Friday, December 28, 2012

56. Carrots - Colleen Helme

I really wanted a quick fun read and I could tell by the write up on the back that this looked promising on both accounts. I was not disappointed. Just over 200 pages this is a light read. Plenty of fun included in this as well.

Shelby has to run into the grocery store for some carrots. She's making soup for dinner and just needs carrots. For her it's the worst timing ever. The bank in the store is being robbed and as she's checking out she hears a bang and see's a customer drop. Unable to move from terror she stares at the robber who's mask is in the downed customers hand. He points and shoots. Shelby wakes up in the store with a gun shot that luckily just grazed her head. The side effect left her with the ability to read minds. She can hear everyone's mind as long as she's in the same room as them.

The worst thing is she finds out the new lawyer is after her husband. Hearing something Kate was thinking she tries to warn her to stay away or she'll tell everyone about "Uncle Joey", unfortunately, for Shelby, that sets her up to meet Uncle Joey.

I don't want to go into too much detail or ruin anything but I really enjoyed this book. I was up until 1am trying to finish it. I downloaded the second book the very next day. I can't wait to read more from Shelby. The supporting characters were amazing as well. They were fun and fit into the story. I hope we get to hear from at least some of them in the next book.

This does beg the question though. Do we really want to know what other people really think of us? Tough question. It's easy to say yes but I can't imagine it would be easy. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

52. Spree - J.A. Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson

It will never be said that Konrath's novels are boring. I'll tell you that. From the second you start reading this book it's knock down, drag out action. Spree starts exactly where Flee left off. I loved Flee. Spree was just as good.

I don't want to go into too much detail in case some haven't yet read any of the Chandler series. Basically, Chandler is a super secret spy working for a government agency that almost no one knows exists. She needs to save one of her 3 remaining sisters from a black site. Complications arise as they always do for her and the action is full tilt ahead.

Love Chandler, love that she's like a superhero. She has to be because the kind of butt whooping she takes in most scenes she has to be. No normal person could go through all of what she does. Still, it's awesome and fast paced and exciting to read through.

I think my one complaint is all the weapons talk. There were so many different guns and knifes I had no idea what was going on. I'd have had to stop every few pages to look up what they were talking about. So... for me that was a little bit of a downside. AR-7, Ghost Hawk knives... it was all over my head. I got the 9MM reference though.

I love the characters. I love the new characters that were introduced. I had wanted to read Ann Voss Peterson's Pushed Too Far before reading this one but the time constraints were a lit tricky to work out. I'll definitely be going back to read that though. I believe a lot of characters in this were also in that novel.

I'm very excited for Three, the next (and maybe even the last) novel in the Chandler series.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

45. Low Pressure - Sanda Brown

I'd like to first start off by saying that I love Sandra Brown. Her books are my must haves. That being said, I've had a run of books where I can't seem to connect with the characters. Bellamy and Dent were good but there just wasn't that little extra that pushed it over the edge for me.

I did enjoy the story. I just feel like there needed to be more from the characters to help me connect with them. I feel like it almost happened with Bellamy and although we learned a lot about Dent and what made him turn out the way he was it wasn't exactly enough.

There were a lot of twists and turns and to be honest, I wasn't really sure who actually murdered Susan. That definitely, kept me on my toes. Which what I want most from a book. I loved the story of this one.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

43. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

A game between two sides. It starts with a 6 year old girl. Sent to Prospero after her mother passes. Her father sees so much potential in her he calls the man in the grey suit. This is how the game begins. Celia knows she will be pitted against an opponent but she has no idea who that person might be or when the game shall begin.

I rather enjoyed the story. I thought it was told wonderfully and it was just as magical listening to the events being played out as it would have been to be there. I could picture it as clear as day. That being said the narrator's female voices were terrible. I was cringing most of the time. His accents were good but he should just stop trying to do women voices. It also seemed as though most of the characters sounded the same as well as him slipping in and out of character.

I rather felt like I missed something. When did they fall in love? How did they fall in love? What was Marco doing? I felt that even though everything came together that poor Isabelle was stuck in the middle.

The game was likened to a chess game with the circus and the people being the pieces. I think this book will appeal to men and women. Who wouldn't want to visit this circus.

