Friday, 13 February 2015

Movie Review: 50 Shades of Grey written by EL James directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson ***spoiler alert***

When Anastasia Steele, a literature student, goes to interview the wealthy Christian Grey, as a favor to her roommate Kate Kavanagh, she encounters a beautiful, brilliant and intimidating man. The innocent and naive Ana started to realize she wants him, despite his enigmatic reserve and advice, she finds herself desperate to get close to him. Not able to resist Ana's beauty and independent spirit, Christian Grey admits he wants her too, but in his own terms. Ana hesitates as she discovers the singular tastes of Christian Grey - despite the embellishments of success, his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family - Grey is consumed by the need to control everything.  Written by MischaLeCroix

My Review:  First I want to advise readers that I did read the trilogy and enjoyed it.  I understand there has been a backlash and "boycott" planned of this movie due to some personal views.  I want to point out that I don't intend to sway anyones opinion as this is someones livelihood and hard earned earnings that would be effected, but feel I MUST report my honest opinion.

When I saw the original trailer I wasn't too excited as I wouldn't have chosen who they chose to be Christian or Ana.  Casting must have been very difficult and I couldn't imagine being in their shoes to fit the very descriptive characters portrayed in the books.  It must have also been a tough undertaking to get actors who were in proper physical shape and willing to bare most/all on screen.  I am sad to say that personally the movie did not live up to all the hype in my opinion.  In my view this movie didn't exude the "passion" and "feelings" I related to when reading the books.  I also found a lot of the movie felt to be "glorified porn".  The book includ what the characters are thinking which is VERY important in translating their motives  and actions but this is lost with the movie.  The characters seemed to get lost behind this big bad taboo of BDSM and the play room.

Another problem I have with this film is because the books gained such a strong cult following which will probably translate to more movie would have been nice to see a female actress with a more realistic body type.  I know that a lot of young adults will be looking at this film and strive for this unattainable tiny figure (which by the way was seen naked through most of the movie).  

I found the story to be very true to the book storyline except for the internal dialogues and was surprised by this factor that the film was still only rated R and not NC-17 or XXX.  

I would like to express that in no way did the movie change my opinions about the novels.  They were extraordinary!  I also loved all the scenery views specifically the ones of Seattle (my old stomping ground).  The soundtrack was wicked and at times I found myself gazing in the background and listening to the songs.

I would give this movie a 2 out of 5 as I was not that thrilled with the screenplay version.  I will probably not go see the next 2 (assuming this enterprise survives that long)

Friday, 16 January 2015

Book Review: Not Quite Forever by Catherine Bybee

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 827 KB
  • Print Length: 322 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1477825894
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (Nov. 4 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K6NJZZ2

Romance author Dakota Laurens believes that happily-ever-afters exist only between the covers of her sexy novels. But to her surprise, she finds a real-life hero when she meets a handsome emergency room doctor. The outspoken author feels an instant and intense attraction to Dr. Walt Eddy, and the feeling is mutual. When the globetrotting doctor pulls a disappearing act on Dakota, she’s prepared to write him off…until fate brings a blindsiding twist to her story.
Still scarred from a past tragedy, Walt may have disappeared on Dakota, but now he’s determined to win her back. For the first time in years, he knows he’s ready for a new chance at love. Yet between Dakota’s doubts and two sets of meddling parents, can the once-blissful couple finally create the bright, loving future they desperately want?
About the Author: Catherine Bybee

New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating from high school, she moved to Southern California with the hope of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. Now, she writes full-time. She has penned the popular Weekday Brides series as well as the beloved Not Quite series. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two sons.

My Review: It isn't often I find a series I want to sit (unpatiently) and wait for the next one.  It isn't often I feel a bit of a lost feeling after reading the last book.  In my opinion (I read over 200 books a year EASILY) these effects ensure that the writer is superb at what they do.  Catherine has a skill for bringing you into the story and feeling the passions just as strongly as the characters are feeling them.  She is highly skilled and as someone who has begun her own journey into writing recently...this book resonated even more with me.  The Character of Dakota was so true to herself but able to do what she loved and it is awe inspiring how both Walt III and Dakota listened to their hearts instead of their parents desires for them.  I am truly hoping to see a story for Mary and Glen soon!  Very exciting series! 5 out of 5 again!!

