Saturday, February 22, 2020

This Week in Reading - February 23

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:


Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer - Family secrets and a long lost journal entry made this one appeal to me.  (Publisher)

The Clutter Corpse by Simon Brett - This is an author I've enjoyed in the past but haven't read very much. Plus, I love when a character is a declutterer or something else that means they're cleaning out other people's houses.  (NetGalley)

A Forgotten Murder by Jude Deveraux - I haven't read this author before but there's a decades old mystery and an English estate so I couldn't resist!  (Publisher)

The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill - Dual timelines and a summer villa.  Couldn't resist!  (Publisher)

The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne - Thayne is a favorite and this one sounds like a good read.  (Publisher)

The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michelle Campbell - I've enjoyed other books by this author and I love these kinds of family mysteries.  (Publisher)


For Whom the Book Tolls by Laura Gail Black - There's an antique bookstore that a murder happened in.  How could I not pick this one up?  (NetGalley)

Death with a Dark Red Rose by Julia Buckley - I really enjoyed the previous book in this series so I had to pick this one up.  (Publisher)

Al Dente's Inferno by Stephanie Cole - I've seen some good reviews for this foodie cozy so I'm looking forward to it.  (Publisher)

Mimi Lee Gets a Clue by Jennifer J. Chow - I know nothing about this one but I love the cover and am looking forward to trying it. (Publisher)

Lavender Blue Murder by Laura Childs - This is a favorite series so I'm looking forward to spending some more time in Charleston.  (Publisher)

Well that got rather out of hand and I'm not even including the books I bought myself (they'll be on next week's list).  But it's 2.5 weeks worth of books so that makes it okay right?

Currently:


Reading:  Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan and Who Slays the Wicked by CS Harris

Listening:  The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley

Watching:  The Imagineering Story on Disney + which is absolutely fascinating.

Off the Blog:

We are back from Disney and from Louisiana!  Disney was such fun.  We walked just shy of 50 miles and rode bunches of rides and ate lots of food.  We were sad to leave but it's good to be home (and not walking 7 miles a day). It also looks like our time in Louisiana is drawing to a close which I have mixed feelings about.  I really love it there but it's nice to not be living out of a suitcase which is what we've been doing for 4 months.  I'm going to try and keep myself busy by tackling all the projects I've been needing to do but haven't actually been here to do. 

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Where We Belong - Romance Review
Tuesday:  Books with Bookstore Owners in the Story
Wednesday:  The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog 
Friday:  Friday Fives
Saturday:  What I Made This Week

Have a great week and happy reading!

Pinterest Recipes I've Made Lately


I've actually been doing some cooking and menu planning lately and have been using Pinterest more then my usual stash of cookbooks just because flipping through my phone is easier and always accessible at the moment.  I'm looking forward to going through my cookbook stash and investigating some new ones from the library.  Here are a few recipes I've tried and a few I'm looking forward to trying.

1.  Slow Cooker Tomato Tortellini Soup from Magic Skillet - I almost didn't make this one because the recipe involves cream cheese which I had a hard time wrapping my head around.  However, I saw it mentioned on one of my favorite YouTube channels - Jessica Braun - and she was raving about it so I thought I'd try it.  It's pretty good but where it really shines is when it's heated up the next day.  It makes buckets so it's perfect to make at the beginning of the week and eat for lunch for the rest of the week.

2.  Chocolate Chip Pecan Blondies from Once Upon a Chef - I needed to bring something sweet and happened to have all the ingredients.  Plus, this was super easy to throw together.  They're pretty good and nice and pecan-y but aren't something I feel like I'm going to be craving anytime soon.

Okay, so I really haven't made that much but you have to start somewhere!  Here are a few things I'm looking forward to making soon:

Peanut Butter Honey Granola Bites from Sugar Dish Me - I like the idea of having a slightly healthier more filling snack readily available so I thought I'd give these a try.

Mexican Street Corn Soup from Striped Spatula - I've gotten obsessed with street corn lately and this soup sounds amazing!

What have you made lately?  Any recipes calling your name?

Friday, February 21, 2020

Friday Fives - Books About Mardi Gras

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  Michelle over at Because Reading is Better Than Real Life   used to do a Five on Fridays that I always enjoyed and I've seen a few other variations on the theme.  As well I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd give start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much. We are in the height of Mardi Gras season and right now I can't walk two steps without stumbling over a Mardi Gras tree or a king cake or a parade.  This isn't usually the case for me as I think pretty much other state other then Louisiana is pretty low key when it come to Mardi Gras but this year it's Mardi Gras all the time.  So I'm looking at some fiction books - some read some unread - that feature all the craziness.


1.  Mardi Gras Murder by Ellen Byron - I love this series set in the Bayou and this was such a fun mystery.


2.  Glitter Bomb by Laura Childs - Not only does this mystery take place in New Orleans during Mardi Gras but the murder actually occurs on a float during a parade!


3.  Cake on a Hot Tin Roof by Jacklyn Brady - This is a series I haven't read but own the first book.  And now I need to buy this book because not only does this mystery take place during Mardi Gras but how can I resist that title??


4.  New Orleans Mourning by Julie Smith - I have wanted to read this series set in New Orleans forever but somehow never did.  This one came out in 1990 so I'm curious to see how it holds up.  And it's another murder during a parade which I can just not get enough of.


5.  Fat Tuesday Fricassee by J.J. Cook - And to be a little different I figured we'd head over to Mobile (who did it first!) for their Mardi Gras celebration.

Have you read any books set during Mardi Gras? 

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Books from the Backlog - Truth or Dare

Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!



Blurb:  Zoe is an interior designer with a unique sense of style. But even more uncanny is her sense of what's going on under the surface, the secrets a house can hold. At the moment, though, Zoe isn't concerned about a client's space. She's more worried about what's going on in her own house in Whispering Springs, Arizona, where she lives with her new husband, private investigator Ethan Truax. After a whirlwind courtship, and a dangerous adventure, they've gambled on commitment, hoping that their powerful attraction can help them learn to live together despite their utterly opposite personalities. But newlywed life is suddenly interrupted when a shadowy figure from Zoe's past shows up in Whispering Springs, and her closest friend is put at terrible risk. For Zoe and Arcadia Ames share a shocking secret. And as they seek to protect the truth, they must join together, and with Ethan's help, accept a very dangerous dare...

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I won this in a giveaway years ago and still haven't gotten around to reading it.  I had actually forgotten all about it until I refound it while reorganizing bookshelves.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Ten Days Gone - Mystery Review

Goodreads: Ten Days Gone (A.L. McKittridge #1) by Beverly Long

Rating:  Very Good
Source:  Publisher

Description: They know exactly when he'll strike... They just have to find him first.
In all their years working for the Baywood police department, detectives A.L. McKittridge and Rena Morgan have never seen anything like it. Four women dead in forty days, each killed ten days apart. With nothing connecting the victims and very little evidence, the clock is already counting down to when the next body drops. A.L. and Rena will have to act fast if they're going to find the killer's next victim before he does.

But identifying the killer's next likely target is only half the battle. With pressure pushing in from all sides, a promising breakthrough leads the detectives to Tess Lyons, a woman whose past trauma has left her too damaged to appreciate the danger she's in. Unwilling to let another woman die, A.L. and Rena will put everything on the line to keep Tess safe and end the killer's deadly spree once and for all--before time runs out again.

Genre: Mystery - Procedural

Why I Picked This Book:  It's been awhile since I read a serial killer book and the blurb interested me.

My Impression:  So I almost DNF'd this book before I hit the 10th page.  The writing felt a little too stiff and almost cliche - especially when the main character referenced his ongoing fling with the gorgeous medical examiner.  But once that first chapter was done everything shifted.  It was like the author relaxed or got traction and the book stopped feeling like a cliche of a procedural and the pages started flying for me. 

A lot of time characters in police procedural type mysteries are incredibly dysfunctional.  Like bottle of bourbon in the desk drawer, haven't had a relationship that lasted for longer then a day in 20 years, are barely keeping a job level insubordinate dysfunctional with a hefty helping of self sabotage.  And while Rena and A.L. both have their troubles I found both of their characters fairly relatable and realistic.  Rena is struggling with infertility and the effects it has had on her marriage.  A.L. is dealing with the challenges of co-parenting with his ex and just having a 16 year old daughter in general.  They're both dealing with a change in leadership from a trusted long term police chief to a new guy who is far more interested in image and politics then in actual police work.  All of this never overshadowed the investigation but it did make me feel connected to the characters.

