Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Review: Chocolat (Chocolat #1)

Chocolat Chocolat by Joanne Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Love this movie--it's one of my favorites. The book is good, and mostly the same, yet very different.

You still get to live in the world of Vianne Rocher. And Anouk, and the small-town life in France. You get the same dose of magical realism. You get a different Roux. Slightly different characters all-around. But beautifully descriptive writing and a good story. 3 1/2 stars.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Review: The Assassin's Blade (Throne of Glass #0.1-0.5)

The Assassin's Blade The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A collection of five short stories that show you (mostly) how Celaena became the beautiful, trained assassin you know and love. They fill in a lot of the gaps and you will have a better understanding of her character and like her even more.

A must read for anyone who enjoyed Throne of Glass.

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Sunday, December 27, 2015

Review: Wicked White (Wicked White #1)

Wicked White Wicked White by Michelle A. Valentine
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

In the interest of transparency, this is NOT my usual genre. I don't typically read contemporary romance or new adult. That being said, the book was ok. I think if you like these genres you would probably love this book.

Meet Ace. He's a rock star who walked away from it all when his mother died. He's hiding in podunk Ohio. Meet Iris. She's an aspiring broadway singer who comes home after her grandmother died (who raised her, like all good book grandmas) to get the trailer park she owned back on track. Ace (who can't figure out that maybe not going by the totally common first name of Ace isn't a good idea when you are on the lam) rents a trailer from her. He's hot and cold. He pushes her away like a huge ass, then gets all protective and stalkery. She's angsty and dumb, and they deserve each other.

It ends like you would expect any New Adult romance genre to end. Enjoy your soppy HEA, people.

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Friday, December 25, 2015

Review: When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After #3)

When a Scot Ties the Knot When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a sucker for a historical romance. Especially one with a smart, unconventional heroine. This one was good stuff. Funny and sweet.

Madeline grew up shy and more interested in drawing than in men. To avoid being paraded throughout the London season, she made up a lover. A Scottish Officer, no less. And wrote herself fake letters and sent them to this fake person. But, wait! He's real. And he's gotten her letters over the years, and comes to find her after the war ends. What's a girl to do? Well, since he's handsome and sexy and brave, she falls for him. He falls for her. And they all lived happily ever after. Or did they? Read it yourself to find out--I'm no book spoiler!

If you like smart female leads with spirit, you will like this book. Enjoy.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Review: The Bronze Horseman (The Bronze Horseman #1)

The Bronze Horseman The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have been wanting to read this book for a long time. Glad I finally got around to it. It's a great piece of historical fiction and romance. There is something for everyone packed into these 900 pages. War. Love. Death. Starvation. History. Hope. And a cliffhanger to lead you right into book 2.

Tatiana meets Alexander by chance, and falls for him before realizing he is her older sister's boyfriend. Bad luck, Tatiana. Alex wants to end it with Dasha and be with Tatiana, but she won't allow it. They suffer in silence (mostly) through war, poverty, and terrible life in Russia. There is always hope that these star-crossed lovers will make it, and that sustains you through the cold Russian winters.

A really great book. Worth every hour I invested in it. Now to track down book 2.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Review: The Dancing Master

The Dancing Master The Dancing Master by Julie Klassen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It all started with a romance reading challenge. I doubt I ever would have checked this book out of the library otherwise. And I liked it, because I am a sucker for a HEA.

Alec is a dancing and fencing master. I guess those go together because they both take grace and rhythm. He moves with his family to the Regency England version of the town from Footloose. Not kidding. Dancing is not allowed, and Alec is blackballed, beaten, and harassed at every turn. Julia, the rebellious, beautiful Julia, is the Ariel in this story. It's about the small-mindedness of small towns, and God, and change. And everybody cuts Footloose at the end, so it made me happy. 3 stars.

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Monday, December 14, 2015

Review: Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir

Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir Let's Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

You know how you listen to someone and you think, "This is my life she is describing?" Now you have me listening to this audiobook.

Jenny Lawson is insane. And funny. And her husband is a saint. She's a great storyteller. I want to drive to Jen's house and hang out and swap stories. Her stories made me think about similar times in my marriage, and I loved it.

