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Dr. Pepper Diva

My passions include home cooked meals, Dr. Pepper, cosmetics and beauty, reading and rock music, especially 80s rock. I will be the first to admit that I am not the best cook in the world but I try my best and do what I can. I am doing better but the simpler the better for me.
Buried Secrets (New Adult Dark Suspense Romance) - Fido Publishing I love romantic suspense novels and Buried Secrets, Emme Rollins’s latest book, delivers on both ends. She also adds a touch of a paranormal twist to the mix to spice things up.

Buried Secrets takes place in the small town of Larkspur, Michigan. So small in fact that it doesn’t even have its own high school or local paper. Needless to say when Nick Chandler is found murdered in the graveyard, his sister Dusty knows there’s more to the story. Questioning his friends gets her nowhere but she can tell they’re hiding something by the look in their eyes. Seeking solace in Nick’s best friend, Shane Curtis, she soon can’t fight her feelings for him any longer. After a weekend of bliss, Dusty, high on emotions, confronts Shane about the night of her brother’s murder and he unravels a story even he still can’t believe.

I have a love-hate relationship with Dusty. She’s stubborn and short-tempered, which makes me love her and hate her at the same time. These traits clouded her judgement and kept her from seeking what she really wanted, however it also led her to the truth about her brother’s murder and Shane. Speaking of Shane, he is the town’s bad boy, or so everyone thinks. Granted he’s had his fair share of trouble, but not everything is black and white with Shane. In fact, Nick tries to explain this to Dusty the night of his death but she won’t listen. If only he had told her the truth from the beginning, maybe she would have looked at Shane differently.

The start of the book was a little slow for me. Everything revolved around Nick’s death and his funeral, and nothing was really going on. I was a little confused by Dusty’s suspicions of his death at first because there was nothing to go on except that he wasn’t supposed to be in the graveyard. Things finally start coming together when Shane and Dusty start working together. Their romance blossoms and the suspense following Nick’s death is finally revealed. There were actually a couple of clues that you might miss if not thinking about it and it was pretty interesting to read the end result.

Fans of new adult and romantic suspense will enjoy this mysterious tale. There isn’t too much paranormal to it until the very end so that shouldn’t interfere but if you’re looking for something full of the supernatural, this might not be for you.

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
Plum Deadly - Ellie Grant Plum Deadly is the newest addition to Jim and Joyce Lavene’s books. Although this is the first I have read of any of their works, when I was invited to participate in a tour, I couldn’t turn it down. I am starting to really get into these cozy mysteries because they are so lighthearted and fun.

After being falsely accused of embezzlement Maggie Grady flees back home to her aunt Clara. While trying to rebuild her reputation, Maggie works at the family business, Pie in the Sky. When her ex-boss, Lou, confronts her with knowledge that can clear her name, she’s ecstatic. Unfortunately for both of them, Maggie finds his body behind the shop before he can release the information. Now, not only does she have to clear her name of theft, she has to prove to everyone she’s not a murderer either.

Maggie is such a wonderful character. Even though she is down on her luck, she is very sweet and kindhearted, especially to aunt Clara. I really liked aunt Clara too. She had such a positive personality and always saw the good in everything. She also liked to play matchmaker, which led to Maggie’s relationship with Ryan Summerour, a local reporter. Although he and Maggie get off on the wrong foot, things soon get heated after a surprise kiss goodnight. What I liked the most about Ryan was that he never used Maggie. She wasn’t just another story to him.

This author duo has definitely got it going on. Together they have built a pleasant little town with touching characters. I haven’t really grasped the concept of how this team might work but you would never know it was more than one voice. Everything flowed beautifully from beginning to end at just the right rate.

I would recommend this lighthearted novel to anyone who enjoys curling up with a nice, cozy story. Did I mention that it also includes recipes? That’s right! You can make the same pies that Maggie and aunt Clara made in the shop. So gather up your baking supplies, get out your favorite blanket and enjoy the treat of both this loving story and the yummy pie.

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
April Showers (April, #1) - Karli Perrin April Showers is Karli Perren's debut novel. The synopsis completely drew me in and I knew it was something I had to read, especially seeing that it took place in England so I could imagine them talking with their hot British accents.

April Adams is starting fresh. She has enrolled at Mancheseter and it's a whole new experience for her. After literally running into the hottest guy on campus, Isaac, her thoughts are consumed by him. She just can't shake him no matter how hard she tries. Confused by her emotions, she finds comfort in the friendship of Lukas Roberts. Torn between feelings of passion and safety, April must decide what truly makes her happy.

I loved April's snarky attitude. I also loved how she had the ability to take what she dished out. I did have a couple of faults with her, the first being how she couldn't make up her mind and ignored her own feelings. The second was the way pitted Isaac against Lukas, knowing how they both felt about her. Speaking of the men, I loved Isaac. He was just as snarky as April and I loved how they interacted with one another. He's also willing to risk everything for April if she would just let him. As for Lukas, I really liked him at first. I even found comfort in him myself. As their friendship grows into more, April learns that maybe he wasn't the security blanket she first thought he was.

Perrin has built an intense love triangle on a college setting. Between lies, deception, passion and romance, this story takes you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. It had me laughing one minute and sobbing the next. The only fault I had with the story itself is that it ended in a tragic cliffhanger, which I hate. I can't wait for the next book in the series to see the fallout. It also took a little getting use to the language at first as the characters are British and it takes place in England.

If you love an intense romance, then you should definitely give this book a try. It's now one of my to favorites in the new adult genre.


I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
Addicted to You - Colina Brennan Addicted to You is Colina Brennan’s debut new adult novel. I have been on a contemporary binge all year and I have recently gotten into the new adult genre. After reading the synopsis, I knew this was something that I needed to add to my shelf.

Leah Carter is a hot mess. Her brusque attitude and long line of lovers have left her with an empty apartment and only one close friend. Due to the fallout of her latest rendezvous, her best friend forces her to attend sex therapy where she meets Will McLean. Being a psychology major, Will is intrigued by Leah from the beginning. He knows there is more to her than meets the eye. Leah also knows that Will is hiding something behind his killer blue eyes and boy next door charm.

I was a little put off by Leah at first. She was very rude and aloof, even being nicknamed “The Ice Queen” by her fellow therapy attendees. She always had her guard up and never let anyone in. That is until she meets Will. He puts her at ease and she feels like she can tell him anything. As her bond with Will deepens, we learn that she has her reasons for being the way she is. And speaking of Will, did I mention he was Scottish? Yep, he has an accent! Aside from that, I really liked the way he and Leah connected. He was very endearing and patient with her. He was determined to break down her walls because he could see something special behind them.

This story was a nice change of pace from the usual na romance. This time, it was the girl who needed fixing. I loved how Brennan hooked you right from the beginning with the meeting of the main characters and held you to the very end. The story unfolded smoothly and although I had a little trouble connecting with the characters at first, it didn't take me long to understand them.

I would recommend this to anyone who is in love with the new adult genre, or who likes contemporary romance. I’m hoping for a sequel or two as I’d love to see the relationships of both Will’s and Leah’s roommates evolve.


I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
Pretty Is as Pretty Does (Class Reunion #1) - Debby Mayne This is the first of Debby Mayne's books I have read, and the first in her newest series, Class Reunion.

Ah, class reunions. What a wonderful time to reminisce with old friends and to see how everyone has turned out, for better or worse.

The main character is Priscilla Slater, sometimes known as Prissy depending on who's talking. Priscilla has come a long way since high school. She's a very successful businesswoman, although she still lacks confidence.

Laura Moss plays a big part in the story as well. She was the vice president of the senior class and is the head of the committee organizing the reunion. Or maybe I should say she IS the committee since she's practically ran everyone off with her overbearing and bossy ways.

Trudy Baynard is one half of the beautiful couple. Unfortunately, the other half hasn't lasted. Michael decided to trade her in for a newer model and has her on an emotional rollercoaster that's barreling downhill fast.

From her negative attitude to her unibrow, Celeste Boudreaux is the social outcast. Or at least she was until Priscilla gave her a complete makeover. Now she's turning heads, including Pete's, Laura's husband.

The reunion brings all of these ladies back together. Although none were close, growth and maturity, and a string of humorous predicaments, have caused them to form an unusual bond.

Mayne develops a story full of laughs and a little heartache. She touches your heart with this inspiring tale of friendship, losses and the past you thought you left behind.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of women's contemporary fiction. Although not overly spoken about, there is talk about faith so I would also recommend to those who like Christian fiction.

