WELCOME to the Small Book Blog! I am a voracious reader. I love losing myself in books and cannot wait to read myself into my next adventure. It is because of this love for books that I created this blog. I want to share my passion of books with you! I hope you enjoy my recommendations and reviews. My goal is that they will lead you to a new book, series or author, that you can fall in love with and recommend to others as well.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Christine Brae's In This Life

In this Life by Christine Brae is a bittersweet romance about listening to your heart and accepting where life leads you. This novel follows a woman who finds herself in love with two different men who are immensely important in her life. As Anna struggles to figure out what to do in her life and which man is her fate and destiny, the reader is drawn in to the joy, questions of one’s faith and struggles life hands the characters and what “we” do to survive and embrace them.

The author has a clear voice and has a talent for building the chemistry between the three main characters. While the story line is somewhat predictable in that you can guess where the author is leading you, it is worth the journey of getting there and not knowing exactly how you will be taken there. I found myself tearing up a few times during various scenes with the characters. The author does a good job with the emotion and imagery so you are there with the characters as they struggle with being honest with themselves and questioning if there is something greater out there for them or is this what God’s plan is…

I would recommend this novel to lovers of Nicholas Sparks, anyone wanting a more realistic romantic story to immerse them in, or Christian fiction readers who also like a little spice in their life. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Paula Hawkins' The Girl On the Train

The Girl on the Train

Most suspense thrillers have the reader following the P.O.V. of the killer or victim or investigators of the crime (disappearance, murder, attacks, etc.). This novel is unique in that the story is told by a barely functioning alcoholic girl who is trying to figure out what to do with her life, if she should even try to dry out, but who happens to see something that only in her every day commute and imaginings on a train is out of the ordinary. Consequently, it is this couple of minutes that puts her in the side lines of a criminal mystery and by her own sheer will she weaves in and out of the mystery of what happened to the girl she had been watching from the train. The reader gets to try to figure out what happened based on the little access that's available to this character through her insertion into the investigation (and you kinda want to smack her half the time for running headlong into it), watching the media, and her drunken memories and imaginings. 
The thing I appreciated about this novel is it toggles between three women telling you bits of the story- always their morning and their evenings of various days. All three women are very different and at different places in life but are all connected by one street of houses near the train tracks. The author has a great talent for her characters and I think the breaks between them, for me at least, was brilliant because if the story was solely told by one I would have issues wanting to finish the story.

I started the novel with the general assumption that the focus and end goal is more of the “whodunit” and unraveling the mystery with “the girl on the train” and her half hazard investigation into what happened to Megan. However, having finished reading this novel I feel like the main goal is not even the story of what happened to Megan but how to redeem the main story teller- the girl on the train- Rachel. If I were to reread this novel a second time knowing this, I think I would read the book completely different and potentially try to enjoy or connect with the characters more. As it was, it was difficult for me to do that due to personality flaws that are turnoffs to me on a personal level, especially the uber narcissistic personalities. With that in mind, the author did a great job with her novel and creating a uniquely plotted out story with characters you have an emotional response to while getting into the action of the story.

As an avid reader who likes to think who she might recommend books to, I would definitely recommend this book (as so many others already do) to friends who enjoyed Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl (as well as her other novels) and/or Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Becky Banks Newest Novel Available November 11, 2016! Wahoo!

Image result for halloween books

Happy Halloween and All Hallows Eve weekend my dear readers! I hope you all have a safe holiday as well as some spooky reading if it calls to you. Currently I am reading The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins for my Halloween treat.

I also wanted to let readers know our beloved author Becky Banks just completed her newest novel and it is now available for pre-order! The novel is called Serendipity of Fate and officially launches on Veteran's Day, November 11, 2016. Wahoo! I can't wait! Hop over to Banks' official website for the synopsis and a sneak peek at the first three chapters to wet your appetites while you wait.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Cupcakes & Book Scavenger Hunt!

Hello Dear Readers,

Ready to find new authors and to win prizes? I'm one of the sponsors of the Night Owl Reviews Cupcakes & Books Scavenger Hunt. (June 16 - July 7)

During this event I'm going to help you find some great new books and authors to read. Make sure to check my featured title out along the way.

The grand prize is a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Jennifer Weiner's Little Earthquakes

I found Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner sitting on my To Read bookshelf. Judging by the dust on it, it had been there for years. I received it as a gift before my little dragon was born and really had no interest in ever reading it. When I came across it this last month I decided to give it a try.

This novel follows 4 new moms around during the new journey of motherhood- from late in their pregnancies (when their paths all cross) into the first year of motherhood. This was a book that could have been just depressing but the author did a really good job trying to keep the story, the relationships and the characters hopeful and positive. If I didn't have a child (or some other close link to kids) I wouldn't have enjoyed it much at all. It would have been whiney and frustrating. Only new parents can really appreciate the trials of early parenthood and the stress and total life changing things that can happen during this time of their lives.

I would also throw out there that if you are a young mother wanting to read this- do so while pregnant or after your baby’s first year. One of the characters stories, if you were a new parent, is every parent’s nightmare so why add the stress to your life.

I love that the author showed us how it really does take a circle of other moms and family (regardless if they are blood or chosen) to raise your child and keep us mama's sane, safe, healthy and happy. The little earthquakes that erupt into our lives are life changers, totally worth it, but not easy at all. LOL!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Happy Easter Book... oops Egg Hunt!

It’s almost the weekend! Wahoo! I love the weekends because there are usually brief moments of time I can squeeze in some extra reading and look at my “to-read” shelf to decide what my mood is and what to read next. Lately, I have been voraciously reading Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thompson series and loving it. I am on book 6. The sad thing is I only have a few books to go before I am caught up with the author and will have to “hurry up and wait”. I would like to say that slows down my reading pace so I can savor what is available but it doesn’t usually change a thing. I reviewed book one of this series previously and am more in love with this series and characters 6 books in so it is a definite recommend for people wanting some kick-ass adventure with paranormal characters (Werewolves, Fae, Walkers, Vampires) and sexy PG-13-ish romance.

Wishing you all a Happy Easter weekend and may your book and egg hunts be successful!

Thursday, March 10, 2016

I LOVE Finding New Book Stores!

Usborne Books & More, or UBAM, is a new (to me) online book vendor/store that I was recently introduced to.  It is set up similar to Mary Kay, doTERRA, Tupperware, in that you will have the most fun and success finding a UBAM consultant who can set up an online or in-person book party.  However, you can also go to their website, sign in and order books that way. UBAM has a huge selection of fictional, non-fictional, and interactive (in SO many fun and creative ways) books from age zero to teenagers in more categories than I care to list here but LOVE. You will have to check it out. My little dragon is 2 ½ and I was very excited to see how well organized UBAM is with reading and age levels of books set out for kids and parents to understand. I have found a few unique books I cannot wait to have my little dragon interact with or read. I also have a wish list that continues to grow…

Shine a Light book is the first unique book I have purchased and as you are reading the book, you use a flashlight behind the page you are reading to make hidden pictures appear. So FUN! I also love the Muddle & Match books. It is as if someone took a pile of story boards, created the main character, chopped it into thirds and bound it as a book. There are endless possibilities in the character your child creates and stories that correspond to the new character page/story you have muddled together.

My dear friend Megan, who is the instigator getting this bibliophile into all kinds of trouble (at least it is good trouble, LOL!), introduced me to UBAM. She is available and wants to share her love and knowledge of books with you. Visit her website, set up an online party or have an in-person party so you can delight in seeing and touching the books on your ever growing wish list. Travel will be limited to areas of Oregon so please contact Megan directly to discuss your party. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Exciting News from Our Author Becky Banks!

Exciting news update: Author Becky Banks is hard at work editing her 3rd book: Serendipity of Fate! Banks is hoping to roll out November 11, 2016, with fun ARC’s and prizes before that! Serendipity of Fate is a standalone novel that is sexy, hot, a kindling of a low burning ember that ignites into romance, love, friendship...I was privileged enough to just finish reading the current edition (before round 2 of the editing process) of this novel and love it! Can’t wait to read the published edition of Serendipity of Fate and see if Banks will add us to her book tour. Stay tuned for more updates!

Visit Becky Banks website for updates, tours, and all fabulous news regarding her novels.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Lauren Blakely's Big Rock

First- you have to know what Big Rock is about:

It's not just the motion of the ocean, ladies. It's definitely the SIZE of the boat too.

And I've got both firing on all cylinders. In fact, I have ALL the right assets. Looks, brains, my own money, and a big c*&k.

You might think I'm an a*&hole. I sound like one, don’t I? I'm hot as sin, rich as heaven, smart as hell and hung like a horse.

Guess what? You haven't heard my story before. Sure, I might be a playboy, like the NY gossip rags call me. But I’m the playboy who’s actually a great guy. Which makes me one of a kind.

The only trouble is, my dad needs me to cool it for a bit. With conservative investors in town wanting to buy his flagship Fifth Avenue jewelry store, he needs me not only to zip it up, but to look the part of the committed guy. Fine. I can do this for Dad. After all, I’ve got him to thank for the family jewels. So I ask my best friend and business partner to be my fiancĂ©e for the next week. Charlotte’s up for it. She has her own reasons for saying yes to wearing this big rock.

And pretty soon all this playing pretend in public leads to no pretending whatsoever in the bedroom, because she just can’t fake the kind of toe-curling, window-shattering orgasmic cries she makes as I take her to new heights between the sheets.

But I can’t seem to fake that I might be feeling something real for her.

What the fuck have I gotten myself into with this…big rock?

Okay, doesn’t sound like something you want to run out and read unless you are curious about what else the big rock might be (which is actually really great by the way…both of them)? Reading the synopsis for this novel, seeing the amazing cover art, you would think, meah…funny cover, hot guy, total smut. I’ll try it but I have low expectations. Don’t! Read it! This is a great novel!!! It’s a romantic comedy and I want more of it. Lauren Blakely is a wordsmith who can paint her story in your head like you are watching it on the big screen. I wished I could project the story from my head to the wall while I was reading to see the characters living their life in NYC.

The characters are sweet, funny (I was laughing out loud throughout the entire book); true to themselves and the best bad liars you could hope for in this rom-com. Blakely gives the reader excellent sexual chemistry, hot foreplay and the sex- off the charts. Blakely gives the reader quality time “in the bedroom” and not just quick, “and then he stuck his p in her wet v and they climaxed together and fell asleep until round two.” I also really appreciated Blakeley took the chance to write this from the man’s, Spencer’s, point of view and it is creates the perfect tone to tell this love story. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the book as much if it was told from the POV of the female.

Big Rock is the perfect combo of romance, erotica, love story of best friends realizing the depth of their true feelings for each other and humor.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Emma Chase's Tangled

Tangled is a love story told from the man’s point of view. I found myself laughing out loud quite a few times from Drew’s insight into love, ladies, relationships, and Drew’s “helpful” tidbits he would let drop to the reader as he conversationally relates his own love story… or was it how he “got the flu?” LOL!

While Drew is a total player and hardworking professional, he is also sweet, poignant, way too confident in bed, and an amazing uncle. Emma Chase does a great job taking on the challenge of writing a steamy romance from the point of view of the guy rather than the heroine in the tale. Tangled feels like you are sitting down with Drew as he relates his unbiased, heavily detailed (yes please!), “thought provoking” romance to you. I could totally picture, as he relates the events and points out parts to watch for down the road, myself riveted in his tale and how it would end.

The synopsis for the novel is: Drew Evans is a winner. Handsome and arrogant, he makes multimillion dollar business deals and seduces New York’s most beautiful women with just a smile. He has loyal friends and an indulgent family. So why has he been shuttered in his apartment for seven days, miserable and depressed? 

He’ll tell you he has the flu.

But we all know that’s not really true.

Katherine Brooks is brilliant, beautiful and ambitious. She refuses to let anything - or anyone - derail her path to success. When Kate is hired as the new associate at Drew’s father’s investment banking firm, every aspect of the dashing playboy’s life is thrown into a tailspin. The professional competition she brings is unnerving, his attraction to her is distracting, his failure to entice her into his bed is exasperating.

Then, just when Drew is on the cusp of having everything he wants, his overblown confidence threatens to ruin it all. Will he be able untangle his feelings of lust and tenderness, frustration and fulfillment? Will he rise to the most important challenge of his life? 

Read it! Love it! Laugh out loud at the outrageous mess Drew becomes!  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Colleen Hoover's Ugly Love

Colleen Hoover is a master at writing stories that give you hope. They are emotional, intoxicating, sexy, enriching, devastating, overflowing with love, and mysterious. Hoover creates a story that is a kind of riddle and mystery. You know there is a twist, a huge side story or past that you are just getting snippets of as you get to know the characters in today’s time. They are unique, written in a “fun” way and have a great flow as you read. As you are reading, Hoover’s characters are growing and evolving before your eyes, creating depth in their world and yours as you lose yourself in the story. I sit in angst as I’m reading the book though, knowing something is coming that will put the characters in turmoil and I don’t know for how long or the depth of it! So far I am able to handle it because, so far, Hoover’s novels all have “Jane Austen” endings and that helps me stay the path.

Ugly Love is a novel about:
                  When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Love- Hoover does an amazing job showing us what unconditional love and love that lasts a lifetime looks like. It is the love and relationships in our life that create and mold us.  It is all versions of love in our life that are the make and the break in our life and how we handle them (or don’t handle them). Will it make you a worst case outcome or best case outcome type of person?  Can you move on with life and live again after the worst thing that could possibly happen to you happens? The good moments and the bad moments in our daily lives- would you take one to get rid of the other? Or get rid of one terrible moment knowing all the good previous to that would disappear also?

I find myself getting emotionally attached to these novels- thinking about them during the times I’m reading them and after I’m done with the story. I’m already ready to re-read this one! I want my girlfriends to read these novels also so we can gush over the men and the romance, and commiserate over the heartbreak and tangles of the story. 

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Colleen Hoover: New Author I love!

New Author Shout Out! I am absolutely thrilled to have found the author Colleen Hoover! Her novels (and she has a good amount published so plenty of reading to keep you happy) are sad, surprising, uplifting, enchanting, give you tingling feelings down to your toes and just incredible. Her stories and characters suck you in to the very end. These are the types of books you love and secretly hate just a smidgen. You love them because you know you will get sucked into the incredible world Hoover creates for you but you hate that you just devour the words and suddenly you are at the end or you are sitting there thinking to yourself, “I don’t know if I should read any today because I don’t want to know what will happen next or when the twist will come, or or or…” I have read Hopeless and Someday Maybe by Colleen Hoover and loved them. Still think about them. I am about to read Ugly Love and can hardly wait to see what’s in store with a name like that. Let me know what you think if you have read her books or decide to try them.