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review 2017-10-19 21:41
At the Christmas Wedding by Caroline Linden, Maya Rodale, and Katharine Ashe
At the Christmas Wedding - Caroline Linden,Maya Rodale,Katharine Ashe

Review for Snowy Night with a Duke by Katharine Ashe. ~ I will review for the other two as I finish them ~ 
Such a sweet tale! Horace and Charlotte haven’t seen each other in over two years. She knew her love for him wasn’t a good thing so she decided to run away to America. Now that’s she’s returned and is snowbound in a country inn with the man she’s tried to avoid for as long as she can remember, sparks start flying and romance is no longer denied. 
I loved the dialogue between the two. At times they argued like children but at the same time they sounded like a couple of old friends reacquainting themselves with each other. 
When the story started I couldn’t understand the reason Horace acted the way he did but as the story progressed and everything was explained I was able to sympathize with his predicaments. I also loved that Charlotte was sort of different in a way that I’ve never read before and in a way that was cleverly adapted to the romance aspect of the story. The ending had me having all the feels and I think it was the most endearing part of the book. If you’re looking for a charming, sweet, yet passionate and steamy story with a Christmas theme then this is the book for you. 

** This is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher. **

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review 2017-10-13 08:22
The Silent Corner
The Silent Corner - Dean Koontz

Jane Hawk #1

By: Dean Koontz

ISBN: 978-0345545992

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: 6/20/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating:  5 Stars

 

Dean Koontz returns following Ashley Bell, landing on myTop Books of 2015 with his latest, THE SILENT CORNER.

Koontz, a master at building suspense, and an incredible story-teller, this time around with action and a well-developed heroine to match. And as always, his signature lyrical prose. 

The author introduces readers to the impressive, Jane Hawk: the first in the new series THE SILENT CORNER —A tough, intelligent, courageous kick-ass heroine with all the skills of Lee Child's Jack Reacher, David Baldacci's Will Robie and then some, as she encounters ruthless, dangerous, and evil predators on her journey for justice. 

A fast action, suspense, high octane gripping page-turner! 

“Those who are truly off the grid and cannot be tracked by any technology, yet are able to move about freely and use the Internet, are said to be in the silent corner.”

A grieving widow, Jane Hawk. An unstoppable clever FBI agent. A marine husband (Nick). They were married six years. Four months earlier she lost him. Another widow, Gwyn (husband Gordon). 

Jane is passionate about clearing Nick’s name, about proving that he had not committed suicide. She had unknowingly set out on a path from which there would be no retreat. Driven by the love for her lost husband and by fear for the five-year-old son she has gone into hiding. 

Murder-Suicides. A conspiracy. 8400 suicides. Doctors, lawyers, teachers, police, journalists . . . Unusual suicides. No history of depression, emotional problems or financial crisis. They do not fit the profile. 

Vertigo. Intense dreams. A bitter taste. 

Staying off the grid, going rogue, Jane is smart. She hides her five-year-old son with friends and moves across California. Staying in motels, in disguise and using different names. She is determined to get to the bottom of this conspiracy.

Before Nick’s death, there was a piece about scientists who were developing brain implants using light-sensitive proteins and fiber-optics. Their thoughts translated into luminous pulses by light-sensitive proteins and processed by software and rendered into speech by a computer.

Then she had marveled by all the miracles, technology, and changes. Was it mind control?
How were people make to do it? 

Now she was trapped in a world of violence and horror. She recalled an earlier time with Nick. 

His words. “You rock me.”

Jane takes a leave of absence and hits the road. Interviewing those left behind. Spouses of murder’ suicide cases. Those she sought to expose would not allow her to walk away and live. They had brought something new and terrible into the world. She did not understand. What would two more be people be to them? A mother and son? 

She knew little. At the same time, she knew too much. She suspected more, and there would be no one to who she could risk turning for help until she knew it all. 

Jane finds herself risking her life, as she makes shocking discoveries and comes up against dangerous conspiracies. (and we have more to come). 

Koontz definitely kicks up the action ten-fold in THE SILENT CORNER!. It is no wonder Paramount Television and Anonymous Content have optioned the FBI drama. 

The highly-skilled Jane Hawk rocks! She will be adored and respected by women and men readers, alike. 

