“I need to use the bathroom,” I blurt, interrupting the minister just before he reaches the part where we say our vows.
Sweet Retribution by Siobhan Davis
I couldn’t wait to read Sweet Retribution. With the cliffhanger ending of Twisted Betrayal, I needed to know what happened to Kai and Abby. So, I squealed like a tween seeing her celebrity crush in person when I saw that it was up for review. Sweet Retribution was everything that I hoped for and more!!
I loved Abby in Sweet Retribution. She hit rock bottom in Twisted Betrayal. The things that happened to her hurt my heart. She didn’t dwell on them. Instead, she took everything and used that anger and hurt to fuel her revenge. Even though she was dealing with some insane adult issues, she was still a teenager, and she acted like it. Her scenes with the twins cemented that for me. Plus, I got to see her catty side again, which was a massive hit with me in the previous two books.
I loved Kai too. Along with Abby, he hit rock bottom. Like Abby, he used what he learned to fuel his revenge. I loved how in love with Abby he was. If I had any doubts about his feelings for her, they were erased in this book. He was with Abby every step of the way with her revenge. Of course, Kai wouldn’t be Kai without his anger and rage. But, in this book, he was careful and didn’t go off the rails.
I wanted to shake Charlie. Every scene he was in, I kept thinking to myself: “WTF is he THINKING!!!!” He was playing a dangerous game with Abby and Trent’s fathers. He did do his best to protect Abby, his mother, and his sister but ended up failing (well failed Abby and his mother). His rock bottom came about the middle of the book, and I felt terrible for him. But, he did it to himself. He did redeem himself at the end of the book, though.
Abby’s father disgusted me. He was a slimy, nasty piece of work that deserved everything that he got. Every scene with him made my stomach turn. All I have to say is that he earned everything that he got.
I do want to give a heads up, though. Sweet Retribution doesn’t hold back anything when it comes to Abby’s father’s dungeon. Some scenes made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. There were brief descriptions of rape (adult and child). There was the talk of incest and sexual abuse (which made me thankful that Abby’s father didn’t use her like that). There were descriptions of forced procedures and forced incarceration.
There were a few twists in Sweet Retribution’s plotline. Two, I guessed as early as Twisted Betrayal. But, the way they were revealed was shocking. The third, I had a feeling something happened, but I wasn’t sure. So when that was announced, it was a shock also.
The end of Sweet Retribution was excellent. Abby and Kai’s hard work paid off. I was disappointed at specific things that happened. I can’t say much more than that. The epilogue was one of the best that I have read. Loved it!!
I am super excited about this, Jackson, Sawyer, and Charlie are getting their romances. I can’t flipping wait!!! The only one I didn’t see was Drew. I hope that he gets his own (hopefully with Jane).
I would give Sweet Retribution an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is graphic violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Sweet Retribution. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
A young widow restores a dilapidated mansion with the assistance of a charming, eccentric genius, only to find the house is full of dangerous secrets in this effervescent Gilded Age debut novel
It’s 1875, and Alva Webster has perfected her stiff upper lip after three years of being pilloried in the presses of two continents over fleeing her abusive husband. Now his sudden death allows her to return to New York to make a fresh start, restoring Liefdehuis, a dilapidated Hyde Park mansion, and hopefully her reputation at the same time. However, fresh starts aren’t as easy as they seem, as Alva discovers when stories of a haunting at Liefdehuis begin to reach her. But Alva doesn’t believe in ghosts. So when the eccentric and brilliant professor, Samuel Moore, appears and informs her that he can get to the bottom of the mystery that surrounds Liefdehuis, she turns him down flat. She doesn’t need any more complications in her life―especially not a handsome, convention-flouting, scandal-raising one like Sam.
Unfortunately, though Alva is loath to admit it, Sam, a pioneer in electric lighting and a member of the nationally-adored Moore family of scientists, is the only one who can help. Together, the two delve into the tragic secrets wreathing Alva’s new home while Sam attempts to unlock Alva’s history―and her heart.
Set during the Gilded Age in New York City, The Widow of Rose House is a gorgeous debut by Diana Biller, with a darkly Victorian Gothic flair and an intrepid and resilient American heroine guaranteed to delight readers.
