Review: Mann Cakes by Mysti Parker

Mann Cakes: A Beach Pointe Romance
by Mysti Parker
Published May 11, 2017

Love makes men do desperate things, if desperate things means opening a rival cupcake shop to drive your ex-girlfriend crazy.

Twin brothers and Air Force vets, Tanner and Garrett Mann, return from deployment to find their thriving business burned to the ground. Time for Plan B: Move back to their hometown of Beach Pointe to start over.

But that means running into Paige and Morgan Baxter –gorgeous, curvy, and owners of Two Sisters Cupcakes.

There’s an old diner for sale across town, Garrett’s a great cook, and Tanner has an idea. They’ll make savory cupcakes that men would like. We’re talking bacon and Cheez Whiz. Even better? They’ll call it Mann Cakes. Problem is, they end up attracting an unexpected crowd.

Paige is furious. Every man in her life has left her behind, including Tanner. She’s sacrificed everything for her shop. She won’t lose it over some egotistical ex-boyfriend, even if he does have an Air Force-chiseled body. Her younger sister, Morgan, isn’t helping matters. She’s been gaga over Garrett since high school.

To hell with that. If it’s a fight Tanner wants, it’s a fight he’ll get. But how much is Paige willing to risk to win a cupcake war?

Mann Cakes was so deliciously good, I could read this over and over again.

When AirForce twin vets Tanner and Garrett Mann’s computer shop business got burned to ashes, including their friend Will, they decided to go back to their quaint little hometown, Beach Pointe. There Tanner thought of opening a cupcake shop with manly toppings, like bacon and CheezeWhiz, instead of the usual sugary sweets that most women love.

But there’s one hitch to that plan. There was already another cupcake shop in town, and the owner of these sweet confection were none other than Tanner’s ex-girlfriend Paige and her sister Morgan, who was Garrett’s long time secret crush. It was only a matter of time before the customers cancelled their orders and transferred to another one. Uh-oh. That sounded like monkey business, right?

The rivalry between the Baxters and Manns was hilariously sweet. Tanner upping his game by taunting Paige with his sexy hot body and seductive marketing skills may seem a little childish at one point, but it was definitely worth every drool. I mean worth every penny.

Seriously, these twins were gorgeous and they love the attention – well, Tanner mostly. I liked the Garrett was the subdued one and his love interest was his exact opposite. Tanner, the aggressive one turning mushy and soft around Paige was really cute. I love love love these siblings.

The story was not only fun, but also moving and mysterious. I loved that this book offered more than the sibling rivalry arc, but there was also a guessing game involved in the story – an arsonist on the loose and the paternity test for an autistic child. My heart melted for the wonder boy Tyler and my mind was surprised about the stalker character. Aren’t you mystified yet?

Yes, there’s really a lot to take in with this Mann Cakes and I assure you, this is a really delicious read. Truly highly recommended!

 

Review: Consolation by Corinne Michaels


Consolation (Salvation #3)

by Corinne Michaels

Liam wasn’t supposed to be my happily ever after.
He wasn’t even on my radar.
He was my husband’s best friend—forbidden.

But my husband is dead and I’m alone. I ache for him and I reach for Liam.

One night with Liam changed everything. Now I have to decide if I truly love him or if he’s just the consolation prize.

When I read the first few chapters of the book, I thought I’ve read this kind of scenario before. A NAVY Seal wife was pregnant and waiting for her husband to return, only to learn from his comrade that said husband died in combat. Worlds shattered, feelings deeply hurt, minds in denial and hearts crying in pain – Natalie had experienced all this, while raising her child alone. Until the best friend stepped in.

I told myself, ahhh, I know this already, I know what will happen next… I was so sure of myself when I realized, as I continued to prowl the pages that this story has turned itself and surprised me with not just one but two twists.

Aaron wasn’t the husband Natalie believed him to be. A few weeks after his death, Natalie learned about his “extra-curricular activities” and it devastated her. Liam, her husband’s best friend had been protective of her and made sure she and her daughter was coping and surviving.

Until that mind-blowing cliffhanger happened.

Oh. My. God.

I was sad for Natalie when she lost her husband. But I was heartbroken for Liam even more in the end.

Liam stole my heart. It’s not fair that he had to steal Natalie from Aaron, but he also had to suffer in the process. I love Liam. He’s such a sweet tender loving soul. Gaahh, are there any more like him nowadays?!

And yes, that cliffhanger ending. Corinne Michaels, how could you do this to me? Omg! I can’t wait to read the next book!

 

 

Review: Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls
by Riley Sager

Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Quincy Carpenter, Samantha Boyd and Lisa Milner – what do these ladies have in common?

They survived three different kinds of massacre. They were the last women standing. They were the Final Girls.

Ten years ago, Quincy and her friends met a horrific tragedy in the remote Pine Cottage, but only one girl survived. The press people hounded her for months, her story was vehemently featured in all TV news channels, newspapers, tabloids, podcasts and on the interwebs. She endured it all, until she could finally moved on.

Until Lisa Milner, the original Final Girl was found dead. The second survivor, Samantha Boyd who initially had gone missing suddenly appeared in Quincy’s doorstep, and soon they found themselves in Pine Cottage again, reliving the manslaughter that happened a decade ago, fearful, anxious, scared to death. Literally.

This has been a bone-chilling, mouth-gaping, mind-boggling suspense thriller that had me wide awake at night even after reading it. The deaths, the ripper, the screams, the blood, the weapons, the murderer – everything was a haze and for the rest of the story, I thought I got the murderer right. Until I was deep into the latter chapters when I realized, my guess was wrong. I was mistaken not just once, but thrice.

I won’t further go into detail about the plot or story because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But know this, Riley Sager’s writing is clean and fresh and chilling and something to look forward to. If you’re a fan of thrillers/suspense/whodunnit mysteries, Final Girls is a good pick!

ThrowbackThursday: A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks

throwbackthursday

It’s Thursday once again and we’re back with my newest favorite book meme, #ThrowbackThursday created by Renee of It’s Book Talk (https://itsbooktalk.com/) as her way of sharing some of her favorite oldies but goodies books that were published more than a year ago. Check out her blog to see her TBT recommendations this week 🙂

In my case, I decided to re-read and feature my favorite book of all time. Yes, whenever someone asks me what book really got me, it’s none other than Nicholas Sparks’ A Walk To Remember.

A Walk to Remember
by Nicholas Sparks

Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he’d fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister.

A quiet girl who always carried a Bible with her schoolbooks, Jamie seemed content living in a world apart from the other teens. She took care of her widowed father, rescued hurt animals, and helped out at the local orphanage. No boy had ever asked her out. Landon would never have dreamed of it.

Then a twist of fate made Jamie his partner for the homecoming dance, and Landon Carter’s life would never be the same. Being with Jamie would show him the depths of the human heart and lead him to a decision so stunning it would send him irrevocably on the road to manhood…

I was supposed to re-read this last month, being April was the special month for Landon Carter and Jamie Sullivan. But my busy daily routines got in the way so I had to postpone it. Good thing I finally got to squeeze some time for Nicholas Sparks, and here I am bawling again.

I don’t know why I never get tired of Landon and Jamie. To me, they are proof that love beyond time is possible. That love is something we can always hold on to until our last breath. Their love story always touch my heart. A Walk to Remember is my ultimate favorite book of all time. It’s always my number 1.

As a Christian myself, I loved Jamie’s character. She wad very inspiring; she didn’t lose hope. She was able to reach out and changed Landon’s character for the better. There was not a single moment that I did not cry. And there’s no one else to blame but Nicholas Sparks. I’ve read this book so many years ago even before it was made into a film, and I make it a point to read it every year.

I always wonder how a guy could ever write something as cheesy as his writings! I always thought women authors were better writers because they are more adept to everyone’s feelings. Nicholas Sparks proved me wrong. He is a work of art, his writings are masterpieces. Although many people tell me his characters always end up dead or getting sick and senile and sometimes, no promise of a happy ending, I still want to read his books over and over again. Because his books serve as my anchor to reality, to truth, to God and to life.

