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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

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Book Review – Loving Mr. Daniels by Brittainy C. Cherry

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I have had Loving Mr. Daniels on my Kindle for a couple of weeks. It’s been waiting patiently in my To-Read folder but it was constantly getting overlooked. Finally, I decided to give it a go and see where it took me. Why the hell didn’t I read this book sooner??? Like, the day it came out! Someone should have whacked me on the head and told me to bump it up the list! I LOVED it.

To Whom it May Concern,

It was easy to call us forbidden and harder to call us soulmates. Yet I believed we were both. Forbidden soulmates. 

When I arrived to Edgewood, Wisconsin I didn’t plan to find him. I didn’t plan to stumble into Joe’s bar and have Daniel’s music stir up my emotions. I had no clue that his voice would make my hurts forget their own sorrow. I had no idea that my happiness would remember its own bliss. 

When I started senior year at my new school, I wasn’t prepared to call him Mr. Daniels, but sometimes life happens at the wrong time for all the right reasons. 

Our love story wasn’t only about the physical connection.

It was about family. It was about loss. It was about being alive. It was silly. It was painful. It was mourning. It was laughter.

It was ours. 

And for those reasons alone, I would never apologize for loving Mr. Daniels. 

-Ashlyn Jennings

This book has had a ton of amazing reviews written about it already so instead of writing a big long review with aaaaaaall of my feelings (there are a lot) laid out, I’m going to write this as a list of the main things I loved.

1. The dedication at the start of the book –

“To all of the Tonys of the world.

I see you.
I hear you.
I feel you.
I love you.

And you are not alone.

It didn’t mean much to me at the start of the book but I reread it when the book had ended and the meaning behind it is beautiful. Perfect. Brittney C. Cherry is obviously not only very clever, but has an amazing heart (sorry I can’t say anything more about it or it will be spoilery).

“History sometimes repeated. Tonight, souls cried both on earth and in heaven.”

2. The originality of the story. Often when you pick up a book the story can feel very familiar. This wasn’t the case at all with Loving Mr. Daniels. All the characters, scenes and situations were unique and interesting. Even the romance was different to anything I have read before. It made for a super enjoyable read.

“Before her, I never knew life. After her, I’d never know death.”

3. The ‘coming of age’ element that the story had. I loved how it wasn’t all about the romance all of the time. Ashlynn and Daniel weren’t so completely wrapped up in each other that no one else existed. Plenty happened outside of the romance. The supporting characters each had their own struggles, and their stories were well thought out and portrayed in an authentic, touching, and heartbreaking way. 

Why was it that you wanted those who ignored you to love you the most?”

4. The song lyrics by Romeos Quest at the beginning of each chapter. Most of us have read a book that had cringe worthy song lyrics in it. It happens in books. A lot. However, these lyrics didn’t make me cringe at all. They were poetic and beautiful and I LOVED the meaning behind them. 

“Touch me when you’re gone. Leave me when you’re near. Love me with my shattered pieces ~ Romeos Quest”

So there you have it. These four things were my main loves in this book but there were so many other things about this book that kept me completely hooked. It really was a brilliant read. Beautiful and heartbreaking. Warning – I spent a good portion of time crying while reading it, so have tissues handy. It’s the type of story that will stick with you for a long time afterwards but still leaves you feeling satisfied at the end. I’ll definitely keep an eye out for more from Brittainy C. Cherry in the future! 

Loving Mr. Daniels

By Brittainy Cherry

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Book Review – Making Faces by Amy Harmon

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This is not my first time at the Amy Harmon rodeo. I have read previous books of hers and A Different Blue was one of my favourite reads last year. I was looking for something with a bit of depth for my next read and when I saw Making Faces come up I thought it sounded perfect! So I immediately one-clicked it. The reviews for this book are some of the best I have ever read. People. Loved. This. Book.

I didn’t have too many expectations going into this book, I was expecting to love it, because when one of your favourites writes a new book you usually do, but I had no preconceived ideas of what would happen with these characters. I went in with an open mind. Amy Harmon has this beautiful way of making all of her characters and their worlds come alive. Every time I have ever picked up one of her books I have felt fully comfortable within the pages of her story. I usually lose myself in it straight away and every single time I’m left with a huge book hangover.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

Fern, the protagonist of this story, was such a beautiful character. She had a quiet strength and grace about her that I couldn’t help but admire. She’s the exact type of person you would want around if you ever needed to be talked down from a ledge. And that’s what she did for Ambrose. Coxed him right off the ledge and back into the world, bit by bit. She helped him heal when he was scarred by loss right down to his soul.

“No, Fern. I’m not ashamed to be seen with you, I’m ashamed to be seen”

And Bailey, oh Bailey. Bailey was such a gorgeous character! He really brought the whole book alive for me. I don’t think I have read about such a likable hero in a book. He reminds us how we should live every day. He was platinum.

“He said Bailey had taught him to love and to put things in perspective, to live for the present, to say I love you often and to mean it. And to be grateful for every day.”

“The happiness of knowing Bailey, of loving him is part of the pain now. You can’t have one without the other.”

This was a really emotional read. There are so many feelings happing while you read it. I’m pretty sure I spent the last 25% of this book in tears. For a while there I cried so much I was worried about dehydration. I’m not kidding – it was the ugly cry. But it was beautifully written and the emotion is what makes this story unforgettable. 

If God made all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?
Does he make the legs that cannot walk and eyes that cannot see?
Does he curl the hair upon my head ’til it rebels in wild defiance?
Does he close the ears of a deaf man to make him more reliant?

Is the way I look a coincidence or just a twist of fate?
If he made me this way, is it okay, to blame him for the things I hate?
For the flaws that seem to worsen every time I see a mirror,
For the ugliness I see in me, for the loathing and the fear.

Does he sculpt us for his pleasure, for a reason I can’t see?
If God makes all our faces, did he laugh when he made me?