Alva Penrose Rensselaer Webster had been inside Delmonico’s for nine seconds before Mrs. Henry Biddington asked the maitre d’hotel to throw her out.
The Widow of Rose House by Diana Biller
I didn’t know what I was expecting when I started reading The Widow of Rose House. I was interested in reading the book. Anything with ghosts and romance in it, and I am reading it. But, I was a little iffy on the Gothic description. I haven’t had the best luck when it comes to reading books in that genre. That was my only hold back from being delighted in reading The Widow of Rose House. I am happy to say that, I was pleased to read this book. I did have an issue with the ending, but other than that, it was a great read.
The Widow of Rose House’s plotline was medium paced. It wasn’t too fast or too slow. Which was perfect for me, and it made reading the book enjoyable. There were no dropped storylines. But there were storylines that I felt needed clarification like how Henry ended up with the Moore’s or why Alva’s mother hated her. The latter gave me a feeling that there was more going on in that relationship than what was said.
Alva was such a complicated woman, and I found her hard to get to know in the beginning. The author held back a lot when it came to her marriage to Alain. There was a point in the book where I did wonder if she was as scandalous as the gossip made her out to be. Then the author explained that Alain was abusive. That is when she started to come to life in my eyes. Alva was vulnerable but at the same time had a backbone of steel. She was damaged goods, and she knew it. She had such a hard time trusting people, after what her husband did, and it took her forever to trust Sam.
I loved everything about Sam. He defined the term absent-minded professor. People could be standing in front of him, and if something caught his attention, bam, they would cease to exist for him. It was awesome!! Take, for instance, the serving tray conversation. I was dying laughing as I read that scene. It was hilarious. I also loved how deeply he loved his family. They were everything to him and vice versa.
Sam and Alva’s romance was unique. I say unique because Sam knew right away that Alva was his other half. But, he also saw that she was damaged. He did pursue her, but everything that happened was on her terms. On Alva’s side, she fought her feelings for Sam tooth and nail. It was amusing and sad to read. Amusing because she blustered a lot and sad because she felt she wasn’t good enough for him.
I didn’t get any sense of sexual attraction or chemistry between Alva and Sam. So when they had sex, it was a surprise. It was a clean sex scene. Nothing explicit. It was descriptive but didn’t go over the line. I loved it!!
The ghost storyline was interesting. I say interesting because I enjoyed the search that Alva and Sam did on the previous owners of the house. I also enjoyed seeing how paranormal research would have looked like in the late 1800s. But then the ghost storyline took a weird turn that involved possession and being able to see slightly into the future. I was a little “eh” on that part, but it did add a unique flair to the storyline.
The storyline with Alva’s brother-in-law and Alva’s marriage was sad. I liked how the author didn’t get graphic with the abuse that Alva and her mother-in-law suffered. Alva’s brother-in-law was skeezy. He was trying to blackmail her into giving him money each month. Considering how divorce was looked upon in that century, I didn’t blame Alva for caving into him. But, I wasn’t expecting what happened to him at the end of the book.
The end of the book was alright. But I got a sense that it was rushed. But overall, it was a good read. I do hope that there will be other books about the other Moore siblings!!
I would give The Widow of Rose House an Adult rating. There is sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread The Widow of Rose House. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Dastardly deeds aren’t exactly the first things that come to mind when one hears the name “Clementine,” but as the sole heir of the infamous Dark Lord Elithor, twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous has been groomed since birth to be the best (worst?) Evil Overlord she can be. But everything changes the day the Dark Lord Elithor is cursed by a mysterious rival.
Now, Clementine must not only search for a way to break the curse, but also take on the full responsibilities of the Dark Lord. As Clementine forms her first friendships, discovers more about her own magic than she ever dared to explore, and is called upon to break her father’s code of good and evil, she starts to question the very life she’s been fighting for. What if the Dark Lord Clementine doesn’t want to be dark after all?
Clementine Morcerous awoke one morning to discover that her father had no nose.
The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz
I am always on the lookout for books that my almost 12 year old can read. My son is a voracious reader and will read anything that I give him. So, when I saw The Dark Lord Clementine’s blurb, my interest was caught. I thought to myself: “My son would like this, but I need to read the book first.” I am glad that I did because The Dark Lord Clementine was a great read!!
