Friday, June 22, 2018

Review - The Mermaid by Christina Henry @C_Henry_Author @BerkleyPub

The Mermaid by Christina Henry
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Date Read: June 18, 2018
Length:  336 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
From the author of Lost Boy comes a historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea for love and later finds herself in P.T. Barnum's American Museum as the real Fiji mermaid. However, leaving the museum may be harder than leaving the sea ever was.

Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn't bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he'd heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid.

My Review

I liked this book and thought it was well done.  I do have to say that this book was a little different than I expected.  That isn't a bad thing since I like being surprised by the books that I am reading.  I loved Christina Henry's previous book, Lost Boy, so I was really excited to see what she would do with this mermaid tale.  I found the book to be incredibly well written  and quite entertaining.

One of the reasons that this book may have surprised me a bit is due to the fact that my mermaid knowledge is quite limited.  I have watched the Disney movie more times than I can count but that is really my total mermaid experience.  I did see a few similarities between this book and the Disney film but only at the very start of the story.

I liked Amelia and thought her view of the world was quite refreshing.  While women around her concerned themselves with the opinions of others and propriety, Amelia cared little about how others saw her.  She did not want to see anyone come to harm and really had a very kind heart.  I loved her relationship with P.T. Barnum's young daughter, Caroline, and wife, Charity.  Levi and Barnum were both great characters as well.  Barnum always had dollar signs in his eyes and didn't always do the right thing but I was impressed that he would back down in certain situations.  Levi wanted to protect Amelia and it was quite obvious how much he cared for her.

As I mentioned this book wasn't quite what I thought it would be.  Based on my experience reading Lost Boy, I expected a much darker story.  As I read, I kept thinking about all the evil things that could potentially happen but I just couldn't guess the turns this book would make since it went in a completely different direction than I thought it would.  In some ways the story made me sad.  It is terrible the way that human beings will treat each other not to mention animals in our care.  I also think it would have been very hard to be a woman during this period of time.

I would recommend this book to others.  It was a nice combination of fantasy and historical fiction seen through the eyes of a mermaid that is often more human than those around her.  I look forward to reading more from Christina Henry very soon.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.
About the Author

Christina Henry is the author of The Mermaid, Lost Boy, Alice, Red Queen, and the national bestselling Black Wings series featuring Agent of Death Madeline Black and her popcorn-loving gargoyle, Beezle.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Books from the Backlog #13


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link and link back to this post, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.  

This week's neglected book

Plain Fear: Forsaken by Leanna Ellis

Series: Plain Fear #1
Release Date: August 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
"Hannah cannot move on."

She pines for Jacob, the boy who saved her life when she drowned, bringing her back from the brink of death by breathing life into her.

"But Jacob is gone now, buried."

Levi's love for Hannah burns just as strong. But he knows how much Hannah loved his brother Jacob. He also knows the troubling event that took Jacob out of their lives. And he lives with that lie every day.

So when a stranger named Akiva comes to their community, he carries with him two secrets that will change their lives forever: he is in fact Jacob, whom Hannah had lost. And he is now a vampire.

When passions stir and secrets are revealed, Hannah must choose between light and dark, between the one she has always loved and the new possibility of love. But it's more than a choice of passion; it's a decision that will determine the fate of her soul.


Why did I add Plain Fear: Forsaken to my bookshelf?

So I added this one to my Kindle back in December 2011.  I was so confident that I would like it that I added the second book in the trilogy, Plain Fear: Forbidden, to my account in January 2013.  I will be honest and tell you that I kind of forgot that I had these books.  I am not at all surprised that I bought them though because it is an Amish vampire story!   Of course I need to read an Amish vampire story!!!


What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it to others?






Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Blog Tour Review - Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis @JillShalvis @WmMorrowBks

I am so excited to share my review today as part of the blog tour for Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis.  This series keeps getting better and better with each installment.  Be sure to enter for a chance to win a copy at the bottom of the post!


Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis
Series: Wildstone #2
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Date Read: June 15, 2018
Length: 384 pages
Source: Edelweiss

Following the USA Today bestselling author of Lost and Found Sisters comes Jill Shalvis' moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife.

Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person?  Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan.

Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Brown changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.

My Review

I had a fantastic time reading this book!  I just didn't want to put it down once I started reading.  I fell in love with this wonderful group of characters and couldn't wait to see how things would work out for them.  This is the second full length book in the Wildstone series but it really reads as a stand alone with little connection to the previous installments beyond being set in the same town.  I expected great things when I picked up this book and I am happy to report that it lived up to all of them.

Lanie hasn't had an easy time of things lately.  Her husband died only six months ago.  That is bad enough but after her husband's passing, she discovered that she wasn't the only wife.  She takes a temporary position at the winery in Wildstone as a way to get away and regroup for a bit.  She does not expect to be surrounded by a family like the Capriotti clan. 

I loved the characters in this book.  The Capriotti family were all wonderful.  They were all genuinely caring people that never hesitated to take those in need under their wing.  They were all just a lot of fun.  I thought that the banter between the family members added a level of authenticity to their characters.  Usually when there is a large cast of characters, I have a bit of difficulty keeping everyone straight but these characters were all so unique and had very distinct personalities from the start of the story.  I think that Shalvis did a fantastic job with the character development in this book.

I loved Mark and Lanie together.  They were just perfect together and complimented each other wonderfully.  I like that they were both coming from a place where they didn't want a relationship but couldn't resist the draw towards each other.  They had so much chemistry but the parts of the book that really made their relationship feel real were the more touching ones, such as Mark being there for Lanie when she needed him, or Lanie's interactions with Mark's girls. 

This book had no shortage of excitement.  I liked River's character but I had a feeling that she would make things interesting as soon as she entered the story.  River and Lanie have so much in common and I loved how all kinds of relationships were explored in this story.  I felt like we really had the chance to see these characters grow and learn how to deal with some of the hardships that have been a part of their lives.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I thought that this was a wonderfully written story filled with swoony and heartwarming moments.  I can't wait to read more from Shalvis and I hope that we get to see some of these characters again in future installments in the series.

I received a digital review copy of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss.


Excerpt


About the Author

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill's bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Giveaway
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give away a print copy of Rainy Day Sisters to one lucky reader of this blog, courtesy of William Morrow Paperbacks. (US and Canada only)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

New Releases - June 19, 2018 #newreleases #newbooks


It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:


Stray Magic by Kelly Meding
Shiloh Harrison was hoping for a few days off to recover from a particularly nasty assignment, preferably with the help of the talented hands (and, well, the rest of his body too) of her sexy boyfriend, Vincent. But when a group of vampires takes an entire trailer park hostage, there’s nothing to do but make her apologies and get to the scene.

Such is the life of a Federal Marshal in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.

Yet this isn’t like her typical track-and-nab case: something is going on that has vampires scared, and it takes all her strength not to imagine what could frighten such powerful creatures. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option. Her boss is MIA, someone is snatching vampires, and there’s a ticking clock that can only end one way: a bloodbath.

Unless she can stop it.


The Mermaid by Christina Henry

Find it at:
From the author of Lost Boy comes a historical fairy tale about a mermaid who leaves the sea for love and later finds herself in P.T. Barnum's American Museum as the real Fiji mermaid. However, leaving the museum may be harder than leaving the sea ever was.

Once there was a mermaid who longed to know of more than her ocean home and her people. One day a fisherman trapped her in his net but couldn't bear to keep her. But his eyes were lonely and caught her more surely than the net, and so she evoked a magic that allowed her to walk upon the shore. The mermaid, Amelia, became his wife, and they lived on a cliff above the ocean for ever so many years, until one day the fisherman rowed out to sea and did not return.

P. T. Barnum was looking for marvelous attractions for his American Museum, and he'd heard a rumor of a mermaid who lived on a cliff by the sea. He wanted to make his fortune, and an attraction like Amelia was just the ticket.

Amelia agreed to play the mermaid for Barnum, and she believes she can leave any time she likes. But Barnum has never given up a money-making scheme in his life, and he's determined to hold on to his mermaid.

Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Following the USA Today bestselling author of Lost and Found Sisters comes Jill Shalvis' moving story of heart, loss, betrayal, and friendship

Six months after Lanie Jacobs’ husband’s death, it’s hard to imagine anything could deepen her sense of pain and loss. But then Lanie discovers she isn’t the only one grieving his sudden passing. A serial adulterer, he left behind several other women who, like Lanie, each believe she was his legally wedded wife.

Rocked by the infidelity, Lanie is left to grapple with searing questions. How could she be so wrong about a man she thought she knew better than anyone? Will she ever be able to trust another person?  Can she even trust herself?

Desperate to make a fresh start, Lanie impulsively takes a job at the family-run Capriotti Winery. At first, she feels like an outsider among the boisterous Capriottis. With no real family of her own, she’s bewildered by how quickly they all take her under their wing and make her feel like she belongs. Especially Mark Capriotti, a gruffly handsome Air Force veteran turned deputy sheriff who manages to wind his way into Lanie’s cold, broken heart—along with the rest of the clan.

Everything is finally going well for her, but the arrival of River Brown changes all that. The fresh-faced twenty-one-year old seems as sweet as they come…until her dark secrets come to light—secrets that could destroy the new life Lanie’s only just begun to build.

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.

Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.

Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?

A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35226186-providence?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36361569-untamed-cowboy?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36607728-the-grey-bastardshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/31684565-when-katie-met-cassidy?ac=1&from_search=true

Which new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Review - Stray Magic by Kelly Meding

Stray Magic by Kelly Meding
Series: Strays #1
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: June 19, 2018
Date Read: June 13, 2018
Length:  336 pages
Source: Edelweiss
★★★★★
Shiloh Harrison was hoping for a few days off to recover from a particularly nasty assignment, preferably with the help of the talented hands (and, well, the rest of his body too) of her sexy boyfriend, Vincent. But when a group of vampires takes an entire trailer park hostage, there’s nothing to do but make her apologies and get to the scene.

Such is the life of a Federal Marshal in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.

Yet this isn’t like her typical track-and-nab case: something is going on that has vampires scared, and it takes all her strength not to imagine what could frighten such powerful creatures. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option. Her boss is MIA, someone is snatching vampires, and there’s a ticking clock that can only end one way: a bloodbath.

Unless she can stop it.

My Review

I absolutely loved this book!  Having never read this author, I decided to take a chance on this book because I thought that the description sounded promising.   Once I started reading this book, I found it to be incredibly hard to set aside.  I found myself trying to squeeze in just a bit more of this book during every spare moment I could find and I probably didn't do a few things that needed to be done so that I could read instead.   I am so glad that I decided to pick up this book.

Shiloh works as a Marshall in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.  She is usually the second in command for her unit but when they are called on a case and her boss is nowhere to be found, she takes the lead.  I should probably also mention that Shiloh is half djinn and the rest of her unit consists of a half vampire, an incubus, and a skinwalker so there are plenty of paranormal beings rounding out this story.  Their unit is called to a trailer park where residents are being held by a group of vampires.  This starts an investigation into a much bigger mystery involving missing vampires, werewolves, and a whole lot of danger.

I loved the characters in this book.  I think the fact that Shiloh is half djinn was a big plus for me since it is rather original.  Despite the fact that Shiloh has a few special abilities, I found her easy to relate to.  She was willing to make personal sacrifices when it was the right thing to do and proved to be incredibly smart.  Tennyson, a master vampire, was one of my favorite characters in this book.  I loved the way that he worked to protect the vampires in his line.  He acts selflessly several times during the course of the story and I thought that he was the perfect partner for Shiloh. 

I found the story to be very exciting.  Once I figured out a few things about the world this book was set in, I was hooked.  There was a lot of action in the story and I found myself worrying about the safety of the characters more than a few times.  The descriptions in the story were incredibly well done and I almost felt like I was there during some of the more intense scenes.  I really liked that this book kept the focus on the mystery and that the mystery was pretty complex.  There is just a bit of romance but it is really a very small part of the story.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of urban fiction.  I found this book to be a highly entertaining start to a very promising series featuring a great group of characters.  I cannot wait to get my hands on the next installment in this series.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Harper Voyager via Edelweiss.
About the Author

Kelly Meding discovered Freddy Krueger at a very young age and has since had a lifelong obsession with horror, science fiction, and fantasy, on which she blames her interest in vampires, psychic powers, superheroes, and all things paranormal. When not writing, she can be found crafting jewelry, playing with her cat, or enjoying a good cup of coffee.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #123


I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

My Life
You may remember that I shared the fact that everything around my house seemed to be breaking.  I was convinced that nothing else would break for a while.  I was wrong.  Our van's power window on the driver's side went out with the window all the way down in the door of course.  We got that fixed and I guess the timing was pretty good since we are driving to Indiana and back on Sunday.  Could you imagine if the window would have been stuck down for that long round trip drive in the heat?

Books Added

The Mermaid by Christina Henry (NetGalley)

This will be the next book that I read.  I cannot wait to read this new book from Christina Henry since I absolutely loved Lost Boy when I read it last year.


Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Publisher)
True-Blue Cowboy by Sara Richardson (Publisher)
Cowboy on My Mind by R.C. Ryan (Publisher)
Switch and Bait by Ricki Schultz (Publisher)
More Than Words by Mia Sheridan (Publisher)

Publishers were very generous with me this past week.  I am really exited to finally read Iron Gold and looking forward to getting my cowboy on with True-Blue Cowboy and Cowboy on My Mind.  I have seen several great reviews for More Than Words just this week so I know I will be fitting that one into my reading schedule as soon as I can.  Switch and Bait is one that I don't know to much about but I am willing to give it a try.

Thank you Del Ray, Forever Romance, and Grand Central Publishing!


Finn Fancy Necromancy by Randy Henderson (Purchase)
Waistcoats & Weaponry by Gail Carriger (Purchase)
The Hawley Book of the Dead by Chrysler Szarlan (Purchase)
Cemetery Girl: The Pretenders by Charlaine Harris, Christopher Golden, Don Kramer, and Danielle Rudoni (Purchase)

I actually bought these books several weeks ago and forgot to include them in my Stacking the Shelves post.  I picked these four books up at my local dollar store for $1 each.  I am usually pretty quick to add books to my cart when they only cost $1 but I think I picked some pretty good ones this time.

What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Friday, June 15, 2018

Audiobook Review - I Was a Teenage Weredeer by C.T. Phipps and Michael Suttkus

I Was a Teenage Weredeer by C.T Phipps and Michael Suttkus
Narrated by Arielle DeLisle
Series: Bright Falls Mysteries #1
Publisher: Crossroad Press
Publication Date: February 13, 2018
Date Read: June 12, 2018
Length:  9 hours 54 minutes
Source: Audiobook Boom
★★★★☆
FROM THE BEST SELLING AUTHOR OF THE SUPERVILLAINY SAGA

Jane Doe is a weredeer, the least-threatening shapechanger species in the world. Blessed with the ability to turn furry at will and psychically read objects, Jane has done her best to live a normal life working as a waitress at the Deerlightful Diner. She has big dreams of escaping life in the supernatural-filled town of Bright Falls, Michigan, and her eighteenth birthday promises the beginning of her teenage dreams coming true.

Unfortunately, her birthday is ruined by the sudden murder of her best friend's sister in an apparent occult killing. Oh, and her brother is the primary suspect. Allying with an eccentric FBI agent, the local crime lord, and a snarky werecrow, Jane has her work cut out for her in turning her big day around.

