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Audiobook Review – The Mountain Can Wait – Sarah Leipciger

23197320The Mountain Can Wait
Author: Sarah Leipciger
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ½

Narrator: Robert Petkoff
Run Time: 8hrs, 1 min
Narration Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Hachette Audio

Description:
“Her face in the headlights flashed like a coin. She was an instant, the sulphuric flare of a match.”

Tragedy erupts in an instant. Lives are shattered irrevocably. A young man drives off into the night, leaving a girl injured, perhaps fatally so.

From that cliffhanger opening, Sarah Leipciger takes readers back and forward in time to tell the haunting story of one family’s unraveling in rural logging country where the land is still the economic backbone. Like the novels of Annie Proulx, this extraordinarily lyrical debut is rooted in richly detailed nature writing and sharply focused on small town mores and the particularities of regional culture.

Review:
As I started listening to The Mountain Can Wait, I realized early on that a key theme/echo through-out would be, ‘the mountain can give and the mountain can take’ and that is how I would describe this book by Leipciger in 10 words or less. From the description of the book, the reader (or in this case, listener) goes into it knowing that there is going to be an element of mystery (although not really suspense), but that there would be more of a focus on family ties and character interaction. Its actually kind of hard to describe without giving huge spoilers.

For me the most enjoyable part of the story (aside from the narration which is a whole separate beast) was seeing the representation of different cultures that the author managed to weave into the story. Having never been to Canada, and not growing up in the US, my knowledge of geography in the British Columbia/Saskatchewan area is basically nonexistent, as well as my knowledge of the indigenous people that live in the area. The relationship between the main character, Tom and his children (Curtis and Erin) seemed very distant and potentially almost neglectful at times – although it was written in a way to make the reader try to understand the hard life that loggers have – when they have to leave their families/homes for potentially weeks/months on end in order to earn money to survive and especially in the sense that they might not have support systems; or their lack of presence may cause issues with their support system (in this instance, Tom’s wife who disappeared prior to the book starting).

I really liked/appreciated how the author approached the writing – taking a certain event that occurred and then going back in time and working forward to the event; and even then continuing on until the story completion in the epilogue. While its a harder style to write than a true linear one and it needs the right kind of story to use the style, it was definitely suited for this book.

I will admit that if Robert Petkoff hadn’t been the narrator that I probably wouldn’t have picked it to read/review. There are some narrators that I will automatically gravitate to, no matter the style of book, or if its a genre of book I normally read or don’t read – and Robert Petkoff is one of those narrators. For me, the strength in this audiobook was that it was told predominantly from a male POV. At the same time, the cast of characters wasn’t necessarily as diverse as other books I have listened to and since the two main characters (Tom and Curtis) were family, it made for some similar voice intonations during the narration (although I would expect that if the book revolved around family, since it is often the case). While The Mountain Can Wait was 8hrs long, it flowed it a way that made it feel substantially shorter – which is always good for me when it comes to listening.

Overall, I was intrigued by Sarah Leipciger debut novel and I’m intrigued to see what she writes about in the future. I gave The Mountain Can Wait 3.5 stars for writing and the narration 4 stars with a solid performance by Robert Petkoff like always.

 
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Posted by on July 24, 2015 in Audiobook Review

 

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Review – Just One Taste – Kimberly Kincaid

23433952Just One Taste
Author: Kimberly Kincaide
Series: #4.5 in the Pine Mountain series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
A little home improvement can go a long way…

Jesse Oliver was a medic in Afghanistan, but back home in Pine Mountain he’s happy to switch gears as the Double Shot bar’s new sous chef. When his apartment floods and his old Army buddy offers the family’s dilapidated lake house as temporary quarters, Jesse thinks a little remodeling on the creaky duplex sounds like a fair return favor. That’s before he sets eyes on the gorgeous woman moving into the other side of the cabin—and discovers she’s his buddy’s kid sister, a.k.a totally off limits.

