Goodbye

Sadly, I have decided that today’s review will be my last for a number of reasons…

1) I get married in May and should probably spend some time organising it!

2) I’m not organised enough to keep on top of everything (see above point too!). Today’s post should have been posted yesterday – whoops

3) I much prefer reading to writing.

4) I have started struggling to keep the reviews from becoming repetitive. There’s only so many ways I know how to say I love this book. I think I’ll go back to the numbers!

5) The blogging world just isn’t for me. There are some lovely bloggers out there (Kev at iheart-chicklit.blogspot.com and Natalie at thebookwormwearspajamas.co.uk to name just a few) but then there are those that think they are entitled to the books/to be part of the blog tours and those that are bringing Regina George back to life… there’s just no need for all of the bitchiness and falling outs. It’s a hobby and an honour to receive these books.

I will still be reading (hopefully even morse than before) and I’m going to keep my Twitter account open. I sure I’ll still be gushing about my favourite books just more informally – I’d love to hear from you @notyetaparker

Thank you to everyone who has supported my blog and to the authors and publishers allowing me to review their books. I’m honoured to have been asked.

Happy reading everyone!
Stacey x

One Hundred Christmas Proposals by Holly Martin

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Rating: 4 stars

Blurb: If you thought Harry & Suzie’s life couldn’t get anymore sweepingly romantic than Harry asking her to marry him at the end of One Hundred Proposals – think again!

It’s Christmas in a snow-kissed London, and the.PerfectProposal.com have vowed to carry out one hundred proposals in December. No easy task at the best of times – made even more complicated by Harry & Suzie trying to plan their first Christmas and a visit from the dreaded in-laws. But one hundred deliciously Christmassy proposals later they find themselves asking if everything is still perfect in their own relationship…

Welcome back to the divinely warm world of One Hundred Proposals – with a sprinkling of pure, joyful, festive magic.

What I thought: Ok, so it took me a little while to get started with this book – absolutely nothing to do with the story – I was over the moon to see my name in the acknowledgements. MY NAME! I have to admit, I went a bit fan-girlish; squealed a bit, took a screen shot and sent it straight to my fiancé! Thank you so much Holly, you made my day!

And for the rest of the book…!

Well first of all, I have to say this book isn’t to be read as a stand alone. If you haven’t already read One Hundred Proposals, you should be ashamed. Go straight to 👉Amazon👈 and do not pass go! This review will contain a few spoilers for the first book.

I really loved One Hundred Proposals but I thought it wrapped up Harry and Suzie’s story quite nicely so I wasn’t sure that they needed a sequel. If I’m really honest, even after reading it, I’m still not sure they did. HOWEVER, it’s so hard to not get completely drawn into a story full of beautiful Christmas proposals.

With Harry and Suzie back in London running their hugely successful proposals business, this book takes a slightly different approach to its predecessor. The couple now blog about the Christmas proposals they’ve helped orchestrate rather than poor Harry’s constantly rejected proposals.

Just like the first book, this one is full of some beautiful proposals with my personal favourite being the ice-rink proposal. Thankfully, without the glamorous locations of the worldwide trip, the proposals were a little less extravagant this time – even I managed to keep the green-eyed monster at bay!* Even so, if you’re hoping your other half will be down on one knee this Christmas, and they’re not likely to have The Shard lit up with ‘Marry Me’, you might want to save this book for the new year!

Holly’s writing is, as always, completely captivating. Once I started reading it was impossible to put down. This relatively short story is the perfect read for a cold winter evening.

*It doesn’t help that my own engagement didn’t even involve a bag of chips! Still can’t remember why I said yes…!

Thank you to Holly for sending me a copy of the book and having me as part of the blog tour.

Available to buy now from Amazon. It’s just 59p too!

Beneath the Moon and the Stars by Amelia Thorne

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Rating: 5 stars

Blurb: Home, sweet home…

Joy Cartier has been to some of the most beautiful places in the world – but none of them have ever felt like home. So moving into a tiny cottage in the idyllic village of Bramble Hill, walking distance from her childhood home, seems like the perfect plan.

That is, until she gets there. The surly inhabitants of Britain’s Friendliest Village are anything but welcoming. Even her neighbour, reclusive Hollywood star Finn Mackenzie, takes one look at her and walks in the other direction.

But when the village animosity steps up a gear, it is the infuriatingly brooding Finn who keeps coming to her rescue. Slowly Joy begins to realise that maybe a happy home isn’t about where you live, but who you’re with…

What I thought: Firstly, I’d like to thank Amelia for sending me a copy of the book and having me as part of the blog tour.

This book is brilliant. It has got a bit of everything you could want in a in romantic story and more… with a few fights thrown in for good measure! It’s so jam-packed with everything from romance to grief, I think I must have experienced every emotion possible whilst reading it – one minute Lily or Darcy are pulling at your heartstrings and then the next, you’re laughing at the bride in the chocolate fountain or the dogs ‘bumping uglies’!

My favourite character had to be Casey. I loved how caring and fiercely loyal he was, even going as fas as standing up for newcomer Joy against his best friend since childhood. I really liked that he had his own little story which intertwined throughout the book too.

I do hope we get to see a bit more of the sexier styles of this international author of mystery in the future!

Favourite quote:
“The worst thing was, that thing she had been looking for, that feeling of home she had spent years searching for, she hadn’t found it in the brick walls of a house, but in his arms. With his mouth against hers, when he was buried inside her, when their arms and legs had been tangled together, she had felt more at home there than any house she had ever lived in before.”

Available to buy now from Amazon for the bargain price of 59p!

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

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Rating: 5 stars

Brief synopsis: Miles doesn’t want love and Tate doesn’t have time for a relationship, but their chemistry cannot be ignored. Once their desires are out in the open, they realise they have the perfect set up, as long as Tate can stick to two rules – never ask about the past and don’t expect a future.

It doesn’t take Tate long to realise that this isn’t just a physical attraction for her but she just can’t seem to say no to the sexy pilot.

What I thought: I was SO excited when I got the email asking if I’d like to review this book – a Colleen Hoover book?! – like I would ever turn that down!

This book is exactly what you would expect from a Colleen Hoover book – it’s beautifully written and totally heartbreaking. Miles and Tate alternate their stories chapter-by-chapter with Tate telling the story of the present whilst Miles tells the story of six years ago.

Miles’ story sits perfectly around Tate’s, almost drip feeding Miles’ history into the story without ever giving away too much at once. This really adds to Miles’ mysteriousness – it’s clear that there is a really sweet guy underneath that pilot uniform but he really is broken and by the end of the book, you can completely understand why. I also love the way the way Miles’ story is written in mostly poetic form; it’s really easy to fall in love with the eighteen year old and at times you wonder whether the it’s really the same guy in Tate’s story.

Tate’s character is almost inconsequential at times but fits the book perfectly as it really is Miles’ story to tell. Tate has the biggest heart and I loved that Cap became her best friend!

Definitely a new favourite and a book I’m sure I’ll read over and over again.

Favourite quote:

“When I kissed all the other girls, I felt pleasure. That’s why people enjoy kissing, because it feels good.
But when you like to kiss someone because of who she is, the difference isn’t found in the pleasure.
The difference is found in the pain you feel when you’re not kissing her.”

Reason for choosing this book: One of my favourite authors/Copy received as part of the blog tour.

Available to pre-order now from Amazon

White Trash Beautiful by Teresa Mummert

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Rating: 3 stars

Brief synopsis: Cass can’t help but notice the gorgeous out-of-towner that arrives in the diner where she works.

Can the honest charmer tempt Cass away from the trailer park and her poor excuse for a boyfriend?

What I thought: This book was rather disappointing. A lot of the book is what I would call laying the foundations; describing Cass’ homelife, etc and as a result, the ending and ‘action’ all felt very rushed.

Despite the fact she had seemingly written herself off as a ‘white-trash waitress’, Cass made for a fantastic lead character – a feisty little thing and loyal too. I really enjoyed reading as her character grew it’s a shame the storyline didn’t allow this to be the hard-hitting story it had the potential to be. It seemed to be missing the drama which would have really drawn me into the story, both in terms of some of the happier parts of the story and the tragedies too.

Such a shame that the story didn’t live up to its potential.

Reason for choosing this book: Copy received in exchange for an honest review

Available to buy now from Amazon

One Hundred Proposals by Holly Martin

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Rating: 5 stars

Brief synopsis: Is there such thing as the perfect proposal? Best friends and owners of PerfectProposal.com, Harry and Suzie are about to find out when Harry decides on a round the world trip with one hundred different proposals.

All Suzie needs to remember is to not say yes.

What I thought: I really thought it would be impossible for Holly to top The Guestbook, but I was wrong. Very, very wrong.

The book should one with a warning – THIS WILL TURN YOU INTO THE GREEN EYED MONSTER! I couldn’t help but be jealous of some of the amazing proposals and the efforts Harry went to for each one. I could only wish that Mr P had the means or the inclination for such a thoughtful proposal. And those Gosling Girls… they seem to be popping up everywhere. Yes, I’m honest enough to say I was jealous of their cameo roles!

I think it’s safe to say that I loved everything about the book. I adored Harry and Suzie and their fantastic friendship. I loved the way the book switched between the narration and the blog posts, giving Harry’s point of view of some of the proposals and that it wasn’t just a re-write of the previous chapter or a constantly changing narration as I’ve seen in other books.

Not only was I envious of the proposals but the detail that went into describing each location has made me eager to travel the world and visit all of these places.

It’s going to very difficult for Holly to top this one!

Favourite quote:
“I can give all you would-be proposers one piece of advice. Tell her you love her, tell her every day until she knows it and believes it. Then tell her every day anyway. If you’re incredibly lucky she’ll love you back.”

Available to buy now from Amazon

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Crazy, Undercover, Love by Nikki Moore

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Rating: 4 stars

Brief synopsis: In a desperate and final bid to get her job and her old life back, Charley takes a chance as an undercover PA to the CEO of her ex-employer.

The last thing Charley needs is a reputation for falling for the boss if she’s ever going to convince him to help her. Not an easy task when Alex Demetrio looks like an underwear model…

What I thought: So they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but when the cover looks this good, it’s hard not to! Luckily the contents live up to the cover too!

Charley is very easy to relate to – I’m sure we’ve all felt we’ve been treated unfairly or wronged at some point – and she’s truly desperate when we meet her; not just broke, cheap mascara broke! Whilst her stubbornness and determination might have got her into the crazy position of being Alex’s PA, it’s her softer, personable side which shine through and her strong sense of right and wrong – even if it’s a little crazy!

Alex is described as a tall, dark, Brad Pitt beautiful guy in an expensive suit. Is he the secret love child of Brad Pitt and George Clooney (back in their Ocean’s Eleven days) and where might I find him?!

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The story is written in a fantastic informal style which perfectly suits the story and the main character, Charley whilst emphasising Alex’s formality. It has a great pace and unpredictable twists and turns. I can’t wait to read more of Nikki’s books.

Favourite quote:
“Was I really just about to rub his crotch? Dear God. Sloping back to my chair, I wish I could slide under the table and hide, especially when not one but two members of staff arrive to sort out the mess I’ve made. My face starts to burn. I’ve always been clumsy but today I’ve hit a new threshold; the water in the plane, almost falling over in the bar, and now attempting to give Alex a shower and rub him down. I should come with an Official Government Warning: Spending time with this girl may be bad for your health/clothes/sanity.

Reason for choosing this book: Copy received in exchange for an honest review

Available to buy now from Amazon

Too Consumed by Skyla Madi (Consumed #2)

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Rating: 5 stars

Brief synopsis: Olivia did the impossible when she stole Seth Marc’s heart but now the couple face a new challenge as Seth begins his career as a professional MMA fighter.

What I thought: I absolutely loved Consumed so could not wait to get started on Too Consumed and I was certainly not disappointed.

Just like Seth’s MMA career, the story has stepped up a gear with more fighting, more sex and surprisingly, more sweetness too.

I thought it was fantastic how Seth’s character grew as the story progressed, yet his defining attributes – the cockiness, sex appeal and passion for fighting – remained unchanged. Being in love definitely suits him! I love how sweet and protective he is of Olivia; I love that his priorities and plans for the future have changed completely but most of all, I love how he reacts to being loved.

Seth isn’t the only one affected by their relationship though — Olivia really comes into her own in Too Consumed with a new-found confidence in herself and her relationship with Seth. With Olivia’s sassiness and Seth’s hotheadedness, they certainly make a couple not to be messed with!

Once again, I’m gobsmacked by the talents of this very young author. I cannot wait to read Forever Consumed – due to be released in May 2014.

Favourite quote:
“Since meeting Olivia, the old chapters in my story have closed one by one – Mason, Mom, all of the random girls and even Don. From here, new chapters will be written and they’ll feature Olivia in every single sentence of every single paragraph. Without her, my story can’t move forward and it can’t be completed.”

Reason for choosing this book: Sequel to Consumed

Available to buy now from Amazon

April Fools by Karli Perrin (April #2)

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Rating: 3 stars

Brief synopsis: When everything in April’s life goes up in smoke, she is faced with some life changing decisions.

Join April as she continues her journey of love and loss.

What I thought: With April Showers ending with the mother of all cliffhangers, I was really excited about reading this sequel. Unfortunately the book didn’t even come close to my expectations.

SPOILER ALERT!
My biggest bugbear was the lack of drama. The story begins in hospital, missing out on all of the suspense of Lukas being trapped in the burning house. Seriously, there’s more drama in your average Disney movie!

Sadly it doesn’t improve – in this very short book they find out ‘whodunit’ in the most mundane way, everyone gets better and the all live happily ever after. I know – pass me the sick bucket!

On the plus side, I was really glad that April didn’t switch teams and go back to Lukas because she felt like she had to after the fire.

Reason for choosing this book: Sequel to April Showers

Available to buy now from Amazon

Consumed by Skyla Madi (Consumed #1)

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Rating: 5 stars

Brief synopsis: MMA fighter, Seth Marc, is the kind of guy moms warn their daughters about – the type that makes you want to take your clothes off and allow him to do anything to you within the first minutes of meeting him, leaving a trail of broken hearts behind him.

That is until Seth meets Olivia James. Her ex may have called her plain and boring but Olivia is determined to prove she’s desirable to a guy like Seth.

What I thought: Consumed is definitely an appropriate title for this book as that was exactly how I felt when reading it. I tried to put it down, honestly, but after 10 minutes of staring at the ceiling, I knew I had to finish it before I’d be able to sleep.

Seth Marc… where to begin with him? He’s the sexy, tattooed MMA fighter who despite his ‘I don’t do girlfriends’ attitude, has a loveable sweet side too. He’s caring, thoughtful and just the right amount of possessiveness – perfect book boyfriend material!

I thought the story was beautifully written with the romance perfectly balanced by the fighting, angst and tear-inducing heartbreak. I was truly gobsmacked to learn that the author, Skyla Madi is just 21 years old – I would never have guessed that from the writing, Skyla writes with a maturity far beyond her years. I think we are going to see some amazing future releases from this author.

Favourite quote:
“Since when does reading suck? Who says that? If I ran the world, people who didn’t read would be the first to go. Boom. Put them out of their misery.”

Reason for choosing this book: High rating on Goodreads list of Best New Adult Books

Available to buy now from Amazon