Category Archives: Contemporary

Book Release & Review: The Line Between @TamsynBester

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Title: The Line Between
Publisher: Self-Published
Author: Tamsyn Bester
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

TheLineBetween

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary
There’s a fine line between love and hate, so fine that you don’t know you’ve lost balance until it’s too late.
I’m not sure exactly when I lost my balance, all I know is that he was to blame.
Dane Winters.
The boy who’d spent most of his life hating me for reasons I never understood.

** ** ** ** ** **

It was no secret that I hated her, but only I knew why.
She was off-limits.
And then our separate worlds collided with one tragedy.
It wasn’t her fault, I knew that, but I wanted her to hurt the way I did, and I needed someone to blame. She was an easy target.
Kennedy Monroe.
The girl I’d picked on all our lives.
And the woman I barely tolerated.
Until the line between love and hate was no longer visible…

*Due to mature content this book is not suitable for readers younger than 18*

Review
I cried, I hated, I smiled, I cried… and I cheered! Oh My Gosh, so many emotions!
There were times I wanted to punch Dane right in the face, and there were times I was crying because I never expected anything. Sure, we all read romances, so we get the general jest of what happens in a book, but come on! This book is a must read! You will totally understand why my emotions were all over the place, and it will have you begging to read more.
Kennedy is always trying to be nice, and just go on about her life; however, Dane always has to put his nose where it doesn’t belong. I was to the point of wanting her to just cuss him like a dog, and leave him as trash. But once the story kept building you can see why everything happens the way it does, dang stupid family “drama” and their “reasons for hate”.
I loved Kennedy’s friend Jade, and how she was always there when she needed to be, and even Kennedy was there for Jade. True friendship is something hard to come by, but Tamsyn Bester played this book out perfectly, and I couldn’t see it any other way. She warmed my heart, and my soul… I am a FAN!

“You’re not alone, and you never have been. I might not be here anymore, but you have people who care about you. Don’t allow your past to dictate your future. And always remember that I love you.”
~95% Kindle

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About the Author
TamsynTamsyn Bester, 21 years old & the ultimate Book Brat. Coffee & Books are her drugs of choice, neither of which will be kicked to the curb any time soon! She can go through a book a day & when she’s not reading she’s working on her debut novel, Beneath Your Beautiful. She is a sucker for New Adult Contemporary Romance with a whole lot of sexy thrown in & her number one rule is she won’t read a book unless it has a happy ending! Tamsyn also has the unhealthiest obsession with the South, and she  don’t mean her home country of South Africa – She  means cowboys, pick up trucks, sexy as sin Southern accents, cowboy boots and barefoot blue-jean nights! One day, she will live in Alabama & she will have her own Indie publishing house – her philosophy is if your dreams don’t scare you they’re not big enough 🙂

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Disclosure: I won this ARC book for free from the author. I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

Review: Frosted @KatyRegnery

FrostedPublisher: Self-Published
Author: Katy Regnery
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Anthology

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary
When Grace Luff’s children send her to a Silver Wings weekend at a luxury resort, they are hoping that the 56-years-young widow will meet a man to lift the loneliness she’s endured since the passing of her husband over three years before.
Grace, who barely remembers how to date, doesn’t expect to meet anyone, and skips the conference in lieu of fresh air and exercise. She’s surprised when the owner of a local ski rental shop, Tray Bradshaw, makes her heart leap with interest and attraction.
When a rogue snowstorm traps the pair in an abandoned cabin on top of the mountain, they’ll get to know each other, and discover that it’s never too late to change…or fall in love.

Review
Oh, what a sweet read! I loved this novella, as it hit close to home. It reminded me so much of my Pawpaw. I lost my Mawmaw in 2004 due to cancer, and to see his loneliness… I begged him to get out, to find someone who he could reconnect with, to help find himself again. I kid you not.. those were my own words to him. My Pawpaw found someone through senior dance night, they fell in love, and got married within a few months. Okay, Okay, back to the book.
I loved it. I loved allllll of it.
Grace was stubborn at first, but who wouldn’t be? I couldn’t imagine losing someone you have always been around, even if it wasn’t the “swoon” love she always wanted. As you read Frosted you get to learn more on the way she thinks of things, and how she pushes just enough because it is so hard to start fresh, or on a new chapter.
Tray, patient, kind, caring… who wouldn’t love that about any man? He was so genuine and I can tell you that you need to read these 75 pages, you will not be disappointed.
Katy, you always amaze me. Thank you for writing such a heartfelt story, even for the elders. Ahh, Bring on more Grace!

