Book Review: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Genre: Young Adult, Romance

Description: Today should be one of the worst days of seventeen-year-old Hadley Sullivan's life. She's stuck at JFK, late to her father's second wedding, which is taking place in London and involves a soon to be step-mother that Hadley's never even met. Then she meets the perfect boy in the airport's cramped waiting area. His name is Oliver, he's British, and he's in seat 18C. Hadley's in 18A.
Twists of fate and quirks of timing play out in this thoughtful novel about family connections, second chances and first loves. Set over a 24-hour-period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it.

Review: First of all, this book reads so smoothly. It's a bit over 200 pages, but I finished it in no time. The story takes place in a span of 24 hours, but you get the feeling it's longer, 'cause so much is happening. It all starts when Hadley misses her plane to London to go to a wedding she doesn't really want to attend. Waiting for the next flight she meets Oliver and luck will have it, he's sitting next to her on the plane. Being that Hadley is claustrophobic she can use his distractions and Oliver is glad he can help her. After a 7 hour plane ride and sharing many stories and secrets, it's time for them to say goodbye to each other. Rushing to get to the wedding in time, they part without exchanging contact details. Now Hadley has to attend the wedding, where she pretty much knows no one, except her dad. She feels disconnected from everything and her thoughts keep wondering of to Oliver. Will they meet again?
Some people believe in love at first sight, others don't, but in the end we all want to fall in love no matter how. Definitely a fun story to read and the main characters are so likable. You can easily relate to Hadley, who has to travel across an ocean to see her Dad marry the woman he left his family for. The anger and confusion that comes with that situation is so common these day, that everyone can easily put themselves in her place. At first Oliver seems this nice and quite adorably funny guy, but as the story progresses you get to know him better and learn to understand why he does or say certain things. In the end it's all just about how much you want to believe in love at first sight!


Links: Excerpt   Facebook Page   Twitter   Website

Book Review: Sugar Rush by Donna Kauffman

Title: Sugar Rush (Cupcake Club Romance Series #1)

Author: Donna Kauffman

Genre: Chick lit / Culinary Romance

Description: When baker extraordinaire Leilani Trusdale left the bustle of New York City for Georgia’s sleepy Sugarberry Island, she didn’t expect her past to follow. Yet suddenly, her former boss, Baxter Dunne, aka Chef Hot Cakes, the man who taught her everything pastry, wants to film his hit cooking show in her tiny cupcakery. The same Chef Hot Cakes whose molten chocolate brown eyes made Lani’s mouth water and her cheeks blush the color of raspberry filling–stirring all kinds of kitchen gossip, much of which Lani wished was true…
Lani’s friends are convinced that this time around, Baxter is the missing ingredient in her recipe for happiness. But convincing Lani will be a job for Baxter himself. And he’ll need more than black velvet frosting to sweeten the deal…

Review: Leilani Trusdale moved to Sugarberry Island to take care of her father and to start her own cupcake shop, leaving her hectic life and one very handsome chef behind in New York. But when that said chef, Baxter Dunne, brings his new tv show to her bakery, things are about to flare up. Finding out why Leilani left and what the true reasons are for Baxter to turn up in her kitchen, will put her on an emotional rollercoaster.
Luckily she has the help of her Cupcake Club. Well it's more Sugarberry's answer to Betty White, Alva Liles and her best friend Charlotte coming to visit Leilani in this time of relationship crisis, invading her kitchen. Baking cupcakes and all other delicious goodies, while complaining about their problems, getting up to date with the latest gossip and talking about men. In this case it's mostly about Baxter Dunne of course. He has the entire town wrapped around his finger, now all he has to do is convince one Miss Leilani Trusdale.
This is a very fun book to read, I especially love Alva Liles character. It's those old ladies you have to be careful about. Within the first two chapters you get a very clear outline on what is going on and what the characters want from each other, then the rest of the book is getting to that point. Leilani has her bakery in Georgia, Baxter has his restaurant in New York and neither wants to leave their life behind. So tough choices and decisions are to be made, but in the end it's what you want most. I like that this are real problems you can easily relate to and makes the story very believable. Donna Kauffman did an excellent job. Her writing style is very fluent and the book is finished before you know it. There is a good mix between the drama and the humor.
Definitely read this if you love cupcakes, hot chefs, small town life and Betty White :) Luckily for us the second book in the series is already out, so there is even more to read!


