• How do Books Earn 5 Stars?

    Via Goodreads.

    An unforgettable world. A cast of lovable characters. A plot twist that leaves you breathless. What does it take for a book to earn a five-star rating?

    To help us define perfection, we asked avid readers on Facebook and Twitter to finish this sentence: “When I give a book five stars, that means…” and listed some of the most popular answers. Which ones do you relate to? Share your favorites in the comments. 

    1. “It cured my depression, cleared my acne, and aligned my chakras,” says Brooklyn.

    2. “That I think even the guy who loaded the book onto the delivery truck did a perfect job,” says Heath.

    3. “I called in sick to stay home and finish it and I will be pressing it into your hands next time I see you,” says Judy.

    4. “I couldn’t put it down and was sad when it was done. A five-star book should pull you in and refuse to let you go,” says Nathaniel. 

    5. “I want to read it again…and again…and again,” says Denise.

    6. “I will have difficulty finding my next read because this one really rocked me,” says Tonya.

    7. “I didn’t guess the ending,” says Claire.

    8. “I forgot to sleep, eat, and everything else until I finished it,” says Nenad.

    9. “It means the characters came to matter to me; they were authentic; they drew me in and I came to care about them. A five-star book has changed me in some way that I can’t even necessarily name.” says Gracie.

    10. “The author was able to drag me out of reality, paint a picture for me, and suck me into the story like I was truly there, every time I read that book,” says Lizzie.

    11. “That it profoundly affected me and changed the way I think or brought new meaning to my life,” says Stephen. 

    12. “I was living the book, not just reading it,” says Susan.

  • Girl in Bath Time by CC Heywood

    Girl in Bath (Girl in Paris, #1)Girl in Bath by C.C. Heywood
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Time traveling with CC Heywood was a blast. Think of it as stepping into a Degas painting where a dominant is disguised as a gentleman and a feisty woman with a great singing voice disguised as a laundress.

    I think of the era and setting of the story as another character. The Belle Époque was the gilded age, overlapped with the Victorian era. The amount of wealth spent on the Eiffel Tower, the Paris Metro, the completion of the Paris Opera was proportional to the levels of optimism of the times. It was the age of Manet, Renoir, Pissarro, Cezanne, and Degas.

    It was the time for a singing laundress, Monica Fauconnier, once a model for a painter, to reach for the brass ring and become a star. Instead, she became the object of Jonathan Derassen’s desire. Jonathan was an enigmatic, divorced man of means with an obsession to make Monica a courtesan and his lover. But the spirited young Monica had other ideas.

    One of the story’s new characters was delightful, Madame Pelletier, the owner of the laundry where Monica worked. I envisioned her as a bosomy middle-aged woman, who stuffed handkerchiefs, change, sewing supplies, everything she owned, between her breasts. She was salty with a faint smell of soap, her thick tendrils escaped the headscarf, and her dark eyes pierced like daggers.

    Even though this book is an adaptation of the CD Reiss’ Submission Series, Girl in Bath can be enjoyed by anyone. It was a rich, textured, flaky croissant, full of finger-licking flavor. Who does not like croissants?

    View all my reviews