Spotlight: "The Girls of Mischief Bay"

"The Girls of Mischief Bay"
by Susan Mallery
Publisher: Mira
Release Date: Feb 24, 2014
Source: sent by publisher


Summary from goodreads.com:

Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time at her Mischief Bay Pilates studio. Can she say enough is enough without losing the man she loves?

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg rose to become vice president in her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she can have it all. And if she can, does she want it?

Although Pam Eiland has a beautiful house and a husband she adores, she feels… restless. She wonders who a stay-at-home mom becomes after the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise her husband brings the heat and the humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, three very different women will discover that friends can become family, and that life is richer with sisters at your side.
Book #1 in Susan Mallery's new Mischief Bay series!

Find out more about the book here


Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for this post.

"Mayhem" Review

"Mayhem"
by Jamie Shaw
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release Date: Jan 20, 2015 
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

When college freshman Rowan Michaels meets gorgeous, up-and-coming rock star Adam Everest, she knows a player like him is the last thing she needs after her ex-boyfriend shattered her heart. But she can't stop thinking about the kiss they shared on his tour bus.

On the first day of school, Rowan is stunned when Adam saunters into her French class. He's soon failing miserably, and, on a whim, she offers to tutor him. But Adam doesn't recognize her as a makeup-free, glasses-clad college student—a far cry from the beautiful, mysterious "Peach" he met at his concert.

During a wild weekend on tour with the band, Rowan can't help falling for the sweet guy buried beneath Adam's rocker persona. Yet she knows she could never compete with the girls constantly throwing themselves at his feet. She'd just end up hurt … again.

Peach is all Adam thinks about, though, and when Rowan realizes this, she has a decision to make: stay just friends to protect her fragile heart … or reveal the truth about the night they met and admit she's fallen completely, hopelessly in love with him.
My Review:

"Mayhem" is a really fun, and also really sweet take on the New Adult rock star romance. The writing flows so well, and I found myself caught up in the story really quickly. Sure, the subject matter is a total fantasy, and a bit cheesy at times, but I love that type of escapism in books, especially romance! I loved that the book is fun and doesn't get caught up in a lot of sex scenes like some books in the New Adult genre.

It took awhile for me to warm up to Adam, at first I was thinking he was too aloof and a stereotypical rock star. But as soon as Rowan goes on her weekend getaway with the band, I started to really like Adam. He actually does some really sweet things and treats Rowan really well. It was just the initial stage when Rowan was worshipping him from afar in which I didn't really care for his character.

Rowan was a great lead heroine. I love love love that she spent most of the book in her glasses and dressed down so that Adam wouldn't recognize her as Peach. And Adam fell head over heels for her even without all the fancy clothes and makeup! Of course, Rowan becomes complete BFF with most of the band, which is a bit far-fetched but totally fun. Why not just embrace the escapism, it's fun!


Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 5/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: For a fun, light-hearted, and sweet romance with a rock star, look no further! Jamie Shaw is a great new voice in New Adult romance!



Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday Shout Out 60


Recently, I introduced a new feature here at In the Hammock on Sundays. It's called "Sunday Shout Out" and it's a place where I can give a special shout out to those publishers and authors who have sent me books over the week, as well as those bloggers who have hosted contests that I've won! I'll also be giving shout outs to any other cool books, blogs or bookish news that I've spotted during the week.


For Review
I'm playing a bit of catch up this week, I didn't receive ALL of these books in one week! There's more catching up to come next week as well!

 "Chase Me" by Tessa Bailey
 

"The Shopkeeper's Daughter" by Lily Baxter
 
"The Elusive Lord Everhart" by Vivienne Lorret

"Measure of a Man: From Auschwitz Survivor to President's Tailor" by Martin Greenfield with Wynton Hall
"Duct Tape" by Forest Walker Davis

"500 Tangled Artworks" by Beckah Krahula

"Only in My Dreams" by Darcy Burke

"Various States of Undress: Georgia" by Laura Simcox

"Her Highland Fling" by Jennifer McQuiston

"When Good Earls Go Bad" by Megan Frampton

"Love in the Time of Scandal" by Caroline Linden

"Ever After at Sweetheart Ranch" by Emma Cane

"Bad for Me" by Codi Gary

"Royally Ever After" by Loretta Chase

"Nightbird" by Alice Hoffman
     

      

What books did you receive this week?


