Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Rich People Problems: A Novel by Kevin Kwan

Rich People Problems: A NovelKevin Kwan, bestselling author of Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend, is back with an uproarious new novel of a family riven by fortune, an ex-wife driven psychotic with jealousy, a battle royal fought through couture gown sabotage, and the heir to one of Asia's greatest fortunes locked out of his inheritance. 
When Nicholas Young hears that his grandmother, Su Yi, is on her deathbed, he rushes to be by her bedside—but he's not alone. The entire Shang-Young clan has convened from all corners of the globe to stake claim on their matriarch’s massive fortune. With each family member vying to inherit Tyersall Park—a trophy estate on 64 prime acres in the heart of Singapore—Nicholas’s childhood home turns into a hotbed of speculation and sabotage. As her relatives fight over heirlooms, Astrid Leong is at the center of her own storm, desperately in love with her old sweetheart Charlie Wu, but tormented by her ex-husband—a man hell bent on destroying Astrid’s reputation and relationship. Meanwhile Kitty Pong, married to China’s second richest man, billionaire Jack Bing, still feels second best next to her new step-daughter, famous fashionista Colette Bing. A sweeping novel that takes us from the elegantly appointed mansions of Manila to the secluded private islands in the Sulu Sea, from a kidnapping at Hong Kong’s most elite private school to a surprise marriage proposal at an Indian palace, caught on camera by the telephoto lenses of paparazzi, Kevin Kwan's hilarious, gloriously wicked new novel reveals the long-buried secrets of Asia's most privileged families and their rich people problems.


What can I say about this book...well first thing it would help a lot if you make sure you read the first two books in this series (?). It might help you keep the myriad of characters straight. You might also want to be happy with foot-notes, a LOT of them. And let me tell you it is no picnic reading a book with foot-notes on a Kindle.

You need to be happy with constant advertising of items that the hoi polloi (like me!)wont know about, but with a book such as this it is the norm or how else would we know that these people are filthy rich if it wasn't for all the advertising???

There are a about a skagillion character's (it seems) and it is sometimes very difficult to keep them all straight, but the main character's of Nick and his sister Atstrid will grab you and they are fairly well written- not too fleshed out but enough so you can empathize with them.

In the long run this was a bit more boring than I would have thought a book of this type would be. It is also somewhat long winded, but again for a book of this type it is understandable.

I did love learning about Ah Ma and her past. She should have a book all to herself -it wouldn't be a funny one, but it sure would capture me!

I think that this author has so much more inside and could branch out from these ironic books, to something just as entertaining but with a little bit more to say.
ARC from Author and/or Publisher

Monday, May 22, 2017

Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor

Sycamore"Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history. In resurrecting the past, the people of Sycamore will find clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives."
I'm not sure what exactly to say about this book. It is obvious that many people just loved this novel, but for me it was a very difficult read.

Yes this was a very literary, beautifully written and very deep novel and not something you would want to take on vacation to perk yourself up or to get lost in. The book does not really end well -or at least it doesn't end in any way other than the one which we already figured out right fro the beginning. As a matter of fact, in some ways it was a deeply disturbing novel - (this is a bit of a spoiler but needs to be said as it is missing from the synopsis) -there is a pedophilia aspect to this book that some will find...disconcerting? upsetting? contrived? brilliant? 

It was an interesting choice of the author to tackle something like this subject, but it is not the main crux of the book...it just seems to be that way since the topic is so controversial. 

I struggled to get at least half-way though and them at about 80% I just started skimming to find out for sure how this was going to conclude.

My problems mostly stem from the fact that this book is told from so many different view points and the time frame switches back and forth from the year 1991 to the year 2009 (and I think we even did a horizontal time shift at one point. LOL).

Another thing I had difficulties with is that most of the main character's seem to need heavy doses of anti-depressants and top notch psychiatrists - there was not a single person who didn't have some sort of angst problem, which for me made this a very depressing read. Yes, this is normal in any town -large or small, but it might have helped to have one person who doesn't go off the deep end, who can keep their cool even during the worst that life can dish out. 

I do understand that not everyone's lives are filled with sunshine and roses, so this is another reason why this book is going to be a hit. It really deals with real life in all of it's uncomfortable nakedness.

For me, I need something that takes me away from the problem's in my life and being reminded for this many pages on how bad it is out there just made me more depressed than I usually am.
*ARC supplied by publisher/and or author.



Thursday, May 18, 2017

Not a Sound by Heather Gudenkauf

Not a Sound

A shocking discovery and chilling secrets converge in this latest novel from New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf 

When a tragic accident leaves nurse Amelia Winn deaf, she spirals into a depression that ultimately causes her to lose everything that matters--her job, her husband, David, and her stepdaughter, Nora. Now, two years later and with the help of her hearing dog, Stitch, she is finally getting back on her feet. But when she discovers the body of a fellow nurse in the dense bush by the river, deep in the woods near her cabin, she is plunged into a disturbing mystery that could shatter the carefully reconstructed pieces of her life all over again.

As clues begin to surface, Amelia finds herself swept into an investigation that hits all too close to home. But how much is she willing to risk in order to uncover the truth and bring a killer to justice?

New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf has been described as "masterful" and "intelligent" and compared to Lisa Scottoline and Jodi Picoult. Introducing her most compelling heroine yet, she delivers a taut and emotional thriller that proves she's at the top of her class.


ReviewI really don't know what to think about this book. If you are a fan of Nora Roberts and have read Angels Fall then you will be as astounded as I was that "Not a Sound" was so similar to the other. The only main differences between the two books is that the protagonist in this book was deafened in an accident and that she knew the murdered woman.

I liked the idea of a deaf protagonist and the author was very adept at making us see the world through Amelia's eyes, and the author does a great job of making us understand the nursing world, However, I was annoyed at some of the plotting - the great leaps of logic that Amelia made seemed nonsensical to me; the rehashing that she did of certain things just seemed like filler to me and did nothing to add to my enjoyment of this book.

Angels Fall:

Starts with frightening prologue.

The protagonist Reece, was a chef and was traumatically changed by being in a mass murder.

Reece was considered 'nutty' because her behavior changed after the murders.

She moved to a small town and there she witnessed a murder.

Nobody believed her.

She was stalked by the murderer and had things done to here that made her seem crazy.

Hot romance.

She over-thought things and put herself into the investigation of the murder.

Chase scene at the end of the book.

Not a Sound:

Starts with frightening prologue.

Amelia was a nurse who became deaf due to an accident.

She became a drunk due to the ramifications of her deafness and even when she became sober nobody really believed what she had concluded about the murder.

Mild romance.

She was stalked by the murder.

Chase scene at the end of the book.

Do you see what I mean? I liked the book well enough, I just couldn't seem to read it without thinking and comparing it to Angels Fall.

*ARC supplied by publisher.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Gwendy's Button Box


by 

The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told... until now.
On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat... 
Journey back to Castle Rock again in this chilling new novella by Stephen King, bestselling author of The Bazaar of Bad Dreams, and Richard Chizmar, award-winning author of A Long December. This book will be a Cemetery Dance Publications exclusive with no other editions currently planned anywhere in the world!



Although this should have been categorized as a novella it was not and it was a very, very short read.  However short it was, the story telling was intense and the concept of the story was very interesting.  The character of Gwendy was fully fleshed and the time span made this a very interesting book for those of us who had lived as adults or young adults through the ‘70’s.

The “what if” theme is one that has been done numerous times, but the way Mr. King and Mr. Chizmar handled it made it seem new and fresh.  The story does make the reader think very hard about how they would react to having this much power at their disposal and if the reader could handle it as Gwendy did.  

I really enjoyed and was captivated by this book.  It really did make me think ‘what would I do’.  I think it is going to be right up there with my other Stephen King go-to-reread: The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon.

So many popular authors are collaborating lately. And a lot of them work out very well (Agnes and the Hitman Aug 21, 2007 by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer) for one.  It amazes me that so many readers are finding it repugnant the Mr. King has done so and it really isn't his first time (The Talisman: A Novel Sep 25, 2012 by Stephen King and Peter Straub) or his last (Sleeping Beauties: A Novel Sep 26, 2017by Stephen King and Owen King).

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

23.99 For The Kindle Edition??? Ma Speaks Up: And a First-Generation Daughter Talks Back - by Marianne Leone

Product DetailsThe acclaimed actress and author of Jesse: A Mother’s Story tells the story of her outspoken, frequently outrageous Italian immigrant mother.
Marianne Leone’s Ma is in many senses a larger-than-life character, one who might be capable, even from the afterlife, of shattering expectations. Born on a farm in Italy, Linda finds her way to the United States under dark circumstances, having escaped a forced marriage to a much older man, and marries a good Italian boy. She never has full command of English, especially when questioned by authorities, and when she is suddenly widowed with three young children, she has few options. To her daughter’s horror and misery, she becomes the school lunch lady.
Ma Speaks Up is a record of growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, with the wrong family, in the wrong religion. Though Marianne’s girlhood is flooded with shame, it’s equally packed with adventure, love, great cooking, and, above all, humor. The extremely premature birth of Marianne’s beloved son, Jesse, bonds mother and daughter in ways she couldn’t have imagined. The stories she tells will speak to anyone who has struggled with outsider status in any form and, of course, to mothers and their blemished, cherished girls.



