Thursday, August 6, 2015

Book Review: Royal Entertainment

by: Marni Fechter

This was pure entertainment. It was a quick and light read. I read this in about a day, really fast for me. I liked it, the characters and the storyline. But all in all I found it lacking. The characters were really superficial. Even Melody didn't know her motivations. She was a social worker who loved the kids she worked with. But her boss was embezzling money. But even that didn't quite make sense. After she was fired, and quite frankly she was right to report him. But the board met, and took her information but couldn't get her rehired. If she's a social worker getting kids the education they need and really fighting for them when they don't have the resources to fight for themselves. She would have been a government employee, not some company. She couldn't have just been fired over the phone, and she could have been rehired. Then she applies at other places...what other places? It's the state government at the very least. Other offices are not other companies and she would have had to go through the state. Ok - that just bugged me.

Then she starts working for Charles Ribbon. Great man that he is, like a gay uncle she knew through a friend. He hires her to work for his party planning company. She doesn't seem to understand what she is doing, the lady training her refuses to giver her any information. Charles just yells at her for not knowing what she is doing but then throws expensive clothes at her. But he seems to love her, and thinks he can't do it without her. Why? She doesn't even grasp the business. But she is personable and can talk to anyone. Most importantly, it seems, she is pretty. She also has gigantic boobs...not sure why this is even part of the story. Is anyone naturally a double-G and skinny? Anyone? It's hard to imagine a down to earth social worker with the body of a porn star.

In spite of all of this, I still really enjoyed myself. It's like reading Sex in the City. You hate it, yet you can't stop...next thing you know it's way past your bedtime and you've just binged. It's trashy and oh so fun, even when it bugs you and doesn't make sense.

I'm going to keep my eye on this author. I think this is her first book, in which case it's an amazing first go. I think Marni Fechter has real potential. She needs to watch her storyline, develop her characters and she'll go very far.

Book Review: Love Letters to the Dead

by: Ava Dellaira

I found this one on sale at Amazon, and it really ignited my curiosity. It's about a teenage girl writing letters to dead people, such as Kurt Cobain, Janis Joplin, Amelia Earhart and Judy Garland. It started as an assignment for English class, but as it was so personal she couldn't bring herself to turn it in.

Laurel has a lot to deal with. She is in a brand new school, as a freshman. Her parents are divorced, and her mother just ditched for California. Laurel's sister died recently, and she is still reeling from grief.

I loved the letter format, and how it kept the story moving forward. Laurel talked about her past, he grief, her sister, and her current events. Because what happened in her past, has a lot to do with her present.

It's wonderful that she found some great friends who had her back, even though she held back. They knew about her sister, which is what Laurel wanted to avoid. But she misunderstood. Yes they pitied her, but they also gave her the space she needed with it. They left it for Laurel to talk about when she was ready.

There's a lot of sad in this, and probably there should be a trigger warning. She deals with some things that to this day young women have to deal with.

But it is truly well-written and I enjoyed it very much, especially the poetry and trivia about the people she was writing to.

Book Review: The Red-Hot Chili Cook-Off

by: Carolyn Brown

This starts out with Carlene finding absolute proof of her husband having an affair. What's worse? She sold the other woman those panties she found and she knows who it is. The woman had the gall to brag about her "sugar daddy" and her getting away for the weekend. She even came in later to brag about the success. Carlene understandably blows her top.

My favorite part of this whole book is that Carlene doesn't even consider taking that turd back. She runs Bless my Bloomers with her 2 cousins. And the three women are daughters of 3 close sisters. All 6 women and their seamstress decided to enter the Chili Cook-Off just to serve just desserts.

It's full of laughs, ups and downs, even some romance. And most of all, women standing strong. With the arguments and what not, nothing stands between family.

Nothing too deep, but it was a lot of fun. Beach read, anyone?

Book Review: Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Café

by: Tilia Klebenov Jacobs

I loved this so much. The general theme seems to be about redemption and second chances. Eden runs the Serve You Right Café with her assistant Emit First. Eden has given Emet a second chance. Emet served time in prison, and Eden took a chance on him. Emet was lucky...how many people never get that chance. It really made me respect Eden, and Emet was a wonderful young man, totally deserving of that risk.

When Emet meets Mercedes, he gets pulled into her messed up family life and his own freedom is put at risk. Her brother is a pathetic drug addicted narcissist. He thinks that he deserves to sit on his butt and live off his sister and mother, because he is special. He clearly will stop at nothing to get his way, and he isn't good at thinking through consequences.

Will Emet get caught in the wrong place at the wrong time? Will Emet forgive Mercy for this trouble? Will her brother finally grow up?

It was an exciting novel. And the overall message was great. Has anyone ever given you a second chance? Did you pay it forward?

Book Review: Kissing in America

by: Margo Rabb

This book touched a lot of emotional places. Eva is experiencing grief for the loss of her father. He died in a plane crash, so it was a terrible shock to her and her mother. Since then, both women are just going through the motions, until Eva meets Will. But then he moves to California to live with his father.

This is where it goes off track. Eva is too young to drive, too young to leave home really. She gets her friend to sign up for a scholarship contest so she can get out there to see Will. It's just childish the things this girl does.

But it's realistic, I think. Who makes the best choices when experiencing deep grief? Add to that a neglectful parent who is suffering from her own grief. Eva was just a girl trying to feel better.

I had a hard time putting it down, even when it was bitterly painful. I'd call this a coming of age novel more than romance.