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text 2017-07-21 04:08
DNF Rambling: The Law of Attraction
The Law of Attraction - N.M. Silber

The Law of Attraction
by N.M. Silber
Book 1 of Lawyers in Love

Rating:  DNF'd at 26% || No Rating

 

 

Once upon a time two lawyers fell in love across a courtroom...

Gabrielle Ginsberg was a public defender with plenty of nerve, and Braden Pierce was an assistant district attorney with a whole lot of swagger.  Gabrielle wanted Braden and Braden wanted Gabrielle.

And Cameron wanted Gabrielle.
And Marla wanted Braden.
And Cole wanted Gabrielle.
And Mrs. Mason wanted Braden.

And an anonymous letter writer wanted to keep Gabrielle and Braden apart.

Together Gabrielle and Braden discovered many important things, like which doors at the courthouse actually locked, and that desks could be useful for more than writing.  They also found out that the path of love was not always smooth, and it was sometimes tread upon by some really wacky people, like a confused fanny grabber, an eighty-two year old pothead, and a gentleman who threw a wine and cheese party in his pants.  Could true love overcome a lack of privacy, interference by jealous rivals, and the insanity of the criminal court system?



I really tried to make myself finish this book.  It's only 242 pages, a fairly bite-sized novel, which would have only taken me approximately 4 to 5 hours to complete.  Except that that would have been about 4 to 5 hours too long, and 200 pages too many.  I might have sighed and rolled my eyes a few times before finally throwing in the towel after giving the book another hour of reading time and still finding myself frustrated.  And to be totally honest, I have several other books I'm more interested in reading to waste anymore time on this one.

This book was just ridiculously tedious, boring, and overly juvenile.  For a bunch of up and coming, hotshot lawyers in their mid-to-late twenties, our main couple and their friends all behaved like a squealy gaggle of teenagers.  The squealy kind who sit around gushing about the new girlfriend or the new boyfriend.  I'm not trying to stereotype or anything, but to be totally honest, grown men don't talk to each other the way Braden, Mark, and Adam do; and neither do grown women, if we really want to be honest with ourselves.

When in the universe of ever has one bro commented to another bro, that third bro's new relationship of two days is "strangely adorable"?

And then, whenever Gabrielle talked about Braden, I kept picturing that one girl in high school who got all excited because her crush happened to walk by and say "hi" to her, or picked up her pencil and handed it back to her with a dimply smile.  She got so super gushy about the fact that she flirted with Braden... and "OMG!" he flirted back!

Maybe I'm just irritated, but this book just didn't do it for me, and pulling the DNF trigger will probably save it from getting a one star review in the long run.

I'll admit that the first chapter was pretty cute, with the silly court cases and Gabrielle's strange defensive arguments.  But after that, the book just started rolling downhill.  I just couldn't make myself continue on.  I couldn't get past the squealiness of it all.  And while this might seem a bit over-extreme, I couldn't get past Gabrielle's use of the word 'tummy,' three times within one chapter, to describe her state of nervousness around Braden.

And even if I could have gotten past the squealiness, I'm not sure I could have unburied myself from all the details.  All the painstakingly, unnecessary details of every part of a first date conversation that sounded awfully similar to a character biography description.  All the tedious, overly wordy details about every action and every back story and every little step of Gabrielle's day.  All the extra, tangential details to describe the very mundane, banal evening of a date and a subsequent group get together, none of which was even remotely interesting.

Then there was the boob scene.  The boob scene?!  I swear, I might have seen that scene in a high school flick or something, it was so juvenile.  "Could you just show me your boobies before the guys get here?  Please?  And let me touch them?"  Well, he didn't actually say those words in the book, but he might have done so in my head with the way the scene was written.

Anyway...

Maybe this book is just not my cuppa, and maybe I'm just a bit far removed from my mid-to-late twenties.  Except... that I have read books about characters in their mid-to-late twenties, and they don't act like this.  In fact, I've read books about teenagers who don't act like this.

Finally, the book tries really hard to be witty and cute.  It's not really, but points for effort, I guess.

Maybe this book gets better.  Maybe it gets worse.  Some other reviews I happened to skim mentions that the second half loses appeal.  I'm not sticking around to find out.  I've got other books I'd rather be reading.

My first DNF of the year 2017.  I don't like to DNF, but sometimes it just has to happen.


***

 

Free Friday #5:

Page Count:  DNF'd at 26% (approx. 63 pages)
Cash Award:  +$2.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $221.00

 

 

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/dnf-rambling-law-of-attraction.html
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review 2017-07-21 00:55
Thoughts: Northern Lights
Northern Lights - Nora Roberts

Northern Lights
by Nora Roberts

 

 

Lunacy, Alaska--population 506--a colorful, compelling novel about two lonely souls who find love--and redemption.

Lunacy is Nate Burke's last chance.  As a Baltimore cop, he watched his partner die--and the guilt still haunts him.  Maybe serving as chief of police in this tiny, remote town, where darkness falls by midafternoon and temperatures plunge to zero and below, will bring some kind of solace.  It isn't as if he had anywhere else to go.

Aside from sorting out a run-in between a couple of motor vehicles and a moose--and pulling apart two brothers who are beating each other silly over a disagreement about John Wayne--Nate's first weeks on the job are relatively quiet.  But as he wonders whether this was all a big mistake, an unexpected kiss on New Year's Eve under the brilliant northern lights of the Alaska sky lifts his spirit--and convinces him to stay just a little longer.

Meg Galloway, born and raised here, is used to being alone.  She was still a young girl when her father disappeared, and she's learned to be independent, flying her small plane, living on the outskirts with just her huskies for company.  But after her New Year's kiss with the chief of police, she allows herself to give in to passion.  She doesn't want commitment--yet there's something about Nate's sad eyes that gets under her skin, and warms her frozen heart.

And now, things in Lunacy are heating up.  Because years ago, on one of the majestic mountains that shadow the town, a crime occurred that is unsolved to this day--and Nate suspects that a killer still walks the snowy streets.  His investigation will bring out the secrets and suspicions that lurk beneath the placid suface--as well as the big-city survival instincts that made him a cop in the first place.  And it will threaten the new life, and the new love, that he has finally found for himself.



Even though it took about 30% for the main conflict and excitement to begin, this book was actually a lot of fun.  On a side note, I have a thing for wintry settings, especially those with a possible crime thriller plot.  And admittedly, despite the rather banal, everyday happenings of our newest Lunacy Chief of Police, I really, really enjoyed Northern Lights.

True to form, there were still a lot of things about this book that didn't work for me, but oddly enough, the little snippets of journal, the two or three "Police Log" entries in the town's only newpaper, and even some of the really subtle, but much appreciated humor made this book shine amidst all the crazy.  Lunacy, Alaska is very aptly named, and all the strange hijinks of the small town people made this extremely long book very worthwhile.

I also found the spin on the name 'Lunacy' for different aspects of the town kind of endearing.  The residents refer to themselves as 'Lunatics,' the newspaper is named 'The Lunatic,' and so on.

I would have liked for the crime thriller portion of the book to be a bit more exciting, if I were to be totally honest.  And I would have liked for Meg to be a bit less bitchy, and for Nate to be a bit less neanderthal.  But all-in-all, between the atmosphere and all the unique, colorful characters, I found myself quite immersed in the day-to-day goings on of the Lunatics, especially as seen from a fresh set of eyes, a man from the Lower 48, who finds everything amusing, strange, and kind of 'Twilight Zone' to boot.

The murder mystery that finally got presented at the 30% mark was quite twisty-turny, and I found myself analyzing each and every possible suspect alongside Nate.  It was actually quite unpredictable, but at the same time, not so surprising when the main culprit was finally revealed.  The ending, on the other hand, was a little too daintily packaged, but there's a Happily Ever After, and the rest of the book was entertaining enough, so I'm not really complaining too much.

On a side note, I've yet to encounter a Nora Roberts romance that I've actually liked.  I have a bone to pick with almost every one of them--with most of the Nora Roberts heroes being incredibly pushy and acting like cavemen; or the heroines being more bitchy and stupidly stubborn than I would like.

