Before the Blog: Little Bee by Chris Cleave

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Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

Little Bee by Chris Cleave

Publication Date: January 1, 2008

Publisher: Simon & Schuster 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Little Bee, a young Nigerian refugee, has just been released from the British immigration detention center where she has been held under horrific conditions for the past two years, after narrowly escaping a traumatic fate in her homeland of Nigeria. Alone in a foreign country, without a family member, friend, or pound to call her own, she seeks out the only English person she knows. Sarah is a posh young mother and magazine editor with whom Little Bee shares a dark and tumultuous past.

They first met on a beach in Nigeria, where Sarah was vacationing with her husband, Andrew, in an effort to save their marriage after an affair, and their brief encounter has haunted each woman for two years. Now together, they face a disturbing past and an uncertain future with the help of Sarah’s four-year-old son, Charlie, who refuses to take off his Batman costume. A sense of humor and an unflinching moral compass allow each woman, and the reader, to believe that even in the face of unspeakable odds, humanity can prevail.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

I remember the back of the cover saying the less you knew about the story the better. It was true. The way the story unfolded was very different and cool at the time I read it. I also remember describing it to my mom and she told me it sounded horrible. It wasn’t, though.

 When did you read this book? 

2008 or 2009, I think. It was BGR (before I was on Goodreads).

Who would you recommend this book to?

Adult readers that enjoy a darker story.

WWW Wednesday: November 3, 2015

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at Should be Reading but is now hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words.

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

So here we go…


Currently reading:

Last night, I started reading Kim Holden’s All of It. I’ve wanted to read it since I finished her books Bright Side and Gus.


Recently finished:

 

I read The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig last weekend. It was a really great historical mystery spanning three generations of the same family. You can find my review of The Forgotten Room here.

After that, I read an ARC of J.C. Valentine’s upcoming release S.O.B. It was a fun erotic sports romance. It’s releasing November 10th. You can read my review that posted today here.

Finally, I just finished Sustained (The Legal Briefs #2) by Emma Chase last night. I hadn’t read the first book in the series, but that didn’t matter. It was funny, cute and just a great light romance. I should have a review up for it this Friday.


Reading Next:

My hold request for Rainbow Rowell’s Carry On came in yesterday. I hope to start reading it in the next couple of days. I’m so excited!


What are you reading next?

ARC Review: S.O.B by J.C. Valentine

S.O.B by J.C. Valentine

Publication Date: November 10, 2015

Publisher: J.C. Valentine

Note: **This novel is for MATURE ADULT READERS only. It contains explicit sexual content and alcohol use.**

Synopsis:

If there’s one person Vista Marquis never wants to see again, it’s Levi Black. It’s been years since she’s seen Levi, but she still isn’t over the way he broke her heart. Vista thought they had a special connection, but all Levi wanted was to add her name to the list of notches on his bedpost.

It might have been easier to move on if Levi wasn’t a famous soccer player — and her stepbrother. Not only does Vista have to hear all about him from her mother, she gets to see and hear about him and his woman of the moment in every celebrity gossip report.

Now, in order to establish her own physical therapy business, Vista is being forced to return home to Chicago and face the one man who has broken her heart. It’s going to be her job to make sure Levi recovers from his most current soccer injury. She plans on keeping things strictly professional. All she has to do is avoid Levi’s womanizing charms.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


I’m going to have to admit that I wasn’t so sure what I was going to think of S.O.B prior to reading it. I love J.C. Valentine’s writing and the creative situations she comes up with, but I was curious to see how she was going to set this one up. I had never read a step-brother/step-sister romance before. I was worried it might be too taboo, too pseudo-incestuous for my tastes.

S.O.B was neither of those two things. Levi and Vista were not blood related. They were not even raised together. They lived in the same house for a short period of time before their parents married. That was shortly before Vista left for college. Basically, they were “brother and sister” through their parents marriage alone. They didn’t even share the same last name.

S.O.B felt more like a second chance erotic romance than a taboo love story. Levi was a cocky, famous athlete who walked away from the one girl he really wanted. Vista was a strong, independent female determined to make her own way. She wasn’t going to fall for the one man who shattered her heart at eighteen.