I laughed out loud several times and had to rewind the story to catch it all. 4 stars.

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Sunday, December 13, 2015

Review: Obsidian (Lux #1)

Obsidian Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Great book! This was a happy surprise. Both main characters were pretty great. I was prepared to hate them both, but somehow it all worked.

First of all, Daemon Black. Yes, he's a jerk. He's bossy, he's hot/cold, and you should hate him. But somehow he is this swoon-worthy book boyfriend. You know you shouldn't fall for the bad boy, but you do. Katy does, too. Against her better efforts. Girl, no judgment here. Guess we both have a thing for sexy aliens.

I'm in for book 2. Because I'm secretly a 16-year-old girl at heart.

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Saturday, December 12, 2015

Review: A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America Along the Appalachian Trail

A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America Along the Appalachian Trail A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America Along the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Follow Bryson and his friend down the A.T. Watch them hike, out of shape and unprepared. Listen to them bicker and moan about hunger. And learn a little bit about the history of the trail and environmental issues as you traverse the US.

Mostly interesting, I found some parts to be boring, a few exceedingly so, but still a good read. If Bryson's goal was to get my old butt to want to get back on the trail and connect with nature, then mission accomplished. Three stars.

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Review: Train Station Bride

Train Station Bride Train Station Bride by Holly Bush
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A nice historical romance. I expected less, to be honest. Love it when I get pleasantly surprised!

A comedy of errors creates a mix up at the train station, and two strangers end up married. Not the two strangers who thought they would be married. You see, in the days of old, people were so desperate to be married that they answered ads in the paper to get hitched. Thankfully those times have changed. Two perfectly nice people are able to find happiness together despite obstacles and odds. Awwww! You know I'm a sucker for a HEA. Don't judge me.

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Saturday, December 5, 2015

Review: The Cat Who Played Post Office (The Cat Who #6)

The Cat Who Played Post Office The Cat Who Played Post Office by Lilian Jackson Braun
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Qwill and the cats are getting settled into the K Mansion, some people are murdered, and Qwill continues to be on the prowl as a mustachioed ladies man. This last part is the least believable.

Qwill moves into the Klingshoen Mansion, as part of his incredibly lucky inheritance. He seems to be dating the town doctor while constantly asking her cousin, the lawyer, out to dinner, drinks, whatever. Really, Qwill? Get over yourself. You are NOT a ladies man. I refuse to believe it.
Anyway, I digress. He discovers one of the former maids left town without taking her things, and he realizes something's fishy. Or at least Koko realizes something's fishy, and leads Qwill to the clues, as usual. Smart kitty! And then lots of things happen, including murders, and the crime is solved. Hooray!

Extra bonus fun: Mr. Q brings Mrs. Cobb up north to be his housekeeper. She's awesome and I'm glad she's back in the series. Now let's get Arch Riker up there permanently (you know it's coming!) and the gang can all live happily ever after.

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Friday, December 4, 2015

Review: Bear's Gold (Erotic Shifter Fairy Tales #1)

Bear's Gold (Erotic Shifter Fairy Tales, #1)Bear's Gold by Yvette Hines

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've never read an erotic shifter romance. Very new genre for me. It was pretty ok.

Riley gets into a car accident while fleeing her creepy, terrible ex. She's rescued by Theo, who is a hot were-bear with two cute twin were-bear boys. And he lives in Den County (get it, Den?) with an entire community of were-bears.

It was fun, a little cheesy, and had my favorite kind of ending: HEA.

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Thursday, December 3, 2015

Review: Rise (Tempting Tales #2)

Rise Rise by Keira Andrews
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

M/M erotic version of Jack and the Beanstalk, in case you were wondering. That should tell you all you need to know to determine if this book is for you.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Review: Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor #1)

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor, #1)Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Now I want to visit Friday Harbor. I enjoyed this cute, cheesy romance about love and second chances.

Meet Mark. He loses his sister in an accident and is suddenly the father to his niece, Holly. He's doing the best he can raising her with his brother.