However, in truth, if I were to choose one Roberts hero who comes close to being a favorite, though, I might choose Nate Burke.  He's got a tragic history, a broody persona, but all-in-all he's quite down-to-earth, and takes steps to help himself climb back out of his own black hole.  I love his spunk and how well he handles the irrational actions and behavior of the people of Lunacy, especially when they look for reasons to hate him for being an Outsider appointed as their Chief of Police.

The one thing I DON'T like his is penchant for shoving Meg behind him when everyone and their mothers know that she can take care of herself just fine.  Granted, she's got a reckless streak about her, and she might be bitchy and stubborn as heck, but I found it a little insulting that, when faced with a wilderness of danger, his first instinct was to tell Meg to hide.  Yes, maybe in a less politically correct world, this might seem heroic and swoon-worthy.  But being that Meg has had much more experience living in the outskirts of Lunacy, Alaska, facing down tough flights, harsh winters, and wandering wildlife, you'd think he'd trust her instincts more than his own need to protect.

Anyway, before I jump on top of another soapbox, I should probably just bring this piece to a close.

Northern Lights was pretty entertaining, and no one is more surprised than I am to find how much I enjoyed reading a Romantic Suspense that felt more like a banal Contemporary Romance.  It wouldn't be the first time, and probably won't be the last.  But this time, I'm pleasantly surprised to admit that I hadn't even worried that the 'suspense' part of this Romantic Suspense felt a little unbalanced.

Nora Roberts, you've done it again.  Another conflicting feel to another well written novel.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly

Roll #29:
Author was born pre-1955.

Page Count:  562
Cash Award:  +$15.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $210.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/thoughts-northern-lights.html
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text 2017-07-20 14:24
Booklikes-opoly | Roll #30! and Free Friday #6!
Booklikes-opoly
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

 


Seems like I was still in a Nora Roberts mood.  For Roll #29, I managed to roll one set of doubles and ended up with two books.

 


The first square I landed on was Main Street 11, where I chose to read a book written by an author born prior to 1955, Northern Lights by Nora Roberts.  The book was a whopping 562 pages, hard cover, so felt like a monster of a tome to finish--took me a few days, even.  Because I'd landed on this square once already since the Big Game Shake Up, I earned $15.00 for completing this book and task.

 


The next square I landed on was New Orleans Square 21.  I had decided to read Burning Lamp by Amanda Quick, a book that takes place in England, which counts as an island.  Once again, this is a square I've landed on before after the Big Game Shake Up came into effect.  Being 328 pages, I earned $9.00 for completing this book.

Reviews for both books will be coming soon.

 


Meanwhile, I'm still reading my Free Friday #5, The Law of Attraction by N.M. Silber, a short contemporary romance... that just seems to be taking some time because I'm not really that interested in this book.  In fact, the beginning felt so annoyingly tacky and juvenile that I had to remind myself that this book is in the New Adult target.  And to be honest, I've read few New Adult books and have enjoyed even fewer.

It's cute, but I can't help myself comparing it to Julie James, which is probably not a good idea.

I'm hoping to at least finish this book before Friday rolls around so I can pick up my next Free Friday read.  If not by Thursday, hopefully I'll finish it early enough on Friday that I can start in on my next Free Friday book (more on that later)


Roll #30:

 


I rolled a 7 and landed on Free Parking, which states:  "Roll the dice.  Odd number sends you to the waterworks, even number sends you to the electric company, doubles sends you to the luxury tax."

 


... Monkey?

Well, anyway...

 


... so I rolled once more, getting a 6, which takes me to Electric Company:  "Read a book where a main character is in STEM, or where the author's first and last name contain all of the letters in 'Tesla'."

 


Oh.  There you are, Monkey?  Dramatic much?  And Penni, you're kind of blocking my Teddy Bear game piece... but, "Hi!"

I think this is the first time ever that I've landed on this game space since the BLopoly started.  It's the first time I've landed on Free Parking as well--each time I've come across either Water Works or Luxury tax was because an actual counted roll move landed me there.

But anyway, since I've never landed on Electric Company before, pre-Big Game Shake Up or otherwise, no location multiplier will be applied.


Anyway...

I had wanted to read a book from my COYER list, but none of them fit, so I decided that I just needed to find something else altogether.  In truth, the only book on my entire COYER list that did fit was The Manhattan Encounter, but I already read it--had a character who was a scientist.

But anyway, I'd be lying if I said I had looked really hard to find a book.  Upon landing on this game space, the first book I thought of was The Pretender by Celeste Bradley--as we can see, this author's name fits the 'Tesla' criteria in that we can find all the letters of 'Tesla' in our author's first and last name.

And, honestly, I didn't really look that hard for another book to fit the other part of this game space, a character in STEM.  Because I think I already made my decision when I first put together a list of possible books to read for this game space.

So guess what I'll be reading?

 


The Pretender by Celeste Bradley is the first book in the Liar's Club series.  I'm loathe to begin another new series when I have so many others to finish... but whatever, I'm game; and super excited, because I've been so interested in this series since I first stumbled onto it that I'm actually kind of glad for an excuse to read it.

After a year of Courtney Milan, Tessa Dare, and Amanda Quick, hopefully this is another great, but the critics seem kind of conflicted.

The Pretender is 455 pages (Scribd e-book version), and since I have never landed on this square before, there are no location multipliers in play.  This book will be worth $10.00 upon completion.

 

The Scribd version of The Pretender that I will be reading gives me a count of 455 pages, but no matter where I've been looking, either on BL or GR or Amazon, The Pretender gives a page count of either 384, 388, or 385.  Since some e-books may not be accurate, I decided to go with the page count number that comes up the most instead of the Scribd e-book version.  So I will counting this book as 384 pages, for a $6.00 cash award, just to be fair about it.


Meanwhile, for the Free Friday Read #6:

I know, I know.  It's not Friday yet, and I still haven't finished my current Free Friday Read.  But The Law of Attraction is pretty bite-sized, and I have no doubt that I'll have it done, if not tonight (Thursday), then at least early on Friday morning.  Being so, I decided to just go ahead and pick my next Free Friday Read, since I'm too lazy to create a second BLopoly update for Friday.

And also because I already know what I want to read.

 


Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle (a.k.a. Jayne Ann Krentz) is the last book in the Dreamlight sub-trilogy of the Arcane Society/Harmony series.  Since I just finished up Burning Lamp, I'm jittery to move onto the next book so I can finish reading this trilogy, and was going to read it one way or another, whether or not it would end up counting for BLopoly.

Meanwhile, I'd been staring at the name Jayne Castle, thinking that it would have also fit the 'Tesla' game space criteria... but I didn't want to push my luck since Jayne Castle is really one of JAK's pen names, and I wasn't sure if it would count.  Upon further investigation (because I do things like that), I found that Castle is actually JAK's maiden name.

Nonetheless, I've made my decisions and I'm sticking to them.

Midnight Crystal is 371 pages, paperback version, which will be worth $6.00 upon completion (no location multipliers for Free Friday books).  I promise I won't start reading this book until I have finished The Law of Attraction.  And if, due to some strange reason, I don't even finish The Law of Attraction by tomorrow, I'll just shelve Midnight Crystal for another time.


Current Bank:   $219

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/booklikes-opoly-roll-30-and-free-friday.html
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text 2017-07-19 02:41
In which Ani believes that Baby's head...

 

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Is shaped like a lemon...

 

 

 

Have a good night everyone!!

 

 

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review 2017-07-19 02:19
Thoughts: River's End
River's End - Nora Roberts

River's End
by Nora Roberts

 

 

Olivia's parents were among Hollywood's golden couples…until the night a monster came and took her mother away forever.  A monster with the face of her father...

Sheltered from the truth, an older Olivia only dimly recalls her night of terror—but her recurring nightmares make her realize she must piece together the real story.  Assisted by Noah Brady, the son of the police detective who found her cowering in her closet so many years before, she may have her chance.  Noah wants to reconstruct the night that has become an infamous part of Hollywood history.  He also wants to help Olivia and heal the longing in her lonely heart.  But once the door to her past is opened, there's no telling what's waiting on the other side.  For somewhere, not too far away, the monster walks again...



First of all, I'm going to have to admit that the first chapter of the book bowled me over and I nearly cried with grief for Olivia as a child--finding her mother dead, seeing her father standing over the body with a bloody pair of scissors in his hands, running scared and hiding, and then being told that her mother was never coming home again...  I'm usually not one to make much of these scenes, having read a lot of crime thrillers with all of their bloody violence and tragic gore, but that was definitely an unforgettable moment, probably made all the more powerful because it came from the POV of a child.

Unfortunately, I feel like the rest of the whole ordeal (the next few chapters) got drawn out a bit much and I was ready to move onto Olivia as an adult.  I don't need the rest of the family, or even the detective's or his son's observations to know that this was a great tragedy, that poor Olivia will be living this nightmare for the rest of her life.  I pretty much deduced all of that with her terrible ordeal of stumbling upon the murder of her mother.

That little bit would have been just enough, but the notion was repetitively brought up within the first couple of chapters.

A second insight brings me to Nora Roberts and her books, in general.  I'm not an expert on Roberts.  In fact, before last year, I'd never read anything written by her.  I started with her Dark Witch trilogy, and to be totally honest, didn't really like it.  But then I read The Witness, and found that the entire tone and style of how that book was presented was just different than what I had gotten out of the Dark Witch trilogy.  And I was completely intrigued with Roberts.  So I continued picking up more of her books.

Nora Roberts, I feel, is a master at atmosphere and tone.  Each book I've read of hers, so far, has had a different kind of feel, evokes a whole different set of images and thoughts.  And ultimately makes it a little hard for me to figure out just how to review.

River's End is written well.  Very well.

So well, that I even almost forgot about a few little scenes, dialogue, and characters who frustrated me.  So well that I forgave some characters their few foibles because I ultimately enjoyed the whole book.

Roberts has a way with characters that manages to bring them to earth even after instilling some greater than perfect qualities into them.  Even while Olivia has a perfect memory, or a badass, independent personality with super survival skills in the mountains, she still managed to exhibit some wishy-washy behavior, as well as some unnecessary snap judgments that frustrated the heck out of me.

Meanwhile, Noah seems like the wonderful Mom and Pop's boy, who has a golden heart, an empathy for others, and a personality in a man worth chasing after.  But then he gets super pushy when it comes to Olivia, and to be honest, there was nothing I disliked about Noah except for his super pushiness in the romance department.  Truth be told, I winced a lot when it came to their more intimate, sexual relationship.  Because there are certain parts of their romance, specifically the first sex scene between them, that just doesn't sit well with me.  And made Noah lose a whole lot of his appeal, because I can't determine whether or not his actions were even morally kosher.

Story wise, I'd love to be upfront and talk about why I had a feeling there was a lot more to Olivia's mother's murder than the narrative gave away.  But I'm worried that I'll end up giving away the ultimate twist in the story, as a whole.  The twists and the turns about the underlying conflict pertaining to Olivia's father, however, was handled extremely well, so much so that I even started doubting my own thought process.  And then when the resolution rolled around, I was conflicted about how I felt about everything--because I'm not certain about whether I read too many crime thrillers and have picked up on predictability, in spite of the unpredictability, or if my mind is just twisted in certain ways.

Either way, I should probably stop here so I don't risk giving too much away.

On a side note, I loved Noah's interaction with just about every other character, but Olivia.  This book isn't exactly rife with romance, but what little there was didn't quite appeal to me.  And while Olivia is a very ideal heroine, I found I had a hard time really caring about her despite the book being mainly about her, from childhood onward.  She got really frustrating, at times; in fact, both of them did when it came to their romance.  But Olivia, more so, because her stubbornness was just way too extreme.

River's End, while not the best book in the world, continues to show me that Nora Roberts is definitely an author I will keep an eye on.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly

Roll #28:
Book title can spell 'River' = 'RIVER's End'.

Page Count:  447
Cash Award:  +$10.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $195.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/07/thoughts-rivers-end.html
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