The Dark Lord Clementine is the story about a girl named Clementine. She lives in a dilapidated castle with her Dark Lord father. One day, Clementine notices her father is missing his nose. That is when she finds out that the Whittle Witch has cursed him. Clementine takes it upon herself to try and find a cure for the curse. She also tries to assume the Dark Lord duties that her father cannot do. With the Whittle Witch waiting to take over the castle, Clementine is running out of time. Can she save her father?
The plotline for The Dark Lord Clementine was evenly paced. The flow of the book was perfect. It wasn’t too fast or too slow. There was no lag in the book or dropped plotlines either, which I enjoyed.
I loved Clementine. She was a timid little girl at the beginning of the book. But as the book went on, I could see her character growth. By the end of the book, she became this confident young woman. I loved it!!
I did feel bad for Clementine. She didn’t have any friends. Well, human friends. She did have the nightmares and the black sheep for company. But other than that, nothing. She longed for friends, even if she wouldn’t admit it to herself. Hiding in the shadows and watching the villagers play said so much. So, when Sebastian and then Darka befriended her, I was happy. Clementine needed it.
I didn’t care for Darka at the beginning of the book. I didn’t like that she befriended Clementine so that she could gain favor and hunt in the woods around the castle. I didn’t like that she was hunting unicorns. But I liked that her story had more depth to it. When it was revealed, I started to pity her. But, it was Darka’s actions at the end of the book that made me love her!!!
I loved the humor in the book. The Gricken is the most notable one. When Clementine was younger, she tried to turn a frog into a chicken. Unfortunately (and hilariously), the spell backfired, and she turned her family grimoire into it. If she wants to learn a spell, she has to wait for the Gricken to lay an egg. There is a hilarious scene where Clementine pleads with the Gricken to lay an egg. I laughed so hard; I had tears in my eyes.
The end of The Dark Lord Clementine was perfect. I am not going to get into it because of major spoilers. I will say that what Clementine did was brave. The way the book ended made me wonder if there was going to be a book 2.
I would give The Dark Lord Clementine a Tween rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is very mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 10 read this book.
I would reread The Dark Lord Clementine. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Kit-with-a-small-k is navigating middle school with a really big, really strange secret: When she’s stressed, she turns into a naked mole rat.
It first happened after kit watched her best friend, Clem, fall and get hurt during an acrobatic performance on TV. Since then, the transformations keep happening—whether kit wants them to or not. Kit can’t tell Clem about it, because after the fall, Clem just hasn’t been herself. She’s sad and mad and gloomy, and keeping a secret of her own: the real reason she fell.
A year after the accident, kit and Clem still haven’t figured out how to deal with all the ways they have transformed—both inside and out. When their secrets come between them, the best friends get into a big fight. Somehow, kit has to save the day, but she doesn’t believe she can be that kind of hero. Turning into a naked mole rat isn’t really a superpower. Or is it?
Kit’s Mom had a tattoo that wound around her left wrist.
Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers
I am always on the lookout for middle-grade books. I have a tween who devours books left and right. My son can’t read them fast enough. So, when I read the blurb for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World, I thought of him. From the blurb, I thought that this would be an excellent book to read. But, after reading the book, I do have some doubts about letting him read it.
The storyline for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World centers around two friends, kit and Clem. kit (always spelled with a lowercase k) lives with her mother above her mother’s beauty salon. kit is dealing with a lot for a girl of 12. Her mother is a famous ex-singer who is agoraphobic (among other things). She never leaves her apartment or beauty salon. That leaves kit shouldering a majority of her mother’s responsibilities.
On top of that, kit is tiny due to being born a micro-preemie, and she suffers from Alopecia Universalis. She has zero hair on her body and is often mistaken for a cancer patient. It is a lot for a 12-year-old to handle.
Clem is kit’s best friend. She and her brother, Jorge, come from a loud, vibrant family. Clem’s family are acrobats, and they are good at it. So good, that they decide to compete on a show like America’s Got Talent. It’s on that show that Clem has an awful accident. That accident has a ripple effect on her and kit’s life.