Meet Maggie. She's a widow who owns a toy store at Friday Harbor. For those of you who are not new to the romance genre, I'll just bet you can guess what happens next! But I won't spoil it for you. I'll let you find out for yourself.

Maggie makes me a little crazy with her waffling and hot/cold reaction to Mark. He sounds like a saint wrapped up in a hot, coffee-roasting, lumberjack body. Grrrrr! Yummy.

It's cute. It's sappy. You might tear up a little at the end. I'm not saying I did, because I just had something in my eye. You can't prove otherwise.

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Monday, November 30, 2015

Review: Still Life with Bread Crumbs

Still Life with Bread CrumbsStill Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book. It's lovely. It wouldn't have been a book I could appreciate ten years ago, but I appreciated everything about it now that I'm older. So glad I read it. This book won't be for everyone, and that's ok. 4 stars.

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Review: The Bride (Lairds' Fiancées #1)

The Bride (Lairds' Fiancées, #1)The Bride by Julie Garwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What can I say? I like my heroines smart and sassy and my men strong and bossy. I like fire in my relationships. Shut up.

I may have found another guilty pleasure book. This time, it's not pirates like you would expect, but a Highlander. Not an immortal one, but a Laird. A sexy, brooding Laird used to getting his own way from everyone. Enter the arranged marriage of a young English woman. She's spirited, doesn't take his rank seriously, and sparks ensure. Good stuff!

This book hit all of the right notes for me. Historical? Check. Overbearing, bossy man? Check. Smart, mostly fearless, independent woman? Check. Happily Ever After? Of course! I wouldn't read it otherwise. Can't wait to read book 2.

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

Review: Murder to Go (Food Truck Mysteries #1)

Murder to Go (Food Truck Mysteries #1)Murder to Go by Chloe Kendrick

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Not the worst book I've ever read, but dang, there were some dumb parts. The mystery actually doesn't make sense when all is said and done.

Maeve inherits a food truck from her zany aunt, who may or may not have had a girlfriend after her husband died. So what, you say? Yes, I agree. But apparently that was supposed to be important to the plot, except it so wasn't. Maeve's mom was pretty offensive about the fact that sexuality is a spectrum, not a 50/50 choice. The mystery would have stayed the same without adding this part, so it seemed shoe horned in to make a statement. Anyway. Someone is out to get Maeve, and people's heads are being cut off. CUT. OFF. Again, this part was never explained. Ever. Add in the "millennials are a lazy bunch vs. a victim of economic circumstances" theme and the unrealistic characterizations (see lesbian / not lesbian plotline, grouchy yet sexy male characters) and you might or might not be intrigued enough to read book 2. I am a masochist and will read it if it is free and it fits a challenge. Your mileage may vary.

P.S. Who has a death in the family and doesn't ask how they died? Especially if you are the main inheritor? Really? Selfish, selfish, selfish. And dumb.

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Review: UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale #1)

UnEnchanted (An Unfortunate Fairy Tale, #1)UnEnchanted by Chanda Hahn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cute start to the series. I'll read the next one.

I see a lot of the reviews say the typos were terrible. Thank god I listened to this on audio, because nothing pulls me out of a book faster than poor editing. Mina is clumsy and unpopular at her high school. She has a crush on the popular rich guy. She reminds me of Mia from the Princess Diaries. In fact, now that I think about it, her best friend reminds me of Lily, and the whole book is similar in a lot of ways. So if you liked the Princess Diaries, you will probably like this book too.

Anyway, standard high school young adult paranormal. Three stars.

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Friday, November 27, 2015

Review: Death of a Perfect Wife (Hamish Macbeth #4)

Death of a Perfect WifeDeath of a Perfect Wife by M.C. Beaton

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Ah, Hamish. You are such a simple man. Priscilla doesn't deserve you.

More murder and mayhem in Lochdubh. For such a small, quiet village lots of people get murdered. I grew up in a small town of 2700 people and we rarely had these shenanigans go on. The one cop on duty was resigned to setting up speed traps (in the same place!!) to get some action. We didn't even have any stoplights, so I feel like I'm a bit of an expert in small town life. Hamish would have fit in perfectly. Anyway, a busybody newcomer is killed, with a long list of suspects. She was pretty terrible, so anyone could have been the culprit. But Hamish solves the case like we would expect, with no resolution to his relationship with Priscilla. Looking forward to book 5.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Review: Catch Me If You Can

Catch Me If You CanCatch Me If You Can by Frank W. Abagnale

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a lot like the movie, at least what I remember. It was a long time ago.

Con man stories are fun, and it is outrageous to me what he was able to get away with at such a young age. Airline pilot, doctor, lawyer. It's ridiculous. But a couple of things really struck me. First of all, there was an utter lack of remorse. He's smug and proud of what he accomplished. A complete sociopath. He said he felt bad in a few places, but I don't believe him. And the ending was abrupt. It just ended on one of his escapades. I would have rather heard about his punishment through his eyes. It was a strange choice to me.

Overall it was entertaining. Three stars.

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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Review: The Program (The Program #1)

The Program (The Program, #1)The Program by Suzanne Young

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've had this one on my shelf for a while, and I'm glad I finally read it. Good start to the series.

The pros: I didn't hate any of the characters. I'm weird about things like this, and I liked Sloan, I liked James, and I liked Realm. I liked how the plot unfolded and we got little pieces along with Sloan. Mystery, dystopian, with a dash of romance and teen angst. All good things.

The cons: Well, if you go in knowing it's a young adult dystopian series, there aren't a lot of cons. Maybe the insta-love, but again, you know that will be a thing in young adult.

I'm excited to read book 2. 3 1/2 stars. Can't bring myself to give it 4 stars, but it's close.

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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Review: The Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired a Nation

The Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired A NationThe Eighty Dollar Champion: Snowman, The Horse That Inspired A Nation by Elizabeth Letts

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Be right back, I'm running off to buy me a horse! Loved reading about Snowman's rescue from the glue factory to national champion. Who doesn't love a rags to riches story, especially when it involves animals?

This book is as much about Harry de Leyer as it is about Snowman. It's about a friendship and love between man and beast, and I'm not going to lie, I teared up at the end.

I listened to it on audio, and the narration was well done, but I'm sure it's just as good in book form. 3 stars.

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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review: Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1)

Soulless (Parasol Protectorate, #1)Soulless by Gail Carriger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I can't believe I waited so long to read it. It's one of my new favorite series. I think the steampunk kept me away, but it was subtle enough to forget and fall in love with the characters.

Alexia is my favorite type of MC. She's strong, and sassy, but not too perfect. In fact, her acknowledgment of her flaws adds to her charm. Same for Lord Maccon--my new book boyfriend. Strong, brash, bossy, and a little overbearing. Hey, what can I say? I have a type. The two of them make the perfect point-counterpoint.

The plot is good, the romance is good, the action is good, the setting is good. I just love everything about it! Read it. Enjoy it. You know you want to!

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

Review: Attachments

AttachmentsAttachments by Rainbow Rowell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Once again, I find myself in love with Rainbow Rowell. I think we could be best friends. I adore her books. It's rare that I find an author whose work resonates with me on so many levels. I don't typically read chick-lit, or sappy romances, or whatever classification you would call her books. But she gets me. The dialogue, the characters, they are are so realistic and I find myself thinking about the stories long after the book is finished. I'm not a crazy stalker, but I would like to have coffee with her sometime.

In this one, we get to play voyeur with Lincoln, the overnight IT guy who is tasked with monitoring the internal emails at the newspaper. It's a crappy job, but someone has to do it. I guess. Depends on which side you sit on for personal privacy in the workplace. Some really amusing exchanges between Beth, the movie reviewer, and Jennifer, the copy editor, get flagged, and Lincoln gets sucked into their lives. Me too. They both seem awesome. Anyway, that's how it starts. I will spare you the spoilers and just encourage you to read it.

The book gave me warm and fuzzies. What? I'm not a robot. Beep boop.

