Friday, August 28, 2015

A Necessary End by Holly Brown (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"How far would you go to get what you wanted? The author of Don't Try to Find Me returns with a taut, riveting novel of psychological suspense about a woman determined to be a mother despite a past full of secrets, a husband who's nowhere near ready for fatherhood, and a teenaged birth mother with a mysterious agenda of her own.

Thirty-nine-year-old Adrienne has tried before to adopt a child, but this time, nothing is going to get in her way.

Sure, her husband, Gabe, is ambivalent about fatherhood. But she knows that once he holds their baby, he'll come around. He's just feeling a little threatened, that's all. Because once upon a time, it was Gabe that Adrienne wanted more than anything; she was willing to do anything. . . . But that was half a lifetime ago. She's a different person now. There are lines she wouldn't cross, not without extreme provocation.

And sure, she was bitten by another birth mother—clear to the bone—and for most people, it's once bitten, twice shy. But Adrienne isn't exactly the retiring type.

Enter Leah. At nineteen, she bears a remarkable resemblance to the young woman Adrienne once was. Which is why Adrienne knows the baby Leah is carrying is meant to be hers. But Leah's got ideas of her own. If Gabe and Adrienne let her live with them for a year, they get the baby, free and clear. All Leah wants is a fresh start in California, and a soft landing. Or so she says.

It seems like a small price for Adrienne to pay to get their baby. And with Gabe suddenly on board, what could possibly go wrong?"

My Thoughts:

I've been putting off writing up my thoughts on this one as I just wasn't sure what to say.  Although this one was compulsively readable (is that even a term?), I found that I was left with many mixed emotions on it after finishing the last page.  I wanted to love it...I even expected to just from reading that description which sounds just as dark and twisted as I like.  A case of high expectations?  Maybe, but really for me I just didn't quite connect to this book like I had hoped.  If I could give half star ratings this would easily get 3.5 stars which for me is a good read but one that I had a few issues with.  

One of the main issues that I had with this book was the unlikeability of all of the main characters.  I mean really I didn't like a single one of them.  This has been the case for me with some other books (obviously Gone Girl is a great example) so I was able to keep reading.  But the fact that that they were so completely frustrating kept me from connecting to the story as easily as I had hoped that I would.  That being said their motivations (and especially's Adrienne's motivations) really kept me intrigued throughout my entire reading experience.  I could never quite figure her out and why she would act the way she did.  It was just one of the many reasons why I couldn't set this book down even when I wanted to kick her.  I just had to see what she was going to do next.  In fact, although this was quite a large book I ended up flying through the pages.  It was a train wreck waiting to happen but I just needed to see how that train wreck was going to play out.  Boy, did this author know how to knock me for a loop!  I didn't see the ending coming from a mile away and I really loved that I was left with closure while also having questions.  Does that even make sense?  We were given enough to wonder but without leaving the ending too ambiguous.  I loved it- not going to lie!  I'm sure other readers might not feel the same but for me it really was the perfect way to end this book!

Overall, this book left me wanting to discuss it with other readers!  I didn't love it but I liked it well enough that I would read more by this author easily.  It definitely was a page turning read even when I wanted to scream at the characters.  Really I just want to read other reader's thoughts and discuss!  So if you've read this one feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email.  I want to hear what you thought!  I will be recommending this one but maybe with a few hesitations.

Bottom Line:  A good read that was very hard to put down but I just didn't love it like I had hoped.

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Unfortunately, life got in the way and I missed my tour date.  My apologies!  Thoughts are my own!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Thrill Me by Susan Mallery (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Maya Farlow learned the hard way to depend only on herself, so when she fell too deeply for the bad-boy charms of Del Mitchell, she did the only thing she could—she ran. Stunned, Del left Fool's Gold to make his name and fortune in extreme sports.

Now ten years later, Maya's been hired to promote her hometown's new slogan, The Destination for Romance. The celebrity spokesman is none other than Del, the man she dumped but never forgot. Awkward!

Although Del's not the type to hold a grudge, he's determined to avoid falling a second time for the woman who broke his heart. He's a daredevil, not an idiot. Trouble is, in all his adventures, he never found a rush as exhilarating as Maya's kiss. Maybe risking his heart will prove to be the biggest thrill of all…"

My Thoughts:

What a perfect read for the dog days of summer where I just needed something to sweep me away from everything!   Despite being in back to school prep mode for the kiddos, I easily finished this book in two days as I just could not set it down.  This isn't my first foray into this series.  Awhile back I read the first Fool's Gold book and really enjoyed it but then never continued on with the series like I had planned to.  Since there are eighteen books in this series so far, I read this one completely out of order but it didn't effect my reading experience one bit!  In actuality, this was the perfect change up to my reading as of late which has been very heavy on thrillers and mysteries.  This book was exactly what I needed as I just fell into the romance that was developing once again between Del and Maya.  And what a romance it was!

The chemistry between these two characters was instant from the very beginning of the book.  Of course this was to be expected a bit as they had a history with each other.  I really loved though that despite their shared history, this felt like something completely new and unsure of itself.  Neither character had forgotten what had happened to end their original relationship which helped to keep a distance between them for parts of the book.  Basically I was rooting for them from the very beginning which is what you want in a good romance, right?  There are some really great secondary characters in this book as well and I have to admit that I completely adore Eddie and Gladys.  They are two older ladies that host their own television show which includes some pretty funny scenes whenever they are present!  My only complaint with this book was that I found the conflict between Del and Maya a bit predictable.  Did it take away from my reading experience?  No.  It just wasn't a big surprise and really I'm not sure that it was meant to be.  The draw for me here was really the romance between these two and if they would be able to overcome everything to find love.  And I will just say that it was a perfect ending!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and am eager to yet again get back to this series!  I have so many books to look forward to which leaves me very excited (and shaking my head at my series addiction).  This was a great summer read and left me craving more books just like this!  I won't be waiting this long again to visit Fool's Gold.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  A romance that I couldn't help but adore!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book thanks to the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Thoughts are my own!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Sunday Post #19 (Back to School Edition)

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Well, the first week of school is in the bags for my littles and routines are starting up again.  I promise to try and share pictures later this week but it is official that I have a 7th grader, 2nd grader, and my baby is in kindergarten.  The time goes by just so fast anymore!  Football has already started up for my oldest and I'm getting excited to watch his games.  Soccer should be starting up next week for the younger two which is also lots of fun.  Busy times ahead but that is kind of the norm any more.

I've managed to blog slightly more consistently these past two weeks which is a good start.  And by consistently I mean a post each week....ha!  It is a start though and maybe I will be able to work myself up to two posts a week soon :)  Reading is going very well as I have finished four books since my last Sunday post (two weeks ago).  Two books a week for me is pretty darn good so I am very happy.  Writing all of the reviews that I am behind on though is something I really need to focus on.  I am ridiculously behind at this point with my spotty posting!  Goal for today is write at least two reviews up just so I can feel like I am making some progress.  Anyways, here are the books that I have finished in the last two weeks:

A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd - I've actually already written up my thoughts on this one and you can read my review here.

Thrill Me by Susan Mallery - I read this one as part of a TLC book tour and my thoughts will be posted later this week.  (I am impressed with myself here as I really already have this review written- woohoo!)

Hot Blooded by Amanda Carlson - This counts as my only new #COYER read but it was just so good!  Just as fast paced and intense as I have come to expect....I'm loving this series!  I am so glad that I have the next book ready to go as well.

All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell - Wow!  I am officially hooked on this series (I've already put the next book on hold at the library).  This book was so good and I stayed up way too late Friday night reading it!  Very, very good and I will be writing up my thoughts on it hopefully soon.

I'm now currently reading the following books:

Starlight on Willow Lake is my current print read and another book that I just cannot seem to set down.  I'm already over 100 pages in and hoping to find some more quality reading time later today.  Hidden is my current kindle read and I was intrigued by this one from the very first page!  Definitely going to be another great reading week with these two!

Newest Additions:

The top two are for upcoming blog tours that I will be participating in.  The Drafter was a complete surprise but it is Kim Harrison.  Of course I'm going to read it!!!  A very good week in bookish acquisitions if I do say so myself!

Plans for today are laundry, laundry, and more laundry.  Two reviews to be written (ideally) and a workout of some sort.  Watching the season premiere of Fear the Walking Dead...I am so completely pumped for this show!  Some reading and blog visiting.  It is going to be a busy day and I need to go get started.  Hope you all have a great week filled with good books.

Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Pattern of Lies by Charles Todd (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"A horrific explosion at a gunpowder mill sends Bess Crawford to war-torn France to keep a deadly pattern of lies from leading to more deaths, in this compelling and atmospheric mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of A Question of Honor and An Unwilling Accomplice

An explosion and fire at the Ashton Gunpowder Mill in Kent has killed over a hundred men. It’s called an appalling tragedy—until suspicion and rumor raise the specter of murder. While visiting the Ashton family, Bess Crawford finds herself caught up in a venomous show of hostility that doesn’t stop with Philip Ashton’s arrest. Indeed, someone is out for blood, and the household is all but under siege.

The only known witness to the tragedy is now at the Front in France. Bess is asked to find him. When she does, he refuses to tell her anything that will help the Ashtons. Realizing that he believes the tissue of lies that has nearly destroyed a family, Bess must convince him to tell her what really happened that terrible Sunday morning. But now someone else is also searching for this man.

To end the vicious persecution of the Ashtons, Bess must risk her own life to protect her reluctant witness from a clever killer intent on preventing either of them from ever reaching England."

My Thoughts:

I am well and truly hooked on this series now after finishing this book!  If I can be honest I even enjoyed this one more than An Unwilling Accomplice and I was basically singing that book's praises my entire review.  But I'm getting off track a bit.  One of the things that I enjoy most about these books is that the authors actually base their storylines on actual events that have happened.  There was an actual fire that took place at a gunpowder works factory that the authors used to base this story off of.  Obviously this is fiction so they made everything work how they wanted to but I loved the author's note at the end of the book that gave those details and shared how they came up with story.  This book was also a bit more fast paced for me as Philip Ashton's life and well being were on the line.  I was worried about how everything was going to end and this made me read this book that much faster.

One of the other things that I really enjoy in these books is just reading about Bess's everyday life as a nurse on the war front.  I found all of these details so completely fascinating and they made my reading experience that much more satisfying.  I'm also completely intrigued by Simon who plays a part in both of these books.  I feel like there is the potential for Simon and Bess to develop a romantic relationship with each other.  Hopefully he continues to play a prominent role in this series and we get to see more of him!  The mystery itself was nicely done and kept me intrigued throughout the book.  I especially liked how the authors played with the idea of a mob mentality when it came to the idea of Philip Ashton being guilty.  It added to the suspense quite nicely!  The ending caught me by surprise and had me flying through the pages to see how everything would play out.  I loved it and was left ready for the next book in this series as soon as I turned the last page. 

Overall, I am officially hooked on this series!  I would be bummed that I don't have the next book in my hands except I have the earlier books in this series to look forward to still.  I'm going to be on the search for more historical mysteries to check out after loving these books so much!  If you enjoy quiet mysteries that focus on the characters and details, then this is a series not to be missed.  For me I've enjoyed both of my forays into this series and will be adding these authors to my must read list.  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  A mystery that kept me engrossed until the very end!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of a TLC book tour.  Thoughts are my own!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Dr. Kay Scarpetta is about to head to Miami for a vacation when she notices seven pennies on a wall behind their home. Is this a kids' game? If so, why are all of the coins dated 1981 and so shiny they could be newly minted? Then she learns there's been a homicide five minutes away. A high school teacher was shot with uncanny precision as he unloaded groceries from his car. Yet no one heard or saw a thing.

Soon more victims surface. The shots seem impossible to achieve, yet they are so perfect they cause death in an instant. There is no pattern to indicate where the killer will strike next. First it was New Jersey, then Massachusetts, and then the murky depths off the coast. There she comes face to face with shocking news that implicates her niece, Lucy—Scarpetta's own flesh and blood."

My Thoughts:

This was a thrilling read that I won't be forgetting about any time soon!  From page one of this book I was utterly hooked and that didn't end until the very last page.  And that last page!!!  But I am getting ahead of myself.  I was originally trying to listen to this series on audio.  As we all know I have no self control and jumped at the opportunity to read this book.  I am so glad that I did because just wow!  This book was suspenseful, it was dark, it was fast-paced....basically this was everything that I look for in a thriller!  I just couldn't read this one fast enough!  It took some getting used to as I am reading this one completely out of order (I believe there are 22 books in this series so far) so things have changed some since the second book.  Okay, actually things have changed a lot but that didn't detract from my reading experience at all.  Instead I know now that I have many more good reads to look forward to that will show me more of how the characters have gotten to the places that they are at in their lives.  I can't wait!

