Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Review: TANGLED TRUTHS by Shelley Coriell (Vol. 4)

Detective Lottie King, granny sleuth, is back! Newly retired, she is now working part-time at a private detective agency with newbie partner, Fig. The 60-year old portly granny still has her uncanny wits about her, and she will need them to solve cases like the homicide that literally falls into her arms.

Cases were intriguing, but the best part of all was the common theme in each story—Fig’s financial trouble that could have something to do with an old murder he may have been involved with. Could he have killed someone?  This was Lottie’s best case.

Another good one by Shelley Coriell. 

My rating: 4 stars


A woman questions her sanity while trying to figure out whether the tall tales her grandmother told her were true in “Merryland.” 

A man realizes his past lovers are being maimed in an effort to create his “perfect woman.”

A water bottle that grants wishes on the condition that “whatever you wish, your best friend will get halved and your worst enemy will get doubled.”

And an author learns the hard way about never replying to a bad review on Amazon.

A white owl is the common element threading these wonderful tales together.

Well-written stories full of dark irony! A wonderful blend of mystery, horror, and fantasy. DeRouen is a fantastic story teller!

My rating: 5 stars

Review: LOVE IN THE ELEVATOR (Anthology)

After a harrowing day of smelling like fajitas, an assistant editor gets stuck in an elevator with a hot, British guy and is rooked into playing a game of “2 Truths and 1 Lie.” (“Hold the Lift” by Aven Ellis)

A woman gets stuck in the elevator with her ex, leading to the two spending the night in Vegas as she reminisces back to her college drinking days and how she lost the bestest friend she ever had. (“Down, then Up” by Beth Labonte)

“Going Up” by Whitney Dineen was also a great story of a struggling masseuse in the Big Apple and how she ends up being a ploy for the FBI.

Fun, witty, and charming stories!

My rating; 4 stars

Review: HOLA AND GOODBYE by Donna Miscolta

Described as “una familia in stories,” these reflect the lives of four women yearning to get by and aspire for a better life. Lupita, Rosa, Ana, and Irma—each with their own struggles and ruminations.

This carried a poetic feel that’s often reflective and somber. With a languid pace, tales are a beacon to the prose of serious women’s fiction. It wasn’t as humorous as I would’ve liked it to be, although there were some Spanish catchphrases dispersed throughout that may give a chuckle. It was mostly about immigration and settling into a new culture.

Stories, for the most part, were well-written and endearing.

My rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Review: LOVE TO ME by Elizabeth Doherty

The child of successful actors, Lena Mays has one goal: to prove to her family she can be a star. After years of being compared to her talented sisters, she finally has a chance to prove herself when she’s cast in her first Broadway show. It’s the perfect part in the perfect show with the perfect cast… Well, perfect except for one thing. The minute she meets goofy Toby, she can tell they won’t get along. He’s not serious and not nearly focused enough. How is she supposed to focus on a Broadway career when Toby is always messing around?

Toby Pritchard is the luckiest guy alive. He’s got great friends, supportive parents, and he has finally been cast in his first Broadway show, after years of chasing his dream. His life couldn’t be better, until one day, he literally stumbles into the most beautiful woman in the world, and he realizes what he’s been missing. Lena is gorgeous and passionate. He can’t get enough of her, even though she can’t stand him. He needs to find a way to make her see him.

After a near accident, sparks begin to fly between Lena and Toby. But could Lena’s ambition and Toby’s quest for the perfect life ruin everything? Can love survive the cutthroat behind-the-scenes world of Broadway?

My review: Lena Mays has finally gotten a chance to prove herself on Broadway. Toby has also always wanted a role. Now the two are cast in a big musical. It's the World of Broadway!

Life in a musical certainly was rigorous and daunting at times. I mean, all the hours and rehearsal time and again. Of course, the main characters are cast as co-stars, and, at first, they didn't really get along, but they eventually grow on one another.

