Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Teaser Tuesday (257)

Welcome to Teaser Tuesday, the weekly Meme that wants you to add books to your TBR, or just share what you are currently reading. It is very easy to play along:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! Everyone loves Teaser Tuesday.


M.A.R.R.I.E.D. (Kindle 59%)
   - Lindsay Marie Miller

"But she's my mother," I croaked, on the verge of tears. "I just wish for once she could stop being so critical, stop judging everyone, especially me. I just..."

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Storm of Attraction (Willowdale #1)

32969765Alexa Wolving has just one rule: never give a guy a second chance. That works just fine in the safe life she’s built. In the charming town of Willowdale, her day job as a librarian balances perfectly with her evening job as a black belt instructor. But when she attracts the attention of a stalker, Alexa’s carefully built world begins to crumble.

Drew Cosimo knows he broke Alexa’s heart five years ago when he took his first Ranger assignment and disappeared from her life. Now that he’s out of the army, he’s moving back home to Willowdale. He’s not looking for a fight, but making peace would be easier if Alexa hadn’t told the entire town he was a money-grubbing jerk. Despite the tension between them, Drew is quick to offer his protection when a stalker forces Alexa from her home.

As the stalker’s attacks escalate, Alexa and Drew are forced to face their painful past and the simmering attraction between them. They must fight to save each other before everything they care about goes up in flames.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Lily Black introduces her Willowdale series with it's first installment, Storm of Attraction. In this small town, everyone knows everyone and gossip spreads quickly. But there's one person hiding in plain sight, stalking main character Alexa, with hopes of teaching her a dangerous lesson. 

Alexa is a librarian by day and a martial arts instructor by night. Her two career choices demonstrate her intelligence as well as her athletic ability. Readers will enjoy Alexa's dedication to her self, as they also notice she seems to hide in her careers. Her rule of never giving a guy a second chance, keeps her on the edge of the dating pool. And her past experience with Drew Cosimo allows readers to see how she's still suffering from a broken heart that is still healing after five years. While her past will give readers an initial emotional connection, the fact that she has a stalker will also bring readers to her side as the fear continuously rises. At first, Alexa wasn't frightened of the anonymous person leaving her gifts. She chalked it up to a nice student or a friendly neighbor. But when her tire is purposely slashed, it seems the stalker's game just rose to the next level. 

This action brings Drew back into Alexa's life. Drew has just finished his career as an Army Ranger and has decided to move back to Willowdale to open up his own mixed martial arts training center. When Drew learns of Alexa's stalker, his protective feelings for her kick into overdrive as he promises to protect her. His strength, courage, and caring nature are highlighted for readers to witness. Even though he broke Alexa's heart in the past, readers learn his side of the story and are able to forgive him with hopes that Alexa can forgive him too. 

The main plot of Storm of Attraction is the blossoming relationship between Alexa and Drew while they try to figure out who her stalker could be. The situations escalate quickly from gifts to attempted murder, pushing Alexa into a constant state of fear and Drew into a worried state of protectiveness. All the while, Alexa is learning about the more mature Drew, the Drew that has grown up through his tour as an Army Ranger and the Drew that regrets how he treated Alexa five years before. Also, importantly, through this frightening situation, Alexa also learns about herself and why she's shut herself off from second chances and believing in people. Her epiphany helps her evolve into a more self aware character who understands how outside influence and misplaced feelings can cloud her judgement. Though this book does involve a bit of action and a chilling stalker, I think Storm of Attraction is mainly a romance. This puts the focus on Alexa and Drew's relationship while the stalker adds a degree of intrigue and terror. Therefore I think readers who enjoy romances with a side of danger would like this book. 

