Tamed by Emma Chase

I’ve rediscovered something about my bookish reading habits this week and that is that I, Lizzy Baldwin of mylittlebookblog adore trashy romance books. I’m sorry to say it but there are those days where a cosy crime thriller or a riveting historical fiction just do not cut the mustard and whilst I was trawling my local library for something to read this just, called to me really. Trash or not (and I mean that in the nicest way possible) I bloody loved this book, although the cover caused a couple of second glances on the bus. Without further ado: REVIEW.

When a guy like Matthew Fisher, who’s always played the field meets a woman like Dee Warren, who’s been burned too many times to count, it’s anyone’s guess if either will end up… tamed.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: girl meets player and they fall in love, player changes his ways. It’s a good story. But it’s not my and Dee’s story. Ours is a lot more colourful. When I met Dee I knew right away that she was special. When she met me she thought I was exactly like every other guy who’d screwed her over and let her down. It took some time to convince her otherwise, but it turns out I can make a convincing argument when sex is at state. You may think you know where this story’s headed. But the best part isn’t where we ended up. It’s how we got there.

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So the book follows the bumpy relationship between banker Matthew and the rocket scientist (yes you read that correctly) Dee. Tale a little clichéd? Yes and no. This story is told entirely from Matthew’s point of view and I adored that. Often when we read romance genre books they are told from a female stand point but this takes the male side and I liked that. I must admit the plot isn’t terrible original but it does take the line that Matthew throughout is totally smitten with Dee and although a little bit of a player who does change his way the focus is on her and her inability to let him in which I liked.

It’s the kind of book that’s a bit, I can’t think of the word, laddish? There are frequent mentions of his cock, Dee is a stunning human being that tends to wear very few clothes and of course has bloody fantastic breasts, but I did mention that it is a little trashy. But I liked it for it; there is swearing, clichés, the side-stories that threaten to tear this relationship apart but that’s what pulled me in. This is perfect, no thinking, but an interesting tale to read.
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I think the characters are really well drawn-up which allows the plot-line to slacken a little. Matthew is your perfect player. He is attractive, has a terribly toned six-pack and is well endowed in the, *coughs.* He is however also a gentleman and his want to cater to Dee’s needs is genuine and authentic. He is a little hot-headed which allows him to clash with the wonderful Dee. Our female protagonist I thought was brilliantly written; moody, stubborn and a tiny bit crazy she is a mismatch of different emotions. I found her refreshing, sweet and a little kooky. Although we don’t get to get as close as we do to Matthew I enjoyed reading about her. Additional characters such as Drew, Kate and Billy are given just enough character profiling to spin weaving side-stories which is important to give the tale ebb and flow.

The writing isn’t particularly complex but it is detailed and it does entertain. There are a number of truly sweet moments and then raging sex scenes which I for one couldn’t complain about. The plot does move with pace and manages to stack quite a lot in despite it not being a terribly long book and I liked the suspense created through the linking of Kate and Drew. No, it’s not going to rock your world, it’s not going to make you want to scream *Goddamn it everyone should read TAMED* from the rooftops but it is the perfect, get in the bath with a bottle of wine and lie there reading till the water gets cold and you have pruney fingers- kinda book. Yes it is.

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I feel bad saying this book is trashy because it is and it isn’t. Maybe I should have said it’s not a complicated book, or maybe I should just say, if you’re ever feel like urgh I don’t want to read something that makes my brain fall out of my head this is your book. It’s uncomplicated, juicy writing at its best and I for one adored it.

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Tick, checks off another square in the Summer Reads Bingo Square (A book with a one-word title)

Murder, mystery and dating mayhem by Dena Haggerty

Good morning readers, still on a reviewing frenzy currently. I’ve been reading like you would not believe and I think it may be during the reading drought that hit just a couple of weeks ago. I find that after they finally filter out of my system I need to get my tiny hands on any book possible and that’s what I seem to have done. Today’s review will be a tale of two halves which you will see whilst reading but that’s a good thing and I hope it will come across that way. In other news lots of new 101 things in 1001 days posts. I’ve written so many of them up but have not yet got round to posting them to mylittlebookblog so don’t worry I haven’t forgotten about my challenge, it’s just been a little neglected recently. Without further delay, onto said review.

My name is Izzy. I drink too much, am clumsier than a new born foal, and my brain-to-mouth filter often malfunctions. My daredevil husband killed himself in a parachuting accident five years ago and my best friend Jack has decided it’s time I jump back in the dating pool. He’s perfectly happy to throw me in if I don’t listen. Just when things in the dating world start to heat up, my grandma dies. Only her knitting group of Jessica Fletcher wannabes is sure it’s murder. I’m not convinced but I’m always up for a bit of excitement as long as it doesn’t lead to a night in jail. Well, more than one night anyway. Will I miss my chance at love because I’m chasing imaginary killers? Did someone really kill grandma or am I and my merry band of geriatric thieves imagining things?

