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review 2017-02-19 04:55
Feelin' Bitchy
Feelin' Bitchy - Faith Weathers


Title: Feelin' Bitchy
Author: Faith
Publisher: Pen Bullies LLC
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Feelin' Bitchy" by Faith

My Viewpoint....

What a very serious read that was so real in that it happens daily in this world we live in that many women have experienced. This was a good story line even sometimes morbid at times however it will keep your attention till the end giving you a read about 'friendship, relationships, drama and the struggle of one trying to reach their dreams.' The characters in the novel were well...some were definitely unbelievable in what one would do in letting someone get over on them....as it was for Denver. I was left wondering how could a woman [Denver] let a man [JMac/Johnathan] degrade her so very much that it left her life in such a mess. It seemed like she wasn't even able to recognize someone that was right in front of her that loved her. Why was Denver at times so mean to Marco especially after all he had done for her? Did all of this have anything to do with why Denver starting to 'Feelin' Bitchy?' Was Denver a different person due to what she had done for someone she thought loved her? I can see how this author came up with a excellent title for this story. It definitely fits the story. Now, from this read the reader will get some good well developed people...like Yummy, Marco, Ms Kitty, Ms Verdi, and Tao to name a few that all had their own stories too. Yummy was Denver's best friend and indeed crazy but who seemed to be their for her through the thick and the thin definitely telling her just how it was but will Denver listen? I can see through this story that Denver had a hard life and just wanted a family and for some reason she thought that this JMac was it. Will Denver take even Ms. Verdi's and Ms. Kitty's advice about having a choice and happiness? Will Denver finally get a new dream that she can live with and be happy? As this story will go back and forth the reader will get one well told story that is full of many twist and turns. This is definitely a read that will have you laughing, screaming and even crying. "Will Denver learn from her mistakes and move on with her life? Oh my what a ending! Well, when it's all said and done how will this story truly turn out for Denver? To get all the answers you will have to pick up part two of this read because this one is 'To be continued.........'

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review 2017-02-18 11:59
In Twenty Years by Allison Winn Scotch
In Twenty Years: A Novel - Allison Winn Scotch

I dithered about this book for a while. There was something bugging me about it and then I realized. I pretty much called every single one of the endings for the characters. I didn't really like the character (Lindy) who was bisexual being portrayed as "slutty" and the poor girl/woman (Annie) who sat around harboring same lame crush on a guy (Colin) that didn't want her. I was more interested in the married couple (Catherine and Owen) but even after a while I tired of them. I think this book was a mash up of The Big Chill and I will be the first to say I was not a fan of that movie. Probably because even as a child I had no patience for selfish people (which I counted a ton as while watching that movie).

I had liked I think maybe 1 or 2 of Scotch's prior works. But the later stuff has not been doing a thing for me. I think if this had been shortened a bit, or maybe just didn't include this manic pixie girl (Bea) as this bigger than life character we never get to really see as readers it would have worked better. I just had a hard time with people who have been sporadically in touch through 20 years to all of a sudden make a sojourn back to a house they stayed at during college. Don't get me started that one of the characters is as popular as Martha Stewart and another one is a world famous musician. You don't get the sense at all from the little introduction chapter we get on these people that these are the careers they would fall into or want to do.

I don't know who I disliked the most out of the characters: Bea, Colin, Annie, or Lindy. It's pretty much a toss-up for me. I didn't care for the character of Bea based on what we see about her during some other character's flashbacks. Bea to me is very manipulative. I didn't get some wise woman living in a young woman's body. We are told constantly that Bea lived on the edge and was IMHO way too close to her friends from college. We get some bare insight into this character about finding out she's an orphan. But I ultimately didn't like how she chose to treat Annie like a small child who had to be protected.

Annie was aggravating. I never got a handle on this character either. I think that her unrequited crush on Colin and her ridiculous propelling of him onto a pedestal is what made it so hard to like this characters. Plus Scotch introduces the husband via Annie's character who you don't care for at all, but then you learn some things so you end up having some sympathy for him, and then Annie proceeds to make terrible decisions throughout the book.

The character of Lindy is a popular musician who is a lesbian some of the time but has sex with men still. I am still confused by this whole character. Did Scotch not want to have a bisexual character? Cause it made me confused why Lindy I think identifies as a lesbian though she is attracted and sleeps with men. Seriously someone help me out here, I just didn't get what was going on and what was Scotch trying to portray with this character at all. I also hated the whole Lindy can't be monogamous thing that was going on either. I know that one of my friends who is bisexual and happily married with kids now said it used to tick her off when people thought her identifying as such meant she slept around. I think ultimately I was confuse though because a secret is put out about why she really went about sleeping with the character of Colin and I just wanted to tell her to go see a therapist.

