Friday, 20 December 2013

[ARC REVIEW + GIVEAWAY] The Redhead Plays Her Hand by Alice Clayton

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The Redhead Plays her Hand by Alice Clayton
Published: Dec 2013
Age Group: Adult
Series: Redhead #3
ARC courtesy of Gallery Books, provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much!

It has been much too long since Alice Clayton has released a new book. She's one of my most favourite authors for her use of constant witty conversations between the characters and writing style that leaves you wanting more with each new book you read by her. I was ecstatic to know that the Redhead series was being continued. After reading the ARC all I have to say is: George and Gracie are back everyone. Back for more Hollywood fun.

My 5-sentence-or-less-synopsis: George and Jack are back in the Hollywood hills where Jack is trying to cope to life now being the new "Hollywood It boy". Along the way Jack find's a new friend and Grace is not to happy with his new buddy. Grace is also dealing with issues of her own since the play she's starred in is finding it's way to the small screen but there are "differences" between her and the producer that makes Grace have to stand up for herself and what she believes in.

This instalment, although lovely, was not as great as its predecessors. I found it lacked many witty remarks, although there was some there wasn't the large quantity that I found encompassed the Unidentified Redhead and the Redhead Revealed. Also it seemed as if every cliché Hollywood mishap was put into this book. It was interesting to see Grace stand up to her critics but clearly I was not happy with Jack's lose of control. The story also seemed to time jump to more pivotal points. Which I will say isn't that bad but I'm left curious as to what happened during the time gap. Curiosity is always one of my most deadliest enemies. 

The story didn't seem as well thought out. All these things started happening, a pile of Hollywood problems that made it hard to follow at times.

I did love their romance and to be honest I was missing some schmaltz action. Of course all the classic jokes make a come back and it's always a fun time to remember what led to that phrase or word.

This was probably the first book in the series to deal with much more serious issues that surround those living the Hollywood life.  Sort of like a behind the scenes action. Perhaps the tone of the book necessitated less wit in it. There was just, overall, much more emotions portrayed strongly in this story. You can really feel Grace's worry, Jack's stress and everything else. Maybe I relate to negative emotions more. That would be quite be sad indeed but that's what I felt while reading this.

Like I said I didn't love this one as much as the other two. It's still a lovely story but maybe the tone of it was too serious for me. I cherished the Redhead series and it's lightness and playfulness that was embedded in all it's pages that just left you feeling good after reading it. The Redhead Plays her Hand deals with much more intense topics that all the lightness of the previous books was all but gone. I would say though that all the love and chemistry between the characters is still there. So please read this book. Give it a shot if you haven't. It's not a series to disappoint easily.
3.5 - 4


The third sexy novel in USA TODAY bestselling author Alice Clayton’s playful and erotic Redhead series continues the sizzling romance between actress Grace Sheridan and Hollywood’s hottest leading man Jack Hamilton. 
Grace has landed the lead in a new TV series—but when the director asks her to lose fifteen pounds, she goes public with her weight struggles and suddenly develops a huge fan club who support her right to have curves. But between that and the public’s continuing fascination with her “are they or aren’t they” relationship with Jack, Grace begins to wonder if anyone’s really interested in her because of her upcoming TV series, or if it’s all speculation about the size of her ass and her bedroom partner.

Meanwhile, Jack is voted the Sexiest Man Alive and becomes a little too enamored with the party-hard lifestyle. Grace vows to give him the space he needs to find himself, but then he begins to spiral down from lovable Brit to Hollywood brat. People are talking, but are Jack and Grace? Her career is on the rise, and his continues into the stratosphere, but will she be able to catch him if he falls? Will they ever be able to just be a couple who can hold hands when they walk down the street?

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Wednesday, 4 December 2013

[REVIEW + BLOG TOUR] Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain Reynard

Gabriel's Redemption by Sylvain Reynard
Published: December 2013
Age Group: Adult
Series: Gabriel's Inferno #3 [end]
ARC courtesy of PENGUIN Books, provided via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you very much!

Gabriel's Redemption was an installment of mix-matched answers to unanswered questions and well deserved karma laced into a loosely composed plot consisting of too many side characters with their own myriad of problems, goals and subplots, all while trying to tie up any loose ends for the fans resulting in a well written fan fiction that leaves me with new questions and a changed perspective on several characters.

It's been some time since I've read the Gabriel's Inferno series.  In fact I'm certain that the series had ended with two installments, which was fine, so imagine my surprise when I saw that there was a SEQUEL being released! I finished Gabriel's Rapture feeling slightly less astounded then I was when I finished Gabriel's Inferno. It was really a means to an end. A way to end the series on a happily ever after.

