RSS

First Lines Friday – 20 October 2017

First Line Friday’s is a weekly feature, hosted by Hoarding Books – so grab a book off your pile and share the first line

Jack Avery stared at the scene before him while sucking on a cherry lollipop his godson Aiden had given him.

From:
Running With a Sweet Talker – Jami Albright

A few months ago, I borrowed a book from Amazon Kindle Unlimited called Running from the Rock Star. What I didn’t know at the time was a) how much I was going to enjoy it and b) that the author would end up on my auto-buy list PDQ (pretty darn quick). There was something fresh about her writing, which was very needed as a run of a few less than stellar reads. So when I got an email from her a couple weeks ago, asking if I wanted to review the next book in the series – i’m pretty sure my response was something that went, not only yes, but heck yeah (or maybe gimme gimme gimme). With Dewey Read-a-thon this week (although I’m not fully participating), Running with a Sweet Talker is on the top of my to-read pile.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on October 20, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

Countdown to Dewey!

Its Thursday evening, which means that its not only Friday eve, but that its officially less than 48 hours until the October edition of Dewey’s 24 Read-a-thon. Unfortunately, this is the first time in a couple of years that I won’t be fully participating as a reader. But I swear I have a good reason – Sunday is my last race of the season – the Marine Corps Marathon, so it seems like a potentially bad idea to stay up all night reading and then trying to run 26.2 miles…don’t get me wrong – I would try it if I legitimately thought I could, but not likely. That doesn’t mean that I’m not going to read at all – it will be a good excuse (like I ever actually need one) to sit around with my feet up, resting and relaxing.

This year I’m going to read by the proverbial seat of my pants – I don’t have a formal pile of books that I am considering – although I do have my current stack of books from the library – while I’m going to give you titles right now – choices include a police procedural, a book of essays, a YA sci-fi dystopia and a contemporary romance.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on October 20, 2017 in Read-A-Thon

 

First Line Fridays – 13 October 2017

First Line Friday’s is a weekly feature, hosted by Hoarding Books – so grab a book off your pile and share the first line

Caroline’s wrist turned an flicked as the steel tongue of her crochet hook dipped in and ut, mirroring the movement of the fiddle’s bow.

From:
Caroline: Little House, Revisited – Sarah Miller

When I saw a preview of this book show up in my email, I KNEW that I had to read it. As an 7(ish) year old, I devoured the Little House on the Prairie books as well as watching reruns of the TV (running home from school to watch it at 3pm with a snack was like a daily routine). I’ve really enjoyed some of the other retellings of classic books that I’ve read recently (and equally excited about some of the other upcoming ones I’ve seen authors I follow talk about…like Marilla from Anne of Green Gables).

I’m only a chapter into Caroline so far – but I have a feeling that its going to be a great read!

 
11 Comments

Posted by on October 13, 2017 in First Line Fridays

 

Tags: ,

It’s Monday – What Are You Reading? (9 Oct)

its-monday-what-are-you-reading

It’s Monday – What are you reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

So obviously from my lack of blog posts in the last two months, I’ve been busy as all get out – its been peak triathlon training season and in my ultimate wisdom, I also signed up for the Marine Corps Marathon (2 weeks to go – yikes – what the heck was I thinking!!!) On top of all my training shenanigans, work in general has been busy – so in the ultimate sacrifice, reading (or at least a reduction in reading) and blogging had to be sacrificed! But never you fear – I’m getting back into the swing of things and hope to have more frequent posting in the next couple of weeks 🙂

Now on to the fun stuff! I have the day off work today (thank you DoD) which could be a good thing – between my last longish training on Friday (15 miles at an 11:40 page) and then volunteering at Ironman Maryland (if you ever want to see insane athletes – these guys – yes i’m one of them – cover 140.6 miles in no more than 17hrs – 2.4mile swim, 112 miles on the bike and then a marathon), I am rather stiff and sore (for lack of a better word) – so curling up in bed today sounds like a great idea (but its wet and drizzly out which helps the desire to be a sloth).

My reading this past week can be described as sexy electrician, quilting friends, matchmaking moose and irish police procedural binge read. For the most part it was a fairly successful reading week, although, i’ll admit, while I have enjoyed other books in the Elm Creek Quilts series – the characters have been noticeably more annoying to me in recent reads/listens.

Currently Reading:
So I discovered Irish author Graham Masterton a few months ago when I picked up #7 in his Katie Maguire series from my local library. It hit the spot in the dark and torturous column (something I see a lot of in the Nordic Noir mysteries) and so have proceeded to binge read the first 4 books in the series – and getting ready to start book 5. I also have no doubt, if I finish up Blood Sisters this week, that I will roll into book 6 (Buried).

Along with Blood Sisters, I also have a couple of ARC’s from authors to read and review – Freeing the Beast (Tina Donahue) and Pupcakes (Annie England Noblin). I’ve read stuff by Tina Donahue before and found myself needing to fan my face because of the steaminess of the writing. This is a re-release of a book published a few years ago by Samhain (speaking of, I used to read tons of their books, how did I not discover her before this year!!!). Annie England Noblin is a new author to me, but i’ll admit to being a sucker for the dog on the cover (even if i’m not a huge pug fan in general…). Here’s hoping I enjoy Pupcakes and find a new author to add to my repitoire.

 
6 Comments

Posted by on October 9, 2017 in It's Monday! What are you reading?

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Review – Mercies in Disguise – Gina Kolata

Mercies in Disguise
Author: Gina Kolata
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Description:
The phone rings. The doctor from California is on the line. “Are you ready Amanda?” The two people Amanda Baxley loves the most had begged her not to be tested—at least, not now. But she had to find out.

If your family carried a mutated gene that foretold a brutal illness and you were offered the chance to find out if you’d inherited it, would you do it? Would you walk toward the problem, bravely accepting whatever answer came your way? Or would you avoid the potential bad news as long as possible?

In Mercies in Disguise, acclaimed New York Times science reporter and bestselling author Gina Kolata tells the story of the Baxleys, an almost archetypal family in a small town in South Carolina. A proud and determined clan, many of them doctors, they are struck one by one with an inscrutable illness. They finally discover the cause of the disease after a remarkable sequence of events that many saw as providential. Meanwhile, science, progressing for a half a century along a parallel track, had handed the Baxleys a resolution—not a cure, but a blood test that would reveal who had the gene for the disease and who did not. And science would offer another dilemma—fertility specialists had created a way to spare the children through an expensive process.

Review:
Last year one of the books that I read and reviewed for my blog was Inside the O’Briens (Lisa Genova) – the story of a Boston family where the Patriarch is diagnosed with Huntington’s Disease – a progressive disease that causes the breakdown of nerve cells in the brain. Around the same time I posted my review, I also proposed a question on my facebook page about genetic testing – specifically, if there was a 100% certainty that you would inherit a disease if you carried the gene for it (i.e. Huntington’s), would you pursue the test or would you want to just see how your odds fall? It was interesting reading some of the responses from people I know and others who came across that question, as a friend of a friend. Fast forward to March this year and I saw mention of a non-fiction book with a similar theme mentioned on Doing Dewey Non-Fiction Friday that I just knew I needed to read in the very near future.

Mercies in Disguise is told in 2 parallel stories – that of the Baxley family, where grandfather, father, and brothers had been afflicted by an unknown disease – a disease that resembled Alzheimer’s and a touch of Huntington’s but not just that…and the scientist who discovered the disease approximately half a century earlier. From the get-go, I was drawn into Ms. Kolata’s story-telling – she managed to weave science, family dynamics and medical mystery in a way that I wanted to keep reading (in fact, I pretty much read the entire book in one sitting while waiting for my car to be serviced). There were lots of questions about the ethics of medical advancements including genetic testing for embryos. It is definitely a book that make me think a lot about what I would do if I was put into the same situation as members of the Baxter family. Personally, I’d probably fall on the side of wanting to know my future so that I could plan for it – even if I know that I might die at a very young age…but thankfully, I’ve not had to make a medical decision like that. I think I found the medical side of the story – how the disease was identified to be less interesting than the family dynamics overall – not saying I didn’t like it, but the Baxter family portion was more intriguing to me – maybe because it was a bit over my head with some of the science (I mean, I did get a D in college biology…sooooo).

If you are looking for a solid non-fiction book that would pair well with a book like Inside the O’Brien’s or Still Alice – then you may enjoy Mercies in Disguise.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 17, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

Tags: , , , ,

Review – Wicked Takeover – Tina Donahue

Wicked Takeover
Author: Tina Donahue
Series: #1 in the Wicked Brand series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Review Copy Provided by the Author

Description:
She’s just inherited a tattoo parlor…and the hunk who comes with it.

Lauren’s in a helluva mess. Not only has she lost her corporate HR job, she’s just inherited Wicked Brand, a struggling West Palm Beach tattoo parlor…along with the virile dude who runs it. Lauren’s full-figured, sorta pretty, and wanting him badly. Dream on. She’s here to sell the place as quickly as possible for some much-needed cash and score a new position in the corporate world.

Dante’s sinfully hot with a killer smile and beautifully inked biceps. He sees the heat in Lauren’s eyes despite her conservative appearance, recognizing the dynamite woman she could be if she’d just loosen up and have some wicked fun. Dominance and submission. Making love in a public place. Having her lush body always accessible to and ready for his.

Unwilling and unable to keep their hands to themselves, Lauren and Dante turn to carnal games and seduction. Until lust turns to surprising need and friendship to something deeper that might just change their futures.

Review:
It’s funny, when I got an email from Tina Donahue asking me if I would review her newest book, I totally jumped on it because I was like (mentally), I’ve read her before and enjoyed her writing…now looking back at my Goodreads shelf, I can’t find any books I read by her. So obviously I must have been smoking some kind of crack when I thought I had read her – but since I ended up really enjoying Wicked Takeover, maybe its a good thing I thought I had read her in the past 🙂 I think her biggest writing strength is that the conversations between Lauren and the crew at Wicked (Jasmina, Dante and Van Gogh) just flowed like a normal conversation. Sometimes I find that conversation writing can feel very stilted and patchy – but no worries here.

Holy Hotness between Lauren and Dante! I’m pretty sure I needed a fireman (hey, Kimberly Kincaid, you got one I can borrow) to come and hose me down – their scenes were just steaming up the place. I honesty don’t know if i’ll ever be able to look at Dove Ice Cream bars the same again…but it wasn’t just hot hot hot scenes between them. The relationship (while a tad insta-lust/love) had a decent amount of tension before sexual implosion (I’m pretty sure that is the only word I can use). There was one scene where Lauren and Dante….well, you know, I’m not going to tell you – you’ll just have to read it and find out (yes, that is kind of mean and i’m proud of it).

Besides the hotness of Lauren and Dante’s relationship, I thought Ms Donahue did a good job with developing Lauren and Dante both as characters. You got to see what drove them – Lauren and her search for a job after being laid off (which in her career field is unfortunately a sad commentary on affairs today) and Dante with how he ended up at Wicked (hint, its not quite a tear jerker, but has the potential). I think the one part I wish had been a bit more developed was the history behind Lauren and her father – we knew that he had left Lauren and her mother while Lauren was growing up – but you never really find out why.

So here’s the skinny – holy hotness, sizzling sexual tension – read it! You won’t regret it if you like contemporary romance!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 7, 2017 in Book Review, Review

 

Tags: , , ,

Review – Running from a Rock Star

Running from a Rock Star
Author: Jami Albright
Series: #1 in the Brides on the Run series
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

Purchase Link: Amazon

Description:
She’s a good-girl control freak. He’s a bad boy in need of a clean image. Will these opposites attract or self-destruct?
Scarlett Kelly is the poster child for responsible living. Growing up as the daughter of the town floozy she’s made it her mission to be the exact opposite. So when she wakes up naked and hungover in bed with a bad-boy rockstar, Scarlett bolts immediately. But she never expected him to follow her home… and tell her they’re married!
Gavin needs to repair his image or his music career will go down the tubes. He’s also just learned he has a son he never knew existed! Gavin wants to settle down, and bribing his new wife to stay married may just fit everything into place.
Scarlett agrees to the ruse to help her family’s financial troubles even though she can hardly control herself around the rock star. As they search for Gavin’s son, will the cross-country adventure give them exactly what they’ve been missing or send them packing?

Review:
Running from a Rock Star was a random discovery for me through Kindle Unlimited – basically I searched for a word that I needed in a book title for a reading challenge (in this case, running), and then randomly picked a book that sounded interesting. Yeah – I know, kind of weird – but hey it worked and I discovered a new to me author that I will definitely be reading more of in the future. Having been a romance reader for many years – more often than not, I’m finding myself getting burnt out and bored with most of the recent released – so finding a book that can keep my attention (and that I can finish in a short time period) is kind of hard. Yeah, I know that probably sounds insane – but it’s definitely how I’ve been feeling lately.

I loved the mesh of Scarlett, the small town good girl (who writes her name in her underwear!!) and the on the edge bad boy rock star that was Gavin. Their relationship was explosive in a drunken antics kind of way that only a trip to Las Vegas can result in. If I need to say more, then all I can say is, what happens in Vegas definitely didn’t stay in Vegas for this book 🙂 Ms. Albright also pegged the small town vibe so perfectly – it almost made me have nightmares of some of my experiences growing up in a small town.

For me, one of the things that makes most romance novels that I love, are the secondary characters – Scarlett’s friend Luanne was a hoot and I can’t wait to see if she gets her HEA in Jami’s next book. Although the rest of Scarlett’s family (Aunt Honey in particular) made me just laugh. I cringed at the description of the small town gossip biddies (because there is no other word to describe them). I wasn’t a huge fan of Gavin’s manager – but i’m sure he is going to redeem himself in a later book (or at least he better!). Overall, 4 stars for Running from the Rock Star and I know i’ll be looking for more books by Ms. Albright in the future.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 31, 2017 in Book Review

 

Tags: , , , ,