Even though it appears as though there are characters that are not important or just taking up space, they all have a purpose in the story. All the way down the the ticket holder at the end. It was a wonderful tale beautifully told.

Monday, August 27, 2012

40. The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

I'm pretty sure everyone's read this one by now or a large portion of people. After watching the movie I had decided to read the book. I think for me it was the smarter thing to do even though I kept telling myself that I wanted to read it first and then watch.

While the movie put a lot of the book into visuals the book really draws on the feelings and what the characters are thinking and going through. It really goes into more depth. Although, I'm not sure what I expected there's only been two books where I thought the movies were actually better.

I enjoyed this well enough. A lot happened. Not only did Collins have a lot of world building she had a lot of character building as well. Katniss volunteers in order to take her sister's place in the annual Hunger Games. A deadly match between one boy and one girl of each district ensuring that the districts never rise up against the Capital, Panem, again.

Really a crazy ride from the beginning all the way to the end which leaves us sort of on a cliffhanger. The story is wrapped up but you can just tell there's lots more to come for Katniss.

Monday, August 13, 2012

38. The Care and Handling of Roses with Thorns - Margaret Dilloway

I finished this one last night and I wanted to get my thoughts together before I reviewed. I liked this story. Gal has kidney disease. She doesn't let it define her she just goes on living and making each day her own. She loves roses and she breeds and enters shows. She's a moderate breeder because she's living on her teachers salary.

Gal tortured me. She had such a rough personality. It's like she made it difficult to like her and yet she had and made friends in some of the oddest ways. While dealing with her debilitating disease her niece, Riley, is thrust on her.  I was a bit nervous at first for Gal because it seemed like Riley might be a handful.

When you're living day to day it's hard to remove yourself from a situation and try to look at it from a different perspective. I think that was really hard for Gal to do. She seemed to take a lot of her relationships for granted. I'm glad we saw some growth from her but I'm sad we didn't quite finish her story. One major part of this was left sort of in the wind. Although, I think it was an excellent way to end, and yet I'm also frustrated from not knowing.

I loved how the author was able to go into some detail about caring for roses. It makes me want send my husband out to setup a greenhouse. I know for some it seemed to take away from the story but not me. I loved it. While reading I wanted to stop every so often to look up a rose and to see what it would look like. Small spoiler alert*******  Riley's sea garden sounded amazing as well.

I really enjoyed the story. Gal did have me cringing in some places with her bristly personality and yet I can understand her completely.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

37. Envy - Sandra Brown

So I've read pretty much all of Brown's books and I've enjoyed most if not all of them. This one, however, wasn't a favorite. It's the only one of her books I've listened to on Audiobook and I'm not sure if this is the case or not but I didn't really feel the characters. I couldn't connect on any level.

You could almost predict where this one was going and even though the villain kept getting obstacles thrown in his way you're still not sure who's going to come up the winner. (Although, you have a pretty good idea.)

One thing I actually did enjoy was the fact that there were two stories mixed into one. I enjoyed how those two came together. At one point in the beginning I thought my Audiobook had messed up because we were talking about something completely different than the previous chapter.

This wasn't a favorite but I'm glad I did give it a listen.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

36. 50 Shades of Grey - E. L. James

Serious hype over this book and I'm not even sure I'm halfway through and I can't even find one thing about Anastasia I like. She's 21 turning 15. Not to mention, I'm listening to the Audiobook and the narrator is like such a valley girl. Her cadence and the way she say's things makes me want to bang my head against the wall.

To me the way this was written is marginal at best. Almost like it was meant for teens. It also reminds me of a cross between Twilight and Pretty Woman.

Christian is 6 years older than Anastasia but he acts like he's 50 and well... she's 15. Ana is so enamored by Christian that she willingly enters into a "relationship/non-relationship" clause. I can't stop listening even when Christian referred to Anastasia's virginity as a situation that needed to be rectified.

I think at first I was mad. How could Anastasia let this man use her like this. Then I kept thinking, a lot of girls let men use them because they're infatuated. Ana keeps saying she'll do anything for this man. Um, why?

About midway through my Audiobook seemed to have a glitch. So I decided that was a good stopping point. The repetitive words and writing are so annoying. There's far better erotica out there with way better characters that I actually like.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

35. Pines - Blake Crouch

What just happened? There is no way in a million years anyone could come close to predicting how this one would turn out. I was left guessing what was happening the entire step by fast paced step.

It starts with a man waking up near the river. No idea who he is or where he is. The only thing he knows is that he's hurting, his eye is practically buttoned up and his side and back hurt with each excruciating step. When he finds himself back in the hospital it all comes back to him. He's Secret Service Agent, Ethan Burke, and he's searching for some missing colleagues. The town itself seems a little off and when events start to unravel he realizes he needs to escape from the little town of Wayward Pines and fast.

From the minute we meet Ethan he's go go go. I don't think he caught a break the entire time. Very difficult to piece together until the author wants you to know what's happening. I love how it all came together and how everything was answered in the end.

All in all I really enjoyed this one and I love how it kept going all the way to the end. Makes me want to see Twin Peaks.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

33. Born of Silence - Sherrilyn Kenyon

The League series is one of, if not my favorite series. I love the strong characters and the world they live in. It's an amazing world and I usually devour these stories.

That being said, I've had to force myself to read through this and even stopped twice to read something else. I love Darling! However, there's just so much I can read. The other stories in the series seemed to have more of a plot but this is all about Darling and what else we can throw at him. Poor guy. It's heartbreaking what he goes through but reading it page after page because monotonous for lack of a better word.

I can honestly say I did not see what happened to Darling coming. That's one thing I love about Kenyon, she's not predictable. Although, towards the end this, should I stay or should I go really starts to get annoying. We know already. You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

One other thing that I started picking up on was that everyone keeps saying "yeah" As in, yeah, I know it's stupid. Yeah, I couldn't be more wrong... I've noticed that she does this a lot. It's just something I picked up on.

Zarya did a lot of flip flopping. She hated all of the Cruels, including Darling without even knowing him. However, when everyone else was judging him she couldn't understand how they could without knowing one thing about him. Hmm...

Ture felt a little too convenient for me. I didn't really like how the character was just thrown in at the end. It just felt wrong.

I do love seeing all the old characters from the previous novel. Darling deserved so much more. I'm definitely invested. I'm glad I finished it regardless of how long it took. Now... let's bring on Hauk please!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

29. Icon - J. Carson Black

I think the back of this book sold it way more than the content. From the description I was excited to read this one but about halfway through I was waiting and waiting and thinking, OK, when do we get to the good stuff? I'm not sure we actually did.

It started off fairly well but for me it just fizzled out. I feel like they sold it as more of a novel where Max Conroy decides to fight back. It felt more of a he just went with the flow, didn't think things through, and made not great decisions.

Max Conroy's out of control Hollywood lifestyle has sent him to rehab. After escaping he ends up being rescue from a kidnapping by Sheriffs Deputy, Tess. After being left go by Tess, Max finds himself in the middle of yet another kidnapping.

Honestly, how many people out there are kidnappers and or murderers? How many can you run into in one day? I thought this book was going to go one way and it went the opposite. It wasn't what I expected and it wasn't better. I was pretty bored by the end and the actual ending made me wince.  

Saturday, May 19, 2012

28. King City - Lee Goldberg

I did not want to put this down. I love when authors can blend serious situations with humor.  I realized early on that I never should have picked this up during a weeknight. So consider yourself warned, if you're thinking about starting this one, it might be a good idea to start thinking up a good reason to call into work the next day.

Major Crimes Unit detective Tom Wade took down several of his fellow officers for corruption. As a reward he lost everything. Sent to the worst part of King City to "clean up the streets" Tom knows he's in over his head. The last two cops that accidentally drove into King City were gunned down in their vehicle. Now he's fighting for his life and for his beliefs.

I've heard a lot of people say this was like a modern day western. I have to admit I've never watched or read a western so I can't really attest to that. I can attest that I had so much fun with this book. It was very interesting and every step of the way you're wondering what's coming next. I have to admit I wasn't able to predict much, if anything on this one. 

It was a wild and almost stressful ride all the way though. I feel like there may be more to come from Tom Wade. I hope that might be the case. It's excellent as a standalone but I feel like it would work as a series as well. I would definitely read more of Tom.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

27. The Innocent - David Baldacci

I'm sure you've heard all the cliches before. Fast-paced, keeps you on the edge of your seat, page turner. For this book I wholeheartedly agree with those terms. From the second I picked this one up (and I'm glad I did.) I never wanted to put it down.