 This book actually made me angry. When I chose to read this I figured this was going to be right up my alley. Nope. I was never as spoiled and selfish as this woman was. I would never have thought to talk to my mother or any of my family in this manner. I am a daughter of a second generation Italian father and Hungarian Mother. I am about the same age as the author. I grew up in the same type of ethnic neighborhood as the author and the house as my Hungarian Greats and Grands and an Aunt and Uncle. The Italian Greats, Grand etc lived a few houses down. I never felt shame for any of my family, lest of all my mother, for what she was and how she behaved. Not did I feel for any shame that my grandparents couldn't speak proper English or hold better jobs than what they found. My friends grew up the same way (and so did the author's), what the heck is there to be ashamed about???

I can't get over that this book is trying to make this out as a 'poor me -I am growing up different from everyone' book. Marianne Leone grew up exactly as everyone else in her ethnic neighborhood, she was NOT different and to use this as an excuse to take it out on her mother was a travesty.

This synopsis is totally misleading. The mother never speaks and there is no humor in this book, the author was not an outsider.

This book started off interesting and went downhill to the point that at 75% I was skimming.

The best part of this book was the three recipes at the end.
ATTL supplied ARC

Saturday, April 22, 2017

White Hot (book 2) by Ilona Andrews

White Hot by Ilona Andrews

White Hot: A Hidden Legacy Novel by [Andrews, Ilona]
The Hidden Legacy series by #1 New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews continues as Nevada and Rogan navigate a world where magic is the norm…and their relationship burns hot Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she's used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family's detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor "Mad" Rogan. Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice … An Avon Romance




I just wanted to say that is if you are following this trilogy, reading this book is really going to be worth it.

Luckily for fans, the last book in this trilogy 
Wildfire is going to come out only two months after this one comes out. (July 25, 2017)

What I did want to say is that with reading this book I see sooo many parallels to the Kate Daniel's books. I can't wait for you to read this to see if you see it too.

The only thing this trilogy gives us that is different from the Kate series, is real sex (not in the first book, but in this one), not just the sex being talked about in hints and the abstract. (I am not so happy with the particular word usage for Nevada's lady bits, but what can I say? My issue, my problem.)

I would love to see a novella or book that looks at the action in this trilogy through Conner's eyes.



This is a wonderful fantasy trilogy – it is all about magic, the highest magic users and what the world is like for the haves and have-nots. It is a great mystery -  the trilogy has a new mystery   with each new book, while still drawing out the biggest mystery (who is trying to bring down the Houses of Houston).  The mystery we are delving into with each new book.

If you have not read the first book in this trilogy -I suggest that you do. You don’t really need to since the author’s do a fantastic job of bringing you pretty much up-to-date. But it will go a long way of describing this new world and give you very good insights into some of the important characters. (plus, it is quite inexpensive at the moment!!!)

In this the second book in this series, we find even more character and world building.  Nevada is really coming into her own and is showing to be almost as mercenary as Kate is (from the Kate Daniel’s series by the same author’s) as far as certain things go.  They really are very similar character’s.

Conner is a bit more--- I was going to say Alpha than Curran, but that really isn’t the correct word! Conner is just broodier and angstier than Curran.

The story line in this book is a fascinating one starting with Nevada and crew being hired to solve the murder of the wife of a minor character in the book before this one (who now becomes so much more!) and turns into something so much more complicated…but since it is almost all of the story-lines are tied up at the end it really works. (note that I said, ‘almost all of the story-lines’)

One thing I want to mention is that the character of Augustine Montgomery is such a perfect melding of Ghastek Stefanoff and Saiman (I would really love to see a book or novella just on Augustine).


So, all in all this was a very sexy and satisfying, complicated but not too complicated read and I cannot wait for the last book in the trilogy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Product Details


THE NEW MEMORY MAN NOVEL!
Amos Decker witnesses a murder just outside FBI headquarters. A man shoots a woman execution-style on a crowded sidewalk, then turns the gun on himself.
Even with Decker's extraordinary powers of observation and deduction, the killing is baffling. Decker and his team can find absolutely no connection between the shooter--a family man with a successful consulting business--and his victim, a schoolteacher. Nor is there a hint of any possible motive for the attack. 
Enter Harper Brown. An agent of the Defense Intelligence Agency, she orders Decker to back off the case. The murder is part of an open DIA investigation, one so classified that Decker and his team aren't cleared for it. 
But they learn that the DIA believes solving the murder is now a matter of urgent national security. Critical information may have been leaked to a hostile government--or worse, an international terrorist group--and an attack may be imminent.
Decker's never been one to follow the rules, especially with the stakes so high. Forced into an uneasy alliance with Agent Brown, Decker remains laser focused on only one goal: solving the case before it's too late.

The Fix -David Baldacci

This is a very good entry in a great series.  I just wish that the series remained as good as the first book had been.  This series still has potential so I am not going to give up on it.

I really recommend that you read at least the first book in this series before you tackle this one---in fact since there are only three books I would say go for reading both earlier books before reading this one.  HOWEVER, you don’t HAVE to read the earlier books to get into this one – it will just make it easier on you to understand Amos Decker’s quirks and fantastical ability.

This book is total mystery with a slight dash of fantasy thrown in. A theft of our Countries secrets, spying, hacking, espionage, Russia- Middle East, murder and a story line a little too close to home/the truth for my taste! In the first book, we find how Amos came to have his ‘abilities’ and he goes from a cardboard box living, shell of a man, to this book where he is a successful part of a team that is part of the FBI and making friends. (with the possibility of a girl-friend I think!)

What slightly bothered me about this book is the fact that it (in my opinion of course) could have lost about one hundred pages of dead-horse beating, repetitive conversation that I am sure if you are in the business of crime fighting, is important but for the average reader is just annoying.  I needed a tad more action and a tad less wash-rinse-repeat.

There is also one brief story-line and action sequence that I don’t see how it made the main story move forward -but perhaps this was a set-up for a future story-line.

Not a bad book at all, but not my favorite by far.

ARC supplied by author and publisher.

Monday, March 6, 2017

The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch #1) by Rin Chupeco

Product Details



BOOK DESCRIPTION; The beast raged; it punctured the air with its spite. But the girl was fiercer.
Tea is different from the other witches in her family. Her gift for necromancy makes her a bone witch, who are feared and ostracized in the kingdom. For theirs is a powerful, elemental magic that can reach beyond the boundaries of the living—and of the human.
Great power comes at a price, forcing Tea to leave her homeland to train under the guidance of an older, wiser bone witch. There, Tea puts all of her energy into becoming an asha, learning to control her elemental magic and those beasts who will submit by no other force. And Tea must be strong—stronger than she even believes possible. Because war is brewing in the eight kingdoms, war that will threaten the sovereignty of her homeland…and threaten the very survival of those she loves.


I must admit that I did not finish this book.  I made it to 68% and I may at sometime in the future finish it, but I really doubt I will do so.  the younger readers will most likely love this although I think even they are going to be expecting  something that has a little more action, character
 interaction and a lot less filler.

As I said in my update on this novel:  "I am having a hellacious time reading this book. One thing happened so far. ONE!!!

I know that this is a YA book, but the synopsis reads as if it would appeal to adults too. Not this adult.

But I will persevere -although I abide by my thoughts on this: you don't need to drink the entire glass of milk to know that the milk is spoiled.

I shouldn't have to read this far to be pulled into the book."

This was at 50% and as I found myself trying to finish I did realize that there are some aspects that are interesting about this otherwise boring novel -I liked the fact that the author took so many cultures (Japanese, Indian, Iranian and most likely more) and melded them into this work.  However, the fact is that up to the point that I stopped, NOTHING happened...NOTHING!!!

What we did get was an interesting look into what must have been a school for Geisha's that also taught some magic and self-defense. (which makes me want to read [book:Memoirs of a Geisha|929] ).  We got a brief look at Tea raising he brother from the dead as well as some rats and a murder victim.

 Have you ever read Laurell K Hamilton and noticed how she can take pages and fill them with the most useless trivia, mind numbing descriptions and repetitive filler?  Well this author is doing the exact same thing...and even does it better than LKH.

Perhaps young teens will like this book, but I think an older mind will want to pare this down into something more readable.  It is a shame that I just couldn't force myself to finish, because I can see that this has the potential to be an interesting series -but not if the author keeps writing just to fill the pages.

*ARC supplied by publisher. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Million Little Things (Mischief Bay #3) by Susan Mallery

A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery

BOOK DESCRIPTION: 
From the bestselling author of The Girls of Mischief Bay and The Friends We Keep comes a twisty tale of family dynamics that explores what can go terribly, hysterically wrong when the line between friendship and family blurs 
Zoe Saldivar is more than just single-she's ALONE. She recently broke up with her longtime boyfriend, she works from home and her best friend Jen is so obsessed with her baby that she has practically abandoned their friendship. The day Zoe accidentally traps herself in her attic with her hungry-looking cat, she realizes that it's up to her to stop living in isolation.Her seemingly empty life takes a sudden turn for the complicated-her first new friend is Jen's widowed mom, Pam. The only guy to give her butterflies in a very long time is Jen's brother. And meanwhile, Pam is being very deliberately seduced by Zoe's own smooth-as-tequila father. Pam's flustered, Jen's annoyed and Zoe is beginning to think "alone" doesn't sound so bad, after all.Friendship isn't just one thing-it's a million little things, and no one writes them with more heart and humor than book club sensation Susan Mallery! 


4.5 Stars

A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery

I don’t usually like books A with more than one story-line going on at a time, usually I only like this if the characters are secondary and it doesn’t impact the main story at all. However, Ms Mallery is a deft hand at using this writing device and with this book it was used to a very good advantage. The three women we meet will all take center stage, so we can look at it as if this book is three separate stories -it isn’t though, since all three women are either related or best of friends.

Three separate women -Zoe, Pam, and Jen - an older woman (Pam) and her issues with widowhood, her son, and her daughter; a younger mother (Jen) who must come to terms with her toddler son who won’t speak. Not can’t but won’t. And Zoe who I think of as the main character because we meet her first and who really will have some big problems to iron out, as we will see later in this book. 

I loved this book - it is all about very strong women and how they cope with what seems like insurmountable problems, they cope with romance in their lives, sexual issues, altering ones’ outlook on life, relationship issues, child rearing and birth issues as well as many smaller problems along the way.

The self-growth of each of these women and the paths they had to take to realize their true worth, was well worth the time I took to read this novel. This is way more than a romance novel-it is a romance inside of a women’s lit novel and is well worth the ride. Except for one interesting scene late in this book, there is no sex, not even with Zoe and Steven who are having the ‘romance’. This was surprising to me, but in a happy way. 

This book was a joy to read - I am not always happy with Ms Mallery’s writing, but this one was wonderful. If there was one issue I had it was a problem I had with Zoe’s character later in the book and the fact that the author seemed to use ‘beating a dead horse’ as a plot device and it did nothing to move the story along.

*ARC supplied by publisher.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko by [Lee, Min Jin]

"BOOK DESCRIPTION:
 A new tour de force from the bestselling author of Free Food for Millionaires, for readers of A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone.
Profoundly moving and gracefully told, PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life. 
So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja's family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity."


Pachinko by 
I loved this novel.  I was a little daunted to find that it ran to almost 500 pages and I found myself so enraptured by this saga that I finished it in a day (I came out bleary eyed, but I did it)!

 I am not normally a fan of anything that has to do with relatively modern history (I was a toddler during the Korean War, but still) and even family sagas usually leave me a little daunted -but once I picked up this book I couldn’t put it down. This book made it effortless for me to actually learn something and to see it from these peoples’ perspectives was just emotionally both draining and uplifting.

This book was emotionally draining, a revelation, intelligent, not ‘in your face’ religious, educational, romantic ( sort of), filled with love and was written in such a way that I could actually see pictures in my mind of what the characters looked like.  I don’t think I have had a book fascinate me in such a long time.

I concur with many reviewers that the style of the book changed as you neared the conclusion -but it was simple for me to see why and I appreciate that the author took the time to make these distinctions. We went from one changing generation to another and when the author hit the 60’s and 70’s she made sure to change the tone for the younger generation to show these changes in the world -the sexual revolution, a stronger women’s liberation, a country coming back into its own etc.

I highly recommend this book to those who like family saga’s, 20th century history and high drama books.


*ARC supplied by publisher. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we'd have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren's 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed . . . because it wasn't necessary.
Except Tom just can't seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that's before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland.
But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality? Tom’s search for the answer takes him across countries, continents, and timelines in a quest to figure out, finally, who he really is and what his future—our future—is supposed to be.


I read for pleasure, entertainment and I read to escape real life.  I thought this book would bring me pleasure, be entertaining and allow me to escape - it did not.

Perhaps I am just too old for this kind of smarmy, childish narration  or too unintelligent to understand the  scientific language used (I needed to look up just a few too many words!!!) but since I do love my time-travel fantasy books I slogged on for as long as I  could. 

Unfortunately I just ended up on the narrator expounding on his sex life and just gave it up. I have nothing against reading about sex -heck I read romances -but this just seemed to me to be more of a 'little boy braggin' than a good attempt at adding some romance.

DNF>>>>> I have better things to do with my life and better things to read.

*ARC supplied by publisher.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cowboy Boots for Christmas by Carolyn Brown



Cowboy Boots for Christmas: (Cowboy not included) (Burnt Boot, Texas Book 1) by [Brown, Carolyn]

Book 1 in the Burnt Boot, Texas Series'Tis the season for...FeastingFrolickingAnd...Feuding?All he wants for Christmas is peace and quiet...After two tours in Afghanistan, retired Army sniper Finn O'Donnell believes his new ranch outside the sleepy little town of Burnt Boot, Texas, is the perfect place for an undisturbed holiday season. But before he can settle in, an old friend shows up looking for protection and a place where nobody knows her name.
But that's going to take a miracle...Callie Brewster must relocate to protect her young nephew, Martin, and the only person she trusts is her old Army friend, Finn. Burnt Boot seems like the perfect place to be anonymous, but it turns out a small town with big drama is no place to hide...


I don't usually review older books, just ARC's and very new books...well that and books I'm really impressed with.  However, I just couldn't keep  my opinion of this one to myself!

I usually love or at least like very much Carolyn's books, but this one? Ugh. They are generally sweet and funny and with a good story.

I tried; I really, really tried and I just could NOT finish this book. I hate having to give up before I even get half-way through, but this book just took the cake.

For starters Callie and her nephew Martin are in the Witness Protection program -yet when she  and the 'hero' Finn go into town they announce  her *real* name to a store owner. And just about everyone else to boot. Reality check please.  Uhmmm no, just no.

Finn the hero is salivating, drooling, slobbering over Callie and it gets a bit on the icky side.  However Callie is doing the same thing will Finn, double ick.

Martin, Callies nephew who has seen a murder and who is eleven (I think) is just the epitome of a Stepford/perfect child that I just wanted to scrub my brain.  I don't believe this one little bit -it's possible for a child to be perfect, sure, but it sure doesn't make for enthralling reading.  (of course Ms Brown has a habit of making the kids in her books uber cutsie)

And let us not even talk about all the animals that seem to show up in the first 24/48 hours. 

  There is so much going on yet no time passes at all.

 I can't suspend my disbelief this much and keep my sanity intact. Therefore I am saving my sanity and not even going to attempt to finish this.  I should have spent my money on something else, anything else.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Turn by Kim Harrison

The Turn: The Hollows Begins with Death

OVERVIEW:
#1 New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison returns to her beloved Hollows series with The Turn, the official prequel to the series that will introduce you to a whole new side of Rachel Morgan's world as they've never seen it before!
Can science save us when all else fails?
Trisk and her hated rival, Kal, have the same goal: save their species from extinction.
But death comes in the guise of hope when a genetically modified tomato created to feed the world combines with the government's new tactical virus, giving it an unexpected host and a mode of transport. Plague rises, giving the paranormal species the choice to stay hidden and allow humanity to die, or to show themselves in a bid to save them.
Under accusations of scientific misconduct, Trisk and Kal flee across a plague-torn United States to convince leaders of the major paranormal species to save their supposedly weaker kin, but not everyone thinks humanity should be saved, and Trisk fights the prejudices of two societies to prove that not only does humanity have something to offer, but that long-accepted beliefs against women, dark magic, and humanity itself can turn to understanding; that when people are at their worst that the best show their true strength, and that love can hold the world together as a new balance is found



REVIEW:
I'm not sure if I would tag this book as a stand alone or not-yes it is a prequel to a series, but I haven't read the series in years and haven't even bought the last two books and I sort of enjoyed this read.

Why didn't I totally love it you may ask...because the main character's are truly horrible people. Especially Trent. Yes, it is because of their Elven heritage, but still. It does explain so much when Trent shows up in Rachel's world and I never could warm up to him (he is a huge penis head). Although I understand that he and Rachel become a couple towards the end of the series.

What I did love about this book was the last half -the first half was just so much wash-rinse-repeat...the same thing over and over. I wanted the author to stop beating that dead horse and get on with an actual story -which does happen in the second half (thank the Gods and Goddesses!)

I loved learning (again in the end) how the other's came 'out' to the human world and why. And I love that this is encouraging me to re-read the series and to possibly buy the last two books that I am missing!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Copycat - Kimberla Lawson Roby



Book Description:
Befriending Traci Calloway Cole is the best thing Simone Phillips has ever done. Traci is the kind of woman Simone wants to be-in every way possible. She begins copying her role model. Not because she wants to be Traci. She just wants to be exactly like Traci.
Traci doesn't worry, though. She knows Simone doesn't mean any harm and that her mimicry is only sincere admiration. Until she discovers how far Simone's obsession has gone.
It is then that Simone's entire world begins unraveling, and dreadful secrets from her past are exposed with no warning. Secrets that she'll do almost anything to protect.


