Monthly archives "April 2014"

Review- When Summer Comes

When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek, #3)When Summer Comes by Brenda Novak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the third book in the Whiskey Creek series. I’m a little late reading most of them, as these are all older releases; however I fell in love with the series after reading a free download of the novella When We Touch and I’m avidly trying to catch up.

Levi and Callie’s story was a surprise from me. I was expecting a different path for Callie after reading the previous book; however I loved the direction Mrs. Novak took. It’s a heart wrenching yet a believable tale of two people, both fighting for their lives only in different ways. I love the way she draw’s out emotion from her readers, in fact, as in most of her books, I find myself so emotionally involved, my stomach aches and my pulse races. That’s what makes a great story from my perspective.

I can’t wait to get into the next three books that are already out, as well as, hoping that she continues the series. There are so many characters she’s introduced us to that you want to read and hear about their tales as well.

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Review- Loving Ellie

Loving EllieLoving Ellie by Lindsey Brookes

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Ellie Sanders is a pregnant, small town coffee shop owner whose fiancé was just killed in a freak car accident. Her hardworking and stubborn attitude derives from growing up in the foster care system after being passed around from different family members. She’s never known true love, not even with her dead fiancé until Lucas Tanner shows up.

Lucas Tanner not only recently lost his brother (Ellie’s fiancé); three years ago, he lost his wife and child too. He returns home when he learns of his brothers death, and learns that his brother was expecting a child and had a fiancé he knew nothing about.

I am on the fence with this review. While the beginning of the book was set up perfectly and I enjoyed it very much, somewhere it started jumping around with scenes not unfolding smoothly. One minute the characters would be at one place doing something and then you would quickly jump days ahead without any transition. The last several chapters were bits and pieces that just didn’t seem to fit together. I also felt this caused an unbalance in the chemistry with the hero and heroine. You feel their friendship turning into something more and then BAM! They are in love. Then there was two other POV’s introduced about midway through that I felt could have been a whole other storyline or if the author wanted to introduce them here, could have been done through the two main character’s POV instead of oddly adding two more people into the story.

Overall, the premise was good, the beginning kept you wanting more; however the ending was rushed. 2.5 Stars

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Review Rating Guidelines

I typically read romance in general, with contemporary romance being my choice of genre, however I venture off to other subjects too.  I hope that any author who reads a review I’ve written on behalf of their book understands that I’m one person in a world of millions and my opinion is just that…mine.  So I thought that maybe I should decode the way I decide on what kind of rating a book gets and hopefully clarify what I honestly think of your book.
***** 5 Star- Your book was awesome.  There isn’t anything I would change about it.  I couldn’t put it down (probably read well into the middle of the night) and was still thinking about it for days afterwards (what we bookworms call a book hangover).

****  4 Star- Your book was great.  Maybe it didn’t leave me with the feeling of lonesomeness the next day, but I will be sure to add you to my favorite author list.

***  3 Star- This is honestly where most books fall for me.  If I rate your book three stars, you can be sure that I liked it and definitely would be open to reading more of your work.

**   2 Star- Overall, I thought the story was okay.  Maybe the writing wasn’t as well as I thought it should be or it could be the direct opposite; the writing was done nicely and the storyline wasn’t there.

*    1 Star-   I usually give 1 Star to those stories that both the storyline and writing didn’t hold up.  I have been known to lose interest in a story that I found completely unbelievable no matter how well written and those usually end up here as well.

Basically, I’m pretty easy to please (at least I think so).  I can usually find something I like in almost everything written.  I’m die hard about if I start the story, I have to finish it.  It’s a compulsion. I feel that if someone put the time and hard work into writing it, I can at least give them the respect of seeing their project through. If you are interested in requesting a review, please send an email to authordenarogers@gmail.com, with your name, title of book and a link to the book if possible.  If you do not have a link, please supply a short blurb. As I stated above, I prefer romance, but will consider other genres if it sparks my interest.  Please note that I work full time, have a family, am currently working on my own writing, and post reviews for a number of sites.  Therefore, I cannot accept every request and ask that you do not send me a copy of your work unless asked to do so.  Also, I cannot guarantee timelines, but will try to keep in mind if a specific date is requested.  I am also open to guest post and book spotlights on my blog.  If this is something that interest you, again, please email me at authordenarogers@gmail.com with your request.  At this time, I am not hosting blog tours.

Review- Until I Saw Your Smile

Until I Saw Your SmileUntil I Saw Your Smile by J.J. Murray

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was provided a copy of Until I Saw Your Smile from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

First, let me say that to the best of my knowledge, this is the first story I’ve read that comes solely from the man’s POV, which added a nice refreshing twist.

The beginning of the story starts out with the main character Matthew going on a series of bad-hilariously bad dates after his girlfriend of a year leaves him. He then finds himself sharing the previous nights adventures with Angela, a coffee shop owner. Of course we see where it’s going quickly; but there are all sorts of twist and bumps along the way.

I loved the beginning of the book. I laughed, then reread passages so that I could laugh again and then even started telling my co-workers and husband about the things I was reading. About midway through, the tone turned more serious and although I liked the direction it took, there were a few things that drew me away from the story. The funny internal dialogue I liked so much turned a little obtrusive and didn’t let the story unfold smoothly for me. There was also an overload of information a few times that I could have done without. Lastly, there were a couple of instances of “that would never happen” that got to me. However, I was happy to see the author addressed his lack of knowledge relating to law at the end of the book. It may not be a big deal to most (I personally work in the profession so I caught it quickly.) But we also have to remember this is fiction and keep in mind that some things just can’t stay true to real life. Overall I liked the story very much. I feel it deserves 3.5 stars.

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Review- Set To Love

Set To LoveSet To Love by Jennifer Rae Gravely

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a copy of Set To Love by Jennifer Rae Gravely through RomCon. It’s the story of two rival high school volleyball coaches that come together romantically. Randi (Randella) Sly is a young former professional volleyball player that comes back to her hometown to avenge the state title she lost as a player; she meets rival coach Blake Steele and quickly they begin challenging each other both on and off the court.

The story revolves around the school districts volleyball season, with each coach confident that their team will take home the state championship and each are willing to do anything to make that happen. Soon though, they find that they have more in common than coaching and begin spending time together much to the dismay of Randi’s father and most of her home town.

I felt Blake was a perfect hero and I say that because he was flawed yet exuded all the characteries a good hero has. It was Randi’s character that threw me. I found her to be immature for a late twenty something and the issues with her father I just didn’t undestand. On one hand she was a confident go-getter that would tell him what she thought; but then as soon as he demanded she do something, she did it without any fight. And the conflict the whole town had with her dating a rival coach seemed a little far fetched. I just didn’t feel her character was developed as well and not only in her personal life; but also in the relationship with Blake. Throughout the book, you’re given his thoughts and feelings towards her; but you never get that depth from Randi. You know she likes and misses him but her feelings of love aren’t conveyed throughlly.

This is a modest love story. There is no premarital sex, foul language or bad behavior. Not to say there isn’t any sexual tension, however it’s written in a way that you wouldn’t mind your teenage daughter reading. Overall, I liked it. There were times that I didn’t want to stop reading or couldn’t wait to get back to the story, therefore I found it enjoyable for the most part; however there was something lacking with the heroine that kept me from really loving it.

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NBA DRAFT….WHY DO WE CARE?

Because we are Kentucky, that’s why. Maybe I should back up a minute. “We” hasn’t always been a Kentuckian. I can’t pinpoint exactly when the change over happened. Up until the last couple of years, if you had asked me where home was, I would have said “I live in Kentucky but home is Texas.” I’m a transplant as my husband calls me, but at least I no longer feel like a foreigner- yup that’s what I was called when I first moved to this little slice of heaven sixteen years ago. What does any of that have to do with the NBA draft? Nothing except that three of the Kentucky freshman who will soon be making that decision, hail from The Lonestar State. In fact, Julius Randle is from Dallas and I was born there, so that makes us like brother and sister right? Um, except I’m technically old enough to be his mom…but that’s of no importance here.

So why have I chosen the NBA draft as my first blog? Because since the championship game, that’s all I’ve been hearing about. Plus I’m still reeling in from the loss. I wish I could say, just like the rest of the state; however there is this line drawn from about the Covington area straight down, dividing the Bluegrass into halves. Equal or not, I don’t know and honestly don’t care. I’m not a Louisville hater. Maybe it’s because I’m a “transplant” and just don’t get the whole Kentucky-Louisville rivalry. The way I see it, if the Wildcats aren’t going to win, by all means, I sure hope the Cardinals do. We all represent Kentucky in my book.

So who’s going? Who’s staying? And does it really matter? I’ve heard up to possibly seven Wildcats will enter the draft, all of which are freshman except Alex Poythress and Willie Cauley-Stein. The public’s opinion varies across the state and nation about the ethics of Kentucky recruiting players that leave and go to the NBA after a year of college. While I’m all for them staying in school and finishing up, I know that’s not an easy decision to make. Do I want them back? Definitely! Not only because I want another chance to bring home a title either. I think some kind of pride comes from being able to say “Hey, I got a degree in…..,” but I also know that college isn’t everyone dream (I’m already seeing this from a 12 year old and hope that I can gear him back toward academics). Now I know this is where people pipe in and say that it’s wrong to commit to a college only to leave after the first year and that it’s equally wrong for the college to recruit these players for reason’s other than their combined athletic and academic skills. I see it as a business deal. They come to us to play (hopefully winning a championship) and we pay them by giving them a scholarship. It’s no different than someone taking a job that they really don’t want, hoping that it gives them a foot in the door for something else they want to do. I’ve done it…most people have. If these kids use it as a stepping stone to attain their ultimate goal, then fine by me.

Ultimately the choice is theirs and I wish they were allowed some breathing room to think about it, but that’s not going to happen. I’m glad Julius Randle addressed the rumors. He didn’t confirm or deny, just said it was a decision he hadn’t yet made. We all expect him to go and if he does, best of luck to him and all the others. They worked their asses off this season even through all the scrutiny they recieved. Coming in, they were Kentucky’s dream team. Everyone expected big things and then a few losses came (okay, maybe more than a few) and suddenly no one expected much. Then tournament time and they started winning. And winning. And winning. I’m proud of these guys. More so that most of them are so young. They are essentially kids and to have handled themselves they way they did, I couldn’t be prouder to be a Kentuckian. Which brings me to my point. Why do we care? Because we don’t look at these guys as college athletes or soon to be pro-ballers. We see them as our family-who doesn’t want to claim one of the Harrison twins, with their infectious smiles as their own? They are no different than John Wall and all the others. Our love of Kentucky basketball is lived through them. So to the ones that intend to enter into the draft, best of luck. It was a great season, but know if you decide to stay, we’ll gladly keep you around.