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My name is Chelsey and I am the creator of Charming Chelsey's! I read and review anything and everything that I find to be "charming." I accept ARCs or already released books for review, and I'm also available to participate in any blog tours or book reveals too. If anything, please don't hesitate to email me any time for any reason at: charmingchelseys(at)gmail(dot)com

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Book Review: Princess of Thorns

Princess of ThornsAuthor: Stacey Jay
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Series: Delacorte Press

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.

Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.

Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love?

The fairies made her the most beautiful when she was only a baby.

I will never be anyone’s girl but my own.

I can practically taste victory, hot and salty on my tongue.

I am as peaceful as a shell filled with the echo of the sea.

A lot of things about this book were right up my alley. The romance was not instant, the action was full of force, and the characters were developed down to a science. Not to mention, there were several hints of many well-loved fairy tales throughout the story. I was surprised at the twists and turns this story took because I had something completely different pictured in my mind. Stacey Jay’s writing is beautiful, rich, and deep and it is one of the reasons why I found this book so hard to put down at night. Aurora was one tough heroine; I wouldn’t mind reading more characters like her on a daily basis. This was a wonderful fantasy book full of many adventures. Stacey Jay has done it yet again!

The relationship between Aurora and Nikklaas was by far my favorite thing about this story. This is how a love story should be written! Their love/romance was not instant and they both had flaws that the other learned to love and overlook. They both have characteristics that make me love and hate them at the same time. I loved the fact that they would bicker with one another. Their banter was part of the fun of reading! They are stubborn and their tendency to butt heads is what allowed me to relate to them so well; I am just as stubborn as Aurora!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Delacorte Press in exchange for my honest review***

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Book Review: The Look of Love

The Look of LoveAuthor: Sarah Jio
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Publisher: Plume

“Jio has become one of the most-read women in America.” –Woman’s World

Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-ninth birthday, a mysterious greeting card arrives, specifying that Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love is utterly enchanting.

Amour vi ten avant. Love lives on.

Tulips are the only flowers that continue to grow, up to an inch or more, after they’re cut.

My mom used to say that for every year you loved someone, it takes a month to recover.

This book was a gem. I was in such a great book reading mood when I picked up this book and was instantly intrigued by the magical realism aspect that was detailed in the synopsis. Jane has the ability to see true love. Her vision becomes cloudy and if the love is strong enough, she often has to sit down to keep from falling. She is tasked with the goal of finding and seeing the six types of love before her thirtieth birthday, or she loses the chance at finding true love for herself. Jane’s character was wonderfully developed and I loved how at first she was completely cynical and turned off to anything having to do with love. Jane learns to appreciate the idea of love once she begins witnessing all the new and old relationships around her. Her story is one that is perfect for this Christmas season.

Following Jane in her journey to find and identify the six types of love was unbelievably magical; I loved every page and did not want to finish this story. Jane witnesses so many types and forms of love and some of them are not at all what you would expect. Not only do you receive Jane’s story, but you get to be a part of so many other love stories as well. Jane has a hard job and sometimes she is forced to witness the heartbreak of some of her closest friends and even her brother, but the ending of this story was enough to bring tears to my eyes, happy, happy tears! If you have to buy for a book lover this Christmas, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book for them!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Plume in exchange for my honest review***

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book Review: Top Ten Clues You're Clueless

Top Ten Clues You're CluelessAuthor: Liz Czukas
Publication Date: December 9, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen

Top Five Things That Are Ruining Chloe’s Day

5) Working the 6:30 a.m. shift at GoodFoods Market

4) Crashing a cart into a customer’s car right in front of her snarky coworker Sammi

3) Trying to rock the “drowned rat” look after being caught in a snowstorm

2) Making zero progress with her crush, Tyson (see #3)

1) Being accused—along with her fellow teenage employees—of stealing upwards of $10,000 

Chloe would rather be anywhere than locked in work jail (aka the break room) with five of her coworkers . . . even if one of them is Tyson. But if they can band together to clear their names, what looks like a total disaster might just make Chloe’s list of Top Ten Best Moments.

