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review 2018-09-20 05:22
The Lemonade Crime (audiobook) by Jacqueline Davies, narrated by Stina Nielson
The Lemonade Crime: Lemonade Series, Book 2 (MP3 Book) - Jacqueline Davies,Suzy Jackson

Evan and his little sister Jessie are both in the fourth grade, not because they're twins, but rather because Jessie skipped a grade. Jessie is particularly good at math, very focused, feels strongly that things should be fair, and believes that rules are meant to be followed.

When one of their classmates, Scott, announces that he now owns a fancy new Xbox 2020, Evan sees red. He knows exactly where Scott got the money for it - Scott stole that money, over two hundred dollars, from Evan's shorts when they were swimming at a friend's house. Evan doesn't have any proof that Scott did it, but it's the only explanation. Then Jessie comes up with a plan: she's going to bring the truth to light in a court of law created by her and her classmates.

I checked this out from my library's Overdrive without realizing that the library owned the first book in audio as well, or I'd have started with the first book instead. It looks like I'll be listening to this series out of order.

And I do plan on listening to the first book. I enjoyed this second book in the series more than I expected to, considering that Middle Grade fiction usually reads too young for me (yes, I know that's the point - I'm not the intended audience for these books and I realize that). Jessie and Evan were great characters, both flawed in their own ways but still good kids.

Jessie didn't quite feel like she fit in. I sympathized with her trouble figuring out where to hang out during recess (or was it lunch? I can't remember). The way she really got into her courtroom plan reminded me a bit of myself. I could imagine her tossing and turning in bed, unable to stop thinking about all the things she still needed to do before the trial. She'd taken on the responsibility of both setting up as realistic a trial as possible and acting as Evan's lawyer.

Evan was really into basketball and had a bit of a crush on one of his classmates, Megan, who was also his sister's friend. I hated the way Evan acted in one particular scene, but the good thing was that he hated how he'd acted too, once it was all over, and took the time to try to do something about it.

This ended in a way that was more peaceful and friendly than I expected, and I liked the layers it added to the characters.

The peeks at Scott's home life hinted at his motives, even if Evan couldn't see them, and I'm looking forward to finding out character information I missed by skipping the first book.

(spoiler show)


One nice detail: each chapter began with a definition of a term or phrase relating to courtroom proceedings (for example, "perjury"). Usually it was something illustrated by a character's words or actions in that particular chapter.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2018-09-14 14:59
In the Heir by Ruth Cardello
In the Heir (Westerly Billionaire Series Book 1) - Ruth Cardello

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this audiobook. This was my first experience with Ruth Cardello's writing and I am very happy that it turned out to be a positive one. I actually won a copy of the second book from the series but decided that I wanted to start at the beginning which turned out to be a very good choice. I ended up listening to the book in only a couple of days because I was having such a good time with it.

I went into this book expecting a romance and it did deliver on that expectation but I was surprised that the story surrounding the Westerly family would be such an important element in the story. When Delinda Westerly offers an early inheritance to the first grandchild who marries and invites the rest of the family, Spencer and his friend, Alisha, make plans to walk down the aisle. They are not in love but are great friends so they see no problem with the arrangement.

Brett meets Alisha through Spencer and can't get her out of his mind. Alisha isn't afraid to stand up to the anyone and does just that when it can protect those that she cares about. When everything falls apart, Brett is the one who is there for Alisha and I loved watching their connection to each other grow. I thought that these two characters worked really well together and I liked how they seemed to bring out the best of each other. 

Terri Clark Linden did a great job with this book. I thought that she handled a pretty diverse cast of characters very well and brought a lot of emotion to the story. I have listened to her work several times and have always found her narration to be very pleasant to listen to.

I would recommend this book to romance fans. I thought that this story was really compelling and filled with wonderful characters. I plan to read much more from Ruth Cardello in the future.

Initial Thoughts
I really liked this romance. Brett and Alisha were both fantastic characters that I wanted to see work things out. They were both so giving and really cared about the people they were close to. The family drama in this one was pretty complex with a lot of side characters experiencing a lot of pain along with Brett and Alisha. I thought that the narration was very well done and added to the enjoyment of the story.

Book source: Kindle Unlimited

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review 2018-09-02 17:30
These cowboys just weren't working for me...
Cowboy in the Crosshairs - B.A. Tortuga

I'm not sure where I'm at with this one. As a rule I love B.A. Tortuga's books but this one...well, honestly I just wasn't feeling it and there were a couple of things that just bugged the hell out of me. However, the narrator did a solid job and I enjoyed listening to him...so kudo's to Dorian Bane and as for the rest well as soon as I get my brain sorted out a full review and rating will follow....

 

So I've been sitting on this one for a couple of days now because B.A. Tortuga is totally one of my favorite authors and I have to admit of all her books that I've read this one has unfortunately turned out to be one of my least favorites. Try as I might it just was not meant to be and I'm pretty sure it's as much me as anything. So I'm not going to spend a lot of time examining things. I'm just going to say that as far as the relationship went I just wasn't feeling it and there was a couple of things that well...quite honestly really annoyed me so for me this one was a bust but not a total loss I very much enjoyed the narrations of Dorian Bane and whatever wasn't working it certainly had nothing to do with the narrator. I'm a fan of gravelly voiced cowboys and truthfully I'm still very much a fan of Ms Tortuga as well...just not this particular story.

 

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An audio book of 'Cowboy in the Crosshairs' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2018-09-02 17:16
Holy cow!!! I found me a hidden gem!
Darkling - Brooklyn Ray

I'm honestly not sure why this one didn't catch my eye before now, but as soon as I started reading 'Undertow' which is book #2 in this series and one that did catch my eye. Enough so that I said yes please when asked if I wanted to review it, however, I'd barely started reading 'Undertow' and I knew I'd screwed up by not reading the first book...so, my recommendation is if you're interested in reading 'Undertow' read this book first.

 

'Darkling' is the first book in Brooklyn Ray's 'Port Lewis Witches' series and I'm happy to say it was worth putting 'Undertow' on hold for a day while I went back and read it. "Port Lewis Witches" is one of those series where the stories really are connected and the characters go from story to story so much of the background and what happens in 'Darkling' is relevant to events in 'Undertow' and at less than 100 pages each it's not a big task to take the time to read both books but so worth it.

 

For me it's been a while since I've gotten so excited about a book of this genre. On a more general scale 'Port Lewis Witches' would be paranormal, but this isn't your vampires, werewolves, shifter paranormal...no this series is predominantly 'witches'!!! While it's not that witches are obscure or anything like that but in general they don't tend to be as popular as other creatures of the paranormal world. So for me it's that little step outside of the norm box that can often times make things interesting.

 

While I'd love to talk more about the actual story that's not going to happen because at just under a hundred pages this is one tightly written story with little to no superfluous information. Essentially Darkling is Ryder's story but we can't have Ryder's story without being introduced to Liam, Christy, Tyler and Donovan. These are the members of the circle that he belongs to and Liam is also  his love interest.

 

While we're given a solid background for each of these characters trust me when I say there's more to come and for this book Ryder is definitely the focus. I really like all of these witches and I love that they each have their own talent some of which won't be fully revealed in this story. 

 

Just like with us normal people at the heart of so much of what goes wrong are secrets...secrets about their magic, secrets about themselves...who they are and what they can do or what they may become...so many secrets and this story plays out against a background of secrets coming to light and changing so much of what these young witches know to be real.

 

Brooklyn Ray is a new to me author and this first foray into her writing world has been a wonderfully enjoyable time for me and I'm very much looking forward to finding out what comes next with this circle of witches. 

 

Ok so that's my ramble about 'Darkling', so while it's a quick read at less than 100 pages. I've read books that were twice as long and been lucky if I got half as much story so definitely recommended...especially if you plan on reading 'Undertow'.

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review 2018-08-24 22:53
This one would work for Amateur Sleuth, because this guy couldn't get anymore amateur...
The Naturalist (The Naturalist Series Book 1) - Andrew Mayne

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~BOOK BLURB~

The Naturalist

Andrew Mayne

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Professor Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos. So when mutilated bodies found deep in the Montana woods leave the cops searching blindly for clues, Theo sees something they missed. Something unnatural. Something only he can stop.

 

As a computational biologist, Theo is more familiar with digital code and microbes than the dark arts of forensic sleuthing. But a field trip to Montana suddenly lands him in the middle of an investigation into the bloody killing of one of his former students. As more details, and bodies, come to light, the local cops determine that the killer is either a grizzly gone rogue… or Theo himself. Racing to stay one step ahead of the police, Theo must use his scientific acumen to uncover the killer. Will he be able to become as cunning as the predator he hunts—before he becomes its prey?

 

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~MY QUICKIE REVIEW~

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Theo Cray is aptly named…because he is quite crazy…He is like one of those super smart people who have no common sense.  I don't know how plausible some of his scientific theories are, because I'm not a scientist, not even close.  So for me, I was able to suspend belief and just enjoy the intense and slightly insane ride, one filled with Dr. Cray's many mishaps until he finally figures out exactly what's going on. 

 

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~MY RATING~

4.2STARS - GRADE=B+

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~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

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Plot~ 4/5

Main Characters~ 4/5

Secondary Characters~ 4/5

The Feels~ 4.2/5

Pacing~ 4/5

Addictiveness~ 4.5/5

Theme or Tone~ 4/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 4/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 4.3/5

Originality~ 4.5/5

Ending~ 4.2/5 Cliffhanger~ not really…

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Book Cover~ It's cool…

Narration~4.5 for Will Damron, he is one of my fav male narrators.

Series~ The Naturalist #1

Setting~ Montana

Source~ Audiobook (KU Read & Listen)

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