Review:

I wish I had done some research on this author before I accepted it from the publisher for reviewing.  I would have known then that it most likely wasn't the books for me, but I still would have kept an open mind.  However, since I did agree to review it here goes:

I will not be doing a lot of recapping since you can get the gist of the story by reading the synopsis.  What I will tell you is that the story, while an interesting concept, was filled with unlikable characters and not just the protagonist.  Traci was unlikable to me too and had a very unusual way of looking at the world around her.  The naivete she showed when she ignored Simones copying of her, was just another word for stalking and she should have seen that.    Traci is supposed to be a smart, multi book published author yet she doesn’t know that her friend is turning into her twin sister???  I had to stretch myself a little way too far to give any credulity to this story.

That Simone can get away with putting off her fiancé like that was just another thing that stretch my disbelief.

Further, I am not a fan of fiction especially women’s fiction, that goes as far as this book did to add Christian beliefs, bible verses etc.

This would have been all been a   more believable read had it been for the young adult crowd.

To add to this: the writing was very flat, the characters are one dimensional and there was no growth of the character’s whatsoever.


*ARC supplied by publisher.      

Thursday, January 26, 2017

On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

On Second Thought by Kristan Higgins

Book Description:
 Kristan Higgins returns with a pitch-perfect look at the affection—and the acrimony—that binds sisters together 


Ainsley O'Leary is so ready to get married—she's even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn't anticipate is for Eric to blindside her with a tactless breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her half sister, Kate, who's already struggling after the sudden loss of her new husband.  
Kate has always been so poised, so self-assured, but Nathan's death shatters everything she thought she knew—including her husband—and sometimes the people who step up aren't the ones you expect. With seven years and a murky blended-family dynamic between them, Ainsley and Kate have never been overly close, but their shared sorrow dovetails their faltering worlds into one. 

Despite the lifetime of history between them, the sisters must learn to put their differences aside and open their hearts to the inevitable imperfection of family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.






REVIEW:

Have you ever read a book that you just knew right from the very beginning you would be best of friends with these characters if they were only real? This is how I felt once I was about 25% done with this book.

This book was almost everything I love in a book - it was filled with realistic characters, realistic situations, some happiness (at the end) and a lot of sad...the one thing, and an important thing, it was lacking was humor. Not that there was totally none, but it just wasn't there in big enough doses to make this a 5-star rated book. But this was definitely a 4.5 star book.

I read to escape the realities and traumas of everyday life -this book just left me dazed through most of it. The love of the sisters for each other was plain to see (again, once you have read about 25 to 50% of the book) …but the heart-aches just took a bit too much out of me and out of this book.

I did love how things did take a turn with the sister’s and their feelings and actions towards each other developed.

Getting to the 'happily-ever-after’ was almost too painful to get to and didn't last long enough to satisfy me or to make up for all the other trauma. I am glad that each did find their HEA even if one was a little iffy and not very traditional in the romantic novel sense.

Seeing two such smart women mess up their lives for one worthless man and one that was less than forthcoming, was astounding to me.

What is even odder for me is even with all that said, I could not put this book down -even though it was a painful journey through the sister’s lives, it was fascinating and so well written that I can look beyond my own petty problems with this book and see that the author was trying to tell us - that we as women are so much more than just being a shadow to the men in our lives. We shouldn't forgive lying out of hand, we need to have a spine...and I'm happy to say that each of these women did learn this lesson. It was a difficult and rocky path, but they learned.

Most of Ms Higgins other novels may have the sadness, frustrations, and problems of everyday life that this one had, but they also usually include a good dose of humor. Yes, the humor is mostly the self-depreciating kind, but it is humor nonetheless. You need to really look closely to see the humor interspersed with the pain in this book.

It really was a satisfying read for me, even with the issues I had with it.

*ARC supplied by publisher

Fatal by John Lescroart

Fatal

Book Description:
From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, a riveting standalone novel about the unexpected, shattering, and lethal consequences of a one-night stand on a seemingly happily married couple.Kate loves her life. At forty-four, she’s happily married to her kind husband, Ron, blessed with two wonderful children, and has a beautiful home in San Francisco. Everything changes, however, when she and Ron attend a dinner party and meet another couple, Peter and Jill. Kate and Peter only exchange a few pleasant words but that night, in bed with her husband, Kate is suddenly overcome with a burning desire for Peter.
What begins as an innocent crush soon develops into a dangerous obsession and Kate’s fixation on Peter results in one intense, passionate encounter between the two. Confident that her life can now go back to normal, Kate never considers that Peter may not be so willing to move on.
Not long after their affair, a masked man barges into the café Kate is sitting in with her best friend, firing an assault weapon indiscriminately into the crowd. This tragedy is the first in a series of horrifying events that will show Kate just how grave the consequences of one mistake can be.
An explosive story of infidelity, danger, and moral ambiguity, John Lescroart’s latest thriller will excite and satisfy both his current and new fans.