Colin I found to be gross.

Catherine and Owen were ultimately the only two characters that seemed to be fully fleshed out. I wish that Scotch had stuck with them more honestly. I was more interested in this atypical marriage which is becoming the norm (wife works and husband stays home) and seeing how Owen is feeling unfilled at this role. Heck, this is what a lot of mothers feel as well, so it would have been great to see these two acknowledging that things are not working out and how to fix it. There's just a lot of drinking, fighting, and acting crazy.

The writing was okay, though I got really confused while reading. Maybe if the book had been told in a linear fashion (start off with them about to graduate, then go to the wedding, then hit 17 years later or whenever it was they all received letters). Instead we have characters flashbacking and being in "present" time while reading chapters.

I honestly think the multiple POVs throw this book off too. We start off with Bea, then go to Annie, Lindy, and after that I believe it's Catherine, then Owen, and finally Colin. Then we beep bop around for the whole book. The last chapter made me roll my eyes a lot too. I think I was supposed to get a feeling of well being instead of annoyance that made me feel like none of these people learned a thing. We also don't equally stick with characters. Most of the book belongs to the women characters. And honestly, after two rounds of Lindy, I was pretty much done with her.

The book mentions that this is about 6 friends (a 6 pointed star) who go to Penn and I can tell you that no one calls the University of Pennsylvania Penn. If you say Penn, most people think you are talking about Penn State. I was so surprised when I realized this book was supposed to take place in Philadelphia and then I put two and two together and was like oh she mans University of Pennsylvania. And can I say that besides some random talk of cheese-steaks, I did not get Philly from this book. Let alone these people who had lived at a house nearby the university for a number of years

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review 2017-02-15 02:27
Let's Try This Again
Let's Try This Again - Jordyn Woodtke

Josie's love life is....complicated. She has had an on again, off again relationship with Isaac for the past forever.  Josie and Isaac know every little intricacy of each other and the sex is just wow.  Now, on their third break-up, Isaac wants to meet up with Josie for lunch.  Interestingly, this is right before Josie plans on moving all the way to L.A.  Inevitably, Josie and Isaac agree to be friends with benefits until she moves.  In California, Josie is devastated by her separation from Isaac- and his refusal to contact her.  When she lands a job as a personal assistant to Carter Coleman, things take a turn for the better.  Carter used to be in a popular boy-band, now he is going solo.  He has some amazing music written, and Josie's heartache provides the perfect story for his lyrics.  Eventually Josie and Carter form more than a coworker bond; but, is Isaac truly out of the picture and is Josie really ready to try this whole relationship thing again?

 
We've all either been there or have had a friend who has been there- just stuck in a toxic relationship.  Josie is the definition of today's new adult, confident, adventurous, owning her sexuality but just not clicking in the dating department. Reading about Josie's dating escapades was like reading a friend's diary or reliving some moments from college.  I absolutely loved Josie's inner monologue, it was like she was reading my mind in some situations.  Serious brownie points were also won when Josie not only got to work for, but be in a relationship with a former boy-band member (extra credit was given for mentioning 'N Sync) .  This was my dream, as I'm sure it was with many other women my age.  The decision between Isaac and Carter obviously follows Josie throughout the book (for me it was a no brainer) and we are kept in suspense until the very end.  I was really happy with her decision, even if I would have chosen differently.   Sensuous, sweet and slightly naughty sex scenes were sprinkled in with just enough to keep things spicy, but not so much to take things overboard.  So many things Josie said about relationships and being in love resonated with me, especially from that time in my life especially "...being in love is never the wrong choice because it's not a choice.  Either it's your forever or it gets you to what will come next.  It's always a step in the right direction."  Overall, a fresh, raw and pertinent voice in the new adult genre, perfect for a Valentine's weekend read.
 
This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 
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review 2017-02-07 22:51
Searching For Ever Land
Searching for Ever Land - Karen Sloan-Brown


Title: Searching for Ever Land
Author: Karen Sloan-Brown
Publisher: Brown Reflections
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Searching for Ever Land" by Karen Sloan-Brown

My Thoughts.....