To note, Gabriel's Redemption is first and foremost a story written for the fans because so many people were asking (demanding) Sylvain Reynard to go back to the story of Gabriel and Julia and tell more of their life after marriage. Well I don't see this as much of a spoiler considering the majority of romance novels follow this pattern but what are we expecting after a marriage? You can answer the question yourself. Anyway, what I'm trying to get is the storyline was predictable. I also found it somewhat repetitive. The newlyweds would follow this pattern of having a conflict, not dealing with this conflict by talking resulting in frustration, anger and a lot of huffing, puffing and foot stomping, only to make up within the next few pages and everything is hunky dory. Until the next few chapters when this all starts again. The first few times I was really engaged, I mean don't all newlyweds (scratch that, couples in general) have their arguments and disagreements? Yes, they do if you have any doubts and so it wasn't out of the norm but the continual use of arguments to reveal important and personal information about the characters soon became boring and I found myself disengaged from the story and uninterested. I understand that some couples argue a lot. I just said it myself earlier that ALL couples will have their disagreements but for a work of fiction, using the exact same method and the same procedure bores on me as a reader. I prefer variety or instant action. Dwelling on details and explanations always seems so mundane to me.

In addition, the book consists of many different characters making "cameo" appearances, telling their stories and what happened for them after Gabriel's Rapture. You have Paulina (Gabriel's ex), and Natalie and Simon (Julia's enemy), Paul (the poor guy who got friendzoned), and Christa (the whore). Some of these stories finish answering any unanswered questions, all of these have "happy endings" (depending on what side you see it from) and all those (who need to) atone for their sins. All I can say is karma is a bitch. These could have been released as short stories. There was very few ties that linked it to the main plot.

Although it is clear that this idea of "atoning for one's sins" is very prevalent in the story, I'm not sure if I agree with Sylvain Reynard's divine retribution towards all villains in the story. I've grown to sympathize with some of the characters. In fact one of them falls in love and oh the cold and heartless bitch known as karma comes and rips it away. I don't understand, why couldn't they be happy? In fact, all the evil characters of the story ended up with sad fates. I understand that this story is geared towards fans, but ruining their fictional lives seems too much for me.

I've also come to despise Julia in this book. I get it, she's Beatrice, Gabriel's Dante but I barely tolerated her in Gabriel's Redemption. I don't what happened to her or perhaps what happened to me but she just seemed very stubborn throughout the story always telling Gabriel what to do. I don't want to ruin the beautiful image people may have of her but she is (now) most definitely not one of my fav protagonists.

Overall I found the story ok. It's not one of those books I would necessary recommend to new readers. Although I would recommend it to already readers of this series since it does tie up any loose ends.

Author: Sylvain Reynard
Title: Gabriels Redemption (Gabriels Inferno Series #3)
Publisher: Penguin Berkley

From the author of the New York Times bestsellers Gabriels Rapture and Gabriels Inferno comes the epic conclusion to the captivating romantic trilogy.

Professor Gabriel Emerson has left his position at the University of Toronto to embark on a new life with his beloved Julianne. Together, hes confident that they can face any challenge. And hes eager to become a father.

But Juliannes graduate program threatens Gabriels plans, as the pressures of being a student become all consuming. When she is given the honor of presenting an academic lecture at Oxford, Gabriel is forced to confront Julianne about the subject of her presentationresearch that conflicts with his own. And in Oxford, several individuals from their past appear, including an old nemesis intent on humiliating Julia and exposing one of Gabriels darkest secrets.

In an effort to confront his remaining demons, Gabriel begins a quest to discover more about his biological parents, beginning a chain of events that has startling repercussions for himself, Julianne, and his hope of having a family.

Bio: I'm interested in the way literature can help us explore aspects of the human condition - particularly suffering, sex, love, faith, and redemption. My favourite stories are those in which a character takes a journey, either a physical journey to a new and exciting place, or a personal journey in which he or she learns something about himself/herself.

I'm also interested in how aesthetic elements such as art, architecture, and music can be used to tell a story or to illuminate the traits of a particular character. In my writing, I combine all of these elements with the themes of redemption, forgiveness, and the transformative power of goodness.

I try to use my platform as an author to raise awareness about the following charities: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep Foundation, WorldVision, Alex's Lemonade Stand, and Covenant House. For more information, see my Twitter account.

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