I’ve read almost all of Sparks’ books and would still be reading them even when I get old and grey.

Review: Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie
by Mitch Albom

Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, and gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it. For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly twenty years ago.

Maybe, like Mitch, you lost track of this mentor as you made your way, and the insights faded. Wouldn’t you like to see that person again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt you?

Mitch Albom had that second chance. He rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying of ALS – or motor neurone disease – Mitch visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final ‘class’: lessons in how to live.

I don’t know how much tears I’ve shed with this book. I always get scared reading Mitch Albom’s stories, not because they’re scary, because all of them are not; but because they always cause me heart palpitations, ugly crying and mental pain – in a good way. This one’s particularly special because it featured the author’s mentor and former college professor who had a great impact in Albom’s life.

Morrie’s struggles and decisions of surviving while waiting for his demise was not an easy deal to break. Having to reconvene and reconnect with a former student every Tuesday must have been one of his treasured moments in life. The life lessons and beautiful analogies in the book opened my eyes to the reality of life and embracing it one day at a time.

I swear I had to use at least two handkerchiefs to keep my tears from falling. In the end, I gave up and wallowed and reflected everything Morrie Schwartz had said. I can definitely say that this is the most amazing and heartbreaking book I’ve ever read.

Review: Lux and Lies (Whitebird Chronicles1) by Meg Collett

Lux and Lies (Whitebird Chronicles, #1)
by Meg Collett

Mr. Robot meets UnReal in a story of celebrities and anarchists, reality shows and evil corporations, romance and self-discovery.

Nineteen-year-old Wren Iver is nothing more than a dying girl with cancer, but when megastar Sloan Lux dies right before filming starts on the year’s most anticipated reality show, producers scramble to secretly replace her—with Wren. She’s swept into Hollywood and promised a cure by VidaCorp, the nation’s richest pharmaceutical company, for simply replacing Lux. It’s a deal Wren can’t refuse.

The decision could get her killed, because she isn’t the only cast member with ulterior motives.

The Whitebirds, a social anarchist group, has infiltrated the show, and they’ll stop at nothing to use Sloane Lux’s fame to derail VidaCorp’s efforts to legalize their controversial, life-changing drug—a drug that might kill more people than it saves. Caught in the middle of a game between a powerful corporation and ruthless anarchist group, Wren will do anything to survive.

Will Wren secure the drug she needs to survive, or will she become another casualty in the anarchists’ fight against VidaCorp?

Sloane Lux dies and a cancer-stricken girl from Sunshine Heights is sought to replace her. Wren looks a lot like Sloane, you’d think she was her twin sister! When VidaCorp tells her she’s going to undergo some alterations and would eventually star as Lux, she can’t say no. Because the cure to her cancer lies in Hazen Bafford’s hands – the miracle drug Pacem that can stop her illness and prevent her from dying in twenty three days.

The question now is, will she pass as Sloane Lux in the reality TV series?

OMG OMG OMG!

Yes, that’s me after I got to the last page of the book. To say that I was shocked with the turn of events is an understatement. Truth is, I was blown away! How could I have totally overlook the clues and evidences?

Lux and Lies is a very engaging book, every page thrilling, every character captivating. This can be classified as sci-fi dystopian, but seriously, whatever genre this falls in, this book deserves a special spot in my shelf. The Favorites shelf!

Meg Collett is simply outstanding. I love the variety of stories she offers to her readers. No series or book is ever the same. From fallen angels and demons, to war veterans and construction magnates, from little girls and ponies, to aswangs and night ghouls, and now, to drugs and robots? The possibilities are endless with Meg Collett! Lux and Lies already surpassed my expectations. And this is only the beginning!

Review: The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

The Boy Friend by Mika Jolie

According to the law of attraction, women and men can’t be friends.

Contrary to this myth, my friendship with Coriander Phillips does not rest on unrequited love or un-actualized lust. We’ve been inseparable since the day I pulled one of her pigtails and she punched me in the gut.

She’s hilarious, fun to hang out with. Together, we’re like peanut butter and jelly, spaghetti and meatballs, wings and beer. A match made in heaven.

She’s the bomb.

Did I mention she’s smokin’ hot? I’ve checked her out…maybe once or twice. Hey, I’m a guy.

Seriously, no awkwardness, no secret yearning for our relationship to escalate beyond the purely platonic. I’m the boy friend—the loyal shoulder she cries on, the dispenser of coffee, sympathy, hugs, advice, and affection with no expectations.

Until the invisible line between friends and lovers became blurry.

Now I want more. I want her.

All I have to do is convince her we can be more than friends.

Right?

If only it were that easy.

Cori tells Dean that she wants a baby. With the man that she loves. And build a family later on.

But to set things straight, let me tell you. Dean Conrad Morello isn’t Coriander Philips’ boyfriend. Nor lover. They were just friends. Best friends since seven years old. Best friends forever.

How can Cori have a baby in the future? Simple – create an online dating profile and go on dates with the eligible bachelors in town. Who knows, maybe she’ll fine the one?

Dean doesn’t approve though. No matter how many times he tells himself and his friends and sister that Cori is just his friend, everyone disagrees. Protective, jealous and egoistic Dean Morello isn’t Cori’s boyfriend. He’s totally on the friendzone and that’s the limit, no one gets past that boundaries.

Until that one delicious mind blowing kiss.

Wow! I simply couldn’t put the book down once I got it on my hands. From the moment I read Explicitly Yours, Dean Conrad Morello’s narrative, I was sold. The succeeding pages that followed, I was in heaven, grinning and plotting and eyes misting until the end.

This is Mika Jolie’s latest book and the best one I’ve read so far and I loved it. She’s taken the Friends-T0-Lovers trope to a whole new realistic level, the kind that makes the reader involved and had no chance but to agree to everything Dean Morello had to say. Well, for his part anyway. I loved how I finally read a whole book on a male’s point of view, learned how deeply his feelings had evolved and slowly burned for the one he could never have. Yes, most of the time, it’s the ladies’ thoughts that I read, but now, it’s this gorgeous man I got to infiltrate. I didn’t mind not knowing Cori’s state of mind, I’m a girl, I think I know how she felt in the whole debacle about friends and lovers.

Being inside Dean’s mind was both exciting and scary, if you know what I mean. He said things about men that most guys wouldn’t ever admit to doing. He got my heart when he acknowledged that most men are pigs, egocentric, thought about sex all the time. Amidst all this, I can’t help but admire his tenacity and acceptance of his flaws and humongous ego. I thought Dean was actually adorable and the perfect man to subdue Cori.

I love all the characters with all my heart. (Well, except for that Mark Donner client who was thinking with his pants and now with his mind, but he’s a minority, so let’s just leave him at that). I also loved the quick pace of the story, there wasn’t any boring scene nor dull moment with all of them, even little Emma captured my heart. There were also those pieces of advice that Dean throws every now and then, plus recipe list which can come in handy sometime, and the playlist, superb music choice! And oh, my favorite part was that one night when Dean had to stand in as a model for Cori’s wine and paint class. Yeah, I’d love to be in that art class, that’s for sure.

How can I forget about the love scenes? Ahh, Cori and Dean plus bed/wall – definitely enough to make your Kindle melt. Their chemistry? Off the charts!

Mika Jolie did great in this book. I’ve been a fan since I’ve read one of the books in the bestselling Martha’s Way series, and the stand-alone, Somewhere to Begin. It’s no wonder that I love all her books, she’s one talented author who gives me goosebumps and hiccups at the same time. She doesn’t sugarcoat with her words, either. I like that in a book, what you see is what you get. ‘Tis a highly recommended book to all romance junkies who want to have a great time. Worthy of my two thumbs up!