2020 Book #34 – Fake Like Me by Barbara Bourland

Title: Fake Like Me
Author: Barbara Bourland
Date finished: 6/7/20
Genre: Fiction, general fiction, suspense
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: June 18, 2019
Pages in book: 355
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Publisher
NOTE: I received this book for free from Grand Central Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

From critically acclaimed author Barbara Bourland, comes an “impressively intelligent thriller,” nominated for the Edgar Allan Poe Award, about a young painter who tracks the mysterious life and death of her role model, uncovering strange secrets that lead to the truth of her demise (Refinery29).

After a fire rips through her loft, destroying the seven billboard-size paintings meant for her first major exhibition, a young painter is left with an impossible task: recreate the lost artworks in just three months without getting caught — or ruin her fledgling career. Homeless and desperate, she begs her way into Pine City, an exclusive retreat in upstate New York notorious for three things: outrageous revelries, glamorous artists, and the sparkling black lake where brilliant prodigy Carey Logan drowned herself.

Taking up residence in Carey’s former studio, the painter works with obsessive, delirious focus. But when she begins to uncover strange secrets at Pine City and falls hard for Carey’s mysterious boyfriend, a single thought shadows her every move: What really happened to Carey Logan?

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I honestly don’t remember requesting this book so I hadn’t been eager to read it yet. However it seemed like a great book to tackle on my Maine trip! And I was surprised at how much I ended up enjoying it. The mystery piece of the plot was very interesting and the plot twist at the end was pretty surprising. Overall the book really made me consider the intricacies of relationships and how complex they are. The whole artist and art creating process added another interesting facet to the story, but it’s not necessarily something that really captures me personally. There was a lot of detail about the artistry process and I’m glad I learned a little more about it but I still didn’t love it. Some parts of the book were a little slow for me and the ending also felt ill-fitting with the rest of the story for me, but I still enjoyed the book overall!

Link to author’s website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2019 Book #98 – Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

51Roxy5neELTitle: Love Lettering
Author: Kate Clayborn
Date finished: 12/26/19
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Kensington Books
Publication Date: December 31, 2019
Pages in book: 320
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

In this warm and witty romance from acclaimed author Kate Clayborn, one little word puts a woman’s business—and her heart—in jeopardy . . .
 
Meg Mackworth’s hand-lettering skill has made her famous as the Planner of Park Slope, designing custom journals for her New York City clientele. She has another skill too: reading signs that other people miss. Knowing the upcoming marriage of Reid Sutherland and his polished fiancée was doomed to fail is one thing, but weaving a secret word of warning into their wedding program is another. Meg may have thought no one would spot it, but she hadn’t counted on sharp-eyed, pattern-obsessed Reid.
 
A year later, Reid has tracked Meg down to find out how she knew that his meticulously planned future was about to implode. But with a looming deadline and a bad case of creative block, Meg doesn’t have time for Reid’s questions—unless he can help her find her missing inspiration. As they gradually open up to each other, both try to ignore a deepening connection between them. But the signs are there—irresistible, indisputable, urging Meg to heed the messages Reid is sending her, before it’s too late . . .

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I haven’t read anything by this author but I’ve heard so many wonderful things about her novels from the podcasts I listen to. And I’m very glad I was able to read this one first specifically. This book was a love letter to journaling, art, and calligraphy all tied into one wonderful love story about a mathematician and an artist. Meg was so wonderfully endearing and charismatic. Her journey to self-empowerment in this novel was wonderful to see first hand. And Reid was so vulnerable and heart-wrenchingly perfect as a hero, his devotion and love for Meg was evident in the novel as it progressed and their relationship and chemistry really leaped off the page. Their love story and how it developed by walking the streets of New York and looking at hand-painted signs was a great idea. The writing is so beautifully done, it’s almost lyrical in how the characters and their stories are written. And decorative journaling is very on trend right now so the book is very well timed. Some pieces of the book weren’t an exact right fit for me. Overall though I really enjoyed this book a lot, it was extremely swoon-worthy and a wonderful read. I would definitely recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #55 – Storming the Castle by Arianna Hart

