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review 2017-09-23 23:24
Empress/ Shan Sa
Empress: A Novel (P.S.) - Shan Sa

3.5 stars

 

This book isn't very long, but it took me something like a month to read! (and I'm not even in a reading slump!)

 

Don't get me wrong, it is not a bad book- Heavenlight's story is fascinating, and Shan Sa's writing is extremely unique. you can definitely tell, when you're reading the book, that it was written by a very skilled poet (which she is), and that a lot of thought, work and research was put into the process of writing it.

 

the descriptions are amazing, and you can almost paint a completely accurate picture in your head of China in the 7th century, which is not an easy feat. It was at times nerve- wracking, poignant and sensual. Shan Sa explained the main character so well, that I was fond of her, even though I didn't like everything she had done.

I think it is such a special book, because she took a story of a woman worth- knowing, and made it accessible to readers.

 

However, I have to mention that it took me so long to read because even though it was interesting, there was almost no dialog AT ALL, and most of it was descriptions, which made it a very slow and tiring read. It took me a while to get back into it after each time that I picked the book up, and also between reading sessions- It didn't make itch to get to the next chapter.

 

Anyway, read it and let me know what YOU think! 

Georgie xxxxxx

 

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review 2017-09-22 16:22
#Audiobook Review: P.S. From Paris by Marc Levy
P.S. from Paris: A Novel - Tim Campbell,Marc Levy,Sam Taylor

Finding fame with his unintentionally written first novel, Paul escapes his life as an architect in San Fransisco, moving to Paris where he spends the next seven years writing in solitude. Worried about their friend and feeling that fate needs a little help, his best friends sign up Paul for an online match-making service. What begins as an awkward misunderstand blossoms into a true and meaningful friendship with Mia.

 

World-renowned actress Mia can’t pretend to be happy with her cheating husband any longer, running to stay with her best friend in Paris. There she struggles with her lingering love and hurt, trying to find meaning for her life, when she strikes up an unlikely friendship with an America author. Soon she and Paul work hard to convince themselves that their bond is nothing more than that between close friends.

 

I absolutely enjoyed listening to the audiobook production of P.S. From Paris. The book opens with two separate stories - the events surrounding Paul and the events surrounding Mia. We learn how lonely Paul is and how he tries to convince himself he’s okay. On the other hand, Mia knows how miserable she is but is frightened to take any risks. They live parallel lives until “fate” (in the form of Lauren and Arthur) push them together. I love how awkward and similar the two are. They seem like a great fit, but they work so hard to convince themselves they are just friends. Yet through this guise, the pair open up and learn to trust and eventually love.

 

What I love most about this story is the movie screen feel of the romance. It truly is a bit over-the-top and larger-than-life. I can see a young Audrey Hepburn playing Mia, so full of hope, not letting circumstances pull her down. She’s charming and silly all at once. Her behaviors mimic those of a pampered movie star, but she’s got a heart of gold. I love that both best friend Daisy and new friend Paul are able to see the internal spark under Mia’s shiny facade. 

 

The overall plot is a bit extravagant, but that opens the story up to silly misunderstandings and outrageous mix ups. But these situations aren’t always light, and there is one huge twist that changes Paul’s life profoundly. Yet as implausible as some of the circumstances may seem, it all fits within the perimeter and tone of the book and Mr. Levy’s writing style.

 

The narration by Mr. Campbell makes the story. While I have to admit, at first I didn’t care for Mia’s voice, but as I got to know and understand the character, I realized how much his interpretation fits the actress. His performance captures both Mia and Paul’s loneliness, and as the story progresses, he emanates their excitement, heartbreak, and joy. Mr. Campbell has a good range of accents, which suits this multi-national cast of characters. He easily moves from scene to scene and “head to head” - the book has a few different POVs, with an almost omnipresent narration. 

 

Reminiscent of romance from the Golden Age of Cinema, P.S. From Paris swept me away with the tale of Paul and Mia. Simultaneously grand and intimate, the story relays the larger-than-life romance between two lonely soles on a scale of little gestures and stolen moments. The story evolves slowly, yet I found I couldn’t tear myself away. 

 

My Rating: A

Narration: A-

 

Review copy provided by Brilliance Audio

Originally posted at That's What I'm Talking About

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review 2017-09-13 12:08
This will certainly not be the last of J.D. Carabella's works I'll read!
Nocturnal Voyeur - The Complete Series: A Tale of Passion, Pulp and the Paranormal - JD Carabella

I am not sure why this would ever be broken into five shorter stories and sold seperately. This works so well as one larger work, I really can't imagine only being drip fed the story. If nothing else, it would have stopped the nice flow the story has, and made it more difficult for the reader to rejoin the characters on their journey.

Speaking of the characters, they were quite enjoyable, even though Mack does fall into a few of the trope pitfalls. I really enjoyed Fiona's character with all her stubborness and foibles. I would have liked a little more development for Fiona, and Mack needed more room to grow as well (no pun intended). Fiona really makes the story, but she's given so little time to develop in between all the action (both in the bedroom and out of it) that it did feel like we were racing after her in the story so didn't have time to learn what we needed about her.

The mix of Native American Indian mythology, magic and the paranormal regulars (were-animals/shifters), provided a delightful paranormal flavour to this romp through the 1930's timeline and gave the story a uniqueness that has been missing from some of the paranormal romance/erotica stories I've been reading. I'd have loved some more time to explore the history, mythology and explanations of the magic system, but we're only really given but a tiny glimpse of it.