As for the mystery - well that kept me turning the pages!  We start the book just as the 4th victim is found and just about nothing is known about how the victims are chosen or who the killer could be.  I really enjoyed the investigation and the dead ends and the search for Tess.  This wasn't a hold your breath in suspense type read but it was definitely one where one chapter became 5 and I just didn't want to put it down.  I'm glad I got past page 10 because the remaining 99% of the book were so much creepy fun!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  This is a series that I'll definitely be keeping a lookout for.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Absolutely!  This was a solid mystery with interesting characters.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Books I've Read with Librarians in the Story


This year I'm taking a look at my favorite things in books.  And one of my favorite things in books is a bookish character.  I'm breaking it down a little and today I'm looking specifically at librarian characters in books I've read.  I love a book with a librarian character and am always looking for more!


1.  Charlie Harris in the Cat in the Stacks Mystery series by Miranda James - Charlie is a retired librarian who works part time at a university library - when he's not solving crimes with his very fabulous cat.

2.  Carrie Singleton in the Haunted Library series by Allison Brook - There is a lot of time spent in the library in this series as Carrie's job is running events.  And dealing with Evelyn the library ghost.  And solving murders.

3.  Julia Winston in Sugar Pine Trail by RaeAnne Thayne - Julia starts out the book as an almost stereotypical librarian - quiet and reserved.  Until two little boys come into her life and her tenant upstairs starts showing up more and more.

4.  Lindsey Norris in the Library Lover's Mystery series by Jenn McKinlay - Lindsey has her hands full with library politics, a quirky staff, and a heaping helping of crime.

5.  Dana Steele in Key of Knowledge by Nora Roberts - Dana isn't really a librarian for long in this book but her love of books makes up for lack of library employment.


6.  Aurora Teagarden in the Aurora Teagarden series by Charlaine Harris - Aurora isn't a librarian through the whole series but she's a book lover through and through.

7.  Mrs. Phelps in Matilda by Roald Dahl - I didn't read this book until I was an adult but Mrs. Phelps may just be my favorite character.

8.  Phoebe O'Dunn in That Night on Thistle Lane by Carla Neggers - This isn't my favorite book but I do love a romance with a librarian being a main character - especially one where they discover a hidden room up in the attics!

9.  Celeste Nichols A Cold Creek Christmas Story by RaeAnne Thayne - Another Thayne and another sweet bookish story. 

10.  Lucy Richardson in the Lighthouse Library series by Eva Gates - It's a library in a lighthouse!  I loved the description of the library and of course it doesn't hurt that the mysteries are pretty great too!

What are some of your favorite books that feature librarians? 

Monday, February 17, 2020

Books I'm Going to Grab Next Time I'm in the Library


I do love a good random library spree but sometimes my little library branch doesn't have all the randomness that I'm currently craving.  Luckily they have a fabulous website and I can have any book in the entire system sent to my home library.  Here are a few I'm thinking about grabbing.

1.  $10 Great Dates: Connecting Love, Marriage, and Fun on a Budget by Peter and Heather Larson and David and Claudia Arp - I'm curious about this one.  Date night is not exactly front burner for us at the moment but I'm curious about what ideas this book could offer.

2.  A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams - It's been too long since I've read a book by Williams and I've missed her writing!


3.  A Memory of Violets by Hazel Gaynor - Basically same as above.

4.  Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers by Terri-Lynne DeFino - I know nothing about this book but I love the cover and the premise.

What books are you wanting to pick up from the library?

Saturday, February 15, 2020

This Week in Reading - February 16

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:

No idea!  Our mail was on hold so I won't know until it actually starts back up.  I did refrain from purchasing books and requesting NetGalley books so I consider that a win!

