Saturday, December 29, 2012

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

About the book:

Seattle, 1933. Single mother Vera Ray kisses her three-year-old son, Daniel, goodnight and departs to work the night-shift at a local hotel. She emerges to discover that a May-Day snow has blanketed the city, and that her son has vanished. Outside, she finds his beloved teddy bear lying face-down on an icy street, the snow covering up any trace of his tracks, or the perpetrator's.

Seattle, 2010. Seattle Herald reporter Claire Aldridge, assigned to cover the May 1 "blackberry winter" storm and its twin, learns of the unsolved abduction and vows to unearth the truth. In the process, she finds that she and Vera may be linked in unexpected ways...

My thoughts:

Although I have heard of Sarah Jio, I had yet to lose myself in one of her books. I decided on Blackberry Winter--and boy, am I glad that I did. I was immediately sucked into the story of Vera Ray and Claire Aldridge. This novel had me on an emotional roller-coaster, and the twists and turns were very surprising. I adored this book, everything about it. The writing was phenomenal, I immediately shared a connection with Vera and Claire, and the ending was spectacular. I give this book five out of five stars--and I am eager to read Ms. Jio's other novels.

Interested in Purchasing?

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I received an ebook in order to facilitate this review. Thank you to NetGalley for providing this opportunity! No other compensation was given, and all opinions expressed above are my own.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Meant to Be by Karen Stivali

About the book:

Sometimes you’re already committed to the wrong person when fate finally brings you the right one.

When NYU professor Daniel Gardner’s career-obsessed wife convinces him to move to the suburbs, he hopes it’s a first step toward starting the family he longs to have. Instead of domestic bliss he finds his neighbor, Marienne Valeti. She loves her freelance design job, but must contend with a growing sense of isolation created by her husband’s indifference. A penchant for good books, bad movies, and Marienne’s to-die-for brownies sparks a powerful bond between them. Passion simmers, but they resist its lure, surrendering only in the seclusion of their minds. Their friendship helps them weather every hardship, from divorce to widowhood, leaving them both secretly wondering if it can survive a first kiss.

My Thoughts:

I am a sucker for any book with friends that are meant to be lovers. Karen Stivali's writing style was so lifelike, so real. I have read books where I never connect with a single character; this is the total opposite for Meant to Be. The characters are lovable, relatable, and I found myself sucked into this novel while unable to put it down. This novel definitely deserves a 5 out of 5 stars--it's a great book and I encourage all of my readers to pick it up!

Where to Buy: 


About the Author:

Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies and fictional British men. When she’s not writing, she can be found cooking extravagant meals and serving them to family and friends. Prior to deciding to write full time Karen worked as a hand drawn animator, a clinical therapist, and held various food-related jobs ranging from waitress to specialty cake maker. Planning elaborate parties and fundraisers takes up what’s left of her time and sanity.

Karen has always been fascinated by the way people relate to one another so she favors books and movies that feature richly detailed characters and their relationships. In her own writing she likes to explore the dynamics between characters and has a tendency to craft romantic love stories filled with sarcasm and sexy details.  

Karen has published three erotic romances with Ellora’s Cave: Marry Me (June 2012), Long-Distance Lovers (co-written with Karen Booth, March 2012) and Always You (Passionate Plume First Place Novella Winner, RWA 2012).

Karen’s first full-length novel, Meant To Be, released from Turquoise Morning Press on August 26, 2012. Its sequel, Holding On, released on November 26, 2012. A prequel to these novels, the short story All I Need, appears in the Foreign Affairs Anthology (Turquoise Morning Press, August 2012).

Coming in 2013 Karen will have several contemporary romances releasing from Samhain Publishing and Turquoise Morning Press. The first of these, Then, Again will be release from Samhain on May 23, 2013.

Want to connect with Karen? You can find her at any/all of the sites listed below:
Publisher's Site: Turquoise Morning Press

A huge thank you to Chick Lit Plus and Karen Stivali for the opportunity to read this book. I received one ebook in order to facilitate this review; no other compensation was given.