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review 2014-04-30 12:37
Brief Thoughts: Whisper of Warning
Whisper of Warning - Laura Griffin

I wasn't really expecting to enjoy this one much after the first few chapters -- I couldn't quite not be annoyed with Courtney for a duration. I didn't care for her much from the first book, and as I had stated before, I started reading this Glass Sisters two-book series because it is supposed to be a lead-in to the Tracers series that I'm interested in. Her personality hadn't changed much from the impulsive, reckless, frustration that I had found her to be from the first book, but seeing things from her side of the narration DOES help, even if it doesn't completely alleviate my annoyance of her.

The murder mystery was the only thing keeping me anchored to the book for a while. Because even Will's enigmatic personality -- different, but in a way I can't quite pinpoint whether I liked or not -- wasn't really working for me. So much allusion to sex was being thrown around within the first meeting between these two that it seemed a little forced. I understand that this is a romantic suspense and romance and sex plays a pretty big role in the story line. But it still felt a bit awkward for Will to already be falling head-over-heels for Courtney so early on, especially while he's investigating her.

Stranger romances have happened I guess.

Of course, I had the distinct feeling that the entirety of this world hinged on whether or not everyone would finally get their sexual tension relieved at some point.

Anyway, towards the midpoint of the story, I surprisingly began to become more drawn to the characters. For some reason, they just seem to stand out more and Courtney's impulsive personality and her recklessness wasn't all too bad. In fact, it was kind of refreshing to follow a female character who wasn't completely a sweet, girl-next-door, self-sacrificing type. She might have had some moments of stupidity that kept putting herself in danger, but I can't deny that she's also quite quick on her feet and resourceful.

And Will still comes off... just, different... still in a way I can't quite pinpoint. And still in a way that I'm not certain I know how to feel about.

Nonetheless, I did end up enjoying Whisper of Warning. And to be honest, it might have helped that Will comes off as a better male hero in this book than Jack had from the previous book in the series.

However, there is also an awful lot of hidden dialogue that throws around insults and stereotyping that didn't quite sit well with me.

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text 2014-04-29 02:53
2014 1st in a Series Challenge

2014 1st In A Series Challenge



Darlene's Book Nook


I think we've already established that I have a love/hate relationship with book series.  I love them because I love getting more from a set of characters in a world that I love.  I hate them because when you find a good one, there is always, at minimum, an agonizing one year wait for the next book in the series to be released to the public.


And then there's a matter of procuring said sequels to those books (to buy or not to buy, can I find it at a library, so on and so forth).


But no matter what, I'm sure my love of book series totally outweighs my frustrations with them (if I happen to fall in love with the series' world and characters).


I'm probably already shooting myself in the foot by participating in this Reading Challenge, but I figured I'd give it a try since I have this almost masochistic drive to test out new authors and new book series by picking up that first book without reserve, even though I know those actions come with consequences.


But my tentatively put together reading list for this year already contains several book titles that happen to be the first book in a series.


And so, let's see how far I manage to get (amidst all the other challenges I'm already swimming in).  And to be honest, I'm going to be realistic about this list and choose a goal that I have a chance at finishing, but not choose a goal that is an obvious winner.  After all, as per one of my other Reading Challenges, I also need to be finishing a bunch of series rather than just starting them.


In my opinion, this is the easier challenge.



Update: 7/17/2014

Officially completed now!  But there will still be many other firsts to come, so while there isn't an official challenge to anything beyond 30 1sts in a series, I might think about challenging myself to increase the number of 1sts I read.  Of course, maybe I should really focus on finishing series rather than starting them.  Not that I haven't been finishing series.  I've officially completed THAT challenge already!




