It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 8/1

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

What I finished last week:

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline (library) and Firebird by Jennifer Loring (review)

What I’m Currently Reading:

The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter is a review book King and Maxwell by David Baldacci is an audiobook from the library, and What’s Left of Me by Jennifer Loring (review), the second in the trilogy.

What’s Next?

Summer’s Road (Seasmoke Friends #1) by Kelly Moran (review book, I also have book #2, Winter’s Path which comes out 8/2 to review as well), The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner (library), The Devil’s Punchbowl (Penn Cage #3) (audible audiobook)

So what are you reading? Have you read anything I’m reading, have read or plan to read? If so what did you think, link to your review if you would like. Reviews to come of books I have finished or will finish. Have a wonderful reading week!

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Stacking the Shelves 7/30

STSmall_thumb2Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

 

Have a wonderful weekend!  Which book that I added this week catches your eye?  What’s your favorite book you added this week?  Link me to your post.  I try to hit as many as I can (and I’ll be able to do more this week as I’m not packing for vacation) but I can’t seem to get to all of them, but if you link yours I will visit!

Book Review: Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

Most WantedMost Wanted by Lisa Scottoline

Rating: 4 Stars
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pub. Date: April 12, 2016
Hardcover, 438 pages

My Review:

I will start this off by saying I love Lisa Scottoline. She is a must read for me. I read all of her stand-alone novels as they are released and I am making my way through the DiNunzio & Associate books now and absolutely love those. And while I enjoyed this book, it was topical and a very fast read, it definitely was not one of her best in my opinion. However, if you just remind yourself while you read this that it’s fiction and you are reading for enjoyment you will enjoy it like I did.

First there is the topical element of having fertility problems. My heart truly goes out to any couple who deals with this and I think Ms. Scottoline handles this part well. And she connects the element of what if you saw your sperm donor being arrested for being a serial killer in a realistic way. I completely understood how both Christine and Marcus felt. What are the repercussions on the child? Does it matter? To a mother who wants a child badly it might not. To a father not connected, it might. Very realistic.

Then it goes a little off the rails, but then again most Scottoline books have the female protagonist taking things into her own hands and investigating. Usually though she has a clue what she is doing. Christine, really does not, she just kind of goes about things and lucks into things. First by actually going to the jail to meet Zachary under the guise of wanting to write a book about him. He’s charismatic and soon she seems to be under his spell and believing he’s innocent? Or is he? Off she goes on a wild goose chase with his lawyer (or mainly on her own) and against her husband’s wishes to prove or disprove Zachary’s innocence, but will she destroy her already crumbling marriage in the process?

It’s crazy and gets out there, but it keeps you interested. I would get a little frustrated with Christine at times, but overall I really liked her. Marcus frustrated me but I think I understand him. Zachary I didn’t really care for, but maybe I wasn’t supposed to. But the charcters are developed pretty well for a plot-driven novel so I liked that I got to know a few of them well. Some were true characters – loved Gary, the lawyer Marcus hired, he’s a hoot. And Griff, he’s a caring grump.

As mentioned before the plot moves at a good clip. I found this hard to put down and I had to know what happened next. For the majority of the novel I found it well-paced. i just felt like the ending was rushed. It was like bam – that’s the end and there were some questions about what happened that I would have liked answered, but I am guessing it’s one of those I’m left to decide on my own.

All-in-all, I found this to be enjoyable. It was not one of my favorites of hers but not every book will hit everyone perfectly. This may not have been perfect for me, but it could be perfect for you. Who knows. All I know is I read for pleasure and I got my money’s worth out of this one (okay I got it for free at the library, but had I paid for it, it would have been worth it).

About the Book:

Christine Nilsson and her husband, Marcus, are desperate for a baby. Unable to conceive, they find themselves facing a difficult choice they had never anticipated. After many appointments with specialists, endless research, and countless conversations, they make the decision to use a donor.

Two months pass and Christine is happily pregnant. but one day, she is shocked to see a young blond man on the TV news being arrested for a series of brutal murders-and the blond man bears an undeniable and uncanny resemblance to her donor.

Delving deeper to uncover the truth, Christine must confront a terrifying reality and face her worst fears. Riveting and fast-paced, with the depth of emotionality that has garnered Lisa Scottoline legions of fans, Most Wanted poses an ethical and moral dilemma: What would you do if the biological father of your unborn child was a killer?
Buy from Amazon (affiliate link):

Book Blogger Hop 7/29

Book Blogger Hop

 

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict and is a way to get Book Bloggers to interact with each other each week. A question is posted and you can go here to find out each week’s question so you can schedule your posts in advance. But it’s pretty easy. Answer the question for the week, link up and then visit other blogs and spend time there getting to know a new-to-you blog and comment. It’s great for all of us bloggers.

So here goes:

Do you give books as gifts?