In this book though, Scarpetta finds herself caught up in the midst of multiple cases that seem to have a few disturbing similarities.  From the moment that she finds the seven pennies on the wall outside of her house I just knew it was going to be personal.  It was a feeling that I had and because of this there was an extra level of tension for me while reading as I tried to figure it all out.  I wasn't sure who she could trust and there were just so many questions that I didn't have answers to.  Even those who are closest to her seemed to have secrets that they weren't sharing.  I cannot emphasize enough just how intense this book was for me while I was reading it!  I was completely sucked in!  For the majority of the book I was just trying to keep up with everything that was going on while also trying to figure it out for myself.  The last section of the book was spent reading as fast as I possibly could trying to see how everything would end.  I cannot tell you how many times I had to stop myself from peeking at the last few pages just because I didn't want to wait any longer.  I needed to know everything was going to be okay!  I resisted (barely) and it was well worth the wait!  Although that last page left me completely at a loss for words.  I NEED the next book right NOW!!!  

Overall, I really enjoyed this book from beginning to end.  It could easily make my top reads list for this year based off the intensity factor alone!  This book was a page turner and those are my favorites!  I am left wishing that I had book twenty-three in my hands but until then I think I will work on catching up with all of the other books I have missed.  Maybe that will satisfy me and make the wait seem less awful?  A girl can hope!   Highly recommended but be warned you aren't going to want to put it down!!

Bottom Line:  A thrilling read that had me flying through the pages!  

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher as part of a Partners in Crime Book Tour.  Thoughts are my own!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Sunday Post #18 (Random Edition)

"The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme"

Two week long blogging breaks seem to be the thing for me as of late.  I could give you a million reasons why but really it is all because I haven't been making the time.  I try not to stress because this is all for fun but I miss everyone!  So as I sit here with my first cup of coffee I thought I would get a post written up before the day gets away from me yet again!

What's been new with me lately?  Not too much other than trying to prepare for all three kiddos to start back to school.  Lots of shopping and school supplies make this a very busy time of the year for us. I ran my 3rd 5K of the year this past week which felt pretty good.  It was a more difficult course than the last two races thanks to a big hill but it felt great at the end when we were finally finished.  I can't say that I've been running with any regularity though so that is something that I am hoping to focus on this month.  Work is well- lots and lots of overtime are one of the main reasons why I can't seem to get my butt in gear blogging wise.  As sports season for all three kiddos starts up yet again in a few weeks, I can only imagine how I am going to fit everything in with all of the extra hours that I have been putting in.  Fun!

#COYER update:

I have been awful when it comes to tracking or even reading for this challenge.  But I have finished a few books so that is always a start.  The most recent books that I have finished for this challenge are

Both were great reads and I'm glad that I've at least managed to read two books for this challenge.  Go me!  I need to buckle down and read a few more so that I actually feel like I accomplished something. 

Reading Update:

I've decided to share about all of the books that I have finished since my last Sunday post as it hasn't been a huge number.  Keep in mind that this has been for two weeks (or maybe even a bit more).  Anyways here are the books that I have finished since then:

A Batter of Life and Death by Ellie Alexander- Surprise, surprise but I've actually already shared my thoughts on this one.  See my thoughts here.

A Necessary End by Holly Brown- I actually missed my tour stop for this book which I feel badly about so I am working to post my thoughts on this one soon.  I will say that it left me with mixed feelings which is part of why I haven't written my review yet.

Lion in the Valley by Elizabeth Peters- I adore this series!  Oh so much!  I've had this one sitting on my shelves for way too long but it was a joy to get back to this series.  I couldn't wait to pass this one on to my Mom for her to enjoy as well.  Thoughts to come soon!

The Duke in my Bed by Amelia Grey- I just realized that this is my 1st historical romance of the year.  How is that even possible?!?  This one was such an easy and comforting read.  Another one that I will be sharing my thoughts on as soon as possible!

Flesh and Blood by Patricia Cornwell- I have actually been trying to listen to this series on audio (I'm only on book 3 at this point) but jumped at the chance to participate in this upcoming blog tour.  My thoughts will be posted this week but here is a spoiler:  I loved it!  I just might start reading the rest of the series in print because I get through audios so slowly as of late.

I'm currently reading the following:

This is also for an upcoming blog tour and I am loving it.  I'm taking my time and just immersing myself in the time period that this book is set in.  I'm hoping to get a good chunk of this book read later on today.

Plans for the rest of the day include lots of laundry and a run on the treadmill.  Review writing and commenting on some blog posts.  Catching up with all of you.  And preparing for the rest of the week as it is going to prove to be just as busy as the past ones have been.  In between everything I will also be reading whenever I can.  I hope you all have a wonderful Sunday and enjoy a really great book!

Happy Sunday and happy reading!!