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review 2016-08-26 03:21
Civil War and Broken Hearts by Julie Lynn Hayes
Civil War and Broken Hearts (Rose and Thorne Book 2) - Julie Lynn Hayes

“...Well I've found my one and only like the long, lonesome river finds the sea and I can't believe how lucky I was that you and your love were waiting around for me...You're my darling one and only...” ~ Gladys Knight (The One and Only)

When Ethan, of 'Civil War and Broken Hearts by Julie Lynn Hayes, shows Vinnie an article about a civil war movie they are shooting in town in which actress Caroline St. Clair is staring,  it starts an argument between them. They have met her before and Vinnie can't stand her. He is still convinced that she is after his man. Ethan keeps trying to tell him that he is overreacting but Vinnie is sure he's right. Assuming that there is little chance they will run into her, Ethan and Vinnie set out to enjoy a rare day off. However, their plans are rudely interrupted by their boss, Anderson Riley, calling with a new case that needs immediate attention. Anderson asks them to come and to pack a bag. Neither are very happy about it, but when Vinnie learns what their assignment involves - guarding Caroline St. Clair - he is very unhappy.

St. Clair has been receiving death threats and Ethan and Vinnie are there to flush out the culprit before any harm comes to her. Vinnie hates the idea of being so close to someone who so obviously wants his man, but knows he has to remain as professional as possible. But, when Vinnie hears the details of the undercover operation, in spite of the effect it will have on his and Ethan's careers, he almost loses it. St. Clair has arranged for Ethan to play her boyfriend, which also means he will have to sleep in her suite, while Vinnie poses as a personal assistant to Troy Garrett, her very handsome and very gay co-star with whom Vinnie will share accommodations. Before the assignment even begins, St. Clair has found a way to “divide and conquer” by separating Vinnie and Ethan.

As the investigation continues, so does St. Clair's attempted seduction of Ethan as well as her efforts to humiliate and hurt Vinnie. But she's got an ulterior motive being so “cozy” with Ethan. She doesn't really want Ethan; she's trying to make her ex-fiancé and current director, Gordon Daimler, jealous. It doesn't work. In fact, it seems that Gordon and his new woman try their best to rub their being together in. When Gordon makes the announcement that his new girlfriend is now his fiancée, St. Clair fights back by claiming that she and Ethan are engaged as well. By this point, Vinnie has had it. But when Ethan gets a call from their boss he has to tell Vinnie that St. Clair told him that Vinnie is distracting Ethan and wants Vinnie off the case. But it gets worse. Vinnie is not only dismissed from his current investigation, he's suspended with orders to stay away from Caroline St. Clair.

These stories are exceedingly entertaining and well written. Stories written in first person are tricky, at best, and sometimes difficult to pull off, but Julie does a terrific job using Vinnie as narrator. He's such a complex character that seeing a situation through his eyes makes everything more emotional - from his joy and love for Ethan to his heartaches and sorrows when he's feeling down, inadequate, and undeserving of Ethan's love. Being privy to Vinnie's thoughts had a powerful impact on my connection with what was happening. A pleasant and unexpected surprise was Troy's personality. I was expecting a spoiled, privileged diva and was introduced to a generally nice guy who comforted Vinnie when times got rough and did what he could to make things easier for Vinnie and Ethan. I'm certain that after this escapade, Vinnie and Ethan will not be saying “Hooray for Hollywood” anytime soon, if ever again. If you like stories involving movies set during the Civil War, Hollywood stars, filmmaking, jealousy, and suspense, you may enjoy this book. Thanks, Julie, for letting me visit with Ethan and Vinnie again. I'm looking forward to book three!



Source: www.rainbowbookreviews.com/book-reviews/civil-war-and-broken-hearts-rose-and-thorne-2-by-julie-lynn-hayes-at-dreamspinner-press
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review 2015-10-12 11:32
Review: The Broken Hearts Book Club by Lynsey James
The Broken Hearts Book Club - Lynsey James

I love books about book clubs so I couldn’t resist the chance to read The Broken Hearts Book Club! 


