Wednesday, August 27, 2014

North of Normal

NORTH OF NORMAL by Cea Sunrise Person
Copyright 2014
340 pages
ISBN  978-0062289865

In the late 1960's, Cea Sunrise Person's family left a comfortable existence in California to
escape civilization and live off the land in the Canadian wilderness. 

Living out her grandparents' dream with her teenage mother, Michelle, Cea knew little of the
world beyond the forest.  When Cea was five, her mother took her on the road with a new boyfriend.
As the three of them set upon a series of ill-fated adventures, Cea began to question both her highly unusual world and the hedonistic woman at the center of it, her mother.  Finally, in her early teens, Cea realized she would have to make a choice as drastic as the one her grandparents had once made in order to save herself.

While a successful international modeling career offered her a way out of the wilderness, Person discovered that this new world was in its own way overwhelming and full of challenges.  But, she persevered and supported herself from age thirteen to thirty-one as an international model working primarily in Europe.  She now lives in Vancouver and is a happily married mother of three.

"Breaking All the Rules" By: Cynthia Sax Review

Breaking All the Rules
By: Cynthia Sax

Nathan Lawford, Blaine Technologies' chief financial officer, is known as the Iceman. He conducts his personal and business affairs without emotion, never allowing himself to become involved with anyone. When Nate sees something or someone he wants, he negotiates, paying a simple, set monetary price. Now he wants Camille, the company's green-haired intern. Camille Joplin Trent never expected to be paid to pleasure the man of her dreams. She can't quite figure out why this is a bad thing. Nate is intelligent, handsome, sophisticated, everything she's ever wanted in a lover and never thought she could have. Their contract is for a month, thirty lust-filled days of making every sexual fantasy they've ever had come true. At the end of this month, the rules state their relationship will end. Of course, Camille has never been good at following rules.

My Thoughts
     Camille is almost the anti-corporate executive. With bright green hair, a devil may care attitude, a hacker/hippie mentality, and multiple piercings, Camille is used to being the outsider. Yet every time she sees Nate Lawford, she can’t help but think there may be something more in his eyes than contempt. Meeting everyday in the elevator, they seem to stalk one another, as a lion would a gazelle.
    Nate proposes a unique idea to Camille after a steamy completely his for a month. Camille is at first intrigued by the idea but once within Nate’s home and in his possession, they find out just how well they fit with one another. Nate’s entire life has been measured and metered, devoid of emotion and parental love. With Camille, he is encouraged to be emotional and isn’t bothered at all by her unconventional choices in both wardrobe and hair color.
     I loved this story so stinkin’ much. Oye. I knew I was going to love Camille when she first appeared in Flashes of Me. She’s such a flower child rebel, she’s so adorable and fun loving. Nate, I honestly didn’t like. He seemed so cold and just unapproachable. However, he is totally redeemed when you meet his wildly crazy parents and see how he treats Camille when he’s finally allowed to just be himself.
    Wonderfully sexy and witty, Breaking All the Rules, is a sweet, sensual story that finally tells the story of our favorite green haired hacker Camille and the cold but perhaps misunderstood Nate. Camille has to fight her inhibitions and self consciousness while Nate is forced out of his unemotional shell. I thoroughly enjoyed both the eroticism of the story while also telling a highly involved character driven story. Easily read as a stand alone book, if you haven’t read sort of the precurser, check out Flashes of Me also!

Book Details
Publisher: Avon Red Impulse
Date of Publication: March 4, 2014
ISBN: 978-0062328212
# of Pages: 100
Source: Edelweiss- for Review

Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"Flashes of Me" By: Cynthia Sax Review

Flashes of Me
By: Cynthia Sax

Henley, the head of cyber security at Blaine Technologies, is a man no one crosses. He watches employees constantly, using his network of cameras, and enforces his rules by any means possible. Rumors of his violent past, along with his scarred hands and huge size, have resulted in his being feared by everyone … almost everyone.Katalina, the new intern, worries about the revelation of her most painful secret much more than she fears her sexy boss's wrath. She sees the loneliness in his dark eyes, feels the gentleness in his marred fingers, tastes the need in his kisses … and she knows he watches her. His silly rules about not stripping for the cameras and no sex at the office are destined to be broken.Kat likes to be watched. Henley can't look away. Will this beauty be able to tame her beastly boss?

My Thoughts
  When Katalina begins a new job at Blaine Technologies, she is immediately transfixed by a huge, gentle giant who just happens to be the head of security. He’s handsome, intelligent, and utterly bewitched her from the first minutes of their meeting. Attempting to provoke him into approaching her, Kataline realizes he can see everything she does. So Kat proceeds to entice Henley, the head of Cyber Security, as much as possible, leading to a delightful back and forth.
   So I was a bit back and forth on this book. It gets very naughty pretty quickly, but once I got over the first two or three chapters, I was engrossed in the characters. Henley is such an enigma and I honestly could have read about him for a whole other book. Raw and emotional, Sax does a pretty darn good job of writing how these two completely opposite characters look at their lives in completely different ways...which in turn, make the book a quick read and an even better ending.

Note: I totally read this series out of order so I completely condone reading this book even if you haven’t read the previous installments.

Book Details
Publisher: Avon Red Impulse
Date of Publication: February 18, 2014
# of Pages: 208
ISBN: 9780062328182
Source: Personal Purchase

Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café                                                                                                                                                                            – July 1, 2014

The Read...

A high-powered Manhattan attorney finds love, purpose, and the promise of a simpler life in her grandmother's hometown.

Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother's dying wish--to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough. THE IRRESISTIBLE BLUEBERRY BAKESHOP & CAFE is a warm and delicious debut about the power of a simpler life.

