Reviews

Mermaid by Jodi Picoult

Ruth West - Friday, September 08, 2017

Title: Mermaid
Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Amazon
Published: July 25, 2017
Genre: Contemporary





Mermaid isn't the first Jodi Picoult novel that I've read. I loved My Sister's Keeper and wanted to dive into this short read. Having discovered that it's a different kind of Kindle book, a Kindle in Motion, I was curious what the differences would be. I read the entire book in a matter of minutes and I read it on my laptop using the Kindle Cloud Reader, where the Kindle in Motion was not functional and offered no benefit. Which was probably good so that I could review the story without being influenced by the technological aspects. For starters, the beginning of the book is bland and there is too much telling instead of showing that is happening. I suspect the author was influenced by the idea of making this book incredibly short with the benefit of doing something "unique" and in doing so the beginning wasn't strong. As the story progressed however, I did feel the writing was more on par with what one would expect from Jodi Picoult or any author that is well-versed in writing fiction. Mermaid follows the story (although it does jump in spots and is strangely choppy in some scenes) of Hope Payne, a professional Mermaid that trains at an aquarium theme park. I do know that such a place exists, I recently learned about this from someone and it is interesting and a unique job. Don't expect for Hope to be a real mermaid or for the story to dive into an Ariel or Siren tale of fantasy. In fact, the prose though flowing nicely while in chapters, was also choppy in sections where there were breaks, making the story break up and feel disjointed. As a story, it doesn't offer a strong resolution, though there is an ending. Hope's husband is a marine biologist and he has filled a pool with flounder, ten of them, only to discover they are vanishing. What happens to them is quite fantastical but also leaves us rather open ended with what it all means. Mermaid would have made for an interesting first chapter in a longer story. As a book, solely, without any gimmicks it's not a strong story. I was never able to complete downloading the book on my phone. It hung up around 80 percent and never let me read or open it, which made it impossible for me to see the Kindle in Motion features.
Reviewed by Melanie P.


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Awaken My Heart by Maria K. Alexander

Ruth West - Thursday, August 17, 2017

Title: Awaken My Heart
Author: Maria K. Alexander
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Published: May 10, 2017
Genre: Contemporary




A sweet romance with plenty of sexual tension and a definite page-turner. Detective Nick is written with a sexy tone and a male that every straight girl will want to bring into the bedroom. He's charming and honest and the chemistry shared with his one-night stand fourteen years ago is like ever-present fireworks. He's relentless in asking her out again and she's tentative to say yes, given past and the secret she harbors. There's no having to wait or guess the secret too long, which I appreciate. There's tons of sizzle and plenty of plot to make this a well-rounded story. Pleased to find this an easy read to get into and one that I didn't want to put down, Awaken My Heart is the first book I've read from Maria K. Alexander and I happily look forward to reading anything else she writes. Fast paced, full of heart-racing contemporary style drama, you will love this book if you love sweet romances.
Reviewed by: Melanie P.


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Under the Stars by Kendra Delugar

Ruth West - Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Title: Under the Stars
Author: Kendra Delugar
Publisher: Kendra Delugar
Published: June 4, 2017
Genre: Contemporary




This was a sweet, well-written book. Sophie and Gabriel were very real characters and I could relate to what was going on for each of them. The pace of their relationship development made sense and I enjoyed the story. I am looking forward to reading other books by this author.
Reviewed by Robin D.


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Flood by Elaine Cantrell

Ruth West - Monday, August 14, 2017

Title: Flood
Author: Elaine Cantrell
Publisher: Wings ePress, Inc.
Published: June 1, 2017
Genre: Contemporary




This story was fantastic, with plenty of plot surprises that I didn't expect! At first, I didn't understand how Dr DeLuca could trust an ex-con so easily. But the story line moved quickly and answered my questions. It's really a story of a woman meeting and falling for the guy from the wrong side of the tracks. He's got a heart of gold that even the animals at her shelter recognize. It's the kind of story that stays with you because of the intensity of the circumstances and you remember the characters. I also liked that the author left some of the romance up to my imagination.
Sometimes less is more, and in this particular story, it would've been distracting, especially with regards to the unfolding drama.
The only thing I had any trouble with was being sure I had the right pronunciation of the heroine's (and her mom's) names.
I really enjoyed reading this story and hope to read more from this author.