So, a chapter in I thought, ah this not for me. The frequent use of BFF and the words yeah and the like really turn me off books but I thought I’ll wait till the end of the chapter. Finding it a quite short chapter I thought I’ll read the second, oh and maybe the third and before long I was half way through the book, so I rattled through and finished it in one sitting. Now, normally I would dislike a book like this because of the language but there was something really fun about it. It might have been the heroine, slightly older than in most books of this genre and her gang of pensioners who are constantly on her back adding their own kooky ways of solving the crime. It may have been utterly deplorable but delightful gay best friend who had me in tears, or maybe the hot and heavy detective Noel who has our leading lady in a spin. Whichever the case this book really put a smile on my face and overall I enjoyed this book.

As the blurb suggests it follows Izzy as she gets dragged into the mystery that is her dear Grandmothers death. See the pensioners have put the clues together and deduce that it wasn’t a heart-attack but instead a planned murder. Izzy is a little surprised to say the least but as the pieces fall into place, and her house is ransacked it’s getting dangerous. Step in the hot and heady Noel. I didn’t fall for him as like many of the romantic novella style books I read, namely because he’s old enough to be my father, but I liked the relationship that spun between the two. It didn’t happen at the drop of a hat and he adored her despite her ability to get into a number of unsightly moments. I thought Izzy was warm and sweet although clumsy and a little daft at times. She is easy to warm to and feels genuine. Jack is a witty and bright character who brought a little spunk to the proceedings. I thought the band of elderly ladies were delightfully told, especially Betty who brought warmth and spice to the writing.

I guess technically you could say that at times the writing lacks a little detail. The descriptions of the characters are a little weak appearance wise and the writing at times feels a little immature. Some of the slang could be tightened up and didn’t really appreciate the use of BFF. I think it’s just me but they don’t feel like they sit here. It is all neatly tidied up at the end and at times the plot is somewhat hard to believe but. And it’s a big but. I really enjoyed it despite all of these things. It’s odd to read a mystery that is so funny and manages to mix in romance well. It may not be the most intelligent read but I bloody enjoyed it and I think you will to.

Bridget Jones’s Diary: Helen Fielding

Happy 2015 you wonderful people; I can’t believe this is my first review of the New Year. I’ve been a little quiet over the last few weeks because of all the festivities, seeing friends and family and generally having a serious break from work. So today’s review comes after a very last minute trip back to Stoke-On-Trent due to problems with the train lines. So this morning at 4.45 I was stumbling round my room picking up dresses, shoes and jewellery and staggering around I picked a book from the shelf and it happened to be this one. I will be honest it wasn’t exactly what I was thinking of reading on the drizzly journey back to Stoke-on-Trent however it all turned out to be rather wonderful. Hope you enjoy, and of course, Happy New Year!

In the course of the year recorded in Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget confides her hopes, her dreams, and her monstrously fluctuating poundage, not to mention her consumption of 5277 cigarettes and “Fat units 3457 (approx.) (hideous in every way).” In 365 days, she gains 74 pounds. On the other hand, she loses 72! There is also the unspoken New Year’s resolution–the quest for the right man. Alas, here Bridget goes severely off course when she has an affair with her charming cad of a boss. But who would be without their e-mail flirtation focused on a short black skirt? The boss even contends that it is so short as to be nonexistent. Overall a charming book about the ups and downs of the single life for one wonderfully ditsy but exceptionally witty young woman.

Now, regular readers of my blog will know that once I have seen a film I often decide not to read the book. It’s not that I don’t think the book will be as good or that I don’t think it is worth reading, I just worry that I will overall be disappointed. Either that the book is better and I wish I read it first or that the book was ruined because I already knew the storyline. It all becomes a little difficult. However I was actually rather impressed by this quite famous and well liked chick-lit. The book as like the films follows the loveable Bridget Jones who just can’t seem to catch a break – both in her professional life, and her love life. Written in a diary format (as the title suggests,) the book is written in a quirky, honest and bumbling style that tells of all the trials and tribulations of the main character including the difficulty of her finding a man, her parents split and her mothers sudden change in life ambition. However it focuses on it a way that can only be described as distinctly droll and witty.

