Sex, Lies, and Beauty Aids, by Deb Julienne

Sex Lies Beauty AidsA very enjoyable romantic comedy – from the opening words where you first meet Sabrina in all her hilarious glory, to the sweet ending that makes you go ‘Awwww’ this story is full of love and innocence, trust and mishap and is utterly absorbing. I was in fits of laughter in some parts, as Sabrina jumps in with both feet to be best she can be. Her dedication to her research for her column is only surpassed by her belief that she owes her reader the best advice. When she is dropped into the position of giving advice on love and sex she freaks out slightly, and proceeds to put herself into so many more crazy positions… oh dear, the face mask was one of the moments I was hysterical. A visit to an Adult Store was another – when someone quite innocent walks into a shop full of lingerie and sex toys, there’s going to be hilarious consequences.

I have always wondered how well twins could pull off a switch, and the situation here is so well described. The feelings she has for one twin contrasting with how Sabrina feels about the other… then getting to know the one she doesn’t like… or does she?  And sharing her feelings with one about the other… oh you know this is going to come back to bite her – but not in a predictable way.  Each scene has enough delightful detail, and hilarious hiccups to keep you hooked to the very end.

So how will Sabrina react to the lies, after all she hates lies of any sort. There is no excuse as far as she is concerned…

I like the way Deb interspersed the touching moments with a dash of humour, and in amongst those funniest situations she deftly added moments of intimacy.

Becoming intimate with someone is gentle and delicate. It takes subtle words and touches to build quietly and slowly, until it takes you quite by surprise and you realise the affection snuck in while you were looking somewhere else! Deb portrayed that very well in this funny tale about getting it right, getting it wrong … and getting even!

I am looking forward to reading more of Deb Julienne’s romances, this is the first in the Twisted Sisters Club Series – I can’t wait for the next one!

 

See more at either Goodreads or Amazon

A Brave Day for Harold Brown by Mishana Khot

Mishana was promoting this book and I read the first few paragraphs online… I enjoyed these opening paragraphs,liking the style of writing and the way the author spoke to me, it felt familiar, as though a favourite storyteller was back. However,when I got to this line:

“Little did Harold know, a strange new wind was blowing that morning.”

– I knew there was something really enjoyable to follow. I contacted Mishana and she kindly sent me a copy to review, but be assured my review is completely unbiased.

Harold BrownI really enjoyed “Harold Brown” – I like the way the author described his very neat and ordered life, one he seemed quite satisfied with… and yet when I read the part about his childhood I could immediately get a sense of the stifled boy inside. A great description of how an event in your childhood will shape who you are from the inside, this can be good or can be a bit sad… Some things can be shut away, but they never really leave you.

Each character is beautifully described, and although there is little description about the gypsy fortune teller, the way her voice is written, gives a clear understanding of how very different she is to Harold. Harold’s reliable assistant, Mrs Springer, is a real sweetie… somehow you just know she’s the one you can talk to if you’re having a hard day.

The Tiger himself is beautifully described and matching Harold’s new found knowledge from his books, he offers the reader (or listener) a vivid picture of this majestic creature. The interactions at the circus are well described, and Harold’s inner turmoil is adorable! The scenes of Harold and the Tiger looking at each are quite lovely.
And by the way, a good book cover will often give you a sense of whether you’ll like the story inside – this is no exception – Bravo to the artist of the wonderful cover design.

I think this story would be lovely for a younger (primary school age) if read by their parents, or older youth to YA reading themselves. It is a simple story but told in a clean eloquent way that leads the reader’s imagination. It’s a very enjoyable story, I am more than happy to recommend Harry Brown to other readers.

I gave this 5/5 on Goodreads.  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23153267-a-brave-day-for-harold-brown  …  have a look for it here: http://www.amazon.com/Mishana-Khot/e/B00N8RHKXM/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

The Rhyme’s Library by Kristy Tate

Rhymes LibraryI really enjoyed this book :)

The characters each have their own quirks and the twists and turns to the storyline keep it interesting to the end. I like characters who have personality – and these really do. The reader is kept wondering about the motives behind many of the residents of the peaceful Rose Arbor… for such a quiet little town there is a lot going on, and isn’t that just like a small town, so many noses in so much business?

The history of Crazy Aunt Charlotte gives everyone lots to think about, the vulnerability of Blair keeps you keen and the intricacies of the neighbourhood give you laughs, creepy moments galore, and a couple of frights. The emotional pulls from the likes of Drake and Alec are well written and well, quite hilarious at times. Of course Poor Blair’s emotions get a bit of a workout, but from all the right causes. It’s not as though she’s a soppy girl – I thought it quite brave of her to go into the basement in the first place, and resourceful to climb onto the roof to save the kitten (good suspense), and to talk to herself about her fears seemed a very human thing to do :)  … I could imagine me doing that.

