Monday, June 26, 2017

The Swallow's Nest - Contemporary Fiction Review

The Swallow's Nest by Emilie Richards

Rating:  Very Good 
Source:  Author

Description:  

Three women fight for the chance to raise the child they've all come to love
When Lilia Swallow's husband, Graham, goes into remission after a challenging year of treatment for lymphoma, the home and lifestyle blogger throws a party. Their best friends and colleagues attend to celebrate his recovery, but just as the party is in full swing, a new guest arrives. She presents Lilia with a beautiful baby boy, and vanishes.

Toby is Graham's darkest secret, his son, conceived in a moment of despair. Lilia is utterly unprepared for the betrayal the baby represents, and perhaps more so for the love she begins to feel once her shock subsides. Now this unasked-for, precious gift becomes a life-changer for three women: Lilia, who takes him into her home and heart; Marina, who bore and abandoned him until circumstance and grief change her mind; and Ellen, who sees in him a chance to correct the mistakes she made with her own son, Toby's father.

A custody battle begins, and each would-be mother must examine her heart, confront her choices and weigh her dreams against the fate of one vulnerable little boy. Each woman will redefine family, belonging and love and the results will alter the course of not only their lives, but also the lives of everyone they care for.

Genre:  Fiction - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been a fan of Emilie Richards' books for years so I couldn't resist this newest book.

My Impression:  This is a challenging subject.  A custody battle is always unpleasant but especially when a small child with no voice is involved.  Toby is so young, so helpless, and so completely at the mercy of the people fighting over him and a court decision that it's heartbreaking.  Honestly, if this book had been written by anyone other than Emilie Richards I probably would have passed on this one.  Richards keeps this topic from becoming too grim or depressing without ever trivializing the issue or the emotions involved.

I loved Lilia.  She isn't perfect but she's trying her best.  Her reaction to Toby and the situation felt very realistic.  No one knows exactly how they'll react to unthinkable situations and at first I don't Lilia knew how to react but her struggles worked both for the situation and for the character.  Lilia is also a lifestyle blogger whose blog is the family's primary source of income.  It's not something she can abandon and it was interesting to see how she managed to talk about the changes in her life.  Marina and Ellen are much harder to like and sympathize with (especially Marina) but I did feel like I understood both women.  While their actions and choices were questionable at times they weren't one note villains.

The ending was touching and felt complete without being too pat.  It was one of those books that when you finish you just sit for a moment reflecting.  I felt like I knew these characters and that I had been fully in their world.  This was a wonderful reminder of why I love Emilie Richards' books so much.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author:  Absolutely!  After reading this book I went to my library and got out a bunch of books that I hadn't read yet.  I'm looking forward to some binge reading.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Absolutely!  If you enjoy books with real emotional connections and wonderful but flawed characters you really must try Emilie Richards.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

This Week in Reading - June 25


It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

Cocoa Beach By Beatriz Williams - I'm super excited about this one!  I'm a big fan of Williams' books so when I got an email from the publisher asking if I'd like a copy of this newest one I could say yes fast enough!

French Fried by Kylie Logan - I won this is in a giveaway over at Carstairs Considers and was thrilled when it arrived this week.  I have the first in the series and am really looking to reading this one as well.

That's it for this week though I have a bunch of requests pending over on NetGalley.  2 of my favorite publishers but some great looking books up while I was out of town so I had to do a bit of a request binge.




Currently:

Reading:  My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier, Howard's End is on the Landing by Susan Hill and Stardance Summer by Emily March

Listening:  I'm still listening to podcasts but I'm slowly getting caught up.  I was listening to a lot of Lazy Genius and What Should I Read I Next

Watching:  I watched a lot of movies with my Grandfather this week.  We watched Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, An American in Paris, My Fair Lady, Arsenic and Old Lace, and The Defiant Ones.  All were very good though I think Arsenic and Old Lace is my favorite.  I love Cary Grant.

Off the Blog:

The Tornado and I were out of town this whole week visiting my grandparents and had a good time.  Tropical Storm Cindy was not particularly kind and we had a lot of rainy weather and storms but we didn't really have to go anywhere and there were little breaks in the rain so we were able to go outside some.  The drive home had some rough spots but luckily not too bad or too long.  It does feel good to be home though!

This week the Tornado will be at Space Camp.  They have a day camp for younger kids but it's a full day - 8 to 5 - jam packed with activites so I have a feeling he will be exhausted when I pick him up!  Other than that not much is going on this week other than getting caught up from being out of town and getting ready for our next RV trip which will be around July 4th which is somehow NEXT week.  How did that happen?

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Swallow's Nest - Contemporary Fiction Review
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Best Books of 2017 So Far
Wednesday:  Booked 4 Murder - Cozy Mystery Review
Thursday:  My Cousin Rachel - Classic Mystery Review
Friday:  Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday:  Crime of Passion Fruit - Cozy Mystery Review

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

52 Pins in 52 Weeks - June Edition


I absolutely love Pinterest! My current pin count is just under 10,500 and I have dozens of boards. I alternate between pinning from the tons of food and craft blogs (I have a different system for book blogs!) and pinning after mindlessly scrolling through the "Everything" option where I can see all the pins that have been pinned and repinned recently.


At the first of the year I make a board called 52 Pins in 52 Weeks and fill it with 52 pins that I want to do over the course of the year. I've tried to include a good mix of food, holiday, and craft pins and push myself to step a little out of my comfort zone. I pin my results on my 52 Pins in 52 Weeks Results board. Some pins are wins and some are most definitely fails but it's always interesting to attempt them!


This year I hope you'll share your Pin Wins and Fails with me and link up below! The format is totally up to you. Just post about the pins you've tried over the month (it can be multiple posts) and link up here! The link up will the the last Saturday of every month and I can't wait to see what everyone is doing!

This month is seriously light.  I've been in a bit of a cooking slump and between that and traveling not much got done!  2 of the pins I'm working on are gardening pins so I'm not quite sure if they are wins or fails.  One involves a squash plant but mine is currently sulking and refusing to do anything so it's hard to tell anything!

So here's the pin I did get done this month!


My Results:  I love all things lemon and the flavor of this was amazing.  However something about the texture was a little off - almost curdled.  The instructions say just to whisk everything together but I think next time I'd pull out my mixer and make sure that everything is really mixed well.  Though really I think I prefer regular lemon bars to these bars so there probably won't be a next time.

I've got cherry tomatoes coming in and a few pins I'm looking forward to using them with.  As well, the Tornado and I have a few projects planned for the next few weeks that we're looking forward too so July should be much busier.

If you've gotten any pins done this month I'd love to see what you've done and what you thought!



Friday, June 23, 2017

Friday Linkups: Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency















It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
If you are at a particularly good point in a book and the phone rings or the doorbell rings, do you stop reading or let the phone or doorbell go unanswered?

My Answer:
I do most of my reading at night so if the phone or doorbell is ringing at 11PM it's typically not something that can be ignored.  I have been known to get so wrapped up in my book that I don't hear the phone or anything else around me but for the most part if I hear it it'll eat at me until I know what's going on!  That said, I ignore a sensible time to go to sleep pretty much every night because I'm reading!

This week's book is Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency by Douglas Adams.  This is another take 2 as I meant to read it last summer but somehow never managed it.  Now is the time!  My husband really enjoyed this book and we watched the BBC show that was based off this book and I loved it.  Well except for the last 5 minutes which I like to pretend didn't happen.  While there were a lot of changes between the show and the book the feel is pretty similar (apparently - I haven't read it but J swears this is the case) and the show did a pretty good job of capturing Adams' offbeat sense of humor.

The Beginning:
This time there would be no witnesses."

My Thoughts:
Well that sounds ominous!

The 56:
This was the evening of the last day of Gordon Way's life, and he was wondering if the rain would hold off for the weekend.

My Thoughts:
I have no idea why this is Gordon Way's life but it doesn't sound like it's expected.  I suspect most people are thinking inconsequential things most of the time.

So what do you think?  Keep reading?


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Serenity Harbor - Contemporary Romance Review

Serenity Harbor (Haven Point) by RaeAnne Thayne

Rating:  Good
Source:  Publicist

Description: Computer-tech millionaire Bowie Callahan is about the last person that schoolteacher Katrina Bailey wants to work for. As far as she can see, he's arrogant, entitled and not up to the task of caring for his young half brother, Milo. But Kat is, especially if it brings her closer to her goal of adopting an orphaned little girl. And as her kindness and patience work wonders with Milo, she realizes there's more to sexy, wary Bo than she'd ever realized.
Bo never imagined he'd be tasked with caring for a sibling he didn't know existed. Then again, he never pictured himself impulsively kissing vibrant, compassionate Katrina in the moonlight. Now he's ready to make her dream of family come true…and hoping there's room in it for him, too…

Genre:  Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:  Thayne is one of my absolute favorite contemporary romance authors so I can never resist her books!

My Impression:  I love RaeAnne Thayne's stories and her ability to make picking up a new Haven Point novel just like visiting old friends.  I love checking in on old friends but at the same time it never gets overwhelming or makes me feel like I need to remember all the details of something that happened 5 books ago.

This book was no different.  I loved catching up with the Haven Point residents and getting to know the youngest Bailey who seemed so different from her older siblings.  Katrina took awhile for me to warm up to.  While I sympathized with her struggle to figure out how her new priorities fits in with the Katrina that Haven Point has always known, she came off a little one note.  Her affinity for children - especially Milo is so sweet and feels genuine.  Bowie is also an interesting character.  He's brilliant, successful, and has made close friends but his past is horrible and he's spent most of life trying to forget it.  When he suddenly finds himself guardian of his six year old half brother he didn't know existed.  Milo has autism and is unable to communicate and Bowie is desperately trying to do his best.  Katrina comes along at the perfect time.

The story pulled me in from the beginning. Both Katrina and Bowie's relationship with Milo was really special and felt authentic.  However, the chemistry between the two took along time to click for me.  I just didn't feel this relationship even though I liked them.  These are very minor issues and didn't keep me from enjoying the book.  Thayne never fails to create a world I enjoy visiting.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author:  Absolutely!  I have the next book and am really looking forward to diving in!

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy contemporary romances that focus more on an emotional connection than heat than Thayne is an author you must not miss!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Rather Be the Devil - Mystery Review

Rather be the Devil (An Inspector Rebus Mystery) by Ian Rankin

Rating: Very Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Some cases never leave you.

For John Rebus, forty years may have passed, but the death of beautiful, promiscuous Maria Turquand still preys on his mind. Murdered in her hotel room on the night a famous rock star and his entourage were staying there, Maria's killer has never been found.

Meanwhile, the dark heart of Edinburgh remains up for grabs. A young pretender, Darryl Christie, may have staked his claim, but a vicious attack leaves him weakened and vulnerable, and an inquiry into a major money laundering scheme threatens his position. Has old-time crime boss Big Ger Cafferty really given up the ghost, or is he biding his time until Edinburgh is once more ripe for the picking?

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book: I'd been wanting to try Ian Rankin for awhile and since this sounded like it centered on a cold case I hoped I could jump in here without any problem since I'm not going to go back 21 books anytime soon.

My Impression: I didn't realize how much I missed police procedurals until I started listening to this one.  This is set in Edinburgh so it's a little different than my usual reads that typically take place in London but that made it all the more interesting.  This is definitely not a cozy.  The atmosphere is very heavy and there is some violence though never to the point of it feeling gory.  The bad guys are seriously bad and sometimes it's hard to tell who is really a good guy.  There are some police politics as well though while they added realism to the mystery they never took over the story.

There's a lot of mystery here.  There's a cold case, a recent assault, a missing person or two, and a couple of murders.  As well there's several different organized crime factions and it's hard to tell just who really is involved. At first I struggled with keeping track of what was going on but fairly early on I got my footing and was fully pulled into the story.

While the mystery was very good and at times gripping what I enjoyed the most was the characters.  There's John Rebus, finally retired and in iffy health, who is trying to figure out just what being retired means to him.  As well are Malcom Fox and Siobhan Clark, both Detective Inspectors, whose friendship has been strained by Fox's promotion.  I loved watching them deal with their relationships with each other, bicker,and work together.

I'm so glad I finally tried this series!  I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, the characters,and the world Rankin creates.  I think you could jump into the series here and pretty quickly figure out what is going on though if you're like me you'll be wanting to go back to the beginning of the series as soon as you finish this one!

