Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Becoming Josephine by Heather Webb

ARC received for an honest opinion

Five outstanding Stars
First, I want to give a million thanks to Heather Webb for sending me a copy of this book. I become OBSESSED with it the minute I heard about it! I could not wait for its’ realize and the very talented Ms. Webb was gracious, generous and brave enough to share an Advanced Readers Copy with me.  I say brave because I’m sure my message to her seemed a little scary  So some might think that I was already bias to the story, well, sometimes it is harder for a story to live up to the expectation of a reader! That was not the case with “Becoming Josephine”! A fantastic story.  First, I cannot believe that this is a debut novel!!!! I searched on the internet and found no proof otherwise.  I could not put this story down! I loved that it is told in the first person narrative because I felt like I was having a conversation with Josephine. She and I were pals and she was telling me about her life!!!
I was engaged from the first page. I finished it so quickly I started re-reading to make up for all the details that I missed.  Ms. Webb captured so many different aspects of Josephine’s story.  I hate to give anything away but it was filled was sadness (her sister’s death and fathers obvious rejection).  Not to mention her conflicting emotions on her marriage to Napoleon.  He was definitely interesting to learn about, especially as far as husband material go.  We also learned about the very human person behind this great figure in history.  For me a great novel engages you, which this did! But and outstanding novel keeps you wanting more!!!! I want to learn so much more about Josephine, her marriage to Napoleon, her past!!   Besides the fantastic characterization of Josephine and Napoleon, I loved how she showed the history unfolding from Josephine’s perspective.  We see history unfolding through her eyes. 
My one little disappoint is that I have nothing further to read from Ms. Webb, I will just have to continue to fold the pages of my current copy and anticipate the next great read from Ms. Webb.  You cannot go wrong with this novel and the only thing I can say to Ms. Webb besides thank you is, when is the next book out?? 
Becoming Josephine: A Novel

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1) by Jennifer Dawson

*ARC received for an honest review
Available 2/4/2014
I thought the story had a strong start.  It was really interesting-a runaway bride walks into a bar and the bartender use to be an attorney.  I even liked the reasons that Maddie ran out on her wedding...but... The rest of the story fell flat... Her continuous need for independence became a little redundant.  I really liked the build up Mitch's character but  at times it became hard to figure him out... After first he wants to help Maddie then seduce her... Also, it seems very unbelievable that he would take a complete stranger to his home and all of the sudden become so infatuated with her.  Overall, it was ok.
Take a Chance on Me (Something New, #1)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Haiti Noir 2 Edited by Edwidge Danticat

*ARC received for an honest opinion.
I loved  “Breath, Eyes, Memory “ by Edwidge Danticat so anything with her name on it, I think, will be  a hit.  This is a great collection of stories set in Haiti.  I love that the stories all take place in different parts of Haiti so readers are able to learn about the geography, history and culture of that particular area.  

One of my favorite short stories was “True Life” by Michéle Voltaire Marcelin.  Her opening sentence was so impacting, “my mother weeps.  And the continuous murmur of her tears is so intense that it’s impossible not to hear it all over the world” (p.176).  I think it’s the small island setting that reminded me of Sydney Poitiers’ autobiography “ The Measure of a Man” .  

Although all authors in this collection have their own styles (some write in the first person) each one adds an insight into the culture of Haiti.  I personally love when literature tells a story within a story.  By hearing about the Spanish influences, we are reminded about the history of Haiti. This book should be added as part of a college course somewhere, it’s so rich in culture and literature.  
Haiti Noir 2: The Classics (Akashic Noir) by…

Monday, December 16, 2013

Caroline and the Duke:A Regency Short Story by Sabrina Darby

*ARC from publisher for an honest opinion
Although a short story, the pace and emotion behind Caroline and  and Lord Sutbridge was enjoyable.  The author provided enough background information so that we can understand why she and John are not or were not married before. It was also very refreshing to see a switch in roles-Caroline was the one that did not want to marry (or re-marry) and John did.  Great and enjoyable read!
Available December 9, 2013
Caroline and the Duke

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Fighting Love (Love to the Extreme #2) by Abby Niles

Release date: December 31, 2013
(Three stars- I liked it)
This is not a book for the weak hearted but a good read, nonetheless.  There are many great parts of this book that I think highlights Abby Niles understanding of male and female relationships and makes the characters authentic.
Tommy “Lighting”Sparks has hit a new low when his house burns down. Although he had it all because of bad decisions and bad luck he finds himself kicked out of MMA fighting. He basically has no career and has to model to make it and stay relevant.  By his side is his best friend, Julie Rogers.
Julie and Tommy are very different in temperament.  She is a responsible, hard-working veterinarian and he is a hard-partying, hard- fighting playboy.  Although they are very different they have been best friends for most of their lives.  Julie has always been in love with Tommy but he has always been to self-absorbed and adored by other women to notice.  Julie has tried to come to terms with her feelings for Tommy.  She realizes that he sees her as a sister and that anything other than a friendship would jeapordize what they have.
As is expected, they both begin to have feelings for each other. Here is the part I really loved and I think the author handled it very well.  When Tommy starts to discover his feelings for Julie he fights them.  He cares for their relationship too much to ruin it with a physical attraction.  He is very open and vulnerable with Julie. She is actually ready to take their relationship to the next level but he is worried that Julie deserves better than him! Well played Ms. Niles! The wasy Tommy wanted to mature and make himself a better person made me want to root for him!
As Julie and Tommy’s relationship evolves so do they! Julie refuses to stand by and ignore her feelings for Tommy and she actually does the pursuing! Another point for Ms. Nile.  Instead of becoming a sulky and rejected heroine she decides that she will make Tommy fall in love with her!
This is a fun, lively and ultimately sweet story about a friendship that grows into love.  I have read another story by Ms. Niles “Britton (The Awakening #3) and she is a very talented author!  I’m keeping my eye out for her future books.  She knows how to get into the heart of the characters and engage readers.

The Paris Widow by Kimberly Belle

  THE PARIS WIDOW  Author: Kimberly Belle Publication Date: June 11, 2024 ISBN: 9780778307976 Format: Trade Paperback Publisher: Harlequin ...