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Book Day Launch: HE’S SO FINE by Jill Shalvis Review & Giveaway
Sep 30th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

Book Day Launch: HE’S SO FINEShalvis_HesSoFine_MM-1

by Jill Shalvis

Review & Giveaway

Buy it here: Barnes & Noble | iBooksIndieBound | Kobo | Google Play | Amazon

Add it to Goodreads

Book Summary:

For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It’s the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she’s rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she’s ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to “save” him. In fact, he’d like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He’s just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole’s heart, or will it be the end of Olivia’s days in little Lucky Harbor?

He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor, #11)My Review by Jill Shalvis

5 of 5 stars

Seriously, Jill Shalvis only gets better and better and better. I am completely addicted to this Lucky Harbor series. Every couple is so different. They have their own issues and challenges to overcome, but within their imperfections, they’re perfect for each other.

That’s exactly how how I felt about Olivia and Cole in HE’S SO FINE. When it comes to their pasts, Cole is an open book and Olivia is as closed as can be. But as they learn to trust and respect each other, they find new ways to be open and honest and to forgive.

Here’s some of the things I loved:

1. The differences between Olivia’s family and Cole’s family. Cole’s is an invasion and loving. Olivia’s is greedy and unloving. The contrast is striking and relatable.
2. Despite being afraid to open herself up to Cole, Olivia does so, and it changes her.
3. Cole embraces a new relationship, despite his fear of getting burned.
4. Cole is loyal and devoted to his family, even though they can be incredibly annoying.
5. Best friends – Cole has Tanner and Sam, who are loyal even when Cole pushes them away. Olivia has Becca, who doesn’t judge and has her back.
6. Challenges – Cole has to face past relationships and deal with the loss of his friend Gil. Plus he jumps at the flick of a lighter or a spark. Olivia hides her past, changed her identity and has to face it.
7. I love what Cole has in all his pockets! Handyman extraordinaire!
8. A swoon-worthy ending!

The entire Lucky Harbor series is a must read for anyone who loves romance novels! Don’t miss any of them!

View all my reviews

Jill’s Bio:

Jill Shalvis author photo_longer length

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

To connect with Jill:

JillShalvis.com | Twitter @jillshalvis | Facebook.com/jillshalvis

 

ENTER TO WIN a print copy of HE’S SO FINE.

http://bit.ly/1o7r75M

 

Review: SAVING CeeCee HONEYCUTT by Beth Hoffman – 5 star MUST READ!
Aug 18th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

SAVING CeeCee HONEYCUTT

by (the incredibly talented storyteller) Beth Hoffman

Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books

Buy it here: IndieBoundAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible |Book Depository

From Goodreads:6617928

Twelve-year-old CeeCee is in trouble. For years she’s been the caretaker of her psychotic mother, Camille— the crown-wearing, lipstick-smeared laughingstock of an entire town. Though it’s 1967 and they live in Ohio, Camille believes it’s 1951 and she’s just been crowned the Vidalia Onion Queen of Georgia.

The day CeeCee discovers Camille in the front yard wearing a tattered prom dress and tiara as she blows kisses to passing motorists, she knows her mother has completely flipped. When tragedy strikes, Tootie Caldwell, a previously unknown great-aunt comes to CeeCee’s rescue and whisks her away to Savannah. Within hours of her arrival, CeeCee is catapulted into a perfumed world of prosperity and Southern eccentricities—a world that appears to be run entirely by women.

While Tootie is busy saving Savannah’s endangered historic homes from the wrecking ball, CeeCee encounters a cast of unforgettable, eccentric characters. From the mysterious Thelma Rae Goodpepper, who bathes in an outdoor tub under the watchful eyes of a voyeuristic peacock, to Oletta Jones, the all-knowing household cook, to Violene Hobbs, the loud-mouthed widow who entertains a local police officer in her yellow see-through peignoir, the women of Gaston Street keep CeeCee entertained and enthralled for an entire summer.

 

My review:

Some of the most memorable characters you’ll ever read are found in Saving CeeCee Honeycutt! Perfect for bright MGers to adults, this novel is an adult New York Times Best Seller! And it should be! Read it and love it and never forget these characters. This will be on my ’14 top-read list!

