Review: The Other La Boheme




Synopsis:

The Other La Bohème is literary fiction that depicts the lives and loves of four friends who pursue opera singers’ careers in present-day New York City. Jennifer (soprano), Stephanie (mezzo-soprano), Henry (tenor), and John (baritone) met in music school in Manhattan, where they performed Puccini’s famous opera La Bohème at their graduation concert. After graduation they banded together as a group called the Dolci Quattro, pledging to support one another in their professional pursuits. Several years later, they have landed the roles of Mimi, Musette, Marcello, and Rodolfo in the nearly forgotten opera La Bohème by Leoncavallo—known as “the other La Bohème”—which is to be produced by the New York Bel Canto Opera.

The novel begins with arias and a duet sung by Henry and Stephanie in the Café Momus. Jennifer and John come in, and they congratulate each other on their new roles. Immediately, though, the thoughts of the current state of their personal lives cool their enthusiasm. 

As the story unfolds, Jennifer discovers that her fiancé, Richard, an investment banker and a fiction writer, is having an affair with another woman. Stephanie struggles to find a steady love, while perturbed by a strained relationship with her father, a billionaire hedge fund manager, who abandoned her late mother. Henry faces a pressure from his family to renounce his bohemian life for a more respectful career as he meets his new love, Christine, a poet. John receives a summons for divorce from the lawyer of his wife Michelle, a painter. 

Set in the rich artistic backdrop of New York City, the Dolci Quattro’s lives and loves go through ups and downs in joy and despair, while true to their pledge they give one another much-needed moral support. As the opening night nears, the Dolci Quattro make their utmost efforts to perfect their singing for the opera that will determine their future. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Other La Boheme by Yorker Keith is stunning tale of four friends whose lives are falling apart as they prepare for their opera performance. An opera performance that may change their careers forever. I loved how Yorker Keith brought the opera life and the lives of the singers in a three-dimensional way. They popped from the pages. Their troubles felt real and the story continued to captivate as their struggles grew. Each friend pledged to support one another and so they do…but life can be difficult to manage as well as maintain a certain professional appearance in the singing careers. Relationships, family, and friends are major themes of this book. I found it captivating. The writing was easy to follow along and engaging. The characters each faced a different issue and their bond as friends helps. A very realtic novel that everyone can relate to. Overall, The Other La Boheme is a must read for those who love music, opera, and art. 

Review: One More Kiss



Synopsis:

Matt Reed was living the dream until a bad career move sends him back to his hometown for much-needed privacy. Instead, he finds someone he never expected: the woman whose steamy kiss he remembers like it was yesterday.

Vivienne Forrester finally has her life in order… until Matt moves back to town. She doesn’t want to think about the time she threw caution to the wind with him, but running into him everywhere, it’s impossible not to… 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Samantha Chase, wow, you have outdone yourself once more! First, let me just say, that Samantha Chase has a particular writing style that I love. Her characters have this tug of war going on in each one of her books. Especially, inside One More Kiss. The tug of war is not just one sided. Second, there’s this deep emotional journey that one or both main characters go through…like Matt Reed. He’s a sexy, hot, and talented rockstar. Double check. But there’s more to him than beats the eye. His past history comes to light. Family stuff that’s hard to swallow. Immediately, I wanted to hug him. I wanted to let him know I felt his pain and will be there to support him. Honestly, Matt Reed felt so real. His burdens were realistic. Samantha Chase has a knack for creating the best three-dimensional characters. Well-rounded. Sure they make look perfect and a have super great talent. But they also have real issues like the rest of our world. Real world issues masterfully woven into a beautiful told fictional piece. If that’s not enough to keep readers hooked there is the heat and instant chemistry war going on between Matt Reed and his best friend’s sister. Vivian had always had a fantasy dream crunch on Matt. Now as adults, it feels much more potent. Then getting to see him in person after all the years he’s been gone…and the desire and dreams hit her hard. Full force. Slap to the face. She meets him once again. They quickly share a kiss…before the world comes shaking up their moment. Vivian is taken away…and after that life went on like the moment never happened…Samantha Chase is a talented writer. She not only creates stories that readers can easily relate to and love but ones that will never be forgotten. This entire book was a journey…and it was epic in every way. Overall, if love hot rockstars and a powerful romance, then this novel is the perfect read. I highly recommend One More Kiss to readers worldwide. 

