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Smashwords book reviews by Lisa

  • Following My Toes on May 05, 2011

    Following My Toes is the story of Faith, a maybe psychic who loves to follow her feelings. The story actually starts with Faith and two others being abducted, and then we get a giant flashback to see how they got to that point. I find the term "chick lit" gets a bad rap amongst many readers, but this was chick lit in the best senses of the word. It was fun. There were break-ups, make-ups, friendships, and entirely new lives. The cast of characters was hilarious. I think I'd have a hard time picking a favorite, but if forced I'd probably choose Faith's eccentric roommate Missy. Missy was a free spirit who was loads of fun. The ending was not entirely unpredictable, but twists and turns are not what this book is about. It's about exploring the intricacies of various relationships and forgiveness. Can Faith forgive people who have wronged her? Is forgiveness really necessary to truly move on with your life after you've been hurt? Can being introspective about our own feelings blind us to everything else in the world around us? All of these are touched upon with a lightly humorous touch. I found myself laughing many times. The ending was satisfying and made sense for all the characters and their quirks. I kind of thought we'd get to the actual explanation of the abduction from the first few pages sooner, but that didn't take away from my enjoyment. Overall, I found this book to be fun and funny, while still providing several things to think about. In the end, I felt like the characters were old friends I would love to keep hanging out with. And I definitely want to know where they are going from here. Copy of book won in website giveaway.
  • Ballsack on May 07, 2011

    This was a fairly bawdy and humorous take on the type of young adult romances that are so popular today. Initially, I thought I was going to hate it. You can only read the word "ballsack" so many times before you begin to get bothered by it. There were laugh out loud moments, and then times where it felt like that story had lost it's way. The writer certainly has a lot of talent, and a good sense of the absurd. I just felt like if it had a little more clean writing it could have really skewered the genre. Instead, it merely prodded at it and got in a few good jabs.
  • Under The Neon Sky...A Las Vegas Doorman's Story on Nov. 06, 2011

    Las Vegas is a city where anything goes. The stories about things that happen there are legendary. It's not known as Sin City for nothing. The large hotels of Vegas are cities unto themselves, hiring tons of staff to run everything as smoothly as possible. Some of the first people visitors see at the hotels are the doormen. They are considered the "ambassadors" for the hotel. For six years, Jay Rankin was one of them. A doorman at the MGM Grand, Jay worked an overnight shift that marked some of the busiest times for the hotel doormen. While working as a doorman, Jay saw a little bit of everything. At work and at home, he soon discovered that Vegas was a city that could get under your skin in numerous ways. While the money was good, everything around him seemed to be falling apart. He would be forced to choose between Vegas and his life, but that is not as easy a decision as it may seem. I was immediately drawn into this book. It will reaffirm the truth in almost every crazy story you've heard about Vegas and then some. I found the structure of the hotel system fascinating. They really are their own little cities. There are so many people involved in making your visit to Vegas smooth for you, and some of them are definitely characters. However, they are almost always written about with great affection. You can feel that despite everything that happened, the author still has a great love for the people and the city itself. There are some crazy stories about things that happened there. Of course, the wildest night is the one that changes everything for Jay Rankin, the infamous Tyson vs. Holyfield match. Yes, the ear biting one. As he begins to see just what Vegas can do to you, Jay has to make some tough decisions. Despite all the interesting stories, there are a lot of dark aspects to this story. Jay watches as several friends make horrible decisions that get them into even worse positions in life. While he struggles to try and find ways to help them, there is only so much he can do. Even worse is watching Jay's marriage and life spiral out of control. It seems like the more success he has at work. the worse things get at home. Luckily Jay had enough presence of mind to know when it was time for a change. Unfortunately many people he knew did not. I really enjoyed this book. It is a very quick read. It also really made me think. When there is so much craziness around you, is it really possible to keep your balance? At first it seems entirely possible, but as the book goes on you see that maybe this is not doable after all. This book will be of great interest to people who are interested in Las Vegas or just interested in all the wild things that can happen there. And after reading about so many lives falling apart, the ending gives just a bit of hope that some people can escape the insanity. Book provided for review.
  • Fighting for Arielle on Aug. 28, 2014

    Arielle longed for adventure and thought she would get it with a husband in the Navy. Instead, she entered a life of unhappiness and loneliness. Living in Hawaii should be paradise, but it has turned out to be anything but that. Finally finding the strength to try and move on, Arielle meets the super handsome Mick. They have an instant attraction, but naturally things turn out to be much more complicated than either of them could have hoped for. Arielle will have to draw strength she never knew she had to carve out the life that she knows she deserves. This story deals with some deep stuff, and the author makes things feel very real. You get a real feel for Arielle, and you can't help but want her to be happy. She struggles with a lot of different things, but most of all she just wants to be loved and appreciated. This is where Mick comes in. He's mysterious and handsome. He can help to provide Arielle with everything she is craving in more ways than one. Unfortunately this also complicates things. This puts Arielle in the position to have to be strong enough to go after what she truly wants. Arielle also has a great supporting cast, and they help to keep the story from getting too bogged down in all the feelings. Arielle is an adult, and she shows this in many ways. This is a mature story that deals with mature things, but it also manages to keep a sense of humor throughout. This has story and romance, and it is a great read for a rainy day. Sit down and relax, because you won't want to get up until you are done. Book provided for review.