Monday, August 21, 2017

Review 'Finding Lyla' by Cate Beauman
Principal Dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery is always on the go. Grueling practices and endless performances rule her busy days—and things are about to get more hectic. Russia is rolling out the red carpet for their beloved star, despite the string of violent terrorist attacks that have rocked the nation.

Bodyguard Collin Michaels’ life is falling apart. His long-time relationship recently ended. He’s trying to start over, but that’s easier said than done. Luckily, Collin has a new assignment on the horizon: keeping a beautiful ballerina safe for the next three weeks.

Collin finds comfort in Lyla’s easy friendship, but that all changes after a night out on the town. Simple feelings become complicated—something Collin can’t afford, especially when tragedy strikes and Collin realizes Lyla’s caught in the middle of a dangerous plot for revenge.

Collin and Lyla are forced to flee. They need to reach the border before it’s too late, but the odds are stacked against them in a country that wants them dead. With time running out, Collin formulates a risky plan that might be their only chance of making it out alive.

The Facts:

Publication Date:
January 12th, 2016
The Bodyguards of L.A. County #10
Contemporary Romance
eBook, Paperback
Available at:

My Review:

After reading a view two star reads, I was in a desperate need for a good read. And since I had a Cate Beauman book standing on my TBR, I knew this was the book I needed to read next since Cate’s books always make me feel better.

‘Finding Lyla’ definitely didn’t disappoint. This is already the tenth book in the Bodyguards of L.A. county series and I can tell you right now it’s one of my favorites. In this book we meet ballet dancer Lyla Markovik-Avery. Lyla is the daughter of ballet legend Mira Markovik who died giving birth to Lyla. As the daughter of a famous dancer and an US Ambassador there are certain expectations Lyla had to life up too. And this time is no different. Lyla has to travel to Russia, to visit her father and to dance her mother’s famous dance. But things aren’t easy in Russia, and Lyla’s life isn’t save. So Lyla gets assigned bodyguard Collin, who has to face his own demons and is blown away by Lyla’s spirit.

Lyla Markovik has to be one of my favorite characters in the Bodyguards of L.A. County series. I just loved her. I loved how strong Lyla was. How she wanted to take care of others, old neighbors, homeless man etc. And I loved getting a glimpse of her life as a ballet dancer. Something that is completely foreign to me. Lyla’s life was definitely fascinating to get to know.
Collin, was just as yummy as all the other bodyguards in the series. But he definitely had something extra sweet about him. He was handsome, kind and above all he wanted to see Lyla happy. I loved reading about Collin.

The romance part between Lyla and Collin was definitely my favorite part in this read. I loved reading about them, and how they slowly changed each other’s lives. There was definitely a lot of chemistry between these characters, and you could definitely feel it. 
There were also some very thrilling and toe-curling moments in this book. Let’s just say that Collin’s bodyguard skills came in handy. And I just couldn’t put this book down until I knew how the story ended.

‘Finding Lyla’ is another great read. I loved it from the beginning till the very end. If you haven’t started reading this series yet.. I suggest you do ASAP! ;)

My Rating:

About the Author:

International bestselling author Cate Beauman is known for her full-length, action-packed romantic suspense series, The Bodyguards of L.A. County. Her novels have been nominated for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award, National Indie Excellence Award, Golden Quill Award, Writers Touch Award, and have been named Readers Favorite Five Star books. In 2015,  ‘Justice For Abby’ was selected as the Readers' Favorite International Book Award Gold Medalist, while ‘Saving Sophie’ took the Silver Medal. ‘Saving Sophie’ was also selected as the 2015 Readers Crown Award winner for Romantic Suspense and ‘Falling For Sarah’ received the silver medal for the 2014 Readers' Favorite Awards. Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack.

Cate makes her home in North Carolina with her husband, two boys, and their St. Bernards, Bear and Jack. For information on Cate's new releases, monthly giveaways, and upcoming events, sign up for her newsletter.

For more information about Cate Beauman please visit her website. Or visit her on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

I received this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Discussion: Making Notes While Reading

As a fanatic reader and book blogger I loved reading book discussion. And since I also love having my own book blog I decided to post a book discussion myself. So join me on my little book discussion journey and let’s have some fun! 

