The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

Review: Open Road Summer by Emery Lord April 19, 2015

***mild spoilers may follow***

***affiliate links are used***

Rating:  5 stars
Pub date: 15 April 2014
Publisher: Walker Children’s, Bloomsbury
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary
Format: hardcover
Status: standalone

Summary:

After breaking up with her bad-news boyfriend, Reagan O’Neill is ready to leave her rebellious ways behind. . . and her best friend, country superstar Lilah Montgomery, is nursing a broken heart of her own. Fortunately, Lilah’s 24-city tour is about to kick off, offering a perfect opportunity for a girls-only summer of break-up ballads and healing hearts. But when Matt Finch joins the tour as its opening act, his boy-next-door charm proves difficult for Reagan to resist, despite her vow to live a drama-free existence. This summer, Reagan and Lilah will navigate the ups and downs of fame and friendship as they come to see that giving your heart to the right person is always a risk worth taking. A fresh new voice in contemporary romance, Emery Lord’s gorgeous writing hits all the right notes.

My thoughts:
I am not a contemporary fan by any means, but Mary keeps throwing suggestions my way. She very rarely steers me wrong, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to read it!

I was instantly interested because Open Road Summer opens in Nashville. I went to college in Murfreesboro (where I met Mary!) and spent quite a bit of time in Nashvegas. I love Middle Tennessee! So being back in my old stomping grounds without leaving home was great! The way Emery paints the picture, you feel like you’re right there beside Reagan.

One of the best things about Open Road Summer is the road trip. Yes, Lilah is on tour and a country superstar, but just the road trip aspect was perfect. My best friends and I planned so many road trips in high school. The only ones that actually happened were band or family oriented, but those are still some of the best memories EVER.

The raw goodness and reality are perfect. In a way, it was out of this world, fantasy type reading for me because I still escaped in reading Emery’s work.

The characters were built exceptionally well. Starting with leading lady, Reagan, you have a front row seat into how much a summer can really change your life! Emery takes you through the good, bad, and nitty gritty. Reagan has a past, but who doesn’t? I loved getting to watch her come out of her shell and flourish. It was reminiscent to when I went to college in a way. Plus, I could relate to Reagan on other levels – photography, not tolerant of BS, and the fiercely loyal and close friendship reminds me so much of my friendships with two of my best friends.

Speaking of. Dee (as she’s known to Reagan, Lilah Montgomery to the rest of the world) is fantastic. She keeps Reagan grounded. Despite being a superstar, she is down to earth and very few people know the 100% real Dee. She’s the best best friend and offers Reagan the chance to come on tour with her as a fresh start and turn over a new leaf after a few bad life choices. Dee has her own troubles to deal with as well. Bad publicity leads to bringing in the other fantastic secondary character: Matt Finch.

Matt used to be in a family group and is now trying to make a break on his own. He’s a good friend of Dee’s and is brought in to help smooth out some bad Lilah publicity and keep her reputation intact. He has definitely met his match in Reagan but it is far from love at first sight. He matches her and brings out the best in her. Their banter brought many memories of my best guy friend from high school.

The beauty of Emery’s world will have you on the tour bus and backstage for a whirlwind summer. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll get to see the beauty of young love and second chances. If you’re looking for a great pool or beach side read, look no further than this spectacular debut by Emery Lord.

About the Author

I’m Emery, and I write books about flawed girls who are really trying, complicated families, friends who show up even when everything’s going down in flames, the boy who Gets You even when you don’t expect it, and the summer that changed everything.

Open Road Summer is out now, and The Start of Me & You releases March 31st, 2015.

I don’t check my GR inbox, but feel free to get in touch via ways listed on my website!
http://www.emerylord.com/p/site-qs.html

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*Review* A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris March 23, 2014

Rating: 4 stars
Pub date:
6 August2013
Publisher:
Entangled Teen
Genre:
Young Adult Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Historical Fiction
Format:
ebook, won in giveaway
Status:
Book two My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century companion series

Summary:

Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.


With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

My thoughts:

I’ve been dying to get my hands on this ever since I finished My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century in the fall. My library didn’t have a copy and we’ve been on a tight budget, so I’ve been waiting impatiently. The book gods then smiled down on me and I won an e-book copy. YAY! Commence reading, flailing, and fangirling!

I love Rachel. She’s such a sweetheart and an incredible writer. She’s firmly on my read everything she ever writes list. For reals.

Rachel does a fantastic job with characters. She creates such believable and loveable characters. I haven’t had trouble relating to a single character yet!

After the spunky Cat returns from Italy, she leaves behind her 16th century ancestor, Alessandra in a world she feels even more disconnected from. She’s everything her time calls for – polite, demure, proper, etc. She’s also everything her time isn’t ready for in a young woman – equality driven, passionate, and outspoken (even if only in her mind). She wants more than her time can offer – a loveless marriage. She misses her cousin and wants more adventure in her life.

As luck would have it, once again, fate intervenes in the Angeli family, and Alessandra is thrust into the 21st century. Talk about a culture shock! Alessandra is at an utter loss and it’s hysterical watching prim and proper Alessandra navigate our world that is chock full of impropriety.

Alessandra has two wonderful people to come to her rescue. Dear cousin Cat schools her on the 21st century world at home and yummy Austin makes it a challenge to bring her out of her shell.

First impressions prove to be wrong between Alessandra and Austin and it was fun to read their banter and watch their relationship blossom. Things also blossom between heartbroken Cat and new guy Lucas. I can’t wait to see how things continue to develop in My Not So Super Sweet Life!

Alessandra gets her wish to act on stage and she does a fantastic job at it. She gets the star role of Juliet in an acting showcase. Time is running out, but she asks for more time so she can have her chance to shine on stage. After she completes her stellar performance, she realises she doesn’t want to go back to a joyless boring life. Alessandra is faced with a choice. Leave her 16th century family behind or leave Cat, Austin, and the 21st century behind. Whichever she chooses, she will never see the other again.

The ending is superb. I really don’t know how Rachel continues to deliver so completely time and time again. I’ve never been a big romance/contemporary reader, but if it comes from Rachel, I’ll read it AND recommend it like crazy! I really can’t wait to get my hands on the third companion of this series, My Not So Super Sweet Life! I need it NOW!

About the author

Author of fun & flirty romance about sassy girls-next-door and the hot guys that make them swoon. Vibrant settings and strong families are a staple of all my books…and kissing. Lots of kissing.


I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch countless hours of reality television with my amazing husband. I write YA, NA, and Adult romance and LOVE talking with readers!

 

 
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