ARC Review: Chasing Chris Campbell by Genevieve Gannon

Format: E-bookchasingchriscampbell
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: HarperCollins Publisher Australia
Hero: Harry Jay Potter
Heroine: Violet Mason
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: June 1, 2015
Started On: November 15, 2015
Finished On: November 18, 2015

Chasing Chris Campbell by Genevieve Gannon is a novel that completely surprised me and delivered such entertainment that it will be hard to forget the magic that Genevieve Gannon wove with this number. Genevieve is a completely new to me author whom I stumbled across only because of Netgalley. Chasing Chris Campbell is an apt title for this novel because the heroine Violet Mason chases the man of her dreams (or so she thinks), all over Asia and then some, until she realizes her worth and comes to accept the fact that the only one responsible for charting the course of her happiness is herself.

Violet is in a relationship with a man whose idea of a future together is to be frugal and save until there is no spontaneity in their shared lives. When Chris once again walks back into her life, Chris being the one that got away, Violet is determined that she would follow him, even if it means leaving everything that is dear and familiar to her behind. From the busy streets of Hong Kong to Goa of India and then to Nepal, Violet goes on an epic journey of a lifetime where she discovers the beauty of shared experiences as well as the life lessons that come associated with leaving behind one’s comfort zone.

Violet being a germophobe and a vegetarian makes things doubly difficult for her in certain aspects but it does bring out the sort of ambition in her that otherwise might not have materialized. I had such a good time reading and enjoying the antics of Violet’s life and her attempts to make Chris notice her. And just like anyone who is smitten with the person who is wrong for them in all the ways, Violet too doesn’t realize the worth of the man she meets along the way. But it all does work out well in the end.

The best part of the novel for me was the journey itself. Violet learning the ropes of letting go, of letting things work out for themselves and of her wising up enough to know what she wants and needs. This book had a little bit of everything going for it. A bad breakup, unrequited love, the one you meet in the midst of it with whom the timing was off but turns out to be the best thing that could have happened to you, which all made for wholesome reading.

I absolutely loved the author’s voice. It was refreshing, insightful and a bit quirky with big doses of humor of the kind that makes you laugh and snort your way through the story. Chasing Chris Campbell even suffices as a travelogue because it brought so many aspects of traveling alive. The descriptions through Violet’s eyes, tinged with the humor of the sort that is hard to pull off was just the icing on the cake for me. Not overly descriptive but somehow just the right touch to give the reader that sense of what it was like. Having being to India, I could just vividly recall back everything about it that makes it so alluring. The good and the bad. And sharing Violet’s journey with her as the reader who was cheering for her on the sidelines, I very much wanted to pack my bags and leave to India for a sojourn too.

One of the bits about the journey to India that just had me hooting with laughter because I have been there myself was this.

Despite my claim that I wasn’t afraid of flying, Air India seemed qualified to instil that fear in anyone. The engine whirred and the seats started to shake as we began our shunting journey down the runway. As we sped up, the engine noise grew louder and louder. I wasn’t sure if we were going to lift-off or explode. I felt like cheering when we left the ground and things seemed to smooth-out.

It is books like this that makes me want to travel, to explore and to store up the experiences in my heart so that I can revisit them later. But it is books like this that allows people like us who can only afford to dream about traveling to visit places. That alone in my opinion makes the book worth a read!


Final Verdict: Refreshing & insightful with just the right touch of humor. Loved!

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iTunes


Review: The Kiss Test by Shannon McKelden

Format: E-bookthekisstest.jpg
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Carina Press
Hero: Christopher Treem
Heroine: Margo June Gentry
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 11, 2010
Started On: October 11, 2010
Finished On: October 12, 2010

My first Shannon McKelden was certainly a delightful surprise. This title caught my eye when I received my usual Books On Board newsletter of the month. The cover and the title were enough to catch my eye that I found myself going through the book synopsis and lo and behold a best of friends turning into lovers story was just too hard to resist for me. I was watching out for its release date and as soon as yesterday got here I quickly purchased the book, and regardless of the fact that I have over 200+ books in my to-be-read pile yet to be conquered, I found myself sinking into this wonderful quirky story that entertained me with its wonderful set of characters and left me quite happy and satisfied in the end.

Margo June Gentry thinks her life to be perfect. Living with Kevin Timber, her boyfriend of almost two years who never demands more than she is willing to give and puts up with her obsession for anything Elvis there is  nothing more a girl like Margo who is commitment phobic could ask for. With a job that she loves working as a DJ for the a.m. show at WKUP, a country radio station with all her close friends and Christopher Treem, her best friend of more than 20 years living close by Margo is happy as a clam – that is until everything comes crashing down one by one. First she receives the news that her mother is getting married for the eleventh time and wants her to come down for the wedding. And next thing she knows, her radio station is taken over by South Koreans, she is out of a job  and finds herself faced with a marriage proposal from Kevin who was no longer satisfied with their give and take arrangement. Before she knows it, Margo ends up jobless and homeless within the span of a week.

Margo has always remained independent to a fault, never willing to give up her independence for any man. Margo likes being in control of her life and emotions and doesn’t believe that true love does exist. So when she finds herself jobless, homeless and minus a boyfriend she decides to take on an Elvis road-trip of sorts. But since she has hit one of those unlucky streaks that people talk about, she finds herself having to shack up with Chris and being taken care of by him when a concussion of sorts ends up with her being advised not to strain herself which included practically everything except for lying in bed. With Margo determined that she would go on her Elvis sabbatical regardless of the fact that she can’t walk a few steps without clinging to the walls, Chris bargains with her that he would drive her around if she promises to be present at her mother’s wedding, something Margo wants to avoid at all costs.

As the road trip progresses, it takes the reader on a journey of discovery of how Margo has ended up the way she is. With a father who had walked out on the family when she had been 10 years old, Margo’s mother with her genteel Southern upbringing had taken to bed, her brother Rob had turned completely into an introvert and she and her brother’s best friend Chris had adopted one another as each others best friend. The many step dads of the moment that had passed through their lives some to which she and Rob had started feeling an attachment towards only to be jerked away once the harsh reality of divorce sinks in, Margo has learned to shield herself and run from the slightest indication that her partner of the moment might need something more.

There were lots of things that I liked about this story. Since the story is narrated in first person from Margo’s point of view, it was certainly a refreshing change not to know how Chris feels about Margo for the major part of the story. Most of the time stories such as this one are wholly focused on the sexual aspect of the forbidden desire each feels for the other. Seeing Chris carrying out his famous kiss test on women he meets during the road trip and reading about Margo’s jealousy which she doesn’t even know that she feels was certainly entertaining. And though the one sexual encounter between the two is not detailed on every aspect, it certainly was hot and contributed towards making this a wonderful read. And the glimpse into Margo’s happily ever after with Chris one year on certainly put a broad smile on my face as the book ended. And you’ve just got  to love the fact that all chapters in the story are song titles from the great man himself around which Margo’s obsession revolves.

Favorite Quotes

“And lastly, before we take off, I want to remind everyone about the Manhattan Beach Surf Party tomorrow night, sponsored by KCLA and X-Treem Sports West Coast. Need a new suit or board for the event? Head down to X-Treem Sports today and ask for the owner, Chris Treem. Tell him his best friend, Margo, sent you, and he’ll give you ten percent off your purchase because he loves his wife and will do anything I say.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | BooksOnBoard | Carina Press



Review: Heiress For Hire by Eric McCarthy

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle & Microsoft Reader
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Cutterville, Ohio, Book 2
Publisher: Penguin Group
Hero: Danny Tucker
Heroine: Amanda Delmar
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: January 3, 2006
Started On: March 30, 2010
Finished On: April 1, 2010

Heiress for hire is the perfect chic lit read. A wealthy heiress who is forced to find where she fits in when her multi-millionaire father cuts her off and leaves her to fend for herself in the small town of Cutterville. Amanda has never worked for anything in her life. Born and bred to lead the life of the rich socialite she never thought that there would come a day when she would have to work for anything. But Amanda is not your usual rich socialite. She would rather die than beg people for anything and though she knows next to nothing about working she rushes headlong into working at the only saloon in town.

Things don’t work out exactly as she planned and before long she is fired from her job. A source of income comes quite unexpectedly from Danny Tucker, a farmer in Cutterville who has always gone out of his way to avoid her. Danny is shocked out of everything he has to find out that one night of lusty fumbling when he lost his virginity had resulted in a child who is now 8 years old. Danny would do anything to give Piper a good, stable home and the love that has so evidently been lacking in her life for the past 8 years. And the only person Piper seems to have taken a liking to is Amanda and though Danny would rather crawl into a hole than let Amanda know how much he is affected by her, Danny would do right by his child no matter what.

Danny comes to realize with time that Amanda is not the rich spoiled girl that she protrudes to be, but rather a woman who has been as lonely as he has been or for far longer if her pathetic childhood is anything to compare with his. These two polar opposites come together, though not with a bang and makes for quite a good read all round. An author worth giving a try!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo