Saturday, January 19, 2019

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

Lots of exciting things being revealed this week! I am especially excited that covers for books coming out in fall 2019 are starting to be revealed!


Cover of Renee Ahdieh's The Beautiful (goodreads)

This book has shown up on my blog a few times already but I am excited that it now has a cover!

I think this fits the synopsis perfectly and is really pretty! It fits the vampire theme and catches your attention. I am so excited to get my hands on this one!

Cover of Victoria Aveyard's Broken Throne (goodreads)

I loved the Red Queen series so I am really excited that Victoria is returning to that world for a collection of short stories to finish off the series.

The cover is just as amazing the previous ones in the series. I love that it has a different colour palette than the main series while still matching it.


Spider-man: Far From Home

This trailer promises as much fun as the Homecoming trailer did and manages to make the idea of a Spider-man movie that takes place outside New York seem like a good one.

I love the bit with Flash Thompson at the end. Tom Holland is a perfect Peter Parker and Spider-man so I am excited we get to see him in another movie.

Lords Of Chaos Trailer

The amazing podcast Disgraceland made me aware of this story that will appeal to any other Murderinos out there. It is beyond messed up and the trailer only starts to capture that.

I wasn't sure what to make of this when I first saw the trailer. This happened in Norway and those are American accents I hear. However, the reviews I have read are largely positive and I think the story could make an interesting movie if done well.

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Cover Reveal: Handle With Care by Helena Hunting

Today I get to help reveal the cover for Helena Hunting's new book titled Handle With Care.

I think it's super cute and I cannot wait to find out more about this book. 

It releases August 27th and it is the next book in her Shacking Up series. Be sure to add it to your Goodreads so you can find out more details (including a synopsis) as the release date nears. 

I also get to share an excerpt with you today. It's a fun one!

You can now pre-order Handle With Care from pretty much all major retailers and at any of the following links right now.

Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She's writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

Social Media Links:

Author Web Site

Thursday, January 17, 2019

The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd

The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd
Release Date - March 6, 2018
Publisher Website - Harlequin
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  400 pages
My Rating - 3.5/5
**borrowed from the library**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Twenty years ago, Dennis Danson was arrested and imprisoned for the brutal murder of a young girl. Now he’s the subject of a true-crime documentary that’s whipping up a frenzy online to uncover the truth and free a man who has been wrongly convicted.

A thousand miles away in England, Samantha is obsessed with Dennis’s case. She exchanges letters with him, and is quickly won over by his apparent charm and kindness to her. Soon she has left her old life behind to marry him and campaign for his release.

When the campaign is successful and Dennis is freed, however, Sam begins to discover new details that suggest he may not be quite so innocent after all.

But how do you confront your husband when you don’t want to know the truth?

The winner of the Daily Mail First Novel Competition, Amy Lloyd’s The Innocent Wife is gripping psychological suspense from a brilliant new voice in crime fiction.
Fans of true crime novels will instantly be drawn to The Innocent Wife by Amy Lloyd. It features a woman who falls for a man convicted of murdering a young girl. It also has loose comparisons to the West Memphis Three case and an enticing premise. It basically has all the elements of a really good mystery but I found it worked better as a study of these characters.

Sabrina is a woman who gives up pretty much everything in her life to go be with a man who she feels is wrongfully convicted of a murder. The press surrounding the case, the celebrity supporters, the huge documentary film all serve to create her fascination with the case and eventual interest in Dennis. I found Sabrina's character fascinating. She struggles with self esteem, insecurity, and other issues. She's incredibly brave at times and I admired that side of her. She also takes risks and does things without fully thinking them through which could tie back to her mental health issues. She, obviously, makes some really bad choices in this book and I ended up wanting to protect her from herself a lot of the time.

Dennis, for me, was never as charming as the novel says he is. I think if the reader had gotten to read some more of his letters, or experiencing them interacting more before his release, it would have helped. I also immediately distrusted him because of the synopsis. The book telegraphs pretty hard that he is not what he first appears to be. There could have been an interesting story of Dennis trying to readjust to a society that had changed greatly while he was imprisoned and the added mystery elements were mostly, for me, just a distraction.