Sometimes. Often to young children, but I find it hard to pick out books for adults. If I know just the book for the occasion or the person, then yes.  But in general, no I don’t give books as gifts.  Amazon gift cards to buy books, yes.  🙂

So what do you do? Link up and visit other blogs and thank you for visiting me!

Book Review: Firebird by Jennifer Loring (Firebird #1)

Firebird (Firebird Trilogy, #1)Firebird by Jennifer Loring
My rating: 5 Stars
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Publish Date: Oct 10, 2015
Paperback, 444 pages

My Review:

When I was contacted by the author to review the second book in this series that came out Tuesday 7/26, What’s Left of Me, once I read the blurb I knew I had to read the first book. So I did and I’m glad I did. Firebird is a wonderful love story. It is definitely not all hearts, flowers and romance. Ms. Loring keeps it real. Very real. And that’s what I love. Both Aleksandr and Stephanie are flawed in their own ways and they have to deal with their stuff before they can work things out.

Firebird is the first book in a trilogy built around Aleksandr and Stephanie (at least I know the first two books are, so I assume the third is). And they are also centered around hockey. I am a sucker for a sports romance, even a sport I have little-to-no-interest in. I’m from the south, most of us don’t have much interest in hockey. I’m a football girl. But I’ll read and enjoy a hockey romance in a heartbeat and it wasn’t any different for Firebird. Knowledge of the sport was not needed to enjoy the book. The sport is important to the book but the book does not get technical about the sport. But I loved the little bits I learned about hockey from the sport.

The characters are great. It is mainly centered around Aleksandr and Stephanie but the few side characters that stood out were great as well. I like that there weren’t a lot of characters for me to remember. I like that I really felt like I was able to get to know what made both Aleksandr and Stephanie tick. And I liked that I was able to get glimpses into their past to see who they were before together. I think Ms. Loring does an excellent job letting the reader get to know the characters, the good and the bad and letting the reader really connect to the characters. I was cheering for Aleksandr and Stephanie through the whole book. At times, yes I wanted to smack them upside the head but I understood the hows and whys of what was going on and knew they had to grow. It really worked and Ms. Loring does an excellent job with this.

The plot was well done as well. The character-driven romance was great and then the rest of the plot driven by the surprises that Ms. Loring throws in from time-to-time was amazing. She always had me on my toes, crossing my fingers that things would work out. The book reads quickly and even though I was on vacation and wanted to do other things I found it was extremely hard to put this book down. And when I did put it down, I could not wait to pick it back up.

If you like your romance mixed with some angst. If you like your romance books keeping it real. If you like your romance books hot (just like this summer). If you like characters you feel like you get to know and you can cheer for. If you enjoy romance books that you don’t want to put down then this book is for you. Firebird is amazing. I loved the characters, enjoyed the plot and didn’t want to put it down. And as soon as I finished, I started the second book because I could not get enough of Stephanie and Aleksandr. Try it, I bet you won’t get enough of the either.

About the book:

Stephanie Hartwell is a journalist chasing the story of her career…

When superstar hockey player and notorious bad boy Aleksandr Volynsky is traded to the Seattle Earthquakes in a blockbuster deal, Stephanie demands the opportunity to prove herself by scoring an exclusive interview with a man with no love for the media…the same man she once thought, as a naïve teenager, she’d someday marry.

An Olympian and Stanley Cup Champion, Aleksandr has achieved every goal he’s ever set…

Now expected to carry a failing team on his shoulders, Aleksandr’s troubles deepen when he encounters Stephanie after a season-opening loss. His lifestyle of drinking and random hookups has been a futile attempt to forget the beautiful tomboy who stole his heart nine years ago. And worse, fame and fortune have made it impossible for him to trust anyone—especially Stephanie, who is engaged to another man.

Romance rekindles, but tragedy reveals Aleksandr’s dark side…

Being with Aleksandr in the first place jeopardizes Stephanie’s journalistic integrity and threatens her career, and when he spirals out of control, it reawakens fears from her own history, making her unable to commit to a future with him.

When Aleksandr discovers the truth behind his self-destructive behavior, will his newfound self-awareness be enough to convince Stephanie to give him one last chance…

Or will his revelation drive her away for good?

Use this link to order the paperback or the Kindle edition is free right now!

 

About the Author:

Website

Jennifer Loring has published numerous short stories in magazines, webzines, and anthologies. She is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW). DarkFuse published her novella Conduits in 2014, and in May 2015, her debut novel, Those of My Kind, was published by Omnium Gatherum. The first book in The Firebird Trilogy, Firebird, was published in October 2015 by Limitless Publishing.

Jennifer received her MFA from Seton Hill University’s program in Writing Popular Fiction, with a concentration in horror. She holds a B.A. in Studio Art from Mercyhurst University. She received an honorable mention in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror for her short story “The Bombay Trash Service”, and in 2013 she won first place in Crystal Lake Publishing’s inaugural Tales from the Lake horror writing competition. Jenn, a devoted fan of the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team, lives in Philly with her husband, a turtle, and two basset hounds. Keep up with her latest work by signing up for her newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bxNcV1 (less)

 

 

Waiting on Wednesday 7/27

WoW

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme I use to participate in all the time because there is always a book I am excited about on the horizon. It is hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine so head on over there to see what she is waiting on (I love it because it’s almost always something I never would have found) and join in.

After finishing Cross Justice I’m very anxious for this one.

 

image

Cross the Line by James Patterson
Little, Brown and Company
November 21, 2016

Alex Cross chases a cold-blooded killer…with a conscience.

Shots ring out in the early morning hours in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. When the smoke clears, a prominent police official lies dead, leaving the city’s police force scrambling for answers. Under pressure from the mayor, Alex Cross steps into the leadership vacuum to crack the case. But before Cross can make any headway, a brutal crime wave sweeps across the region. The deadly scenes share only one common thread–the victims are all criminals. And the only thing more dangerous than a murderer without a conscience, is a killer who thinks he has justice on his side. As Cross pursues an adversary who has appointed himself judge, jury, and executioner, he must take the law back into his own hands before the city he’s sworn to protect descends into utter chaos.
What are you waiting on?

Book Review: Cross Justice (Alex Cross #23) by James Patterson

Cross Justice (Alex Cross, #23)Cross Justice by James Patterson
Publisher: Little Brown and Company
Publish Date: Nov. 23, 2015
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My Review:

I have read this series since the very beginning and I have to say that Cross Justice reminds me why I keep reading this series 23 books in. Some series get repetitive or just out there. And there were a few books that just weren’t too great for me in this series. It happens. I mean 23 books. There are bound to be a few that aren’t up to someone’s taste. But this one. This was was so good that I almost could not put it down. If it wasn’t for a house that was kidless, my husband and my current addiction to The Americans on Amazon Prime and the fact I have to go to work, I probably would have finished this in one night instead of three. And I only read about 20 pages the first night so we’ll really say two nights.

Alex goes back to his roots and his hometown which he hasn’t been back to in years and with good reason. Lots of bad memories and bad juju is Starksville, NC. First let me say I love the setting of the mountains of NC and truly I could see a town being like this. But there are a lot of good people around too as the book shows. Like all towns, a bad element will overshadow the good. And I loved that Naomi, Alex’s niece, is back after being the one kidnapped that Alex saves in Kiss the Girls. I like revisiting old characters. I also loved seeing Alex’s family, his aunts and uncle, his cousins and how they interacted.

In this book Alex and Bree are actually on leave and not acting on any official capacity but Alex is there to help Naomi with his cousin’s Stefan’s murder trial. It’s gruesome and grisly stuff and it takes a little bit to get to the truth but I like that. This one is more family than the case and there is even a secondary case thrown in for good measure. Of course there is danger but it’s not quite as harrowing as some of the books have been so while it will keep you on the edge of your seat it won’t keep you completely on edge. There is enough family stuff interspersed to bring down the nerve-wracking stuff and keep your blood pressure in check which I found nice for a change.

If you’ve enjoyed the Alex Cross books but kind of missed some of the old stuff or are looking for a change from the direction the books have taken, pick this one up. It is definitely a step back in the right direction. It’s an amazingly quick read. It has family love, several lines of suspense and enough action interspersed to keep you reading. I loved it. I almost want to read it again just to absorb it all one more time. And hey at least I read it late enough I don’t have to wait too long for the next one 🙂

About the Book:

Alex Cross left his hometown, and some awful family tragedies, for a better life with Nana Mama in Washington, DC. He hasn’t looked back.

Now his cousin Stefan has been accused of a horrible, unthinkable murder, and Cross drives south with Bree, Nana Mama, Jannie, and Ali to Starksville, North Carolina, for the first time in thirty-five years. Back home, he discovers a once proud community down on its luck, and local residents who don’t welcome him with open arms. As Cross steps into his family home, the horrors of his childhood flood back–and he learns that they’re not really over. He brings all his skill to finding out the truth about his cousin’s case. But truth is hard to come by in a town where no one feels safe to speak.

Chasing his ghosts takes Cross all the way down to the sugarcane fields of Florida, where he gets pulled into a case that has local cops needing his kind of expertise: a string of socialite murders with ever more grisly settings. He’s chasing too many loose ends–a brutal killer, the truth about his own past, and justice for his cousin–and any one of the answers might be fatal.

In Cross Justice, Alex Cross confronts the deadliest–and most personal–case of his career. It’s a propulsive, edge-of-your-seat thrill ride that proves you can go home again–but it just might kill you.