The trouble with “Feliz Navidad” is that everyone hates it, but you can’t stop yourself from singing it.

I swear, I must be missing some crucial part in my brain that tells my mouth to stop moving.

“Besides, someone’s got to have some attitude around here.”

How can I have so many bits of information and still be so clueless?

I have another perfect and cozy little tale to share with you right here at the holidays. Chloe’s story takes place on Christmas Eve in a grocery store right in the middle of all the holiday rush. This book had me laughing out loud and made me realize the pure perfection that can come from making lists. In fact, I could make a list of reasons why you will love this story, but I won’t. I will leave all the list making to Chloe. I love books that are written in the format of a diary, letters, or in this case, lists. Chloe makes a lot of them and it made connecting with her character even easier for me. Chloe is really made out to be a real teenager. Her thoughts are sometimes scattered, she is a little random, and she has one of the biggest crushes ever on a co-worker. This book was made by Chloe’s characters and all of her fantastic lists.

But in all seriousness, Chloe and the amazing cast of characters behind her are all worth picking up this book for. There is romance and so many laugh out loud moments that you would be crazy to pass this book up. There is a little mystery and an overarching theme of friendship, which I think anyone can benefit from reading. Most importantly, this book is light, fluffy, and totally addictive. Sometimes we all just need a break from our overworked and stressful lives. Chloe helped me relax by giving me so much to laugh at in her crazy story that takes place in the span of one day! This would make a perfect gift this Christmas season!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Harper Teen in exchange for my honest review***

Monday, December 8, 2014

Book Review: Razed

Razed (Barnes Brothers, #2)Author: Shiloh Walker
Publication Date: December 2, 2014
Publisher: Berkley
Series: Barnes Brothers # 2

Tattoo artist Keelie Jessup can handle that someone else has claimed the man of her dreams. She’s just not pleased with her remaining options…

Keelie doesn’t believe in the “perfect man.” But the men who are worth the trouble are usually taken—like her business partner Zach Barnes. After a string of bad luck and the lost chance with Zach, Keelie decides that maybe flying solo—and living with suppressed desires—is the key to happiness.

As a photographer, Zane Barnes has an eye for the human form, and his eyes can’t get enough of Keelie’s curves. Unfortunately, Keelie is like most women—always fawning over his little brother, Zach. Zane is about ready to give up, but then a few stolen moments at his brother’s wedding have him thinking maybe there’s a chance there after all. Now he just has to prove that the perfect man does exist…for her.

It took more restraint than Zane thought he had not to pull her closer.

Zane gave himself ten seconds to start after her as she headed down the hall. Ten seconds, because if he didn’t, he’d be looking for her the entire time he was there, and he knew it.

Zane snorted. “Unlike you, superstar, I don’t need to make myself pretty for a date. I already am pretty.”

Although I have not read the first book in this series, I am very eager to do so after reading Keelie and Zane’s story. Keelie and Zane have a bit of a past together, no matter how mall it may be, and it was interesting to see their story play out nice and slowly. They both had a few things to get past before either of them were ready for a real, committed relationship. I tend to like stories where the heroine is pieced back together by the male protagonist. Keelie had a big secret that gets revealed later in the novel, and Zane takes part in piecing back together all of her broken pieces, most of which revolve around her secret. Even though I could predict most parts of the story, I was still very pleased with the character development and the way that the characters seemed to come alive in each other’s presence.

I absolutely loved the fact that their work in a tattoo shop bonded both Keelie and Zane. Keelie did not fit your average every day girly girl heroine. I loved that she was a little rough around the edges and had quite a bit of grit to her character. The fact that we know that these characters have known each other for a while, Zane actually has liked Keelie for quite some time, made these characters much easier to relate to. Plus, who doesn’t like to picture their lead characters in tattoos? This book will have you reading so fast because you are that enthralled with the words and tension and will also cause you to read slowly because you dread seeing these characters go.

