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text 2018-01-25 19:30
I've read 17% and I’m done!
Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward

 I tried to stick with this because it seemed like everyone was raving about it. I even came back to it after talking a week or so off.  It’s still not working for me and I think that 17% is more than a fair shot. 

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and to the publisher for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest feedback. This it it.*

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review 2017-12-28 18:03
Choked Up by Janey Mack
Choked Up - Janey Mack

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

This was an okay read for me. I decided to read this book because it seemed to be exactly what I was in the mood to read. I remembered seeing some comparisons to Evanovich and thought a mystery with a side of laughter would be just perfect. Unfortunately, I didn't find this book funny. At all. I didn't crack a smile even once so that is a pretty big disappointment. The mystery did hold my interest though. It wasn't a bad read but it wasn't quite what I thought it would be.

Maisie McGrane comes from family of police officers and defense attorneys. Maisie is a meter maid which isn't exactly the same thing. Maisie does want to join the police but her family has blocked her path so she jumps at the chance to work undercover with a special unit. She is eager to quit her job and start her new career until she learns that they want her to continue working as she gathers information.

Maisie jumps into her new role completely. She is soon an important part of the life a notorious mobster, Stannis. There are quite a few action scenes with Maisie finding herself in danger more often than can be healthy. She must keep the mobster happy while feeding information to her contacts. Hopefully she can remain safe and explain things to her boyfriend later. 

Maisie seemed to be in way over her head. I can't say that I really liked her or disliked her character. I didn't have a lot of confidence in her abilities and thought some of her actions were pretty questionable. Her boyfriend, Hank, didn't seem real to me at all. His character did remind me a bit of Ranger from the Stephanie Plum series but even little more perfect and superheroish. 

In the end, I think that this story was rather forgettable. This is the second book in the series but I didn't feel like I was missing anything by reading out of order. I was really curious about how everything would work out which kept the pages turning but I don't plan to read any additional books in the series. 

I received an advanced reader edition of this book from Kensington Books via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I thought this was okay. I saw this book being compared to the Stephanie Plum series so I expected it to be funny. I didn't find it funny which was a disappointment. I found that I was bored during sections of the book as well. I did wonder how Maisie would get herself out of the situation she was in and kept trying to figure out if anyone else was undercover.

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review 2017-12-25 02:41
Home for Christmas by Lily Everett
Home for Christmas - Lily Everett

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

Well, this was a disappointment. I have read Lily Everett before and really enjoyed her work so I decided that this would be the book that I would read leading up to Christmas this year. I just knew that this would be a great read. Unfortunately, this book really didn't work for me. I am not sure if my reading tastes have changed since I last read this author or if it is just this book but this wasn't the enjoyable reading experience I had hoped it would be.

Libby Leeds has been living a lie. She is a well known author with a column that is supposed to be non-fiction but her life looks nothing like that column. She gets caught with her deception when her boss invites a well known hero to her home in Sanctuary Island for Christmas dinner. She is then forced to reconnect with family and do her best to be the woman the world knows from her column.

Owen was wounded in action and has been working hard to get back into shape so he can return to duty. He has recently discovered that he has a young child who is now living with his sister in Sanctuary Island. He is headed to there to get to know his child and get therapy. He accepts the invitation to have dinner with Libby since he wants to share the perfect Christmas with his daughter.

I didn't like Libby or Owen. Libby is living an absolute lie. Owen seems to only be able to focus on going back to active duty. Libby is even pretending to be married for a good portion of the book so this romance just never worked for me. I honestly didn't see a lot of chemistry between them. This is a very tame romance and I just didn't feel the spark that I would have hoped to see.

I think that my biggest issue with the book was that so much of the story seemed pointless. Once Libby opens up to Owen, I didn't see the point of continuing with the charade. There is a secondary romance that added nothing to the story and only contained a few short scenes. I found that I was often bored while reading this book and had to read passages more than once because my mind would wander. 

I would say that the best parts of the book included the scenes with Libby's grandfather and Owen's daughter. Those two characters were the highlight of the story and I would have really liked to see a bit more of them. The book does have a very strong Christmas theme with just about everything Christmas making an appearance at least once. 

I will not be recommending this book to others. I think that this was a rather forgettable story that was a bit too sweet for my tastes. I won't hesitate to read more from Lily Everett in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This was a bit of a disappointment for me. It was overly sweet and I found myself rather bored at times. I couldn't connect with either of the main characters and much of the plot seemed pointless. Caitlyn and Grandpa were the highlights of the story. There was a whole lot of Christmas worked into the book which is another plus.

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review 2017-12-18 00:14
THE WIFE BETWEEN US BY: GREER HENDRICKS & SARAH PEKKANEN
The Wife Between Us - Greer Hendricks,Sarah Pekkanen
Well, I feel like the blurb totally called it. 
 
"When you read this book, you will make many assumptions."
 
 
 
I had a lot of assumptions at the beginning of this book, and only one thing turned out to be true. Which I kinda can't tell you, because it would spoil all the fun. I even heeded the warning like blurb. I went into this one totally suspicious of EVERYONE. In the end I think that actually made this whole story even more fun. I was juggling at least 4 different theories on what was ACTUALLY happening, and none of those was what it ended up being. This was one hell of a plot twist and I imagine it is going to knock a lot of socks off! It surely got me! 
 
 
Part one was a little slower going, but still interesting getting a thorough examination of the characters and a glimpse at their relationships. It painted a really full foundation in your mind that is inevitably rocked down to its core in part two. I feel like the full picture at the end of the book was much more comprehensive because of it. The last half of the book is unputdownable. Once everything starts to shift it is nearly impossible to put down until the very end. And the authors have more than one surprise up their sleeves in this tale, so this is the book that just keeps on giving. 
 
 
I really enjoyed The Wife Between Us, I hear it will be coming to the big screen too and I am looking forward to watching that when it comes out. I'll definitely be on the lookout for more from these authors. 
 
Many thanks to St. Martin's Press for an ARC of this book! 
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review 2017-12-16 02:33
On the Naughty List by Lori Foster, Carly Phillips, Beth Ciotta, and Sugar Jamison
On the Naughty List - Lori Foster,Carly Phillips,Sugar Jamison,Beth Ciotta

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

This was a nice enough read. I have had a review copy of this book for a couple of years but somehow missed reading it and it ended up buried on my Kindle. I decided to dust off as I was trying to get into the holiday spirit this year. I don't know that it had any impact on my readiness for the holiday but I did find the book to be an okay read. I enjoyed all four of the stories pretty equally with nothing really standing out.

Christmas Bonus by Lori Foster
I am not always a fan of office romances but I thought this one worked. The couple in the story have known each other for a long time. They really did seem to work well together and I liked the chemistry between them.

Naughty Under the Mistletoe by Carly Philips
This one starts off at an office holiday party. Intending to finally make a move on her boss, the main character ends up kissing his twin instead. The couple has a lot of chemistry. I liked the twist on the office romance since she worked for his family but not him directly.

Have Yourself a Curvy Little Christmas by Sugar Jamison
This was another story featuring brothers. Dina decides to reach out to her baby's father but finds his older brother instead. This was a fun opposites attract kind of story and I liked how the baby, Dash, played an important role in it.

Some Kind of Wonderful by Beth Ciotta
This was a fun friends to lovers story. The couple has known each other for years but they haven't seen each other lately. They find themselves stranded in a cabin and realize that they both might feel more for each other than they realized.

I thought that this was a worthwhile anthology. I would give each of the individual stories 3 stars and really liked how different they were. I had fun sampling the writing of a few new to me authors and would definitely try their work again in the future.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This was okay. Nothing terrible but nothing great either. All four of the stories were pretty equal for me with none of them really standing out too much.

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