Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Waiting on Wednesday: The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares



"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week I'm eagerly waiting on...


The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares 
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Publication Date: April 25th 2017. 


Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met. Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past. The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.

The last book I read by Ann Brashares was My Name is Memory and it was a book I absolutely loved (I'm probably the only one amongst my friends that did), so I'm thoroughly excited to be getting a contemporary read from her. Also I'm a huge fan of Summer reads set away at Beach Houses, it makes me long to have my own, one that I can go to and hide away at over the Summer. I also do love my books that deal with family relationships well and with any hint of a romance I'm completely sold. I think The Whole Thing Together will have everything I love in a book and I will eagerly be anticipating its release! Also how pretty is that cover? The subtle, natural covers I always find myself gravitating towards. 

What are you waiting for this Wednesday?


Friday, 2 December 2016

Monthly Recap: November




Hi everyone, I'm so glad its finally December, we have our Christmas tree up and I only have a few more Christmas presents to shop for and I just have two weeks of work left and then the Christmas break to look forward to. I've really been feeling the workload lately, I've actually eased back from the gym too and taken a fitbit break. But with Christmas around the corner, I can imagine things getting busy again. Christmas is probably one of the holidays where our family goes all out, we probably do more baking than we do at Vaisakhi or Diwali, so if you don't hear from me around Christmas it'll most likely be because I'm in a food coma!

What I've been up to.

Jasprit:

November was my birthday month, so of course it involved lots of eating with family and friends, I got some great gifts from Allie and Rashika, <3 these ladies and giftcards so I can buy more books!




(You can see more of my photos on my Instagram profile here)


Allie and I went on another food binge, I was all prepared for all the food, well I thought I was prepared, I did quite well at the first few places, but then when we hit the Mae Deli I was a goner! I also had the best hot chocolate at Sourced Market, it was a Dark Rich flavour by Hans Sloane, I'm not typically a dark chocolate fan, but this one was my absolute favourite! And London was of course looking super pretty with the Christmas decorations out in full force! 



I also got to meet up with the lovely Keertana, we both started blogging around the same time, and it feels like we've been great friends ever since, so I was so excited about meeting her in real life. We went and ate at a Michelin star restaurant, visited a few bookstores and ended the day at Laduree with Chocolate Chaud (hot chocolate) and dessert. 

 



Reading

Jasprit:

Number of books read: 20! I haven't read this many books since January and now I'm only 9 books from meeting my goal.



Best read of last month: 

(Click on Book for Goodreads link). 


  
I read four 5 star reads last month, and I honestly can't choose between them and they all affected me differently on an emotional level. The Opportunist and Thief just crushed my poor little heart, but the romance was done so well! November 9 I actually ended up reading on November 9 (what are the chances), my train was delayed on my way back from meeting Allie, so I got through quite a chunk of it, and normally books by Hoover don't work for me, but I ended up loving the heck out of this one. And Kulti, my gosh this had such wickedly slow burn romance and the main love interest definitely made it to my top ten fictional crushes of all time. 



Fictional crush of the month: Don't make me choose! This has to be such a close call between Caleb from Tarryn Fisher's Love Me with Lies series and Reiner Kulti from Kulti (I'm a complete sucker for a German, hence I'm holding Kulti in such high regards!). But Caleb seriously despite some of the messed up things that he did and had to go through, his love for Olivia was one of the best ones. I need a Caleb in my life! 

 Books I'm looking forward to reading next month. 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link). 


Jasprit:



I got the first three books in the Beautiful Bastard series for a really good deal this week, the reviews have been a mixed for the first book, but I'm hoping that I'll enjoy it. I also received my first book for Christmas The Hating Game! I wanted to buy this book ages ago, but held back for as long as possible, but I can't wait to get stuck in. 

How was your November?

Monday, 28 November 2016

Review: After the Kiss (Sex, Love & Stiletto #1) by Lauren Layne

After the Kiss (Sex, Love & Stiletto #1) by Lauren Layne 
Publisher: Ebury Digital
Publication Date: 28th September 2014
My rating: 4 stars. 