Levi and Vista’s reconnection was sexy and steamy. The chemistry between these two was off the charts! Levi was just the right amount of cocky and exactly what I would expect a sports star to be. He also had a sweet softer side when it came to Vista that I adored. I loved how strong Vista was. It was really cool that J.C. Valentine didn’t let her back down from standing up to Levi. Her backbone was one of my favorite thing about her.

The book wasn’t just filled with steamy moments, though. S.O.B had a great storyline. It was a lot of fun and cute at times.There were even a few surprises that I didn’t see coming. I enjoyed watching the entire story unfold.

If you’re looking for an erotic romance with a fun storyline, I would recommend S.O.B. It’s a fun, steamy read.

**I received an electronic copy of S.O.B from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel. Authors on my list who have a book scheduled to come out will have the picture of that book under their name. Authors who have yet to announce their next novel will have the picture of their debut novel.


1. Catherine Doyle

2. Victoria Aveyard

3. Elizabeth Little

4. Laura McHugh

5. Laura Lane McNeal

6. Suzanna McKenna Link

7. Kaisa Clark

8. Lexa Hillyer

9. Ann Jacobus

10. Jessica A. Briones


Are any of these authors on your list? What other authors would you add?

ARC Review: The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig

Publication Date: January 19, 2016

Publisher: NAL

Synopsis:

In 1945, it’s rare for women to be doctors. Dr. Kate Schuyler must dedicate her life to medicine to be taken seriously. She works in Manhattan at an old mansion that has been turned into a hospital.

When injured Captain Cooper Ravenel arrives at the hospital, Kate can’t help but be drawn to him. She feels like she’s known him forever. The feeling is intensified by a portrait in the captain’s possession. A portrait that looks very much like Kate. Not only does the woman look like Kate, she is wearing a ruby necklace exactly like the one Kate’s mother gave her.

As Kate and Cooper start to search for the truth behind the mysterious painting, they begin to uncover stories of the past. The stories involve Kate’s grandmother Olive, her mother Lucy and the wealthy Pratt family.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Karen White is one of my favorite authors. Her writing is beautiful. I love how she mixes past and present, mystery, romance and history all into one amazing story. I was very excited to read her collaboration with Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. I haven’t read these authors before, so I was excited to read their work in combination with an author I love.The combination of the three authors was seamless. Honestly, I couldn’t even tell the story was written by three people.

The Forgotten Room was so interesting to read. I loved the way the three different characters and time frames were woven together. It kept my attention and kept me wondering what had happened in Olive’s Gilded Age and Lucy’s Jazz Age. I wanted to know how all three women were tied together. The authors did an amazing job doling out pieces of information a little at a time to keep the story fresh and entertaining.

My favorite thing about this book was that not all of the secrets were easy to guess. Just when I would think I had something figured out, I would learn something that changed how I saw the characters.

If you’re looking for a wonderful historical romance / mystery to read, I would highly suggest The Forgotten Room.

**I received an electronic copy of The Forgotten Room from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One Lovely Blog Award

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you to Amy @ Curiouser and Curiouser for nominating me for the One Lovely Blog Award. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, do it! It’s amazing.

I know I’ve done this one before, but it’s always fun to state random facts about myself and keep the award nominations going.


The Rules:

  • You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
  • You must list the rules and display the award.
  • You must add 7 facts about yourself.
  • You must nominate 15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

7 Facts About Me:

  1. I played high school basketball and fastpitch.
  2.  I used to have a pager. Finding a payphone and carrying change to call people back was so 1997.
  3. I have pictures of the people I love up all around my house. I love looking at the memories.
  4. People complain about the rain in Seattle. I don’t really mind it. It means I can wear sweatshirts.
  5. I didn’t have a Halloween costume this year. I showed up at a friend’s party and when they asked what I was I said, “Mom of the year. Because there is no award for that.”
  6. I’ve seen Pentatonix four times in concert. I would have seen them a fifth time this past August if I hadn’t been leaving for vacation the next day.
  7. I tap danced from 5 to 17 years old.

If you’ve already received this award or don’t feel like doing this, feel free to ignore my tag.

Alex @ Alextheshadowgirl’s Blog

Amy @ Book Enthrall

Aneta @ Aneta Quinn

Bea @ When Curiosity Killed the Cat

Claire @ Art and Soul

Courtney @ Abibliophobic Tendencies

Hayley @ rathertoofondofbooks

Jenna @ Reading with Jenna

Lucía @ Making Days Better

Maren @ The Worn Bookmark

Megan @ Little Blog of Books

Michelle @ Mishi Reads

Raven @ Dreamy Addictions

Stefanie @ yourdaughtersbookshelf

Stephanie @ Stephanie’s Book Reviews

Soundtrack Saturday: The Air He Breathes

Welcome to my second Soundtrack Saturday! I had so much fun coming up with a mini playlist last week that I thought I would do it again. This week, I’m going to spotlight the book The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry. You can find my review here.


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Soundtrack Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by Erin @ The Hardcover Lover. It’s a way to relate songs to books.

Here are the guidelines:

  • You can use The Hardcover Lover’s image or make one of your own
  • Please link The Hardcover Lover somewhere in your post
  • Create a soundtrack or mini-soundtrack for your chosen book
  • Add your name to the link-up tool so others can find and read your post
  • Leave a comment on The Hardcover Lover’s blog post

A song that you think goes well with the beginning of your chosen book:

I’ll Be Missing You by Puff Daddy (I refuse to use P. Diddy, Diddy or whatever. He was Puffy back then!) would be a good choice for this one.

A song you think fits a character in your chosen book:

Every Breath You Take by The Police was the first song that came to mind when I thought of Tanner. I know, the first song I chose is a remake of this one. They’re the same but different and it works.

A song that represents a relationship in your chosen book:

I don’t think I could have found a more perfect song for Tristan and Elizabeth’s relationship than A Great Big World’s Hold Each Other.

A song that fits the ending of the book:

Savage Garden’s I Knew I Loved You is a song that I think fits kind of the whole vibe of the book, especially the ending.


And that’s a wrap. Happy Halloween!

The Halloween Book Tag

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Happy Halloween! I saw The Halloween Book Tag over on The Cyborg Knight and thought it sounded like the perfect post for today. The Cyborg Knight borrowed it from The Bookie Monster.


Favorite horror book?

I don’t really like horror books, so I’m going with my favorite “horror” book from my childhood. Christopher Pike’s Remember Me was my favorite book for a long time.

Scariest moment in a book you’ve read?

I couldn’t think of the scariest moment I’ve read in a book, but Those Girls by Chevy Stevens had a ton of intense moments that stressed me out.

Would you or have you ever get dressed up as a book character for Halloween?

Sure! Why not? I haven’t done it before. One of the evil parents from Disney’s Descendants would be fun! Maybe next year my daughter can be Mal and I could be Maleficent. Or we could be Evie and the Evil Queen.

What do you think your favorite character would dress up as for Halloween?

I’m not sure what Kate from Bright Side by Kim Holden would dress up like for Halloween. Maybe a sunshine, rainbow or unicorn? She’s always looking on the bright side, so something super happy would be my best guess.

What is your favorite kind of horror? (gore, psychological thriller, spooky)

I love me a good psychological thriller! I love twists and turns and being shocked. My favorite right now is the Nine Minutes series by Beth Flynn. (Ha! I worked it into a tag again! I have a goal to include it in every tag this year so more people read it!)

If books were as cheap as candy, which ones would you give out to trick-or-treaters?

There are so many books I would love to give out that would not be appropriate for trick-or-treat aged kids. I’m picking J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone for this. They’ll probably all be disappointed because they’ve probably all read it already.

Halloween to-read list / Recommend some reads!


I hope you have a boo-tiful Halloween and get to eat a ton of candy!