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Berkley in exchange for my honest review***

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Review: Seventh Grave and No Body

Seventh Grave and No Body (Charley Davidson, #7)Author: Darynda Jones
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Series: Charley Davidson # 7

Twelve. Twelve of the deadliest beasts ever forged in the fires of hell have escaped onto our plane, and they want nothing more than to rip out the jugular of Charley Davidson and serve her lifeless, mangled body to Satan for dinner. So there’s that. But Charley has more on her plate than a mob of testy hellhounds. For one thing, her father has disappeared, and the more she retraces his last steps, the more she learns he was conducting an investigation of his own, one that has Charley questioning everything she’s ever known about him. Add to that an ex-BFF who is haunting her night and day, a rash of suicides that has authorities baffled, and a drop-dead sexy fianc√© who has attracted the attentions of a local celebrity, and Charley is not having the best week of her life.

A tad north of hell, a hop, skip, and a jump past the realm of eternity, is a little place called Earth, and Charley Davidson, grim reaper extraordinaire, is determined to do everything in her power to protect it.

“I often question my sanity. Occasionally it replies.”

“Of course I’m an organ donor. Who wouldn’t want a piece of this?”

“Are you ready?” she asked, whispering. “Ready as a drunk virgin on prom night.”

“If I’m upset, hold me and tell me how beautiful I am. If I growl, retreat to a safe distance and throw chocolate. BEST. ADVICE. EVER.”

Fans of Darynda Jones and Charley Davidson already know the deal when it comes to this fabulous series of books. This was actually the very series that got me interested in anything paranormal. I picked this series up years ago, and even now I am still loving where Darynda is taking things and her writing never ceases to amaze me, and after seven books in one series I think this says a lot. Charley Davidson is her usual confident, smart, funny self and one of my favorite characters of all time. Charley’s character does not often make huge progressions until this installment and the one before it, at least I don’t feel that she does, but her snarky, humorous personality more than makes up for it. She is everything I could ever want in a bookish best friend!

Charley’s sidekick characters like Cookie and the ever hot and steamy Reyes are part of what makes these stories as well. Without these characters the stories would not be the same. While Charley is a pivotal character, I would argue that many of the secondary characters are just as pivotal as our lead heroine. I felt that with this book, more than any of the rest, I was either laughing or crying. Emotions ran high because of several expected and unexpected happenings! As always, Darynda Jones both shocked and amazed me with some of her plot twists and developments. You will definitely want to start with book one in this series, and I promise you will not be disappointed. I am already anxious for book eight!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at St. Martin’s Press in exchange for my honest review***

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Book Review: The Job

The Job (Fox and O'Hare, #3)
Author: Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg
Publication Date: November 18, 2014
Publisher: Bantam
Series: Fox and O’Hare # 3

He’s a charming con man and she’s a dedicated FBI agent, and they’re about to drive each other crazy . . . again!

The FBI had one demand when they secretly teamed up Special Agent Kate O’Hare with charming con man Nicolas Fox—bring down the world’s most-wanted and untouchable felons. This time it’s the brutal leader of a global drug-smuggling empire. The FBI doesn’t know what their target looks like, where he is, or how to find him, but Nick Fox has a few tricks up his sleeve to roust this particular Knipschildt chocolate–loving drug lord.

From the streets of Nashville to the back alleys of Lisbon, from the rooftops of Istanbul to the middle of the Thames, Nick and Kate chase their mark. When they find themselves pitted against a psychopathic bodyguard and a Portuguese enforcer who gets advice from a pickled head, they decide it’s time to enlist some special talent—talent like a machete-wielding Somali pirate, a self-absorbed actor, an Oscar-winning special effects artist, and Kate’s father Jake, a retired Special Forces operative. Together they could help make this Fox and O’Hare’s biggest win yet . . . if they survive.

