- 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
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
When her relationship collapses, Hannah seizes the chance to do what she’s always loved and launches an underground supper club out of her new landlord’s town house. Though her delicious dishes become the talk of the town, her secret venture is highly problematic, given that it is not, technically speaking, legal. She also conveniently forgets to tell her landlord she has been using his place while he is out of town.
On top of that, Hannah faces various romantic prospects that leave her guessing and confused, parents who don’t support cooking as a career, and her own fears of taking a risk and charting her own path. A charming romantic comedy, The Girls’ Guide to Love and Supper Clubs is a story about finding yourself, fulfilling your dreams, and falling in love along the way.
“And, really, with all of the champagne and red wine, combined with the prospect of sugary frosting and pecan goo, it almost wasn’t my fault. I was distracted. Who hasn’t made a few bad decisions under the spell of sugar and alcohol? Besides, Adam acted like a jerk for most of the evening. I’m hardly the only one at fault.” – Finished Copy pg. 13
For some reason I always find myself lost and mesmerized in the books that surround food of any sort. This book may very well be my favorite book so far this year. I was just so lost in the literature and lost in Hannah’s world of carrot cake, cream cheese frosting, and coffee cakes galore! Books that have anything to do with food or a main character that loves to cook and bake are just really hard to beat. There is just something about them that feels extra cozy and all the more real to me. Hannah Sugarman is down on her luck. How awesome is the last name ‘Sugarman’? Her parents are displeased with her and she has just been dumped. Yes, this is how most of these stories start off, but trust me Hannah’s story is worth sticking around for.
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
“If Duke Baldewin’s daughter were still alive, it made sense that she could be in danger from the shadowy Ermengard; Duke Baldewin’s daughter would be sixteen, maybe seventeen years old, making her a threat to the duchess’s rule. Though surely someone would have corrected the erroneous report of her demise by now. The truth would surely have leaked out and spread to Hagenheim. Or so one would think.” – Finished Copy pg. 14
This is the first book that I have read by Melanie Dickerson and I don’t know why?! She has written two other fairytale retellings, similar to this one, and is working on a fourth! This story is obviously a retelling of Snow White and it lives up to the original. Sophie is the daughter of Duke Baldewin, but she doesn’t know that. The evil Duchess of Ermengard has kept Sophie prisoner for many years and has always envied her natural beauty and charm. However, someone knows the secret that the evil duchess has tried to kept hidden for so many years: Sophie is royalty and is now in grave danger and will soon face death at the duchess’s hand. This news falls into the hands of Gabe, a young man from Hagenheim Castle, and he makes it his personal mission to save Sophie from grave danger. Will he beat the Duchess of Ermengard to the chase?
I fell in love with this entire fairytale all over again. Even though they were all different characters, I still loved every single one of them. I always love the villains too for some reason and the Duchess of Ermengard was no different. She was written with such hatred and animosity, that I couldn’t help but love her character. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how a proper villain should be written. I, of course, loved Sophie’s character as well, resembling Snow White in the story. She was so loveable and fit the Snow White persona perfectly! I was immediately drawn to her character and the courage she exhibits right from the first page.
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Series: Friday Harbor # 4
What Justine soon discovers is that someone cast a spell on her when she was born, with the result that she will never find her soul mate. Determined to change her fate, Justine finds a way to break the enchantment, never dreaming of the dangerous complications that will follow.
And when Justine meets the mysterious Jason Black, she accidentally unleashes a storm of desire and danger that threaten everything she holds dear . . . because Jason has secrets of his own, and he wants more from her than fate will ever allow.
“Although Justine had never experienced real love, she knew it when she saw it. When Zoe and Alex were together, they tried to be casual, but the emotion was still too new and raw for either of them to be easy with it. Their intense awareness of each other was emblazoned in the air no matter how discreet they were. Sometimes it was even in their voices, as if love had filled them until they had to remind themselves to breathe.” – Paperback Copy pg. 5
Justine Hoffman needs a chance to fall in love, real love. Not the overnight kind. She is bound and determined to find her Mr. Right even if it takes a little witchcraft to help her find him. She is desperate and about the point of giving up forever when Mr. Everything-but-Right walks into her life. Could Justine’s true love be one that she doesn’t expect at all?
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Simon Spotlight
Series: Saranormal # 6
What starts off as fun insight into people’s thoughts quickly leads Sara down a frightening path. Is Sara hearing the true thoughts of her friends and family, or is some sort of negative energy wreaking havoc? Sara confides in Lady Azura and together they discover that Sara’s new ability is not a gift like her other abilities. Rather, it’s a curse. A curse that Sara needs to overcome before it destroys her most important relationships.
“I’d been able to see spirits – dead people- for as long as I could remember. Recently that power had intensified, and for a while now I’d been able to interact with the spirits, to talk with them. Since I’d arrived in Stellamar last summer, I had gradually come to accept these powers. Before moving here, back when I lived in California, I’d hated them. They made me feel different, and I just wanted to be normal. But with my great-grandmother’s help, I was actually starting to look at them as the “gift” she insisted they were. Most of the time, anyway.” – Finished Copy pg. 3
It has been one of my goals since the beginning of the New Year to try and read as much middle grades fiction as I possibly can. Books like this one make me wonder why I don’t read more of them? This book is number six in an ongoing series by Phoebe Rivers about a girl who can see and talk to spirits. Sara, our heroine, hasn’t quite figured out if this is a curse or a blessing as of yet, but with the help of her great-grandmother, in this book, she may just come around to the idea a little bit more. In this installment, Sara and her great-grandmother Lady Azura, who can see spirits as well, are sensing a negative energy in the house and Sara is bound and determined to figure out what it could be before it hurts her family.
Publication Date: January 22, 2013
Series: The Archived # 1
Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures that only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.
Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was, a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often—violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.
Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost. Da’s death was hard enough, but now her little brother is gone too. Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself might crumble and fall.
In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.
“Coded. Every Keeper has a system, a way to tell a good door from a bad one; I cannot count the number of X’s and slashes and circles and dots scribbled against each door and then rubbed away. I pull a thin piece of chalk from my pocket – it’s funny, the things you learn to keep on you at all times – and use it to draw a quick roman numeral I on the door I just came through, right above the keyhole (the doors here have no handles, can’t even be tried without a key). The number is bright and white over the dozens of old, half-ruined marks.” – ARC Copy pg. 15
From the perspective of someone who wants to end up as a Librarian, this was an awesome premise and plot! Dead people who are kept on shelves like ghosts or forgotten books? Yes, please! The world building is simply phenomenal. You have Librarian who catalogue the dead and Keepers who return the dead to be archived. Schwab took this concept and ran with it. This could almost be comparable to a Harry Potter type world. She goes so in depth with the characters and the idea of being a Librarian or a Keeper, that I was literally waiting for a manual telling me how to navigate this magically creepy world.
Publication Date: February 5, 2013
Publisher: Signet Eclipse
Series: Lone Star Witch # 1
While she hasn’t lived up to her family’s expectations, Xandra has come to terms with her latent magic and made a life for herself in Austin, Texas, running a coffee shop where she makes potions of a non-magical nature. While things aren’t perfect, Xandra is happy—until she runs into powerful warlock Declan Chumomisto.
Xandra hasn’t seen Declan in years, and though she’s still overwhelmed by his power, she doesn’t trust him. And when her own powers awaken one night and lead her to the body of a woman in the woods bearing the symbol of Isis—the same one that has marked Xandra since the day she met Declan—she’s filled with a terrible suspicion, soon confirmed: the woman is connected to him.
Xandra doesn’t want to believe that Declan is capable of murder, but as the body count mounts, and Xandra’s own powers spiral out of control, she’s not sure she can trust her own instincts…
“Behind me, my mother shrieks my name. In a booming voice, my father demands that I return to the ballroom at once. But I’m running full out now, scrambling to get away from the pity and the revulsion radiating from so many of the guests. They’ve come from all over our territory, all over the world, to witness the Kas Djedet of the youngest, and supposedly most powerful, Morgan daughter. What they’ve witnessed instead doesn’t bear thinking about.” – Finished Copy pg. 5
As the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, Xandra Morgan should be an unbelievable witch with power so great that you would need to approach her with a shield of steel and a ten foot pole. Only she’s not. Xandra’s world is consumed by magic and all of her loved ones expect her to carry on with the magical gene, in fact they will stop at nothing to help her obtain her own witchy powers. However, Xandra comes into a gift all her own; she starts to have visions that lead her to corpses and she begins to see the cause of death. This gift she has obtained turns out to be a little more dangerous than she could have ever imagined and puts her between a rock and a hard place: good and evil.
Publication Date: January 29, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Series: Death and Taxes # 4
Tara’s looking forward to a challenge but, back at the office, everyone’s looking for love. Her boss Lu “The Lobo” Lobozinski and office virgin Josh Schmidt are signing up for an online dating service, and—to Tara’s dismay—so is her crush, Special Agent Nick Pratt. Tara’s trying to act chill. But when she learns that her next case involves cash-funneling to terrorists, it’s not just her love life that’s on the rocks. It’s her life, period.
“Dig a little deeper, though, and you’d find Eddie and I shared quite a few similarities. We’d both kicked academic asses in college, graduating at the top of our classes. We’d both taken jobs as special agents in IRS Criminal Investigations when we’d discovered that sitting at a desk all day didn’t suit us. And we both wanted to see tax cheats get their due. Especially the Deduction Diva. She’d been cheating the government for years. The Diva’s due was long overdue.” – Paperback Copy pg. 2
Tara Holloway is a riot and can rival Stephanie Plum any day. In fact, I think they would probably be best friends were they ever to meet. Once again, Diane Kelly takes us deep into the world of IRS Tax Fraud and we follow Tara, along with her partner, Eddie on a wild goose chase for some tax cheating hussy! This book starts with a recipe for Peach Sangria and only gets better from there. I just have to say that I love the covers of these books and I think they get better each time. I am forever a fan of this series and will push them off onto anybody who is willing to listen.
Publication Date: January 8, 2013
Publisher: Delacorte Press
“If you don’t want to see me again, say so. But it’s not right to say nothing. It’s not right to go silent. You know what to do.”
Cambridge, England: Outside the city, the badly decomposed body of a teenage girl has washed up in the flooded fens. Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann and her partner, Morris Keene, must work quickly to identify the victim before the press takes off with the salacious story.
Across the hallowed paths and storied squares of Cambridge University, the detectives follow scant clues toward the identity of the dead girl. Eventually, their search leads them to Deeping House, an imposing country manor where, over the course of one Christmas holiday, three families, two nannies, and one young writer were snowed in together. Chloe Frohmann begins to unravel a tangled web of passions and secrets, of long-buried crimes and freshly committed horrors. But in order to reveal the truth—about misaddressed letters, a devastating affair, and a murdered teenager—she may have to betray her partner.
“Spring warmth had bloated the body to the surface, and it was caught in a sluice gate where the lock keeper found her. There isn’t enough soft tissue on the skull for us to discern a face, and the skull itself is so damaged that a reconstruction doesn’t seem possible. Jensen guesses late teens to early twenties, with the caveat that he’ll be more sure after a proper exam in the lab. A person this age likely has local parents looking for her, for a generous definition of “local.” We’re close to the country border; if nothing obvious pops in the immediate area, we’ll have to look to Lincolnshire for their missing persons as well.” – Hardback Copy pg. 10
This psychological thriller is told from the perspective of many different characters and follows the tragic death of a young girl found in a flooded fen in Cambridge, England. Detective Inspector Chloe Frohmann and her partner, Morris Keene, begin to piece the mystery together piece by piece and chapter by chapter. Along with the help of Mathilde Oliver, a young girl with a form of Autism, who is also trying to solve her own mystery. Could the two investigations somehow be related? Will their stories match up? Winslow has a writing style that is sure to keep readers hanging on for pages and pages of eerie twists and turns.
Daisy McCrae’s life is in tatters. She’s lost her job, broken up with her boyfriend, and has been reduced to living in the attic above her family’s store, the Union Street Bakery, while learning the business. Unfortunately, the bakery is in serious hardship. Making things worse is the constant feeling of not being a “real” McCrae since she was adopted as a child and has a less-than-perfect relationship with her two sisters.
Then a long-standing elderly customer passes away, and for some reason bequeaths Daisy a journal dating back to the 1850s, written by a slave girl named Susie. As she reads, Daisy learns more about her family—and her own heritage—than she ever dreamed. Haunted by dreams of the young Susie, who beckons Daisy to “find her,” she is compelled to look further into the past of the town and her family.
What she finds are the answers she has longed for her entire life, and a chance to begin again with the courage and desire she thought she lost for good.
Publication Date: February 1, 2013
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
“I try imagining a superpower that would reduce my attractiveness to pubescent boys, while inversely making me more alluring to uber-hotties like the cretin’s coach, Mark. Putting out is likely the missing plutonium to that puzzle. I am, after all, the Amazing Su-per Virgin Girl! Fully flowered! With chastity of steel!” – ARC Copy pg. 3
The main character, Blaze, named after Ghost Rider, Johnny Blaze himself, is a comic book junkie who feels invisible within the halls of her high school. Blaze makes the mistake of falling for the wrong guy, Mark the Shark, and starts to lose part of herself and involves herself in things that she wouldn’t otherwise. She gives in to Mark’s charms and he totally takes advantage of her. He is the love em’ and leave em’ type, and Blaze’s reputation and her moral standing are crushed in the process. Mark’s actions are really low especially when he posts a half-naked picture of Blaze on the Internet. How will our super-hero girl handle this? Will she prevail over her arch-nemesis, Mark the Shark?
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- ► 2014 (183)
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- Book Review: The Archived
- Book Review: Soulbound
- Book Review: Death, Taxes, and Peach Sangria
- Book Review: The Start of Everything
- Book Review: The Union Street Bakery
- Book Review: Blaze
- Book Review: The Fate of Mercy Alban
- Book Review: Love and Other Perishable Items
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- Book Review: An Affair to Dismember
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- ▼ February (21)