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Saturday, December 24, 2016

An Exaltation of Larks by Suanne Laqueur Review

September 11, 1973: Eleven-year-old Alejandro Penda watches from his apartment window as Santiago, Chile falls to a military coup, destroying his family and his childhood. Arriving alone in America, he’s taken in by the Larks: a prominent family in the town of Guelisten. Though burdened by unresolved grief for his disappeared parents, he becomes fiercely loyal to the Larks, eventually marrying one of their daughters, Valerie.

September 11, 2001: Javier Landes watches from his apartment window as New York City falls to terrorism. As one of Manhattan’s top-paid male escorts, this professional lover has never lacked for company and is loyal only to himself. But in the wake of 9/11, Jav is named guardian for an orphaned nephew in Guelisten and must open his carefully-guarded heart to pain he's long suppressed.

Alex, Valerie and Jav meet first in their twenties, with a sudden attraction each finds strange and compelling. When they meet again in their forties, they discover not only is their bond still strong, but their life experiences are strangely similar. All have been shaped by separate 9/11's, and their unfinished business from the past will change everything they know about love, loyalty and friendship.

"Life has rules. You cannot come in the middle of the night and take what we agreed isn't yours."

Across three decades and two continents, Suanne Laqueur's fifth novel explores the unpredictability of sexual attraction, how family ties are forged, torn and mended, and how love's downfall can turn to exaltation.


An Exaltation of Larks

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so thankful that this book was brought to my attention. It is definitely my favorite read of 2016 and the best I've read in a long time (that's saying something because I read a lot). I loved everything about it. I had many smiles and tears along the way. My heart squeezed and soared.
The story follows main characters and the people in their lives for several decades, from childhood to middle age. It's a tale of connected families. Death, love, tragedy, war, hope, lust, friendship, parenthood, PTSD, prejudice, pain, culture, family, loss, happiness, sexuality, marriage...basically every human emotion and state of being are covered. The story is told from several points of view, two being an American refugee from Chile who lost most of his family and a Dominican American who was disowned by his family. The cast is from all walks of life, ages, races, etc. The storyline was completely original for me. It's a novel about living and all the ups and downs and snapshot moments and bigger pictures. Issues don't always tie up neatly or quickly. Just like reality sometimes the tone is heartbreaking, bittersweet, beautiful or magnificent.
I'm still so deep in the feels that I can't get it out of my head. This author truly has a gift. There are a lot of good books out there, but finding something that touches me on this level is a rare unicorn. Bravo!

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

FAITHFUL by Alice Hoffman Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Marriage of Opposites and The Dovekeepers comes a soul-searching story about a young woman struggling to redefine herself and the power of love, family, and fate.

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

Alice Hoffman’s “trademark alchemy” (USA TODAY) and her ability to write about the “delicate balance between the everyday world and the extraordinary” (WBUR) make this an unforgettable story. With beautifully crafted prose, Alice Hoffman spins hope from heartbreak in this profoundly moving novel.



4.5 stars

This is a great story for mature teens and adults in my opinion. The main character goes through bits of those stages of her life during this book. It highlights how some things and people will affect you forever and how some things and people will not remain the focus of your life. It shows how a person can change everything around and how pain and joy come and go. The lead is in a tragic accident, which stops her from moving forward. After trying to end it, she has to reset her life. She slowly heals and finds her path. Really, it’s hard to sum up this story because I can’t explain the depth of life that takes place within its words. I definitely recommend this book.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Roman by Sylvain Reynard Review

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Gabriel trilogy comes the highly anticipated conclusion to The Shadow, a sensual novel set in Florence featuring the dangerously intoxicating coupling of Raven and William…

Raven and her sister, Cara, are at the mercy of a small detachment of Florentine vampyres, who are delivering them as a peace offering to the feared Curia in Rome.

Though she’s unsure William survived the coup that toppled his principality, Raven is determined to protect her sister at all costs, even if it means challenging Borek, the commander of the detachment.

In an effort to keep Raven from falling into the hands of his enemies, William puts himself at the mercy of the Roman, the dangerous and mysterious vampyre king of Italy. But the Roman is not what he expects …

Alliances and enmities will shift and merge as William struggles to save the woman he loves and his principality, without plunging the vampyre population into a world war.

