woensdag 25 januari 2017

Making Bad Choices - Rita Stradling

Publisher: Rita Stradling

Published: January 2017

ISBN: 9781540684462

Culter Fuller came back into my life on the day my mother died, as if losing my mother wasn't bad enough.
We hated each other since childhood. Well, I hated him. He had a very different story.
When I moved to my dad's house to finish my last semester of high school, we went from bitter enemies to. . . something else. He was suddenly everywhere, occupying my space, determined to pull me into his life, filling me with thoughts I knew were wrong.
I knew that soon we would cross a line that should never be crossed.
I knew crossing that line could have very serious consequences; because Culter Fuller wasn't just any irresistible boy, Culter Fuller was my stepbrother.
But, I was always very bad at making the right choices.

My review
Well, the blurb and the caution "Recommended 16+ this is a mature YA" made me quite curious. This had to be good. And I a few ways, it was. Rita Stradling describes in an excellent way how Cassie is struggling with her feelings and emotions after burying her mother. After years of taking care of her sick mother, Cassie now moves back in with her father, her stepmother, and her two stepbrothers. 
It must definitely be hard to watch your mother struggle with cancer, chemo's and losing weight. And finally losing the battle. You can feel the grief and despair of Cassie, who had to endure this during her teens. It marks her and that's why she acts differently than most teens. So, that part was very interesting. Culter on the other hand, was a bit less interesting. Oh, definitely interesting in the 'look-at-that-handsome-Full-of-yourself-Fuller' kind of guy. But he is a much less in depth character as Cassie. 
Furthermore, the history of the love-hate relationship between Cassie and Cutler was a bit unclear to me. What happened precisely and why was Cassie still so angry about this? 
However, the story unfolds nicely, with a definite twist in the plot at the end. You don't see that one coming, so that's very nice.
The caution and the bad choices in the book are a bit overrated in my opinion. I've read books where even my ears turned deep pink, but it is not one of those. So just sit back and enjoy this one. Four out of five stars from me. With a thank you for Netgalley for providing the ARC.

maandag 23 januari 2017

Reckless Hearts - Heather van Fleet

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Published: February 2017

ISBN: 9781492637165

Three alpha men and a baby.
What could possibly go wrong?

From boot camp to the Iraqi desert, best friends Collin, Max, and Gavin have been through hell and back. But these rugged Marines might need help facing their biggest challenge: raising Collin's nine-month-old daughter, Chloe.
After the death of his girlfriend in an accident, Collin Montgomery has sworn off serious relationships. His buddies have his back-and convince him it's okay to cut loose sometimes. Enter the hottest, smartest girl he's ever met. But what he really needs is a nanny.
Addison Booker needs a job desperately-and fast. She shows up to interview for the nanny position only to find the sexy, cocky man she can't get out of her head. Collin knows hiring her is a bad idea-they disagree about almost everything-but Addison is so good with little Chloe. And there's no substitute for chemistry, right?

My review
The storyline of Heather van Fleet in Reckless Hearts is definitely prone to some hilarious situations. A single (hot) marine dad with a cute babygirl, living together with two army buddies? Yeah, the banter between them is funny and contagious. So, Heather does a very fine job in describing the very real characters of Collin, Max and Gavin. If I'm honest, I found the broody Gavin and the flirtatious Max even more interesting characters than main character Collin. Of course, he is the alpha man, with a sad past (if your girlfriend dies and leaves you an adorable baby, you indeed have a sad past). But other than that, Collin is mostly in constant battle with his conscience.... and with Addison. Sparks are certainly flying between Addison and Collin. But since they both don't really know what to do with the situation (technically Collin is Addison's boss, since she's Chloe's nanny): there is a lot of struggling between them.
At sometimes it is even a bit frustrating and longwinded: do you like each other? Or not? But fortunately we also have Max, Gavin and Lia (Collin's sister). They keep the story flowing, and you can feel that there is something brewing between Max an Lia. But what? I suppose we will find out in the next book? I can't wait. As for Collin and Addison: if you want to know if opposites attrack: read Reckless Hearts.
Four out of five stars from me, with a thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing the ARC.

zondag 8 januari 2017

Lethal Game - Katie Reus

Publisher: KR Press, LLC

Published: January 2017

ISBN: 9781942447962

He broke her heart.

