Book Review: Daring In a Blue Dress by Katie MacAlister

daring in a blue dress

Title: Daring In a Blue Dress
Series: Machmaker In Wonderland #3
Author: Katie MacAlister
Publisher: Signet
Date: June 7th, 2016
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher for a review


Synopsis (from Goodreads): Chivalry is far from dead in the third novel in the “gut-wrenchingly funny”* Matchmaker in Wonderland Romance series.

Stranded in England without money or a ticket home, Mercy Starling takes a job working for a medieval reenactment company. After all, who wouldn’t want to pretend to live in the past, wield swords and long bows, and dress up in armor? And the best part of her summer job is Bestwood Hall…or rather, its intriguing new owner.

The painfully shy Alden Ainslie is overwhelmed by the medieval reenactors who invade the Tudor house he’s renovating, but he’s drawn to the bubbly Mercy. And he valiantly joins in the fun, dodging not just arrows, lances, and the odd sword thrust, but also some pretty suspicious—and potentially deadly—attacks on himself. Someone wants him to give up on the house. But Alden is desperate to prove himself—and win the heart of his lady fair…



When it comes to this book, I really, truly believe it is one of those „It’s not you, it’s me“ cases.
You see, there are so many aspects to this story that I believe other people would enjoy, but when it comes to me, I just couldn’t bring myself to like it, even though I wanted to.
In fact, reading this book made want to DNF it, and it made me regret my decision about not DNFing books that I read for review.
But I’ll give it that one – it made me see how making that decision wasn’t the smartest idea in the world.

Daring in a Blue Dress is a third book in the Matchmaker In Wonderland series, but you don’t have to read the first two in order to read this one, because it can be read as a standalone.

The story is written in somewhat unusual way, where it follows two POVs: Mercy’s and Alden’s (who’s name I adore!). While Mercy’s POV was written in first person, Alden’s was written in third person.
I think that was a smart move from author because sometimes, when writing a story from different POVs, it can be hard to make them sound different.

The story starts with Mercy coming to England and meeting a girl who’s job she decides to take because she can’t work where she planned originally.
I liked that part. I liked Mercy’s voice, I liked the idea I got from those few pages about where the story could go and it sat my expectations level a bit higher.

Unfortunately, as the story developed, I liked this book less and less.

Mercy was so unlikeable to me, I know some people would find her behaviour interesting and funny, but I’m not one of those people.
At some scenes, I even found her as an emotional blackmailer.

For Alden‘s charcter there’s a phrase that we, in my country, use and it would describe him perfectly: Mrtvo puhalo.That means there’s not many characteristics I could use to describe him, he was there to be there, and the only thing that I can surely say about him is that he suffers from anxiety, even though it is never said in the book. There, you can read that he is just really, really shy.

This book contains more then some sex scenes, but they are not overdone.
There are some scenes where something important is going on but Mercy can’t concentrate because Alden is just too sexy to her, and while someone would roll their eyes on those scenes, I actually welcomed them because I felt they were believable.

However, closer to the end, some important scenes were happening (and when I say important, I mean „fear for your life importnt“) and when Mercy couldn’t think about anything but how Alden sexy is, I rolled my eyes.

There is a mystery aspect to this story, but it wasn’t a big mystery if you ask me, as I figured out who’s involved with who almost from the beginning.

The lawyer in me also questioned the law aspect to this story.

All in all, although this book wasn’t for me, I think other people would enjoy it.
Personally, I think that it would be a great tv movie that I would like to watch one Sunday afternoon.


Book Review: No Love Allowed by Kate Evangelista

no love allowed

Title: No Love Allowed
Author: Kate Evangelista
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, Swoon Reads
Date: April 19th, 2016
Pages: 256
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher, for a review


Synopsis (from Goodreads): It’s all fun and parties until someone falls in love in this modern fairy tale from author Kate Evangelista.

Caleb desperately needs a fake girlfriend. Either he attends a series of parties for his father’s law firm with a pretty girl on his arm, or he gets shipped off to Yale to start a future he’s not ready for and isn’t sure he wants. And sadly, the last unattached girl in his social circle has just made the grievous mistake of falling in love with him. Fortunately, Didi, recently fired waitress and aspiring painter, is open to new experiences. As the summer ticks by in a whirl of lavish parties, there’s only one rule: They must not fall in love!



„Love destroys people to the point where they don’t even care who else they hurts in the process.“

It has been three days since I finished this book and still, it is all I’m thinking about.

Ask me why is that, what makes this novel so special that it captures my mind like there’s no important things in my life, and I problably wouldn’t know what to tell you.

But what I do know is that I don’t think that any review I write for this piece can do it justice.

The story is written in third person, following two perspectives: Caleb’s and DiDi’s.

Caleb comes from a wealthy family and all he wants is to have a gap year between going to college, so he could travel trough Europe with his cousin Nathan. In order to earn that, he has to spend the summer attending certain events with his family, and have a girl that will make him a company.

That’s where Didi comes in. She’s a girl raised by a single mother, not poor but definitely far from being rich. She agrees to pretend to be Caleb’s girlfriend for the summer, so she could experience the lifestyle she never had. Also, Caleb agreed to pose her for her painting, since she’s an artist.