About the Author
Katy Regnery Author PhotoKaty Regnery, award-winning and Amazon bestselling author, started her writing career by enrolling in a short story class in January 2012. One year later, she signed her first contract for a winter romance entitled By Proxy.
Now a hybrid author who publishes both independently and traditionally, Katy claims authorship of the six-book Heart of Montana series, the six-book English Brothers series, and a Kindle Worlds novella entitled “Four Weddings and a Fiasco: The Wedding Date,” in addition to the standalone novels, Playing for Love at Deep Haven and Amazon bestseller, The Vixen and the Vet.
The Vixen and the Vet is included in the charity anthology Hometown Heroes: Hotter Ever After, and Katy’s novella “Frosted” will appear in the upcoming (Jan ’15) anthology, Snowy Days Steamy Nights. Additionally, Katy’s short story, “The Long Way Home” will appear in the first RWA anthology (Feb ’15), Premiere.
Katy lives in the relative wilds of northern Fairfield County, Connecticut, where her writing room looks out at the woods, and her husband, two young children, and two dogs create just enough cheerful chaos to remind her that the very best love stories begin at home.

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Overall Rating for Snowy Days, Steamy Nights ★ ☆★ ☆★ – 4 Stars

Disclosure: I received this book for free from the Author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: When She Came Home

WhenSheCameHomePublisher: Grand Central Publishing
Author: Drusilla Campbell
Genre: Military, Fiction Contemporary
Review Source: Goodreads ARC

★ ☆★ ☆ – 4 Stars

Summary:
Frankie Byrne Tennyson stunned everyone when she decided to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps. Now-after bravely serving her country in Iraq-she’s finally come home. Home to a husband whose lingering feelings of abandonment make her wonder if their lives can ever be the same. Home to a daughter whose painful encounters with bullies can only be healed by a mother’s love. And home to a father who still can’t accept his daughter’s decision to serve in spite of his own stellar career as a brigadier general. But the most difficult part about coming home lies within Frankie herself. To save everything she holds dear, she must face the toughest battle of her life . . .
A moving portrait of a modern American family, WHEN SHE CAME HOME reminds us that some things-honor, acceptance, and, above all, love-are truly worth fighting for.

Review:
I usually don’t read war/military books, but I don’t know why this book caught my eye. However, I am so glad I read it. When She Came Home has everything under the sun going on: domestic abuse, dysfunctional family, military issues, etc. You name it, it is probably somewhere in this book. You learn how to grow with the characters, how they intertwine with one another, you start to understand how it is to be in war, you urge to reach to them.. so captivating.
Frankie enlists in the military after 9/11, she thinks she needs to protect her daughter, her family, but most importantly her husband thinks she wants the approval of her father, the General.
When Frankie finally gets home she doesn’t want to admit anything is wrong with her, even two months later; however, the effects of Frankie’s emotions are toying with her daughter emotional balance.
This was by far one of the hardest books I have read in the longest time, probably why I don’t like reading war/military type books. On another note, I am so glad I did. It gives me more respect, than ever, for those who fight for our country on a daily basis.

About the Author:
Drusilla Campbell is an award winning author of 16 published novels, including the best-selling and award winning novels, The Good Sister, Blood Orange, and Bone Lake. Her latest novel, Little Girl Gone from Grand Central Publishing, is available January 31, 2012.

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Disclosure: I won this book for free via Goodreads First Reads. I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

Review: Someday, Someday, Maybe

Someday, Someday, MaybePublisher: Ballantine Books
Author: Lauren Graham
Genre: Fiction Contemporary
Review Source: Netgalley/Ballantine Books

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary: (Goodreads)
Franny Banks is a struggling actress in New York City, with just six months left of the three year deadline she gave herself to succeed. But so far, all she has to show for her efforts is a single line in an ad for ugly Christmas sweaters and a degrading waitressing job. She lives in Brooklyn with two roommates-Jane, her best friend from college, and Dan, a sci-fi writer, who is very definitely not boyfriend material-and is struggling with her feelings for a suspiciously charming guy in her acting class, all while trying to find a hair-product cocktail that actually works.
Meanwhile, she dreams of doing “important” work, but only ever seems to get auditions for dishwashing liquid and peanut butter commercials. It’s hard to tell if she’ll run out of time or money first, but either way, failure would mean facing the fact that she has absolutely no skills to make it in the real world. Her father wants her to come home and teach, her agent won’t call her back, and her classmate Penelope, who seems supportive, might just turn out to be her toughest competition yet.
Someday, Someday, Maybe is a funny and charming debut about finding yourself, finding love, and, most difficult of all, finding an acting job.

