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Search tags: Surprise-Surprise
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review 2018-04-05 16:06
Surprise Me
Surprise Me: A Novel - Sophie Kinsella
When I read the synopsis for this novel, I knew I had to read it. Dan and Sylvia had it all, life was great until the day they realized what their wedding vows actually meant. Their physician told the couple that they could plan on spending 68 more years together. Sixty-eight more years! Till death do us part is more years than they thought. The news stuns the couple, Sylvia more than Dan. How could they keep what they had alive for 68 more years? Dan had his own answers and Sylvia had hers. Sylvia felt that as a couple, they had become too predictable and to shake things up and make them exciting, they needed to start surprising each other.
 
I have read a few of Sophie’s novels before but I had a problem with this one. Perhaps it was the mood I was in but I thought parts of the novel were a bit juvenile for the adult characters. I know Sylvia was trying to jazz things up but she went to the extreme on a few of them and to me, they went beyond funny. I wanted to tell her to stop, we saw the humor but going beyond that, was just nonsense.
 
I liked how as the couple tried to surprise their partner, the reality of what they knew about each other materialized. They thought they knew everything about each other until they had to actually act upon it. Sylvia overthinks each situation whereas Dan underthinks each situation. To Sylvia, it’s a grand production but to Dan, it’s the gesture.
 
Pulling parents into this story we find that Sylvia and Dan come from different households. Sylvia, daddy’s little princess, has always had money at her disposal whereas Dan came from a family where individuals worked to make a decent wage. This reflects in their personality and in how they handle different situations that present themselves.
 
I found this novel entertaining and comical. Although this wasn’t my favorite of Sophie’s works, I did enjoy the story and I liked the ending.
 
I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Random House in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2018-03-25 15:34
the warm and fuzzies are back!
Surprise Delivery - D.J. Jamison
Independent reviewer for Archaeolibrarain, I was gifted my copy of this book. This is book 5 in the Hearts and Health series, but you don't need to have read the other books. I first met Eric in the first book I read, which was book 2, because I still haven't got round to reading book 1 yet! Casper pops up in book 4. All stand alone stories, with connecting characters based in and around the hospital in Ashe, Kansas. But you should! Cos, you know, warm and fuzzies, people! Warm. And. Fuzzies. Cos that's what I'm loving about this series! That feeling it gives, when two guys finally give in to their feelings. When they get over their hang ups. When they give up the guilt that has been eating them alive and just LOVE on each other! I live my life through books like this! Casper does all his adrenaline junkie stuff as a way to connect with his dead boyfriend of 5 years. Eric is married to his job, because his real husband left him. When Eric's 16 year old niece turns up at his door, pregnant and thrown out of her home, the two men are thrown together. Casper pulls at Eric to live a little, and Eric pulls at Casper to just slow down a bit. Expect some roller coaster emotions from Casper here, as he deals with his self inflicted guilt. He struggles to let Kage go, and he struggles to talk to Eric, which in turn leads to some roller coaster emotions from Eric, although not quite as painful reading. I bawled my eyes out for them both! Paul and Zane play a part, Paul especially for Eric dealing with the Board and budgets, makes Eric see, really SEE what's going on in the ER and it's Paul who makes Eric begin to think that maybe, just maybe, there is life OUTSIDE of this hospital. He just needs the push that Paul, Olivia and Casper give him. Trent and Xavier pop up too, but only briefly. I loved this book, I read it in one sitting. I can't wait for more books in this series, but I'm wondering which way things will go now. Especially with what Eric, Paul and Trent have to decide to do. I don't really care whether future books will be based in the hospital or elsewhere, I just want and need more of these guys! 5 Warm And Fuzzies stars! **same worded review will appear elsewhere**

 

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text 2018-03-18 18:28
Fan Cast: Surprise Endings by Robin Jones Gunn

Christy Miller: Mackenzie Foy
Katie Weldon: Joey King

Todd Spencer: Charles Vandervaart
Rick Doyle: Cameron Boyce
Renee: Kara Hayward

Teri Moreno: Victoria Vida

Alissa: Peyton List

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review 2018-03-18 18:13
Surprise Endings by Robin Jones Gunn

 

Series: Christy Miller #4

 

I think my biggest issue with this book is that Christy is a pleaser and fictional pleasers make me want to hit my head against a wall.

