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Search tags: TBR-Read-Down-January-2015
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text 2015-01-31 15:51
January 2015 Reads Wrap Up

I originally had ten books I wanted to read, review, and archive/delete/donate off my TBR. I hit that mark plus got extra reading in, so this month turned out better than expected.


5 stars - none


4.5 - 4 stars

Scoop by Kit Frazier (Cozy Mystery; first in series)

Concealed in Death by JD Robb

Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George (MG/YA Fantasy)


3.5 - 3 stars

A Cat Caper (A Delilah Duffy Short Story) by Jessica Sherry

Midnight Kiss: Three Romantic New Year's Eve Stories (Anthology) by Rusty Fischer

Dead Copy by Kit Frazier (Cozy Mystery)

The Taking of Snow White by Christian M. Darcy (Erotica/Fantasy)

His Mistletoe Bride by Vanessa Kelly (Historical Romance)


2.5 - 2 stars

Brave New Century (Anthology; Christian Historical Romance)

The Last Rose of Summer by Kate Lord Brown (Contemporary Romance)


1.5 - 1 star

Jilted in January by Clarice Wynter (Contemporary Romance)


.5 - 0 star

A Cup of Cozy (Anthology; Christian cozy mystery with Christmas settings)

Her Passion by Elyssa Nyte (Contemporary Romance)

The One that Got Away by Kat Halstead (Contemporary Romance


DNFs - none this month


Hate Reads/Be Ye Warned!

Ms. America and the Offing on Oahu by Diana Dempsey (Cozy Mystery; first in series)


Continuing to Read

Snow on the Tulips by Liz Tolsma


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review 2015-01-27 18:21
Concealed in Death - J.D. Robb


Leading the demolition of a long-empty New York building that once housed a makeshift shelter for troubled teenagers, Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s husband uncovers two skeletons wrapped in plastic. And by the time Eve’s done with the crime scene, there are twelve murders to be solved.

The victims are all young girls. A tattooed tough girl who dealt in illegal drugs. The runaway daughter of a pair of well-to-do doctors. They all had their stories. And they all lost their chance for a better life.

Then Eve discovers a connection between the victims and someone she knows. And she grows even more determined to reveal the secrets of the place that was called The Sanctuary—and the evil concealed in one human heart.



After the disappointing Thankless in Death, I took a break from the series. I was burnt out on serial killers and there was not much police work going on in that book. With Concealed, all I can say is "Welcome Back JD....I missed you!"


What set apart this serial killer-ish murderer from the last is that the motivation for the killings was much deeper and I liked the cold-case file aspect of the story. There was not over the top chase scenes or final police operation/sting that usually ends an ...In Death book. It was a very quiet and sad ending, but one that fit this case; for me it was satisfying, but I can see how Eve Dallas and other readers may have wanted more from the villain.


I like seeing more of Mavis in this book - her part in the story has given her character more weight and she has come a far distance from the flighty BFF of Eve's in those early books. I also like that the cast of characters for the mystery parts of the book stayed in the single digits; sometimes these stories get carried away with the amount of potential villains.


Overall, I didn't want to put this book down. It was a quieter book than the last few, but the quiet suited the story rather than muted it. 4 stars.


Random Observation:

Happy 20th Anniversary to the ...In Death series and JD Robb/Nora Roberts!

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review 2015-01-15 14:17
The Taking of Snow White: Forever Taken: Book One - Christian M. Darcy


She was lost in the woods - alone, afraid. For the first time in her life, she had to depend on herself. On her wits. On her wiles. On her body, her mind, and her heart.

Where was her Prince? Where was the handsome man who would save her from this terror? Where was her brave hero, to rescue her from the lustful huntsman, from the wicked Queen, from the rebels and the dangers and the forest which reached out to consume her? And where was she going to go to get her shoes repaired after all this running?



So after reading this blurb, I thought the book was going to be a YA adventure about Snow White finding her agency, her way back to the castle, and kicking the Evil Queen's ass. Instead, I open the book, saw the page count (81 pages), and realized I picked up a book that was definitely not YA.


So what is this book? Basically, an erotic re-telling of Snow White minus the dwarves. The seven little dudes are replaced with a small group of the kingdom's resistance fighters. They want to over throw the monarchy and set up a democratic government...except that women are to stay in the kitchen/home and tend to the men, children and home. They believe a stupid bunch of lies Snow White gives them and believe she is "Violet", a stable maid. Snow White finds out that her nickname amongst the fighters is "Snow White the Stupid" - this I must agree with (I would also be in agreement if they had nicknamed her "Snow White the Witless" or just "Snow Witless"). Also, the Evil Queen is Snow White's step-mother.


The book tried to hard to be snarky towards both traditional values and progressive values; the "humor" comes off as passive-aggressive towards all women. Everyone in the monarchy is an idiot and shallow - and big boobed. So much boobies, all standing pert and ready for action. The author of this book (a man who is a professor of History somewhere in Montana) must be a breast man. The erotic scenes include m/f (Snow White loses her virgin card), voyeurism,  f/f, and masturbation; because everyone, including Snow White, overtly consents, I had no problem with pages of erotica. It does end on a cliffhanger...in more ways than one.


Please Note: Erotica is not my forte, so my rating is based on technical writing (only one error I saw) and all the sex was consensual. Looking at ratings on GR and B&N, the average rating for this book is 3 stars, so that is what I am giving it. I can't seem to find the book on B&N now, nor on Smashwords, so the author now may be exclusive to Amazon or took the book off the market completely. 3 stars.


Well, that will teach me to download free books indiscriminately!

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review 2015-01-09 14:13
Scoop - Kit Frazier


Cauley MacKinnon is staring down the barrel of twenty-eighth birthday, certain the only things standing between her and certain doom are instinct, pure dumb luck and a kick-ass hairdresser. Starting over after a truly bad marriage and armed with a freshly minted journalism degree, Cauley is disappointed to find that the only job she can get in her hometown of Austin is as an obituary writer - something that only happens to interns who've been very good, or reporters who've been very bad.


Somehow, Cauley's managed to do both. While on the hunt for a story that will get her off the Death Page, Cauley's life takes a turn for the worse when hapless childhood friend, Scott Barnes, threatens suicide and barricades himself in a dilapidated old shed where he phones Cauley for help. Cauley is soon devastated when she discovers Barnes dead at his computer with an empty bottle of bourbon and a computer-generated suicide note. Soon, Cauley is up to her eyelashes in dead bodies and everyone wants to know what Barnes said in the shed - the last time anyone saw him alive.



Please note that the book starts with an attempt by a major character's suicide attempt. Discretion is advised is you are triggered by such a scene.


This book kept me awake and reading until the wee hours of the morning. After finishing the book, I promptly bought the second in the series. I read this 663 page book in two nights, it was quite an addicting read.


It took a while for me to warm up to Cauley (about the first third of the book) because she suffers from "first book in cozy mystery MC awkwardness and airheadness" syndrome. Once I got into her groove and she began really investigating the murder, things clicked and the pages flew. The cast is rounded out by developed characters, but I wasn't given info-dumps every time someone new pops up. There is not a love triangle, but there was two potential love interests; at the end of the book, only one of the suitors was crowned love interest.


There are a lot of plot threads to keep track of. They wrap up nicely at the end.


There are a lot of copy editing errors in this first book. Missing words, quotations that were not set properly, etc didn't stop my pace of reading, but were so noticeable. That is why I took off a star in the rating. Someone needs to go over the copy with a fine tooth comb and fix all the errors.

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review 2015-01-07 21:01
A Cup of Cozy - Linda Kozar,Traci Tyne Hilton,Deborah Malone,S. Dionne Moore,C.L. Ragsdale,Nancy Jill Thames

Not going to bother with my typical review format. This book isn't long enough to warrant anything more than a few simple lines.


It was a NOOK freebie, and the anthology itself was 45 pages (out of a 102 page "book"); the other 57 pages were sneak peaks at the authors' other works.


It was three 15 page stories that centered around cozy mysteries (a found diamond/missing painting/a family recipe for fudge) that were related to Christmas. the anthology was Christian fiction, but it wasn't much religious tone at all except a few times characters prayed. All three stories were incredibly cheesy; I can not stress enough how cheesy these stories were. Cheez-Wiz on a Cheez-it cracker with melted Velveeta cheesy. And I could tell the whodunit when the character came on the scene. These sleuths aren't the brightest crayons in the box. .5 star.

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