Saturday, July 14, 2018

To Review or Not to Review?: The Book Obsessed Chicks Question

Years ago when review blogs started to appear, those bloggers worked very hard to make sure that they were doing reviews up to industry standards. Proper grammar, format and fair rating was a must for reviewers and publishers as well as authors took notice. Nowadays everyone thinks they can be a reviewer, but can they really?
As a reviewer since 2008, I try as hard as I can to not only write a fair review, but also rate that book according to what was written. Scrolling through reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, I find a stark difference in the written word of the review and the starring. Some reviewers do not understand that if they give a glowing review, they really need to star that review accordingly. If a book is praised highly but starred low, this not a good thing. Starring is what really counts when it comes to the charts, and some don’t realize that they can make or break an author’s release with their choices.
Now I am not saying that a reviewer has to review everything a five, but if you loved it, then do so. On the other end of the spectrum, say that you simply didn’t enjoy the story, or you had to DNF a book for personal reasons, starring that book a two or below is really doing a disservice to the author. I lead a review team and one of the rules I have is that if you really felt that the book was below a three star, you need to tell me why, but move on instead of reviewing that book, because honestly, reviews are relative and just because I loved or hated a particular book, doesn’t mean that everyone feels the same way.
Reviews don’t have to be miles long, they can be just a few meaningful sentences is all that is needed. Now this is my personal view, but I really dislike reviews with gifs. Come on, write a good review, leave the gifs to the kids. If you want to become a respected reviewer, write a good review that comes from the heart. I especially turn my nose up at these reviews with gifs and snarky remarks that are meant to cause a stir for all the wrong reasons. These reviewers are, in my opinion, are trolls and shouldn’t even be called reviewers. Most of these trolls don’t use real names or a real photo on their accounts and I do believe that if you are going to troll an author about a book or on the other end, praise a book, you need to put YOUR name and face to that review. Being honest goes much farther and it gets you respected by all in the industry.


Saturday, July 7, 2018

BOOK OBSESSED CHICKS EARLY BUZZ REVIEW: London's Wicked Affair (Midnight Secrets #1) by Anabelle Bryant

Anabelle Bryant, author of 12 amazing romance novels, has the latest distinction of now having her first Regency Romance in print. A much deserved step on the upwards climb for this indomitable woman. I say, it’s about time! Having read every single one of her previous novels, which are all available in eBook form, I can safely say that Ms. Bryant is one of today’s most innovative voices in the romance realm.

In Anabelle Bryant’s new release, London’s Wicked Affair, the first in the Midnight Secrets series, hero Lundon Beckford, the Duke of Scarsdale by default, when his older brother, who passed away in a tragic accident, is in London to settle some of his brother’s business. After a scandal surrounding the previous Duke’s death, where Lundon was ultimately been blamed for robbing his deceased brother of his title, Lundon shuns life in town, preferring to ensconce himself away in the country. Lundon presents himself at the home of his best friend, Matthew Strathmore, the Earl of Whittingham, for a quiet place to rest his head until his business is concluded. Matthew was with Lundon the day of his brother’s tragic demise, and for his help, Matthew received a gunshot wound to his knee that changes his life forever.

At his meeting with Matthew, Lundon is asked to help pawn his lively sister off in marriage to a gentleman of the ton. Amelia, Matthew’s vivacious sister, want a marriage with love like her parents share. Unfortunately for her, Matthew and her parents do not have the time or the inclination to wait for Amelia to find true love, for Amelia and Matthew’s father is stricken with an illness which leads to his declining health. Their mother formulates a list with the virtues required in a husband and hands them off to Lundon.’

When Amelia finds out her brother’s plans, she, in turn, develops a wish list of adventures to be had before she must acquiesce to her family’s wishes. This is where the situation get a tad sticky. For as much as Lundon wants to be done with town and escape, Amelia intrigues him beyond the pale. Her personality and ardor for life begin to change Lundon little by little, until he is firmly under the lady’s spell. But Lundon believes he isn’t husband material and denial can outweigh those new-found feelings. Behind her back, an ambitious Matthew makes a deal with a so-called devil for his sister’s hand in marriage to satisfy in own ambitions. Amelia has other plans, and if she must eventually marry, she is first going to experience life on her own terms, but will Lundon’s quest to remain aloof be ruined by Amelia’s plans? Only time and reading Lundon’s Wicked Affair by Anabelle Bryant answer this all important question.

Knowing Ms. Anabelle Bryant’s talent and writing like I do, I expected something special. As usual, Anabelle comes through with flying colors, but there is something even more enchanting about Amelia and Lundon’s story that resonates with this reader. Anabelle Bryant has created a new circle of friends and family that this reader is waiting to delve into. Not only do I care about the hero and heroine deeply, but I feel a camaraderie with every single character surrounding the two, even the dastardly wrong brother, Matthew. Reading London’s Wicked Affair will have you placing Ms Anabelle Bryant on your auto-buy list, and make you go back and find out where this talented lady started. Bravo Anabelle Bryant!


Friday, July 6, 2018

Book Obsessed Chicks Presents Amish Romance Must Reads

As many of my friends and followers know, I am a very big fan of Amish Romance novels. These books are dear to me because they make the reader feel good. I don't usually read them for any particular message, but THE AMISH TEACHER'S GIFT by Rachel J. Good, struck me with one deeply.

Ada Rupp is a special needs teacher in an Amish school. She loves what she does, even though the poor young woman is stretched thin. Aside from teaching these students who truly need her skills and her patience, she is the head of household for her seven siblings after he parents pass away.

Josiah Yoder is a widower with a young deaf son. He's having a rough time keeping it together, especially when his son,Nathan, doesn't understand that his mother isn't ever coming home. With some trepidation, Josiah sends his son to Ada's school and the results are life altering, for not only Nathan, but for Josiah as well.

THE AMISH TEACHER'S GIFT  by Rachel J Good is a fabulous read. It shows us that there is truly a place for each and every one of us, even if we don't fit into a mold. I highly recommend this read, even if you have never picked up an Amish Rom. Give this well-written book a try.

Amy Clipston is one of my favorite Amish Romance authors. This talented lady consistently releases well written and intriguing stories and she is well worth a try to anyone and everyone.

ROOM ON THE PORCH SWING is a prime example of Amy Clipston's talent.  In this heartwarming tale, Laura Riehl  has not only lost her mother, but her best friend, Savilla, passes away, leaving Laura bereft and adrift. She feels so alone, even though she is in a relationship with Rudy.

When Laura offers to help Allen, Savilla's widower, take care of the baby, left motherless, her life begins to change. But are the changes for the better? Laura begins to see things in a much different light while taking care of the little one. She starts to become a part of Allen's household and feelings for the widower spark as well. Time heals all wounds, but will time be on Laura and Allen's side? Read ROOM ON THE PORCH SWING by Amy Clipston to find out.

A HOME FOR HANNAH by Amy Lillard is a poignant Second Chance Romance which takes widow, Hannah McLean and he teenage son, back to her old order Amish community she left fifteen years before.

Aaron Zook was Hannah's first love, but circumstances led her to another life, in another place, with another man. Now Hannah has come home and Aaron is still in Potontoc with three children he cares for alone and land he tirelessly works in order to keep it all together.

While Hannah lived a much different life before her return, her feelings for Aaron are still there and now with him at arms length, she can't deny there is something there. Aaron was heartbroken when Hannah left, but he has his family to think about. Will Hannah and Aaron be able to build something solid and new out of the feelings they still have? Try A HOME FOR HANNAH by Amy Lillard, to find out!

Phoebe Yoder had a desire to learn all about and care for Alpacas. They are a wonder to her and consume all of her thoughts in her free-time. Instead of thinking about her own home and a marriage and family, Phoebe thinks of her alpacas. But tragedy strikes her family when her baby sister is kidnapped making Phoebe make an oath to God to marry Micah, who isn't even remotely her first choice and who couldn't possibly make her happy.
When Benjamin Miller meets Phoebe Yoder, he starts to imagine what life would be like with Phoebe permanently in it. He even thinks that starting an alpaca farm would be just prefect for him and Phoebe. But Phoebe has made her oath and making her see that she needs to be happy is quite a task. Is Benjamin up to that task? Only time and reading this book will tell.

THE PROMISE by Susan Lantz Simpson is a lovely story with humor, intrigue and faith, as well and romance. I truly enjoyed this book and will most definitely be reading more by this talented author. 

THE WEDDING QUILT BRIDE by Marta Perry is a second chance romance that brings widow Rebecca Mast back to to hometown after the death of her husband. Rebecca returns to family with her shy son Lige at her side and a dream to make a life beyond what she endured before.
With the help of local carpenter, Daniel King, Rebecca's dream of owning a quilt shop become a reality, what she didn't have in mind, was her feelings for Daniel and the realization that Lige was blossoming with Daniel's guidance and friendship. 
Rebecca and Daniel have secrets and emotional woes to overcome before they can even grasp moving on, but time in each other's company eases the way for good things .
THE WEDDING QUILT BRIDE by Marta Perry is a wonderful tale of redemption and love. It is a solid and very well written story and I highly recommend this memorable tale.