Book List 2018, Coming Soon

My Reading List

Reading Currently, so Reviews Coming Soon

  • The Last Straw by Ed Duncan
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith (J.K Rowling)
  • Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  • Floored by Sara Barnard; Holly Bourne; Tanya Byrne; Non Pratt; Melinda Salisbury; Lisa Williamson; Eleanor Wood
  • Craft Brew by Layla Reyne
  • Slayer by Kiersten White
  • An Easy Death by Charlaine Harris
  • Single White Incubus by E.J Russell

I am in a huge reading mood!

 

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Announcemet, Book List 2018, Reviews

Release Day: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl by Karen Booth

secrets_sunnygirl_cover_1600x2560Title: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl by Karen Booth

Release Date: October 16, 2018

Length: 318 pages

Subgenre: Romantic Women’s Fiction

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Summary:

As sisters, they tell each other all their secrets…except one.

With divorce and infidelity hanging from nearly every branch of her family tree, Katherine Fuller sees no point in marriage. Boyfriends? Sure. Sex? Of course. Wedding vows? No, thanks. Still, when her younger sister Amy gets engaged, Katherine gathers all the enthusiasm she can. She won’t let Amy down. She’s done enough of that for a lifetime.

Sunny Girl Teaser 1As the sisters embark on wedding plans, Katherine’s college love resurfaces. It nearly killed Katherine to part from sexy Irish musician Eamon more than a decade ago, but falling under his spell a second time forces her to confront everything she hid from him. The secrets surrounding her mother’s death are still fresh and raw in her mind, but one has haunted her more than the others. She can’t bear to tell anyone, especially not Amy. It could ruin far more than a wedding. It could destroy a sister’s love forever.

 

About Karen Booth:

Karen Booth is a midwestern girl transplanted in the South, raised on ‘80s music and repeated readings of Forever by Judy Blume. An early preoccupation with rock ‘n’ roll led her to spend her 20s working her way from intern to executive in the music industry. When her kids came along, she traded late nights for early mornings, writing contemporary romance and women’s fiction. Karen was a finalist for RT Magazine’s Series Romance of the Year and Gold Seal of Excellence, and the 2018 National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. Her books have been translated into seventeen languages.

Connect with Karen: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Giveaway: Win a signed print set of Karen Booth’s three Romantic Women’s Fiction novels: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl, Bring Me Back and Back Forever, or 1 of 2 e-copies of Bring Me Back!

About Bring Me Back: Nearly forty, Claire Abby had thought life would be a whole lot smoother by now. Single parenting her college-bound daughter is trying, her journalism career is fading, her sister’s a handful, her dad is worse, and her mom has been gone so long it’s hard to remember what it was like when she was here.

So it’s both a lucky break and a jaw-dropping distraction when Claire lands an interview with British rock star Christopher Penman. Claire spent her teenage years fantasizing he was her boyfriend. In person, Chris is everything Claire feared—off-the-charts sexy, ridiculously charming, and utterly nerve-wracking. He’s not about to discuss the rumors he’s dodged for a decade. She must earn his trust and unearth the truth, but she never banked on the heartbreaking secret behind it.

His blockbuster story is her first priority when she returns home, a nearly impossible task when Christopher starts calling. And flirting. There’s no denying his wit or his buttery British accent, and once she agrees to see him, it’s beyond anything her teenage brain ever imagined. But when Christopher’s painful past repeats itself, can Claire smooth out her life and save the man she could never forget?

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Continue reading “Release Day: Secrets of a (Somewhat) Sunny Girl by Karen Booth”

Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman

norse mythologyTitle: Norse Mythology

Author: Neil Gaiman

Genre: History, mythology, super awesome audiobook

Summary:

Neil Gaiman, long inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction, presents a bravura rendition of the Norse gods and their world from their origin though their upheaval in Ragnarok. 

In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

My Thoughts:

Oh my gods. This is one of the best books I’ve read and the best audiobook I have ever listened to.

I now own a full Neil Gaiman audiobook collection because this man is so nice to listen to. His care for his writing and subject matter really does shine through in his reading of this work.

I have long loved reading about the different myths, and legends from other countries, and did read rather extensively about the Norse Gods when I was in college, but this was one of the most wonderful re-tellings I’ve ever had the pleasure to read.

There is no dryness to this writing, but rather life is breathed into every tale, injected with humour and tragedy where needed. The Gods come to life in a way they have not in many years, and with it a different point of view of Norse life.

I would recommend this to anyone who loves Gaiman, mythology, or just plain good literature.

Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton

my plain janesTitle: My Plain Jane

Author(s): Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows and Brodi Ashton

Series: The Lady Janies

Genre: Alternate History, Historical Fiction, Fantasy

Summary: 

You may think you know the story. After a miserable childhood, penniless orphan Jane Eyre embarks on a new life as a governess at Thornfield Hall. There, she meets one dark, brooding Mr. Rochester. Despite their significant age gap (!) and his uneven temper (!!), they fall in love—and, Reader, she marries him. (!!!)

Or does she?

Prepare for an adventure of Gothic proportions, in which all is not as it seems, a certain gentleman is hiding more than skeletons in his closets, and one orphan Jane Eyre, aspiring author Charlotte Brontë, and supernatural investigator Alexander Blackwood are about to be drawn together on the most epic ghost hunt this side of Wuthering Heights

My Thoughts:

I wish I could express to you how much I was excited about this book, and I mean truly, mind-numbingly excited. I absolutely loved the first book, I read it four times in the last year because it was  so humorous, and the story was woven so tightly I could hardly find fault with it.

This book was good. Please do not think that I didn’t enjoy it because I did. But…I didn’t enjoy it anywhere near as much as I had enjoyed the first one.

The parts I wanted more of (the ghost hunting adventures), I got very little of, and wished it had been expanded upon. The parts I could’ve done with a little bit less of (the actual plot of Jane Eyre) I got too much of.

I did like the twist on the story, but it wasn’t as twisty as some of my other favourite Jane Eyre works (The Eyre Affair for example), and the character I actually enjoyed the most was Charlotte Bronte, I was left with very little interest in Jane herself.

The characters alongside Jane are enough to keep the book going, and the end truly does build to a rather satisfying climax, but it’s just not quite enough.

Now a novel with more of Charlie and Blackwood? I would be behind that in a second.

And as for the next book, My Calamity Jane? I can’t freaking wait to read that one.

 

Book List 2018

Review: Imperial Stout by Layla Reyne

imperial stoutTitle: Imperial Stout

Author: Layla Reyne

Genre: M/M Romance, Suspense

Series: Trouble Brewing

Summary: It’s a good thing assistant US attorney Dominic Price co-owns a brewery. He could use a cold one. Nic’s star witness has just been kidnapped, his joint operation with the FBI is in jeopardy, his father’s shady past is catching up with him and the hot new special agent in San Francisco is the kind of distraction best handled with a stiff drink.

Kidnap and rescue expert Cameron Byrne has his own ideas about how to handle Nic, but his skills are currently needed elsewhere. The by-the-book FBI agent goes deep undercover as a member of an infamous heist crew in order to save Nic’s witness, break up the crew and close the case before anyone else gets hurt. Nic in particular.

Things heat up when Cam falls for Nic, and the witness falls for Cam. As the crew’s suspicions grow, Cam must decide how far he’s willing to go—and how far into his own dark past he’s willing to dive—to get everyone out alive.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

My Thoughts:

This book probably would’ve been a little bit easier for me to understand if I had previously read the series which it had spun off of.

Since I did not, I was in for a tiiiiny bit of confusion. And when I say tiny I mean that there was a few times where I actually found myself re-reading things, and whole chapters to make sure I understood what the heck was going on.

That being said, the banter, camraderie and teamwork between almost all of the characters in this novel kind of made it for me.

Cam and Nic made up the rest. They were interesting enough to keep me looking, and trying to imagine the scenarios they found themselves in. The backstory was there just enough to keep me from putting down the book and wondering if I should read the whole other series first.