51qW7sNAt1LTitle: Storming the Castle
Author: Arianna Hart
Date finished: 7/4/17
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Entangled; Select Contemporary
Publication Date: June 26, 2017
Pages in book: 335
Stand alone or series: Dale series
Where I got the book from: Author’s Pal
NOTE: I received this book for free from Author’s Pal in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Sam Castleton has fame, houses all over the world, and one really big problem—he’s got an album due and he can’t write. All he wants is a quiet place to get his head straight. Dale, Georgia, seems like the perfect quiet spot to try to hear the music again and get some lyrics down on paper.
With her daughter’s paternal grandparents making a sudden appearance and the difficulties of running her own lodge and being a single mom, Faith Adams doesn’t have the time to worry about the mysterious stranger staying in one of her cottages, no matter how sexy he is.
Her newest guest may be surly, but his money is good, so she’s willing to overlook his surly nature. If only she could ignore the way he awakens a searing hunger in her…
Each book in the Dale series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. Be sure to check out my BLOG TOUR post on this book as well! This book tells the story of Sam Castleton and Faith Adams. Sam is a famous singer who is going through the cliche rich guy crisis after becoming disillusioned with his rock-and-roll lifestyle. This is especially frustrating for him since he can’t seem to write any new music, which means no new album for the record label. So Sam’s manager arranges for him to spend a couple of months in a cabin in the woods of Dale, Georgia to re-group. The cabin being rented happens to be owned by Faith, a single mom with a lot on her plate, including running her B&B and raising her daughter, Piper. Sam spends time getting his feet back under him; exercising, not drinking, eating right, and spending some quality time with Faith and Piper. His muse thankfully returns and he comes up with some great, if different, new material, mostly based on his new feelings for Faith. But can a country girl and a rock-and-roll celebrity really make it work in the long term?
Overall I really liked this book. Faith was a fierce heroine who was also incredibly vulnerable and I really liked the dichotomy between those aspects of her character. And Sam was dark, brooding, sensitive and steamy, everything that a hero should be in a romance novel. This book was pretty steamy, Sam and Faith lit up the pages with their chemistry and it made the book feel more emotional as well. The plot line was interesting and engaging, there was enough going on to hold the reader’s interest. This book had great supporting characters and a cute/sweet ending. I would be interested to read more by this author, and I would recommend this one for a great summer read!

The bottom line: I really liked this book. It was pretty steamy but also quite romantic and touching. I would be interested to read more in the series, I would recommend checking this one out!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2014 – Book #75

sinistertouch

The seventy-fifth book I read in 2014 was The Sinister Touch by Jayne Castle (one of Jayne Ann Krentz’s many pseudonyms). This is the third book in the Guinevere Jones series by this author. I finished this book on 8/21/14. I rated this book 3.75 stars out of a scale of 5. This book continues the story of small-business owner Guinevere Jones and her boyfriend Zac Justis. Zac also owns his own business, a security consulting firm. He is hoping to stay away from investigating crimes, but with Gwen as his gal he can’t seem to avoid getting wrapped up in all kinds of trouble.

Gwen has a friendly aquiantance with her window neighbor across the street. He is an artist and though they’ve never met in person, they wave to each other some mornings in passing. Zac doesn’t enjoy this ritual. Zac has been very busy with a prominent client in recent weeks, though, so there’s no one around to tell Gwen not to wave at her artist neighbor. On this one particular morning though she notices something odd with one of his paintings, it looked like someone defaced the painting and sliced it through. Once the artist neighbor sees this too, he holds up a note asking Gwen to meet him downstairs for coffee.

Turns out the artist’s name is Mason. He asks Gwen if she saw who did this to his painting. She didn’t but she decides to ask Zac for advice on what Mason should do. Zac doesn’t like the idea of Mason and Gwen becoming even friendlier. But with his current client trying to pay him for his genes, i feel like he can’t really say much. What follow is a funny story of intrigue and greed. Zac helps figure out who is behind the attacks on Mason, and unfortunately Gwen since she sticks her nose in everything, in the nick of time and saves both of them from being killed (sacrificed).

I liked this story but I don’t think I liked it as much as the first two books in the series. The plot in this story felt more forced than it did in the last two. It was still a good and entertaining story though and I like seeing the progression of Zac and Gwen’s relationship. I also like seeing the different intricacies of Gwen’s sister Carla’s character that are being introduced through each story.

Link to other posts in the Guinevere Jones series: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/book-series-book-reviews/guinevere-jones-series/

Link to author website: http://jayneannkrentz.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sinister-Touch-Guinevere-Jones-Book-ebook/dp/B007P7HRQG/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=undefined&sr=1-1&keywords=the+sinister+touch