The Office Christmas Party by Aimee Duffy

official blurb
Natalie Taylor and Dean Fletcher are serial Christmas party crashers. But when they start crashing the same parties, the mittens are off! As much as she loves Christmas, after her mother’s death, events planner Nat can’t face the jolly season anymore. So to get her festive hit she crashes everyone else’s party. It’s a sweet gig, until she meets her competition, tech empire millionaire, Dean, under the mistletoe…! When it comes to relationships, Dean doesn’t do serious—being left at the altar will do that to a guy. So when he meets feisty Nat, the first woman in ten years to pique his interest, he’s tempted to break his one-night rule…just for the holidays! Nat and Dean might get more than they bargained for in their stockings this Christmas!

my blurb!
A book with an I-hate-you omg, wait I’m in love with you – trope.

1 out of 5

what i didn't like
I was really excited to stumble upon this book because I thought it would be perfect for my blog theme of “romance yourself through the holidays,” but alas, this book was a no- go for me.
I didn’t like the chemistry of the characters! I think that it was supposed to be written like the characters were in some kind of Jimmy Kimmel- esq prank war.  But it seemed like they were actually crazy below the belt pranks which somehow resulted in the main characters obsession with ripping each others clothes off.  And somehow the characters developed a deep bond  that they couldn’t help but abandon their anti- relationship ways…. What?! Nope, I don’t believe it.
I didn’t actually finish this book but got about 2/3 of the way through before saying to myself- why am I reading this when I don’t like it?

what i liked
There are two characters in this book whose storylines intersect that you don’t realize at the very beginning of the book- but do understand pretty quickly… maybe 100 pages or so into it.  I liked that little plot element to it. (I know I’m being vague, but no spoilers here!)

while reading you should
Eat: fresh-baked desserts
Wear: a fancy cocktail dress
Do: crash a christmas party

when to read
The Christmas season!

if you would like to buy
click here.

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Christmas by accident by Cameron wright

christmas by accident.PNG

official blurb
Carter is an insurance adjuster whose longing for creative expression spills over sometimes into his accident reports. Abby works for her adoptive father, Uncle Mannie, in the family bookstore, the ReadMore Café. Carter barely tolerates Christmas; Abby loves it. She can’t wait past October to build her favorite display, the annual Christmas book tree stack, which Carter despises. When an automobile accident throws Carter and Abby together, Uncle Mannie, who is harboring secrets of his own, sees a chance for lasting happiness for his little girl. But there are so many hurdles, and not much time left. Will this Christmas deliver the miracle everyone is hoping for? Where love and Christmas are concerned, there are no accidents.

my blurb!
A book about a guy who decides to write a Christmas book for money.

1 out of 5

what i didn't like
Wow. This book was awful.  It was one of the most boring books I have ever read! I don’t think I would’ve even read it as long as I did if I wouldn’t have brought it on vacation with me. Why is it that holiday themed books rarely deliver?
A big part of the plot in this book was about a guy named Carter who thought Christmas books were so poorly written but still sold, so he was going to exploit that and write one himself. This felt like the actual real life reason as to why Wright even wrote this book.
I decided to abandon this book 153 pages into it. The book is only 225 pages long so I could have easily finished it. But why? It wasn’t very good and there are too many good books out there to waste my time on the bad ones!
About the point in the book when I stopped reading, the characters realized they were falling in love with each other. This was an eye-opening moment to me when I realized I didn’t even care if they ended up together because I had no attachment to them whatsoever.

Skip this book and save yourself the bore.  (Too harsh?  Well, did I mention this book was boring and basically sucked the fun of reading a Christmas book out of the world? …Okay I may have a flair for the dramatic.  But seriously. Read any other Christmas book please).

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

official blurb
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old. It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position… Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

my blurb!
Pretty Woman reversed. And with a lot more sex scenes.