Rumors have it Koontz plans to write at least five more books featuring Jane Hawk, and the next in the series, The Whispering Room coming Nov 21, 2017. Jane Hawk—fiction’s most relentless, resourceful, stunning new heroine—continues her battle against a murderous conspiracy in the riveting sequel to The Silent Corner. Can't wait. 

A reminder why we keep coming back for more Koontz.Better than ever! Fans will be anxiously awaiting the next installment in this enthralling suspense action thriller. 

This may be my favorite since The City (which is totally different). Top Books of 2014. 

A special thank you to Random House and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. I also purchased the audiobook narrated by Elisabeth Rodgers, for an entertaining listening experience.

JDCMustReadBooks

Coming in Paperback 

Oct 31, 2017 

Pre-Order Now

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


THE WHISPERING ROOM
 

Jane Hawk #2

 

Coming Nov 21, 2017

 

Pre-Order  

 

Jane Hawk—fiction’s most relentless, resourceful, stunning new heroine—continues her battle against a murderous conspiracy in the riveting sequel to The Silent Corner.

 

“No time to delay. Do what you were born to do. Fame will be yours when you do this.”

 

These are the words that ring in the mind of mild-mannered, beloved schoolteacher Cora Gundersun—just before she takes her own life, and many others’, in a shocking act of carnage. When the disturbing contents of her secret journal are discovered, it seems certain that she must have been insane. But Jane Hawk knows better.

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/10/04/The-Silent-Corner
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review 2017-10-03 21:52
Book review: THE SCOT BEDS HIS WIFE by Kerrigan Byrne
The Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels) - Kerrigan Byrne

 

I loved this book from the start. I have to admit that I’m an uber fan of marriage of convenience and force marriage so of course I jumped (quite literally) at the chance to read this book. However I was not very happy when I realized there were secrets involved and that the final outcome would depend on how the main characters would react to the discovery of those secrets. I just don’t like romances that start off on untruths or half truths, I just don’t. 

But the feels; THE FEELS, I tell you!! 

Samantha is an American spitfire with plenty of wit and determination, used to do whatever necessary in order to survive. When trouble arises in America she sees no other choice but to travel to Scotland. There Gavin awaits for her, and true to his rakish reputation, he will attempt anything even seduce her if that would sway her to relinquish her land to him. 

Ok, so one thing that had me laughing – and rolling my eyes- at the beginning was the fact that she would not stop admiring his good looks. It was paragraph after paragraph of her mentioning how well sculpted and how “magnificent” he was. She even called him a Celtic god! I just thought goodness, it’s this how it’s going to be? Thankfully it wasn’t. Sam proved to be no push-over. She took the reins of her new life and show no fear in the face of trouble. I specially loved that even though she was a foreigner in a new land, she easily made new friends, knew who to contact, where to go, and what to do. She was a woman with a mission and was determined to see it through. Gavin was a little on the obstinate side. Not that that was a bad thing, I mean, who can say no to a Scot’s charm, am I right? But when a man kisses a woman without asking permission first, then let’s just say I was verra, verra happy that said woman always carried her precious guns with her *happy face* I loved how Sam put him in his place every time he wanted to be all charm and temptation. 

When someone from her past attacks her, Gavin offers to marry her in order to protect her but also to gain access to her land. They do marry but their relationship was complicated to say the least, what with Gavin’s reputation, his infamous father and family, and the initial enmity between them. They want to see their nuptials as a business transaction only so they really don't want to confide each other with their dark pasts. 

As the story unravels and they get to know each other better, Sam understands why her husband has led the life of the notorious libertine and affable womanizer he’s always been. And then she wishes to tell him everything because she’s only told him bits and pieces of her life but not the entire truth. And the one time she had the chance to tell him EVERYTHING… she discloses another secret but not what he needs to hear! It was kind of frustrating, actually. And Gavin feels there is still so much in her heart that's yet to be to discovered but is afraid to ask because he believes it may have to do with him, his flaws, his past, his own desires, and AGHHHH!!! In the end so much grief would have been avoided if a hard but simple truth was told when they had the chance. 

So generally speaking, I still think this was an awesome read because despite my peculiar dislikes I thought the romantic arc hit all the right cords. All the characters were very well defined from start to finish, from the rambunctious old couple of Calybrid and Locryn, who sort of became Sam’s two right hands, and who had me laughing at their bickering and inappropriate comments, to Gavin’s own mother, who grew out of her shell with Sam and other loving character’s help. All in all it was a lovely read, which can be totally read as a standalone, and I absolutely recommend it. 

