Thursday, February 21, 2019

Stray Moon by Kelly Meding (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Para-Marshal Shiloh Harrison has always been a great number two for the East Coast unit. But after her boss is found dead (having betrayed the paranormals he was sworn to protect), she’s suddenly thrust into a leadership role she isn’t prepared for. And it doesn’t help that she traded away memories of one of her most important team members to save another’s life during her last mission.

Too, she’s in charge of a unit that is mired in bureaucratic red tape, meaning she’s essentially under house arrest. But a West Coast Para-Marshal has astral-projected a warning: werewolves are going missing, and she needs Shiloh’s help. Last time it was vampires. This time it’s werewolves. Half-djinn herself, she knows she can’t just sit around and do nothing while paranormals are getting snatched. Her old boss may have broken his oath, but Shiloh will do anything to serve and protect."

My Thoughts:

I am well and truly hooked on this series now thanks to this latest book!  Urban fantasy has always held a special place in my readerly heart.  There just isn't enough new series coming out lately in my opinion which is a shame.  Happily enough I found this series right at the beginning with the first book Stray Magic.  Without sharing any spoilers, that first book left me very eager to get my hands on this newest book so I jumped at the chance to read it.  It was just as good as I had hoped that it would be I'm happy to report.  I picked this book up and jumped right back into where I had left off in book one it felt like.  Let me start off by saying though that I really do think that you need to read this series in order so start with book one.  It's not that the author didn't do a good job of catching the reader up on the action from that first book (she actually does a really great job of it) but there is just so much that carries over from that first book that I really do recommend reading them in order.  For me, the details she gave from that previous book were enough to help jog my memory so that I didn't feel lost when starting on this one which sometimes can happen when waiting to read books in series for periods of time.  I absolutely adore the characters in this series!  Shiloh is everything that I could want as a main character.  She is kick-ass when she needs to be but also both vulnerable and caring.  Her team and job as a para-marshal are two of the most important things to her and it shows throughout the book.  I love how this author has taken different types of paranormal characters and featured them as main characters rather than just your typical vampires and shifters.  Sure, this book has them too but it isn't often that you see a half genie as your main character!  This book was just as fast paced as the first book so I breezed through the pages of it.  I actually finished the last half of the book all in one chunk after work one evening because I just couldn't stop reading.  I'm so curious to see where this author is going to take us next after the way this book ended!  It is going to be a very long wait until book three - that's for sure!

Overall, I enjoyed this book and am so excited to have found this series!  I NEED more urban fantasy series like this in my life!  Books like this are just so fun to read.  I love how action packed this was, all of the different types of characters, and there is even a little bit of mystery behind who could be involved in it all.  All of this combines into a book that I just couldn't set down!  I would recommend this series to fans of urban fantasy and paranormal.  I stand by my recommendation of reading them in order.  There are only two books so far so it's not like there are ten books to catch up on (although at this rate I would still say they were worth taking the time to read).  Easily recommended!

Bottom Line:  A great addition to this series that has me wishing I had book three in my hands already!

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Never Tell by Lisa Gardner (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"A man is dead, shot three times in his home office. But his computer has been shot twelve times, and when the cops arrive, his pregnant wife is holding the gun.

D. D. Warren arrives on the scene and recognizes the woman—Evie Carter—from a case many years back. Evie's father was killed in a shooting that was ruled an accident. But for D.D., two coincidental murders is too many.

Flora Dane sees the murder of Conrad Carter on the TV news and immediately knows his face. She remembers a night when she was still a victim—a hostage—and her captor knew this man. Overcome with guilt that she never tracked him down, Flora is now determined to learn the truth of Conrad's murder.

But D.D. and Flora are about to discover that in this case the truth is a devilishly elusive thing. As layer by layer they peel away the half-truths and outright lies, they wonder: How many secrets can one family have?"

My Thoughts:

This is my first five star read of 2019!!!  I am so completely hooked on this series at this point and I'm only three books in.  It's funny because I'm totally not reading them in order - and I've started compulsively buying them whenever I find copies of the earlier books because I definitely want to read the entire series at this point.  But back to this book which again features Flora Dane whom I have just grown to love.  In Never Tell, the book is told from three different viewpoints all focusing on the recent shooting and murder of Evie Carter's husband.  One viewpoint is D.D.'s as she is investigating this murder, one from Evie's viewpoint as she deals with the aftermath of her husband's death, and finally from Flora's point of view as she recognized Evie's husband as being an acquaintance of her former captor Jacob Ness.  All of these three storylines are so compelling and made this book one that I couldn't set down.  Gardner does such a beautiful job of creating tense and suspenseful atmospheres in each of her books.  This book kept me guessing and turning the pages the entire time!  There is so much going on that you would think that it is almost too much - I didn't even mention yet that Evie "accidentally" killed her father when she was younger.  Instead all of these different things just tie together beautifully to ratchet up the suspense even more!  I feel like I'm just rambling here at this point so here is what you need to know: this book is JUST as amazing as every book that I've read in this series so far.  If you haven't read this series yet, you can certainly start here or you could do like I did and begin with Find Her (or maybe start at the very beginning of the series like most people do).  I loved this book so much and one of the reasons is because of Flora's character.  I'm loving the chance to see her continue to work on living her life after everything that she has been through.  There is just so much going on in this book that I absolutely loved.  I loved that I was kept guessing the entire time on what actually happened.  I won't say more than that but I just cannot recommend this series enough at this point!!

