Sunday, December 24, 2023

Thank you for Listening by Julia Whelan

I'm in the minority here... but can't do it...58 of the longest pages I have had to read... There is no way I can make it to 300... 1) TOO MUCH... too many sub-relationships... too many subplots... too many "trying to be funny and witty" but really flat and dull. The father /daughter relationship... big secret of why she stopped being an actress... the best friends... the never ending trying to make this story work... I'm moving on... 2) everything is awkward and choppy... and tries to be so sophisticated and expensive... doone...when Swanee ( insert eye roll) says " no seriously, what are you talking about? " I thought.... exactly... what the heck is the book talking about?



Thursday, December 7, 2023

Tyrant by T.M. Frazier

Tyrant (King, #2)Tyrant by T.M. Frazier
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Molly Glenmore, Rob Shapiro
these two narrators!
ok... not as great as the first book but still hooked
wild! chapter 26 makes everything insane! WOW!

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A Governess's Guide to Passion and Peril by Manda Collins

A Governess's Guide to Passion and Peril (Ladies Most Scandalous #4)A Governess's Guide to Passion and Peril by Manda Collins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a cute story. I thought it was entertaining. I thought the characters were a little flat and at times boring. The mystery element was a great driving plot. overall a pleasant read.

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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

King by T.M. Frazier

King (King, #1)King by T.M. Frazier
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

so good! It's been so long since I could not put down a book!
I was hooked

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RAIDERS OF THE LOST HEART by Jo Segura

 About RAIDERS OF THE LOST HEART:


Archaeologist Dr. Socorro “Corrie” Mej√≠a has a bone to pick. Literally.  

It’s been Corrie’s life goal to lead an expedition deep into the Mexican jungle in search of the long-lost remains of her ancestor, Chimalli, an ancient warrior of the Aztec empire. But when she is invited to join an all-expenses-paid dig to do just that, Corrie is sure it’s too good to be true...and she’s right.

As the world-renowned expert on Chimalli, Corrie should be leading the expedition, not sharing the glory with her disgustingly handsome nemesis. But Dr. Ford Matthews has been finding new ways to best her since they were in grad school. Ford certainly isn’t thrilled either—with everything going on in his life right now, the last thing he needs is a reminder of their rocky past.

But as the dig begins, it becomes clear they’ll need to work together after learning that a thief is lurking around their campsite. Now they are forced to keep their discoveries—and lingering attraction—under wraps. With money-hungry artifact smugglers, the Mexican authorities, and the lies between them closing in, there’s only one way this all ends—explosively.

 

Monday, December 4, 2023

Stuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland

Stuck-Up SuitStuck-Up Suit by Vi Keeland
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

In the words of Taylor Swift, "it's me, I am the problem".
I just could not get into this story. It's true... that the this has great reviews but at my age lol i just don't get these characters. I tried reading Keeland before... but here characters always seem overly dramatic and self-absorbed. The women are always "so tough" when no... not really... Having to endure this book for 6 more hours is just not a bargain I am willing to make.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2023

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears

The Woman in MeThe Woman in Me by Britney Spears
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

very self-reflective
can definitely see the anger towards her parents
I really liked this memoire. I am so happy so spoke out about her treatment when she was young and hope that young female singers will benefit from her being vocal about it.
Also, the double standards!

I really enjoyed this!

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Monday, November 6, 2023

All the Little Bird-Hearts by Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow

  



About the Book
I lived for and loved a bird-heart that summer; I only knew it afterwards.
 
Sunday Forrester lives with her sixteen-year-old daughter, Dolly, in the house she grew up in. She does things more carefully than most people. On quiet days, she must eat only white foods. Her etiquette handbook guides her through confusing social situations, and to escape, she turns to her treasury of Sicilian folklore. The one thing very much out of her control is clever headstrong Dolly, now on the cusp of leaving home.

Into this carefully ordered world step Vita and Rollo, a couple who move in next door, disarm Sunday with their glamor and charm, and proceed to deliciously break just about every rule in Sunday’s book. Soon they are in and out of each others’ homes, and Sunday feels loved and accepted like never before. But beneath Vita and Rollo’s polish lies something else, something darker. For Sunday has precisely what Vita has always wanted for herself: a daughter of her own.

An astute and poignant psychological portrait of a woman coming to terms with what love means, and why discovering our own unique gifts can save us.

 

About the Author

Victoria Lloyd-Barlow received a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Kent and has extensive personal, professional, and academic experience relating to autism. Like her protagonist, Sunday Forrester, in ALL THE LITTLE BIRD-HEARTS, Viktoria is autistic. She has presented her doctoral research internationally, most recently speaking at Harvard University on autism and literary narrative. Viktoria lives with her husband and children on the coast of north-east Kent. This is her first novel.

 

Advance Praise for ALL THE LITTLE BIRD-HEARTS

“A poetic debut which masterfully intertwines themes of familial love, friendship, class, prejudice and trauma with psychological acuity and wit.” 
 The Booker Prize Judges 2023

“A novel both delicate and strong, illuminating the disturbing and the extraordinary to be found in the every day. Sunday is a beguiling and beguiled narrator, and her story an examination of the disjunction between humans’ private and public selves. I loved it.”
Maggie O’Farrell, National Book Critics Circle winner and New York Times bestselling author of Hamnet and The Marriage Portrait

“Observations land with the startling yet welcome snap of good standup comedy. . .The result is a tightly focused story, set almost entirely in two neighboring houses on a quiet street, that’s also a gleeful skewering of social codes, a raw portrait of family life and a revealing account of neurodivergence. Sunday may shy away from attention, but Lloyd-Barlow makes her wary, vigilant and poetic voice the star in a mesmerizing debut.”
The Guardian

"Superb. Wonderful. All the Little Bird-Hearts is a beautiful, bittersweet debut…sharply evocative of both motherhood and how British society treats people with disabilities. Throughout the novel, Lloyd-Barlow’s prose sings, and has real acuteness of observation.”
 The Telegraph

"Lloyd-Barlow... succeeds in creating a tempest in a very small, provincial teapot... Lloyd-Barlow’s narrator is... an effective, thoroughly human character in a thoughtful book."
  Kirkus Review

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Renegades (Renegades, #1)Renegades by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

cute story. i can see why it is so popular with YA.
The author is a great developer of Characters!


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Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The Duke Starts a Scandal by Sophie Jordan

The Duke Starts a Scandal (The Duke Hunt, #4)The Duke Starts a Scandal by Sophie Jordan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

devoured this book! so good! great storyline, excellent chemistry, enjoyed the characters!, Classic Sophie Jordan.

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The Wallflower Win by Valerie Bowman My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Wallflower Win (The Whitmorelands #4)The Wallflower Win by Valerie Bowman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thank you to the author for allowing me to be a part of the "Whitemoreland" journey. I really enjoyed this series. I love books about bookworms and the "outcasts" of society. For me, Bowman is such a fun author! Her characters always seem so human and fragile yet strong and fierce.
Eliza is a bookworm:) She is a twin to Jessica. Her and Jessica are complete opposites. Jessica likes to follow the rules fo society and Eliza likes to read books, and dreams of being independant. When she comes up with a plan on how to do that it involves Christopher St. Clare. St. Clare is competitive and loves to win...so when Eliza challenges him to a game of chess he accepts. But Eliza has something up her sleeve when she convinces St. Clare to "pretend" to court her. This was such a sweet and fun read. I really enjoyed both the characters and found them to be so endearing and charming.  My question is... what is next?? We need more:) 

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Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Darius by J.R. Ward

Darius (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #0.5)Darius by J.R. Ward
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

at this point... I think I am the problem..
I like J.R. Ward but it always seems like angry Twilighters...
ok, the ending was very good and that is why 3 stars... the rest was just ok

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Thursday, October 12, 2023

Friday, October 6, 2023

Want to Know a Secret? by Freida McFadden

Want to Know a Secret?Want to Know a Secret? by Freida McFadden
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Instead of "Want to Know a Secret?" this book should have been titled "With Friends like these, who needs enemies?" The first half of the book was good but the second half... not so much. I kinda of wanted to hate April... but the truth is that they are all awful...Maria, Julia the husbands... goodness even the kids are mean... And seriously ...enough with the comments about gaining weight to lose a husband... that theme was already written in "The Housemaid". Get fat= lose a husband.