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Saturday, November 14, 2015

Review: Half the World (Shattered Sea #2)

Half the World (Shattered Sea, #2)Half the World by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More adventures with Father Yarvi and the gang. Welcome back!

Yarvi has a couple of new members of the crew this time. Meet Thorn. Tough, sassy, with a streak of insecurity inside of her. A girl after my own heart. Meet Brand. A warrior with a peaceful heart. Together they can do great things if they would just listen to Father Yarvi and the gang.

It was another great installment in the series. Yarvi has grown and matured, mostly for the better. The Queen is still fantastic, just as you would expect. And the band of misfits are all interesting and fun.

Action-packed, full of intrigue, with just a dash of romance. Good stuff.

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Review: Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle

Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish IsleCall the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse on a Scottish Isle by Mary J. Macleod

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quaint, interesting anecdotes about a family who moves to the remote Hebrides of Scotland. Mary J, the country nurse, sees the islanders through good times and bad. Some stories are funny, some are quite sad, and some will make you shake your head.

An interesting look into the culture of rural Scotland and the life of a woman devoted to helping others.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Review: The Shade of the Moon (The Last Survivors #4)

The Shade of the Moon (The Last Survivors, #4)The Shade of the Moon by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Jon was insufferable. Just really the worst.

I would like to think that someone who had been through as much as he has would be a better person. Lisa, too. But the two of them were terrible people, and therefore I couldn't bring myself to care about either one of them. Plus, the writing in this one fell flat. The dialogue was stilted and it seemed like the author just wanted to crank out another book in the series. Stick with Miranda and Alex if you write future installments. A disappointment all-around.

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Review: A Duty to the Dead (Bess Crawford #1)

A Duty To The Dead (Bess Crawford, #1)A Duty To The Dead by Charles Todd

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

New series for me, and it's off to a great start. Really liked it.

Bess Crawford is a wartime nurse who makes a promise to a young dying soldier to deliver a message to his brother. When she does she finds herself wrapped up in a mystery from the past. The mystery is smartly plotted and even though I guessed at a few twists and turns, it was still really enjoyable.

I like Bess. She's a strong, confident character but not an insufferable Mary Sue. I like her father, and I like Simon. It has the bonus of being a historical mystery, which is my two favorites mixed together. And a series to boot! I am really looking forward to the next book in the series.

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Saturday, November 7, 2015

Review: How Will You Measure Your Life?

How Will You Measure Your Life?How Will You Measure Your Life? by Clayton M. Christensen

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Quick read about the goals you set for your life and how you can apply them in all areas. I especially enjoyed the section called, "What Makes Us Tick". It was all about motivation, for both yourself and others. Some of his thoughts for job satisfaction that really resonated with me:

Is this job meaningful to me?
Is this job going to give me a chance to develop?
Am I going to learn new things?
Will I have an opportunity for recognition and achievement?
Am I going to be given responsibility?

Good thoughts around parenting, work, and life. Three stars.

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Friday, November 6, 2015

Review: Bird Box

Bird BoxBird Box by Josh Malerman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. Let me unscrew my mind for a minute. I still don't have a clue what was happening in this book.

If you like creepy psychological horror/mystery/dystopia, you should give this book a try. I refuse to tell you beyond what you can get from the book description, because you should go in blind (see what I did there?)

Just do it. But don't read the part in the bar at night. Or read it and don't cry to me later. You've been warned.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries #1)

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Cute start to the series. It's very different from the movie, especially her grandmother. Try to wipe your mind before reading, because you aren't getting Julie Andrews here, folks.

In case you have no idea what this series is about, Mia finds out she is a princess. A real princess. Of a small country in Europe. She's dorky, and unpopular, and a bit weird, like most high school freshmen. And now this? Nothing but trouble.

This book will help you remember how awkward high school was. And then you can be glad you made it to adulthood.

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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After #1)

Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1)Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I am shocked by how much I enjoyed this book. It was right up my alley, though. Historical with a strong female lead. Nothing turns me off faster than a sniveling, insecure woman who can't function without a man.

This was a good one. Semi-fairy tale world with some realism thrown in. Issy is alone in the world after the death of her father, when she is bequeathed a castle from a family friend. The current occupant, Duke Ransom, had no idea his castle had been sold by his solicitors. Hilarity ensues as they both stubbornly refuse to budge. And it's a romance, so you just know they will fall in love by the end. But how they get there is good--really good, actually. Give this one a read.

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Saturday, October 31, 2015

Guidebook to Murder (A Tourist Trap Mystery #1)

Guidebook to Murder (A Tourist Trap Mystery #1)Guidebook to Murder by Lynn Cahoon

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

First of all, you can rarely go wrong with books about books. And while I was hoping there would be more book shop in this one, I still enjoyed this cute cozy mystery.

Jill owns a book shop in small town California. Her friend dies and she inherits her house, but it turns out to be MURDER. Because it has to be murder to get into a cozy groove. Like you would expect, Jill does her best to solve the crime with the help of a sexy cop and a few sidekicks. It's cute. The mystery is a little jumbled up, but it all makes (some) sense by the end and the characters are fun. I will read book 2.

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Friday, October 30, 2015

Love Water Memory

Love Water MemoryLove Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Amnesia. The power of memory. Love. Family. I'm going to be thinking about this book for a while. I really enjoyed it.

Lucie loses her memories. All of them. I can't even imagine. This book explores what might happen to your life if you had the slate wiped clean. Would you have the same interests? Mannerisms? Values? Would you love who you loved before? Such an interesting concept. Great book--I definitely recommend.

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

Color Me Crazy (Annie Addison Mystery #1)

Color Me Crazy (Annie Addison Mystery #1)Color Me Crazy by Molly Dox

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Man, this book was dumb from start to finish. Luckily it was a novella that I got for free. Annie is dense and annoying. Stop meddling or you deserve to be thrown in jail. I won't read more of the series.

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Tuesday, October 27, 2015


11/22/6311/22/63 by Stephen King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wow, wow, wow. Hop on those butterfly wings, because we are going on a crazy ride through time.

What if you could go back in time? Would you do it? I don't think I would, especially to change a major event in history. It's just too risky. King spends 800+ pages exploring how unraveling one thread of time could have impact, both large and small. The butterfly effect says changing one thing changes countless others, as Jake quickly discovers. But the past doesn't want to be changed, and Jake has to make a lot of hard choices to complete his mission.

An interesting look at alternative history, journey with Jake back to the 50s and 60s to stop the Kennedy assassination. Its worth the read.

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Monday, October 26, 2015

A Body at Bunco (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #8)

A Body at Bunco (Myrtle Clover Cozy Mysteries #8)A Body at Bunco by Elizabeth Spann Craig

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I must be in a mood, because the high ratings and glowing reviews of this book disagree with my assessment. And my assessment is this book is bad.

Myrtle Clover is the worst. She's judgmental, and insufferable, and bitchy to everyone. I would never spend a half second with her. She's especially horrible to her hired help and her daughter-in-law. She seems to be less horrible to her only friend, Miles, but not by much. The best thing I can say about this book is I got it for free. So long, Myrtle. Enjoy the rest of your busybody life of meddling and judgment alone.

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Saturday, October 24, 2015

Dead Wrong (Blackmoore Sisters Mystery #1)

Dead Wrong (Blackmoore Sisters Mystery, #1)Dead Wrong by Leighann Dobbs

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This isn't a good book. The plot is ridiculous and doesn't make sense. There is weirdness with the cat that is never explained. And insta-love. Really, I tried to like it but just didn't. The characters are ridiculous. If you have this book, I hope you got it for free.

There are so many good cozies out there to read. Stay away from this one. The best thing I can say about it was it was short.

P.S. They aren't witches, and this isn't paranormal. Again, this isn't a good book.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2015

A Secret Killer (Julia Blake Murder Mystery #4)

A Secret Killer (Julia Blake Murder Mystery, #4)A Secret Killer by Gillian Larkin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Grudgingly giving this 2 stars, but it's really 1 1/2.

Ok, I didn't realize this was book 4 in a series when I got it. The mystery was fine, the main character was not the worst person on the planet, and I liked her dad. However, the amount of typos, grammatical errors, and general need of editing made my brain bleed. It's this lack of attention to detail makes me hesitant to buy self-published books. (I'm making an assumption because if this went through an editor they should be fired).

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Sunday, October 18, 2015

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables #1)

Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1)Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I just loved this book! Excuse me while I pack my stuff to live on Prince Edward Island.

The characters, the setting--it was great. Anne is whimsical, and eccentric, and lovable. She's a whirlwind of ideas, and drama, and fun. Matthew and Marilla are the balance she needs, and she is the balance they need. It's funny, and sad, and just a true delight. Now I'm caught up in Avonlea and will be headed back to visit in the next book of the series.

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Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Library at Mount Char

The Library at Mount CharThe Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Do not listen to this on audio. Just don't. There is too much going on and you will miss things, no matter how hard you try.

I started out not understanding what was happening. It was hard to continue on in parts because the book doesn't really give you a proper setup. I'm clearly not alone in this, as the reviews are filled with "DNFs" and "Abandoned" and "I hated this book because it was frustrating and didn't make sense." But stick with it if you like complicated stories with a mostly satisfying payoff at the end. I will eventually go back and read this one, because I can't be sure I didn't miss something cool or relevant. It's just too complicated of a plot for my work commute.

I'm sticking with three stars because I liked it, but I have reservations about it as well. Fits a lot of genres so if you stick with it you will probably like it by the end.

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Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The Storyteller

The StorytellerThe Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm a little bit wrecked right now. Excuse me while I gather my emotions to write this review...

Ahem. Yes, this book is wonderful. You bounce between the past and the present. We get to see the awful events of the Holocaust through two different sides, and we learn about them both with Sage as she struggles with acceptance and forgiveness. Forgiveness for herself, and for the past of others. And along the way is a beautiful fairy tale, an allegory of love and guilt, that ties the entire book up with a bow.

This book was great. I'm a big Jodi Picoult fan, and this one did not disappoint. At all.

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Friday, October 9, 2015

A Biscuit, A Casket (Positively Organic Mysteries #2)

A Biscuit, A Casket (Gourmet Pet Food Mystery 2)A Biscuit, A Casket by Liz Mugavero

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Stan is slightly less annoying in this book. But not by much. At least the ridiculous theme song nonsense from the first book went away, and she wasn't doing quite as much "ooh, look at what I'm wearing" during this one.

This series is ok, but not great. The story was fine--it's a cozy mystery, so how bad can it be? The small town setting is cute. I like Jake, I think, but we don't get a lot of insights into him. We spend more time with his cop sister who clearly is as annoyed with Stan as I am.

But again, I don't love this series, but I also don't hate it. 2 stars. Since I'm a glutton for punishment I will also read book three. Yeah, yeah, I know. But you know I will.

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Monday, October 5, 2015

A Charming Magic (Magical Cures Mystery #5)

A Charming Magic (Magical Cures Mystery, #5)A Charming Magic by Tonya Kappes

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I'm out. No more. These books are so poorly written / edited that I can no longer handle reading them.

And June. Oh June. You are so self-centered and completely unlikeable. You think everything should be about you. You are insecure and needy. You hate every new woman who comes to Whispering Falls. If I were Oscar I would be thrilled to have my memories erased because you are just the world's worst person. And this ending was the worst of all. I'm so done.

These plots are dumb, June is an idiot, and the writing stinks. If I hadn't gotten all of these books at once when the series was on sale at Amazon I would have stopped after book 2. I think this is the last one I have, though, so sayonara to Whispering Falls for me!

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Killer Cupcakes (A Lexy Baker Bakery Mystery #1)

Killer Cupcakes (A Lexy Baker Bakery Mystery, #1)Killer Cupcakes by Leighann Dobbs

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Sorry, Killer Cupcakes, but I much prefer to eat baked goods and not read about them.

Lexy owns a bakery and has made a name for herself by selling cupcake tops. Unfortunately someone poisoned a box of her cupcake tops and gave them to her ex. Now she turns amateur sleuth to solve the crime. With her best friend / employee and her grandma. Sounds ridiculous? It is. And that's about all the plot development that happens in this short read.

