Category Archives: Romance

NetGalley Review: Hush (Lakeview #1) by Stacey R. Campbell

Green Darner Press  Published Jan. 23, 2013 278 Pages
Green Darner Press
Published Jan. 23, 2013
278 Pages

Blakely Henry doesn’t want to know any information of her biological parents. After looking and not finding anything she has given up. 

When Max Ryder comes to town and shows interest in Blakely, her true identity comes into question. What Blakely doesn’t know is that Max  is there to find out if she is the lost Princess to Europe’s favorite royality.

However, feelings are involved and there is someone who doesn’t want the Princess found. Can Blakely survive the threats against and the truth about Max?

I picked this book because of the cover. Didn’t even read what it was about; I just really liked the cover. So I shouldn’t have been surprised that it wasn’t a historical romance (lol).

Anyway, this was a good read. I was surprised because Blakey, Max and every teenager in the book acted as if they were at least 23 years old. Their whole attitude, outlook on dating, everything seemed much older than their age. I was a bit taken back.

I liked Blakey because she had a good head on her shoulder, a developed personality but she was a bit boring. There was nothing more to her than school, her friends, her smart comments and her amazing body (that Max keeps mentioning).

Oddly enough, I really liked Max. He had a heart and really loved the girl. His initial intention was not pure but he grew to really love her.

My biggest issue with this book is how the climax wasn’t really climatic. It was like oh . .  well okay. The ending was just thrown there. It wasn’t exciting just a there it is. I wish there was more effort in the two biggest part of the week.

Overall, I enjoyed this read. 3 Pickles

NetGalley Review: The Hidden Blade by Sherry Thomas

Self Published Published July 20, 2014 350 Pages
Self Published
Published July 20, 2014
350 Pages

A young girl living in blissful ignorance during the last days of the imperial Peking, gets a rude awakening when she finds out she is the bastard of a English devil and a Chinese courtesan. What life is there for her? The only choice is to become a expert in martial arts which will help her gain her independence. 

A young boy living in England world changes when his family is torn apart due to the unexpected death of his father. Imprisoned in his own home by his uncle, he must find a way to escape and find his friend who is somewhere in China.

Little do they know, their lives are intertwined and change is the least of their worries.

This book gets a A for effort. But other than that I wasn’t too pleased with this read.

My biggest issue with this book was how slow it was. There is really nothing to say after that. It was very slow and that slowness in the story dipped into the personalities of the characters. They both were brats and felt not only entitled but they also were know it alls.

I could not stand either one of them however, I wanted to know more about where they end up which is why I kept reading.  I liked how the author drew me in with just a hint of what to come.

But ultimately that couldn’t save this book. Even the romance part of it . . .  just couldn’t save it.

Overall, this read was eh. 2 Pickles

Book Review: Nora Roberts Land (Dare Valley #1) by Ava Miles

Self-Published Published July 2, 2013 378 Pages
Published July 2, 2013
378 Pages

Meredith Hale, a recently divorced journalist,  is trying to reclaim her former glory. Her ex-husband believes that their married failed because of Meredith unrealistic expectations of love and marriage due to her obsession with Nora Roberts books. 

Determined to prove her ex-husband wrong, she takes a job offer at her family’s newspaper in her old hometown, to find her own Nora Robert’s romance and to write an amazing story (think ‘How to lose a guy in 10 days’).

Her husband, fully aware of what is going on hires Tanner to make Meredith fall in love with him and then break her heart. 

When the two meet sparks fly but can Tanner be the hero of Meredith romantic tale?

It has been forever since I’ve read a Nora Robert’s novel. But no matter how long it has been I can spot one instantly. This was a surprisingly good novel. It was detailed and not as dripping of romance as I thought it would be.

Reading it, I felt the author took extreme care with each word used. However, for most of the book, it felt like a Nora Roberts novel. What I mean by that is, it felt like a book Nora Roberts would write.

I didn’t feel Ms. Ava’s writing style til crap started hitting the fan. I loved the action, the fast pace, the secrets and I feel that Ms. Ava wrote it wonderfully but you can really feel the shift in writing style midway through the book.

Although this is a romance, I didn’t like the back and forth between Meredith and Tanner. When grown people play high school games, it makes my skin crawl.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, I wish that Ms. Ava wrote more like her and not Ms. Nora. 3 Pickles

Quick Five© with Aimee Roseland

Courtesy of Aimee Roseland
Courtesy of Aimee Roseland


Name: Aimee Roseland (@AimeeRoseland)


Buy: Amazon and Barnes & Noble

Aimee Roseland . . . sounds familiar? That is because she wrote the book FANGIRL_15. Check for the review here.