Story was simple and easy-to-read. While working on the show, the characters relive some of their past hope and angst concerning stardom. Readers get a gander of what sparked their love of performance and how they got here. Drama is all around in this aspiring, little tale―both on stage and off. Love and emotion work side-by-side. Although the story was a bit lagging at times, the characters do have a certain chemistry and their hard work certainly leaps off the page.

Good if you like love and musicals.

My rating: 3 stars

Review: A DREAM FOR TWO by Kate Goldman

Elise Roberts dreams of being a pop star but has been stuck in her hometown since she graduated from high school. Her life seems achingly dull and mapped out when she’s suddenly laid off from the offices where she works as a secretary. With her faithful guitar Elise moves to New York where she takes up waitressing but sings at open mic nights. One night she meets the charismatic Dylan, who is the lead singer for his up-and-coming band. Dylan oozes charm but also arrogance and Elise initially dislikes him. As they vie for attention each night on the same open mic circuit, they come into conflict with one another, but beneath this conflict they harbor more intense feelings for one another. Just as Elise and Dylan have fallen head-over-heels in love, their dreams come true and each of them strikes a deal with a famous record label. Now they are being torn apart by their careers and begin to question whether their success is worth anything if they are not together. Can Dylan and Elise’s new love survive the strain of their burgeoning careers and is either of them willing to sacrifice their dream for the sake of their relationship?

My thoughts: Elise is a wanna-be star who's just been laid off.

The story had the pretext of a country music rags-to-riches tale. You have a girl from a small town trying to make it in a big city and be a star. Yeah, because being a star is so easy, right? It reminded me of that sweet drama movie, "Pure Country 2" or even
"Coyote Ugly." Let's face it, they were all sweet, innocent, naive girls who thought they possessed a great talent unlike no other. The truth is: the world is tough and not everyone is a star.

A simple story of determination and finding your passion,  A DREAM FOR TWO felt like a rehash of a  typical "Big Dreamer" movie.  Not that I don't believe in chasing dreams (no matter how far-stretched some are,) it's just that I've heard it before and I know how it ends.

This was an okay story about a girl and her dreams with love in the mix. Typical.

The interesting spin, however, was the complicated stress of the music industry affecting the new "high" of the couple's love. If you ask me, everything--the love, the stardom--
was just happening so fast. How can one be in love and be a star? Apparently, you can't have both. Additionally, there was little empathy with these characters, which made me not really care whether they were together or not, which made it that much more dull.

My rating: 2.5 stars

Review: THE CONTRACT by Elizabeth Kelly

Every few months, the PA’s would be shifted among the lawyers at a high-end New York law firm, and it was Mae’s turn to PA for the ruthless Liam Knight. Still, no matter how much of a jackass he was known to be, Mae still harbored this lustful crush on the hot bastard. Even though she figured she was not his type with her cellulite thighs, fat stomach, and big boobs, there was no harm in fantasizing.

A slip causing a twisted ankle was all it to make her realize the Alpha in Liam Knight, making her want him even more if that’s at all possible. He just took charge of her care by driving her home, taking her car into the mechanic, stocking her fridge with food, wrapping her ankle, and carrying her to bed. It was kind of nice and annoying how Liam was fussing over her. Of course, one would wonder why complain when a rich, gorgeous millionaire is doting on your every move. Yes, that part is nice, but it’s annoying how he just takes over. So domineering, so alpha, so…BOSSY. Well, he is her boss after all. Still, Mae is known to be bossy too, especially when it comes to the boudoir. Soon, she realized what a submissive Alpha male he is with his begging and pleading to touch her and do things to her. Mae is bossy and he seems to like it.

In the midst of this constant foreplay and her “no touch-no masturbating” rule, the two contend with a gossiping columnist, who blatantly calls her fat and him a chubby chaser. It kinda makes you wonder exactly how fat she really was. I mean, yes, she’s snarky, witty, and rough around the edges, but I couldn’t stand how bossy she got.

I mean, was this it? Was this story nothing but sexual and domineering foreplay? Not only that, but I thought the two characters weren’t good together at all. And where does the contract come in? I mean, that was the title of the book. Shouldn’t there be some type of “arrangement?”

I just got tired with this book.

My rating: 2 stars