Discussion: Do You Ever Put Up Negative Reviews?

Posted February 16, 2015 by Marsha in Discussion Post / 2 Comments

blue eyesDo you?

I’ve decided to start a weekly Discussion post here on Keeper Bookshelf.  Welcome to the first.  🙂

I’ve been blogging for about five years now on various subjects.  In the past this particular blog was simply for fun, with little origination – yes, I’m admitting that.  At the start of 2015 I decided to take this blog seriously.  I love reading, I enjoy interacting with other people who love to read as well.  So I’ve started putting myself out in the book blogging community.  I have no higher hopes than to be a better book blogger, meet some really great people, read some interesting books that stretch my boundaries and create a place where other book lovers wouldn’t mind stopping by.

I have questions.

A ton of questions.  And I figure the best place to go for the answers is directly to the book blogging community.  I know that there are other new book blogging folks who probably have questions too.  So I’m going to be brave and stick my neck out and ask.  I figure the better the newer community members understand the basics – the better we all will be blogging in the long run.

Do You Ever Write A Truly Negative Book Review?

So far I have not .. really.  I wrote two – one that I trashed and one that I published with trepidation.

I understand that those that can write a novel put their heart, soul, blood, sweat, tears and time into them.  I hate to tear that apart.  (I cannot do what they do)

But my word there are some truly awful novels “out there”!  I don’t think we have to be hateful about it – but there has to be some way to let our readers know that this book really isn’t worth the time without tearing apart the author.  So far I’ve usually said something like “This one just wasn’t for me, but you may think it’s fantastic and that’s okay – we all love different types of stories.”  Or simply not published a review on a truly “it sucks” book.

What is your usual decision?   Please join in the conversation.



2015 New Release Challenge

Posted February 15, 2015 by Marsha in This one's a Keeper / 2 Comments

New-Release-Challenge-450x450 LexxieOh Lexxie, Lexxie – I swore no more Challenges.

Okay, one more but that’s it.  (roll eyes) Yeah.  Right.

So, there is this New Release Challenge going on that Lexxie from (un)Conventional Bookviews and Stormi from Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My! are co-hosting.  Pretty simple Challenge.  Read certain levels of new novels released in 2015 – and what got me to join in was the mention of the NetGalley Challenge… what the heck, I might as well combine them, I’m going to be reading them anyway.  🙂

Here are the basic rules (from Lexxie’s page):

The rules for the 2015 New Release Challenge are simple:

  • Books has to be read and reviewed in 2015, and the book has to be released in 2015
  • Other challenges can be used as well, if you are participating in the Netgalley / Edelweiss challenge or in the COYER challenge, books can count towards more than one challenge, as long as the ones you use for the 2015 New Release Reading Challenge qualify to the first rule.
  • The minimum length for a book to qualify is 130 pages, it can be in any format though, physical, e-book, ARC or audiobook.
  • The New Book Release Challenge is open from January 1st through December 31st 2015, and sign-ups are open until March 15th.

There are four levels  in the New Release Challenge:

  1. 1-15 books per year – New Release Newbie
  2. 16-30 books per year – New Release Pro
  3. 31-45 books per year – New Release Veteran
  4. +45 books per year – New Release Enthusiast

I’m heading for New Release Veteran – I “think” I could do more, but not 100% sure so I’m hedging my bet here.  If I do more great if not… next year. Muhahahaha.

So, what are you waiting for go here now:

2015 New Release Challenge Sign-up Page




Review: What A Wallflower Wants by Maya Rodale

Posted February 15, 2015 by Marsha in This one's a Keeper / 0 Comments

What A Wallflower WantsTitle:  What a Wallflower Wants
Series:  Wallflower (book 3)
Author:  Maya Rodale
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  September 30, 2014
Source: own, given to me by a friend

Story Blurb:

Miss Prudence Merryweather Payton has a secret.

Everyone knows that she’s the only graduate from her finishing school to remain unwed on her fourth season—but no one knows why. With her romantic illusions shattered after being compromised against her will, Prudence accepts a proposal even though her betrothed is not exactly a knight in shining armor. When he cowardly pushes her out of their stagecoach to divert a highwayman, she vows never to trust another man again.

John Roark, Viscount Castleton, is nobody’s hero.

He’s a blue-eyed charmer with a mysterious past and ambitious plans for his future—that do not include a wife. When he finds himself stranded at a country inn with a captivating young woman, a delicate dance of seduction ensues. He knows he should keep his distance. And he definitely shouldn’t start falling in love with her.

When Prudence’s dark past comes back to haunt her, John must protect her—even though he risks revealing his own secrets that could destroy his future.

**I feel I must be very clear right now.  This novel, and therefore, this review deals with the aftermath of rape.  In the novel, the despicable action is presented in a brief way (as in non-graphic) – but Pru’s life since and her recovery from the rape during this novel must be addressed now.  This may be a trigger for some readers – I apologize and ask that you read no further.  Just as I feel it was a gutsy move for the author to write about this subject – I also feel the need to give my thoughts on this novel.**

Read on for my thoughts on What a Wallflower Wants.

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Review: The Cowboy Next Door by Roxanne Snopek

Posted February 15, 2015 by Marsha in Contemporary Romance / 2 Comments

The Cowboy Next DoorTitle:  The Cowboy Next Door
Series:  This Old House (book 3)
Author:  Roxanne Snopek
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  January 27, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Love’s worth more than being right

When single mother Leda Plett – who’s doing just fine on her own, thank you very much – goes next door to retrieve her wandering pooch, she doesn’t expect to find the neighbor’s handsome brother lounging about like he owns the place. She certainly doesn’t expect him to go after the deadbeat who abandoned her. She’s not looking for a know-it-all white knight with long, lean muscles and a sexy smile. He’s hot, but she’s already been burned.

Rodeo-star turned agent Eric Anders is used to managing people, especially irresponsible males, and he can’t stand it that some jerk has left Leda high and dry. Clearly, the boots-and-sundress wearing mouthy mama needs someone on her side. He could change her life, if only she would let him! And it has nothing to do with the fact that her sparkly exterior hides a spirit that is as sweet as it is strong – and irresistible.

In fact, Leda is more mature than her years. She feels the weight of her mistakes, and wants only to make sure her daughter doesn’t suffer for them. Eric’s hot gaze makes her weak in the knees but Leda’s track record with men is as bad as it is short. Can she trust the cowboy next door?

When Eric’s well-intention-ed actions inadvertently reveal a shameful secret from Leda’s past, he realizes she never needed him at all. As he watches her rise above the humiliation, he knows he must find a way to make it up to her, or risk losing the one girl he now can’t live without.

*I received an e-ARC of The Cowboy Next Door from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Read on for my thoughts on The Cowboy Next Door.  No true spoilers, promise.

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Review: The One by Belle Ami

Posted February 15, 2015 by Marsha in This one's a Keeper / 0 Comments

The One Belle AmiTitle:  The One
Series:  The Only One
Author:  Belle Ami
Genre:  Romance
Published:  February 10, 2015
Source:  Net Galley

Story Blurb:

How well do you really know the one you love? An erotic novel full of obsessive love, dark secrets, and unquenchable lust, Belle Ami’s The One proves that no one is quite who they seem.

Adelia, a rising star in the equestrian world, is still reeling from her parents’ deaths in a tragic car accident when she meets green energy investment banker Miles Bremen and his charming yet inscrutable twin sister, Karolin. With his insatiable lust, Miles ignites a passion within Adelia she never knew existed, and the two quickly find themselves entwined in a torrid affair that knows no bounds. Little does Adelia know, however, that her meeting of the Bremen twins was no accident. Carefully selected as “the one” for her unsettling resemblance to the emotionally and physically damaged Karolin, Adelia is targeted to marry Miles and bear the children that Karolin cannot have.

The One is a razor edge mystery that enfolds on the playgrounds of the super rich, from Trump Tower to the Hamptons and Palm Beach; to the Amalfi Coast aboard Miles’s mega-yacht Green Way, The One is irresistible as the reader is drawn into Adelia’s journey through a suspenseful – and erotic world. An edge-of-your-seat thriller that will leave readers breathless in more ways than one, The One is an irresistible journey through—new territory that fans of romantic fiction are bound to love.

*I received an e-ARC of The One from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Usually at this spot I would send you on to the next page.  Trust me, we won’t be here that  long.  Normally I do not publish negative reviews… and this isn’t so much a negative one as a “what just happened” review.  There will be those readers who think this is an awesome novel.  It wasn’t – not for me.  Maybe for you, but it just didn’t do it for me.  The only reason that I’m doing this review is for what the next book might bring us that would turn this into a good series with a rocky start.  Remember, folks, this is my opinion – not a bash the author thing.

Everything you need to know is up in the story blurb.  If that blurb had been fleshed out it would have been a really sexy, interesting read.  In my opinion, it wasn’t.  We already know that the twins had planned to draw Adelia into their nasty web.  We already know that Miles is just a bit too close to his twin since he agreed to this scheme of hers.  And Karolin just comes off as a bitch in the blurb and more so in the novel.  Adelia is sweet, innocent and vulnerable – the saddest part was that this lovely woman was taken in by the twins.  The only possible save I can see for the series is bringing David in to truly save Adelia and be the hero of the entire series.  But… I’m not sure that will happen.

IF I can find and be approved for the second book through NetGalley – I’d read it, just to see if I was totally wrong in my thoughts on this one.  But I certainly won’t spend money to find out.

It could have been amazing – instead it was just, meh.




Review: Marked by Sarah Fine

Posted February 14, 2015 by Marsha in This one's a Keeper / 0 Comments

MarkedTitle:  Marked
Series:  Servants of Fate
Author:  Sarah Fine
Genre:  Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Published:  January 1, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

In a broken landscape carved by environmental collapse, Boston paramedic Cacia Ferry risks life and limb on the front lines of a fragile and dangerous city. What most don’t know—including her sexy new partner, Eli Margolis—is that while Cacy works to save lives, she has another job ferrying the dead to the Afterlife. Once humans are “Marked” by Fate, the powerful Ferrys are called to escort the vulnerable souls to either eternal bliss or unending fire and pain.

Unaware of Cacy’s other life, Eli finds himself as mesmerized by his fierce and beautiful partner as he is mistrustful of the influential Ferry clan led by the Charon—who happens to be Cacy’s father. Cacy, in turn, can no longer deny her intense attraction to the mysterious ex-Ranger with a haunted past. But just as their relationship heats up, an apparent hit takes the Charon before his time. Shaken to the core, Cacy pursues the rogue element who has seized the reins of Fate, only to discover that Eli has a devastating secret of his own. Not knowing whom to trust, what will Cacy have to sacrifice to protect Eli—and to make sure humanity’s future is secure?

*I received an e-ARC of Marked from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Read on for my thoughts on Marked.  No true spoilers, promise.

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Review: Christmas in Venice by Joanne Walsh

Posted February 14, 2015 by Marsha in Contemporary Romance / 2 Comments

Christmas in VeniceTitle:  Christmas in Venice
Series:  Christmas Around the World
Author:  Joanne Walsh
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  October 28, 2014
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Let it snow…?

Wasn’t she supposed to dream of a white Christmas? Right now, Ashlynne wishes the blizzards, ice and fog that have left her stranded in Venice would melt away. She’s facing a dreary holiday stuck at the airport—and she’s also run into her ex-husband.

Lorenzo di Grechi insists Ashlynne stay with him at his sumptuous palazzo apartment. He’s also promising her Christmas Venetian-style: eating, drinking, and visiting the seasonal markets and musical concerts that make the city so enchanting at this time of year.

She thought she’d moved on: laid the ghosts of their marriage which had ended so sadly and badly to rest, along with how passionately she’d loved him. But the sexual attraction between them is still as potent as ever, and he seems to have changed for the better, forcing her to question her belief that he’d cheated on her at a time when she’d needed him most.

Is this just some sort of Christmas magic at work? Or a real chance to forgive and rediscover her love for Lorenzo?

*I received an e-ARC of Christmas in Venice from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Read on for my thoughts on Christmas in Venice.  No true spoilers, promise.

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Review: Christmas With The Laird by Scarlet Wilson

Posted February 13, 2015 by Marsha in Contemporary Romance / 2 Comments

Christmas with the LairdTitle:  Christmas with the Laird
Series: Christmas Around the World
Author:  Scarlet Wilson
Genre:  Contemporary Romance
Published:  October 28, 2014
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

It’s official – for Juliette Connolly Christmas is a bust and she’s definitely not in the Christmas spirit. She’s been dumped by her boyfriend and replaced by a younger model. Then a clause in her contract means she and a mysterious colleague have to work over Christmas. But there’s much more to Andrew Campbell than meets the eye. Especially when it turns out he’s the Scottish Laird of the haunted house they’re filming in.

And it seems like there’s magic in the air in the remote snow-filled setting. The local village contains a cast of Christmas characters and even though the boiler in the drafty house is broken the temperature is definitely rising.

Maybe Andrew and Juliette are about to be sprinkled with a little Christmas fairy dust?

