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Review: Sustained (Legal Briefs #2) by Emma Chase

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sustainedemmachaseA knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.

When you’re a defense attorney in Washington, DC, you see firsthand how hard life can be, and that sometimes the only way to survive is to be harder. I, Jake Becker, have a reputation for being cold, callous, and intimidating—and that suits me just fine. In fact, it’s necessary when I’m breaking down a witness on the stand.

Complications don’t work for me—I’m a “need-to-know” type of man. If you’re my client, tell me the basic facts. If you’re my date, stick to what will turn you on. I’m not a therapist or Prince Charming—and I don’t pretend to be.

Then Chelsea McQuaid and her six orphaned nieces and nephews came along and complicated the ever-loving hell out of my life. Now I’m going to Mommy & Me classes, One Direction concerts, the emergency room, and arguing cases in the principal’s office.

Chelsea’s too sweet, too innocent, and too gorgeous for her own good. She tries to be tough, but she’s not. She needs someone to help her, defend her…and the kids.

And that — that, I know how to do.

This book can be read as a standalone.


My Review

“You like her, like her.” What are you twelve?” …..”But seriously, you’ve got this whole knight-in-shining-armor vibe going on.” I shake my head. “My armor was tarnished a long time ago, Brent.” “A knight in tarnished armor is still a knight.”

So, I’m going to be honest with you. I wasn’t a big fan of the first book in this series. I was completely on the fence about whether or not I would be continuing on with the series. However, once I read the synopsis for Sustained, I couldn’t help but be intrigued. I decided, what the heck, I’ll give it a try. And boy am I glad that I did! I absolutely loved Sustained! This is hands down my top book by this author so far!

Sustained follows the story of Jake and Chelsea. Jake is a tough and intimidating defense lawyer. He is sexy, smart and loves living the easy life. Jake is your typical single guy who likes his life and his women without complications and he never does relationships. Then Chelsea enters his life and quickly turns his nice organized, uncomplicated life out of control….Chelsea recently found herself the guardian to 6 young children. She is a fish out of water, trying to the best that she can and keep everything under control. Jake couldn’t have come into her life at a better time. The two of them may not be looking for love, but love may just be what they need……

Sustained was a fantastic read. I was pulled into the story immediately and did not want to put it down. I absolutely loved that this book was told from only Jake’s POV and thought the author did a fantastic job writing Jake. This story was smart, sexy and entertaining. There were so many funny moments. One in particular that stood out to me was when Jake had to change a diaper and he didn’t know how to do it, so he googled it! That’s right! He totally googles it! I couldn’t stop laughing. And if that wasn’t bad enough, well, we all know what happens when you change a baby boys’ diaper!!! Let’s just say Jake wasn’t prepared for that and was upset that google didn’t tell him!! So. Funny!!

The other thing I loved was how this story really centered around the children. You got to really feel and understand the struggles they were all going through with the loss of their parents and the new family that they were becoming. It created such a wonderful dynamic and I felt that it really brought Chelsea and Jake closer.

I loved Jake and Chelsea together. They were perfectly matched and balanced each other out. Jake gave Chelsea the strength that she needed. And Chelsea showed Jake what a real family was like and that it was ok for him to want these things and that he could handle it. I loved watching Jake change from a “playboy” to a family man, how he fell in love without even realizing it had happened.

Sustained is a really fun read. You can’t help but laugh while reading it. This book isn’t just funny, but has just the right amount of drama, romance and steam. The writing is smart, witty and the story-line is captivating. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a chance. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved and enjoyed it. Emma Chase has made a fan out of me! I can’t wait to get my hands on Brent’s story, Appealed, which comes out in November.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via the publisher and NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*

Blog Tour & Book Review – Books, Blogs & Reality by Ryan Ringbloom

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Books, Blogs, & Reality

by Ryan

Ringbloom

Publication Date: October 24, 2014

Genres: Contemporary, Humor, New Adult, Romance

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from Kobo

Books Blogs Reality Cover

Synopsis:

Life can suck…

When reality becomes overwhelming, seeking comfort in fictional fantasies keeps hope alive. And while

this escape may be a little delusional, it’s also therapeutic.

Sharing secrets is daunting, but virtual friends don’t often judge and they are always ready to share a

glass of wine…or three…while typing out life’s latest endeavors.

Brooke believes obstacles only add to romance, not detract. Rachael longs for a more intense

relationship, or so she thinks. Lizzie misses the excitement in her life, but sometimes new situations find

you when you’re not even looking. And Jess believes a tiger can change his stripes. It can’t.

Bound by a shared passion for blogging about happily ever afters, these four young women use

keyboard therapy to work through their expectations, anxieties, and inadequacies, all with the hopes of

achieving the perfection found in romance novels.

Completely blinded by what they think life should be, they navigate their unique paths in search of what

they envision is right. But when reality taunts them with persistent curve balls, will they be strong

enough to choose wisely? Or will their happy endings escape them?

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About the Author

Ryan Ringbloom

Ryan Ringbloom is a YA/NA author who lives for anything Romance. The

passion, love, angst, awkwardness… she loves all of it. When Ryan needs a break from reality she sneaks

off to read a romantic story or write one of her own. Drinking coffee, reading Tweets and hugs from her

five year old are the best part of her day.

Feel free to contact her, she would love it!

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REVIEW

This story is everything I love in a good romance/chick-lit read. When I sit down to read this type of genre I need to not want to put it down, and this book absolutely had me enthralled from the start. In fact, I started and finished it in just one sitting!

In this story we follow 4 women, all book junkies & bloggers and all part of a tight online friendship foursome. I love how the author captured the intricacies of online relationships. How we can spill some of our most intimate and mundane thoughts and life events to these people we have never met, yet still feel a connection with.

The book was very cleverly broken down so we get a good sense of each woman’s character. They all are clearly very different… different lives & different personalities. The back and forth between the four of them in cyberspace was SO entertaining. It had me giggling a lot of the time! I really enjoyed how their online catch-up were interspaced between what was really going on in each of their lives, things aren’t always so rosy in the real world that’s for sure!

There was a lesson to be learnt for each of the ladies in this book. While sometimes I found myself (good-naturedly) eye-rolling them, I quickly realized I had a soft spot for each one of them as I watched them navigate their romantic issues and dish out advice to each other. I could never pick a favourite, and that for me really proves the amazing job that this author has done in MAKING me love all of her characters. Not an easy feat at all!

This book has everything you need for an entertaining read. I love that I read a book that has variety, that had me laughing pretty much the whole way and that managed to wrap up the storylines so I felt content, something that is definitely not always a sure thing. It was a nice quick read and definitely one of the better books of this genre that I’ve read this year. Definitely a highly recommend for a weekend where you want to sip a hot chocolate and play voyeur…

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Book Review – The Seven Steps to Closure by Donna Joy Usher

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I went on a book buying spree the other day… purchased 8 books in 20 minutes. Oops! The Seven Steps to Closure was one of these books, and it just so happened to be the first of the bunch I broke out to read! Loved the cover and loved the promise of good Chick-Lit!!!

Tara Babcock awakes the morning after her 30th birthday with a hangover that could kill an elephant – and the knowledge she is still no closer to achieving closure on her marriage breakup. Things go from bad to worse when she discovers that, not only is her ex-husband engaged to her cousin – Tash, the woman he left her for – but that Jake is also running for Lord Major of Sydney.
Desperate to leave the destructive relationship behind and with nothing to lose, she decides- with encouragement from her three best friends – to follow the dubious advice from a magazine article, Closure in Seven Easy Steps.

The Seven Steps to Closure follows Tara on her sometimes disastrous- always hilarious – path to achieve the seemingly impossible.

I didn’t realize when I purchased this but not only is this good Chick-Lit… it’s Australian Chick-Lit!!! It’s set (a lot of the time) in Sydney and I really enjoyed reading a story where I’ve been to the city and know exactly what they’re talking about when they are discussing settings like Darling Harbour. Also you can’t underestimate how the little details being familiar, like terminologies, slang, even food and clothing make the read even easier to breeze through.

‘Men,’ I sighed, rolling over and trying to get comfortable, ‘you can’t live with them…..’ And in my case, that about summed it up.

