Monday, December 1, 2014

Mixed Emotions by Olivia R. Burton: A Book Review



Kindle Price:$4.99

Length: 228 pages (estimated)


Book Description

 November 3, 2014
Being a therapist means dealing with other people's problems, but this is getting ridiculous.

Despite being an empath who tastes and feels others' emotions, Gwen Arthur's always managed to stay under the radar and out of the preternatural world. The worst she's had to deal with is a horny werewolf private eye named Mel.

Until now.

It starts with a terrifying visit from the monsters that plagued Gwen's childhood nightmares. They're back and they seem to think she's someone else entirely--someone very powerful. Someone capable of taking on the task they lay at her feet: find a group of kidnapped, magically gifted children before they're killed. Or worse.

She's got her smart mouth, her eerily competent best friend Chloe and, yes, even irritatingly attractive Mel to help her through this assignment. Hopefully that'll be enough, because she's also caught the attention of an invisible, candy-stealing interloper on top of everything else.

It's hard enough helping others sort through emotional turmoil, but now Gwen's got to rescue missing kids, figure out this whole “supernatural” thing, and treat Mel like a person? It's enough to give a girl MIXED FEELINGS. 


My Review:

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of this book from Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review.

I have received several books from them over the last couple years and have mildly enjoyed them. This one is different! I LOVED this book! The only thing I didn't like is that it was a little too bawdy for my taste. That is the only thing I didn't like. Seriously, that's it! I read most of it in one sitting. 95% of it one night. Like staying up until 2 am to finish it.

It started out reading like a Young Adult, but as I mentioned there is quite a bit of sexual humor. Therefore I would classify it as adult fiction. It does center around the magical/ supernatural world, so it is a fantasy novel. It is also funny. So it is a fantasy adult funny novel. (Not sure that is a genre)

The plot was great. The pacing was good. There were hints that there is more to the story, so we want to read future books in the series. There was one scene at the end with Dirk that didn't seem completely necessary. However, there might be events in the coming books in the series that reference that scene.

The characters are well rounded. They change over the course of the story and throughout the story we are allowed to see different sides of them. Even the minor characters were changed and adapted throughout the story. There are also lots of hints that there is more to come. However, the hints are not so large as to make you frustrated. You don't feel as if there is too much that you don't know. 

A few favorite things:

Gwen is an empath and does a great job of explaining how others people's feelings make her physically react. Her enormous sweet tooth and defense thereof is pretty funny. I'm not always so fond of her laziness. But she admits it and it makes it easier to wait on the future books in the series. So we end up feeling if she doesn't care then I don't need to care. It works for this book.

The anonymous snarky note leaver adds a good dash of humor and a little mysteriousness to the book and the series in general. 

The slow and steady revelation of the other world. We are not given all the answers at the beginning when Laurel and Hardy show up and ask for Gwen's help. She doesn't go on some crazy research binge to find everything out. She asks a few people and goes out try things on her own. We aren't even given all the answers by the end of the book either. And I like that.

A few not so favorite things:

The bawdiness of several scenes with Mel and a couple scenes with Evadne. Some of it seems like sexy for the purpose of sexy and not for anything needed in the plot. 

The entire character of Evadne, but that might be on purpose. Maybe we aren't supposed to like her.

The character of Merrin is too weak. She does some great stuff, but she doesn't have much character herself. Once again, maybe that's on purpose. 


Final thoughts:

I like this book enough to actually read future books in the series. And I've mentioned how I feel about series' before.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death by Mark Reutlinger

So I missed about 3 or 4 days of the 31 Days Challenge. If you were dying to see what was coming next, sorry. For my part, I'm not too sorry. It was good to challenge myself and some good stuff came from it, but I'm not sad to leave the challenge behind. Between home and work and some fun, I just didn't have the time to commit to that this year. Maybe next year.

But I did finish reading a book that I'm going to tell you about:

Mrs. Kaplan and the Matzoh Ball of Death



In the style of Sherlock Holmes, where the sidekick tells the story. We also do not know all of the facts as in the modern Sherlock adaptations. (I have read the original Sherlock. Some say they can figure it out, but I never did. So I don't know if I can say we didn't know all the facts.) The author did remind us of Sherlock and Watson in dialogue a time or two and I'm glad he did. Just when I started to get frustrated with what we didn't know and the sidekick point of view, I was reminded why he was doing that. Then I settled back into the story.