Currently:

Reading:  Still reading Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan and also finished with Ten Days Gone by Beverly Long

Listening:  The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax by Dorothy Gilman

Watching:  Not much other then YouTube videos.  

Off the Blog:

If all goes well we are back from Disney!  Since I'm writing this before we leave I don't know how our time was but I have high hopes.  I'm not sure how long we will be home but I'm sure I'm glad to be crashing in my own bed!  Disney pictures and updates next week!

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Books I'm Going to Grab Next Time I'm in the Library
Tuesday:  Books with Librarians
Wednesday:  Ten Days Gone - Mystery Review
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog
Friday:  Friday Fives
Saturday: TBD

Have a great week and happy reading!

A Perilous Undertaking - Historical Mystery Review

Goodreads:  A Perilous Undertaking (Veronica Speedwell #2) by Deanna Raybourn

Rating: Really Liked It!
Source: Purchased (Audible)

Description: London, 1887. At the Curiosity Club, a ladies-only establishment for daring and intrepid women, Victorian adventuress Veronica Speedwell meets the mysterious Lady Sundridge, who begs her to take on an impossible task--saving society art patron Miles Ramsforth from execution. Ramsforth, accused of the brutal murder of his mistress, Artemisia, will face the hangman's noose in a week's time if the real killer is not found.

But Lady Sundridge is not all that she seems, and unmasking her true identity is only the first of many secrets Veronica must uncover. Together with her natural-historian colleague, Stoker, Veronica races against time to find the true murderer. From a Bohemian artists' colony to a royal palace to a subterranean grotto with a decadent history, the investigation proves to be a very perilous undertaking indeed....

Genre: Mystery - Historical 

Why I Picked This Book:  I loved the first book and I have the most recent book for review so I'm trying to catch up on the series before reading the newest.

My Impression:  I do love Veronica Speedwell but am so glad I don't have to deal with her in real life!  She's such a force of nature and never afraid to say quite clearly what she's really thinking.  This particular mystery every once in awhile shows hints of her vulnerabilities which I really enjoyed. 

This investigation was intriguing and dove into the art world and a world a bit more illicit.  Veronica's delight and Stoker's clear discomfort in discussing all things inappropriate made for several laugh out loud moments as does Veronica's regular chastising Stoker not to loom or look intimidating.  I thoroughly enjoyed going along with the investigation and I can honestly say I had no real clue who the killer was until the tense reveal. 

I listened to the audio version of this story and the narrator, Angele Masters, was an absolute delight.  She IS the voice of Veronica. 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I have thoroughly enjoyed the first two books in the series and am looking forward to getting caught up.

Would I Recommend this Book?  Definitely!  If you enjoyed Laurie R. King's Mary Russell series I think you'll enjoy this series.  Veronica is a bit spicier then Mary was but it has a similar feel to the series.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Friday Fives - Five Books I'm in Love With

I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  Michelle over at Because Reading is Better Than Real Life   used to do a Five on Fridays that I always enjoyed and I've seen a few other variations on the theme.  As well I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd give start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much. Since today is Valentine's Day I'm looking at 5 books I'm in love with.  And I mean books that I have loved for ages and remain true after a long period of time.


1.  The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett - This was one of my absolute favorite books as a child and I discovered a few years ago that I might like it even more as an adult.


2.  The Four Story Mistake by Elizabeth Enright - This was one of my favorite books as a child and still one of my favorite books.  If life gets a little stressful or frantic I know I can pick up this book and get lost in the Melendy family adventures.


3.  Jewels of the Sun by Nora Roberts - I love Nora Roberts and this is one of my favorites.  There's a ghost, Ireland, and a character trying to figure out what really makes her happy.  It's just delightful.


4.  Three Blind Mice and Other Stories by Agatha Christie - I love Agatha Christie and her short stories are some of my favorites and this is one of my favorite short story collections!


5.  Miss Silver Deals with Death by Patricia Wentworth - I adore Miss Silver and her kindly but no nonsense approach to life in general.  She cows upper level police detectives and immediately earns the confidence of terrified suspects and she is altogether wonderful.

What are some books you love?

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Books from the Backlog - In Love with a Wicked Man


Today I'm linking up with Carole from Carole's Random Life of Books for Books from the Backlog.  I really enjoy the chance to feature a book that's been hiding in the piles of books for far too long!



Goodreads:  In Love with a Wicked Man by Liz Carlyle

Blurb:  What does it matter if Kate, Lady d'Allenay, has absolutely no marriage prospects? She has a castle to tend, an estate to run, and a sister to watch over, which means she is never, ever reckless. Until an accident brings a handsome, virile stranger to Bellecombe Castle, and Kate finds herself tempted to surrender to her houseguest's wicked kisses.
Disowned by his aristocratic family, Lord Edward Quartermaine has turned his gifted mind to ruthless survival. Feared and vilified as proprietor of London's most notorious gaming salon, he now struggles to regain his memory, certain of only one thing: he wants all Kate is offering—and more.

But when Edward's memory returns, he and Kate realize how much they have wagered on a scandalous passion that could be her ruin, but perhaps his salvation.

Why It Needs to Come Off the Shelf:  I'm trying to read some of the books on my shelf and this romance is one of the ones I've had for longest.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Buried to the Brim - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  Buried to the Brim (A Hat Shop Mystery #6) by Jenn McKinlay

Rating: Liked it!
Source:  Publisher

Description:  London's most refined canines and their humans are gearing up for the Pets and Wellness Society's annual dog show--and Betty Wentworth, favorite aunt to Scarlett's fiancĂ© Harrison and proud owner of corgi front-runner Freddy, knows that this could be their year with the right edge. Never one to turn away a corgi in need, Scarlett convinces her milliner cousin, Vivian, to design matching hats for dream team Betty and Freddy as they compete for Best in Show.
It's a tail wagging good time until the dog-food sponsor of the event is found dead and Betty is the prime suspect. Vivian and Scarlett agree to enter the competition in Betty's place and help Harrison catch the real killer before Betty is collared for a crime she didn't commit.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy
 Why I Picked This Book:  I love other series by McKinlay and have been wanting to read this series for awhile.  Plus, I can never resist a dog in a cozy mystery!

My Impression:  I picked this mystery up because it looked like it would be a lot of fun and I was not disappointed!  There's quirky relatives, hats, dry British humor, and oh so many dogs.  I now feel like I need a corgi.  They're herding dogs and I grew up with Shelties which are also herding dogs so I feel like it would work.  However, I digress. 

This was my first time visiting the world of Scarlett, Viv, and the rest of their friends but I had no problem jumping right in with this one.  McKinlay does a fabulous job in all of her series with making it easy to hop into which ever book grabs you first.  It did, however, make me want to go grab up the earlier books in the series.

The mystery was an interesting one and I really enjoyed following Scarlett around as she eavesdropped and asked questions and put all the pieces together.  I won't say this is the most unpredictable cozy I've ever read but between the puns, the one liners, the great characters, and especially the dogs that didn't bother me at all. 

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  McKinlay is a favorite cozy mystery author and I enjoy all her series.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy cozy mysteries I think you'll really love this series and this book in particular.

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Romances I'd Like to Read This Year

Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl which is all about lists.  Since lists are one of my favorite things this is one of my favorite linkups!  Today's topic is a love freebie so I'm thinking about Romances I'd Like to Read This Year.  I'm not looking at books published this year but at all romances that are on my TBR that need to move up the list soon.


1.  Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis - I've enjoyed lots of books by Shalvis though I haven't picked any up in awhile.  I've seen some great reviews for this one and I'm thinking it would be a great one to pick up.

2.  One Summer in Paris by Sarah Morgan - This just sounds delightful and I typically enjoy Morgan's books.

3.  Sister's of Summer's End by Lori Foster - I loved the first book in this series and am really looking forward to picking this one up.

4.  Angel's Rest by Emily March - March's romances are always so sweet and heart warming.  I've read several books in this series but never managed to read the first one.

5.  Undercurrents by Nora Roberts - I love Roberts' suspense titles and this one sounds really good but somehow it's fallen through the cracks of my reading life.



6.  Barefoot Beach by Debbie Mason - I have yet to read a book by Mason but her covers are always so pretty that they always catch my eye.  This looks like a great read for summer. 

7.  Something About You by Julie James - I listened to one of her books last summer and really enjoyed it and since lots more of her books are on Audible Escape I'm looking forward to getting more of her books read.

8.  The Bachelor by Sabrina Jeffries - Jeffries is one of my favorite authors but her books tend to get buried in the piles.  I'm hoping to stop that and I"d really like to pick this one up.

9.  The Good Ones by Jenn McKinlay - I read the 2nd book in this series and was a little meh about it but I loved the couple that was in book 1 and there's a bookstore involved so I have high hopes.

10. Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins - This one is probably more under the category of women's fiction but I still want to read it so I'm adding it in!



Monday, February 10, 2020

Sconed to Death + Field Guide to Homicide - 2 Cozy Mystery Reviews

Goodreads:  Sconed to Death (Cat Latimer Mystery #5) by Lynn Cahoon

Blurb: Cat has a full plate at her Aspen Hills Warm Springs Resort, as a group of aspiring cozy mystery authors arrives for a writers retreat. So when baker Dee Dee Meyer stirs up trouble by filing a false complaint with the health inspector against the B&B--all because she insists Cat's best friend Shauna stole her recipes--Cat marches into the shop to confront her.
But Dee Dee's about to have her own batch of trouble. Greyson Finn--a celebrity chef and, until today, one of Denver's most eligible bachelors--has been found dead in her bakery. Cat's uncle Pete, who happens to be the chief of police, warns her not to engage in any half-baked sleuthing. But as her curiosity rises, Cat's determined to discover who served the chef his just desserts--before the killer takes a powder . . .

My Thoughts:  I really enjoy this series and this was one of my favorites I think.  I'm glad to get away from the "family" connections that have been in the past few books.  I did enjoy them but it was nice to have a more straight forward mystery.  I also absolutely loved that this writers' retreat featured a group of cozy mystery authors who happily talked about the process and stories.  The mystery was intriguing and interesting and I really wasn't sure who the killer was until the very end.  In fact I enjoyed this read so much I had to immediately dive into the next book!  Rating:  Really Liked It!


Goodreads:  A Field Guide to Homicide (Cat Latimer Mysteries #6) by Lynn Cahoon

Blurb: Cat Latimer and her writer’s retreat group go on a hiking trip—but a murderer has been lurking off the beaten path . . .
Cat’s sweetheart, Seth, is going all out on an outing into the local mountains—for the benefit of the writing group Cat’s hosting at her Colorado B&B. But when they try to identify some plant and animal life, they find death instead. The body belongs to a man with a gold claim a few miles away. Instead of striking it rich, he’s been struck down.

To his surprise, Seth recognizes the victim from his military days—and up to now believed he’d already died during his last tour of duty. Now Cat has to solve this mystery before the killer takes a hike . . .

My Thoughts:  In a long running series there's always a book that's a bit of a transition story and I think this was one of them.  Seth and Cat are in a bit of a transition for their relationship, Uncle Pete and Shirley are in a bit of a transition in their relationship, and most of the writers in the retreat are in a bit of a transition in their careers.  This led for some unsettled feelings in the story that didn't quite gel for me as much as the previous book.  I loved that this book touched on Seth's past and I loved that he wasn't the perfect guy that he usually is.  At times he even gets a bit snappish.  The ending felt just the tiniest bit rushed but other then that came together nicely.  This wasn't my favorite of the series but it was an enjoyable read and this is a fantastic series.  Rating:  Liked It

Saturday, February 8, 2020

This Week in Reading - February 9


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:


Where We Belong by Shan McPherson - This has a lot of things I love - an inheritance, a bakery, a fake relationship - so my hopes are high!  (Publisher)

Sugar and Vice by Eve Calder - I really enjoyed the first book in this series last year but I was doing so good to resist this one but I'm only so strong.  (Publisher)

Currently:


Reading:  The Lost Carousel of Provence by Juliet Blackwell and Little Beach Bakery by Jenny Colgan

Listening:  I'm finishing up A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn

Watching:  So many Disney movies!  

Off the Blog:



It's Disney time!  These pictures are from our trip in October 2018.  We were supposed to go in October 2019 but had to reschedule.  I've never been in February and I'm so curious to see how it goes with crowd levels and weather and if they do anything special for Valentine's Day.

On the Blog:

What Happened:

What's Coming Up:

Monday:  Sconed to Death + A Field Guide to Homicide - 2 Cozy Mystery Reviews
Tuesday: Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Romances I'd Like to Read This Year
Wednesday:  Buried to the Brim - Cozy Mystery Review
Thursday:  Books from the Backlog
Friday:  Friday Fives - Five Books I'm in Love With
Saturday:  A Perilous Undertaking - Historical Mystery Review

Have a great week and happy reading!

Duchess in Love - Historical Romance Review

Goodreads:  Duchess in Love (Duchess Quartet #1) by Eloisa James

Rating: Liked It
Source:  Library

Description:  A DUKE IN RETREAT

Gina was forced into marriage with the Duke of Girton at an age when she'd have been better off in a schoolroom than a ballroom. Directly after the ceremony her handsome spouse promptly fled to the continent, leaving the marriage unconsummated and Gina quite indignant.

A LADY IN THE MIDDLE

Now, she is one of the most well-known ladies in London ... living on the edge of scandal --- desired by many men, but resisting giving herself to any one.

A DUCHESS IN LOVE

Finally, Camden, the Duke of Girton, has returned home, to discover that his naive bride has blossomed into the toast of the ton. Which leaves Cam in the most uncomfortable position of discovering that he has the bad manners to be falling in love --- with his own wife!

Genre: Romance - Historical 

Why I Picked This Book:  This was a book I picked up on a whim at the library.  I've heard of Eloisa James' books for years but haven't really read much from her.  The blurb on this one sounded interesting.

My Impression:  I read an Eloisa James book years ago and then never really picked up anything else from her.  My feelings about that first book were on the mixed side - there were parts I really really liked and then parts I really really didn't.  My feelings about this book were not quite as divided but they were still mixed.  The writing pulled me in and made for a fast read.  I really liked Gina and Esme and the rest of her friends.  But there is a LOT going on in this book.  Multiple marriages are being dealt with.  There's an estate to be managed, blackmail to be dealt with, scandal sprinkled about, and a dukedom to be saved.  Most of it was entertaining or interesting but there were a few I could have done without.

The relationship between Cam and Gina was interesting.  They had started off as friends and even with everything that happened they had remained friends.  I was frustrated by the conflict because it seemed like their communication was so great and then suddenly they couldn't talk to each other.  As well it felt like the conclusion was really rushed.  The rest of the book had progressed with so much detail that to have a pretty major development referred to as an afterthought threw me a little.

I don't think Eloisa James will ever be on my favorite romance author but I did enjoy this one and am curious to see how her more recent books compare as this was published in 2002.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Maybe though I think I'll try some of her newer books.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy historical romance then I think this is well done though perhaps a little dated.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Friday Fives - February Reads


I'm taking a bit of a break from my usual Friday Linkups to try something a little different.  Michelle over at Because Reading is Better Than Real Life   used to do a Five on Fridays that I always enjoyed and I've seen a few other variations on the theme.  As well I'm in a list making kind of mood so I thought I'd give start making random five lists.  Sometimes they'll be bookish other weeks not so much. Since this is the first Friday in February I'm looking at books I want to read this month.


1.  The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey - I've been wanting to read more classic mysteries and this one is high on my list.  It's technically a reread but it's been so long since I've read it that it barely counts.


2.  Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels - This is a reread but it's been awhile and I've been missing it.  Michaels' isn't necessarily the highest quality but her books are always enjoyable.


3.  Lonesome Road by Patricia Wentworth - I pulled this one out sometime last year to never read but it always got overcome by events.  It's still out and I still want to read it so I'm making it a priority this month.


4.  The Storm Sister by Lucinda Riley - This is my audio pick for the month I think.  I read the first book and enjoyed it but it was seriously long so I thought I might try it in audio form.


5.  Holding the Dream by Nora Roberts - I picked up the first book in the trilogy at the library on a whim and I figure I'll continue it.  It's not her best but it's definitely still enjoyable.

What do you plan to read in February?