Book Review: Not Quite Enough by Catherine Bybee

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1307 KB
  • Print Length: 316 pages
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (Oct. 8 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CH37J66

Monica Mann has made it her life’s work to save lives. After an earthquake and tsunami hit the shores of Jamaica, she volunteers her trauma skills with Borderless Nurses. Calculating and methodical, Monica creates order out of whatever chaos she finds.
Until she finds the perpetually barefoot, impossibly masculine Trent Fairchild. No one can pin him down. No, really. He's a pilot and manages a small fleet of choppers on his adopted island home. Hopelessly drawn to one another, they manage to slip away from the wreckage to get a little closer. And they get a lot closer than expected when aftershocks from the earthquake trap them in their own life-or-death scenario. Paradise has brought them together. Now will it tear them apart?

About the Author: Catherine Bybee

New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the novels Wife by Wednesday, Married by Monday and FiancĂ© by Friday in her Weekday Brides series and Not Quite Dating and Not Quite Mine her Not Quite series. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.

My Review: Catherine did it again! I was completely entertained while she also managed to be thought provoking and pull a tiny bit on my heart strings....all simultaneously.  Congrats on a well written story.  I think the stories thus far are so well written I am curious as to if they are based on true characters...they seem so real with personality quirks and struggles just as any normal person goes through.  I am so in love with this series as it shows the struggles aren't just for the common person, but money doesn't buy happiness.  It also shows through persistence true love does triumph.  As soon as I finished this book yesterday I immediately downloaded the next instalment.  I loved the story of Monica and Trent but was highly emotional about the hospitals actions as I can easily see this happening to a nurse in real life...corporate bullies aren't to be tolerated and if a normal person ran into this they wouldn't have the resources Monica did in the book and it saddens me this could happen.   I am also effected by the Borderless Nurses program and how such a wonderful service can be provided for people in need.  I do not have the skills or capabilities to join such an organization but I am sure I'm not the only one wondering how someone without those skills could help.  Not just in a monetary way either.  I give this book a 5 out of 5 and am already well into the next book.  I hope Catherine doesn't stop this series anytime soon.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Book Review: Not Quite Mine by Catherine Bybee

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1307 KB
  • Print Length: 302 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 161109951X
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (May 7 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A3ZA598
Gorgeous hotel heiress Katelyn “Katie” Morrison seems to have it all. But when she crosses paths with Dean Prescott—the only man she’s ever loved—at her brother’s wedding, Katie realizes there’s a gaping hole in her life. After the ceremony she gets an even bigger surprise: a baby girl left on her doorstep. Determined to keep the newborn until she learns who her mother is, Katie has her hands full and doesn’t need Dean snooping around…especially when his presence stirs feelings she thought were long gone..
Dean Prescott knows Katie is lying to him about the baby. He shouldn’t care what the woman who broke his heart is up to…and he most certainly shouldn’t still be aching for her. Yet Dean can’t ignore the need to protect Katie—or the desire to be near her every chance he gets. But when he and Katie solve the mystery surrounding the baby, their second chance for happiness could be shattered forever.
About the Author: Catherine Bybee

New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the novels Wife by Wednesday and Married by Monday. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.

My review: This is the second book in the series -not quite.  I read through this book in one sitting.  I fell in love with Jack and Jessie in the first along with the quirky sisters Katie and Monica in the first book so it wasn't a stretch for me to know I would enjoy a continuation of this story.  I am capable of solving puzzles quickly and figured out early on who Savanna's birth mom was.  I appreciated how the story showcased mothers who aren't fit and also mothers who aren't capable of carrying.  This hits home close to me as I know many mothers who in my opinion aren't capable of raising a kid and are...and also I have very good friends who have struggled for many years to simple conceive on child to love and cherish.  I see both sides of this in real life but in the story it brings in another level with the emotional factors these people are likely to go through.  As a parent I can't conceive of ever letting my child go and I am certain this will be a problem later in life when she is grown...but I suppose some people just aren't meant to be mothers.  I was really touched by the depth of love in this story and how many different levels of plots Catherine is able to apply in one book.  I will be picking up the next book today to continue on this adventure.  Well written and entertaining but also thought provoking has earned this book a 5 out of 5.

