Monday, November 30, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 30 - Wrap up



Day 30 - Wrap up this experience of BookBlogWriMo. 

I can't believe it is the end of November already. Which means the end of BookBlogWriMo. Even though I got a late start it was still a lot of fun. I always enjoy writing these posts as they get me writing more than just reviews. I hope you all have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them. Who knows, maybe I will actually write more non-review posts like I wrote about yesterday. We shall see. If anyone has anything they would like to see more of on the blog just leave me a comment and let me know. I'll see what I can do. Now on to the holiday fun!

Forever Bound (The Protectors #3) by Samantha Chase and Noelle Adams


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

I’ve been a lot of things in my life. Marine. Bodyguard. Security expert. Player. Heart-breaker. Occasionally an asshole. 

Never a first-grade teacher. Until now. 

It’s the most ridiculous undercover security job I’ve ever had to deal with. Corralling a bunch of six-year-olds while I try to do my job and keep anyone from knowing how clueless I really am. 

I manage to fool everyone. Except her. 

She’s an actual teacher, and she’s determined to find out what I’m really doing here. She doesn’t trust me, and her daughter doesn’t like me. 

And the worst part is that I’m starting to like them. A lot. 

So now, instead of being the tough guy, I’m stuck with rowdy children and Christmas pageants and falling in love. 


It’s not the way I thought I’d spend Christmas.

Review:

Forever Bound was a good read. It was quick, and cute, but not very Christmasy like I had hoped. I had been saving it to read for the holidays, but it is not really a holiday read. Really the Christmas pageant and such is hardly mentioned through the book. Oh well, it was still a good read.

Declan is a big, tough ex Marine who is tasked with protecting a first grader. She is fine outside of school, but her father needs someone to watch her while she is there. So Declan has to pretend to be a substitute teacher for her first grade class and he has no idea what he is doing. He is not a kid person, not a teacher, he just is in way over his head.

Kristin is a fellow teacher who has a child in Declan's class. Her kid loves school, loves learning and working on whatever. Lilly, Kristin's daughter, tells her how the substitute isn't really teaching them anything which Kristin doesn't like at all. Man she was not very easy to like at first. She is very strict and not very happy to find Declan teaching her daughter. She knows there is something odd about him, he won't talk about his past teaching experience or anything like that. She thinks he is a fraud and is determined to out him and get to the bottom of everything. She feels bad about it slightly, but she doesn't know what else to do. So what if she is attracted to him...that doesn't matter. She hasn't dated since losing her husband, a Navy SEAL. She still misses him, but Declan gets to her.

For his part Declan never thought he would settle down with a wife and kids and white picket fence. He just didn't think it was for him. But Kristin and Lilly have him thinking different. He likes them both, he falls for both of them. He wants to be with them, but Kristin isn't sure she can be in a relationship again. She doesn't want her daughter, or herself, to be hurt if things don't work out. Better to not take a chance. Only life doesn't always work that way. It was cute watching the two of them figure everything out. From being not really friends to friends with benefits to more it was a cute read. Of course everything works out in the end and it was a nice read.

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Sunday, November 29, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 29 - The Future of Your Blog



Day 29 - Where do you see your blog in the future? What would you like to accomplish over the next year?

What do I want to accomplish over the next year? Probably the same thing I said last year at this time as it didn't happen. I want to post more non-review posts. Like a post every month for books I am looking forward to, or lists of favorites from books, stuff like that. I don't know if it will happen, but it is a good goal for me. We shall see how busy I get with non-book related things.

I would also like to change a few of the design things on the blog. Like a new logo and such. I have ideas, had them last year, just never got around to implementing them. Maybe next year will be the year and next Nov I can check that off my list.

Those are the two big things I have as goals. Let's see how much I mange to get done in the next 12 months!

Babe: The Gallant Pig by Dick King-Smith - Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge




Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

When Babe, the little orphaned piglet, is won at a fair by Farmer Hogget, he is adopted by Fly, the kind-hearted sheep-dog. Babe is determined to learn everything he can from Fly. He knows he can't be a sheep-dog. But maybe, just maybe, he might be a sheep-pig.

Review:

Oh Babe: The Gallant Pig is such a cute book! I was telling my husband I was reading this one for my challenge and he was just like you never read it before? He had when he was younger, which makes sense as it is a children's book, but I never even knew it even was a book. I saw the movie when it came out, but that was about it. It is a quick read, but so cute! Enjoyable for people of any age, not just children.

Babe is a piglet that Farmer Hogget wins at the fair. At first the farmer is just going to feed him till he gets big, then eat him, but he quickly finds that Pig is no ordinary pig. Pig is smart and kind, always eager to learn, and from day one has been like a pup to Fly the sheepdog. When he becomes interested in herding sheep like Fly he becomes determined to do it just as well. Only he has a slightly kinder approach to the whole thing and the farmer quickly realizes he might have an award winning sheep-pig!

Babe was really cute. I loved the glimpse into the farm animals lives, how they spoke to and thought of each other. Babe is so kind and caring, while Fly was as well, but she was raised that sheep are stupid and she just has a different view of everything. I really enjoyed it and how Fly learned you don't always have to be snappy to get people/sheep to do things, asking nicely is much better than nipping at their heels. A good lesson for kids, but just a really cute read for adults as well. This was my first time reading it and I will probably go back and read it again when I just need something light and fun. I am so glad I am doing this Gilmore Challenge as I never would have thought to look this book up and read it otherwise. It was so much fun.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Saturday, November 28, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 28 - #ShowMeYourShelves


Day 28 - Share pictures of your books. What does your book library look like? Is there any rhyme or reason to it?


Here is my bookshelf. Not much change from last year, though a few more books (my fiction books are the 2nd row, just the three squares. My husbands music books are below the right most books on the third row, and next to that are my non-fiction books and photo books. Not very many books I must say, but I am slowly building my paperback collection. The fiction is alphabetized, but the non-fiction is just thrown in there however. Yeah not too exciting. Now my ebooks - well those I have a billion of, but I am not good with putting them in collections or groups so they are all just mixed up together.

The Sheik and the Christmas Bride (Desert Rogues #11) by Susan Mallery


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

From royal nanny to princess bride? Dedicated teacher Kayleen James was determined to safeguard the future of her orphaned students--even if it meant defying Prince As'ad of El Deharia himself But the seductive ruler stunned her by offering to adopt the three little girls. On one condition?

Suddenly As'ad was a single father in desperate need of a nanny, and Kayleen was the only woman for the job. Soon the palace was in an uproar--all because of the spirited redhead. Losing his heart wasn't part of the arrangement, until Kayleen showed the honor-bound sheik what he'd been missing. Could he convince her that she belonged in his exotic desert kingdom as his princess--and his wife?

Review:

Oh The Sheik and the Christmas Bride was a fun read. It has a bit of Christmas magic, but it was really just a sweet story overall. 