My Review:
Someday, Someday, Maybe is roughly based off of Graham’s own experiences trying to break into the New York acting scene during the 1990s. The characters grew as the book goes on, which you come to love them. I didn’t realize how much goes into the acting business till I started digging deeper into the book, and wow!
Getting to know Franny is a real treat. Lauren definitely did her justice. Once you get to know Franny, you would be captivated into her journey. You really see Franny growing as the book goes on.
A very enjoyable read, even if it took me awhile to enjoy it. It wasn’t something that got me right from go, but I am so glad I stuck it out! Lauren is amazing in her writing, like it could be ranked up there with her acting! I didn’t know about this book till I seen Lauren on Ellen and she was talking about her book.
I truly enjoyed it, and I know you would to!

About the Author:
Lauren Graham an American actress, producer, and debut novelist best known for playing Lorelai Gilmore on Gilmore Girls and Sarah Braverman on Parenthood. She has performed on Broadway and appeared in such films as Bad Santa, Evan Almighty, and Because I Said So. She holds a BA in English from Barnard College and an MFA in acting from Southern Methodist University. She lives in New York and Los Angeles.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from NetGalley/Ballantine Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Review: Against the Odds: A Love Story

AgainsttheoddsPublisher: Jewel of the West
Author: Jewel Adams
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Against The Odds
Review Source:  Author

★ ☆★ ☆ – 4 Stars

Summary: (Goodreads)
Tired if dealing with an unfaithful husband after seven years of marriage, Raine Edmunds finally gets a divorce. Wanting to start over, she leaves her successful modeling career behind and goes to a ranch near Roswell, New Mexico to stay with her best friend. The ranch is the perfect place for her to take stock of her life and all she’s accomplished.
Then Raine meets Hayden, her friend’s brother-in-law, and the opposite of all the other men she has ever known. As their friendship blossoms, so does her love of ranch life. She discovers that what she wants most-what her heart truly desires-is right in front of her.
Everything about Raine and Hayden’s love is against the odds. Now they must prove to each other and to themselves that no matter what trials assail them, their love will be strong enough to overcome any obstacle.

My Review:
Talk about a sweet romance! Jewel has definitely captured me while I was reading. It was different, only because it was set in the first person form. However, that did not change that I could not put down this book!
I loved the fact how she played out the racism, and how it all worked out in the end. That is truly how it should be right? We should all be able to get along and find love regardless of color, or anything else. We should value one another, she did show that. You could wrap yourself up with this book while you’re in a relaxing bath, or just a book to grab while you’re on the couch. Amazing!
Raine was always a treasure to follow due to her spunky personality, as Hayden’s sexiness always came into play. Raine didn’t let Hayden make all her decisions, and she could defend herself all on her own. This book not only had me smiling, but there was parts that was really funny!

About the Author:
(Jewel) Adams stays crazy busy with her family and writing. She has written several books in different genres and is also a motivational speaker to both youth and adult audiences. She home schools her four kids that are still at home, and between that and conjuring up new ideas for her books, her brain is completely fried most of the time. She and her husband Sean are the parents of eight children, which means they are both losing hair, but hey, that’s what Rogaine is for, right? In her spare time (when she has any) she likes to curl up with a good book and a healthy stash of orange Tic Tacs. She and her family reside in Utah. Jewel loves hearing from her fans, so if you would like to contact her to tell her how much you love her books or give her sympathy for the fried brain, or suggestions for the hair loss problem (for my husband, of course)

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from the author. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

The Wisdom of Hair

ThewisdomofhairPublisher: Berkley Trade/Penguin Publishing
Author: Kim Boykin
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Review Source:  Goodreads ARC

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary: (Goodreads)
Life can be beautiful, but it takes a little work…
“The problem with cutting your own hair is that once you start, you just keep cutting, trying to fix it, and the truth is, some things can never be fixed. The day of my daddy’s funeral, I cut my bangs until they were the length of those little paintbrushes that come with dime-store watercolor sets. I was nine years old. People asked me why I did it, but I was too young then to know I was changing my hair because I wanted to change my life.”
In 1983, on her nineteenth birthday, Zora Adams finally says goodbye to her alcoholic mother and their tiny town in the mountains of South Carolina. Living with a woman who dresses like Judy Garland and brings home a different man each night is not a pretty existence, and Zora is ready for life to be beautiful.
With the help of a beloved teacher, she moves to a coastal town and enrolls in the Davenport School of Beauty. Under the tutelage of Mrs. Cathcart, she learns the art of fixing hair, and becomes fast friends with the lively Sara Jane Farquhar, a natural hair stylist. She also falls hard for handsome young widower Winston Sawyer, who is drowning his grief in bourbon. She couldn’t save Mama, but maybe she can save him.
As Zora practices finger waves, updos, and spit curls, she also comes to learn that few things are permanent in this life—except real love, lasting friendship, and, ultimately… forgiveness.

My Review:
The Wisdom of Hair is a southern story of love, friendship, healing, forgiveness, courage, and learning to let go. You will learn that in life, we often deal with diseased and pained relationships in our lives, and some times, we just have to cut them out of our lives, as we do with haircuts.
Zora Adams, main character of the book, grows up in life in abandoned and despairs. Her mother is an alcoholic, and brings men in and out every evening of Zora’s life. Zora finally had enough of her mom and called out for help; she embarks on a new life, and starts unfolding her own dreams. Zora becomes a best friend to Sara, and Sara adds that bright of color to Zora’s life, and to the book!
There are two love stories within this book.
Zora and Winston, Zora feeds herself to Winston by fixing him meals, and through that Winston provided a place to live for Zora.
Sara Jane and Jimmy love at first sight, and their love blooms before your eyes as you continue to read the book.
I can tell you that the story is absolutely great, lovely read, through the writing and the reading. It is definitely necessary read.

About the Author:
Kim Boykin learned about women and their hair in her mother’s beauty shop in a tiny South Carolina town. She loves to write stories about strong Southern women, because that’s what she knows. While her stories are always set in South Carolina, she lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, with her husband, three dogs, and 126 rose bushes.

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Disclosure: I won this book for free via Goodreads First Reads. I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

Review: I’ll Take What She Has

Ill Take What She HasPublisher: Bantam
Author: Samantha Wilde
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Review Source: NetGalley/Random House

★ ☆★ – 3 Stars

Summary: (Goodreads)
Nora and Annie have been best friends since kindergarten. Nora, a shy English teacher at a quaint New England boarding school, longs to have a baby. Annie, an outspoken stay-at-home mother of two, longs for one day of peace and quiet (not to mention more money and some free time). Despite their very different lives, nothing can come between them—until Cynthia Cypress arrives on campus.
Cynthia has it all: brains, beauty, impeccable style, and a gorgeous husband (who happens to be Nora’s ex). When Cynthia eagerly befriends Nora, Annie’s oldest friendship is tested. Now, each woman must wrestle the green-eyed demon of envy and, in the process, confront imperfect, mixed-up family histories they don’t want to repeat. Amid the hilarious and harried straits of friendship, marriage, and parenthood, the women may discover that the greenest grass is right beneath their feet.

My Review:
I’ll Take What She Has is all about friendship, infertility, parenting, motherhood, and resentment. You go through the book learning about Nora and Annie’s relationship, how they have been friends for a long time, and then how resentment sets in.
I found that, the story was becoming boring, it was repeat over, and over. There really wasn’t a point where I wanted to learn more about the “characters”. Soem of the topics throughout the book a lot of people deal with in real life. I just didn’t find it to be an absolute turn pager for me. However, if you love chic-lit, drama, and repeat of some topics you might enjoy this book!

About the Author: (Goodreads)
Samantha is the mother of three small children born in about four years which means she spends a great deal of time cleaning crumbs up from underneath her kitchen table. Her first novel, This Little Mommy Stayed Home, helped a lot of new mothers make it through the long, sleep-deprived night. She learned a great deal about fiction writing from her mother, novelist, Nancy Thayer, who is still her first reader for everything she writes.
Her second novel, I’ll Take What She Has, deals with motherhood, friendship and envy. Some days Sam envies people with clean houses (some days she doesn’t).
She’s an ordained minister, a yoga teacher, a passionate reader, and a bit of a technophobe, which is why it took her about three years to figure out Goodreads.

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Disclosure: I received this book for free from NetGalley/Random House. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Fly Away

FlyAwayPublisher: St. Martin’s Press
Author: Kristin Hannah
Genre: Fiction Contemporary
Publishing Date: 4/23/2013

★ ☆★ ☆★ – 5 Stars!

Summary: (Goodreads)
Once, a long time ago, I walked down a night-darkened road called Firefly Lane, all alone, on the worst night of my life, and I found a kindred spirit. That was our beginning. More than thirty years ago. TullyandKate. You and me against the world. Best friends forever. But stories end, don’t they? You lose the people you love and you have to find a way to go on. . . .

Tully Hart has always been larger than life, a woman fueled by big dreams and driven by memories of a painful past. She thinks she can overcome anything until her best friend, Kate Ryan, dies. Tully tries to fulfill her deathbed promise to Kate—to be there for Kate’s children—but Tully knows nothing about family or motherhood or taking care of people.
Sixteen-year-old Marah Ryan is devastated by her mother’s death. Her father, Johnny, strives to hold the family together, but even with his best efforts, Marah becomes unreachable in her grief. Nothing and no one seems to matter to her . . . until she falls in love with a young man who makes her smile again and leads her into his dangerous, shadowy world.
Dorothy Hart, the woman who once called herself Cloud, is at the center of Tully’s tragic past. She repeatedly abandoned her daughter, Tully, as a child, but now she comes back, drawn to her daughter’s side at a time when Tully is most alone. At long last, Dorothy must face her darkest fear: Only by revealing the ugly secrets of her past can she hope to become the mother her daughter needs.
A single, tragic choice and a middle-of-the-night phone call will bring these women together and set them on a poignant, powerful journey of redemption. Each has lost her way, and they will need each one another—and maybe a miracle—to transform their lives.
An emotionally complex, heart-wrenching novel about love, motherhood, loss, and new beginnings, Fly Away reminds us that where there is life, there is hope, and where there is love, there is forgiveness.

My Review:
First off, let me just say Thank You to Goodreads and Kristin Hannah for the giveaway and this amazing, advance reader’s edition! This book is the second book of the series, but I was able to jump right in and start the journey, and boy, was it a journey!
I could hardly put down the book, every page I wanted more. It has brought me to tears, which that could be a part of pregnancy hormones, but hey, that just tells you it is good!
Kristin Hannah did an amazing job transferring from different viewpoints: from going to present, back to the past, then how it all comes together. Her writing paints a beautiful picture of what you are reading, and you can see the story unfold beneath your eyes.
Being able to connect to the love that Tully has Marah is remarkable, Tully is not only Marah’s Godmother, but also her best friend. All relationships come with difficulties and you can relate, because not only we have all dealt with relationships, but I am sure we have all dealt with death at some point too. I love the fact that each character is developed, and the emotions of each one is different, but they all come together to make a beautiful book! We have all had to figure out ways to fight our own struggles, and this book proves that. Learn how Tully and Marah come to grips with their struggles, and see if you could be in their shoes. I know I was turning pages, pulling for Tully and hoping would work out in the best way possible.
You will start to understand the side of Dorothy, Tully’s Mother, the reasons of why she was never the mother she should have been, and you take a step into her life as Tully always reminded her that she was needed, regardless of what evil stepped into her way. There is love, understanding, forgiveness, and heartache within the chapters of the book, but I suggest you jump in the middle and start unfolding the secrets yourself.
If you decide to get this book, I would recommend it, even if you have not read the first book Firefly Lane, but I can tell you that by reading Fly Away makes me want to go back and read it!

Marah knew what was expected of her. She was supposed to say, It was great, wonderful, perfect, I feel better now, but she couldn’t do it. She opened her mouth and nothing came out. From pg 150

About the Author:
Kristin Hannah is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels, including the blockbuster Firefly Lane and Night Road. She is a former lawyer turned writer and is the mother of one son. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii with her husband.

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Disclosure: I won this book for free via Goodreads First Reads. I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.