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review 2017-05-26 06:02
Review: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares
The Whole Thing Together - Ann Brashares

Quick review for a somewhat quick read for me, though it felt like I had to push myself through this novel several times. "The Whole Thing Together" has many issues, but I would echo concerns that much of this novel suffers from rampant cliches, insensitive references in the measure of racial attribution (considering it uses a racial slur casually and struggles constantly to accurately and sensitively portray the multiracial character who struggles with her identity) and sexism (slut shaming and odd fixations on physical details of the characters). In addition to those issues, I think the biggest downfall of this novel really came in that I just couldn't find a space to connect with the characters. Not as much as I wanted to, because there were parts of the narrative that had the potential to go interesting places, but never quite reached that point and abruptly halted in places where the development could've provided more intimacy than the narration allowed.

At its heart, "The Whole Thing Together" is a family drama, showcasing teens as well as young adults in a separate sections of the same family struggling through multiple phases and revelations in their lives. Think "Parenthood" or "Brothers and Sisters" in terms of TV dramas, only I think the characters in this novel were far less fleshed out. As ambitious as this narrative sought to be, it tried to take on far too much in a narrow scope, to the point where nothing really worked well. The narrative voices blended far too much for me to truly connect to them (I don't mind third-person omniscient POV, I read it quite often in many genres). I would hesitate to call this YA, it feels more like it straddles the line between YA and New Adult (at least if you think about certain themes tackled in this book).

The surprise revelation towards the ending was emotional, but I honestly think that it could've had more impact if the character constructions were stronger. In the end, it's a narrative with strong intentions, but the execution leaves an unmemorable and sometimes offputting portrayal that doesn't showcase the best of what Brashares can do, and as someone who liked the Sisterhood series, this left me greatly disappointed.

Overall score: 1.5/5 stars.

Note: I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, from the publisher.

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review 2017-05-19 18:44
Esperance (Heart Lines Series #3) by Heather Hildenbrand
Esperance: (New Adult Paranormal Romance... Esperance: (New Adult Paranormal Romance) (Heart Lines Series Book 3) - Heather Hildenbrand

Heather Hildenbrand’s ESPERANCE is a thrilling addition to the Heart Lines Series.  The story takes place following book two, INHERITANCE.  Alex Channing is healed but no longer has feelings.  He leaves Sam. Samantha Knight is trying to learn how to use her powers.  She is troubled by Alex’s change of behavior.  This contemporary urban fantasy takes place in Half Moon.

 

Heather Hildenbrand continues to do a great job with her character development.  I felt bad about what was happening to Alex.  He was always leery of the price you pay when using magic.  He does pay a price.  I like Sam.  She is becoming more and more like her old self prior to losing her memory.  She is determined to learn her magic and help the werewolves and Alex.  She is a strong and admiral heroine.

 

We find out some interesting about Breck Winters.  I like the introduction of Koby.  He teaches Sam some important things and helps support her.  Indra is a fascinating antagonist.  She is cunning and powerful. 

 

The plot was well executed.  A lot of thought-provoking events unfold in this story.  I enjoyed the ending and look forward to the next book in the series, IMBALANCE.  I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.

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review 2017-05-19 02:15
Manservant
Manservant - Shari J. Ryan
Julia just wants one summer of fun before entering the real adult world. Oh, and she has sworn off hot guys- the type who are more into themselves than the relationship- after her break up with super hot guy, Andy. Julia and her best friend Jade have found what were supposed to be easy jobs nannying on the coast of Maine. However, when Julia arrives in Maine she is greeted by an even wilder than usual Jade, whose personal life is crumbling as well as Dylan, the 10 year old boy that she is nannying for. Dylan's needs are very specific and his mom forgot to mention that most nannies haven't made it past 10 days with him. And, did I mention the hot guys that seem to be everywhere? There is Sterling, a sweet but smooth-talking surfer who also teaches Dylan's lifeguard training and Liam, a seemingly rude and confusing housekeeper for Dylan's family that Julia has to live with for the summer. Julia forgets her one rule and then seems to make a mess of everything. At least she is a source of entertainment for her friends!

Manservant is a humorous and sexy new adult romance that I easily got lost in. Shari J. Ryan is a master at creating a slow build in sexual tension with back and forth witty banter and puns. I didn't know whether to love or hate Liam and I think he got me into as much of a frenzy as he did to Julia.

"Fine?" he whispers in my ear. As unexpected as my voice is, being so close to me, his words make my heart pound in a way it hasn't beat in a very long time, possibly ever. "I could think of a few different words to describe you, but 'fine' would be at the bottom of that list."