There were a few places where I started thinking it was too convenient or too fantastical.  The other is one character whose set was so fantastical and awkward that I struggled through her part of the story. I see why she was necessary, but I still didn't enjoy it. Those are the primary reasons I rated it a 3 instead of a 4.

The characters were a lot of fun though. The Yiddish words and dialect of the narrator really made me believe I was talking to an elderly Jewish woman. The ending was great because it didn't emphasize anything tragic or sad. It could very easily become a dark story when you are talking about death and the elderly. This one was not at all dark or tragic. The fabulous characters are what made me almost consider giving it 4 stars.

When I factor in the price, my enjoyment level goes up. It was an easy read and for $2.99 it is worth the money to get to know Rose and Ida.

It is available for pre-order now and will be released on Nov. 18, 2014.

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley

Thursday, October 9, 2014

31 Days of Characters: Tennyson Locke

Day 9 and you think I would have these categories memorized, but I don't. In fact, I just realized that I've been missing a category for the last 2 days. Maybe I don't need that one after all?


Name: Tennyson Locke

Career: Invalid

Location: Small town, Southeastern US, Locke estate

Appearance: Dark hair, bright eyes, in a wheelchair

Personality: He was also rude, inconsiderate, and snobbish. Now he is like a kid again, simple and loving.

Back Story: He was a vibrant young man working his way up in the family company until the accident caused a traumatic brain injury.

Where are they now?: Living on the Locke estate being cared for by Daisy, resented by Duke, and pitied by his brother, Laurence.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

31 Days of Characters: Laurence Locke


Name: Laurence Locke

Career: CEO of a company

Location: Small town southeastern United States

Appearance: Tall, thin, dark hair, balding.

Back Story: He has always been the conscientious one in the family. Trying to protect their good name and their company. Trying to do right by everyone, which is the opposite of his brother.

Where are they now?: Struggling with the sacrifice Daisy has made for his brother who doesn't really deserve it. He understands Duke's feelings and feels the same way at times. However, he is immensely grateful for someone who is so compassionate and caring to look after his brother in his current condition.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

31 Days of Characters: Duke Thayer

 Name: Duke Thayer

Career: Estate Manager for the Locke family.

Location: Southeastern US. Small town.

Appearance: Blond hair, blue eyes, short, fit from working outside so often. 

Back Story: Hard working, self sacrificing for the good of the family, mostly his sister, Daisy.

Where are they now?: Frustrated that his talented sister is reduced to nursemaid for an invalid instead of a high paying powerful career woman.

Monday, October 6, 2014

31 Days of Characters: Daisy Thayer



Name: Daisy Thayer

Location: Southeastern United States. Small town. Everyone knows everyone else and everyone's business.

Career: Nurse for a wealthy family

Appearance: Short blond hair. Short. Thin. Blue eyes.

Personality: Very giving. Willing to give everyone a chance. Smart. Nice to a fault.

Back Story: She was in college and was on her way to being a doctor. Her family is a poor family. They were working hard to support her. Then the wealthy family they worked for had a tragedy occur. She came home without a thought to help Tennyson.

Where are they now?: Her brother is furious at her for giving up her chance at a 'good life' to work for the same family that they have been indebted to for so long. The fault was his and now it has cost her the career she has dreamed of. At least that's the story he is choosing to believe. Her opinions are little more confused.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

31 Days of Characters: Roman Kingsley



















Name: Roman Kingsley

Location: Same as Jolie Graham

Career: An improver. Given various titles at various companies. His job is to make workers happier and more productive.

Appearance: Tall, dark, and handsome. Who could resist? Jolie for one.

Personality: Gregarious, hard working, loves a challenge

Back Story: Moved often as an adult, which is the opposite of his childhood. He has had a talent for making things run more smoothly and eventually that led to a career. Personally he doesn't let people in too far. He knows he will have to move on and doesn't want to leave any casualties.

Where are they now?: Living in the Northwest and charged with improving the company, he finds himself challenged by Josie. He either opens up or fails. What will he do?