The star columnist of Stiletto magazine will do anything for a story. Anything . . . except fall in love. Julie Greene loves flings, steamy first dates, sizzling first kisses, and - every now and then - that first sexy romp between the sheets. But when Julie gets assigned the hardest story of her career - a first-person account of the shift between dating and "I do" she'll need a man brave enough to give a total commitment-phobe a chance at more. Mitchell Forbes, a devastatingly hot workaholic who tends to stay in relationships for far too long, is the perfect subject for Julie's "research." But what Julie doesn't know is that Mitchell is looking to cut loose and that Julie, notorious for avoiding love, is exactly the type of no-strings fling he's looking for...

One of my all time favourite tropes is when two characters are forced in to a situation together and they end up falling for one another. In After the Kiss Julie is known for quick flings, never taking time to settle and actually forming a meaningful relationship and Mitchell is the setting type of guy, he’s just come out of a long term relationship, but to prove to his friend that he can do a quick fling and get rid of a person after a few dates, he’s challenged to take on Julie. Both Julie and Mitchell go into their tasks with their own agenda’s, but they so didn’t expect leaving with much more than they bargained for.

Both Julie and Mitchell were difficult characters to like at first, Julie was the type just to quickly go for a relationship, I think because she hadn’t really been in love, or actually spent long enough in a relationship to fall in love, she was just used to appear crass and abrupt. And my gosh when I first met Mitchell I thought he was a complete bore, okay I perked up when I heard he liked reading, but the way he came across all prim and proper and working on Wall Street, I thought the chemistry between Mitchell and Julie would be a complete snooze fest, but never has Lauren Layne led me astray, of course she was able to weave her magic and actually make me fall for Mitchell (did I ever mention that Mitchell/Mitch has always been a bit of a soft spot when it comes to hot characters names?) and actually develop Julie’s and Mitchell’s relationship into something realistic and meaningful. You have to remember the time they spent happens over days and a few weeks even, but the way Layne built up their time together and the way they got to know each other? It was done wonderfully, I was left wanting more. I wanted them to finally come clean with each other about why they’d got together in the first place, as I knew it would lead to heartbreak in the end and they had come so far, through going to a night club instead of having movie night, runs through Central Park and dealing with bitchy ex girlfriends, their relationship was actually becoming that and their feelings for one another were clearly apparent.

I’m not going to say how After the Kiss ends, but there is a lot of heartbreak and growing up along the way. I was super impressed with how far these two characters came by the end of this book. After the First Kiss was another hit by Lauren Layne for me, thank you Nick for recommending it, I’m hoping this series will fill the void left after finishing The Wedding Bells series and to be honest I can feel a binge reading coming on!


Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: November 2015.
My rating: 5 Stars. 


This is a love story between a guy (me) and a girl (Fallon). I think. Can it even be considered a love story if it doesn’t end with love? Mysteries end when the mystery is solved. Biographies end when the life story has been told. Love stories should end with love, right? Maybe I’m wrong, then. Maybe this isn’t a love story. If you ask me…I’d say this might even be considered a tragedy. Whatever it is—however it ends—I promised I would tell it. So without further ado. Once upon a time…I met a girl. THE girl.

Colleen Hoover’s books have been a real miss for me, I’m really gutted about this, as so many of my friends have adored her books and I really wanted to find that one which I would fall in love with. I’m glad that any stubbornness paid off and I didn’t give up on Hoover’s books as November 9 is my favourite yet! 

