Book Review: ‘ShutterGirl’ by CD Reiss

shuttergirl - cd reiss

Finally! A heroine that doesn’t make me want to throw up! ‘ShutterGirl’ is a bittersweet, second chance at love story that is sweet, wretched and gritty all at once. Set in Los Angeles we have the two very different sides to Hollywood.

Michael Greydon, born into Hollywood royalty, gifted movie star, incredibly attractive and all around good guy. Laine Cartwright, however, didn’t quite have the upbringing that Mr Greydon had. Having grown up in the darker part of the foster care system, she raised herself in her city of Los Angeles and found her calling (not an easy ride, I should add) as the best paparazza in Hollywood…as ShutterGirl.

I loved these main characters, I feel like Reiss developed them really well. Although Michael was the love interest of our heroine, he wasn’t the mysterious, broody and alpha-male that most authors create nowadays. Laine was fierce and independent which is so refreshing I could just hug the author for it. While I loved the main characters, in some parts of the story I didn’t believe that they were really into each other – the connection wasn’t always there and it let the story down. I think there was opportunity for a plot twist that would really strength the two characters as a couple.

‘ShutterGirl’ is overloading with potential drama and plot twists, but I do like that Reiss kept it to a minimum and cleverly picked what would make the story interesting. It’s a seriously sweet story with just the right amount of darkness.

I really liked the storyline and the way that Christine writes Los Angeles like it is it’s own character. I wouldn’t change much about the story but if I had to choose one thing I would have included more flashbacks or a little more back story from when they met in their past – I think this would have added a little more edge to it.

Overall, I would read this book again and recommend it to anyone who loves second-chance love stories. A huge well done to Christine on ‘ShutterGirl’ and I can’t wait to see what she creates next!

You can find Christine on Twitter here!

Beth x

picture – Google, I do not own the cover.

Book Review: ‘Just Say When’ by Kaylee Ryan

just say when - kaylee ryan

‘Just Say When’ is a story of two people who are completely infatuated with each other only they try to hide their feelings due to one mutual problem. Ava’s big brother is Nate’s best friend.

This story gave me mixed feelings towards it, while it was an utterly cheesy, sweet and light read, it was a little too sweet. I almost had toothache. There was seriously no drama in this story, and while no drama in a relationship is a good thing I find that in a fictional story it’s a must to keep the story alive and entertaining. ‘Just Say When’ didn’t have this, or when something “happened” it was very mild.

I did however really like the two main characters and the group of friends, they were all funny/interesting. I really like that the group all became friends and bonded over the ‘Color Run’, I was glad that they were involved in the story and it wasn’t purely about Ava and Nate.

While I did like Ava and Nate’s relationship and the fact that their relationship wasn’t rushed nor was the physical side of it, I didn’t like the characters they were when they were together. Nate turned into your typical way too intense caveman who boiled over with rage if a guy even blinked in Ava’s direction, seriously annoying. I didn’t like that he smothered her and treated her like a baby, she’s was a grown ass woman. Though some of the time, Ava didn’t act like a grown ass woman. She came across as kind of immature and was incapable of doing anything for herself around Nate.

Brody, Ava’s over-protective Marine big brother, was a complete and utter asshole. Seriously, he was only around for a few chapters but I wanted to punch him every time he entered a scene. He completely over-reacted about the relationship and it just made him look like a hypocrite as his own secret comes into the picture. Ava and Nate fought their feelings and resisted each other so that they didn’t hurt Brody’s feelings, which I kind of found ridiculous as they were both adults and Nate was his best friend…who else would be better for your baby sister than the one guy you would take a bullet for? But I guess it was sweet that they resisted out of respect for him.

Overall, I did enjoy the light read, it only took me a day to read it. It was a sweet romance and I really enjoyed the fighting aspect around the story. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys angst-free stories, and don’t mind over-protective big brothers. I’d say well done to Kaylee Ryan, it was a cute story I just would have liked more drama!

