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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Searching For Perfect ~ Jennifer Probst


WARNING: This book suggestion may cause you to purchase pocket protectors and lab coats for that special man in your life.




I chose a good day to be sick.
(Not that I really had a choice in this matter)
So whoever shared this virus with me,
I thank you.
Very little sleep, a stuffy nose, fever and wicked sore throat aren't getting me down.
Nope, not at all.

After all, it's absolutely pouring rain outside...so really is there anything better to do today than be forced to curl up on a couch to rest and read?

No, no there is not.

If you read my last blog (and you really should) than you know I have stumbled upon another great series and author...... and today was the release day of the second novel in that series:
Searching For Perfect by Best Selling Author Jennifer Probst.

I will cut straight to the chase on why all you sexy lil minxes should find a copy of Searching For Perfect:

Hot NERD sex.
WOW.
I mean, WOW.
*blink* *blink*

(Okay, the story was pretty good too)

Heck, Book One was pretty sexy....but in my opinion it was a tad milder compared to the fireworks in Searching For Perfect.
I was surprised that a few of the chapters I read today didn't cause my Kobo to spontaneously combust!

Me Likey!!

I think I have a bit of a book crush on Nate so I am going to tell you about his character first!
Nathan Ellison Raymond Dunkle (Hahaha, "Dunkle").....is such a nerd, even his name says so.
He's socially awkward, unkempt and married to his job where he literally IS a rocket scientist (oh, wait..."Aerospace Engineer".....) and he needs help finding a wife....(among other things.....) and he ends up as Kennedy Ashe's pet project at Kinnections, a match making agency she co-owns with her two best friends.
It turns out our feisty nerdy lil Ned, turns into hawt and naughty Nate.....
and it's great....
while they get ready to set him up on dates....
Kennedy resists the urge to mate....
(Cheesy rhyme, I know, but I am not editing it out)

As I anticipated from the first novel, we really got to take a look at Kennedy's bigger issues....She's this seemingly perfect female, beautiful, intelligent, successful.....but she is an inner wreck. Who knew that meeting Nate would throw a wrench into the perfect little bubble she created? She certainly didn't.
While her character back story is different from mine, I found Kennedy's story and struggles with eating, inner demons and body image very easy to relate to. I think that is one of the reasons I really like this series, the author's focus on not just telling sexy stories, but she invents characters that relate to inner and spiritual growth, who are still struggling to overcome very real hidden obstacles many of us face....(with the added bonus of romance and hot sex..... ;) )
The way Nate asserts himself with the overconfident Kennedy and throws off her game......meee-frackin'-yeow! Sparks fly in this story, so much I'm almost tempted to take up golf and get my sexy engineer hubby to teach me.
(I said almost...)
 
Now that I have waited all this time to get a copy of Searching For Perfect and it's over, now I'm antsy about reading Arilyn's installment when it's ready....and Oh MY GOD what is going to happen with Genevieve's storyline????????!!!!!!!!
(Who is Genevieve you ask? Read the book)
I love the fact that this series crosses over with the Marriage Merger series so we continuously keep up with some of our favorite characters!

I am truly impatient. I don't want to wait for the next book to release....unless it releases tomorrow....that I could handle....


Here is the Searching For Perfect synopsis from Amazon.com:

"The up-and-coming matchmaking agency Kinnections is the hottest thing to hit Verily, New York—just like Kennedy Ashe, social director for the service she owns with her two best girlfriends. A coach, consultant, and cheerleader rolled into one super-sizzling package, Kennedy creates dream dates, encourages singles to shine, and never refuses a challenge—not even Nate Ellison Raymond Dunkle, rocket scientist, nerd extraordinaire, and Kennedy’s newest client.

Kennedy vows to work her magic and transform this hot mess in a lab coat with a disastrous relationship track record into the most wanted man on the Verily dating scene. If only she could turn the wand on herself…though she radiates confidence and sex appeal, Kennedy harbors deep-seated insecurities from a tormented past and lifelong struggle with weight issues. When she realizes she and Nate are cut from the same cloth and might be perfect together, can Kennedy learn to let her heart lead the way? Or will her fears sentence her to the sidelines as Nate finds love—with someone else?"


Remember to check out my blog on Searching For Someday (Book 1) and get your cute little arses a copy of each title!


