Category: Romance

Not Now Not Ever
November 20th, 2017 by diane92345

A fun “King of the Nerds” meets Jeopardy summer camp is the setting for this entertaining young adult romance.

Ever Lawrence is determined to make her own way in life.  She won’t become a lawyer like her Dad, a local community theater actress who sells real estate like her Stepmom or join the Air Force like her Mom. She loves Octavia Butler’s novels and decides to get a free scholarship to the only school that has a Science Fiction Literature degree, Rayevich College. Taking a test and writing an awesome essay gets her into Camp Onward where at least one attendee will win the coveted scholarship at the conclusion of the camp. The contests required to win vary between the physical and the intellectual. Ever tries not to be distracted by her growing attraction to one of the other campers, her strange roommate and even stranger resident adviser.

Not Now, Not Ever is a humorous take on Much Ado about Nothing.  However, I enjoyed the frequent Oscar Wilde quotes and pop culture references even more. The characters are believable and the finale is great.  The machinations of some of the campers are laugh-out-loud funny. Even though I am far from a young adult, I loved the characters, plot and the setting.  4 stars!

I won an advanced reader copy of Not Now, Not Ever in a Goodreads giveaway but that has not impacted my review. This book will be released on November 21, 2017.

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Posted in Romance, Teen & Young Adult Tagged with: , ,

Don't Mean a Thing
November 3rd, 2017 by diane92345

Fun and quick chick-lit read set in Darwin Australia. The swing dancing background of Don’t Mean a Thing makes it perfect for fans of Dancing with the Stars!

Macie joins the Royal Australian Air Force after a bad break up with her verbally abusive ex-boyfriend. She finds not only a career but a swing dancing hobby and a sexy new boyfriend, Matt. However, Macie has questions. Is Matt still involved with his swing dancing partner for the past ten years, Nadiene?  Why does Macie’s hot new co-worker, Jeremy, keep flirting with her when he knows she is involved with Matt?

Don’t Mean a Thing is firmly in the chick-lit genre.  However, it adds a twist by making the heroine an aircraftwoman in Darwin Australia and providing extensive information about swing dancing. The use of Australian slang is fun for non-Australian readers.  Thongs are sandals. Togs are clothes. Budgie smugglers are the favorite swimwear of Borat. As an aircraftwoman, Macie works supporting aircraft at military airports.  She, and the reader, get to travel to several nearby countries including Malaysia.

I decided to read this genre as a palate cleanser after reading the extremely scary, Kill Creek (see my review at dianereviewsbooks.com/Kill-Creek). Yet, I really enjoyed it.  Don’t Mean a Thing and its author, Renee Conoulty, are a fresh voice in the chick-lit genre.  4 stars!

Thanks to the publisher, Kindred Ink Press, and Netgalley for a review copy.

Posted in Romance Tagged with: , ,

July 23rd, 2017 by diane92345

Genre-bending sci-fi mythological humorous apocalyptical romance.

Holy Crap! The World is Ending! has something for everyone. A woman meets her soulmate in a Barnes & Noble just as an asteroid is about to collide with Earth. There is something otherworldly about his looks but little does our heroine know. He is actually an alien sent to Earth to determine whether humankind can stop battling each other long enough to be moved to another planet.

Okay, the plot I just described seems lame but the book is actually fascinating and humorous. The author throws in hundreds of pop culture references (i.e., Harry Potter, Duck Dodgers, the illuminati, Bigfoot). There are many similarities between the alien names and Sumerian mythology. To say any more would be a spoiler. The romance is heartfelt and believable. The interactions between the heroine’s friends are hilarious. Which would you say is more likely to float-a raft made of Twinkies or Ding Dongs? I have to side with the Ding Dongs personally.

Even though this book is hard to categorize to recommend it for a particular type of reader, that is also its charm. I would highly recommend it to anyone bored of formulaic stories. It would also be a good choice for fans of The Simpsons for its humor and free use of decades of pop culture references. It has some R-rated sex scenes so it wouldn’t be appropriate for readers under 16.

Thanks to the publisher, Alien Abduction Press, and netgalley for an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review. This book will be published on September 21, 2017.

Posted in Diane's Favorites, Romance, Science Fiction Tagged with: , , ,

July 4th, 2017 by diane92345

Perfect Beach Read!

If the summer tv show Love Connection is your fav, then this book will hit that same sweet spot. Also for fans of Bridget Jones, this laugh out loud detailing of a hapless first grade teacher’s love life is delicious from start to finish.

Rae is divorced and her two best friends, one planning her wedding and the other married with four kids, want to fix her up using a Tinder-like app. Rae is more interested in the male substitute teacher at her school even though he may already be attached.

The writing style is pure millennial with hashtags and texting acronyms so if you are older than the heroine’s mid-thirties, you might need to keep your phone close by to google things that will seem obvious once you read them on urbandictionary.com. Still it is kind of enjoyable to see how a completely different generation deals with the same problems affecting all generations.

One cautionary note, if you are on day 10 in AA, this book may not for you. As Rae says sarcastically to herself

Am I becoming an alcoholic? #probs

This isn’t Shakespeare but it is a great six hours of your time this summer.

I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway but that has not impacted my review.

Posted in Humor, Romance Tagged with: ,

July 2nd, 2017 by diane92345

Timely look at teen issues.

This is the story of Genesis, who was left at an abortion clinic by her boyfriend, Peter. The novel also includes many other current teen topics like drug abuse, religion, pre-marital sex, suicide, mental health, alcoholic binges, and deciding on a career. It is a lot to cram into 350 pages. I wish the author had picked one or two to delve into deeper as it seemed like some topics were dealt with too swiftly.

I really liked the story structure. Each chapter was entitled with an aftercare instruction that matched the actions within the chapter. Every couple of chapters a script between Genesis and Peter would flashback to different events in their relationship.

The characters were very genuine and they showed different perspectives of the same event. The plot was good though, as is typical with books marketed as Young Adult, the ending wasn’t much of a surprise.

This would be a good book for an older teen. It is a combination of a family drama and romance.

I received this book in a Goodreads giveaway but that did not impact my review.

Posted in Romance, Teen & Young Adult Tagged with: , , ,

cover pic
November 18th, 2015 by diane92345

Excellent WWII Historical Romance.

I really enjoyed this historical romance set during World War II between a first generation Japanese woman and her American boyfriend. It was interesting to learn about the Relocation Centers used solely for people of Japanese descent, regardless of their citizenship status. It is interesting that we did not “relocate” any Germanic Americans. While the twists and turns of the love story are what kept me listening to this book, it also includes a mystery and courtroom drama within its story.

I always listen to audiobooks in the car during my commute to work.  This was the first book that I took inside to finish the last 30 minutes before dinner because I couldn’t wait until the next morning to hear the book’s conclusion.

The narrator was excellent. I could tell who was speaking without difficulty.

I received this audiobook from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Posted in Audiobooks, Diane's Favorites, Romance Tagged with:

Force of Nature cover pic
October 19th, 2015 by diane92345

Great characters in an absorbing paranormal romantic mystery.

This was a good paranormal romantic mystery. Maybe it’s because I have read so many mysteries, but Force of Nature seemed rather easy to figure out. However, I loved the characters in the book–each had their own voice, motivations and quirks. The paranormal part was good too just enough to keep it interesting without becoming silly. I truly loved the ending.

I received this book from a Goodreads giveaway but that has not impacted my review.

Posted in Mystery & Thrillers, Paranormal, Romance

Seconds cover pic
October 17th, 2015 by diane92345

Makes you think what would you do! If you loved Scott Pilgrim, you will love this one more.

I loved this graphic novel. The plot was totally unpredictable. It also mashed together so many genres that it is hard to categorize, which is great. Maybe young adult paranormal mystery sci-fi romance?

I picked up this book because I enjoyed the Scott Pilgrim vs the World books by the same author. However, I believe this book is better and it is not a series so you get the immediate gratification of an ending. The magic mushrooms in the plot make you think about how you would change your mistakes well after you have finished the book.

Posted in Graphic Novel, Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction, Teen & Young Adult Tagged with: