Book Review: Eight Goodbyes, Christine Brae

synopsis single

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined. 

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

 


My Thoughts 2

**ARC kindly provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

`Eight Goodbyes` by author Christine Brae is a heartstrings tugging romance that will push all the right emotional buttons… Or, at least I hope that happens for readers when they pick this read.

Sadly enough, I have mixed feelings regarding this romance. I´m not totally against this book but I´m also not able to lay my heart on the table and profess my undying love for `Eight Goodbyes`Eight Goodbyes

Let me explain why.

The cover and book title caught my attention. The synopsis then sealed the deal for me. Everything seemed interesting and I was hopeful that I had found a new author to add to my ever-growing list of favorite writers.

With that being said- My excitement wasn´t long lasting. To express my mixed feelings a little better let be start off with mentioning what I fully appreciated about this book.

The writing.

The author has the ability to grab a reader´s attention with her words. A nice soft, feminine writing that´s perfect for an emotional read. Loved it.

Unfortunately, the writing , alone,doesn´t cut it for me.

While the synopsis sounded interesting, the story itself wasn´t as gripping. `Eight Goodbyes`. Yes. Somewhere deep down I understood this book was about saying goodbye 8 times. No surprises there. What I didn´t know was how annoying the goodbyes would be for me.

Tessa Tamlan, famous fiction author, lives the dream.

Here is where I felt a strong case of „The protagonist is the author´s self- insert“.

While most of us readers tend to believe being an author is all fun and games, Christine Brae gives us a little insight on how that´s not true through the eyes of Tessa Tamlan. In fact- The detailed mention of how exhausting and time-consuming an author´s life is feels a little too realistic.

This is pure speculation on my part but sometimes a reader can tell if there´s a self – insert. I felt it and I didn´t like it.

Nonetheless- Tessa´s character rubbed me the wrong way on many levels. She came across as arrogant, self-centered, aloof and superficial. A stark contrast to the Hero, Simon Fremont., who I enjoyed to bits.

As for the romance in the story – I had difficulties warming up to Tessa and Simon, as a couple. It took 5 chapters to lose all sympathy for the off-putting Tessa and 5 chapters to see that Simon deserved someone better. So, all the romantic feels I was supposed to feel were non-existent for me because I couldn´t connect with the Hero and Heroine.

Another aspect that made me raise my eyebrows: Tessa liked to mention how intelligent Simon and herself were. It´s a compliment when it´s mentioned once. It´s weird when it´s mentioned more than once.

The `good-byes` frustrated me. The Heroine was unlikable. The story wasn´t my cup of tea. Still…..

Would I recommend this book? For readers who rely on my opinion- No.

Would I reread this book? No.


The cover – 5 stars ( I´m usually not a fan of character images on covers but I did like this one.)

The Story – 2 stars ( The idea is great. The way the story panned out- Not so great )

The Characters – 2 ( Tessa did not work for me. Simon felt like the better character )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Frustrated.

2 stars

Book Title: Eight Goodbyes

Author: Christine Brae

Genre: contemporary romance

Release date: 1. Sept. 2018

EDITION
ISBN
PRICE

 

The NOPE Book Tag

Thank you, Suzie @ Of All the Books in All the Libraries for spontaneously inviting me to join the NOPE book tag!

After reading her brilliant list of NOPEs I quickly figured out we´re book NOPE twins, as my list looks similar to hers. But since I can´t really add ALL the books I find NOPE worthy I´ll just stick to the one´s I blog ( or, will blog ) about.

Get your knickers in the right place because this is going to be a LONG ride.

( NOTE: Apologies for the possible book hate. When it comes to NOPE books I tend to be a litte opinionated passionate. If your favorite book is among my list then remember, it´s not you. It´s the book. x )

These are books I literally found no love for.

 

NOPE. ending

A book ending that made you go NOPE, either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

revolutionary road

That ending. NOPE. Not only was the story a little depressing it made me feel like someone baked a huge cheese cake and ate at it bit by bit until there was only one piece left. The end felt like that last piece of cheese cake… Being inhaled in an unlovable way. To this day, I refuse to watch the movie as I´m sure the TV wouldn´t stay intact.

Don´t get me wrong. I knew what I was getting into. But knowing a story before reading it yourself isn´t exactly the same thing. Having read through the dreadful marriage Frank and April went through I got all worked up and for what? To get more worked up? No, thank you.

Big Fat NOPE.

 

 

NOPE. protagonist

A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.
gone girl

I fully agree with Suzie´s NOPE protagonist ( Briony from Atonement ). That kid deserved to be locked away ( preferably in a room below a basement ) for crewing up so many people´s lives. But my NOPE protagonist award goes to Amy Dunne from `Gone Girl`. That woman was so bat-shit crazy. She drove ME crazy with her thoughts and actions. An absolute NOPE for me. She is also the only book character I could rant about for ages. I still, to this day, can´t believe I didn´t DNF this book.

 

 

 

NOPE. series

A series that turned out to be a huge pile of NOPE after you´ve invested all of that time and energy on it.

after series

I have many series that are NOPE worthy but this one takes the cake for me. `After`by Anna Todd. This series even beats ACOTAR, and that really does say a lot. I´m sure no series will ever beat this one off the NOPE. series list. reviews for book #1-#5 here

There is so much wrong with this series. Or, I´m definitely too old to appreciate the awesomeness this series has. Or no. Wait. I have standards. Oops. I´ve forgotten about those. Yeah. Even though I´ve screwed down on my own book standards this series still makes #1 on my Nope list.

 

NOPE. pairing

A “ship” you don´t support.

cersei and jamie

 

Now, there´s a ship I don´t support. I love Cersei and Jaime Lannister. Both are fantastic figures in the Game of Thrones series.  I just don´t love them together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOPE. plot twist

A twist you didn´t see coming and didn´t like.

 

I´m with Suzie on this one. Didn´t like the twist.

In fact- I didn´t like the book.gone girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOPE. genre

A genre you will never read.

I truly have never given this any thought at all because I read most genres. Some genres I enjoy more and some less. But if I have to pick one off the top of my hat then I´d go with Caveman romance. ( Do not question caveman romance. The book bestie Mirjam recommended a caveman romance years ago and I still can´t stop laughing. A genre that will never win me over. ) Nope. Nope. Nope.

NOPE. format 

A book format you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

I´m confused. Aren´t there already many different editions for certain formats?

 

NOPE. trope

A trope that makes you go NOPE.

Broken Heroes in romance novels. Seriously. Seriously? What´s with all the constant

“I´m too fucked up.” crap? If you´re that fucked then I advise THERAPY!! AND STAY THERE FOR A LONG TIME!

 

NOPE. recommendation

A book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you, that you simply refuse to read it. 

`The Fault In Our Stars` by John Green. I can´t begin to tell you how many times this book cover has been shoved at me and how often blogger friends have recommended this read. Why would I want to read something sad? As in, `The Fault In Our Stars`sad?!The fault in our stars

Besides, I accidentally watched the movie. And that was awful ( I will never forget husbands face when he walked in on me watching that movie. He looked so…lost. Even bought me flowers the next day because he didn´t know how to deal with an ugly sobbing me.

Nope. The movie was enough. Not going to ever read this book. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOPE. cliché

A cliché or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

virgin

Virgins in romance novels. Spare me.

 

NOPE. love interest

A love interest that´s not worth being one.

Gideon Cross, from the Crossfire series written by Sylvia Day. PLEASE…. He´s many things but not worth being a love interest.

 

NOPE. book

A book that shouldn´t have existed.

 

Sophie´s Choice by William Styron. I even refuse to talk about it.

Sophies choice

 

NOPE. villain

A villain you would hate to cross.

Definitely the White Witch from `The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe`. She´s a classic villain but a mean AF one, at it. I wouldn´t want to cross her path. Not in this or any other universe. Who freezes Narnia, for crying out loud?!white witch

 

NOPE. death

A character death that still haunts you.

ned

I will never get over this one. If only he had stayed in Winterfell.

 

NOPE. author

An author you had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit.

I normally don´t like to NOPE an author, as they´re all probably a bunch of lovely people but…… (!!!!!!!!) I´m going to go with Tarryn Fisher. While the author might have some great story ideas her writing is ( even for my taste ) just too pushy and in-your-face. Sadly, also in the most tacky and insensitive ways possible. I know, I know. The author wants to make a point and have a loud voice in the book community. But that idea of the author just bounced right off me. I find the author´s writing terrible. As if she´s writing with anger instead of passion ( because there´s a fine line between passion and anger, which the author long over stepped, in my opinion ) `Bad Mommy` was supposed to be her finest book. The praises I´ve heard before I read it were as loud as any fog horn. The end result? Not worth my time and money. None of the books I tried reading from the author were. Hence the reason why I just gave up on trying to find the same beauty everyone else seems to see in the author´s work.

 

So, that´s it.

I tag:

 

Sabrina & Ashley @5171 Miles Book Blog

Nina @ The Cozy Pages

Tina @ Woodies Book Addiction

 

Mucho Mucho Thanks, Suzie! I had such a blast! ❤

Book Review- Belle: A Retelling Of Beauty And The Beast by Cameron Dokey

synopsis 2

Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters’ awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one’s true love. 

During a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood — and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

Charming. Enchanting. Easy for the mind. 

 

It was the beautiful cover that got me interested in this book. That, and the fact that I was on vacation and didn´t really want to read a book with 350+ pages. Instead, I picked this 204 page novel with the stunning cover.

As for the story….

Belle` by author Cameron Dokey is a simple and uncomplicated retelling of `Beauty And The Beast`. There´s nothing heavy or highly emotional about this retell. Belle

I would guess that adding overly dramatic scenes would have demanded more pages… so it´s no surprise that this book wasn´t the full-blown romance we´ve all come to love.

While the story was good ( as one would expect it to be. It´s Belle and the Beast! ) it still differed from the versions we have branded into our brains.

Belle´s life is different. The whole story has been worked on, giving us readers an altered Belle with 2 living parents and kind siblings.

The added family theme was a nice change of wallpaper. The details were ( to a certain point ) perfect. All was okay about this retelling version except for the subtle / not so subtle issues.

I´m a fan of details. In `Belle` I received a well-balanced flow of character development and details, which I fully appreciated. As I enjoyed the great story-build-up I also felt the amount of pages I had left to read. A little spooky when knowing there´s actually SO MUCH MORE to the story. I was a little over 100 pages in to the book and I was still reading about everything except for the Beast.

But I had faith. The book might be only 204 pages thin but there was still enough room to add the Hero. And that´s where I began to be bothered. The Hero is usually introduced after the first few pages, if not, then surely after the second chapter. From the point where Hero and Heroine meet there´s some sort of connection development from there on. In `Belle`there was nothing of the sort.

And when Belle and Beasts golden moment arrived I was slightly disappointed. Because it wasn´t as drawn out as I had thought it would be. It was actually short-lived and questionable, to say the least.

Even the big end scene wasn´t drawn out, as it should have been. In fact- The moment of moments was cut short. Belle and her family received lots of limelight and the Beast received a few pages. Correct me if I´m wrong- Doesn´t it add to the dramatic scene when drama is included? Thoughts on this, anyone?

The author has one thing going for her: Her writing style. It´s simple but romantic. It´s colorful and soft. Actually fitting for fairy tales. I found myself falling for her words and enjoying the way she wields them in her story.

What´s missing is balance and pace. Those two aspects drove me bonkers while reading `Belle`.

This is a complicated review to write because on the one side I experienced wonderful characters and great details. Character development plays a huge role in books as it gives a story life. Crappy characters = crappy story ( no matter if it´s a retelling or not ).

But on the other hand, the imbalance and slow pace – turned – fast pace were confusing and made my reading experience odd.

Would I recommend this book? I would. But only if readers approach this read without expecting anything major.

Would I reread this book? Probably not. I´ll stick with the other versions I´ve read.

 

The Cover – 5 stars ( Stunning )

The Story – 3 stars ( It´s basically Beauty and the Beast fanfic. I appreciated some parts while I didn´t appreciate the technical sides )

The Characters – 4 stars ( I can´t stress this out enough: character development is everything. It´s what a reader gets in this read.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Meeh.

3 stars

This book is available on Amazon.com

 

Morgana´s Book Box Instagram Book Feature for `Belle` by Cameron Dokey

 

 

Review: The Little Book Of Hygge: The Danish Way To Live Well – Meik Wiking

synopsis 2

Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: Hygge.

‘Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…’

You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right.

Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge? Meik is CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen and has spent years studying the magic of Danish life. In this beautiful, inspiring book he will help you be more hygge: from picking the right lighting and planning a dinner party through to creating an emergency hygge kit and even how to dress.

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. He is committed to finding out what makes people happy and has concluded that hygge is the magic ingredient that makes Danes the happiest nation in the world.

 

My Thoughts 2

 

One of my most anticipated reads for this month and…. I can´t really say I was disappointed. I found this read to be gripping.

Interesting enough- This book on how the Danish live well was categorized on Goodreads under Self – Help and psychology, yet this book didn´t feel like that at all.

It felt more like a little guide of Denmark, or a guide on how the Danish live. hygge

Which is perfectly fine by me. I love to learn about different cultures and get to know what exactly it is that makes them who they are.

The word that´s focused on here is Hygge. The definition of Hygge is: There isn´t one.Hygge is a word that describes  the Danish ritual of enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

Good company, family, food and… candles.

Looks like the Danish are obsessed with light. There was no shortage on the mention of candles in this read. Looks like candles are the way to live a cozy life.

Too bad I think candles are dust collectors. I prefer my cozy moments with floodlights ( because I´m as blind as a bat )

Besides the candle parts ( which are almost always mentioned ) I do love the Danish lifestyle.

Just shows that life isn´t always about work and work and.. work.

Life is about taking a step back and appreciating your surroundings. Just ask the Danish people. They obviously have it all worked out. They know how to be content.

As much as I loved this book I did find a few things  that would never work out for me, personally. The 10 inexpensive Hygge Activities, for example:

  1. Bring out the board games. I´m a bad loser. It´s been said that I´ve thrown a board game off a table once because I can´t stand losing. ( that´s only half true. I walk away when I´m losing .  And that one time when the golf driver slipped out of my sweaty hands and flew towards my husband… An accident. ) I´m competetive and can´t lose. Board games are not an option.
  2. TV Night. I used to love TV nights with friends. Now I have friends who go to bed early ( even on the weekends ).
  3. Make a fire. Not a bad idea if someone would mow the lawn beforehand.
  4. Swap Party. NO. No no no. People never want to swap good stuff. That idea just doesn´t work for me at all. I really don´t want my best friend´s self made robot.
  5. Sledding. Another nice idea if there was something to sled on. Like snow. Or a sled. I don´t even have a sled ( because we hardly ever get snow ). I thought this was supposed to be an inexpensive Hygge activity. To sled I´d have to buy one and book a vacation to somewhere where it snows. Too expensive for me.

So, as you can see… I´ll have a hard time doing typical Danish activities.

That part about spending time with friends and family… Listen, I love my friends ( and some of my family ) but I don´t want to see them all the time. Some of them are exhausting AF. They all can destroy my Hygge vibes. Lol.

What I did approve of were the stuff I already include into my daily life.

  • read ( I had to laugh at that one )
  • enjoy a hot beverage and have ceramic ( this one got another laugh )
  • food ( because food is AWESOME )
  • going slow ( because you miss out on so much when moving too fast )
  • Wool sweaters and socks ( And I have the ugliest wool wardrobe, EVER!)

 

All in all I really liked this book. Enough to want to go visit Denmark in the near future.

It´s been mentioned many times before – The Danish people are the happiest in the world. I can believe that after reading this book.

Would I recommend this book? Definitely. It´s a nice book that gives you LOTS of insight on how simple it can be to be happy and feel content with the little things in life. Also, this book gives a taste on what Denmark is about.

Would I re – read this book? Sure. It´s definitely something I´ll take a look at once in a while.

 

The Cover – 5 Stars ( The cover was the first thing I fell in love with. )

The Idea – 5 stars ( Great idea to introduce the perks of Denmark and the people who live there. )

The Writing – 5 stars ( Written by CEO of the Happiness Research Institute, Meik Wiking. His study sounds like a lot of fun. His writing has an easy-going, joyous touch.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – On my way to join the Hygge movement.

5 stars

Purchase Link

Amazon.comhygge

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Cake – Carmen Jenner

Synopsis

A hilarious new rom-com from USA Today best-selling author Carmen Jenner. 

Poppy Porter’s ex is getting married … to her ex-best friend. To land her dream job of partner in the most prestigious firm on the Upper East Side, Poppy must now pull double shifts as their wedding planner and maid of honor. And the icing on a truly craptastic cake? Leo Nass. Handsome, infuriating, womanizer, and … the best man. Despite their longstanding loathing, Poppy doesn’t see Leo coming. Literally.

One ruined cake.
One archnemesis.
One hour to save the wedding.

Can they put their hatred aside long enough to save Poppy’s job and Bridezilla’s head from exploding?

Piece of cake, right?

My Thoughts

Fun fact- I don´t like watching rom – coms. I don´t like reading rom – coms, either.

The reason for that is:  I find them far too cheesy and full of clichés. And most of them take place in Manhattan…because that´s the place for rom – coms.

You´d have a better chance catching me reading a Sci-Fi than a rom-com. If I want to be dragged out of my comfort – zone then I will most definitely not start reading romantic comedy´s.

Believe it or not… There´s a huge difference when it comes to romances. There are so many sub categories to the genre.

It´s the „I can´t live without you“ and „You had me at hello.“ that has me constantly doing the face of all faces.

I cannot, by all that´s pink and fluffy, remember what drove me to buy `Cake` by author Carmen Jenner.Cake

I remember seeing the cover on all social media platforms and reading a handful of reviews. The next thing I remember is scrolling through my TBR list on my Kindle and POOF, there was `Cake´. So, my guess is that I made a mistake.

I was in for a surprise.

Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit Cake!

I actually enjoyed `Cake`. Like…really really enjoyed it.

The story? It was nothing new, or nothing I haven´t heard of a million times before. The story was the exact thing that usually bothers me with rom – coms.

Wedding planner gets a triple slap in the face when her ex wants to marry her best friend and has to co – plan their wedding PLUS be the maid of honor.

Things become interesting when Poppy, the wedding planner, has to deal with the groom´s best man – Leo, who´s also a childhood enemy of Poppy. They bump into each other more often than not.

The story takes place in New York and the Maldives ( of course! ) and cash is being tossed around as if someone had it growing on trees in their backyard.

So, why did I like this book so much?

Besides the humor ( which I fully appreciated ) it was the writing style and the way the characters were portrayed that made this read great. Poppy and Leo definitely helped me enjoy this book more than I was willing to.

Plus, there was cake. A lot of cake involved in this story. Who doesn´t love cake? Cake rules.

I couldn´t help myself. Falling for Leo and Poppy was not what I had planned but it happened anyways. Their overall chemistry was lovable.

What I also enjoyed was how movie – like this read felt. I kid you not… Reading `Cake ` felt like watching a Kate Hudson rom – com. ( I like watching Kate Hudson… not the romantic comedy´s she plays in )

The end was great. I liked how things played out for the MCs and the sub – characters.

Would I recommend this book? Sure. `Cake` is quite funny and entertaining. I don´t necessarily think that this book cured me of my dislike for rom – coms… but it did put a smile on my face more than once. That alone is reason enough to recommend this book. Maybe I´d be more open to rom – coms if they took place in Iceland or…. some other place that´s not in / near / around Manhattan.

Would I re – read this book? Not sure. Maybe. Maybe not. I have a strong feeling that this is a once – is – enough type of book. But who knows… I´m open for surprises.

The Cover – 3 stars ( The cover is nothing I´d go nuts over. And it´s definitely not the worst I´ve seen.)

The Story – 3 stars ( Uuhm… Not really unique but due to the writing style definitely highly entertaining. )

The Characters – 5 stars ( Loved them. )

My emotional state after finishing this read – Really happy.

4 stars

Purchase Links   Cake

Amazon.com 

Amazon.co.uk