Review: This Is Our Song 


Synopsis:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Samantha Chase crafts a tender, hopeful family-centered romance..

She knows him by reputation…
Riley Shaughnessy knew that to stand out in his large family, he’d have to go big. Making a name for himself as a musician wasn’t easy, but he followed his dreams to rock-star success. But the relentless expectations of fans is not helping the slump he’s in now. So of course the person who attracts him is the woman who is not impressed by fame.

Which gives Riley Shaughnessy a lot to prove…
Entertainment reporter Savannah Daly is completely unfazed by pretty-boy rock stars. She’s just here to get her interview and write her story. But spending an entire month with the Shaughnessys is going to show Savannah a side of Riley she never could have guessed.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

This Is Our Song by Samantha Chase is an intoxicating contemporary read. The novel holds a lot of sass, sweetness, and intrigue. The featured couple make a great team…only if they are willing to let their hearts fall for one another. Famous rockstar singer and his big sweet loving family is enough to make any woman fall closer to the man…but still fear keeps her at bay. Even her own family loves the singer and his family. Heart melting, engaging, and definitely a page turning tale. Sexy but family orientated. A bit cheesy and a whole lot of romance. The instant sparks between the journalist and rock star are enough to heat up the day and make readers blush. I loved the way the siblings were all there together. The father and son bond was beautifully done as well. A song writer who is experiencing writer’s Block and is frustrated beyond meets a woman who isn’t happy about doing his interview. Yet when they finally meet…both can’t forget the other or let go of each other. Is it fate? 

Samantha Chase has brilliantly spun another fabulous title. I love her world of fiction. Irresistible characters, thrilling plotline, and a fast-paced tempothat will keep readers interested until the last page. I love how Samantha Chase creates magic within her books. This was a stunning magical journey that I want to revisit again. There was so many the,see to love about this story. Family, love, dreams, and finding oneself. This Is Our Song was perfect. I highly recommend it to all.

Review: Long Way Gone


Synopsis:

“No matter where you go, no matter whether you succeed or fail, stand or fall, no gone is too far gone. You can always come home.”

At the age of eighteen, musician and songwriter Cooper O’Connor took everything his father held dear and drove 1,200 miles from home to Nashville, his life riding on a six-string guitar and the bold wager that he had talent. But his wager soon proved foolish.

Five years after losing everything, he falls in love with Daley Cross, an angelic voice in need of a song. But just as he realizes his love for Daley, Cooper faces a tragedy that threatens his life as well as his career. With nowhere else to go, he returns home to the remote Colorado mountains, searching for answers about his father and his faith.

When Daley shows up on his street corner twenty years later, he wonders if it’s too late to tell her the truth about his past—and if he is ready to face it himself.

A radical retelling of the prodigal son story, Long Way Gone takes us from tent revivals to the Ryman Auditorium to the tender relationship between a broken man and the father who never stopped calling him home.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin is truly a phenomenal story. I couldn’t believe the writer’s talent. I kept asking myself why or how I haven’t read any of his previous books until now…absolutely amazing. The tale instantly hooks readers into the plot. It was memorizing. The heart and soul can be felt with every page. At first the tale reminded me of the biblical tale about the older son leaving and then returning home. In a way this was similar to that. The main character, Cooper O’Conner is one that readers like myself will never forget. His journey was epic. Sad, realities, and heartfelt. It makes me want to reach out to the character. The past can only hold us back from our futures if we let it. That was the theme I strongly senesed inside here as well as one of redemption and love. Then there was also, hope. The ending was heart melting. I loved reading this latest novel by Charles Martin. He definitely knows how to wrap his words around and into readers’ hearts. Overall, I recommend this coming of age read to readers worldwide. 

Review: Remembrance of Blue Roses

 

Synopsis:

Remembrance of Blue Roses follows a man and a married couple in New York City, whose intricate relationship oscillates among friendship, love, love-triangle, and even obsession. Its romantic ambience is interwoven with classical music, opera, art, family legend, and international affairs, illuminating the lives of international civil servants at the United Nations and the UN peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo, and those with direct experience of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust. Mark, the narrator and an American, works for the United Nations in New York as a personnel officer; his friend, Hans, German, also works for the UN as an economist; and Yukari, Japanese and Hans’s wife, is a professional violinist. One day Mark encounters Hans and Yukari in a museum. As Hans enjoys opera singing and Mark is into painting, the three foster their friendship through classical music, opera, and art. Mark resists feeling drawn to his friend’s wife. One evening over dinner, they discover that their families were acquainted generations ago. This bonds them together. During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond. The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as

During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond. The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as

One day Mark encounters Hans and Yukari in a museum. As Hans enjoys opera singing and Mark is into painting, the three foster their friendship through classical music, opera, and art. Mark resists feeling drawn to his friend’s wife. One evening over dinner, they discover that their families were acquainted generations ago. This bonds them together. During the summer, inspired by the beauty of Yukari in her light blue dress at the UN garden, Hans and Mark secretly plant blue roses there for Yukari. The blue roses later blossom sumptuously. The three enjoy their blue roses, the symbol of their friendship and bond. The story becomes complicated by the involvement of two other women: Mark’s ex-wife, Francine, a Swiss, who is remarried to another of Mark’s friends in the UN, Shem Tov, an Israeli; and Mark’s high school sweetheart, Jane, to whom he was briefly engaged. Francine encourages Mark to be happy with Yukari, while Jane now wants to marry Mark. Yukari becomes pregnant with Hans’s child and happily settles into her role as an expectant mother. Mark, Hans, and Yukari celebrate New Year’s Eve at the height of their friendship and happiness. … Then a series of tragedies shatters their joy and alters their future forever.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Remembrance of Blue Roses by Yorker Keith is about loyalty, friendship, and love. The story swept me off my feet and into a beautiful yet sad tale. The ending brought back a little bit of peace to my heart. This literary novel is well-written. The characters are well-developed. Their friendship, betrayal, and desires will keep readers hooked. Friends stay true to another even until the end. A man who lusts after another man’s wife tries keeping the couple together. Soon the three are happy again. But then fate has a way of knocking down our doors. Two friends are taken away from this world but leave behind a gorgeous little girl. Almost an exact remembrance of her mother. The same mother who before she died was going to finally divorce her husband and marry the husband’s friend. They held so much in common. I felt like I was almost reading Romeo & Juliet in a way. Two lovers about to be together forever then taken from one another. However one dies and one still lives. Remembrance of Blue Roses symbolizes the blue roses that two male friends planted and soon become three friends. They would visit these blue roses and in the ending, a visit is made again to these blue roses in honor of the two people who died. Sad yet bittersweet but almost peaceful too. Yorker Keith’s writing has a way of drawing readers into his world of fiction. I couldn’t stop reading once I opened the novel. Overall, I highly recommend this title to readers everywhere.

 

 

 

Review: The Playboy’s Proposal

 

 

Synopsis:

Doctor Benny Sorensen has had it up to here with her party-throwing playboy neighbor. She’s declaring war. She doesn’t care how gorgeous or charming he is, he’s going down. That is until he proposes something she’s not sure she can say no to…

Wealthy ad man Henry Ellison lives an uncomplicated life that revolves around work, women, and partying. In that order. Until Benny storms into his life. To placate his attractive but hot-headed neighbor, Henry offers to help her land a date with the man of her dreams. Only as Henry makes her over and coaches her on the fine art of flirting, he realizes that the idea of this woman in any other man’s arms but his own is unacceptable. But Benny’s a forever kind of girl and forever might just be the one commitment he can’t make.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Playboy’s Proposal by Ashlee Mallory is one that features a proposal made between two exact opposites. One is a smart loving doctor with no social life but her family. Then there is the neighbor. He’s hot sexy and extremely wealthy. Except there is one minor problem…okay scratch that…a major issue at play. The rich guy plays music way up loud…that a doctor can’t get sleep for the next work day. She bounds over to him and tells him to turn it down as well as to stop blocking her driving spot. Then, he turns it down…only later on, to find out that he’s been fined for so many things. This might be the moment when he loses his home and tons of money for a neighbor’s complaint. But to put a stop to the committee kicking his butt he needs to make a quick but best proposal to his neighbor…one that she won’t be able to let go. It there that they start hanging out in order to up a doctor’s social love life. Only there’s much at stake here. Hearts might just get broken in the process unless fate has other ideas…

The Playboy’s Proposal is the first novel I have read by Ashlee Mallory. I was immediately taken in with her characters. Both of the characters have sad stories. But maybe fate can pull them a happy ending. The chemistry is hot enough to start the pages on fire. Kissing that leads to dreams of wanting more…but is it something that they really want? I got swept off my feet and pulled into the story. Fast-paced and well told. I loved following the hot tale as well as the emotional journey. Overall, The Playboy’s Proposal is definitely a romance novel I recommend to all.