There are large sections that are filled with the awkwardness of being married to someone that you don't really know. Dennis and Samantha would have put their 'best selves' forward in their letters and visits with one another. Interacting without all of the other background noise is entirely different and spending large amounts of time with someone is different than seeing them occasionally or communicating in words. The novel captures a heightened version of what I imagine it would be like to marry someone you've only gone on three or four dates with. I felt these elements of the story fascinating. The character elements of the story were much stronger than the actual plot and I felt like the story could have easily focused on this without the added twists.

The first half of the novel worked better for me than the latter half. The tension felt like it was building only to never crescendo. I was invested in the characters, particularly Samantha, which made the book much more gripping in the first half. I cared about what was happening to them, and the book lost a little of that when we knew where it was going to go in the second half.

This didn't work as well for me as a mystery but it did work better as a character study of Samantha. The plot beats are predictable, but enjoyable enough to have kept my interest. The end twist did not work for me at all because it felt disjointed from the rest of the novel. I expect that those who have an interest in true crime will especially enjoy this one though and do think it's worth the read.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Waiting On Wednesday ... Her Royal Highness

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pick is Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
Regal romance abounds in this flirty, laugh-out-loud companion novel Royals, by New York Times bestselling author Rachel Hawkins.

Millie Quint is devastated when she discovers that her sort-of-best friend/sort-of-girlfriend has been kissing someone else. And because Millie cannot stand the thought of confronting her ex every day, she decides to apply for scholarships to boarding schools . . . the farther from Houston the better.

Millie can't believe her luck when she's accepted into one of the world's most exclusive schools, located in the rolling highlands of Scotland. Everything about Scotland is different: the country is misty and green; the school is gorgeous, and the students think Americans are cute.

The only problem: Mille's roommate Flora is a total princess.

She's also an actual princess. Of Scotland.

At first, the girls can barely stand each other--Flora is both high-class and high-key--but before Millie knows it, she has another sort-of-best-friend/sort-of-girlfriend. Even though Princess Flora could be a new chapter in her love life, Millie knows the chances of happily ever afters are slim . . . after all, real life isn't a fairy tale . . . or is it?

This second book in Rachel Hawkins' fun, flirty Royals series brings a proud perspective to a classic romance.
I loved the first book, Prince Charming (previously titled Royals), and was excited to hear that there would be a companion novel featuring a character I loved in the first book.

The book is set in a boarding school which automatically makes it a must read for me. It also sounds pretty funny and romantic. I am excited to read all about Mille and Flora's love story and see how they go from hate to love!

It's May release date ensures that it'll be a perfect pool side summer read.

Expected release date - May 7, 2019

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

My Sinemia Experiment: Month Five

Month five of my "Year Of Sinemia' experiment was interesting when added to the general holiday craziness that always ensues. I was able to use all of my passes for the month though and saw some great movies. 

This month's wrap up will be shorter than previous ones. December was seriously a blur thanks to how buzy I was and the movies were just a nice escape from that for me. It was nice to use my passes as a way to unwind from the stress so I discovered that extra bonus this month!

The three movies I saw in December with my Sinemia account were A Star Is Born (again), The Favourite, and Spider-man: Into The Spider-verse

I had already seen A Star Is Born (obviously) but I wanted to go see it in IMAX when they did the re-release and added the special 'making of' featurette (yup, I am THAT person). I also saw The Favourite which I loved so much. It's a darkly funny movie that featured some great performances. I also loved Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse. It is my personal pick for the Animated Feature Oscar. It's not just a great Spiderman movie, but a great superhero one as well.

My savings for this month was $25.10 after taking the convenience fees into consideration. This brings my grand total savings up to $119.78 (last month's total was $94.68). I am saving quite a bit but I have basically acknowledged that my concession spending really negates any savings I am getting on the ticket price. 

The good thing about this month of Sinemia? Basically no tech issues. I booked all of the tickets without incident and I was able to check in with zero issues. I am (perhaps naively) hoping this means they've begun to sort out their app. It's been a pretty good experience on my end compared to some of the others I have heard about so I am thankful for that at least.