As far as a book in this genre goes, this stayed pretty close to the tried and true formula, but thanks to the characters it made for a very engaging read. I loved Tara and her madcap band of best buddies. They each were entertaining in their own way, and seriously… Out for wine discussing the pros of using a Cosmo article to try and get past a breakup?… YES!!!!! This article outlining ‘the seven steps’ made for the basis of the storyline. I loved both knowing what the steps were, and at the same time wondering what was going to happen as Tara made her way through them. (Hint… It was pretty much always giggle worthy, sometimes swoon worthy, and sometimes tear worthy)

Seriously there is a lot going on in this story that makes it so lovable. None of it will make sense if I try to explain… so here is a list:

  • Psychologically unstable pets
  • Hangovers
  • Amazing one night stands
  • Journalist
  • India
  • Delhi Belly (!!!!)
  • Cow Poo
  • Work place trysts
  • Blind dates
  • Radio Competitions
  • Bee Stings

So there you have it… The above are my reasons why you should ABSOLUTELY give this book a whirl. Random? Maybe. Entertaining? Definitely!

The Seven Steps to Closure

By Donna Joy Usher

Neanderthal Marries Human (Knitting in the City #1.5) by Penny Reid

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Sooooo you all knew after I read Neanderthal Seeks Human a few weeks back that I was DYING of anticipation to read Neanderthal Marries Human. And I had high hopes. High, high hopes! And I am happy to report this book was EVERYTHING I hoped it was going to be and more. This book is another slam dunk for Penny Reid and her writing genius and I just want to issue a disclaimer now: After reading these two books I can honestly say I will now read ANYTHING Penny Reid writes, literally anything. I am officially obsessed and I can’t hold it in. Sorry.

There are three things you should know about Quinn Sullivan: 1) He is madly in love with Janie Morris, 2) He’s not above playing dirty to get what (or who) he wants, and 3) He doesn’t know how to knit.

After just five months of dating Janie, Quinn—former Wendell and unapologetic autocrat—is ready to propose marriage. In fact, he’s more than ready. If it were up to Quinn, he would efficiently propose, marry, and beget Janie with child all in the same day—thereby avoiding the drama and angst that accompanies the four stages of pre-matrimony: engagement, meeting the parents, bachelor/bachelorette party, and overblown, superfluous wedding day traditions. But Janie, much to Quinn’s dismay, tosses a wrench in his efficacious endeavors and challenges him to prove his devotion by going through the matrimonial motions, no matter how minute and mundane.

Will Quinn last until the wedding day? Or will he yield to his tyrant impulses?

Regardless, one thing is for certain, Quinn Sullivan will have to learn to expect the Spanish Inquisition (i.e. the unexpected) if he plans to have and keep Janie Morris as his wife.

Ok so as the blurb says, Janie and Quinn are getting married. (Eeeep! Happy dance!) This timeline follows on pretty much directly from where we left them in NSH. Which is perfect really because I reeeeeally wanted to continue on the Janie/Quinn storyline and I didn’t want to miss a thing. And we don’t miss anything. Not a single thing. Thanks to NSH giving us a lot of background story it really felt like we could sit back and just focus on Janie and Quinn’s relationship.

Proposing is like giving someone your dick and a sharp knife, then waiting to see what they do next.

I really loved how in this book it we got to read from both Janie AND Quinn’s point of views. It was mostly Janie but the odd chapters where we got to hear the story from Quinn really made sure that this book was focussed on both characters. I LOVE when you get to get into the mind of multiple characters and in this book the split between the two telling the story is just right. I definitely still wanted mostly Janie because I just love her to bits and it is after all, her story that I started to follow so I didn’t want to share her page space too much. I love that she was still essentially the Janie we knew at the end of the last book, just this time we scratched beneath the surface even further. And Quinn, his voice was just spot on. He was so essentially Quinn-ish in his chapters it really bought variety and a certain edge that the story really benefited from. I also loved how between them they both didn’t just keep rehashing the story, each of them kept the pace going and the parts of the story that were assigned to Quinn to tell were perfectly selected. Only he could’ve narrated that Vegas scene (well ok, doubly so since I don’t think Janie was in any state to speak but still!)

Oh and I haven’t forgotten the other characters! I love that they are all back for this instalment and are just as awesome as ever. There were some very poignant family related developments on both sides and as far as the knitting girls go, the scene in Vegas at the beauticians has to be one of the best ‘girl talk’ moments in the book. Who knew there were so many creative terminologies for waxing ones lady garden? Also Dan was another favourite of mine and I’m so glad we got to see a bit more of him in this book

Some people say, “I can’t – I can’t even…” Some people say, “bitch, you crazy.” Some people say, “I have no words.” Dan just glances at the ceiling and takes a deep breath.

As you probably can tell from my above ramblings, this story was very character focussed. That doesn’t mean that there was little/no storyline because there definitely was. But I really feel that this book did exactly what it needed to do, it continued with the story of Janie and Quinn. After all I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that after NSH I desperately wanted more about these two characters and this book certainly delivered that. Both NSH and NMH have now been allocated to my ‘Best Books Ever’ list and I am DEFINITELY going to read them again because I know they won’t lose any of their charm no matter how well acquainted I become with them. Now please excuse me… I’m just off to add all of the other books in this series onto my wish list…

 photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin <a photo credit: foeock via photopin ccphoto credit: 99%: “Meh” via photopin cc

Book Review – Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City #1) by Penny Reid

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So one night last week I was mindlessly wandering around Amazon… Just taking a stroll through the bazillions of book possibilities and I stumbled across this… Instantly the cover grabbed me. Smart Romance! Well yes please I’ll take one of those. So I one-clicked, settled in to bed and became OBSESSED.

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Ok , so this is where it gets kind of book-crush awkward. The thing is… with this book… I LOVED EVERY SINGLE BIT.  EVERY. SINGLE. BIT. For me this was one of those elusive soul-mate books. And I literally spent the whole time I was reading the book both desperate to finish it but at the same time not wanting to get to the end because then what the freaking heck was I going to do?!

Undies on, undies on, high ho the dairy-o, I’m going to keep my undies on!

I’ll start with the Characters. For me, the characters absolutely without a doubt made this book. They were just so GOOD. We all know how important characters are (obviously). They need to capture you… And for me both Janie and Quinn AKA Sir McHotpants did that well and truly. I didn’t just like them, I loved them. (Not to mention the entire supporting cast of characters, those girls in the knitting circle made me wish they were real so I could have them as friends!) The main character Janie was possibly one of the most awesome females in a romance that I have come across. I more than loved that she wasn’t the usual fare you expect, you know… the witty but semi-bland pretty girl who is all and all, very normal. Here we have a girl who is different. Quirky. Completely ADORKABLE. She can prattle off more random trivia than Wikipedia and gets herself into some pretty rad awkward moments. She’s independent and has some insecurities and issues… So pretty much, she is one of us. Very quickly I had a girl crush.

At present, I thought about how the elevators were like mechanical horses, and I wondered if anyone loved them or named them. I wondered what steps I could take to remove the word ‘moisture’ or even ‘moist’ from the English language. I really hated the way it sounded and always went out of my way to avoid saying it.

I won’t leave Janie to take all of the credit though… Quinn was more than just a potential love interest. He had some brains of his own, not to mention he was kind of mysterious and so not a goody two shoes. I don’t know if you guys are like me but I do love my fictional men to have a serving of some type of badness.

Ok enough crushing on the characters, because the story line was pretty darn good too. I loved that as well as the tried and true romantic formula there were some WTF storylines and dramas thrown in. I think a balance was struck and I will guarantee that you won’t read a carbon copy of this story. The book is longer than a quick romance read but it used every chapter well with so much goodness going on in there that I wasn’t bored for a second. I know I did mention to my BBH that the first bit is a bit slower going than the majority of it, but this wasn’t a negative to me… I appreciated the work put into the background story and the character building. Like I said above, it’s all about the characters! Oh and can I just say that I LOVED that the ending was both satisfying (like really satisfying… seriously don’t even think about skipping to ‘check out’ the last pages while you’re reading the start) but also left plenty of ‘to be continued’ ready for the next book. (Which is actually out this month on the 24th) So I feel like this book provides the best of both worlds!

So thank you Penny Reid. For writing such ridiculously awesome characters, in a really fantastic story that didn’t induce any eye-rolling, with an ending that did not make me sit staring at my kindle with my face shaped like a question mark. I absolutely cannot wait for Neanderthal Marries Human. Seriously. Cannot. Wait.

photo credit: Bob.Fornal via photopin cc

photo credit: erika.tricroche via photopin

Shame on You & Shame on Me (Fool Me Once #1 & #2) By Tara Sivec

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I effing LOVE Tara Sivec. Have you read her Chocolate Lovers and Chocoholics series? If not, and you love to laugh, (Especially laugh at HIGHLY inappropriate subject matter) you need to read them! So being that I loved those books and pretty much cracked up the entire way through each installment, I was super excited to see that she had a new book out this month (Shame on you) Which is when I realized I hadn’t read the first book in the series… so I purchased them both and read them in a couple of evenings…

GD Tara Sivec! Two school nights I was up waaaaayyyyy too late reading these two books. Because when it comes to anything from Tara, I start reading and can’t stop until it’s finished and these books were no exception.