Thankfully, she's game.

Set in the same world as Straight Outta Fangton.

My Review

This was entertaining.  I am not going to lie - the thing that really caught my attention about this book was the title. Weredeer?  Have I ever read a book about a weredeer?  Of course not so you know I had to give this book a try just to find out more about this weredeer.  It ended up being a really clever story with some great world-building.  I am glad that I took a chance on this fun little story.

Jane Doe is a weredeer.  I should probably mention that there are little bits of humor sprinkled all over this story as you may have guessed as soon as you saw Jane's name.  Anyway, Jane's family owns a local diner where Jane works as a waitress alongside other members of her family.  Since Michigan is one of only two states that are safe for shifters, the town of Bright Falls has a rather large shifter population.  Jane's best friend is a werewolf and there are all kinds of colorful characters around town. 

Jane learns that her best friend's sister has been killed and that her brother has been accused of the murder and decides to investigate.  Weredeers often have special abilities and Jane is able to gather a lot of knowledge just by touching objects.  Jane and her best friend hope that her special abilities will make finding out what really happened a simple task.  Of course, things quickly get complicated and they find themselves uncovering a mystery that goes back quite a few years.

I liked Jane.  I thought she was pretty brave to get involved with everything and she was never afraid of asking the hard questions.  It was fun to watch her try to figure everything out.  There were a lot of other characters in the book and I liked most of them.  I did find it a bit difficult to keep everyone straight at times since there were so many characters that had a role.  I did think it was odd that Jane's parents were almost always referred to as Judy and John instead of Mom and Dad.

I thought that Arielle DeLisle did a great job with this story.  This was the first time that I have had the chance to listen to this narrator and I was impressed by her delivery.  I thought that she was able to bring Jane to life and added a lot of emotion and excitement to the story.  I wouldn't hesitate to listen to her work again in the future.

I would recommend this book to others.  I had a lot of fun with it and found myself chuckling from time to time.  There were a lot of pop culture references and puns worked into the story that kept everything rather light.  I felt that the ending of this book was pretty satisfying but I may decide to pick up the second book at some point in the future.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from the author via Audiobook Boom.
About the Author

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles" blog. He's recently released the novels The Rules of Supervillainy and Esoterrorism.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Books from the Backlog #12


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  If you are anything like me, you might be surprised by some of the unread books hiding in your stacks.

If you would like to join in, please feel free to enter your link and link back to this post, then spend some time visiting some of the other posts.  

This week's neglected book

Poison by Sara Poole

Series: The Poisoner Mysteries #1
Release Date: August 3, 2010
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
In the simmering hot summer of 1492, a monstrous evil is stirring within the Eternal City of Rome. The brutal murder of an alchemist sets off a desperate race to uncover the plot that threatens to extinguish the light of the Renaissance and plunge Europe back into medieval darkness.

Determined to avenge the killing of her father, Francesca Giordano defies all convention to claim for herself the position of poisoner serving Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia, head of the most notorious and dangerous family in Italy. She becomes the confidante of Lucrezia Borgia and the lover of Cesare Borgia. At the same time, she is drawn to the young renegade monk who yearns to save her life and her soul.

Navigating a web of treachery and deceit, Francesca pursues her father's killer from the depths of Rome's Jewish ghetto to the heights of the Vatican itself. In so doing, she sets the stage for the ultimate confrontation with ancient forces that will seek to use her darkest desires to achieve their own catastrophic ends.

Why did I add Poison to my bookshelf?

This one has been sitting on my Kindle since April 2011. I am pretty sure that I caught this one on sale and decided to take a chance with it.  I even picked up the second book in the series, The Borgia Betrayal, a year later. I do still think that the book sounds like something I would like.  Now to work it into my reading schedule...

What are your thoughts? Have you read this book?  Would you recommend it to others?






Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Review - Bound for Eden by Tess LeSue @TessLesue @BerkleyRomance

Bound for Eden by Tess LeSue
Series: Frontiers of the Heart #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Date Read: June 9, 2018
Length:  304 pages
Source: First to Read
★★★★☆
The first novel in a new western historical romance series that will take readers for the ride of their lives on the Oregon Trail.

Alexandra Barratt has found the perfect man—it's a shame he thinks she's a boy...

Fleeing from the murderous Grady brothers, Alexandra disguises herself as a boy and joins a frontier party heading West, with her brother and sister in tow. The wagon train is captained by the irresistible Luke Slater, who's never met a woman he couldn't charm.

At first, Alex can't believe the way every woman in town falls at Luke's feet, including her suddenly flirtatious sister. But when she sees him naked in the bathtub, she finds herself swooning over him too. If only she could wash the muck of her face and show him who she really is. Unfortunately she has more pressing concerns...

The Gradys aren't about to let Alex, nor the small fortune she stole from them, slip through their fingers. Only by maintaining her ruse does she have a chance of protecting her family. But fate, it seems, is conspiring against her.

My Review

I ended up liking this book quite a lot.  I decided to read this book simply because I thought that the premise sounded rather interesting and I usually enjoyed historical western romances.  This was one of those books that was really hard to put down once I started reading.  I am so glad that I decided to take a chance with this book.

Alex and her siblings find themselves in a lot of danger at the start of the story.  Everything that happened at the beginning of the book really got my attention and I found myself wanting to read just a bit more.  They flee their home to head to their older brother's home but have a long way to go.  Some bad men are after them so Alex decides that the best way to escape attention is to pose as a boy.  Since the Grady brothers are looking for two women and a man, they will be much harder to find as a boy, woman, and man.

I liked this book despite the fact that it had a few things happen that I don't usually enjoy.  I don't usually like to see a book's Hero with other women and that does happen in this book.  I don't mind so much when it happens before the story starts and is talked about but I don't need to see it on the page.  I am also not a huge fan of any Hero that is almost having to beat women off with a stick.  I love Luke but I don't think any man is that universally appealing.  I also found that I doubted Luke's intelligence.  I don't really think that it is believable that he could have spent so much time with Alex without being able to see past her fake identity.  All of these things actually worked for this book.  I think that some of the charm and the humor worked into the story only worked because Luke was a clueless but irresistible man.  Bravo to the author for making me like all of the things I wouldn't usually care for!

I liked Alex and Luke.  They both had a few flaws that I felt added to their appeal.  Alex was tough and determined.  I did find some of her early reactions to Luke to be a bit unbelievable but it worked with this story.  Luke really was a good guy.  I liked the way that he took Alex's family under his wing and felt responsible for them.  There were some wonderful secondary characters in the book as well, such as Alex's brother and sister, the local madam that sees everything, and a few members of the wagon train.  I thought that the Grady brothers were great villains that I wanted to see defeated.

I would recommend this book to others.  I had a lot of fun with it and found it to be a quick read.  There were a few laughs and a couple of surprises along the way that kept everything very interesting.  I was happy to see this couple make it to there happily ever after.  I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. 

I received a digital review copy of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.
About the Author

Tess LeSue writes sexy and adventurous romances, set against sweeping historical backdrops. Her current love affair is with the wild landscapes and even wilder men of the Wild West. Bound for Eden is her first Western. Tess also writes literary fiction under the name Amy T. Matthews and teaches Creative Writing and Literature at Flinders University in Australia.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

New Releases - June 12, 2018 #newreleases #newbooks


It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:


The Real Michael Swann by Bryan Reardon
In a new novel from New York Times bestselling author Bryan Reardon, a suburban family is rocked in the wake of a terrorist attack on American soil.

On a typical late summer day, Julia Swann is on the phone with her husband, Michael, when the call abruptly goes dead. Then the news rolls in: A bomb has gone off at Penn Station, where Michael was waiting for a train home. New York City is in a state of chaos.

