May 31, 2012

book reviews: may 2012 recap

May's Read of the Month
Crushable men and conflicted leading ladies were aplenty in this month's featured reads.

After longing for seriously delicious romance this year, this month's offerings did not disappoint (Though after reading the Fifty Shades books, it takes a lot more to make me blush). The love stories came in a variety of packages: young adult, romance, chick lit and historical fiction.

My Read of the Month for May goes to Elsa Watson's Dog Days. A book so cute I audibly giggled and grinned throughout most of the reading, the clever story-telling gives the reader kine insight into the minds of an enjoyable protagonist and her new best friend -- a dog. This was territory I had not delved into in my reading material for a while, and I am glad it turned out as well as it did.

It is a read I definitely recommend for those of you looking for a beach read.

With that, let's take a look back at this month's featured titles...

Taking Shots by Toni Aleo
Rating: 4.5 of 5
Toni Aleo's Taking Shots has all the sexiness, romance and humor a person could ask for. As far as romantic reads go, this one is perfect for fans of love and sports.

Photographer Elli Fischer has a nasty history, complete with a mostly nasty family, medical scares and a complete dick of an ex-boyfriend. When she catches the eye of Shea Adler, captain of her favorite hockey team and an all-around hottie, she has a hard time believing his feelings are genuine.

But they are. After winning the Stanley Cup the season before, Shea is ready to get more serious about his life. That means ditching the string of one-night stands with ice bunnies and giving his heart a chance to fall in love.
Read the rest of the review here.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

Rating: 4 of 5
Set in our future, Kiera Cass' The Selection tells the story of a young woman taken from a humble upbringing and placed in the limelight to compete for the heart and hand of her nation's prince.

The Selection is a cute read well-suited to a young adult audience. While I enjoyed the story, it was not what I expected. Pitched to me as a cross between The Hunger Games and The Bachelor, I found it leaned significantly more toward the latter. I was OK with that, but it forced me to make more comparisons between The Selection and The Hunger Games than I might have otherwise made. I wish it had not been made, because it was not fair to either story.
Read the rest of the review here.

The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts
Rating: 4 of 5
The Montgomery men are back in the second sexy installment of Nora Roberts InnBoonsboro trilogy. If I did not already have a crush on them, I certainly would after reading The Last Boyfriend.

In book two, the hyper-organized and ultra sweet Owen sees longtime family friend and pizzeria owner Avery in a new light after Lizzy, the ghost at the Inn literary pushes them together. The two have a lot of history. Not only is Owen technically Avery's business and apartment landlord, but they grew up together. Avery fell in love with Owen when she was five, declaring she planned to marry him someday, and he played along. Contrary to what either of them says, neither ever quite got over that puppy love.
Read the rest of the review here.

Vivid by Andrea Murray
Rating: 3.5 of 5
In Andrea Murray's Vivid, a teenage girl must face the reality behind her unique power and the circumstances that left her orphaned.

After years of hiding the secret of her past and her abilities, everything changes for 16-year-old Vivian Cartright following an encounter with a bully at her school. Having witnessed her mother's death when she was 5, Vivian, like her mother, possesses power to control energy.

For more than 10 years she manages to keep only her Aunt Charlotte in the know. But as her power grows stronger, it becomes more difficult for her to control. The realization of her power yields differing reactions from her best friend, Abby, and her boyfriend, Easton. While dealing with this, memories of Vivian's past, and her mother's death, resurface.
Read the rest of the review here.

Dog Days by Elsa Watson * READ OF THE MONTH *
Rating: 4.5 of 5
In Elsa Watson's Dog Days, a cafe owner best known in her small town as a dog hater has her life turned upside down when she swaps bodies with a canine.

As she prepares for her town's annual canine festival, Jessica Sheldon knows her cafe must do some serious business or risk shutting their doors forever. Unfortunately, her lifelong fear of dogs has dubbed her a dog hater, which makes her canine-crazed townspeople hesitant to give her business. At the same time, she is seriously crushing on Hot Max, the town's adorable and hunky veterinarian. So far, she has managed a bit of small talk when he comes in for his daily cup of java.

When Jessica has a run-in with Zoe, a stray pup abandoned her family, and a jolt of lighting, the two find themselves in swapped bodies. Together, they must successfully complete the dog festival, face issues from their past and see if they can land the guy, too.
Read the rest of the review here.

The Devil Has Dimples by Pepper Phillips
Rating: 4 of 5
A young woman must uncover the truth behind her origin and upbringing before moving on with her future in Pepper Phillips' The Devil Has Dimples.

Still dealing with the death of the only mother she has known, Sara McLaughlin's world takes a shock when she discovers that she was not only adopted, but that her birth mother has died. She rushes to Boggy Bayou, La., to confront the lawyer who sent her word only to learn that the situation is more complicated than she thought.

Not only is she shocked by word of her adoption and the terms of her birth mother's will -- which stipulate that she must stay and work in the town for six weeks if she wants to inherit anything -- but Grant, the lawyer, is gorgeous devil of a man with dimples who will be her roommate if she stays in town.
Read the rest of the review here.

Willow Pond by Carol Tibaldi
Rating: 3.5 of 5
A young mother, her family and friends join an inept police team in searching for her kidnapped son in Carol Tibaldi's prohibition-era debut novel Willow Pond.

Beautiful and smart, Laura Kingsley Austin recently left her man-whore movie star husband to raise their toddler son in NYC's Greenwich Village. When their son, Todd, is kidnapped while visiting her estranged husbands, Laura and a cluster of reporters and police officers depend upon their Hampton home, Willow Pond, to look for answers.

As the case progresses, evidence points back to a person Laura refuses to believe is involved. While searching for her son, a new romance and her soon-to-be ex's attempts at reconciliation complicate her life even more.
Read the rest of the review here.

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