Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Review: Solo by Jill Mansell

Posted January 23, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Solo by Jill MansellReviewer: Rowena
Solo by Jill Mansell
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: January 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 480
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"Mansell's...gentle humor and enormous heart always ensure a treat for her readers." -RT Book Reviews for Making Your Mind Up 4 Stars
It all starts at a party, as these things often do...
- A one-night stand with far-reaching consequences - Momentarily enamored guests going home with all the wrong people- An unfaithful wife struck by jealousy and getting a dose of her own medicine- A shocking family secret revealed at the worst possible moment
One fling follows another, and now the whole community is embroiled in a great big web of deceit, the untangling of which will charm you, amuse you, make you laugh and make you cry.
Whatever's going on in your life, Solo by Jill Mansell is the perfect distraction right about now...
"A graceful blend of heartbreak, humor and redemptive love." -Kirkus for The Unexpected Consequences of Love

Jill Mansell is a master at writing contemporary romances set in English small towns. They’re always filled to the brim with characters, storylines, and laughter. This book was no different…except that the more that I read this book, the more pissed off I got. The different stories worked for me and while I was more invested in Max and Holly, I was still interested in what was happening with everyone else. Everything was going swimmingly until about halfway through and the stuff that worked was still happening with no kind of growing happening. There was a lot of infidelity, a lot of boneheadedness and the characters that showed promise in the beginning, I started to hate.

Ross and Tessa drove me nuts, I wanted to knee Max in his balls every time he went running back to that old hag, hurting Holly in the process and then the whole thing with Antonia, Richard, Mattie, Grace, all of it made me either roll my eyes around the room or seriously pissed me off. I was Team Max for Holly until he kept right on hurting her because then he stopped deserving her. Same with Ross. I was frustrated with Tessa’s inability to ride things out. She was always running away and that annoyed the snot out of me.

By the time the end came, I was glad to be done with these characters. Ross was a huge disappointment, and while Max came around, I thought Holly let him off the hook too easily. The character that I probably liked the most was Grace. Her story was funny because she fell in love with her Dad before she knew that he was her Dad and then once she found out, she was so grossed out. That was funny.

Overall, this was a miss for me. It started off great but kind of veered off into the OMG what the hell is going on right now? land. I just couldn’t get behind all of the dumbass antics of everyone involved. Such a disappointment.

Grade: 1 out of 5

Review: The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon

Posted December 5, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Other Sister by Dianne DixonReviewer: Rowena
The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon
Published by Sourcebooks, Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: November 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Women's Fiction
Pages: 386
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two-half-stars

One sister has everything. Her twin hates her for it.

Would life be better without Ali? Probably. At least then people might think about Morgan. Ali's always gotten everything ― she doesn't even realize how much Morgan resents her.

Ali also doesn't realize that when she shuts Morgan out entirely, she will unleash a chain of events that show just how dangerous the underside of love really is. As their lives spin toward something neither one of them can control, a terrifying crime reveals how those who know us best can destroy us...or save us.

It’s been a couple of days since I finished this book and already, I’ve read 3 books. I zipped right through the books that followed this one but it took me for-ever to finish this one. I couldn’t figure this one out for a little bit. It starts off as Women’s Fiction but then veers into Suspense and Thriller and then back at it again with the Women’s Fiction so with all of that madness, it was no wonder that it took me so long to get through. I read The Girl on the Train a couple of months ago for my book club and I didn’t like one person in that book. That entire book was filled with unlikeable characters and I found that I felt the same way about this book. There were just a whole lot of unlikeable characters in this book.

We have fraternal twins Morgan and Ali. Ali is the golden twin while Morgan is the forgotten one. Morgan is insanely jealous of Ali and while Ali feels bad at first, their relationship is just one hot mess. There’s a husband that I wanted to sock in the nuts, a Mom that I wanted to punch in the throat and just a whole lot of different things going on that I wasn’t a fan of. I’m a fan of multiple storylines and lots of things going on in a story if it helps the story along or really, if it’s done right and I just didn’t feel it in this one. I kept having to take a break from reading this one because there was just too much of everything. Too much hatred, too much dark and while some of it was compelling, for the most part, my thoughts ran along the lines of…meh. I guess because I hated everyone in the story, I was never invested in what happened. I almost DNF’d it and I’m glad that I didn’t because the last part of the book was good. You see some character growth, you understand some things but unfortunately, I still didn’t like anyone.

There’s a darkness to everyone in this book that I couldn’t connect with and that really messed with my interest as the story progressed. So while the ending was good, it didn’t really make up for everything else so this isn’t a book that I would re-read or even recommend easily. I also couldn’t really tell if this was a mystery suspense or a dark Women’s Fiction novel and so I couldn’t even properly prepare myself for the kind of story I was going to get and I like to be prepared.


2.5 out of 5

two-half-stars

Review: Three Amazing Things About You by Jill Mansell

Posted October 4, 2016 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Three Amazing Things About You by Jill MansellReviewer: Rowena
Three Amazing Things about You by Jill Mansell
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: October 1st 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Chick Lit
Pages: 384
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three-half-stars

Jill Mansell's enchanting new novel will drive readers to seize life with both hands and make the most of every minute...Hallie has a secret. She's in love. He's perfect for her in every way, but he's seriously out of bounds. And her friends aren't going to help her because what they do know is that Hallie doesn't have long to live. Time is running out...Flo has a dilemma. She really likes Zander. But his scary sister won't be even faintly amused if she thinks Zander and Flo are becoming friends - let alone anything more. Tasha has a problem. Her new boyfriend is the adventurous type. And she's afraid one of his adventures will go badly wrong. THREE AMAZING THINGS ABOUT YOU begins as Hallie goes on a journey. A donor has been found and she's about to be given new lungs. But whose?

