Mountain peaks and friendship in The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti

The Eight Mountains by Paolo Cognetti

224 pages, Release date: March 20th 2018, by Atria Books

A beautiful narration of a bond of friendship and understanding that forms in the mountains between two young boys Bruno and Pietro.

The story is narrated to us from Pietro’s point of view and through him, the author weaves a tale about family, loss, love and wanderlust in generations that came before him. Pietro’s Father loves hiking and climbing mountains and it is his company during these excursions that later on inspires Pietro to travel the world in search of mountain peaks, community stories and glaciers. At one point when they were making their way to Grana, his father turned to him and asked him“In your opinion, can the past happen again?
His inability to provide the right answers or later on, to fully immerse himself in climbing these mountain peaks leads to a falling out with his father. At thirty one, he finds himself going back into the mountain in search of the man he loved but also didn’t get along with and this is where Pietro comes into the awareness of life, loss, love, aspirations and the question posted to him by his father back then comes back to him and for a moment he believes “…in certain lives, there are mountains to which we may never return.

I loved how the story unfolded for the writing is very beautiful and simple making this an enjoyable read. The characters are also as dynamic and some though constant like Bruno’s Uncle, you get the feeling that they seem resigned to the life they lead and cannot fault them for that.
I also felt that the introduction of Lara, Pietro’s ex and then Bruno’s wife- was symbolic in that she tried to change the “mountain man” that was Bruno, into a business man and when that failed, she left him carrying along with her their daughter Anita. I however do not know if this was one of the many tragedies that haunted Bruno; the first one being the question that “what would he have become if his parents would have let him proceed to Milan for further studies?”
I was challenged by Pietro and Bruno’s friendship because thirty years is quite the time to be friends.

I’d recommend this book to avid readers of well woven tales that involve a bit of mysticism, wanderlust and if you have read Paulo Coelho’s books and traveled with him on those life changing journeys, then this book is right in your path.
Thank you NetGalley and the Publisher.

Reviewed first on: Goodreads

Author’s site: https://paolocognetti.blogspot.com/

 

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Good Girls Don’t Put Out by Bolaji Eyo

Good Girls Don’t Put Out by [Eyo, Bolaji]

Literature & Fiction/ New Adult/ Romance

About the book: “What makes you think I need the money?” I asked.
“Girls always need that little bit extra. I don’t want you to lack for anything when I’m around to give it to you,” said Emeka. That was just what I needed – an invitation to ask for anything without having to give up something for it. I smiled. Law student Jade has every intention of holding on to her virginity until her wedding day and lucky for her, Wale, her boyfriend, is understanding. Jade is content with the allowance she receives from her parents, but when she meets Emeka, he seems willing to give her whatever luxury she desires with no strings attached. 
Until the day Emeka blocks Jade’s number and wants nothing more to do with her. What lengths will Jade go to maintain the lifestyle she’s grown accustomed to? This journey takes us through the decisions Jade makes, one of which might cost her her life.

I found this to be quite an interesting read, as narrated from the viewpoint of Jade. She’s the youngest daughter in a loving family and struggles with the challenges of social perception, lifestyle and trying to fit in- in both high school and college.

What starts out as a friendship, an understanding between her and Tobi, opens her up to a world of what Jade terms being a “prosy” (a prostitute) and soon enough she’s caught up in trying to sustain a lifestyle she never thought would be her’s in the beginning.

It’s also a story about friendship and the consequences of choosing friends.
I loved it and received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Get a copy: Amazon

Second to None by Nancy Herkness

Second to None by Nancy Herkness

A heartwarming story is one sure way of describing this book, but it’s not all there is to the book. 

Quick summary: Max is a Chemist who’s just sold his company for millions and while trying to nurse a headache in his office, Emily, storms in. She’s the woman he’s loved from afar but couldn’t make his intentions known because she was married to his friend and the guy he looked up to, known as Jake, a marine. Emily asks for financial support to keep her foundation running, a center that provides shelter and refuge for children and pets at risk. 

The story delves into the action and you are immediately drawn into Max’s dilemma as soon as he hears that Jake died and he never knew about it.
Whereas Max is still the young man who wore uncertainty on his sleeve, Emily, is a woman trying to make a better life for herself and her daughter and she’s busy running the center to think of anything else.

I loved it because it was about a second chance for both the lead characters. I do wish it was longer but a story comes to an end when it does so I guess that’s just it. I received a copy of this awesome novella from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review upon reading it.
I would however love to know what Violet’s story is, because I have the feeling that it’d be an epic one.

Coffee verdict: 2615261526152615

Reviewed also on: Goodreads

 

The Year of Saying Yes by Hannah Doyle

The Year of Saying Yes The Complete Novel: A hilariously uplifting and heartwarming summer read by [Doyle, Hannah]

363 pages, Women’s fiction/ Romantic Comedy/Literature Fiction

Available for $2.15  on: Amazon 

What’s it about?

Dear Readers,

I hold my hands up: I’m stuck in a rut. For three years and counting I’ve been hopelessly in love with the same guy – and the closest we’ve ever got is a drunken arse grab (NB: this doesn’t count). My favourite hobby is googling cats for spinsters and I’m sick of my shoestring salary that barely pays for my shoebox flat.

I need a head-to-toe life makeover. Enter my ‘Year of Saying Yes’, which is where you come in. To help me sort out my sorry life, I need you to #DareIzzy. For the next 12 months I’ll be saying ‘yes’ to your challenges, no matter how wild, adventurous or plain nuts they are. ‘No’ is not an option!

Here goes… Wish me luck! I’m going to need it.

Love,

Izzy x

My take on it: Absolutely hilarious! 🙂
There’s no way I’d take to a task like Izzy did in this book. She’s a feature writer at Pulse magazine, it’s a new year and she’s spent exactly three years pining for a guy, George, so much so she’s named him Georgeous George. He also happens to be her brother-in-law. So, January rolls in and at a staff meeting she suggests that it should be a year of saying yes instead of writing down or making resolutions of things they wouldn’t do and it turns out to be her assignment. Readers write in and soon Izzy has twelve months, and twelve dares and the readers do actually #DareIzzy.

This was a funny book to read and once I was done I felt refreshed.
Izzy has a great team of friends and colleagues at the work place and they do give it their best to ensure that she gets the help to do a great job, I liked that.
So, for all the laugh out funny moments, this is a great read for a sleep over or a girl’s night in, and I can’t wait to have my friends read it!

Thank you NetGalley for an arc, it’s been a delightful reading experience and I never knew someone could love wine and champagne as much as Izzy.

Coffee verdict: 26152615261526152615

Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro

Fire Sermon by [Quatro, Jamie]
Blurb: Maggie is entirely devoted to her husband Thomas, their two beautiful children, and to God. But then what begins as innocent letter writing with poet James starts to become something far more erotically charged, their meeting of minds threatening to become a meeting of bodies.

As everything Maggie believes in is thrown into doubt the reader is drawn ever deeper into the battleground of her soul. Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro is a daring debut novel of obsession, desire and salvation that shows the radical light and dark of love itself. This is a visceral, rich and devastating portrait of life and loves lived and lost that cannot fail to echo in your own experience.

Release date: February 22, 2018

My two-cents:

This is an in depth look into life and marriage. Maggie questions the institution and delves into the basis of a marriage to Thomas, being a mother and I was deeply moved by her delivery experiences; the natural birth of Kate and later on Tue c-section of Thomas and slowly the unraveling of having sex as a married couple.
It’s quite a stark representation of things not being as great and glossy on the inside as they seem on the outside.

When she finds herself drawn to an acquaintance, James, and a meeting paves way for what the world deems an affair, Maggie begins to question God, her actions, religion, poetry, and truth, but for me it was not just enough that she did this but how she did it.

The author’s writing is poetic and what you and I deem abstract is not so in her writing. She writes from different points of views, at one time she is the observer or she is taking the lead sometimes she is being led and these took a while for me to grasp.
I believe it was at the point when I was 41% into the story where I came to appreciate and acknowledge the poetic prose.
I’d say part two of the story was more interesting, but that is me being less serious, and trying to hide the fact that this is not your read in one sitting kind of book!
This is the “I need to reflect on my life” kind of book. If you’re in a hurry or are seeking to be entertained, back off. If you are looking to go on a journey into a woman’s reflection of her life, choices and actions, then give this book your time, attention and patience and you’ll definitely have some things to think about.
I am glad to have received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest views on it. It’s my second book off Grove Press and I’m beginning to scout for more of their published works.
Reviewed also on: Goodreads
Pre-order a copy today from: Amazon
Coffee verdict: 261526152615

Bloom (Thorn Tattoo Studio Book Three) by Leslie North

I love me some Leslie North steamy romance and with this Tattoo series she delivered.

Bloom by Leslie North

Having read the second book, Thorn, just this week, I was thrilled to get started on Bloom because it focused on Antonio and in the previous book he’d come off as all business and one to never mince his words.

About the bookFrom the boardroom to the bedroom, Antonio DeRose is a man who always gets what he wants. And Antonio wants Evie. 
Antonio took a risk when he purchased Bloom Tattoo. The studio is a “fixer-upper” that could pay off in spades…or cost him Thorn, the family’s studio. He knows the key lies in making Evie Stuart, the tattooed sex kitten, head artist. He can see that beyond her beauty, that the fiery girl has some serious brains too. 
Evie, on the other hand, is more than happy to continue being a tattoo artist. She likes being free to follow the wild creativity of her imagination without risking the livelihoods of other artists. Because even though Evie can’t stop thinking about his scorching touch, she has no desire to share a boardroom with him. 

I received an arc from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review and this was more fierce than I expected because there was a different dynamic to the characters. Antonio and Evie are both stubborn. Each of them wants to have their own way, and they both want the new venture to succeed while trying not to mess up their relationship.
I loved the chemistry between Antonio and Evie, especially Evie’s ability not to back down from an argument with Antonio. I was intrigued by the essence of a tattoo parlor and something about the description of Bloom had me seriously considering visiting the place, even though it’s fictional.

It was quite a thrill reading this book.

Coffee verdict: 2615261526152615

Thorn (Tattoo Studio Book Two) by Leslie North

Thorn by Leslie North

I’ve read most of Leslie North’s books because she gives what she can to her romance writing. Some books are steamy, others spicy hot, and some you get a whole serving and topping of just what you need to keep you turning the pages.

I got this ARC from NetGalley yesterday evening and read it as I was cooking supper because I didn’t want to sleep without reading Luciano and Melanie’s story.
Luciano is running away from the grief even now that he’s back home. He can’t stand the memories of Cassandra and every day he misses what they could have been. He also knows that she’s dead and wouldn’t be coming back to him but it doesn’t make it any easier. Melanie is his personal assistant, confidante and also the woman he’s been attracted to but he’s busy trying to push her away and she’s bent on helping him move on, even if it means drawing closer to him.

The story’s pace was fast. I was on chapter one and the next second I was reading the epilogue and before I could take it all in, the happily ever after had been served!
I love the author’s style of writing and how she blends in the passion between her characters. You wouldn’t fail to swoon over Luciano when he’s teasing Melanie.

Check it out: here

Reviewed also on: Goodreads, Amazon.