They make an agreement: One mustn’t fall in love with the other.

What took me by surprise in this story is it’s characers and how the story kept me inrigued.
Nor Caleb or Didi were likeable. They were gray, had their flaws, but still, I cared about them and wanted to know everything about them: why they acted the way they did, what made them think the certain way and how they are going to deal with cards that life throws at them.

This is the story you read for it’s completeness. Even though main characters aren’t the ones you want to befriend, you still root for them and want the best for them.
Side characters are so interesting, I really got attached to Preston, Nathan and Natasha.
They have that impact on you as a reader:  you want to know more about them.
When I heard that the story about Preston and Nathan is planned to be published later this year, I welcomed the news with all my heart.

Although at first this novel gives an impression as a cute ya spring/summer read, with it’s goergous cover and warm colors, that is not the case.
Yes, it does have cute moments and swoon worthy situations, but it also deals with some serious topics like mental illness and suicide.
I think when it comes to those, the writer did her research well.

What I liked the most about this book is Didi’s passion for Van Gogh. You can feel it trough the whole novel.
The story starts with quote by Van Gogh, and when following Didi’s perspective you can notice that everyday things like clouded sky reminds her of his work. She also talks about him with passion, but still she doesn’t overdo it.
Her affection for Van Gogh’s work and him as an artist is almost touchable, like it has a personality on it’s own (just like Paris had in Stephanie Perkin’s Anna and the French Kiss).

This novel also has some beautiful, memorable scenes, like 4th July scene and the one at (almost) very end with paintings.

The story is not only full of vizuals, but music also plays a part in it. Not a big one, but you can still feel it.
I guess it had an impact on the author while she was creating her story.

The writing style is good and you can speed trough this book.
It is not poetic and has not many memorable quotes, but it is still really beautiful.

I couldn’t help but be reminded of Katie McGarry‘s books while reading.
The writing style is still very different from McGarry’s, but I think that her fans would enjoy this novel as well.



Note: You can read my interview with an author and win yourself a copy of No Love Allowed here.

Book Review: Take Me On by Katie McGarry

take me on

Title: Take Me On
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date: May 27th, 2014
Pages: 544
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased


Synopsis (from Goodreads): Acclaimed author Katie McGarry returns with the knockout new story of two high school seniors who are about to learn what winning really means.

Champion kickboxer Haley swore she’d never set foot in the ring again after one tragic night. But then the guy she can’t stop thinking about accepts a mixed martial arts fight in her honor. Suddenly, Haley has to train West Young. All attitude, West is everything Haley promised herself she’d stay away from. Yet he won’t last five seconds in the ring without her help.

West is keeping a big secret from Haley. About who he really is. But helping her-fighting for her-is a shot at redemption. Especially since it’s his fault his family is falling apart. He can’t change the past, but maybe he can change Haley’s future.

Hayley and West have agreed to keep their relationship strictly in the ring. But as an unexpected bond forms between them and attraction mocks their best intentions, they’ll face their darkest fears and discover love is worth fighting for.



In this, fourth novel in Pushing the Limits series (that can be read as a stanalone) we follow Haley and West.
The story is written in first person, switching from Haley’s to West’s POV.

Haley‘s life is not an easy one. After her father lost his job and her family lost the roof over their heads, they moved to her uncle’s house. Living with her uncle is not easy. He has strict rules they all have to obey and he verbally abuses them on regural basis.
Some time before, Haley was a kickbox champion but then, after something terrible happened to her, something that left her with the bitter taste in her mouth, she decided to leave fighting once and for all.

West is a troublemaker. After stealing money from his sister, the money she needed badly and ended up in a car accident because of that, he can’t stop blaming himself for what happened to her.

I loved protagonists of this story. I can honestly say that Haley is now my favorite character Mcgarry created.
She is strong and smart, never gives up and even though people around her bring her down, she doesn’t allow them to change her own opinion about herself. She knows she is worth.

West we already met in Crash Into You, book three of the same series.
There, he wasn’t the guy you would root for. However, giving us the chance to look from his perspective, McGarry made us understand him and therefore I changed my opinion about him and ended up really liking him.

As for characters impressions, author didn’t stop there. From the beginig of the story (and even in previous book) she made us dislike a certain character. I honestly think some readers even hated that same character. But, as the story progressed, and more reasons behind actions showed, as well as some secrets have revealed, McGarry got us to understand that character, and to look at him not as a bad, but as a good guy.

The writting style didn’t disappoint. It was beautiful just like always, although it wasn’t poetic as it was in Dare You To.
Maybe I should stress out here that I came to conclusion that the writing style in Dare You To has more to do with it’s narrator Beth. In the end, she is the one who presented the story to us in that book.

The chemistry between main characters was captured very well, I could feel the intensity between them and I enjoyed reading how they fell for each other slowly and then how that love developed pretty fast.

Although this is a love story, it also has many famly issues and family situations.
I will even be brave enugh to call it a love story with elements of family prose.
That, family aspect of this story, I liked a lot and it made me appreciate this novel even more.