Audio Note:  James Macpherson did a good job with the audio.  His Scottish accent rang true and I finally feel like I know how to correctly pronounce Siobhan.  However, because his accent was so strung I think that it was had me dragging my feet at the very beginning.  Once I got used to it though I was off and running and thoroughly caught up in the mystery.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely!  I'm looking forward to spending more time with the characters and reading new mysteries in this series.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  Absolutely!  If you enjoy procedurals like Deborah Crombie I think you'd enjoy this series.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start.  One of the things I've been really trying to do this year is read the books that I've been meaning to read but there are just so many it's hard not to get overwhelmed.  While I have made some progress this year it's still not hard to come up with a list of 10 series I want to read!

1.  Dublin Murder Squad by Tana French - This is one of those series that I've been wanting to start since I discovered it when I started blogging.  I love police procedurals and I love books set in Ireland.  I actually have the first book scheduled for later in the year and I'm really looking forward to it!

2.  The Beach House series by Mary Alice Monroe - Every summer there's a new book in this series with a gorgeously beachy cover and every summer I think "I really need to read that".  I think I actually own one or two of these!

3.  The Seven Sisters series by Lucinda Riley - Something about this series has put it on my radar since the very first one came out.  The covers are gorgeous and there's some magic elements.  Honestly, I don't know that much about the series other than each one centers on a sister trying to find out her past but I know I want to read it!

4.  Frieda Klein series by Nicci French - Another police procedural though this one centers around a psychotherapist which sounds interesting.

5.  Lady Darby mysteries by Anna Lee Huber - I love historical mysteries and this series has high reviews from some of my favorite bloggers.  I'm really looking forward to this one.

6.  Ten Beach Road by Wendy Wax - This is another series that I mean to start every time a new book comes out.  The covers are gorgeous and really sound like something I'd enjoy.

7.  Tradd Street series by Karen White - I discovered this one years ago and it's really perfect for me.  It's set in Savannah which is a city I love.  There's ghosts and old house renovations and secrets from the past and all kinds of fun things.  The first one is actually on my shelf and I'm hoping to read it this year.

8.  Spilling CID by Sophie Hannah - I've really enjoyed Hannah's Poirot mysteries (2nd was better than the first) but would really love to see something by her using her own characters.

9.  Billionaire Builders by Jennifer Probst - I'm not really a fan of the whole billionaire thing in romances but this has a strong HGTV feel which I'm definitely a big fan of.  Plus, it just sounds like a fun series.

10. Rhymes with Love by Elizabeth Boyd - I took a long break from historical romances but have recently gotten back into them.  I really haven't heard much about this series or author but all the titles have nursery rhyme pun names which totally cracks me up so I feel like I should give them a try.

What series have you been wanting to start?





Monday, June 19, 2017

Ramblings from the Stacks: The Dreaded DNF

I struggle with DNFing a book.  I mean in theory I know there's nothing wrong with it.  If a book isn't working then I should just put it down instead of forcing myself to continue with something I'm not really enjoying.  When I start a book I feel like I should finish it even though the times I've slogged my way through a book I wasn't interested in usually has me hating the book, the author, the books near it on the bookshelf and just in the middle of a big reading slump.  This year I'm trying to get better about just putting a book down and calling it a day.  This year one of the things I wanted to focus on was not forcing myself to finish books that I just wasn't clicking with and here are a couple of my DNF experiences so far.

Because You're Mine by Colleen Coble was highly rated on Goodreads and the cover definitely caught my eye.  So into the library bag it went.  There were crumbling mansions, Irish people, and all kinds of Gothic elements so I figured it was my kind of book.  17 pages in I started to have doubts and by page 59 I just didn't care anymore.  This is the kind of book I wrestle with when it comes to DNFing.  I don't hate it.  I found the writing style very readable but when it came to the story line and the characters I just didn't care.  So do I read the remaining 250 pages and finish up a book that at best was going to be just okay or do I call it done - no harm no foul, no more time wasted?  Actually when I put it like that it seems pretty obvious but in the heat of the moment it just doesn't seem that easy.  I did make myself read 50 pages and by that point the villain is so patently obvious and exaggeratedly villainous (there's mentions that he hates all animals and there's some kittens who I don't think come to a good end but I wasn't sticking around to find out) that I just couldn't take it anymore.  So back into my library book it went and I felt immediate relief!

Then came Chateau of Secrets by Melanie Dobson.  This was a review book from back in 2014 that I really wanted to read.  It was dual time line with family mysteries and an old chateau in France.  It sounded like my kind of book.  I was really looking forward to it but it was one of those books I just felt like I was skimming along the surface of the words.  I was never pulled in.  I never believed these characters were real.  I didn't hate it.  There was no eye rolling moments but I just didn't care. When I voluntarily called my cell phone provider to discuss my plan instead of reading this book I figured it was time to call it done.

How do you feel about DNFs?  What was the final straw with your last DNF?

Sunday, June 18, 2017

This Week in Read - June 18


It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

After Many Years: Twenty-One "Long Lost" Stories by L.M. Montgomery, Carolyn Strom and Christy Woster - I'm a huge Montgomery fan and I love her short stories.  Coming across this collection of unknown stories made my day and the approval notice made my week!  (NetGalley)

Tiny House on the Hill by Celia Bonaduce - I love tiny houses!  No part of me wants to live in a tiny house or has any plan to download to a smaller house but I'm all about some Tiny House Hunters on HGTV so this contemporary romance/women's fiction about a tiny house was something I couldn't resist!  (NetGalley)

Eight is Enough by Tom Braden - This a memoir from the father of the family the show was based on.  I had no idea the show was based on a real family but Braden sounds like a fascinating guy!  Plus since I just read Cheaper by the Dozen I'm curious to see the differences in how they raise their large families (Publisher)

Currently:

Reading:  Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts, Booked 4 Murder by J.C. Eaton and A Stardance Summer by Emily March

Listening:  I'm still listening to podcasts trying to catch up and I've really been enjoying True Crime Garage.  If you enjoy true crime this is a really great one to listen too.  They tackle all kinds of cases and I love their discussions.

Watching:  I've been watching Nowhere to Hide on the Investigation Discover Go App which is a show that focuses on different cases by this one private investigator.  It's a pretty good range of cases from murder to finding adoptive parents.  There were only 2 seasons though so I'm almost done.  J and I have been watching Fortitude on Amazon Prime and we've really been enjoying it.  It's kind of a dark British murder show with a touch of the X Files.  The scenery is gorgeous but no part of me wants to go visit a place that high up in the Arctic circle.

Off the Blog:

My view this weekend
We survived our camping trip and had so much fun!  The campground was right on a lake and one day we rented a paddle boat and the next day a canoe.  I hadn't put sunscreen on my legs the first day and they were lobster-like by the time we got back to the shore.  I forgot about how quickly you burn when you're out on the water.  This time we used our motorhome for regular camping but in a few weeks we're going to try the mobile hotel use.  We're going to go up to Chattanooga and visit the aquarium and the children's museum they have there and whatever else they have.  I think we're going to do a lot more traveling with this addition though for awhile we'll probably be sticking to destinations about 4 hours away or less for quick weekend trips though we do have a big trip planned for October.  The one thing I have to learn is how to pack everything up to minimize noise.  I did pretty good on the way to the campground but it was a little loud coming home!

This week was pretty quiet.  The Tornado and I went to the Botanical Gardens to see the dinosaur exhibit.  I was expecting smaller art project type things but these were HUGE animatronic type dinosaurs.  The Tyrannosaurus Rex was a little too real but the Triceratops was pretty great!  Next week the Tornado and I are heading down to south Mississippi to visit my grandparents for the week.  It's hot enough here but it'll be boiling there!  I'm very grateful for very efficient A/C!  We're leaving J here on his own since he has to work but will be back by the weekend.  I did make him promise not to watch season 2 of Fortitude until I get back!  

On the Blog:

What Happened:



What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Ramblings from the Stacks:  DNF Report
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Series I've Been Meaning to Start
Wednesday:  Rather Be the Devil - Mystery Review
Thursday:  Serenity Harbor - Contemporary Romance Review
Friday:  Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday:  52 Pins in 52 Weeks - June Edition

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Miraculous Mysteries - Classic Mystery Review

Miraculous Mysteries: Locked Room Mysteries and Impossible Crimes edited by Martin Edwards

Rating:  Good
Source: NetGalley

Description:  Impossible crime stories have been relished by puzzle-lovers ever since the invention of detective fiction. Fiendishly intricate cases were particularly well suited to the cerebral type of detective story that became so popular during the ‘golden age of murder’ between the two world wars. But the tradition goes back to the days of Edgar Allan Poe and Wilkie Collins, and impossible crime stories have been written by such luminaries as Arthur Conan Doyle, G.K. Chesterton, Dorothy L. Sayers and Margery Allingham.
This anthology celebrates their work, alongside long-hidden gems by less familiar writers. Together these stories demonstrate the range and high accomplishment of the classic British impossible crime story over more than half a century.

Genre: Mystery - Classic, Short Stories

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoy these collections edited by Edwards and I love a good locked room mystery!

My Impression:  I love the job that Edwards does editing these short story collections.  Before each story is a very short biography of the author so I know who they are and what they are known for and for me this context really adds to the enjoyment of reading.  I love a locked door mystery and this collection really takes those mysteries to the next level as not only do most of the murders occur in a locked room but they are seemingly impossible.  Some I could figure out but others I was clueless until the reveal.

A number of the authors I was familiar with but several were completely new to me.  I think my favorite new discovery was Sax Rhomer who created the master-criminal Dr. Fu Manchu.  While he wasn't in the short story collection included in this book the detective Moris Klaw was and I very much enjoyed watching him solve what seemed to be an impossible locked door mystery.  My favorite story over all was probably Dorothy Sayers'  The Haunted Policeman.  It is not difficult to see why she has so wonderfully stood the test of time while so many of the other authors in this book have faded more in obscurity.  While all the mysteries were entertaining brain twisters some were on the dry side.  This isn't a book I'd want to dive into and read in one setting but it was a complete delight to read a story or two each night - a delicious twisty little treat at the end of the day.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author:  Absolutely!  I love these classic collections and am always on the lookout for them.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I think anyone who enjoys classic mysteries would enjoy these.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Friday Linkups: Bay of Sighs















It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
How do you organize your blog in terms of what is in your side bar?  Do you have categories and defined sections in your side bar?

My Answer:
I haven't spent too much time on my sidebars though I do try and make sure that the index and most popular posts are visible.

This week's book is a take 2!  Back at the end of 2016 I had planned on reading Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts.  I had really enjoyed the first book in the trilogy and figured the 2nd book would be the perfect way to end 2016.  However, things got busy and the book never quite got read.  This summer I'm trying to read more of what I want to read instead of sticking so strictly to a schedule and this one came to mind.  It seems like the perfect summer read because it's a fast paced romantic suspense AND there's mermaids.  I'm not very far into this one but I typically enjoy Roberts' books so my expectations are pretty high.


The Beginning:
For an instant, like a single beat of wings, Annika scented the sea, heard the voices lifted in song.  Here then gone, a blur within the blur of color and speed but it swelled in her heart like love.

My Thoughts:
This is a little heavy on the description.  I do like the feel of just a hint of singing somewhere in the ocean.

The 56:
"We're all afraid, Anni."
Surprised she looked up at him.  "No one seemed afraid but me."
"Every last one of us," he corrected, "If we weren't afraid we'd be crazy.  You know what courage is."  He said it, didn't ask it, but she nodded.
"It's bravery.  It's facing the dark."

My Thoughts:
I like this exchange between the 2 main characters.  He's not teasing her for being scared or trying to tell her that it's all okay.  He's just telling her that she's not alone.

