Thursday, July 24, 2014

Excuse Me...

as this has been ALL that I have been doing.  Reading, reading, and more reading means I have been immersed in Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy yet once again.  I'll be back next week when I can think about things other than government conspiracies and zombies...

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz (thoughts)

River Road was one of those books that I wanted to read almost as soon as I heard about it.  I am a sucker for a good romantic suspense but I will admit that I don't read enough from this genre.  I enjoyed this book enough as I was reading it, but didn't end up really loving it.  For me it ended up being one of those books that you can describe as good but not great. 

In River Road, Lucy Sheridan is returning to her aunt's home for the first time in years due to her aunt's death.  Although she spent many summers with her aunt, the last time that she visited Lucy found herself in over her head at a teenage party.  She was sent back home and never ended up returning to Summer River.  Until now.  Unfortunately, it seems that all of those ghosts from the past are determined to resurface thanks to her aunt's will leaving Lucy everything.  Lucy soon finds herself in danger and turns to Mason Fletcher (her former crush/protector from the past).  Will Mason be able to protect Lucy yet again?  Or will the past come back to haunt her?

This book was easy to sink into from the very beginning.  I found myself steadily pulled into the mystery of Lucy's aunt's death but especially pulled into the mystery of what happened the night that Lucy left Summer River.  I was curious from the very beginning and couldn't help but try to figure out who the killer might be.  That being said, even though this book was able to draw me into it, I never was able to connect to the characters like I usually do.  I liked Mason and Lucy, was hoping to see them end up together, but wasn't really pulling for them.  I don't know what it is but I just found myself very disconnected from the book as a whole.  I'm not even sure that I can explain why.  It just felt a bit formulaic and there was nothing that really hooked me in completely.  I wanted to like this book more than I did.  And I did like it to a certain extent but there was just something that held me back.  I wish I could explain more but it is hard to describe other than I found it to be predictable.  Sometimes predicable is completely okay if you are fully invested in the characters but this time I wasn't. 

One of the things that I really did enjoy about this book was the ending.  Like I mentioned earlier, I instantly started off trying to figure out who the killer was on my own.  Happily enough, I was completely wrong and this author threw me for a complete loop by the end.  In fact this book would have been great rather than just good, if I had connected more based off of this ending.  That is how surprised I was!

Overall, I liked it but didn't love it.  That is the easiest way to explain my reading experience with this book.  I will be open to reading more by this author (I actually already have more of her books on my shelves) but this just wasn't quite the book for me.  I think that fans of Sandra Brown and Nora Roberts will enjoy this book as there are some similarities in their writing styles.  For me, I would recommend it but with a few hesitations.  Maybe check it out from the library like I did?

Bottom Line:  A book that I just couldn't quite connect to but with a really great ending.  Is that confusing enough for you?

Disclosure:  I checked this book out from my local library.  Thoughts are my own.

Fans of this author:  Please tell me which books of hers are MUST reads!  She is a very prolific author and I would love to know which of her books are your favorites.  I feel like she is an author that I will enjoy, I just need to find the right book of hers (and there are so many to choose from).

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Sunday Salon - A Bookish Update

Good morning everyone!  I've been enjoying a relaxed weekend at home which means I am just sitting here this morning drinking coffee while writing up this post.  Perfect way to start my Sunday!  There is a Harry Potter marathon going on this weekend so I've been watching that off and on since Friday.  Such fun!  It makes me want to reread these books yet again though which I just may do.  We also began season 5 of Breaking Bad last night.  This show just gets crazier and crazier!  At this point I am basically rooting for Jesse and that is about it.  I said to my husband that they could have ended everything with season 4 (and I would have been satisfied) but now I'm realizing they left more open than I thought.  What a crazy show!

My reading is trucking along even though I have been feeling very indecisive when it comes to what I want to read next.  I almost need something to focus on to help me pick my next read.  A random generator?  A pile of books to choose from?  I don't know but I will tell you that I am gravitating towards favorites.  Right now I am binge reading a favorite urban fantasy series and I'm leaning towards rereading a favorite zombie trilogy next.  Last year I reread the first two books in Mira Grant's Newsflesh trilogy so that I could finally read the last book.  Then I never shared by thoughts on Blackout.  Yesterday I was at the library grabbing the next Kate Daniel's book (Magic Rises) when I saw Grant's books just sitting there.  I could not resist bringing Blackout home with me.  The question is do I read all three of them again or just the last one??  I can't seem to decide!  Anyways, here are the books that I have recently finished:

Conspiracy in Death by J.D. Robb-  Reread and one of the better books in this series by far.  We really see Eve struggle in this one, and I had forgotten just how good this book was.  I flew through it!

Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews- Kate and Curran!  Sigh!  I am loving this series so much!  I finished this one in a matter of days and was instantly wishing for more.  So I went to the library and grabbed the next one which I couldn't help but begin.

That's why I am currently only reading the following:

I've basically set everything else that I was reading (The Wicked Girls and The Stone Bull) aside to just read this one.  Honestly, I should be able to finish this one today at some point.  I'm getting close to the end and usually there comes a time in these books where you just HAVE to finish.  There is no setting them down.  I'm pretty sure that I am at the point.  Good stuff!