A frantic Julia races to the city to look for Michael, her panic interwoven with memories of meeting and falling in love with the husband she's now desperate to find. When someone finds a flier she's posted and tells her they may have seen her husband, her dreams seem to be answered. Yet as she tries to find him, her calls go unanswered.

Weaving between the aftermath of the explosion and Julia's memories of her life with Michael, new developments raise troubling questions. Did Michael survive the explosion? Why hasn't he contacted her? What was he doing when their last call was cut off? Was he—or is he still—the man she fell in love with?

Part family drama, part tragic love story, and part disaster narrative that hits terrifyingly close to home, The Real Michael Swann is a deftly plotted suspense novel with an unflinching portrait of a marriage at its heart, challenging us to confront the unthinkable--both in our country and in our own homes.


The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir

Find it at:
A debut novel of family, fame, and religion that tells the emotionally stirring, wildly captivating story of the seventeen-year-old daughter of an evangelical preacher, star of the family's hit reality show, and the secret pregnancy that threatens to blow their entire world apart.

Esther Ann Hicks--Essie--is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She's grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family's fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie's mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show's producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia's? Or do they try to arrange a marriage--and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media--through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell--Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom?

Ain't She a Peach by Molly Harper

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
An Atlanta ex-cop comes to sleepy Lake Sackett, Georgia, seeking peace and quiet—but he hasn’t bargained on falling for Frankie, the cutest coroner he’s ever met.

Frankie McCready talks to dead people. Not like a ghost whisperer or anything—but it seems rude to embalm them and not at least say hello.

Fortunately, at the McCready Family Funeral Home & Bait Shop, Frankie’s eccentricities fit right in. Lake Sackett’s embalmer and county coroner, Frankie’s goth styling and passion for nerd culture mean she’s not your typical Southern girl, but the McCreadys are hardly your typical Southern family. Led by Great-Aunt Tootie, the gambling, boozing, dog-collecting matriarch of the family, everyone looks out for one another—which usually means getting up in everyone else’s business.

Maybe that’s why Frankie is so fascinated by new sheriff Eric Linden...a recent transplant from Atlanta, he sees a homicide in every hunting accident or boat crash, which seems a little paranoid for this sleepy tourist town. What’s he so worried about? And what kind of cop can get a job with the Atlanta PD but can’t stand to look at a dead body?

Frankie has other questions that need answering first—namely, who’s behind the recent break-in attempts at the funeral home, and how can she stop them? This one really does seem like a job for the sheriff—and as Frankie and Eric do their best Scooby-Doo impressions to catch their man, they get closer to spilling some secrets they thought were buried forever.

Harry's Trees by Jon Cohen

Find it at:
Goodreads | LibraryThing
The first thing you learn when you climb a tree is to hold on. Now it’s time for Harry to learn to let go…

Thirty-four-year-old Harry Crane, lifelong lover of trees, works as an analyst in a treeless US Forest Service office. When his wife dies in a freak accident, devastated, he makes his way to the remote woods of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, intent on losing himself. But fate intervenes in the form of a fiercely determined young girl named Oriana. She, too, has lost someone—her father. And in the magical, willful world of her reckoning, Oriana believes that Harry is the key to finding her way back to him.

As Harry agrees to help the young girl, the unlikeliest of elements—a tree house, a Wolf, a small-town librarian and a book called The Grum’s Ledger—come together to create the biggest sensation ever to descend upon the Endless Mountains…a golden adventure that will fulfill Oriana’s wildest dreams and open the door to a new life for Harry.

"Harry’s Trees" is an uplifting tale about love, loss, friendship and redemption. Fans of Fredrik Backman’s "A Man Called Ove" and Gabrielle Zevin’s "The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry will find in its relentless good humor a much-needed remedy for these fraught times."
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36462046-venom-in-the-veins?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36048592-breathless?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36373398-the-woman-in-the-woodshttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36342145-more-than-words?ac=1&from_search=true

Which new releases are you excited about this week?
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