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review 2017-07-17 07:02
Timing
Her Unexpected Hero - Kyra Jacobs

This story is book # 3, in the Checkerberry Inn series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading the series in order.

 

Maddie is in desperate need of some help at work, and a date to an event.  They may not go together, but the need for both is increasing.  There is a possibility of hope on these fronts, as long as she plays it right.

 

Cole is desperate for work to fulfill his dream.  He can help Maddie find a date.  They both have pasts and an attraction gaining heat.  Just a leap of faith keeping on track.

 

This was a cute, and sweet, and definitely clean romance.  My only issue is that I am not big on women who have insecurities rule their lives.  This was a twist on the love triangle trope, but handled in a clever way.  I give this book a 3/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.

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review 2017-07-16 21:28
Nowhere near as fun or appealing as Julia Child herself.
The French Chef in America: Julia Child'... The French Chef in America: Julia Child's Second Act - Alex Prud'Homme

I was excited to read more about Child after liking 'My Life in France'. It's been quite a while since I've read it but I being disappointed there wasn't more there. But since that book was so charming it seemed like this would be a good pickup.

 

This book picks up after the first one, but other reviews are right. There's a lot of rehashing of Child's book (which she also co-wrote with Prud'Homme) and unfortunately his voice here alone just isn't the same. Even though it's been a long time since I read 'Life' I was really bored overall with the beginning.

 

From there it doesn't really get that much better. It's a retelling of her career with what basically felt like padding talking about guests and it just didn't have the humor and charm of 'Life'. It was disappointing overall and did feel like Prud'Homme might have been trying to cash in on the Child name/brand. 

 

I'd skip this one. If you're really interested, I'd recommend the library or a cheap bargain buy.

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review 2017-05-18 07:35
Learning to Live
Dream Lake - Lisa Kleypas

Dream Lake Review (finally)

I was excited to read Alex’s story and I was not disappointed. Alex out of all the Nolans grabbed my heart and squeezed it, wouldn’t let it go. Alex has traits that make him my kryptonite. I adored him. He’s tortured and grumpy. He’s described as having a ruined beauty that women can’t resist, but he’s not a womanizer. While having a broken beau is nothing a woman should aspire to in life, broken heroes seem to appeal to me like no other. I loved seeing Alex’s damaged psyche be healed in a realistic way. Kleypas doesn’t take any shortcuts. She shows you all the dark spots on Alex’s soul, even his destructive, unhealthy relationship with his ex-wife, Darcy. While Zoe in herself doesn’t heal Alex, the functionality of their relationship is a sharp contrast to his failed marriage. While Darcy seemed to want to put Alex back on the rails with his drinking, Zoe wants Alex to be whole and healed, not for herself, but for him. When Alex and Zoe meet in Rainshadow Road, it felt like magic to me, and it turned out to be the case. Zoe and Alex are made for each other. Zoe is fairly well balanced. She does have some self-esteem issues due to her extreme beauty and voluptuous physique, and the trauma of being judged for it. To the extent that she marries a man who is gay because he doesn’t objectify her. While Alex is obviously completely blown away by Zoe, he doesn’t treat her like a sex object, and in actuality, tries to push her away because he knows he’s damaged goods. However, the connection between them cannot be ignored. I ate up their falling in love. Enjoyed every scene they had together. Zoe’s major issue is the failing health of her grandmother. Her grandmother has a form of dementia that escalates rapidly, and Zoe takes on the role as caregiver. Alex takes on the job of remodeling the cottage that Zoe’s cousin Justine lets her live in with her grandmother. Their proximity is an excellent opportunity for the powerful emotions between them to blossom. And in seeing each other under their worst situations, they realize that love isn’t about perfection but about loving perfectly.

Kleypas was going for a magical realism theme with this series, and this book reminded me of “Like Water for Chocolate” or “Simply Irresistible” with some “Ghost” thrown in. Zoe’s cooking seems to have healing properties, although I don’t think there was really any magic in it. It was merely a case of the fact that her food was what sustained Alex and tempted him to eat when he was at the lowest point in his alcoholism. The ghost angle comes in with the spirit that attaches himself to Alex, a spirit that lives in the house that Alex’s brother Sam owns and that Alex has taken on restoring. Alex seems driven to restore the house, and the spirit becomes attached to Alex in the process. It’s hate at first sight. The spirit can’t stand Alex, who comes off as a complete misanthrope if not nihilist. It’s Alex’s hero’s journey to heal spiritually and to rid himself of the dark cloud that has surrounded him since his traumatic childhood, being victimized by two violent, unrestrained drunks. I don’t know what Kleypas’ spiritual beliefs are but she see doesn’t shy away from adding a spiritual component to this novel, that make sense in that we’re dealing with a ghost and a hero who is having a major existential crisis. The ghost often functions as Alex’s conscience and in some ways, much like the ghosts that visit Ebeneezer Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol.” This is another book in which Kleypas obvious love of literature is showcased and lovingly inscribed into her writing.

This book is my favorite out of the series, and it earns a resounding five stars. I think that it captures the tone and the notes of a beautiful contemporary romance only as Kleypas could deliver. She uses language so beautifully, from the well-developed characters, to the intentional and spot on dialogue. While the ghost story didn’t really add to this book for me, it’s integral to the story, and it would definitely appeal to readers who like a little paranormal in their romance. Not as excited about Justine’s book, but at the same time, looking forward to reading it.

Oh, I guess I should mention the audiobook narration. It was good. Serviceable.

My dream cast:

Kelli Garner as Zoe

Nicholas Hoult as Alex

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review 2017-05-03 18:30
Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse by Jack Strange
Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse - Amanda Horan,Graeme Parker,Jack Strange

 

Celebrity Chef Zombie Apocalypse has got to be one of the funniest books I've ever read!

 

Full of social and political commentary, it impressed me with keen observations regarding "celebrity chefs", government officials and the police. I thought it was funny as hell that the zombies herein were yellow, which made me picture them as Simpson-like in my head. Not only were they chef zombies, they were sex-crazed celebrity chef zombies-used to getting their own way in all things. (I'm pretty sure I recognized one or two of them from real life as well, which just made things even more funny-especially with the foul-mouthed one.)

 

 

The Prime Minister in this book very much reminded me of the man currently in power here in the U. S. I'm sure that wasn't the author's original intention, but I couldn't help myself from thinking that.

 

I'm not sure that Jardine, the female police investigator was supposed to be funny, but I found her to be so. She finally solves the case,

pretty much AFTER everything was already over! 

(spoiler show)

 

 

 Dave, who became the protagonist, 

after all the other protagonists were dead!,

(spoiler show)


  finally got fed up with trying to warn everyone about what was happening and decided to take off with his girlfriend to an isolated area to wait the whole thing out; as you might have guessed, that didn't work out well.

 

Oh, and did I mention Henderson, the ginger zombie cat? I can't even think about him without laughing.

 

This book was a hilarious piece of work; decently written with tongue firmly in cheek. I highly recommend it to those of you who like your main dish bloody with a hefty side of humor!

 

*I was provided a free e-copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!

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review 2017-04-21 03:17
Home
A Charmed Little Lie - Sharla Lovelace

Lanie had given a lie to a dying aunt.  Now, she must prove the marriage is real.  No pressure, right?  Especially since she is not even seeing anyone right now.

 

Nick comes across Lanie in the middle of a crisis and is not sure to take her seriously.  She has him fitting the general description of the man she lied about.  He needs the money, so he gives in.  Then the attraction begins......

 

I really felt it all with this story.  There is plenty of humor, heat, sarcasm, and lots of fun.  I really wanted the characters to see what I saw for them.  There was sparks flying between them and it was fun to see the slow burn speed up.  I cannot wait to see the next book in the series.  I give this story a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

****This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publishers in exchange for an honest review.

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