When As'ad's father is lamenting the fact that none of his sons are married, his aunt steps up to say maybe they should interfere a bit. Maybe they should set up his sons, without their knowledge of course. She thinks she can find the perfect girls for them, but of course it would not be proper if their father interfered so it is all up to her.

As'ad's aunt burst in one day needing his help. There is a problem at the local school and he needs to get there right away. Only he is available to help so he must come quick. When he gets there he finds the situation not quite as dire as the aunt made it out to be, but there is still a bit of a problem. Kayleen is trying to keep three orphaned sisters at the school, while someone is trying to take them away and split them up. Kayleen knows what it is like to be all alone growing up. She is just biding her time until she can go back to the convent where she was raised. Before she can hide herself away from the world once again. She has never had a boyfriend or anything like that. She tried dating just a couple times, but it never worked out. Even though she would love someone to love, who loves her, a real family, she just doesn't think it is in the cards for her.

When As'ad arrives on the scene he finds Kayleen who is just a little ball of energy. She is like a mama bear protecting her cubs. She wants to keep these sisters together, to give them the future they deserve, instead of letting them grow up alone and taught to be servants. As'ad is caught up in the middle of this with no real good way out. The only way he can fix this, he can help Kayleen, is to adopt the girls as his own. That is the only way to not offend the other guy. No one is more shocked than Kayleen when that is what As'ad does, only he will only do it if Kayleen joins them as their nanny.

The two of them were so cute together. Add in the girls and it was just a sweet story. Kayleen loves where she is living. She loves the desert and the different cultures of the people who live there. She is such a sweetheart. As'ad is also a sweetheart, but he has been raised believing emotions make you weak. His father never showed much emotion in from of them, never broke down when his mom died, so he thinks love and all of that is for the birds. He likes Kayleen or course, wants to marry her, but not love her. He was cute. I loved watching him try and figure everything out. Watching him realize that maybe he does love Kayleen and the kids. Oh I really enjoyed this one. Such a fun read.

Rating: ★★★★

Friday, November 27, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 27 - #FlashbackFriday - What was reading like for you as a kid? How has that changed?



Day 27 - What was reading like for you as a kid? How has that changed?

Reading as a child was not much different from reading now. I read more now just because I have more free time now. No school or homework or anything like I did as a kid. Then of course there is the obvious difference of what I read. As I have said before I have always been a read. I have grown up reading books every change I get. I read children's books as a child and have grown into what I read now. It is great. I remember going to the library every two weeks and stocking up on books, returning the ones I read and getting new ones to read. I loved going to the library, loved looking through the books, loved everything about it. I still do. Or bookstores. I love just browsing through bookstores finding new books to add to my to-read list. Reading hasn't really changed much from when I was a kid except what I am reading and how much. I am also more involved online with fellow readers, but then again I didn't have internet as a small child.

Only Us (Fool's Gold #6.1) by Susan Mallery


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

Pet groomer Carina Fiore wants nothing more than to confess her feelings to the man she loves. She's drawn to veterinarian Cameron McKenzie's good looks, caring nature and especially his devotion to his young daughter. But he's also her boss and a good friend. Putting her heart on the line could cost Rina both her job and their friendship forever.

Since his divorce, Cameron hasn't been willing to trust his heart--or his daughter--with anyone else. For months he's pushed away all thoughts of taking Rina in his arms and kissing her, unwilling to risk their friendship for a single night of pleasure. But when a kiss under the mistletoe unlocks the simmering passion between them, Rina and Cameron may just find love for the holidays after all...

An ebook exclusive Fool's Gold series novella.

Review:

Woohoo! It is finally time for Christmas reads! I always wait until after Thanksgiving to really start celebrating Christmas. Even though I no longer live in the states I still like to stick to that. I like having all of my Christmasy fun wrapped up in these next few weeks. And there is nothing I love more than cheesy Christmas reads. Like Hallmark original movies (I miss the countdown to Christmas on Hallmark channel). Fun times. Any other time of year and the super quick magically in love thing would be a no go, but Christmas time? That is a whole other story. 

Only Us is a short novella in the Fool's Gold series. It is quick and not quite as full of Christmas magic as I would have likes. Really I love when it is something specific to Christmas that makes the couple fall in love or realize they are in love or whatever. Still this was a fun read and a good way to kick off the season for me. 

Carina, or Rina to her friends, has been in love with Cameron forever. Or since she met him basically. Cameron who is her boss at the vets office. She spends a lot of time with him and his daughter, she takes the daughter to school every day and hangs out with her afterwards. They are really close and she loves his daughter just as much as she loves him. When they share a kiss one day Rina decides this is it. She has to finally tell Cameron how she feels about him. She is hoping to finally have her happily ever after. 

Cameron is skeptical of love. He was married before, but when his ex left him shortly after his daughter was born he was hurt. He doesn't trust that someone will stay. It is better to be just friends than risk heartache again. When Rina tells him how she feels he panics. He cannot be with her that way. They are better as friends. Why does anything have to change? This way she will always be in his life and everything will be good. Man he was not the smartest. He does some things that just had me shaking my head, but I think he was trying to be a good person. I enjoyed reading the two of them and seeing if Cameron could overcome his hesitancy to be in another relationship. Really his daughter was adorable and stole the book for me. A quick, fun, light holiday read. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Thursday, November 26, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 26 - What was the last book you read that left its mark?


Day 26 - What was the last book you read that left its mark?

What was the last book to leave its mark on me? Well most recently would be Hearts of Fire by L.H. Cosway. Jack was just....yeah. I recently had a bit of an author break up. There was this one guy from that author who was all tattooed and pierced and just everything I like, one of my favorite book guys ever, but now I just can't read him because of other things (I cannot separate the author from the books if the author does things I really am not okay with). So when I found Jack I was so so happy. I now have filled that void in my life. Even though he doesn't have tattoos and such he has the same vibe that I love so much. He is a favorite now and so the book sticks out in my mind of recent reads.

The other book that really got to me recently was The Air He Breathes by Brittainy C. Cherry. This was the most recent reads that made me feel all the feels. It was such a beautiful read, but you feel so much for the characters. Oh, I had such a book hangover after reading that one. I love books like this one, those that break me down then put me back together in a better way. Such a great read.

Turkey Day Murder (Lucy Stone #7) by Leslie Meier


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

Tinker’s Cove has a long history of Thanksgiving festivities, from visits with TomTom Turkey to the annual Warriors high school football game and Lucy Stone’s impressive pumpkin pie. But this year, someone has added murder to the menu, and Lucy intends to discover who left Metinnicut Indian activist Curt Nolan deader than the proverbial Thanksgiving turkey—with an ancient war club next to his head.

