Friday, February 28, 2014

How to Barter for Paradise by Michael Wigge - Review.

Happy Friday!
So this is my last free Friday :( I'm going back to work next week so imagine how I feel. Anyway, you won't be missing me because I already read a lot of books and scheduled a lot of posts.
Now to the review.  Thanks to the publisher for the copy of the book via NETGALLEY.

Title: How to Barter for Paradise. My Journey through 14 Countries, Trading up from an Apple to a House in Hawaii
Michael Wigge
Release Date:
January 2nd 2014
Format: Paperback, E-book & Audiobook
Skyhorse Publishing
Most people like to travel in comfort: they stay in fancy hotels, never leave tourist spots, and stay away from the locals. Michael Wigge isn’t like most people, though. After travelling the world without money for 150 days while writing How to Travel the World for Free, his next challenge: turn an apple into a house in Hawaii.
Wigge goes around fourteen countries and six continents exchanging goods for more valuable ones, and he meets an array of good-humored people who take his deals. Taking on his Barterman persona, he trades the apple for sixteen cigarettes in Germany; a couple of trades later in India, he fixes up a motorized rickshaw and trades it for silk; in Australia, a millionaire amuses himself by offering him an art piece for the silk if Wigge feeds a wild crocodile. Finally, he arrives in Hawaii armed with two bicycles, a surfboard, Portuguese porcelain, three solid-gold coins, a Porsche wristwatch, a record by musician Coati Mundi and accompanying contract for 25 percent of the proceeds from his next single, a voucher for a two-night stay in a mansion in L.A., and a piece of original artwork by painter Alex Stenzel—now he just has to find someone to give him a house in exchange.
On the 200-day journey around the world, Wigge makes forty-two trades and meets strange, kind, funny, friendly, eccentric, and good-natured people who help him in his quest. It’s a journey you won’t want to miss!





My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"How to Barter for Paradise: My Journey through 14 Countries, Trading Up from an Apple to a House in Hawaii" is an intense expedition through the world and different cultures. It is the story of a man trying to fulfill a childhood dream. Michael Wigge starts with an apple in Germany and turns it into paintings, cigarretes and more all through bartering. He travels around six continents, getting to know a lot of people and learning what this activity means for different cultures.

This is an inspirational and educational book that is easy to read because the correct and engaging language, the fun stories and the feelings transmitted from the author through words.

While we travelled from side to side, we learn so many things about costumes, values, traditions and the people in the different countries.

I really enjoyed the way Michael writes about his experience, he doesn’t leave anything to imagination. He tells us about his food poisoning episode, about drinking and chatting and about his attempt of smoking with a tribe. It’s all really amazing and entertaining.

There were many great moments in the book. One of my favorites occurred at Kilimanjaro. It was great to read about Michael and Eric, the African porter. I’m glad Michael decided to help him with law school and decided that friendship was something worthy enough to come back with Eric.

As you can expect, he gets a house in Hawaii (after a lot of stress and anxiety) and the happiness he feels is shared by the reader who suffers and dreams with him during the reading.

Overall, this is another great adventure by Michael Wigge. If you have read anything of her previous work I’m sure you will enjoy this one. If you have no idea who Michael is let me tell you this, he is an adventurous man, who is not afraid of trying to feed crocodiles if that means getting closer to his goal.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Dreary & Naughty: Friday the 13th of February - Review

Dreary & Naughty: Friday the 13th of February
Title: Dreary & Naughty: Friday the 13th of February
John LaFleur & Shawn Dubin
Release Date: October 28th 2013
Format: Hardcover 
Publisher: Schiffer Publishing, Ltd.
In this sophomore tale of our otherworldly duo, Dreary and Naughty get off to an unlucky start on Valentine's Day weekend. 
All the boys of Whispering Hills High have a crush on Naughty, which drives a wedge between them (while Dreary is, well, dead to all the girls). Can their feelings for each other survive under the trials and tribulations of the dreaded Valentine's Day exchange? 
Taking us all back to the days when not everyone was remembered on the cardstock holiday, Friday the 13th of February is the perfect message about what's truly important in love and friendship.


Thanks to the publisher for the copy via NETGALLEY.

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dreary and Naughty: Friday the 13th of February is an excellent graphic novel. The events take place on the previous day of the most romantic day of the year and present a conflict resolved in a wonderful way. This is a beautiful story about friendship and doing something special for the ones you love.

Dreary and Naughty are two great characters, with awesome names, that live in a cool place. A mix of great writing and astounding illustrations, this book is fast and entertaining.

One of my favorite parts is the writing style because the story is told in poems. Sweet rhymes and a poetic voice are just perfect. The black and white illustrations are fantastic. The little details in each scene and how the author captures the essence of the words previously written really captivates the reader and transport him or her into the story.

The story has a great message delivered through the actions from the characters toward each other. Even if you aren’t a fan of graphic novels you can enjoy this book. It has amazing characters, superb artworks and a story that flows naturally and is easy to read.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Beast by Astrid 'Artistikem' Cruz - Review

This is book 3 in a series so the review might contain spoilers for the prevoius books.
Thanks to the author for the copy.  Here my reviews for BOOK 1 and BOOK 2.

The Beast (The Caregiver, #3) Title: The Beast
Author: Astrid 'Artistikem' Cruz
The Caregiver #3
Release Date:
January 7th 2014
Format: E-book
Publisher: Artistikem

The trip to Puerto Rico proves to be even worse than the nightmare Scarlett thought it would. Adrian's assassination starts what becomes a series of revelations that will bring her face to face with demons from her past.

Stakes get higher as she learns this is more than a government conspiracy but a personal vendetta led by a man scarred by the same two people who made Scarlett's early years a living hell.

Everyone she loves is in danger and she's vowed to protect them no matter what. And they've vowed to fight by her side in return. What she isn't counting on is that in love and war, sacrifices must be made.




My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After reading The Beast, book three in The Caregiver series, I can say I’m a loyal fan of the books and the author. This world of secret agencies, spies, confidential projects, mob, drug lords and strong values as loyalty, friendship, bravery and more, is the perfect scenario for an outstanding story with splendid characters.

The Beast is part of a series set on a world where violence and love coexist to frame a tangled and complex history. It’s a fast story, with revelations in every page and new info to have in account when decisions are made. Full of excitement, adrenaline and intrigue, the book has almost no low points.

The book starts right after the events on book two, in the middle of complications Scarlett continues with the wedding plans and with the mission to disarm the project that threats her happiness and the ones she loves.

Scarlett is really one of my favorite heroines but not because she is perfect or all goody-goody. She is real and human, with flaws and a personality you don't always love. Her relationship with Armand is so well put together, is described in an excellent way. The author makes an incredible work creating and writing about the relationships in this book, everything is well thought and despite the great amount of names, is easy to catch up with everyone.

One thing that got my attention was that in this book BDSM is present like something of her past and a common characteristic between her and some of her acquaintances. However, in the previous one this wasn’t so clear (or at least I don’t remember being so specific about it) there were hints about it but not much.

I could write a lot more about all the good things in this book but I don’t want to spoil anything. The Beast is definitely my favorite in the series because all the action and the love in this book. We can read Armand’s point of view (which is great) and Scarlett is better than never.

Overall, The Beast is the best book in the series. It has the violence, the danger and the evil people I enjoyed in the preceding books. A must if you have read the other two books.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Blog Tour: The Best Man by Michelle Lee (Review)

Title: The Best Man 
Author: Michelle Lee

Release Date: January 30th 2014 
Format: E-book & Paperback 
Publisher: Createspace
Those eyes, those lips, that body. Kassidy Marshall has always been that perfect picture of cool, calm and in control.
Always in control; until she meets the best man, Ryan Davis (or as his friends call him, just Davis).
Now she feels anything but in control and she cant stop the dreams she keeps having of him, even though she finds him extremely attractive but also extremely frustrating.
Will she be able to resist him, or will she fall for The Best Man? He can only hope....



Michelle Lee lives in the heart of Nascar Country in Concord, North Carolina with her husband and daughter.  When she’s not busy working, her days are filled with hanging out with her family and friends, reading, drinking Starbucks, shopping (lots and lots of shopping), and religiously watching the Food Network. 

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Kassidy is a workaholic, lawyer by profession, and is currently in a strange relationship with BoB when her best friend asks her to be her maid of honor. As part of her bridesmaid duties she has to dance with the best man and practice a lot in order to keep her pride and the man’s toes in one piece.

The story starts right away when she bumps into a hot guy in a club who ends up being Ryan Davis. The relationship between them is stormy at first and the sexual tension starts growing more and more.

The author uses a lot of classical formulas in romance (like the hot guy from the club being Ryan), and has a lot of classical and obvious situations. This isn’t particularly bad because those who love romance are accustomed to these resources. While reading you start to wait for those moments and are part of the excitement of reading a romance.

It's important to mention that the book has some things on its favor, for example the talks between Kassidy and her mind. If it wasn’t for the hilarious internal conversations between Kassidy and her inner self the rating would drop one point at least. The arguments they have are funny, entertaining and is very easy to relate with it. We all have chats in our minds so it was great to see (or better said read) an author who explodes this.

Ryan Davis is described as an Adonis, really sexy and with incredible abilities (not only for dancing). The rest of the characters are good too. The best friends (Macy and Chloe) are good confidents and sidekicks. And I like the character of Jackson, the story needed someone like him to make it real, even though you might end up hating him.

This is a story for mature readers because it has a lot of sex in it. The temperature is always about to break the thermometer and the descriptions are detailed and excellent. (Warning: spoiler ahead) I loved that a lot of it occurred in her mind, she has a vivid and wild imagination. Her dreams are sexy to say the least. Of course that when the action really happens, is amazing and is totally worthy.

The only thing I didn’t like was the explanation of her past and why she is so afraid of let anyone in. It felt so simple to me, I can understand why she is scared but the past was really overrated by her and her friends.

Overall, The Best Man is a great contemporary romance, with high doses of sex and a character with a questionable mental health.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hope's Rebellion by Jade Varden (Review)

Hope's Rebellion
Title: Hope's Rebellion
Author: Jade Varden

Release Date: December 31st 2013
Format: E-book
Publisher: Jade Varden
Their friendship will test the fabric of tradition, duty and destiny... 
There are only two seasons in Godenor: summer and winter. Weather brings the only surprises to a society where everything is planned, and everyone's status is determined at the color of their hair. 
Rinna has the right hair, Drexi the wrong, and Prelly is almost too ordinary -- in every way but one. 
Small mistakes bring them together, creating ripples in a pond that knows nothing but serenity. If they reach their goals, they can't help but shatter the world they know.
Love of any kind, even the bond of friendship, isn't allowed in their world...but then, the heart can't always follow orders.





My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hope’s Rebellion is a wonderfull, well thought, excellently written and really enjoyable dystopian book written by the amazing Jade Varden. While all these compliments might seem too much let me tell you there are not enough. If you, like me, loved her Deck of Lies series, you MUST read this one.

The author presents us a society where every person status and role in life is decided by a simple fact: the color of their hair. However, as every other situation involving humans, the smallest and harmless decisions can change the world as we know it.

Rinna, Drexi and Prelly hold in their hands the task of telling the story, a group of friends joined by the acts of others. We see them grow up, from age 3 to adult women, which makes easy to imagine them as flesh and bone people. We witness how their personalities are built and how each action and word leads them to a key point in their lives.

The plot has no flaws or missing spots. Everything has an explanation, the times skips are perfect and the culture and idiosyncrasy of the era is remarkable. There are also a lot of feelings and emotions involve. So many things make us humans such as friendship, love, loyalty, bravery and more. This book explores how in a controlled and restrictive environment these human characteristics come to surface and take a decisive role on History.

Jade Varden has a writing style that I love, is smart, sophisticated and engaging. She wrote a recommendable book and a must for dystopian lovers. I don’t know if this book should be classified a YA or as an adult book. I think that anyone with a mature point of view, love for clever stories and in search for a good book should read it.

About the outcome, there were so many surprises, good twists and what I’d call an “Oscar winner” finale.

*** I received an ecopy from the author in exchange of an honest review. ***

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Who's Your Baby Daddy? - Review

A new book from the amazing NETGALLEY. I know it seems I've been requesting a lot of books but this is no the case. I decided to ask for only 2 or 3 books at the time. I'm going to read them and then I can request some more. Last time I ended up with tons of books I couldn't read.
Anyway, enjoy this review.

Who's Your Baby Daddy? (Vapid Vixens) 
by I. Ronik
Who's Your Baby Daddy?
Please note this book is a romantic parody. It is not intended to be taken as a serious romance. As a matter of fact, for optimum results the author recommends you read it in your best "Valley Girl" voice. ;)

When Jasmine's best friend and roommate tells her she's pregnant, Jasmine is less than overjoyed. Especially when Roni tells her that she isn't sure just who the father is. Complicating matters is Jasmine's unwelcome attraction to her billionaire playboy boss. What follows is a mind-blowing journey down the trail to motherhood that will test the bounds of their friendship and the limits of Jasmine's patience. 



My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who’s your baby daddy? is a parody to all the romance stories out there. The author achieves to create humorous situations more than once and gives a new perspective of the romance world.

When Roni finds out she is pregnant and there are three possible fathers a series of unbelievable events is set in motion. Jazzy will help her along the way and gets involve in some troubles of her own. They are two curious and hilarious women with great personalities who take the strangest decisions.

A fast and curious story with situations that even the most open minds will find shocking. I think this was intended by the author to prove that is all in the way you tell a story. Under the right circumstances even the oddest sexual encounters can look good or in this case can be a shocking experience.

I don’t think it should be label as an erotic story because despite having sex scenes there is no tension present and the scenes haven’t got the classical atmosphere of sensuality, there are just sex scenes without much descriptions. Here the sex is used to create a comical and unreal situation.

It is a fast passing story for those who are looking for something different to read. My favorite part was the ending. I laugh through the all chapter and couldn’t read for moments.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lingering Echoes by Erica Kiefer - Review

Ok... so it's time for a new review.
I got this book from NETGALLEY.  I was hopping to love this book but unfortunately I didn't enjoy it. Anyways, thanks to the publisher for the copy.


Lingering Echoes
She's broken with guilt. He harbors a chilling past. It's safer if they keep their distance... But, the echoes that linger connect them.
Returning to Hidden Pines is the last thing Allie Collins wants to do during her final summer before college. For her, the family cabin she spent her youthful summers in, now holds a dark memory that has haunted her every day for the last year.
While struggling to forget her past, Allie runs into Damien, a local rebel with secrets of his own. He's dark, dangerous and he keeps showing up when Allie least expects him to. She has every reason not to trust him. So why does she find herself opening up to him in a way she hasn't been able to with anyone?
As pieces of Damien’s identity emerge, answers to a rumored mystery begin to unfold. By the time Allie unearths the secrets of Damien’s past, she realizes just how intricately they are connected. Now she is caught in a dangerous battle that threatens her life and those she loves.  





My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Lingering Echoes is supposed to be this emotional ride where we discover two broken souls and we witness their journey to redemption and happiness. However, the box of tissues I set to my side ready for a river of tears was a waste of space and time. Lingering Echoes fails to provide a heartbreaking story to become a sum of obvious situations.

I really wanted to like this book but there were many things wrong with the characters and the storyline in addition to evident outcomes.

Allie is back to the place where her life changed after a terrible accident. She is broken and hunted by terrible memories when she meets a mysterious boy with secrets of his own. Both carry a lot of suffering above their shoulders and the only way to heal is facing their demons. So far so good.

My first problem was the secrecy behind Damien’s true identity. Let me tell you, the only thing missing was a neon sign over his head. Not only his identity is way too predictable and also his past, but his stalkerish behavior is not sweet at all. There were more predictable things, just to add more into the obvious list I can name: Allie’s savior, Aaron’s feelings and the alley scene.

Another thing that bothered me was the big deal about Damien’s age. He is only two years older so I don’t see what the problem is. And Aaron is one of the people who complain about her going out with an older guy and he and Damien are practically the same age. I can understand that maybe Damien looks older in his dark clothes and dangerous bike but still, it makes no sense.

Despite the weaknesses, I like how the author tried to deal with heavy themes like divorce, gangs and death. I’m sorry the sadness she was looking for was not palpable through the words.

Overall, Lingering Echoes is a readable book in which there is an absence of tridimensional characters (Allie feels quite real but Damien lacks deepness and his justifications are predictable).

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Blog Tour: Sex in the Title (Review & Giveaway)

New York City, May 2000. The Internet bubble has burst, and Evan's boss fires him with an email. The next day, his girlfriend dumps him, also via email. Afraid to check any more emails, Evan desperately seeks a rebound romance but the catastrophes that ensue go from bad to hilariously worse. Fortunately, Evan meets someone whose legendary disasters with females eclipse even his own.

To reverse their fortunes, they recruit their friends into a group of five guys who take on Manhattan in pursuit of dates, sex, and adventure. With musings about life, relationships, and human psychology, this quintessential New York story about the search for happiness follows five men on their comical paths to trouble, self-discovery, and love.



Zack Love graduated from Harvard College, where he tried to create a bachelor’s degree in Women. With the bachelor portion of that degree in hand, he settled in New York City but – to afford renting his bed-sized studio – found himself flirting mostly with a computer screen and stacks of documents. Determined not to die a corporate drone, Zack decided to sacrifice sleep for screenwriting, an active social life, and Internet startups offering temporary billion-dollar fantasies.

