Thursday, June 30, 2016

Wrong Place, Right Time by Elle Casey

Wrong Place, Right Time by Elle CaseySo, you know how annoying a plot moppet is? Well, this plot moppet had a lisp (lithp?) and he talks a lot. A LOT. I usually give ARCs a little more leeway otherwise this would have been a fast DNF for me.
Which I'm glad I did finish because this was mostly a pretty decent book. Yes, it was outlandish and there was way more sex than romance, but I generally liked the hero and heroine. The height differential seemed a little extreme but considering I know some similar couples, I've seen it work.
Jenny is a single mom with three kids and an ex who is pretty worthless (of course). Her sister (who has her own book) asks her to come do some computer work for the Bourbon Street Boys. While she's there, Jenny meets Dev and then gets to spend some extra time with him courtesy of the loud thump that sends them running (well, Jenny gets dragged, more or less) to the panic room. They're only there for a bit but it gives her a chance to spend some extra time with the super-tall, shaved head man. She starts working for the Bourbon Street Boys and spreading her wings.
This book reminded me of a Julie Ann Walker book but she does NOT usually throw in lisping, annoying plot moppets.

Two and a half stars
This book comes out July 5

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

A Gift for Guile by Alissa Johnson

A Gift for Guile by Alissa JohnsonAfter finishing "A Talent for Trickery," I was immediately ready for the story of Esther Walker-Bales. In the first book, she was portrayed as feisty and knowing her own worth but doubting some of her past. And Sir Samuel Brads seemed like a perfect foil, handsome but no-nonsense.
This book opens with Esther waiting on a train platform because of a mysterious note that had been sent to her. Samuel has followed her to London because... Well, he tells himself it's because her sister is married to his best friend. But the readers know it's all bunk.
This book wasn't quite as good as the first one in terms of the sense of fun but three and a half stars is still an enjoyable read.

This book comes out July 5
Three and a half stars

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Devil and the Deep by Julie Ann Walker

Devil and the Deep by Julie Ann WalkerBran Palladino has been exchanging emails and sat phone calls with Maddy Powers since he kissed her on her father's yacht. Where he had just helped free her from kidnappers. Or pirates. Let's just say she was hijacked. Now she's back in the area (well, ish, she's close anyway) with three high school girls that her dad had her choose for a chance to become engineers in his company. The problem being that Bran doesn't seem to have shown up, even though she invited him. Well, that's not actually the biggest problem. Nope. It's the four men who have arrived on the island and are trying to kidnap her and possibly the girls.
From Bran's point of view, it's a cluster. Especially when he gets shot in the thigh. Actually, he takes that pretty well. It's when the high school girls start flirting with him that he starts to wig out a little.
I liked the first book in the series. It was sort of bat-shit crazy but in a "highly enjoyable read" way. This book was maybe a little too frenetic but about the same.

I am very much looking forward to the story of Alex (the very talkative researcher helping the men look for the Santa Cristina) and Mason (who doesn't talk very much at all) but I think we're actually going to see why Wolfe (who I can't remember at all, but must have been in the first book) and Chrissy (who is a leggy blond who runs an adventure travel company (?)) don't like each other first.

Book comes out July 5
Three and a half stars
Follows Hell or High Water

Monday, June 27, 2016

Always My Girl by Samantha Chase

Always My Girl by Samantha ChaseWe know from the first two books in the series that Quinn Shaughnessy has been willfully blind to the fact that his best friend Anna has been in love with him pretty much forever. But she's finally making a move to get on with her life. Quitting her regular job and starting to wear girlier clothes. And yet, now is when Quinn finally starts to notice that she's a woman.
Quite frankly, I didn't like Quinn all that much. The man used Anna most of his life and then got upset when he got called on it. And Anna was so wishy-washy, wanting Quinn then not wanting Quinn. Not my favorite book in the series but I'm certainly not going to stop reading them because of these two.