Contemporary Romance Lovers make sure you check out the author's website for more information and even more title suggestions! http://www.jenniferprobst.com/books/
Follow Jennifer Probst on Facebook.....
and while you're at it....
Follow Me on Facebook as well.




Happy Reading!




Saturday, 26 April 2014

Searching For Someday ~ Jennifer Probst






"Matchmaker.....Matchmaker....Make me a match.....Find me a find.....Catch me a Catch......"

SING IT WITH ME!!!!

I used to love that song as a kid. My sister and I used to put Fiddler on the Roof on to specifically sing and act out that song/scene....(well that song and 'If I were a rich maaaan......') Truth be told, I don't ever remember seeing the second half of that film..I always just wanted to watch the first....

Yeah, I like me my musicals.

But guess what? I am not reviewing a musical.....though if I get enough requests, I will try to sing a paragraph out of this novel for you....or maybe a portion of this review and post it on You Tube....Just make sure that if you want to see such nonsense that you've also supplied the wine in which I need to drink to do such a thing...(I kid. I don't need alcohol to do silly things, it's just a natural part of my charm)

Back to the topic at hand.

Searching for Someday, the first book in a new series by New York Times Best Selling Author Jennifer Probst.

 I feel like I am doing this blog slightly ass-backwards by writing about this particular novel before I have even blogged about her Marriage Merger novels. (Which I love by the way)
While a completely separate series, the Searching novels find us revisiting some characters and a mysterious purple spell book that is the common thread in all the Jennifer Probst books I have read to date. (I love it when authors connect their series, makes it that much more interesting!)

I don't know if it was the Millionaire Matchmaker Marathon I watched the other day.....but I was in the mood to pick this book up give it a re-read and finally get around to telling you all to get out your wallets and buy this one!

This book is a great read for those of you who want to cozy up with a new romantic series and are scratching your head over what to read next. 
It's easy.
THIS ONE.
A sexy comedy, this book is full of pop culture references and a lil bit of 'magic'. This first novel revolves around Kate Seymour, one of the owners of Kinnections, a matchmaking service she co-owns with her two best friends Arilyn and Kennedy. The three ladies have an amazing friendship and a special back story to tell, that I can't wait to learn more about as the series progresses. What we discover is that they have each overcome personal odds. The three of them are unique and each bring their own special something to their business, let alone their friendship.
Kate also has a little secret talent that helps her make matches. She's a modern day cupid with an electric touch.....but it when it finally goes off for her, she tries to fight it. While she is great at making other people find love connections, she's a bit dense when it comes to love for herself. (Aren't we all?)
She's caring, compassionate and wants to be in love or content in a committed relationship....she just would prefer her idea of perfect...and boy is Kate wrong about what she thinks she really needs in a man.
Slade Montgomery is a jaded divorce lawyer, out to prove Kinnections is a scam as he tries to save his sister Jane from further hurt. It's very amusing what happens once he and Kate start bumping heads......(It may lead to bumping other things....or will it?....Kate is really against the idea....) He's a bit clueless himself. I found myself irritated with his character. He has a tendency to jump to conclusions and see everything in a negative light, but deep down he has a good heart. Slade ends up giving Kate a seemingly impossible challenge she gladly accepts....even though she's an idiot for doing so (and he's an even bigger idiot for asking)
If there were ever two characters I'd like to jump in the novel and smack some sense into, it would be these two.
 
One of my favorite parts of this novel is toward the end. Without any spoilers, it takes your classic love scene, it takes your ideas of how you think it is going to end....throws it in the blender and voila we have a bit of a fresh new twist that sets it apart from cookie cutter novels from the genre....and I guess you will have to see how it plays out..... (For those who have read it, I am talking about events in Chapter 14)

I think this is a book that romantics will read again and again (and secretly hope a movie is made...I'm talking to YOU people in Hollywood that actually arrange such things....)

I always keep my eye out for novels with a matchmaking theme. I have read quite a few. I'll admit I find the process intriguing....I think it would be a fun occupation!

If you love sexy rom-com's than you want to check out Jennifer Probsts novels. You can bet I will have more blogs about some of her other books in the future.