As we close in on a half a year I am starting to consider if I'll sign up again for another year. It's still too early for me to decide, but I know I have enjoyed going to the movies. It think it would be hard to go back to not going as often.

I've already used two of my Jan tickets this early in the year. I have been catching up on some likely Oscar contenders that have finally made their way into Ottawa. I am excited to share more about them in my next round up!

February looms with even less choices of movies than Jan. I need some serious recommendations for movies I should go see next month. Let me know what you're excited for in February in the comments.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Weekly Obsessions

The awesome Kelly at KellyVision started posting a weekly post highlighting whatever she happened to be obsessed with that week. I LOVE this idea, so much in fact that I will be doing it myself every Saturday.

We're a little bit into 2019! Hope the new year has been treating everyone well.

I have a few fun things to share this week. Super excited about these new shows that are coming our way (hopefully) soon.


Sarah Michelle Gellar Return To Television

Deadline reports that Sarah Michelle Gellar will star in the limited series Sometimes I Lie. It's adapted from the book by Alice Feeney. It sounds like a twisty thriller and I cannot not wait to read the book and see this show! I have always been a huge fan of Sarah Michelle Gellar's work and I cannot wait to see her in this.

Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse Comes To Netflix

Deadline also reports that Netflix has ordered a series based on the Shadow and Bone/Six of Crows novels by Leigh Bardugo. I loved these books and I think there is so much potential for a really good series to made from them.

What are you obsessed with this week? Let me know in the comments.

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory
Release Date - October 30, 2018
Publisher Website - Penguin Random House Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter
Pages -  327 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received from the publisher for an honest review**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
The author of The Wedding Date serves up a novel about what happens when a public proposal doesn't turn into a happy ending, thanks to a woman who knows exactly how to make one on her own...

When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn't come as a surprise--or happen in front of 45,000 people.

When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn't the hard part--they've only been dating for five months, and he can't even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans...

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik's rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He's even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik's social media blows up--in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can't be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes...
Whenever I turn to a romance novel it is usually because I am looking for something fun to read. I want something that is going to have a guaranteed happy ending and, hopefully, make me laugh. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory was a delight to read from start to finish in a way that really good romance novels are, and had the added bonus of offering up some amazing characters as well.

It starts with an embarrassing proposal. The kind of proposal that would instantly become a viral sensation on the internet. This sets the tone for the entire book. It's a book with a lot of humour, a lot of awkwardness that the characters have to work through, but also a lot of heart.

Those who have read The Wedding Date will be happy to see Carlos, best friend of Drew, return. He was a stand out in that novel and, happily, only gets better the more we get to know him. Men in romance novels can sometimes aggravate me if they are too 'protective' of the women in their life. They can be suffocating and act like a woman cannot have her own agency. This is why I am not a huge fan of the alpha male character type. Carlos is the right balance between being caring and supportive. He's one of the sweetest love interests I've encountered in romance novels, and I love that his kindness extends to all those he cares about.

Nikole is a fun, confident character that leaves you a little in awe of her. She is allowed to have moments of vulnerability but the reader never doubts how capable she is. She has a wonderful group of friends that are such a vital part of the story. Her bonds with these women show you the type of character she is and I love that attention was paid to her friendships. Nikole values her independence and I see a lot of women relating to her in a lot of ways.

The romance in this is one of my favourites. It has been a long time since I have seen a romance in a novel develop the way this one did. It starts out from a place of mutual admirable that morphs into friendship. That friendship only grows as they both come to respect one another. Those feelings slowly change into love. It's a subtle shift that feels so natural. The reader gets to experience the easy way they fall in love. It is a shining example of relationships not always having to be hard. The previous relationships showcase the difference between a wrong relationship and one that is right (even when things hit a rough patch).Carlos and Nikole also balance each other. They bring out the best in each other which I think the author took great care to show rather than tell the reader. You can see the good they do for each other.

Those looking for a smart, sexy, enjoyable read would be encouraged to pick this one up (along with The Wedding Date). Jasmine Guillory's books will leave you a little bit happier than when you started reading it, and make you eagerly anticipate whatever she writes next. 

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