Here’s what impressed me about this novel:
1. Mrs. O’Dell is one of my heroes. What she does to help CeeCee when she suffers until her mother’s mental illness is remarkable. She provides love, a safe haven, and nurtures her through difficult times.
2. CeeCee suffers so much because of her mother’s mental illness. Her father abandons them and CeeCee ends up holding the heavy burden of dealing with her mother’s crazy antics – dressing up in prom dresses, which help her to recall the moment when she was a beauty queen. The way Beth Hoffman portrayed CeeCee’s mom will tear at your heart. It’s so raw and revealing and emotional.
3. SPOILER: When CeeCee’s mom is struck and killed by a truck, her aunt Tootie comes and takes her away to Savannah, Georgia. Aunt Tootie is one of the kindest, most loving women one could ever encounter. She gives CeeCee the life that she deserves and helps her cope with loss.
4. The cast of characters in Savannah. Real Southern belles, who are wild and eccentric. Who wouldn’t want to grow up around these crazy, fun ladies?
5. OLETTA! Wow, I fell in love with Oletta. She had me drooling for cinnamon buns and everything else. I absolutely adored her relationship with CeeCee. Aunt Tootie was her family and vise versa. The portrayal of this family was one of the most important, beautiful portrayals of racial relations. This reminded me so much of our own family. My grandma was a Southerner. We had Barbara McCray. Love knows no color!
6. Beth Hoffman takes the reader to Savannah. You will live it, breathe it, taste it. The setting jumps off the page.
7. Addressing racism in an honest, powerful, emotional way. The huge divide between our people. Here are some of the accurate portrayals addressed: financial, educational, health care, place of residence.
8. Definition of family is a key theme of this novel. Beth Hoffman nailed it by showing that LOVE is the ultimate.
9. This is a novel with a huge range of appeal. I could see a bright middle grader read this. High school students for sure. Even though Pamela Dorman Books is an adult publisher, this novel is the perfect crossover novel! Smart young adults, this is a must read!

While I read this novel, I ACHED for my grandma. I miss her calling me ‘darlin’. I missed her “tomata, potata.” I miss Barbara McCray’s “Bless her heart.” I felt wrapped up in her love. And readers, you will feel wrapped in love by this novel!

I WANT A SEQUEL! Where is CeeCee now? 538342_372652756166083_753612637_n
A must read!

PS. There’s a “cat” fight that is so hysterical, you don’t want to miss it. Karma’s a bitch. It really is!!!

The spider and the slugs are awesome too!

About Beth Hoffman:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest

 

Flashback Friday: A MONSTER CALLS by Patrick Ness
Jul 11th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

flashback-friday-featured

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FLASHBACK FRIDAY, check out FICTION FARE’S post!

Flashback Friday: A MONSTER CALLS

by Patrick Ness

Buy it here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Audible

 

Hardcover, 215 pages

Published September 27, 2011 by Walker Books8621462

From Goodreads:

The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.

My review:

STOP.
Seriously, don’t read any further if you don’t want to know my reaction to this novel.
Because this book will grab your mind, body, heart, and soul.
Okay, I warned you.

A Monster Calls SHOULD be read in one sitting. It’s so powerful, so painful that it feels like a gaping wound right where your heart is. I only read one review on Goodreads and I knew I had to pick up this book. The author of that review said she cried and cried. I braced myself.
I picked up this book knowing that it would tear at my heart, make me think. About life. About death. It’s a book about holding on and letting go. It’s about control and losing control. It’s about lies and truths. As I said, I braced myself. Only once did I get misty-eyed. I didn’t want to cry. But when I finished the last page I paced my living room floor. Dry-eyed. A book like this MUST impact the reader in some way because seriously if it doesn’t, I truly would wonder if stone exists in place of a heart. But the real question is what do you DO with a book like this?
I say gobble it up. Take it in. Hold it close. Then. Let. It. Go. Live life with meaning and purpose. Be kind to others. Be kind to yourself. Work on letting go of old hurts. Turn your dreams into action. Don’t just talk. DO! Because all we really have to hold onto is what we do in the here and now. I realize it’s not an easy way to live all the time. But this book reminds us that life is precious. We can’t waste it. That WE are responsible for finding meaning to our own lives and making something special out of it. 
That’s how I see it. I did warn you.

Find Patrick Ness: WebsiteTwitter | Facebook | Goodreads

ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes, Review and Giveaway
Jul 4th, 2014 by Liza Wiemer

ONE PLUS ONE18693716

by Jojo Moyes

Review and Giveaway

Buy it here: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | IndieBound | Audible

 

From Goodreads:

One single mom. One chaotic family. One quirky stranger. One irresistible love story from the New York Times bestselling author of Me Before You
 
American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted stateside, she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation, Me Before You. Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story that reads like a modern-day Two for the Road.
 
Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.
 
One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.

My 5 star review:

Did you like the quirky characters in ELEANOR and PARK by Rainbow Rowell? If so, you will LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the characters in ONE PLUS ONE.

Jess is raising her daughter Tanzie and her ex-husband’s son Nicky on her own. She struggles to make ends meet, working two jobs and is barely able to pay her bills. She cleans houses for a living, is a bartender at night, and makes Tanzie’s clothes. Nicky wears makeup and dyes his hair blue/black goth. 
Jess lives day by day, sometimes minute by minute, trying desperately to keep her family together. She has this odd optimism that is contagious. One that keeps her going, despite every reason to feel disillusioned and pissed off at the world that seems to knock her and her kids down. Nicky is bullied and beaten, Tanzie is a genius at math, but even with a 90% scholarship to a top private school that would help her thrive, there is no money for the remaining 10%.

And then Ed comes into Jess’s and the kids’ lives. Ed is awkward and miserable and has many quirky issues of his own. Yet, he’s perfect for this family. He’s perfect for Jess and Jess is perfect for him. But it’s not so easy. He’s had several crappy relationships and plenty of betrayals in his lifetime. He seems to have everything, when Jess doesn’t. But that depends on how you define wealth. These two work. Except . . . 
Well . . . you’ll have to read what happens.

Like other novels by Jojo Moyes, ONE PLUS ONE addresses issues of “class” and money, people who have money and people who do not. Money—its importance, what it can buy and not buy, how it separates us, what happens when it’s lost, how true love trumps money—is definitely a central theme of Jojo’s novels, including SILVER BAY, ME BEFORE YOU, THE LAST LETTER FROM YOUR LOVER and THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND. I highly recommend them ALL!

ONE PLUS ONE adds up to PERFECTION. Here’s eleven reasons to read it:
1. Hope. When everything seems like nothing is going right, there are glimmers of hope and moments of incredible optimism and goodwill. This is a novel that renews the human spirit.
2. The portrait of a family. This is an unconventional family, but a family nonetheless. 
3. Love can be shown in many different ways.
4. Some people deserve second chances. Some do not. Not everything is always fair, but in the end, we can only hope things work out. Giving up is never the answer if something is truly important.
5. Sometimes parents are just lousy parents. Accepting it isn’t always so easy, but when you do, there can be peace.
6. Life is messy and complicated and people make mistakes. Own them.
7. It may seem like you don’t fit in ANYWHERE, but this world is made up of many, many, many different people. Eventually, you’ll find your tribe – people who think like you.
8. Being different/unique is GOOD!
9. Money is important, but it can’t buy love or happiness. (Duh.)
10. We might need to stand up for ourselves, but it’s even better when we stand up and help someone else.
11. ONE PLUS ONE isn’t a novel you’ll forget easily. It’ll stick with you a long, long time. Perhaps you’ll have a moment in your own life that challenges you, then you’ll think about these characters and find strength to work it through with the same optimism and strength Jess was able to muster. If so, a person will know that as long as there is life, there is hope of a better day, a chance at making amends, a chance for love, friendships and family. Whatever it might be, I think anyone with even a drop of optimism will find some great gems to hold onto from this novel!

Thank you so much to Pamela Dorman Books for a review copy of this novel.thumb.php

TO LEARN more about Jojo Moyes:

Her Website | Facebook | Twitter

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