Lucy grew up in the idyllic Luna Bay but something happened eight years ago which caused her to run away and she has never been back. She has managed to avoid all reasons to return but when her beloved Nana dies Lucy finally returns to her childhood home for the funeral. It is her intention to make this a quick visit but when her Nana’s Will is read and Lucy finds out she has been left her gorgeous Rose Cottage and her broken hearts book club, Lucy feels compelled to stick around for a while. After meeting the lovely, and very attractive new pub owner, Jake, Lucy suddenly finds even more reasons to stay in Luna Bay!


There is a mystery that runs through this book about why Lucy ran away all those years ago. Lucy refers to it many times but can never bring herself to tell anyone what she did. I’ll be honest there were a few times when I wanted to grab Lucy and just make her open up about it but it was true to her character that she was forever skirting around it - this is the girl who ran away for eight years rather than stay and face it after all. I felt sorry for her especially as some of the people in Luna Bay who were there eight years ago still made Lucy feel bad, even after so much time had passed.


Lucy is such a lovely character, her heart is in the right place and she just wants to make things right with those she's done wrong by, and she wants to help make better the lives of the broken hearted in the book club. I love how she can’t always control her impulse to sing if she reads, or hears someone say a song lyric. I burst out laughing reading the very first page with the Joni Mitchell song incident! It’s the sort of thing that could happen to any of us and that’s what makes her so endearing.


I adored the book club! I love the idea of a book club for broken-hearted people especially the way it was for people who had suffered any kind of loss, all the member supported each other and no loss was made to feel less than any other. I enjoyed reading about the books they were reading too and hearing their thoughts on them. I’ve already read all of the book club reads apart from The Rosie Project and they’ve convinced me to give it a try! 


The Broken Hearts Book Club is perfect for these colder, darker nights - it’s like a big warm comfort blanket in book form! It’s a feel-good read with a bit of depth to it. I rate this book 9 out of 10 and highly recommend it. This was the first book I’ve read by Lynsey James and I enjoyed it so much that I’ve already bought her debut novel Just the Way You Are and hope to read it very soon.


The Broken Hearts Book Club is published today and available on Amazon now!


I received this book from Carina UK via Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.


This review was originally posted on my blog: RatherTooFondofBooks.

Source: rathertoofondofbooks.wordpress.com/2015/10/12/review-the-broken-hearts-book-club-by-lynsey-james
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review 2015-10-02 08:23
The Broken Hearts Book Club - Lynsey James

4 Stars  /#BrokenHeartsBookClub  @UKCarina   @Lynsey1991
This was a cute make everybody feel good little romance (sex is only implied for the most part) that has its happy ending. Of course, there are a few rough patches along the way and a couple of hurdles but that just adds to the suspense of will they or won't they.

It was well written and basically pretty entertaining. I did get a little tired of hearing about what Vickie did and was finally glad to hear what had happened on that dreadful night that made Lucy such an outcast in the town. Turns out it was just a mother looking for someone to blame because it wasn't Lucy's fault.

I'm still not sure if Jake was sincere about everything though. He was just with Rachael a few weeks before and didn't take him long to go running back. I don't know if I trust him.

Anyways, it was a good read, entertaining, enjoyable and fun. I would recommend it.

Thanks to Carina UK and Net Galley for the free e-galley in exchange for an honest review

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text 2013-12-31 00:06
31 Days of Reading Update
Honey, Baby, Sweetheart - Deb Caletti
The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah Ockler
Burn for Burn - Jenny Han,Siobhan Vivian
The Summer I Turned Pretty - Jenny Han
Uglies - Scott Westerfeld
Changeling (Order of Darkness #1) - Philippa Gregory,Fred Van Deelen,Sally Taylor
Pathfinder (Jimmy Coates, #1) - Orson Scott Card
Clockwork Angel - Cassandra Clare
The Program - Suzanne Young
Poison Princess - Kresley Cole

So, I've been reading like crazy trying to keep up with Simon PulseIt's 31 days of reading at PulseIt.com! 


December 18th I read Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti.  This was a fun, enjoyable story!


December 19th I read The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler.  This was a sad, but sweet story of a young girl watching her father with Alzheimers.  It is also a sweet romance and story about family and sisterhood.