Coming up next??  One of my countless review books.  Going back to one of the books that I have already started?  Or the entire Newsflesh trilogy.  Or the next Kate Daniels book.  I can't seem to decide but I will worry about that later.  This week I am hoping to knock out a few reviews and hopefully a garden update.  You guys would not believe how much it has grown since the last time that I shared!  I'm off to get my day started.  I hope everyone has a great Sunday and rest of the week!

Happy Reading!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Reasons I love My Library #2

Because sometimes nothing sounds good beside binge reading a new favorite urban fantasy series....thanks to my library I can catch up on this series and read to my heart's content! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Dirty Magic by Jaye Wells (thoughts)

Dirty Magic was one of those books that I wanted to read purely because I have adored this author's books before.  New urban fantasy series?  Sign me up!  It also didn't hurt that this book has a gorgeous cover which made me want to read it even more.  Happily enough, this was a great beginning to a gritty new urban fantasy series and I want more!

In this book, magic isn't always a good thing and potions brewed are very similar to drugs.  Kate is a cop trying to rid the streets of these dirty potions when she gets pulled into a case that is bigger than she expects.  Now she has a new team to work with and a chance to really make a difference.  Everything seems to be working in her favor until the investigation she is working on shows her that you can never really leave the past behind you.  It will be up to Kate to try and figure out who is behind this newest dirty potion before it hurts those that she loves most.

I will fully admit that I went into this book with high expectations.  I love, love, love her Sabina Kane series so I expected this book to be good.  What I didn't expect was how different this book would be from her other series.  I loved it!  This book had a dark, intense feel to it that I couldn't get enough of.  I'm watching Breaking Bad right now and I couldn't help but compare the two.  Dirty Magic is similar to the show but with potions/magic instead of drugs.  They both have similar vibes where you aren't sure that everything is going to end well.  I found that this feeling really made the intensity level of the story go up a notch.  This isn't a pretty world that Wells has created but it is one that I couldn't get enough of.  I found myself swept away in Kate's world watching as she tried to balance her two lives.  The life of a cop committed to taking down the bad guys who were creating and distributing these potions, and the life of a caregiver as she tries to take care of her brother and make a better life for him.  These two different paths pulled at her constantly in different directions but the author managed to connect the storylines in a way that knocked me off my feet.  By that time I wasn't putting the book down for anything!  I should have known that there were some surprises in store.  I loved that there was a really solid ending to this book even though it is the beginning to a series.  There are questions left unanswered but the author left them open just enough to make me want to read the second book sooner rather than later.  In other words, no cliff hanger ending that makes me want to scream.  I was happy about that!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book just as I hoped that I would.  This author has a knack for creating worlds that I can't get enough of.  I'm super excited that the second book will be releasing soon as I don't want to have to wait long to see what happens to Kate next.  The dark atmosphere of this book kept me reading long after I should have gone to bed.  It all comes down to this: this is exactly how I like my urban fantasy-  gritty, compelling, and unique!  Books like this are what keep me coming back for more.  Highly recommended but especially to other urban fantasy fans!

Bottom Line:  A fascinating beginning to this new series....I can't wait for more!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book for review thanks to the publisher and NetGalley.  Thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

June Reading Wrap-Up 2014

(I finally uploaded my pictures from Disney on to my computer!  Woohoo!)

The summer months just seem to fly by, don't they?  I feel like I just wrote up my reading wrap-up for May and yet here I am working on the one for June.  June was a month filled with t-ball and baseball games.  I felt like we were on the go all of the time during the week but it has been such a joy to watch my kids play.  My daughter especially has really begun to enjoy playing and hits the ball when her coach pitches to her rather than on the tee.  This is quite the accomplishment in my opinion.  My son continues to pitch which is a nail biting experience.  You just want your kids to have fun while doing well at the same time!  Next year the craziness will really begin as all three kids plan on playing.  Yikes!

I didn't read as many books as I had hoped to this month but I did get lots of quality reading in.  I'm still ahead on my Goodreads goal but only by two books now instead of the five book buffer that I had going.  Maybe in July I will be able to get ahead a bit more!  Here are the books that I managed to finish this past month:
  • Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz
  • The Girl Who Disappeared Twice by Andrea Kane
  • The Mummy Case by Elizabeth Peters
  • Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb (reread)
  • Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart
My favorite read of this month was a tough decision because I just loved The Mummy Case so much but ended up being:

I just loved this one so much!  Filled with suspense, I found myself skimming ahead just so that I could know that everything would be okay.  Afterwards, I went back and reread so that I didn't miss a single thing.  I am so glad that I finally took the time to read this one.  Mary Stewart will be another one of those authors where I read anything and everything that she has written.

Plans for July are mainly just getting back to working out.  Now that the baseball seasons are starting to wind down, I'm not going to have any valid excuses for not working out.  (I didn't really have any before but....)  I'm hoping to get back into the swing of running, I have a planks challenge that I am participating in, and I would like to get back to the 30 day shred.  No excuses next month.  That should be my motto!

What are your goals for July?  What books did you read in June that just knocked your socks off?  And have you read Mary Stewart as well?  What other books of  hers are not to be missed?