Here is the full synopsis of Searching For Someday:

 In charming Verily, New York, Kate Seymour has a smashing success with Kinnections, the matchmaking service she owns with her two best girlfriends. But Kate’s more than a savvy businesswoman: She’s gifted with a secret power, a jolting touch that signals when love’s magic is at work. It rocked her when she picked up a strange volume of love spells in the town’s used bookstore . . . and it zapped her again when she encountered Slade Montgomery, the hot-tempered— and hot-bodied—divorce lawyer who storms into Kinnections demanding proof that playing Cupid won’t destroy his vulnerable sister, Kate’s newest client. The only way to convince this cynic that she’s no fraud, and that love is no mirage, is for Kate to meet his audacious challenge: find him his dream woman. Can Kate keep their relationship strictly business when her electrifying attraction nearly knocked her off her feet? Or has the matchmaker finally met her match?


The good news from those who are interested in reading this series! The next book drops in a few days! April 29th I will be grabbing my e-copy of 'Searching For Perfect' which tells Kennedy's story! I can't wait!.............
**Edited to add**  Release Day is here......You can click this link to take you to my Searching For Perfect review! 

For more information on the author and her novels, please make sure you visit her website: http://www.jenniferprobst.com/books/

Happy Reading.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Divergent Trilogy ~ Veronica Roth

I'm currently suffering the effects of a book hangover.....
and I am blaming my friends.

That's right, I am blaming YOU people who kept asking me if I had read the Divergent series yet.
(You know who you are!! ;)  )

The good news is......

I have read it now!!



Now, considering the fact the movie is already in theaters, it was only right that I should bump this series to the top of my list.
Now that I have read it, I am like 'WHOA'. (For lack of a better description)
I'm currently trying to make plans to catch the film while it's still in theaters. Lucky for me, handsome hubby wants to see it too. (Date night!! Cue romantic music!)

So many of you asked if it was worth reading, others wanted my thoughts.......Considering only 20minutes ago I finished reading the novel and ran to my nearest computer to start writing this..... I am more than willing to give them to you.

First off, if you do not even KNOW what Divergent is about, than you're in luck if you are reading this blog.
(And please know that you are forgiven for not knowing what it is about, because I haven't even read Hunger Games yet....these things happen....)

My Thoughts:

Okay, so like usual I really don't want to give any spoilers and it is very hard not to!!
The entire series is a crazy ride. I honestly hadn't even seen the movie trailers or read a description of the novel until I picked up the book, so I really didn't know what to expect myself.  My ten year old daughter (who's friends had seen the film) was constantly chasing me around "I know what happens! My friends told me" (Great, here's a pat on the head, now hush and let me find out myself)

Beatrice Prior, the lead protaganist makes some choices that will change her life, but even she has no idea what the impact of those choices will be, and how quickly she will need to grow up. Finding out she is considered a 'Divergent' and needs to hide it....her natural curiosity for the truth sends her on a wild adventure. Never mind in the meantime, she ends up involved with the mysterious, sexy and edgy 'Four'.....
(Which by the way is now my new favorite number....meee-ow)
Beatrice is probably one of my favorite heroines I have ever encountered to date. She's incredibly brave, selfless but has that youthful innocence going for her. I loved how the balance between girl to womanhood played out. She grows into her own person as the series progresses, and her character comes full circle in Allegiant.

Now, the whole concept of the series surrounds the 'Factions' that their society is divided into.
Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless and Erudite.
Each one represents a type of personality and they work together using their talents to maintain a 'perfectly' functioning society. (Or so they think)
You can be born into one Faction, but after some tests, based on those results you choose which group you will live in, and that can ultimately change your life, as it did for Tris.
"Faction before Family" is what's preached... and heaven forbid you become "Factionless" or worse....let it be discovered that you are "Divergent".
While I never, ever in a million years would ever want to live in such a world..... I found the politics and concepts fascinating. Anyone interested in social sciences, here's a Dystopian read for you to dissect. I wish that this book had been on the reading list when I was in high school. I would have had a field day with the book report! (So any teachers out there, do your students a favor and get this on the required reading list...there are lots of great questions in the Divergent Bonus Material section!)

While the majority of the series is a roller coaster ride, there is a romantic story line. I found it less cheesy than other young adult romances in popular novels. Tris and Four put sense of duty ahead of their relationship which causes some tension and continued frustration for the two. (Can these crazy kids make it work?) Regardless, they are adorable together. (swoon....sigh)

Divergent is the slower paced novel of the three. It gradually picks up steam as the story goes, but don't think that because I say it is 'slower' that the others, that I mean it's boring or uneventful....because that is not the case. I found Divergent enthralling. We learn, we watch the story  unfold and by the end of it I was on the edge of my seat....
For me I would compare it to climbing to the top of the first hill of a roller coaster and whooooooosh....down it goes into the next novel....(This is what led me to skip dinner and run to the store to buy the next two installments)

In the second novel Insurgent, we really are inundated with knowledge and this is where the whiplash starts to kick in. We learn more and even more twists, turns and action are thrown our way....It was a reading rush....

Allegiant, the third book..... well, usually I am never fond of the third installment of any series....and I will admit in this one, I didn't exactly like where the story went.....However, I did like the book and felt it was well done. Gah! I am so conflicted!!
This novel really frustrated the hell out of me and I find that I don't 'want' to like it.....but I did. (I hate myself for that)
Another tidbit, while the other novels are told from Tris's POV, the third book is told from both Tris and Four's perspective. It was nice to get into his head and see what was going on....
That is all I am telling you. Read it for yourself.

Word of Advice: If you haven't read this series yet, than definitely read them all in one shot. Do not read these novels out of order!!

All in all, I saw a fantastic story about why we shouldn't discriminate or label, not to mention on how trying to become 'pure' or 'perfect' is disastrous.
I hope that people walk away actually thinking about the real meaning of the story....and not just how awesome of a thriller it was or how cute and adorable Four is..... 

(And he really really is........*sigh*)

A Bit of Fun:
After reading this series, I decided to take two separate "Which Faction Do You Belong To?" Quizzes.... (They are easy to find using your favorite search engine!)

The first Online Quiz had these results for me:


The second quiz came from my Divergent novel's bonus material. While the quiz was similar (but worded a bit different) and I somehow ended up with a three Faction tie....
Oh oh...perhaps I should have kept that a secret! (shhhhhhh)

Do I recommend this series: Hell-to-the-YES!

I have to say, I am on the fence about the age appropriateness of letting my 10 year old see the movie or read the book as she is bugging me to do, but I did purchase the trilogy as hard copies, rather than e-books so I could eventually let my daughter read them. I'll make that decision only after I have seen the film first. Until then, her friends can keep telling her all about it.

So what are you waiting for? Buy them, read them, go see the film.....and as much as I hope the film version does the novels justice....is it wrong of me to wish they'd rewrite the third installment?

Happy Reading.

Friday, 4 April 2014

Housework Harmony ~Andrew McAllister

Housework......
UGH.

Actually, typically I don't mind it, but lately it is just getting too monotonous and repetitive.
It was a stressful winter, a lot of it stuck indoors thanks to the craptastic cold weather (Up YOURS Polar Vortex!) so that means that the house is needing extra TLC because the children were going stir crazy exploding toys, crayons, paper, books, pots, pans...whatever they can get their paws on..... and somehow it all ends up in my livingroom.

You don't know pain until you have stepped on lego pieces, three times in a row.

Spring cleaning is upon us now, and I got a head start last weekend, which is good because my list is through the roof.

Now I am a stay at home mom, so the bulk of household responsibility falls on my shoulders. That was never a problem until child numero deux came along.
With my first child, I was June F'n Cleaver....it was all so easy. People really got annoyed with me. The house was always spotless, things always belonged in a place, she even loved to help, we had so much free time....But alas she's older now and my second let's just say I love her so much, wouldn't trade her for the world....but she's a busy one....
Now, between both of my kids, appointments, activities, housework, meals, homework, sleeping issues...etc...I'll admit it, I can no longer keep up! I have been waving my white flag for the past year. Just when I think I catch up, boom.... I don't. My hobbies (like this) get put on hold because my to-do list is long. Too Long.
That's actually one of the many reasons I am so behind in my blogs in the past year. It's getting harder and harder to keep up with everything I need to do, let alone WANT to do.

My husband, I try 'not' to put to much pressure on him... I get it.... I stay at home, he works hard to provide for us.... but at the end of the day, I am not a maid. I'm not an employee. I'm a wife. I know when to give up control (hahahaha, it's soooo haaaard)  I need help.

So when Andrew approached me about reading his new book about domestic partnership and housework for review, I was so thrilled to grab a copy for review! (took me a while to get around to reading but I got to it!!) I knew he had been writing it and had been counting the days for it to become available!