Although I have read reviews describing it as unbelievable due to the frankly awful things that happen to her through the year, the book moves with style and pace that helps to keep you moving through this damn right hilarious story. Sometimes diary style formats can come across a little boring and lack action but the peculiar events and the authors peculiar but funny way of describing it all (especially the description of Bridget’s weight, calorie intake and number cigarettes smoked) made it very fun to read. I also didn’t find that the film weighed heavily on my mind whilst reading the book because the style of the writing makes it different to the very popular film. I also didn’t find the ‘singleton’ story tiring or mundane because it focuses less on the men and more on the main character. Additionally I loved how grating and exhausting the additional minor characters are. As like the film they are just as infuriating and funny at the same time!

Overall this is a wonderfully British book full of humour, awkward encounters, chaos and overall a lovely lady trying to find her feet. It is entertaining, stylish, witty and just a little tongue in cheek and I hate to say but I loved it. The plot whilst not profound works because of the lovely writing style. A definite book to cheer you up on a cold winters morning.

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Amy and Rodger’s Epic Detour: Morgan Matson

Good evening readers, hope you are feeling wonderful this evening. I don’t know how it works around the world but the clocks went back at the weekend and having another hour in bed was desperately needed. Spending the weekend at home with my friends and family was also desperately needed and now I’m finally off the antibiotics I am hoping this week will continue to get better. I read this book in two sittings, one on the train down to Milton Keynes and then Saturday morning whilst everyone was in bed sleeping. I don’t normally read YA fiction unless it is sent to me, but when I picked up TFIOS this was also recommended and I couldn’t help myself; hope you enjoy this adorable review.

Amy Curry thinks her life sucks. Her mom decides to move from California to Connecticut to start anew–just in time for Amy’s senior year. Her dad recently died in a car accident. So Amy embarks on a road trip to escape from it all, driving cross-country from the home she’s always known toward her new life. Joining Amy on the road trip is Roger, the son of Amy’s mother’s old friend. Amy hasn’t seen him in years, and she is less than thrilled to be driving across the country with a guy she barely knows. So she’s surprised to find that she is developing a crush on him. At the same time, she’s coming to terms with her father’s death and how to put her own life back together after the accident. Told in traditional narrative as well as scraps from the road–diner napkins, motel receipts, postcards–this is the story of one girl’s journey to find herself.

Oh this book adorable and I loved it mainly because of this. I have had a real problem with chick-lits at the moment and I’ve been waiting for one to get me back into the genre that I have been struggling with so much recently. I think it’s because books with a romantic genre seem to push the limits of what is realistic and it gets tiring very quickly. However, this was written in a way that really captured my imagination; yes it’s a little cutesie and sweet, but at the time it was really what I needed to read and I will defend my love of this delightful little book. It follows Amy who has been through some serious trauma and has closed up against the world unable to share her feelings. Her brother has gone off the rails, addicted to cannabis to forget the bad memories and her mother is miles away in another state, the one that Amy and Rodger will be travelling towards. The two have secrets that they are trying to hide; Amy’s are related to the sudden death of her father whilst Rodger’s relate to a sudden ending of a relationship with a beautiful girl who he is utterly smitten with. However as the two open up they start to realise they have a lot more in common.

So onto the real logistics of the book; it is well written with a real understanding of how to get the reader interested. By mixing and matching different forms including receipts, hand written drawings, song lists, motel receipts, postcards and more this story really takes the reader on the journey with the two teens. The characters are really different in personality style which helps to grow their relationship; to start Amy is incredibly closed off which I liked because it made the beginnings of her relationship with Rodger difficult and awkward and made it feel more realistic. Her uncomfortable beginnings also allow her to grow throughout the book and she becomes a more outgoing and stronger version of herself and as the book continued I cared for her more and more as a character. Rodger I fell for immediately; he is adorable and sweet and honest but it’s written in a way that is genuine and convincing. I also loved the way he managed to get Amy out of her shell. The minor characters are all very small characters but they really packed a punch and added affectionate nuggets of wisdom that helped to bring the story to life. Leonard is particularly sweet. The road trip part of the story is wonderful; the different places they visit, the places they stop at and the food and snacks they pick up along the way, the songs they list and the silly habits they acquire. Along the journey which goes from California to Connecticut by way of Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee and quite a few more states they finally face their worries and open up and we find out what they are both hiding from each other.

This is the cutest coming of age story I’ve read in a while. For some it may be a little over done and a little ‘cutesie’ but its wonderful. I loved the ending, but I actually didn’t want the book to end at all. I liked that it was left open ended but there is a big clue at the end that will leave the reader with a big smile on their face. I would really recommend this book; if you’re having a bad day, or just need a pick me up this is perfect and I cannot wait to read this book again!

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