This stunning conclusion to the Florentine series will take readers across Italy and beyond as the lovers fight to remain together. Forever.


The Roman (The Florentine #3)The Roman by Sylvain Reynard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book wraps the series up in a wonderful way. Nothing is really left hanging, but there's room for more if the author ever chooses to continue. I love the way The Florentine books show historical people, places and art. Artwork is a major focal point throughout The Roman as it was in the others. With vampyres, battles and life or death situations, it still takes time to appreciate the beauty of the visual arts. I like how the idea of vampyres is approached differently in this book. The connection to religion makes it stand out from any other stories I've read. I also love how the goal isn't to become a beautiful, perfect immortal. Actual substance means so much more than outward appearance. The love is epic and felt deeply. I recommend The Roman for sure, but you will have to read the previous books first.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

Saturday, December 10, 2016

SCARLET STONE by Jewel E. Ann Release Blitz Review


Title: Scarlet Stone

Author: Jewel E Ann

Genre: A romantic suspense standalone
Release Date: December 10th, 2016


“My name is Scarlet Stone, and my biggest fear is that someday I will find what I want most in life, and it will be impossible to steal.” 

What happens when life just stops? When one moment makes you question your entire existence?

Scarlet Stone is a third-generation thief who has everything: a doting fiancé, a spacious London flat, and a legitimate job offer. In a single breath, everything becomes nothing, and she finds herself on a plane to Savannah, Georgia in search of the meaning of life.

After securing a six-month lease for a beachfront house on Tybee Island, Scarlet changes the way she looks, thinks, eats—basically her entire outlook on life. She needs peace, but what she gets is a housemate who looks like Thor, acts like a warden, and smells her proximity like a Bloodhound.

Theodore Reed is a carpenter and perfectionist with a body built of steel, a black, hollow heart, and a hunger for revenge. He doesn’t like company, girly-smelling crap, and British accents.

He resents every breath she takes.  
She’s fascinated by his every move.

In time, they discover their coexistence is toxic, their physical attraction is electric, the secrets they keep mean the difference between life and death, and the only truth they share is that everything is a lie.

“Over eighty-five percent of the world's population believes in a higher power, yet, very few people believe in miracles.”

Do you believe?  


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Special preorder pricing of 2.99 - regular 4.99  

About the Author
Jewel E. Ann
Adult Contemporary Romance Author

Jewel is a free-spirited romance junkie with a quirky sense of humor.

With 10 years of flossing lectures under belt, she took early retirement from her dental hygiene career to stay home with her three awesome boys and manage the family business.

After her best friend of nearly 30 years suggested a few books from the contemporary Romance genre, Jewel was hooked.  Devouring two and three books a week but still craving more, she decided to practice sustainable reading, AKA writing.

When she’s not donning her cape and saving the planet one tree a a time, she enjoys yoga with friends, good food with family, rock climbing with her kids, watching How I Met Your Mother reruns, and of course . . .heart-wrenching, tear-jerking, panty-scorching novels.

Author Links

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Scarlet Stone

4.5 stars

This author is good at creating wonderful female leads. Scarlet is so original. I can't compare her to any others from recent books I've read. I love this because it seems so often that the women in romance books can only have a couple of personalities. Scarlet is multidimensional with her very own flaws and attractions.

Actually every person in this story is not the average role. I'd say they're all a little 'off' in some way, and it makes them very interesting and not easily figured out. I was never quite sure what action or reaction someone would have in each scene of this story. I like that.

Theo is unusual type of romantic hero. He's not the kind of man who sweeps you away. He grows on you. I love Theo and Scarlet. They definitely have a relationship that pulls out all the emotions. If you like troubled characters with big hearts, this is that couple. Even though it's not really his story, Scarlet's dad, Oscar, stole the show for me. I completely fell for him. ♥

The storyline surprised me often. Sometimes it felt like a spiritual journey and really spoke to me on that level. Other times the passion was intense, or the plot felt suspenseful. There are some twists and mysteries that I didn't even know were going to play out connected to everything. If you're looking for a romance with a different feel, please check this out. It's sexy, exciting, thoughtful and just a bit of everything. I enjoyed it.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents