Gutter Girl Book Reviews

my top book reviews

Farmhouse Dining tables -Anyone?

I was looking today for a new table for my kitchen and came up these guys in UK who make some really cool looking tables, Now Wondering whatever I should Design my All house in this rustic way starting first with some nice looking farmhouse dining tables and than see how it goes?

Seems really nice style they have and you can get them custom made  as well which is nice, the prices also seems really decent for the quality you are getting on these farmhouse tables.

Anyway visit their website and see maybe you also want to order some?

 

Review: Watch Over Me by Tara Sivec

Addison Snow is your typical teenager. She has a family that loves her, friends that make her laugh, and she’s wrapped up in the excitement of graduating high school and going off to college to pursue her dream of becoming an author. When her mother, who also happens to be Addison’s best friend, dies unexpectedly, her world comes to a crashing halt.

Death changes everyone…

To make the pain go away, Addison and her father travel down separate, dark paths. She chooses to end her grief forever, while he drowns his sorrows in the bottom of a bottle. How do you learn to live again when the most important person in your life is gone?

Addison struggles to pick up the pieces of her life. Instead of getting back to being the carefree teenager she once was, she’s stuck handling all of the responsibilities that should have been her father’s. She has no time to grieve, no time for emotions, and no time for happiness…until Zander Reinhardt walks in. All it takes is one little handwritten note on a napkin to kick-start her back to life and help her realize that maybe there’s more to that life than pain.

But can it really be that simple? Can she really trust this man who makes her feel alive again for the first time in a year?

Addison and Zander both have secrets they aren’t ready to share. When the truth finally comes out, is it enough to tear them apart or has something bigger than themselves always been watching over them, pushing them together, making sure they both get their happily ever after? After all they made their fortune by manufacturing  which were the top quality machines for producing a great packagin!

This book wasn’t what I expected. It isn’t a typical young adult novel.
It’s…deeper than that. It’s dark and depressing and Jesus, is it frustrating at times; but while you’re swimming through the darkness and living in Addison’s world full of pain, loss, heartache, and loneliness – there’s an overlying sense of warmth, a quite calm. It’s that superimposing aspect of comfort that blankets you while you turn page after page and makes you want to follow Addison into the darkness…and eventually, into the light again.

I can’t lie, this book started out average for me. It wasn’t until I hit around the 40% mark that I just absolutely couldn’t put it down. The first half wasn’t bad by any means, but it was just a little slow. Now, after having finished it (with tears streaming down my face, of course) I can appreciate the pace. It was necessary. I needed to know the back story involving certain conversations with her mom, I needed to see just how close they were, I needed to understand just how broken she was in order to appreciate her journey to happiness. The flashbacks and therapy sessions that I kind of “trudged” through in the first third of this book became crucial to me.

As far as characters go, I liked both Addison and Zander. Some of the things Addison did frustrated the hell out of me, but every time I found myself cursing her I took a step back and thought to myself, what would you do if you were in her position? Now, I can’t answer that with certainty because I don’t know what I would do. I’ve never been in her shoes. But what I can say is that taking that second to step back allowed me to put her actions into perspective. I still didn’t agree or even like some of the things she did, but I could understand why she was behaving that way, even if I didn’t care for it. Now, onto Zander… *sigh*. I liked him, but I just wish we would have gotten more from him. Maybe more background, more…well, I don’t know what I wanted more of but I just felt a little shorted. That aside, the napkin notes – I DIE. I don’t know if it gets any more adorable than that, I really don’t. He was so wonderfully funny and charming and compassionate that it was impossible not to fall in love with him.

I did have a couple issues that prevented me from giving this a 5 star rating, the main one being Addison’s attitude towards her dad was upsetting to me. Like I said, I’ve never had to deal with that type of situation so I don’t know how I would handle it…but it’s incredibly hard for me to imagine giving up on my dad, regardless of the circumstance.

Watch Over Me is clearly a very personal story for Tara and it’s one that will tug at your heartstrings. This isn’t a novel that centers on the romance – that is just an added bonus. It’s about a girl struggling with the loss of her mother and her journey to find happiness again when it never seemed possible. It’s very different from Tara’s previous novels, but her incredible writing style remains the same. This story will make you cry, make you laugh, and take you on an incredibly emotional journey; a journey that left me reaching for my phone to call my mom almost immediately after I read the words, The End.

Review: Fading by E.K. Blair

Can a guilty conscience keep wounds from healing?

Fine arts major, Candace Parker, grew up with a mother who thinks image is everything, and her daughter’s perfection will never be good enough. About to graduate college and pursue her dreams of becoming a professional ballerina, Candace decides it’s time to let go and have a little fun. But fun is short-lived when a brutal attack leaves her completely shattered.

The memories that consume and torment Candace are starting to destroy her when she meets Ryan Campbell, a successful bar owner who also owns several patents on He feels instantly connected and tries to show her that hope is worth fighting for. But is Ryan harboring his own demons? As walls slowly begin to chip away, the secrets that are held within start to become painful burdens.

At what point do secrets become lies?

(17+) This book contains mature subject matter that is not suitable for those under the age of 17.

My Take
Fading is the story of Candace Parker, a college dance major who’s entering her last year of college. She dreams of winning a coveted solo performance in the spring show, so that she can then pursue her dream of dancing professionally. Her relationship with her parents is strained, at best, as they continue to refuse to support her career choice. Fortunately, Candace has two incredible best friends in her roommate Kimber and her number one confidant, Jase, and she can’t wait to spend her last year at the University of Washington with them.

Candace’s world comes crashing down late one night when she’s attacked, assaulted, and violently raped after a fraternity party. She’s taken to the hospital, and will only allow the nurse to call Jase, no one else. She holes up at his place for a while, effectively shutting everyone else out of her life as she can’t bear them to find out what happened to her. She spends all of her time with Jase and his boyfriend, Mark. She is withdrawn, and refuses to let anyone else in.

It’s not long before she’s introduced to Ryan Campbell, a friend of Jase’s and Mark’s. Ryan is immediately drawn to Candace, and she hesitantly returns the interest. It’s been so long since she’s really allowed herself to feel, and she’s terrified to let Ryan all the way in.

Will Ryan be able to break through her defenses and show her that she’s worthy of love, or will the attack continue to haunt her, not allowing her to trust or to love?
****
Fading was a very difficult, emotional read that I know will be on my mind for days. Reading the graphic details of Candace’s attack devastated me and ripped my heart out. I was a sobbing mess, and E.K. Blair wrote it in such a way that I felt like I was there, like some sick voyeur on the sidelines desperate to break through and save her, but I couldn’t get past the invisible wall that was holding me back.

Watching Candace deal with her PTSD as she shut everyone out was equally as hard. In any other case, her actions could be seen as frustrating, but it’s written in a way that you can empathize with Candace even if you wish she’d make different choices. No one knows how they’d deal with a situation like this, so we really can’t judge. All I know is that this girl had me in tears over and over again.

Ryan was incredible. His patience, love, and understanding with Candace were breathtaking. He was her savior, just as much as she was his. I loved their relationship, but I would’ve liked to have seen a little more relationship development rather than having Candace recall things that they did. I would have liked to have seen those scenes. Regardless, I connected with these two completely and I can’t wait to see where they go in the future.

Jase and Mark were amazing side characters. I could read a whole book just about them. They’re played in integral role in Candace’s healing, and they also added some much needed light-hearted humor in what was a very emotional, highly charged book.

For a debut novel, I am very impressed with E.K. Blair’s writing and storytelling. I will definitely continue to read more of her work. I cannot wait for the second book to come out. Ryan’s POV may just break my heart even more.

Review: Simply Irresistible (A Lucky Harbor Novel #1) by Jill Shalvis

SYNOPSIS

Maddie Moore’s whole life needs a makeover.

In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother–a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.

Starting over won’t be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career–if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.

The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes–and mouth–are making it hard for her to remember that she’s sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie’s struggles to overcome the past, though she’s about to discover that there’s no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor.

Review:

4-4.5 Stars!

I’m always on the lookout for a good contemporary romance series & I struck gold with this one. I knew I had to check it out when Kristen Ashley mentioned it on facebook yesterday. What Kristen Ashley says do…you do! …AND I am so glad I did!

I had a permanent smile plastered on my face the whole time I read this sweet little story. I definitely laughed MANY times…boy, did I laugh! The story follows Maddie as she renovates the inn that her hippie mother left to her and her three sisters.

“A glass of wine is always the solution. Even if you aren’t sure of the problem.” <–MY MOTTO

Midnight Secrets (Wildefire #1) by Ella Grace

SYNOPSIS

AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, THE HEAT BEGINS

On a hot southern night, with a storm on the horizon, a family is shattered. Three beautiful daughters—Savannah, Samantha, and Sabrina Wilde—go on with their lives, each significantly changed, as they bear the memory of the murder-suicide that killed their parents. For years, they have stayed away from Midnight, Alabama. Until Midnight calls them home.

Savannah is the first one back, when a grueling case in Nashville leads the young prosecutor to seek shelter in the quiet of the once grand Wilde mansion. But when she finds letters casting doubt on her family’s dark, shameful past, she realizes that peace in Midnight is a shallow façade and sinister secrets lurk beneath the surface. Zach Tanner, once the town’s bad boy, is now the new police chief and still has a wild hold over her. Zach can feel it, too, but he hurt Savannah once. As teenagers, they broke every rule together. Now it’s his job to keep her safe, even though he isn’t sure who her enemies are—or which ones might be his own.

 

Review:

I did not pick this book because of the cover. I DID NOT pick this book because of the cover! Ok, I have to admit…that is such a Gutter Girl lie. I totally picked this book because of the cover. To be fair, I also saw good reviews and I had heard nothing but good things about Christy Reece AKA Ella Grace.

That said, I thought this was a pretty good book if you like romantic suspense. It started out really strong for me. Intense prologue and a really sweet romance at the beginning. I loved the beginning, but I started to lose a little bit of interest about halfway through and here’s why…

I’m always up for a good mystery. I love when an author gets my investigative wheels turning, but this story gave me no hints!

Nada.
Zilch.
Nothing!

I wanted to play detective and I couldn’t! It was like an insane game of Clue with a ton of suspects and no clues! I mean give me something, right? While I was intrigued and wanted to know what happened, I was also frustrated that I had nothing to go on. So much so that the story started to feel a little long and all the sudden I was skimming. There were a few really strong chapters at the end that had me sitting on the edge of my seat, but nothing that got me real excited. So, all in all, it was a good read…just not great one for me as far as suspense goes.

I’ve heard good things about Christy Reece’s Last Chance Rescue series and I think I’ll give that a shot to see if it’s more my style!