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Smashwords book reviews by Bonnie

  • Bridesmaid Lotto on June 29, 2011

    Bridesmaid Lotto was a really fun and lighthearted read. I loved Josie as a main character and she just felt so real to me. I loved that she was prone to accidents and embarrassing herself in public – who isn’t? – and her Disaster Diary provided some welcome comic relief. Josie really did not want to be a part of the Bridesmaid Lotto but eventually the glitz and glamour (and of course the chance to meet her long time movie star crush) wins out and she surrenders to the parties and the designer dresses. While she does get caught up in the excitement preparing for the wedding I was happy to see that she didn’t completely loose herself. She still reminded herself of who she was by writing about her misadventures in her Disaster Diary and she remained relatively grounded considering the situations she found herself in. I absolutely loved Josie’s friend Matty, he was the token gay best friend, but his character was done so well. He wasn’t too over the top and added just the right amount of humor. The love story was a little predictable but it was well done so I didn’t mind. It was nice for a change to read of a main character who isn’t completely tortured and damaged and suffering in an emotionally draining relationship. Josie’s relationship was the kind of story that makes you *sigh* and wish you were in her shoes. Sometimes we all need a little bit of a fairy tale. I don’t often read Chick LIt but I am so glad that I read Bridesmaid Lotto. It was the perfect combination of humor, wit, and a little bit of romance. I can honestly say that I am looking forward for the release of the next book in the series Gamble on Engagement, which is expected to be released in August, 2011. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a light and fun romantic comedy. I received a free copy of Bridesmaid Lotto from the author (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
  • Between The Land And The Sea on Feb. 28, 2012

    Review originally posted to Hands and Home blog Feb 28, 2012 The Story: I really had no expectations when I began reading this book as it was my first mermaid story and with the exception of Disney’s Ariel I had zero frame of reference. I am happy to say that from the very beginning this book had me hooked. Marina is a 16 year old who has travelled the world with her father and lived an extravagant life with her Aunt Evie. Nothing however could have prepared her to move to Aptos with her bohemian Aunt and edgy cousin while her dad travels to Afghanistan for work. Marina tries to navigate her way through the trials of high school and run ins with the “popular” crowd (a completely foreign concept to her) all the while wishing to understand her draw to the sea and her mysterious connection with a Mermaid named Lorelai. I was particularly impressed with how well Anderson was able to portray Marina’s lure to the sea. It was psychological, emotional, physical and completely out of Marina’s control which I have to admit had me on edge more than once. I kept waiting for something sinister to happen and was beginning to become suspicious of almost everyone in the book (probably due to the fact that I have been reading far too much paranormal YA these days!). The Characters: Marina was a great protagonist and I found that I really liked her. She was smart, confidant, and most of all genuinely kind and likeable. If I had one complaint it would be the focus placed on all of Marina’s designer clothes and accessories. I understand that her relationship with her Aunt Evie and therefore her extravagant gifts (and her appreciation without obsession of them) was a big part of who she was, but it got a little old after a while. I really, really loved Ethan. Finally a male YA character who is not a jerk. Seriously, Ethan had the smoldering looks and popularity but he was also caring, hardworking and thought for himself rather than following the stuck up crowd that he hung out with. I loved that Ethan was a character that did more than surf and wander idly through his days. He had plans and wasn’t afraid to work for them. In my opinion this is the kind of character that we should hope to see more of in YA. There was an edge to his personality which, combined with all of his positive characteristics, made him most definitely swoon-worthy! The Romance: Would you believe it if I told you that this is a YA book that does not fall victim to the curse of instalove. While the attraction between Marina and Ethan is nearly immediate, it actually takes them quite a while to get to know each other, trust one another and develop their relationship into anything serious. There are definitely sparks and they are believable because it took more than one look for them to develop. Ethan is the epitome of the sweet, caring guy but he has enough roughness to him to make him appealing. He is a good guy with a little something that could be dangerous lurking under the surface – and I think we will see more of that in the next book. The Writing: When Derrolyn Anderson approached me to review this series I had not read many indie authors and had never read a mermaid book so I was going blindly into this read. Since that time I have read quite a few books by indie authors and was impressed by the caliber of Anderson`s writing – and not just as an indie author but for any published author. There were a few speech elements that I found distracting and a little annoying (for if you read the book you will probably see what I mean) but other than this bit of stylistic nit picking I think Between the Land and the Sea was a really well written book. Final Verdict: I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to any fans of YA, paranormal fiction and mermaids! I received a review copy of Between the Land and the Sea from the author (thank you!!!) in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.