chicklit, new adult, romance

Book Review: Eversea by Natasha Boyd

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Title: Eversea
Author: Natasha Boyd
Publisher: NPRB
Length: 359 Pages, Ebook
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Chicklit
Rating: 4.5 Folded Pages

Warning: This book has explicit scenes and is not meant for those under 18.

Blurb:
An orphaned, small-town, southern girl, held hostage by responsibility and self-doubt.

A Hollywood A-list mega-star, on the run from his latest scandal and with everything to lose.

A chance encounter that leads to an unlikely arrangement and epic love affair that will change them both forever.

When his co-star and real-life girlfriend is caught cheating on him by the tabloids, A-list hottie, Jack Eversea, finds himself in sleepy Butler Cove, South Carolina. Jack hopes the sultry southern heat in this tiny coastal Lowcountry town will hide him not only from the tabloids and his cheating girlfriend, but his increasingly vapid life and the people who run it. He doesn’t count on meeting Keri Ann Butler.

Keri Ann has relied on herself so long, dealing with her family’s death and the responsibilities of keeping up her family’s historic mansion, that boys and certainly the meager offering of eligible boys in Butler Cove, have never figured into her equation. But fate has other plans. Suddenly face to face with the man who played the movie role of her favorite fictional character, Jack has Keri Ann yearning for everything she has previously avoided … and Jack must decide whether this funny, sassy girl is worth changing his life for, before his mistakes catch up to him.

Review:
I picked up this book because it was free and I was in the mood for romance. I think it’s no secret that I tend not to expect a lot from free romance ebooks but this book packed a punch! I was pretty much flung across a room by how much this book surprised me and I read it in about 4 hours. I couldn’t put it down.

Keri Ann Butler is probably the best female character I have come across in a very long time. She’s strong, independent, and for the most part confident in herself and her abilities. She isn’t afraid to plainly show her emotions no matter how up and down they may be and the best part is she STAYS that way.

The strong characteristics she starts out with she keeps throughout the book. The entrance of a sudden romance doesn’t change who she is. My biggest pet peeve in romance books, romcoms, Korean dramas, and other similar media types is that the woman tends to suddenly become completely dependent of the man she gets involved with. All of her amazing characteristics disappear to show just how “awesome” their love is and how it’s meant to be. This may be a bit of a tangent but I want to make it clear that Keri Ann Butler is amazing and I need more female protagonists like her in basically everything. Though she isn’t without her flaws.

Jack Eversea is also a great character. He’s broken and mysterious and hunky. Pretty much everything you could ask for in a romance novel. But he also has a lot of character and depth outside of the cliche.

If it isn’t obvious, I really loved this book. The side characters were also fantastic and I can’t wait to read the side story about Jazz, Keri Ann’s best friend, because she was also really well written and developed.

My one issue with this story, really, is the writing in certain parts. The explicit scenes were bogged down by using weird words to describe things. I understand the Keri Ann was supposed to be inexperienced and innocent but constantly describing sex using words like apex and center is just not hot. I also found Boyd to overuse cliches like “wet hot heat” and other similar phrases.

The plot was interesting. I normally get bored with romance books because the plot doesn’t carry well but this one worked. So much so that when I finished it I needed to know what happened with the characters so much I bought the rest of the series in a Kindle set. I don’t normally feel the need to read other books in a new adult series but I couldn’t stop myself with this series.

Overall, this was a fantastic read. I hope more people seek out this series because honestly, it’s probably the best new adult book I’ve ever read. The first book in this series is still free on Amazon if you’d like to give it a go.

chicklit, contemporary, romance

Book vs Movie: Austenland

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Ask and ye shall receive zainabshykh. Here is the (spoiler free) comparison of Austenland!

Overall, I enjoyed both the movie and the book even though the movie definitely took liberties. I understand why they had to but I do think it took a bit of the fun and quirkiness out of the whole thing. Anyway, let’s get to it.

Book

You can see my full review of Austenland here, but a quick summary of what I like and didn’t like about the book will follow if you don’t feel like reading it.

I definitely enjoyed the book. It was basically well written Jane Austen fanfiction and I will always love a good fanfiction. I do think aspects of it were completely unbelievable but they lended to the quirkiness and fanfiction-y feel of the book. Jane was relatable albeit a little silly and the other characters added nicely to the quirky, fun feel. It was enjoyable and light and just what I needed at the moment.