The list of suspects isn’t exactly a brief one. Nolan had a habit of disagreeing with just about everybody he met. Between fixing dinner for twelve and keeping her four kids from tearing each other limb from limb, Lucy has a pretty full plate already. So what’s a little investigation? But if she’s not careful, she just may find herself served up as a last-minute course, stone-cold dead with all the trimmings… 

Review:

Turkey Day Murder is the first book by this author I have read. I was expecting a fun, light mystery around Thanksgiving day. Maybe a little zany fun. What I got instead was a rather dull read. All of the characters were rather boring, the murder, the investigation, everything. Really Lucy didn't do much investigating she just thought about things for the most part and noticed people as she did her job. 

Lucy is a reporter who covers the town meetings. She never writes what really goes on, how the one guy sleeps through the whole thing every time for example, as the small town wouldn't like that. She has three daughters and a son who left for college in the fall and will be home for Thanksgiving. She misses him and is excited to see him again. He is bringing a friend, but she hopes it will be just like it was when he lived there. Only it is not. Her son brought home three friends, they are almost never home, they are just off doing their own thing. Most of this book seems to be about Lucy wanting everything to be perfect and the way it used to be and lamenting it is not. The way she is, the way she thinks, I didn't care for her at all. She just is...she never says anything about things that bother her and just expects them to change. Like she never talks to her son while he is home, just expects him to be the same as he always was. There is talk with her friends about how you never get back the same kid once they go off to college, how that changes them, how they grow, and on and on. There was just a lot of domestic details that I didn't really care about that made the story not so much fun to read. 

Through all of that you also have the Metinnicut tribe trying to be recognizes as a tribe. Lucy finds that they have plans to build a casino in town if they do get tribal status and that of course is polarizing in town. Some people support it, some people don't. Curt was a very vocal member of the tribe who doesn't want anything to do with a casino. He is really proud of his heritage and just wants them to be recognized for who they are. He gets in a lot of verbal sparing matches with people so when he shows up dead at the Thanksgiving football game there are a lot of suspects. Lucy's friend asks her to help investigate, and Lucy grudgingly agrees, but then the friend is not very nice to her. When the friend doesn't think she is doing enough or finding the killer fast enough she just tears into Lucy. It was strange and just made me think why would you still help this person out? I mean if they are not going to be thankful for what you can do then why bother with them? Or her husband who doesn't seem like the best as he yells at Lucy for not taking care of the house and stuff. It was just...I didn't really get to know or care for any of the people I met in the book. It was not fun and lighthearted, it was more Lucy bemoaning everything which made me not want to continue reading. I did and it felt like everything just suddenly got wrapped up, but I wanted more of a holiday read. Maybe next year I will find a good Thanksgiving read. 

Rating: ★ ★

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Rath's Deception (Janus Group Book 1) by Piers Platt


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

On the cut-throat streets of Tarkis, orphaned teens like Rath end up jailed … or dead. So when the shadowy Janus Group offers Rath a chance to earn riches beyond his wildest dreams, he seizes it. But the Janus Group is as ruthless as the elite assassins it controls. Rath will have to survive their grueling, off-world training, and fulfill all fifty kills in his contract before a single cent comes his way. And ending so many lives comes with a price Rath can't anticipate. It'll certainly cost him what's left of his innocence. It may well cost him his life.

Review:

Rath's Deception was such a fun read. I am so glad I gave it a read even though I was hesitant at first. Really I am usually hesitant to try anything space related since growing up I pretty much hated it all. If it was set in space, had to do with space travel, aliens, anything like that was a no go. However I find I enjoy quite a bit of it now so I need to give more sci-fi books a try. 

Rath is a kid living on the streets in the lowest level of society. He doesn't have much, he lost his family, it is not the best place to live, but he is surviving however he needs to. There have always been rumors of the mysterious "Guild" who will train you to be a hitman and if you survive 50 kills you get half of all the money they made off you. So essentially you get millions of dollars, get to move up to the high society and live out the rest of your days in the lap of luxury. Only most people don't actually believe the Guild is real, just wishful thinking. 

Rath wasn't sure about it either until they come to him offering to test him and see if he has what it takes to be one of them. The training is intense, but Rath is determined to learn everything and become one of the companies killers. I loved reading about the whole process. From the time Rath gets picked up until the last pages of the book his journey was so much fun. Well maybe not fun for him, but fun to read about. I really enjoyed the whole world the author created and how everything worked. Of course the company is not really good, but the reach they have is incredible. The technology they have at their fingertips is remarkable. All of the ways they change you once you sign on, the tracking, the face changing, everything was really cool. I loved seeing how they went about equipping the killers with everything they would need, how the people were killed, everything. There were so many great, unique methods of dealing with everything that I was drawn right in. I couldn't put the book down once I started reading.

There are other characters, other storylines going on at the same time. Like a reporter trying to figure out if the Guild is real. Or the cop who feels responsible for some of his cop friends deaths via a Guild member so is determined to try and find the Guild and stop them. Or the best assassin the Guild has ever had who disappears one day. It all gets woven together into an incredible story. All of the storylines worked so well together and were so much fun to read. I can't wait for the next book to see what happens next!

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Catharsis by Noorilhuda


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

Ten year old Daniel has been missing for more than a week.  His family and the police have all but lost hope of finding him alive. Then a strange old man enters the precinct at the 99th Avenue and declares he knows where the boy is - and who he’s with. The lead detective on the case Aurora Fox is skeptical. Is the hemophiliac puppet master, Maxwell Caine, part of the puzzle or the solution - and why does he look so dolled up? 

Dark tale of a tough-as-nails detective, a curious old man and a persistent district attorney - all trying to catch a pedophile - (scratch that) - a serial killer. 

Fear is relative. 


What would you do to be free? 

Review:

I really wanted to like Catharsis. I really did. I love thrillers, but this book...it just wasn't that good. It was really confusing, it didn't make a lot of sense, the characters were not realistic..it wasn't a great read.

One of the biggest issues I had with the story is the characters didn't make sense. They did not seem like real people. For example the main character, the cop Aurora, was WAY too abusive, abusive, and angry to be believable. In one of the first scenes she is in a cafe and sees a mom shaking her daughter so she gets up, grabs the lady and starts yelling at her in a very scary way. The mom doesn't seem to get it so she asks the other patrons if they saw this lady abuse her child and they were all so scared and just agreed with Aurora as they don't want her to turn on them. Then she grabs the lady by the throat, shoves her into the wall, and "slapped her silly." Yeah. To top it all off she takes the woman's purse, looks at her id and threatens her. She will come find her since she now knows where she lives if she is not nicer to her daughter. And nothing happens to Aurora over this or any other incident in the book. Sure. Okay so a cop just randomly goes off the handle on everyone all the time (this incident with the woman in the diner is not unusual behavior for her) and nothing ever happens to her? She is just allowed to roam the city by herself, no partner, no backup, and do whatever in the world she wants? Sure. I buy that. Really I just kept thinking there is NO WAY she was able to pass the psych eval. She shoots and kills people and afterwards just goes on with her trail of terror. No psych eval, no take a few days off while they look into it and make sure it was a good shot, nothing. So either everything I have ever seen/read/know about the cops is wrong, or this is just not the way the system works. She is not upset by the shooting at all either. Really it seems like she just wants to beat and/or kill every person she ever comes into contact with.  The book does touch on the original psych eval, Aurora says she can fake it, but I don't believe it at all. She was not able to fake it throughout the entire book even when she should have so...she was a mess. Just like all of the characters for me. They all had things that made them not realistic.

