Wednesday, June 13, 2018

What's Next, Wednesday (108)

  •  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.


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I'm looking forward to... 

A Tycoon's Secret by Avery Laval. In this third installment of the Sin City series, two old flames are reunited. With so much history and a broken promise, the two will either work it out or have to call it quits for good. I'm excited to read this juicy romance and switch up my reading list a little bit. If these summer thunderstorms lay off, maybe I can even enjoy a little outside reading! 🌞

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (319)


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.


39671266

Three Shoeboxes
(Kindle 11%)
    - Steven Manchester

He couldn't breathe. He couldn't think. There's something wrong, he finally thought, I... I need help. He searched frantically for an enemy. There was none. 

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Hypnotist's Love Story

23751850Ellen O’Farrell is a professional hypnotherapist who works out of the eccentric beachfront home she inherited from her grandparents. It’s a nice life, except for her tumultuous relationship history. She’s stoic about it, but at this point, Ellen wouldn’t mind a lasting one. When she meets Patrick, she’s optimistic. He’s attractive, single, employed, and best of all, he seems to like her back. Then comes that dreaded moment: He thinks they should have a talk.

Braced for the worst, Ellen is pleasantly surprised. It turns out that Patrick’s ex-girlfriend is stalking him. Ellen thinks, Actually, that’s kind of interesting. She’s dating someone worth stalking. She’s intrigued by the woman’s motives. In fact, she’d even love to meet her.

Ellen doesn’t know it, but she already has.

*May Contain Spoilers*

The Hypnotist's Love Story by Liane Moriarty takes the idea of a romance and twists it with complication. From two points of view, Moriarty gives readers opposing views of a budding romance. Though it isn't what readers normally expect as the two points of view are the current girlfriend and the ex-girlfriend, who can't seem to move on. 

Ellen is the current girlfriend of Patrick, a widower with an eight-year-old son. Ellen's personality blends the ideas of new age and classic. She's incredibly understanding, supportive, and tries to maintain a positive outlook on life. Readers will connect with her as she begins a new relationship, becomes intrigued by her boyfriend's stalker, and takes part in a complicated love story. 

Patrick is a father who lost his wife just months after their son was born. As it happened so suddenly, Patrick struggles to navigate the re-creation of his life. Though he doesn't get his own point of view, Ellen shares specific aspects about Patrick that will cast him in a certain light for readers. This means that for most of the novel, readers feel nervous (right beside Ellen) as it seems that no woman will ever compare to his first love. However, if this book does anything, it presents the complexities of relationships and when Patrick gets a chance to speak for himself, readers will form a new opinion of his character. 

Saskia is Patrick's ex-girlfriend and current stalker. What makes Saskia an interesting character is the fact that Moriarty makes it incredibly easy to understand why she acts the way she does. I always find it so interesting when I can connect, or at least understand, the 'villain' of a novel. And though Saskia doesn't seem evil, she does terrorize Patrick, making life hard for him to enjoy. Still, readers will feel a sense of understanding when it comes to Saskia, feeling sorry for her while simultaneously hoping that she can find a way to bring happiness back into her life. 

The plot of this novel follows the relationship of Patrick and Ellen, while Saskia interferes and inserts herself into their love story. Though there are a few side stories with supporting characters, that is the main storyline. I think readers who enjoy a surprising romance, or an unconventional plot will enjoy this novel. It's surprising, it's honest, and it has a happy ending. I would definitely recommend this book to readers who enjoy that sort of combination. 

Rating: 3.5/5 Cups

Friday, June 8, 2018

Summer in a Cornish Cove

39152061Set against the stunning backdrop of the glorious Cornish Rivieria, this summer will change their lives for ever! The book to fall in love with this summer - perfect for fans of Fern Britton, Liz Fenwick and Veronica Henry.

Oliver Foxley is an acclaimed movie star, global heartthrob and one half of Hollywood's golden couple. But under the glare of the spotlight his 'perfect' life is slowly starting to crumble.

Cara Penhaligon is a struggling young Cornish artist, and widowed mother of two children. Life has been unbearably harsh to Cara, but meeting Oliver might just give her a second chance at the happiness she deserves. As each begins to heal the other, the pieces of Oliver's frustrating jigsaw puzzle effortlessly fall into place. But as the Cornish summer draws to a close, Oliver faces the toughest of choices, and no one emerges quite as they were at the start.

*May Contain Spoilers*

Summer in a Cornish Cove by Kate Ryder is a novel of escape and new beginnings. The main characters, Cara and Oliver, each have an invisible weight on their shoulders that keeps them struggling to find happiness. Maybe one summer together can change that... 

Cara Penhaligon is a beautiful woman, wonderful mother, exemplary artist, and devastated widow. Though she finds fleeting moments of happiness with her children and her painting, Cara is still severely impacted by her husband's sudden death. Readers will connect with her through this horrible experience and feel respect for her as she moves on, feeling as if her late husband is with her, almost as a guide to finding happiness again. 

Oliver Foxley is a famous actor that suffers from deep depression. He's managed to keep this aspect of his personality a secret, but it demands constant attention, often leaving Oliver alone for days as he struggles to find his way out of the 'grey mist.' His wife tries, but she doesn't exactly understand how much it effects him. Readers will understand his suffering as they witness the depression seep in and dictate his emotions and actions. 

When Cara and Oliver meet, the attraction is instantaneous. Oliver immediately feels like he can be himself around Cara and Cara feels like she can find happiness again with him. While Oliver takes top billing in a play circling Cornwall area theaters, they spend the summer rediscovering what it feels like to be free from invisible weights. And though Ryder writes the story like a tale of happily ever after, there are a few dark moments in the book and negative aspects that caught me off guard. 

First, I didn't exactly like that Oliver was cheating on his wife who had previously supported him and his career, putting hers on hold so she could be there for him. One experience even leads Oliver to have a stalker (an overly obsessed fan) which ends in tragedy. I felt like this took away from the story of Oliver finding relief from his depression. And I know that the way the book ended was probably more realistic, I just didn't feel satisfied with how it all played out. I also am not sure (spoiler alert) that I believe Cara was okay with how Oliver left her after the summer was over. Finding happiness again equals happiness in my book while finding happiness for a few months and then losing it again does not. 

Because of these negative aspects of the book, I felt unsatisfied when it was all said and done. I thought the story was going to be about a summer of finding love and happiness, with a few trials, but nothing as serious as suicide and cheating on a spouse. Like I previously pointed out, maybe the way it's written is more realistic, but I wasn't exactly happy with it. I just had different expectations. 

Rating: 2.5/5 Cups

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What's Next, Wednesday (107)

  •  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.

39671266

I'm looking forward to... 

Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester. With the short story teaser still fresh in my mind, I'm excited to have this new release up next in my reading list. Manchester's stories never disappoint and always leave me with a smile on my face. In this new book, Mac suffers from anxiety and PTSD which threatens to destroy his familial relationships, including his marriage. Hopefully, Mac will find a way to overcome his demons and save the life he used to love living. 

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Teaser Tuesday (318)


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.


23751850

The Hypnotist's Love Story
(Kindle 8%)
     - Liane Moriarty

Ellen looked around at the shadowy areas under the bridge for a lurking woman. She noted that she was experiencing a slight buzz: a pleasant burst of adrenaline at the thought of Patrick's stalker secretly observing them. 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Short Story Sunday - "Not Fair"

39671266"Not Fair" by Steven Manchester is a short story that works as a teaser for his novel, Three Shoeboxes. In this story, readers are introduced to Mac, a father struggling with severe anxiety. By reading this story before the book's release, I feel that there is a foundational connection with the main character. I haven't even started the novel yet and I already feel empathy and sympathy for Mac as he struggles to live his life without alcohol to ease his constant worry and fear.

Manchester also sets up conflict in this story as Mac's marriage and the relationships he has with his children are all strained by his anxiety. Through the story, Manchester demonstrates how close Mac and his wife were early on in their marriage. He then shows how much has changed which creates an emotional conflict that will undoubtedly be expanded upon in the novel. The struggle to connect with and be there for his children was the aspect of the story that hit me the hardest. This short story, a few pages about Mac taking his children to the county fair, presents a family falling apart. It succeeds as a teaser for the novel as readers of the short story hope that Mac can face his anxiety, share it with his family, and find a way to overcome it.



Synopsis for Three Shoeboxes:
Mac Anderson holds life in the palm of his hand. He has a beautiful wife, three loving children, a comfortable home, and a successful career. Everything is perfect—or so it seems. Tragically, Mac is destined to learn that any sense of security can quickly prove false. Because an invisible enemy called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has invaded Mac’s fragile mind and it is about to drop him to his knees. He does all he can to conceal his inner chaos, but to no avail. Left to contend with ignorance, an insensitive justice system, and the struggles of an invisible disease, he loses everything—most importantly his family.

One shoebox might store an old pair of sneakers. Two shoeboxes might contain a lifetime of photographs. But in Three Shoeboxes, a father’s undying love may be just enough to make things right again.

(Access to this short story is available by signing up for Steven Manchester's mailing list.)