My reading 'Housework Harmony' is probably WHY I did not throttle my husband on the weekend when all hell broke loose over my daughters messy room.

Book Description:

Looking after your home and your children can place constant demands on your energy and free time, which is why housework is so often the flashpoint that brings out relationship challenges. Housework Harmony turns this problem into an opportunity by showing you how to replace tension and resentment with supportiveness and a growing sense of closeness. This book uncovers the many behavior patterns, commonly held assumptions, societal pressures, and other hidden landmines that influence how couples choose to share their domestic workload. Housework Harmony provides alternative approaches that will have you and your significant other cooperating like never before, opening the door to a loving partnership that will spill over into all aspects of your relationship.

My Take:

The first chapter made me laugh. Andrew brings a fun sense of humor to his writing.
As I fully immersed myself into reading, I started searching my home for video cameras... because so many of the scenarios, attitudes, thoughts he uses and describes in his book, are ones that take place here on almost a daily basis. Like my husband and I were Sam and Nicola (the fictional couple in the scenarios provided) 
It doesn't just stop at me. Reading 'Housework Harmony' scenarios was like reading any discussion I have ever had with my friends, colleagues, read in parenting forums or even drama that plays out on Facebook.
The good news is, the arguments and emotions that take place in this house are NORMAL.
It happens.

I AM NOT ALONE.

*PHEW*

So what did I think?
I think this is a must read for couples, housewives.... etc....
Because not only did he provide the explanations for how 'I' feel, as a reader Andrew gave me the male perspective and it.made.SENSE.  
(Men, you also get to see the female perspective)
He breaks it down for us in different scenarios and uses "Win Principals" to help relate, and you will relate!
 (If not...than I know you have a maid and full household staff....BITCH)

It's reasonable, it's sound advice and most importantly.....it....makes sense.

I LOVED Chapter Six.
Chapter Six made we want to stand up and applaud.
Andrew deserves a standing ovation for the common sense, breakdowns and advice in regards to certain stereotypes that are rampant in today's society. He took them on beautifully (I especially appreciated the stay at home mom ones! ;) )
What else can you expect from this book? A pop quiz! A his and hers quiz! Something you both can do individually than work on using the advice within the pages of the book to your advantage.
Everything is eloquently written, easy to follow and the steps to get you and your spouse on the same page.

Do I think I can get my husband to read it? HA! My husband will agree that I have a better chance of teaching a monkey wearing high-heels the Electric Slide in icy -30 degree weather..... but at least now I am armed with some extra insight as to how to deal with the Housework Battle woes that plague us and I have already explained some to him from the book and it's working!!
We actually joked the other day that we are on the same page about a chore and I started jumping up and down, gave him a hug and a kiss yelling 'Screw being on the same page!! We are finally in the same Chapter and that in itself is enough!!'
We both laughed, he agreed.

I think from now on, every wedding I attend, I am going to gift a copy of this book to my friends.... heck, why just stop at my friends. Maybe I should just be like that crazy British Lady who crashes that wedding in that commercial to talk about Bums....(ewww) but instead I will crash events to plug Housework Harmony. I'll even put on a fancy accent when I do it....maybe even a wig....I digress....

All in all, I advise you all to truly seek out a copy of this exceptional, helpful book.
And Andrew....please....could you remove the video surveillance now?

Author Andrew McAllister, Ph.D. has a blog called To Love, Honor and Dismay.
I encourage you to click the link to check it out!

Also be sure to check out "Unauthorized Access" the 5 Star novel by Andrew McAllister called you can find my blog review regarding that novel here!

                                          ***GIVEAWAY***


Need some domestic bliss in your life? Do you need help to gain some perspective when it comes to the he cleans-she cleans arguement? Do you want your own hardcopy edition of your very own? The Author has been kind enough to gift one to one of my readers!

All you have to do to enter is email me: reeniediva@gmail.com with 'Housework Harmony' in the title and your Name, Age, State/Province in the body, and name your least favorite chore. The one you want more help with!

One entry per person.
Open to residents of Canada and the US.
Must be 18 or older.


Contest Closes and Draw will be held on April16th at 8pm!!
As soon as the draw is complete, I will contact the winner via email and announce it via my Facebook Page!

Good Luck!