Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Review: SINGLE IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS by Gretchen Johnson

Recently divorced after learning of her husband’s infidelity, a woman lives out her new single life in Beaumont, TX. At first lonely while trying to adjust to her new surroundings, Paige begins to meet men and soon learns the odds and ends of dating in Southeast Texas.

“As usual, my optimistic approach to life was failing me. I could have been relaxing at home with a movie and a large plate of pasta, but instead I was fielding a series of uncomfortable encounters with strangers and drinking a flat Coke.” (32) Ah, Adventures in Dating.

Full of clever wit and sensitivity, story is a well-written and insightful account of one woman’s dating journey. I just enjoyed her wry, sarcastic dialogue as well as the disaster dates with these so-called men. I have to say that a lot of these guys were just crazy! The best thing was that each guy provided a lesson for her, like stay from short-tempered guys that go off the handle on you over a 16-month calendar, for instance.

Gretchen Johnson has penned a wonderful story about a woman that keeps on walking, going past the barriers and making her own path—something we should all learn to live by.

Story was smart, humorous, and enjoyable.  A fun, light-hearted read! A must for any girl who’s ever lived the single life. 

 

My rating: 5 stars

Review: THE DATING DIET by Daralyse Lyons

Going at it with the father of one of your students is not exactly a nuclear disaster. Well, except that it’s against the rules to fraternize with the parents, especially after learning that the guy’s still married and they almost got caught in bed, prompting her to make a hasty escape out the window. But, the Coo de Gras was being caught by the 5-year old student…in all her naked glory. Oh brother.

For godsakes, are these so-called men worth going through all this? Is it worth heart ache?  Shayla has decided that enough is enough and goes on a dating diet—to be off men for the entire summer and just learn to spend time alone and love herself. In other words, to just be single. Love it!

As she goes through this “diet,” Shayla relives memories of the some of the disaster dates she’s had with boys, which goes all the way back to 8th grade. During this span, she also manages to acquire the misinterpreted labels of a klutz, a lesbian, and a fast-food whore.

The Dating Diet takes the reader on a floundering single’s journey. At times, the story became a little jaded. I wasn’t too keen on going through her blasts from the pasts.  And it was so odd that she would go on a non-date during her dating diet. C’mon, who was she kidding? Shayla struck me as a little too desperate. Why couldn’t she just relax and enjoy the single life? Did she have to overthink everything? Yes, I enjoyed her sarcastic wit and clever cultural references to Seinfeld, but I couldn’t really hop on her cheer wagon. She really doesn’t do a good job at staying on the diet. At times, I just wanted to tell her to get a life. But I applaud the author’s efforts and enjoyed her humor in it.

 

My rating: 3 stars

Review: UNDER A SCOTTISH SKY by Pamela Q. Fernandes

Scotland! What a great place. Sure, it may be nothing but farmland, but, for Michelle, “the traveler at heart,” it was an adventure.  Ah, Scotland: so beautiful that you might fall in love. Then she meets her host, Adrian Mackintosh, a “fine specimen” and a “real hot-blooded Scottish one.” Oh, boy.

It’s just too bad that he ended up having a bad attitude and a hot temper. Well, lucky for Michelle that she has her tenacity and optimism to help her through it. Besides, she wasn’t there for him, she was there to care for his mother.  

Story was well-written and carried an endearing quality. Michelle with the ever angelic soul soon develops a soft spot for the frail, kind, old woman; she even starts to feel for her selfish brute of a son. But she has no problem telling him what a bastard he is and that he should be nicer to his mother. You kinda admire that gumption. Still, the old woman regales her how Adrian is like a hurricane—rattle and fierce on the outside, but calm in the center. Of course, Michelle had a point: if he was a hurricane, you’d want to run, duck, and cover. But, as her presence continues, she begins to wonder if there might be more to him.

Clever and charming, story is a quick read infused with lovely words of the Scottish highlands. There was a slight lag at times, but the good writing prevails.  

A good story!

 

My rating: 3.5 stars

Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: ARE YOU LONESOME TONIGHT by Bobby Hutchinson

Maxine A.K.A. “India McBride” is a single mom with a newborn and a phone sex operator. I loved how she was a mess and changing diapers while she was on the phone with one of her clients. Loved Maxine’s ability to multitask. Phone sex may not be the most glamorous job in the world, but, hey, if you’re good at it and it helps pay the rent/bills, why not?

Harry is a single father of a 3-year old daughter and a freelance writer doing an expose on the phone sex industry. What were these women like? What were their lives like? How did they spend their day? Little did he know that he’d end falling for one of these women, and that woman happens to be India.

He stars calling her more and more, and the two get to know each other, which was nice.

Enjoyable and well-written! Characters are real and endearing. A great blossoming friendship/romance of 2 single, struggling parents, who relate to each other in so many ways.

An A+ story!


My rating: 5 stars

Review: OPERATION: DATE ESCAPE by Lindsey Brookes

Kelsie is the mastermind of date escapes, thanks to her overbearing mother and nagging best friend that keep setting her on bad blind dates. That’s what gave her the idea to write her book, Operation: Date Escape. My favorite was breaking a leg.  

After being burned by a relationship, she avoids men, especially those “too perfect” men. Then she meets hunky firefighter Cole. It’s bad enough that she can’t help wanting this hottie, but does her mother have to keep insisting she get a boob job to nab a guy?

Cole is Mr. Perfect and he makes Kelsie drool, which is exactly why she can’t date him. She only dates guys with flaws because she knows that there will never be a future, which has kept her heart safe from pain.

Hilarious romantic comedy! I loved her date escapes from these douche bags, with the best one being her getting stuck in a tree, trying to escape out of a window of a strip club. I only wished we could’ve had more of these date escapes rather than immediately dive into this infatuation with Cole. And did we really need to hear about the hook-up between Nanci and Joe? I mean, this story was about Kelsie and Cole.

Nonetheless, this is still an enjoyable story!


My rating: 4 stars

Review: BEING GIL’S SISTER by Lisa Stewart

Right away, we meet Sunny, a straggling, nonsensical broad with no prospects and no clue. Apparently, she’s not really good at much as people often ask her what she’s actually good at. I guess she’s a good chatterbox. She has a big brother named Gil, who is referred to as a “walking cliché” (although I don’t really get why.)  

I was put-off by her insane and incorrigible rambling. I guess this was supposed to be a diary of some sorts, but it certainly doesn’t really read like that. She just goes on and on and on. She makes a few observations and quips that are fairly humorous, but it wasn’t enough to sustain the plot that we never really get to reach at any point. The whole thing was just dull.


My rating: 2 stars

Friday, November 10, 2017

Review: FLAME: KEEPING THE LIGHT OF LOVE ALIVE AGAISNT ALL ODDS by Tara Heavey

It all begins with a woman moving into a new home with her son, who is an “elective mute.” Not too sure what that means.

Story was pretty slow from the start and carried considerable lag throughout. It mostly centers on the mother and son settling in a new town, but you also get a brief POV from the other characters, like the diner owner and the woodsman. How does a woodsman come into play? The change in POV’s was a little disconcerting.

There were also some awkward phrases like, “He looked up at her with noisy eyes.” What did that mean? I’m sure this was probably the author’s effort to sound poetic, but that just didn’t make sense. Eyes don’t make a sound.

Judging by the plot summary, the mother and son are running away from something or someone (this is all very vague, btw), and then a “ghostly presence” and “mystical forest” are added to the mix. Oh, and there’s also an orphaned fox cub. It was kind of scattered and pointless. I actually expected more of a thriller/suspense story.

It just wasn’t what I expected.

 

My rating: 2 stars