Overall, I think everyone who likes McGarry already will enjoy reading this book, but I would also recommend it to everyone who likes to read ya contemporary about love, but with the darker atmosphere in it.


Book Review: A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

a summer

Title: A Summer at Sea
Author: Katie Fforde
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK, Arrow
Date: February 11th, 2016
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: from Publisher, for a review


Synopsis (from Goodreads)Emily is happy with her life just as it is.

She has a career as a midwife that she loves . She enjoys living on her own as a single woman. But she’s also feels it’s time for a change and a spot of some sea air.

So when her best friend Rebecca asks whether she’d like to spend the summer cooking on a ‘puffer’ boat just off the Scottish coast, she jumps at the chance.

But she barely has time to get to grips with the galley before she finds herself with a lot on her plate.

Rebecca is heavily pregnant and is thrilled to have her friend on board doing most of the work. Then there’s Emily’s competitive and jealous kitchen assistant who thinks she should be head-cook, not Emily.

And there’s Alasdair, the handsome local doctor who Emily is desperately trying not to notice.

Because if she falls in love with him, as he appears to be falling for her, will she ever want her old life back again?



I am sorry. Sorry for taking so long to read this book and sorry for taking it even longer for reviewing it.

The thing is, in the middle of my reading, I had to take a long break from this book because of one particular scene, the one decided to call – the placenta scene.
I’ll be 100% honest with you – if I didn’t read a review copy, I would DNF it and then donate it.
But, I had an eARC, I think it was only fair of me to read the whole book so I could write a decent review.

I’d be lying if I told you my expectations for this novel weren’t high.
Katie Fforde is a pretty popular author, this is her (if I’m not mistaking) 15th novel and she writes books in my favorite genre – women’s fiction.

Still, what I got from this story was not what I wanted.

The writing style was detailed, I even dare to say it was too detailed for my taste. It felt like the author wrote about certain, unnecessarily things and created some scenes just to make this novel longer, when in reality it could have been at least 70 pages shorter.

Yet, some things that would be interesting to read about weren’t in the story.
For example, when Emily comes to puffer, to work in the kitchen, we meet a young girl who’s name I forgot. She seems like an interesting character with some trouble in her life, but we never get the chance to know more about her.

For the matter of fact, we didn’t get any scenes from kitchen (and even if we did, they were so dull that I forgot about them).
Emily could have been working on any possible position, it wouldn’t make difference, because the only thing we got to read about is her hanging out with puffer owners, her love interest and his child (and one customer).

The story wasn’t interesting enough and I didn’t care about the characters, but the setting was good.

I had two main problems with this book:

  1. The writing style, as I said was too detailed for my taste, but one particular scene was just too much for me – Ladies and Getelments, I now present you, the PLACENTA SCENE.Let me warn you immediately, this is going to be spoilery for your own good.

    spoiler vrpca

    Spoiler Alert!!!

    Our main character is a midwife. That means, she’s helping women deliver their babies.
    We all know that after a woman pushes baby out of her vagina, there has to be placenta somewhere, right?
    d we have all seen movies with baby birth in them, but not one movie shows you a woman pushing her placenta out of her body. And there’s a good reason for that!

    We know about placenta, but please, don’t ruin my reading experience with writing (in a very detailed way) about delivering placenta. Please, don’t do it!
    We just read about beautiful baby coming to life, and then, it was all ruined with the placenta scene.

    spoiler vrpca
    I will remember that scene for the rest of my life, probably, and that is NOT something I want to remember!
    After that scene, I needed a 2-3 weeks break from this book.


  1. It felt like the author wanted to make us think what she though was right.
    I understand that sometimes author’s beliefs blend on pages, but when (almost) every single character tells the same thing (that a woman will want to be a mother one day and it is better for her to work on her motherhood soon), is what I call „pushing readers to think what author thinks is right“ and I DON’T nor ever will approve that kind way of putting your message out there.


Overall, I know some people like this kind of writing style, but I am not one of those people, and I don’t think  I’ll read this author again.


Three Days Three Quotes: Day 2

I was nominated for Three Days Three Quotes Challenge by lovely Joy from For Book’s Sake.

For my day two, I choose the book by one of my favorite authors: Katie McGarry.

crash into you

And since I love this book so much, I decided to cheat and post not one, not two, but FOUR quotes today, all from Crash Into You.

Here they are (and they are NOT in order, to avoid any potential spoilers):

‘ “Because He said I was either breathing fire and destroying everything or I took the fire inside of me and created life.” 
“Created life?”
“Fire can destroy, but it can also create – provide warmth, protection.” I still remember him explaining when I asked the same question. “He told me until I chose my path, I would always be capable of life and destruction.” ‘

“What people project to the world never shows what’s lurking on the inside.”

“Life isn’t made-for-television movies or books with happy-ever-afters. Sometimes the choices we’re presented with are bad or worse.”

“Joy blossoms through me, from my toes up into the rest of my blood to the point that I look down to see if I’m flying.”

Today, I nominate:

Annika from Hiding in Books

Amanda from ChocolatePages and

Geraldine from Corralling Books .