What is your favourite kind of romance? Angst/Forbidden/Lovey-Dovey? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Beth x

picture: Google – I do not own the cover

Book Review: ‘Down The Rabbit Hole’ by Holly Madison

Down-The-Rabbit-Hole

Don’t judge me.

I read this book for the simple reason that I’m incredibly nosey. I was never one of those girls growing up that was interested in that little bunny head or the Playboy franchise, nor did I watch the Girls Next Door reality TV series, but I have always wondered why on earth these girls would want to be in a relationship with a dude old enough to be their grandfather?

The book was juicy as hell, and gave a lot of insight to what life was like past the mansion gates. While I can believe everything that Holly wrote about Hugh Hefner and his manipulative ways that drove her to have little to no self-confidence and major insecurity issues, I found that what she revealed about the other girlfriends to be a little…fabricated. I don’t know whether it was because at the time she was rather paranoid and insecure in herself that she thought they were all ganging up on her, it does come across as if she was playing to victim sometimes, surely it couldn’t have been that catty. To me, it was a lot of petty he said-she said.

While I didn’t really care for all the cattiness and shit talking about the other girlfriends and Hef, it was nice to see Holly truly find herself after she got out of that mansion and the poisonous relationship that came with it. Everyone, no matter what mistakes they made or how they started out their life, deserves to be happy and comfortable with themselves.

I would recommend this book to anyone who watched the show or followed what happened in the Playboy mansion, it is probably more suited to fans than it is anyone else. But other than that, it was a good book and an easy read.

Whose autobiography would you like to read? Let me know in the comments below!

Beth x

picture: Google – I do not own the cover.

Update: Character Writing, Hectic Work Schedule and My Tonsillectomy

…Is this thing on?

I’m sorry! I know it’s been a while since I have written any book reviews but my life has been super busy (sometimes not by choice) lately and I haven’t really had much time to read any books, never mind write about them.

Not that I’m making up excuses, but we’ve had a few problems with some employees at our family business and so I’m pretty much doing everybody’s job until we get someone new to help out. So my work schedule is out of control and by the time I get home, I’m ready to go to sleep and never wake up again. Thankfully, we hired a new girl to help me out so all that stress has been lifted off my shoulders (my chiropractor is very pleased hear this, haha!)

On top of that, two weeks ago I underwent surgery to remove my golf ball sized tonsils and I don’t care what anyone says, it was the worst week of my life. I’ve had tonsillitis on and off every 5 weeks for the last 10 years and never have I ever felt pain like it, but on the plus side I lost around 10lbs on my ice pop and toddler pasta diet so I guess that makes it a little better. Even though I still can barely eat and I have terrible earache, I’m so glad that I’m finally starting to feel better, that sucked dude.

Last but certainly not least, I’m writing my own story! After weeks of researching and taking notes on how to improve my writing, I’m finally put it to some good use and I have started creating my characters for my story Grace. I’m going to post a summary to the story in a few weeks time and I may post character profiles also.

So stick around people, I have so much to show you :)

Beth x

Book Review: ‘Bombshell’ by Jody Gehrman

bombshell

Let’s start off by thanking Cosmo for advertising this little gem by Jody Gehrman!

It’s not very often I read short stories, simply because I feel like I can’t connect with the characters like I can in a novel. However having said that, sometimes you come across books like ‘Bombshell’ that are just so fun to read, you forget it’s a novella and have a tiny panic attack when it ends!

Our main character is Ruby Sugars, curvy and hiding herself behind boring clothes in hopes to blend in with the crowd. You could blame ‘The Stick’ a.k.a. her size 0 creative director for Ruby’s boring wardrobe and timid attitude, filling the office with model like 20-somethings and constantly putting Ruby down, who is essentially her best worker as it is.

Incomes Ruby’s best friend, introducing her latest scheme ‘Fantasy Dating’ which is basically a blind date but without the possible committed relationship that could come from the date. Her best friend finds a ‘client’ who is into 1950’s pin-up girls and it just so happens that Ruby has a closet is full of her grandmother’s 1950’s club singer’s outfits and a Bettie Page-esque look.