So what do you think?  Keep reading?  Do you have any books you meant to read ages ago but are finally just getting around to picking up?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Beach at Painter's Cove - Fiction Blog Tour Review

About The Beach at Painter's Cove

• Paperback: 432 pages • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 13, 2017) From the New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Beach comes another heartwarming story of four generations of women who reunite in their crumbling family mansion by the sea for a dramatic summer filled with love, family, secrets and sisterhood. The Whitaker family’s Connecticut mansion, Muses by the Sea, has always been a haven for artists, a hotbed of creativity, extravagances, and the occasional scandal. Art patrons for generations, the Whitakers supported strangers but drained the life out of each other. Now, after being estranged for years, four generations of Whitaker women find themselves once again at The Muses. Leo, the Whitaker matriarch, lives in the rambling mansion crammed with artwork and junk. She plans to stay there until she joins her husband Wes on the knoll overlooking the cove and meadow where they first met. Her sister-in-law Fae, the town eccentric, is desperate to keep a secret she has been hiding for years. Jillian, is a jet setting actress, down on her luck, and has run out of men to support her. She thinks selling The Muses will make life easier for her mother, Leo, and Fae by moving them into assisted living. The sale will also bring her the funds to get herself back on top. Issy, Jillian’s daughter, has a successful life as a museum exhibit designer that takes her around the world. But the Muses and her grandmother are the only family she’s known and when her sister leaves her own children with Leo, Issy knows she has to step in to help. Steph, is only twelve-years-old and desperately needs someone to fire her imagination and bring her out of her shell. What she begins to discover at the Muses could change the course of her future. As Issy martials the family together to restore the mansion and catalogue the massive art collection, a surprising thing happens. Despite storms and moonlight dancing, diva attacks and cat fights, trips to the beach and flights of fancy, these four generations of erratic, dramatic women may just find a way to save the Muses and reunite their family.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

My Thoughts:

This was a gloriously summer read with a beautiful setting and an incredibly dysfunctional family trying to find their strength.  Right from the start I loved Issy.  She's carved out a career that she loves but has always missed the house she grew up in with her loving grandparents.  When everything falls apart she's the only one who can and will go back to set things right.  I loved watching her try and figure out what to do and realize that things might not have always been as they appeared in the best possible of ways.  The other characters were a little harder to warm up to but as the book went along they became part of life at the Muses and it was fun to see the changes (particularly in Jillian and Stephanie).  
This was an entertaining family saga with imperfect characters trying to find their way.  It's perfect hammock reading with bits of humor and heart but never silly.  This was my first Shelley Noble book but it most definitely won't be my last.  Rating:  Loved it!

About Shelley Noble

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer and has worked on a number of films. She lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to visit lighthouses and vintage carousels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America. Find out more about Shelley at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Bad Housekeeping - Cozy Mystery Review

Bad Housekeeping (An Agnes and Effie Mystery #1) by Maia Chance

Rating: Just Okay
Source: NetGalley

Description:  When 28-year-old Agnes Blythe, the contented bifocals-wearing half of an academic power couple, is jilted by her professor boyfriend for the town Pilates instructor, her future is suddenly less than certain. So when her glamorous, eccentric Great Aunt Effie arrives in town and offers a job helping to salvage the condemned Stagecoach Inn, what does Agnes have to lose? But work at the inn has barely begun when the unlikely duo find the body of manipulative Kathleen Todd, with whom Agnes and Effie both have recently had words. Words strong enough to land them at the top of the suspect list.
The pair have clearly been framed, but no one else seems interested in finding the real murderer and Agnes and Effie's sleuthing expertise is not exactly slick. Nevertheless, they're soon investigating a suspect list with laundry dirtier than a middle school soccer team's and navigating threats, car chases, shotgun blasts, and awkward strolls down memory lane.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've really enjoyed other books by Maia Chance and I love a book about home restoration.

What I Didn't Like:
Agnes drove me crazy for the first 2/3 of the book!  The fact that she left the apartment she shared with her boyfriend with NOTHING and didn't really seem worried about getting in back even though she had access to no clothes that fit her, her cell phone charger, or her money and identification just seemed insane.  Her ex-boyfriend is beyond a jerk yet she seems to think they're getting back together.  She doesn't want a lawyer even though she's a person of interest in a murder.  Really the list of bad decisions goes on and on.

The majority of the characters act like they're in high school.  There's a whole lot of eye rolling and while I don't remember if the characters actually say "duh" they might as well.  Insults like loser and dork abound.

They hide information from the police.  I get not sharing that Effie is sleeping in the inn but maybe you should let the detective know after you have a violent run in with a psychopath who proceeds to stalk you and attack you.

There's a LOT going on - so much so that the end felt a bit convoluted.   A lot is setup for the series itself but there are also a lot of potential suspects and motives and it gets a little chaotic.

What I Did Like:
Aunt Effie is pretty awesome.  She's gorgeous, chic and doesn't care in the slightest what people think.

While a little convoluted the mystery is well done.  The ending makes sense and the reveal was a surprise.

Maia Chance's writing style just pulls me in even when I was rolling my eyes over Agnes' antics.  She makes this a fun and breezy read even when the characters were driving me crazy.

In the last third Agnes kind of finds her people and the beginnings of a backbone seem to be developing.  I'm hopeful for the future.

Overall:
While I didn't love this one I really think there's a lot of potential for a great series.  Agnes and Effie really are fun together and Maia Chance is such an entertaining author.  While I did rate this as Just Okay this isn't a series I'm giving up on and I think book #2 will get much higher ratings.


Would I Read More of this Series/Author:  Absolutely!  While this wasn't my favorite I'm looking forward to seeing where the series goes.

Would I Recommend this Book? I would recommend the author with no hesitation.  I love both her fairy tale retelling mysteries and her 1920s era mysteries.  I think this series has a lot of potential but I'm not sure I'd recommend this first book without reservations.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Memorable Fictional Fathers

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from the Broke and the Bookish is a Father's Day freebie.  Since I did a list of 10 Memorable Fictional Mothers back in May I thought I'd do a similar list which just focuses on fathers for Father's Day.

1.  Matthew Cuthbert from Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery - While Matthew isn't Anne's biological father I'm not sure there's a better and sweeter father/daughter relationship than the relationship between Anne and Matthew.

2.  Frank Gilbreth from Cheaper by the Dozen by Frank Gilbreth Jr. and Ernestine Gilbreth Carey - While Frank Gilbreth isn't exactly a fictional character he is definitely incredibly larger than life and memorable.  He's brilliant and devoted to his children but not too worried about using them in his motion study experiments.

3.  Pa from The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - On the opposite end of the Father of the Year bar is Huck Finn's father who is really just pretty awful and no good.

