2.5 Star Books · ARC Book Reviews · Book Reviews · contemporary fiction · contemporary romance · Domestic Fiction · romance

ARC Review | A Sister’s Survival by Cydney Rax

39009598

 

A Sister’s Survival by Cydney Rax

Published: November 27, 2018

Publisher: Dafina

Pages: 352

Genres: contemporary fiction, romance, domestic fiction

Rating: 2.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: books about complex but strong relationships

Foodie Vibes: home cooked meal — potato salad, collard greens, cornbread 

 

Synopsis:

To keep their family ties strong, the five Reeves sisters meet regularly to give each other a reality check. But explosive family secrets begin to pour out like molten lava, and forever change all they treasure most . . .
 
After a shattering revelation, youngest sister Elyse struggles to overcome the sexual abuse that nearly destroyed her. Between her tough eldest sister, Alita, and a promising fresh start with a new man, she’s finding the strength to make the most of her fierce intelligence. But Elyse still has a score to settle with the perfect sister she feels betrayed by—and she’s going after everything Burgundy can’t afford to lose . . .
 
 Coco thinks her useless baby daddy is finally about to commit—until she catches him with a woman who’s everything she’s not. As she tries to move on with her life, she can’t resist carrying out the ultimate revenge. But when she inadvertently gets caught up in Elyse’s plan, she must reveal an unforgivable truth that could crush any chance these sisters have to make things right.

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Dafina and Sydney Rax for an ARC ebook copy to review. As always, an honest review from me. 

Trigger warning: sexual assault

A Sister’s Survival has a great premise, but didn’t end up being the right book for me. I liked that the female characters had strong supportive relationships. They felt comfortable discussing times they were sexually assaulted. Another book that fits in perfectly with the #MeToo Movement. It’s rare that people feel comfortable discussing such horrific circumstances with others. So I appreciated that the book was able to shine a light on living your life after sexual assault.

However, there is so much drama. Over the top drama, which was a bit much for me. There’s also a lot of cheating on others, which I’ve stated before that I’m not a fan of. Sleep with whomever you want, as long as it’s consensual and safe, but please don’t cheat. It does show that people are human though. Another aspect that frustrated me was the lack of continuity between chapters. Information that made me question if I had accidentally skipped pages, because it wasn’t make sense to me.

Overall, a good representation of characters that I don’t often see in books. But too much drama and inconsistencies for me to really get into the story.

4.5 Star Books · Book Reviews · non fiction · Self Help

I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

Be sure to answer the question at the end of the review

Let’s start a fun discussion in the comments!

 

35522033

 

I Hear You: The Surprisingly Simple Skill Behind Extraordinary Relationships by Michael S. Sorensen

Published: June 19, 2017

Publisher: Autumn Creek Press

Pages: 148 

Genres: non fiction, self help

Rating: 4.5 stars

Recommend to fans of: people wanting to work on their communications skills, reducing stress

Foodie Vibes: power protein smoothie

 

Synopsis:

+ 2018 IPA Book Award Winner What if making one tweak to your day-to-day conversations could immediately improve every relationship in your life? In this 3-hour, conversational read, you’ll discover the whats, whys, and hows of one of the most valuable (yet surprisingly little-known) communication skills—validation.

Whether you’re looking to improve your relationship with your spouse, navigate difficult conversations at work, or connect on a deeper level with friends and family, this book delivers simple, practical, proven techniques for improving any relationship in your life.

Mastery of this simple skill will enable you to:

• Calm (and sometimes even eliminate) the concerns, fears, and uncertainties of others
• Increase feelings of love, respect, and appreciation in your romantic relationships
• Quickly resolve, or even prevent, arguments
• Help others become open to your point of view
• Give advice and feedback that sticks
• Provide support and encouragement to others, even when you don’t know how to “fix” the problem
• And much more

In short: this skill is powerful. Give the principles and practices in this book a chance and you’ll be amazed at the difference they can make.

 

Review:

I won this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways. Thank you to Goodreads, Autumn Creek Press and Michael S. Sorensen for an ebook copy. As always, an honest review from me. 

The premise of I Hear You sounds too good to be true, but its really not. Most of the book is centered around the premise of validation being the key to better understanding, meaningful conversations and relationships. I think it’s true. I tried out the technique myself and it worked. It helped to deescalate a situation in which the other person was angry and stressed. They felt heard and understood and the situation resolved itself nicely. Also, bonus, I felt proud about the new interpersonal skill that I acquired.

I like that the book is short without too much extra fluff. Succinct information but also enough examples to really help you apply it to your life. Almost everything in the book completely resonated with me.

However, I wish there was more about getting people to validate me when I need it. It’s so hard to tell someone “I’m feeling insecure, validate me!” Also I want to add that you don’t always have to do the long drawn out process of validating people. You can put yourself first, keep it short and sweet and not be an emotional sounding board for the other person. But these communication skills are great when you choose to use them.

Overall, a really helpful book! Many self help books are informative but when it comes down to real life, don’t help me that much. Not so, with this book. I definitely recommend giving it a read!

 

 What are your best communication tips? Enlighten me!

4 Star Books · Book Reviews · contemporary romance · romance

ARC Review | The Firefighter’s Pretend Fiancee by Victoria James

41188934

 

The Firefighter’s Pretend Fiancee by Victoria James

Published: September 10, 2018 

Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC

Pages: 232

Genres: contemporary romance, romance

Rating: 4 stars

Recommend to fans of: people needing a reminder there are good guys in the world, romance novels with firefighters and doctors 

Foodie Vibes: coffee with organic milk, green juices, meat lovers pizza

 

Synopsis:

Leaving Shadow Creek nine years ago was the hardest thing Molly Mayberry’s ever had to do…except maybe returning. She’s never regretted her choice, but a chance of a lifetime position at the local hospital means going home and facing her past, including her shrew of an estranged mother and the fiancé she ran out on. Ben Matthews is still the sexy, sweet man she left behind…and apparently still her fiancé.

Ben has been doggedly pursuing the position of fire chief since he was a teenager. There’s just one problem—he has to show his boss he’s ready to settle down. No matter how silly the condition, Ben will make it happen. And apparently so will his brother when he opens his mouth and decides to tell everyone Ben and Molly are engaged. Now the one woman he never stopped loving is living with him in a fake relationship, driving him crazy. Pretending only reminds him how right they were once, but if Ben gives in to the heat building between them, heartache is sure to follow.

 

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Victoria James and Entangled Publishing for an ebook copy for review. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. As alway, an honest review from me.

At first I was a little skeptical based on the title. I assumed the pretend fiancee would be someone he barely knew, so it seemed a bit unrealistic that the couple would fall involve. Because it’s a romance novel after all. Once I learned that the fake couple had actually been a real couple years ago, and they still cared for each other, everything made a lot more sense.

This is a sweet romance. There’s love, romance, and passion, but the physical aspects described stop at kissing. The story is the perfect mix of sweet romance, heartbreak and personal growth. The more is revealed, the more I like the story. I really liked that the story shows the importance of communication and taking care of yourself. I think it will be relatable for a lot of women.

Other than my initial skepticism and a few of the commonly used romance novel tropes, I really enjoyed most of the book. The cover doesn’t match the characters I grew to know and love, in my opinion. 

I’m really glad I read this book that gives me hope for the future.

 

Should romance novels discuss consent and boundaries? Let’s discuss in the comments.