1.75 out of 5

what i didn't like
This was the kind of romance novel that I was afraid of reading when I started reading romance novels!  It was totally the type that I generalized into the category of romance novels.  Heavily laden with tropes and and uncomplex characters.
This novel was DIRTY. Like x-rated. So much so that I couldn’t finish it. It wasn’t steamy like some others, it was- hide your kids, hide your wives – wow.  (Side Note – I read this book BEFORE I read the Winston Brothers series.  And looking back- for the life of me I cannot remember how this steam compared to the Winston Brothers steam.  I do, however, remember being shocked by the steam in this book- so I am classifying it 5 flames for steam level).

what i liked
The main character is on the Autism Spectrum. I enjoyed reading a book from that perspective. (Though, if I were to recommend a book with a main character along those lines it would undoubtedly be Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine).

while reading you should
Listen to: Without You by Parachute
Watch: Pretty Woman

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

official blurb
“We were perfect together. Until we met.”
Misha
I can’t help but smile at the words in her letter. She misses me.
In fifth grade, my teacher set us up with pen pals from a different school. Thinking I was a girl, with a name like Misha, the other teacher paired me up with her student, Ryen. My teacher, believing Ryen was a boy like me, agreed.
It didn’t take long for us to figure out the mistake. And in no time at all, we were arguing about everything. The best take-out pizza. Android vs. iPhone. Whether or not Eminem is the greatest rapper ever… And that was the start. For the next seven years, it was us. Her letters are always on black paper with silver writing. Sometimes there’s one a week or three in a day, but I need them. She’s the only one who keeps me on track, talks me down, and accepts everything I am.  We only had three rules. No social media, no phone numbers, no pictures. We had a good thing going. Why ruin it?  Until I run across a photo of a girl online. Name’s Ryen, loves Gallo’s pizza, and worships her iPhone. What are the chances? F*ck it. I need to meet her. I just don’t expect to hate what I find.
Ryen
He hasn’t written in three months. Something’s wrong. Did he die? Get arrested? Knowing Misha, neither would be a stretch. Without him around, I’m going crazy. I need to know someone is listening. It’s my own fault. I should’ve gotten his number or picture or something.  He could be gone forever. Or right under my nose, and I wouldn’t even know it.

my blurb!
Teen pen pals with secrets finally meet.

1 out of 5

what i liked
I liked…. nope. Can’t think of anything

what i didn't like
I was legitimately nervous that there would be a rape scene in this book because Ryen’s semi- love non interest was way too agressive for me.
Also, this MAY be marketed YA. It is for sure for audiences 18+
I actually am pretty sure I did read this book a while ago and quit it because it was… intense and dirty. Now going through a romance novel phase, a friend suggested it. (I appreciate all suggestions as we get closer to finding my niche in the romance novel scene! We now know that this one didn’t do it for me.)  Ps. If you have suggestions for me, send them my way!
It was too crass for me.  Hide your kids, hide your wives language in it.

while reading you should
Listen to: Done For Me by Charlie Puth
Watch: Switched at birth (Random but there is a graffiti storyline in that show and in this book!)

if you would like to buy

Click here.

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Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

official blurb
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazilyrich.

my blurb!
The story of a kind of crappy boyfriend bringing his girlfriend to meet his family and throwing her to the wolves.

1.75 out of 5

No, your eyes did not just stop working. Yes, I did indeed rank this 1.75 stars. I know, it’s an unpopular opinion but this book wasn’t good. I didn’t even finish it even though I read over 200 pages! I know, I know, every book in the past that I marked DNF (did not finish) I ranked 1 star. Why does this one demand the extra .75 star?  Well, because the movie was amazing. Which really has nothing to do with the book but what can I say- it’s my blog, so I can do what I want! (Imagine a small childs tantrum here)

what i didn't like
Nick Young. Uhm, no way would I be okay dating a guy for TWO YEARS who then gave me ZERO prep for meeting his family and in fact HID the truth that his family actually didn’t like me and was not happy that I was being brought to meet them. NO WAY.  That is a total game-ender for me.  I was so annoyed with how he was being so laissez faire with his dating life to the AMAZING Rachel Chu.  Nope. I’m sorry… Not sorry.
There were WAY too many names in the beginning of this book. There was a family tree in the first few pages that I kept going back to reference.  I’m sorry, what? YES, you read that correctly, I had to reference the family tree multiple times in the first 200 pages of this book and I had ALREADY seen the movie!!!
The chapters are from different people’s perspectives.  I’m not all about that writing style in general, but usually it’s like two characters, maybe three. Okay sometimes four but that’s rare.  There were SO many. And by so many I mean like 6 perspectives in this book. Too many.  (Okay, I didn’t actually go back and count, but there were a lot… trust me).
I was exactly 212 pages into this book before I decided to stop reading it. Which is really a shame because I actually went out and bought the books, assuming I would race through them right after I saw the movie.  (Sidenote- go see the movie, it’s excellent).  I was so nervous, in fact, that the first book would cliffhanger like To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before– that I had to get the second one!  Now here I am, sitting on two books that I may eventually try to read again but am in no hurry to do so.  (This is a trilogy but my weird reasoning only required me to buy the first two books).
The last thing I didn’t like?  I never got emotionally attached to any of the characters.  I think that’s a problem when you’ve been in their lives for 200 pages. I should be invested! I wasn’t at all.

what i liked
Rachel. A smart, self-sufficient, good job having, cute clothes wearing heroine.
The movie.  (Okay, I know that shouldn’t go into the “liked” section for the book but I did like the movie!)

while reading you should
Go: to the theater and see the movie (have I mentioned that yet?)
Eat: food from a street vendor
Listen: The Crazy Rich Asians soundtrack! It’s amazing!

when to read
The summer – although I picked this up over the summer and still didn’t finish it.

if you would like to buy
Click here.

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The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

official blurb
If you were told the date of your death, how would it shape your present?
It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes. Their prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11, hoping to control fate; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.

my blurb!
Four siblings who live separate lives after visiting a seer in their youth.

1 out of 5

This book has almost 4 stars on goodreads with over 17,000 reviews.  When I looked that up, about halfway through the book, I was shocked.  The books premise alludes to fantastical elements – there are VERY few of these in the book except the prologue, where you read ONE of the four prophecies.

what i didn't like
Why are there so many names in the beginning of this book?! It’s a family of 6- so six names you need to immediately remember. But for some reason we are told street names, and countless townspeople’s names in just the first 27 pages!

I was not expecting, (and may it be noted that I didn’t like) the sexual writing style.  Don’t believe me? Here’s an excerpt:
“Vaginas have never appealed to him: their cabbage-like folds, their long hidden corridor.  He craves the long thrust of the cock, its heady insistence, and the challenge of a body like his.”  This is on page 33…
Not only could you find this writing in context but also completely out of context- just a random sexual sentence mixed in with normal everyday living. Sentence number TWO in the entire book:
“New to her are three more inches of height and the dark patch of fur between her legs.”

I just finished reading Station Eleven- which is required reading for dystopian fans- where I really enjoyed the writing style. Wow, what a change it was to go to this writing style.

what i liked
The premise of the book was intriguing- I think that’s the only way to explain how it’s gotten such a large audience so far.

I would definitely skip this book- I say it’s all hype and not worth the fuss!

BUT If you would like to buy this book click here.

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The View from Rainshadow Bay by Colleen Coble

I received a free copy of this book for an ARC review.

OFFICIAL BLURB

After her husband, Jack, dies in a climbing incident, Shauna has only her five-year-old son and her helicopter charter business to live for. Every day is a struggle to make ends meet and she lives in constant fear of losing even more than she already has.

When her business partner is murdered, his final words convince Shauna that she’s in danger, too. But where can she turn? Zach Bannister was her husband’s best friend and is the person she blames for his death. She’s barely spoken to him since. But right now he seems her only hope for protecting her son.

Zach is only too happy to assuage his guilt over Jack’s death by helping Shauna any way he can. But there are secrets involved dating back to Shauna’s childhood that more than one person would prefer to stay hidden.

MY THOUGHTS

I liked the premise of the book. At its core, the idea for this book was solid. I really wanted to know the backstory between our two main characters–Zach and Shauna–and I wanted good things to happen for them in the end. However, the execution just wasn’t there I felt like I was reading a book written for adults but at the high school level. Everything we were supposed to know or feel, we were told outright. We didn’t have to figure it out for ourselves. There was no mystery or suspense to the relationship between our two main characters. Even though they were adults, the writing made them sound and feel immature.

We also devolved from a murder mystery into some sort of terror plot involving man-made earthquakes? There was just a lot going on, and the complexity of the plot didn’t jive with the simplistic writing style.

SUMMARY

There is potential here, but I wouldn’t recommend this book in its current writing. I like the idea, but wasn’t impressed with the execution, and wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone.