romance

I Take You by: Eliza Kennedy

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Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer extraordinaire, blushing bride. And totally incapable of being faithful to one man.

Lily’s fiancé Will is a brilliant, handsome archaeologist. Lily is sassy, impulsive, fond of a good drink (or five) and has no business getting married. Lily likes Will, but does she love him? Will loves Lily, but does he know her? As the wedding approaches, Lily’s nights—and mornings, and afternoons—of booze, laughter and questionable decisions become a growing reminder that the happiest day of her life might turn out to be her worst mistake yet.

Unapologetically sexy with the ribald humor of Bridesmaids, this joyously provocative debut introduces a self-assured protagonist you won’t soon forget.

 

Author Bio . More Info

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Brilliant. Outrageously funny. Beautifully imperfect.

Lily Wilder is 20 something New York lawyer engaged to her wonderful archeologist boyfriend of 7 months. As we enter the week of her wedding, we witness the horrifying acts of Lily on her bachelorette party, Lily and her boss, Lily and her dry cleaner AND Lily and more than a few random bar hook ups. What is this chick doing getting married!? The story continues and we watch her struggle with the decision to get married or call off the wedding. While unscrupulous, Lily does present a conscious. It is this glimmer of guilt and regret that makes this story so gripping.

Some may consider this story to be appalling, I consider more as entertainment. So, I’m going to assess it as such. While Lily and Will’s flaws lay bare and their relationship clearly romanticizes infidelity, it really isn’t too far off from over dramatization of the rippling chests and multiple orgasms of other romance novels.

Understandably, I hated Lily. She did and said everything I have known deep in by bones to be wrong since I was born, but she made a very demanding lead character. Witnessing her inner conflict eased my judgment for the sake of entertainment. She captured my attention from page one and I did not want to stop reading!

The supporting characters in this story move the plot along flawlessly. Not once does the plot stall waiting for motivation. Freddy, Lily’s ultimate BFF, is hilarious as she guides Lily through the final days before her wedding. She provides Lily a much needed reality check and more than enough levity for a sad situation. Next, are Lily’s father’s ex-wives. They provide the delightful wisdom of experience as they try to prevent Lily from deceiving Will into an untruthful marriage.

This book takes the saying “all’s fair in love and war” to a whole new level. Can a relationship work after a “Cold War” such as Will and Lily’s?  With multiple twists and turns along the way this book easily makes a readers head spin with anticipation.

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

-JL

Grift by: Jason Mosberg

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Why would a 17-year-old girl pretend to be a high class escort?

Piper is a con artist whose canvas is the city of Las Vegas. She rolls with a crew of young grifters including a card-counting genius, a tourist-hustling pool shark, and a pocket-picking magician. Together, this crew of teenage outlaws live with their mentor Max in the penthouse of a hotel casino. They work hard and play harder. But unlike the others, Piper must balance her hyper-real Vegas fantasy with the reality of raising her 14-year-old half-sister Sophie. Disaster strikes when the Las Vegas mafia kidnaps Sophie and demands a multimillion-dollar ransom. With only five days to piece together the money, the crew races the clock to save her.

 

 

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My Review

Piper is a 17 year old con-artist in Las Vegas living in a top floor penthouse in the Treasure Island hotel near the strip with 4 young con-artists, their mentor and surrogate father, Max, and her 14 year old sister, Sophie.

Piper and the rest of group work for Max by luring tourists from their money using various scams and in turn Max provides a place to live and coaches them in their respective trade. Piper works by exploiting men as a high-end escort. She seduces men into a hotel room and takes their money without providing any service. While her roommates spend their money on whatever their heart desires, Piper saves all her money so she can leave Las Vegas and give her sister a more normal life.

One evening, Piper comes home to a beaten and bloody Max, thousands of dollars missing and her sister kidnapped! The ransom demanded puts the group in a frenzy – can they con enough money to save her?

I enjoyed this book. While I believe the plot in this book, in one way or another, had been done, I was excited to see a twist with the main character being a young female. When I began reading, I had a distinct feeling of reading a fairy tale with the characters coming from nothing, finding Max and then having everything they could ever want. However, that feeling is short lived as the characters join together to bring Sophie home. The story had potential: a strong lead character, a love interest, internal conflict, external conflict, but falls short with supporting character development and overall execution.

The additional roommates and even Max himself fall seem like ghosts, appearing only to help further Piper’s cause of rescuing her sister. Having an illustrated back story for the group would have helped the reader feel the familial relations rather than being told (“show don’t tell.”)

Which leads to my next point, execution. When writing a story with a twist or mystery, it is important to leave proper bread crumbs of foreshadowing and misleading clues to keep the reader guessing. Unfortunately, with this book the plot was a bit transparent.

I still enjoyed reading about the trials and tribulations as the group fought to collect $1,000,000 in 36 hours. It was exciting and well thought out. A promising beginning for Jason Mosberg.

-JL

First Time Novelist Publishes Epic Fantasy Novel

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Knowing the future can save her city – but not her heart.

Fifteen-year-old Clio should have never been the Oracle of Sheehan. That power is passed from mother to eldest daughter, and Clio is the youngest of four sisters. But when her entire family is murdered by Mannix, the king’s adviser, Clio is left all alone and heir to a power she never wanted and doesn’t understand.

Hunted by Mannix, Clio seeks refuge in a foreign city where oracles are absolutely forbidden. If she’s found out, she will be sacrificed atop a great pyramid.

Clio has no choice but to win the trust of Riece, an enemy warrior. Despite the growing feelings between them, Clio knows that if he finds out what she really is, he won’t hesitate to kill her.

Clio tries to hide her budding powers, longing only to be a normal girl and fall in love, but the visions she has of Mannix bringing a barbarian army into Sheehan torture her conscience. She alone has the strength and foresight to stop him, but only if she can embrace her destiny and sacrifice everything.

 

About the Author:

Here are five quick things about me:

  1. I’m just starting out so I’m not “the best-selling author” of anything, but…
  2. I did once stand in line to meet Joss Whedon at a comic book signing when I was in middle school and got him to autograph a Buffy the Vampire Slayer poster for me.
  3. I was the flute section leader in my high school’s marching band.
  4. I recently graduated from Princeton University with a lot of people who are a lot smarter than I am.
  5. I’m love Jane Austen so much I’ve taken multiple classes on her books.

 

Goodreads | Amazon | Website

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Interview with the Author

Emily Wibberley

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

Well, first I would say I realized I had a rather serious YA addiction. When I realized I wanted to write a novel, I knew it had to be YA. The specifics for Sacrificed were inspired by Cassandra from Greek mythology. I kept coming across her in a variety of different sources, and each time I was yearning for her to have more agency. Cassandra is a beautifully tragic figure, and I liked that, but I also wondered what it would be like if a young girl not only inherited prophetic powers but also could actually kick some butt in the process.

How much research did you have to do during the process of writing this book?

Sacrificed takes place in a fantastical world, so I was able to take some liberties with my world-building. That said, I drew inspiration from ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, which required a lot of research on Aztec and Mayan cultures.

When you aren’t writing, what books do you like to read?

Basically anything. I can’t function if I don’t get my hands on a book during the day. Obviously, there’s a ton of YA on my shelves, but I also love to read more “adult” things like A Game of Thrones and Cormac McCarthy novels.

If someone came up to you and asked for one tip on how to become a successful author, what would you say to them?

Being successful at writing involves more than just writing—it’s a business as well. Yes, you have to write everyday, but you also have to market your books. Nowadays, you can’t just be an author; you have to be an authorprenuer.

What’s the worst thing anyone has said about your writing?

“I loved the action. You write like a guy.” My dad said that. He meant it as a compliment.

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My Review

Clio is the youngest of four and the daughter to the Oracle of Sheehan. When a female child of the oracle reaches 16 she then becomes a vessel for the Oracle to use to complete her work. However, to Clio it seems being a vessel also includes becoming cold and inhuman. When Ali, the second youngest, turns 16 Clio begs her mother not to take her sister from her, but unfortunately no one can stop the Oracle.

Loosing Ali, Clio feels starts to feel isolated and she runs to last person she trusts, her childhood friend and Prince of Sheehan, Derik. Meeting him outside the palace, she tells him about her mother and sisters treatment of her and falls asleep with him in a tree.

While asleep, she dreams her mother and two eldest sisters are murdered in their beds and the youngest, Ali, is kidnapped and taken away by men in red capes. Woken by the nightmare, she describes her strange dream to Derik before being interrupted by Mannix, the King’s adviser, searching for the Prince. Wary of Mannix, Derik keeps Clio’s presence a secret and climbs down to address Mannix when he is told his father, the King of Sheehan, has been murdered by the Oracle and her Vessels. Mannix continues saying he has had them killed and the youngest sent to be sacrificed in Morek. Derik makes plans to assume the throne, but learns before his father’s death the King directed Mannix to obtain the throne as Regent King until he feels Derik is fit to rule. This effectively leaves Mannix as the ruler of Sheehan until he decides otherwise.

Hearing all of this, Clio begins to question her family while grieving the loss of her friend’s loss. However, in order to save her sister, she must leave for Morek.

I know it sounds like I’ve given you the entire story, but I haven’t. I promise. This book is just that good!

“Scarafice: The Last Oracle” is very imaginative and intricately woven story. It includes aspects of mystery, magic, romance and fantasy. These elements are put together in an entertaining and magnificent whirl-wind, leaving me to crave more.

To start, the characters in this book grab me right away. Clio begging her mother to spare her sister and only friend, Ali, and losing her despite her effort was a very touching opening to this book.

What is more stunning is the care Emily Wibberley took with plot construction. The impressive amount of research done to bring details into the story and develop the main characters brought this fantastical story to life. As a person who reads new authors, I truly appreciate the thought and effort put into creating this wonderful book.

My only disappointment was Chapter 30 when Clio gets lost watching Riece fight off Manix’s guards. It was wonderful watching the powerful and confident Clio come into her own and embrace her new role as Oracle for the people of Sheehan and yet in this scene she is depicted as a love struck ogling teenager. It leaves me perplexed? What happened to the strong and fearless Clio I know?

The action and adventure in this book is excruciatingly good! I couldn’t look away from its pages and I was constantly finding myself saying “just one more chapter…” Needless to say nothing else was completed the week I took to finish this book. I would highly recommend this book to anyone in the mood for a new YA fantasy.

-JL