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Search tags: reading-challenge-2017
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text 2017-04-23 14:17
Read 157 out of 453 pages
Nora Roberts: The Obsession (Hardcover); 2016 Edition - Nora Roberts

Read chapters 6-10....five chapters of painting, decorating, furniture shopping, and house renovations that remind me of Roberts' Inn at Boonboro series. Then the MC had to get bitchy over adopting the stray dog. The hero came into the story WAY too strongly; there was no subtle introduction, he just started in on the sexual innuendos. The MC went from someone I could root for to a bitchy "independent" woman. I am breaking up reading this book with reading from my booklikes-opoly pick. 75 pages at a time is more than enough.

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review 2017-04-23 09:48
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein

Enzo is not like other dogs, he loves race car driving, loves watching t.v and is convinced that he will be reincarnated as a man after he dies. On the eve of his death, Enzo looks back over his life, chronicling his adventures with his master, Denny and the highs and lows of their time together.

I loved so much about this book but most of all I loved Enzo, he is so loyal to Denny you love him for that alone. His insights into human life are humorous and sometimes it seems he's the only one who sees situations clearly.

The story itself was very easy to get lost in and I found myself cheering characters on, becoming teary when tragedy struck or angry when Denny was being pushed to his absolute limit. This read highlighted not only the best of human (and dog) behaviour but also the ugliest. I laughed out loud when Enzo got his revenge on one of the grandparents, be warned that feeding a dog a spicy hot pepper will have serious repercussions for your carpet.

Overall this was a fantastic read; engaging, thoughtful, realistic with wonderful characters and one hell of a dog. Be warned though, you'll need lots of tissues.

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text 2017-04-23 00:49
Booklikes-opoly (Fourth Turn)
The Nightingale Girls - Donna Douglas

It is after midnight here in England and I just got home from doing the laundry. Figured I get this out of the way before going to bed.

 

Bank: $25.00

Previous Space: New Orleans Square 22

April 23rd Roll: 8 (6+2)

New Space: Paradise Pier 29 - The Monorail (book that has travel by air, an airplane on the cover, or set in a city with a subway system). I picked The Nightingale Girls (The Nightingales #1) by Donna Douglas because I need a good reason to start reading this series (I have five or six of the books on my NOOK). The London Underground started in 1863; the book starts in the 1930s in a London hospital. 407 pages on the NOOK; possible $5.00 added to the bank. I know I am not going to finish this in two days, but I hope to have it done in time for one more turn.

 

Edited to Add: Broken Tune in the comments section corrected me on how much the book is worth. I changed the amount to reflect the correct value. This is why you don't do math after midnight.

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review 2017-04-22 23:41
Looking for a happy place, I think I have one for you...
Practice Makes Perfect - Jay Northcote

Dev's just moved out of his residence at Uni because things weren't working out for him there and as luck would have it a friend of his has helped him move into a house with a few other students and a really hot neighbor, named Ewan. 

 

Ewan's Scottish and he's a ginger. He's also a psychology student having trouble with one of his classes...a class that involves numbers. Dev's good with numbers and Dev likes to make list...list of things he wants to do. One of those things on his list involves getting some experience...experience of a personal and intimate nature. So it only seems natural that Dev who's good with numbers and Ewan who's more than happy to help Dev get intimate with him strike a bargain...a gentleman's agreement if you will.

 

Things get a bit more complicated when both men realize that their feelings have gone well beyond the boundaries of their gentleman's agreement and neither of them wants things to end but they're not sure where they stand with each other or how to find out without risking their hearts.

 

'Practice Makes Perfect' is the third book in Jay Northcote's series 'Housemates' and while each book can be read as a standalone, I never felt like I was missing anything from this story in spite of the fact that characters from the first two books made appearances in Dev and Ewan's story, as soon as time permits I plan on going back to the beginning to read those first two stories not because I need to but because I enjoyed this book that much and this is a way to get more.

 

'Practice Makes Perfect' was awesome, I truly don't remember the last time I was so wonderfully enchanted by a story. Dev is so sweet and naive and just totally adorkable and while Ewan may be more worldly and experienced than Dev, he's also a very sweet and kind person and even before there's an emotional connection between these two men, he cares about Dev on a basic decent human being level.

 

Humor can be a wonderful thing in a story, but it doesn't always work for each person for a number of reasons. Sometimes we can feel like maybe the author is trying to hard or we just don't get it, maybe it feels like the humor's coming at someone's expense, whatever there's a myriad of reasons but for me the humorous moments in this story were spot on and this story quickly became a happy place for me. I laughed and smiled and yes, I may have found myself talking to the characters from time to time...hey, don't judge me, if guys can yell at the television when their hockey/baseball/football/whatever team screws-up, I can talk to my audio books from time to time.

 

While this wasn't really what I would call a comedy, there was definitely a sweet and serious side to things, the humorous moments planted throughout the story were ones that I could so easily imagine happening in real life.  

 

Add to what was just an overall well written story with characters who captured my heart a narrator whose voices were engaging and expressive...just perfect and what more could I really ask for.

 

'Practice Makes Perfect' is my second audiobook narrated by Mark Steadman and like the last one for me he did an awesome job. While the story was good and the narration was good the last time around for whatever reason I just didn't quite connect with things. This time it all worked wonderfully well. So well that I have zero doubt in my mind that I will be listening to this one more than once because just like anything that we like...why settle for once when you can enjoy it to your hearts content.

 

If you're looking for a sweet, uncomplicated story about young love that's guaranteed to make you smile and laugh in the best ways possible I highly recommend 'Practice Makes Perfect'.

 

********************

An audiobook of 'Practice Makes Perfect' was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review. 

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review 2017-04-22 18:53
Review: With Every Letter (Wings of the Nightingale #1) by Sarah Sundin
With Every Letter - Sarah Sundin

This book.

 

*SIGH*

 

*great book noise*

 

Where has this author been all my adult reading life?

 

I ended up creating a draft copy of my end of the year best of list for fiction. It has one book on that list. This book.

 

So I picked this book up from Amazon's bargain/close out section and then it gathered dust on my book shelves for years. I am now kicking myself for not reading this (and the other two books in the trilogy, but I don't have a copy of those yet) sooner.

 

Lt Philomela Blake (Mellie) is an Army nurse working on the experimental Air Evacuation section of the Army-Air Corps. She wants adventure, she wants travel, and she wants to move up in her career. Mellie is a damn fine nurse, and a fine person - but she is lonely because she never could make friends, especially female friends due to her childhood. Mellie is half-Filipino and half-white; she was too Asian for American school kids to like and too American for Asian kids to like. She has been instructed to learn to make friends and get along with the other women in her squadron or she will be removed from the Air Evacuation team and sent back to hospital work. She decides that part of this new "make friends and influence people" plan is to write anonymous letters to a male pen pal in her supervisor's husband's platoon.

 

Lt Tom MacGilliver is the son of an executed killer who just wants to be accepted for himself and be the best engineer the Army needs. He is working with the Airfield Battalion, hopping from location to location to lay down airfields for the Allies in North Africa. He too is lonely, so he answers Mellie's letter, staying anonymous. She goes by "Annie" and he goes by "Ernest".

 

Tom and Mellie form a deep bond through letters, even when Mellie's unit deploys to North Africa. They do meet, neither of them knowing that the other is the pen pal. At the end of the first meeting, Tom gives away a little of his identity and Mellie figures out Tom is her pen pal. She keeps this knowledge to herself, hoping to keep letter writing going. Both are falling in love with each other via letters, but Tom is also starting to fall for Mellie when she comes to his airfields to pick up wounded soldiers. He is very conflicted about his feelings for the "two" women throughout the second half of the book, but in the end he decides on "Annie" over Mellie, because "Annie" knows him deep down while Mellie he is physically attracted to. When he finally (FINALLY!!) figures out that they are actually the same woman, he mows down anyone in his way of him getting his woman.

 

This romance tackles racism, ethnic tensions, sexism, and how to deal with long hair when in the combat theater and you are rationed water supplies. Honestly, the deft hand when dealing with these issues plus the emotional baggage Mellie and Tom bring to their relationship is amazing. The story is rounded out with a variety of characters, some good - some bad - some ugly. But all the characters felt real. And the setting was aptly described; the reader is taken on a tour of North Africa including Casablanca, Oran, Tunis, Algiers, Youks-les-Bains, Constantine, Tabarka, and a few places in Sicily. This is an inspie romance, non-denominational Christianity. However, the religious aspects are really well-woven into the story, with no lecturing or long monologues or selfish praying. 

 

Tom adopts a stray dog early in the book. The dog is still alive at the end of the book and still working and living with Tom's unit.

 

I am definitely making it a point to read the other two books in the series and read the author's backlist (she tends to write in trilogies, all WWII). HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!!

 

 

 

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