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review 2017-09-15 00:29
Fog, Snow, Fire, AKA the Losing Christina Trilogy
Fog, Snow, and Fire (Losing Christina, #1-3) - Caroline B. Cooney

Christina is an island girl. Her home on Burning Fog Island in Maine is a resort in the summertime, but, with only a tiny year-round population, students have to go to school on the mainland when they start 7th grade. This means boarding in a stranger's house and being away from their families, but Christina is excited to hear that the new school principal and his wife, an English teacher, are opening their colonial home to all four of the island children this year. They'll all be together, what could happen?

The Shevington's home is as beautiful as they'd heard, but they are relegated to cheerless attic rooms. The boys shrug off the inconveniences, but it quickly becomes apparent that something is wrong with the eldest island student, the brilliant, but fragile, Anya. No one wants to hear Christina when she begins to ask questions about the Shevingtons and their mysterious past, or about the other promising girls who have vanished after crossing their path.

Caroline B. Cooney is one of the founders of tween suspense, so I was thrilled to come across this omnibus of a trilogy I'd read back in middle school. Part one, The Fog, is a masterful setup, introducing the characters and making a good effort to get the reader to doubt Christina. Too soon, however, the plot creates spectacular tragic accidents and blatant cruelty that is ignored by almost every adult. Trick psychology and gas-lighting go only so far, even in a small town in Maine in the late 1980s.

 

It's also clear that Anya was heading for a fall long before she set foot in the Shevington's house. Impossibly twee.

If the reader gives in to the fun of the story, however, it is a fun ride and some of Christina's responses to the bullying and harassment she receives from fellow students and adults are inspired.

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review 2017-08-01 13:37
Book Review For: Losing Game: A Winning Ace Novel by Tracie Delaney
Losing Game: A Winning Ace Novel (Book 2) - Tracie Delaney

' Losing Game' by Tracie Delaney is Book Two in The Trilogy "Winning Ace". This book continues the story of Natalia 'Tally' McKenzie and Cash Gallagher. I do feel that you should read the first book 'Winning Ace" since that starts their story. This book picks up about three weeks after Tally was sent pictures of Cash with another women. Tally is in hiding and trying to deal with her broken heart...she is thinking of making the move to a freelance writer so that she can stay on the move from Cash. Although she feels that the brief affair with her teenage Idol will not break her she is having a struggle moving past it. Love can do that...it just won't let go even if her mind is trying too.
But Cash does find her and confronts her...but will she listen to his story? Of Course she does! Cash's secrets start to come out and Tally learns what he has been hiding.
Be aware though...this book does set you up for their next installment into their story and hopefully their happy ending.... which is book three....the Grand Slam.


Winning Ace Trilogy:,
Book 1: Winning Ace,
Book 2: Losing Game,
Book 3: Grand Slam,
"My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read."
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Source: www.amazon.com/Losing-Game-Winning-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B071P2W3PT/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
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review 2017-03-10 06:40
Losing The Light by Andrea Dunlop
Losing the Light: A Novel - Andrea Dunlop

When thirty-year-old Brooke Thompson unexpectedly runs into a man from her past, she’s plunged headlong into memories she’s long tried to forget about the year she spent in France following a disastrous affair with a professor. As a newly arrived exchange student in the picturesque city of Nantes, young Brooke develops a deep and complicated friendship with Sophie, a fellow American and stunning blonde, whose golden girl façade hides a precarious emotional fragility. Sophie and Brooke soon become inseparable and find themselves intoxicated by their new surroundings—and each other. But their lives are forever changed when they meet a sly, stylish French student, Veronique, and her impossibly sexy older cousin, Alex. The cousins draw Sophie and Brooke into an irresistible world of art, money, decadence, and ultimately, a disastrous love triangle that consumes them both. And of the two of them, only one will make it home.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

Brooke Thompson is a copy editor living in NYC when a friend invites her to attend an event which brings Brooke's past rushing back to her in an instant. It turns out another attendee at this party is none other than Alex, a Frenchman with whom Brooke once had a heady but fleeting romance. A romance it's taken her years to let go of.