 

 

 

Review: The Goodbyes

 

Synopsis:

Since he was thirteen years old, rockstar Webb Turner pinned for Bree, the enigmatic girl across the street. He captured her in his songs, but never in his orbit. His lyrics about her propelled Webb’s band to superstardom, but his fame came with the price of finding real love.

When he discovers that Bree is dying, Webb leaves a stadium full of adoring fans to be at her side. As a blizzard batters the east coast, will Webb succeed in his fight against the storm and the mistakes of his past for a chance to say one last goodbye?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Goodbyes by Leslie Welch is phenomenal. The emotional rollercoaster is brilliant. I cried, laughed, and rooted for the characters. Many issues are brought into this exciting read. A tale about love, mistakes, and music. A young guy falls in love with a girl name Bree. Bree is going through a whole lot of hell. Her father is crazy and she acts on impulse. She likes Webb but is with someone else. Webb feels shy around Bree. He wants her but he doesn’t want to play her games. Then there’s another girl name Charlotte. Webb ends up falling for her. But due to his mistakes, he may just end up losing the one person he truly loves. To make matters worse, Bree is dying. Webb is paying for her surgery…if she makes out alive will Webb finally be able to live his life without regrets or will his heart, break for good? Leslie Welch’s writing is superb. I could feel and see everything as it happened. The plot was fast-paced and thrilling. I absolutely loved reading this story and following the characters. Overall, I highly recommend this rock star romance to all.

Review: Reverie

 

Synopsis:

Julia James has spent most of her life hiding in plain sight. For her, the cello was a way to get past a hellish childhood. Even now that she is one of the top cellists in the country, and a contender in the most prestigious, high-stakes music competition in the world, she hopes no one will notice her. But then someone does. A chance (or is it?) encounter brings her to the attention of the distractingly sexy, charismatic French horn player, Jeremy Corrigan. As he helps her to embrace her talent, her sexuality, and her past, Julia thinks she might finally be headed toward her ‘happily-ever-after.’ Unfortunately, happily isn’t so much ‘ever-after’ for Julia. The lines between love and obsession are blurred in REVERIE.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Reverie by Lauren Rico is a stunning contemporary novel that blew me away instantly. I was immediately drawn into the leading female character’s life story. Her troubled past to the present trouble brewing up…Love, hatred, abuse, lies…and danger wrapped up in one riveting tale. From a dysfunctional family with abuse going on to a young woman falling into a trap of abuse far greater than the one she escaped from as a child. This is a novel for adults only. There’s hot steamy sex…lies, betrayal,  murder, and beatings. Lauren Rico has masterfully created a novel that shows us the violence and threats that happen in real life. Sometimes there’s no justice…the good fall victim and to those that are unaware might just die for a selfish reason that was completely unexpected. The nightmare never ends…as Julia and her new love, Matthew, now fight for their lives. The stirred up the mess of a dangerous murderer, and now, he may just come after them next. The suspense and intrigue are high in this exciting and thrilling read. Reverie is an adventure that readers will carry with them forever. Overall, I highly recommend this beautifully told story, to readers everywhere.

 

 

Rveview: Onyx Webb Series (Book 5)

 

Synopsis:

Readers of the series will see the web tighten in this book, the past and present are slowly starting to catch up to each other and shocking connections continue to be made.

Onyx Webb is a complex multi-genre mash-up that combines elements of supernatural suspense, crime, horror, romance, and more. The Onyx Webb series follows the unusual life of Onyx Webb along with a central group of characters in various locations and times.

The billionaire Mulvaney family, piano prodigy Juniper Cole and her brother Quinn, paranormal show hosts Cryer and Fudge, and a few others make up the core of the series. Written like a book version of your favorite tv series (think: supernatural soap opera like American Horror Story) each character’s story moves forward with most every episode. It may appear that the characters are entirely unrelated and yet episode by episode, the connections will become clearer. Like being an inch away from a spider web, with each book, the web will move further and further away revealing the full story of every character and most importantly, the stunning conclusion for Onyx Webb herself.

