Friday, 28 November 2014

Sometimes it Lasts by Abbi Glines

Sometimes it Lasts is the fifth book in the Sea Breeze series by Abbi Glines and it is a New Adult novel. 

Cage York never thought he'd want anything more than a baseball scholarship but then he met Eva Brooks and his whole life changed. Now he has the girl and the scholarship he is forced to do something he really doesn't want to do, endure a long distance relationship. That might not have been so bad if Eva's father wasn't dying. 

With Cage away Eva struggles and turns to the boy next door for comfort. Jeremy is her late fiance's brother and there's something reassuring about him that helps Eva. Cage and Eva have a lot of obstacles in their way but will they make it to their happy ending?

Now, While it Lasts is the first book in Cage and Eva's story but I didn't love it. It was okay for me but wasn't quite as strong as some of Abbi Glines' other books such as Because of Low. Anyway, I went into this one months after reading While it Lasts so I'd sort of forgotten what had been going on. 

Cage and Eva had a rocky road to start on but at the beginning of this book they're very happily together. However, Cage has just got a baseball scholarship out of town and wants Eva to go with him. She finds out early on that her dad is sick and needs her help so she has to stay behind. I complained that there weren't enough set backs and problems in the first part of their story but I sure got what I was missing with this book. 

The thing I loved the most about this book was the journey that Cage and Eva went on together even though they were apart. Another thing I complained about with the previous book was not enough plot and too much sex but that wasn't the case at all this time around. Both characters have a lot to overcome and they need to do it alone before they can really sort out their relationship. Seeing each character apart was a good thing too because when they're together the chemistry sort of overtakes things at times. 

However, although Cage and Eva being apart was a good thing in a way, there were also aspects that I didn't like. Cage was totally obsessed with Eva and I just couldn't see him walking away from her considering the situation she was in. His actions just didn't seem to fit his character at all times so I was a bit baffled at a couple of different points in the story. Eva also does things really out of character so it wasn't just Cage that was confusing. 

Sometimes it Lasts has a much stronger plot that While it Lasts and the characters were much better in some ways as they were fleshed out more this time around. This one was still just an okay read for me though because I still wanted more. 

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Come Back to Me by Mila Gray

Home on leave in California, Marine Kit Ryan cannot deny the attraction to Jessa, his best friend's little sister. She's the one girl he knows he can't have but he can't help himself. Jessa has always had a thing for Kit but never dreamed that he could feel the same way. They were supposed to have a summer fling and leave it at that but the closer Kit comes to going back, the more in love they become. 

An agreement to wait for each other turns into an explosive twist in their relationship and one they're not sure they can come back from. 

This is the first book I have read after having a massive reading slump for about a year. I hadn't felt like picking anything up until I was given this one to read and then I couldn't put it down. Mila Gray is actually YA writer Sarah Alderson writing New Adult. 

Come Back to Me starts with a pretty intense prologue. It's hard hitting and sort of took me breath away. It's full of mystery as you don't know who the characters are yet but the prologue gets you ready for something terrible happening even if you don't know anything about what leads up to that. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going on. 

Jessa has had a crush on Kit for years but he's her brother's best friend and she keeps those feeling a secret. She thinks he's way out of her league and her brother would probably kill him if anything happened. When Kit and Jessa's brother come back on leave butterflies begin to go mad in her stomach. Lucky for Jessa, Kit feels exactly the same way but has never had the nerve to tell her up until this point. 

The relationship between Jessa and Kit starts off quite slow although there is passion and chemistry from the off. They've both liked each other for a long time and although they know each other as friends, they spend a lot of time getting to know each other in a different way. A lot of New Adult books that I have read seem to spend too much time on sex seeing as it's okay to write about it compared with Young Adult novels. Mila Gray makes sure her characters have something a lot deeper than a physical relationship which I really appreciated. 

Not only is Kit and Jessa's brother in the Marines but other family members are/ were as well. Come Back to Me focuses a lot on life in the military and how it affects every day life. We have Kit and Jessa's brother trying to form meaningful relationships as well as the effects serving has had on their families. Jessa's father is a tough kind of man and Jessa feels trapped by him. He is obviously experiencing some kind of backlash of serving and things he has experienced affects him greatly. I actually really enjoyed these aspects of the book as it's a new subject to me and a really interesting one. 

I'm so glad I picked this one up on a day off work. The story was refreshing, as were the characters and I thoroughly enjoyed every page of it!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Recommendations needed

So, I have been out of blog land for at least six months now, maybe more like a year and I have just started to read again. I've read three books in the last week which for me is pretty amazing as I just haven't been in the mood recently or I haven't had the time. 

Two out of the three books I have read have new new adult novels and I have really enjoyed them. An Abbi Glines book always makes me happy and they never disappoint. However, I don't have too many of hers left to read and I desperately need some recommendations. 

What's new in new adult and who are any new authors I should know about?!

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A book-less Christmas

It seems a bit strange to be writing this. I think this year may be the first in at least 5 years that I probably won't be getting any books for Christmas. I don't think I've even read the books that John got me last Christmas. If I'm honest, I don't even know where they are. You see, when we moved house a lot of my unread books went up in the loft and I've only left about 15 downstairs. If they were all down here they would probably over take my living room and it's a big room! 

