Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Book Review - To Wager Her Heart (Belle Meade Plantation, #3) by Tamera Alexander

Photo Source - Amazon
Alexandra was like every other girl until a deadly train accident changes the course of her life. The Dutchman Curve accident claimed the life of Alexandra's beloved finance. When her father declares she must marry an older gentleman, Alexandra must make a choice -- will she marry according to her father's wish or will she marry for love?

Sylas Rutledge is the owner of the Northeast Line Railroad but also his father was one of the conductors involved in the train accident. He is determined to make his new venture a success and provide his father's innocence. However, since Sylas is from Colorado he has trouble with the Southern etiquette and enlists Alexandra's help. Will Alexandra be able to forget that Sylas's dad is responsible for her fiancee's death? Will Sylas's be able to prove his father's innocence?

When I first read the summary for the novel, it seem like the novel was going to be based more around Sylas's business venture and Alexandra teaching him the Southern ways. However, I felt that portion of the story took the back burner and it became more focused on Alexandra's life at the Fisk University. The novel had a lot of mini stories going on and I felt the author left the ending open for another novel to follow but I felt the novel lacked depth for me to continue reading more. I felt that the novel was longer by several chapters than it needed to be and some aspects of the novel was given a few words while other mini stories had unnecessary chapters dedicated to it.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Book Review - Start Where You Are Note Cards by Meera Lee Patel

Photo Source - Amazon

Tucked away in a beautiful sturdy keepsake box houses 12 beautifully decorated cards and envelopes. Each of the twelve gorgeous  illustrated card has a different quote illustrated by the self taught Brooklyn based Meera Lee Patel. The cards are perfect for any occasion and can be used as hostess gift or kept to be shared with others.  I gave a few cards away and they were a hit and the others I am saving to be framed. My only qualm is a few cards were very simple but would be perfect for those who don't like overly intricate designs.

**Disclosure - I received a free sample of this product in exchange for an honest opinion**

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Book Review - Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson

Photo Credit - Amazon
When Ian Wells took over his late father's law office, he wanted to move away from real estate and trust cases and  start working on criminal defense cases. He also take care of his mother who suffers from Alzheimer's and is struggling to keep the law practice afloat. A client with a trust case requests his services and offers to pay a hefty fee of two hundred thousand dollars for only a week of work.  Ian reluctantly accepts the job because of mounting bills but he soon learns that the case is not as easy as it seems. Why was Ian offered the trust deal? How does the client know Ian's family?

The novel was a quick read with an interesting story line. While, the novel had a few plot twists, the story was very predictable. I felt that the characters were believable and relatable which made me root for them. I also like that the novel moved at a good pace with enough action and suspense in between. A nice read on the subway for fans of legal suspense novels.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Book Review - God's Crime Scene for Kids: Investigate Creation with a Real Detective Currently Reading Rate this book 1 of 5 stars 2 of 5 stars 3 of 5 stars 4 of 5 stars 5 of 5 stars God's Crime Scene for Kids: Investigate Creation with a Real Detective by J. Warner Wallace

Photo Source - Amazon
One night, Jason comes across a mysterious box that has a note from his deceased grandfather along with a few other items. Jason enlist his friends at the Junior Detective's Academy along with Detective Jeffries to solve mystery. While trying to solve Jason's mystery, the students pick up other skills needed to exam the vast universe and the evidence of God's existence. Why did Jason's grandfather leave him the box? What treasure does the box hold?

The book took an interesting approach of blending two different types of mysteries together. However, I felt the approach was a bit lacking. I didn't see myself seeing the point of putting both mysteries together instead of creating a different story for each. I also thought it was weird that in random sporadic points of the story, he wrote the reader in . Although, I do like one point of the story, where the author wrote that God created both good and bad events because you can't have one or the other and it's nice to remember that during time of need. The book also has an online activities and activities involving the Bible. A good read for young budding Christians as does talk about God in an interesting way.

**Disclosure - I receieved a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Review - A Name Unknown (Shadows Over England #1) by Roseanna M. White

Photo Credit - Amazon
Rosemary Gresham was an orphaned at a young age when her family became sick. She was taken in by a bar owner along with a band of other orphans. Together, they rob from wealthy to survive in the streets. However, a wealthy gentleman approaches Rosemary to spy on a British citizen to determine if his loyalties lie with Britain or Germany. The mysterious gentleman knows more about Rosemary and is offering her a great deal of money that her family desperately needs.  

