Book Review: Christmas By Accident #FestiveReads

christmasbyaccreview

Christmas By Accident // Camron Wright //  Sept 2018 // Shadow Mountain // Goodreads

Christmas By Accident is a quick, holiday read.

As you should know by now, I love a good light-hearted, festive read, the trashier, the better,  but this one almost lost me on so many occasions.

This is a classic boy meets girl at Christmas story. Abby loves Christmas and all the magic that it brings. Carter is your average Grinch and doesn’t see the point in any of it. When Abby gets in a car accident, Carter is the insurance assessor. He finds a picture of Abby in her written-off car and pockets it. Abby becomes the object of Carter’s affection and things trundle on from there.

I don’t know what it was about Carter, but he came across as a bit creepy and sad to me. I didn’t like the way he took Abby’s picture and kept secretly ogling her at work. I don’t know whether I was subconsciously picturing him as a slightly over-weight, sweaty, creepy guy because he worked in insurance (sorry, Insurance Guys!), but for some reason I was. Descriptions such as  “Carter squeezed from his chair” didn’t help.

I think it was mainly the descriptions that I had problems with, especially the way Carter described Abby as “slight of build” with a “princess chin”. I mean, 1. Cliché much, and 2. What the hell is a princess chin anyway? *rolls eyes*

It was really obvious to me that the author was male, and quite out-of-touch too. Don’t get me wrong, I think more men should write in the romance genre, but unfortunately this one wasn’t a shining example.

But all that being said, I stuck with it, and did eventually get invested in the story. In the end I’m kind of glad I didn’t give up; it actually ended up being quite sweet, if not slightly off in its tone.

unicorn rating 2

Advertisements

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated reads/TBR this summer #TTT #SummerReads

icon4-ttt

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish (click the link to visit them) who pick a different topic each week.

This week the topic is…Top Ten Most Anticipated Releases For The Second Half Of The Year…

I’m tweaking this week’s topic because I haven’t done a summer reading list yet and I want to (not that I ever stick to them but y’know). I’m hoping my summer reading will be a mixture of new releases (anticipated reads) and some from my physical TBR self, so here I’ve chosen 5 of each!

Anticipated Releases:

And I Darken ~ Kiersten White: No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwyla likes it that way.” The first of an epic new trilogy starring the ultimate anti-princess who does not have a gentle heart. Lada knows how to wield a sword, and she’ll stop at nothing to keep herself and her brother alive. July 7th

When Everything Feels Like the Movies ~ Raziel Reid: “Everyone wanted to break me. But stars aren’t broken, they explode. And I was the ultimate supernova…My name was Jude. They called me Judy. I was beautiful either way. This is my story.” August 4th

Labyrinth Lost ~  Zoraida Córdova: “Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.” Beautiful Creatures meets Daughter of Smoke and Bone with an infusion of Latin American tradition in this highly original fantasy adventure. Sept 6th

Phantom Limbs ~ Paula Garner: How do you move on from an irreplaceable loss? In a poignant debut, a sixteen-year-old boy must learn to swim against an undercurrent of grief—or be swept away by it? Sept 13th

The Sunlight Pilgrims ~ Jenni Fagan: “It’s November of 2020, and the world is freezing over. Each day colder than the last. There’s snow in Israel, the Thames is overflowing, and an iceberg separated from the Fjords in Norway is expected to drift just off the coast of Scotland…” The Sunlight Pilgrims is a visionary story of courage and resilience in the midst of nature’s most violent hour. July 19th

From the dreaded TBR pile

The Forgotten Garden ~ Kate Morton: A foundling, an old book of dark fairy tales, a secret garden, an aristocratic family, a love denied, and a mystery. The Forgotten Garden is a captivating, atmospheric and compulsively readable story of the past, secrets, family and memory from the international best-selling author Kate Morton.

Shadow and Bone ~ Leigh Bardugo: “The Shadow Fold, a swathe of impenetrable darkness, crawling with monsters that feast on human flesh, is slowly destroying the once-great nation of Ravka.” Glorious. Epic. Irresistible. Romance. Perfect for fans of Kristin Cashore and Laini Taylor.

The Seeing Stone ~ Kevin Crossley-Holland: The year is 1199, the place the Welsh Marches. Young Arthur de Caldicot practises his tilting and archery, learns to be a dutiful page to his father, and waits impatiently to grow up and become a knight. One day his father’s friend Merlin gives him a shining black stone. When Arthur starts to see stories in the stone, his life quickly becomes entwined with that of his namesake, the boy who pulls the sword from the stone”

Monkeys with Typewriters ~ Scarlett Thomas: Exploring how fiction works, this manual shows you how you can learn to understand it well enough to crack open any fictional narrative, and, if you like, start creating your own.

Reckless ~ Devon Hartford: “Now that Samantha Smith has confronted the demons from her dark past in Fearless, she’s excited to jump into adulthood with newfound confidence and friends Romeo, Madison, and Kamiko…Samantha will be tested to the limits of her resilience, and must discover how truly Fearless she can be in the name of love.”

(Edited synopses taken from Goodreads)

Will you be reading any of these over summer?

This Week in Books 17.06.15

icon2

Welcome to my weekly post, where I sum-up what I’ve been up to in bookland the past week.

Sorry I missed last week guys, but I was in sunny Spain and couldn’t tear myself away from the sangria in order to write a coherent post 😉 I’m keeping this one short too, as I didn’t add anything to my shelves or wishlist while I was away either.

Now: There is No Dog ~ Meg Rosoff // The Testimony of a Hanged Man ~ Ann Granger

twib19.1

I started There is No Dog on the plane home and I’m very nearly done. I really don’t know what to think of it. I’m stiiiiiiiilllllll going on my lunchtime read too, but also near the end!

Then:

twib19.2

I finished The Almost King by Lucy Saxon in the first couple of days I was away and posted a short review here. I also made my way through Cruel Summer by James Dawson which I really liked, and Fearless by Devon Hartford, which was a really pleasant surprise for me. In fact I’m so addicted, the first thing I did when I got home was buy a copy of book 2!

Both of these were great picks to take away, they felt Summery and I could NOT put them down when I was on the beach…so cheers for the sunburn 😉

I’ll try and get both reviews done at the weekend.

Next: ???

bonesofyou

I’m gearing up to start The Bones of You by Debbie Howells

Normality will resume next week! 🙂 If you’re joining in, leave your link in the comments and I’ll come visit. #TWIB

Mr. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

w2
Title: Mr. Miracle
Author: Debie Macomber
Series: Angelic Intervention #10
Edition: Digital ARC, 272 pages
Publication Details: November 20th 2014 by Cornerstone
Genre(s): Romance; Christmas/Holiday
Disclosure? Yep! I received a copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an HONEST review. Many thanks to Cornerstone.

Goodreads
Purchase

Harry Mills is a guardian angel on a mission: help Addie Folsom to get her life back on track – and help her find love.

Creating a happy ending for Addie and her neighbour Erich doesn’t seem like much of a challenge. But soon after arriving in the town of Tacoma, Harry realises he might need some guidance. Addie and Erich can’t stand each other; growing up he was popular and outgoing, while she was rebellious and headstrong. Addie would now rather avoid Erich entirely, especially at Christmas.

Harry is going to need all the help he can get, and a bit of divine inspiration, to help Addie and Erich find their Christmas miracle.

Review

I was well and truly into my festive reads when I started on Mr. Miracle, and after reading and loving Starry Night by the same author the year before, I was looking forward to this one immensely.

I wasn’t aware that this (and a lot) of Macomber’s books are about angels, which isn’t my favourite theme, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me.

Mr. Miracle introduces us to Harry, an angel who is sent to earth on his first ever assignment: Addie Folsom. Harry’s ‘cover’ is that he’s a teacher and his subject, Addie, has just returned home after a failed career start to finish school which she skipped out on a few years previous.

Of course, Addie is in need of some guidance – hence the angelic intervention of Harry. She’s a bit lost. Her father died recently, her career never took off like she thought it would, she’s been pretty unlucky in love, and so she finds herself with very little to show for herself. With a heavy heart, Addie has to swallow her pride and move home.

Addie knows that the first Christmas without her father is going to be hard on her and her mother, but she’s glad they will be together….however, her mum has a different idea entirely and has booked a cruise with her neighbour in order to avoid Christmas altogether.

There’s just one problem. The neighbour’s son who happens to be a childhood enemy of Addie’s has been in an accident and can’t fend for himself. Will Addie step in and care for her school-day’s foe? Will she change he mind about him?

I’m sad to say that I was quite disappointed in this book. The story was very simple and predictable, but a lot of books in this genre are and I still end up getting sucked into the romance and silliness of them, but this one just didn’t win me over.

Addie’s initial hatred for Erich just seemed to disappear in a poof of smoke, and I didn’t find it heart-warming or very festive at all.

Some of the characters were interesting, such as the motley crew in Addie’s class, but they didn’t get enough page-space.

Maybe it’s because I enjoyed my previous festive reads so much that this one paled in comparison; I’m afraid I found it all a bit contrived.

Better luck next time, I guess!

unicorn rating 2

Mr. Miracle and other Debbie Macomber books are available in paperback from Waterstones now.

Out Now: Binds That Tie by Kate Moretti

binds
Title: Binds That Tie
Author: Kate Moretti
Series: N/A
Genre(s): Crime; Thriller
Format(s): Paperback; Kindle
Pages: 340
Published: March 2014 by Red Adept Publishing

Links:
Goodreads
Read an Excerpt
Purchase:
Amazon

Synopsis

Love ties. Murder binds.

Maggie never felt as though she belonged until Chris Stevens showed her what true happiness meant. Ten years into their marriage, miscarriages and infidelities have scarred them both. Despite their perfect-couple image, Maggie can’t look at Chris with anything but resentment. When a charismatic stranger offers the opportunity for a little harmless flirtation, she jumps into the game.

But charm soon turns to malice, and a deadly split-second decision forces Maggie and Chris onto a dangerous path fraught with secrets, lies, and guilt. With no one else to turn to—no one she dares trust—Maggie will ultimately learn just how binding marital ties can be.

Meet the Author

katieKate Moretti is the New York Times Bestselling author of the women’s fiction novel, Thought I Knew You. Her second novel Binds That Tie was released in March 2014. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids, and a dog. She’s worked in the pharmaceutical industry for ten years as a scientist, and has been an avid fiction reader her entire life.

She enjoys traveling and cooking, although with two kids, a day job, and writing, she doesn’t get to do those things as much as she’d like.

Her lifelong dream is to buy an old house with a secret passageway. (ME TOO!)

Website
Facebook
Twitter

Say Whaaaaaat?

“It was almost impossible to put this book down. The suspense was intense. The storyline powerful.” – Meghan, Goodreads

Binds That Tie is a page-turning, plot-twisting, gripping crime novel that will suck you in from the very first word and make your jaw drop at the end.”

-Sarah DiCello, Amazon

“I was hooked from the beginning….. Binds That Tie is a real page turner, full of sympathetic and flawed characters struggling to make their relationships work, but who end up being their own worst enemies.” -W.S Haggard, Goodreads

After Wimbledon by Jennifer Gilby Roberts

wimbAfter 12 years on the pro. tennis tour and four years with her sort-of boyfriend, Lucy Bennett has had enough. She wants real life… and real love.

Her life, her decision. Right? Well, no one else seems to think so. With opinions on all sides, Lucy’s head is spinning. And she’s stumbling right into the arms of long-term crush and fellow player Sam. Shame her boyfriend – his arch-rival – would sooner smash a racquet over their heads than agree to a simple change of partners.

As the Wimbledon Championships play out, Lucy fights for her life on and off the courts. The question is: what will she be left with after Wimbledon?

This book has been at the top of my review request book list for a few months now but I kept having to push it back because of ARC deadline books, and the fact that I couldn’t wait to read some sequels (Frostbite, Scarlet, Insurgent), but in a way I’m glad it took me this long to read it.

Not because it was bad (at all!), but because After Wimbledon is what I’d refer to as a seasonal book. It was such a perfect read for a sunny May bank holiday, I raced through it in two sittings! And also because I’m a British tennis fan, Wimbledon is one of the highlights of my year, and there’s nothing like the first warm days of the year to get me in the mood for that…so waiting a bit longer to start this book really paid off. I am well and truly excited for the summer now!

I think Lucy Bennett is a protagonist that most female twenty-somethings can relate to. She’s approaching thirty and having a bit of a premature mid-life crisis. Tennis is her life, but she’s had enough. Even Wimbledon, the greatest championship of all (even if I do say so myself) has lost its magic.

And it’s not just her career, she’s in a relationship that seems to be going nowhere, and the more she thinks about it, the more she realises how wrong they are for each other.

Enter Sam, who is everything Joe, the current (rubbish) boyfriend isn’t. Not only is he swoon-worthy, and Lucy’s long-term crush, but he too is planning to retire from pro tennis, and coach at Lucy’s parents Tennis club.

I couldn’t help but compare this book to the film Wimbledon, which isn’t a bad thing as it’s one of my guilty pleasure films! I loved the growing relationship between Lucy and Sam, and the drama that them spending more time together created, given that he is her boyfriend’s main rival on the tennis tour. And from my albeit limited knowledge, I thought it portrayed quite a realistic view of life as a professional tennis player. I was especially impressed with Roberts’ simple but effective description of Lucy’s matches and of Wimbledon itself.

That being said, there is also a lot to like about this book if you’re not so keen on tennis. The romance was sweet but not too cliched, and I liked that there were enough complications to keep the story interesting. The cast of characters surrounding Lucy are diverse, and all added something to the story – I especially liked Libby the journalist. And, I couldn’t fault the writing, it’s such an enjoyable read!

I’m totally excited for Wimbledon to start now. Roll on June!

unicorn rating 4

Disclosure?: Yep, I received a copy from the publisher/author in exchange for an HONEST review
Title: After Wimbledon
Author: Jennifer Gilby Roberts
Details: Kindle; Paperback; 264 pages
Published: December 4th 2013 by Createspace (first published November 29th 2013)
My Rating: 4/5

If you like the sound of this, you can also read Jennifer’s inspiration behind the novel on a guest post she did for my blog earlier in the year HERE.