She pulled out her phone and showed Ryerson the photo. “Fox has come out into the open again.” “Lucky you.”

“Do not leave the United States until this is over,” Kate told him. “Go into hiding. Act as if you’re a fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. That shouldn’t be too hard for you…since you are number seven.”

More than that, he couldn’t take a chance on Serena tagging along and discovering he was working for the FBI.

Janet Evanovich has, for quite some time, been one of my favorite authors to read and follow. Her work is always sharp and witty and her characters never disappoint. This series is no different. I have never read any of Lee Goldberg’s books, but the two of these authors truly make a dynamic duo. Each installment is better than the last! Nick Fox and Kate O’Hare truly make an unbeatable team. I have found myself falling more and more for Nick’s character and I love all of his jokes lined with sexual tension that are usually directed at Kate. Nick shows up in all the most unexpected places and continually ignores Kate’s wishes and demands. He refuses to let her take a case alone and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Just like the authors that created them, Nick and Kate work so well together and their personalities make each new book a great success!

Kate’s character really caught my attention in this installment because I can see Nick’s influence on her life. She is warming up to Nick in more ways than one and I was happy to see her starting to drift away from the “follow every single rule” lifestyle that she usually abides by. Nick, for those of you who do not know, is an extremely successful conman/art thief, who was busted out of prison to work alongside the FBI. Yes, he is that good. Kate has really had to learn to adjust to Nick’s fly by night personality, and I liked being able to see her warm up to him more and more. Be sure to check out this amazing and adventurous mystery series!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Bantam in exchange for my honest review***

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Book Review: Surprised By Love

Surprised by Love (The Heart of San Francisco #3)Author: Julie Lessman
Publication Date: October 21, 2014
Publisher: Revell
Series: The Heart of San Francisco # 3

Shy and unattractive as a child, Megan McClare has always been teased by her classmates. But when she returns home from her senior year in Paris, the wallflower has suddenly blossomed into a beauty. With ambitions to become a lawyer or doctor, Megan accepts an internship at the district attorney's office only to discover that she will be working with Devin Caldwell, a boy who mercilessly mocked her at school--and with whom she was hopelessly enamored. She turns to her dear friend Bram Hughes for support and advice. But Bram's vision is clouded by his sudden unwelcome attraction to a girl he had always thought of as a kid sister. He advises forgiveness, but can he forgive himself for pushing the woman he loves into the arms of another man?

No longer that shy mousy girl afraid of her own shadow, she was now a young woman whose confidence was slowly changing from being anchored by others’ approval to the approval of the only One who mattered.

A warmth unlike any she’d ever known emanated through her chest along with the keen thrill of adventure.

“Come on, Meg – exactly how many marriage proposals did you get in Paris?”

“Our Mr. Caldwell is more of a baboon.”

Writing reviews for Julie Lessman’s books is always an easy thing to do. Each new novel promises adventures, love, and exciting new characters ready to fulfill their destinies. If you are like me and you have followed the McClare family, then you were ready for this final book in the series to provide some answers for you. It definitely does that! I am going to say upfront that this book was not meant to stand alone. The series is worth reading and following. Lessman is clever with the questions she purposefully left unanswered from the first books, and I was happy with all of the answers I was given in this final edition. The only downside to this book was that Megan was not my favorite of the three sisters. I enjoyed her well enough, but I still have a particular admiration of Cassidy from the very first book.

Julie’s heroines are always easy to support and admire. She writes women that have big dreams and goals; women who are strong and not afraid to fight for what is right or what is theirs. Megan’s goal was to win Bram’s love, but she also worked to help the less fortunate of the town. Her story was quick to read and very light and fulfilling. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I especially enjoyed being able to catch up with the other couples from the first two books. That has to be one of the best parts of this series; Lessman likes to hold on to her characters and continues to build on their relationships even after their stories are finished. This is another reason why it is so important to read the first two books in this series first!

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at Revell in exchange for my honest review***


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