4.  Sully from Any Day Now by Robyn Carr - While Sully isn't Sierra's actual father he is the closest thing she's had to a father and watching their relationship develop was one of my favorite things about this book.

5.  Fritz Hudson from The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart - Fritz isn't actually in this book as he's been dead several months before the beginning but his presence is huge both because of his final requests and from his secrets that his daughters are just now discovering.

6.  Pa from Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty - While not really a main character Pa is such a devoted father.  His love and desire to protect Serafina really shine throughout the book.

7.  Poseidon from The Lightning Thief  by Rick Riordan - Because he's Poseidon and it's hard to get more memorable than that!

8.  Mr. Murry from Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle - Mr. Murry isn't the biggest personality but his presence is so vital to the book and he seems so caring and smart.

9.  Mr. Melendy from The Saturdays by Elizabeth Enright -  The Melendys are one of my very favorite fictional families and Mr. Melendy is one of the best.  He's not around all that much - especially when they move to the country but he's always ready to play a game or join in the fun but is still most definitely the authority figure!

10.  Pa Ingals from Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingals Wilder  - Pa is kind of the fun parent in these books always ready with a treat or a funny story though if I was Ma Ingals I'd be less than thrilled with being drug across prairies just as I finally got windows in my house!

Who are your most memorable fathers?

Monday, June 12, 2017

One Week to the Wedding - Review + Top 5 List



One Week to the Wedding (Misty Point #1) by Olivia Miles

Rating: Good
Source: Publisher

Description:  Kate Daniels couldn't be more excited to be planning her best friend's wedding...in theory. Lately, just thinking about gowns and centerpieces makes her want to hide under the covers with her dog and a good book --one that doesn't include a romantic plot, thank you very much. Maybe it's because her fiancé cheated. Or maybe it's because he cheated with her younger sister, Charlotte. Or maybe it's because her newfound reputation as jilted wedding planner isn't exactly doing wonders for her career.
Charlotte knows she messed up. Big time. But she also knows something Kate doesn't-something that might bring them close again, if her sister will ever take her calls. But as time passes and silence grows, Charlotte begins to realize she can't hide from her problems forever, and that sometimes the only place to run is home.

With the wedding only a week away, Kate expects a few surprises. But what she doesn't expect is to find herself believing...in the strength of family, and the possibility of finding love again.

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Top 5 List:
When signing up for this blog tour one of the options in addition to the review was a Top 5 list.  Now I'm all about a list I just couldn't resist!  One of the things I always wonder about an author isn't necessarily about their actual writing but more about their writing habits.  And since I was in a bit of a snacking mood I couldn't resist hearing what Olivia Miles reaches for when she's making her characters come to life.  These are her Top 5 writing snacks:

1. Biscotti
2. Blue corn chips with guacamole
3. Cheese and crackers
4. Bell peppers
5. Popcorn

Why I Picked This Book:  I really enjoyed Olivia Miles' Briar Creek series and really wanted to get to know Misty Point.

My Impression:  I'm so not a wedding person yet somehow I just can't seem to resist a book about wedding planners!  I love reading about all the details and all the stress of favors and seating arrangements and fittings but at the same time being relieved that I didn't have to do any of that!  Kate is wedding planner extraordinaire desperately trying to make sure her best friend has the absolute perfect day all while trying to deal with a broken heart, betrayal, and a horrible impossible to please boss.  I loved the community of Misty Point.  It is a small town on the beach with a casual feel and interesting characters just begging to have their story told.

It took me a little longer to warm up to Kate and Alec than it did to Misty Point. Neither of them are in the happiest of spots and are just starting to realize that it might be time to change.  This change isn't quick for either of them and there were times it felt like while the story itself was progressing they weren't really changing.  Despite that Miles' continued to keep me invested in the story and it was a book I just wanted to keep reading - and the pay off was definitely worth it!

This was perfect back deck reading (with maybe some blue corn chips and guacamole inspired from the author's own snack choices!) and I enjoyed every minute of it despite my few quibbles.  This is a series that I think has a lot of potential and I can't wait for the next book!

Recommended to contemporary romance readers who love a good small town setting!




Sunday, June 11, 2017

This Week in Reading - June 11

It's Sunday Post time!  This is hosted by the awesome Caffeinated Book Reviewer and gives us all a chance to recap our week.

What I Got:

The Summer that Made Us by Robyn Carr - I love any book about family relationships and making peace with the past.  Throw in that this one is by Robyn Carr and how could I pass it up??  (Little Bird Publicity)

Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne - How can it be time for holiday books to start landing on the schedule (I mean it's for September/October but still!)?  Luckily, Thayne writes some of my favorite Christmas books and this one features a librarian which I'm all kinds of on board with! (Little Bird Publicity)

A Fatal Collection by Mary Ellen Hughes - I have several books in previous series by Hughes already on my shelf but this is the first book in a new series around a music box shop so I just had to give it a try!  (NetGalley)

I have a few books arriving in the next few weeks but no pending requests so I'm calling it a win!

Currently:

Reading: Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance and The Beach at Painter's Cove by Shelley Noble

Listening:  Still listening to podcasts and trying to get caught up.  I'm almost to February!  I'm really enjoying The Vanished which is a true crime about missing persons cases and Again With This where they recap Beverly Hills 90201 episodes.  I only watched the first few seasons so they're talking about ones I haven't really seen (until I go back and listen to the early ones but that will be awhile) but they're hilarious.

Watching:  This hasn't been a big TV week.  I was hoping to get caught up with Doctor Who because I'm loving the new season and finally watch the related Class but didn't get around to it this week.

Off the Blog:

This was a long week.  I had a procedure called Rush Immunotherapy on Thursday which sounds more intense than it actually is.  Basically you sit in a room by yourself and get allergy shots every 30 minutes.  I found out last year that I'm allergic to cats which explained why my eyes were a constantly swollen mess.  Right before that our elderly cat had passed away and for the first time in years we were cat free.  And all of a sudden I could wear eye makeup again without risking looking like an extra from The Walking Dead.  But the Tornado really wants a cat and I don't want to disappoint him so I talked to my allergist and we figured out away that we can get a cat and I won't want to scratch my face off.  One of the big things was the allergy shots and apparently doing the rush thing makes the treatment start taking effect earlier.  There was tons of medicine before hand which made me feel groggy and took a chunk out of my reading time.  The procedure wasn't too bad though a little boring.  I did have a reaction to one of the last ones which meant I had to use an epi-pen and be observed for awhile but it wasn't a big deal. Now I just have to have 1 shot a week for awhile and all should be good.

My reward for all that was we are camping this weekend!  Back in March we got an RV and this will be our first time using it.  I'm super excited and hoping everything goes well!  I won't be around this weekend but I'll let you know how everything goes next week.

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  One Week to the Wedding - Contemporary Romance Review
Tuesday:  Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Favorite Fictional Fathers
Wednesday:  Bad Housekeeping - Cozy Mystery Review
Thursday:  The Beach at Painter's Cove - Fiction Blog Tour Review
Friday: Friday Linkups with Current Book
Saturday:  TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Still Life - Mystery Review

Still Life (Armand Gamache #1) by Louise Penny (Amazon link)

Rating: Good
Source: Library

Description:  Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montréal and yet a world away. Jane Neal, a long-time resident of Three Pines, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more but Gamache smells something foul this holiday season…and is soon certain that Jane died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

Genre: Mystery

Why I Picked This Book:  I've been wanting to try Louise Penny since I started hearing raves when I first started blogging.

My Impression:  Louise Penny's Armand Gamache series is one that I've been wanting to read since I first heard of it early on in my blogging life.  It's one that as a life long mystery reader I'm kind of surprised I hadn't stumbled on long before then.  There are so many elements that I absolutely love in a mystery - it's a police procedural mystery but also with a human element.  It's not cutesy or silly but not too gritty, gore-y, or dark either.  Most procedurals I have read in the past take place in the UK so this series having a Canadian setting was a nice treat.
This was series I'd been told many times that I needed to start at the beginning and after reading this I can see why.  There are so many personalities and relationships that I can already see the potential for development and being in at the beginning seems important.  I love Gamache and the rest of the team (except for one but I think that was intended) and watching the different ways they interacted with the suspects and witnesses was interesting.  I also enjoyed being a fly on the wall as they pooled information and discussed theories.
The mystery was interesting and the conclusion was surprising.  There were lots of red herrings and false leads and I was surprised by the end and loved how the pieces fit together.  This wasn't the fastest paced mystery.  I wouldn't say it dragged at any point but each piece of evidence was uncovered carefully.  I enjoyed it and the characters and will certainly be picking up the 2nd book in the series very soon.  However, I had a hard time rating this one.  If it was completely a stand alone I think I would have rated it as Good or 3 Stars without hesitation. But because it is part of a series and I can see the potential for so much growth and I'm really excited to see more of the characters I was very tempted to rate this higher even though for the book itself it was a solid 3.
If you are looking for a solid mystery and enjoy authors like Deborah Crombie than this would be a great pick.  As an added bonus you'll have a number of books to catch up on while you wait for Crombie's next book!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?: Absolutely!  I enjoyed this book and really saw the potential for a great series.

Would I Recommend this Book?:  I definitely would.  If you enjoy police procedurals than I think you'd love this book.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Friday Linkups - Accidentally on Purpose















It's Friday linkup time!  I'm linking up with the Book Blogger Hop hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer, Book Beginnings of Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader, and the Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

This Week's Book Blogger Hop Question:
If you could have lunch with any living author/and/or book bloggers, who would you choose and why?

My Answer:
Author-wise Jill Shalvis, Sarah MacLean, or Julia Quinn because every interview I've heard from them has been amazing.  I haven't heard as much from mystery authors though I've really enjoyed all the interviews I've read or listened to from Stephen King.

Blogger-wise this is impossible!  There are so many fantastic bloggers that I'd really love to have lunch with that there's no way I can answer this!  Maybe all the book bloggers should just get together for a big massive party!

This week's book was another random library grab but it's one from one of my favorite romance authors - Jill Shalvis.  Accidentally on Purpose is one of the more recent books in the Heartbreaker Bay series and while I usually prefer to read a series in order when I'm reading for pleasure I couldnt' resist this one when I saw it sitting on the shelf at the library.  I'm a little more than halfway through and really enjoying it!  I'm looking forward to going back and catching up on the series.

The Beginning: 
It was a good thing Elle Wheaton loved being in charge and ordering people around, because if it wasn't for the thrill of having both those things in her job description, she absolutely didn't get paid enough to handle all the idiots in her world.

My Thoughts:
I really like this beginning.  I definitely get a sense of who Elle is and what her job is like.

The 56:
He'd realized he wasn't cut out for having his hands tied just because his idea of right and wrong didn't match up with someone else's.

My Thoughts:
This makes him sound much more rebellious than he really is but his reasons for thinking this way really define his character.

So what do you think?  Keep reading?  Who would you like to have lunch with?

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Treble at the Jam Fest - Blog Tour Cozy Mystery Review + Giveaway

 
Cozy Mystery 4th in Series Midnight Ink (June 8, 2017) 
Paperback: 288 pages ISBN-13: 978-0738752402 E-Book ASIN: B01M1FC4OK
Erin Murphy, manager of Murphy’s Mercantile (aka the Merc), is tuning up for Jewel Bay’s annual Jazz Festival. Between keeping the Merc’s shelves stocked with Montana’s tastiest local fare and hosting the festival’s kick-off concert, Erin has her hands full.
Discord erupts when jazz guitarist Gerry Martin is found dead on the rocks above the Jewel River. The one-time international sensation had fallen out of sync with festival organizers, students, and performers. Was his death an accident—or did someone even the score?
Despite the warning signs to not get involved, Erin investigates. And when the killer attacks, she orchestrates her efforts into one last crescendo, hoping to avoid a deadly finale.