It hits all the wrong notes for me. Awkward dialogue. Purple, flowery descriptions of everything. Chill with the adjectives! An obsession with expensive shoes. Why do so many books insist on telling me what someone is wearing? I. Don't. Care. Just make with the mystery, lady! And insta-love. Now, I have been fortunate to be out of the dating game for nearly two decades, so maybe I can't relate. But the "romance" was cringe-worthy. So dumb. I'll stick with my beloved Agatha Christie--I'm more of a historical gal than contemporary anyway.

Buy a cupcake and skip this book. You will thank me later.

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Club Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands #1)

Club Shadowlands (Masters of the Shadowlands, #1)Club Shadowlands by Cherise Sinclair

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not bad. A bit of unrealistic insta-love in a short book, but decently kinky. I will probably read more in the series.

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Saturday, October 3, 2015

Station Eleven

Station ElevenStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Dystopian, but different. No zombies. Nothing weird. Just a terrible flu that wipes out life as we knew it. Be prepared to fight urges to run to the store and stock up in case something happens.

I liked the alternating timelines. I enjoyed the characters. But in the end I was left wanting more. So many unanswered questions! I wanted a resolution.

This is not one to listen to on audio. The narrator is terrible. I believe it is the same person who read If I Stay and she made me hate every single line of that book. Read the book, and skip the audio. I had to switch to fall into the world of Station Eleven.

I'm wavering between 3 1/2 stars and 4, but I'll leave it at 4 for now.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015


Moloka'iMoloka'i by Alan Brennert

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a lovely book. It's sad and happy all mixed together. It's richly drawn with historical details and the characters come to life. Like I said, lovely.

Rachel lives in Hawaii, and is diagnosed with leprosy at age seven. Seven, my friends. Tragic, simply tragic. As was done in the late 1800s / early 1900s, she was shipped to Moloka'i to live at the Leper's Colony. And if that isn't sad enough, she is completely cut off from her family. We follow Rachel through her life and her illness. I know what you are thinking: this sounds depressing! Not so. It does have parts that will make you sad, parts that will make you mad, and parts that will make you smile. It's a lot like life. And it's well written. Fans of historical fiction should check it out.

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Thursday, September 24, 2015

Open Season (Joe Pickett #1)

Open Season (Joe Pickett, #1)Open Season by C.J. Box

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dear Sheriff Longmire, please don't be mad at me for cheating on you with another Wyoming lawman. He meant nothing to me, I swear!

I was set up on a blind date with Joe Pickett, Saddleback Game Warden and family man. We had a good time. I mean, Joe is lawful good, to an extreme. He's a good husband, father, and morally in the right. Plus Wyoming is always a good time for an outdoors-lovin' girl like me. The mystery was solid and I will continue the series, but I think Joe and I will remain "just friends". My heart belongs to the more impulsive, mature, and headstrong Walt Longmire. He's the Wyoming lawman for me.

I just didn't get into Joe like I do Walt. Joe is a bit of a sad sack. I need my book boyfriends to be strong and confident. If you have ever read the Hamish Macbeth series, Joe reminded my of him. Likable, but not someone to fall in love with. Anyway, I will continue hanging out with Joe when I have some downtime, because why not?

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Sunday, September 20, 2015

Red Handed (Benediction #2)

Red Handed (Benediction #2)Red Handed by Shelly Bell

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I guess I like my BDSM with a bit of suspense in the plot. The main character, Danielle, was not completely annoying. She had some self esteem issues because of her weight, but overall she wasn't dumb. Mostly. Because it was a suspense novel, so she had to make a few wrong moves.

But Cole. Ah, Cole. Me likey. Me likey a lot. I could picture him in all of his sexy, tough yet caring, protective glory. Good stuff. I'm giving it a 2 1/2 stars because it had a cheesy HEA ending that I tend to like but some silliness that caused me to roll my eyes. Not quite three star territory but I find myself wanting to read the others, too.

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