*I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.*

The Firm

The Firm - John Grisham I’ve always been a big mystery fan and you can’t read mysteries without knowing John Grisham. I fell in love with his legal thrillers after reading only one of his books and made a vow to read all of his work. While I enjoyed the first two I’ve read, this one was a letdown.

Everything worked. The story, the characters, the writing. I just couldn’t seem to get into it. To be honest, I felt kind of bored reading it. I don’t know if there wasn’t enough action, the way everything was presented or what. Maybe it was just me. I almost made this a DNF but I decided to push through it and see if it got better. Unfortunately, it didn’t.
Big Exit, The - David Carnoy This is the first book I have read by the author, and although I was not gripped by it, it was still a pretty good story.

Carnoy does a good job of revealing the characters and showing how they are all connected. However, there are some things that I felt were unnecessary to the story.

The story-line is a good one but it left a little to be desired for me as far as pacing. I felt it started off slowly and everything was resolved quickly towards the ending. For me, I needed to be pulled in much sooner for a quick ending.

All in all, this was a well-written book that is worth reading if you are into thrillers.
The Prophet: A Shepherd Thriller - Ethan Cross Can I just say wow? This book is such a gripping thriller. It is the second book in The Shepherd series, but reads well as a stand-alone. I was pulled in by this one that I will definitely be going back to read the first.

Cross does a good job of introducing all of the characters, but does not reveal the connections until the very end. I don’t want to spoil anything but there are some very intense twists and turns that leave you like “WHAT?!”

The author definitely knows how to pull you in. His way of intertwining the characters and story-line is unbelievable. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. I couldn’t put it down! I just had to know what happened next. It flowed very well but also left you dumbfounded in a good way. I’m hoping there will be another book in the series due to the huge cliff-hanger at the end.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes crime thrillers. I would also say that this is for a more mature audience due to the horror nature of the book.

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
Naughty Makeovers FOR Nice Girls: HOW TO TURN UP THE HEAT AND ADD SEX APPEAL TO EVERYDAY SITUATIONS - Dimitri James Naughty is the new nice…

That’s the mantra and message of the new “tell-all” how-to paperback, physical book from beauty maestro Dimitri James. In Naughty Makeovers for Nice Girls, James creates a new kind of finishing school–one for nice girls who always finish anywhere but first.

I was given the opportunity to review this new self-improvement book. As someone who wants to go into the beauty industry, I’m always looking for new ideas and advice.

James gives you advice on how to look sexy and not trashy. (There is a difference.) He also gives you tips on fashion and makeup using his makeup line, SKINN Cosmetics.

His tips tell you how to spice it up at home by wearing lingerie but still looking classy and respectable.

He also teaches you how to turn heads at work by dressing outside the box.
Forget Me Not (Mystic Wolves, #2) - Belinda Boring Forget Me Not is the second book in Belinda Boring’s series The Mystic Wolves. It picks up exactly where the first book, The Mystic Wolves, left off. Mason and Darcy are finally spending some time alone after a vicious attack threatened the pack. They are interrupted by the intrusion of someone in Mason’s past who claims to be Mason’s true mate.

Darcy soon finds herself under attack and must flee to safety with Devlin, a vampire who has been a lifelong friend, where they hope to uncover the web of lies. Time soon starts to run out and everything is on the line.

If they don’t discover the truth soon, Darcy will be fighting to hold on to her dreams.

I wasn’t sure I was going to like the book when I first started. I’m just starting to get into the paranormal genre and vampires are more my taste. Belinda definitely changed my mind about werewolf stories with this series.

This book stirred several emotions within me. I laughed, I cried and I screamed out in anger. It takes unexpected turns that leave you wanting more. I can’t wait for the third book to see how the story continues.
Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain - Portia de Rossi Portia de Rossi sheds some light on a subject that some are too ashamed, too embarrassed or too scared to talk about. She talks about being anorexic.

At 12 years old, Portia convinced her mother to let her become a model. Her first big role came as that of a model in the Australian film Sirens. She later moved to the states and had several small roles. She caught the attention of everyone as Nelle Porter on Ally McBeal. Her next big break was playing that of Tess Donnelly on Who Is Cletis Tout? where she starred opposite Christian Slater.

