Book Review: A Kiss From Mr Fitzgerald by Natasha Lester

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Genre: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Women’s Lit.

It’s the roaring twenties in the Manhattan of gin, jazz and prosperity. Women wear makeup and hitched hemlines and enjoy a new freedom to vote and work. Not so for Evelyn Lockhart, who is forbidden from pursuing her passion to become one of the first female doctors. Chasing her dream will mean turning her back on her family: her competitive sister, Viola; her conservative parents; and the childhood best friend she is expected to marry, Charlie.

In a desperate attempt to support herself through Columbia University’s medical school, Evie auditions for the infamous late-night Ziegfeld Follies on Broadway. But if she gets the part, what will it mean for her fledgling relationship with Upper East Side banker Thomas Whitman – a man Evie thinks she could fall in love with, if only she lived a life less scandalous…

Captivating, romantic and tragic, A Kiss from Mr Fitzgerald follows a young woman ahead of her time amid the fragile hearts and glamour of Jazz Age New York.

 

 

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This book was simply the bee’s knees! Stepping back in time to the 1920’s was a copacetic experience. Whilst it did take me a little while to get a wiggle on, once I got over the hurdle, there was no turning back..only turning pages! The author has undoubtedly done her research, as there is so much culture spread on to the pages.

giphyThe main character, Evelyn (Evie) Lockhart is definitely not a wallflower. She is smart, clever, and strong. Although some of her choices are questionable, and I’ll admit they left me feeling a little uneasy reading through. Despite that, I was so glad to read all the way in one sitting, and found the ending truly satisfying.

964605036161d5630a6d5d25510043d8This book had me up until 2am in the morning! I could not put it down. The whole book was littered with language from the 1920’s which makes me want to bring it back! With settings like the speakeasy, to sayings like “spifflicated” (something I’ve certainly done on the weekends past), this book is a delightful insight into a woman who is faced with adversity in a time when men ruled, and women kept quiet…until Evelyn Lockhart came along. Much more than a love story.

 

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(This book is also available in paperback from leading book retailers)

Thank you to Hachette Australia and Natasha Lester for the opportunity to read and review this book. 
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New Release Book Review: Modern Heart by Belinda Williams

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Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Limited time only: Dream career! Perfect man! The catch? Emotional availability.
Scarlett Wong has a reputation for toughness. A talented and often feared Creative Director at an award-winning Sydney advertising agency, she doesn’t do relationships, she doesn’t invite men home, and she never stays the night. The only people who see her softer side are her three closest girlfriends, and they’re finally convinced they’ve found her perfect man: John Hart.
Scarlett’s never been one to back down from a challenge and she’s not going to start now. But when John secures Scarlett an invitation from one modernheartteaser1of New York’s leading galleries to exhibit her artwork, it means putting herself out there like never before. Scarlett’s perfect man wouldn’t interfere in her life like this – would he?
For a woman who thinks she’s not scared of anything, Scarlett is about to discover she’s not as tough as she thinks. Will she take the chance to turn her secret passion into a career, risk the safety of her advertising career, and let John in? Or will old habits die that little bit too hard?

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Belinda Williams has continued to excel in bringing together characters with emotion and substance. IN her latest release, Modern Heart, she will have you cringing, cheering, and hoping that emotions don’t ruin everything.

Scarlett Wong is a self-proclaimed emotionally detached career woman. Having been pressured all her life to do the things she doesn’t love Scarlett finds it hard to accept that she may just be good at something she loves, art. In the book she battles with her relationship with a controlling mother. A strict Chinese immigrant, Scarlett’s mum sees her daughter as an academic, not an artist. This has meant Scarlett carries scars throughout the story. Can she begin the heal these scars as she gets older, and discover that art is her true passion?!

Enter Mr. Perfect. John ‘bloody’ Hart. All her friends know he’s the guy for her, but she has so many personal issues she’s not willing to let him in. They’ve met before, in book one, but things finally begin change when she decides to take a chance. This book is so much more than boy modernheartteaser3and girl get together. There is a lot of emotion and it flicks between Scarlett remembering significant events from her childhood, and the present. This book really is about a woman coming to terms with herself, and the choices in her life that she has control over.

I really enjoyed reading the dynamics of the friends, again. Being set in Sydney is really fun to read, and I love to imagine exactly where they may be (just as I did in The Pitch – book 1). Modern Heart is the perfect next installment in the City Love series. A mixture of friendship, cynicism, coming to terms with who you are, and finding that life leads a tricky road. This book is all about navigating through choices you make in life, and how it can be so much better with friends, and love.