Writing reviews isn’t for everyone. And as a perfectionist I’m always trying to find new ways to improve my reviews. But I always find it hard to find a new way of writing reviews that works for me. Now, and for as long as I can remember, I’ve been writing my reviews as soon as possible after I finish the book. This means that I sometimes write them late at night, sometimes the morning after, before I go to work and sometimes a day after I finished reading the book. 

When I started my blog I tried writing notes about the books I read. But I kept wondering what I needed to write down, which took my mind of the actual reading. And at times I forgot writing notes completely. I would finish my book, and I tried to write some notes then. Which didn’t really work because why not write the review immediately right?!

But still, I think writing notes while reading a book you’re reviewing is something that works if you do it the right way. Especially with names. I’m so bad in remembering names, that it would definitely help me out if I wrote the names down. So should I only write names down? What is the right way for making notes?

Do you write notes while reading your book? And do you have a method for it? 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review 'Johannesburg' by Fiona Melrose
6 December 2013. Johannesburg.

Gin has returned home from New York to throw a party for her mother's eightieth birthday; a few blocks away, at the Residence, Nelson Mandela's family prepares to announce Tata Mandela's death...

So begins Johannesburg, Fiona Melrose's searing second novel. Responsive to Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway, the story follows a polyphonic course across a single day, culminating in a party and traces the fractures and connections of the city.

An irascible mother, a daughter trying to negotiate her birthplace and the people from her past, a homeless hunchback who takes his fight for justice to the doors of a mining company, a mining magnate, a man still haunted by his first love, the domestic workers who serve this cast and populate the neighborhood, a troubled novelist called Virginia - these are the characters who give voice to the city on a day hot with nerves and tension and history.

Johannesburg is a profound hymn to an extraordinary city, and a devastating personal and political manifesto on love.

The Facts:

Publication Date:
August 3rd, 2017
eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Available at:

My Review:

Last year I read Fiona Melrose’s first book ‘Midwinter’. I loved that book, so when I received a review request for Fiona’s new book ‘Johannesburg’ I knew I wanted to read this book. And don’t you just love the cover of Fiona Melrose’s book?! I think they are magnificent. 

‘Johannesburg’ takes place at December 6th 2013 and is centered around the lives of several different characters. Why December 6th? On that day Nelson Mandela's family prepares to announce Tata Mandela's death. And in Johannesburg we read about the moments in a view persons lives. 

Well, I finished reading this book over a week ago and somehow I just wasn’t able to write this review earlier. I always try to write my reviews as soon as I finish a book, but with this one I just couldn’t. Since I loved ‘Midwinter’ I really hoped to love ‘Johannesburg’ as much, but I didn’t. Not because the writing was bad or something. No Fiona Melrose’s writing was just as good in this book, as in her first. But I just couldn’t connect to all the different characters.

In ‘Johannesburg’ we read about the life of several characters. And just like I always do, I had a lot of trouble separating all the different characters, especially in the beginning. I re-started reading this book two times, but still I found it hard to keep everyone apart. And in the end I just couldn’t connect to all the characters as much as I would have liked.

This book was definitely a nice read, but not as great as I would have liked.

My Rating:

About the Author:

Fiona Melrose was born in Johannesburg but has spent the majority of her adult life in the UK, first in London and then in East Anglia. She moved to Suffolk to concentrate on her writing and it is there that Midwinter was conceived. Previously Fiona has worked in academia, NGO's, public affairs and as an emerging markets analyst. She continues to keep a foot in both continents and is currently spending the majority of her time back in South Africa where she is completing her second novel.

For more information please visit Fiona’s website. Or visit her on Twitter and Facebook.

I received this book from the Little, Brown Book Group in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

My Favorite.. Thing About Summer

My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

There is one thing I look forward to all year. It’s in the summer time, and it’s something I can long for when it’s winter and cold and dreary. My Favorite Thing About Summer is definitely sitting on our balcony in the sun, my husband sitting next to me, our cat lying at my feet, birds signing, a nice drink, and a nice book in my hands. Yes!! There is nothing better than such a moment.. and during the rest of the year, I dream of that moment. Sigh..

Unfortunately the summer this year hasn't been all that good and there haven’t been many moments where I was able to sit on our balcony. And when the days are good, it’s mostly too hot for us to sit out there. (I know it’s a luxury problem, but still.) We are definitely looking forward to having a home with a nice garden someday. 

But for now I would be happy with a nice summer day, not to hot and not to cold.. and not having to work on that day would be nice too! LOL!!

What is your favorite thing about summer?

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