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Friday, July 3, 2015

Review: SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thanks to the author, publisher, and Netgalley!

Type: Series, Book Four, New Adult Romance, Contemporary Romance, Hot Cops and Hotter Anger Management Therapists?

Release Date: June 30th, 2015

About the Book: New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits. [Description provided by Netgalley.com]

My Review: I love this premise. I love romance novels where the hero and the heroine are at odds, and yet fall in love. The whole "opposites attract" thing. What I don't love.. is this book. I wish I did. I really had high hopes for it when it was offered for review. I practically jumped on it, even. But in the end, it all fell flat for me.

On to what I didn't like - mainly, that was Arilyn. I found her to be annoying, hypocritical, and basically a jerk. For someone that seems to think she has evolved past most of the human race, she resorted to blackmailing Stone, saying she would refuse to sign off on his paperwork if he didn't help her with something - this "something" being potentially illegal, and well outside of the required time he was supposed to be in his anger management class. She would also get really belligerent if someone happened to not believe in the same things she did.

What I did like was Stone. But I liked Stone when he wasn't with Arilyn. Outside of Arilyn's presence, Stone was a good guy. He was friendly with people he met, and he didn't act like a stuck up jerk. I probably would have given this book one star if it wasn't for Stone when he was away from Arilyn, and especially Stone with Pinky. Had this story just been Pinky and Stone, the not-so-dynamic duo, I probably would have given it five stars. Gladly.

Cover Lovin': How sweet is this! A very charming cover indeed, and I love how the title, author, and couple are framed by the arch.

Recommendation: For fans of Contemporary Romance. No huge need to read the series in order - each can be read as a standalone, but it always helps to have some prior knowledge of the characters.

Final Rating: TWO out of FIVE stars (2/5). Arilyn would get one star, but Stone was the redeeming factor here, especially when paired with the saddest little dog ever. Fans of the author will probably flip for this book. But it just didn't do it for me.


 Series Order: 
                       
 Happy Reading! 
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Review: BATMAN AND ROBIN 6: THE HUNT FOR ROBIN by Peter Tomasi

Disclaimer: I received a free, advanced e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. 

Release Date: June 30, 2015

Type: Graphic Novel, Comics, Comic Books, Superheroes, Batman and the Batlings, Hard to have Batman and Robin without Robin..

About the Book: After losing his son Damian—a.k.a. Robin—Batman has finally found peace with his death. Damian's grandfather Ra's al Ghul, however, has not. In order to resurrect Robin, he's stolen the body and now Batman will stop at nothing to reclaim him. 

Nearly two years of storylines—including threads from Grant Morrison's BATMAN INCORPORATED and Scott Snyder and Greg Capulo's BATMAN—conclude here in BATMAN AND ROBIN VOL. 6: THE HUNT FOR ROBIN. 

Collects BATMAN AND ROBIN #29-34 and ROBIN RISES OMEGA. [Description from Netgalley.com]

My Review: Despite Robin being no longer with us, he still has a strong presence in this graphic novel series. But then, I guess it is hard to continue a series bearing his namesake without having him there in some way shape or form. My biggest issue with this graphic novel, was that it felt like since they couldn't team Batman up with Robin, they would just team him up with whomever else was handy - Aquaman, Wonder Woman, even Frankenstein. In a way, it makes sense - hard to have a series based on a team up without some sort of team-ing happening. But it just felt rushed and so-so.

What I think this series does well is the tiny bits of humor they manage to sneak into such a dark series. Even in Bruce's moments of lightness and healing, though they be very few and far between, it is still gritty, like a true Batman comic should be. As a fan of Robin in all his (or maybe her?) forms, I was happen to see a small reunion of former title holders, though I will not spoil how or why.

There is a lot this series does well - the tone, the story lines.. but I will be happy to either move on from Damien, or find a way to bring him back to the story. Frankly, I would prefer bringing him back. I loved Damien. Not my favorite of the past and present sidekicks, but he had his own flair, and I loved seeing him and Bruce work together.

Cover Lovin': Very fitting cover. This title may be called Batman and Robin, but Robin is not exactly in the picture any more - as this cover accurately portrays.

Recommendation: For hardcore Bat-fans, and only for those that have kept up with this series. This is not a volume you can just pick up without the backstory.

Final Rating: FOUR out of FIVE stars (4/5). Good, but not as dark and gritty as it used to be. This felt like it was missing something (maybe Robin?!).


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Release Day Launch: SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst & GIVEAWAY

 

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Today we are celebrating the release of SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst. This is the 4th book in the Searching For series and it is published by Gallery Books. Check out the teaser and giveaway below.

SearchingforAlways
 

SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS Synopsis:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues! She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.  

Add the book to Goodreads

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PURCHASE SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

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a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

AUTHOR INFORMATION:

Jennifer Probst

Jennifer Probst - Bio: Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean. She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon's Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers. Visit her website for updates on new releases and her street team at www.jenniferprobst.com.

LINKS:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: MANGA CLASSICS: EMMA by Stacy King & Po Tse

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. Thanks Netgalley!

Type: Manga Classics, Graphic Novel, Jane Austen, Historical Romance, Not-as-good-as-Johnny-Lee-Miller

Release Date: May 12, 2015

About the Book: Just in time for the 200th Anniversary, Manga Classics: Emma brings Jane Austen's classic tale of youthful folly and romantic exuberance to a modern audience with this beautiful, new manga adaptation. The impulsive match-making of Emma Woodhouse delivers both humor and heartache through the gorgeous artwork of manga-ka Po Tse (Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice). - Manga Classics editions feature classic stories, faithfully adapted and illustrated in manga style, and available in both hardcover and softcover editions. Proudly presented by UDON Entertainment and Morpheus Publishing. [Description from Goodreads.com]

My Review: I love Jane Austen. I really like reading manga. This should be a match made in heaven, but honestly, it felt more run of the mill, very middle of the road. I think Emma has to be my least favorite of Austen's novels. I find Emma herself to be very childish sometimes, which gets on my nerves. And I got the same impression while reading the Manga Classics: Emma. But if you think about it, that is a good thing. Why? Because that means this manga adaptation of a classic, well beloved novel appropriately portrays the spirit of the original.

There are several graphic novel interpretations of Austen's work out there, the styles ranging from overly cartoony to very life-like. Manga Classics: Emma is very much in the manga style - including chibi figures in moments of high emotion. While this is something I have come to understand and even appreciate in manga, a friend of mine read it and felt that it made the classic novel feel immature. I appreciated the art throughout this graphic novel. The characters were consistent, the outfits fitting and looked appropriate for the time period. I just wished Mr. Knightley would have looked a little less like a cheap villain - it was the strange goatee that did him in, I think.

Overall, this was a good adaptation. It's hard to review a graphic novel version of a classic without it becoming a strange compare and contrast, so I have done my best. Manga Classics: Emma has done well taking a book full of complex characters and intertwining story-lines and making it not only understandable, but a fast and fun read.

Cover Lovin': This is certainly a very sweet looking cover. And I'm stuck thinking it both does and does not convey the story very well.

Recommendation: This is one of those niche books. Austen-ites (Jane-ites?) would eat it up - anything for a new Austen fix. But it probably won't appeal to anyone that doesn't already like manga, considering manga is incredibly stylized.

Final Rating: THREE out of FIVE (3/5). A good adaptation, but not the best of the Manga Classics by far.


Happy Reading!
~!~ Amanda, Novel Addiction ~!~