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**I was provided a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to Momentum Books for the opportunity to review**

Book Review: Date with a Rockstar by Sarah Gagnon

Genre: Young Adult

Only one girl will win the cash prize…and a chance at love with Jeremy Bane. Monet isn’t just another lust-struck teenager trying to win the heart of Rock God Jeremy Bane–she needs the prize money from his new reality show to cure her illness.  Monet has Fluxem, a contagious disease that’s spread through saliva. It’s completely curable if you have enough money, which she and her single mother don’t. Now that she’s on the show, Monet has to work harder to keep her Fluxem hidden. She only has to keep the secret long enough to woo Jeremy Bane so he picks her as the winner. She doesn’t even care about the love part; the prize alone will change her life. But the real Jeremy Bane is nothing like she imagined. Monet finds herself fighting against feelings that make her want to give in to her attraction and Jeremy’s attempts for a kiss. The further she goes in the competition, the more impossible it becomes to resist him–and when the producers turn the tables and start digging up dirt on the contestants, Monet fears her secret will be revealed before she’s ready and ruin everything. The only way to win Jeremy’s heart is to tell him the truth, but confessing her disease could cost her the competition, the prize money, and him.

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Fantastic YA debut novel from Sarah Gagnon. She has truly nailed the YA market with this one. This book was a delightful read and I can’t wait to share it with the world. Not only is this a great “Rock star” read that deviates from the typical Rock star type books, but it is set in the future! The story revolves around a teenage girl (she’s 17) who suffers from a curable disease. Unfortunately she can’t afford the cure. In order to get the money, she decides to try her luck on a reality series with a teen heartthrob, Jeremy Bane. Think Justin Bieberesque type guy (but probably nicer!!?!!). There is so much in this book that will keep the reader hooked to the story. It’s like the Bachelor for teens, in the future, with a Rock star! I loved the flawed character of Monet, and how the relationship she develops with the main character isn’t cliché. Their chemistry is subtle and is really comfortable. There is truly so much happening, and with lots of little twists and turns this book is sure to keep the YA reader intrigued and turning the pages into the early morning.

Buy the book★ Goodreads  ★​ Amazon  ★  Barnes & Noble ★ ​IndieBound 

★ Book Depository

About the Author:

Sarah Gagnon grew up in the frigid woods of Maine amidst snow and animal skins. As a small child she wrote ship-wrecked romances all while being stared down by a taxidermied duck. She has a BFA in photography and a minor in writing from the University of Southern Maine. She’s the mother of two tiny, feral children and two ill-behaved dogs. For fun she’s taken up construction and interior design. Her first project: moving into a dilapidated farmhouse with her computer-genius husband.
Date With a Rock Star is her debut YA novel.

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Review: The Boyfriend Sessions by Belinda Williams

boyfriendsessionspolGenre: Contemporary Romance, Chick Lit

Please take your seats. The journey to happiness may involve some turbulence.

Christa Morrison has commitment issues, a fact that quickly becomes apparent after she flees a romantic proposal in Paris, the thunder of impending wedding bells ringing in her ears.

Back in Sydney, she turns to her closest friends for reassurance. Instead they offer her a startling and painful diagnosis: she’s a relationship junkie. The cure? An extreme rehabilitation program guaranteed to reform even the most L-word illiterate.

With her girlfriends along for the ride, Christa commits to their radical plan and the chances of recovery look good. The only problem is Max Spencer. The one guy Christa—and her friends—never expected her to fall for. But he’s proving to be a temptation she may not have the willpower to resist …

For a shot at happiness, is being with Max worth betraying her friends? And will Christa have the strength to trust her heart when her colorful relationship history comes back to haunt her?

It might just be enough to make a poor girl leave the country (again).

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I saw the cover for this and it piqued my curiosity! This a new release you need to get onto! The Boyfriend Sessions is a great read. Christa is always running away from commitment, but doesn’t know why, or how to stop it. After a surprise proposal in Paris, she runs back to Australia and finds comfort with her friends. All is not as it seems though, as the friends band together and put her through her paces, imposing a man-ban and starting weekly counseling sessions over wine (WINNING – I mean, great idea!).

I loved reading this book. The author does a lovely job of creating believable situations and scenery, and as I was reading about all the places in Sydney, I could see it clear as a sunny harbour day. So much fun to think about walking exactly where the characters were walking, or sitting, or doing boot camp! There were times where I was sad, or my heart was clenching a bit. There were also times were I smiled and fist pumped. All through the book, although I was a little frustrated with her, I still found Christa to be likeable. The way the author writes her, you have empathy and compassion for her past, rather than thinking she’s an idiot for just “not getting it”.

This was a well thought out story and one I highly recommended if you’re after a lovely Aussie based romance to read on a sunny day.

