Monday, April 30, 2018

Review - Blood Type by K.A. Linde @AuthorKALinde @readloveswept

Blood Type by K.A. Linde
Series: Blood Type #1
Publisher: Loveswept
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Date Read: April 25, 2018
Length: 290 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
A startling new vision of paranormal romance: When a human ventures into the world of vampires—a decadent milieu of blood-bonds and betrayal—she discovers that not all is what it seems.

For Reyna Carpenter, giving up her body isn’t a choice. It’s survival.

In a civilization laid waste by poverty and desperation, Reyna accepts a high-paying position with the wealthy and hungry vampire elite. Her new job is as the live-in blood escort for the intimidating, demanding, and devilishly handsome Beckham Anderson. He’s everything she expected from a vampire, except for one thing—he won’t feed off her.

Reyna soon discovers that behind Beckham’s brooding, wicked façade lies a unique and complex man. And that, in a dark and divided world, she is more valuable than she ever would have believed.

For with each passing night, Reyna can’t shake the sensation that it’s Beckham who’s afraid of her.

My Review

I really had a good time with this book.  It is no secret that I love a good vampire story so this book got my attention right away.  I thought that this vampire world sounded just different enough to be really interesting and I knew that I would have to make reading it a priority.  I was pulled into the story right away and found myself trying to read every moment that I could.  I found this book to be an incredibly entertaining romance.

Reyna feels like she has no other option left so she signs up to work for Visage, a company that pairs vampires with humans willing to be fed upon.  Usually these positions are temporary with blood donors cycling to a different vampire after a number of weeks but Reyna is selected for a new program where she will be assigned to a single vampire on a permanent basis.  This is how she finds herself moving into Beckham Anderson's penthouse.

This story is told from Reyna's point of view and I liked her right away.  I felt her desperation and her fear.  I also understood why she felt the need to question everything she didn't understand although there were more than a few times that I wanted to warn her that speaking up may not be the wisest choice.  Reyna was confused by Beckham, or Becks, at times and he was very hard to read during parts of the book especially at the start of the story.

This book had enough excitement to keep things very interesting.  The world that the book is set in is a little different than I have read before so I really enjoyed just getting to experience the world along with Reyna.  The book did take a few rather exciting turns.  I was able to guess a few of the twists but others came as a total surprise.  I really liked Becks and Reyna together and thought that they had fantastic chemistry but this was definitely a romance that was very slow to start.

I would recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance.  This book does end with a lot of unresolved issues that will most likely be dealt with in the next book in the series.  I am very excited that we will get the chance to watch the relationship between Reyna and Becks develop over the course of the series.  I can't wait to read more of this amazing series!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept via NetGalley.
The Series

Book #1 - Blood Type - Now Available!
Book #2 - Blood Match - Coming June 26, 2018
Book #3 - Blood Cure - Coming August 21, 2018
About the Author

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of the Avoiding Series and more than twenty other novels. She grew up as a military brat and attended the University of Georgia where she obtained a Master’s in political science. She works full-time as an author and loves Disney movies, binge-watching Supernatural, and Star Wars.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super-adorable puppies.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #117


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

My Life
It looks like spring has finally arrived and agreed to stay a while this time.  The nice weather is wonderful but my allergies are driving me nuts.  It's worth it though and the dogs certainly are enjoying it.  This was a pretty good week around my house.  My daughter made it back from her band trip to Atlanta and had a nice time.  I had a pretty light week at work and was even able to sneak out a little early on Friday.

Books Added This Week
Trapped by Kevin Hearne (eStories)
Hunted by Kevin Hearne (eStories)
A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro (Audiobook Sync)

I didn't add any review books this week so that is a win in my book.  I am working my way through the Iron Druid Chronicles in audio so I decided to add two more of the books to my collection with a couple of credits that I had in my account at eStories.  Audiobook Sync started up this week and I was really excited to get the chance to download A Study in Charlotte this weekIf you haven't had the chance to check out this program yet, I highly suggest that you take a peek since they have some amazing books lined up to give away over the next couple of months.