*I received an e-ARC of Christmas with the Laird from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Read on for my thoughts on Christmas with the Laird.  No true spoilers, promise.

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Review: Enchanter’s Echo by Anise Rae

Posted February 13, 2015 by Marsha in This one's a Keeper / 0 Comments

Enchanter's EchoTitle:  Enchanter’s Echo
Series:  Mayflower Mages Book 2
Author:  Anise Rae
Genre:  Romance, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Published:  February 17, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

Aurora Firenze lives a quiet life hiding in a junkyard. Her repair shop is the last hope for gadgets and gizmos before they get tossed onto the trash towers. Fortunately, Aurora can fix almost anything, including mages, though repairing people with metal enchantments is highly illegal. 

Edmund Rallis, heir to the Rallis senate seat, has spent months hunting down his errant enchantress. He’ll play every game he knows to win her back and entice her to share the secrets she hides. But he’s inadvertently put her on the frontlines of a new game, one with an opponent who’s determined to destroy Rallis Territory and drive the Republic toward war. If the new enemy isn’t stopped in time, Edmund will lose his enchantress again—and this time there won’t be another chance.

*I received an e-ARC of Enchanter’s Echo from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Enchanter’s Echo is the second book in the Mayflower Mages series.  The first was Syphon’s Song.

Read on for my thoughts on Enchenter’s Echo.  No true spoilers, promise.

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Feature & Follow #5

Posted February 13, 2015 by Marsha in This one's a Keeper / 20 Comments

FeatureFollowParaAlisonGain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.

The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts,Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!

The two Feature blogs this week are;  The Macabre Masquerade and Rabbit Ears Book Blog

This weeks Question:

Do you use the # FF on twitter on Fridays? If you do, are you afraid you’ll forget someone and they’ll be sad?

My Answer:

I am not on Twitter – yet.  I know, I know.  I have been working on this blog to get it into shape.  I have a list of things I still have to do, but Twitter has not been on the top of that list.  Well, it is almost the weekend, so I guess it’s time to get that to-do list finished up!

Now it’s time to get following – hope you find awesome new blogs today.  :)

Because this blog cannot use GFC – I prefer Bloglovin’ please.

Bloglovin button




Review: Cinderella and the Ghost by Marina Myles

Posted February 12, 2015 by Marsha in This one's a Keeper / 0 Comments

Cinderella and the GhostTitle:  Cinderella and the Ghost
Series:  The Cursed Princes (Book 6)
Author:  Marina Myles
Genre:  Romance, Paranormal
Published:  February 17, 2015
Source:  NetGalley

Story Blurb:

When her demanding stepmother died, Ella Benoit knew just how far their fortunes had fallen, unlike her spoiled stepsisters. So she never expected the bequest from her late father. A chateau in France and the freedom to live her own life, all at once!

The chateau has seen better days, but Ella knows she can put the ruined house to rights. The life-size portrait of its first owner, Jean-Daniel Girard, seems to watch her work with approval, even pleasure. With bright blue eyes, strong features, and an athlete’s body, the viscount is a tempting sight even now, more than three hundred years after his tragic death. But the more she looks at the portrait, the more convinced Ella is that she’s met Jean-Daniel before. In another life, perhaps—or maybe, as the form who haunts the halls at night, invading Ella’s dreams…

*I received an e-ARC of Cinderella and the Ghost from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*

Read on for my thoughts on Cinderella and the Ghost.  No true spoilers, promise.

I absolutely loved Cinderella and the Ghost.  Some might call it a retelling novel, but it was so much more than just putting Cinderella in a different time period.  I find I really don’t want to tell too much of this story.  You have the blurb above to give you the basic premise – after that I’d love for you to just dive into it.

The author, Marina Myles, has managed to bring us to an amazing woman, Ella in the present time… and pair her up with a handsome ghost who needs a bit of help in order to claim his lady-love.

The journey for Jean-Daniel and Ella to finally get to their happily ever after is as simple as falling in love – and as complicated as time travel.  The blending of a contemporary love story with a time travel epic, mixed liberally with a haunting ghost story is simply amazing.  Oh, don’t forget to toss the step-sisters (please toss the step-sisters down a staircase)!

Not everyone is going to enjoy every novel.  Some will want just a historical romance, others will be content with a modern day telling and others will go wild for the possibility of time traveling.  No matter which genre you enjoy the most, please give Cinderella and the Ghost a chance to win your heart.  I do not think you’ll be disappointed.

I would recommend this one to anyone who just wants to fall in love.


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