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Monday, December 29, 2014

Review: SPY BY NIGHT by Jordan McCollum

From JordanMcCollum.comAfter watching her parents’ marriage crash and burn, CIA operative Talia Reynolds doesn’t believe in “happily ever afters.” Besides, her job entails eighty-hour weeks, juggling a dozen covers and disguises, and tracking down a dangerous Russian spy ring. She hardly has time for romantic entanglements, even if she could let her guard down enough to get close to anyone. But all the rules she lives by could be broken when she meets aerospace engineer Danny Fluker.
Danny moved to Canada for a great job — and a chance to start over after a bad breakup.Dating definitely isn’t in his plans . . . until beautiful and enigmatic Talia throws a perfect storm right in his flight path. When he catches a glimpse of the real woman behind her fa├žade, he has to get to know her better.
Talia has to find a Russian spymaster before he figures out she’s not who she claims, and failing to keep her two lives separate in the process could mean the death of more than just her budding relationship. Danny has to decide if a future with Talia — and facing the past — is worth the risk of getting hurt again. If they can break through the barriers keeping them apart (and avoid a major international catastrophe), they just might have a chance at being happy together.
Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Length: 331 pgs

Rating: 5 (I really loved it!)
Review: I am SO a fan of these books. I remember reading the first one, a year ago, right after I moved to Alaska. I'd lucked upon getting a review copy and I DEVOURED it. Fast forward a few months and I've read Every. Single. Book. in this series. This was lived up to all of them. I love Talia's voice, and I loved finally getting into Danny's head too! It's weird going back in time with Talia and back to where she began but super cool. This one is definitely more of a romance than the others, but still oh, soooo good. 
Content:
Sex - 0
Language - 0
Violence - 1 (It IS a spy book and there IS fighting. Nothing graphic.)
Rating - PG


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Robyn Reviews: EVE by H.B. Moore (Mirror Press, November 2014)

From Amazon: From USA Today bestselling author H. B. Moore, comes . . .

EVE: IN THE BEGINNING

The first love story on earth . . . Haunting . . . Lyrical . . . Unforgettable . . .

In a world where everything is perfect, yet the same day after day, Eve must decide if she wants to live forever in the garden with Adam and never know what lies beyond the walls. When she makes a choice with terrible consequences, the pain of mortality is swift. As she and Adam explore their new world, and her body changes, Eve discovers the sweetness of first love with the man who has always been at her side.

Audience: Adult
Genre: Historical Fiction
Length: 252 pages

Rating: 4

Robyn's Review: Eve, In the Beginning is the story of our first parents in the garden if Eden. It is told mainly from Eve’s point of view. I enjoyed this book because it gave me some new insights and things to think about regarding the relationship between Adam and Eve. They became real to me with real struggles and real joy. I enjoyed that they needed to get to know each other better after they were evicted from the garden. They had some funny misunderstandings and some heartbreak. I especially liked that they had to learn to rely on each other and trust each other to make the right decisions. It is truly a love story for all time, not just a happily ever after fairytale. Ms. Moore is a master at drawing you into the story and letting you feel the emotions of each character. Eve starts out pretty selfish and you grow right along with her. Adam is also quite selfish and arrogant at first, so it was a pleasure to watch them mature into multi-dimensional people. I liked this book because I believe that Adam and Eve are real people, and I enjoyed exploring more about them. I did struggle a little with separating fact from fiction, but not because Ms. Moore didn't make that clear. It was more letting go of my expectations and beliefs and letting someone else show me their perspective. Overall, this is a very good book and let's you explore the humane side of Adam and Eve. .

Content:
Sex - 2 (There was passionate kissing and implied sexual intimacy, but it was handled in a very sensitive, sacred way, there was no/very little sensuality. The characters were obviously naked in the beginning, but it wasn't really mentioned specifically. They talked about intimacy and the ability to have children. A woman’s cycle was also discussed quite openly.)
Violence - 1  (A forest fire, killing of animals in self defense and for food)
Language - 0
Rating - PG-18 (The discussion of sexual intimacy, there is kind of a dark side with Lucifer and the way he tempts them and is always around.)

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Blog Tour Review: ROUGH AROUND THE EDGES MEETS REFINED by Rachel Anderson

Rough Around the Edges  Around the Edges Meets Refined (Meet Your Match #2) by Rachael Anderson For Noah Mackie, life is finally back on track. He has a great support system, a promised promotion is on its way, and he's finally getting the hang of this single father thing. But when the job falls through and his neighbor's matchmaking efforts become more aggressive, Noah is in for yet another unwanted detour. With his career and two spirited daughters to worry about, he doesn't have time for dating—especially not someone like Cassie Ellis, his girls' beautiful and sophisticated dance instructor, who is about as open and approachable as a brick wall. Rough around the Edges Meets Refined is about two people who think they know exactly what they want but who have no idea what they really need. It's about learning that people aren't always what they seem and that sometimes life’s detours take you exactly where you need to go.  
Rough Around the Edges

Purchase Your Copy from Amazon.com

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*** Robyn Reviews ***

Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length

Rating: 5

Robyn's Review: Rough Around the Edges Meets Refined is a fun sweet romance that tugs at your heart and makes you laugh, too. Cassie has been beaten up by life and choices she made and now she is learning how to become herself again. She is constantly comparing herself to others and puts expectations on herself and what she thinks are the ‘right’ way to do things, especially since she made such a bad choice the first time around regarding men.

Noah is a sweet guy who just wants to be a good dad to his girls. His sister and friends can't help but want him to find happiness again, so the fun ensues.

Noah and Cassie have a fun and heart tugging experience in learning to love again on their own terms and not how everyone else did it. It's a refreshing read without any sex. If you want a feel good read and still watch the characters grow and learn something about themselves along the way, then you will love this book.

Content:
Sex - 1 (Some slightly passionate kissing)
Language - 0
Violence - 0
Rating - PG-16

Source: Review copy
 

Rachael  Author Rachael Anderson USA Today bestselling author, Rachael Anderson is the mother of four and is pretty good at breaking up fights, or at least sending guilty parties to their rooms. She can't sing, doesn't dance, and despises tragedies. But she recently figured out how yeast works and can now make homemade bread, which she is really good at eating.








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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Review: TOMORROW WE SPY by Jordan McCollum

From JordanMcCollum.com: CIA operative Talia Reynolds (Fluker) is off the clock, off the continent and off on her Paris honeymoon. But the happy couple’s trip to the City of Love is cut short when the CIA tracks them down for a top secret mission. Only this time, the Agency’s assignment isn’t for Talia — it’s for her husband Danny.
As an aerospace engineer, Danny’s the one with the connections they need to get to their target, an aerospace executive and a dangerous Russian FSB officer. After all she’s done to protect Danny from her spy life, Talia won’t okay the op until she’s allowed to accompany her husband. And the only safe way for her to do that? Deep undercover.
Balancing her personal and professional personas requires more precision than a Russian ballet. But all the covers in the world can’t protect Danny and Talia when the FSB officer turns the tables on them. Now Talia must use her every skill to save her marriage, her husband and herself — or their first mission together will be their last.
Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Romantic Thriller
Length: 295 pgs
Rating: 5 (I really loved it)
Review: Danny and Talia are married! Yay. I so much enjoyed getting to see more of Danny and how he fights for him and Talia. She can be frustrating, in a good way, and I like seeing Danny stepping out and setting her straight. :) I loved going back to where Talia served her mission and getting immersed in Russia. Tons of great action in this one, and like all the others, I read it FAST.
Content:
Sex - 1 (The book opens on their honeymoon, and the wedding night is mentioned, but so cleanly. Really.)
Language - 0
Violence - 1 (Spy book. Action book. Nothing graphic)
Rating - PG

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Review: SUN AND MOON, ICE AND SNOW by Jessica Day George (Bloomsbury, 2008)

From AmazonBlessed-or cursed-with an ability to understand animals, the Lass (as she's known to her family) has always been an oddball. And when an isbjorn (polar bear) seeks her out, and promises that her family will become rich if only the Lass will accompany him to his castle, she doesn't hesitate. But the bear is not what he seems, nor is his castle, which is made of ice and inhabited by a silent staff of servants. Only a grueling journey on the backs of the four winds will reveal the truth: the bear is really a prince who's been enchanted by a troll queen, and the Lass must come up with a way to free him before he's forced to marry a troll princess.

Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Fantasy, Fairy-Tale
Length: 352 pgs

Rating: 4+ (I loved it!)

Review: Ms. George is really becoming a favorite of mine, which makes me happy that she has so many books for me to plow through! This one was excellent. I loved the setting and the characters. I loved how well she built the rapport between the Lass and the isbjorn. I loved how the Lass interacted with all the characters and how much they ranged and how round they were. It wrapped up kind of easy, but it is a fairy-tale, so one kind of expects that. I loved the ending despite that!

Content:
Sex - 0
Language - 0
Violence - 1 (and barely that. Mild, mild fighting violence)
Content Rating - G (I'd let my 9-year-old read it if he wanted!)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Review: THE PAPER MAGICIAN by Charlie N. Holmberg (47North, 2014)

From Charlie's SiteCeony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic … forever.
Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.
An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.
Audience: Adult (Clean)
Genre: Fantasy, Historical
Length: 224 pgs
Rating: 5 (I really loved it!)
Review: I had so many "have to" reads behind this book that is was a physical relief to pick up something I'd really been looking forward too. Charlie didn't disappoint me. Even though she and I have bonded over BYU football and our shared admiration for Jimmer Fredette, this review is purely objective. Promise.
This is set in a base Victorian time period, which you all know I L-O-V-E. It was perfect. Besides a couple minor, minor things that seemed a bit too modern, it was a great setting. And since the setting is fantastical, that doesn't even matter. It's unique. The fantasy world is incredible and the world-inside-the-world is perfect too. I could picture everything so well. It has a dash of a love story, which I think is a must, of course, that really rounds the entire thing out. You will not regret picking this one up. I flew through it in just a few nights.
Content:
Sex - 0
Language - 0
Violence - 2 (The scene where Mg. Thane's heart is ripped out is described. There are magical battles. Nothing overly graphic.)
Content Rating - PG
Try this. If you liked The Paper Magician you should read Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George

About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.

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