If you don’t know me by now, I’m a huge fan of second chance romances, romances which take place over a few years and the love growing stronger as they get to know one another. The set up between Ben and Fallon was an unusual one, their chance meeting and Ben pretending to be Fallon’s boyfriend in front of her dad bought them together. And soon before they realise, fake-relationships aside, there is actually something deep and meaningful between them underneath, but Fallon’s flying out to New York in a few hours and then what? Fallon and Ben decide to meet every year on November 9 at the same place, they’ll have no other contact with each other until that point, and if they are really meant to be, their relationship should be able to withstand the five years that Fallon wants to wait to take the relationship further. I for one didn’t think this relationship could last at all, they didn’t have each other’s numbers, they’d blocked each other on social media and really they’d only known each other for a few hours. But you know what they say, time makes the heart grow fonder, and honestly true words couldn’t have been spoken. I loved watching the development of Ben and Fallon’s relationship, some could say it was insta-love, as they fell for each other so quickly, but Hoover really made the relationship work well with only the yearly meet ups. The way the relationship developed was done beautifully, there was a lot of heartache along the way, but their feelings or one another never wavered. 

I really liked Ben as our romantic interest he wasn’t the typical alpha male character, but a real sweetheart. I loved how he wore his heart of the line and how he was feeling was always apparent on his face, he wasn’t afraid to truly put himself out there and that’s what I loved about him. I adored his passion for writing, how he became obsessed with reading books that did romances well and then trying to be that sort of character for Fallon in real life. The bookish references throughout was a favourite of mine, we had Ben taking the mick of romantic declarations in books such as characters claiming “I own you” and running to show their last minute feelings to their love interest at the airport. It was fun to read, as it’s done so often in the books we read, but seeing Ben and Fallon discuss it was refreshingly funny. Ben not only was a swoon worthy crush, but also a funny guy too! I adored how he helped Fallon gain the confidence back with homework he gave her, but his genuine feelings towards her also made that possible in a massive way. I know there was a lot of miscommunication and truths held back along the way, but despite these, they never made me think that what Ben and Fallon had wasn’t worth fighting for. 

Hoover did an absolutely wonderful job with November 9, the romance was achy, raw and beautifully done and characters were ones you could easily relate to, they were witty, determined and hugely loveable, that it made them that more memorable. November 9 I can safely say is one of my favourite reads of the year, the romance that Hoover writes will easily make its way to your heart with you never wanting it to let you go.







Monday, 14 November 2016

Review: Thief (Love Me with Lies #3) by Tarryn Fisher.

Thief (Love Me with Lies #3) by Tarryn Fisher.
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent 
Publication Date: 21st July 2013
My rating: 5 Stars.



*Contains some spoilers*

I was super anxious going into Thief, after everything my two favourite characters Caleb and Olivia had been through, the heartache, torment and destruction I needed their lives to get back on track, to be away from toxic characters that were hell bent on ruining their lives and finally live the life they were long overdue. 

Even though I had fallen in love with their love story since The Opportunist, I was a bit confused about how Fisher was going to make everything happen. One of the reasons this largely was because of Noah. Noah was a decent guy, and I really didn’t want Fisher to tarnish his character like what a lot of authors have done in the past, but at the end of the day Caleb and Olivia were meant to be! See how difficult of a predicament I found myself in? But I have to commend Fisher, I always knew some characters would end up getting hurt, but she really did play out the issues and situation the best way that she could. 

And oh my gosh I thought Olivia and Caleb had dealt with their fair share of things in the previous two books, but no it seemed the entire world was against them being together, if it wasn’t some sort of obstacle getting in the way, it was one of these characters trying to do the right thing. But I loved Caleb’s persistency and resolve to not give in, they’d already missed out on so much, by letting toxic characters get in the way with their lives, so I respected and admired Caleb’s resilience to go for what he wanted. Because Caleb and Olivia were meant to be! Their time together was once again off the charts, I loved how their love for each other just got stronger and stronger and that they just knew each other so well. They honestly had it all to deal with. 

Fisher once again swept me away with her beautiful yet heartbreaking story, I really didn’t think it was possible for my heart to break anymore, but my gosh, she thoroughly shredded it in Thief. But honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way. I adore my books which pack a strong emotional punch and really make you experience all the hurt and turmoil the characters are going through, and Fisher was just on point with making me feel everything! 2016 has really being a rough reading year for me, but I’m hugely grateful that I was able to devour this fantastic series in a few days (the lack of sleep was totally worth it). I just know I’m going to struggle for the next few days to find something that can live up to these beautiful books!




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