And just in case you weren’t sure.. here’s a little Max-spiration from the author’s website!

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Authors Website: Goodreads: Facebook : Twitter

CLICK FOR VARIOUS BUYING LINKS

books1b*I received a copy of this book from Netgalley
in exchange for an honest review – very glad so say I loved it!

New Release & Review – Through The Fire by Michelle Irwin

BDP BADGE 1Bottom Drawer Publications is proud to present Through the Fire, book one in the New Adult Paranormal series Daughter of Fire, by Michelle Irwin

Ever since Clay, a soldier for an organization tasked with ridding the world of non-humans, stumbled upon the secret of her birth, Evie’s been on the run. Now he’s back, and she’s unprepared as he forces his way into her heart.

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 Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance

Evie Meyers’ life is one spent on the run. Every minute of every day, her life is in danger if anyone should suspect the truth about her ancestry. Her father was willing to risk everything to keep the truth hidden, even from her, but the lies he fabricated were exposed when her high school crush, Clay Jacobs, inadvertently stumbled upon her secret. His discovery puts Evie at risk from a secret organization tasked with washing the world clean of nonhumans—and Clay is one of its deadliest soldiers. Forced into a war she doesn’t understand, all because of what she is, Evie is left with no choice but to flee with her father to escape persecution.

When Clay reappears in her life, battle scarred and mysterious, Evie is unprepared and terrified as he forces his way back into her heart. When the battle catches up with her, and a tragic accident tears apart the peace she discovered, she finds herself alone and without the protection of her father, or her lover. Now, she needs to keep her secrets hidden and learn to survive on her own in a world that wants her dead, all while searching for the missing piece of her heart.

I have to say, I have been anticipating this book for awhile now. I knew it was being written, but didn’t quite understand what it would be about! For a first time author, Michelle has proved to herself, and her readers, that she is a force to be reckoned with.

Through the Fire is the first in a series, and although I’m not a huge fan of starting a series knowing that other books aren’t complete, or have a set release, this was an exciting book on my to be read list! It’s set in a paranormal world, which in my opinion can be a tricky thing to do. Being the first in a series, there are snippets of characters introduced, that I am very keen to understand further in future books, I certainly hoped they’re developed further! I also think the interactions between the “Rain family” was too brief, but I’m sure that’s coming… Paranormal worlds can often come off as being a bit complicated and messy, however, Michelle has managed to create a world the reader can immerse themselves into, without confusion.

She weaves in the legends of the old-timers, such as the fae, that we all know, as well as creating her own world, involving non-humans, with the ability to create fire (You’ll get it once you start reading), and an elite group of people, known as “The Rain” who hunt down all the paranormal creatures of the world, believing they are all evil. The heart of the book is the Romeo and Juliet relationship between Evie (a phoenix) and Clay (The Rain). They meet as teens, but then, we don’t see any interaction until they are older, Evie having fled under instructions from her protective father. Their relationship starts where they left off, however a tragedy soon tears them apart. Throughout their time apart, instead of thriving, we see the main character struggle with her identity, ability to develop relationships, and life-as something other than ‘normal’. I really appreciated the fact that the author showed these struggles and lead the reader through a timeline that wasn’t hurried, nor too slow. clay1

The author has blended in enough action, romance, and mystery to make this a brilliant read. The push and pull of the relationship between the main characters, along with the timeline of events, is cleverly composed and smoothly executed. Warning – the ending “may” cause you to throw the book and cuss the author…but in a really good way! GO, read it and tell me what you think!

Read this book if you’re after a new world to immerse yourself into. A story of a girl who’s lost and struggling with a power inside her, and of a boy who could be her saviour, if only he wasn’t her sworn enemy.

I can’t wait to read the next installment.

BUY LINKS:

Publisher: BDP

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Michelle Irwin has been many things in her life: a hobbit taking a precious item to a fiery Bio Pic - Michelle Irwinmountain; a young child stepping through the back of a wardrobe into another land; the last human stranded not-quite-alone in space three million years in the future; a young girl willing to fight for the love of a vampire; and a time-travelling madman in a box. She achieved all of these feats and many more through her voracious reading habit. Eventually, so much reading had to have an effect and the cast of characters inside her mind took over and spilled out onto the page.

Michelle lives in sunny Queensland in the land down under with her surprisingly patient husband and ever-intriguing daughter, carving out precious moments of writing and reading time around her accounts-based day job. A lover of love and overcoming the odds, she primarily writes paranormal and fantasy romance.

Website : Goodreads : Twitter : Facebook : Pinterest

New Release & Review – Cutting Out by Meredith Shayne

cutting-outpolaroid Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance. Adult Fiction.