I hate when I start a book and work ends up getting in the way. This is about Will Robie who's an assassin for the government. When his assignment goes wrong he's left trying to keep himself and a 14 year old straggler alive along the way.

I really don't want to say too much about this for fear of giving something away. I'll just leave it as a great book that had me guessing for sometime. I had an idea who might be in on it but really didn't know 100% until it actually all went down. I love books that are not predictable.

As a standalone this was an excellent read. If we were to see more like this in the future, I'd have to say I wouldn't be disappointed in the least.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

23. Exposed - J.A. Konrath and Ann Voss Peterson

The second in Codename: Chandler series. I LOVE this series. It's my favorite. This novella is just long enough for me to think, are you sure it's a novella? Which is awesome.

This is about Chandler before she had to Flee. Which was the first book in her series. So this was before all of that happened. Gives us a glimpse into what she had to do for her country and lets us into what the kind of person she is.

Trained for deadly tasks she is rushed into an operation to save a girl from a sex traffic ring. Some things don't start to add up for her and soon she realizes things are not exactly what they seem to be.

Full of suspense, exciting fast-paced action, and balanced out by some fun, some sadness and even a little bit of loving. I couldn't ask for more from a story. It has everything. Plus, a kick-a** heroine. I love it and can't wait for more in this series.

Friday, April 6, 2012


I absolutely love my new Fitbit. When I read on the box that it can be as addicting as Facebook to check out I didn't believe the hype. Until I started using it. Now I check it all the time. I love how it's more than just a pedometer. I find myself trying to move around more when I'd normally just be sitting around. I want to add more steps and get more flights in to challenge myself. I feel like this is going to be a huge positive thing for my health and well-being.

I'm so glad I decided to get this little teeny tiny fitness motivator. It pushes me to do more physically and gets me off of the couch. I sit at work and can't wait to get home to take my dogs out. Before it seemed like a chore now it's, how much more can I do.

 The Fitbit is small and fits in your pocket. It can also be worn on the little holster clip that attaches to your belt or bra. For sleep tracking you just slip the entire unit into the wrist strap they provide and keep it on the non-dominant hand then push and hold the track button for 2-3 seconds until it starts counting or say's start. Then just go to sleep like normal. In the morning when you wake up hold the track button again for 2-3 seconds until it say's stop. The next time you're near (that's right, you don't have to plug it in, just be near the base plugged into your computer) it will update and sync your sleep habits.

Not only does this unit count your steps and track your sleep habits but it also can track your calories. You just enter what you've taken in for food and it will tell you how many more calories you can eat for the day to reach your limit. (If you're trying to lose weight) The more you move the more calories you can take in and the tracker figures all of that out for you with the nifty computer application.

To be honest, I can't say enough good things about this. I'm really glad I purchased this. At first I thought $99 was too much for a glorified pedometer but this is really so much more and well worth the price. I've never felt more motivated or happier.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

20. Heroes for my Daughter - Brad Meltzer

I may be a little biased as Brad Meltzer is one of my favorite authors but this book was inspiring. Meltzer just has a way with words. He's an amazing author.

I'm not sure there are enough words to say about this book. The messages to his daughter that seemed oh so personal to the inspiring heroes inside. The way he tells these life stories had me tearing up at almost all of them. It really made me want to be a better person. To strive for the unattainable.

The first story of Marie Curie, just wow. When he say's she could have stopped there, she'd accomplished enough. I'll never forget that. It makes me want to be better at what I do. I know it sounds kind of cheesy but this book was that affecting.

Heroes for my Daughter makes me want to have children, just so I can read this to them. I'm planning on getting Heroes for my Son. I'm also planning on telling everyone I know and even those I don't about this book.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

14. The Heat - Heather Killough-Walden

After reading The Vampire King and having some questions about a few of the characters that popped up, I decided, since I liked that book so much, to try the Big Bad Wolf series. I must say after reading the first book in the series I'm impressed and excited. I usually skip wolf books altogether because they've never really attracted my interest in the past but this one certainly grabbed it from the beginning.

Lily St Claire is back after ten years. She's visiting with her best friend Tabitha when Daniel, Tabitha's brother comes to visit. Things start to spiral out of control fairly quickly from the moment she see's him. She's thrust into a world she knows nothing about. Forced against her will between two Alpha Werewolves.

What a wild ride from beginning to end. I started to feel bad for Lily come the middle of this one. How much can one girl go through before she goes a little crazy herself. It was well written and very thought out. A lot of twists and turns in the middle. Lily has to decide what she wants and how to save herself from every situation she's thrust into all while trying to control her feelings for Daniel.

I'm excited about the rest of the series as well. I have to give the author credit for getting me interested in wolves. I love the world she's created and I can't wait to read more.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

12. The Vampire King - Heather Killough-Walden

I was lucky enough to hear about this author through one of my favorite authors links. I'm so very happy I found her. From the second I started reading this I was hooked. It just sucked me in.

I've been reading a lot of books recently where I can't seem to connect with the characters. I had no such issue with these characters. I completely connected with them almost instantly. I loved Evie from the minute we met her. She was strong and courageous and sweet and amazing. Roman on the other hand was a devilish delight. Stronger than any other vampire I've ever read and what an exciting character that creates. I'm not sure who was my favorite of the two.

I wanted so much to read this straight through but work always manages to get in the way. I did end up tossing and turning just thinking about how this one would play out.

One thing that was a little tricky for me was that since this is my first Killough-Walden book I'm not sure if the characters are in any other novels but keeping everyone straight was a little tough. I had to slow down just to think of who was who. I thought it was interesting that most of the supernaturals had normal names. Most other books the names are odd.

This was suspenseful and kept you on the edge until the end where there is quite possibly a good twist coming. Very interesting to say the least. Something I'm dying to jump into to.

I had so much fun reading this and I can't wait for more to come. I should have known better than to start a book during the week. I kept sitting at my desk at work and thinking, if I didn't have a job, I'd have way more time to read this book. I'm hooked.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

7. Rainshadow Road - Lisa Kleypas

It started off with a little magic. It goes through Lucy's childhood and why she and her sister are the way they are. I was so annoyed by Alice that I was cringing all through their childhood. Do parents really act like that? Then, I think, of course they do.

The whole story felt a little depressing to me. Even when Lucy was with Kevin in the beginning she seemed to be ... well, depressed. It was a little hard to read. Then she meets Sam in a very interesting and different way. I felt like it was something I'd almost do. As enjoyable as that was I'm not exactly sure I felt a connection to the characters.

There were a few twists that came about that I didn't see coming and rather enjoyed but then there were a few things that you could see coming a mile away.

The magic wasn't a predominate part of the story and it has me wondering why it was even there at all. I feel like it didn't have to be. I, personally, didn't mind the magic but I'm not sure everyone will feel the same way.

I wish I felt more for these characters because the story was really interesting. I loved the supporting characters and the detail that went into explaining the story. I find it difficult to connect unless I can feel what it is they're feeling.

I am excited about the next two books in the series that are coming. I'd love to see where we're going with this and who's next in the story line.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

6. Prey - Linda Howard

I'm a huge Howard fan so this is going to kill me to write because this book was not all that entertaining to me. I actually found it kind of boring. I really love her other novels especially the spy type ones.

I thought it started out really promising. I loved how the stare down in the street happened between Angie and Dare and how they were completely different from each other.

Angie is in dire straits she needs to sell her family home and tour/hunting guide business before going completely bankrupt. There's only one person to blame and that's Dare Callahan. He's been siphoning off her business since he moved back. Maybe not intentionally but nevertheless she's without any guests but one. Her lasts clients want a bear hunt and she's petrified of bears but still willing to go the extra mile for her guests she's ready to track one for them. Little does she know that one of her two guests has other plans.

I felt like there was so much that could have happened but instead we find Dare and Angie waiting out the rain. For what seems like forever. I really didn't feel any chemistry between them and the inner dialogue that came along with them was pretty boring and not really that insightful. It did not bring up any strong emotions for me or even mild ones at that.

I'd say the first half and the last few pages were mildly exciting. I've read way better books by Howard. I go back to reread them because I enjoy them so much but this one is not going to be one of those rereads.
Nikki's Wild. Design by Exotic Mommie. Illustraion By DaPino