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Books I’ve Read: He Belongs With Me by Sarah Darlington

Books

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: He Belongs With Me
Author: Sarah Darlington
Publisher: Self Published
Publication Date: March 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Two girls. One Leo.

Identical twins, Maggie and Clara Ryder, both grew up with Leo Maddox, billionaire playboy, apparent alcoholic, and heir to his grandfather’s world-famous Maddox hotel empire. Their roles were cemented long ago: Maggie, as his best friend and Clara as his childhood nemesis.

But when a simple twist of fate changes everything and both girls start to fall for the lean, mean, ridiculously sexy and seemingly spoiled Leo… which girl will win his heart?

Throw in a little mischief, drama, and one smoking-hot bartender and lines are sure to blur. But one thing’s for certain, neither good-girl Maggie nor rebellious Clara will be satisfied until they each figure out where they belong.

New Adult Romance. Standalone. Recommended for readers 17+

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So I have to admit to be really dubious about this book before I read it. The idea of a love triangle featuring twin sisters was seriously off putting from the start. I have to say I was more than a little pleasantly surprised. The way Sarah portrays her characters and allowing the reader insight into their thoughts and actions made it possible for me to put all of my assumptions and fears aside. Plus I kinda fell in love with Leo ;) Although the whole friend/girlfriend thing is still a bit weird for me :)

The dual narrative alternates the perspective between the twins, Maggie and Clara. They really are like chalk and cheese, however, I felt from the very beginning that Clara was greatly misunderstood. She has huge barriers in place due to always being compared to her perfect sister and trying to be forced into a role she didn’t fit. If I’m honest I resented Maggie for always making Clara feel as if it was a competition between the two of them. Although Maggie’s outward persona is that of uncaring rebel it is really a shield she wears to protect herself. She feels things deeply and is a complete romantic. Maggie just wants to be accepted for who she is, instead she feels suffocated by family expectations and the comparisons made between her and Clara.

I didn’t really like Clara for most of the book, I felt that she found it necessary to have whatever Maggie was interested in; maybe on a subconscious level but none-the-less it annoyed me. However, I did find myself softening at the end of the book having witnessed Clara’s caring side and understood that she also has barriers in place due to events in the past. I know I’m being vague but these points are pivotal to the plot and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone :)

As the story progressed it was obvious which man suited which sister (revelations and past history not withstanding). At times it made me want to literally climb inside the book to hit the sisters over the head with the truth :) That can be attributed to good writing leading to a deep connection with the characters; so much so that you take a personal involvement with the outcome of their lives.

I have to say I loved the way in which tis book wrapped all the loose ends together and I’m really excited that Sarah has written a companion novel from Leo’s point of view. OH LEO ♥

Musical Moments: The Stall of Second Chances Play-list by Dana Bate

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Book Angel Booktopia is delighted to welcome Dana Bate today to share the musical accompaniment to The Stall of Second Chances.

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Playlist for The Stall of Second Chances

The Stall of Second Chances is a book about love, heartbreak, trust, and second chances, so with that, I give you a brief book-inspired playlist!

1. “Song for the Dumped” Ben Folds Five

2. “I Knew You Were Trouble” Taylor Swift

3. “An Honest Mistake” The Bravery

4. “Take Five” Dave Brubeck

5. “Trusted” Ben Folds

6. “Sabotage” Beastie Boys

7. “Passenger Seat” Death Cab for Cutie

8. “Somebody That I Used to Know” Elliott Smith

9. “Hear Me Out” Frou Frou

10. “Don’t Stop Believin’” Journey

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

The book is about a young woman named Sydney Strauss, who was dumped years ago by her high school sweetheart and is still smarting from her emotional wounds. When she finally meets Jeremy, the first person with whom she has felt a connection in years, she is dismayed to find he has a shady past. But she cannot deny her attraction to him, and through their relationship, she stumbles across a story that could be the big break into food journalism she’s been looking for. Pursuing the story, however, might mean betraying Jeremy’s trust. So this playlist focuses on broken hearts, mistakes, self-belief, and trust (in addition to “Take Five,” a jazz favorite of Jeremy’s). As Ben Folds sings in “Trusted”: “It seems to me if you can’t trust, you can’t be trusted.”

Received from Publisher

Received from Publisher

Review: Always Emily by Michaela MacColl

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Always Emily
Author: Michaela MacColl
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Publication Date: April 2014
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Emily and Charlotte Brontë are about as opposite as two sisters can be. Charlotte is practical and cautious; Emily is headstrong and imaginative. But they do have one thing in common: a love of writing. This shared passion will lead them to be two of the first published female novelists and authors of several enduring works of classic literature. But they’re not there yet. First, they have to figure out if there is a connection between a string of local burglaries, rumors that a neighbor’s death may not have been accidental, and the appearance on the moors of a mysterious and handsome stranger. The girls have a lot of knots to untangle—before someone else gets killed.

REVIEW BY FREYA – YEAR 9

Always Emily was a very enjoyable read, with the story-line progressively becoming more engrossing the further into the book you go.

When Emily and her sister find out about woman on the moors, they become inquisitive and their adventure begins. As the mystery behind the woman on the moors unravels they discover their alcoholic brother may be involved.

The sisters get entangled in tragedy, the dangerous wind and even love along the way.

At first I didn’t think this book was for me, as the beginning seemed slow and was unclear with regard to the plot. However, as I kept reading the story kept getting better and better.

My favorite part of the story was the ending because of the unexpected twist. I love the way the characters were thoroughly thought out and developed. Emily and Charlotte were very distinctive people, it was very easy to picture them.

I would have loved for Charlotte to find her ‘duke’ from her stories. I think I would recommend this book for 13-16 year olds and I give it 3 stars.

Books I’ve Read: Boomerang by Noelle August

Books

Image from Goodreads

Image from Goodreads

Title: Boomerang
Series: Boomerang #1
Author: Noelle August
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: 8 July 2014
Source: Bought
Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads

Welcome to Boomerang.com, the dating site for the millennial gen with its no-fuss, no-commitments matchups, and where work is steamier than any random hook-up

Mia Galliano is an aspiring filmmaker. Ethan Vance has just played his last game as a collegiate soccer star. They’re sharp, hungry for success, and they share a secret.

Last night, Ethan and Mia met at a bar, and, well . . . one thing led to another, which led to them waking up the next morning—together. Things turned awkward in a hurry when they found themselves sharing a post hookup taxi . . . to the same place: Boomerang headquarters.

What began as a powerful connection between them is treated to a cold shower courtesy of two major complications. First, Boomerang has a strict policy against co-worker dating. And second, they’re now competitors for only one job at the end of summer.

As their internships come to an end, will they manage to keep their eyes on the future and their hands off each other, or will the pull of attraction put them right back where they started?

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Boomerang is a really cute romance with heart warming characters. The narrative also touches upon the effect of a degenerative mental disease has on a family as a whole.

I’ve got to say that the idea of a dating website purely for hooking-up did make me shudder. To my mind it would be little more than a high class escort service. However, I think that perhaps this is how dating websites are viewed in reality. I would like to think that people as a whole have higher expectations where dating is concerned (it’s probably the romantic in me) ;)

Both Mia and Ethan have gained an internship for the highly sort after position within Boomerang. They meet randomly in a bar after their interviews, the idea of fate throwing them together immediately comes to mind. Although neither realizes until the morning after, events that transpired between them on the previous evening are lost in a haze of alcohol. The non-fraternization policy of their new positions puts a spanner in the works of their fledgling relationship, adding an element of forbidden romance to the narrative.

While Mia and Ethan have had a completely different upbringing their core values are the same. They are extremely family orientated and a wonderful, loyal friend. they both have a fantastic support system available to them. Something that really shines through the narrative and warms your heart. The support characters are extremely well developed and unique (quirky) bringing an additional dynamic to the plot.

The chemistry between Mia and Ethan is undeniable. However, it is the banter between the two that really makes their connection stand out. They are very comfortable, natural and relaxed with each other. They make a brilliant team, a point that is continually re-enforced throughout the story.

Having personal experience with Alzheimer’s made that part of the plot stick out for me. The depiction was brilliant and completely realistic. The feeling that you lose the person with the disease that diminishes them not once but twice. Firstly when they forget who you are and lastly when it causes their deaths. The constant fear of them forgetting you or placing themselves in danger is something that is well portrayed in Boomerang.

Ultimately, it is the romance that is the main focus of the story. Mia and Ethan definitely have a deep connection that allows them to bloom. They are the embodiment of ‘stronger together’ SWOON :)

Spotlight: Rebound by Noelle August

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Received from Publisher

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At Boomerang, one night can change everything…

Adam Blackwood has it all. At twenty-two, he’s fabulously wealthy, Ryan Gosling-hot and at the top of his game in the business world. His life is perfect, until a scandal from his past resurfaces and threatens to knock the tech wunderkind down and throw his company, Boomerang, a hook-up site for millennials, into chaos.

Alison Quick, the twenty-one-year-old daughter of a business tycoon—and the very ex-girlfriend of Boomerang’s former intern, Ethan—has a problem of her own. After nearly flunking out in her senior year of college, she has one chance to redeem herself to her father by proving that she deserves a place in his corporate empire. That means spearheading her father’s plan to sink big money into Adam’s company and launch it into the stratosphere—provided Adam has no skeletons in his closet.

When the two meet, their sizzling chemistry makes it tough to keep things strictly professional. But when Alison discovers Adam’s secret, she knows she should bring it right to her father, who’ll leverage it for his own gain and use it to ruin Adam. The only problem: she’s falling for Adam—hard.

Will earning her father’s approval come at the price of losing her first real love? Or can Adam and Alison leave behind past mistakes and conquer the world—together?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Question: What do you get when friends pen a story with heart, plenty of laughs, and toe-curling kissing scenes? Answer: Noelle August, the pseudonym for renowned editor and award-winning writer Lorin Oberweger and New York Times bestselling YA author Veronica Rossi, the masterminds behind Boomerang.

You can visit them at NoelleAugust.com, @Noelle_August, and facebook.com/NoelleAugustBooks.