The books are based around three best friends, Kennedy, Paige and Lorelei, who each have been wronged by their significant male others and band together to start Fool Me Once Investigations, a private investigation business that amongst other things, targets good for nothing men. With that, let the good times roll.

I love my best friends, but sometimes, I want to punch them in the face. Lovingly, of course.

Sentences like that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. I’m pretty sure that this sentiment is the cornerstone of any great friendship. And this is where these books and these characters are so great. They are us. Ok so they have much more drama in their lives then we do, but essentially, when you read these books you can relate to these women. They’re busy being kick-ass and independent, they’re witty, they have a love/hate relationship with the male species, they drink, swear and perve. Actually, they perve a lot… but to be fair with the men that they come across I’d be spending a lot of time perving too.

Also did not get to see the peen   

Each book focuses on a different girl as the main character, with the others in supporting roles. And these 3 lead characters are as different as different can be. The books follow a quick and fun formula. There’s a bit of time for work, some time for drama, time for friendships and pep talks, time for meeting a new love interest and berating the last one, of course there is plenty of time for sexing…and maybe even more time for thinking about sexing…

Oh, and there’s time for drinking. Always time for drinking…

“Nothing is wrong. This champagne is just delicious. I didn’t feel like waiting to pour it into my glass. It’s such a waste of time.”

These books were a heck of a lot of fun to read. Just what I wanted and needed after the last few heavier type reads. I am still the Chocolate Lovers series biggest fan, and it’s hard to beat. This series (so far) isn’t to me what Chocolate lovers is, but it’s good un-clean fun with the certain kind of wit we expect from Tara Sivec. If you’ve enjoyed her other books you’ll get a thrill out of these. There’s a reason she’s on my favorite author list!

Book Review – Can you keep a Secret? By Sophie Kinsella

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I’ve read the Shopoholic series by Sophie Kinsella, loved it! So was definitely expecting to be just as entertained by this book and I wasn’t disappointed. The basis of the book being, what happens if you blurt out all of your secrets (including ones you didn’t know you had) to a complete stranger thinking you’d never see them again?…but then you do… a lot! The result of this unlikely set of circumstances is a totally endearing read…

I’ve always had this deep down conviction that I’m not like everybody else, and there’s an amazingly exciting new life waiting for me just around the corner. – Emma Corrigan

This book was exactly what I was hoping for it to be, fun, witty and a lot of laughs. The lead character Emma is so lovable that you know you would love to have her as a bestie because life would be so darn entertaining! Also, for me a lot of Emma’s charm is that she reminded me of myself and of my BBH. For example…This next paragraph is my BBH through and through which had me giggling…

Shit. Another bloody red traffic light. I almost can’t keep still on my seat and the driver’s just sitting there, like it doesn’t matter. OK, it’s green! Go! Go now! But he’s pulling off in this leisurely way, as though we’ve got all day…he’s chuntering down the street…now he’s giving way to another driver! What is he doing? Ok. Calm down, Emma. Here’s the street. We’re finally here.

Road rage! Hilarious! And totally lovable!

Add into the mix a couple of hilarious friends ‘The mink like being made into coats’ A work place bully, a (semi) dysfunctional family, a not quite right boyfriend and a (very) magnetic boss you’ve got a recipe for success. I love Chick Lit stories that don’t take themselves too seriously, but at the same time have a lot of heart and sincerity. And this is where Sophie Kinsella is always so brilliant.

‘Slowly he leans towards me and my heart starts to pound. Oh my God. Oh my God. He’s going to kiss me. He’s going to – ‘Argh! Arrgh! Arrrgh!’ I leap up off the bench in total panic. A spider is running up my leg. A big black spider. ‘Get it off!’ I say, frantically. ‘Get it off!’

So all and all, a really enjoyable read. The pace didn’t get bogged down with anything too complex and I was entertained from the first page till the last. Once again Sophie Kinsella has put a fresh spin on typical Chick Lit and for me, it’s a winner.

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