To feed his steady diet of NYC nightlife, he regularly crashed VIP parties in the early 2000s and twice bumped into his burgeoning crush, a Hollywood starlet. But – much to Zack’s surprise – neither of those awkward conversations led to marriage with the A-list actress. Zack eventually consoled himself by imagining fiascoes far worse than those involving his celebrity crush. In the process, he dreamed up a motley gang of five men inspired by some of his college friends and quirky work colleagues. And thus was born Sex in the Title. But the novel is not autobiographical: Zack never had his third leg attacked by any mammal (nor by any plant, for that matter). In fact, keeping his member safe has been one of Zack’s lifelong goals – and one of the few that he’s managed to accomplish.


My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sex in the Title is a comical story about the dating world, friendship and why not, about love.

Evan has lost his job and his girlfriend in the same week. Now as he tries to get back to the dating scene, a series of unfortunate event will cross his path with Heeb and together they will decide to form a group to go out in the big city. The unbelievable and hilarious "accidents" are the breaking point to form a fantastic friendship.

The book takes us back in time to read the stories of the five friends. The author creates solid pasts for each of the characters and all of them have good doses of humor. Some of the situations were extremely funny, even when they are going through some dramatic circumstances. Despite feeling kind of guilty for laughing of someone else's disgrace, I had a great time giggling and smiling.

One thing I liked about the story is the light message it has. It never tries to be a heavy book or a romance with a great philosophical ending. For me is a simple story of a bunch of young men with crazy experiences. Don’t get me wrong, they discover themselves and learn to accept their flaws and virtues, but it’s done in a real and natural way.

I do have to mention that it takes more than half a book to get the five men together and their time as a posse goes by very fast. However, I think it was important to tell each background story and they all were very funny so I don’t have any major complain.

A book with a good rhythm and appropriate use of language, which made really easy to read and enjoy the story.

Overall, Sex in the Title is a great book that will leave you with a smile on your face. It’s a non-romance about the dating world for those who are looking a humorous book.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

M-Day - Review

It's no secret that D.T. Dyllin is one of my favorites authors and I adore her. She is one of those authors who is open to chat with bloggers and always replies to your emails, tweets and all.
This is my review for the first book of her new series.

M-Day (M-Day #1) 
by D.T. Dyllin
M-Day (M-Day #1)
Before the day… before M-day… people used to read books and watch movies about zombies. They used to dress up as zombies; pretend to kill zombies… Basically, zombies had become a part of popular culture in a very unexpected way.

The highly anticipated zombie apocalypse never came.

What did come was much worse than any city over run with shambling corpses after brains and flesh. A virus… a virus that only affected men. Nobody knew what caused it, or where it had come from, not that it really mattered. It's here and there’s no going back.

Maxine was one of the lucky ones--she got out alive. She and her friends banded together to survive the new desolate conditions left behind by the virus. When a supply gathering mission goes awry, Max and company are left with no better choice than to trust a group of uninfected military men. No longer on the run from her infected husband, Max discovers there could be worse dangers for her on the horizon… Like losing her heart to her mysterious savior everyone calls Zee.





My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One day most of the men of the world woke up infected by a strange virus that caused them to become violent and sex-addicts. Now women around the world must fight to survive in a chaotic world.

Max, or Maxine, is running away from the monster occupying her husband’s body. With the company of two friends and a bunch of men unaffected by the virus, they will fight to survival, kill the enemy and try to find a cure.

This is not a romance or an erotic book. M-Day is a book about a dangerous world where violence, abuse and death are a constant. The way men act and behave because of the virus is not pretty at all. The reality presented is cruel and the physical and psychological abuses are present. The story contains all the horrible things that you can imagine and maybe more.

Despite this, there is a bit of romance but you have to remember that the background does not allow the typical fluffy romance with flowers and sweet words. When your life is threatened at all times the “love” comes in a rough and fast way.

The characters are all great! Max is a kick-ass woman, strong and brave. Her friends are really opposite but they make a great team. Zee, the hot man in the story, has a captivating story and is the perfect match for Max.

The story moves really fast, there is action present in every page and the characters don’t have a minute to rest.

Overall, M-Day is an exciting, fast passing, intriguing and full of adrenaline book. It has a well thought plot, good characters and it is well written. This installment has the potential to be a great series.
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