Movie

The movie didn’t quite hang on to the cute, quirkiness the book had. It was there sometimes but other times it definitely fell flat. That isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the movie, I definitely did, but I do think it could have stood by sticking to the novel a little more closely.

Comparison

My least favorite aspect change was how they completely changed Lady Amelia Heartwright’s character. She was definitely not nearly as annoying in the book. I preferred the version where Jane was cautious but eventually they became “friends” as much as anyone can in that environment. It also made the small twist at the end much more enjoyable. I knew it was coming while watching the movie but I know I would have more satisfaction from it if the relationship between Jane and Amelia wasn’t turned into a typical Hollywood girl relationship of competition.

One thing they absolutely got right was the casting for Miss Elizabeth Charming. I hadn’t mentally casted anyone for that role but as soon as I saw Jennifer Coolidge I died laughing and also knew it was absolutely perfect. She’s so good at being ridiculous and she definitely brought Miss Charming to life.

I also wish there was more obvious development between Jane and her love interests. I feel like they didn’t focus enough on it. I also didn’t like how they changed the ending. I definitely think the ending of the novel is much more convincing.

Verdict

I think it’s safe to say, that for me at least, I definitely preferred the novel to the movie. I don’t think this should surprise anyone since it’s incredibly hard to convert a book to a movie. You just can’t get all the details the book does and it generally leaves the viewer feeling like something is missing if they’ve read the book.

Either way, I still thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was a good adaption for sure and I understand why there are differences. I just wish the changes didn’t make it have less impact. But that could just be me.

What are your thoughts? They might be different if you watched the movie first or haven’t read both. I’d love to hear what you thought.

 

 

chicklit, contemporary, romance

Audiobook Review: Austenland by Shannon Hale

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Title: Austenland
Author: Shannon Hale
Narrator: Katharine Kellgren
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Length: 6 hours, 20 minutes
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Chicklit
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Blurb:
Jane is a young New York woman who never seems to find the right man-perhaps because of her secret obsession with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. When a wealthy relative bequeaths her a trip to an English resort catering to Austen-obsessed women, however, Jane’s fantasies of meeting the perfect Regency-era gentleman suddenly become more real than she ever could have imagined. Is this total immersion in a fake Austenland enough to make Jane kick the Austen obsession for good, or could all her dreams actually culminate in a Mr. Darcy of her own?

Review:
I’ve been meaning to read this for a while and after listening to Daughter of Smoke and Bone I needed something light and this was perfect! I actually finished listening to it in about 4 hours because I sped up the audiobook and I really enjoyed it.

Jane was both endearing and annoying but I tend to like my heroines with flaws so it worked for her. She was naive and a bit silly for a woman in her 30s but very believable. I enjoyed her character over all and thought she was really funny.

The beginning of the story was kind of hard to get into though. Her aunt understanding her just from seeing the DVDs and gifting her the vacation made it hard to suspend my disbelief but once I got passed it I was in the story just like any other contemporary.

I didn’t see the plot twist coming actually which is honestly such a good thing. Normally I can spot contemporary plot twists a mile away. There were two actually, but the one I did see coming.

I can’t really talk about the other characters without spoiling anything but most of them felt really 2D, which I found okay for a story like this. Because almost all the other characters were supposed to be actors I think it’s better that they didn’t feel real. I think it made the plot twist a lot harder to see actually.

 

The narrator did a great job as well. She had an American accent for Jane but was able to do the British accents for the other characters very convincingly. She read a bit slower than I normally like but thank goodness you can speed up an audiobook for things like that.

I definitely recommend giving this book a try if you’re on the edge about it. Maybe I enjoyed it so much because the book I read before it was so heavy but it’s definitely a perfect light read. I almost wish I had read it at the beach over the summer.

chicklit, contemporary, romance

Book Review: Neanderthal Seeks Human by Penny Reid

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Title: Neanderthal Seeks Human
Author: Penny Reid
Publisher: Caped Publishing
Length: 401 Pages, Kindle Ebook
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Chicklit
Rating: 4 Folded Pages

Blurb:
From the USA Today Bestselling author of ‘Truth or Beard’, this is a full-length, 110k word novel is the first book in the Knitting in the City series.

