Wednesday 30 January 2013

ARC - The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie ProjectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 3 days

Blurb from the back cover

Rosie looked at me and said, 'You know if you changed your glasses and haircut, you could be Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird.' 'Is that good?' I assumed, given the circumstances, that it was, but wanted to hear her confirm it. 'He was only the sexiest man that ever lived.'

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. Then a chance encounter gives him an idea. He will design a questionnaire - a sixteen-page, scientifically researched document - to find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker or a late-arriver.

Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is strangely beguiling, fiery and intelligent. And she is also on a quest of her own. She's looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might just be able to help her with - even if he does wear quick-dry clothes and eat lobster every single Tuesday night.

My Review

I must be honest, this is not a book I would have picked up and chosen to read for myself. If came to me via RealReaders and I try and get to these books quickly which is why it jumped the review queue. Don tells the story in first person narrative, the book doesn't mention it outright although it soon becomes apparent he has some form of Aspergers. Don is the main character trying to find his ideal partner. It is no easy task so he sets out developing a questionnaire to weed out the undesirables. Whilst sorting his project he meets a woman who is the opposite of everything he is looking for. The more time he spends with her the more information he has to better analyze and tweak his survey. He agrees to help Rosie with finding her father, which creates a new project, whilst learning from her along the way. A very unlikely friendship forms taking them on a journey which will change them both, forever.

I loved this book! I know and have seen that some people don't and have found many faults with it but I thought it was great. I am currently loving the big bang theory, Sheldon Cooper especially and found myself relating Don and his behaviors to him, albeit an older version. Don is super smart but lives, loves and breaths routine. When someone new comes into the story he assesses them notably on age and BMI. He processes everything almost computer like, he eats the same foods routinely and his interactions with people at times are hilarious.

The book takes you on a growth journey, for both characters and you can see Don's progress more so as he struggles to process what is deemed appropriate and normal behaviors. I loved his mind, how it worked and comprehended different situations and problems. I cringed through a few of the scenarios he found himself in and laughed out loud at one or two. If you take the book for what it is I think you will really enjoy it, totally what I needed when my head has been busted with studying. Thank you so much to RealReaders for sending me this and introducing me to a new author, I hope Graeme Simsion has more tales of Don in the making. I would definitely read this author again, 5/5 for me. This book is available for purchase, from all good retailers, from the 11th of April 2013.

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Sunday 27 January 2013

ARC - A Passionate Love Affair With A Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson

A Passionate Love Affair with a Total StrangerA Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads

A Passionate Love Affair with a Total Stranger by Lucy Robinson, author of The Greatest Love Story of All Time, is a hilariously funny and gorgeously romantic story about falling in love when you least expect it. Charley Lambert has put considerable effort into achieving a perfect life. She has The Job. The Wardrobe. And The Flat. Her womanising, junk food-loving housemate Sam lowers the tone a bit but that aside, things are peachy. Then she breaks her leg in three places, watches her unrequited love propose to someone else and - worst of all - is forced to hand over her job to her nasty deputy while she recovers. Workaholic Charley fears that she will soon go mad. Desperate for something to do, she discovers her talent for helping the lovelorn online. And then William arrives in her inbox. Within hours of his first email, her world starts to change. Helpless, she watches herself fall in love with this man and begins to realise that she's not who she thought she was. But will she be brave enough to turn her back on her old life - all for a total stranger?

My Review

High powered business woman, ,Charlie Lambert, is all about her job. She loves what she does and it comes second to nothing in her life, it doesn't hurt that she has been lusting after her boss for 7 years. She flat shares with Sam, her complete opposite. He hasn't managed to land his big break, lives on junk food as opposed to her organic strict food regime. He has a different woman on the go practically daily whilst she hasn't been with anyone since her fumble with her boss years ago. When an accident keeps her from her beloved job she starts up a business, helping out people online to find their perfect partners. William arrives in her inbox and before she knows it she is questioning everything and forgetting about her boss.

This is a story that has giggles, tender moments and the realization that sometimes the things you take for granted are the most important and work isn't the be all and end all. Charlie is a hard character to like, I felt, she is a workaholic and her life is mostly focused on her job and obsession with her boss. After the accident and "meeting" William she becomes very bunny boiler like and obsessive to the point where before she had been so professional and business like then puts her new business at risk with her ridiculous behaviour. I warmed to her nearer the end when she assesses everything in her life and seems to have an epiphany but for the most part I disliked her. Sam is a great character, he is fun, caring, sweet and loyal - I liked him from the get go.

The story is well written and when I got to the emails part I was totally hooked. I also loved the letters from the past, sorry to be vague but I hate spoilers. I disliked being left hanging after the big scene at the office, I like clarification and what happened after. It had no reflection on what then happened with Charlie but I would have loved to have found out how it followed up.

This was my first time reading this author, I found her writing style unique in that I can honestly say she didn't remind me of anyone else I had read before. I would read her work again. Thanks for RealReaders for sending me an ARC of this. The book is out on the 31st of January 2013 from any good retailer.

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Wednesday 23 January 2013

ARC - The Trap by Kimberley Chambers

The TrapThe Trap by Kimberley Chambers
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 3 days

Blurb From Goodreads

The heir to Martina Cole’s crown with a story of murder, the underworld, violence and treachery.

The Butlers are the kings of the East End

Vinny and Roy Butler are the apple of their mum’s eye. Queenie knows they can play dirty, but when it comes to family they look after business and make her proud. Nothing and no one can bring them down.

Brotherly love

But Vinny seems to have crossed the wrong person and his cards are marked. And with the brothers joined at the hip, Roy may just be in the firing line too…

Deadly rivals

One bloody night sets Vinny on the path of desperate vengeance, but will the Butlers emerge stronger than ever, or is the East End code of honour as good as dead?

My Review

A pair of villains that would give the Krays a run for their money. Chambers introduces Vinny and Roy Butler, tall, dark, handsome and notorious in their own right. The boys are getting everything they want and nothing or no one will stand in their way. Family means everything to the Butlers, their mum knows and to some extent encourages the boys lifestyle. Everyone knows what goes around comes around and one night when all should be filled with joy, the past catches up with the boys. Will the family stick together and come out triumphs or will retribution destroy them all?

Ah I loved this book! There is more to the family than Roy and Vinny but for a large portion of the book they are the main characters although Michael, the other brother, starts to come through strong. It is a story about strong family values amongst violence, murder, prostitution, sex, scandal and villainy. The story is split across an eleven year period and starts off in the mid 1960s. I love when a book is set in a time period and is researched well, from what they wore and drove to the music that was popular and played.

There is a mix of relationships, mothers and sons, fathers and daughters, nephews, marriages and budding romances. There is a lot of coarse language, some graphic scenes and the usual skulduggery you would expect to find in an East End gangster style book. Had work and studies not got in the way I could have easily devoured this in one sitting. My only moan is how it ended, I was left hanging thinking what the hell, this is how it is going to end? However I have since been informed the other book is in progress as I type and they say a good author should always leave the reader wanting more, which it certainly has in this case. 5/5 for me for this one and I cannot wait for this next installment to be completed and available. This book will be out on Valentines day, 2013 from any good retailer for £6.99, paperback. Thanks so much to HarperCollins for sending me an ARC, I will be making a wee stop to Waterstones to get some more of Chambers work as this is only the second book I have read.

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Thursday 17 January 2013

ARC - Broke by Mandasue Heller

BrokeBroke by Mandasue Heller
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Time taken to read - 2 days

Blurb From Goodreads

Amy's marriage to Mark isn't the best—he can't resist the girls or hold down a job. But she doesn't know just how bad things are until his gambling habit brings the debt collector to her door. He makes it brutally clear how she can pay off Mark's debts, and here Amy's troubles are only beginning. Someone else wants Mark for herself and she is ready to steal Amy's man, her self-respect, and even her children. As the stakes rise, Amy will either lose everything,or learn how to be as hard and ruthless as her enemies.