Reviewed by Liz


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Romancing Dr. Love by Rebecca Heflin

Ruth West - Thursday, August 10, 2017

Title: Romancing Dr. Love
Author: Rebecca Heflin
Publisher: Rebecca Heflin Books
Published: March 7, 2017
Genre: Contemporary




Full disclosure, I’ve never read a book by Rebecca Heflin, but I will now be adding her to my ‘to be read’ list. This book, “Romancing Dr. Love” is full of humor and romance. The two main characters are people I would actually want to be friends with. Samantha has a very analytical mind which makes her not want to have anything to do with having a boyfriend. Ethan only has eyes for Samantha and is all about romancing her which she does not understand the concept of. Opposites definitely attract in this great start to a series that I will continue to read.
Reviewed by Kimberly Green

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Right Text Wrong Number by Natalie Decker

Ruth West - Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Title: Right Text Wrong Number
Author: Natalie Decker
Publisher: Swoon Romance
Published: July 11, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult




The writing was mediocre and the storyline while intriguing the execution fell flat. The book had a great cover and interesting blurb but while reading I could not connect with the characters. While the book is geared toward a young adult audience and teens, the writing felt dumbed down and made the teens look immature. The writing suffers from the issue of telling rather than showing emotion. There are young adult books that show teens being intelligent and thoughtful characters, with a voice that is mature while still struggling through adolescence. This book was too juvenile in terms of writing but with content for upper YA. There are moments I absolutely can't stand Layla's character. Her boyfriend ditches her and she has to get a ride from someone else and then she instantly forgives him within seconds of seeing him. Then the next chapter this just made me cringe.

"I hope he's not in an accident somewhere. Then again, I hope he is because then I can't be mad at him for being this late."

That line makes Layla seem incredibly selfish. She should have stood up to him for ditching her, rather than forgive and forget and pretend it was no big deal. Who wishes someone was in an accident for being late? That is just an awful thing to think. The writing and story for me just didn't work.

Reviewed by Jenna Malone

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Legacy by Hannah Fielding

Ruth West - Sunday, August 06, 2017

Title: Legacy
Author: Hannah Fielding
Publisher: London Wall Publishing
Published: August 4, 2016
Genre: Contemporary



I give the book 5 stars. Ms. Fielding did a beautiful job of writing. She did a wonderful job of pulling the reader into the book. While reading you feel like you are in Spain experiencing the same thing as Luna and Ruy. One book I highly recommend others to read.
Reviewed by Samantha H.

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Running Wild by J. L. Sheppard

Ruth West - Friday, August 04, 2017

Title: Running Wild (Hell Ryders MC Book 1)
Author: J.L. Sheppard
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Published: June 10, 2016
Genre: Contemporary




From the moment I pick it up to the moment I finished I was intrigued. Sometimes I wanted to step into the story and put my two cents in or knock someone silly to get them on the right track. It has everything, mystery, intrigue, anger, uncertainty, and most important love, you know, the kind that hits you at first sight and just won't let go. Of course the main characters go through hell and back trying to deny their feelings (hence wanting to step into book). The love and raw sexuality are mind blowing and how everyone has each others backs is the way the life they live is. If you are one of theirs they will protect you but if you screw with one of theirs lo and behold to your soul. I could go on and on but I need to get more of J. L. Sheppard's books to read, this one was my first from her and I guarantee it won't be my last.
Reviewed by Anna L.


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His Ex's Little Sister by Bella Love-Wins

Ruth West - Thursday, July 20, 2017

Title: His Ex's Little Sister
Author: Bella Love-Wins
Published: July 12, 2017
Publisher: Bella Love-Wins Books
Genre: Contemporary 





His Ex's Little Sister has a lot of depth and a decent amount of backstory that makes the book well-rounded, while being a quick read. I finished this story in less than two hours. Reid's character is charming and likable, even with his history of having abandoned his high-school girlfriend. He accepts responsibility for his actions and doesn't flinch in the face of danger. At times he's a little too pushy toward Robin but he's not anything like her ex-boyfriend that is just plain awful. I would have liked the author to expand on this further, making the book a little longer. Also, at times I found Reid's work to be an important part of the story but not as exciting as I'd have liked. I much more enjoyed the scenes between Reid and Robin. The ending came quick and though I appreciated that there was an epilogue added, I would have liked the pacing at the end to be slower.
Reviewed by Kate

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That Boy by Jillian Dodd

Ruth West - Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Title: That Boy
Author: Jillian Dodd
Publisher: Jillian Dodd Inc.
Published: Jan 13, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary




The writing in That Boy, comes across as juvenile. Maybe it was intentional with chapters spanning back as far as fourth grade, but I would have rather had flashbacks or a series of memories from an adult's writing with a juvenile perspective. Even more mature writing would have made the story stronger. Instead the sentences were short and choppy, grammatically correct but bland to read. I could not for the life of me get into Jay's character and like her. She's kissing Danny for "learning-sake" while getting ready for a date with another boy. It made me hate her character, this juvenile behavior and yes she's a teenager but I feel like the writing and characterizations make Jay look even more immature and selfish. That Boy lacked substance that other young adult titles like The Selection, Looking for Alaska, Fangirl, Delirium, and Before I Fall are drenched in. I wanted to love That Boy, even with the writing not up to my taste and I kept reading as the main character grew older, hoping that her story would mature, but I just didn't feel a solid connection to the story or the characters.
Reviewed by: Chloe Stafford

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