The story left me with some unanswered questions; ones I hope can be answered with another story following Fiona and Mack. Or, perhaps some of the answers are explored in J.D's other series in the same world - Arrested by Passion. I'll have to check them out to see :)

While the writing wasn't perfect, the overall feel of this piece was quite polished and the story provided a quick, entertaining read for those who like a bit of bite with their erotic reading. Unfortunately, the insta-love aspect niggled a bit. It wasn't a total mess, but it wasn't flawless either. I think a little more character building and development would help with the feeling of it all being a bit rushed and make the insta-love seem less clunky and more 'destined lovers'.

The sexy scenes were provided in large quantities and quite varied in sexual preference, tastes and kinks. This was nicely done, though at times I did wonder if they were all really needed, or if it was a particular penchant of J.D. to enjoy writing smut, so she came up with a plot that allowed for a lot of the short snippets to be present and still fit nicely in with the story. That's not a complaint, merely an observation. 

In terms of hotness, not all of them floated my boat, but given the quantity and varied content, I'm sure almost all erotic readers will find a scene or fantasy to please their tastes within the covers of this book. 

One word of warning: this book does contain what some would call dub-con or non-con elements, along with some pretty brutal tentacle rape scenes, is littered with foul language and some intriguing, yet extremely depraved scenes. 

This will certainly not be the last of J.D. Carabella's works I'll read! 

A few things I noticed:

7% - a few erotica faux pas (everyone being sex Gods and Goddesses and rolling continuous orgasms) - admitedly pretty common in paranormal romance/erotic stories, but weirdly I still expected more from J.D.
9% - ...I know Theo was fond of you, (delete space)"
10% - ...and lie(lay/laid) awake for a few hours...
12% - Mack still stood still (awkward wording consider revising) 
32% - ...shortness of her shirt(skirt), which ended above the knees...
49% - they had been Cheekbones and Silence previously, not Smiler 
94% - Mack was large in ever(y) sense of the...

**Note: I was provided an electronic copy of this book in return for an honest review**

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review 2017-08-17 03:18
Now Habit
The Now Habit: A Strategic Program for Overcoming Procrastination and Enjoying Guilt-Free Play (Audio) - Gildan Author,Neil A. Fiore

 

If you have a choice between listening to the audio version of this or reading the text version?  Go for the text.  This is definitely an instance where the author should not have read his own work.  Think equal parts William Shatner, B-movie hypnotist, and narrator of a 1950s filmstrip designed to be watched by eighth graders when they have a substitute for science class.  I was tempted to quit this book as soon as it started because of the narration--but the topic inspired me to stick with it.  I did check my library's catalog for a text version.  No ebook, and the one print copy they have was due back in April.  So apparently, the patron who checked out this book on overcoming procrastination had been procrastinating on returning it for almost four months.

 

I think the techniques Fiore describes for transforming from a procrastinator to a "producer" are solid.  Since I've only just completed the book, I haven't been able to implement them extensively, but I've already begun to apply some approaches, such as doing 30-minute chunks of focused work.  I really wish I had this book before I undertook my doctoral dissertation.  I would have used his "unschedule" to build in recreational and restorative activities and realistic blocks of work time, instead of living under the thrall of "I should be working on my dissertation" at all times.

 

Although there are useful approaches to be gleaned from the book, at times I felt the author was being overly repetitious.  And as an example of the disadvantage of listening to this in audio format, there was a section where he went through a few different guided relaxations, one right after another.  They were all very similar (read REPETITION) to one another--and one feature a SOLID TWO MINUTES OF SILENCE.  I even checked my player to make sure the battery hadn't died.  At the conclusion of the two minutes, he came back with, "Did that feel like two minutes?"  Nope, it felt like an eternity.  I really think for the purposes of the audiobook, that part should have been moved to the end as an appendix.  

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review 2017-06-27 18:32
Giveaway & Review – Seeds of Eden by A P Watson @apwatsonauthor @XpressoReads
Seeds of Eden - Richard A. Watson

Seeds of Eden by A P Watts has an awesome cover, which made the book jump out at me. I have seen other covers by this designer and she does a fabulous job.

 

Cover by Regina Wamba with MaeIDesign and Photography

 

Seeds of Eden
A.P. Watson
(The Concilium, #1)
Publication date: January 25th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

 

MY REVIEW

 

I will admit I love YA stories, even though sometimes they can fall a little flat in the excitement department. Seeds of Eden by A P Watson is one of those stories, but the opening pages did grab me and make me want to know Evey’s story. I wanted to know what’s going on, what will happen next.

 

I love storylines like Seeds of Eden. Time travel? Reincarnation?

Evey’s light in the darkness. More than a symbol of love and hope.

 

Evey is a regular teenage girl in her senior year, with all the normal hopes and desires. She loves history and I wonder…

 

I love her best friend, Caroline, especially when she says things like…

 

“It’s like I always say, we’re best friends because we hate all the same people.”

 

Seeds of Eden is a romance, a love story that is eternal…Infinite.

It is YA all the way. I would have liked more depth…Her feelings for her situation, realizing who she really is and the fact that someone would die to protect her were glossed over. I wanted more details.

 

 

I liked the story, but it is repetitious and drags sometimes. I kept waiting for something to happen, instead of just hem hawing her way through the relationship with Conrad. Yes, no, yes, no…

 

Seeds of Eden does not stand alone and I do want to read the rest of their story. I want to see how everything pans out for them in this trilogy and for that reason I do recommend the series.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 3 Stars

 

Read more and enter the giveaway here.

 

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