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, April 27, 2018

Blog Tour Review and Giveaway - My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan @justjuliawhelan @WmMorrowBooks

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: April 24, 2018
Date Read: April 22, 2018
Length: 352 pages
Source: Edelweiss
★★★★★
American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35820405-my-oxford-year
My Review

Honestly, this was fantastic!  I just really loved everything about this delightful story.  I know Julia Whelan from her work as a narrator so I was really curious about this book as soon as I saw it.  I decided to give it a try simply because of my curiosity and didn't really know much about the book beyond my guess that it would be about someone spending a year at Oxford (nothing gets past me).  This book is really so much more than that and I must say that I had such a good time reading this book.

Ella is at the center of this story.  Ella is from Ohio and has just made it to England to study at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship.  To make things even better, she gets a call offering her a position to work on a presidential campaign just as she makes it to England.  Things are looking up for Ella.  She soon realizes that things are a little different at Oxford than she expects but she is making friends.  One of her classes is being taught by the same man she had a run-in with at the fish shop on her first day in town.  I do think that this a book that will really be best to go in as blindly as possible so I am going to be careful not to include any spoilers in this reviews.

I really liked Ella.  She is so driven to do well with everything she attempts but it quickly becomes obvious that she will have to make a few adjustments to succeed at Oxford.  She was just such a strong character and I found her very easy to relate to.  I really liked her more and more as the book progressed and thought that she grew dramatically as a character.  Jamie was also great.  He was more of a mystery to me at the start of the book but as I continued reading, I really fell in love with him.  He was such a great guy and I thought he compliments Ella very well.

This story made me think, it made me feel, and it even made me laugh.  This book was such a joy to read.  When I started reading, I thought that this was going to be one kind of story and then things changed and by the end of the book I was reading something totally different.  I loved the fact that this book went in such an unexpected direction kind of like life tends to do.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  Julia Whelan has proven that she is not only great narrator but that she is also a wonderful writer.  I am so glad that I had the opportunity to read this story and can't wait to read more of her work in the future.

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

About the Author

Julia Whelan is a screenwriter, lifelong actor, and award-winning audiobook narrator. She graduated with a degree in English and creative writing from Middlebury College and Oxford University. While she was in England, her flirtation with tea blossomed into a full-blown love affair, culminating in her eventual certification as a tea master.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram
Giveaway
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to give away a copy of My Oxford Year to one lucky reader of this blog, courtesy of William Morrow Paperbacks. (US and Canada only)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Books from the Backlog #5


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

Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews
Series: The Edge #2
Release Date: September 28, 2010
Publisher: Ace
The Edge lies between worlds, on the border between the Broken, where people shop at Walmart and magic is a fairytale–and the Weird, where blueblood aristocrats rule, changelings roam, and the strength of your magic can change your destiny…

Cerise Mar and her unruly clan are cash poor but land rich, claiming a large swathe of the Mire, the Edge swamplands between the state of Louisiana and the Weird. When her parents vanish, her clan’s long-time rivals are suspect number one.

But all is not as it seems. Two nations of the Weird are waging a cold war fought by feint and espionage, and their conflict is about to spill over into the Edge—and Cerise’s life . William, a changeling soldier who left behind the politics of the Weird, has been forced back into service to track down a rival nation’s spymaster.

When William’s and Cerise’s missions lead them to cross paths, sparks fly—but they’ll have to work together if they want to succeed…and survive.

Why did I add Bayou Moon to my bookshelf?

This poor book has been sitting on my kindle since December 2014 waiting for me to get around to reading it.  I love Ilona Andrews so adding it to my tbr pile was a no brainer.  I have actually read the first book in this series, On the Edge, twice and really liked it both times.  This would be a great book to dust off the next time I find myself in a book slump.

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






Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review - Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel @neuvel @randomhouse

Only Human by Sylvain Neuvel
Series: Themis Files #3
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine
Publication Date: May 1, 2018
Date Read: April 19, 2018
Length:  352 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★★
Pacific Rim meets The Martian in the explosive follow-up to Sleeping Giants (“One of the most promising series kickoffs in recent memory.”—NPR) and Waking Gods (“Pure, unadulterated literary escapism.”—Kirkus Reviews).

Brilliant scientist Rose Franklin has devoted her adult life to solving the mystery she accidentally stumbled upon as a child: a huge metal hand buried beneath the ground outside Deadwood, South Dakota. The discovery set in motion a cataclysmic chain of events with geopolitical ramifications. Rose and the Earth Defense Corps raced to master the enigmatic technology, as giant robots suddenly descended on Earth’s most populous cities, killing one hundred million people in the process. Though Rose and her team were able to fend off the attack, their victory was short-lived. The mysterious invaders retreated, disappearing from the shattered planet . . . but they took the scientist and her crew with them.

Now, after nearly ten years on another world, Rose returns to find a devastating new war—this time between humans. America and Russia are locked in combat, fighting to fill the power vacuum left behind after the invasion. Families are torn apart, friends become bitter enemies, and countries collapse in the wake of the battling superpowers. It appears the aliens left behind their titanic death machines so humankind will obliterate itself. Rose is determined to find a solution, whatever it takes. But will she become a pawn in a doomsday game no one can win?
My Thoughts

This was so good!  The whole trilogy is really amazing.  I actually remember reading the first book in the trilogy, Sleeping Giants, and thinking that it was just okay.  Everything changed when I decided to try the audiobook for the story.  I was really able to appreciate the story much more with the help of the narrators.  When I picked up the second book, Waking Gods,  I was worried that I wouldn't be as impressed by the book in print after my experience with this previous book but I liked that book right from the start.  The same can be said for this book.  I thought that Waking Gods ended with just a bit of a cliffhanger and I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen to these characters.  This was one of my most anticipated reads for the year and I was not disappointed.

This review will contain spoilers for the previous two books in the trilogy.

I went into this book expecting it to pick up right where the last book ended and it did to a point.  The first part of the book goes back and forth between a time 9 years after the previous book and various points during those 9 years.  I had so many questions about what had happened to everyone during those 9 years and I am glad that we got to see some of the more important events.  We do learn more from the characters as they are being interviewed about their lives during those lost years as well.

So Vincent, Eva, and Rose have spent a significant amount of time living on an alien planet.  You would think that they would have changed a lot during those years.  They did experience some changes but the most dramatic changes happened here on Earth.  Our planet has not done well during those years.  Things are bad.  Countries are power hungry and using the robots to intimidate other nations while their people are being treated poorly.

I loved the characters in this book.  I really feel like I have got the chance to really know Rose and Vincent during the course of the trilogy.  Eva is much older and I liked her character more in this book.  Many of the key players from previous books show up in this installment as well.  I was always thrilled to get to see these familiar characters play a part in the story even when they were a character that I loved to hate.  There were a couple of new characters that seemed to fit into the story quite flawlessly as well.

This story was just as exciting as I had anticipated.  How could a book about giant alien robots be anything but exciting?  Anyway, this book had all of the action scenes that I had hoped to see.  There were quite a few surprises along the way and I found myself turning pages as fast as I could just to see what would happen next.  I was somewhat surprised by how things worked out in this one and it really was a good surprise.  I was very satisfied by how everything ended.

I would highly recommend this series to others.  This is an exciting and highly imaginative trilogy that has been a whole lot of fun.  I do plan to purchase a copy of the audiobook of this one for a re-read in the near future.  I can't wait to see what Sylvain Neuvel comes up with next!

I received a digital review copy of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley.
Themis Files Series
Book #1 - Sleeping Giants - My Review
Book #2 - Waking Gods - My Review
Book #3 - Only Human
About the Author
SYLVAIN NEUVEL dropped out of high school at age fifteen. Along the way, he has been a journalist, worked in soil decontamination, sold ice cream in California, and peddled furniture across Canada. He received a Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago. He taught linguistics in India and worked as a software engineer in Montreal. He is also a certified translator though he wishes he were an astronaut. He likes to tinker, dabbles in robotics, and is somewhat obsessed with Halloween. He absolutely loves toys; his girlfriend would have him believe that he has too many, so he writes about aliens and giant robots as a blatant excuse to build action figures (for his son, of course).

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

New Releases - April 24, 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:


My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.


Blood Type by K.A. Linde

Find it at:
A startling new vision of paranormal romance: When a human ventures into the world of vampires—a decadent milieu of blood-bonds and betrayal—she discovers that not all is what it seems.

For Reyna Carpenter, giving up her body isn’t a choice. It’s survival.

In a civilization laid waste by poverty and desperation, Reyna accepts a high-paying position with the wealthy and hungry vampire elite. Her new job is as the live-in blood escort for the intimidating, demanding, and devilishly handsome Beckham Anderson. He’s everything she expected from a vampire, except for one thing—he won’t feed off her.

Reyna soon discovers that behind Beckham’s brooding, wicked façade lies a unique and complex man. And that, in a dark and divided world, she is more valuable than she ever would have believed.