Stardom really took a toll on Portia. While seemingly convincing everyone she was happy and well, she was slowly self-destructing. She had always struggled with her weight, and as an actress in the spotlight, she focused her attention on this issue. She started going to a nutritionist who tried to lead her down the right path. Unfortunately, de Rossi twisted things to her own liking and started under-eating and over-exercising. She also struggled with bingeing and purging.

Portia hit rock bottom while filming Who Is Cletis Tout?. At 82 pounds, she collapsed on. She had let her negative body image rule her life. She now had osteoporosis, her liver was near cirrhosis, her enzymes were high enough to effect the function of her organs and she had lupus.

Luckily, she was misdiagnosed with lupus. And the cirrhosis and osteoporosis went away after she got the help she needed and started to eat right again.

de Rossi also struggled with the fact that she was gay. She dared not date for fear of losing everything she had worked for. She even married her onscreen lover from a film she was working on thinking maybe she could live a “normal” life. Suffice to say, it didn’t work out. Although she was still closeted, she later became involved with a woman. After being outed by the paparazzi, she was forced to open up. The two later split.

Portia met Ellen in 2001 backstage at a concert. Although they got along well, they didn’t get together until 2oo4. They were happily married in 2008.

Although mostly about eating disorders, I feel that this book is also about self-acceptance. We all struggle with body image, self-worth and loving ourselves at some point in our lives. This book has really opened my eyes and has made me realize that we need to accept ourselves just as we are. Who we are is more important than our weight, sexuality and all other issues that we let control us.
The Curse Girl - Kate Avery Ellison Beauty is dropped off at an old abandoned house by her father. She believes she is being a martyr for the family by sacrificing herself to “The Beast” in order to protect her family and release them from the magic. The plan is for her to step inside, make sure the mark on her father is gone and then run back out. However, once she steps inside and turns back to her father, the door slams shut and she is locked in.

She later learns that she is really there to break a horrible curse gone wrong. Her father actually offered her in exchange for her stepmother’s health, who has cancer. She becomes known as “The Curse Girl”.

After many fights and arguments will “The Beast”, they decide to call a truce and work together to lift the curse. They even go to The Fey Lands, a mystical world, to try to confront the witch that set the curse. Although the trip doesn’t go well, the witch accidentally gives them a clue.

While on this journey, she realizes that “The Beast” really isn’t such a beast after all. He is, in fact, quite handsome and charming, and she begins to fall for him. However, her affections take a twisted turn when she learns that her old boyfriend showed up to “rescue her” and “The Beast” has hidden it from her. She storms off to her room and starts making origami, which is what she does when she’s scared and upset. She somehow manages to make a key. Upon awakening, she realizes that the key has become real by the magic of the house. She packs her things and uses the key to escape.

Upon her escape, she learns that everyone she left behind has moved on. She has never been so hurt and betrayed, not even by “The Beast” or her father. She realizes that no matter how infuriating and aggravating he can be, she really does love him and goes back to finish breaking the curse. But, when she arrives, no one is around.

What has happened to everyone? Has the spell been broken? Read the book to find out!

I will say that when I first started this book, I had my skepticism. However, the more I read, the more I wanted to read. The suspense just pulled me in! The story itself was great and it had a great set of characters. I actually started to fall for “The Beast” myself as I learned that he was really just a victim himself. I feel that the story was mostly about love, betrayal and forgiveness and how things aren’t always as they seem. I would definitely recommend this to fans of young adult, fantasy and romance.
Diary of a Mad Fat Girl - Stephanie McAfee What a riot! This is Stephanie McAfee’s debut novel and she has done a superb job of creating a southern-fried adventure.

The main character, Ace, is known for her sassy attitude and big mouth. If she thinks it, she speaks it. She also has an intolerance of deadbeats, and doesn’t mind getting in their face to tell them. This all tends to get her into some pretty troublesome dilemmas. These dilemmas and Ace’s actions had me in tears from laughing. She’s a lot braver than I am but I could totally relate to her way of thinking.

These dilemmas also make for a great tale. From knocking out pillars of the community to dressing like hookers to stake out the strip club, McAfee’s colorful adventures take you on a invigorating and amusing ride.

I would recommend this book to those who like good, southern humor and anyone who likes a good laugh.