Meant to Be Yours by Susan Mallery

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Meant to Be Yours by Susan Mallery

Summary: Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.

After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.

Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?

4 stars. Meant to Be Yours is a super fun romance, following Renee, a wedding planner, and Jasper, a novelist. Renee isn’t interested in marriage or anything like that- more of a friends with benefits situation, but, of course, things don’t go according to plan.

Renee has a lot of interesting secrets that are revealed throughout the book. The reveals really worked and the characterization is great. Jasper has PTSD from his time in the army, and this is also fascinating to read about, and the other characters are great as well. The small town everyone lives in sounds so cute and magical- the descriptions were great. The wedding planning side of things was really fun and a lot better than many of the other wedding planning books I’ve read. The book had a super sweet ending, and was overall an exciting and cute page-turner.

Thank you to Net Galley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own, and this does not affect my rating or review.

The Desire Card by Lee Matthew Goldberg

The Desire Card by [Goldberg, Lee Matthew]

Synopsis:

Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That’s the promise the organization behind The Desire Card gives to its elite clients – but sometimes the price may be more menacing than anyone could ever imagine.

Harrison Stockton has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street fuels his fondness for alcohol and pills at the expense of a family he has no time for. Quite suddenly all of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his job and at the same time discovers he almost certainly has only months left to live.

Desperate, and with seemingly nowhere else left to turn, Harrison activates his Desire Card. What follows is a gritty and gripping quest that takes him from New York City to the slums of Mumbai and forces him to take chances, and make decisions, he never thought he’d ever have to face. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and break his bargain with the mysterious group behind The Desire Card.

4 stars. The Desire Card was a fast-paced read that was compelling all the way through. This type of scenario isn’t my usual cup of tea, but I thoroughly enjoyed the book. The characters were really interesting- we got to see the main character, Harrison’s, lowest point and how he dealt with this. Harrison is a very unlikable character. He’s a heavy drinker, rude to most of the people he meets, drowns himself in work, and doesn’t spend much time with his wife and kids. There’s a lot of moral corruption in this book- in Harrison and in many of the other characters. However, we get to see Harrison and the other characters change and grow throughout the book.

The book was action-packed and a pretty fast read. Just as it was starting to get a little stereotypical, a great plot twist arrived that I didn’t see coming. Interesting, dark themes throughout the book, especially in Mumbai, where it describes the realities of impoverished people there.

The Desire Card is a thrilling book with action that will keep you on the edge of your seat the whole time and dark lessons about life.

Note: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I’m Moving!

My New Site!

I’ve been writing about books here on The Bibliophile of Beaverton for over two years and it’s been a wonderful journey! However, I’m now starting college in a week, and will be moving out of state- thus, not located in Beaverton, anymore. With that in mind, I’ve decided to move my blog to http://themerryreader.wordpress.com.

Thank you so much for your support and I hope to see you over on my new blog!

xoxo,

Adeline

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio

373 pages

Synopsis: Shane has been doing college all wrong. Pre-med, stellar grades, and happy parents…sounds ideal—but Shane’s made zero friends, goes home every weekend, and romance…what’s that? 

Her life has been dorm, dining hall, class, repeat. Time’s a ticking, and she needs a change—there’s nothing like moving to a new country to really mix things up. Shane signs up for a semester abroad in London. She’s going to right all her college mistakes: make friends, pursue boys, and find adventure! 

Easier said than done. She is soon faced with the complicated realities of living outside her bubble, and when self-doubt sneaks in, her new life starts to fall apart. 

Shane comes to find that, with the right amount of courage and determination one can conquer anything. Throw in some fate and a touch of magic—the possibilities are endless. 

“You’re bolder than before.”

I usually don’t like books by YouTubers, but Again, But Better really exceeded my expectations. It’s fun, it’s cute, and it’s a fast but emotional read. I loved the characters and the drama between everyone- especially Shane and Pilot and Shane and her parents- and Shane’s development throughout the book was really great.

Christine Riccio made studying abroad and all the places the people in the book visited sound vibrant and exciting with great descriptions.

The writing was not spectacular, but decent for a debut. It had an overload of references to 2011 (when the first half of the book was set) and Shane, the main character, seems very similar to the author, Christine Riccio. However, the book had a lot of funny moments and nostalgic vibes. The pacing was done very well, with a good balance between school, work, and hanging out with friends.

The plot twist was definitely unexpected, though I would have liked to know more of the background behind it, and have the ending fleshed out a bit more.

I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

xoxo,

Adeline

One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan

One Summer is Paris tells the story of two women, Grace and Audrey. Grace’s husband has just announced that he wants a divorce, and she must take the trip to Paris she planned for their twenty-fifth anniversary by herself. Meanwhile, Audrey, an English girl, wants to get away from her difficult home life by spending a summer working at a book shop in France (though she hates reading). When an unfortunate incident causes the two to meet, they become friends.

I really enjoyed this book. It was a fun vacation story, but it had darker moments and a lot of great lessons to learn about discovering yourself and successful relationships. The characters were able to grow so much and become amazing, kind, and independent people. Though a little predictable, it was a captivating storyline with very fun, relateable characters and a dash of romance and humor. Overall, a fantastic book.

Thank you to NetGalley, Sarah Morgan, and the publishes for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

xoxo,

Adeline

The East End by Jason Allen

9780778308393_rhc_prd-24 stars. The East End centers around two families living in the Hamptons. Corey, a working-class teenager about to leave for college, spends his summer breaking into local mansions. One night, he breaks into the Sheffield estate, where he and his mother work. At the same time, a poolside accident is occurring with Mr. Sheffield and his lover. Unfortunately, Corey saw what happened.

The book is both thrilling and heartbreaking. It’s a crazy series of events over just a couple days, filled with threats, incorrect assumptions, and many story lines. The explosive climax was very interesting, but it came really fast, leaving a couple of threads untied. I did love most of the characterization- all of the people had such compelling backstories and motivations for doing things-, and the imagery Jason Allen used to describe the settings. The East End painted a beautiful picture of the reality of socioeconomic disparity, with memorable characters and a remarkable story line.

Thank you to Harper Collins, NetGalley, and Jason Allen for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Blackberry and Wild Rose by Sonia Velton

Blackberry & Wild Rose by Sonia Velton 

Summary:  WHEN ESTHER THOREL, the wife of a Huguenot silk-weaver, rescues Sara Kemp from a brothel she thinks she is doing God’s will. Sara is not convinced being a maid is better than being a whore, but the chance to escape her grasping ‘madam’ is too good to refuse.

INSIDE THE THORELS’ tall house in Spitalfields, where the strange cadence of the looms fills the attic, the two women forge an uneasy relationship. The physical intimacies of washing and dressing belie the reality: Sara despises her mistress’s blindness to the hypocrisy of her household, while Esther is too wrapped up in her own secrets to see Sara as anything more than another charitable cause.

IT IS SILK that has Esther so distracted. For years she has painted her own designs, dreaming that one day her husband will weave them into reality. When he laughs at her ambition, she unwittingly sets in motion events that will change the fate of the whole Thorel household and set the scene for a devastating day of reckoning between her and Sara.

THE PRICE OF a piece of silk may prove more than either is able to pay.

4 stars. Blackberry and Wild Rose tells the stories of two young women in eighteenth-century London. Sara has just arrived in the city, where she is manipulated into becoming a prostitute at a tavern. She is rescued by Esther Thorel, the wife of a master silk weaver who wants to design silk herself. But the Thorel household is not as perfect as it seems. I thought that Blackberry and Wild Rose was a very interesting, well-researched book. I enjoyed learning about how silk is made, and about the revolts of the silk journeymen in London. The plot was unpredictable, and the characters were well-developed, though the two main characters seemed very similar at times. This is a book that I think a lot of historical fiction readers would love. I’m looking forward to reading more from this author.

This book will be released on May 7th.

Note: I was provided with a free ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.