Showing posts with label Anniek's reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Anniek's reviews. Show all posts

Nov 1, 2015

Book Review: Children's Book of Magic by Konrad Modzelewski

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Review by Anniek

The Children's Book of Magic is such a great book. It contains magic tricks for young wizards. Even though my son is not old enough yet I will absolutely keep this book until we can practice together. The recommendation is to start from the age of 4.

I love the setup. You can find your favorite trick at the beginning of the book together with the difficulty level. The more rabbits shown with the trick the more difficult it is. Not only will you know how skilled you must be or become, but you also know what props you have to have.

The book is really made to be magical for children. The rules that are in there will make children feel like real magicians. When you get to one of the tricks it starts with a comic that shows you what kind of effect your trick will have on others. On the next page you will be shown how to do the trick step by step. It is really easy to follow because of the clear and helpful graphics. After using this book with your child(ren) you will have a real magician in your home.

The advice you can find at the end of the description of every trick is very sweet and gives children some extra pointers. It's all absolutely very well done! I can't wait until my little one is old enough. I will certainly use this book at a birthday party so we can create a lot of young magicians. Children will understand it perfectly because of the way it has been written together with the clear images. Every child who is into this kind of stuff will love this book. 

Halloween Fabulous Freebie Book Review: David Warkentin's Death by Halloween

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Review by Anniek

This book is all about YOU. Death by Halloween is an interactive 'choose your own adventure' story. You start in the safety of your own home and from there you decide what you do and where you will go. Will you choose to stay in areas with lots of people and be relatively safe or will you be a daredevil and seek out danger? It is really is all up to you.

Of course your choices will also bring you monsters and perhaps even death if you choose the wrong course. This book promises you over 100 choices and more than 50 endings. You can also be sure about running into all kind of horrors like ghosts, zombies, demons and murderers. How will your story end?

I loved the fact that I could choose my own way. It's like writing your own book without actually having to use your pen and paper (or computer). Because of all the different choices you can create a different story each time. During the story I felt compelled to choose the more dangerous paths and couldn't stop reading to find out what my choice would bring me.

Death by Halloween will keep you busy for lots of hours. For me this was the first time I read an interactive story but it certainly will not be my last. David Warkentin's adventure got me hooked and I am in need of more. Until I find a good new interactive book this one will keep me busy until the late hours of the night.

Because of the graphic scenes and violence this book is meant for the adult readers among us. Join me with you own adventure and enjoy the horrors that will have you hiding under the covers.

Oct 31, 2015

Halloween - Fabulous Freebie Book Review: Witch's Brew by Heidi R. Kling

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Review by Anniek

Lily is a young powerful witch. She has a rare power and she doesn't know anyone else who has it. Chosen as the leader of her coven she has to be on her best behavior. Every witch is trained to take on a warlock in 'The Gleaning'. Here they fight the battle of good and evil. When her powers feel off Lily takes a big step to go into the woods to find a special herb. She feels weird like she is being attacked. When she wakes up from being unconscious she meets Logan.

Logan has been a warlock since he was a young child. Not knowing his biological parents he was raised by the leader of the warlocks. When the time comes he is destined to fill his 'fathers' footsteps. The warlocks are evil and they prepare themselves to fight en conquer the witches. When Logan finds Lily in the woods he is mesmerized. Everything about her draws him in. When he sees Lily having a similar amulet he can't help himself. He takes the amulet from her replacing it with his own. He needs to find out what this all means.

Even though they are sworn enemies Logan and Lily can't stay away from each other. They even find out that they have similar powers. Witch's Brew has it all, a curse, love and the battle between good and evil. I loved the way Heidi R. Kling created this magical world.

You also have to make a choice for yourself. That way you can influence how you want to story to go. I loved that idea! You have to be prepared for the open ending that this book has. It really is a jump start for the battles that are still to come. It's a great way to get acquainted with the characters and the writing style. I am definitely hooked and I want to know how the story of Logan and Lily continues, so can't wait to read the rest of the series. This book for me is a must-read and I highly recommend it if you love this genre.

Oct 30, 2015

Halloween - Book Review: Dead Stop by D. Nathan Hilliard

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Review by Anniek

Welcome to the Textro Truck Stop. Here you can eat, drink coffee and just come together. Because of a football match in Masonfield the Truck Stop is not packed with customers. The fact that most people are at the match maybe is their salvage. In the nearby cemetery the dead have come to life and are slowly crawling out of their graves. The lights of Textro are showing them where they can fill their need. The need to feed.

Who will be able to fight the living dead? The people at the Truck Stop are all very different. Marisa and Stacey are the waitresses. There's Harley who just came back to town after serving in the army and old grandpa Thomas who is a trucker. Deke is Harley's friend. Rachel is the town veterinarian and Gerard and Holly are just having a rest stop. There is a storm coming which will make things even more difficult to find a way out. Can they outlast the zombies long enough until dawn? Who will live and who will fall into the hungry hands of the dead...

Dead Stop gave me the creeps. I absolutely loved the way D. Nathan Hilliard built it up. He tells the story from different angles. Even the side of the zombies isn't forgotten. Some of the chapters I read after dark and I wouldn't recommend that... When I'm walking my dog on our last walk of the day I feel a lot less at ease than before. This book really stuck with me.

I love a good zombie book and this one definitely qualifies. You will be scared and intrigued at the same time. What I also found a big plus is that the writer even gives a somewhat logical explanation of the dead rising. This made it even more creepier, because it is not that far out there. If you are looking for a good scare and are willing to lose some hours of sleep then you have found your book!

I have looked at the other books of D. Nathan Hilliard and he really looks my kind of writer. Don't be surprised if you find more reviews in the future of some of his other books.

Oct 26, 2015

Bookouture Christmas Book Review & Giveaway: Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale

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Review by Anniek

Abbey is a single mom who's working very hard to make ends meet. She and her little family, her son Max, her mother and grandfather, are very close. Abbey is a nurse and she takes care of Caroline, an old lady who is living in a guesthouse owned by her grandson Nick. Caroline is very fond of Abbey and when Nick needs an interior designer she makes sure that he hires Abbey. 

Abbey's dream has always been to decorate homes. She wants nothing more than to have a better income, so she can take better care for her son and her grandfather who needs more expensive medicine than he is getting now. When the opportunity presents itself to decorate Nick's mansion she is nervous, but up for the challenge. The paycheck is more than she could ever wish for and Abbey is looking forward to give her son the most magical Christmas ever. 

Nick has taken over his father's business after he tragically passed away. He is determined to keep the business a success and to make his father proud. To accomplish this he has turned into a workaholic. His marriage failed because he was never there. Now he has a woman in his house who is full of happiness and doing what she loves to do. With each passing day Nick has more problems with being able to focus on his work. He would rather be outside his office spending time with Abbey and her son Max. Will he be able to find his balance? 

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses is such a sweet classic story, girl from the working class meets millionaire. Abbey really sounds like my kind of person. She is sweet, caring and loves her family and friends dearly. She is the kind of person who gets along with everyone. She also LOVES Christmas. She decorates the whole mansion with Christmas stuff. I could picture each and every room without having to use much of my own imagination. The way Abbey 'fixed' up the house sounds like a true Christmas dream. You could leave me there for all eternity and I would probably never take down all the lights and decorations. Why shouldn't you be able to have a Christmas tree the whole year round? Yes I love Christmas that much!

 Jenny Hale has created a magical story which feels like it was delivered by Santa himself. I read this book in one day and still wasn't ready to let go of this loving feeling. This book will easily be in my top 3 of my all time favorite romantic Christmas stories.


One very lucky reader of my blog will receive a digital copy of Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses together with £10 to spend on Christmas decorations from Lisa Angel

Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Oct 23, 2015

Bookouture Christmas Duo Book Review & Giveaway: Christmas at Lilac Cottage by Holly Martin

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Review by Suze

Penny lives in a beautiful lilac cottage in Whitecliff Bay. Her cottage is remote, which makes her feel lonely sometimes. She has a great home and a wonderful job. She works as an ice-carver and there are always plenty of sculptures to make. The only thing that's missing in her life is company which is why Penny decides to find a tenant for her annex. She hopes someone nice will rent the place, but when she finally meets the person who she's going to share her house with he's moody and grumpy. He immediately makes sure they don't have much contact and doesn't seem to want to have anything to do with her at all. 

Henry and his daughter Daisy are renting Peggy's annex because of Henry's job. He's found a good position and hopes that the change of scenery will be good for his daughter. Daisy loves her new home and she and Peggy are getting along very well. Henry also starts to defrost. So much that he might actually like Peggy, but there's Daisy and he doesn't want his daughter to get hurt. Has Peggy taken a wise decision or is the company she got not the company she wanted to have?

Christmas at Lilac Cottage is a romantic book. The Christmas atmosphere, the beautiful setting and the abundance of coziness are making this a very enjoyable read. What I liked most about the book though is Holly Martin's sense of humor. I laughed out loud multiple times because of all the funny scenes. The villagers are hilarious and the same goes for Penny's fellow ice-carvers. I really liked this aspect of the story.