The characterization is also amazing, Julia seems like the perfect best friend as well as a very real young adult in the world. I loved that she found and named the Shermanator and the picture had me cracking up. I also loved Julia's strength when she found out that he boyfriend was cheating as well as when she found out that Dylan has Asperger's syndrome. Julia did not give up or give in, she learned as much as she could and tried to do everything right for Dylan. I applaud the inclusion of Dylan's character and the realities of his everyday life without it being the main point of the book.
The romance and sex aspects are just right for my tastes. There are several sultry scenes that had just the right amount of allure with a dash of fun; and with Julia's inner monologue it was just perfect. Overall, a steamy summer read with a mix of romance, drama and plenty of fun.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
 
 

 

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review 2017-05-12 08:05
Review Blitz - Cursed

 

  

 

A countess flees home—and the family curse requiring her to marry a prince—to hide out in the South Carolina low country. There, she meets a man who’s not quite a prince…but who steals her heart all the same.

 

Find out what happens in the fifth installment in Jennifer Chance’s Crowns and Gowns series, CURSED!

 


Synopsis:

 

When the prince she was supposed to marry falls for someone else, Edeena Saleri is done with Garronia's courts, crowns, and family curses. She grabs her sisters and escapes to the nobility-free coast of South Carolina, USA.

Refuge isn't anything like it's supposed to be, however. The family's island vacation home now borders a singles' retreat, which Edeena's sisters embrace all too eagerly. Worse, the private protection firm Edeena hires is run by the most infuriating man she's ever met--a rough-hewn, dark-eyed, charismatic charmer named, of course, Prince. He's not a royal and he's nowhere near noble, so there's no way he can break the family curse. And yet...

Vincent "Prince" Rallis has spent his whole life justifying his name. The son of hardworking immigrant parents, he's hustled for every dime, finally building a personal security firm with the muscle and grit to live up to its promises. He's used to keeping his cool, but when the high-strung, high-class Edeena shuts him down despite her obvious interest, pride demands he fight for her--even if he has to track her back to her glittering court to prove his point. Only once Prince arrives in the seaside kingdom of Garronia, he finds his troubles are just beginning.

Sometimes love in Garronia can be magic. And sometimes you're just
 Cursed.

 

 

Available at: Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ Amazon AU ~ Amazon CA

**also on #KindleUnlimited**

 

Add Cursed to your GOODREADS TBR stack!

 

 

 

 

Cursed (Gowns & Crowns, #5)Cursed by Jennifer Chance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is book #5 in the Gowns & Crowns series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. I recommend for complete understanding of the series, and to avoid spoilers, I think this incredible series should be read in order.

Vincent AKA “Prince" has been hired to watch over the semi-royal family of sisters who have arrived here in South Carolina. He cannot help being attracted to the oldest of the siblings, Edeena. She is the one who hired his company. Now he must find out what this is all about.

Edeena must make a path for her sisters to build upon. She has to fulfill a family dream in order to break a long ago curse. What she wants really will not matter. If she let's time run out, there are more consequences to come. And.... time is running out.

This series just has so many surprises! These characters are just amazing. The banter is funny. The sexy times are hot. This is just such a fun read. This author never lets me down.

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

 

 

About Jennifer Chance:

 

Jennifer Chance is the award-winning author of the new adult Rule Breakers series as well as the contemporary romance modern royals Gowns & Crowns series. A lover of books, romance, and happily-ever-afters, she lives and writes in Ohio. In addition to her work in romance, she is also Jenn Stark, urban fantasy author of the Immortal Vegas series, and Jennifer McGowan, YA author of the Elizabethan spy series The Maids of Honor. She is truly NOT trying to become 27 Jennifers, but it's getting a little dicey. 

Connect with Jennifer: Website | BookBub | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 

 

 

 

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Direct link:  http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b050ef29361/?

 

 

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review 2017-05-12 07:24
Too much
Cursed: Gowns & Crowns, Book 5 - Jennifer Chance

This is book #5 in the Gowns & Crowns series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  I recommend for complete understanding of the series, and to avoid spoilers, I think this incredible series should be read in order.

 

Vincent AKA “Prince" has been hired to watch over the semi-royal family of sisters who have arrived here in South Carolina.  He cannot help being attracted to the oldest of the siblings, Edeena.  She is the one who hired his company.  Now he must find out what this is all about.

 

Edeena must make a path for her sisters to build upon.  She has to fulfill a family dream in order to break a long ago curse.  What she wants really will not matter.  If she let's time run out, there are more consequences to come.  And.... time is running out.

 

This series just has so many surprises!  These characters are just amazing.  The banter is funny.  The sexy times are hot.  This is just such a fun read.  This author never lets me down.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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