Sunday, February 28, 2016

Book Review: Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan

Multiple Listings by Tracy McMillan
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: March 8th, 2016
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Format: Hardcover, E-book
Amazon Buy Link: HERE
Goodreads Link:
Em's Rating: ★ ★ ★ 1/2
Book Blurb: What would you do if your ex-con father suddenly came to visit…indefinitely? Family drama ensues when Nicki’s dad unexpectedly wants to move in with her, her son, and her boyfriend in this comedic novel from successful TV writer Tracy McMillan. Nicki Daniels owns a home appraisal business, but real estate is her true passion: she lives for open houses and really knows her way around a floor plan. And especially at this juncture of her life, real estate has come to signify the stability she is trying to build with her teenage son, Cody, and her much younger boyfriend, Jake. She’s finally ready to find the perfect house for the three of them and work on a new business venture with Jake that she thinks will jump-start their lives together. Meanwhile, Ronnie, a longtime inmate at a nearby correctional facility, is getting some good news for once—there was a mistake in his sentencing, and he’s eligible to get out of prison. Ronnie decides his best option to avoid homelessness is to move in with his estranged daughter: Nicki. Even though they haven’t spoken in years, her door is always open to him, right? Imbued with wit and profound insight into relationships, Multiple Listings speaks poignantly—and often hilariously—about the ties that bind families of all types together. 

 Em’s Review: 
If I had to summarize my feels for this book in one sentence it would be: Multiple Listings was and enjoyable read. Much like a chick flick can be an enjoyable movie to watch, which, is a lot of how this book reads. It FEELS like a chick flick. It just fits the pre-summer enjoyable movie feel. You know April to early May films, before cape-wearing-exploding-dinosaurs rake in untold amounts of cash. Maybe it is because the author has written for TV.

This book is a good place to spend a weekend, kind of like when I can put on a Hallmark movie and just clean the house. While you like the characters and become invested with them for the time you are there, you leave the whole book with a feeling of, “that was a nice time.” You saw the characters have a kind of struggle in a kind of dysfunctional life, but no more than you, or I, or anyone has a “dysfunctional” life. In fact, Nicki and her son, and even her dad are written to be more “slightly-off-functional” than dysfunctional. Take Ronnie, Nicki’s father come home from 17 years in prison. A man who Nicki pulled away from enough to not even accept his letters. Who was a “user” and yet, within a day she just lets him bond with her son, because he is not “that bad.” Or Nicki who “chooses the wrong men,” in a they didn’t fit way, not a druggy-wife beating way. They just all felt to normal for dysfunctional to me.

 Like any chick flick, this book is littered with the chick flick cliches:

  • “Troubled” son single mom can’t reach, send in a male character to bond! (and the quotation marks tells you how troubled I felt Cody was) 
  • Quirky best friend that has the odd name (Peaches) to let the reader know we have a wild card here! 
  •  Best friend troubles that fixed in the speed of “Holly Shit I think I got whiplash.”  
  • Problems that did really have an impact on the characters. (money issues for one) 
  • Insta-Fix problems that would be fixed as soon as someone moved to another ROOM. CONFLICT! *flash* Gone. Conflict! *flash* Gone. Conflict? *flash* Gone. 
  • And an ending that I could have seen in any rom-com. If you don’t read the last four pages of this book and not see it playing out on your TV, I’ll give up chocolate. 
Once again, not to say this book was bad. It was what it was, enjoyable. Some things made me tear up, but so does Bridesmaids. Do I think you should read it? Sure! If you like a light chick flick. Will I want to read it again? Nope.

 *I was given a copy of this book from Netgalley and the Publisher for an honest review.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Review: By the Rules (Evergreen Grove #3) + Giveaway!

Title: By the Rules (Evergreen Grove #3)
By: Elisabeth Staab
Publication Date: Jan. 16th 2016
Genre: M/M Romance
Format: Paperback and E-Book
Em's Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Book Blurb:
He thinks I want him because of the rumors around town. Because I think he’s easy. I want AJ, because he’s AJ.

No liars. No suits. Absolutely no straight guys…

AJ Fabin’s list of rules keeps him safe. Since getting kicked out of his parents’ home and attacked by a former escorting client, his rules and his life in the tiny town of Evergreen Grove provide a quiet haven. He may be lonely, and he may stick out like a sore thumb, but the folks like him well enough. When he’s not dodging his old pimp, things are peaceful.

Hayden Price is having a quarter-life crisis. Engaged to a woman he can’t connect to and working a job he secretly hates, he comes to Evergreen Grove to help his mother through a health scare. Returning to his childhood home makes Hayden reevaluate a lot of things, including himself. When he meets AJ and finds he can’t stand the mouthy jerk—almost as much as he can’t stop thinking about him—he has a lot more to change than his career.

To be together, they’ll both have to break all of their rules.

By the Rules is book 3 in the Evergreen Grove series, but reads as a standalone.

Amazon | ARe | iTunes | Google | Kobo | B&N | Goodreads

Em's Review:
I probably loved this story way more than I should for a contemporary romance.  Not saying that contemporary romances are bad, but they are like a drug for me. Read one, enjoy the high,and move on to my next fix. By The Rules is a high I want to relive. I honestly wondered, after reading, if it was too soon for a re-read. Something my TBR pile told me I have to wait on.

So, By The Rules is the 3rd book in the Evergreen Grove series, which can stand fine on its own, seeing as I didn’t even KNOW  it was part as a series, until I read the “more from the author” bit in the back. Yep, that’s me doing research like a good blogger. (eyeroll) But, it proves my point. You can pick up this book, read it, roll around in sweet snarky goodness, and not have to go on a treasure hunt (okay 2 mins on amazon) to enjoy this one.  

I loved both AJ, your non tropey ex-hooker trying to make his life better, and Hayden your non-tropey man with the money, in their much better Pretty Women retake.  And I mean MUCH better.  Both our main characters were sharp witted, enjoyable and not some unbelievable man love interest.  (Thank you Ms. Stabb)

Okay, so I know you are dying to hear what I loved about the book, so here is a non-spoilery list on way I loved it, and you will too.

  • This is a better “Pretty Woman” story than Pretty Woman. Yes, I said it. Deal.
  • No one is saving anyone here. If you are looking for a Dude-sel in distress skip this. If you want two main characters that, even though their shit is not together, they are not set out to fix the other’s problems, I have a book here for you. *points to buy links above*
  • No insta-love here. In fact we have a lot of hate to friendly lust, to love.
  • Snark. Sass. And snarky sass!
  • Real feeling “bad guys”  There is no mustache twirling in here.
  • Tropes that don’t trope.  Which I know sounds like ice that doesn’t freeze, but it was like our esteemed author had a trope bingo card, and was trying to both win the game, and break the trope at the same time.  
  • One character can fix your toilet, box and snuggle a unicorn. Although I don’t think at the same time.
  • The other can belt out a crooner worthy song, and apparently have people do laundry with his abs.
  • They're assholes and we love them!
  • Secrets
  • No slow paced filler scenes.  This is important to me. I don’t want to hear about someone vacuuming their floor, for no point in the plot line.
  • Pizza rolls
  • And, because it is my blog and can say it again - Unicorns.

But in the words of LeVar Burton, you don’t have to take my word for it. You can just read this passage:

Excerpt (AJ’s POV):

I jog down Main Street to get to Cassie. I’m reaching for the door to Delia’s Coffee Shop and Bakery when the damn thing swings wide to reveal a younger man wearing a suit and tie. At least I think he’s younger. I’m nearly blinded first by his face, and then by the door smacking me in mine.

When I swing around to confront him we collide, hard chest meeting hard chest. I put my hand up to brace myself and wind up grabbing a firm pec, only missing smacking faces when he jumps back with one arm out to avoid smashing his to-go cup. We get close enough that his stubble scratching against mine and I smell mint on his breath as he pulls away.

I guess I should appreciate that in spite of getting harassed by my old pimp and nearly having my nose broken (again) this morning, Cranky Businessman didn’t add second degree burns to my Early Morning Shit List.

“Jesus, man. You know people are coming out of here carrying hot drinks, right?” His accent is strange, but I hear a definite hint of ballsy New Yorker in there, which makes him seem even more of a cocky bastard with his tall, broad body and that pricey Brioni suit he’s wearing. His eyes flare before they narrow and sharpen. He glares at me, coal-dark stare scraping from the top of my rainbow hoodie to the bottoms of my sneakers in judgement.

Yeah, well. Screw him very much.

About The Author:
I know, right? Who can write this ab-fab meet hate? Well meet Elisabeth Staab, who was kind enough to send a few words in with this book. And a photo! 

Elisabeth Staab started hunting mutant hedgehogs back in 1842… Oops, wrong bio… Elisabeth Staab digs coffee, saucy stories, and sexy things that go bump in the night. Once, she ate dinner in a jail and liked it. She lives in the Washington DC area with her incredible family and does her best to juggle life while ignoring the laundry.

Follow the Tour:
For more chances to win follow the tour! You can find the rest of the tour stops HERE

The Giveaway:

There’s a tour wide giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card! So, if you win you can buy this book and then have like 40 bucks to buy MORE books! Win-Win! For a chance to win just fill out the giveaway form below!

Special Thanks:
We don't get to do things like give-a-ways on this blog, mainly cause we are still so new, but I would like to give a shout out to Anna, who put this together, invited me to join as a late reviewer, and awesomely answered any questions I had. I hope I can do this again!

Now go read, enter things and give love!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Top 3 Movies looking forward in 2016


Captain America: Civil War - May 6

Fantastic Beast and Where to Find them - Nov. 18

Deadpool - Feb. 12


How can I take this list down to 3? Why do I even do this to myself?!?  Okay, I can do this.  This doesn't mean I don't have a huge list from number 4 to some high number that I wish my bank account looked like. 



(do you have your ticket yet?)

Let us know what your top 3 are.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy & Roger's Epic Detour

Title: Amy and Roger's Epic Detour
Author: Morgan Matson
Release:May 3rd, 2011
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★
Where to find it: Amazon | Bookdepository
Series: No
Summary: Amy Curry is not looking forward to her summer. Her mother decided to move across the country and now it's Amy's responsibility to get their car from California to Connecticut. The only problem is, since her father died in a car accident, she isn't ready to get behind the wheel. Enter Roger. An old family friend, he also has to make the cross-country trip - and has plenty of baggage of his own. The road home may be unfamiliar - especially with their friendship venturing into uncharted territory - but together, Amy and Roger will figure out how to map their way. (goodreads)

Thoughts: I have discover that I am very much a mood reader after reading this book. I have to be in the right mood to read a certain book and this book was read in the perfect time. In this book we follow the journey of Amy Curry as she sets on a task to travel across country to a new home after the death of her father with and old family friend Roger that she hadn't seen in year. In the story we follow her as she finds her self in the journey once again.

She come face with things that she hadn't face since the accident of her father. I was pulled into the story because it was just what I needed during the time. A quick contemporary story of individuals trying to find themselves and this story did that. I like the journey that Amy took in order to face what she had been trying to avoid. Each stop of her journey opening her up more and more to the person she was before her fathers death.

The relationship between Amy and Roger have during their road trip was entertainment to read and I really enjoyed it. It felt natural in a way.  However, the end game of their relationship I didn't really like. I didn't feel like that would happen so quickly. I felt that there needed to be more time for that sort of relationship. Specially after not really talking to each other after so many years.

One thing that I thought was really unique about the book (well at least to me) was the playlist that were in the book. I had never read a book with playlist before. I really love that and the music in the playlist were songs that I really loved.

I think if you like entertainment and character growth in a short amount of time this would be a great book to read. That is my only complain about the book. How Amy and Roger's relationship moved so fast. I wish there was more time in between their relationship. It would have felt a lot more believable. Another thing that I would have like to read more would have been the relationship between the family. That would have add more into the story.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Review for Darkness Fair (Book 2 in the Darkness Cycle series)

Darkness Fair (Book 2 in the Darkness Cycle series)

By Rachel A. Marks
Publisher: Skyscape
Publication Date: Feb. 2nd, 2016
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Format: Paperback and Audio Book
Amazon Buy Link: HERE
Goodreads Link: HERE
Em's Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Link to first book in the series: HERE

 Book Blurb: Against the backdrop of an ancient battle between the forces of Light and the forces of Darkness, Aidan struggles to control the newly awakened and enigmatic powers that seem to be his only hope for rescuing Ava, his little sister, trapped somewhere beyond the Veil. As he gravitates to Kara, the beguiling and dangerously unstable girl who helped him realize his abilities, a terrible mistake of fate is revealed that points him back toward Rebecca, whose role is becoming more critical to the battle. And no matter what his heart wants, it might be too late to stop the pieces already in motion. Without knowing the sacrifices that will be required of them, Aidan and his motley crew of friends—each with their own role to play—must face the demon threat head-on. They’re the only ones keeping the growing army of Darkness at bay, and if they fail, the future of humanity could be lost.

Now I have the fun job of reviewing the second book in a series and not try to spoil the first one. Rachel Marks needs to put a seat belt warning on her books. From the start to the end, you are on a fast paced journey with something happening every chapter.

The Darkness Cycle Books (in case you didn’t know) follows Aidan, a young man that learns what he powers he was born with, mean to the universe. And you will enjoy every page of it. Or at least I did. As I stated in my last review, you don’t get the normal YA “what is this? How am I doing XYZ thing?” Aidan, thankfully, knows MOST of what he can do, and as he grows and trains, he can learn MORE of what he can do. I LOVE that. We get too many re-hashings of the same idea. A main character finds from some *whiggles fingers* source that they have POWERS or are MAGICAL (Yer a wizard Harry) Sure, Aidan doesn’t know all his powers, but it would also be boring if he was ALL POWERFUL from the word go.

 I LOVE how Rachel Mark, once again, took a trope and smashed it until it was something new and enjoyable. I am talking about the “Love triangle” this time. First this book is in dual POV between Aidan and Rebecca, which was a great way to just get what Rebecca was thinking. Normally I am not a fan of POV changes. I feel a lot of authors do it to save time or because they think me, as a reader, can not figure out the story like I can figure out how people around me in real live feel by body language, tone of voice and other actions. But, this worked well, never once did I say “oh shit love triangle ahead, prepare to watch this book sink.” Without giving anything away in the story, I was impressed, and never felt it took away from anything in the story, since it is SUCH a part of the story.
If you have not given Darkness Brutal a read, stop reading blog post and pick it up now, and get Darkness Fair (this book) why you are at it. If I can read them in 1 day, you can get them out in no time.

 Now I have to WAIT to see what happens. Damn Cliffhangers.