There are four levels for the challenge:
a. Series Novice: Read 5 books that are first in a series.
b. Series Lover: Read 10 books that are first in a series.
c. Series Expert: Read 20 books that are first in a series.
d. Series Fanatic: Read 30 books that are first in a series.
My Goal: Series Fanatic -- 30 1sts -- CHALLENGE COMPLETED -- 7/17/2014
Completed:  35/30
1.  The Giver / The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry - Review
2.  The Demon King / Seven Realms by Cinda Williams Chima - Review
3.  The Cuckoo's Calling / Cormoran Strike by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
4.  Poison Study / Study series by Maria V. Snyder -- Review
5.  The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare / Alex Wayfare by M.G. Buerlen
6.  Steelheart / The Reckoners by Brandon Sanderson
7.  Cracked / Soul Eaters by Eliza Crewe -- Review to come
8.  The Burning Sky / The Elemental Trilogy by Sherry Thomas -- Review
9.  Someone Else's Fairytale / Someone Else's Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts -- Review
10.  Dorothy Must Die / Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige
11.  Storm Glass / Glass series by Maria V. Snyder -- Bundle Review
12.  Midnight Caller / Chasing Evil Trilogy by Leslie Tentler -- Review
13.  Inside Out / Insiders series by Maria V. Snyder -- Bundle Review to come
14.  Troubled Waters / Elemental Blessings by Sharon Shinn -- Review
15.  The Safe-Keeper's Secret / Safe-Keepers by Sharon Shinn
16.  To the Edge / The Bodyguards by Cindy Gerard -- Review
17.  Waking Nightmare / Mindhunters by Kylie Brant -- Review
18.  Behind Closed Doors / McClouds & Friends by Shannon McKenna -- Review
19.  Fade to Black / Black CATs by Leslie Kelly
20.  One Last Breath / The Borderline by Laura Griffin
21.  Dead Wrong / Dead series by Mariah Stewart -- Review
22.  Antigoddess / Goddess Wars by Kendare Blake
23.  Heartbreaker / Buchanan-Renard by Julie Garwood
24.  One Scream Away / Sheridan by Kate Brady
25.  Silver Phoenix / Kingdom of Xia by Cindy Pon
26.  Amber Beach / Donovan by Elizabeth Lowell -- Review
27.  Alanna: The First Adventure / Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce
28.  Night Fury: First Act / Night Fury by Belle Aurora -- Review
29.  Cold Sight / Extrasensory Agents by Leslie Parrish
30.  Moving Target / Rarities Unlimited by Elizabeth Lowell -- Review
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text 2014-04-29 02:22
I Love Library Books 2014 Reading Challenge


I Love Library Books

2014 Reading Challenge

hosted by

Book Dragon's Lair


After discovering that I couldn't possibly buy every single book that I want to read (yeah, the tears are flowing... ;_;) I had decided to rediscover the wonderful awesomeness that is the local city library.  While I have been checking out some e-books from our library's e-read's system, their collection is still fairly limited.


Lately I've been expanding to more library options, discovering that I can also get a state library number for online e-read check outs as well.


Let's just say, every time I discover something new about bookish stuff, I go a little crazy.


Anyway, looking back on all the books I've read since January this year, I've found that I have had my fair share of library book check-outs, whether paperback, hardback, or digital.  (I'm also explore audio options as well, but that's something for another time.)


So upon remembering a Reading Challenge I came across at the beginning of the year, I decided to seek it out and join in the fun!  So, I'm going to make a game of this for myself even if not for the challenge itself.  Because going to the library and checking out multiple books has always been a fun activity that gave me somewhere to go when I was a teenager -- now that I only have a simple monotony of work, work, and more work, this is the perfect for me to relive the "having something else to do" besides working.




  • board book - 3
  • picture book - 6
  • early reader - 9
  • chapter book - 12
  • middle grades - 18
  • Young adult - 24
  • adult - 36
  • just insert IV - 50


Choose a level; you may move up, but not down.


My Goal:  just insert IV - 50 -- CHALLENGE COMPLETED -- 8/8/2014



My List:

Completed: 54/50 

See Also: 2014 Library Books Challenge shelf for additional books completed.

1.  The Giver by Lois Lowry - Review

2.  The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima - Review

3.  The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)

4.  Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder -- Review  

5.  Magic Study by Maria V. Snyder -- Review

6.  Fire Study by Maria V. Snyder -- Review

7.  Taste of Darkness by Maria V. Snyder -- Review

8.  Storm Glass by Maria V. Snyder -- Bundle Review

9.  Crandall's Castle by Betty Ren Wright -- Review

10.  The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright -- Review

11.  Sea Glass by Maria V. Snyder

12.  Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder

13.  Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder -- Bundle Review to come

14.  Outside In by Maria V. Snyder

15.  Troubled Waters by Sharon Shinn -- Review

16.  Vessel by Sarah Beth Durst -- Review

17.  The Safe-Keeper's Secret by Sharon Shinn

18.  To the Edge by Cindy Gerard -- Review

19.  To the Limit by Cindy Gerard  -- Review

20.  To the Brink by Cindy Gerard -- Review

21.  Over the Line by Cindy Gerard -- Review

22.  Under the Wire by Cindy Gerard -- Review

23.  Into the Dark by Cindy Gerard -- Review

24.  Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard -- Review

25.  The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell -- Review to come

26.  Behind Closed Doors by Shannon McKenna -- Review

27.  Fade to Black by Leslie Kelly

28.  Pitch Black by Leslie Kelly

29.  Black at Heart by Leslie Kelly

30.  Dead Wrong by Mariah Stewart -- Review

31.  Dead Certain by Mariah Stewart -- Review

32.  Antigoddess by Kendare Blake

33.  Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon

34.  Amber Beach by Elizabeth Lowell -- Review

35.  Jade Island by Elizabeth Lowell -- Review

36.  Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

37.  In the Hands of the Goddess by Tamora Pierce

38.  The Woman Who Rides Like a Man by Tamora Pierce

39.  Lioness Rampant by Tamora Pierce

40.  The Haunting of Josie by Kay Hooper

41.  Cold Sight by Leslie Parrish

42.  Moving Target by Elizabeth Lowell -- Review

43.  Stealing Shadows by Kay Hooper

44.  Running Scared by Elizabeth Lowell -- Review

45.  Hiding in the Shadows by Kay Hooper

46.  Out of the Shadows by Kay Hooper

47.  Die in Plain Sight by Elizabeth Lowell -- Review

48.  The Color of the Death by Elizabeth Lowell

49.  Haunting Rachel by Kay Hooper

50.  The Shadow Cats by Rae Carson






I think.... next year I should set up a table system or something.  I have a feeling I'm making all these lists more work than they need to be.  But my OCD-ness for lists and organization won't allow me to change too much right now.


And I like making lists anyway, so I guess it's not such a big deal.


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text 2014-04-29 01:06
2014 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge

2014 Romantic Suspense Reading Challenge


 The Book Vixen



After realizing that I'm in a Romantic Suspense phase right now (strange how things happen), I found this Reading Challenge and decided to join in with the fun.  I already have a big long list of different books that I will be reading this year anyway, so I might as well up the ante and start a reading challenge to see how well I do.


Although the goals for this one seems a bit on the mediocre side, I should overestimate myself.


The Goal is to read 10 Romantic Suspense Novels.


Novellas and full length novels count.


Seems kind of skimpy for a Reading Challenge, but then again, I might drop off of my Romantic Suspense phase at any time without finishing ten books.  So I shall employ a "wait and see" strategy.


Though at present, I've already read three books that qualify for this challenge.  If I finish early, I might start making up my own rules and keep increasing the goal for number of books by ten... or something like that.



My List:

Completed:  42/10

1.  Midnight Caller by Leslie Tentler -- Review

2.  Midnight Fear by Leslie Tentler -- Review

3.  Edge of Midnight by Leslie Tentler -- Review

4.  Whisper of Warning by Laura Griffin -- Review

5.  To the Edge by Cindy Gerard -- Review

6.  To the Limit by Cindy Gerard  -- Review

7.  To the Brink by Cindy Gerard -- Review

8.  Over the Line by Cindy Gerard -- Review

9.  Under the Wire by Cindy Gerard -- Review

10.  Into the Dark by Cindy Gerard -- Review



See also: 2014 Romantic Suspense Challenge Shelf



CHALLENGE COMPLETED!  As of May 9, 2014, I've finished reading 10 Romantic Suspense novels!


6/3/2014 -- Completed 20 Romantic Suspense novels.  See shelf for list of titles.

6/29/2014 -- Completed 30 Romantic Suspense novels.

8/10/2014 -- Completed 40 Romantic Suspense novels.


I'm going to continue updating the number, but I'll refrain to listing them.  Other books read for this challenge can be found on my Romantic Suspense Challenge Shelf linked above.


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review 2014-04-29 00:32
Brief Thoughts: Edge of Midnight
Edge of Midnight - Leslie Tentler

The last in the Chasing Evil trilogy and quite a lot more enjoyable than I had expected. After reading the two before, I had surmised that maybe I should space out my romantic suspense appetites between several other books (unless I'm looking for an extended romantic suspense fix, which is probably exactly what's happening right now).


Leslie Tentler's formulaic story progression became rather predictable by the second book, so I knew what to expect for Edge of Midnight.  It's not a monotonous feel, but it's still kind of bursts your excitement bubble when you already have an idea what's going down in this crime thriller.  And also, is it still okay to call it a mystery when the serial murderer is presented to us six chapters into the book?

Despite that, however, I found that I liked this last book a lot more than I had liked the first two.  For whatever reason, I was actually caught at the edge of my seat, feeling more suspense for the characters and more excitement for the developments than I had for the first two books. Strange, no? Well, it's not like I'm complaining much since I love a good romantic suspense any day.

Despite the solid writing, it doesn't escape my notice how "damsel-in-distress" oriented these books tended to be. Not that it's a completely bad thing, I guess. The women in these books aren't exactly weak or TSTL and they can take care of themselves just fine, but it still feels like a lot of times they just keep running into life-threatening danger and need to be saved. That, or they seem to be sitting bait for the culprit to pluck them out of safety just to land in a torture chamber (again, needing to be saved by an FBI Knight in a Nice Suit who usually has a death wish for some reason).


Which makes me wonder about this:  Whenever women do stupid things and walk into danger knowing that they could get themselves killed, they are deemed TSTL.  When men do the same thing in these books (walking right into a situation they that they know will end up killing them), they are considered heroes.


What's up with that?  Shouldn't TSTL be applicable to both genders?


Correct me if I'm wrong.  I haven't read nearly enough romantic suspense books to be a good judge of this, but it kind of stands out.

I guess it's all part of the excitement?


But anyway...  Apparently these issues aren't enough for me to keep away anyway.


The Chasing Evil Trilogy will be part of my 2014 Series Challenge.

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