Extra: At the end of each book you’ll find the recipes for the cupcakes they made in the story and if that isn't enough you can always check out Donna Kauffman's Cakes By The Cup Blog for even more delicious ideas.

Links: Excerpt   Facebook Page   Twitter   Website

Book Review: I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Title: I've Got Your Number

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Chick lit, Romance, Humor

Description: Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier.  She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart.  Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers!  Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!
Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree.  He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life.
What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages.  As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

Review: Sam is having a really bad day when she loses her engagement ring, which is a family heirloom, but on top of that her phone gets stolen. Luckily she happens to find a new one right in a trashcan and after helping the owner of the phone, they make a deal so she gets to keep it. But Sam, the owner of said phone, might regret that decision. Before he knows it Poppy is medling in his professional and even personal life, throwing everything upside down. Poppy believes she is just helping him to learn proper messaging etiquette.
Meanwhile she is still looking for her ring and planning a wedding with her fiancé Magnus. Trying to hide she lost his ring to him and his family ends up with some hilarious reindeer mittens, gauze complications and even calling in the help of her new-found friend Sam. Too bad it all doesn't matter, 'cause nothing she does will make her welcome to Magnus family of geniuses. Feeling dumber by the minute in their presence, she can't wait for the wedding to be over.
Poppy gets more and more involved in Sam's life. Before she knows it they are not just talking through the phone, but meeting in person and what a pleasant surprise that is. Of course at some point it all has to go wrong and Poppy has to make some tough decisions, but luckily she has her text buddy to help her.
I'm a big fan of Sophie Kinsella's stand alone novels (Shopaholic somehow doesn't do it for me) and with her latest book "I've Got Your Number" she doesn't disappoint. Like always it's fast paced and keeps you on the edge of the seat. Strange situations you could have never imagined, but she makes it believable. Mixing some typical British humor in there and I'm completely sold. Sophie has got you rooting for Poppy and wishing for more. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone! Even though I just finished reading the book, I have to hold myself back to not start from the top again. What can I say, I am a book addict :)


Book Review: Incarnate by Jodi Meadows

Title: Incarnate (Newsoul #1)

AuthorJodi Meadows

Genre: Fantasy Romance, Adventure, Young Adult

Release Date: January 31, 2012

Ana is new. For thousands of years in Range, a million souls have been reincarnated over and over, keeping their memories and experiences from previous lifetimes. When Ana was born, another soul vanished, and no one knows why.
Even Ana’s own mother thinks she’s a nosoul, an omen of worse things to come, and has kept her away from society. To escape her seclusion and learn whether she’ll be reincarnated, Ana travels to the city of Heart, but its citizens are suspicious and afraid of what her presence means. When dragons and sylph attack the city, is Ana to blame?
Sam believes Ana’s new soul is good and worthwhile. When he stands up for her, their relationship blooms. But can he love someone who may live only once, and will Ana’s enemies—human and creature alike—let them be together? Ana needs to uncover the mistake that gave her someone else’s life, but will her quest threaten the peace of Heart and destroy the promise of reincarnation for all?

Review: 'Incarnate' is the first installment in a new series called 'Newsoul' by Jodi Meadows and it's definitely a good start. The concept of being reincarnated while keeping all your memories and basically just living forever is fascinating. A very original idea. You don't make friends for life, but for lifetimes and the same with enemies. The only thing that was kind of hard for me to comprehend was that when you reincarnate, it's possible you switch genders. So one time you're a woman and the next a man etc. For example: would Ana still be attracted to Sam if he had been a woman? Jodi tries to explain that gender and thereby looks don't matter, 'cause it is all about one's soul. If you're attracted to someone it should be because of the soul, but then when the story progresses you also find out that sometimes friends are together when they're different genders, but not when they're the same gender. And then other times gender really doesn't matter. I think that is a beautiful concept and brought on very subtle, but it does make you think about it.

Our main character is the only who isn't reincarnated, therefore a newsoul, but her 'mother' Li calls her nosoul. Li believes because Ana is new, she doesn't have feelings, can't love and shouldn't be allowed to live actually. After living 18 years under that woman's tyranny, Ana decides it is time to find out more about herself, why she is alive and starts on a quest to Heart (the capital). She's barely out the door when she gets attacked by some weird fire creatures (sylph), but luckily Sam is there to save her. As he finds out who she is, he decides to help her and off they go. From the moment Sam is introduced you get the feeling something is going to happen between them and almost the entire story you're wondering; will they? Won't they?

When Sam and Ana arrive in Heart it isn't a very warm welcome and Ana has a hard time to adapt. She feels so lost and confused. Here are all these people who've known each other for 5000 years and she feels all alone. Not everyone is happy with her existence and she has to learn how to deal with that. People are condescending towards her, thinking she is naive and treat her like a kid, some just downright hate her. Most of all people are just scared of the unknown she represents. What does her existence means for their souls? Does this means they won't reincarnate anymore? Is this their real last life? While Ana is looking for answers, she stumbles on something much bigger that could indeed affect everyone.

I believe Jodi Meadows did a wonderful job. It's a great story, but it also makes you think. These themes like acceptance, discovering who you are, even same-sex marriage etc. those are universal and everyone can relate to them. So 'Incarnate' is definitely a must read for everyone!


Book Review: Can't Stand The Heat by Louisa Edwards

Title: Can't Stand The Heat (#1 Recipe For Love)

AuthorLouisa Edwards

Genre: Chick lit / Culinary Romance

Description: For sharp-tongued Miranda Wake, the chance to spend a month in Adam Temple’s kitchen to write an exposĂ© is a journalistic dream come true.  Surely Miranda can find a way to cut the hotshot chef down to size once she learns what really goes on at his trendy Manhattan restaurant.  The trouble is, she never expected Adam to find out her most embarrassing secret:  this critic has no idea how to cook.
As for Adam, well, he’s not about to have his reputation burned by a critic who doesn’t even know the difference between poaching and paring.  He’ll just have to give the tempting redhead a few private lessons of his own—teaching Miranda what it means to cook with passion.

Review: This was the first Culinary Romance book I have ever read and I've truly enjoyed it. I can definitely relate to the main character Miranda, as I also love food and know a lot about it, but absolutely can't cook myself. That's what brought Miranda into trouble in the first place. She got beyond drunk and insulted (hot) chef Adam, he then retaliated by issuing a dare Miranda all too gladly accepted. She sees this as her shot to make it big, namely a tell all book of behind the scenes in the kitchen. This ensures us of hot passion and delicious food all mixed together.
The secondary storyline gives us more background about Miranda and where her ambition comes from. Jess is her younger brother and she has taken care of him since she was 18, when her parents died. Being overprotective of him is putting it mildly, when she finds out he's been hooking up with Frankie, the sous-chef. Frankie is my absolute favorite character in this book. A british punk-rocker, with a very colorful word palette, who jokes around like crazy, but is still the best sous-chef in town.
Can't Stand The Heat is very well written and reads very fluent. Nothing felt forced and it even made me laugh out loud a couple of times (mostly thanks to Frankie). The only minor thing is, I find the plot a bit meager and about halfway through the book I was more interested in Jess and Frankie's story line. But by now I've read Louisa Edwards' other books and I must say the plots get better throughout her books. Which I believe is a good thing, a writer should keep making progress.
So if you want to read a fun book, filled with yummy food and passionate chefs, then "Can't Stand The Heat" is a definite must.

Extra: At the end of each book you'll find the recipes Louisa Edwards used in the story. Very fun, if you now how to cook :)