Book Review: Not Quite Dating by Catherine Bybee

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 700 KB
  • Print Length: 259 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1612187145
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (Nov. 13 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008J2IS0K
Waitress and single mom Jessica “Jessie” Mann is practical to a fault. Even if she had time to date, which she doesn’t, she’d be determined to provide her son with a more secure upbringing than the one she had—and that would mean a husband with big bucks. When Jack Morrison—a sexy-as-sin, seemingly broke customer with a cowboy hat and a seductive grin—tries to flirt with her, she shoots him down. She doubts a carefree dreamer like Jack can provide the financial stability she needs. Yet with Christmas just weeks away, and Jessie not wanting to spend it alone, the charming Texan is proving hard to resist.
As the heir to the Morrison luxury hotel empire, Jack is used to being fawned over. But Jack needs someone who will fall in love with him—not his wealth. He’s set his sights on Jessie, though her hardened heart just might get in the way…To be sure, he conceals his true identity and offers to help Jessie find the rich husband she seeks. But Jack’s daring charade may rob him of the holiday wish he wants most of all…

About the Author: Catherine Bybee

New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the novels Wife by Wednesday and Married by Monday. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.

My Review: I found this book a very entertaining read!  I enjoyed reading about the depth of hurt but the road to overcome such hurt and loss.  As a parent I can understand the depth one might go to in self sacrifice for their own child.  Doing it alone is a commendable and difficult undertaking and Catherine doesn't gloss over the ugly parts of single parenting.  The genuine kindness in the "rich" and the fear they are both feeling when going into this "relationship" is very emotion provoking.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book and in the middle of the night when I finished it I immediately picked up the next book in this series.  What a wonderful read!  I give this book a 5 out of 5 and am sure to enjoy her writing again and again.  

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Book Review: For Their Happiness by Jayton Young

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 443 KB
  • Print Length: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Jayton Young (June 28 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008GE00GG

What do you do when your soul-mate doesn’t know you’re his? 

Crystie had always kept to herself, only having one friend.  She liked it that way, until she saw her mate for the first time.  He was everything she could dream of, athletic, honour society, genuinely nice, and defensive of those weaker than him.  The only problem; he was the soon to be Alpha and was in love with his childhood sweetheart.  They had grown up together and had always been faithful, so Crystie stayed hidden and never let him know. 

Trent had always had a soft spot for his best friend, Nikki, but they were not mates.  He had always looked for his mate, but as the years passed, he was giving up hope of finding her.  He had caught a scent of her when he was seventeen that made his wolf howl 'Mate!', but was never able to find who the scent belonged to.  As the time for hi to take over the pack came closer, he decided to mate with Nikki so the pack would have an Alpha Female. 

Now forces are after Crystie along with the problems she's having by not being with her mate.  What will happen if Trent doesn't discover Crystie is his mate and find her in time?

About the Author: Jayton Young

I've been thinking up stories since I was in high school, and when I mentioned in passing the idea of writing a book, my oldest son really got into it, encouraging me. Then he pulled in my daughter and youngest son to start bugging me, telling me I should really do it. I'm going to try to publish some of my works, and hopefully get better as I go. I have so many stories in my head, I hope people enjoy them as much as I enjoy writing them.

My Pen-name is dedicated to my three devilish angels


My Review:  I fell upon this book on accident while browsing goodreads.  I was intrigued as I love a good story and the heroine seemed strong yet Omega.  I enjoyed every second of this read and would easily pick up another book by Jayton.  I am impressed by the lack of historical writing but this author and would naturally assume with new books one isn't as well tuned to the read or to writing.  I look forward to reading more stories by this author and give it a 5 out of 5.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Book Review: Whats Left of Me (The Hybrid Chronicles Book 1) by Kat Zhang

  • Series: Hybrid Chronicles (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (August 13, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062114883
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062114884

Fans of Stephenie Meyer's The Host will enjoy What's Left of Me, Kat Zhang's shocking, thought-provoking, and emotionally charged story of two souls sharing one body.
What's Left of Me, the first book of the Hybrid Chronicles, is set in an alternate reality where everyone is born with two souls. But one soul is naturally dominant, and in early childhood, the other soul fades away.
That didn't happen for Addie and Eva. Now fifteen, Eva clings to life inside the body she shares with Addie, although she can no longer speak or even move.
Addie does everything she can to hide the presence of her sister soul. Eva's very existence is illegal. If their secret is revealed, it could mean death for both of them.

About the author: Kat Zhang

Kat Zhang is an avid traveler, and after a childhood spent living in one book after another, she now builds stories for other people to visit. An English major at Vanderbilt University, she spends her free time performing Spoken Word poetry, raiding local bookstores, and plotting where to travel next. She is represented by Emmanuelle Morgen of Stonesong. You can read about her travels, literary and otherwise, on her website or check her out on Twitter.

