Tag Archive: romance



StumbleStumble by Susana Sparrow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was quite fun. The young female protagonist goes to visit relatives in Europe. There are language problems for her except for those who do speak English. But the adventure begins when she goes to the cave surrounded by mythology.

I don’t want to give anything away but magic happens. Lots of magic. Some quite dangerous. Remember language issues and trying to remain a good house guest for her relatives. Oh, then add a romance that is quite impossible on so many levels. Yep, now you have a story. I quite enjoyed it and hope everyone gets a chance to read it.

Yeah, I know. I don’t usually like romance. But this one has so many problems most don’t have. And this protagonist is strong and stands for her feminist ideals in spite of all the magic. This kept it interesting for me. I hope it is for you, too.

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American PandaAmerican Panda by Gloria Chao
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a cute book! What a necessary book. I tagged this story with Feminism because there are cultures who need more individual growth and less tradition. I think everyone should read this book to see where one’s traditions and growth of personhood resides.

The author, Gloria Chao, does a marvelous job bringing us into her world, learning the traditions that she grew up with. It is wonderful seeing that change can happen. That individuals can find their own happiness.

My copy was the Kindle version borrowed from the e-library. If you can you should look it up. It is a light read to have so much to it. I might read it again, someday.

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Almost Missed YouAlmost Missed You by Jessica Strawser
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an interesting take on the love-at-first-sight theme. What if you don’t act on that sight? What if someone else shows up next?

The story was well-written and kept me reading. I wanted to know what could happen next? There was a lot of suspense and a little romance. I’m not much on romance or murder but these were kept to a minimum as there is so much more to the drama than just those ideas.

I love that there are children involved and beaches. Many layers of what? Why would he do that? What the heck is going on? So I highly recommend this to others looking for a good read. Oh, and I love the grandmother. A wealth of wisdom!

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The Museum of Extraordinary ThingsThe Museum of Extraordinary Things by Alice Hoffman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alice Hoffman does it again! I am always certain of a deep and interesting read if I pick up something she’s written.

This one has well researched historical events and has thrown in the fictional characters making a seamless story. I loved the main characters who felt real, flaws and all.

Of course, this book drew me in as the main character posed as a mermaid. My inner mermaid was overjoyed and scared for this girl as she attempted to fool the public for her father’s museum of defected folks that he revamped into scientific anomalies. In the mermaid’s case, webbed fingers, has her dad putting her in water most of her life.

The story was played against a backdrop of labor strikes and unhealthy work conditions that causes fires. The other main character is a young man whose father seems deeply depressed. The world has treated his people horrendously. This young man’s story plays out near the mermaid’s. Though the romance doesn’t happen through most of the book, and it doesn’t take over the story, get ready, love happens. But it helps the story.

I don’t know why I don’t want to give this five stars. It is a story I will remember. I guess because overall, it left me depressed. And I wanted more of the happiness these people deserved. Maybe a book two will bring them back? It is depressing history, but necessary to read and learn from. Please give it a read if you get the chance. I was able to pick this up from our e-library. Best way to read books that are normally too expensive for my taste. Enjoy.

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A Different BlueA Different Blue by Amy Harmon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am sad to finish this book. I was lucky to listen to the Audible version. Tavia Gilbert’s narration brought all the characters to life. There is no time that I thought I was hearing all one voice. Each character stood out on their own.

Whoever recommended this book to me, thank you. It was a book that I relished every minute. The main character had that spit fire attitude that I always enjoy. Think Max in Maximum Ride, only maybe even more so.

Though this is called a romance by other reviewers, it isn’t sappy and full of angst like other YA books. In fact, the romance is on the back burner as Blue tries to find her identity.

I even loved the secondary characters. I don’t know if they read as individualistic as the narrator made them sound but they were all lovable.

I almost gave the book four stars as there was a moment I nearly quit reading. It seemed to take Blue into a Jesus saves moment. Not that that is a bad thing in itself. It just didn’t fit with the rest of the story and I thought it was going to stay religious preaching rather than be a story of a person growing. Luckily the author didn’t stay with that theme and allowed Blue to continue life trying to be a good person. Never in a preachy way, just living as life came to her. It almost gave a realness to the story rather than distract. That could happen.

There were points where the book could have ended but the author remembered to cover all the loose thread and tidied up the ending so nicely.

One thing that bothered me is something that always bothers me. Why did Blue stop being herself? Just because a guy finally accepts and love abounds doesn’t mean a woman should become all sweet and pliable. It became too close to the common story of happily ever after and I don’t think that is acceptable now. There should be a part two where Blue realized what all brides need to learn–we have to stay ourselves to make a whole not lose ourselves and become the other person.

I highly recommend this book. Let me know what you think

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Hold Back the StarsHold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t like romance, well, maybe the occasional You Got Mail or Nottinghill, but mostly I find them boring. I DO love me some space, dystopia, futuristic sci-fi. This book has all four elements. Within the science fiction setting there just happens to be a love story. It was fun!

Spoilers are threatening to spill out of me as I write this and seem to be overwhelming my brain. I seem not to be able to give more of my opinion without them and I refuse to put them here.

I might like to read this again. I can think, if the author would like the suggestion, of a way to make a book two, or at least an alternative ending. As it is I think she did put in two different endings.

If any of my friends read this, and I hope they do, I hope we can have a bit of a discussion about the endings.

This story will stay with me for a while. Think of Gravity the movie mixed with a strange dystopic earth threatened by meteors. SO GOOD!

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Third Life: Taken (Life First, #3)Third Life: Taken by R.J. Crayton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a good ending to a good series. It was good because it offered plenty to think about. When a government can tell a person what they can or can’t do with their bodies, where does it end? Can they make you give up a kidney because it can save someone else? And who is held responsible when something goes wrong? And though there are scientists that can prove or disprove as much in the scientific realm as theologians can do the same with the Holy Books who can we trust?

Let’s say you decided not to give up your kidney. You feel you need it as much as anyone else. Where does your right to live stand in comparison to someone else’s? What if the government decided who should or shouldn’t have babies? Can you see what a sticky-wicket of a world it would be?

In this last book, which makes me sad to say as I will miss these characters, there are a wedding, a kidnapping, and healing while running for one’s life–or that of another. The action picks up and isn’t as slow as book two.

It has been nearly a month since I read this but I feel good reviewing as I feel I remember quite a lot. At least it made a big enough impact for me that I could remember the gist. **SMILE**

Now a quick question for the author: What was the purpose of the hidden room? Did I miss something? Or did I imagine a greater purpose than that given to us? Could there be more in store for us?

Anyway, I highly recommend this series. Sure there is romance but it doesn’t take over the main story and sometimes adds to it.

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Second Life (Life First #2)Second Life by R.J. Crayton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this second book to be slower and not nearly as exciting as the first book. But then how do you compete with emergency skydiving? I tried to be patient realizing we were getting to know other characters better.

Having a disabled person as the main character was a plus. I love it when authors take a chance with something other than perfect people and let us see characters who are different.

Still, the first half of the book took place in two rooms. THAT was boring! Sure we needed to get to know our characters’ thoughts but there had to be another way to do that.

Towards the end, things picked up and felt more like the first book. Knuckle were whitened, nails were bitten. And I was praying that there would be no cliffhanger. And there wasn’t. The book left you in a safe enough place but you knew there was more that needed to be done. Luckily, I had book three lined up and took off with that one!

Something I need to add here is another original idea of these three books is the moral dilemma similar to abortion or capital punishment. What if we were forced to give up our organs to those we match who are dying? This book takes further into what if by being forced we become disabled or otherwise harmed? Who is held responsible? I love books that make you think and this series does do that while presenting well-developed characters and lots of adventure.

Shoot, I just decided that I need to raise this from three to four stars, just due to my own review. I will remember this series long into the future that hopefully doesn’t have the dilemmas presented here.

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Open Minds (Mindjack Trilogy, #1)Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This had a brilliant concept. But I am disappointed. What ruined it most? The Audible narrator: Kelli Shane. Her voice sounded like she was on the last story to ADHD kids at bedtime. How do I know that? Yep, been there had that voice. It works well at putting the reader to sleep. ADHD kid just laughs and takes the book to read to themselves as mom falls to sleep.

I would have been better off just using the text-to-speech. But chose to continue. The story line was interesting. I even sort of liked the main character.

On the other hand, really, if a person can read another’s mind and be read what is to stop intrusion? And possible mind jacking? I don’t see how the jacker can’t read first and the reader not jack. After all, we are talking teens. They are already in each others’ heads. So a lot of this seemed to not ring true.

It was a nice diversion. But I just wasn’t that into it, and I really wanted to be. Maybe others will love it. I hope so. I doubt I will seek out the next in the series. I do have the German version so I might try it again just to practice my German reading skills.

By the way, the Kindle version is free right now. I hope you enjoy it.

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The Last Chance Matinee (The Hudson Sisters #1)The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I noticed as I wished this story hadn’t ended was that it has a series name: The Hudson Sisters #1. Yay! I don’t have to leave my new friends forever! And while I am talking about the ending, relax, it isn’t a cliff-hanger. Everyone is safe. I just miss them.

You can look up the blurb to see what the book is about. I try to concentrate on my feelings about the story. What I noticed most of all, was the lack of conflict and yet I kept wanting to read more. I suppose the conflict is the undertone of how the characters ended up owning a theater. They had to spend the time getting to know each other and see how they fit into the scheme of things. But there was no great adventure, no one is in grave danger. Yet through each of their perspectives, you see their birth order and history.

It was because of the description of the story on the blurb on NetGalley dot com that I picked this up to review. I am so glad I did. It is quite an interesting story. I look forward to book two so I can see these women and watch them remake a theater together.

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