Tag Archives: Berkley Trade

Review: Undressing Mr. Darcy

undressingmrPublisher: Berkley Trade
Author: Karen Doornebos
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Review Source: NetGalley/Berkley Trade


Thirty-five-year-old American social-media master Vanessa Robert lives her thoroughly modern life with aplomb. So when her elderly Jane Austen-centric aunt needs her to take on the public relations for Julian Chancellor, a very private man from England who’s written a book called My Year as Mr. Darcy, Vanessa agrees. But she’s not “excessively diverted” as Jane Austen would say.
Hardbound books, teacups and quill pens fly in the face of her e-reader, coffee and smartphone…
…until she sees Julian take his tight breeches off for his Undressing Mr. Darcy show, an educational “striptease” down to his drawers to promote his book and help save his crumbling estate. The public relations expert suddenly realizes things have gotten…personal. But can this old-fashioned man find his way into her heart without so much as a GPS? It will take three festivals filled with Austen fans, a trip to England, an old frenemy, and a flirtatious pirate reenactor to find out…

Everyone has talked or gave hype about the book, but I guess I just couldn’t get into it. I am over 30% into the book, and I still can’t find myself to keep going. Maybe it wasn’t my time for this book, and I can try it again later.
One reason could be, I didn’t read Jane Austen novel “Pride and Prejudice” novel,  so maybe next time I will start there with reading the book, and the “Definitely Not Mr. Darcy” (first book by Karen Doornebos).
However, the writing style is great! I just couldn’t get hooked into the storyline, but I am not saying you can’t.

About the Author
Karen Doornebos is the author of UNDRESSING MR. DARCY published by Berkley, Penguin. Her first novel, DEFINITELY NOT MR. DARCY, has been published in three countries.
She lived and worked in London for a short time, but is now happy just being a lifelong member of the Jane Austen Society of North America and living in the Chicagoland area with her husband, two teenagers and various pets, including a bird.

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Disclosure: I won this book for free via NetGalley/Berkley Trade. I did not have to do the review, and this review is my honest opinion.

Review: Snow Angels

Snow AngelsPublisher: Berkley Trade
Author: James Thompson
Genre: Mystery & Thriller
Series: Inspector Kari Vaara #1
Review Source:  Goodreads ARC

★ ☆★ – 3 Stars

Summary: (GoodReads)
It is called kaamos–two weeks of unrelenting darkness and soul-numbing cold that falls upon Finnish Lapland, a hundred miles into the Arctic Circle, just before Christmas. Some get through it with the help of cheap Russian alcohol; some sink into depression.
This year, it may have driven someone mad enough to commit murder. The brutalized body of a beautiful Somali woman has been found in the snow, and Inspector Kari Vaara must find her killer. It will be a challenge in a place where ugly things lurk under frozen surfaces, and silence is a way of life.

My Review:
I enjoyed the suspense of the book; however I did find it hard to connect with characters, just because it lacked some detail of getting to know them. The book was more about the “snow angels” then about who is who and why. However, it could be that with this being the first book of a series that the characters build during the other books. I love the fact that you get sucked into the darkness of the plot. I believe that is what makes you want to turn pages, because I surely did that. I did, in fact, enjoy the novel and I will be waiting for the second book to come out.
It is brutally violent, dark, harsh words, but yet it sucked me into wanting more. Definitely more of an adult book, unless you like the dark suspense like I do.

About the Author:
James Thompson, eastern Kentucky born and raised, has lived in Finland for the past decade and currently makes his home in Helsinki with his wife. Before becoming a full-time writer, Thompson studied Swedish and Finnish, in which he is fluent, and worked as a bartender, bouncer, construction worker, photographer, rare coin dealer, and soldier.

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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.

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.