Kat McMarrin has fought hard for her space, and she’s not too interested in sharing it. Of course, her job as a physical therapist means she won’t see much of Jesse, even if he’s a few thin floorboards away—unless she seeks him out. And with his sculpted body and slow-burn gaze, she might be tempted. Maybe the fixer-upper projects she has planned for the cabin will keep her mind off him. Or maybe her instincts to strip the place down will get out of hand…

Review:
Normally I glom Kimberly Kincaid’s books as soon as I get my hot little mitts on them, but for some reason, I didn’t jump into Just One Taste as soon as I got my copy. Looking back now, I am thankful for that, because one Sunday when I was stuck in bed feeling cruddy, I had a favorite author that I could read – which always makes you feel better. This was a cute/short entry into the Pine Mountain series and was just what I needed.

We previously meet Jesse in the last book of the series and knew that he had some secrets/background that he didn’t necessarily want to talk about and I remember after reading the last book, I was like, I want to know more about him. I will also admit that I’m a sucker for friend/sister (or friend/brother) type romances, mostly because there is that idea of the idea of a hands-off type approach (meaning does any brother want their friend dating little sister…). But Kat wasn’t the meek heroine that seems so present in many contemporary romances today – in fact she was uber-smart and not scared to show it (and you could tell that Kimberly had done her research into the educational background that Kat possessed because it rang true to me). The conflict between Kat and Jesse was intriguing and I totally sided with Kat on the need for own space (that’s why i’ve not had roommates since college). But seeing the relationship develop between the two of them was a fun ride and I enjoyed how they had multiple points of intersection in their lives before they ended up staying in the same cabin.

Just One Taste had Kimberly’s trade-mark sassy dialogue and witty humor, as well as steam resulting smexy scenes. I’m just disappointed to know that this series is wrapping up soon (even if I know she’ll have other books coming out). If you want a smexy handyman type romance, with an extremely smart heroine, then Just One Taste might be the book for you.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Wishlist Wednesday – 22 July 15

Wishlist WednesdayWishlist Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Pen to Paper where we post about one book that has been hanging out on our wish list (either for a long time, or not so long)

For as avid a reader as I am, there are very few authors that I actually consider an auto-buy or pre-order. Over the years, I’ve come to realize that even if I do happen to pre-order their books, I rarely read on actual date of release (normally because I have like 20 other books going at the same time) – so I just stopped doing it. But then I’d randomly find out that an author I liked had a new book out and I’d missed it (or heard about it and forgotten it). So I started pre-ordering again…lol (yes, its a vicious cycle).

My Wishlist Wednesday book for this week is by one of those authors – Cherise Sinclair. I remember when I read my first book by her about 4 years ago (maybe), I was hooked it. It was before so many authors jumped on the BDSM bandwagon (and didn’t do any research to support their stories) and so I found hers to be a fresh breath of air – you could tell that she had done her research and yet the stories were still engaging/believable. The newest book in her Masters of the Shadowlands series (book 10) comes out next week and its the pairing of a couple that many of us die-hard fans have been waiting for – Mistress Anne and Ben. They have appeared in previous books in the series and I know that I have been begging Cherise on social media to write their book – thankfully her muses finally decided to listen ;)

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Description:
A discharged Army Ranger, Ben considers his job as a BDSM club security guard to be an excellent hobby. He’s never been tempted to join in. But everything changes when the notorious Mistress Anne inadvertently reveals the caring heart concealed beneath her Domme armor.

Now, he’s set his sights on the beautiful Shadowlands Mistress. Maybe he’d considered himself vanilla, but she can put her stiletto on his chest any day, any time. He’ll trust her delicate hands to hold his heart. And if she wants to whip his ass on the way to an outstanding climax, he’s just fine with that too.

Sure, he knows she likes “pretty boy” slaves. And he’s older. Craggy and rough. And six-five. Minor hindrances. The mission is a go.

 
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Posted by on July 22, 2015 in Wishlist Wednesday

 

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TBR Tuesday – 21 July 15

TBR Tuesday
Silver Lining
Author: Maggie Osborne

Purchased: 20 September 2009
Date Finished: 13 July 2015
Time on TBR: 2123 days

Review After some disappointing TBR books, I was so happy to find one that made me realize why I came to love the historical romance genre. Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne reminded me of so many of the books I cut my romance teeth on back when I was a teenager (and was actually written not long after that time period). The characters in Silver Lining make frequent appearances in the fora of Amazon, especially when it come to talking about names, because the main female goes by Low Down for a portion of the book (rather than her real name of Louise). Personally, for me, I loved see the rough and ready Low Down finding her place in a relationship where she didn’t need to be strong/masculine (as she did in the mining camps) as well as finding the family that she never had growing up. The rest of the book and story was well developed and plausible – it didn’t take too much thought to see what was going to happen next and everything seemed evenly paced (it wasn’t a wham bam thank you ma’am kind of book, but rather took place over a 7-8mth period). The evil other woman (which I really like when done well) was present and for an “innocent young woman” she was definitely not so. I can’t wait to hoping dig into some more books by Ms Osborne in the future.

 
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Posted by on July 21, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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Dishing with Dee….Reoccurring Characters and descriptions

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So originally when I thought about the idea of Dishing with Dee, I wanted to talk about things in books (etc) that bugged me and I did for a while and then got distracted with other stuff. But never fear, I’m back. Today I wanted to talk about descriptions of frequently reoccurring characters in book series – I’m talking the characters who show up in every book in the series (or a significant amount) – they may not play a key role, but they are present. Case in point, I am trying to tackle some of the audiobooks I have bought over the years and since it was short, I picked up Haunted in Death to listen to.

Now this audiobook was number 22.5 in the series (yes, you read that right!). So I was kind of disappointed in the fact that every time one of these reoccurring characters made an appearance (I’m talking about Ian McNab/Dr Mira), the author felt the need to tell us who they were, like we were brand new readers and it was really frustrating to me. Mostly because I felt, at times, like the mystery took a backseat to some of these descriptive portions. At the same time, I understand that authors have to walk a fine-line between being descriptive (in case someone not familiar with the series is reading) and just going with the flow (for people who have been invested in the series for a while). And unfortunately, it wasn’t just this installment in the series that I’ve noticed it but all of them (either novels or novellas) contain similar scenes.

Admittedly, its not enough for me to give up on reading the series, because I do enjoy it – but it is a pet peeve of mine.

 
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Posted by on July 20, 2015 in Dishing with Dee

 

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Review – Trouble on Tap – Avery Flynn

25465775Trouble on Tap
Author: Avery Flynn
Series: #3 in the Sweet Salvation Brewery
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by Publisher

Description:
What fun is life without a little bit of trouble?

Retired supermodel and forever wild child Olivia Sweet is nothing but trouble. The youngest Sweet triplet is back in her hometown, but instead of a triumphant return it’s a parade of humiliations. She’s broke, homeless and dealing with the fallout from her scumbag ex-boyfriend publishing naked pictures of her to a revenge porn website.

Staid and stalwart veteran Mateo Garcia has seen more trouble than a man ever should in his lifetime. He’s gone from pretty boy Marine to a small town police chief with a chip on his shoulder and scars covering the left side of his face. Now his former lover, Olivia, is back in town and living next door.

