Tuesday, June 18, 2013

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July 2013 - 31 Books - 31 Authors - 31 Reviews!!!

Review: The Rockin' Chair - Steven Manchester

Memories are the ultimate contradiction. They can warm us on our coldest days – or they can freeze a loved one out of our lives forever. The McCarthy family has a trove of warm memories. Of innocent first kisses. Of sumptuous family meals. Of wondrous lessons learned at the foot of a rocking chair. But they also have had their share of icy ones. Of words that can never be unsaid. Of choices that can never be unmade. Of actions that can never be undone.

Following the death of his beloved wife, John McCarthy – Grandpa John – calls his family back home. It is time for them to face the memories they have made, both warm and cold. Only then can they move beyond them and into the future.

A rich portrait of a family at a crossroad, THE ROCKIN' CHAIR is Steven Manchester’s most heartfelt and emotionally engaging novel to date. If family matters to you, it is a story you must read.
 "Wow" This was an amazing book. I didn't want to put it down. Grandpa John was my favorite character in this story. He reminded me of my own grandfather in many ways. It just amazed me how one man could bring an entire family back together after so much heartache and loss.

Losing a loved one is never easy, especially one's spouse. It takes a very strong and special type of person to endure something so tragic and still have the will to try to mend broken relationships in the process. This character and book were very well-written and, this was the best story I have read in a long time. This was the second book I have read by this author, and he has a way of telling a story that grabs your attention right away. This is definitely one of those books that will stay with you for a lifetime, and an underlying  message that family will always be there for you through good times and bad.

I give this book five stars and would recommend to everyone I know.
5 Stars
Billie Jo

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Review: The Absolution of Zero - Meleisa Betts

The Absolution of Zero is a fiction novel told from a first person narrative. It involves Angiel Royal, a psychologically troubled woman who seems to have inexplicably "lost" blocks of time in her life. Throughout her existence she is at times both sinner and victim, but also the primary cause of her suffering, usually due to her self-possessed ambition and greed. To discover the reason for her actions as well as the lost life episodes, she is referred by medical mandate to Dr. Karen Oppenheim, a psychologist. Through their intense dialogue, Angiel unearths some eye-popping and scandalous aspects of her persona. Most of her revelations depict Angiel as an extremely ruthless and manipulative seducer of women and men, doing or saying whatever it takes to gain her objective. The objective generally vacillates between money to sex.
However, there is "something" happening to Angiel which makes her feel at times as a spectator to things that she cannot either control or comprehend. As the story unfolds, Angiel searches for personal forgiveness and vindication. However, she and others who have wronged her, find themselves beset with misfortune. There has been nothing but tragedy and punishment doled out to them by some force; be it by man or just the karmic action of the Universe. The term "Absolution" means forgiveness by God, yet Angiel as well as those who oppose her are finding a difficult if not impossible road to redemption.

This book was not very interesting in my opinion, and seemed to drag on forever. I couldn’t relate to some of the characters in this book. The author did a great job trying to tell her story, but it was just boring to me. It just didn't grab my attention at all.

I think there were just too much back and forth conversations with the therapist and not a lot of sincerity from the main character even after she realized all the things she had done.

3 Stars

Billie Jo

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Review: No Boundaries - Allison Hobbs

Just out of law school, Jaguar is deep in debt and takes a bartending job as an easy way to make money before he gets on the fast-track of corporate law. Meanwhile, slinging drinks does have its perks: free booze, big tips, and plenty of women hitting on him constantly. He’s not looking for love, only a little fun to forget his troubles.

But when he meets a mysterious beauty named Fonia, Jaguar is intrigued. Handsome and confident, Jag has never had problems attracting the opposite sex, but Fonia is elusive and presents a challenge.
An old friend offers Jag an opportunity to make extra cash bartending at a private party. But the party is nothing like Jag has ever experienced. Not even the wildest frat party could compare to this extravaganza where no pleasure is forbidden.

But the biggest shocker comes when Jag realizes that Fonia is heavily into bondage and submission. She belongs to a dominant master and Jag hates to watch her surrender to her deviant lover. Fonia has captured Jag’s heart, and over time he tries to convince her to break away from her brutal lover and understand that true love should never hurt.


I really enjoyed this book; Jaguar's character was extremely comical to me and sincere at the same time. I knew from the first few pages that I was going to love this story. I really enjoyed how his character started off as this playboy, that thought he could have any woman, and ended up falling for a woman that kind of blew him off in the beginning. I think he just took it as a challenge at first thinking she was just playing hard to get. I loved when he found out about Fiona's lifestyle and didn't judge her, and went into protector mode right away. Don't want to give too much away!

I look forward to reading more from this author.

5 stars
Billie Jo

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Review: The Car Thief - Theodore Weesner

The Car Thief was a long boring read for me.   It is about Alex, a sixteen year old, who unfortunately has a bad habit of stealing cars and was sent to a detention home.    The beginning of the novel was very slow for me because it did not have much dialogue.  It just went along and when I thought it was going somewhere with the plot, it didn’t.   
Author Weesner gave very detailed descriptions of characters, objects, and locations.  However, I felt it was too descriptive at times because I found myself asking what does that have to do with this subject?   I had to redirect myself to focus and figure out what the author was trying to do.  
I am baffled at how it can be “one of the great coming of age novels in the twentieth century.”  It was more of a self-help or inner soul searching novel.  I did appreciate and enjoyed the way Author Wessman displayed the relationships between Alex and his father and Alex and his brother.    The relationship with his father was very strained and painful.  I really sympathized with Alex.   Alex is conflicted with loving his father because he is also embarrassed by his father’s drinking and feels pity for his father.  Alex is also concerned with his little brother.  
When I finally reached the end and the best part of the novel, I found myself being a cheerleader for Alex.  Although he still made minor mistakes, his outlook on life had changed.  He was excited about his future and the way he planned to accomplish his goals was encouraging.  
2 Stars


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Review: If I Can't Have You - Mary B. Morrison

Granville Washington can't accept Loretta Lovelace's demand that he leave her alone. Sure, Granville knows they're as different as can be. He's a construction worker, ball-and-chained to the Houston grid, while brilliant, beautiful Loretta is a pharmacist with a rich ex who takes care of her. But Granville also knows she can't resist the way he kisses every inch of her just right. After only three weeks, Granville will do anything to make her his. Forever.  No matter how direct Loretta is, Granville doesn't get it. He was fine when it came to burning up the sheets, but that's where their connection ends--or so she thinks. When the stalking begins, Loretta's gorgeous girlfriend, Madison, claims she can tame any man. Loretta, unable to resist the opportunity, dares Madison to prove she can tame Granville. But sexing Granville may cost Madison more than her engagement to the most eligible bachelor in Houston. . .
This story is about being careful of what you bet.  There are three main characters in the story and they are best friends, Madison, Loretta, and Tisha.  Loretta has been dating a crazy, obsessive individual named Granville.  Madison has claimed that she can tame any man and Loretta bets her that she couldn’t tame Granville.  Granville is smarter than they think and he puts Madison in a very compromising position.  Madison gets married and on her wedding night, Granville shoots her husband.  This story is about rape, love, kidnapping, lying, and attempted murder.  

Author Mary B. Morrison has another winner she used a method of writing that I enjoy.   She divides the book into chapters that focus on one character at a time and tells what is going on with that character.  She then will focus on another character and follow suit.  The book was a fast read and it was very interesting.   I am interested in reading more books from this author.

5 Stars



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