"An Affair Downstairs" Review

"An Affair Downstairs"
by Sherri Browning
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: Jan 6, 2014
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

The Countess of Aberford is determined to make a match for her sister, Lady Alice Emerson, but each man she brings to Thornbrook Park only inflames Alice's improper interest in unsuitable Logan Winthrop, a rugged man once accused of murdering his great rival.

Logan's determined to shelter himself from the pain of unrequited love—he knows the feeling all too well—but something about Alice stirs his desire to start living again. Though they fight their urges, the pair can only resist for so long; eventually they must choose between bowing to society's rules or breaking them...

My Review:

As a Downton Abbey addict, I really wanted to love this book. However, it was just ho-hum for me. Logan was likable, but Alice came across as a little bit spoiled in my opinion. I think I was also a little bummed that the story doesn't fully commit to an affair 'downstairs.' Logan is the manager of Thornbrook Park, hardly a lowly position, and he is from a titled background. I was hoping for some actual conflict between the classes, but it didn't really seem to be that way. I really wanted to see more about the servants' side of life and how two people might be able to make a relationship work between classes.

Sometimes a slow read can be fun and a great escape, and I did feel like I was having a lazy day rambling around a huge estate as I was reading. So the overall mood and tone of the book was enjoyable. I think I just wanted a little more excitement.


Main Characters: 3/5
Supporting Characters: 3/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 3/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 4/5


Bottom Line: I know I'm not the only reader starved for more books similar to Downton Abbey, so please, publishers and writers, keep this type of book coming! But this one just need a bit more intrigue and excitement for me, and more of a look at life 'downstairs.'

Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"Say Yes to the Marquess" Review

"Say Yes to the Marquess"
by Tessa Dare
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: Dec 30, 2014
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:

Your presence is requested at romantic Twill Castle for the wedding of Miss Clio Whitmore and . . . and . . . ?

After eight years of waiting for Piers Brandon, the wandering Marquess of Granville, to set a wedding date, Clio Whitmore has had enough. She's inherited a castle, scraped together some pride, and made plans to break her engagement.

Not if Rafe Brandon can help it. A ruthless prizefighter and notorious rake, Rafe is determined that Clio will marry his brother—even if he has to plan the dratted wedding himself.

So how does a hardened fighter cure a reluctant bride's cold feet?

● He starts with flowers. A wedding can't have too many flowers. Or harps. Or cakes.

● He lets her know she'll make a beautiful, desirable bride—and tries not to picture her as his.

● He doesn't kiss her.

● If he kisses her, he definitely doesn't kiss her again.

● When all else fails, he puts her in a stunning gown. And vows not to be nearby when the gown comes off.

● And no matter what—he doesn't fall in disastrous, hopeless love with the one woman he can never call his own.
My Review:

This is definitely one of the best historical romances that I have read for a really long time! I'm sad to say this was my first book by Tessa Dare. What took me so long?? Now I know that all the rave reviews are 100% deserved. The main characters are so lovable, and add to that an engaging plot, a well-rounded supporting cast, and fantastic writing, and you have the perfect romance novel!

Clio is a wonderful heroine. She has just the right amount of vulnerability along with an independent side. She has inherited a castle, and she no longer wants to bother with a husband. Definitely not the husband she has been waiting on for 8 years. Rafe is the complete opposite of his straight-laced brother, also known as Clio's perfect-on-paper fiance. He rejects any societal norms and wants to make his own way as a prizefighter. Clio and Rafe were inseparable as children, and now they are realizing that their feelings are deeper than friendship.

I loved the secondary cast of characters as well. Rafe's friend, Bruiser, was hilarious in his disguise as a 'gentleman'. He had it all figured out down to the monocle.  Clio's sister and her somewhat bumbling husband fit their roles to a tee, not quite mean-spirited, but always saying the wrong thing and hurting Clio.

This is just the perfect romance, historical romance fans are bound to be swept into Tessa Dare's story and the historical world of these characters. The characters will probably find a way into your heart like they did mine.

Main Characters: 5/5
Supporting Characters: 5/5
Setting: 5/5

Romance: 5/5

Uniqueness: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Writing: 5/5


Bottom Line: A wonderful historical romance, sure to satisfy fans of the genre.


Disclosure: I received an e-copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

"Monstrously Funny Cartoons" Review

"Monstrously Funny Cartoons"
by Christopher Hart
Publisher:  Watson-Guptill
Release Date: Oct 14, 2014
Source: sent by publisher

My Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Summary from goodreads.com:


Learn to draw the silliest and scariest monsters, zombies, vampires, witches, mummies, and other creepy cartoon favorites.

Cartooning master Christopher Hart teaches aspiring artists all the drawing tips and tricks they need to create laugh-out-loud renditions of their favorite monsters and scary creatures. This jam-packed cartooning guide shows readers how to capture the lighter side of these creepy creatures by combining them with Hart's incredibly popular cartoon drawing style! Taking readers step-by-step through each monster type, Hart demonstrates how to draw everything from terrifyingly silly heads to wacky comic strip-like scenes of monstrous menace. Chockful of hints, humor, and horror, Monstrously Funny Cartoons is guaranteed to be a real scream for aspiring and professional artists, as well as all fans of things that go bump in the night.
My Review:

What a fun book! This instructional cartooning book, has it all-easy to follow how-to advice, and background information, as well as a fun writing style. The author blends his drawings of fun cartoon monsters with funny descriptions as well as the reasons why the characters are drawn the way they are. He doesn't just tell you to draw a zombie with an open jaw, he tells you WHY zombies have open jaws. This is such a great teaching style. The artist learns why they are drawing a certain way, not just copying what another artist has done. This method really helps you develop your own style instead of copying the instructor's style.

The book is divided into section by type of monster. Zombies are first, followed by vampires, mummies, aliens, etc. I really enjoyed the vampire and zombie monsters the most, but I liked all of the monsters. There is a good variety  of types to draw, some are cute like the zombie cheerleader on the cover, and some are more silly and icky. All of the monsters are in good fun though, there's nothing scary in the book. It's perfect for children, teens, and adults in my opinion.

I think the author achieved his goal of providing information for both beginning artists, and for experienced artists who want to develop their craft and learn how to draw a new category in order to stay current.

Bottom Line: A monstrously fun cartooning book, suitable for all ages and skill levels. Let's get drawing those zombies, vampires, and mummies!


Disclosure: book sent by bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for an honest review

Waiting on Wednesday 262


Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine, and it is a way to show off the books you can't wait to be released!!

This week I chose: 

"Anne & Henry"
by Dawn Ius
Simon Pulse
Release Date:  Sept. 2015


Anne
Wild, brazen, mischievous, bewitching

Henry
Driven, haunted, charming, magnetic

Apart, they are bound to destroy themselves. Together, they are bound to destroy each other.

Henry Tudor's life has been mapped out since the day he was born: student president, valedictorian, Harvard Law School, and a stunning political career just like his father's. But ever since the death of Henry's brother—perfect, high-achieving Arthur—his family has been twice as demanding. And now Henry's trapped: forbidden from pursuing a life as an artist or dating any girl who's not Tudor approved.

Then Anne Boleyn crashes into his life.

Anne is wild, brash and outspoken. She is everything Henry is not allowed to be—or to want. But soon Anne is all he can think about. His mother, his friends, and even his girlfriend warn him away, yet his desire for Anne consumes him. Henry is willing to do anything to be with her. But once he has her, their romance could destroy them both.

Inspired by the true story of Anne Boleyn and King Henry VIII, Anne & Henry reimagines the intensity, love, and betrayal between one of the most infamous couples of all time.
I haven't seen a modern retelling of Anne and Henry's story before. Admittedly, I told myself I wasn't going to read any more books about them, they started to be repetitive, but I don't think I can resist this one.

What are you waiting for this week???
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