** I received this book from the author at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

 

 

Buy Links: 

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2r4wmNm 
B&N: http://bit.ly/2s3Dd8Y 
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qWqfw 
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2rXU25P 
Google: http://bit.ly/2r42eS0 
Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2roV4eg

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review 2017-09-28 07:04
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
Made You Up - Francesca Zappia

Title:  Made You Up


Author:  Francesca Zappia


Genre: Contemporary Romance / Mental Illness


Year Published: 2015


Number of Pages: 428 pages


Date Read: 8/29/2017



Publisher:   Greenwillow Books



Source:  Library


Content Rating:  Ages 16+ (Strong Language)

 

 

Made

5.5 stars!!!

“Sometimes I think people take reality for granted.” 


For many years now, I have been hearing many good things about Francesca Zappia’s book “Made You Up” and for a long time, I had wanted to check this book out and see what all the excitement was about. So, when I finally got around to reading “Made You Up” by Francesca Zappia, I was seriously on cloud nine after finishing this book, because this was seriously one of the most unique and awesome books I had ever read!

Alex Ridgemont is just your average girl trying to make it into college and get through the tough trials of high school, except for one thing: she has schizophrenia and is prone to seeing things that do not really exist and usually becomes extremely panicked whenever these delusions pop up. However, despite Alex having schizophrenia, she does not let that get in her way of trying to live a normal life such as maintaining a job and going out with her friends. One day however, Alex meets up with a mysterious and intimidating boy named Miles Richter and she believes that he may be the boy she met when she was younger. However, Alex thought that the mysterious boy she met when she was younger was a part of her hallucinations and she tries to figure out if Miles is real or not. 

Wow…just wow… This novel was simply amazing! I just cannot get over the romantic, mysterious and intensifying tone of this novel! Francesca Zappia’s writing is both witty and intense at the same time as I got immersed into the mystery plot of the story that involves Principal McCoy’s secret dealings within the school and also trying to figure out what events is Alex hallucinating and what events are actually real. I also loved the way that Francesca Zappia explored schizophrenia through Alex’s character as we get to see firsthand how schizophrenia works and how it affects the people who have it and we get to see Alex struggle with her condition as she is trying to distinguish between reality and fantasy and how she feels so conflicted because of this. I was also shocked by the huge twist that happens in the plot towards the end of the story as I was thrown off by this revelation and it took me quite by surprise! But probably the best part of this story were the characters themselves! I really enjoyed the witty bantering going on between Alex and Miles as they constantly bicker with each other, but they really understand each other’s situations and they try to be there for each other, no matter how difficult the situation gets. I also liked the fact that both Miles and Alex have so much interest in world history that the scenes where they are reciting certain parts from history, especially World War II with such ease, are truly adorable to read through! I really enjoyed Alex herself as a character because she represents the conditions of having schizophrenia and I like the fact that despite her occasional temper tantrums, Alex always tries to look on the bright side of things and tries to live a normal life, despite her condition, which is extremely uplifting! Now, Miles is probably my most favorite character in this book since he also has a condition where he cannot distinguish emotions from other people and tends to act rude towards other people, because he does not understand about how he affects other people. I just loved the fact that despite arguing with Alex through most of the book, Miles really does care about Alex and he is always trying to be there for Alex during her rough moments and seems to really understand Alex’s condition.

Made

For anyone who does not like strong language, this novel has a surprising amount of strong language for a young adult novel, including words like the “s” word and the “f” word. 

Overall, “Made You Up” is seriously one of the best books about mental illness that I had ever read and I cannot wait to read more of Francesca Zappia’s other works!

Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

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review 2017-09-14 03:12
You'll Be the Death of Me! by Stacia Wolf
You'll Be the Death of Me! - Stacia Wolf

You’ll Be the Death of Me! stars Allison Leavitt, a successful mystery author, and Jay Cantrall, a Los Angeles police detective who’s been temporarily transferred to Spokane after a scandal. They happen to be neighbors in the same apartment building, and although they’re both instantly attracted to each other, they also don’t entirely trust or like each other.

Allison is leery of men who only want to date her for her money, doesn’t really think that sex (aside from masturbation) is all that great, has body issues (due to some scars and, possibly, her curviness), and is still working through her feelings of guilt and terror over a past traumatic event. The only man who interests her anymore is fictional: Detective Ben Stark, one of the main characters in her mystery series. Shockingly, Jay looks like both Allison’s mental image of Ben and the image of Ben on the proposed cover art for Allison’s next book. She can’t decide whether she’s interested in Jay because he looks like Ben, or because she’s just interested in Jay.

Meanwhile, Jay is leery of women who are more interested in his celebrity twin brother than they are in him. To be honest, he has trust issues with women in general at the moment, since it was his ex-girlfriend’s lies that resulted in the scandal that got him sent to Spokane. But there’s something about Allison that keeps drawing him in. Allison, her best friend Paige, and a landlady with an annoying Chinese crested dog that she believes can do no wrong make it hard for Jay to keep to himself.

I spotted this in a used bookstore clearance section a while back and snatched it up primarily because it was a Samhain Publishing title. Some of those can be difficult to find or incredibly expensive now that the publisher has shut down operations. What if it turned out to be really good and I missed out on it? And if it wasn’t good, well, it only cost me $2.

It didn’t take me long to figure out that I’d picked up a stinker. Allison in particular seemed to have way more issues to deal with than could properly be handled in such a short book, and the whole thing about Jay’s twin seemed incredibly contrived. In general, these two characters needed to spend at least a few months getting to know and trust each other before I could believe in them as a couple. Instead, they were together for maybe a week or two, enough time to drool over each other and have sex, but not enough time to truly trust each other once the issues readers could see from a mile away started cropping up.

I hated them as a couple so much. Anytime Jay made any kind of small talk that touched on money or Allison’s job, Allison immediately assumed that he was just another guy hoping she’d pay his bills in exchange for sex. I was more forgiving of Jay’s blowup when he inevitably spotted Allison’s newest cover art, but their arguments after that made me dislike them both.

They both refused to listen to or believe each other. In fact, Allison somehow still

believed that Jay was after her money even after he blew up on her about the cover art. How did she think that was going to work? Did she think he was simultaneously going to snarl at her for being more interested in his brother or her fictional character than in him and convince her to pay his bills? Besides that, a true gold digger wouldn't have cared if she only liked him because he looked like her character or his twin brother. It should have only taken a second or two of thought to realize that her conclusions didn’t make any sense.

(spoiler show)


But logic wasn’t exactly the author’s strong suit and, unfortunately, the result was extremely inconsistent main characters. For example, after spending most of the book up to that point thinking that Allison knew full well the effect she had on men (or at least on him in particular), on page 79 Jay suddenly divined that Allison was uncomfortable with her body and reacted accordingly. Then there was Allison, who spent most of the book saying that she’d never orgasmed while having sex with a man and could only get off while thinking about her fictional detective. Despite that, on page 104 this thought suddenly popped into her head: “it had been way too long since she’d made love.” Huh?

I hated how the author wrote about Allison’s issues with sex. Jay couldn’t even fathom that someone might not enjoy sex and became fixated on the idea that Allison’s previous lovers just hadn’t done a good job. He, of course, would do better.

“What did Allison need? Love, passion, romance? Him. She needed him. She needed him to teach her the better side of sex.” (106)

I could imagine him saying that out loud and me laughing in his face.

Sometimes things happened just because the author wanted/needed them to happen, and not because they particularly made much sense. For example, at one point Jay and his partner, Pearce, were doing a stakeout and Pearce, for some unknown reason, decided that he absolutely had to make up with ex-girlfriend right then and there. So he asked her to come see him during the stakeout. Yeah, you read that right. And then when the suspect recognized him and the stakeout went bad, Ping (the Chinese crested) accidentally got loose and Jay injured himself trying to avoid him. Allison blamed herself for Jay’s injury because she hadn’t kept a tight enough hold on Ping’s leash, and so she felt obligated to help him out a bit while he recovered. Pearce told her she shouldn’t be so hard on herself...and failed to say anything about his part in the whole incident. In fact, not a single person blamed Pearce for Jay’s injury, and there were no consequences for his actions. The author literally orchestrated the entire thing just to force Allison and Jay to spend more time with each other.

The book had other issues, but I think I'll wrap things up here. You'll Be the Death of Me! was a quick read, and yet it still wasn't worth the small amount of time it took to get through it. Even the dog wasn't very appealing.

 

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

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