For with each passing night, Reyna can’t shake the sensation that it’s Beckham who’s afraid of her.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Bleeding Tarts by Kirsten Weiss

Find it at:
Goodreads | LibraryThing
Val's new pies are foolproof—but not bulletproof.

Old West ghost towns are as American as apple pie. So what better place to sponsor a pie-eating contest than the Bar X, a fake ghost town available for exclusive private events on the edge of Silicon Valley. Valentine Harris is providing the pies, hoping to boost business for her struggling Pie Town shop and become a regular supplier for the Bar X.

But no sooner does she arrive in town than a stray bullet explodes the cherry pie in her hands. And the delicious dessert is not the only victim. Val finds the Bar X bartender shot dead in an alley. Egged on by her flaky friend and pie crust specialist, Charlene, Val aims to draw out the shooter. But solving a real murder in a fake ghost town won't be easy as pie. And if Val doesn't watch her back, her pies won't be the only thing filled full of lead . . .
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35750274-dead-girl-runninghttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32505753-ash-princess?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35889106-lady-rogue?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35287623-hot-response?ac=1&from_search=true

Which new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, April 23, 2018

Audiobook Review - What You Do to Me by Barbara Longley @barbaralongley

What You Do to Me by Barbara Longley
Narrated by Teri Clark Linden
Series: The Haneys #1
Publisher: Brillance Audio
Publication Date: November 1, 2016
Date Read: April 13, 2018
Length: 9 hours 2 minutes
Source: Borrowed from Amazon Prime
★★★★☆
Whether it's repairing a home or taking care of clients' other needs, Twin Cities handyman Sam Haney is in demand from his mostly female clientele. Despite Sam's lothario reputation, love isn't part of his portfolio. He's built a lot of walls in his time, but the one that's surrounded his heart ever since the death of his parents is his most solid yet.

Haley Cooper has had enough heartache for a lifetime. Her high school sweetheart up and moved to Indonesia - alone - just two weeks before their wedding. Her mother thinks it's time for Haley to move on and contracts Sam to work on Haley's wreck of a house - and anything else, if he's got the notion.

Sparks fly and passion ignites. But Haley isn't into Sam's love-'em-and-leave-'em act. She wants something more. Fixing a house is one thing, but for this handyman, building a relationship will need a whole different set of skills.
My Review

I liked this book and had a lot of fun with it.  I really didn't know a whole lot about the book but when I saw that it was offered through Prime Reading at Amazon, I decided to give it a try.  It was a really quick listen for me and I was able to get through the whole book in just a couple of days.  It wasn't perfect but it had some really great moments that made the overall experience quite enjoyable.

One thing that I had to get past with this book was the initial set up.  Sam becomes well known as the handyman offering a few more personal services.  I was quite amused by how things started until Haley's mother got involved.  Haley's mother sends Sam to work on Haley's house and requests his personal touch.  What mother does that?  Every mother I know would do everything in their power to prevent such a thing from happening.  It just felt odd to me but I went with it and just had fun watch Sam and Haley.

I really liked Sam and Haley together.  They both had some pretty big issues to work through and I thought that they were really good for each other.  I love how Haley confides in Sam and takes his advice.  Sam really had a hard time opening up to other but he was very drawn to Haley.  I wish that Sam could have worked through some of his issues a little quicker and saved both of them some heartache but everything worked out in the end.

I think that this is the second time that I have listened to Teri Clark Linden and I thought she did a good job with the book.  Her voice was very pleasant to listen to for hours at a time and she was able to bring a lot of emotion to the story.  I thought that the character voices that she used were all very well done.  I wouldn't hesitate to listen to more of her work in the future.

I would recommend this book to others.  It was a fun romance that had the happily ever after that I wanted to see.  This was the first book by Barbara Longley that I have had the chance to read but I look forward to more in the future.

About the Author

Award-winning author Barbara Longley moved frequently throughout her childhood, but she quickly learned to entertain herself with stories. As an adult, she's lived in a commune in the Appalachians, taught on a Native American reservation, and traveled extensively from coast to coast. After her children were born, she decided to make the state of Minnesota her permanent home. Barbara holds a master's degree in special education and taught for many years. Today she devotes herself to writing contemporary, mythical, and paranormal stories. Her titles include Heart of the Druid Laird, the Love from the Heartland series (Far from Perfect, The Difference a Day Makes, A Change of Heart, and The Twisted Road to You), and the Novels of Loch Moigh (True to the Highlander, The Highlander's Bargain, The Highlander's Folly, and The Highlander's Vow).

Author Link:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Stacking the Shelves #116


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

My Life
I feel like my teenage daughter had a busy week and it somehow trickled down to me.  She is actually on her spring band trip to Atlanta right now and will be back on Sunday.  So we spent a lot of the week making sure that everything was in order before she left on Wednesday night.  My husband and I do get a few days with just the two of us in the house but it worked out that my husband is working 12 hour shifts during those days so we didn't really get to go out and have any fun. Today we are going to try to fit in two different family gatherings so please be patient with me as I work to respond to comments.

Books Added This Week


Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett (NetGalley)
Aftermath by Kelley Armstrong (NetGalley)
I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne (NetGalley)
Blood Type by K.A. Linde (NetGalley)
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (Bookish First)
Staked, Revamped, and Crossed by J.F. Lewis (Kindle Purchase)

I have worked really hard to stay away from NetGalley and focus on catching up some of my old review copies.  And then this week happened.  Adding four NetGalley books in a single week is not a part of my overall plan.  Oh well.  I couldn't resist Foundryside when I got the email from the publisher about it.  I requested Aftermath a few weeks ago because it is written by Kelley Armstrong.  Lauren Layne is an author that I really like so I didn't put much thought into grabbing I Think I Love You.  I have been considering Blood Type since I first saw it on NetGalley and finally grabbed it this week.  I was pretty excited when my copy of The Kiss Quotient showed up from Bookish First this week.  I really don't know a whole lot about Staked, Revamped, and Crossed but all three were on sale of $0.99 each and they sounds like something I would like so I decided to grab those as well.

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, April 20, 2018

Audiobook Review - Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak

Her Darkest Nightmare by Brenda Novak
Narrated by Therese Plummer
Series: Evelyn Talbot #1
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Publication Date: September 29, 2016
Date Read: April 11, 2018
Length: 13 hours 5 minutes
Source: Audible Purchase
★★★☆☆
Her Darkest Nightmare, first in an electrifying new series from New York Times best-selling author Brenda Novak.

The hunt for a serial killer...

Evelyn Talbot knows that a psychopath can look perfectly normal. She was only 16 when her own boyfriend, Jasper, imprisoned and tortured her - and left her for dead. Now an eminent psychiatrist who specializes in the criminal mind, Evelyn is the force behind Hanover House, a maximum-security facility located in a small Alaskan town. Her job puts her at odds with Sergeant Amarok, who is convinced that Hanover is a threat to his community, even as his attraction to beautiful Evelyn threatens to tear his world apart.

Begins with an escape from her past.

Then, just as the bitter Alaskan winter cuts both town and prison off from the outside world, the mutilated body of a local woman turns up. For Amarok this is the final proof he needs: Hanover has to go. Evelyn, though, has reason to fear that the crime is a personal message to her - the first sign that the killer who haunts her dreams has found her again and that the life she has so carefully rebuilt will never be the same.
My Review

I thought that this was pretty good.  It wasn't great but it was good.  I have been excited about this book since I read the prequel novella Hanover House a couple of years ago.  This is the first full length book in the Evelyn Talbot series but I do recommend reading the prequel novella first if at all possible since it really sets up the series well.  I had a pretty good time with this book and was eager to learn how everything would work out in the end.

Evelyn Talbot has a lot of experience with psychopaths.  As a teenager, her boyfriend killed her friends and almost killed her as well after torturing her for several days.  As an adult, she has dedicated her life to learning more about psychopaths.  She was the driving force behind opening Hanover House, a facility that houses and studies these individuals.

Sergeant Amarok is the local law enforcement.  He is an Alaskan State Trooper and the only real authority in the town.  He has to deal with dangerous weather condition and whatever other issues come up in the area.  When it appears that a murder has occurred, he is the one tasked with figuring everything out.

This book had a lot of really great elements.  It was an exciting story.  There was more than a few scenes that really had me worried that things might go poorly for the characters.  The mystery was rather complex and kept me guessing until the very end of the book.  I liked the romance between Evelyn and Amarok.  They really seemed perfect together and I loved how their personalities complimented each other.