 

While the novel starts out in present day, the bulk of Losing The Light lays out what happens that fateful year when college-aged Brooke was encouraged to take a study-abroad course in Nantes, France. The final chapters bring us back to present day as Brooke tries to bring closure to the most painful story of her life. 

 

In her debut novel, author Andrea Dunlop gives readers a complex story of friendship, lust and luxury that ultimately runs off the rails. While Brooke is in college, she, along with one of her professors, gets caught up in a school scandal. While the professor chooses to resign his position, the college dean encourages Brooke to take a study abroad course in France temporarily, while everyone waits for the heat of the situation to die down. Brooke agrees and soon even has schoolmate Sophie tagging along on her trip. Shortly after starting up classes in Nantes, Sophie and Brooke meet local Veronique, who invites them to a gathering at her apartment to meet the other local 20-somethings. It's at this party that Sophie and Brooke first meet Veronique's gorgeous cousin, Alex -- the man who will prove to be their ruination. Having fallen under the spell of Veronique and Alex (and the whole de Persaud family for that matter, what with their proverbial closets seemingly chock full of mysteries and skeletons!), Brooke and Sophie get caught up in a whirlwind of culture, money, love and decadence. Only too late do they realize they are in a tailspin towards a painful reality! 

 

Brooke is written as the more shy one, while Sophie is your fun-loving, social butterfly... at least on the outside. Little hints here and there suggest that Sophie is struggling with some sort of mental disorder or hardship -- manic depression, perhaps? -- which she has had to be temporarily committed for, as well as being on medications which she is reluctant to take / stay on. The scenes where Brooke and Sophie first arrive in Nantes reminded me a bit of the scenes in the first Taken movie, where the girls first arrive in Paris (I think it was Paris, been a minute since I watched those films...). This novel, once you know the synopsis, gives you that same sort of unease as that film. You know things are going to start out nice and lovely but you're just waiting for the fake backdrop to fall to expose what's really in store for the girls. 

 

As far as the setting of the novel, I was all set to settle into a story with heavy doses of -- what would you call it... "French-ness"? -- I didn't want things to go full-bore Pepe LePew obviously, but with any novel set in a place you know to be steeped in culture, you want to have that armchair traveling vibe firmly established. I can't say I completely felt that in the Nantes portions of the story (though there is a little bit with moments of shopping, cafe lunches and meeting with Alex / Veronique's grandmother at her grand estate... otherwise, it often seemed like the Nantes portions of the story really could have been set anywhere) but the feel I was hoping for does kick in when the ladies go on excursions to Paris and the French Rivera. 

 

Paris didn't feel like a place you could just go to the way you could move to any American city. Its money and glamour were ancient and inherited, as inaccessible as the stars. 

 

This novel had a bit of a slow burn for me. It didn't seem like too much was going on for the first 100 pages or so. But I was curious to stick with it. The author herself contacted me after having read my review for Abroad by Katie Crouch, which has a somewhat similar storyline to this book (Crouch even provides a blurb on the cover of Losing the Light). I had read enough into the novel to find I had developed solid interest in the characters and was definitely invested enough to see how everyone's story panned out. 

 

Alex gave me mixed feelings. Sometimes he comes off as the stereotypical, overly suave Frenchman. He'll push boundaries, sometimes get a little too handsy without permission from the ladies, sometimes say a truly cringe-worthy line (that you would probably fall for, at least once, if it was directed at you, let's be honest)... other times you gotta give it to the guy, he can be damn smooth with his technique. But then when you're almost ready to like him, he'll go and say / do something to perfectly ruin every good impression you almost had. I know this guy. I ashamedly admit I dated this guy -- more than once! -- during my early college years, so I felt for Brooke. Just a part of life ladies have to do the walk of shame through and ride out so they know what the deal breakers are on their way to the true Mr. Right. ;-)

 

I'd say my favorite character was Sophie. I liked her complicated blend of "social butterfly with the perfect life" exterior + dumpster fire of emotions on the inside. Yes, she could be selfish and bratty at times, but other moments you see her vulnerable, her insights on the world around her offering important social commentary on the struggle so many have with the "us vs them" mentality that bounces between "the beautiful people" who seem to have it all and the blue collar folk who feel like they have to endlessly struggle to hold on to even a few crumbs of good fortune. Sophie ponders on the lengths people go to aspire to BE the beautiful people while never understanding that problems -- serious, dark problems --  exist on that side too, problems that are never taken seriously because of the shiny glow around all that reside in that world. The only trouble I had with Sophie was that I didn't feel that her character was developed quite enough to have the full, high-intensity impact needed to really make that ending knock the wind out of the reader. While I wanted to gasp, I was left more with a quiet "well, that's a shame..." followed by a "wait, what now?!" (but again, not in a jaw-dropping shock kind of way, but more like a hazy confusion).