My Thoughts:  

I have been wanting to read one of Leslie Budewitz's books since her first Spice Shop Mystery came out which led me to discover that she also had a Food Lover's Village series.  How was I supposed to resist either of those?  She might as well have put my name on the cover and said "This is for you".  I had high expectations going into Treble at the Jam Fest and this mystery more than lived up to them! I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of this entertaining mystery.  I would love to go shop at the Merc and visit Jewel Cove and I really enjoyed getting to know Erin, Adam, her family, and all the rest of the residents. The balance of regular life to mystery solving was fantastic.  It always annoys me when the main character doesn't actually every show up at her day job but at the same time I don't want to be bogged down in chapters about inventory control.  Here we get touches of Erin's regular life (which is pretty busy even before she has murder solving on her To Do list) mixed in with a healthy dose of mystery solving.  The mystery was very entertaining and very well done.  Erin is super curious but never strays into TSTL territory or purposely hides important information from the police.  I stayed up more than a little past my bedtime because I just had to finish the book and find out whodunit!  My only problem is that all the food talk made me hungry!  If you haven't read any books in this series I don't think you'd have any problem jumping in right here.  As for me, I'm going to go find my copy of the first Spice Shop mystery and dive in!  Rating: Very Good

About The Author Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. Connect with her on her website, http://www.LeslieBudewitz.com, on Facebook, or on Twitter.








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Tour Participants
June 6 – Laura's Interests – REVIEW
June 6 – Cinnamon, Sugar, and a Little Bit of Murder – REVIEW
June 6 – View from the Birdhouse – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 7 – A Cozy Experience – REVIEW
June 8 – I Wish I Lived in a Library – REVIEW
June 8 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
June 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
June 9 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT
June 10 – Valerie's Musings – REVIEW
June 10 – Bookworm Cafe – SPOTLIGHT 
June 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT
June 11 – A Holland Reads – SPOTLIGHT
June 12 – Author Annette Drake's blog – INTERVIEW
June 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 13 – Books Direct – GUEST POST
June 13 – Queen of All She Reads – SPOTLIGHT
June 14 – Melina's Book Blog – REVIEW
June 14 – Deal Sharing Aunt – INTERVIEW
June 15 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW
June 15 – Cassidy's Bookshelves – GUEST POST
June 16 – Varietats – REVIEW
June 16 – Teresa Trent Author Site – SPOTLIGHT
June 17 - Bibliophile Reviews – REVIEW
June 18 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW
June 19 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
June 19 – My Journey Back – REVIEW
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Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Riversnow - Fiction Review

Riversnow (River Valley #4) by Tess Thompson

Rating: Good
Source: Author

Description:  Genevieve Banks is beautiful and successful - and one of Hollywood's highest paid actresses.
While filming opposite Hollywood's heartthrob Stefan Spencer in River Valley, Genevieve and Stefan form a deep friendship. He wants to take their relationship to the next level, but a violent incident from Genevieve's past has made her feel intimacy is an impossibility.

When her closely guarded secret is revealed, Genevieve is forced into a decision: Stay silent and let others suffer or bravely confront her violent past and the man who hurt her.

Genre: Fiction

Why I Picked This Book: The blurb caught my attention and it sounded like an interesting read.

My Impression:  
I liked:
The world Thompson created.  It reminded me a little bit of the world Emily March creates with her books.  Gennie and Stefan need a refuge and they find it in River Valley.

That it's a stand alone but part of a series.  While there are other couples from previous books involved in the story not reading their books did not keep me from enjoying this book.  Though I do want to go back and read earlier books.

The message.  There's some trigger issues here.  Sexual assault is a plot point and abortion is discussed.  The message and the discussion is very empowering and non-judgemental without straying over too preachy.  The religious angle was also done well.  Gennie's Catholic upbringing is discussed but never in a way that felt like an agenda was being pushed.  It was strength and comfort.

The writing style was incredibly readable.  This really connected with me in quickly and was a book I could have easily read in one setting if it had been possible.

I Didn't Like:
The dialogue was a bit stilted.  I liked what the characters were saying but the way they said it read a little forced.

Not a huge amount of character development.  Gennie and Stefan are a little on the perfect side and I didn't feel like I knew them much better from when I started though I did like them from beginning to end.  The book is only about 200 pages so this could be just a length limitation.

Overall:
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed Riversnow.  I liked Gennie and I really wanted to see what happened as the story unfolded.  It wasn't perfect but it was a quick enjoyable read that was perfect for a lazy afternoon.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?:  I would.  I'd like to read the stories of the other couples I met in this book - especially Tommy and Lee's.

Would I Recommend this Book?: If you enjoy contemporary fiction and are looking for a quick read that will keep you engaged this is a good pick.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday - New on TBR from the Mystery Genre

This week's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is New TBR Additions from X Genre.  Since I've been all about mysteries lately I decided to focus on the new mysteries I've added.

1.  Nun Too Soon by Alice Loweecey - This cozy mystery series about a former nun turned private investigator didn't really grab me when it first came out but I've read some fantastic reviews of the series so I need to give it a try.

2.  Lost Legacy by Annette Dashofy - This series has been on my radar for awhile and the 2nd book involves a 45 year old murder.  Old crimes are my favorite so this definitely needs to go on my TBR!

3.  Sulfur Springs by William Kent Krueger - I read the first few in this series years and years ago but then kind of forgot about it.  I really want to get caught up - especially since this is #16!

4.  I Am Half Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley - I really enjoyed the first three Flavia de Luce books so I'm really looking forward to reading #4.  Luckily my library has them all on audio!

5.  The Anatomist's Wife by Anna Lee Huber - This is a historical mystery series that I don't know too much about but I've heard some great things from trusted bloggers.  I'm really looking forward to trying the first book.

6.  Good Girls Don't Die by Isabelle Grey - I don't remember where I saw this but I love police procedurals - especially British Police Procedurals and this sounds like an interesting mystery.

7.  Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima - This is a K9 police procedural and every book I've seen in the series looks better than the last.  I'm really looking forward to trying it out!

8.  The Honeymoon by Tina Seskis -  When her new husband vanishes on their picture perfect honeymoon, Jemma's perfect new life goes up in smoke.  It's got a very Ruth Ware feel to it!

9.  Deadly Scandal by Kate Parker - Another historical murder mystery - this one set in 1930s London.  This one is full of international politics and a woman investigating her husband's murder.

10. The Trouble with Mirrors by Charlotte Elkins - I've been a fan of Aaron Elkins since I first discovered one of his Gideon Oliver books back in college.  I'm curious about this one which is part of a series that he and his wife co-wrote for years.  It's the first one I've seen written by just her.

What books have you added to your TBR recently?