The Queen of Dauphine Street by Thea De Salle

So this book follows side characters from The King of Bourbon Street, like most romance series seem to do. Maddy is crazy rich, richer than you could imagine but she has a messy past. Darren is a typical Texas boy and is best friends with Maddy’s exes brother but an ex makes an attempt on his life and Maddy is there to save the day and take him away to New Orleans on her boat to protect him.

Whilst I loved Maddy this book did feel like a bit of a downgrade from the first book. But maybe I just loved Sol and Rain so much that anything would feel like that.

It did kind of feel a bit off the wall at times for honest. It was fun but because it’s based around Maddy who leads a ridiculous life things would happen that just don’t actually happen so though this is a contemporary you have to suspend your belief at times.

A lot of this book takes place in New Orleans, of course, so it made me really happy to read about Sol and Rain as their relationship was a little bit further on in time.

The most important thing for me in this book was Maddy. Though she was a bit wacky she was so unapologetic in her sexuality. She was bi, and she never hid it. Whenever speaking about past experiences she never glossed over her sleeping with men and women and she didn’t downplay it. And though I am not bi, pan and bi kind of go along in the same boat in terms of representation in media or lack thereof. So Maddy was a really important character for me.

There are possible triggers in this book for stalking and guns so if that’s something that could set you off be careful with this book.

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Always With Love by Giovanna Fletcher

Thank you to netgalley and Penguin/Michael Joseph for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I would say this was better than the first book. I could definitely tell that Giovanna’s writing has gotten better. Again, this was an easy read and I liked it for the most part, as with the previous book. However it did fall a bit flat compare to other British “chick lit” writers.

I found the characters still a bit annoying. Sophie was so insecure at times that I wanted to jump into the pages and shake her. I couldn’t imagine being in a relationship with her because you wouldn’t be able to do anything without her worrying that you were going to sleep with someone else. Billy was a lot better in this, he didn’t make any stupid decisions like he did in the previous novel.

I liked getting to see more of the Hollywood side of Billy, it kind of felt like that didn’t exist in the first novel. I liked getting to see his life there and his family. Overall I’d say the characters felt a lot more adult in this novel, they actually tried to work through their problems instead of just shoving them under the carpet.

I’ll be honest, if you’ve followed me for a while you’d know that I schedule everything and have a huge backlog of reviews, so I read this in December and I’m writing this in February, it wasn’t very memorable as I’m struggling for words. It wasn’t a terrible book by any means, and the writing was good, it just didn’t feel like anything new. That’s not a problem really, it’s just not what I’m after.

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Corrupt Me Blog Tour | Jillian Quinn Guest Post and Review | Inspiration for Corrupt Me

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Guest Post

When I first came up with the idea for Corrupt Me, I was watching Goodfellas, one of my favorite movies. Most of the time an idea comes to me while I’m watching TV because of a question I ask myself. With Corrupt Me, I asked, “What would it be like to date a Mafioso?” I’ve always loved when Henry takes Karen to The Copacabana in Goodfellas. That was her first real taste of what it was like to date a wiseguy, and when I started plotting this novel, I instantly saw a lot of Karen in Izzie. There’s a certain thrill Izzie gets when she’s around Luca, and that part of her character was inspired by Lorraine Bracco’s portrayal of Karen in Goodfellas.

Before they get married in the movie, Karen says that she knew Henry was a bad man and it turned her on. The same thing is true of Izzie Rinaldi in Corrupt Me when she rekindles her childhood relationship with Luca Marchese. When it comes to The Godfather, I always wanted to write a character that reminded me of Michael Corleone, and I found that in Izzie. She’s not your typical heroine and she will do anything to protect her family just like Michael.

The Godfather and the relationship between Michael Corleone and Kay Adams mostly inspired this series. I always wondered what could have happened if they had worked as a team. When I created Luca’s character, I knew without a doubt that he was a little bit of Michael Corleone, even if it was just his placement within the family and not his overall development. But I think what I did with his character will surprise some readers. Vincent Piazza’s portrayal of Lucky Luciano in Boardwalk Empire also inspired his character.

At the end of The Godfather novel, there’s a scene between Kay Adams and Tom Hagen that is not in the movies. That pivotal scene is what helped shape Corrupt Me. Tom delivers a message to Kay that I thought was brilliant and made me love the book even more. To leave some mystery for the readers, I won’t get into detail.

I hope readers have the same feeling about Corrupt Me.

Thank you for having me on your blog. I hope everyone enjoyed this guest post.

Review

I struggled with what to write in this review because I would consider Jill my friend so of course I want to support her but I was also like how do I structure this review so that I’m not biased and also completely fair.

The pacing of this novel was really good, it never felt too fast or too slow and I kept wanting to read more. The characters were quite believable, and I’m glad that there’s chapter in Luca’s POV otherwise I think I would’ve hated him for some of the stuff he did had we not seen his reasoning for it.

I wish there hadn’t been so much girl on girl hate, I’m not much a fan of reading that, us girls have got to stick together.

I really appreciated how important consent was in this book as many other novels of this genre struggle with making it obvious whether the sex is actually consensual, be it due to alcohol or just awkwardness.

As it is a mafia book the families are of course Italian and oh my god there was so many descriptions of food, be warned, if you read this book you will be absolutely staving afterwards.

I’m honestly not a huge fan of books of this genre, I prefer comedy romance or YA romance but this was really fun to read and of course I will be looking out for Jill’s future releases.  I think if you like Colleen Hoover books you will likely enjoy reading this!

About the Author

Jillian Quinn was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and currently lives in sunny Cape Coral, Florida where she still pretends it’s okay to drink hot chocolate and curl up on the couch with a good book, even when it’s ninety degrees outside. From an early age, writing and storytelling have been her passion. In her spare time, she loves creating fictional worlds and living inside the minds of her characters as well as reading, art, and watching basketball and hockey.

Jillian is also a successful book blogger, dubbed by her followers as The Queen of Rants after making her blog, Rant and Rave About Books, a popular destination in the bookish community because of her honesty and passion for books.

Corrupt Me is her first novel with other young adult and new adult titles to follow.

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Stalker Links

Facebook | Twitter | Author Website | Goodreads Profile

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Where to buy:

– Amazon (universal link) myBook.to/CorruptMe

– Barnes & Noble http://tinyurl.com/zmewnm4

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– iBooks http://tinyurl.com/jno2tzhl

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I’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

I think you all know by now that I love British romantic comedy literature and Sophie Kinsella is one of the most famous writers of the genre but surprisingly I haven’t read anything of hers but this sounded like a really funny idea, I love the thought of people losing phones and finding someone because of that accident.

First Poppy loses her ancient engagement ring, then her phone gets stolen right out of her hand. Of course she also has to go to dinner with her future in laws the next day and as the days go by and she still hasn’t found the ring she comes up with crazy schemes to cover up. On top of all this she finds a phone in a bin and takes it to use in place of her stolen phone and ends up talking to the owner of the phone.

I’ve Got Your Number is so sweet and funny and I can see exactly why Sophie Kinsella is one of the biggest authors in the world for romance novels. I’ve mentioned it before but I love text conversations in contemporary fiction, I don’t know why but I just like reading it and so much of this book is based on text conversations and they’re so important to the plot.

I knew exactly who it was who had the ring the more we got to know the character because there was something so off about them, but I loved finding out everything that came with that discovery it was just so ridiculous.

The romance ark of this book as so adorable I was pulling for it from the start, I was dying to read to the end to see what happened. It was such a fast read and it was so fun to read, I’m definitely considering reading another book by Kinsella and if you want a gooey, British romcom to add to your TBR for summer I thoroughly recommend this.

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How to Find Love in a Book Shop by Veronica Henry

Thank you to Netgalley and Orion Publishing Group for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop is a multiple POV book which follows the lives of a few select individuals in a small town and how they fall in love all surrounding a bookshop.

The opening of this book reminded me a lot of Up. You get to know the characters in a nice way then one of them dies. Some of the story lines were sweet and it was a mindless quick read but I wouldn’t specifically recommend it.

My biggest issue with this book was that the POV and narrative were so jumpy. I didn’t really know what was going on and who was who half the time. I don’t know if it was a formatting error with my review copy or what but I felt like there really should have been more of an effort to make the reader aware of whose POV it was. There were so many characters as well that it took me until halfway through the novel to kind of figure out what exactly was going on.

Don’t get me wrong I liked this book enough but I couldn’t connect to the characters, maybe because the POV jumped about too much, maybe because they kept making silly decisions.

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We Were on a Break by Lindsey Kelk

Thank you to netgalley and Harper Collins for a copy of this book in return for an honest review.

I reviewed Always The Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk back in May and was keen on reading other books by her so when this popped up on netgalley I jumped on it. I didn’t like it as much as Always The Bridesmaid but I still really enjoyed it.

Liv and Adam are on holiday and everything is ready for Adam to propose, howevere the night heads in a bad direction and Ada has a bit of a breakdown and suddenly they’re on a break.

One of the first things that I really picked up on was how this read like a Richard Curtis film. Think something along the lines of Bridget Jones or Notting Hill. So many things kept going wrong when the characters were trying to sort their lives out. It was classic British farce comedy, yeah it could’ve been wrapped up a lot faster had the characters not being blundering idiots but that’s part of the journey. I could see people from other countries not getting it, and from other reviews I’ve seen there have been some people but oh well.

It was good to read a book of this genre with a split POV, I liked getting to see both characters and how they felt about the situation and how they tried to do things but ended up screwing up. I think after reading this that there’s a real gap in the market for romantic comedy books that have multiple POVs, there are a lot of films where we get to see all but it’s not as common in books.

Something I’ve noticed in both this book and Always the Bridesmaid is that Kelk likes to give her characters one kind of normal-ish friend and one completely batty/controlling/misguided friend. I often found myself getting annoyed because Liv and Adam’s friends kept getting themselves involved where they shouldn’t have been and making everything worse than it could’ve been.

As I read the book I really understood how things fell apart on their holiday, not even through things that the characters say but just witnessing their relationships with people. Some of their friends are married and from that they see the pressures of marriage and parenthood, and of course there are real life pressures and familial pressures, and I think Kelk did really well in showing the different pressures of a long term relationship.

This is definitely a good read to dip in and out of and is so funny, if you like Hugh Grant films then this is right up your street.

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

After a terrible accident Will is left as a quadriplegic, with no use of any of his limbs. Lou loses her job after her boss decides to move to Australia. After a few dodgy jobs from the Job Centre Lou applies to be the carer of Will and eventually comes to care about him a lot despite Will being an absolute arse to her.

I reserved this book at the library because I wasn’t sure if I would like it or not but wanted to check out what the hype was all about. Part of my uncertainty was that I’d seen a lot of comments about how it was ableist and the disabled community just wasn’t happy with it. After reading it I can truly say I really liked this book, I get the hype, I get the criticism but I also kind of disagree with the criticism, however, I’m not a person with a disability so it isn’t my place to tell someone who is that they shouldn’t be offended. In the book Will is suicidal and wants to go to Switzerland to commit assisted suicide and many people have read the book and read into it thinking the author is thus saying that all people who are disabled lead miserable suicidal lives, which I don’t personally think is the case. Will used to ride a motorbike and go thrill seeking and travel, which is obviously quite difficult for someone who is quadriplegic and he’s depressed because he can’t live the life he used to love not depressed just because he’s disabled. I’m not telling you not to be offended if you are but that’s just how I interpreted it.

Honestly, the book is just a sweet story about love and how much someone is willing to do for someone. Lou is a wonderful girl, if sometimes a bit easily led, and the way Moyes writes really made me feel for Will and the entire situation. The way Lou’s family treat her made me so angry at times, as if she’s only good enough to get them money to pay their bills, god forbid she do something for herself.

I found myself beginning to like Will as Lou begun to like him and I really enjoyed that experience, it read really well. As the characters warmed up to each other I really began to understand why so many people love this book and how it became a movie.

My one issue with MBY was that it seemed to be a bit longer than necessary. Like there’s the occasional scene that just isn’t really needed to advance the plot or develop the characters. On top of that, I didn’t cry. I was promised I would cry. I’m so disappointed, I’m fairly quick to cry as well.

There is a sequel to Me Before You, called After You but as much as I liked Me Before You I have no intention to read After You. The way MBY ends it just feels completed and I don’t really get why there would be a sequel to it, especially as from most of the reviews I’ve read it doesn’t seem to be that great.

I hope to watch the movie at some point as I adore Sam Claflin and have done since he was in Pirate of the Caribbean, and Emilia Clarke is ok too.

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The Second Love of my Life by Victoria Walters

Thank you to Headline Review for sending me a copy of this book via bookbridgr.

After losing her husband Lucas at age 24 Rose is a widow. Her whole life has changed and as she struggles to get back on her feet after such a huge loss she has completely lost her will to paint, something which brought her a lot of joy. The Robert arrives at the village after seeing that she had planned to sell her last ever paintings and falling in love with her art.

This book was the typical chick lit book that I do not enjoy. It had its moments where I didn’t mind it but for the most part it just annoyed me. It wasn’t completely terrible in that I continued to read it and didn’t DNF it but it just really wasn’t for me.

I wasn’t a fan of the writing style, I felt like it focussed far too much on Rose’s own thoughts about everything and it felt like there was a lot of whiney monologues. It felt quite childish and reminded me of how I used to write a few years ago. Rose as a character focussed so much on her lost husband, and I get that it’s hard to lose someone, I’ve been through it, but it was just so tiring to constantly read “oh no I don’t know what Lucas would’ve thought”.

From the minute you meet Robert you already know what’s going to happen and that things aren’t going to be smooth sailing, and whilst most of the time I don’t mind this as long as the journey is enjoyable to read, this wasn’t. Nothing surprised me.

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Cupcakes and Confetti: The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot

Thank you to netgalley and Harper Impulse for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Cupcakes and Confetti is your typical “chick lit” book which follows a girl after she’s just gone through a tough break up and is trying to get her life back together. This includes starting a new job with an arsehole farmer trying to help his wedding side business after the previous girl who did the job up and left the place in a disaster. So classic story of finding yourself and then finding your man.

Continue reading “Cupcakes and Confetti: The Little Wedding Shop by the Sea by Jane Linfoot”

Truth or Date by Portia MacKintosh 

Thank you to NetGalley and Carina for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book was funny and cute; I definitely wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.

Truth or Date begins with our protagonist, Ruby, having a sex about her male flatmate, Nick, who she hates. Gradually after a few more of these dreams she begins to fall for him and she hatches a plan for him to like her back and dump his incredibly boring and obnoxious girlfriend.

This was the kind of romance book I love, like Always the Bridesmaid by Lindsey Kelk it doesn’t take itself too seriously and the plot went in silly and fun ways. The characters were so fantastic and even though it’s a fairly short book there was some great character development.

Truth or Date is set in Leeds, a place I have been to quite a few times so I found it nice when I recognised a few names of places and it felt quite comfortable to read because of this. There was a lot of mention of dating apps and sites which I am no stranger to and some of the things said about the dating app culture was hilarious and insanely relatable.

I’m glad I requested this book on netgalley as I doubt it would’ve even came up on my radar otherwise and I recommend people read this if they love a lighthearted, funny romance book. And It’s only £2.99 on Amazon.