December 20th I read Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian.  This was not quite what I expected, but I enjoyed the twists!  I will be looking for the next novel soon!


December 21st I read The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han.  This was a somewhat heartbreaking, but enjoyable romance story.  I will be looking for the next story in this series! 


December 22nd I reread Scott Westerfield's Uglies.  I read through this series previously, and if you haven't read it you should!  This is one of the most fun dystopian series I have read and enjoyed!


December 23rd I read Changeling by Philippa Gregory, the first book in her Order of Darkness Series.  This book is more of a YA historical fiction novel, which I enjoyed because it was different than the rest of the books I've been reading. 


December 24th and December 25th I didn't read the books because of the holidays, family and such.  I hope to get back to Orson Scott Card's Pathfinder, and I have already read and loved Clockwork Angel and the other novels in its series by Cassandra Clare.  


On December 26th, for some reason, I was unable to log on to the website and when I sent a password reset I didn't receive it in time to access Suzanne Young's The Program.  I was totally disappointed, as this was one of the books I was most looking forward to.  


December 27th I read Poison Princess by Kresley Cole and loved it!  This was a very original and suspenseful story, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series!


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review 2013-11-05 00:00
The Book of Broken Hearts
The Book of Broken Hearts - Sarah Ockler

By the time I finished reading The Book of Broken Hearts I was in tears but smiling right through them. You see, this is the first time I read a book by Sarah Ockler, so up to now I've had to just take others for their word that her books are well-written. At first I wasn't so sure about Jude. Neither was I sure how the conflict about the Vargas boys would hold up for long. Amazingly, it did. Alongside other issues, of course. And somehow, everything combined had me go through an emotional roller coaster ride. There were so many different moments that had me react differently. Let me break down the reactions:

Laughter. Jude is kind of humorous. Her voice can be rather witty when things are light-hearted. Her attention to mannerisms had me laughing when she called out people on practising their moves in front a mirror. She also has comebacks that puts boys in their place.

Smirks. Hand-me-downs are common for younger siblings but the way Jude talks about such mundane things in the grand context of the plot had me smirking. That and every other instance that reminded me of my own family. Or remarks about the difficulties of being a vegetarian and Argentinian. I get flak all the time about how my diet doesn't reflect my own ethnic backgrounds.

Cringing. There where also moments that had me cringing in disgust, asking how anyone could even do such a thing. The ritual of the sisters' oath. Eeew. I've never been one for initiation rites and the likes. That is all I can say. Don't want to spoil the good parts.

Confusion. People are confusing. One moment they do or say one thing and the next they do something different altogether. I empathized with Jude. Emilio isn't the only one sending mixed signals. Her best friends too added to the tensions of the plot.

Sadness. Central to the plot is Jude's father's early onset of Alzheimer's Disease. It's hard watching loved ones deteriorate like that. No matter how much we wish we could stop time, our parents are growing old, just as we have grown up. Ockler explores very well what it means to have limited time left with a father who is so dear to us.

Fear. What does the future hold? Struggling with whether we want to know, or not at all, when given the choice isn't easy. It's no wonder Jude is so fixated on the past, trying to bring back her father's memories. His Harley means so much to him and restoring it over the summer might just be the answer. Yet no matter what, there always is the underlying fear of having to let go.

Bitterness. In the face of her father's terminal illness, Jude doesn't evade bitterness either. As patient as she is, choosing her father over all her other activities over her summer holidays, she still experiences bitterness. Death and illness are the last things she wants to deal with.

Looking at this whole range of reactions and emotions, I think it's clear that this book is a good mix of light and heavy reading. It is not so heavy that it should get anyone down and completely disillusioned about life while not so light it borders on fluff.

One thing I especially liked was the portrayal of Alzheimer's. It wasn't a matter simply of whether Jude's father was healthy or sick. It was about the progression and varying degrees. One person with Alzheimer's is not the same as the next. That, I think, was what made reading about Jude's summer so interesting. Then again, I'm a sociology major, so no ills of society are ever completely black. They always come in grey tones.


This review is also available on dudettereads.com.

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