Manga Review: Idol Dreams V2 by Arina Tanemura

May Contain Spoilers

I admit that I have a love/hate relationship with Arina Tanemura comics.  I love, love, love the art, but the stories don’t often work for me.  Usually, when they are written for a younger audience, I just feel too old to enjoy the trials of a grade school heroine.  Her latest series to be translated into English, Idol Dreams, is intended for an older audience, and it still didn’t work for me.

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Micro Review: This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak

May Contain Spoilers


I read This Heart of Mine a few weeks ago, and I definitely have mixed feelings about it.  Despite Phoenix’s upbeat outlook on life, I found this read depressing. The poor woman spent half of her life in prison because nobody gave two craps about her. The entire town judged her negatively because of her mother’s mental illness. Even after serving her time, she was harassed and bullied. Phoenix lost everything due to a teenage prank gone bad, and I thought it was unfair that she had to pay all of the consequences. I’m still not convinced that anybody, other than her son and Riley, has her back or truly believes she deserves a second chance.  She didn’t have a single positive adult role-model when she was growing up, so it is no wonder she struggled to find herself and a place to fit in.  She still has so many issues to work out, I’m not confident that Phoenix’s HEA is, indeed, forever.  And don’t get me going about Riley; he didn’t prove to be the staunchest of her supporters in the past, so how am I to believe he will be in the future?

Grade: C+

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Manga Review: Crowns and a Cradle by Mayu Takayama and Valerie Parv

May Contain Spoilers

When Sarah wins a vacation to Carramer, she’s excited to enjoy an all expenses paid trip with her infant son.  She could never afford this on her own, and she’s looking forward to unwinding on the island’s beaches.  When she’s singled out by the Prince and discovers that she’s really a princess, she’s shocked.  She knew that she was adopted, and her questions about her birth parents were ignored.  After she meets her grandfather, the Grand Duke, she’s infuriated.  He only wants Christophe, her son, and now the Grand Duke’s only heir. 

The biggest disappointment with Crowns and a Cradle was the lack of depth given to the setting. I have no real sense of what the culture or structure of Carramer is like, and it was frustrating that the background on the island was so flimsy.  How did Josh’s family come to rule Carramer?  Why can only male offspring inherit the title?  Why couldn’t the Grand Duke adopt Josh and pass the title to him??

The events also seemed so dated. Sarah’s teenaged mother was forced to give up her baby because she came from a “good family.” Sarah broke off contact with her family after she got pregnant and was dumped by her boyfriend. The people around her were hostile and didn’t support her decision to keep her baby and raise him by herself. Josh confiscated her passport and the Grand Duke, wouldn’t even consider her wishes for how her infant son was raised. It just seemed more like attitudes from the 60s than from 2002 when this story was originally published and it infuriated me.

Grade: C-

Review copy read on Scribd

About the book:

Sarina wins a radio station prize draw to go on a vacation to the island principality of Carramer on the south Pacific Ocean. As she arrives with her heart full of anticipation, she is greeted by none other than Prince Josquin of Carramer! “What could the royal family possibly want with me?” Sarina’s anxious question is met with a shocking answer from the Prince: “You’re the princess of this land. And we need you.”

Manga Review: The Cinderella Solution by Kyoko Sagara and Cathy Yardley

 

May Contain Spoilers

When best friend, Gabe, tells Charlotte she couldn’t be more feminine if she tried, she’s infuriated.  She bets that she can get someone to propose to her in 30 days.  With the help of her girl friends, she undergoes a whirlwind makeover .  When she does attract male attention, and even Gabe is stunned by the new confident, beautiful Charlotte, he wishes they had never made the bet, because he’s afraid he’s going to lose his bff!

This is a friends to lovers story with gorgeous art.  The illustrations are eye-catching, with lots of detail on facial expressions and stylish attire.  I loved the art!

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Guest Post and Giveaway: His Kind of Cowgirl by Karen Rock

 
Enter to Win a $50.00 Amazon Gift Card and
autographed print copies of HIS HOMETOWN GIRL,
RAISING THE STAKES and WISH ME TOMORROW
 

Karen Rock dropped by the virtual offices to share the top 5 Apps Tanner Hayes would never have on smart phone:

Tanner Hayes is a bull-riding champion and I’m already envisioning lots of cracks on the screen of his smart phone! He has lots of energy and he likes working outside, with his hands. Apps he would never have on his cell would probably be:

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Manga Review: A Wife in Time by Mami Ishikawa and Cathie Linz

 

May Contain Spoilers

I think I’ve read this previously, but since I never wrote a review, and I can’t find it on my shelves at Goodreads, I read it again.  I liked it much better this time around.  The only irritating / grating plot point was Kane’s initial treatment of Susannah.  He believes that she seduced his younger brother, because, you know, his brother said so.  It doesn’t matter how many times Susannah denies it, or how much time Kane spends in her company, he refuses to reverse his stance on this point.  It just frustrated me that he never had the faith in her to believe her about what happened with his brother.

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Manga Review: The Maid and the Millionaire by Naoko Kubota and Myrna Mackenzie

 

May Contain Spoilers

Anna has been taking care of Donovan Bennett’s house in Lake Geneva, but when she hears the renowned doctor will be arriving soon, she panics.  Donovan’s young son was killed in a tragic accident just six months before.  Since the accident, Donovan’s life has fallen apart.  He’s resigned from his job and allowed his marriage to fall apart.  When he arrives at the house he’s never visited with his family, he lets Anna know that she can keep her job for two more weeks, and then he wants her gone.  He just wants to be alone and he doesn’t need house staff taking care of him or his house.

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Manga Review: FukuFuku Kitten Tales V1 by Konami Kanata

May Contain Spoilers

FukuFuku Kitten Tales is typical of Konami Kanata – Cute!  FukuFuku has her owner wrapped around her little claws in this collection of short slice of life comics  about the kitten and her elderly owner.  From her first day in her new home to her first introduction of the joyous warmth of the kotatsu, FukuFuku quietly and endearingly takes ownership of her new person. 

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