It was refreshing in a way to have there be two characters who were within the LGBTQIA+ family and not have it be the end of the world for other characters, like some huge big thing. Because frankly it shouldn’t be. The two characters were accepted, without argument. It was nice. I enjoyed it.

I think before I do read the second one I will give Reyne’s other series a lookie-loo so that I fully understand what is going on this time around 🙂

Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri

the witch of little italyTitle: The Witch of Little Italy

Author: Suzanne Palmieri

Genre: Magical realism?

Summary:

In Suzanne Palmieri’s charming debut, The Witch of Little Italy, you will be bewitched by the Amore women. When young Eleanor Amore finds herself pregnant, she returns home to her estranged family in the Bronx, called by “The Sight” they share now growing strong within her.

She has only been back once before when she was ten years old during a wonder-filled summer of sun-drenched beaches, laughter and cartwheels. But everyone remembers that summer except her. Eleanor can’t remember anything from before she left the house on her last day there.

With her past now coming back to her in flashes, she becomes obsessed with recapturing those memories. Aided by her childhood sweetheart, she learns the secrets still haunting her magical family, secrets buried so deep they no longer know how they began. And, in the process, unlocks a mystery over fifty years old—The Day the Amores Died—and reveals, once and for all, a truth that will either heal or shatter the Amore clan.

My Thoughts:

Funnily enough this is actually one of the first books I ever bought digitally. I then proceeded to not read it for a very long time for reasons I cannot explain.

When reading it I could not figure out why the heck it took me so long to read it because this book is captivating. There was just something about how the magic and the mystery of the Amore clan was woven into what could’ve been an almost over the top plot.

I know, I’m weird, to me it wasn’t the magic that was over the top, it was everything else.

It was the mysteries and the little touches of magic that kept me going within this book but I can’t really reveal too much without giving it away and spoiling the whole novel.

The cast of characters are interesting, and I thoroughly enjoyed flipping the pages of this book, which definitely helped to pull me out of my reading slump.

 

Book List 2018, Reviews

Review: Love in a Small Town by Zoe York

love in a small townTitle: Love in a Small Town

Author: Zoe York

Genre: Romance

Series: Pine Harbor

Summary: 

Police officer and army reservist Rafe Minelli knows better than to tell his wife no, particularly since they aren’t married anymore. She can’t hightail it out of town, though, not when they’ve finally broken through the post-divorce cold war status quo.

Olivia Minelli needs to leave Pine Harbour. It’s just too hard to see Rafe moving on without her—even if he says he doesn’t want to. But when a new and exciting job falls into her lap, she needs to choose: protect her heart, or take the new job and risk getting emotionally entangled with her ex-husband. Again.

My thoughts:

Whenever I can’t get into reading again I always end up going for something like this. Something that is relatively light, something that can be read very quickly without too much investment.

That does not mean that this book is bad, because it’s not if you take it for what it is. It is a warm, sometimes sad, but mostly warm and romantic.

Olivia is a pretty independent character, but you get the impression that she wasn’t always. She’s learning to say what she wants, and how she wants to be treated which is something that I really do appreciate.

Rafe is kind of a mess, and unfortunately in my opinion he remained messy for quite some time.

Book List 2018

Review: In the Belly of Jonah by Sandra Brannan

in the belly of jonah.jpgTitle: In the Belly of Jonah

Author: Sandra Brannan

Genre: Thriller

Summary: In the Belly of Jonah is a fast-paced mystery with a likable protagonist and an intricately woven narrative brimming with bizarre yet believable twists. The first in a series, the book expertly lays the groundwork for Liv Bergen, amateur sleuth, and her love interest, FBI Agent Streeter Pierce. Liv becomes involved in the investigation of the murder of Jill Brannigan, a summer intern at the limestone mine Liv manages near Fort Collins, Colorado (a breathtaking setting that unwittingly becomes an accessory to crime). In doing so, she inadvertently puts her friends, her family, and herself at risk of being swallowed in the belly of a madman bloated with perverse appetites for women, surrealistic art, and renown.

As the gripping plot of In the Belly of Jonah unfolds, Liv Bergen takes her place alongside the best female crime-solvers as a woman with smarts, self-confidence, and intuitive savvy.

Review: 

This book was…very…extremely brutal. It was so well written, that my crazy imagination could sadly imagine every single gross detail. Sometimes I wish I couldn’t, but man Brannan is a master of getting you to be a little squicked.

The characters in this novel are full fledged, and interesting. Liv especially, with her fiery nature did capture my attention as did her relationship with Streeter.

This book is driven with strong female characters. And the plot is driven by a total psycho, one that you will not soon forget even after finishing reading the book. The crimes within it are so gruesome they feel real.

This book would be good for anyone who likes a good thriller, and a mystery that’s more on the side of hate, than a crime of passion.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Book List 2018

Review: True to You by Tony Correia

TRUE TO YOUTitle: True to You

Author: Tony Correia

Genre: Romance, LGBTQIA+

Summary: 

Jorge Gomez is a gay teen from a working-class family who is expelled from school after fighting with bullies on behalf of another kid. He starts training to become a pro wrestler, and finds that he has the talent that could make it a promising career. At the first wrestling show Jorge attends, he meets Thom, who is from a politically active upper middle-class family. It’s a case of opposites attracting, but Jorge feels threatened when he learns that Thom’s ex-boyfriend is determined to win Thom back.

Jorge tries to reconcile his sexual orientation with the image and loyalty demanded of a career as a wrestler. Looking to jumpstart his career, he switches to a wrestling club that promises to make him a star. When he adopts a flamboyantly gay “bad guy” wrestling persona, Thom calls him out for promoting homophobia. Jorge reacts badly with the result that he is kicked out of the club and is dumped by Thom. The crisis leads Jorge to find a way to be true to himself and who he is, and to reconcile with Thom.

Review:

Jorge Gomez is a character with a lot of heart. This is something you definitely see from the beginning of this novella. He can’t stand bullies, and he wants to be the best person that he can. But he also wants to be the best wrestler that he can which leads him down a path of almost self-hating homophobia.

Thom tries hard as well, and does his best to support Jorge but knows when not to. Therefore he knows when to step back for himself and Jorge, which is one of the most realistic things I’ve read in one of these stores.

That being said this would be all the better if it were just a little bit longer. The characters could have been fleshed out more, the story as well and it would have felt less rushed.

Received a free copy of this in exchange for an honest review. 

Book List 2018

Review: Good Boys by Keelan Ellis

good boysTitle: Good Boys

Author: Keelan Ellis

Series: The Soloman Mysteries

Genre: Crime/Mystery

Summary: 

Having risen through the ranks of the Baltimore City Police Department to the elite Homicide unit as an out gay man, Paul Solomon has always prided himself on his integrity and self-reliance. As the last vestiges of his failed eight-year-long relationship fall away, Paul finds himself adrift, forced to rely on others to help him find his footing again.

When Paul and his partner, Tim Cullen, are called to the scene of a double murder of two high school students on the city’s west side, Paul finds the lives and deaths of the two boys hitting closer to home than he’d expected. With his personal life in upheaval, he struggles with the perspective needed to untangle the web of secrets and lies that led to their demise.

While working his way through the complicated case, Paul starts getting his life back together. After a date with an enigmatic young man takes a dark turn, he reaches out to an old flame who brings some much-needed lightness to his life. But Paul finds that relationships, like murder investigations, are never as simple as he’d like.

Review:

This book swept me up and didn’t put me down until long after I’d turned the last page. It was pretty damn awesome, if I’m going to be honest, without leaving too many spoilers laying about.

Paul is not perfect, he’s imperfect. He’s not the best partner, not even the best detective but he does what he can and he is determined to do as well as he can in his life and his job, even when he’s in a bit of a slump. He also doesn’t take any bullshit from anyone which I do like.

The other characters are not as fully fleshed out as I would like but I have a feeling they will be later on in the series.

The mystery is pretty solid, and the plot is not slow moving. I look forward to the next work in this series.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.