Thursday, January 18, 2018

Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer

Alison opens the book in a monogamous relationship that, even if a little slow and a little boring, seems to be working out just fine. At least until she breaks up. Suddenly, she's dating in New York in the 21st century. But she's always met her boyfriends in person. How will she go on? With social media, of course! We follow Alison through her adventures with dating through and the many men she meets along the way.
This was an okay book. Alison seems like a decent person (why didn't we get to hear more about her on the job?) if sort of one who is willing to let the tides take her where they will. If this book had been written 5 years ago, it might have been more interesting, exploring the new world of internet dating, but it just seems like old hat now.

Three stars
This book comes out January 23
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

I really, really like Ms. Mallery's (somewhat) standalone novels. She's able to inject more emotion and deeper characterization into these longer stories. We really get to know Harper Szymanski, an overworked divorcee, and her teenage daughter. Harper is just trying to keep herself together. After working for years to get her husband through podiatry school, he dumped her. Now she lives in the house with Becca. Harper's mother, Bunny, lives in a garage apartment and seems to just hang around shaming both Harper and her sister, Stacey, because neither are 1950s housewives.
Stacey is an amazing scientist working on helping people with MS. She's a fully-confident woman who just turned forty. And, oh yeah, she's sort of pregnang. And mostly in denial. See, she's got this perfect mother and this perfect sister who both know instintively how to mother the people around them. Stacey, just doesn't feel it.
Harper doesn't really feel perfect either. Her business isn't what she planned and she can't even pick out an assistant who can actually help her (cameos from the previous book!). Because she's spending so much time with trying to keep food in the house and a roof over her daughter's head, she's losing track of what her daughter's actually doing. And Becca has her own set of problems...
I really liked this book. I didn't completely buy that Becca turned around so fast and didn't really get her connection with Ashton but I mostly liked the Lucas/Harper story line (except for the Big Misunderstanding which seemed just sort of stuck in so it wouldn't be super-smooth.)

Four stars
This book comes out January 23
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley
Follows A Million Little Things

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

The Mutts Spring Diaries by Patrick McDonnell

The Mutts Spring Diaries by Patrick McDonnellSpring is here (at least in the Mutts universe)! The birds are back and even the turtles. Easter is just around the corner and there are lots of bunnies to ask about eggs. Of course, there are also spring showers to contend with. Earl and Mooch also meet a caterpillar and hang out waiting for him to turn into a butterfly. A series of animal sounds puns ensue and the various animals take their turns trying to write their own comics.
Regular Mutts readers will not be disappointed.

This book comes out January 16
Four stars
ARC provided by NetGalley

Monday, January 8, 2018

How to Get Sh*t Done by Erin Falconer

I like Ms. Falconer’s approach. She adds some ideas to the regular productivity books I’ve read in the
past - including our own personalities. She uses the acronym POP ; Personality, Opportunity, Pepsi
She suggests that you get rid of all your To-Do lists and concentrate on just 3 things. Why three? Because it’s an easy number and one that we’re programmed to do. Then, cut the fat and concentrate on those things. Realize that there will be setbacks.

Three stars
This book came out January 2
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Howl for It by Shelly Laurenston; Cynthia Eden

Like A Wolf With A Bone by Shelly Laurenston
Darla Mae Lewis left the South for a reason. Mostly to get away from her argumentative sisters. They
tend to fight not only with each other, but with the Smith boys whom most of them are hooked up with. The last (I think) Smith standing? Egbert "Eggie" Ray. He's the scariest of the Smith boys but he'd rather be left alone than be the Alpha of the clan. When he sees Darla, he doesn't immediately know that she's his One, but it happens pretty quickly. Of course, they'll have to figure out why there's a horde of humans after Darla.

A nice start to a new shapeshifter series from Laurenston. The repetitious rhyming of the middle names was a little weird and it was a little over the top but a nice world-building for a novel.

Wed Or Dead by Cynthia Eden
I like novellas where the h/h have known each other for awhile, they're much more believable. In this case, , they've known each other long enough to be getting married as the story opens. But there's a problem; he's a shapeshifter and she's part of an elite group of hunters who have been put together to kill the "monsters."
Well, the wedding night goes well... until it doesn't . And it starts both groups toward a final battle and a crisis of conscience for at least one of our characters.
This was definitely darker than the first sorry. Good, but in a different way.

Four stars
This book comes out January 30
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley

Wallflower Most Wanted by Manda Collins

Opening scene: our heroine falls while painting and sprains her ankle. As the hero strides over to help
her, they overhear a murder being discussed. There is also contained in this book the problem of vast amounts of forged art coming out of their village and an unscrupulous man running for local council.
Luckily, Sophia and Benedict are positioned to help (she's an artist, his family is part of the government entity trying to shut the forgeries down).
Sophia actually seemed believable; a female artist with talent who might not be appreciated because of her sex - somewhat resigned but accepting. Benedick is a nice guy. There could be more to their connection but I don't think regular Collins readers won't be disappointed.

Three stars
This book comes out January 30
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley
Follows Duke with Benefits

Saturday, January 6, 2018

The Uncanny Express by Kara LaReau

Jaundice and Kale are (reluctantly) off on another adventure. This time, their (still absent) parents have arranged for the girls to meet their Aunt Shallot at the railroad station. Still recovering from their adventures of the first book, Kale and Jaundice are not ecstatic when the woman who shows up is a magician who immediately whisks them off onto the Uncanny Express. Magique (as she prefers to be called) is trying to break into the mainly male milieu of magicians. Her first show went horribly and she is heading to the Uncanny Valley to show what she can do. Unfortunately, after practicing her show on the train, Magique disappears. It is up to the two girls to help world famous detective, Hugo Fromage, solve the case of the missing magician.
A light play on the Orient Express that I quite enjoyed and I think kids will too. Definitely better than the first book.

Four stars
This book comes out January 9
ARC kindly provided by NetGalley