I like the word definition at the beginning of each chapter… sometimes it gave a hint about what was in store, and other times I wondered how would that word be incorporated into the story!

A very enjoyable novel.

Find out more here: Goodreads

 

Tijuana Nights (Nights Series, #1) by Leigh K. Hunt

Tijuana NightsMack is back!

After reading London Dusk I was keen to see how Mack and her friends developed as characters… and by the end of this fast-paced novel I see them as people not characters :)

Totally absorbed – I love it when a book draws me in, and this one absolutely did. Mack’s character is human and believable, she wrestles with her conscience and I can identify with that. She has great friends that get her out of trouble, even though it’s mostly them that get her into trouble! After London Dusk I was keen to read Tijuana Nights… Now I’m champing at the bit to get the next one!!

The action scenes are well detailed and give you a very clear picture of what’s going on… suitably gruesome and violent to fit the people involved… and yet the thoughtful moments are delicate and finely tuned, and sometimes in such contrast, I think that’s why you slip inside this story. Depth but without gruelling epic portions.

Find out more from Goodreads or buy it through Amazon

Check out more in this series by Leigh K. Hunt

London Dusk (Dawn to Dusk, #1) by Leigh K. Hunt

London DuskI was rather thrilled to have proofread London Dusk for Leigh… Thoroughly enjoyed it!

Mack is a great character and one that I’m looking forward to seeing more of. I think she could develop quite a following… all the characters in this story are good, I realise this novella is an introduction to the series, but the depth is enough to be able to identify with each character. Leigh has given a human element to them all – even Luke who I can’t stand already! I so want to him fall flat on his face :)

Mack, on the other hand, I can’t help feeling outraged for her – not fair!! How will she get out of this dreadful situation… well, let’s read Tijuana Nights and find out. I’m keen for more and I’m sure you will be when you finish London Dusk

 

Find out more from Goodreads or buy it through Amazon

Check out more in this series by Leigh K. Hunt

 

A Time of Souls by Bruce G. Bennett

Time_of_Souls_AYou get a really good sense of who the characters are… the opening scene is reasonably sizzling, but it’s not an erotica work.

The sex scenes were well described and in keeping with the characters, giving you a good feel for the morals, motives and methods of each character involved. As the stories unfold, you wonder how they will connect, but connect they do, and interweave very nicely.
An unlikely alliance forms, and investigations ensue. The stories told to the journalist are said in unique ways fitted to each individual, obviously a pattern forms but it’s not repetitive for the reader.

The gamut of emotions felt by each, and recounted are very well described and thought provoking. The threads meander suitably and gather together again in an ending that makes you guess, but keeps you wondering for a short while… and then keep you thinking about things for a bit.
Although the central character wrestles with his thoughts on God and the Devil,  the hereafter, and ‘just what is After?’ the book is no way a theological treatise. All human beings die one day, regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs… and then what?

A very enjoyable read.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23158735-a-time-of-souls

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Boy in Striped PJEveryone should read this. Absolutely Stunning. I was swept into this time and place, and saw the world through Bruno’s eyes… and felt all the emotions as he did. Until the end of course, then I felt what a mother would.

A boy Bruno’s age should be free to play – just as he thought, and did… this story shows how individuals can be swept along so easily by the currents around them. Even the characters that knew things were wrong did nothing to change it because there were expectation upon them.

Feeling the tensions mount, and understanding the deeper meaning behind some of the conversations gives the reader a perspective that perhaps the characters themselves would have wished to have. The story unfolds of course, to charged emotions and tragic consequences.

Beautifully written, raw and tragic, harsh at times but this is such a good read.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39999.The_Boy_in_the_Striped_Pajamas

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Kite_Runner_ThePowerful story. Graphic in so many ways but poignant and profound too. The graphic content is written is a very sensitive way, not that it lessens the effect, but it’s not graphic like a blood-fest movie is – it’s descriptive and takes you into the heart of the scene, leaves you feeling all those emotions. The horrors and violence in the environment around was justly described, and sadly, very true to life. The social structures and cultural differences, the politics that divided families and towns, and the conscience and heartache that travels across time and space, never quite leaving or relieving your mind…

Wow. This was indeed a powerful story, that was told so well. I read it a while ago now, and still feel this strongly about it.

 

Highly recommended

See more on Goodreads