Peter Holstein has dual citizenship with Germany and Britain which causes people to mistrust him. His neighbors think he sympathizes with Germany and terrorize him whenever he goes. Peter is quite elegantly with the written word and is an established writer but writes under a pen name because of his German name.  When Rosemary arrives at his door and willing to help him look through his files to prove his loyalty to England; Peter believes his prayers has been answered. Will Rosemary be able to prove where Peter's true loyalty lie? Will Peter be able to fight for his happiness?

The novel had an interesting premise but I felt the book was about 100 pages to long. I felt that it dragged on and it had a lot of unnecessary fluff pieces. The ending had a bit of a twist but it wasn't enough to warrant me to ever want to read this book again. I wasn't very fond of Rosemary either, that she thinks that because the wealthy has so much that she is entitled to steal from them. They wanted the wealthy to treat them with respect and they found several people from the gentle class who treated her with respect but yet they continue to act that everyone who is wealthy deserves to be stolen from. If they don't want to be disrespected they shouldn't treat other people that way.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Friday, August 18, 2017

Book Review - Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

Photo Credit - Amazon
Three years ago, the Tanners sisters just disappeared. The left no trace of their disappearance other than an abandoned car and a pair of shoes. Three years after their disappearance, Cass, the younger sister returns home. She recounts a story of kidnapping, betrayal, and heartache on a mysterious island. Dr. Abby Winter is a psychiatrist who is assigned to the Tanner case and she believes there is a lot more going on than Cass is telling. What is the story Cass is not telling? What happened on the island where Cass was held captive? Where is Emma?

The novel was a very suspenseful read. I kept falling into the rabbit hole with the novel but the writer's writing style left me wanting more. The ending was a bit of a disappointment as the farther I read, the less believable the story became. The characters were well-developed but  their actions were bit confusing at times and left disengaged from the story. An interesting read for those who like thrilling and suspenseful novels.

**Disclosure - I received a free uncorrected copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Bonvivant Illuminator Whitening Water Gel Mask

The clear water gel has a pudding consistency that promises to hydrate dry skin. It is enriched with daffodil root extract and alogwhite extract. The water gel mask went on smoothly and left my skin radiant without any sticky residue. I usually use the mask overnight and wash off in the morning and I noticed how different my skin feels and looks in the morning.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Book Review: Beautiful Animals by Lawrence Osborne

Photo Credit - Amazon
Naomi is the only child of a wealthy British art collector and her family routinely vacations in the Greek island of Hydra. One day, Naomi sets out another part of the island to escape the oppressing force of her father and stepmother. She comes across another young woman, who is also vacationing there. Samantha is a younger American girl who is immediately besotted by Naomi's presence. The pair become quick friends and decide to take a hike together. The stumble upon a refugee named Faoud who looks like he is homeless with barely any belongings. Naomi believes it is their duty to help the less fortunate and convince Sam that they should hatch a plan to help him. While, they beginning to hatch their plan, the friendship between the three begin to deepen. However, an unfortunate accident causes both the plan and the friendship to unravel. Will the girls still be able to be friends? Who is this mysterious man?

The novel was an interesting read but I had a hard time getting into the novel. I have read another one of his books, "Hunters in the Dark" and I don't particularly find his writing style appealing. I found the novel made me crave wanting to know more but the ending left me unsatisfied. I felt like the backstory of Faoud could have been more detailed and even the supporting characters could have more depth.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Book Review - Arena (Arena #1) by Holly Jennings

Photo Credit - Amazon

Kali Ling was chosen to be the first female captain in the RAGE tournaments. She along with hundreds of modern day gamers who train like athletes fight in the virtual world. In game, they fight and kill each other but while the deaths are fake the pain is real. However, that changes when one of Kali's team member overdoses on HP and dies. Unable to cope with the pain; the virtual world and reality starts to blend for Kali. Her life comes crashing down when the new recruit and her continuously butt heads. 

When I first read the description of the novel, I had very high hopes for this novel. Sadly, I was left very disappointed. The supporting characters didn't seem fully developed unless they were Kali or Rooke. I also found Kali's personality to be very abrasive and arrogant -- hard to want her to succeed.  The writing felt flat and forced like the writer was trying to hard to look like a gamer herself. I don't recall anyone writing "pwned" in the recent years and I doubt with how far in the future this book takes place that they would even know what it means. It is like the author bashes the gamer lingo on the reader's head.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Book Review - The Little French Bistro by Nina George

Photo Credit - Amazon

After forty one years in a loveless and unhappy marriage, Marianne decides to take action. She decides to leave her old life behind and head to the coast of Brittany for a new beginning. She meets locals who while eccentric are nothing short of loving. While Marianne loses herself in this new world, she realizes its never to late to start over. Will Marianne be able to love again?

While, this novel was a short read,  I found that it had potential to be a heart warming, soul seeking cure for those in "loveless" relationship. However, the novel didn't live up to it's potential. I am not sure if it is because it was translated but some of the sentences didn't make sense. There was a lot of characters to keep track who were not well developed. I couldn't also see myself connecting with Marianne and hoping she has a happy life because some of her story seems to contrived.  A very disappointing book that I had very high hopes for after reading great reviews for her first book.

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Book Review - The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Photo Source - Amazon

Evelyn Hugo is world renown aging Hollywood icon who is ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous but secretive life. The world is baffled when she picks a young reporter named, Monique Grant to write her life story. Monique is relatively unknown writer in the journalism world and was beyond perplexed when she was picked for the story. While, the pair begin the journey of writing the Evelyn's life story, each with a different motive; the two begin to bond. Evelyn's story is filled with lost loves, ambition, desire and the great love of her life. As Evelyn's story comes to a conclusion it becomes very clear to Monique the horrible way their lives are connected. Why did Evelyn chose Monique to write her story? Why did Evelyn chose to become a recluse? Will Monique be able to forgive Evelyn?

The novel was very engaging and interesting to read. Once, I picked it up I couldn't put it down and I ended up missing my train stops a few times. The beautifully written novel showcase a woman who was lost, struggled, wanted acceptance and wanting to be loved. It made me aware how easy it is to judge someone without fully knowing exactly what they are going through.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Bonvivant That Day Mask Pack - Blemish Care

Bonvivant was Memebox’s own foray into the sheet mask game. The blemish care mask is enriched with swiss alpine herbs, mugwortand, aloe vera, and lime oil. The potent mix of ingredients promises to help fight pimples and blemishes that usually occur during that time of the month. The mask  fit my face decently well and left my skin feeling soft, smooth and radiant. I had a small pimple that looked smaller but that could be wishful thinking. For around $2-3 a piece, a decent mask for the price.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Book Review - A Letter from Lancaster County by Kate Lloyd

Photo Credit - Amazon

A tale of two different sisters who face sibling rivalry but only one pair of sisters get a second chance at life and love. 

Angela and Rose might be sisters but they are completely opposite. Rose is insecure dominant business owner who is dating someone who is constantly cheating on her but she still follows him around. She longs for a husband and children which is everything Angela already has. However, Angela is unhappy in her relationship with her husband, Frederick and feels like her children are taking her for granted. Unlike her businesswoman sister, Angela is a stay at home mom that doesn't even know what her finances look like and relies on her husband to support the family. Angela is submissive to Frederick and she is annoyed she gave up her dream to become a dancer when she married Frederick. Rose believes that Angela allows Frederick to treat her cruelly just like their father treated their mother.

When they received a letter from their estranged Aunt Silvia, the two sisters decide to go visit their aunt. While there, Angela hopes the two of them can repair their strained relationship. However, they learn that not everything they knew about their family is what they should believe and that they are not the only two sisters who couldn't get along.

The novel seemed like it would be an interesting read with very lively characters. However, I found both Angela and Rose to be very annoying and over-the-top. They act very selfish and harsh towards each other but expect the other sister to love them back in return. I also wish the story between Juliana and Silvia was developed a bit more instead of being filled with fluff pieces of Rose and Angela going to the antique store and playing with horses. 

**Disclosure - I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest opinion**

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Tuscan Honey by Camille Beckman Glycerine Hand Therapy

The thick vegan cream is enriched with glycerin to promote softer and hydrated skin. With scents of warm amber, vanilla and honeycomb to enrich and tantalize the senses. The gluten free formula was thick but for the first few uses it came out of the tube easily, however the more I used it the less willing the lotion wanted to come out.While I can understand the Tuscan Honey scent, I can’t say I was very excited for it. It smelled more like stale honey to me. Overall, nothing exciting or notable about the lotion.