Perfect by Rachel Joyce & Giveaway (US only)

December 27th, 2013

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Perfect by Rachel Joyce is a novel of heartbreak and loss; of trying to be perfect but never succeeding and ultimately of finding forgiveness and moving on. I listened to the audio version of Perfect narrated by Paul Rhys. I thought his voice was perfect for the telling of this story with its smooth, somber tone.

Perfect weaves back in forth in time from 1972 to the present. In 1972 while Byron’s mother Diana is driving into a dense fog something happens that irrevocably changes Byron’s life in all aspects. From that point on between the two seconds that were taken from the world that Byron believes is disastrous and the incident with his mother Byron is left dealing with things that no child should. He is fiercely protective of his mother and will do anything to try to make both of their lives as perfect as they were before the incident and he and his best friend James set out to do just that.

Alternately in the present we have Jim who suffers from mental illness. He spends his life focusing on the rituals that keep him able to function at all. He tries to work at various things but his illness severely inhibits what he can do. He feels all alone in the world but eventually he begins to realize that there are people out there who care. Seemingly these two story lines have nothing to do with each other but they come together seamlessly in the end.

I found the themes in this novel interesting. Young Byron trying to deal with adult issues that he’s fully incapable of handling and they affect his life in so many ways. Then there is his mother Diana who is trapped in a marriage with a domineering man. There is no love and she spends her time trying to be the perfect wife and mother to satisfy this man. It is her love and strong bond with her children that keeps her going but ultimately is even that enough in the end.

I enjoyed Perfect for the most part. I found the beginning quite slow and at times a bit confusing with the two story lines. As it all began to come together though I was hooked and anxious to see how it would all end and it’s quite the ending too as it surprised me. For those readers who enjoy deeper literary fiction and great writing Perfect s a good pick.

Other tour stops with TLC Book Tours
Rachel’s website and Facebook
Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, and B&N

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US Only)

I have one copy of Perfect by Rachel Joyce to share with my US readers.  To enter…

  • Leave a comment for 1 entry to the giveaway.
  • Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and I will draw for the winner on January 11/14.  Good luck!

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Source:  Review copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.

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Country Loving by Cathy Woodman

December 20th, 2013

Cathy-Woodman-Country-Loving

Country Loving by Cathy Woodman is the second of her novels that I have read and loved and I so adore the book covers. Cathy’s novels take place in the quaint town of Talyton St. George and are full of delightful characters. I find that part of the joy of reading another novel that takes place in the same town is the pleasure of once again meeting some of my favorite characters.

Stevie has a successful career as an accountant, a great place to live, and a boyfriend wanting to marry her. All seems well until she receives a call from Cecil who works on her father’s farm. He tells her that her father isn’t doing well health-wise (which she hadn’t known about) and on top of that he may be arrested and thrown in jail. There is no love lost between Stevie and her father since he picked her brother over her to run the farm but she still feels the pull of responsibility and decides to head back home to the farm to see if she can get things straightened out for her father.

Stevie is shocked by the state of things on the farm not to mention the state of her father when she arrives and it isn’t long before she’s determined to set it all right again – like it was when she was young. Stevie realizes a lot more in her first weeks on the farm and that is that she doesn’t want to leave and she doesn’t want to get married. After the dust settles Stevie gets started on trying to make the farm profitable again and in doing so she gets tied up in all kinds of folly with the animals, meets an awesome guy, and gets the ultimate surprise of her life along the way.

I just love the town of Talyton St. George. As a matter of a fact I myself would love to live there. I adore the people living there like the meddling Fifi and Guy and Jennie and it was fun visiting them again. Stevie was a great character as well although at times she drove me crazy. Still she grew as a person over the course of time and it was nice to see. I really enjoy Cathy’s books and intend on reading all of them as I get time. They are light, easy reading that I find comfort in. I’d definitely recommend them to those who enjoy the charm of small town stories!

Other tour stops with TLC Book Tours
Cathy’s website and Twitter
Country Loving on Great British Reads
Cathy Woodman’s page on Great British Reads

Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, and B&N

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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.