Purchase from Amazon:

Or For Amazon Kindle:

Disclaimer notice:  I obtained this book from my local library.  All  opinions are my own and I was not compensated for them.  Amazon links are affiliate links.  If you decide to purchase I would love for you to go through my links but it is not a requirement in any way shape of form.  My blog is simply here for my enjoyment of reading and hopefully your enjoyment of reading as well 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? 7/25

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

What I finished last week:

crossjusticeredqueen

 

 

 

 

 

Cross Justice by James Patterson was a library ebook
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard was an audiobook from Audible

What I’m Currently Reading:

mostwantedthekeptwomankingmaxwellfirebird

Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline is a library book
The Kept Woman by Karin Slaughter is a review book
King and Maxwell by David Baldacci is an audiobook from the library
Firebird by Jennifer Loring is a review book, the first in a trilogy. The 2nd book, which I will also be reviewing, What’s Left of Me, comes out tomorrow.

What’s Next?

whatsleftofmeSexy guytrickydevils

What’s Left of Me (Firebird trilogy #2) by Jennifer Loring (review book)
Summer’s Road (Seasmoke Friends #1) by Kelly Moran (review book, I also have book #2, Winter’s Path which comes out 8/2 to review as well)
Tricky Twenty-Two by Janet Evanovich (library ebook)
The Devil’s Punchbowl (Penn Cage #3) (audible audiobook)

So what are you reading?  Have you read anything I’m reading, have read or plan to read? If so what did you think, link to your review if you would like. Reviews to come of books I have finished or will finish.  Since I’m currently enjoying my vacation, I’m hoping I’m getting a bunch of reading time.  Have a wonderful reading week!

Cover Characteristics – 7/24

ccsugar

This is a new meme hosted by Sugar & Snark. It came about when Sugar was wondering which cover to use for her #70 Cover of the Week post. Sugar kept on thinking of more than one, and they all seemed to have a theme/characteristic. So she decided to switch things up a bit!

Today’s cover characteristic: Schools

So with Schools be the cover characteristic, I’ll start with my favorite which is the first book I thought of, which I’ve read in the last year or so,

trapped

Then here are the other four that I thought of:

spepeaceuntilvacadtouch

I’ve read all of these.  A Separate Peace dates back to my senior year of high school.  All the others have been read in the last 3-4 years.

What books can you think of that have the cover characteristic of schools?  Come join the linky or just tell me about one or two in the comments.  I love books centered around schools.  I found so many more I read but had no element of school in the cover. Sigh, this was a little harder than I thought, but fun.

 

Stacking the Shelves 7/23

STSmall_thumb2Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga at Tynga’s Reviews and is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

 

Books received for review

 The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko by Scott StambachSummer's Road (Seasmoke Friends #1)Winter's Path (Seasmoke Friends #2)Firebird (Firebird Trilogy, #1)What's Left of Me (Firebird Trilogy #2)Playing Fast (New York Saints, #5)The Runaway Midwife: A NovelWait for MeThe Freemason's DaughterThe Silver Gate (Untitled #1)Forever, or a Long, Long TimeThe Lafayette SwordSearching for John Hughes: Or Everything I Thought I Needed to Know about Life I Learned from Watching '80s MoviesMiss YouThe BelieverMending FencesThe Women in the WallsHouse 23: A Novel of HorrorThe Operator (The Peri Reed Chronicles #2)I See YouDevil Sent the Rain: A MysterySomething in BetweenThe PossessionsWhen All The Girls Have GoneVegas Girls: A NovelSparking the Fire (Hot in Chicago, #3)The Fire by Night: A NovelThe House Between TidesSurvival: An epic historical adventure novelA Tragic Kind of Wonderful

Bad BoyA Summer at SeaAdriftIQThe Scent of Salt & Sand: An Escaped NovellaBand of Brothers: Harfleur

Escape ClauseWhat Customers Crave: How to Create Relevant and Memorable Experiences at Every TouchpointFrosh: Second ChancesThe SinnerThe New Love Triangle: Your Practical Guide to a Love-Filled Life!Balancing It All: My Story of Juggling Priorities and Purpose
Family SinsBlind SpotThe Templar ArchiveSummer GirlHard to Fall

 

Lots to read.  Now I need to get busy.  Tomorrow I leave on vacation with my husband for 3 1/2 days on Ocracoke. Biking, eating, relaxing and reading. I cannot wait.  Hopefully I will get through some of these books while I’m gone.  I’ll definitely do some reading on the two-hour each way ferry ride!

Have a wonderful weekend and please share what you have added to your shelves or something you see  here that interests you.  When I get my act together a little better I hope to give a copy away of one of the books featured on here each week.  But I need to get things together first 🙂 But if I was giving a book away, which one would interest you most? What have you read that you would recommend? I will have internet access and I am curious about what you think about some of these books.  I have some I have to read next but then I’m not sure what to read next so any input would be great!