 

I understand that there has to be angst and drama to keep this series going, but as I said, Christian contemporary is either a hit and when angsty, whiny teenagers are involved it's usually a miss. I'll continue with the series so I can see what happens and read all of Robin Jones Gunn's other books, so I guess we'll see how this goes. 

 

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review 2018-03-11 18:28
A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole
A Princess in Theory: Reluctant Royals - Alyssa Cole

Naledi (Ledi) Smith has been on her own for most of her life, bounced around in foster care after her parents were killed in a car crash. Now she's a grad student with multiple jobs and a supposedly upcoming epidemiology internship that she still hasn't been contacted about. The spam emails she keeps getting that say she's betrothed to a Prince Thabiso from some country called Thesolo do not amuse her.

As it turns out, the emails aren't spam. Prince Thabiso has been looking for his betrothed for years. He hopes to find her and either bring her back to Thesolo or finally convince himself that they aren't soulmates the way he'd been told as a child they were. His assistant, Likotsi, tracks her down, but their first meeting doesn't go anything like Thabiso expected it would. Ledi mistakes him for a new waiter named Jamal, and rather than clear up the misunderstanding, Thabiso decides to just go with it. He'll get to see how Ledi behaves around him when she's unaware that he's royalty, and being a waiter can't be that hard, right? (Ha!)

I pre-ordered this because both the cover and publisher's description made it look cute and fun. A contemporary romance in which an ordinary woman learns she's actually a princess sounded like it'd be right up my alley.

The setup was excellent, and the sample "spam" emails made me laugh. I loved Ledi, who was afraid to let her guard down and who worked so hard and was still worried that none of it would be enough. She relaxed her guard around Thabiso a bit more quickly than I would have expected, although that could have been due to the way he subconsciously reminded her of things from her childhood.

Plus, Thabiso had some great moments. He listened to and remembered the things she said. Because he knew she was always taking care of herself and everyone else, he tried to set up times that were solely about her and taking care of her. The bit with the grilled cheese sandwiches was cute (although the way the next chapter started made me think he'd accidentally burned the apartment down).

I winced every time he put off telling Ledi the truth, although I could usually understand his reasons for doing so. There was one scene that really bothered me, though. He arrived at Ledi's apartment, fully intending to tell her the truth, only to have her start kissing him. He wasn't so overwhelmed by her kisses that he couldn't think - he actually did slow things down enough that he could have stopped everything and told her right then. Instead, they had sex, he worried that she'd call him Jamal, and he figured he'd tell her sometime after they were done. It made it seem like he cared more about having sex than he did about Ledi.

This part upset me so much that I spent the rest of the book mentally rewriting it. I came up with a couple alternatives that would have still led to Ledi being hurt and angry enough for the rest of the book to happen, but would have made Thabiso a little less horrible. Unfortunately, the scene happened the way it happened. Cole dealt with it by having Thabiso make Ledi an offer she couldn't refuse, something that would force her to spend enough time with him that she'd eventually soften towards him and forgive him. She did, of course, and I could understand why, for the most part. Unfortunately, I never quite forgave him.

Although I was upset with Thabiso in the second half of the book, I still really loved the "royal life" scenes. Ledi's trip to the airport, in particular, was great. I loved her meetings with family members - I wonder if Nya will ever get her own book? - and I was glad that Thabiso defended Ledi whenever his mother started to act horrible.

For the most part, this was a really good book. It would have been an excellent one if it hadn't been for the last "trying (but not really) to tell her the truth" scene, which unfortunately slightly soured the rest of the book. Oh, and one little slightly spoiler-y complaint: why did Ledi, who should have known better,

keep taking pills without ever once asking (or even wondering) what was in them?

(spoiler show)


I'm going to wait and see what reviews say about the next book before deciding whether to get it. I'm iffy about Portia, Ledi's friend and the next book's heroine. Almost every time Portia was mentioned, Ledi worried about the amount she drank and whether spending time with her would mean more work and anxiety than relaxation. A Princess in Theory ended with her in therapy and hopefully drinking less, but I'm still wary. Meanwhile, I'm crossing my fingers for a future book starring Likotsi, Thabiso's well-dressed lesbian assistant.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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