In Book Five:

  1. It’s the 1980’s and Bruce Mulvaney starts his own family while a killer watches from afar.
  2. It’s 2010, and the Mulvaney’s are dealing with Koda’s accident.
  3. Onyx Webb fights to keep her way of life.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Onyx Webb Series (Book 5) by both Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz continues to have it all. Suspense, intrigue, and murder as well as romance, ghosts, and revenge…are all inside each and every book. I have fallen in love with the Onyx Webb Series. It’s addictive. Characters such as Onyx, Declan, Koda and many others bring a variety and freshness that readers like myself don’t get when reading any other fictional series. There are a serial killer…tons of money involved, and a whole lot of drama that kept me deeply lured on every page. The plot as always is fast-paced and full of action. Never a dull moment inside this series. The characters are always doing something that releases a chain of events that affect others in the tale. Greed, love, and an emotional journey that has once again blown me away. Both Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz are the best writers when it comes to hooking readers’ attention and entertaining them throughout every page as well as every book. I can’t get enough of what happens next…I loved reading this latest title and look forward to reading more by these writers in the future. Overall, I highly recommend Onyx Webb (book 5) to readers worldwide. Once you pick this up to read, you will be begging to read more.

 

 

Review: The Passion of Jazz & Other Short Stories

51BQNOPM0zL._SX333_BO1,204,203,200_

 

Synopsis:

This collection of short stories by Nicholas Bridgman delves into finding beauty and love in unexpected places. It begins by following two young classical music proteges who discover their passion for jazz and for each other at a summer music academy, and who meet fifteen years later and have to face the potential relationship they lost. In “No One There to Listen,” a family vacation to the Grand Canyon goes horribly wrong, with the family members unable to express their love for each other until it is too late. In “Grandfather’s Gift,” a man has to lose everything to discover the love behind a gift his grandfather sent him from beyond the grave. In “Lost in the Woods,” two American study abroad students in England have a harrowing time lost in a wood on their way home from Dublin, creating an unlikely bond between them. Finally, in “Sleep,” a man with schizophrenia traverses the forensic mental health system and finds that sleeping his time away serves as a strangely beautiful coping skill.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Passion of Jazz and Other Short Stories is amazing. Nicholas Bridgman is super talented. His writing is absolutely brilliant. Readers can easily connect with the characters and lose themselves inside the stories. Compelling, fresh, and stunning…each story carries its own journey and pace that keep readers turning the pages. I can see each story as a TV episode. The images…are bright and the characters alive…the emotional journeys are powerful. I loved reading this collection, and I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

Review: Mojo and the American Female

Synopsis:

A collection of short stories spanning more than a decade woven together to create the misguided anti-love story of a young man learning about relationships and the opposite sex through music, movies, and television.

From music and baseball industry professional Sean (SW) Hammond, comes Mojo And The American Female, a collection of provocative short stories on his life as a Lost Boy in search of Winnie Cooper.

Raised on rock n’ roll, with a particularly strong affinity for women who rock, Hammond blends an unparalleled view of pop culture and philosophy that follows him from his early twenties through his early thirties. Mojo And The American Female is rich with photography capturing Hammond’s days as a tour manager on Warped Tour and working for Sony Music Entertainment, as well as bringing to life the music, movies, and television that has plagued his rational sense of love and relationships. From childhood viewings of Full House leading to his lifelong hatred of John Stamos, his introduction to the Riot Grrrl movement and Kathleen Hanna, and to a questionable infatuation with The OC’s Summer Roberts – each story blends a reflective Kevin Arnold-like inner monolog with Wild Turkey.

Mojo and the American Female is the byproduct of one too many romantic comedies. Inspiration, enlightenment, and delusion fuel Hammond’s quest as he searches for a bit of meaning to life and someone to share it with.

My Rating: 5 stars

My Review: 

Mojo and the American Female by Sean Hammond is a book that targets many readers of all ages. There are a lot references to movies, music and a journey of one’s life throughout these things. I thought that this book was highly interesting in that I have not read anything like it. There is so much inside tis book that readers will be reading it over and over again. Readers will catch onto the themes and enjoy  following Sean Hammond’s book based on pop culture. This can be read in one sitting and is very educational in its own way. I enjoyed reading this debut book, and I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.