Review: A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak

A Winter Wedding (Whiskey Creek #9) by Brenda Novak

Publication Date: October 27, 2015

Publisher: Mira

Synopsis:

Kyle Houseman has given up on love. He’s already married and divorced the wrong woman once. He also knows he’ll never find anyone that compares to his ex-girlfriend, Olivia. Kyle knows it’s his fault they didn’t end up together, but the fact that she married his step-brother is still raw. It makes family dinner tons of fun.

Country music sensation Lourdes Bennett came to Whiskey Creek to escape the spotlight and work on her new album. She was supposed to be spending the Christmas holiday squirreled away in Whiskey Creek with her fiance Derrick. Instead, she’s here alone dealing with the possibility that Derrick might not be as loyal to her as she thought.

When Lourdes can’t get her rental’s furnace to work, she calls her landlord, Kyle. As Lourdes and Kyle begin to get to know each other and become friends, they both notice a spark. But will Lourdes be willing to give up Nashville for a quieter kind of life in Whiskey Creek?


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Whiskey Creek is one of my favorite contemporary romance series. I love the group of friends Brenda Novak has created the series around. I’m always curious to find out which friend is the next to fall in love and who it will be with.

I was excited when I learned we were finally getting Kyle’s story in A Winter Wedding. I’ve been waiting to see inside his head ever since I read Olivia and Brandon’s story in When We Touch. Since Kyle’s been (not so secretly) in love with Olivia the entire series, I wondered what kind of woman would be able to capture his attention.

Brenda Novak couldn’t have created a better character than Lourdes to win Kyle’s heart. She was strong and independent — everything Kyle needed in a woman after dealing with his ex Noelle. I loved the connection they had and how protective of Lourdes Kyle was.

Since I mentioned Noelle, I have to say I absolutely loved her part in this story. It was fun to get a glimpse into her head and see what she’s been thinking the entire time she’s been pining after the ex-husband who is in love with her sister.

Kyle’s story was everything I was hoping it would be. A Winter Wedding was the perfect Christmas-time contemporary romance  read. It was fun, fast-paced and included all of the Whiskey Creek characters I’ve grown to love. If you love contemporary romance series, I would highly recommend the Whiskey Creek series and A Winter Wedding.

Other books in this series:

        

Before the Blog: This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

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Before the Blog is a weekly blog meme hosted by Karis Jacobstein over @ YA Litwit. It’s an opportunity to showcase books a blogger read and loved prior to starting their blog .  I love this idea because there are so many amazing books I haven’t reviewed on A Novel Glimpse because I read them a long time ago. The only rules to this meme are to answer the following questions about the book chosen to review:

  • Why did you choose this book? 
  • When did you read this book? 
  • Who would you recommend this book to? 

This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper

Publication Date: August 6, 2009

Publisher: Orion

Goodreads Synopsis:

The death of Judd Foxman’s father marks the first time that the entire Foxman family—including Judd’s mother, brothers, and sister—have been together in years. Conspicuously absent: Judd’s wife, Jen, whose fourteen-month affair with Judd’s radio-shock-jock boss has recently become painfully public.

Simultaneously mourning the death of his father and the demise of his marriage, Judd joins the rest of the Foxmans as they reluctantly submit to their patriarch’s dying request: to spend the seven days following the funeral together. In the same house. Like a family.

As the week quickly spins out of control, longstanding grudges resurface, secrets are revealed, and old passions reawakened. For Judd, it’s a weeklong attempt to make sense of the mess his life has become while trying in vain not to get sucked into the regressive battles of his madly dysfunctional family. All of which would be hard enough without the bomb Jen dropped the day Judd’s father died: She’s pregnant.

This Is Where I Leave You is Jonathan Tropper’s most accomplished work to date, a riotously funny, emotionally raw novel about love, marriage, divorce, family, and the ties that bind—whether we like it or not.


My rating: 5 out of 5 stars


Why did you choose this book? 

I remember thinking it was pretty hilarious when I read it. I thought they did a pretty good job on the movie version released last year, but (of course) the book was better.

 When did you read this book? 

2009 or 2010. I’m not sure exactly. I picked it up at Borders Books when it was on the new(er) releases shelf.

Who would you recommend this book to?

Adults that enjoy a good, comical book.