Woman of Ill Fame by Erika Mailman & Giveaway (US only-Kindle eBook)

December 18th, 2013

women

Woman of Ill Fame by Erika Mailman is a raw and realistic look into the life of a prostitute back in the 1800’s. In Woman of Ill Fame the streets of San Francisco are brought alive and you are literally transported back in time so vividly that you are quite sure you are standing on the streets yourself.

Nora Simms dreams of a better life for herself and she’s arrived in San Francisco with a plan to get it. Having been a prostitute from a young age it is all she knows and she’s going to use that and her good looks to get herself a job as a parlor girl. Parlor houses are much more reputable than the street cribs she’s worked all her life and she wants the prestige and safety of working for one.

Nora’s arrival doesn’t go quite as smoothly as she would have liked when her trunk is stolen and she is left only with what is in her pockets. Still she has enough funds to get a room in a boarding house run by Mehitabel who she eventually becomes friendly with. She begins her work in the cribs all the while trying to better her situation so that she can apply to a parlor house. Things take a turn though when prostitutes begin showing up dead and all seem to be wearing some piece of her missing clothing. Soon enough Nora is afraid that she may be the next victim of the ‘women of ill fame’ killer.

Woman of Ill Fame was quite interesting from a historical point of view. I loved reading about San Francisco back in the days of the gold rush. I also found it fascinating to read about the life of a prostitute back in the 1800’s and the different words and phrases they used were amusing at times. Nora was an easy character to like. She doesn’t mince any words when describing her life as a prostitute so for those with more delicate senses this likely isn’t the read for you. For me I enjoyed it as it was a part of history I hadn’t yet had the pleasure of reading about.

Other tour stops with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Erika’s website and blog
Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, and B&N

 

GIVEAWAY DETAILS (US only – Kindle eBook only)

I have one Kindle eBook copy of Woman of Ill Fame by Erika Mailman to give away to my US readers only.  To enter…

  • Leave a comment entering the giveaway for 1 entry.
  • Tweet, share on Facebook, or blog for 2 extra entries.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and it is for a Kindle eBook.  I will draw for the winner on January 2, 2014.  Good luck!

 

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Source:  Review copy provided by the publisher.  No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.

The Sweetest Thing by Cathy Woodman

December 11th, 2013

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The Sweetest Thing by Cathy Woodman is a fun and sweet book that I really enjoyed. It has all the elements I enjoy like family drama, a little romance, and just plain old good and easy reading.

Jennie’s life is great. She has three beautiful kids and a husband she loves. All is well until her husband David tells her he is leaving her for another woman. Instead of completely wallowing in her misery she decides instead to follow a dream of her own.

She buys a ramshackle old house out on a farm in Talyton St. George and heads out there with her kids who are none too happy about it. Jennie is going to start her own business. She loves to bake cakes and she is finally going to go after that dream and open Jennie’s Cakes. The only problem is the town is set in their ways and getting a new business started may be a bit of a struggle and then of course there is her very attractive neighbor Guy. Hold it though Jennie is done with men! Or is she?

Oh the drama! Between her kids, the new farm animals, and a man Jennie doesn’t know which end is up. I liked Jennie except for the fact that she let herself be walked over by her jerk of a ex-husband for too many years. Other than that though I liked how she took a risk with her life when she moved her family out to nowhere land. Then there is Guy who is the kind of man most women would be ga-ga over, including me.  And the town – I loved the sound of it with farmers markets and bake sales and having to barter for things you want instead of using money.  It sounded like a cute and quirky town where it would be wonderful to settle in and live.

The Sweetest Thing was a delightful novel. It was light, fun reading and it was just what I needed – to relax and just enjoy a good story!

Other tour stops with TLC Book Tours
Cathy’s website and Twitter
The Sweetest Thing on Great British Reads
Cathy Woodman’s page on Great British Reads

Buy at: Amazon, Amazon Canada, and B&N

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Source: Review copy provided by the publisher. No compensation was received for this review and all opinions are my own.

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