A twenty-year veteran of the shearing shed, Aussie Shane Cooper loves his job, and the home he’s made for himself in New Zealand. If he’s a little lonely, he’s got good mates to keep his spirits up. When a hot, cocky young shearer named Lachlan Moore catches his eye at a competition, he’s content to look but not touch, knowing the young man is out of his league.

Lachie wouldn’t mind a piece of Shane, but the gorgeous gun shearer from Australia is soon forgotten when the Christchurch earthquake hits, and tragedy strikes Lachie’s family. Lachie deals with it the best he can, cutting himself off from all he knows. A year later and he’s back in the shearing shed, out of practice and lacking confidence. That Shane’s there to watch him flounder doesn’t help his nerves.

As Lachlan struggles to re-acclimatise, Shane can’t resist giving him a hand to get back on his feet. As they move from friends to something more, Shane finds himself wanting to know everything he can about Lachie. But Lachie’s got secrets he desperately wants to keep, and when things come to a head, those secrets might just mean the end of them before they’ve truly begun.

This novel, about sheep shearers in picturesque New Zealand, was an entertaining read. The author used a wonderful voice to portray both main characters, and the emotion came through on the pages. The story line weaves in the world of shearing in a way that makes you feel like you can smell, and hear the hustle and bustle of the shearing shed. I really enjoyed the camaraderie around the gangs that work together, and the portrayal of bonds formed in the roughest of conditions. The integration of slang was enjoyable, and make me chuckle a few times.     The main characters, Shane and Lachie were wonderfully written, and the author did a really great job of making me feel every emotion available. At times I had to take a moment to relish the fact that I was frowning, or smiling, or having my heart crushed at the devastation that the Christchurch earthquakes had on families. In my humble opinion, when an author can make a reader feel that, they really have a gift. Read this book if you’re after a love story between characters that push and pull, and create a slow burn. Cutting Out is a wonderfully portrayed romance novel, with blokes and beer, instead of wine and flowers.

BUYING LINKS:

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About the Author: A scientist in a past life, these days Meredith Shayne mainly uses her scientific training to poke holes in television pseudoscience. Originally from Australia, she moved to New Zealand to start a new life a few years ago and hasn’t regretted it for one minute, even if she frequently wishes that the New Zealand weather was a little better; if she’s forced, she’ll admit that the refreshing lack of animals that can kill you in New Zealand makes up for a little rain. Meredith travels a lot, so much so that she has developed a shameful love of airplane food and knows her passport number by heart. When she is at home, she enjoys baking, horrible music from the 1980s, reality television, and gloating any time Australia thrashes the living daylights out of New Zealand on the sporting field. Find Meredith at her website: http://www.meredithshayne.com   : Twitter  : Goodreads : Booklikes books1b*I received this book as an ARC from the publisher. All reviews expressed are solely mine.

Review – A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall

alittlesomethingdifferentpolaroidGenre: Young Adult. Contemporary Romance.

Lea and Gabe are in the same creative writing class. They get the same pop culture references, order the same Chinese food, and hang out in the same places. Unfortunately, Lea is reserved, Gabe has issues, and despite their initial mutual crush, it looks like they are never going to work things out.

But somehow even when nothing is going on, something is happening between them, and everyone can see it. Their creative writing teacher pushes them together. The baristas at the local Starbucks watch their relationship like a TV show. Their bus driver tells his wife about them. The waitress at the diner automatically seats them together. Even the squirrel who lives on the college green believes in their relationship.

ALSDquoteI was browsing the shelves of the local shops because I had an urge to have paper in my hands. You know what I mean, right? Reading e-books are great, but sometimes you just neeeed that book to feel in your hands, flip the pages, carry around. I picked up this one, because the cover was cute.

Cute. This book is cute! Adorable, quirky, fun! The story is told in different viewpoints, and it reminds of the movies that show everyone’s story from different points of view, think ALSDquote3Love Actually, Valentines Day. I found the switching of viewpoints really refreshing, and the story never faltered for it. From the bus driver, to the barista, to close friends. Not acALSDquote4tually hearing from the main couple, Lea and Gabe, kept me intrigued. We didn’t ever actually know what they were thinking, except for their dialogue with their friends…or a squirrel! My favourite view point had to be the squirrel.. he was so darn cute! Acorns! I think that the way Lea and Gabe dance around each other could be annoying, but the author has provided us with a unique way of playing it out that has you cheering them on, and hoping the next persons view would have them getting together.  It was fun to read in the young adult genre, again. This book definitely proves that you don’t need to be a teen to read these types of book.

Read this if you’re after a fun, quick, sweet, cute read. ALSDquote2

Sandy Hall Tumblr : Swoon Reads : Twitter : GoodReads

Buying Links:

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