When reading this book I felt like I was constantly confused, like what is going on? This makes no sense?! and not in a good way. The logic at times made me scratch my head as just because a doesn't mean b, I can think of twenty other scenarios that it could mean, so it was confusing. Because the characters were so unbelievable for me it was hard to follow the story since they didn't act like real people. The way they spoke was not like people actually speak, it just wasn't real. The sad thing is I really think the barebones plot line was interesting. The ideas behind the story, the old man who makes puppets, who the bad guy was, the costumes, all of it was really great. If you just told me the storyline I would say that sounds like a good read. Unfortunately the writing and the characters and everything just ruined the great ideas. The story has a lot of potential, but unfortunately the execution was not the best.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ★ 

Monday, November 23, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 23 - e-Reader or Paper?



Day 23 - e-Reader or Paper? – What’s your reading preference/style?

e-Reader or paper? How about both? Really I will read in whatever format the books comes in, including audio books. Well audio books have to have a good narrator or I can't get into them, but still I enjoy listening to them as I clean. I normally read ebooks for a number of reasons.

1. I get a lot of books from the library back home which means ebooks. They have a great selection of books. The libraries here have some English language books, but not a big selection so ebooks from my library are perfect.

2. There are so many free and cheap ebooks to download. An easy way to check out a new author and see if you like them. The ebooks are usually cheaper than I can get the paperbacks even if they are not free/on sale.

3. It is just easier to carry my Kindle with hundreds of books on it than multiple books. I always have it in my purse so when I am waiting for the train or traveling I always have books with me. If I feel like reading something else when I am away I have options.

4. I can read on my Kindle anywhere. In bright sunlight it is not a problem. In the dark while my husband is sleeping? Perfect. Not very bright to wake him up, but easy to read. It is much better than a paperback in the sun, or a book light at night.

So ebooks are great and I love them. I have more access to them and I can take and read them anywhere. I still love my paperbacks though. When I find books I love I buy them in paperback. Sometimes I find some at the markets for a euro, but I haven't really built my paperback collection yet. I used to have a billion books, paper books, but had to get rid of them when we moved around the world. They are just too expensive to ship so they had to go. I miss them. I love having bookshelves of books, reading actual paper. It is just really nice. Not the same looking at all of the books on my Kindle. So I love both of them, just for different reasons.

Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Royal Marriage Market by Heather Lyons

Check out that beautiful cover for Heather Lyon's new book - Royal Marriage Market. A standalone book that releases Dec 15 and I cannot wait to read it! 


Available for pre-order now on

Synopsis:

Every decade, the world’s monarchs and their heirs secretly convene to discuss global politics and social issues—and arrange marriages between kingdoms.

Elsa may be the Hereditary Princess of Vattenguldia, but she finds the entire situation archaic and unsavory. While she wants what's best for her country, she isn't about to jump into an unwanted relationship—let alone a marriage—with a virtual stranger. Of course, her feelings matter little to her parents, whose wheeling and dealings over trade pacts and alliances achieved at her expense begin the moment they set foot in California for the Summit. So when a blindingly handsome royal runs into her, she doesn't hesitate to tell him there's no way she's marrying him.

Christian is all too happy to agree: no marriage. As the Hereditary Grand Duke of Aiboland, his main goal is to get through the summit without a bride being foisted on him. Which is why he suggests they help each other field potential intendeds. As Christian slowly gets to know Elsa, though, he realizes they have a lot more in common than just their feelings about the Royal Marriage Market. Only he can't fall for her, because royal or not, they're not meant for each other.

Elsa and Christian will have to evaluate matters of the heart verses those of state and crown, and decide whether or not tradition trumps love.

Excerpt:

“You go by Chris?”

“It’s an acceptable nickname for Christian.” The owner of the name snatches his glass of champagne back, chugging the rest of the drink. Naturally, this promptly sets off another round of coughing.

Parker is now the one to smack Christian’s back, and I am grateful because I most certainly do not need to be touching him again, even if in a life-saving gesture.

“Maybe so,” I murmur as Christian, rapidly turning redder from what surely must be embarrassment more than alcohol down the wrong pipe, shoves his friend’s hand away. “But it doesn’t fit.”

“If I might be so bold to ask, Your Highness, how so?” Parker inquires at the same time Christian wheezes, “What does that mean?”

I side skirt the men to claim a chocolate covered strawberry from the dessert table. “Chris is a boring name.”

“I believe you’ve just issued an unforgiveable insult to all the Chrises in the world,” Christian says flatly while Parker struggles to hold in his mirth.

“Of course I haven’t. I simply said Chris is a boring name. Look at Elsa; it is a hopelessly old-fashioned name you find in old women who bake streusel. My parents aged me the moment I came out of the womb.” I point the zebra-striped berry at my sparring partner. “Now that is unforgiveable. You were given a nice name and have elected to make it boring when it doesn’t suit you one bit.”

Too much silence expands between us; I am tricked into looking up at him once more. One of his dark eyebrows arches upward. “Are you saying you don’t find me boring?”

Did I? Oh, bollocks. I did, didn’t I? I clear my throat and smile winsomely. “Just because I don’t wish to marry you doesn’t mean I find you boring as a bag of rocks.”

Both of his eyebrows shoot up, as if I informed him grass is blue and sky is green. As if he doesn’t already know he’s interesting. Please. Must I remind him of all the glossies dedicated to his comings and goings?

“When we were children, His Highness was teased quite a bit about his name,” Parker tells me.

I toss the strawberry stem back onto the table; it’s whisked up by a passing waiter in less than a second. “What! Why?”

“I’m named after a religion,” Christian grinds out. “There was Prince Jew. Prince Muslim. Prince Buddhist. Prince Hindu. Prince Zoroastrian. There were lots of choices, you see.”

Another moment I want nothing more than to just laugh and laugh. “How delightful. Now, those nicknames aren’t boring. Sacrilegious, yes, but definitely not boring.”

“You have a seed in your front teeth,” is Christian’s response.

“You are a veritable Prince Charming, publically pointing out women’s flaws. How chivalrous of you.” It is annoying how much I like that he refuses to appear properly chastised.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 21 & 22 - #SocialSunday Social Media Links & TBR list



Day 22 - Share all of your social media links. Do you have other blogs for other things beyond books? Share those, too!

For my social media for this blog there are links over there on the right hand side of the page or you can just click here for Facebook & Twitter

I also have a blog where I write up post about our travels, just whatever I thought, what we did, lots of photos. It started off as a place to post when we hiked the PCT to let everyone know how we were doing, then to update family and friends on living in Berlin, now it is just about our adventures. It is not always timely updated, but I do post everything eventually :) Anyways it is The Roaming Robots or on Facebook here

Day 22 - What books are on your To Be Read list?

