Sunday, April 26, 2015

Flirting with Felicity - Gerri Russell

Date Started: 4/10/15
Date Finished: 4/12/15

Ok, to be clear, this was a Kindle First freebie...and I was feeling like some light reading.

Here's the Amazon blurb: A lovable chef, a sudden inheritance, and a relentless billionaire are just a few of the tasty ingredients in Flirting with Felicity. But what really makes this novel stand out are its decadent descriptions, which had me salivating over the protagonist’s culinary creations—and her handsome adversary. If you’re anything like me and enjoy your stories savory, you’ll love delving into this multilayered romance that comes with a heaping side of escapism. 

Though Felicity Wright’s dream seems to come true when she inherits the hotel and restaurant where she serves as head chef, it turns out she must go toe-to-toe with sexy Blake Bancroft, the nephew of the late owner, if she doesn’t want that dream to deflate like an ill-timed soufflĂ©. 

So the premise of the book is that this is good-hearted Felicity vs. business-man Blake. Felicity, of course, cares about all of the employees and wants to ensure they are taken care of. Blake on the other hand, wants to completely renovate the hotel to make it a green property - because he cares about the environment (see, he's not all bad!) - though that would mean everyone loses their jobs while the hotel is being renovated. 

So why, oh why, did the deceased leave the hotel to Felicity when he knew Blake would show up...?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tumbleweeds: A Novel - Leila Meacham

Date Started: 3/13/15
Date Finished: 3/18/15

I saw this book at a Half Price Books and thought it looked interesting. Given how obsessed I am with getting books for free from the library though my Kindle, I figured I'd check and see if this one was available. Hooray - it was!

Ok, per usual, here is the official book blurb.

Recently orphaned, eleven-year-old Cathy Benson feels she has been dropped into a cultural and intellectual wasteland when she is forced to move from her academically privileged life in California to the small town of Kersey in the Texas Panhandle where the sport of football reigns supreme. She is quickly taken under the unlikely wings of up-and-coming gridiron stars and classmates John Caldwell and Trey Don Hall, orphans like herself, with whom she forms a friendship and eventual love triangle that will determine the course of the rest of their lives. Taking the three friends through their growing up years until their high school graduations when several tragic events uproot and break them apart, the novel expands to follow their careers and futures until they reunite in Kersey at forty years of age. Told with all of Meacham's signature drama, unforgettable characters, and plot twists, readers will be turning the pages, desperate to learn how it all plays out.

Spoilers ahead:

Yes Please - Amy Poehler

Date Started: Sometime in March 2015
Date Finished: Approximately 7-10 days later

Here's the book blurb:

Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central's Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby MamaBlades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy's one-liners?
If your answer to these questions is "Yes Please!" then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like "Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend," "Plain Girl Versus the Demon" and "The Robots Will Kill Us All" Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

And here are my thoughts...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

This Shattered World - Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Date Started: 2/23/15
Date Finished: 2/25/15

I was SUPER excited to get my hands on this sequel to "These Broken Stars," which I loved (see my post here).

Here's the official book blurb:

Jubilee Chase and Flynn Cormac should never have met.

Lee is captain of the forces sent to Avon to crush the terraformed planet's rebellious colonists, but she has her own reasons for hating the insurgents.

Rebellion is in Flynn's blood. His sister died in the original uprising against the powerful corporate conglomerate that rules Avon with an iron fist. These corporations make their fortune by terraforming uninhabitable planets across the universe and recruiting colonists to make the planets livable, with the promise of a better life for their children. But they never fulfilled their promise on Avon, and decades later, Flynn is leading the rebellion.

Desperate for any advantage against the military occupying his home, Flynn does the only thing that makes sense when he and Lee cross paths: he returns to base with her as prisoner. But as his fellow rebels prepare to execute this tough-talking girl with nerves of steel, Flynn makes another choice that will change him forever. He and Lee escape base together, caught between two sides in a senseless war.
The stunning second novel in the Starbound trilogy is an unforgettable story of love and forgiveness in a world torn apart by war.

Full spoilers ahead!

Monday, February 23, 2015

The Runaway King - Jennifer A. Nielsen

Date Started: 2/18/15
Date Finished: 2/20/15

Ok, as I said in my summary for the first installment of this book (The False Prince), I really like this author's voice. The narration is crisp, the plot hums along and it's a really enjoyable read. All of this continued in the second book in the series.

Here's the official book blurb:

A kingdom teetering on the brink of destruction. A king gone missing. Who will survive?
Just weeks after Jaron has taken the throne, an assassination attempt forces him into a deadly situation. Rumors of a coming war are winding their way between the castle walls, and Jaron feels the pressure quietly mounting within Carthya. Soon, it becomes clear that deserting the kingdom may be his only hope of saving it. But the further Jaron is forced to run from his identity, the more he wonders if it is possible to go too far. Will he ever be able to return home again? Or will he have to sacrifice his own life in order to save his kingdom?

The stunning second installment of The Ascendance Trilogy takes readers on a roller coaster ride of treason and murder, thrills and peril, as they journey with the Runaway King.

Spoilers ahead:

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sleeping Arrangements - Madeleine Wickham (Sophia Kinsella)

Date Started: 2/15/15
Date Finished: 2/15/15

Bought this one before going out of town on a quick weekend trip (with toddler in tow). Hence, I needed a book that didn't require a lot of concentration -- chick-lit it is! Here's the official blurb on this one:

Chloe needs a holiday. Her partner, Philip, has troubles at work, and the whole family wants a break. Hugh is not a happy man. His immaculate wife, Amanda, seems more interested in her new kitchen than in him—and he works so hard to pay for it, he barely has time for his children. Maybe he’ll have a chance to bond with them on holiday…
When the two families arrive at a villa in Spain for their respective vacations, they all get a shock—it has been double-booked. An uneasy week of sharing begins, and tensions mount in the soaring heat. But the temperature isn’t solely to blame: What no one else realizes is that Chloe and Hugh have a history—and that the “accidental” overlap might not have been so accidental after all…

Spoilers ahead!

The False Prince - Jennifer A. Nielsen

Date Started: 2/9/15
Date Finished: 2/14/15

Official book summary:

In this first book in a remarkable trilogy, an orphan is forced into a twisted game with deadly stakes.

Choose to lie...or choose to die.

In a discontent kingdom, civil war is brewing. To unify the divided people, Conner, a nobleman of the court, devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king's long-lost son and install him as a puppet prince. Four orphans are recruited to compete for the role, including a defiant boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner's motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword's point -- he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. But Sage's rivals have their own agendas as well.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner's sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of treachery and deceit unfold, until finally, a truth is revealed that, in the end, may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

An extraordinary adventure filled with danger and action, lies and deadly truths that will have readers clinging to the edge of their seats.

Per usual, TOTAL spoilers ahead...