Overall this was easily a five star read for me and my first one of the new year!  I feel like all I'm doing is gushing at this point but really it was that good!  This book was just as compelling and thrilling as the other two books that I've read in this series.  The mysteries are always suspenseful but it is the characters that keep me coming back for more.  I really am looking forward to finally starting back with the first book in this series sometime in the near future!  If you enjoy tense, edge of your seat - will not - cannot - stop reading books then this series is for you!  I can highly recommend this one to thriller and mystery lovers alike!  Lisa Gardner has sky rocketed on to my favorite authors list!  I will eagerly be anticipating the next book in this series and reading everything that she writes!  Highly recommended!

Bottom Line:  As tense and thrilling as I had hoped it would be - an easy five star read!

Disclosure:  I received a review copy of this book thanks to the publisher - thoughts on this book and series are my own!

Monday, February 18, 2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (February 18th)

"It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date."

Happy Monday folks!  It has been a crazy few weeks over here but not for the usual reasons.  Last week my dog got super sick.  At first we thought it was just a gastro type of thing as she wasn't eating anything.  After a few days of not eating I took her into the vet to make sure she hadn't eaten something that she shouldn't have (she's only two).  When by this Monday she was in even worse shape and still not eating back to the vet we went.  In a nutshell, she has been diagnosed with Addison's disease which means her body doesn't make cortisol like it should.  This sent her into an acute state where her kidneys were shutting down - it was basically awful.  We have an amazing vet that managed to figure it all out and get her the needed treatment.  I'm happy to say that she is on the road to recovery and getting back to her usual spazzy self that we know and love.  She will need monthly injections but should lead a normal healthy life otherwise.  We are so very grateful that she is here with us and healing.  All of this to say that I really haven't been reading.  No surprises there I'm sure.  Usually stress leads me to read more but honestly it did just the opposite this time.

As things are finally starting to settle down, I thought I would catch up with all of you and give you a reading update.  I was planning on trying to do more regular reading updates this year (you can probably see how well that is going).  I'm going to go ahead and just share what I've read so far in February and will consider myself caught up at this point.

Here is what I've finished so far this month:

Strangers in Death by J.D. Robb was a reread and helped me get out of the reading slump that I was starting to struggle with.  I always enjoy my time with the In Death series - they have become almost comfort reads for me.  I just love all of the characters so much so I always look forward to reading these books.

Stray Moon by Kelly Meding is the second book in an urban fantasy series.  I read and really enjoyed the first book Stray Magic last year.  This book was just as fast paced and compelling as book one.  I'm super hooked on this series now so it is going to be a long wait for the book three.  I'm planning on writing up my thoughts and sharing them later this week hopefully.

I'm currently reading the following:

I don't usually read three books but like I said - it has been a hard couple of weeks.  I actually just started Blink by K.L. Slater which is a review copy.  This book is absolutely huge because it also contains the novel Safe With Me by this author.  I don't plan on reading both books back to back but I'm enjoying this one so far.  On my e-reader I'm currently reading It's Getting Scot in Here by Suzanne Enoch.  I'm not very far into this one yet but I love the premise so I have high hopes.  Finally, I'm also "reading" River Bodies by Karen Katchur.  Technically I've set this one aside as it is overdue at the library and I'm planning on returning it.  I'll just go ahead and put it on the holds list again - I was a little over 100 pages in so I plan on finishing it but it is going to have to wait for now.  I'm off now to curl up and relax with a book.

Happy Monday and Happy Reading!

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Death Over Easy by Maddie Day (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Restaurateur Robbie Jordan is ready for the boost in business a local music festival brings to South Lick, Indiana, but the beloved event strikes a sour note when one of the musicians is murdered . . .
June’s annual Bill Monroe Bluegrass Festival in neighboring Beanblossom is always a hit for Robbie’s country store and cafĂ©, Pans ‘N Pancakes. This year, Robbie is even more excited, because she’s launching a new bed and breakfast above her shop. A few festival musicians will be among Robbie’s first guests, along with her father, Roberto, and his wife, Maria. But the celebration is cut short when a performer is found choked to death by a banjo string. Now all the banjo players are featured in a different kind of lineup. To clear their names, Robbie must pair up with an unexpected partner to pick at the clues and find the plucky killer before he can conduct an encore performance . ."

My Thoughts:

Death Over Easy was another enjoyable addition to one of my favorite cozy mystery series!  I usually struggle with keeping up with all of the series that I like to read but for some reason that doesn't seem to be the case with my favorite cozy mystery series.  This is the latest addition to the Country Store mystery series and it once again reminded me why I love this series so much.  There are just fun and enjoyable reads!  In this one, the book is loosely centered around a Bluegrass Festival so there is lots of scenes featuring Bluegrass music and instruments.  I can't say that I've ever been to a Bluegrass festival myself but I enjoyed reading about it regardless.  As always, my favorite parts of the book are when Robbie is prepping food in her restaurant or cooking in her restaurant during the breakfast rush.  Everything she makes always sounds delicious which makes me hungry while reading!  Books like this sure do make me wish I was better cook than I really am.  There is just something almost comforting to me reading this series.  I'm always just swept away back into Robbie's life.  The mysteries are fun but aren't what draws me back to these books time and time again.  Instead it is the different characters, the cozy towns, and in this case, Robbie's cooking that keep me coming back for more!  This book was just a fun read and I can't wait to read the next one!

Overall, this was another enjoyable addition to this cozy mystery series!  Was it the best out of the series or my favorite?  Probably not but I still enjoyed my time with it and am ready for more!  I'll be impatiently waiting for the next book in this series but until then it looks like this author has a new different cozy series that recently released that I need to check out!  I love when that happens!  I can easily recommend this series to other cozy mystery lovers and suspense fans.  I do think that you would enjoy these books more if you read them in order but you absolutely do not have to!  The author does a really great job with giving you enough background information that you could dive straight into this one without feeling lost.  But as there are only four books in this series (five counting this one), I would recommend starting at the beginning if you can.  Recommended!

Bottom Line:  Another fun read in this cozy mystery series!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley.  Thoughts are my own.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

She Lies In Wait by Gytha Lodge (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"On a scorching July night in 1983, a group of teenagers goes camping in the forest. Bright and brilliant, they are destined for great things, and the youngest of the group—Aurora Jackson—is delighted to be allowed to tag along. The evening starts like any other—they drink, they dance, they fight, they kiss. Some of them slip off into the woods in pairs, others are left jealous and heartbroken. But by morning, Aurora has disappeared. Her friends claim that she was safe the last time they saw her, right before she went to sleep. An exhaustive investigation is launched, but no trace of the teenager is ever found.

Thirty years later, Aurora’s body is unearthed in a hideaway that only the six friends knew about, and Jonah Sheens is put in charge of solving the long-cold case. Back in 1983, as a young cop in their small town, he had known the teenagers—including Aurora—personally, even before taking part in the search. Now he’s determined to finally get to the truth of what happened that night. Sheens’s investigation brings the members of the camping party back to the forest, where they will be confronted once again with the events that left one of them dead, and all of them profoundly changed forever."

My Thoughts:

She Lies in Wait was one of my most anticipated mysteries of 2019!  I read that summary and just knew that I had to get my hands on this book as soon as possible.  There is just something that I can't get enough of about books that feature unsolved mysteries and investigations in the present.  There are one of my readerly catnips I guess you could say (I'm well aware that's not really a thing but it fits).  And because of all of this, I just immersed myself within the pages of this book.  I think I said this on Instagram when I was talking about this book but it is a book where the tension and suspense slowly build page by page.  The author did a really great job of keeping me guessing throughout the book.  There were times that I thought I had it figured out only to realize a couple of chapters later that I was no longer sure.  And this takes some talent in my opinion because there are a limited number of suspects considering the setup of the book which has Aurora disappearing after going camping with her sister and five of her sister's friends.  I honestly just let the author take me on a ride with this book and enjoyed every minute of it!  I also really enjoyed that in this book there are two separate storylines that the book flips between.  One is the present investigation which is being conducted by Jonah Sheen and his team of officers.  The second storyline is pieces of what actually happened the night Aurora went missing.  The author ties these two storylines together beautifully and in a way that left me eager to read more!  I'm so excited that this is the beginning of a new mystery series because I can't wait to read more books featuring Jonah Sheen!

Overall, I enjoyed my time with this book immensely and can't say enough good things about it!  It's an atmospheric read that kept me guessing the entire time.  It's one that I didn't rush through but just enjoyed throughout.  I will be looking forward to the next book in this series for sure!  If you are a mystery lover like I am, then I can recommend this one without hesitation.  I did see a review somewhere that complained that it was a bit on the slower side - but I would disagree there.  I think if you are expecting a thriller then sure, I could see that.  But this is a mystery and I felt like the author did a beautiful job with the pacing.  She wrapped me up in both storylines with ease until I just had to see how it would all end.  Highly recommended on my side of things!

Bottom Line:  A suspenseful mystery that kept me guessing and turning the pages!

Disclosure:   I received a copy of this book thanks to NetGalley and the publisher.