This book comes out July 5
Two and a half stars

Previous book Love Walks In
Followed by This is Our Song

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Clover Honey by Rich Tommaso

Clover Honey by Rich TommasoI requested this book from Edelweiss because I liked the cover and the description of a woman working on becoming a hitwoman really hooked me. As I started paging through the ebook, I noticed that this is a reprint, that this book was originally published in 1995. And that makes a lot of sense, not only from the subject but also the illustrations.
The description is a bit disingenuous. I don't see that Abigail is really wanting to become a hitman (hitwoman?) as much as move up in her uncle's organization and be more helpful to him. Unfortunately, as she gets deeper, she realizes that she's a lot more naive than she thought she was. In fact, this whole story is about her world turning upside down as she realizes that almost everyone in her life has sides that she didn't realize.
I wish this book had been a little longer and that we had gotten more of Abigail's story. It's a book that I definitely would have enjoyed a little more when I was younger but still liked today.
This book comes out June 30
Three stars

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis

Sweet Little Lies by Jill ShalvisUgh. This was such a battle in my head. One of my favorite authors tackling one of my least favorite tropes (the Big Lie, cousin to the dread Big Misunderstanding.) And while Shalvis made this trope at least palatable, it was still uncomfortable reading knowing that one character was hiding such a big thing from the other.
Pru has spent the majority of her time since her parents passed away trying to make it up to the people they harmed. Especially sexy Finn O'Reilly. But she doesn't want to "make it up to him;" she's just super attracted to him, even though her secret prevents her from getting into anything more than friendship. Or so she would believe...
Finn O'Reilly doesn't mind having dropped out of college to take care of his younger brother when their parents were killed. Well, mostly he doesn't. It does stick in his craw that his 22-year-old brother seems to be more party and less business while Finn has been supporting him. But other than that, he's fine. Especially now that sexy Pru finally seems to be returning his interest...

This book comes out June 28
Three stars

Followed by The Trouble with Mistletoe

Monday, June 20, 2016

Once a Soldier by Mary Jo Putney

We've met Will Masterson on the Lost Lord series.his brother Mac got married in "" and we know from these stories that Will was once married and mourned the loss of his wife. In the beginning of this book, he is saving the lives of people who were thrown off a bridge wile trying to flee the French. He was deemed an enemy and sentenced to death. The latter part happened while he was unconscious and he wakes up in a prison cell with (presumably) the rest of the heroes in this series.
Once a Soldier (Rogues Redeemed, #1)Of course, they manage to break out (otherwise that would be a short book) and go their separate ways, but not before creating a plan to stay in touch. This episode is the last in a series that causes Will to realize that he's ready to get out of the army. But just as he's ready to take off, one of the men from the breakout shows up asking him to return a small army unit to the country of San Gabriel. It seems the whole unit is not ready to go and they need an officer-type to be in charge. Will figures, why not?
When he gets to San Gabriel, he meets Athena Markham, an English subject like himself. She's in San Gabriel helping the princess rule the country, keeping it together since the king and prince have been taken by the French. Everyone is very relieved that the war is over but they are suspicious that the calm might not last for long since San Gabriel is a lovely valley country with (apparently) no strong men there to help rule the country.
I generally liked both Will and Athena. The story lumbered a bit in places but was overall fairly enjoyable.

This book comes out June 28
Three and a half stars

Friday, June 17, 2016

Death on the Sapphire by R. J. Koreto

Death on the Sapphire (Lady Frances Ffolkes #1)Lady Frances has some history in solving mysteries. Even though she is a peer's sister and a peer's daughter, she doesn't act like the rest of her contemporaries. She doesn't live at home, she's a suffragette, and she doesn't shy away from talking to the police. Case in point, when her friend's brother (apparently) commits suicide and his manuscript about fighting in the Boer War disappears, Lady Frances jumps in to help. In trying to solve the mystery, Frances accidentally uncovers a truth about the war that several prominent men would rather remain hidden.
This book got off to a slow start for me. Took awhile to get into it and continued to be a bit like trading water but I overall enjoyed it in the end and hope to read the next book in the series.