What is on my to read list? Well way too many books to name! I just looked on Goodreads and I have 2,307 books, and I know that is not even all of them. I have the huge list of books for the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge that I am slowly working my way through. I am also going to the Four Brits Book Fest in Birmingham next year so I am trying to read something from all of the authors who are attending (though that is unlikely to happen since I just have way too many to read, but I will try my best). Really I have way too many books and I will never get to them all. I'm always adding new ones as I see books that sound good so it is a never ending list. That is just the way it is with books.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin - Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge




Available for free on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

When first published in 1899, The Awakening shocked readers with its honest treatment of female marital infidelity. Audiences accustomed to the pieties of late Victorian romantic fiction were taken aback by Chopin's daring portrayal of a woman trapped in a stifling marriage, who seeks and finds passionate physical love outside the confines of her domestic situation.

Aside from its unusually frank treatment of a then-controversial subject, the novel is widely admired today for its literary qualities. Edmund Wilson characterized it as a work "quite uninhibited and beautifully written, which anticipates D. H. Lawrence in its treatment of infidelity." Although the theme of marital infidelity no longer shocks, few novels have plumbed the psychology of a woman involved in an illicit relationship with the perception, artistry, and honesty that Kate Chopin brought to The Awakening.

Review:

The Awakening was not quite what I expected it to be. I knew it was about a lady who is married and decides to have an affair with someone else. I actually listened to the audiobook and reading in between listens and it was an interesting read in that I enjoyed the plot line, I can appreciate how it must have gone over when it was first published, but it was kind of boring at the same time. It took me a while to get through the audiobook, and I did enjoy the narrator, but something about it didn't capture my attention as much as I would have liked. 

The Awakening is the story of Edna Pontellier and how her life changed one summer. She is content in her life, she is fond of her husband, though maybe not in love with him, and she has two kids who are alright. She doesn't really seem to be attached to her family. She is just as happy to send her kids off to stay with someone else as have them around. Actually she is probably happier not to have to take care of them. She spends the summer by the water with the other wealthy families and it would be ideal for most people. It is here that she meets Robert and really starts to question if she is happy and what would make her happy. It is here that she falls in love for the first time and has to start questioning herself and what she should do from here on out. 

Edna is bound by these rules of society, but she likes to think for herself. She doesn't always adhere to what is right by others and I did enjoy that. I can appreciate that at the time this was probably very shocking as it showed this woman trying to own what she feels and what she wants. It is different in context of today where it is not as scandalous, but definitely would still be looked down upon. I was reading some of the other reviews and people seem to be really upset by Edna not being mother of the year, not caring that much for her children. There is still this expectation for mothers to care and love their children always. It might be different if I had or wanted kids myself, but I found it refreshing. Not every woman has that mothering instinct. Not every woman is happy with kids. And Edna wasn't. She wasn't a horrible person because she was almost indifferent to her children, that is just the way she is. I found her to be a really sympathetic character and as I said above I like the plot of this book a lot. I like the characteristics, the thoughts, the feelings of all of the people. I just didn't think the writing agreed with me. It was a bit too...something that made it a tad boring for me to read. It was interesting and a bit ridiculous at times for me to read now, but at the same time dull. An odd contrast, but there. Still an interesting idea and in context it was probably very scandalous.

I was very surprised by the ending. I was not expecting everything that happened and I even went back and re-listened to it as I thought I missed something. Very interesting and then opens the door to think about other issues more seriously, like depression, that Edna might have been suffering from. I enjoy the overall idea, I just wish I liked the execution better. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★

Saturday, November 21, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 20 - Book Pet Peeves



Day 20 - What are some things that really bother you in a book?

What gets on my nerve in books? The biggest one is characters who are too stupid to live. It always bugs me. You don't have to be a genius, but it drives me crazy when characters are really stupid or do really stupid things that just don't make any sense. I just end up yelling at them and it is not good.

Not sure what else. Well things I just generally think are wrong like victim blaming and stuff. That is sure to piss me off. Unless it is put in there to talk about it and show that it is wrong I won't like it. That's all I can really think of right now.

Frosh: First Blush (Frosh #1) by Monica B. Wagner


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

During welcome week at Hillson University, the FROSH will hit the fan.

Type-A aspiring journalist Ellie plans to take freshman year by storm. But hell-bent on breaking a huge on-campus scandal, she risks becoming one herself—and getting the mysterious, heart-melting QB in serious trouble. 

Grant, star quarterback and charismatic chick-magnet, is hiding a life-altering secret. The last thing he needs is an overeager (absolutely adorable) journalist asking questions. He’s got a reputation to protect.

High-society legacy student Devon is ready to catch the football hottie of her dreams. If the tabloids feature her with the “it” boy on her arm, her tainted past will be buried—or so she thinks.

Charlie, pre-med, is done being the sweet and funny geek that girls like Devon ignore. But if he tries to impress her with a new edgy, spontaneous attitude, will his heart end up in the emergency room?


FROSH intertwines the stories of Ellie, Grant, Devon, and Charlie in Mónica B. Wagner’s sexy NA debut series, about falling in love and falling apart. 

Review:

I feel like I need to start this by saying this book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger (and the next book is not out yet)! I was reading along, only at about 80% of the way through and thought great, plenty of time to resolve what is happening and then it was just over! I was just like No!! I need to see what happens! So be warned - there is a cliffhanger. Some slight spoilers ahead. 

Frosh was a pretty good read. Good enough that I want the next book! It is surprising how much I wanted the story to continue seeing as how I didn't really care for most of the characters. They are all kind of naive and just not my thing, but somehow the author made me want to read more. 

Devon is this spoiled little rich girl who doesn't care about other people just wants things to look good to get out from a scandal her family has been living with. I didn't like her at all. She was way too singularly focused and used people if it helped her. She didn't care if she hurt anyone or anything. She didn't care about anyone but herself really. And Charlie? Oh poor Charlie. The hot geeky guy who likes Devon. I liked him, though I didn't like how he wanted to change to get the girl. If she is not into you then maybe you deserve better? Anyways the two of them...I didn't really buy them as a couple. Really I didn't buy Devon realizing she likes Charlie and wants to be with him for real. I didn't buy that she would give up on her goals after she has put so much time and effort into getting better publicity. I just...it was too instant of a switch to be believable for me. 

Then we have Grant and Ellie. Man Ellie is WAY too naive to survive in the real world. She just seems very young and totally inexperienced. It is nice that she wants to change thing, to do good, to find the big stories, but she just came across as too...too starry-eyed freshman to do much. Plus she has to work her way up and she isn't willing to do that. She will find the big story and release it and rise to the top instantly! Yey her! Only her assignment is to write a bio on Grant, the schools star quarterback. 

