Sunday, February 14, 2016

Review: Breaking the Rules by Barbara Taylor Bradford

So, THIS, I believe, is actually the final installment (so far) in the Emma Harte series.  I thought the last one was, but not so.  This book follows M, an unknown young woman (although the reader does suspect she is somehow related to the Harte family, as this is in the series) as she begins her pursuit of a modeling career in the US.  You know that she has left home and family behind, but not why.  It is clear that she is running from something.

I didn't love this one as much as I have others in the series.  It takes a while for the reader to warm up to it, as M is basically a stranger to us for the first half to two-thirds of the novel.  Eventually, her real identity is revealed and the book takes on the more familiar trappings of a typical Barbara Taylor Bradford book, bringing in the other characters we've come to know over the course of the series.

One thing I didn't like about this entry in the series is that things seem to happen way too fast to M.  She meets Larry Vaughan and falls instantly in love with hime.  She becomes a modeling superstar almost overnight.  It's not realistic.  And it's not something I remember from the other books.  Maybe I am forgetting some of that, and maybe it was more glaring in this novel because the beginning of the book was a "mystery" as far as M's true identity was concerned.  Like, maybe when the insta-love and insta-fame happens to a Harte, it's less glaring?  Because the Hartes are clearly the cream of the crop, so it's kind of expected that they will continue to be blessed in every way...

Three out of five Whatevers for this one.  I only really got into it about halfway through, when M's real identity was revealed.  Definitely should be read by completists, intent on finishing the series, but don't read it as a stand-alone, for sure.  The original is still the best...A Woman of Substance is unequalled in the rest of the series.


So, we just found out this week that the company I just joined, Jamberry, is expanding into the UK!  I'm really excited.  I'd love to break into this market.  If anyone reading is from the UK and interested in a direct sales business that is really rewarding, come visit my Facebook page,, to learn more about Jamberry.  Better yet, send me a message and we'll chat, I'll send you a sample, and walk you through the company.  You could get in at the beginning of a business that is really going to explode in the UK!  Okay, I'll cool it for now.  I don't want my blog to turn into a giant Jamberry marketing tool.  I just love what I'm doing right now and am very excited about it.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Review: Fountain of Dreams by Josie Litton

I had gotten the second book in this trilogy from my mother-in-law and accidentally read it first.  Once I realized there were more books, I ordered a copy of this one, the first in the trilogy.  I can't remember if I Mooched it or if I bought it from Amazon or Powell's. I started it mid-January and finished it just six days later.  These little romances are quick reads!

The book follows the love affair of Princess Amelia Darcourt of Akora and Niels Wolfson.  At the beginning of the novel, Princess Amelia is kidnapped from the bedroom of her family's London residence, while they are in town on diplomatic business.  She manages to escape from the kidnappers and is rescued by Niels Wolfson while walking down the wet, dark road back to town.

The two fall in love, but they are from two different worlds.  She is Akoran.  He is American.  She is a royal.  He is a woodsman turned diplomat.  They don't believe they can make a life together, as their differences are too great.  It is pretty cheesy, standard romance novel fare.  But it was interesting, not too intellectually taxing, fast-paced...I don't mind this kind of book every once in a while.  A good romp that I can fly through in preparation for something heavier, more serious, or just lengthier.

Overall, I'd give it four out of five Whatevers for holding my attention.  It was enjoyable, light, good for lovers of general romance novels.  A tiny bit of sex, a good royal-and-commoner storyline, and a strong heroine especially recommend this one.  It's not necessary to read these in order, as they are all just loosely tied in together, based around the imaginary land of Akora.  Some characters from the second book did make an appearance in this one, but it really didn't make any difference in the storyline of the second book that I hadn't read this one first.


In other news, I've started a new side business as a Jamberry consultant (see or for more info), which I am LOVING.  It is a really fun way to make money offering a product I love to other women!  It is taking up a lot of my free time, but it is worth it.  Jamberry, in case you've never heard of it, offers vinyl nail wraps, lacquers, gel polish, and other nail care products.  It's an amazing company and a great way to make a little extra money.

I have continued my streak of reading at least a little bit every day since the first of the year.  I've been managing an hour most days, more or less, but there hasn't been a day where I haven't read anything.  I've finished three books since the beginning of the year (which for me was really mid-January, as I was catching up on my magazine reading before then), so it's really been helping me pump up my number of books read for the year.  I just want to do better than last year's 14, but if I could read 50 this year, that would be amazing!