Rating: 3/5 Cups

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Finding Molly: An Adventure in Catsitting - Volume 1

30290979Fresh out of art school and creatively unfulfilled, Molly is stuck in the suburbs with her parents and their cat, Pishi. When she is offered an opportunity to cat sit, she sees it as a way to get closer to her friends who live in the Los Angeles Arts District while fulfilling her dream of making a living as an artist.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Justine Prado, Jenn St--Onge, Carey Pietsch (and others) all play their part in creating the comic book/graphic novel that is Finding Molly. This graphic novel is all about Molly discovering herself as an artist, balancing on the cusp of adulthood, while trying to create her own path to her dreams. The book is published by EMET Comics, a company that focuses on women's empowerment and adding diversity to a generally male guided genre. 

Molly is a young woman who has just graduated art school. She dreams of moving to downtown LA to live with her friends, who are also artists. The only problem is she isn't making any money as a recent graduate, something I think a lot of young adults can relate to. Molly is an intelligent girl who struggles to find inspiration for her art work among the stress of wanting to move out and find a paying job so she can support herself. She's consistently nagged by her father to find a job and a husband. Though her father knows she's talented, he doesn't want Molly wasting any time. This adds an interesting father-daughter dynamic as he sets her up on dates with unsavory young men. 

Though Molly isn't a big fan of cats (at the beginning), cat-sitting kind of falls into her lap as a way to make money. A drawing of her own family's pet is seen online and she's immediately contacted by a fellow cat owner to commission a drawing. This opens the door for Molly's cat-sitting business venture. I think this will translate to many readers as young adults, even those fresh out of college, sometimes have to work jobs that are not aligned with their degree. I know I had to and still am as I work on my Master's. This creates a pretty strong foundation on which a deep character connection with Molly can be established. As Molly works to pursue her artistic dreams, readers see the chaos that cat-sitting can bring. We all know that cats each have their own distinct personalities (I sometimes refer to my cat as a demon) and the situations that Molly finds herself in because of her cat-sitting add a great deal of humor to the graphic novel. 

There are also two other dynamic relationships that work to bring readers closer to Molly. Sarahh, Molly's best friend, is also an artist who has a successful job and an on-and-off boyfriend. From Molly's perspective, Sarahh kind of has it all, which gives off a sort of jealous vibe. Sarahh is also very blunt with Molly, challenging her and pushing her to follow her dreams. The second dynamic relationship is that between Molly and Mateo. Mateo is a well known LA artist who has a strong place in Molly's group of friends. It's also very obvious that Mateo has a crush on Molly, though she doesn't seem to actually realize it. This adds a little intrigue to the story as well as another layer of depth to Molly's life. 

My favorite thing about this graphic novel was Molly's web comic that is featured every few pages. In the web comic, Molly creates a humorous scene out of her cat-sitting adventures as well as her interactions with friends and parents. The way that Molly interprets her own life and creates funny work out of stressful situations lets readers see into her psyche. It demonstrates her positive outlook on life even though she's struggling to find her way as an adult and as an artist. 

Speaking of art work, the style that Finding Molly has is refreshing and bold. Each character has their own specific traits that the work seems to focus on, allowing readers to see the personalities of the characters through their artistic representations. There are also some allusions within the book which speak to certain readers. I personally loved the reference to the Beat movement, because I recognize my own obsession with that culture and am not ashamed. 

Finding Molly definitely works to showcase young women and empower them through opportunity and drive. The fact that it does this with humor and creativity will help the book resonate with female readers. For readers who enjoy female focused stories of achievement, art and creativity, and of course cats, I would definitely recommend Finding Molly

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

What's Next, Wednesday (47)

  •  To play along share a book you've been looking forward to reading, whether it's new or has been on your reading list for a while.


I'm looking forward to...

M.A.R.R.I.E.D. by Lindsay Marie Miller. This book is a sequel to a book I reviewed last year, S.I.N.G.L.E. I'm interested to see the 'happily ever after' Jessie and Graham are finally together and their wedding is on the horizon, but it doesn't seem like they'll make it down the aisle before a few stumbles. The first book was a little repetitious in its events, so we'll see how this one goes.