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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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Leadership Transformed: How Ordinary Managers Become Extraordinary Leaders

Leadership Transformed: How Ordinary Managers Become Extraordinary LeadersLeadership Transformed: How Ordinary Managers Become Extraordinary Leaders by Peter Fuda

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hmmm. I listened to this one on audio. It covers a lot of basic ideas and might be useful for new managers.

Not a lot of groundbreaking new information here, but his seven steps can be applied if you have a leader who is struggling in a certain area. He has a companion website that goes along with the steps, and it felt like a big advertisement for it. Lots of anecdotal evidence of how his seven analogies can be applied in various situations.

They say the true test of another man's intelligence is how much he agrees with you. I don't disagree with anything in this book, so there you have it.

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Friday, September 18, 2015

Half a King (Shattered Sea #1)

Half a King (Shattered Sea, #1)Half a King by Joe Abercrombie

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What do you do when you are the second son of a king, and one born with a crippled hand, to boot? Well, you think you would take your vows and join the ministry. However, life seldom works out as you planned. Your father and brother are both killed, and you must step up and take the crown. Wait...what's that? Betrayal and treachery lie dead ahead? Well, that's life giving you lemons once again. Poor Prince Yarvi!

Good solid entry to the series. We journey with Yarvi as he travels the road and determines where his loyalties, and choices lie. What is more important? Revenge? Family? Friendship? Read it and find out what he decides. 3 1/2 stars.

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Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Spy Lover

The Spy LoverThe Spy Lover by Kiana Davenport

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Civil War is one of my favorite times to read about in history, and I thought I would fall in love with this book. Looks like we will just be friends.

We get to see the Civil War through two Chinese-American's eyes: Johnny and his daughter Era. Both are caught in the middle of the war between the North and South, and both are struggling to survive a fight that isn't necessarily theirs. Their perspectives are very different and the war shapes them in very different ways. There are no real winners in a war, and everyone has a less than happy ending. Just like real life.

I have to confess the author almost lost me during a scene full of pit vipers. I. Hate. Snakes. I was listening to the audio and nearly wrecked my car. It was truly awful. No thank you. More terrifying than any horror novel, hands down.

Decent historical fiction, and interesting characters. I loved Johnny Tom. 3 stars.

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O Jerusalem (Mary Russell #5)

O Jerusalem (Mary Russell, #5)O Jerusalem by Laurie R. King

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More adventures with Holmes and Russell, but in this installment we jump back in time to events in the second book that were not shared with us. We know they spent time in Jerusalem but we don't get to see what happens there. This book takes to the events they shared while they were hiding out.

It's a pretty good story. I like their companions, especially Mahmoud. Something was missing for me, however, and I just can't put my finger on it. I think it was because Holmes and Russell didn't really seem to be partners on this one. There was a distance between them and you just couldn't see that spark. But overall still an enjoyable read.

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Shadows (The Rephaim #1)

Shadows (The Rephaim, #1)Shadows by Paula Weston

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So, I went on a blind date with Rafa, and I really enjoyed myself. Hellions and all.

Gaby has lost her brother and most of her memories, and is trying to put her life back together in Australia. But you can't run from your past, as she quickly finds out. Too bad she can't remember anything about it.

Angels, demons, sexy guys, and fight scenes. I liked it. I especially liked Rafa. Jason was ok, don't get me wrong, but Rafa hit all of the right notes for me. What can I say, I like my relationships with a little sass. Now to track down book 2.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Grove

The GroveThe Grove by John Rector

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I'm not 100% sure how to rate or review this book. You know how it is when you read something so outside of your norm that you are left scratching your head? That's me right now.

It's horror for one, and I rarely read horror. The main character is completely crazy. You spend half of your time doubting his narrative and the other half shaking your head because he. is. crazy. And I listened to it on audio, which changes the experience. So overall I'm landing on a two 1/2, because it was strange and I have a lot of mixed feelings about the book and the characters. So I guess the author did his job.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Martian

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Astronauts. Space. Survival. This book hits all of the right notes for me. There was very little chance I wasn't going to enjoy it.

I liked it. I liked it a lot. Mark Watney was a fun character. He's smart, he's courageous, and he's funny. I have a little bit of a book crush on him right now. Smart-asses who are intelligent, resourceful, and brave make my heart go pitter-pat. If you have ever met my husband, he's a lot like Mark Watney. Sigh.

However...I wish I had read this sooner. I kept picturing Matt Damon as I read, and this might have slightly influenced my crush. Now I'll never know if I love Mark Watney for who he is or for who is portraying him. Either way, it was fun ride.

Good book--really good. It's a fairly quick read and I'm really looking forward to the movie now. Don't let me down, Matt Damon! (Who am I kidding? He never does. Matt, don't be mad. I love you!)

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Friday, September 4, 2015

Captain's Fury (Codex Alera #4)

Captain's Fury (Codex Alera, #4)Captain's Fury by Jim Butcher

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hail Gaius Octavian! We journey back to Alera, and lots of things happen. To everyone.
Tavi is outed. Kitai still kicks ass, and I love her. Everyone gets character development, and the world grows. If you are reading this series, you obviously love it so I don't need to sell you on how great it is. If you aren't, you shouldn't be reading a review for book 4 in a series, so move along. Nothing for you to see here.

A love letter to Jim Butcher:

Dear Jim,
Alera is my favorite place, and you are my favorite author. I love you. Not in a scary stalker, wear your face as a mask way, but in a let's be best friends and have coffee and you can tell me all of your book ideas kind of way.

P.S. Please don't contact the authorities, I am harmless. But let's be best friends. Call me!

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Any Other Name (Walt Longmire #10)

Any Other Name (Walt Longmire, #10)Any Other Name by Craig Johnson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Walt, Walt, Walt. You almost get beaten up more than Harry Dresden, but not quite. Harry gets his ass kicked on the regular more than anyone.

This time Walt should be on his way to Philly to welcome his grandbaby into the world. What is he doing instead? Solving a case. With Lucian. And a little assist from Vic and Henry. My favorite everyman's hero does it again, Wyoming-style, and solves the case, which turns out to be two cases. Extra bonus for Henry being the best sidekick ever and I enjoyed the cop / investigator guy who helps them figure it out by the end.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Red Queen (Red Queen #1)

Red QueenRed Queen by Victoria Aveyard

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Torn on what to rate this...landing on a solid three stars.

Meet Mare. She's a Red, living in a world where the Silvers have all of the power. After a slow start, the action starts to pick up. She's thrust into the spotlight and fights to hide her true identity and survive. Vague description, yes, but I don't want to spoil you, friends. You will have to read it for yourself.

Gorgeous cover art, rather generic characters inside, the entire book feels like an homage to all of the other young adult dystopian novels that came before it. But there's enough there for me to read book 2.

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