 

Note to sensitive readers: This novel does use some crude language at times within the dialogue of the characters, and some characters do have some sexy-times scenes that do include descriptions of fellacio / cunnilingus. Just a heads up if you prefer to avoid such subject matter in your reading. 

 

 

FTC Disclaimer: Author Andrea Dunlop kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book & requested that I check it out and share my thoughts. The opinions above are entirely my own.

 

 

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review 2017-02-14 13:50
BLOG TOUR, REVIEW, & #GIVEAWAY - Losing You by Gen Ryan
Losing You: Trade Me - Hot Tree Editing,Soxsational Cover Art,Gen Ryan
Losing You is the sweet and hot story of Brad and Colton. Both of them have suffered in the past in various ways that can still have an effect, even if you think one way is worse than the other. They meet by chance, although there might be a hand of fate (sisters) involved. The sparks between these two are instantaneous, but they both have issues to deal with.
 
There is a little bit of everything in this book, which makes it a delight to read. There is love, danger, friendship, and betrayal, to name just a few. Losing You is well written, with no editing or grammatical errors to disrupt the reading flow. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and would love to read more by this author, and in the Trade Me series. Definitely recommended by me.
 
* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and my comments here are my honest opinion. *
 
Merissa
Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books! 
Source: archaeolibrarianologist.blogspot.de/2017/02/blog-tour-review-giveaway-losing-you-by.html
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text 2017-02-06 10:00
Pre-Order Blitz for Losing Grace by Allie Little
 
 
Title - Losing Grace: A Falling Away Stand-Alone Novel
Author: Allie Little
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 12, 2017
 
 
 
Grace is on the run. With her marriage in tatters and a possessive ex-husband tracking her every move, Grace needs all the help she can muster to rebuild her shattered life. With Grandma Bess as her only family, Grace allows restaurant boss Riley to whisk her away to the picturesque town of Shoal Bay on Australia’s east coast. Secluded in the beauty of the bay, Grace fights their inevitable attraction, hoping that days full of sunshine and nights full of stars will be enough to heal her heart. 
 
Riley is looking for love. Successful and single, Riley is tired of being his corrupt father’s lackey in the family-run business. Having branched out on his own with a string of lavish beachside restaurants, Riley embarks on a mission to leave the pressure of family expectation firmly behind him. Or so he thought...
 
From the white sands of Manly to the glistening shores of Shoal Bay, Riley is determined to fix Grace’s predicament. But Grace is on a collision course with her past – one that could easily end in heartbreak.
 
A Falling Away spinoff novel.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Allie is a Sydney-based writer who believes in telling stories that resonate with the heart. Allie is the author of Falling Away, a young adult contemporary romance, and now Losing Grace, a standalone spinoff in the Falling Away series. Allie is also the author of Cloud Quest, a fantasy quest adventure story for middle-grade readers. 
 
Allie found a love for writing at the age of seven, and years later as a university student completed her first novel. She filled journals with short stories and poems, using writing as an emotional outlet for the experiences she encountered on a day-to day basis. 
 
Born and raised in Sydney, Allie spent her summer holidays on the beach in Port Stephens, an idyllic marine area on the east coast of New South Wales. Now, juggling motherhood, part-time work as a hospital social worker and mostly nocturnal writing habits, Allie still spends her holidays on the white sandy beaches of Port Stephens. Allie believes the ocean is essential for her soul and her love for the sea is featured in her work, where coastal scenes and settings are integral to the stories. She also has a penchant for drinking way too many Chai lattes and has an unfortunate chocolate addiction. Dark, of course.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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