There are three things you need to know about Janie Morris: 1) She is incapable of engaging in a conversation without volunteering TMTI (Too Much Trivial Information), especially when she is unnerved, 2) No one unnerves her more than Quinn Sullivan, and 3) She doesn’t know how to knit.

After losing her boyfriend, apartment, and job in the same day, Janie Morris can’t help wondering what new torment fate has in store. To her utter mortification, Quinn Sullivan- aka Sir McHotpants- witnesses it all then keeps turning up like a pair of shoes you lust after but can’t afford. The last thing she expects is for Quinn- the focus of her slightly, albeit harmless, stalkerish tendencies- to make her an offer she can’t refuse.

Review:
This was another book I started pre-slump and just now finished. In my defense, I read maybe half of the first chapter pre-slump so I feel like I can safely say I read the majority of this in less than 12 hours. I’m not sure if it was a right book, at the right time kind of deal but I really enjoyed this book.

Janie is a hard-to-reach-emotionally woman and finds herself somehow supremely attracted to a maybe criminal. It was too hard to resist. Janie actually reminds me a lot of Lucy London from Imperfect Chemistry and I think that’s part of why I loved it so much. I like it when female characters are the ones who are emotionally distant because typically that’s a male troupe.

Quinn was an okay sexy, leading man. I did find his controlling, jealous ways a little off putting but it made sense sort of with Janie since she was kind of oblivious and needed to be taken care of a lot because of it. I wouldn’t put him at the top of a list of fictional males I want to marry but their romance was cute and sizzlely.

I liked the way the characters and their relationships were built as well. Each relationship unfolded bit by bit in a really interesting way. I appreciated that.

I probably won’t be reading any of the sequels in this “Knitting in the City” series but I thoroughly enjoyed reading the first one. Considering this is a free Kindle book, I think I’m really happy with how much I enjoyed it versus the time invested. Which I can’t say has happened with a free Kindle book before.

chicklit, contemporary, romance

Book Review: About that Fling by Tawna Fenske

Title: About that Fling
Author: Tawna Fenske
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Length: 321, Kindle book
Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Chicklit
Rating: 3.5 Folded Pages

Blurb:
As the top PR person for the Belmont Health System, bright, beautiful Jenna McArthur knows how to spin bad news and make it sound good. But when her adorable Aunt Gertie—a secret romance writer—urges Jenna to embrace her wild side, Jenna tumbles into bed with Adam Thomas, a guy she’s just met, for a fun and fantastic one-night stand. Too bad Adam is the one guy who’s totally off-limits. There aren’t enough clever words in the world to spin the story in a way that won’t wreck Jenna’s closest friendship or destroy her job.
With the irresistible Adam always around her at work, wearing an aura of temptation like a fabulous cologne, Jenna has to hold tight to her senses to avoid falling for him. Will he take her to the heights of pleasure again—or will their attraction destroy everything she’s worked for?

Review:
I got this book as an Amazon Kindle First and I really enjoyed it. I finished it in about 6 hours so it was an awesome light read while I was marathoning the All Souls trilogy.

My favorite thing about this book is that it was laugh out loud funny. My family kept giving me weird looks because I would just crack up and not be able to stop for a minute or so. I can’t remember the last time a book made me laugh like that. Fenske’s writing is quick and witty and I enjoyed that.

Not onto the not so good. I couldn’t stand Jenna’s inability to tell to the truth. There was absolutely no reason for her to lie so much. I suppose the whole she covers things up for a living could help but seriously there was no reason to lie that much.

The other thing is the very abrupt ending. I won’t give anything away but I just didn’t like how fast it all drew to a close. I think the pacing was off for it. There needed to be just a little more build to the climax and definitely a lot more resolution. The way it wrapped up left a sour taste in my mouth.

Aside from that I think it was a cute, fun read. The characters (even Jenna) felt very real. I always like when books have characters that I feel could be a person in real life. This is definitely far from what I usually read but I’ve been in a romance mood lately. I’m assuming you will see more of this kind of genre soon on my blog. Apologies in advance if you don’t enjoy these kinds of books!