The plotline for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World was steady. It is perfect for younger kids or adults who like books that are on the slower side. There was some lag, but the author was able to get the book back on track. I also loved the world and character building.
I felt terrible for kit in Naked Mole Rat Saves the World. She was raising herself. She had to deal with a lot for a 12-year-old. Her best friend changed (and not in a good way), her mother was falling deeper into her mental illness, and there was this guy robbing people dressed up as Batman. No wonder she had anxiety. She was alone when she first changed into a naked mole-rat, and it scared the bejesus out of her. There was a point where I wondered if transforming into the mole rat was all in her head (a symptom of her anxiety), but I was proven wrong.
Poor Clem. Her life drastically changed after her accident on national TV. She turned into this Goth/emo girl who was nasty to everyone. She pushed people away (including kit) and acted out. She became fascinated by her biological grandfather, who was one of the victims in the Jonestown Massacre. I was worried about her, and I couldn’t believe that her parents and grandparents weren’t concerned with her drastic personality change!!!!
There were several sub plotlines in the book that were interesting too. Such as Jackson and why kit hated him. I got why she hated him (he shouldn’t have done that). I also understood why he did it. He was hurting and wanted kit to hurt with him.
I didn’t like Samara. I know this is a kids’ book, but I wanted to throat punch her after that one scene. I was MAD. How dare she say that to kit. Not only was unacceptable, but she overstepped her bounds. kit was allowed to have her dreams and wish her mother could do things.
The end of Naked Mole Rat Saves the World was the best part of the book. The author was able to merge all the plotlines. I also loved that kit was able to use her superpower to save her mother’s world!!!!
I do want to include a warning about Naked Mole Rat Saves the World. Several subjects come up that might not be appropriate for younger kids. To name some of them: bullying, Jonestown (and how the people died), depression, mental illness, and anxiety. Now all these as a whole isn’t bad, but kids might have questions about them. Also, some kids might be triggered them. So be prepared to answer questions while reading the book.
I would give Naked Mole Rat Saves the World a Young Teen rating. There is no sex. There is no language. There is very mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 13 read this book.
I am on the fence if I would reread Naked Mole Rat Saves the World. I am also on the fence if I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
When Tessa Markham’s bookstore gets bought out, she is forced to face an uncertain future. After her best friend challenges her to start baking, she accepts—even if the last time she baked wasn’t what she would call a delicious success.
After a small kitchen fire, Tessa’s life begins to change. She finds encouragement from a sexy fireman, agrees to a questionable ruse to help another business owner with a complicated situation, and needs to be there for her best friend now more than ever.
Can a delicious disaster lead to a new future and a successful baking career?
Having changed clothes, feeling refreshed and more than ready to tackle icing the cakes she and C.C. had made, her phone rang. She didn’t recognize the number, but she answered anyway. “Hello?”
“Is this Tessa?” a woman asked.
Noting that the woman’s voice sounded slightly familiar, Tessa replied, “Yes, who is this?”
“This is Lorie Rain, C.C.’s boss,” she began, pausing so Tessa could reply.
“Oh yes, I remember you.” The almost icing thief!
“Wonderful!” Then with a click of her tongue, she continued, “I hope you don’t mind, but I got your number from C.C. I’m calling to place an order from you for four dozen cupcakes—they’re for my daughter’s cheerleading team. I need each dozen to be a different color—red, yellow, green, and purple—those are my daughter’s favorite colors.” Letting out a giggle, she added, “I would have my housekeeper do it, but she can’t be bothered with such mindful tasks, you know what I mean?”
Is this woman for real? “I’d be happy to help you,” Tessa said to Lorie as she quickly grabbed a pen and notepad to take notes. “When do you need the cupcakes by?”
“I need them to be delivered tomorrow at The Eternity Gymnasium at noon, and not a minute later.”
What the hell! Tessa looked around her kitchen, thankful that she’d—just by chance—bought cupcake tins earlier that day, but with less than twenty-four hours’ notice, it seemed like an extreme task to begin so late in the day. “First of all, Lorie, thank you for contacting me. On second thought, and I hate to say this, but I’m unable to help you on this matter after all. With little time, I wouldn’t feel comfortable selling them.” That was somewhat a lie, because cupcakes were easy, but pretty colorful cupcake decoration was time-consuming.
“C.C. promised you could help me,” Lorie whined. “If you’re a real baker, then why can’t you do this?” There was a long pause on the other end of the phone before Tessa heard a whimpering sound. Her voice was high-pitched, which led Tessa to know that she was playing the guilt-trip card. “I’ll pay extra,” Lorie exclaimed quickly in what seemed to be a begging tone.
Tessa closed her eyes, gnawed on her bottom lip, and tilted her head back, hating herself for what she was about to say. So giving in and realizing that her night would involve a lot of work and no play, in her singsong voice, which she and C.C. often referred as her play- nice tone, Tessa said, “I will make it happen.”
Isabella Louise Anderson grew up with a book in her hand, and to this day, nothing has changed. Aside from writing, she focuses her time on featuring other authors and their books on her blog, Chick Lit Goddess, along with sharing book reviews. Isabella Louise is also a member of the Romance Writers of America.
She lives in Dallas with her husband and their two cats, enjoys spicy Indian and Mexican food, margaritas, and red, white, and rosé wines. She loves spending time with family and friends and cheering on the Texas Rangers.
Isabella Louise Anderson is currently working on her next release.
Tour Schedule 7 October Read with Me – Review Euthalia – Review, Excerpt and Interview
8 October Comfy Chair Books – Excerpt
9 October Binding Addiction – Promo Only
10 October Lisa Book Life – Excerpt
11 October Hearts & Scribbles – Excerpt the bookworm lodge – Promo Only
12 October TMBA Corbett Tries to Write – Excerpt and top ten list
13 October Underneath the Covers – Excerpt
14 October Sandra’s Book Club – Review Paulette’s Papers – Promo Only
15 October The Genre Minx Book Reviews – Review
16 October Book Lover in Florida – Review and excerpt
17 October My Reading Journeys – Review and excerpt
18 October We All Make Mistakes in Books – Review
19 October She Writes About It – Review 20 October All the Ups and Downs – Excerpt Review after tour Comfy Chair Books
Tessa Markham’s time as a small bookshop owner was over.
Delicious Disaster by Isabella Louise Anderson
When I read the blurb for Delicious Disasters, my interest was piqued. This book sounded like something that I needed to read. See, I had been getting a little burnt out from reading. I needed a book that I didn’t have to focus on or had a super intricate plotlines/characters. Delicious Disasters was that book for me. I am glad that I read it!! It was a much-needed change of pace for me.
The plotline for Delicious Disasters was medium paced. I didn’t find myself being rushed along while reading. I also didn’t find myself mentally urging the plotline to go faster. It was perfect!! There were a few lags in the plotline, but the author was able to get the book back on track.
I liked Tessa. I could relate to the hijinks she got herself in. Like forgetting about the cake in the oven and having the fire department come out. Been there, done that. How about dating two guys at once? Been there, done that a bunch of times (don’t worry, way before I got together with BK). Taking on more than she can handle, yeah, living that life right now. I did question some of her decisions too. Like pretending to be Jake’s fiance. I understood why she did it but still. It didn’t make sense to me. The other huge one is when she took another one of Lori’s orders. Sorry, but that would have been a hard no from me.
I did think that Tessa was a bit selfish during Delicious Disasters. It was clear that C.C. was going through something, and Tessa was all about her issues. I didn’t blame C.C. for blowing up at Tessa. Not one little bit. I thought that it should have happened sooner in the book.
Tessa’s relationship with Brye was cute. I agreed with what Brye said in the middle of the book. It was wrong of Tessa to do what she did, and I didn’t blame Brye for what he did. Now, Tessa’s relationship with Jake was a whole other story. I didn’t like Jake from the minute he was introduced in the book. Something about him rubbed me the wrong way. And man, was I vilified!!! All I have to say is that he got his in the end.
The end of the book was cute, but it was a little predictable. I had guessed at everything that happened. I did like how Tessa handled the whole Jake situation, though. Talk about karma!!
I would give Delicious Disasters an Adult rating. There is sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread Delicious Disasters. I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**