Penny, Henry and Daisy are all creative people which is something I loved. It was nice to read about their work and about their dreams and plans. They are wonderful main characters. I also loved the people from Whitecliff Bay. Their personalities are all a little bit over the top, which made me smile. Penny and Henry both have pasts, so this book isn't just about the cheerful side of life, there are also serious topics. It was a good balance for me. I enjoyed reading this unique and fun Christmas story very much.

Review by Anniek

Penny lives alone at her Lilac Cottage. Since her cottage is the last house on the hill it can get lonely sometimes. After being betrayed and left by her boyfriend after a tragic happening she keeps herself busy with ice sculpting. She creates the most beautiful pieces for every event in and near her hometown. She gets more requests than she can handle. Attached to her cottage (with a connecting door) is a small annex which Penny wants to find tenants for. When the realtor lets her know the house will be rented to Henry and Daisy Travis she is more than excited. She hopes she can become friends with the couple and is dreaming about sharing an occasional dinner and drinks together.

When Henry arrives at Lilac Cottage he's in a grumpy mood. This was the worst move ever. Everything and anything that could go wrong went wrong. Al he wants to do is put his stuff in the house and be alone. He isn't counting on Penny with her happy and bubbly personality.

Penny is such a sweetheart. She doesn't have a bad bone in her body. I liked it a lot that she turned out tougher than I thought. Although she is the sweetest and kindest person you will every meet she isn't a pushover. Henry and Penny fall in love quickly, but are trying to keep things private because of Henry's daughter Daisy. She has been through a lot and Daisy is Henry's number one priority.

I absolutely loved this story. This book promises you to be the perfect romance book to curl up with in front of a fire. I must say that it delivers every promise. The Lilac Cottage sounds perfect to me and I'd actually want to live there. The way the town has been described is fantastic, all I was thinking is: How fast can I get there... In the small town where Penny lives everyone knows everything about each other. Secrets can't be hidden very long. I believe it's charming to have so many people around you who care and who will be there for you when they are needed. No questions asked. 

Holly Martin did an amazing job, especially with pulling you into her story. I didn't want to put it down. I can't wait for Christmas time to come as it's one of my favorite times of the year. If you are looking for the perfect book to go with your happy and loving Christmas mood then this is your book. It will also be a very good present for under the tree. Whomever will be reading this story will be in for a sweet ride.


Enter this giveaway for a chance to win a digital copy of Christmas at Lilac Cottage together with a beautiful crystal heart necklace made by Fierce2Fancy. Good luck!

I will contact the winner via e-mail. If I don't get a reply within 60 hours the prize will go to someone else. All of my giveaways are international, you can find the official rules here.

Oct 21, 2015

Book Review: By My Side by Wendy Lou Jones

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Review by Anniek: 

Lena has lost her boyfriend and her best friend through betrayal. She's sad and depressed. Her mother, Gloria, doesn't want to leave Lena alone so that's why she brings her to a funeral. Waiting in a side room a woman takes place next to her and begins to tell her a story about love. This story is about Kate and Adam. 

Kate is a dedicated nurse. She is loving, warm and passionate about her job. When she hears Adam going at it at a young male at the hospital she can't hold herself back and confronts Adam about his behavior. Even though she tries very hard to defend her argument he breaks her down in seconds. 

Adam is a very private person. He does his job and he does this well. A tragic accident in his past has kept him from loving again. It doesn't happen very often that people stand up to him and he finds himself curious about Kate. When feelings for her are starting to come to the surface he struggles with letting go of the past. When tragedy repeats itself Adam has no choice about letting these feelings in and he's dropping the walls around his heart. 

I absolutely loved this story! Kate is a very strong person who stands up for herself and I loved that about her. At the same time she is a bit uncertain about what to sometimes, which is why I found her very charming. Adam displays himself as being tough, but he actually is wounded and I wished for him to let love in. 

While I was reading this story I read a quote from Johnny Depp and it really says it all: 

There are four questions of value in life...What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for...and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. 

Only Love. 

Wendy Jones has the amazing gift of knowing how to bring a story. The way she wrote By my Side made me smile, made me cry and it really made my heart ache sometimes. The ending surprised me. I was so sucked into the story that I didn't see it coming. Since the very first page she drew me in and never let me go until the very last line. I really look forward to reading much more of her work. Consider me a new member of her fan base...

Oct 18, 2015

All About Books Weekend: Anniek's All Time Favorite Romance Books

All Time Favorites - Romance - by Anniek

I love thinking back on all the books that I have read and to pick the ones that really made an impression on me. To be on my list of favorites a book really has to be mind blowing, for I have read so many that were all right but didn't stick with me.

It is so difficult to write stories that really moves people and the following 10 absolutely did this for me.

