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Wishlist Wednesday – 29 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)

I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes books I get excited about are random advertisements that I find and this weeks Wishlist Wednesday book was next exception. It popped up as an banner advertisement on Goodreads while I was browsing last week and there was something about it that just caught my eye. I’m a sucker for World War 2 fiction (I always used to make the comment if I did graduate work in history rather than psychology, it would probably be WW2 based) as well as stories based on families. So when I saw this book advertised, I added it (quite happily) to my not-yet-released shelf on Goodreads to track. It wasn’t until I started to prep for this post and did some deeper digging that i got even more excited to read it. The author (Marius Gabriel) actually wrote a bunch a romances using a female pseudonym (Madeleine Ker) in the 1980’s. I always find it interesting to read books by these male authors who wanted to write something unexpected and so wrote in a genre that is very female dominated. I don’t know if I ever read any of his books that were written as Madeleine Ker, but I’m intrigued to check them out.

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Description:
As the devastating years of the Second World War march ever closer, the beautiful Redcliffe sisters must face their own struggles and navigate the perils of growing up—and growing apart.

Eldest sister Isobel—passionate, domineering, misguided—is infatuated with Fascism. But can she continue to justify her dangerous political beliefs when faced with the shocking realities of Nazi Germany?

Chiara, the bright and happy golden child, is more interested in the joyful whirl of the season than matters of faith or ideology. But even her breezy innocence cannot survive the harsh lessons of heartbreak and war.

Insecure and introverted Felicity, youngest of the three, is about to take her vows and enter the convent, against her sisters’ wishes. A chance meeting with an American soldier threatens the very foundations of her decision.

Each sister must follow her own path and, as they do so, their differences threaten to take them beyond the realms of forgiveness.

Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye will be re-released on August 4 from Lake Union publishing (was previously published as Weep No More)

 
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Posted by on July 29, 2015 in Wishlist Wednesday

 

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TBR Tuesday – 28 July 15

TBR Tuesday

Let’s talk about Forgotten Books (or books that have been designated as lost on Mt TBR). I’m a bit behind in my reading this week and don’t have a TBR book to post about, so I thought I would take a moment to write about the plight of forgotten books – these books just want to be loved, the same as all books. I mean, these sweet, innocent books, who through no fault of their own, ended up lost on someones pile, feeling neglected and unloved. (Ok, I write that partly in jest, but i’m sure if books had feelings they would probably say something like that).

When I look at books that I have read recently that fall within my TBR challenge, they fit into one of several categories:

1. Book was a freebie/cheapie – I don’t know about you, but I’m always on the lookout for a good deal when it comes to books (I’d probably go broke if I had to pay for all of the books I read each year). So when I see books by authors I like (or sound intriguing) that are on sale/free, then I normally one click them. I will admit that over the last year, I’ve gotten a bit pickier about the ones I have actually gotten, compared to early years of kindle ownership – but I still manage to get more books that I would probably read in a life time. These books normally languish in the pile until I get bored and start rooting through them; or I start to catalogue my purchases on Goodreads (and mentally go, why the heck did I buy that?) or when I need to book that fits a random reading challenge and one of those books randomly happens to fit.

2. Bulk Purchase of an Author – when I find a new author I love, I have a bad habit of bulk buying their books – often times, it will be their entire backlist. This could be especially exacerbated if there is a sale featuring books in a series (I managed to pick up the entire In Death series by JD Robb in audiobook a few years ago for about 1/3 the cost it would take the buy each one separately). Unfortunately, I then read several books by said author and find myself getting burnt out – so I put them aside and forget about them – until things like the Forgotten Book Challenge come along.

3. Books Given as Gifts – I always feel guilty when I get books as gifts – not because i don’t love them or appreciate them – but sometimes I’m just not in the mood for a certain book; or it just doesn’t work for me – so the book(s) get placed on the TBR pile and hopefully will get moved off in the future – but you just never know…

I’m sure there are probably other ways that books end up on Mt TBR, but these are the most popular ones for me. What about you – how do books end up on your TBR or are you a read as soon as purchase kind of person (if you are, i might hate you slightly!)

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in TBR Tuesday

 

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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

dishing with dee 2

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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