’t always follow the script.

My review: It took me ages to get around to this one, and that was before I even realised it contained one of my least favourite tropes. The writing was fine and I have certainly enjoyed Rayven’s work in the past, but I could see where this was going from a mile off, and it didn’t hold my attention as much as it perhaps once would have.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

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The One for You, by Roni Loren

13 Mar

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Format: e-ARC, 352 pages

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Published: 31 December 2019

ISBN: 9781492693192

Genre: Romance

Back cover blurb: The highly-anticipated fourth book in Roni Loren’s unforgettable The Ones Who Got Away series.

She got a second chance at life.
Will she take a second chance at love?

Kincaid Breslin wasn’t supposed to survive that fateful night at Long Acre when so many died, including her boyfriend—but survive she did. She doesn’t know why she got that chance, but now she takes life by the horns and doesn’t let anybody stand in her way

Ashton Isaacs was her best friend when disaster struck all those years ago, but he chose to run as far away as he could. Now fate has brought him back to town, and Ash doesn’t know how to cope with his feelings for Kincaid and his grief over their lost friendship. For Ash has been carrying secrets, and he knows that once Kincaid learns the truth, he’ll lose any chance he might have had with the only woman he’s ever loved.

My review: I really enjoyed the first book in this series but have not as yet picked up the middle two books. That didn’t matter, though, as this could have been read as a stand-alone. Kincaid is great, but Ash stole my heart, and I especially loved that a bookshop and letters were central to their romance. There were plenty of laughs, too, to lighten a story based around survivors of a school shooting. I will definitely be catching up on the two books in the series I haven’t read yet.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

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The Last Donut Shop of the Apocalypse, by Nina Post

13 Mar

31575157. sy475 Format: e-ARC, 216 pages

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press

Published: 23 February 2017

ISBN: 9781620070963

Genre: Humor, Sci Fi & Fantasy

Back cover blurb: After narrowly preventing the last apocalypse, Kelly Driscoll finds herself with an unlikely day job. She’s the interim manager of Amenity Tower, one of the few buildings still left standing in the rubble of Pothole City. But after answering a mysterious phone call, she signs up for a new mission that’s a perfect match for her skills: locating the missing president of the famed Cluck Snack brand.

As Kelly quickly learns, the missing executive is only the beginning of Pothole City’s problems. The city’s leading donut shops — run by two very different Gorgon monster siblings — are engaged in a bitter territorial dispute. Plus, the residents of Kelly’s building have hatched a new plot to kill the beloved single-purpose angels and set the stage for another apocalypse.

Teaming up again with her allies from the first book — including Af the Angel of Destruction, Stringfellow the ferret, and Tubiel and the other single-purpose angels — Kelly is up for the challenge. But can she rescue the missing president and restore peace between the donut shops before Pothole City is destroyed yet again?

My review: Netgalley recommended this to me, and since the title mentioned donuts, I was in. However, I had a problem right from the outset since I hadn’t read the first in the series and had no idea what was going on. This is a very weird story, and clearly all the world-building took place in the first book because no time is spent here explaining what has already occurred. I no doubt would have liked it more if I’d been reading the series in order, but I’m not intrigued enough to want to go back and find book 1. Not for me.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 1/5

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If The Dress Fits, by Daisy James

13 Nov

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Format: e-ARC, 384 pages

Publisher: Carina UK

Published: 12 May 2016

ISBN: 9781474049580

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Back cover blurb: She might be the most famous person in the country, but no one even knows her name…

Callie’s exquisite, glittering silk gown has been shortlisted for the celebrity wedding of the year. But just as all her dreams are coming true, disaster strikes!

Leaving behind the bright lights of London, Callie is forced to return home to sleepy Althorpe. And there’s one man she hopes to avoid – the childhood sweetheart who turned her life upside down. But now she’s back, is it finally time to stop running?

Yet, as Callie faces her past, a Cinderella-like hunt begins for that perfect, pearl-embroidered dress, mysteriously submitted without a name…

My review: The cover drew me in, and I was looking forward to a fun, easy read, especially since there was a wool shop involved, but I didn’t really connect with the characters – and there were so many of them! Callie was a true Mary Sue and her behaviour toward Theo was hugely over the top considering his supposed indiscretion. This is my second Daisy James book, and I was lukewarm about the other one also. Sadly, this may be the last I read of this author.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 3/5

 

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A Lie for a Lie (All In, book 1), by Helena Hunting

15 Oct

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Format: e-ARC, 285 pages

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Published: 15 October 2019

ISBN: 9781542015356

Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Romance

Back cover blurb: From the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series comes a romantic comedy about instant attraction, second chances, and not-so-little white lies.

My review: I didn’t think much of Rookie in the Pucked series, particularly in Lance’s book, but I immediately changed my view after only a few pages of Helena Hunting’s latest book and first in a new spinoff series. He was a wonderful hero and had obviously matured in the intervening period. Lainey was a good heroine but I couldn’t help feeling her lie was much bigger than his, tipping the balance in his favour for my sympathies. Thankfully, there was no contrived external conflict to break these two up in the latter part of the story. However, as other reviewers have stated, this book is not exactly what the blurb describes, and if you don’t like the trope – and I’m not a fan – you may feel blindsided. Still, I couldn’t put this down and will definitely be reading the rest of the series.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 5/5

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It Started With a Tweet, by Anna Bell

3 Sep

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Format: e-ARC, 416 pages

Publisher: Bonnier Zaffre

Published: 28 December 2017

ISBN: 9781785763694

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Back cover blurb: Could YOU survive a digital detox? 

My review: Started off hilariously and ended with quite a serious message about how we are all losing personal connections because of our smartphone addictions. It was easy to relate to Daisy as she made her massive faux pas and was then bustled off to the country by her sister for a digital detox. The characters were realistic, there was so much humour, and I absolutely loved the little letters shared between Daisy and Jack. I was also glad to see a certain character being taken down a peg in the end, too. Great story, and I will certainly be checking out Anna Bell’s other titles.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

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Summer Days and Summer Nights – Twelve Love Stories, edited by Stephanie Perkins

2 Sep

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Format: e-ARC, 320 pages

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: 17 May 2016

ISBN: 9781250079121

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Back cover blurb: Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom.

Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

My review: This was not exactly the sweet summer anthology I was expecting. Many of the stories were bittersweet and packed quite a punch, and I was enthralled by most of them. Of course, I was most keen to read Stephanie Perkins’ story, a continuation of her winter tale from My True Love Gave To Me, but to be honest it disappointed. I found North rude and a bit of a jerk this time around. My favourite stories were by Leigh Bardugo, Jennifer E. Smith, and Veronica Roth. Others by new authors to me, such as Francesca Lia Block, intrigued me and made me want to hunt out their other work.

Individual Ratings:
Head, Scales, Tongue, Tale by Leigh Bardugo – ★★★★★
The End of Love by Nina Lacour – ★★
Last Night at the Cinegore by Libba Bray – ★★★★
Sick Pleasures: For A and U by Francesca Lia Block – ★★★
In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins – ★★★
Souvenirs by Tim Federle – ★★★
Inertia by Veronica Roth – ★★★★
Love Is The Last Resort by Jon Skovron – ★★★
Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert – ★★★
Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare – ★★★
A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith – ★★★★★
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman – ★★★

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

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Serious Moonlight, by Jenn Bennett

25 Jun

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Format: e-ARC, 432 pages

Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK Children’s

Published: May 16, 2019

ISBN: 9781471180729

Genre: Romance, Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: Raised in isolation and home-schooled by her strict grandparents, the only experience Birdie has had of the outside world is through her favourite crime books.

But everything changes when she takes a summer job working the night shift at a historic Seattle hotel. There she meets Daniel Aoki, the hotel’s charismatic driver, and together they stumble upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—is secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell, and in doing so, realize that the most confounding mystery of all may just be her growing feelings for Daniel.

My review: Jenn Bennett can write swoony boys. No doubt about that. This book was a little different in that the main couple had hooked up before the story even started and it had ended weirdly, so there was an awkwardness to their subsequent meeting which felt so real. I enjoyed the mystery they were trying to solve, even though all the elements were pretty obvious to me from quite early on, the live-action Cluedo game was THE BEST, and the adults were all fabulous human beings. There is diversity, important messages for teens, and some quite sad moments. But Daniel is definitely a keeper.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 4/5

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Shadow of the Fox, by Julie Kagawa

29 Mar

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Format: e-ARC, 416 pages

Publisher: Harlequin Australia, HQ YA

Published: September 23, 2018

ISBN: 9781489267368

Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy, Teens & YA

Back cover blurb: One thousand years ago, the great Kami Dragon was summoned to grant a single terrible wish—and the land of Iwagoto was plunged into an age of darkness and chaos.

Now, for whoever holds the Scroll of a Thousand Prayers, a new wish will be granted. A new age is about to dawn.

Raised by monks in the isolated Silent Winds temple, Yumeko has trained all her life to hide her yokai nature. Half kitsune, half human, her skill with illusion is matched only by her penchant for mischief. Until the day her home is burned to the ground, her adoptive family is brutally slain and she is forced to flee for her life with the temple’s greatest treasure—one part of the ancient scroll.

There are many who would claim the dragon’s wish for their own. Kage Tatsumi, a mysterious samurai of the Shadow Clan, is one such hunter, under orders to retrieve the scroll…at any cost. Fate brings Kage and Yumeko together. With a promise to lead him to the scroll, an uneasy alliance is formed, offering Yumeko her best hope for survival. But he seeks what she has hidden away, and her deception could ultimately tear them both apart.

With an army of demons at her heels and the unlikeliest of allies at her side, Yumeko’s secrets are more than a matter of life or death. They are the key to the fate of the world itself.

My review: Julie Kagawa has been a bit of a hit-or-miss author for me, but I was keen to try her take on Japanese mythology after enjoying the Talon series. The prologue was incredible, but as things went on, and each chapter became more like “the journey continues…oh, and here’s another new demon to fight” without really progressing the plot with the scroll, I began to wonder why I was continuing. There is a slow-burn romance brewing, but I’m not sure I’m keen enough to bother with book two to find out if it eventuates. The ending did redeem the middle 300 pages, especially the very last scene, so I’m glad I persevered. If only there had been more Suki and Lady Satomi throughout.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 2.5/5

 

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Uncommon Type: Some Stories, by Tom Hanks

5 Mar

34377041Format: e-ARC, 416 pages

Publisher: Random House UK

Published: October 17, 2017

ISBN: 9781785151514

Genre: General Fiction (Adult)

Back cover blurb: A collection of seventeen wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor.

A hectic, funny sexual affair between two best friends. A World War II veteran dealing with his emotional and physical scars. A second-rate actor plunged into sudden stardom and a whirlwind press junket. A small-town newspaper columnist with old-fashioned views of the modern world. A woman adjusting to life in a new neighborhood after her divorce. Four friends going to the moon and back in a rocket ship constructed in the backyard. A teenage surfer stumbling into his father’s secret life.

These are just some of the people and situations that Tom Hanks explores in his first work of fiction, a collection of stories that dissects, with great affection, humour, and insight, the human condition and all its foibles. The stories are linked by one thing: in each of them, a typewriter plays a part, sometimes minor, sometimes central. To many, typewriters represent a level of craftsmanship, beauty and individuality that is harder and harder to find in the modern world. In his stories, Mr Hanks gracefully reaches that typewriter-worthy level.

Known for his honesty and sensitivity as an actor, Mr Hanks brings both those characteristics to his writing. Alternatingly whimsical, moving and occasionally melancholy, Uncommon Type is a book that will delight as well as surprise his millions of fans. It also establishes him as a welcome and wonderful new voice in contemporary fiction, a voice that perceptively delves beneath the surface of friendships, families, love and normal, everyday behaviour.

My review: I love typewriters. So does Tom Hanks, so this book seemed like something right up my alley. Starting out, though, I wasn’t so sure. I really didn’t like the first couple of tales, but it did get better as it went along. Some stories had only a tenuous connection to typewriters, but the ones that mentioned them a lot were my favourites and reminded me of the old ones I used in my journalism career and at home. Hanks uses his experiences in film to flavour the stories with astronauts, WW2 soldiers, pilots, and of course actors, but the overall feel is one of nostalgia. The best of the collection are “A Special Weekend”, “Welcome to Mars”, “The Past is Important to Us” and “Steve Wong is Perfect.” This collection makes me want to get the old portable out and bang out a letter.

***Disclaimer: This e-ARC was provided to me by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to them. ***

My rating: 3.5/5

 

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