Jill Mansell writes great contemporary stories that promote strong female characters and Three Amazing Things about You is no different. She also writes stories that will break your heart but mend it right back up by the end of the book.

Three Amazing Things about You follows Hallie, a young woman suffering from cystic fibrosis and Flo, a young woman who inherits a cat after her boss dies and who has to move into her boss’ house since the cat inherited a house and last but not least, Tasha, the serially single Tasha who falls in love with a man while she’s digging into a trash can looking for her credit card.

Each woman was as different as can be but over the course of the book, you see their lives come together through a shared connection and the book ends with all loose ends tied together and a great big smile on your face.

Each woman falls in love, gets their heart broken and then put back together again and each story wiggled its way right into my heart and stayed there. I think of the three women, Hallie’s story was the one that broke my heart the most. She’s in love with her doctor and he doesn’t seem to reciprocate her feelings she’s bogged down with this disease and just wants to live a normal life. Flo’s story also hurt my heart but I was thrilled to see her grow and count her blessings with each passing day. Tasha was probably my least favorite of the three women as I was a bit frustrated with fear of adventure. I was mostly frustrated with it because I didn’t understand it and I can’t even remember where those fears stemmed from but alls well that ends well. I was really happy with the way that this story came together and then the way that it ended was just great.

This is a heartwarming story of three women and the directions their lives take toward each other. It was another hit from Mansell for me and I’m looking forward to more from her.

Grade: 3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars

Review: An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer

Posted October 17, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: An Infamous Army by Georgette HeyerReviewer: Rowena
An Infamous Army by Georgette Heyer
Series: Alastair-Audley #4
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: September 1st 2007
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 512
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four-half-stars

IN THE SUMMER OF 1815, with Napoleon Bonaparte marching down from the north, Brussels is a whirlwind of parties, balls and soirees.

In the swirling social scene surrounding the Duke of Wellington and his noble aides de camp, no one attracts more attention than the beautiful, outrageous young widow Lady Barbara Childe.

On their first meeting, dashing Colonel Charles Audley proposes to her, but even their betrothal doesn't calm her wild behavior.

Finally, with the Battle of Waterloo raging just miles away, civilians fleeing and the wounded pouring back into the town, Lady Barbara discovers where her heart really lies, and like a true noblewoman, she rises to the occasion, and to the demands of love, life and war...

I’d like to send a quick thank you to Sourcebook Publishing for sending us a copy of this book to be reviewed, I’ve been swamped with work so I didn’t have time to publish this review until right now but, wow…what can I say about this book?

I’ve never read a historical romance novel quite like this one. First of all, the dialogue in the story had my eyes hurting when I first started the book because it starts off at some party and their language was just so not something I’m familiar with in historicals but instead of turning me off the story, it made me want to read more…I actually felt like I was in the ballroom with Lady Worth, listening to everything going on around me. I could actually picture everything so vividly in my head because the words GH used to describe everything was just out of this world great.

It was easy to fall into this story because the writing was great. I was on Chapter 8 before I even noticed that I’d been reading for almost 3 hours one night, it was that smooth a read. I’ve got to admit though that when I first met Lady Babs I was not a fan of hers, I wanted Colonel Charles Audley to fall madly in love with the Devenish girl and when they had that little moment at the ball when Charles first comes back, I was hopeful even though I knew that Charles was going to end up with Lady Babs.

But over the course of the book, Lady Babs started getting a little better in my eyes even though she drove me batty at times where Charles was concerned, I mean the way she carried on and stuff, without a care in the world, causing the gossipmongers to flag their tongues drove me absolutely insane but when and where it counted, she came through and she won me over by the end of the book, she was a great heroine, a strong and solid one. I mean, I knew that there was goodness in her because she’s the heroine and I knew it was going to come out sooner or later but the things she did made me grit my teeth sometimes, I mean the whole almost breaking up the marriage of the close friend of the Worth’s, I was like, WHAT ARE YOU DOING???? But, alls well that ends well, because she drove me crazy but I never hated her throughout the book, she just made me sigh a lot. But man, this woman is crazy wicked strong, seeing her help those wounded men, if this were a movie I probably would have stood and applauded her, I liked her because of it.

As far as Charles is concerned, I loved him. I hella loved him even when I was shouting at the rooftops for him not to fall in love with Babs, I loved him. He was a good strong gentleman and I just loved him from the very first…I’m not much of a fan of the style of dress these guys used to wear but man Charles Audley was a sexy stud to me, just because of …HIM. LOVED HIM! I loved seeing him with his friends, I loved seeing him with his family and I loved seeing him battle wits with Lady Babs, I just loved HIM dangit!

Now before I started reading this book, I didn’t know a lick about the Battle at Waterloo…having read this book, I could probably teach a class on it…haha, just kidding, but that’s how great the details were in this book. I could feel the tensions rising, the hearts thumping, the panic trying to storm through the closer Napoleon got and everything was just seemed so real. The description with which she uses to describe the war itself and the soldiers and the deaths and everything was fantastic, there’s one death scene in here that gutted me but man, I hecka loved all of it.

I really enjoyed this book and I really enjoyed the characters, the story and I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed history as much as I have while reading this book, reading this book reminded me of when I first started watching The Tudors, how I had to rush off to Google and google the battle of Waterloo just to read up on the whole thing because this book, even though it was gory, was so compelling and just out and out really good.

A definite must to read, I hella enjoyed this book and am truly grateful that I was given a chance to read this book because I probably wouldn’t have picked this book up on my own, so thanks Sourcebook Publishing for sending me this gem of a book, it’s a definite winner.

four-half-stars