Thursday, February 25, 2016

Wedding Night with the Earl by Amelia Grey

Wedding Night With the Earl (The Heirs' Club of Scoundrels Trilogy, #3)Adam never wanted to be an earl. Especially since he blamed himself for the deaths of his wife and child. But now he's Lord Greyhawke, guardian of his five-year-old heir apparent, and he's been commanded by the king to go to London and find a wife. He hasn't even bought the clothes that would distinguish him as a peer. But he schlepps himself and the heir (Dixon) to town and there he immediately puts his foot in his mouth at the first party he attends.
Katherine has never had this happen to her. Most of the ton knows she doesn't dance because of the two accidents that now cause her to walk with a cane. But the Earl, without even a proper introduction, is demanding that she dance with him.
And thus begins their courtship.
The language, not unusually for Ms. Grey, was a bit flowery for me. Plus Adam was pushy (but it was okay because he was a different kind of pushy from her family. Really?) and the ending was REALLY fast but overall a nice story.

Comes out March 1st

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Madwoman Upstairs Catherine Lowell

I am stymied as to how to think of this book. On the surface, it's a literary exploration of what it might be like to be related to the famous Brontë family but living in the modern day. Samantha Whipple is the great-grandsomething of Patrick Brontë's (father of Charlotte, Anne, Emily, and Branwell) sibling, the only member left of the family. Her father, a noted writer and notorious drinker, famously flamed out of life when she was 15. Rumor had it that he had a cache of Brontë items. However, Sam knows that's not true. But then why are his copies, his personal copies, of the Brontë novels showing up in her dorm room (a windowless tower room). And why now? Why not right after he died?
The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine LowellIt was an interesting story. The scavenger hunt connected to books is not a new idea but this is certainly a new tack to take. I generally liked the story but got honestly confused in places. And I never quite connected with Sam. Probably because of her general social awkwardness, having been home-schooled in such an odd manner. So, it's a treasure hunt, but there is an underlying romance, and then LOTS of delving deep into literary criticism and general criticism of scholars and writers. All of these themes fit together, but roughly, like puzzle pieces forced into particular slots.

This book comes out Mar. 1, 2016

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Big Nate: Thunka, Thunka, Thunka by Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce
Big Nate is back to usual shenanigans in this book. Interviewing his grandparents, going to gym class, discovering a new (teen romance!) comic strip, betting Gina he can go a full day without getting detention, and other escapades.
Those who love Nate will rejoice in this book.
Four stars
Book comes out March 1, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Skinny Dipping with Murder by Auralee Wallace

Skinny Dipping with Murder by Auralee WallaceThis was certainly a... frenetic book. Frustrating at times, but mostly enjoyable.
When Erica Bloom visits her hometown, Otter Lake, for the first time in eight years, she's not there because she wants to be back. Rather, her mother is perpetrating insurance fraud and she wants Erica to help. Never mind that Erica had a hideously embarrassing episode eight years ago. One that comes up even as the book opens. Then there is a death. And an attempted murder. And then the police department (one, a former friend-ish-type person who may or may not believe Erica is guilty, and the Sherriff, her high school crush and possibly one of the perpetrators of the prank that the townspeople are still talking about) seems to believe that she's a viable suspect.
Dealing with a town full of people that all seem obsessed with the past, a mother who doesn't seem to exist on this plane, a former crush who is still Ken-doll-perfect, and a group of women who are sticking around just to play amateur detective with her means Erica has her hands full.
I didn't love the love-interest's first attempt at reconciliation , nor his second for that matter, but it was an okay book and I'm excited to read the next one in the series.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery

The Friends We Keep by Susan MalleryTHESE books are the reasons I keep reading Susan Mallery. The Fool's Gold series is okay in my opinion but it's the books outside of that series that I want to read as soon as possible.
While we get Nicole from The Girls of Mischief Bay, there isn't really anyone else from that series (blissful!) Instead, while Nicole is exploring dating after being divorced, we also learn more about Gabby Schaefer, a stay-at-home mom who has less than 60 days until she gets to go back to work, and Hayley Batchelor who desperately wants a child but is aware that another pregnancy might kill her.
While the Fool's Gold series is a little lighter, these other books are more along the lines of Kristan Higgins' non-series books having all the feels. Gabby's stepdaughter is petulant and a bit spoiled and.. well, there's more there. Hayley's husband isn't happy that she's sacrificing so much to have a child, even to the extant of threatening her own life. And Nicole isn't sure that she's ready to risk her heart again, even for an attractive children's book author.
Some of the stories were a little too broad, but that was minor in a very good book.

Followed by A Million Little Things

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fully Ignited by Shannon Stacey

Fully Ignited (Boston Fire, #3)Jamie Rutherford is used to being the new girl on the block. Well, since she's in her mid-thirties, really she's used to being the new woman in the firehouse. Some times are easier than others, depending on how the crew feels about working with a female. Luckily, Engine 59 seems to be be very accepting. Even the crew's Romeo, Shawn Kincaid.
Shawn is super-attracted to Jamie the minute he sees her. Yes, she's a lieutenant and therefore outranks him but he doesn't see that as an issue, because why?
As someone who's experienced sexism in the past, Jamie knows that there will be repercussions if she and Shawn even start hooking up and she explains that part . But then she decides to go for it anyway. Well, they decide to go for it.
And... well, I didn't love the ending. But I did love that Jamie was older than Shawn and it was never mentioned as the issue.

Three stars
Book comes out February 23
Follows Controlled Burn

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Murder with a Twist by Tracy Kiely

Murder with a Twist by Tracy KielyI got the second book in this series, made it half-way through and realized I wanted to start from the beginning. Even with the nausea-inducing reading caused by an ebook that wasn't well-edited (nothing I did would make all of the font stay on one page so I had to keep flipping back and forth), this was a decent story. I misjudged the murderer because I relied too much on the "Thin Man" movies that the characters are based off of.
In this case, it was Nicole "Nic" Martini who is the former detective (NYPD rather than private) and Nigel who is the offspring of a wealthy family. Nic is still the fearless detective who solves the case, however, it is still the male (Nigel) that retains much of the humor and the borderline alcoholism.
Nic has been asked to track down the profligate husband of Nigel's cousin Audrey (shades of the second movie in the series). When he ends up dead in the men's room of the Ritz, a lot of people would be relieved except that Audrey is found standing over him with the knife in her hand.
A fun story and worth reading.
Three and a half stars
Followed by Killer Cocktail

Monday, February 1, 2016

Death and the Brewmaster’s Widow by Loretta Ross

Death and the Brewmaster’s Widow (The Auction Block Mysteries, #2)Death and Wren are back in a slightly soap opera-y (one of the characters even acknowledges that it's a bit far-fetched) book that is no less delightful for the high drama.
Death has gone to St. Louis to pack up his brother's house. At the end of the last book, we learned that Randy had died in a fire. Wren eventually joins him and the two, with Randy's friends, start to discover that this so-called "accident" may be anything but.
The solution to the mystery is easy to guess but doesn't detract from the joy of reading this story. The book doesn't come out until February 8, 2016 which is distressing because I can't wait to read the next book in the series.