My Review

I think I along with all the other fans waited patiently, or impatiently, for this book. I love Mandasue Heller's writing and she hasn't disappointed in this book.

The book starts jumping right into the story, Amy is pregnant and celebrating her wedding day with her another blue wicked, this is my favorite drink so I loved this wee add-in, when her waters break and everything kicks off. The story then jumps a few years later and Amy and Mark are about to have their lives turned upside down when a money lender comes to collect and Mark leaves Amy to face it. What follows is drugs, prostitution, abuse, heartache and betrayal, this book has everything!

I haven't had a great run with books lately as when your studying and reading academic work I think it is hard to get into fiction as you normally would and worried books had been ruined for me. Heller has flung me back into my love of fiction and provided a much needed break from reality. Had it not been for the demands of work and study I would have devoured this in one sitting.

The characters put you through your paces, I went through disliking Amy, to hating her, liking her, hating her, feeling sorry for her and back full circle. Mark I disliked from the off and I won't even start on Jenny as it would evoke spoilers which I hate. You get totally swept up in the drama and can't put it down.

It is nitty, gritty and some of the writing makes you uneasy however this is what makes a fantastic crime writer, she draws you into the belly of the under world of drugs, money, sex and paints a very dark, depraved and realistic picture. I loved this book, 5/5 - I would recommend it to any one looking for a Martina Cole crime type style and who isn't easily offended.

Thanks so much to Hodder & Stoughton Publishers for providing me with this ARC, you can get your own copy from all good retailers from the 31st of January 2013, paperback for £12.99

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Monday 14 January 2013

January's Pre-loved giveaway

is going to be another amazon voucher, I haven't even had time to review some of the books I have read and I don't have time to sort a book giveaway out. Amazon voucher is as always £5 or the equivalent of (this competition is open worldwide) and you need to have a valid email address and amazon account.

Please use the link below to enter the competition, leaving your name and a valid email address, the competition will run until the last day of the month.

Click here to enter the competition

Review - Undead and Unreturnable by MaryJanice Davidson

Undead and Unreturnable (Undead, #4)Undead and Unreturnable by MaryJanice Davidson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Time Taken To Read - 6 days

Blurb from Goodreads

Just when Betsy Taylor think she's adjusted to her after-life as a vampire queen, fate intervenes. It's bad enough having to view your own grave-stone but now Betsy's even started seeing dead people - an assortment of demanding ghosts who are determined to make her do their bidding. Betsy also has some personal stuff to deal with - not least of which is planning her Spring - and Midnight - wedding to Sinclair. Meanwhile her half-sister is starting to display signs of inheriting her real mother's temper. And when your mother's the devil, that's cause for concern.

My Review

Betsy Taylor is back in the fourth installment of the vampire Queen series. She is still loving her designer, her labels and Sinclair but she has more issues to deal with from vampire servants, being Queen, a Devil for a sister and ghosts needing to say goodbyes or redemption.

It has been a while since I read Betsy however once you are a few chapters in things start to come back, and there is a wee recap from the first book half way through. I think I had forgotten the tone of these books, naughty, dirty, tongue in cheek and lots of swearing and sex. Some days it made from a nice break from reality however others and parts of the book seemed aimed maybe at a younger audience. As in the attitude and some of the things Betsy came away with was something a rebellion teen would say.

Sinclair and Betsy are planning their wedding, in the conventional sense, and things are always getting in the way. Dates changing, details of flowers, the book of the dead, arguments however I couldn't say this was the main focus of the book as there is a killer on the loose and Betsy is on the case. There seemed to be a few things going on in the book and I couldn't honestly say one way of the other which was the big themed one as it flipped around.

I felt it was a bit scattered and did a lot of ground work for potentially the next book, I will catch up with Betsy to see where their adventure goes next but I don't think it will be for a wee while. Funny, silly and naughty although frustrating at some points it is a 3 out of 5 for me this time.

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