Now this was one of those reads that will definitely keep your attention. Keeping up with Portia Roberts who 'struggle to recover from a tragedy that cause separation from her husband.' I found this read quite a interesting one as this author lets the reader see deep into Portia's life. In doing so we are able to see deep into her mind as she seeks release using a drug called propofol, Now this is quite a story of how Portia hears about this drug...from the death of 'Michael Jackson.' Was this what he had used that ending his life? Well, it seems that after the death of her son Nickolas and with her husband leaving her she had a horrible time sleeping and after hearing about propofol Portia was left wondering about its experience she would having in taking it. This story will get real deep presenting the reader with what all Portia did in order to get this drug. Would you believe she even left her investment job for a job working in a hospital in order to meet the right doctor who could possible get this drug for her? Well, we get quite a story of how Portia meet up with Keith, David and George. From those three characters we get quite a intriguing story. Take my word each one had their own story to tell. Will Portia be able to get this drug and if she does what affect will all of this have that will affect on her life [with her daughter, husband and even her sister]. Will a therapist be able to understand what in the world is going on with Portia? Well, I don't want to tell too much more other than saying as the story goes on as her husband will reenter back into the picture after two and a half years that will present some other tensions into this messy story that leads to a divorce. I found all of the characters well developed, portrayed and very believable giving the reader one interesting page turner of a read.

The author did a wonderful job in presenting this story to the reader. I was able to learn quite a bit about the drug 'propofol' through this read.

Being able to zoom out of your mind and see past images, present, future and to have sweet dreams but I know again this is quite a dangerous thing to do. What one will go through to seek relieve in ones life but in the end will they have the happiness and the release they need? Will this be enough for Portia as the read will show what she will do in the end? Even though Portia thought this would be her last time using this drug if it wasn't for that nosy neighbor....well you will just have to pick this one up to see for yourself as Portia "Searches for Ever Land." will she finally get that HEA? I did feel that the ending was rather rushed but interesting where the reader will get one 'dramatic, sexy, funny story that is full of surprises that will keep your attention.

I wanted to add that the book cover is simply beautiful and Thank You to the author for the gift of "Searching for Ever Land" for me giving my honest opinion of the read.

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review 2017-02-07 22:40
Always a Bridesmaid
Always A Bridesmaid... - Karen D Sloan-Brown

 

Title: Always a Bridesmaid
Author: Karen Sloan-Brown
Publisher: Brown Reflections
Reviewed By: Arlena Dean
Rating: Five
Review:

"Always a Bridesmaid" by Karen Sloan-Brown

My Thoughts....

This young lady Tia Annette King had several goals in her mind but will she be able to get that 'total package' that she so dearly wanted. Being a educated woman with a Ph. D. from Tennessee State University, surely getting a job wouldn't be a problem for her...or would it? Also after being a bridesmaid so often in her girlfriends weddings, surely she would find 'the man of her dreams.' Or was that to be for Dr. Tia King? Truly having boy friends had never seemed to be a problem for Tia even though she was a little on the heavy side, but it seemed like it never got passed that step [boyfriend] for her. Now, why was this? Let see...it has been truly a journey for Tia with all of the boyfriends she had in her lifetime and she was in her thirty's and definitely wanted more out of life. Let's travel through a few of Ms. Tia's guy friends...now their was Wayne, Tim [her first serious boyfriend], Charles, Reggie, Tony, Curtis, Gary, Jason [just friend], Stephen, Kevin, Earnest, [Randy, Earl, Darnell...from online] and finally Michael [I hope I didn't leave anyone out]! Now, I can only say you will have to read this well written story to see for yourself just how particular Tia was in finally landing someone who 'was tall,dark, handsome, employed, educated, trustworthy, dependable, and sexually attracted to her.' I definitely have to mention that Tia had several girlfriends that were wonderful [Yvonne, Denise] however, one friend that truly stood out [Jazz] who was their with her along this long tedious journey of being their for her in the midst of it all. I would say I only wished for such a person in my life [a true friend]. That may not make a whole lot of sense but it does to me and I am sure the reader will see this thought pattern also as you read through from this wonderful novel. It was quite interesting as this author brings it all out to just why Tia's relationships had never lasted. I will close now and only say Wow...what a read! You will have to keep up because this author gives the reader a lot to absorb...from a ailing mother to a daughter finally 'listening to her Pastor..."Let the man find you, and don't go chasing every Tim, James and Larry." So, will Dr. Tia Annette King finally get her HEA? You will just have to pick up the read to see for yourself!

Thank you to the author for the gift of the novel for me giving my honest opinion of "Always a Bridesmaid."

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