I've never gotten loads of books for Christmas mainly because I've had so many to read already and no one ever knew what to buy me. Still though, John would try to get me one or two from my Amazon wishlist. My wishlists are probably really out of date now though and could probably do with being cleared out. If I haven't bought anything from it in a year then I probably don't want to read them enough. I do have a buy first list though which is quite current (full of Abbi Glines' books) so he does have some kind of option. I don't think he'll bother this year though as I've only read a couple of books in the last half of the year. 

So, no book shaped presents for me this year for the first time in a long time. 

Monday, 17 November 2014

Festive nails

Yes, I know it is no where near Christmas yet but I wanted to write about my nails. I have a *slight* obsession with nail polishes and own far too many yet I cannot stop buying them. 

Anyway, last year I had my nails done at a local salon and loved the Essie polish they used and have been on the look out for something similar ever since (the Essie colour is discontinued). I found a Nails Inc. polish in the 'Get it or regret it' sale online a few weeks ago for the bargain price of £5 so I knew I had to have it. It's called Nightingale Place and is sparkly red with a hint of gold glitter. I'm so in love with it!

As it's only the middle of November though I feel it is far too festive at the moment so I will be changing it pretty soon. I will be using it again in December though and maybe adding some nail art to make it a bit more special. 

Sunday, 16 November 2014

I miss my blog

It has been quite a while since I posted anything on here, let alone anything bookish. Life has been hectic and reading hasn't been something I have done a lot of. Actually, that's a lie. I haven't done any reading. Not for months and months. I got myself into a bit of a slump and never really managed to recover. 

When I saw Kirsty from The Overflowing Library a couple of weeks ago though to see the hilarious Knightmare Live at the theatre she gave me a few books she thought I would like which she actually nicked from Sarah at Feeling Fictional. One of the books I picked up ready to start reading in the bath on my day off from work and that was Come Back to Me by Mila Grey. I actually stayed in the bath until it was cold because I was enjoying it so much. I finished that book not long after I got out of the bath. 

I think I realised part of my problem. I sort of got bored with young adult books. After reading a good amount of new adult novels last year I have realised that I much prefer these now and maybe that's why I didn't feel like reading much. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't not read young adult books but I do like contemporary stories more. I think I've gone off everything else... at the minute anyway. 

So, I'm not saying I'm back blogging like I used to because there is no way I'll ever manage 5 posts a week with how busy I am now. I am saying that I am back but posting as and when I manage to read. I don't know how often this will be but here I am... again. 

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

My first attempt at upcycling furniture

When my husband and I bought our house we didn't have nearly enough furniture for it.We moved from a 2 bedroom flat to a 4 bedroom house. We still don't have enough furniture but I'm constantly looking on Facebay for some bargains. A couple of months ago I managed to get a chest of drawers and a bedside table for £20. Below is what they originally looked like!

The drawers had some really ugly drawer handles too but I took this photo after I'd taken them off and started painting! I bought some Annie Sloan chalk paint to do these up with in Paris Grey. The spare room that I bought the furniture for will be decorated in a grey and green colour scheme eventually so I wanted something to match. Annie Sloan chalk paint is amazing because it paints on near enough anything without having to do any sanding or preparation. The furniture only took 2 coats of paint and each one dried within a couple of hours so I managed to get most of the painting done in one go. Instead of just painting the shell and the fronts I also painted the insides of the drawers.

As you can see, the drawers look completely different than they did to begin with and so much better! So far I have put on 2 coats of Annie Sloan clear wax to seal and protect the paint but I still need to put another coat on and then buff. 

One of the trickiest things with this furniture was the handles. I couldn't find any drawer handles that had the exact measurements for the holes already screwed in. I was tempted to fill them with wood filler and drill new holes but then I found a solution. In a local store I found some large round handles that are swirls. By using 2 of these next to each other it gives the impression that it is one large handle! This was so much easier than what I was going to do. The shop has run out at the moment so I still need a couple more!

I also wanted to do something a bit special with the insides of the drawers. They can look so plain and boring when they're just one colour so I decided to decopatch them. I found some really lovely flowery decopatch paper to line the drawers with. This part was really tricky as the sheets were just smaller than A4 and a pain to lay flat in one go. I also had to use different size strips of paper around the edges and some bits overlap so it doesn't look as neat as it could do but for my 1st attempt, I'm pretty happy. The drawers will be filled anyway so it doesn't matter too much I guess. From afar they look lovely though. I've added on a couple of top coats of glue/ varnish too so that the paper is sealed and has a smooth finish. 

I really love the insides of these drawers now! They really do have that something extra now when you open them.

It's taken me quite a while to get these done as I only have time on my days off to do bits to them. I can't wait to get my final couple of handles for them to be finished completely.

For my 1st attempt at upcycling furniture, I'm so pleased with the result. Now I have done these pieces I think I could easily do some more especially now I know how the products work and what to do differently next time!