When the two are forced to work together to fix up the crumbling veterans’ center, the sparks fly between the beauty and the man who sees himself as a beast. Not everyone is happy that Olivia is back home though and Mateo has to choose between the town who wants her gone and an uncertain future with a woman who he thinks could never love him…

Review:
There are always series that I am sad to see end and the Sweet Salvaltion Brewery is one of them. Over the last year, I have highly enjoyed the adventures of the Sweet sisters, but I kept waiting for Olivia’s story – I guess because she is the wild child and while I am more similar to Natalie as a character, I harbor an inner wild child (or at least, I think I do). And i’m a sucker for second chance romances, so Trouble on Tap hit all my happy spots. I will admit that I am honestly trying not to go all fangirl on my review because this book was what I needed after a series mediocre reads.

I think what I enjoyed the most about Trouble on Tap was seeing Olivia’s struggle to find her place in the world. As a former model she had been top of her career and then having to make a transition and essentially start over again – its something that many of us have to face – be it a new job, transitioning from the military (like Mateo) or any other kind of scenario where a major change occurs. I found her struggle to be real in a way that was almost scary to me. I saw so much of myself in that struggle from when I changed career fields a few years ago – that idea of how/where are you going to land and will I/you succeed?

And Avery did a great job of continuing the theme of small town hatred for the Sweet sisters – I felt so bad for all of them throughout the series. Maybe because I grew up in a small town and know how they operate, but everything just hit home – the behavior of people to those they consider outsiders (in my home town, if you didn’t have a certain last night it didn’t matter what you or your family did to contribute)…it was almost like at times, Avery was channeling some of my experiences growing up.

I loved the relationship between Mateo and Olivia and how they reconnected. There is something about a wounded solider realizing that they aren’t just their injuries that makes them attractive. That Olivia was able to look past his injuries and see him for the guy she loved way back when (even if he had been a dick to her)…

Trouble of Tap was a roller coaster of emotions for me (thanks Avery!) but I don’t regret it for one second. I would say make sure you have time to sit down and read, because if you are anything like me, once you start, you’ll read through to the end (and that made for a sucky day at work the next day). I gave Trouble on Tap 4 stars and am sad to see the series end (although hopefully my craving for Pecan Pie will now disappear – since I don’t even like the stuff!).

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Book Review

 

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Thursday Quotables – The Invention of Wings

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Thursday Quotables is a weekly feature hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies. It is a weekly feature where readers highlight a quote or quotes from their current weeks reading. Whether it’s something funny, startling, gut-wrenching, or just really beautifully written.

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I just finished listening to the audiobook of An Invention of Wings (Sue Monk Kidd) on my commute this morning, so Thursday Quotables seemed like a perfect time to reflect on a few of the quotes that really caught my eye (or is it ears?).

The first one that really struck me, actually came from the authors note at the end of the book, where she was discussing the development of the book, why she took the different liberties that she did with various parts of history etc.

“History is not just facts and events. History is also a pain in the heart and we repeat history until we are able to make another’s pain in the heart our own.” – Professor Julius Lester

I think this quote caught my ear because it not only describes various parts of the book, but also fits well into the current climate in the US with the debate going on over the Confederate flag.

“To remain silent in the face of evil is itself a form of evil.”

I thought this quote would go well hand-in-hand with the one about all it takes for evil to succeed in that good men (or women) do nothing. Sarah Grimke could have been content to just let the status quo be when it came to slavery, but she knew in her heart (even from the age of 11) that it was wrong and it became her crusade to abolish it, in fact, this quote from early on in the book shows her abolitionist thoughts even then – “At the age of eleven, I owned a slave I couldn’t free.” I’d actually never heard of the Grimke sisters prior to listening to Invention of Wings but am intrigued and want to read more about them.

The last quote that really caught my interest was from Angelina Grimke, who became known as a foremost female orator in the mid-1800’s. This quote occurred when the Grimke sisters were accused of muddling the cause of abolish with the cause of women’s right’s and that they needed to cease pushing for women’s equality for the time.

“the time to assert one’s right is when it’s denied!”

I’m sure there were many more quotes in the book that I would have loved to have written down, but its really hard while listening to do that.

What about you – any quotes from your reading this week that you want to share?

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Thursday Quotables

 

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