March 19, 2017

Series Sunday: Breathless

(Old West #2) 

Series Sunday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Read an installment of a series.
  • Share your review/recommendation below.
  • Include the title, author and series name.

"Thank you for the novel cure." ~ pg. 220

My Series Sunday pick is Breathless, the second book in the Old West trilogy by Beverly Jenkins. Portia Carmichael is determined to focus on work, women's suffrage, guard her heart and keep her high-collared blouse buttoned. She works as the manager of one of Arizona territory's finest hotels and hopes to expand her bookkeeping career.

Portia pays no mind to the many suitors hoping to court her. Until a handsome cowboy from the past rides into town on his blue stallion. Kent Randolph hasn't seen Portia since she was around 12 years old. Now she's a stunning, passionate grown woman. Suddenly Kent has reason to stop drifting through the Old West and perhaps settle down in Portia's arms.

"It was easy to see that she wanted him, too, but was it enough for her to let go of her stance on remaining unmarried? He needed an answer because she was the only woman he wanted as his wife." ~ pg. 219

Portia Carmichael and Kent Randolph are two characters that I wanted paths to cross. They are so different, yet work well as a hotel/ranch team. Following the footsteps of Uncle Rhine and Aunt Eddy, Portia may have found the man that is worthy of letting her guard down and loosening her strong will. It is apparent through the author's well written descriptions and dialogue that love cannot be ignored; let it take your breath away.

I enjoyed Breathless just as much as the first book of this trilogy, Forbidden. I hate for this Old West story to end but looking forward to the final novel featuring Portia's little sister, Regan. Is she really going to be a mail-order bride? O_O

I will forever support my fellow Cass Technician who consistently releases 5-heart historical fiction novels. Want a quality love story with a bit of history and action? Breathless is it!

Title: Breathless
Author: Beverly Jenkins
Published: January 2017
Pages: 376
Edition: Paperback
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book Set in a Hotel; Bookish—Read a Love Story
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

March 17, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"I am learning to speak. To give myself a way out. A way in."

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

March 16, 2017

American Street


"You have to come to this side because this new family of mine is both familiar and strange—just like how I am American by birth and Haitian by blood, bones, and tears. Familiar and strange." ~ pg. 237

Fabiola Toussaint thought her and her mother finally found a good life. But after they leave Haiti and make it all the way to New York, Fabiola's mother is detained by U.S. Immigration. (Sound a bit too real, doesn't it?) Teenaged Fabiola is left alone to navigate America, her three boisterous cousins and mysterious yet sickly aunt on the Detroit's west side.

Her new home is on American Street and Joy Road. Longing for her mother and struggling to adapt, Fabiola finds herself accepting a dangerous proposition all in the name of freedom. The crossroads in this coming-of-age story are both symbolic and real!

That feeling when you finish a book and think how right on time it was >>>

From the colorful eye-catching cover to the positive blurbs on the back cover, American Street was everything! I could be partial because it took place in the city of Detroit (shout-out to Coney Islands, Belle Isle and Joy Road). I love it when I recognize street names and places in literature. It is obvious the author did a bit of research on the setting.

"Here in Detroit Metro Airport, there are no long lines to show papers and proof to uniformed people. I ease into America's free air like a tourist returning home." ~ pg. 3

American Street is in the Young/New Adult genre but will be enjoyable to adults. In fact, adults may better follow the spiritual aspect and foreshadowing. The spirits, rituals and prayers play a huge part of this story. I was not bugged out about vodou and other cultural practices but rather educated. It was also an innocent not-in-your-face look at an immigration story. Well done, Ibi Zoboi.

I have always been an avid reader. Some stories stick with you forever. This novel reminds me of a couple books I read way back in the day: Scorpions by Walter Dean Myers and The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah. It is not quite coming-of-age by spanning years but more so survival in the community and adapting to your new surroundings. I hope it is added to a school's reading list but I will do my part in it reaching the masses by recommending it to the high school students I mentor as well as my grown bookhearts.

Before I end this review, take another look at the striking book cover. You need this on your shelves, bookhearts.

Title: American Street
Author: Ibi Zoboi
Published: February 2017
Pages: 336
Edition: Hardcover
Challenge: Popsugar—A Book About an Immigrant or Refugee
Rating: ♥♥♥♥♡

March 15, 2017

But Then I Came Back


"Once you start making up stories about people, it's hard to stop." ~ pg. 52

Seventeen-year-old Eden Jones survived a near fatal accident. As she tries to recover, she forms a relationship with a boy named Joe. He is not a fellow patient in the hospital but a frequent visitor to a friend, Jasmine. Somehow Jasmine and Eden communicate with each other in a magical way. (At least I think so...)

If my description above sounds confusing, it is because I was! But Then I Came Back has a good premise of recovery and friendship building. But the beginning started off so confusing. I continued reading on the strength of the author's other novel, This Raging Lightonly to be disappointed with it falling flat.

"I don't care what you say. That there is no soul, that it's all made up." ~ pg. 300

Don't judge a book by its cover. But Then I Came Back has such a beautiful cover. It's dark, yes. But the gray roses in 3D are striking. I was eager to open this galley and dive into the story within. Le sigh. And then I was so very disappointed. In a strange way, the storyline moved along slowly yet some of the characters descriptions were rushed making it hard for readers to relate. I waited a whole year for this hyped up companion novel?!

Happy Early Pub Day, Estelle Laure. But Then I Came Back will be available Tuesday, April 4, 2017. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend it to bookhearts.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: But Then I Came Back
Author: Estelle Laure
Published: April 2017
Pages: 288
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♡

March 14, 2017

Lover: A Novel


"What do you call it when you realize something bit by bit? It's an epiphany if it comes all at once in a rush but what do you call it when you work something out over a period of time?" ~ 86%

There are 84 emails between Adam and Louise Phelps. Of course not everything is mentioned but enough for Kate to realize her husband has been chasing another woman. Ten years of marriage and two children later, a line of communication has turned Kate's world upside down. Through repetitive actions, thorough research and a mild level of drama, Kate gives readers a look into her psyche while figuring out who her husband really is.

"Like my husband who, I now realize, left long before he was gone." ~ 32%

I wanted to...no, I did...roll my eyes and say aloud, "Lady, chill!" What an annoying beat-a-dead-horse-in-the-name-of-closure main character she was. How many times can a person relive a bad experience? How many times can a wife question her adulterous husband about the same affair? She drove herself—and me, the reader—crazy! I just wanted her to move on already. The character once said that her thoughts made rooms; I wish they would've locked her out. This took away from what could have been a good book about a crumbling marriage in the aftermath of an affair.

Lover was published on March 7, 2017. I recommend you pass on this one.

Disclaimer: This book was received directly from the publisher for review purposes only. In no way does it influence my review. The opinions I have expressed are honestly my own and would be the same if I spent my hard-earned coins.

Title: Lover: A Novel
Author: Anna Raverat
Published: March 2017
Pages: 336
Edition: Galley
Rating: ♥♡

 

March 12, 2017

Series Sunday: Ask the Sistahs Podcast

Sistah Speak: Ask the Sistahs Podcast



Do you need advice on your relationship/baéship, job or life? Do you have a question about etiquette? Then now is the time to Ask the Sistahs! It is time for another round. Send in your question(s) before the deadline. Listen to previous Ask the Sistahs podcast episodes here.


Happy to announce and extend an invitation to our 2nd Annual Sistah Speak Family Reunion! It will be held at the gorgeous Indigo Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee on Thursday, June 29 at 6 p.m. We will have a complimentary adult beverage hour until 7 p.m. and a cash bar afterwards. An evening with the Sistahs includes dinner, dessert, dancing, a photo booth, laughs and fun with the Sistah Speak family. We appreciate all of our podcast listeners and look forward to seeing everyone in Nashville soon. Show up and show out, Sistah Speak Nation!

Podcast: Sistah Speak Productions
Co-Hosts: Sistah A, Sistah J, Sistah K and Sistah LM
Deadline Date: March 24, 2017 for Ask the Sistahs submissions
Deadline Date: March 31, 2017 for 2nd Annual Reunion Early Bird Pricing

March 10, 2017

First Lines Friday


First Lines Friday is a bookish meme hosted by Literary Marie of Precision Revision. I encourage all of my fellow book bloggers and bookhearts to play along.
  • Grab your current read(s).
  • Share the first line(s).
  • Include the title and author.

"Nicholas Young slumped into the nearest seat in the hotel lobby, drained from the sixteen-hour flight from Singapore, the train ride from Heathrow Airport, and trudging through the rain-soaked streets."

~ Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan