Sunday, 2 November 2014

On the Fence by Kasie West

On the Fence by Kasie West

Published on 1 July 2014
Genre: YA Romance
Page Count: 296

Synopsis

For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn't know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she's spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.

To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can't solve Charlie's biggest problem: she's falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.


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RATING



On the Fence is a light and enjoyable read which I finished in one sitting. The characters in the books are such darlings and when you mix in all the family teasing, the sweet chat by the fence and the character development in Charlie, it becomes a difficult-to-put-down book for me.

There isn't much going on in the book except the progress and transition in Charlie as she went from a tomboy to slowly discovering how to be a girl, how to go about handling it and to accept herself for who she was was. The love interest may be obvious for the start but that doesn't hinder my reading. 

I'll be sure to read other books by the same author!





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Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Troublemaker Next Door by Marie Harte

The Troublemaker Next Door by Marie Harte
The McCauley Brothers #1

Published on 3 June 2014
Genre: Romance
Page Count: 337

Synopsis
He can fix her sink, but can he wrench his way into her heart?

Flynn McCauley never thought he’d be so clichĂ© as to fall for the girl next door. But when Maddie calls him over to help fix her faulty sink, he’s a goner. Too bad the fiercely independent interior designer wants nothing to do with him. Even worse, he’s forced to rely on the advice of his nosy brothers—and his five-year-old nephew!—to figure out how to make her give him a shot.


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RATING





Picked up this book after I saw the review at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and know that I will enjoy reading this book. We get to met the McCauley brothers--the whole lot of them--though this book focuses mainly on Flynn (nice name by the way). I enjoy reading the brotherly bonds--how they'd tease, fight and care for one another. 

Maddie is a tough girl and had a super bad day and it just so happens that Flynn was in her house, which she shared with 2 Abby and Vanessa, when she was venting to Abby. Imagine her shock when Maddie found out that there's a stranger in her house who heard her rant--but no, she turned her anger on him. Interesting right?

Maddie was told to apologize to the poor man, who came to help them with their sink, and so she did. The chemistry between the two of them was prevalent throughout the book and Maddie was just too stubborn to realize what was it she was feeling. *rolls eyes* Kudos to Flynn though! I had to admire his patience throughout their whole encounter and "agreement" and it came to a surprise to me that he was the one who realized his feelings first. 

I laughed a little at the epilogue, totally taken aback by the small surprise there. I'll definitely be picking up the second book and read about the second McCauley Brother. 



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Friday, 1 August 2014

{Cover Reveal} Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Aven Ellis





Chronicles of a Lincoln Park Fashionista by Aven Ellis

Release Date: September 10, 2014


Recent college graduate Avery Andrews is ready to begin a new life in the big city. She's landed an apartment in Chicago's famed Lincoln Park neighborhood–and has her eye on the cute commodities trader just a floor above.

If Premier Airlines knew about her fear of flying, they never would have hired her to be their marketing assistant—but it's not like Avery wants a lifelong career. Right now she simply wants a job to pay her bills…and fund a few little shopping excursions, too.

Her new lifestyle comes with a price tag, as Avery is not only faced with paying a ridiculous rent but finds she's perceived as one of the vacant, husband-hunting fashionistas who live in the area. Avery resents this stereotype—so she doesn't want a lifelong career, and she loves fashions she can't afford, but that doesn't mean she is empty-headed and spoiled, does it?

When an opportunity to participate in a documentary at work arises, Avery finds a two-fold solution to her problems. She'll earn extra money for it, and the documentary will show her as a serious career woman, enabling her to shed that husband-hunting fashionista label for good.

When the camera is on, Avery attempts to be a motivated professional woman. But when she is challenged by Deacon Ryan, the videographer assigned to cover her story, Avery finds herself wanting things she was never supposed to want—like a lasting career—and Deacon. And Avery might just gain more from the experience than a perfect career image and extra cash to put in her Tory Burch wallet…



About the author

I have always loved to write. I completed my first novel at the age of 15—an angst driven high school romance (Boy meets girl! Evil girl likes same boy! A deception! Will true love prevail?) Though I truly wanted to be a fiction writer, I also knew it was more practical to pursue a job in the communications field and write fiction on the side. So I went off to Purdue University and earned a degree in communication, writing for The Exponent along the way (apologies to anyone who fought through reading those early attempts at journalism.)

After a stint writing for a community newspaper and a public relations agency, and not enjoying what I was writing at all, I found myself a non-writing job and continued writing at night and on weekends. I completed multiple manuscripts that found a home under my bed. Complete it, print it, stick it in an envelope, slide under bed. It became a routine for me, similar to "Lather.Rinse.Repeat."

Finally, years later, I wrote Connectivity. I loved this story; I loved writing for William and MK. I became brave enough to share this story with new friends who became equally as passionate about these characters and their journey. They encouraged me to submit it to a publishing house. Then, in a critique group session, wine was poured and one of my partners, Lauren Linwood, pointed her finger at me and demanded that I submit Connectivity to a publisher, telling me the words every writer dreams of hearing—this will sell. I ended up submitting Connectivity to Soul Mate Publishing and now can happily say I am a published author.

I live in the Dallas area with my family. I enjoy clipping out recipes I will never get around to trying, working out, and chatting with friends on social media. I am particularly fond of British actors named Benedict and Henry. I love shopping and fashion and admit to being obsessed with whatever the Duchess of Cambridge is wearing. I am also obsessed with any show or cookbook featuring Gordon Ramsay.

