Tuesday, 22 July 2014

[REVIEW] Tiger Lily by Vivian Winslow

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Tiger Lily by Vivian Winslow
Published: July 2014
Age: Adult - 18A
Series: Gilded Flower #3
Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you

Tiger Lily starts off where Calla Lily ends. The Baron family has made a decision and they're following through on it. Lily's relationship with Alejandro is also taking off and for once I'm completely rooting for her. Alejandro seems like a guy who really cares about her. What happened to Todd you may ask? I'm not really sure. Let's add that to the pile of unanswered questions from this story. 

Now an interesting development, Tiger Lily's were mentioned in the book. Is that why the title's called after it? I mean calla lily's were also in 'Calla Lily'. Hmm...coincidence? (I think not) 

This one was probably my favourite of the three. It's on the same track a la 50 shades or other big contemporary romance novels.  It was hard though to feel those friendship bonds that apparently developed throughout the story. You get the dialogue of two people who are speaking as if they're very close friends but emotionally I don't feel it. I just feel like there wasn't enough time to develop these emotions inside me, as a reader, which resulted in not fully being able to enjoy these bonding moments.

Some actions are questionable. I want to know why they insisted Lily keep that Spanish network. Is it a coincidence that's it's Spanish? Is this some foreshadowing I'm missing? Maybe I'm just analyzing this too much and it really doesn't mean anything. 

If I had one suggestion I would say putting the Gilded Flower series together into one novel would make it a lot better. As it stands, they are three short novellas, each telling one part of the story - together and yet disjoint. I found it hard to become fully engrossed in the story. One whole novel would tell the whole story and by adding transitional chapters all three story lines could flow seamlessly.  That's just my opinion.

If you're looking for a quick summer read, give this series a try.

Purchase Links for Tiger Lily:  

Sunday, 20 July 2014

[REVIEW] Calla Lily by Vivian Winslow

Calla Lily by Vivian Winslow
 June 2014
Age: Adult - 18A
Series: Gilded Flower #2
Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

Calla Lily is the sequel to Gilded Lily and it's about the fallout between Lily and Gustavo as well a her finding her true love.

The first thing I was thinking about when I read this story was why it was called 'Calla Lily'? I mean for me calla's are pure and white. Now if you've read Gilded Lily I think you'd understand why I had a slight chuckle when this went through my head because if any of Lily's actions show, she's not pure. Committed and a romantic but not pure. If anyone has any idea on this question please comment below. I'd love to hear your ideas.

The story jumps around a lot. It's hard to focus all your attention onto one relationship when there are four different guys in the story.  I mean there's the scheming Gustavo, the cheating Jack, the friends-with-benefits Todd, and the mysterious but alluring Alejandro (even his name sounds the best out of all four!) With each one having their own story line I can understand how hard it is to incorporate details into each encounter. Yes the story is departing from the former two on to the relationship with the later two but I would still prefer to have some more insight into the relationships. Jack's relationship is left unexplained. I want to know more about them. How did Lily fall in love with Jack so easily if he's presumably a big player and everyone knew it (except her of course)? How did the relationship with Gustavo end? It's open and for me leaves a lot of holes in the story. Also Lily seems to be a stubborn women; one who holds a grudge. And yet she's very forgiving of her sister - almost instantaneous. And her mother has a complete 180. Wasn't she the one who told Lily that affairs were to be expected in a marriage between high social class families and that as long as no one knew it was okay? Now she tells Lily that she has never once cheated on her father and that they're in a very loving relationship. It's a very short story and there's not a lot of pages and description, or enough time for that matter, for me to wrap my head around this sudden about face. 

What I did like about this story is that Lily is finally finding someone that's right for her. The romance starts to pick up, between Todd and Alejandro. It's evident in the writing that Todd's a casual fling. For a casual fling though he sure gets a lot of pages. And with Alejandro. That first encounter seals it all. Readers should instantly know that the main male protagonist has entered the story and that the story will end (hopefully) with them together. 

Like I said before, Calla Lily, as well as it's predecessor has extreme potential in becoming an amazing book. 

Purchase Links for Calla Lily:

Friday, 18 July 2014

[REVIEW] Gilded Lily by Vivian Winslow

Gilded Lily by Vivian Winslow
 May 2014
Age Group: Adult - 18A
Series: Gilded Flower #1
Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you!

When I first read the blurb for Gilded Lily I was intrigued. Stories about women in their twenties who go through a relationship crisis are common and I really enjoy reading those stories especially if it leads to the woman finding her true love in the end. What can I say, I'm a romantic at heart. 

So I started the story and it instantly grabbed me. I sympathized with Lily. I mean what a horrible sister, and they're twin! And let's not get started about this horrible fiancee. I get the whole social class marrying situation but it still doesn't sit right with me. Doesn't help that Lily's mother all but tries to explain to her daughter that affairs are expected and that she should just quietly forget what happened and carry on with the wedding. Well Lily is not forgiving and that was very evident when she calls off the wedding and decides to take a honeymoon for one to clear her head. 

Now here's where the story lost me. I guess I was waiting for her to meet the one, not a bunch of sexual escapades. I just didn't understand their relevance to the story. A clear reasoning for this may be because the story was so short. We weren't given enough time to fully explore and understand each of the characters. I had no emotional attachment to them which made it hard to understand why they were acting the way they were. 

The ending seemed ironic though. What irony she turns into the thing she runs from. 

It was a good beginning. I think the story has great potential. Just personally I need more character development before becoming completely involved in the story. 
Purchase Links for Gilded Lily