Ruby reluctantly agrees to go on this fantasy date for her friend but then goes on to have the most incredible (read HOT!) night with ‘Lancer’. Little did Ruby know that when she walks into work the next day she’d meet Lancer who is actually Colin, one of three partners who run her advertising firm. Ooo, drama!

I really liked this book and I was sad when it ended, I felt like many women who read this book could probably connect with Ruby with her fuller figure and witty demeanour, and who wouldn’t love their own Colin? ;)

This is definitely a hot read and a good book for the summer!

So, it just goes to show a good story doesn’t need 300 pages right? :)

You can find Jody on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/jodygehrman

Love Beth x

picture: Google – I do not own the cover.

Book Review: ‘The Best of Me’ by Nicholas Sparks

best of me cover
If you’re anything like me, you probably melt at every one of Nicholas Sparks’ books. ‘The Best of Me’ is no exception either.

In a Romeo and Juliet-esque type love, we have Dawson Cole and Amanda Collier. Amanda, from a family where appearances mean everything and Dawson from a family of criminals in their small town in Oriental, North Carolina – their young love is doomed from the beginning.They are separated and live their lives for over 20 years before they are reunited by the death of their mutual friend and brought back to each other in their hometown. Maybe this could be their second chance at happiness?

Like any Nicholas Sparks book, you fall in love with the well-developed characters and their angst-y romance and you are more than likely going to scream “Are you kidding me?!” more times than once during the novel. Although my hopeless romantic heart wanted more romance between Dawson and Amanda during the story, I particularly liked to realness to their situation – Amanda was a grown woman now, with a husband and children – she couldn’t fully succumb to her feelings towards Dawson which probably would’ve have happened in any other romance story.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book however I would have preferred to not have all of the point of view changes that we experience towards the end – it can become confusing. Sparks is still an amazing storyteller and this book is just another one I can add to my ‘Nicholas Sparks Favourites List’!

What is your favourite book by Sparks? Do you have any books you would recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

Beth x

picture: Google – I do not own the cover.

Book Review: ‘Cinder & Ella’ by Kelly Oram


I recently found this book in my recommends on Kindle and I’ll just start by saying LOVE IT!

This book isn’t your average modern day re-telling of the classic fairytale Cinderella (favourite princess, btw). Our main character Ella’s life is flipped upside down after she is involved in a car accident where she loses her mother and is left scarred and handicapped. After over half a year in hospital recovering, she is forced to move across the country to live with her father that abandoned her, and his family – an inconsiderate stepmother and two evil stepsisters.

I love Ella, she’s not your typical main character – flawless, quiet and intelligent good girl – no, Ella is a bookworm, a blogger(!), hilarious, witty and sometimes a character you can relate to. Then we have Cinder, not Prince Charming but sort of. Ella fights her own battles (you go girl!) but it’s Cinder that keeps her sane through it all. Totally adorable.

The two have been best friends for three years having met through her blog, though they are yet to meet in real life. They haven’t revealed their true identities to each other but they have told each other everything…or so Ella thought. They unexpectedly meet at an event and Cinder’s true identity and all the drama that comes with it is revealed.

I can’t even explain all the emotions I felt whilst reading this story but I could probably bet money if you think of an emotion, I felt it. ‘Cinder & Ella’ is a heartbreaking yet heartwarming story of love, angst and acceptance. I love how Kelly created such lovable characters but didn’t let them fall into the stereotypical roles of a romance story. It’s an art!

I’d recommend this book to anybody and if you are somebody who loves a classic story but with a refreshing and totally unexpected twist, what are you waiting for? Hurry up and read it!

You can find Kelly on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/kellyoram

Beth x

P.S. I’m thinking of starting a post series, Saturday Book Reviews? Let me know what you think in the comments :)

picture: Google – I do not own the cover.