The Reluctant Bachelorette by Rachael Anderson (Audiobook review)

>>  Monday, September 1, 2014

The Reluctant Bachelorette: A Romantic Comedy  by Rachael Anderson
HEA Publishing / Audible
Narrated by Jennifer Reilly
Length: 10 hrs and 6 mins
Released Dec 23, 2013

About the book:
Unknowingly cast as the bachelorette for her town's charity event, Taycee Emerson wants out. Especially when she discovers her old teenage crush, Luke Carney, is one of the bachelors and it's up to the viewers - not her - to decide which bachelors stay or go.

Coerced into participating, Taycee does what any self-preserving girl would do. She launches a subtle attack on Luke's good name with the hope of getting him voted off the show. Unfortunately, Luke's an eye-for-an-eye kind of guy, and when he discovers what she's up to, it means revenge.

My thoughts:

This book is labeled a romantic comedy and it lives up to that name. It's a light-hearted, fun and clean story about a girl who's not quite over her teenage crush and childhood friend, Luke. When her friend coerces Taycee into being the town bachelorette to help raise money for the farmers, Taycee's otherwise quiet life as a florist goes viral.

Taycee is a simple girl with a complicated love life. She is a well-built character in the story, and although I didn't always relate to her, I liked her. Some of the other characters are somewhat cookie-cutter, but it's a romantic comedy and suits the story.

I listened to the audiobook version of this book and thought overall Jennifer Reilly does a good job of narrating. She grew on me as a narrator. The story kept me entertained and made me wonder if I could have handled being a bachelorette when I was younger. Probably not, when I think of all the unwanted exposure and attention it gives a person. Which made me appreciate what Taycee did to help out her town.

I'm not a fan of The Bachelorette TV show, but if you are, I think this would certainly appeal to you. The author creatively used this theme as a plot for a romantic comedy, and came up with a fun story to chase away the blues.Oh, and I like the book cover. It's perfect for this novel.

This book is rated C = clean read.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: Thanks to the author and Audiobook Jukebox for sending me this audio book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

LISTEN UP! is a monthly link-up of audiobook reviews. If you listen to and review audiobooks be sure to link up here so others can visit your blog and see what you're listening to!


LISTEN UP! Monthly Link Up of your Audiobook Reviews - September 2014

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Hey Everyone! I've decided to host the monthly link-up of our audiobook reviews right here on Library of Clean Reads. I love listening to audiobooks, so I thought if we can link-up our audiobook reviews, it's a good way to visit and see what other bloggers are listening to. I hope you join me in linking up!

On the first day of every month, I will have the link to the monthly link-up on my left sidebar. This is the link-up page for SEPTEMBER.

So spread the word! Feel free to grab the Listen Up! pic or copy and paste the HTML code for the button for your blog, found below:

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HTML Code for sidebar button:
<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt=" photo 2aa49815-05a5-4a7a-8596-4906ffa86969_zpsc3de8c0e.jpg"/></a>

Looking forward to reading your audiobook reviews!



Mailbox Monday and It's Monday, What Are You Reading? Sept 1 Edition

>>  Sunday, August 31, 2014

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia who now blogs at To Be Continued. It is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

It's September tomorrow!!! Yikes, where did the summer go? I will mourn the shorter days and less sunshine but I will welcome a more stable routine. My summer was crazy.

This is what I got for review:

A Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick

Letitia holds nothing more dear than the papers that prove she is no longer a slave. They may not cause white folks to treat her like a human being, but at least they show she is free. She trusts in those words she cannot read--as she is beginning to trust in Davey Carson, an Irish immigrant cattleman who wants her to come west with him.

Nancy Hawkins is loathe to leave her settled life for the treacherous journey by wagon train, but she is so deeply in love with her husband that she knows she will follow him anywhere--even when the trek exacts a terrible cost.

Betsy is a Kalapuya Indian, the last remnant of a once proud tribe in the Willamette Valley in Oregon territory. She spends her time trying to impart the wisdom and ways of her people to her grandson. But she will soon have another person to care for.

