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review 2017-06-25 23:21
Camino Island ★★☆☆☆
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham

Deadly dull stuff. I couldn’t bring myself to care about any of the characters, and the main character’s moral rationalizing was frankly laughable. I’m not sure why the author even bothered telling us about any of the criminals who pulled off the heist. The plot was… well, I couldn’t bring myself to care how it ended, if the criminals were caught, if the university got their manuscript back, or if the writer and the bookseller reconciled their relationship.

 

I think the only reason I even finished this book is that I was listening to it while on a long road trip and the book was marginally more interesting than just looking at 200 miles worth of grass and trees and cows, although the occasional horse pasture was distraction enough for me to have to rewind.

 

Audiobook, borrowed from my public library. January LaVoy provided a very good performance, considering the material she had to work with.

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text 2017-06-25 14:05
Camino Island: 82%
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham

Seriously, has Grisham's writing always been this tedious? During a 4 hour road trip yesterday, during which I had little to occupy my mind other than this audiobook, I found it only slightly less interesting to look at the cows, the grass, the trees, and the ass end of the truck in front of me. Sometimes I even had to rewind because I didn't know what I'd just listened to. 

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text 2017-06-23 18:23
Friday Reads - June 23, 2017
The Bull Rider's Homecoming (Blue Thorn Ranch) - Allie Pleiter
Ellis Island - Kate Kerrigan
Hell on Wheels - Julie Ann Walker
A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo) - Sarah Mallory
Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson

For the last week of June, I have a full load to read. All new, fresh reading to juice up my reading mojo.

 

Friday Free Read/COYER Summer 2017: The Bull Rider's Homecoming by Allie Pleiter. This is on my COYER reading list so I figured kill two birds with one book. I have read another book by this author that I enjoyed so I am hoping for another great read.

 

BL-opoly Read/Pop Sugar Challenge: Ellis Island (Ellis Island #1) by Kate Kerrigan. Irish immigrant to NYC during the 1920s satisfies the prompt "book written/about refugees or immigrants".

 

RB Bingo: Hell on Wheels (Black Knights, Inc #1) by Julie Ann Walker. Still trying to find a book that fits in the "Never read genre/subgenre" square. I bailed on the rock star series when it became clear the series was about all the other employees of the band and not about the band members. This book is a combination of motorcycle club and military romance, which are other niches I don't read. Thank goodness for OverDrive.

 

COYER Summer 2017: A Lady for Lord Randall (Brides of Waterloo #1) by Sarah Mallory. This is the first in a trilogy. I am kicking myself for reading that kidnapped romance when I could have just waited for COYER to start and used this book instead.

 

Random Pick: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson because it is due back to the library at the end of the week.

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text 2017-06-23 12:16
Camino Island: 3%
Camino Island: A Novel - John Grisham

One of my least favorite approaches to storytelling is when the author spends a sizable chunk of the first chapter to give names and explain the backgrounds of all the characters. Takes what was already an unexciting opening heist scene to new thresholds of Meh. 

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review 2017-06-22 16:33
Lord of the Far Island / Victoria Holt
Lord of the Far Island - Victoria Holt

Ellen Kellaway, orphaned at age five, was raised by wealthy cousins, but was never allowed to forget that her every advantage was owed to the charity of others. However, when the son of a powerful London family asks for her hand in marriage, her world is opened up to untold wealth and social position. She never imagined that such an unlikely dream would come true.

Despite these wonderful new developments in her life, Ellen continues to be wracked b the bad dreams that have haunted her since childhood. What is the meaning of the lifelong nightmare—the image of an unfamiliar room, a door opening and behind it a dreadful presence? Perhaps it is a message urging her to uncover the secrets of her long-lost family—the secrets of the ancient home of the Kellaways on the Far Island, off the wild coast of Cornwall.

 

***2017 Summer Lovin’ Reading List***

I think this may have been the very first romance novel that I ever read in my life, at around age 11 or 12. I remember how much I loved the book at that age and that is probably influencing my rating today.

Talk about Gothic! A heroine who is an orphan, living with distant family members as a Poor Relation? Check! Beautiful & spunky? Check! Mysterious goings-on? Check! Subtly threatening handsome man with secrets who arrives in the nick of time to save her from the horrid fate of governessing? Check! New family members who maybe aren’t as into her as she is into them? Check and double check! A second handsome and more straightforward man as a foil for the intense, dark one? Checkeroo!

I believe it was my mother who introduced me to Victoria Holt and she & I read our way through many of Holt’s novels. This was very much a nostalgia read—it reminded me of my teenage reading years and reading with Mom. I can definitely see where works like this one set my tastes in romantic fiction, leading to my current affection for paranormal romance.

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