My Review:  I picked this book up as I had see HOST by Stephanie Meyers and it rang of similarities but not copying.  This is the first book by Kat Zhang I have read and I will admit I was wary at the onset and confused at times.  There wasn't a thorough introduction into the life of this world or any details as to how this happened.  I became intrigued by the duality of the people and the intense passion against change as humans have so often shown.  I loved the story and the depth of characters Kat portrayed.  The trials those poor children were going through was heartbreaking to read but I had faith the story would lighten up and end a little happier.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I look forward to picking up the next in this instalment and enjoying it.  I give this book a 5 out of 5 for keeping me captured. 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Book Review: Hell on the Heart (Shadow Men Book 1) by Nancy Brophy

  • File Size: 685 KB
  • Print Length: 268 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Nancy Brophy; 2 edition (January 6, 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

Czigany “Cezi” Romney is perfectly happy. Yes, she’d have liked to have graduated high school, perhaps even attended college and become a CSI rather than working for her father and Uncle as an asthmatic sidekick. But leaving Armadillo Creek would be impossible. A gypsy without family would be like a ship without a rudder - directionless, unable to function. 

Agent John Stillwater's scarred face reflects the life of man dedicated to protecting his country. Currently his team is dealing with a nationwide white slavery ring, but lack evidence to prove it. An unusual set of circumstances in a nowhere town in Texas leads John to investigate. 

Cain McIntosh’s career is making him rich. In his chauffeur-driven limo, his tailored suits, his ten thousand dollar watch and his private jet, Cain visits different towns each week and finds the girl of his dreams. Or so he says as he convinces her to come home with him and meet his family. Unfortunately, the girl who agrees to go, knowing she will be the envy of her friends, is never heard from again. 

Can a petite gypsy woman bring down a man the FBI can't find? Agent Stillwater isn't giving her a chance to find out. Like it or not, Stillwater plans to remain glued to her side. With her family watching his every move, it doesn't take tarot cards to read the heat between them.

About the Author: Nancy Brophy

Nancy Brophy grew up reading and writing. Her imaginary friends have rich lives and less self-doubts with stories that have beginning, middles and happy ending all within four hundred pages. She lives in the beautiful, green and very wet Northwest with her husband, two naughty dogs, PB and J, and forty rowdy chickens. 

They have spent fourteen nail-biting months living in an apartment while their house was rebuilt from a house fire in 2010.  In the process she has acquired and in-depth knowledge of kitchen cabinets, bathroom plumbing fixtures and leaking roofs.  One day she will find all of this funny and will write a story about it.  But it won't be this year.

My Review:  I was intrigued by the synopsis and figured I would give this novel a try.  I am very glad I did as I thoroughly enjoyed every second of this book.  It was very lively and I am now more convinced than ever that myself and my daughter are both somehow part gypsy in spirit if not by blood.  We both have the "firecracker" within us and this book was just so entertaining!  I liked how the bad guy had the "perfect looks" and the good guy had the "scars" but when looking into their hearts Cezi was able to see them for who they were.  I also enjoyed watching the struggle of Cain.  It is a sad day when we as a people are so desensitized by the idea of human trafficking and slavery that it doesn't effect us.   This book was so well written it effected me and was able to help put a pain behind the sensitized notions we hold.  I give it a 5 out of 5 and am looking forward to reading more by Nancy.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Book Review: Loves Games by Deborah Armstrong

  • Paperback: 218 pages
  • Publisher: XLIBRIS (August 5, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1499058802
  • ISBN-13: 978-1499058802

Quinn Thomas, Hollywood heartthrob and devoted family man has it all - two Oscars, a beautiful wife and a loving family, and still he wants more. In Love's Games, the stakes are high and losing isn't an option for Quinn when he jeopardises everything he holds dear to win his heart's desire. Davina Stuart Thomas, Quinn's loving wife, has only two rules for her husband - no games and no cheating. When Quinn decides to challenge the rules to get what he wants, Davina calls his bluff, turning Love's Games into a battle of wills. Love's Games is the third book in the Davina and Quinn series.

About the author: Deborah Armstrong

Deborah writes hot and spicy contemporary romance. Forever Love (April 2012) and Love's Promises (May 2013) are the first two in the Davi and Quinn romance series. Each book stands alone, however they should be read in order. Love's Games will be available in August 2014.

Deborah Armstrong lives with her family on a large dairy farm.  Her writing is a wonderful blend of farming, family and  fantasy.  You will learn interesting facts about cows and dairy farming through her books.  Meed the Ladies and see cows in a different light.  Romance and farming was never so hot.