This book came out June 14
Three and a half stars
Followed by Death Among Rubies

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Beaver Tales by C C Castoro

Beaver Tales: Stories from Below the BeltThis is an interesting book (novella?) I got it because of the description on NetGalley and it certainly lived up to that. Only I wish there had been more structure, less of a conversational voice, and not quite so much shaming of wanting a natural bush. It was more or less an entertaining read but had it been longer, I definitely wouldn't have put in the time to finish it.

This book came out May 10
Two and a half stars

Monday, June 13, 2016

Living with a Dead Language by Ann Patty

Living with a Dead Language by Ann  PattyI wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I knew it was about a woman who was wanting to learn Latin and I knew that I wanted to learn Latin so I went ahead and requested the book from NetGalley. And it turned out to be an interesting read. A lovely book that just sort of rolls along. Like reading a nonfiction Mary Jo Putney. There's not a lot of action but that doesn't mean it's not good. Although this has given me the insight to rethink my plans on learning Latin...
Three and a half stars
This book comes out June 15

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts

Bay of Sighs by Nora RobertsOhmigosh. I'm not ashamed to admit that I was really worried about this book. The first book in the series was a pale replica of earlier Roberts trilogies and Annika quite frankly annoyed the hell out of me. To read a whole book about her? Well, there was more story than characterization in this book so the story of Annika and Sawyer falling more in love was there, but there was also a lot of movement in the overarching story of finding the three stars.
Annika is a mermaid who just got land legs in the last story. Because she revealed that she's a mermaid, she only has those legs for another three months. Just enough time for her to fall in love with the time/space traveler, Sawyer King.
Sawyer is cautious with Annika. Though he is wildly attracted to her, he knows that she is innocent in the ways of humans (even if she does have a penchant for taking her clothes off). And to work through all of this sex stuff while fighting an evil goddess who is now recruiting humans? It's a balancing act that they're all going to have to work at.
I mentioned that the first book in the series as a replica of other Roberts trilogies, the three stars, the character named 'King' who could be a king, and the idea of an evil queen. So, this still feels like a retread but with little new bits thrown in. And, while Annika wasn't as annoying as I thought she would be, she was still annoying. This was better than the first book though and I'm very much looking forward to the third book in this series.

This book comes out June 14
Three and a half stars

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

This Calls for a Drink! by Diane McMartin

This Calls for a Drink! A Sommelier's Guide to the Best Wines... by Diane McMartinThis book has the wry and subtle humor that I was hoping for in Should I Scoop Out my Bagel?. I wish I had paid attention to the fact that this was a wine and beer book. I was really hoping for some good cocktail suggestions. But Diane McMartin writes with a sense of humor and a good idea of how her book might be used. I definitely think that dipping into it for particular instances or to read aloud with friends would be a blast. Reading it through all at once is a bit daunting and gets a bit repetitive. I also wish that in her "life celebrations" section, there hadn't been a gap in between 30 and 65. Each one was only a paragraph anyway, why not throw in turning 40 or 50 or even realizing your at the onset of menopause?
Overall, there is some great information in this book and I would definitely recommend it as a gift to someone who is either wanting to learn more about beer/wine or has a major life occasion happening soon.

Three stars
This book comes out June 14, 2016

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Hello, Bicycle by Anna Brones

Hello, Bicycle by Anna BronesThis book wants to take you back to the thrill of your first ride. To the joy of riding a bike, whether it's   actually your first ride or your going on your daily commute.
This book includes a history of the bicycle (velocipedes and penny-farthings included) as well as information for the modern day rider. All of this is done in an entertaining but rather shallow manner (none of the information is super-in-depth.) However, the information is fairly wide-ranging up to and including the obvious how to pick out a bike and wearing helmets to how to upcycle various bike parts and yoga for biking.
It wasn't the book described but it was a fast and fun read.

Three and a half stars
This book comes out June 7