Wednesday 13 July 2016

Book Review: Dreams (New Beginnings, #3) by Michelle Lynn



Moving on is the hardest thing she’ll ever have to do. 

Taylor Scott sees the world differently than she did a year ago. She’s no longer the love-sick teenager, quick to smile and full of joy. Now she’s the broken college student just trying to get through the day without letting her feelings overwhelm her. It isn’t until she meets Josh that pieces of herself she’d lost start falling back into place and she can finally see that it’s okay to be happy again. 

Josh Walker is a professional athlete whose always avoided distractions. His career is just getting started and he works harder than anyone else. Hockey is his life. It’s the only thing that makes sense to him. When a new coach joins the team, it’s his daughter that threatens to complicate everything. He wants to help her. Needs to help her. But when he needs her to do the same, he finds out what she’s really made of. 

No one ever told him that the hardest part of his hockey career wouldn’t have to do with hockey at all.


"What greater punishment is life when you've lost everything that made it worth living?"

- Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare

What an extraordinary series this has turned out to be. Having read, nay, consumed author Michelle Lynn's superlative dystopian series Dawn of Rebellion, I was expecting a light, breezy enjoyable romance from her New Beginnings series.

Readers will get that, but what readers won't be prepared for is the standard of writing, which was always good but has evolved onto a whole other level here.

Characters from the earlier books take a more prominent role here, but each story in this series has been remarkably different and well, this one is the best of the three.

Perhaps it is because of the ice hockey references. As an ex-player myself, it gave me a different angle with which to approach the story.

While I have enjoyed the myriad of characters introduced in this series, I wanted the female characters to grow a little, perhaps show that they didn't even need a man in their life to become whole again after previous hurtful experiences. Anyone, man or woman, can relate to that.

It is in this aspect that the author scores highest for me. This is a real rollercoaster of a book. It plays with your emotions a lot. Some of the characters, like Taylor and Josh, were wonderfully drawn but infuriatingly flawed in parts (not in their creation, but in their behaviours) yet it makes it all the more believable as a romance.

"What an extraordinary series this has turned out to be."

The ice hockey references are well written in the story. The team players act in a beliveable manner (as does Coach Scott) and it made me think did I act like that in respect of other women when I was consumed by the sport.

I also liked the character play between Josh and Zak, the latter playing the role of saying the things that needed to be said. Again, great characterisation from the author.

Without giving too much away, but feeling I do have to mention this, one of the characters is suffering from a condition called ventricular tachycardia. I did not experience this as a hockey player, but through some poor choices, at the age of 35, I was hit hard with this condition. I am older now and it is more manageable, but wow....this book really spoke to me.

Anyway, whilst Dreams is possibly a book you could read as a standalone, it is a far better experience to familiarise yourself with the characters first as they appear in the earlier books.

A heart string puller of the highest order, this is simply yet another wonderful book from the pen of Michelle Lynn.

Book Review: Crafting With Lacey by Lacey Lane



Want to create crafts but need ideas and a plan? Do you have ten thumbs? Let Lacey guide you to crafting success. Learn how to make candle holders, jewellery, childrens' play things, storage solutions, decorations for your house and much more. Simple, beautiful, and practical crafts are just one click away.


I honestly haven't made or crafted anything since leaving school. DIY at home doesn't count because those are jobs that need to be done, rather than those that are fun to do. I won a school competition for creating a Freddy Krueger glove with real knives no less. But author Lacey Lane brings her fun side out and this book is stuffed full of craft ideas that will keep you literally busy for years.

"Get off the internet, shut your phone down, and create something awesome."

People who love to make things will be instantly drawn to the amazing cover, but jump in and see a book that is full of detail and tells you explicitly how to make all kinds of things. I will attempt some, but I admit I am poor at these kinds of things!

Overall, a value for money book that brings the fun back. So get off the internet, shut your phone down, and create something awesome There is something for everyone here.

Book Review: My Life As A Banker by Brenda Mohammed



Fascinating, Intriguing, Inspiring, Positive, Heartwarming, and Motivational Memoir.
My Life as a Banker - A Life worth Living" is a banker's memoir, in which the author describes changes in the banking system, and changes in the bank's attitude to its employees throughout her working years, in a Trinidad bank with ties in the United Kingdom. 
It is the story of a pioneering female in a man's world. 
The book also reveals personal details about the author's life.
It is a Memoir worth reading.


For those of us who are not in the banking industry, and for me, especially living in a country where the capital is the financial hub of the country (perhaps the world) you might think a story called My Life As A Banker would be too dry to enjoy. 

Author Brenda Mohammed has written quite a few books across different genres. This book is a relatively quick read but readers can be taken along her life's journey as they turn the pages.

I found myself more interested in the 'Life Worth Living' elements of the book. I congratulate her hard work which allowed her to work in the banking industry and get promoted. But I was more interested in the personal side of things, for example how she met her husband (that's an excellent segment of the book) and also attaining her strict father's support for the marriage.

"An interesting and very readable memoir from one of the more creative authors out there."

The author's approach to writing this memoir is direct and therefore one imagines this is how she would speak in real life. But the tale is told with such verve and energy, it is an enjoyable book that people will find much to like.

The real life stories contained within are things we can all relate to. Things such as ending up in a great city like Toronto, but being sick at the time and told 'you shouldn't go out then'. But this is not the author's approach to life. If you have read her Travel Memoir With Pictures, you will understand what an accomplished traveller this lady is.

There's some surprisingly gory scenes in the book, tempered by some poignant sadness around certain family members, as well as the central theme of how the author made her living in the banking sector.

It's an interesting and very readable memoir from one of the more creative authors out there.