My take on "The Irresistible Blueberry Bakeshop & Café by Mary Simses

I really enjoyed this book.  It was a quick read.  It was thrilling, funny and heart warming.  I sat with a cup of tea and wished for something with blueberries.  It will make you wish for simpler times and a simpler life, family, community and the love of your life to share it. 

Saturday, August 23, 2014

the perks of being a wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Paperback213 pages
Published February 1999 by MTV Books and Pocket Books (first published 1999)

Set in the early 1990s, this story follows Charlie, the book's "wallflower", through his freshman year of high school.
Perks begins with an emotionally sensitive, and socially awkward, 15-year-old boy named Charlie writing letters to an unknown recipient about his first year at high school, while grappling with traumatic experiences from his past.

I loved this book!  It reminded me of a sort of modern version of Catcher in the Rye.  Great coming of age story.  I feel YA readers as well as adults, should find this book easy to relate to, as we've all had moments in our lives when we've felt like an outsider, or different, especially in our youth.

I found myself wondering who Charlie's letters were intended for.  Were they written to Charlie himself, as some sort of therapy for the events he'd experienced prior?  Were they to his deceased Aunt, whose significance I can't discuss without giving an important piece of the story away.  Was the recipient not so symbolic, but literally a classmate or peer of Charlie's?  Or, were WE the person Charlie was writing to?  Was this a way for the author to build intimacy between us and the main character?

The other reason I found myself so into this book, were all of the memorable quotes.  So many of them stayed with me long after I finished the story.  I'll end my review with a few of my favorites.   :) 
“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 

“I was looking at the photographs and I started thinking that there was a time when these weren't memories.” 

"and in that moment, I swear we were infinite."

“But even if we don't have the power to choose where we come from we can still choose where we go from there."

“I love Twinkies, and the reason I am saying that is because we are all supposed to think of reasons to live.” 

“I would die for you. But I won’t live for you.”

Thursday, August 21, 2014

*Confessions of a Wild Child*

Confessions of a Wild Child
By: Jackie Collins

Who is Lucky Saint? She's a fifteen-year-old wild child who discovered her mother's murdered body floating in the family swimming pool when she was only five years old. Daughter of the notorious Gino, who's kept her protected from life ever since, cloistered in their Bel Air mansion. But now she's ready to discover the world: boys, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll. And no one can tell her otherwise. In Confessions of a Wild Child, Lucky navigates her teen years- through first romances, family dramas, and adventures from Greek islands to Vegas penthouses-as Gino Santangelo, a powerful Vegas hotel owner with a dubious past, struggles to control his willful and stubborn daughter. Meanwhile Dario, Lucky's gay teenage brother, is too scared to reveal his sexual preference to his father. Lucky strikes out on her own path- a path that will lead her to become the powerful and charismatic woman she was destined to be. Good-bye, Daddy Gino...hello, freedom!

My thoughts:
I absolutely loved this book!! It has so much action, adventure, romance, ect, but it keeps you on your toes. It is truly a book about a girl who knows what she wants and knows the limits on the important things in life. She is rebellious but she is also smart and very mature. I can't wait to read the rest of the Lucky novels!!

Book Details 
Publisher: Chances, Inc
# of pages: 294
Date of publication: February 4, 2014

"Heroes Are My Weakness" By: Susan Elizabeth Phillips Review

Heroes Are My Weakness
By: Susan Elizabeth Phillips

The dead of winter. An isolated island off the coast of Maine. A man. A woman. A sinister house looming over the sea ... He's a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs. But she's not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they're trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes. It's going to be a long, hot winter.

My Thoughts
      Antoinette, “Annie” to her friends, is at the end of her rope, ending up on a solitary road in the middle of a blizzard on an island she only knew as a child. Her mother has died, leaving behind a small cabin filled with bad memories but quickly becomes the only refuge Annie has. When she returns to her former childhood home, she is assaulted by the memories of her mother and the presence of her former crush, Theo Harp, only creates a more tense situation.
     Theo has overcome a very sinister childhood to become an accomplished horror author. He lives a truly solitary life and is still dealing with the death of his twin sister and the suicide of his wife. Unused to any disruptions in his lonely existence, he is disturbed by Annie’s return to her childhood home that coincidentally is just down the hill from his very own mansion. Theo and Annie come together in an explosion of murderous intentions, revealed secrets, a little laughter and a whole lotta love.
    From the very beginning, you can tell this isn’t your usual Susan Elizabeth Phillips book. There is a very dark tone even in the first few pages that isn’t readily apparent in Phillips’ other novels. While it was very different for me, and at times I couldn’t believe my “go to” author was the actual author of what I was reading, the book worked for me.
      There is a lot going on in this one, so bear with me a moment. Crazy siblings, homicidal wives, mistaken identities, greed, lies, crucial family dynamics, hidden fortunes, unknown fathers, and a whole lot more make up Heroes Are My Weakness. Theo and Annie’s relationship takes a backseat sometimes, but it builds slowly and surely. Not as sexy as some of her other books, I found myself enjoying the mysteries as they unfolded and was satisfied with the outcome of the story.    
     A different tone from other Phillips books, Heroes Are My Weakness takes on a whole new world where no one is safe from the machinations of others. Theo and Annie have led fairly disastrous lives but through no fault of their own, but lets face it, without their pasts they wouldn’t have ended up together. Different than her own novels, but no less special, Seppie fans will find her newest one no less intriguing than her famed Stars series.

Book Details
Publisher: William Morrow
# of Pages: 384
Date of Publication: August 26, 2014
ISBN: 9780062106117
Source: Edelweiss - For Review
Location: Maine

Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog