Monday, February 27, 2012

Brimming With Magic

The idea that beside the plane of our world is another, brimming with magic.

Rusty is the Witch of Avalon with the darkest demons watching her from the shadows, a son she'll do anything to protect, and the chance to truly love. Linda Eble-Swain weaves a story centered around Rusty in a novel that brings the magical plane and our reality of the world together, side by side.

The plot that Swain crafts is one of ups and downs, a magical roller-coaster. But I have to say, though I hate to, that the plot could have been woven more tightly together. The novel was bursting with potential, but the sub-plots didn't carry throughout the entire novel. Rather, they seemed to pop up out of nowhere when the characters were idle. I can understand that, perhaps, Swain wanted to surprise her readers with information only when it was needed, but to me those small details should have been interwoven throughout the novel so the reader wasn't discounting the author's ability to create a complete plot. There are examples of this throughout the novel, and though the plot was interesting, it did little more than confuse me. In short, the novel read like a second draft, (Maybe it's just the Kindle copy?) and I found myself mentally editing the book instead of enjoying the story.
Chasing Destiny on Amazon
rating: 1/5 cups

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

M is for Mardi Gras and Murder

Happy Fat Tuesday!

Rita is a psychologist, the main character in What She Doesn't Know by Tina Wainscott, who recently began selling items on e-bay. When she meets Brian, he's purchasing an antique knife from her and they hit it off, their relationship evolving through personal e-mails.

Then he's pushed off of a rooftop.
And she's involved in a car accident that doesn't seem like an accident at all.

Both in comas, Rita meets Brian in a place beyond this world and he asks her for help. When she awakes from her coma she catches the first plane out of Boston, headed to New Orleans.

Now she's on a journey to uncover why someone would want her and Brian both dead. Every clue leads her farther away from reality and no one will believe her. Can she solve the mystery before the killer catches up with her or will she and Brian both take a fall?

This novel was a great read! I have to say it was a little slow in parts but the overall story line and character evolution was wonderful. Tina Wainscott did an excellent job pushing the reader into the mind of the characters so the reader could understand their motives as well as their actions. All of the characters in the novel are easy to relate to because Wainscott gives the reader their back stories and explains how it effected them through their thoughts and actions.

Celebrate Mardi Gras with this novel! You won't even think about regretting it. :D
What She Doesn't Know on Amazon
rating: 4/5 cups

Monday, February 20, 2012

Swept Away with Love

Sandra D. Bricker's novel Always the Baker, Never the Bride is a story as sweet as the baking creations described within the pages.

Emma is an amazing pastry chef with awards tucked under her belt for the masterful creations she whips up in the kitchen. As a diabetic, she can only taste test her delectable desserts, never fully enjoying them.

Jackson is a man trying to step out of the shadows of his wife's death. Building a romantic wedding destination hotel was his wife's dream, and her only regret. He vows that he will see that dream brought to life to honor his wife.

The two meet when he hires Emma based on her reputation and problem solving attitude to be his head wedding cake designer.

As the two characters grow closer, their worries leak into the open. Jackson can't seem to stop comparing Emma to his deceased wife while Emma fears she'll end up like her parents: hating each other so much that they can't be in the same state, let alone the same room.

Always the Baker, Never the Bride is a novel of two people letting go of their fears and stepping into the chance of love while discovering new facets of their personalities they never thought to explore. Sandra D. Bricker will sweep you off of your feet with her words bringing you joy, understanding, hope, and laughter.
Always the Baker, Never the Bride on Amazon
rating: 5/5 cups

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Looking for a wonderful love story to settle in with tonight? Check out these previous blogs on the romantic novels I've read in the past six months to find your perfect book for Valentine's Day:

Princess Charming - Nicole Jordan

A Previous Engagement - Stephanie Haddad

Sins of a Wicked Duke - Sophie Jordan

Mad About the Duke - Elizabeth Boyle

Someone to Watch Over Me - Lisa Kleypas

When He Was Wicked - Julia Quinn

Heartfire - Karen Rose Smith

Wicked Intentions - Elizabeth Hoyt

Vanquished - Hope Tarr

Love's Magic - Traci Hall

Hurricanes in Paradise - Denise Hildreth Jones

Stealing Jake - Pam Hillman

Happy Reading! 
-The Coffee Pot


A Cinderella Twist

Reading through all of the classic love stories like Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, and Beauty and the Beast (yes, the book), have you ever wondered what it would be like to live them? Experience the magic first hand?

Nicole Jordan has dreamed of exactly that, but on her own terms.

In the first novel of the Legendary Love series, Princess Charming, Jordan re-writes the story of Cinderella. The classic elements remain the same - however, a very different twist has been placed upon the unsuspecting characters.

Maura meets the requirements for playing Cinderella and Ash is definitely a Prince Charming, but the story is closer to reality, leaving out the fairies and magic wands.

The greatest thing about this novel is that Maura is the headstrong, do-it-yourself kind of girl that rejects the label "damsel in distress." Even if she may fall into the role on accident a few times... She's modern and self-sufficient, which doesn't sit well with all of her co-historical romance characters. But the inner fight and love of life burns through her being making Maura a wonderful character to get to know and connect with.

Honestly, I can't wait for the next installment in this series. :) And after you read this book, you'll feel the same way. Promise.
Princess Charming on Amazon
rating: 4/5 cups

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Choice of Love

Where does the line of friendship end and love begin?

As people with haunted pasts, we can sometimes be wary when it comes to stepping across the threshold of friendship and into the room of full fledged love. That is exactly what makes Tessa such an intriguing character and one that any reader can relate to in A Previous Engagement by Stephanie Haddad.

The choice between friendship and love, in fiction, is often just that, a choice. When it comes to reality, do we all face the same simple choice of allowing love to flood our hearts? It's a tough call to make, a tough decision and belief to stand behind. Especially when all of the other things in our life stack up against it. Career, future plans, what we think we want. The list is endless.

Haddad does an excellent job including these things in her well-penned love story. It's as close to reality as a romantic fiction novel could be and I was taken in by the struggle Tessa faces when it comes to love or the original plan she had for her life.

But is falling in love just a choice, or something more?
A Previous Engagement on Amazon
rating: 3/5 cups

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Sexual Competition

Do different sexes compete for control when it comes to intimate relationships?

Is it wrong for a man to desire the submissive role and for women to desire the dominate role? Does this change how we view a man and a woman? And if so, then why?

Sexual desires are a primal force. Whether we want to play either role, they are both within us as Homo sapiens, the species, the animal. MJ Rose plays with this idea throughout her novel The Delilah Complex. She places women in the seat of power with men obeying every rule. Switching the gender roles comes as a shock to the reader, but (after thinking about this a while) why should it? Sex is a basic instinct. Hormones, desires, the need to survive and continue our race.

We as people have labeled men as dominate and women as submissive, but the "times they are a changing." This novel had me hooked and forced me to look at society in a different way. Realizing that we create our own labels and choose to accept or reject them. The murder mystery plot (as one of my favorite genres) in the novel, helped to intensify my interest. Delightful novel that had me reading as fast as I could. :D

Just the way I like it.
The Delilah Complex on Amazon
rating: 4/5 cups