Creativity in writing is a must. But along with creativity there needs to have a sense of reality. This is what Ms. Aimee does.

The reality in her stories feel so possible, it makes for a wonderful read.

Enjoy, this lovely interview.

Have you always been a full time writer? Did you want to be anything else or did you do anything else besides write?

When I was thirteen I discovered romance novels (sigh…love at first sight) and started writingwhat might be considered “fan-fic” or more accurately “anti-fan-fic”. I was always trying to fix stories that I thought went wrong. “No, the heroine didn’t hold her tongue and allow herself to be kidnapped, she pulled her father’s rusty military sword off the wall and…” Eventually that evolved into writing my own stories, something I committed to working at every day. I think it’s at that point, when you commit to the dream, that you become a “real writer.” I have never wanted to be anything else.

Published July 8, 2014 288 Pages
Published July 8, 2014
288 Pages

How would you describe your style of writing? What do you want to leave the reader with once they finish your book?

I probably use more wit than I intend to with consideration toward the genres I write in, but I like to laugh a lot. My everyday language is peppered with movie references and snark, so that voice often bleeds into my character’s personality. I think most people are less rigid in real life than writer’s tend to make them and my writing style reflects that relaxed realism (hopefully.) My greatest desire for the readers of my stories is that during the adventure they have at least smirked once or twice, winced in sympathy, gnashed their teeth in shared outrage, and also, most importantly, that they have felt a swell of hope.

What inspired your latest book FANGIRL_15? Are you one of those readers who dreams of a life with a fictional character?

I am ABSOLUTELY one of those readers! Of course, knowing me, I’ve placed myself as some sort of ass-kicking hero that sweeps in to save the day for the lead figures rather than dreaming I could be the heroine that Mr. Perfect would love. (Any similarities between myself and my characters is purely coincidental…really…) The inspiration for Fangirl actually came quite a few years back. I was very single and reading novels voraciously. I met my sister for a walk one evening at a school park down the street, but with all those people running through my head I felt even lonelier than usual. The novel peeps were often my soul companions, and I ended up wishing for a second that they were real. Just like that, WHAM, they were there. Not the ones I’d been reading about, but Chloe and Lucien. I spent the next hour telling my sister their story, I can’t express how excited I was about it! I knew their story was going to be special, and important enough for me to let percolate till my ability had caught up with my desire. Eventually I felt confident enough to write it down and finally record their journey. Their reception has been as warm as I hoped it would be.

Self Published Published on Oct. 18, 2012 59 Pages
Self Published
Published on Oct. 18, 2012
59 Pages

Have you ever written something that shocked you once you re-read it? If so, what was it and why was it shocking?

I think self-doubt is fairly universal. We’re our own worst critic. Well, maybe not everyone has that problem since I’ve read some seriously awful stuff…but I digress. My first novel was practically an epic. Hundred-thousand words, sprawling and soooo difficult to simply end. Once it was complete I set it aside and sort of cringed and berated myself and decided that it couldn’t be good enough for anyone else to read. After a while I went back and, with trembling fingers, re-opened the file. I started reading…and couldn’t stop. It was good! I actually laughed out loud and hunched closer and just grinned at the screen. I do that every single time that I finish a novel. The final edit gets done and I get to close the computer for a while. During my hiatus the doubts creep out to play. “It was too dry, wasn’t it? Not enough ‘show’? Too much ‘tell’? Will anyone like this but me…?” Then the time comes for a final read before the “publish now” button gets tapped, and each time I’m shocked anew. Not bad, Roseland…not bad…

Self Published Published on Feb. 10, 2012 328 Pages
Self Published
Published on Feb. 10, 2012
328 Pages

Finally, if you had to give your old self ( when you first began writing) advice what would it be?

Do it now! Don’t stop! Start small and trust that you can edit anything but a blank page. All that advice you read about how your first novel is going to be the hardest is true. Once you finish one, the road block will be GONE. It will always be a struggle to create an entire novel, don’t let that be the excuse you use not to try. Creation is difficult. It’s the reason that “value” is synonymous with “cost.” If it’s worth it, it will be hard. No one ever strived for the cheap thing, they settled. Don’t settle. If you’re ever stuck, you need to ask more questions. Never expect as much from others as you expect of yourself, you’re going to be disappointed. Reach out. Reach back. Stretch forward. And most important. Take. More. Notes.



