BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Review & Giveaway - Blonde Ops by Charlotte Bennardo & Natalie Zaman

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review 
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | ARe* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from goodreads:

Pitched as The Devil Wears Prada meets James Bond for teens, featuring a fashion magazine intern in Rome who uncovers a plot to kidnap the First Lady.

Expelled from yet another boarding school for hacking, sixteen-year-old Rebecca "Bec" Jackson is shipped off to Rome to intern for Parker Phillips, the editor-in-chief of one of the world’s top fashion magazines. But when a mysterious accident lands Parker in a coma, former supermodel and notorious drama queen Candace Worthington takes the reins of the magazine. The First Lady is in Rome for a cover shoot, and all hands are on deck to make sure her visit goes smoothly.

Bec quickly realizes that Parker's "accident" may not have been quite so accidental, and when the First Lady's life is threatened, Bec is determined to uncover the truth. On top of that, Bec must contend with bitchy models, her new boss, Candace, who is just as difficult as the tabloids say, and two guys, a hunky Italian bike messenger with a thousand-watt smile and a fashion blogger with a razor-sharp wit, who are both vying for her heart.

Can Bec catch the person who's after the First Lady, solve the mystery of Parker's accident, and juggle two cute boys at the same time? Blonde Ops is a fun, action-packed romp through the hallways of a fashion magazine and the cobblestone streets of Rome.

Bea's Thoughts:

I enjoyed Bennardo and Zaman's previous collaborations and I love mysteries so when I heard they were writing this, I knew I'd be reading it. What I didn't know until I got my review copy was that my name (real, not blogger) was in the acknowledgments. Whoa. That was so sweet. I still smile thinking about it, but it doesn't affect my review.

Bec is a high school student who enjoys hacking into other people's computers. She's been kicked out of yet another school, to the dismay of her mother. She finds herself in Italy, the temporary ward of Parker, a magazine editor and friend of her mother's. Bec's parents are too busy with their unnamed careers to spend time with their daughter. Bec is dismayed to be shunted off but excited about being in Italy. In no time, she's put to work as an unpaid intern at the magazine and then disaster strikes. Being nosy, and naturally concerned about her life, she begins sticking her nose in to things that are really none of her business. She's a bit naive but clever and some of the tricks she uses were a little scary while some I'd love to know how to do. Before long, she's completely involved in several related mysteries while working at the magazine, romancing several local boys, and asserting her independence.

I had problems with the overall believability of the premise but despite that I enjoyed the book. It was fun, frothy, sweet, and had just enough action to keep the story moving at a good pace; I pretty much read it in one sitting. I did figure out the identity of one of the villains early while another one kept me guessing. I kept changing my mind about that one character. The motivation I could believe but again, the how was difficult to swallow. The romances were sweet and I didn't even mind the love triangle, something I usually hate. Rome as a setting worked quite well and I felt as if could actually see the scenery, the people, and the buildings.  Bennardo and Zaman have created a fun, fluffy, story with strong characters, twists and turns, sweet romance, and action.



Thanks to St. Martin's Press, I have a print ARC to give away to one US or Canadian reader. Please read the Giveaway Policy.

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  1. Love the setting and sometimes you just have to go with it as far as believability. I am glad you enjoyed it and were kept guessing a little

    1. Yep, sometimes believability takes a backseat.

  2. Sounds like an interesting book - I think it's interesting that she was a computer hacker.

    1. I liked that she wasn't a stereotypical teen hacker. :)

  3. great review...gave me a good idea of what I'd be reading, and I definitely think I would like this novel.

  4. I can sacrifice a bit of believability on the behalf of fun and flirty. Despite the realism issues, I think this sound like a cute summer read and it is awesome you were mentioned in the credits!

    1. It's good beach or pool read, and thanks! :)

  5. I love teen mystery books and this review really makes me want to read it :) I'm looking forward to reading this one.

  6. Not my usual genre but this one sounds so darn good Bea! I think I might need an easy beach read when I go away this summer and this might be the one I grab. Great review :D

  7. I love the idea of the rebellious teen hacking her way out of 'yet another boarding school'. Usually the hackers are written as boys. You go girl!! LOL

  8. I noticed this book earlier because of the cute cover. *sigh* However after you review I'm torn, Bea, - to read or not to read? If the hows of the story are not plausible I'll have trouble liking it. Great review, my dear, and congrats on being in acknowledgements! :)


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