Grant and Ellie were both drawn to the other right away. Grant because Ellie didn't care about football, which is rare. Most people only want to be near him because of who he is. But he has a secret that could ruin his football career if it ever got out so he can't talk to Ellie. He is a good guy, but sometimes doesn't make the right decisions. That is one thing that did bug me, how the character would be like I like so and so, but I am not sure if they like me, let me go out with someone else instead cause...I really like so and so and hanging out with the other person and not being into it at all is totally cool. It was like if there was a slight bump they gave up on the person they actually liked and it didn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Why not try and work it out first if you like that person as much as you claim you do? Why just throw it all away? I don't know. 

Ellie especially doesn't want to be attracted to Grant since he is her assignment, but she can't help it. She doesn't even believe that he is a good guy for most of the book, but she is attracted to him. There are lots of ups and downs through the story with these characters, no one really seems to know what they want, but I did enjoy this story. I know it doesn't seem like it since I didn't care for the characters, but something about it made it a fun read. The story was interesting enough that I want more. I can't wait for the next book to see what happens next!

Rating: ★ ★ ★1/2

Friday, November 20, 2015

Ninja at First Sight (Knitting in the City #4.75) by Penny Reid


Available for pre-order on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Barnes & Noble * Goodreads

Synopsis:

'Ninja at First Sight' is a prequel standalone novella for Knitting in the City book 5, 'Happily Ever Ninja'.

'Ninja at First Sight' is 40k words.

This novella is the expanded origin story for Greg and Fiona. The first 16k words of this novella are from the short scenes included in 'Scenes from the City', which is no longer for sale.

Review:

*Note: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Eeek!! I was so excited when I opened my email this week to see Ninja at First Sight waiting for me. Oh Greg and Fiona I cannot wait for your full length book! It will be amazing!!

Those of you who have read their story from Scenes from the City know Greg and Fiona. Know how they met and how amazingly awesome Greg is. If you have read the other Knitting in the City books you know Fiona a little better, but she has always been a bit mysterious to me. She is already married in the other books while everyone else in the knitting group is looking for love. I am excited to read her story as a married lady, but even more so now that I have read this. Greg + Fiona = All the wins!

For those of you who are new to Penny, or didn't get Scenes from the City when it was available, now if your chance to get to know these wonderful characters. The beginning of Ninja at First Sight is the story from Scenes from the City, so if you missed that you can get all caught up. I don't know how Penny manages to make so many people I wish I knew in real life. So many people who I just want to hang out and be bff with. I love it.

Greg and Fiona are perfect together. Fiona is this somewhat sheltered girl who doesn't have a lot of real life experience and is a little awkward with human interactions. She loves to study people and is super smart and just awesome. I loved seeing what she was like when she was younger.

And Greg? Greg is...I think Fiona describes him best

"He was awful. He was irreverent and offensive and abrasive, and, for some strange reason which should have alarmed me, I found him completely enchanting."

That is him. He doesn't always say appropriate things, can be quite offensive, can be really argumentative, can say things that should drive me crazy, but I loved him. I wish I knew him in real life. He is that guy that loves to debate things, that loves to push people to think more critically about what they think and not just accept everything as fact. Not that I think I could keep up with him as he is a pro debater, but that is why he has Fiona. The back and forth between them is amazing. The things Greg says, oh I loved it. This book is hilarious, I laughed out loud at parts. But also sweet, and touching, and kind. Penny really knows how to get that mix of a little bit of everything that really makes the story great. Even when Greg should drive you crazy, even when you should be angry with him, he does something that just make it so you can't help but smile. You can't help but love him. He is awful, but completely enchanting. And that ending? Absolutely perfect. I know I wanted to keep reading about Greg and Fiona forever, but it has to end sometime and that was the best. Now to wait for Happily Ever Ninja...

*Note: The book is up for pre-order now with Amazon showing delivery to Kindle tomorrow, Nov 21, but other outlets currently showing Nov 28.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Thursday, November 19, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 19 - Book Character Crushes


Day 19 - Do you have any book character crushes? Anyone you’d like to exist beyond the pages?

Do I have book character crushes? All the time. My most crush worthy fictional guy, the guy who makes me swoon so much, is by far Drew from Beauty & the Mustache. Oh Drew...he...I just...he is super romantic which is not me at all, but something about him is just...I love him so much. My favorite book guy by far.

Some other crushes? All the men folk from Aurora Rose Reynolds Until series. Swoon! Especially Nico. Oh that man...One of my most recent crushes is Jack from L.H. Cosway's Hearts of Fire. Oh man...he is so hot. Really I have too many fictional crushes.

Now I always have book crushes, but not always for myself. For the other characters in the books. Like Dom from The Chocolate Touch. I love him and Jamie so so much. They are perfect together and I wish I knew both of them. Really I wish I knew all those famous chocolatiers from those books. That would be so much fun! All of Laura Florand's characters I wish were real so I could be friends with them all.

I also wish all the characters from the Penny Reid's Knitting in the City series were real so I could hang out with them. Especially the ladies. I wish I had a knitting group like that. But then I suppose I would have to learn to knit...which I do want to do so it would be a win win win. I learn to knit, I get lots of amazing amazing friends, fun times, hang out with their equally as amazing significant others, just it would be great. I just finished Ninja at First Sight and Greg & Fiona would be so much fun to hang out with!

And imagine if the characters from Courtney Milan's Brothers Sinister series were real? Oh the fun adventures I would have with all of those smart ladies. It would be amazing!! Plus Finn and Alice, their versions from the Collector's Society? I would love to be friends with them. Oh I just have way too many fictional characters I wish were real. I get crushes on all the guys from books I love as well...they are usually amazing. Not always for myself, but they are usually people I would like to know. That is why I read books - to meet all kinds of people. To have friends in other worlds. To have adventures and romances without leaving my room.

False Security (Indigo Valley #1) by Morgan Blaze


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

Love wasn't in the contract. 

There are two things Wynn Holcolm can't stand -- liars, and her father. Sexy bodyguard Foster Drake is a liar who works for her father. Unfortunately, he may also be the only man who can keep her alive. 

When a wealthy Vegas gambler hires the elite VIP Vegas Securities firm to secretly protect his daughter -- who's perfectly safe and living in a small tourist town just south of Sin City -- Foster is less than thrilled to land the assignment. She picks his fake dating profile from the bait they're using to get close to her, and things go from bad to worse when she discovers the deception and refuses to see him again. 


But it turns out Wynn's life actually is in danger. Now Foster must win her trust and keep her close by, because the man who killed her mother has unfinished business with her -- and her father is keeping a deadly secret that could destroy them all. 

Review:

False Security was a fun read, quick read. It wasn't a very long read, but I enjoyed every page of it. 

Foster is a security expert. His job is to protect people, to make sure anyone who wants to harm them doesn't get the chance. He is good at his job, but he still hasn't forgiven himself for what happened when he got involved with a job in the past. He doesn't want to be in that position again as he just doesn't think he could protect someone he cares about.

Wynn is the daughter of a very rich man. A man who was never really a father to her and whom she hasn't seen in a long time. She wants nothing to do with him. After her mothers murder she went to live with her grandmother and is making a life for herself in Indigo Valley. She runs a bakery that used to do quite well, but with the traffic re-route none of the tourist traffic comes by her shop anymore and she needs to figure out a way to save it. She doesn't have much, even if her father is rich, but she is happy enough.

Wynn's father hires the company Foster works for to protect Wynn, but doesn't want her to know. They think it is just a poor little rich girl protection gig - nothing serious. They set up fake dating profiles with just people in the company as matches for Wynn to pick from (she doesn't know that of course) to try and get close to her without alerting her she is being followed/protected. She picks Foster out of all of them even though he tried his hardest to not be chosen.

This book was a lot of fun. Foster still has his issues from the past assignment to deal with and Wynn doesn't like liars, which Foster is by necessity. The both of them are attracted to each other right away, but neither of them want to be. Wynn doesn't want to like him, especially when she starts to find out he lied to her, and Foster needs to learn to forgive himself for what he considers mistakes. As I said above it is a quick read so the plot moves fairly fast, a few times it was a smidgen unbelievable but I was enjoying it so much I didn't really care. There were just a few moments when I was like I am not 100% sure that they are there yet, but they are definitely getting there and I will just go with it cause why not. It is fun.

Things heat up both between Wynn and Foster, and with the people out to get Wynn. What Forster assumed was just a fluff job turns into a serious security gig. Foster is so great with everything, protecting Wynn and getting closer to her. I really enjoy the super tough security guy getting the bad guys and protecting his lady books. They are just fun reads and this one was no different. I love seeing what Foster does to keep Wynn safe, love all the ways he tried to keep Wynn away, loved his online profile, really just loved the story. It was a really fun read. I would definitely like to read more especially since this is the first in what will be a series. I can't wait.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 18 - Book Wishlist


Day 18 - What books are on your wishlist that you haven’t purchased yet?

What books are on my wishlist that I don't have yet? Well that is easy - most all of my favorites. In paperback. I love paperbacks just as much as my Kindle. I want copies of my favorite books to put on my bookshelf. When we lived in the states I had a huge book collection. Bookcases upon bookcases of books. Everything I loved was in there. When we moved to Berlin a few years ago I had to give up almost all of them. We got rid of most of our possessions, but books were definitely the hardest to part with. I have picked up one or two of my favorites, a few from the author signing I went to last year, but not many so most of my favorite books I still need.

Hearts of Fire (Hearts #2) by L.H. Cosway


Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Goodreads
Synopsis:

The Circus Spektakulär is proud to present Jack McCabe: Fire-breather, knife-thrower, risk-taker. 

My house burned down when I was just a boy, robbing me of both my parents.

Now I breathe fire, eat the poison that almost killed me.

Crowds come to see me night after night. Men for the spectacle, women for the thrill. I’m an oddity to be stared at and desired. With each flame I spit, I risk my life.

I wear scars on my body that will never go away, but the scars inside my head are far more difficult to overlook.

My brother doesn’t know me, and if I have it my way he never will.

Life was going exactly the way I’d planned until Lille came along. She wanted to run away with the circus, have an adventure, but this world was never meant for her.

I try to keep her safe, because she doesn’t know the dangers that are out here on the road. She doesn’t know the monsters that lurk behind the bright lights of the ring. In truth, I could be considered one of them.

We were fashioned from different cloths, never intended to mix. So I watch her. I try not to touch, even when her eyes invite me.

Join us in the Spiegeltent and let us give you a show. Allow my Lille to draw a picture for you in paint and sweat and skin.

The truest love is always the hardest to let in.

This is a standalone romance that tells the story of Jack McCabe, Jay Fields’ long lost, presumed dead brother. It is not necessary to have read Six of Hearts in order to enjoy Hearts of Fire.

Review:

Phew! I am so glad I gave Cosway another chance! Jack McCabe is freakin hot! I loved this story. I loved these characters, I loved the setting, I loved how different and dark it was, I just really enjoyed reading this book. 

Hearts of Fire is the story of Jack McCabe, Jay from Six of Hearts dead brother (at least that is what Jay thinks). While you don't have to read the first book in order to enjoy this one I am glad I did. I liked having that background of what happened from Jay's perspective and now getting the flip side. 

Jack is a fire breather. He is an entertainer just like his brother, only much, much darker. He performs with the circus and his show is intense. Oh I loved him. He is hurting, doesn't want to get close to others because of things that happened in his past, but he definitely have that scary sexy thing going on. He is freakin hot and I loved him. Definitely one of my all time favorite book guys. Him and his fire...man. 

Lille has grown up in a small town and wants to have an adventure. She wants to break free from her mom who is always controlling her life. She wants to live, to experience things, to experience things just to see what they are like. When the circus comes to town and she gets offered a spot to travel with them she is at first hesitant. After all Jack doesn't seem to want her there and she is crazy attracted to him. He seems to hate her for some reason, but she needs to get out. She needs to be spontaneous and do something unexpected so she shows up to start her adventures. 

I really enjoyed the setting of this story. The circus with all the different people with different acts and such. Loved it. Loved reading about all of them and seeing how it all worked. Made me wish I had a fun talent to go wander the world with. I think it would be fun, even though it is hard work and not everyone gets along at all times. 

Lille and Jack don't seem to get off to the best start, but there is just something about him that calls to Lille. She cannot stay away and man they were great together. I loved that she cared about him so much she would do whatever she could to make things better (even if that meant that he would hate her for meddling). She is such a kind soul, such a great person, such a bright shiny star she really balances out Jack's darkness. Together they make each other better and man I loved reading their story. I didn't want it to end. Really an amazing read. Very dark, very hot, everything I love in a book. 

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★1/2

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 17 - Your Review Process



Day 17 - What is your review process? Do you have a system? How do you come up with your ratings?

Today is another prompt that we had last year as well. As such I already wrote about my review process here. I'll just recap and then talk a bit about how I come up with the ratings.

First you have to read the book of course. Well maybe not of course since I see things sometimes about fake reviews and people not actually reading said book they are reviewing. But that is super lame and a big no no. Really not cool. Thankfully I haven't had experience with this personally.

After finishing a book I usually do nothing for at least a day. I like to sleep on it before writing up anything. Unless as I said earlier in the month it is a negative review then I rant my heart out. That never makes it to be published. It just helps me to get it out so I can sleep. I need that at times.

Once I have waited at least a day I sit down and write what I thought. This is not planned out or anything I just write what I feel like. In reality I usually write up reviews about once a week. I sit down on a day when I feel like writing and try to catch up. I usually am ahead of schedule so I have plenty of time between when I finish reading and when I post a book review.

Once the reviews are written they usually sit at least another day. Then I go back and format them, add the book covers and synopsis and everything, busy work that I can do at anytime. I also read through the reviews again before posting and scheduling them on the blog. Pretty simple.

So how do I decide what to rate a book? It is just whatever I feel it deserves. I know that is not helpful, but honestly I don't know. I know after finishing that it is an x-star book, but how do I decide that? It is just what I feel after finishing a story. Was it amazing? Was it just okay? Did I hate it? I just know that it is however many stars.  How it made me feel, how the writing is, how much I loved or hated the character, everything gets combine to rate how the story is overall. I don't give out a lot of five star  reviews and I am not always sure why something is only a 4.5 instead of 5 for me. It is just what my gut is telling me and I have to go with that. So that is my review process.

The Way Home by Belle Calhoune

The Way Home
Available on
Amazon * Amazon.de * Goodreads

Synopsis:

Christian Romance. Seven boys were adopted from the foster care system by Alec and Maggie Donahue, a loving Irish couple living in Breeze Point, Cape Cod. Now grown men, the brothers are making their way in the world in their chosen professions, each hoping to find love that will last a lifetime. 

The Caretaker 

Blue Donahue, an internationally-known journalist, has come home to Breeze Point, Cape Cod to celebrate his parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary. When his father suffers a stroke, Blue, along with his six adopted brothers, is thrown into a tailspin. When he comes face to face with Sarah, the love of his life, his heart awakens to all the possibilities stretched out before them. 

Sarah Dalton, an emergency room nurse, can’t believe her eyes when her ex-fiancé, Blue Donahue, comes crashing into her hospital. Four years ago their relationship crashed and burned when Blue showed up two hours late for their wedding. Now, she’s forced to face the only man she’s ever loved as he deals with a family crisis. 

The hurts of the past loom large between Blue and Sarah. But as circumstances drive them together, they find that the love they thought they’d lost has endured. And, with faith and truth, they may be able to create a love stronger than any they’d ever dreamed possible and get their happily ever after.

Seven Brides, Seven Brothers Series 

Review:

The Way Home was not a book for me. It is a christian romance with a good bit of God talk, but that is not why I disliked it. I don't know how I missed that in the synopsis since it is literally the first thing it says, but I did. Even though that got to be a bit much for me at times, it wasn't that bad. Not as preachy as some other Christian reads. No, the reason I didn't enjoy this story is it was just pages and pages and pages of the same thing. It dragged on and on and was very tedious to read even though it wasn't very long. 

Blue and Sarah were engaged to be married, but then Blue showed up at their wedding 2 hours late. Sarah doesn't know why and she never let Blue explain what happened. She just told him to leave and she never wanted to see him again so Blue left. Now he is back in town and they both realize they still love each other, but can they move past what happened and start again? Blue's dad ends up in the hospital which adds to the tension and actually helps Blue and Sarah reconnect (since Sarah is a nurse). It would have been okay, but both characters just kept going on and on and on about the same thing without actually doing anything about it. Sarah could have asked Blue about what happened and listened instead of constantly being like I don't want to know, it is too late, blah blah blah blah. At the same time she can't stop thinking about what happened and going on about the same thing to herself all the time. Blue could have told Sarah why he was late, could have brought it up, could have done something instead of thinking about how he regrets what happened and needs to tell her the truth, but continues to not do so. They both act like nothing happened and try to just forget everything while thinking constantly of the past. It was to much for me. 

My other issue with the book? The ending. I suppose slight spoiler alerts! Sarah and her sudden change of heart after talking to her sister? Really? It was just too lame for me. Like I get what her sister was saying, but that was not really a reason for Sarah to forgive everything. It would have been better had they talked things out earlier then have the rest of the story be Sarah working through what happened. Sure they should be together, people make mistakes, but it was all a bit too unbelievable and simple. Not the story for me. 

Rating:

Monday, November 16, 2015

#BookBlogWriMo Day 16 - Blog Tours or Independent Reviewing


Day 16 - Do you participate in blog tours or do you review on your own schedule? What makes you review a book?

I do participate in blog tours for books I am excited about, authors I love, or anything that sounds really interesting. Though I don't usually sign up for tours if I don't know the author as I dislike reading a book for a review and hating. I always feel bad if I signed up for it, but hated it. But I do sometimes and I have found some new favorite authors that way.

I also do a lot of independent reviews. Reviews for whatever I see that sounds good and I feel like reading. I do get review requests as well and if it sounds good and I have the time I will read the book.

What makes me review a book? I know this is not what that prompt means, but if I have read a book I review it (unless it is a re-read and I already have a review up). Why do I choose the books I do? I am not sure. All I can say is they sound good. Which doesn't always mean they are good, and some books I have read for book clubs and such have sounded horrible and I have loved them. But there is really no way of telling if I would like a book unless I read it. Or if someone else who I normally agree with reads it and likes it. So it has to have something on the cover or in the synopsis that draws me in. If it has a terrible cover (like it looks like someone made it in MS Paint) then I am going to pass no matter how amazing the book sounds. I know you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but if it is completely terrible then I don't have much faith that the insides will be very good either. If it is just an averagely bad cover I will still read it if it sounds like it would be good.

#BookBlogWriMo Day 10 & 11 - Top Ten Favorite Books & The Mind of a Book Blogger


Day 10 - Top ten favorite books

Man top 10 favorite books? That is a hard one. Probably the hardest prompt for me. I can't even do a top ten books from this past year, let alone all time favorites. I'm not one for favorites in general though. Like color. What is my favorite color? Well I would probably start by saying a cool color like blue or a deep green, but then I think how some purples are really nice, and what about pink? Can't forget red. And yellow? Oh, yeah there are some nice yellows...and so on until I have listed ever color imaginable almost. I am just not good with favorites. I start with one thing I like, then think of more things that would be favorites then more and before you know it I have too many things. But I shall give this a go. I'm not going to dwell on it, just list the first 10 books I think of so I don't drive myself crazy trying to get it "right". They won't be in any kind of order, just what comes to mind when I think of great books (and I will cut it off at 10). So here is my list (with links to reviews if I have them):

1. The Chocolate Touch by Laura Florand
2. Beauty & the Mustache by Penny Reid
3. The Suffragette Scandal by Courtney Milan
4. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
5. Kyland by Mia Sheridan
6. The Collectors' Society by Heather Lyons
7. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
8. Book 2 & 3 of the Millennium series by Stieg Larson
9. Battle Royal by Koushun Takami
10. The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro

Man it is hard to stop at 10. I keep thinking of more books that I love, but this will do. They are all great books so they all deserve to be on a favorites list.


Day 11 - What goes on in my bookish mind?

I am not really sure how to answer this one today. Too many things that is for sure. I am always doing something. But book related? Hmm...I am usually thinking of books that are coming out soon that I am looking forward to and what book to read next and thinking about my reviews and everything else I need to do. Do I have enough time? What should I read first? There are just too many books out there that I want to read! I don't know what else to say. I am always thinking of something.