NetGalley Review: Madly, Deeply by Erica Crouch

Patchwork Press Published June 7, 2014 218 Pages
Patchwork Press
Published June 7, 2014
218 Pages

*This book is inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s poem “Annabel Lee”.

Annaleigh Wells and William Calloway  are the definition of romance and true love. It is as if they are fated to be together.

But while planning their wedding, fate changes its mind and not even the nightmares, warnings or visions can save the couple from this unexpected turn of events.

It has been a real long time since I have read a book that drips love and romance. So after reading this it took me a minute to decide how I truly felt about it. Ultimately . . .  it was a good book.

Crouch wrote this book with care and detail. It was if the romance was too fragile to write about. It was really beautiful and simple. The story isn’t complicated by any means but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t throw a curve in there.

When this book begins you’re in the middle of the romance. Annaleigh and William have known each other for years and love each other unconditionally with no complications. It does make the characters seem dull because there is no conflict between the two of them.

But this book is purely a romance novel and despite the unexpected event the romance theme continues. I did feel that the book was slow and not because the lack of conflict. I feel the Crouch spent too much time of the characters doing nothing that it stalled and it was harder to get back into the book.

Obviously, after reading this, Crouch is a talented author. The words are written a bit like poetry, which I assume is the point since it was inspired by a poem.  I wish there was more depth of characters but overall, 3.5 Pickles. This book is for die hard romance fans.

NetGalley Review: Dark Hope by Monica McGurk

Greenleaf Book Group To Be Published July 29, 2014 400 Pages
Greenleaf Book Group
To Be Published July 29, 2014
400 Pages

For the past ten years, Hope Carmichael has been living under her father’s overprotective and obsessive watch as a result of her being a survivor of a child abduction. 

But at 15 years old, freed by her mother, Hope is now able live a life in which she can start over and be normal. She meets Michael, a teen with a mysterious past, who at the same time makes her happy but makes her question everything that is happening. When Lucas the school bully begins taking a unwanted interest in Hope, she can’t but wonder what is really going on and Michael is hiding so many secrets.

Firstly, beautiful, beautiful cover. But the book fell short.

The book starts off wonderful. It begins off in a action scene that only fills with questions. It is a really great lead up and it showed potential of being a really developed and exciting book.

However, Hope was as lifeless and naive as her father raised her to be. She possessed no spark, no real personality through the book. I can understand in the beginning but she really didn’t change herself.

I love stories about angels, forbidden love and battles. However, I felt that the author put too much religious stories into this book. I understand she did it to legitimize the concept but there was so much in it, the book stalled. The author also added a very important political issues in Atlanta (Sex Trafficking and Kidnapping of girls) and I felt it was out of place. I see how she tried to tie it into Hope’s own story but that is such a strong issue, I felt that to throw it in there wasn’t really right.

I liked Michael’s character. He was everything a love interest should be. The only issue I have with Michael and Hope’s relationship was there was no chemistry. I knew Michael felt something for Hope; that was pretty obvious but I didn’t get that same feeling from Hope. No butterflies at first or even second sight. There wasn’t really anything until he kissed her forehead. Love takes many different forms and times but the chemistry is always there. Just in this case I didn’t feel it.

Overall, I though this was a decent read. Did it spark a reread or a wow in me? No but the author did tell a good story although it lacked. 2.5 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire #1) by Sherry D. Ficklin

Clean Teen Publishing To Be Published Oct. 7, 2014
Clean Teen Publishing
To Be Published Oct. 7, 2014

15-year-old Sophie must try to get the Russian throne at any cost. 

Sophie travels to St. Petersburg with her mother at the request of Empress Elizabeth, who is fond of her family. Determined to do as  her mother says and her save her family from ruin, Sophie decides to wage war to win Peter’s heart. 

But when her life becomes in danger things and she falls for a man she cannot have things become complicated and Sophie must decide what is really worth sacrificing for the throne.

AMAZING! Simply an amazing read.

Sophie is badass. She is extremely smart, knows her worth and knows what she is capable of. The greatest thing about her is she isn’t a cold heartless female dog. I loved how the author decided to break that mold.

Sophie wasn’t a girl who needed to break out of her shell. She was perfect the way she was. I liked her a lot. Do I think she went dense when she fell in love? Yes. But I would be a hypocrite to think I never done that before.

The characters were really well defined as well. While reading the book, I felt that I knew each character and felt a connection to them all. The story was written with a pace I completely agree with medium to a low high (lol). The author took time to develop twist and turns and romances without making things too complicated and too predictable.

However, there are two things that bother me with this book; Sophie’s “love” and the ending. Without getting into too much detail, I don’t think she loved him at all. It was the first man that made her feel more than just a child and actually made her feel something. I also don’t think it is love because her moving on process was too fast for me. I believe she did what she did out of strategy not love.

Now the ending. . . . Ms. Sherry if you are reading this . . . Why? WHY?!?! Why do you feel ending abruptly is a proper ending? I understand this is a series and you want to keep people hanging on but there had to be a better way for that to have ended.

*Frustrated sigh* Overall, I really loved this book and it has been a long time since I completely fell for something like this.  4.5 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Shadow Lover by Anne Stuart

   Bell Bridge Books  Published Dec. 31, 2013    229 Pages Kindle Ed
Bell Bridge Books
Published Dec. 31, 2013
229 Pages Kindle Ed

*I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

Carolyn McDowell is the foster child to one of the richest family in Vermont. Growing up and even as an adult she was neglected and used for the needs of others. Her true bully . . . Alex McDowell, her first love.

One night, Alex runs away and Carolyn follows him; only to see someone shoot and kill Alex. 18 years later, Carolyn is back at Vermont caring for her Aunt Sally, who is on her death bed, when a man comes in the night stating he is the long long son of Sally.

Carolyn is much more than skeptical because at stake is not only her sanity but the inheritance of her beloved Aunt Sally. Carolyn who doesn’t see a dime of that money doesn’t want this man taking advantage of this woman but not everything is what it seems and Carolyn has to open up to this stranger to find the truth.

Very good read. The entire concept of the book is great. I loved the suspense and the mystery surrounding the imposter and then surrounding the family. It is always the rich that have the most secrets.

The author did a great job with the details and it didn’t drag the book or come off boring. There was a lot of care in reading about each person and how they played a role in the mystery. It was like a modern at Clue. I completely loved it. But the biggest flaw I had issues with was Carolyn. She was so dull and paranoid I was expecting the author to break out a huge sappy feel sorry for me story (no its not funny) but the author wrote her so needy and so abused that I really couldn’t enjoy her.

“Alex” wasn’t a bad character. He was the typical rough around the edges but really good heart man that just needs to be trusted. If it wasn’t for the author’s skills in suspense, I’m sure I would not enjoy this book. The author pulled me in with the multiple characters and their different layers. The whole who done it and who is doing it was amazing.

Overall this book gets: 3.5 Pickles it would have been perfect if there was more to the two main characters.


NetGalley Review: Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

Skyscape Published Dec. 1, 2014 273 Pages
Published Dec. 1, 2014
273 Pages

Penny Farthing is near death when surgeon Calvin Warwick is able to successfully swap out Penny’s bad heart with a brass ticker. But the moment when it is found that Warwick killed people in order to save Penny with an updated Ticker, Penny isn’t so happy that she was saved.

During Warwick’s last day of trial, the Farthing factory was bombed, their house was broken into and Penny and her brother Nic receive a ransom notice, demanding their parent’s secret information in order to have their parents back unharmed.  

With the help of Penny’s best friend Violet, a gentleman around the town (whatever that means) Sebastian and a young army general Marcus, Penny and Nic go on the search for their parents and the truth about Penny’s ticker.

The first pretty cover of the year!!!!!

This book was a dry read. The plot, the characters everything seemed un-lifelike which is crazy considering that the topic of life centralizes the entire book. Penny  lacked development and character. She did what she wanted and how she wanted.  She had little regard for her own life, which again is crazy!

The storyline didn’t really provide enough to keep me interested in the story. As much as I love when books start off in a really great scene, there is a way to do it right and the author did not provide enough of a griping point in order for me to understand why things were moving the way they were. Yes, do you get that information but the vagueness of what happened to her, her sister and the man who gave her a new heart last for way too long for me to enjoy the book.

Also the author added a very unnecessary element to a world of science; paranormal. It was thrown in there without any type of back-story or anything leading up to it to make me believe that the paranormal topic should be there.

What I did like about this story was the steampunk aspect of it. It was detailed and creative and there was a lot of though behind it.

Overall, the book was okay. Nothing spectacular.

2 Pickles