And I do not believe in the Lather.Rinse.Repeat theory when it comes to shampooing my hair.





Tour Host



Wednesday, 30 July 2014

{Blog Tour Giveaway} Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen

Ready to Wed by Cindi Madsen

Published on 22 July 2014
Genre: Contemporary
Page Count: 350

Synopsis
Dakota Halifax loves to be in love. In fact, as one of Las Vegas’s premier wedding planners, she’s built a whole career around romance. Which is why her own wedding has to be nothing short of perfect. And then her fiancĂ© jilts her. While she’s waiting in her wedding dress. On a cruise ship already out at sea.

Once back on dry land, Dakota tries to pour her heart into her business and weekly wedding advice column, Get Ready to Wed. But how can the heartbroken celebrate others’ true love? When she reconnects with her childhood best friend, surprisingly sexy and all-grown-up casino bouncer Brendan West, Dakota wonders if maybe she can fall back in love with being in love.

But then her ex reappears, begging for another chance, and suddenly Dakota questions if she’ll ever understand love. Can someone once-burned and twice-shy ever find her way down the aisle again?


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About the author
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children. 

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The cover is just so cute! I like that pink background.
What do you think about the book?

{Blog Tour Review} Between the Layers by Sarajean Panek

Between the Layers by Sarajean Panek
The Traveller Series #1

Published on 16 July 2014
Genre: YA Fantasy
Page Count: 179


Synopsis
Most fifteen year old girls are trying to figure out who they are; I’m trying to stay alive long enough to figure out what.


I’ve always been on the run. From my guilt about the things I couldn’t change, and from the voice in my head that won’t let me be normal. But yesterday Tommy and I were in a car accident on the way home from school. When I woke up, Tommy was gone, and so was the world I grew up in. Now I’m running less in a metaphorical way, and more in a “pick up the pace if you don’t want to die” way. Why? Because my eyes are blue, and I’m lost in a fantasy world where that means I’m different. It means I might not be human. It means I should already be extinct, and someone called “The Regent” is determined to make me that way.


I need to find the way home, and before I do that, I need to find Tommy. He’s only in this mess because of me. I can’t do it on my own, but it’s hard to know who to trust when everyone keeps trying to kill me.


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RATING

Disclosure: I received a review copy via the author in exchange for an honest review.



What really captured my attention about this book at first glance wasn't its cover. It was that first sentence in the blurb. I was immediately intrigued by the main character and the mystery behind her situation.

Between the Layers is a refreshing read about 15 years old Sera and how she woke up in a strange place after the car accident with her friend Tommy. Tommy was not with her when she woke up and she was immediately in a dangerous situation. I was thrown into a magical world and I personally felt that the world building was pretty well done.  The interactions among the characters gave me a realistic picture of the world in Between the Layers. Sera pretty much acted her age--a little dramatic and compulsive at times but still a character that's really worth reading. People are convinced that she is the rumoured blue-eyed Princess Serendipity who has came back to save them but is she really that lost Princess?

The story is fast-paced and packed with actions--from waking up in a strange place and escaping from some unknown dangerous creatures to being locked up and escaping again and more... Romance takes a secondary place in this book, with only a light hint of romantic prospect between Sera and one of the guys in there, that's all. I really appreciate that part of the book and makes the read more exciting. I  also like how the mystery unfold in phases throughout the book and how it leads to the end where one important part of the story is concluded. However, the story will continue in book 2 as there's more to the overall picture. Looking forward to book 2!




About the author
SaraJean Panek has loved books since before she could read. One of her earliest memories is of sitting with one of her two older brothers and following along the page as he read her “Rapunzel.” She’s been telling her own stories nearly as long. “Between the Layers” is SaraJean's debut novel. She travels at every opportunity, but currently lives in her hometown of Virginia Beach and spends most of her free time writing, the work she loves.

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Monday, 28 July 2014

{Weekly Wrap Up} 21-27 Jul 2014

Sunday Post is Hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer and 
Stacking the Shelves is Hosted by Tynga’s Reviews.

Just baked 2 small Japanese Castella cake after finding a suitable recipe online. What is amazing about this cake is that there isn't any butter at all. Nil! It only involves 4 ingredients--bread flour, sugar, honey and eggs! If you are interested, there are some videos available from: Ochikeron (this is where I learnt the receipe for Shiroi Koibito biscuits) & Namiko Chen. I used the one from Namiko Chen (and halved the ingredients) because Ochikeron used milk as additional ingredient.

Castella Cake in progress:

Final Product
Made the mistake of flipping the top against the wire rack... But it still tastes good!



  • Review of Between the Layers by Between the Layers by Sarah Penek
  • Teaser Tuesday



Borrowed Audiobook to listen on the way to and from work.

Send me your links and I'll pop by to check them out! :)
Tuesday, 22 July 2014

{Teaser Tuesday} City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra Clare


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Just grab your current read, open to a random page and Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page. Be careful not to include any spoilers. Hop around participating book blogs and have fun!




Published 27 May 2014


Teaser:
"Who's there?" he called, then frowned. "Of course," he added, addressing the darkness all around, "even I, as a Shadowhunter, have seen enough movies to know that anyone who wells 'Who's there?' is going to be instantly killed." (Page 442)



Send me your links and I'll be sure to check them out!
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