REVIEW: It was difficult for me to   like this book since it showed us the worst in the human animal, but I did end up reading the entire book.   I do admit to skipping and skimming parts since there had been so much redundancy. 

I don’t know if it was the authors intention to write the characters as flat, unlikable, bleak and uninteresting as he did or to fill the gaps of the story with so much trivia and description about San Francisco, but this for me did not a good read make.

It was an interesting piece for showing that no matter how small our actions are (and this one was a doozy!)  our choices affect so many around us.  The ripple affect I imagine.

Unfortunately, there was less that I liked about this book than what made this a boring read.

The conclusion was not quite the shock to me that I imagine the author wanted it to be.  That does not mean that I figured it out early on -I did not-it is just that by the time I got to the end I just didn’t care.  The characters were just that uninteresting.

The author did add things that, in my mind had been totally unnecessary -why add the part of the terrorist attack and what about the anorexic and Ginny?

It almost felt to me that this book was written in the 70’s and then edited it to bring it up to date and the parts never meshed.


*ARC supplied by publisher

Monday, January 23, 2017

Falling for the Highlander (Highlanders #4)

Falling for the Highlander by Lynsay Sands


Falling for the Highlander (Highlanders #4)

Book Descrition:

Lady Murine Carmichael has known her share of bad luck. But when her debt-ridden half-brother tries to sell her off in exchange for a few Scottish horses, it’s the final straw. If keeping her freedom means escaping through harsh countryside alone, so be it. She has barely begun her journey when she lands an unlikely escort—the brawny Highlander who just refused to buy her virtue.
Dougall Buchanan was disgusted by Lord Danvries’ shameful offer, but Murine herself tempts him beyond measure. Even bedraggled and dusty, the lass glows with beauty and bravery. Dougall wants to do more than just help her flee. He wants to protect her—with his life and his heart—if she’ll only let him. For Murine may be pursued by a powerful foe, but nothing compares to the fiery courage of a Highlander in love


This book was written with Ms Sands usual flair; with great character's, a wonderful mystery, hot romance and comedy.  (I won't soon look at carrots and a loaf of bread in the same way, I'll tell you!!!)  Yes, you have to read the book to find out what I mean by that, I don't want to spoil one of the funniest and most unusual scenes of this type I have ever read!

I liked that we got to revisit some of the character's from past books in this series,  no matter how small a part they played.

Murine finds out that her step-brother is going to use her and her body as a bargaining chip for a pair of horses or auction her off to their cruel neighbor .  Once she realizes that he is never going to stop being a cruel ass-hat she decides to leave on her own (while riding a bull instead of a horse mind you!) and meets up with the Scottish hottie.  He decides to protect her since she is the one who saved his sister Saidh in a previous book.  

But as n all of Lynsay's books...things get a bit complicated and did I say hot?

This was a great read by one of my favorite author's.

*ARC supplied by publisher.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Seven Minutes in Heaven (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #3) by Eloisa James

Seven Minutes in Heaven  (Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers, #3; Desperate Duchesses, #9)


Book Description:

All of Eugenia Snowe’s problems start when Edward Reeve, an arrogant bastard son of an earl, bursts into her registry office. He wants a governess and he wants her. She gives him the governess he demands, but she refuses to give herself.
No question that Eugenia enjoys crossing wits with the brilliant inventor, but she will never tarnish her reputation with an affaire, particularly with a man who doesn’t realize she’s a lady!
She holds her ground…until he kidnaps her.
Ward will stop at nothing to convince Eugenia that they’re meant to be together. He promises her heaven.
She gives him seven minutes.


If you are looking for a historical love story that doesn't feature a virginal miss that needs extreme coaxing, wooing and gentle kisses to drop her proverbial drawers -then you will love this book.

I loved the story line -it reminded a bit of one of Amanda Quick's books - A widow (who is actually a peeress) owns a Governess agency -a wrong side of the blanket gentleman with a step-brother and sister to raise, needs a governess - hilarity (well at least amusement) ensues, several governesses take to the road, heat builds between Ms Snowe (owner) and Mr. Reeve (Gentleman of dubious lineage) and let me tell you the heat is intense when you hit the 50% mark and I loved the allusion's to Fifty Shades of Grey.

Mistakes are made, feeling hurt but of course, all will be well in the end.

I forgot how much I loved most of Ms James writing and after reading this I think I will be re-reading her earlier works and buying some of later books to add to my library!

*ARC supplied by publisher.