As season turns to season, suspicion turns to friendship, and fear turns to courage, three spirited women will discover what it means to be truly free in a land that makes promises it cannot fulfill. This multilayered story from bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick will grip readers' hearts and minds as they travel with Letitia on the dusty and dangerous Oregon trail into the boundless American West.

Have a Happy Family by Friday by Dr. Kevin Leman

Every member of a family plays a vital role in the health and happiness of the household. Everyone is important, deserves to be treated with love and respect, and needs to know that when they make mistakes they will still be loved unconditionally. And when every member of the family is pulling for each other and on the same team, everybody wins. But is this kind of family life even possible?

Parenting expert Dr. Kevin Leman says it is, and he's ready to show moms and dads exactly how they can make it happen in their family--in just five days. He shows families how to

· communicate honestly and kindly
· prioritize the right things
· maintain great attitudes and behaviors
· determine the role they play in the family structure
· make family time count

As always, Dr. Leman's outstanding advice is laced with humor, great stories, and the wisdom that comes only from a lifetime of experience.

For parents who've had it up to here with bickering, hurt feelings, and emotional exhaustion, Have a Happy Family by Friday is just what the doctor ordered.

Free Kindle:

Fantastik by C.A. McGroarty

Charlie Boone, a city bus driver and the bastard son of a schizophrenic woman, still lives in his boyhood home with his wife and two kids and cares for the ailing mother who made him promise…he’d never let them take her away.

But Charlie’s unfortunate childhood isn’t the only thing haunting him. Tormented by unsettling dreams and disturbing visions of his own, he now finds himself on the brink of insanity, and the thought that he shares the same affliction as his mother is beginning to look like a reality. The prospect of losing his wife Lisa and their two boys has him desperate for answers.

Jake Mott, an ex-con, has spent the last three decades in a maximum security prison for killing a man in cold blood. Still struggling with the guilt of his youth and life in the free world, he is planning a trip to California to reclaim a bag of money he buried thirty years ago.

A leap of faith brings them together to embark on an epic journey of hope and redemption. Their improbable meeting and unlikely friendship allows each of them to find the missing pieces to their lives, but only one of them survives.

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. This is where we keep track of what we are currently reading and plan to read.  The kidlit version is hosted by Jen at Teach Mentor Texts.

Read and reviewed:
What Counts the Most is How You Finish by Shelia Payton (reviewed by guest blogger Laura Hogan)
The Promise by Ann Weisgarber (Very good!)

Currently Reading:

The Maze Runner by James Dashner (Love this author's writing! Suspenseful and thrilling.)

Have you read any of these books?


The Promise by Ann Weisgarber

>>  Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Promise by Ann Weisgarber
Published by Mantle
ISBN: 978-0230745650
Published March 14, 2013
Hardcover,304  pages

On the shuttle bus, returning back to my hotel from BEA, I met Herman Graf, the acquiring editor and consultant for Skyhorse Publishing. We struck up a friendly conversation about books and everything else under the sun. He told me I absolutely had to read The Promise. So I made my own promise to him, and read it when I returned to Montreal.

The Promise is one of those books that holds the reader's attention because of the fine tension the author builds between the characters. In this story, the tension builds parallel to the setting: 1900 Galveston Island, Texas, the year it experienced the hurricane that was the worst U.S. disaster in the twentieth century. The Promise is a heartbreaking novel, not bawl-your-eyes-out heartbreaking, but one filled with sadness, longing and lost opportunities.

Catherine Wainwright, a young pianist, who has an affair with the wrong man, ends up being shunned by society and escapes in a hurried marriage to Oscar Williams. He is a recently widowed man with a small son, Andre, and he owns a farm in Galveston, Texas. The marriage affords her respectability, a home, and a place away from society, but it is a far cry from the pampered life she was used to. Nan Ogden, the young housekeeper who made a promise to Oscar's late wife that she would take care of Andre, does not like Catherine, and harbors her own feelings for Oscar.

The story is told from alternating point-of-views, which worked well for this story. We get to see things from both Catherine and Nan's perspectives, which is brilliant because as a reader I felt pulled on both sides, which, once again, built that high-strung tension that leads to the storm both internally and externally. The characters are well-built, the island life came to life, and the devastation from the storm is keenly felt.

I turned the last page with sadness, but also with contentment. This was a very good story. It made me reflect on the consequences of keeping secrets, of not taking care of personal issues at the right time, of learning to put the past behind and move forward. Ann Weisgarber is a talented writer, with the ability to create believable characters that come to life and the imagination to build a good story based on an historical event that actually took place. Highly recommended for fans of literary fiction.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

Reviewed by Laura

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library. I was not told how to rate or review this product.


What Counts Most is How You Finish by Shelia Payton

>>  Monday, August 25, 2014

I have a great book on tour with iRead Book Tours this month, and it's reviewed here by guest blogger Laura Hogan. I met the author at BEA and liked her immediately. See why my guest blogger, who read the book, thinks the advice is worth paying attention to.

What Counts Most is How You Finish: Thoughts on Living Life to the Fullest by Shelia Payton
ISBN: 978-1165364982
Published January 26, 2012
Trade paperback, 274 pages

What Counts the Most is How You Finish has a great deal of advice, organized as short essays grouped into 7 categories, including: Being You, Taking Care of You, Dealing with People, Overcoming Challenges, Staying Focused, Achieving Success and Making a Difference.

Since the author is not a psychologist, counsellor or therapist, but rather a woman who has earned success in areas as diverse as journalism, entrepreneurship and teaching, it has a fresh and practical perspective. For example, the chapter entitled “How to Be Tough-Minded Without Being Hard-Hearted” has some specific and interesting counsel on how to distinguish between people who are ‘asking for help because they are really trying to stand on their own two feet’ and ‘those who are asking for help because they don’t want to take the initiative to stand on their own two feet’ [italics mine]. It is kindly straight talk for both the helper and (indirectly) for the ‘helpee’.

Payton encourages the development of deep-seated kindness and positive focus in an unjust world. She frankly acknowledges that there are situations wherein people will deliberately throw obstacles in your path or even well-meaning people will act on baseless assumptions, but emphasizes that we can turn even these situations to our advantage.

The repeated theme of ‘learning is never wasted’ is excellent and the author reveals how to apply this counsel as she relates various personal experiences, from seeking out extra credit work to get the grade deserved or dealing with being passed over for promotion by people she had trained.

Many of the essays would be a good ‘jumping off point’ for discussions with pre-teens through to young adults, perhaps being less intimidating than a more typical self-help book. It is not clinical or trite, but rather editorial in nature, with the observations and experience of someone who lives with integrity.

Ultimately, the gist of the book is to encourage people to develop a life plan and then to cultivate the ability and the habit to consider the consequences of their actions (both for themselves and others) before making the decisions that will help them to achieve their goals. Its positive message also includes encouragement for those who find themselves in the predicament of having to work to correct previous bad decisions. What Counts Most is How You Finish is not the self-styled guru’s answer to everything—it's meant to stimulate meaningful and lively discussion….and it does a pretty good job.

Note: This book is rated C = clean read.

About the Author:
Shelia Payton is an entrepreneur, former newspaper reporter, corporate manager and educator who spent all of her early life and much of her career in a time when people of color and women in this country were pushing for greater inclusion at all levels of society, and seeking greater opportunities to live life to the fullest.

Like others in her generation, Shelia had to face and overcome barriers to entering and succeeding in non-traditional jobs, and create a place in civic and leadership settings. Also like others in her generation, Shelia’s motivation has not just been about what she can accomplish for herself, but also how she can open up opportunities for future generations. Shelia’s current focus is on creating books, plays and music that build human connections by breaking down barriers and stereotypes.

Visit Shelia's website:

Reviewed by Laura Hogan (guest blogger)

Disclosure: Thanks to the author and iRead Book Tours for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.

"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
— Mark Twain

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