10. Twilight - Stephenie Meyer 

I love a good vampire story so I couldn't resist buying Twilight. I heard a lot about it already, so I was really curious. Even though I was on team Jacob from the start I loved these books a lot. They are full of love with a unique way to keep you focused to the story. These stories really stayed with me. I Must say that I loved the books more than the movies. As for a lot of people this is the love story of the decade I had to put it on my list.

9. The look of Love - Bella Andre

The novels of Bella Andre are the number one bestsellers around the world at the moment. I can totally understand why. When you start a book written by her you will be addicted! Each of the books can be read as a standalone, but you will fall in love so quickly with the characters that you would want to read them all. I have read several and not one of them has disappointed me. Every new edition to the series is just as good as the one before. Bella Andre's writing style is remarkable and her stories will get under your skin.

8. At any price - Brenna Aubrey

I found this book as a freebie when I was looking for new potential fabulous freebies on Amazon.  It turns out At Any Price is one of the best freebies I've ever come across. This story will take you on a roller coaster ride. It will prove to you that finding your other half will not always lead to a happily ever after. In the following books you will read more about the battles that the main characters have to fight together. My advice is to start with this one. The book where their journey together begins. Be ready for your heart to burst out of your chest with love.

  7. Finding Sky - Joss Stirling

This series was gifted to me by Suze. Sometimes it amazes me how well she knows me. I devoured this series! I love the paranormal genre and when it also contains romance then I am sold. At this point there are only three books in this series, but I sincerely hope that Joss Stirling will write more. When you have read these, you know what I'm talking about.
These books are about finding your soul mate, which isn't always easy when there is only one person in the whole world who will make you complete.

 6. Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare

If you are into romance novels then you ought to read Romeo and Juliet. I love the books of William Shakespeare. His storytelling takes me back in time. His poetry is also very beautiful. He was a master at this genre and has to be on everybody's bookshelf. I would love to go and see Romeo and Juliet on stage at least once in my life.

5. The Selection - Kiera Cass

Before I bought the box set of The Selection I looked at this series more than a few times. What appealed to me in the first place was the amazing covers. When I saw a good deal on the set I bought it straight away. I devoured all the books, what an amazing story! Loved the writing style and how the story develops. Even though you hope and expect America and the Prince to end up together the stories are full of twists that makes you question everything else. Not only are the covers amazing, so are all the books in this series. Kiera Cass is more than a talented writer and will take you with her on a great journey.

4. A discovery of witches - Deborah Harkness

I found A Discovery of Witches when I was cruising the Internet. Reading what it was about immediately trigged my interest. I knew from the start that this would be a great series. It wasn't easy for me to buy the first book though. I went to a bookstore near my home and the clerk looked the book up in her system and was telling me over and over again that they didn't have it. I looked on their website before I left my house so I knew it was there... It turned out she was looking at the wrong book. I even spelled it out. Oh well, while being a little bit irritated, because I wanted the book, go home and read immediately, I managed to stay friendly. I found this quote on the internet and it took me right back to the story of this great book: 'I would rather have had this moment with you - just this one night - than centuries with someone else'. How much more romance do you want? That is why this book is on my list.

3. The Fault in Our stars - John Green

John Green quote: 'I fell in love the way you fall asleep, slowly and then all at once.' He couldn't be more right. The Fault in Our Stars is really a celebration of life and what better way to do that then with love? I haven't seen the movie yet, but the book touched me so deeply that I hope it won't disappoint. This is a must-read for everyone.

 2. Summer of the Oak moon - Laura Templeton

If you are talking about a story that surprised me then this would be the one. When I read the blurb and started reading I thought it would be about something different. I loved it anyway though. This book touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Love is not something to divide people but to bring people together no matter what age, race or religion.

1. Bound - Melody Anne

This book is amazing! The whole series is actually. It is without a doubt the number one for me. When I read this one my heart broke for the young woman who lost everything and went to desperate measures to get back the one remaining family member in her life.
Melody Anne has written this story so beautifully that you will be feeling every emotion like it is your own. I Couldn't read this book fast enough and wanted to get the other remaining books as soon as possible. 

Oct 17, 2015

All About Books Weekend - Book Review: The Artisans by Julie Reece

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Review by Anniek

Raven Weathersby is a beautiful young girl who has to be the adult at home. Ever since her mother died her stepfather Ben is devastated. He tries to numb the pain through alcohol and drugs. Raven is barely coping with school and trying to earn money through their own store. She is a very talented designer. When Ben screws up again and makes a big debt he is summoned to go to the Maddox house. Torn by love and sadness for her stepfather Raven decides to show up at the meeting to try and pay off what he owes.

Gideon is blown away when Raven comes to his house screaming her head off. Nobody has ever treated anyone in his family this way. Intrigued by her he lets her pay the debt. The rules are clear: she needs to live in his house for a year and create a beautiful clothing line for his business. He also agrees to get Ben to a rehab Centre which he will fully pay for. When Raven moves into the house she finds out that there is more to Gideon than what people see on the surface.

Raven is such a sweetheart. She's lost her mother, she has a biological father who is nowhere in sight and her stepfather is more out than in, so she has developed a big wall around her heart. The only people in the world who she shows her true colors are her best friends Maggie and Dane. She vowed never to love, because she doesn't want to feel the pain when someone leaves her again.

Gideon has to keep the business going. Being an orphan and coming from a long and influential family he has a big job cut out for him. But underneath all the coldness he actually is an enormous romantic. I really really really liked this story, a lot! Even though it is written in the present time it feels old. It is amazing how Julie Reece pulls this off. The story begins with a magical trade that happened ages ago which immediately made me curious. Very well done. I laughed out loud more than once because of Raven's silly actions, but I also held my breath at the creepier moments.

If you love stories about ghosts, strong friendships, old magical happenings, finding true love and how people bond and stick together then The Artisans is a must-read.

Oct 14, 2015

Book Review: Taking on the Dead by Annie Walls

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Review by Anniek

Kansas has been living on her own since the world fell apart. She has created a place where she can stay more or less safe from the famished (zombies) outside. When she rescues a group of people she lets them in. Something that she has never done before. This turns out to be a very bad decision. Her safe place is no longer hers so she has no other choice than to take off into the world she is so desperately trying to avoid. 

Kansas finds a new sanctuary where people have to earn their place to stay. Everyone has their own skills which allow them to 'pay' for their room. Kansas has survived so long on her own that she has some problems fitting in. She doesn't agree with how things are being done, but if she wants to stay she has to keep her real feelings hidden.

If you are searching for an amazing zombie story then stop looking right now! I absolutely devoured this book. I loved how Kansas is such a badass girl. She has educated herself on how to be self sufficient and how to stay safe. Having lost everyone around her she takes on the new world all by herself and she doesn't lose her good values on the way. I loved everything about her. I want to live with her if the apocalypse happens.

Taking on the Dead is a fast page-turner with lots of unexpected twists. While I was reading there were several moments when I was holding my breath hoping that the worst wouldn't happen. It was amazing how Annie Walls managed to pull me in and then she didn't let me go anymore.

Taking on the Dead is the first book in a trilogy. The third and last book isn't out yet, but I cannot wait. When the last book hits the shelves I am rushing to the store to buy it, so I can finish Kansas's incredible journey.

Oct 12, 2015

Cake, Cupcakes & Cookies Weekend - Fabulous Freebie: Cupcakes, Trinkets and Other Deadly Magic

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Review by Anniek:

Jade is a young woman who owns her own bakery, Cake in a Cup. She creates the most delicious cupcakes and cookies. No wonder her bakery is packed with customers all the time. Jade is also a half-witch and believes to be half-human as well. Her mother is a free spirit who is always on the move, so Jade grew up with her grandmother Pearl and her foster-sister Sienna. Her grandmother is a very powerful witch. 

When suddenly a lot more of magical beings show up Jade knows there must be something wrong. Jade thinks she doesn't have a lot of magic abilities herself, but she does know that she attracts other magic. It often seeks her out and she has the ability to find magical things. It turns out that there have been murders and that Jade's trinkets are appearing on the crime scenes. Armed with a very powerful vampire and a pack of wolves she is on the hunt to find the killer, only she never thought to look so close to home.

This book has everything that I could ever wish for. It has chocolate (combined with the most delicious cupcakes), vampires, werewolves, witches and a whole lot of magic. I could almost taste the cupcakes and would be very happy if Jade's bakery would be real. How could you not want a 'Sunshine in a Cup'? I also loved how Jade is able to stand her ground even when she's very scared. She will be a force to be reckoned with when she finds her full power.

I will definitely be reading the other books in this series. Download this freebie straight away. When you have finished this one you will, just like me, want to find out what happens next.

Oct 9, 2015

Book Review: It Had to Be Love by Tamra Baumann

Review by Anniek

Anderson Butte, a small town in Colorado, is exactly the place where Tara needs to be. Being under the protection of the police she needs a quiet little town to start a new life under the radar for as long as she can. She was assaulted by her ex-husband which almost led to her death she still fears the day he will find her again. Tara is the new local dentist and feels very much at home in this warm little town. She keeps mostly to herself. In the evenings she loves to snuggle down on the couch with her puppy and in the mornings she often goes for a run. Tara needs to be healthy and fit for whatever may be coming for her in the future.

Ryan is the town sheriff. He doesn't like going to the dentist and when he finally shows up for his appointment he is struck by Tara's beauty. He isn't planning on staying in Anderson Butte much longer. Because he's lost his high school girlfriend to, a not so friendly, other man he wants to find a job in a bigger city like Boston. He will not date any other girls from his small town. It is not that girls aren't trying because he is a very handsome guy, but he is just not interested. One morning he is trying to catch up on Tara when she is out on her run. He startles her and before he knows it he is on the ground with a broken nose. Tara feels so guilty and brings him to the doctor's office right away. The doctor, who's Ryan's brother, is not helping very much. He is enjoying this way too much. Tara takes care of Ryan when he gets home and so their feelings start to develop...

What I loved about this story is that even though Tara has been assaulted and is still wearing the scars from this attack, she is not a whiny, sad and broken woman. In my book she is a heroine. She has overcome her fears, she's strong and she's funny. I was cheering for her when she finally faced her terror head-on!

Ryan is an Alpha male, because of being the sheriff and all, but he's also very sweet. You feel that whenever he's with his family or friends. Every character in this book got a place in my heart. The treasure hunt that was included in the story made me love it even more. It doesn't get more exciting than a real life treasure hidden somewhere. This book is a absolute must-read for everyone. It is the second story of a series but can also be read as a standalone. 

Oct 5, 2015

French Days Fabulous Freebie: Frenched by Melanie Harlow

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Review by Anniek:

Mia is an event planner who loves to make lists. She's engaged to the gorgeous Tucker. He was a bachelor for quite some time and many women tried to get him to settle down. Mia feels she is the lucky one because she gets to be his wife. Being the event planner that she is, Mia has planned out the entire wedding to a perfect A standard. They even did an article about them in a bridal magazine. She is more than ready to begin her perfect married life. When Tucker blows off the wedding a week before the actual walking-down-the-isle event Mia is crushed. Mia's friends persuade her to go to Paris by herself. The trip was supposed to be her honeymoon, but she decides to give it a go on her own.

 Paris is the city of love and when Mia is in France she feels miserable because of her honeymoon suite and seeing all the amorous couples when she goes outside. She tries to run and hide from all of the things that are making her sad. Being soaking wet from the rain she spots a bar and goes inside to drown her sorrows. It is there that she meets Lucas. Lucas feels sorry for Mia when he finds out what happened to her. He promises to take her on a tour to show her Paris and is determined to make her stay and enjoy her time there. Of course Mia has a list of all the things she wants to do and see, so Lucas has a job cut out for him. The only thing Lucas wants is to make her smile again.

When I finished this story I searched the web about Paris. Next to an imagine of the Eiffel Tower I read: 

Falling in Love is like jumping off a really tall building. Your brain says, "This isn't a good idea". Your heart says, "You can fly".

That is exactly how I felt reading about Mia and Lucas. They are so right for each other. I couldn't put this book down and wanted to keep reading about Paris and about Mia and Lucas. I just needed to know if they would finally own up to their feelings for each other. What also moved me was the story of Heloise and Abelard. I didn't know the details and looked it up as soon as I finished this book. I found out that their love story is one of history’s most passionate and romantic true love stories. 

I have only been to Paris when I was a child and after reading Frenched I had to make a list for myself: 

1. I must go to Paris again 

2. I absolutely want to go to Heloise's and Abelards grave 

3. I want to read their letters 

4. I must see the Eiffel Tower again and want to go to the top 

5. I want to go to the Pont des Arts (even though hanging another lock is no longer possible, the look of all the love that was there must be mesmerizing) 

6. I want to be a real tourist and see all the tourist places 

7. I don't want to wait a very long time to do all of the above

Oct 1, 2015

Book Review: Falling For Her by Sandra Owens

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Review by Anniek

When you meet Sugar Darling you will think that she doesn't have a care in the world. She is fun, sexy and happy. Nobody will ever think of her as someone who has something to hide. Sugar works as an accountant at a strip club. When she takes a few weeks off she fills in as a receptionist at K2. By taking this temporary job she hopes to find an opening to stay at K2. She wants nothing more than to quit her job at the strip club, but she needs the money.

Jamie Turner or Saint is a bad ass. He isn't someone you would want as your enemy. He joined the Seals after a tragic accident that took the lives of his parents. Ever since he's determined to make his parents proud. He does not swear and he won't let any woman distract him. Until he meets Sugar...

Jamie and Sugar are drawn to each other. Saint knows she is hiding something, but he doesn't know why. When the past comes knocking at her door Sugar has no choice but to trust Saint and the people at K2 who have become her friends.

When I started to read this book I was drawn in from the very first chapter. I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to keep reading and find out what would happen next. My heart broke when I read about Sugar's tragic past. She has been very brave by running from an abusive marriage. Before she ran she was smart enough to read a lot about how to disappear. One of the things she learned was that she couldn't keep one single thing the same. She changed her name and let go of everything she ever liked and loved. As Sugar she became a completely new person.

This story was beautifully written. I felt the love and the hurt and was cheering for a happy ending. It also gave me comfort to see that the bad guys got what they deserved in the end. The good will always outshine the bad. I can't wait to read the other books in this series.

Sep 30, 2015

Dutch Days Book Review: Frog and the Treasure by Max Velthuijs

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Review by Anniek

If you look up this book on Amazon you will see that Max Velthuijs is one of the best creators of children's book in the Netherlands. When you read a Frog book with your children you will understand why.

All of the stories of Frog and his friends will warm your heart and/or make you laugh. Luckily my son loves to read just as much as I do. I love our little quiet times when we just sit down together and read a story. 

What I like the most about Frog is that there is a message in every book. In frog and the Treasure it is that you must always stay positive (which is a great match for this blog), everything will be OK and you will learn from your mistakes. Also, this is a story about a treasure. What can be more exciting for a child than a treasure hunt?! The drawings are fantastic. They are simple and that is perfect for your little ones.   

There are plenty of Frog books on my son's bookshelves and I love every single one of them. When you have little children they will definitely enjoy these books. Luckily lots of them have been translated into English so you don't have to miss out on these great Dutch books.

Sep 27, 2015

Dutch Days: Fabulous Freebie Book Review - Tummy Tom and the Raft by Jet Boeke

Review by Anniek

 Tummy Tom is a big red cat. He eats a lot, which explains the tummy. He loves to lie in the sun, sleep and go on adventures. Even though he isn't always the smartest cat he's a real sweetheart.

My two year old son loves Tummy Tom. We always read a book before bedtime and he picks Tummy Tom lots of times. Also during the day when he is a bit tired or just needs to relax he comes to me with a book of Tummy Tom and crawls onto my lap for some reading time.

The drawings are perfect for small children. It shows them exactly what is going on. The stories are short which is also a big plus. Some children might have a long attention span, but my son has a very short one. All in all, this makes the Tummy Tom books perfect for him.

If you are looking for books for your children you should really take a look at Tummy Tom. Your children will love this sweet crazy cat and will never grow tired of reading about his adventures.

Sep 6, 2015

Book Review: Finding Perfect by Kendra C. Highley

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Review by Anniek

Paige is a perfect straight A student. Everyone calls her Perfect Paige. If you need help organizing a party, doing volunteer work, keeping up with all of the homework and being beautiful and smart, Paige is your girl. Ever since she was a young child her parents have set out a path for her to follow. For a long time she shared their opinion and followed the directions that were chosen for her, but when she is forced to look inside herself she has to find out what truly makes her happy.

Ben is even smarter than Paige is. Being the third of their class has gotten him into the college of his choice. When he spots Paige crying in the hallway he offers his help. Paige is failing in math class. This is the class where Ben is at his best. He offers Paige to be her tutor and in return he asks Paige to give him a makeover. Ben doesn't want to be the geek anymore. He wants to be seen, especially by Zoey who is the most popular girl in school and also Paige's best friend...
Finding Perfect is such a sweet story. It was heartwarming to read about how Ben and Paige become real friends very fast. They are learning that it does not matter how people look on the outside or how much money they have. That Ben has a nice little six-pack under his shirt did help though. Ben's life has been rough. Because he's living alone with his mother and they can only barely come up with each month's rent he thinks he isn't good enough for Paige. I loved the fact that Paige didn't care whatsoever. She is a good person all the way. Even when she falls in love with Ben she never puts herself first. Ben wanted to be noticed by Zoey and Paige is determined to keep her end of the bargain.

Zoey knows Paige has fallen in love with Ben from the very first time she sees them together and starts a quest on her own to get the two love birds to own up to their feelings. Reading this story brought me back to my teenage years and how just liking someone could be so much drama. I laughed out loud about the conversations and thinking. I have been out of the dating scene for a very long time, but I really do hope that it's easier for grown ups. If you are looking for an easy read with lots of love, fun and sweetness then look no further, this is the book to read!

Sep 3, 2015

Book Review: The First Days by Rhiannon Frater

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Review by Anniek

Katie finds Jenni outside her house watching the front door. The world is falling apart around her. Katie saves her by getting her into a truck. Together they have to face the new world. Katie is the daughter of a policeman so she knows her way with guns. In a world which is changing fast they have to make quick decisions, sometimes they have to leave people behind and sometimes they stay.

Katie and Jenni decided early on to not stay around the big cities and they end up in a little town in Texas. Around an old hotel they are building walls fast to keep the living safe inside and the dead outside. But it turns out that inside the walls it isn't that safe after all...

Katie and Jenni become like sisters. In all the mess that is going on they both find love inside their sanctuary. They have to go outside the walls from time to time to keep having food and all kinds of other usefull things. They also go out of their way to bring survivors in if they can get to them in a safe way and on time.

Have you ever read a story that you know will stay with you, a story that you will think about every now and then and that you know you will be reading again and again and then some more? Well, that is what this story did to me. I was sold from the very first line. I cried and laughed while reading and couldn't wait to get the other 2 books. It is a trilogy and there are also short stories in the form of untold tales that tell you more about the characters. 

Even though this is a book about zombies, it is more about the survivors, how you can build a new city within chaos and how to find love after all the loss. It's about what life will be like if someone won't return from getting food or what if there is a threat that you will become dinner. Rhiannon Frater did a fantastic job writing this story. You will love Katie and Jenni and they will be in your heart! If you are interested in this genre, don't hesitate and get this series. And I recommend getting the complete series straight away, because once I started reading I didn't want to stop.

Aug 25, 2015

Book Review: The Way You Look Tonight by Bella Andre

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Review by Anniek

Rafe has built a succesful business as a private investigator. He is big, gorgeous and very good at what he does. He mainly works for women who are hiring him to prove that their husbands are having affairs. This pays very well but it drains him, he loses all the pleasure he once had in being a PI. He is disappointed in the fact that in every case he takes on the women are right... Because of his parents he has a perfect example of what true love has to look like, but he fears that he will never find it himself. After a traumatic event, which he can't shake, his sister takes him back to a little lake house. It was the lake house that used to be owned by his parents. They had to sell it in the past because of financial problems. He buys the house and decides to spend the summer at the lake. What he isn't expecting is that his neighbor is still there, she never left her own lake house. When he sees Brooke after all of these years he is stunned because of how beautiful she has become.

Brooke has inherited the lake house from her grandparents after they died in a car crash. This is the one place she always felt like she belonged. Ever since she was little she spent every summer there and built a strong bond with the Sullivan family who owned the house next door. She always had a big crush on Rafe. Now she has set up a business in making and selling chocolate truffles. After going for a swim in the lake she hears a motorcycle pull up at the house and when she recognizes Rafe she is over the moon.

The previous people who rented the lake house haven't taken very good care of it. Rafe is furious when he sees the mess they left behind. The house is not ready to be lived in. Luckily Brooke is such a sweetheart and lets Rafe stay with her so that he can fix up his home.

I absolutely loved this story! I have read books from Bella Andre before. These were the stories about the Sullivan brothers of San Francisco. It doesn't matter about which Sullivan branch you read, every single one will warm your heart. The author is very good at writing love stories. You will feel everything she means to tell you. Each book can be read as a standalone, but they will make more sense to you if you read them all. I will certainly read all the ones I haven't read yet. Bella Andre's books are the perfect beach reads. If you take them with you on your holiday make sure you take several of them, if you're like me you will want to read them every single free second.

Aug 20, 2015

Book Review: Infinite Completion by Michelle Dennis

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Review by Anniek

Abbie Bennet is a sweet young girl. She's been raised in a secure home and she leaves the nest to live together with her best friend at the age of 20. Abbie is someone who likes her peace and quiet. She enjoys reading romance novels, drinks no alcohol, has a big loyal heart and loves to paint and sketch. When her friends persuade her to go clubbing she meets Valentine. He is the singer of a band. She is not looking for love and absolutely not looking to fall in love with a bad boy. Even though they hardly talked to each other she's lost from the moment she laid eyes on him.

When Valentine spots Abbie in the crowd he falls in love with her instantly. He is not the ultimate bad boy that everybody thinks he is. OK..he is married and getting divorced, he has a young son and he rides a bike but he has a good heart. Losing his mother has formed him and he truly wants to do good. He and Abbie fall madly in love together and can’t be apart from each other for very long.

You should think that there would be nothing in this world that could separate Abbie and Valentine! Well, think again...

I loved this book from the very beginning. Abbie is such a sweetheart, so I could relate to her very easily. She deserves to be loved and she deserves to be cherished. When she shares her dreams for the future with Valentine they discover that they are not on the same page.

In the beginning I liked Valentine a lot too. I liked the way he treats Abbie and how he makes her feel special every single day. During the story I found out that he has more flaws than I expected. I started to dislike him because of the choices he makes. This book finishes with an open ending, leaving it to the reader to speculate on what will happen next, please I hope that I am wrong about my thoughts. If my thinking is right than that would devastate Abbie and I sincerely wonder if she would recover. I can't wait to find out what will happen next...
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