Graysen’s betrayal nearly destroyed Isa a year ago. Now that she’s working for Red Stone Security, she’s managed to piece her life back together after a rough year and a broken heart. Then he appears back in her life and makes it clear he’s not going anywhere until she gives them a second chance. A chance she refuses to take.

Now he’s back to claim what’s his.

Graysen’s never gotten over Isa and he knows he never will. It’s his fault she walked away, but he can’t seem to let her go. He quit his job with the CIA and called in every favor he had to get hired by Red Stone Security just to be near her again. But Isa doesn’t care that he’s desperate to make things right between them—she wants nothing to do with him. He doesn’t blame her, but he’s not willing to give her up. When they’re cornered by lethal terrorists, everything changes. Graysen and Isa will have to find a way to work together if they want to survive. Only then will he be able to convince her to claim the chance at happiness the past stole from them.

My review
This is the 15th (and final) book of the Red Stone Security series of Katie Reus. Not having read any of the previous 14 titles wasn't a problem though. We meet Isa, a determined, independent woman who is working undercover for Red Stone Security. We meet her as she just finishes a job. 
And we meet Graysen. A very fine specimen, who is head over heels in love with Isa. But he screwed up. Big time. And so Isa has left everything behind a year ago, to start fresh. Without Graysen. And although she doesn't want to admit that she still has some feelings for him, she is determined to guard her heart and not be involved with man ever again. 

Graysen has pulled every string to have a job together with Isa, just to be able to talk to her again. Of course, Isa is not amused and definitely not in the mood to make amends with him. But everywhere she turns, she runs into Graysen. And then their undercover job for Red Stone Security gets dangerous. Because Isa en Graysen stumble onto some very dark secrets of the company they are investigating. But the suspect isn't willing to let them reveal the truth. He will stop at nothing, not even to kill innocent people or kidnap bystanders. Like Emerson, one of the few friends Isa has left. 

So now, Isa and Graysen have to work together to stay alive. Will the succeed in stopping the bad guy and will they have a shot at a second chance?
A very exciting and thrilling read. Now I still have to read all the other 14 parts, I guess. Four out of five stars from me. 

woensdag 4 januari 2017

The Other Einstein - Marie Benedict

Publisher: Sourcebook Landmark

Published: October 2016

ISBN: 9781492637257

A vivid and mesmerizing novel about the extraordinary woman who married and worked with one of the greatest scientists in history.

What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? His first wife, Mileva “Mitza” Marić, was more than the devoted mother of their three children—she was also a brilliant physicist in her own right, and her contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated for more than a century.

In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. There, she falls for charismatic fellow student Albert Einstein, who promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, so too does Mileva’s worry that her light will be lost in her husband’s shadow forever.

A literary historical in the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein reveals a complicated partnership that is as fascinating as it is troubling.

My review
Off course I know of the famous Albert Einstein and his theory E=mc2. However, more than his wild hair and his tongue sticking out on the famous picture was not known. So I was real curious about the wife of Albert Einstein.
Marie Benedict did an outstanding job in describing the academic world in the eighteenth century. Generally speaking, women were not allowed to be educated and only the few talented ladies, such as Mileva, were able to study. I was mesmerized by the descriptions of Mileva's struggles to gain acceptance in class and from her professors. How hard it must have been for those few women to face all those challenges. And I really wanted to knock some sense in Mitza when she got pregnant from Albert before they were married. All that her father had fought for and how he tried to give her a better future than just a housewife just went down the drain.
And indeed, it went downhill from then for Mileva. Albert proved himself a selfish bastard, by taking off her name on the papers they had written together. So, Mileva never got the credit for her work on the relativity theory, which made Einstein famous. As Mileva gets degrated more and more as a simple hausfrau by Einstein, it really upset me. How could a briljant physicist like her let someone reduce her to a mere housekeeper? 

After reading this historical fiction, I found myself looking up facts about Albert Einstein and his first wife. Could it be that Marie Benedict was right? Was Albert the bastard she describes him to be? And did he really steal the work of Mileva as his own? Although there is not enough evidence to support the fact that Mileva really was the author of one or more papers of Albert, I think Marie has done an outstanding job in weaving the known facts about Albert's life (like the illegitimate daughter born before their marriage) with a story from Mileva's point of view. Even if she was a bit of the truth, I think it shows in a wonderful way how women had to work so hard to be recognized in history. 

Four out of five stars from me. With special thanks to Sourcebooks for the ARC.