My Review: Once again....Deborah Armstrong brings superior writing capabilities to the table and writes an amazing story.  I bought the first books when I was starting my blog and wanted to give myself a bit of variety, I wasn't overly enthused with the "older heroine" idea on the synopsis...but through three books and many plot twists I have grown to adore Davina and Quinn.  The third instalment of this series only reinforces how Deborah is able to create the depth of her characters and the world as they see it.  I bought this third book a few months ago at a local event (I happen to live near Deborah) and got to meet her.  I downloaded the ebook immediately but unfortunately I was in the middle of a new series I hadn't read and I tend to get swept away and feel a compulsion to read series' in order without interruption.  This book got lost in the library shuffle.  I found it again this morning and due to my being sick all day.  I must admit this book pulled me through a whole range of emotions.  I felt happy, in love, sad, angry, devastated, hopeful, jealous, and many other feelings. What an impactful ending that was!! without giving any spoilers can we say PLOT TWIST!!!  May be that I sat and read it in one sitting while sick but I feel exhausted now.  I truly hope this is not the end for this series as Deborah has a true writing gift.  I give this book a 5 out of 5.

Book Review: Promise Me by Barbie Bohrman

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: Montlake Romance (September 24, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1477849572
  • ISBN-13: 978-1477849576

Sabrina Chandler has had a rough go at love: just before her high school graduation, she found her boyfriend in the arms of her so-called best friend. 
Tyler Anderson, the town’s sexy bad boy, stepped out of the shadows then to save her pride. Drawing strength from him, she left everything behind and sought a new life for herself, far away from the pain and shame. 
Fast forward ten years: Sabrina is settled in Miami, happy at last—until her best friend urges her to attend her high school reunion and face her painful past once and for all. 
And…maybe meet the mysterious Tyler once again. 
Can Sabrina find the courage to face the demons in her past, let go of the pain, and move forward into happiness? Or will insecurity and self-doubt ruin her one chance to get the love she’s not sure she even deserves?

About the Author: Barbie Bohrman

Barbie Bohrman was born and raised in Miami, FL and ultimately moved to the Garden State where she currently resides with her two children. Life, and all that comes along with it and having long since given up on her dream of pursuing anything in the writing world, a prologue contest in a book club garnered her interest enough to throw her hat in the ring to see what, if anything, would come from it. From that contest came the roots of her debut novel, Promise Me. When she is not writing you can find her trying to get through the 1000+ books on her Kindle, or watching Lost or Seinfeld.

My Review: I started this book this morning and honestly could NOT put it down.  I was so spellbound to the pages the entire day passed and I finally finished it at 3:30am.  I haven't read a book in a while that had me feeling emotions right along with the book characters. This to me says the writer has an amazing ability.  I easily read 300+ books in the year without this is a huge compliment.  I fell in love with Tyler right along with Sabrina, felt my heart ache for her through all her trials and honestly would admit I would probably have been even more of a mess than she was in most of it.  I will be following Barbie closely in hopes of finding more great reads of hers! I happily give this read a 5 out of 5.

Friday, 2 January 2015

Book Review: A Bite's Tale by Veronica Blade

  • File Size: 300 KB
  • Print Length: 180 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Crush Publishing Inc (January 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006U0DCO0

NOTE: This is a short and sweet young adult romance, about 155 pages

A Cinderella who spends her nights as a wolf. A prince with a taste for blood.

Seventeen year old Cydney struggles against her werewolf nature, trying to keep everyone around her safe. No way will she risk exposing the beast at the prince’s ball, no matter how her two cousins try to persuade her. Even as she attempts to get on with her life, Cydney can’t forget the boy she loved three summers ago — or what she did to him after losing control. 

Turned into a vampire to save his life, the prince refuses to live up to his royal duties. He just wants to find the girl he loved and lost...the werewolf girl who bit him. But his father, the king, commands him to attend a ball where he must choose a wife. Can he find his Cinderella before he's forced to marry another? He doesn’t even have her real name, much less a glass slipper.

About the Author: Veronica Blade

Veronica Blade lives in Southern California with her husband and children. By day she runs the family business, but each night she slips away to spin her tales. She writes stories about young adults to relive her own childhood and to live vicariously through her characters. Except her heroes and heroines lead far more interesting lives--and they are always way hotter.

My Review: This is a short story but unlike most short didn't leave a cliff hanger or me wanting more.  The writing style was reminiscent of a young adult author and would easily attract the attention of teens and tweens.  I loved the whole twist on the classic fairy tale and how there weren't evil stepsisters but wonderful cousins.  What a great story!
I give this a 5 out of 5!