There were a few things about the story that seemed a bit off.  I did like the romance between Evelyn and Amarok but I didn't care for the way that it seemed to take over the rest of the story at times.  The book spends a lot of time in Evelyn's head and she spent so much time thinking about Amarok.  I kind of thought she should have been thinking about the murderer running around the town but that is just me.  I also thought is was unrealistic that Amarok would have been left to deal with everything on his own.  I would think that a murderer on the loose would have been enough to get a few reinforcements sent to his little town.

Therese Plummer did a great job with this book.  I found the book to be a pretty quick listen that I really enjoyed.  Overall, I think that the narrator did a nice job with the character voices although I did find a couple of the voices to be rather similar at first.   I thought she did a great job with adding excitement to the book at just the right moments.  I would definitely listen to this talented narrator again in the future.

I do recommend this book to others.  This wasn't a perfect book but I had a lot of fun with it. I am really looking forward to finding out what else might threaten Evelyn and Hanover House very soon.

About the Author

BRENDA NOVAK and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are the proud parents of five children-three girls and two boys. When she's not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fund-raiser for diabetes research. Brenda's novels have made The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists and won many awards, including three Rita nominations, the Book Buyer's Best, the Book Seller's Best and the National Reader's Choice Award.

Author Link:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Books from the Backlog #4


Books from the Backlog is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf.  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

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Release Date: June 26, 1997
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Harry Potter's life is miserable. His parents are dead and he's stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he's a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry's first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it's his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10945492-the-restorer
Why did I add Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to my bookshelf?

Can you believe that I haven't read this one?  Poor Harry Potter has spent a lot of years in my to be read pile.  I don't know why I haven't read it.  Both of my daughters have read the series and loved it.  My oldest daughter is 23 now and I know that I have had my print copy since her elementary school days so probably close to 15 years now.  As soon as this series was offered for sale as an ebook, I ran to Pottermore and bought the whole collection.  I have had digital copies of these books for over 6 years.  I don't know why I haven't picked them up yet.  Everyone seems to love these books to death and maybe I am a little worried that I won't like them quite a much.  Hopefully, I will actually read these books at some point.

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






Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Review - All for You by Jessica Scott @JessicaScott09 @ForeverRomance

All for You by Jessica Scott
Series: Coming Home #4
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Publication Date: February 4, 2014
Date Read: April 
Length: 324 pages
Source: NetGalley
★★★★☆
Can a battle-scarred warrior . . .

Stay sober. Get deployed. Lead his platoon. Those are the only things that matter to Sergeant First Class Reza Iaconelli. What he wants is for everyone to stay out of his way; what he gets is Captain Emily Lindberg telling him how to deal with his men. Fort Hood's newest shrink is smart as a whip and sexy as hell. She's also full of questions-about the army, its soldiers, and the agony etched on Reza's body and soul.

. . . open his heart to love?

Emily has devoted her life to giving soldiers the care they need-and deserve. Little does she know that means facing down the fierce wall of muscle that is Sergeant Iaconelli like it's just another day at the office. When Reza agrees to help her understand what makes a soldier tick, she's thrilled. Too bad it doesn't help her unravel the sexy warrior in front of her who stokes her desire and touches a part of her she thought long dead. He's the man who thinks combat is the only escape from the demons that haunt him. The man who needs her most of all . . .

My Review

This really was a fantastic read.  I have had this book for years but for some reason never picked it up until now.  Let me tell you that this was a big mistake.  Huge mistake.  This book was really good and made me think.  It made me feel which is always a good thing.  I think that I had expected this book to be a more typical military romance before reading it but I was completely wrong.  I am really glad that I took the time to read this powerful story.

This book deals with military suicide and PTSD which are some pretty tough topics.  Most of the soldiers in this story are affected by their time in combat in one way or another.  Reza is a Sergeant First Class and tries to watch out for his men while dealing with his own issues.  He often has to spend a lot of valuable time trying to find out what is going on with his me.  Time that could be spent in training before their next deployment. 

Emily, a Psychiatrist, is new to the Army and really wants to help the soldiers that come to her for help.  Her family is not in favor of her decision to enlist in the army but she is determined to make a difference.  She quickly learns that there are a lot of things that she does not understand in regards to what the soldiers have been through so she works to learn what she can. 

I really liked Reza and Emily together.  They had such great chemistry even though they were not at all alike.  They both seemed to be able to support each other in exactly the way that was most needed.  I really appreciated the fact that the romance didn't overpower the other issues that the book was dealing with.  If anything, I would say that the romance aspect of the book was secondary to turmoil with Reza and his soldiers. 

I really liked how this book was able to show such tough topics in a way that felt realistic.  Reza's battle with alcohol was painful to watch.  There were some pretty graphic scenes that really got to me.  I understood how Reza and Emily were taking thing hard because I was right there with them.  I also really appreciated the fact that the book ended on a very hopeful note because I really wanted to see both of these characters get their happy ending.

I would recommend this book to others.  I thought it was a really well done story that was quite eye opening.  This book is the forth book in the Coming Home series but I read it as a stand alone without any trouble.  I would definitely read more from this talented author in the future.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via NetGalley.
About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Jessica Scott is a career army officer; mother of two daughters, three cats and three dogs; wife to a career NCO and wrangler of all things stuffed and fluffy. She is a terrible cook and even worse housekeeper, but she's a pretty good shot with her assigned weapon. She's currently pursuing a PhD in Sociology in her spare time and most recently, she's been featured as one of Esquire Magazine's Americans of the Year for 2012.

She's written for the New York Times At War Blog, PBS Point of View: Regarding War Blog, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. She deployed to Iraq in 2009 as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom/New Dawn and has served as a company commander at Fort Hood, Texas.

Author Link:  Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

New Releases - April 17, 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:


Chaser by Kylie Scott
Given his well-earned bad boy reputation, Eric is having a tough time scoring.. When single Jean moves to town, she seems heaven sent by the sex gods. Only problem is, she not only wants nothing to do with him, but it turns out that she's pregnant.

Starting over in a small town, Jean is determined to turn her wild lifestyle around and be the kind of mother she always wished she'd had. Since local bar owner and all round hottie, Eric Collins, is now determined to steer clear of her pregnant self, it should be easy. When she goes into labour during a snow storm and her car slides on some ice, it's Eric who comes to the rescue.

There seems to be a bond between them now, but is it enough? And can Eric give up his manwhore ways to be the man Jean needs?


Head On by John Scalzi

Find it at:
John Scalzi returns with Head On, the standalone follow-up to the New York Times bestselling and critically acclaimed Lock In. Chilling near-future SF with the thrills of a gritty cop procedural, Head On brings Scalzi's trademark snappy dialogue and technological speculation to the future world of sports.

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent’s head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden’s Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

Is it an accident or murder? FBI Agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth―and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field.

Unmasked by the Marquess by Cat Sebastian

Find it at:
Goodreads | LibraryThing
The one you love…
Robert Selby is determined to see his sister make an advantageous match. But he has two problems: the Selbys have no connections or money and Robert is really a housemaid named Charity Church. She’s enjoyed every minute of her masquerade over the past six years, but she knows her pretense is nearing an end. Charity needs to see her beloved friend married well and then Robert Selby will disappear…forever.
May not be who you think…
Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, has spent years repairing the estate ruined by his wastrel father, and nothing is more important than protecting his fortune and name. He shouldn’t be so beguiled by the charming young man who shows up on his doorstep asking for favors. And he certainly shouldn’t be thinking of all the disreputable things he’d like to do to the impertinent scamp.
But is who you need…
When Charity’s true nature is revealed, Alistair knows he can’t marry a scandalous woman in breeches, and Charity isn’t about to lace herself into a corset and play a respectable miss. Can these stubborn souls learn to sacrifice what they’ve always wanted for a love that is more than they could have imagined?

The Elizas by Sara Shepard

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
When debut novelist Eliza Fontaine is found at the bottom of a hotel pool, her family at first assumes that it’s just another failed suicide attempt. But Eliza swears she was pushed, and her rescuer is the only witness.

Desperate to find out who attacked her, Eliza takes it upon herself to investigate. But as the publication date for her novel draws closer, Eliza finds more questions than answers. Like why are her editor, agent, and family mixing up events from her novel with events from her life? Her novel is completely fictional, isn’t it?

The deeper Eliza goes into her investigation while struggling with memory loss, the closer her life starts to resemble her novel until the line between reality and fiction starts to blur and she can no longer tell where her protagonist’s life ends and hers begins.
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35876430-shot-in-the-dark?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35068681-a-match-made-in-bed?ac=1&from_search=truehttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36004075-the-fallenhttps://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34723185-come-as-you-are?ac=1&from_search=true

Which new releases are you excited about this week?
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