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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Wrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wrong Place Wrong TimeWrong Place Wrong Time by Gillian McAllister
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I would round up bc there were some elements of the story that I liked... but... too many characters and too much of the time loop. Ok, but glad I read it and dont plan to reread

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Saturday, September 30, 2023

The Housemaid by Freida McFadden

The Housemaid (The Housemaid, #1)The Housemaid by Freida McFadden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I usually don't love "popular" books. But I could NOT PUT THIS DOWN! Yes, some of the plot twists were a little bit of an eye-roll... but the pacing of the book was fantastic. McFadden's writing was amazing! I think one of the twists has been done before but still... really good! I had this book on hold at the library for a long time, I ran to go pick it up that same day. I get home and start reading... I had to see how it unfolded. Yes, the storyline has been done before... I can't remember where I read something similar... but I still really enjoyed this book. I was angry at anyone or thing ( looking at my dogs) that interrupted reading. Loved the writing!

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Friday, September 29, 2023

The Duke Starts a Scandal by Sophie Jordan

 #TheDukeStartsaScandal #NetGalley.

Devoured this book! so good! great storyline, excellent chemistry, enjoyed the characters!, Classic Sophie Jordan.


Tuesday, September 26, 2023

The Witches of Bone Hill Ava Morgyn

 

Cordelia Bone's meticulously crafted life and career in Dallas are crashing down around her thanks to a philandering husband with criminal debts.

When her older, carefree sister, Eustace—a cannabis grower in Boulder, calls to inform her the great aunt they never met has died and they must travel to a small town in Connecticut to deal with the estate, she sees an opportunity to unload the house and save herself.

But once there, the sisters learn they are getting much more than they bargained for. The Victorian mansion they stand to inherit is bound in a dynasty trust controlled by their late aunt's aging attorney who insists they inhabit the house and retain it but keeps them in the dark about the peculiar rituals of their ancestors. Not to mention a sexy, tattooed groundskeeper with a shrouded past who refuses to leave the carriage house and a crypt full of dead relatives looming at the property line.

As both women grapple with their current predicament, they come face to face with a haunting family secret, the truth of what happened to their mother, and the enemy that's been stalking them from the shadows for generations. In a twisting torrent of terror and blood, the sisters must uncover the power within them to heal their fractured relationship, reverse their mysteriously declining health, and claim the lineage they wanted to escape but now must embrace if they are to survive at Bone Hill.

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Instacrush (Rookie Rebels, #2)

Instacrush (Rookie Rebels, #2)Instacrush by Kate Meader
 Four Stars!

finally! diving in
I'm not a fan of inst-lust but this book... tugging at my heartstrings... <3 br="">Theo and Ella... such a beautiful love story!
Love this series so much!

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Instacrush by Kate Meader

Instacrush (Rookie Rebels, #2)Instacrush by Kate Meader


finally! diving in
I'm not a fan of inst-lust but this book... tugging at my heartstrings... <3

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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Current read/ listen: Instacrush by Kate Meader

Instacrush (Rookie Rebels, #2)Instacrush by Kate Meader


finally! diving in

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The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine Heath

The Duchess Hunt (Once Upon a Dukedom, #2)The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine Heath
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

ok, none stop ruminations and then at the 70% part some twists.
overall, ok. Not my favorite LH.
The ending was great... personally I think that if all the topics spread out at the end were evenly distributed throughout the story it would have been better. But overall, enjoyable.

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Monday, September 18, 2023

The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Earl Takes All (The Hellions of Havisham, #2)The Earl Takes All by Lorraine Heath
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lorraine Heath is an automatic read for me. She is one of my absolute favorite writers. I’ve read the first book in “The Hellions of Havisham” which I liked. The tension between Lady Julia Kenney and her brother –in-law was very notable in the previous book so I could not wait to see how Heath unraveled the story between Edward and Julia.

The background of this story is very important. First, Edward is a twin. His brother, Albert, the Earl of Greyling is the first born and has everything going for him. He has a beautiful wife, Julia and they are both madly in love. Julia and Edward have not gotten along. Julia thinks Edward is irresponsible, womanizer, drinks too much, gambles all the time-which is all true. Edward has always been in love with Julia and one night she stole a kiss from her, when she thought he was Albert. When Julia becomes pregnant Albert and Edward go on a trip to India to have a last hurrah. An unfortunate event occurs and Albert dies. He makes Edward promise to pass himself off as Albert for fear that Julia would lose their baby. Edward feels guilt ridden for his past and because he suggested the trip so he agrees.

When Edward passing himself off as Albert returns it’s very tense. Julia is pregnant and she notices a difference in “Albert” she attributes it to just mourning and tries to be supportive of her husband. Edward for his part feels very uncomfortable as he tries to portray his brother and mimic his mannerisms but at the same time fights his own feelings as he mourns for his brother and fights his feelings for Julia.

Although I love Lorraine Heath, for me, this story felt very uncomfortable. The funeral scene that they held for “Edward” was so sad and heartbreaking. Edwards own discomfort felt real. These can be seen as attributes for a fantastic writer-which Heath is- but I had to put the book down several times and come back to it. As can be expected Julia immediately wanted to continue their marital relations and Edward has to make the decision, does he make love to his brother’s wife under the guise of Albert or keep putting her off and add a strain to the already strenuous situation. If he tells her the truth he breaks his promise to Albert and risks losing his heir. For me, I would have loved it if Edward just came back as himself and the story unraveled from there. It would have been easier for me to accept. As can be expected the truth does come out and it’s not just a mere confession and it’s not just Julia’s wrath that he has to face.

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Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Never Trust a Pirate (Playful Brides, #7)Never Trust a Pirate by Valerie Bowman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have said it before and I will repeat it a hundred times, Valerie Bowman and her Playful Brides series never disappoints! Since I discovered this series I am always impatiently waiting for the next book in the series. For the record the next one after this one is “The Right Kind of Rogue” #8 which is Meg and Harts’ story. I am restless with anticipation about it! But not to be overshadowed, “Never Trust a Pirate” follows many of the same exciting and addicting elements as “The Irresistible Rogue: # 4 which is Daphne and Captain Rafe Cavendish’s story. In that story we discover that Rafe has a twin brother- Cade. Very unlike his twin brother, Cade is the exact opposite of his very chivalrous and honorable brother.

When we begin the story, we are immediately hooked with the task of trying to discover who is the mysterious Black Fox. Bowman uses this as a thread to the rest of the story. Is Cade the Black Fox? Is he after he Black Fox? Aside from these very interesting questions we also are introduced to a wonderful heroine- Miss Danielle LaCrosse. Danielle is as multi-layered as Cade. She is serving as a lady’s maid to Daphne. But without giving too much away, Danielle is very much more than a lady’s maid. Because of the proximity she shares with Cade both Cade and Danielle can’t help but be drawn not only to each other but also to their deep secrets, and both not only carry them but both are also eager to uncover the others.

Personally, I love how Bowman portrayed Cade. As a reader I was experiencing the same peeling away of layers as the characters did-which I loved. &He was interesting and at the same time a little puzzling because he had so many secrets. I loved how evenly matched Danielle and Cade were. They were both worthy of one another. Aside from the mystery and intrigue, I loved Danielle’s very deep vulnerability and her very sweet and almost fragile desire to communicate and form a bond with those around her. Although I think that this story and “The Irresistible Rogue” are a part of the “Playful Brides” series their distinguishing aspect is all the adventure and mystery that run through them. Bowman is such a great author! She is fun, here characters are so complex and deep that I never want the story to end and yet I can’t wait to read the next one in the series. Finally, I loved the contrast between Cade and Rafe. In this story there weren’t too many differences between the brothers after all. For me, this was another wonderful and gratifying read by Bowman and I remain a big fan!

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Wilde Child by Eloisa James

Wilde Child (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #6)Wilde Child by Eloisa James
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Classic Eloisa James: )
cute chemistry but there is so much angst and back and forth :) not much happens except thoughts and feelings.
Similar to "The Duke Gets Desperate" the theme of goats:)
I liked both the hero and heroine. It was a cute story. The series is very sweet.

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Monday, September 4, 2023

Hello Beautiful by Ann Naplitano

 

Five stars!

What a gifted writer! The characters are so memorable! Although it's about four sisters, the main focus is on Julia, Sylvie and William. Later Alice becomes a main focus. The last 20 pages was a tear-fest! I really liked it and thought it a memorable story. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

The Debutante Dilemma by Valerie Bowman

 I have been a fan of Valerie for many books now:) I especially love her series! I really enjoy the way she drops characters in her series and then we cannot wait to see how their story unfolds.  Page 1 had me hooked on Jessica and Adrien's story. I really liked both characters. I loved the way their friendship unfolded. I also loved her twin sister, Eliza's subplot. I personally think that Bowman is a master at subplots. I was hooked on Jessica and Adrien when I read "Marques Moves". Now I am anticipating Eliza's story, but that does not mean that I was not rooting for Jessica and Adrien. I really loved their banter. I loved their enemy to friends storyline. This is a perfect summer read! thank you to the author for allowing me to dive in and read this delightful and sweet story!


Wednesday, June 28, 2023

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Bridges of Madison CountyThe Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Cute story. Very melancholy

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Never Rescue a Rogue by Virginia Heath My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Never Rescue a Rogue (The Merriwell Sisters, #2)Never Rescue a Rogue by Virginia Heath
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

this was a cute story!
For the record. 3 stars is a great rating!
This was fun, funny, sweet, charming and had a great plot.
I could have done without the dump at the end where everyone shows up and the ends are all tightly tied. But really fun and cute! Great read and can't wait for V's story:)

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Thursday, June 22, 2023

Carrie Soto Is BackCarrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Carrie Soto Is BackCarrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just amazing... I knew TJR was going to tear out my heart... I knew it.
Loved carrie, loved her strength. Loved her relationship with her dad. Loved how the author developed Carrie, Chan and Bowe. Loved the shout out to Daisy Jones and the Six. Just an overall, great book!

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Wednesday, June 21, 2023

The Countess by Sophie Jordan My rating: 1 of 5 stars

The Countess (The Scandalous Ladies of London, #1)The Countess by Sophie Jordan
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was a DNF for me... I LOVE SPOPHIE JORDAN and love her books...but this one I could not get into. THe story and plot felt very scattered and like there was TOO much going on... I plan and can't wait to read the next book in the series... but this one did not do it for me.

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Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo

Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai UndercityBehind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

the insults are everything... :)
this is by no means a summer read. The material is very heavy. There are very serious and sad events. I would classify this under " The Four Winds" books that are informational and good to know about but not a re-read. I really enjoyed learning about the rich culture and stoicism of the people in this book.  This book has been on my rader FOREVER, so glad  I finally got to read it. 

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Monday, June 19, 2023

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

this book is painful...
when does it end?
shocking twist at the end but very mundane

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Overkill by Sandra Brown

OverkillOverkill by Sandra Brown
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

great plot! SB is a perfect author to read in the summer. Great narrator

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The Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon

The Story of Beautiful GirlThe Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

LOVING it so far!
I started this book years ago... and it stayed in my mind. I finally found it in the library and finally finished it. Cute and sweet but not a big page-turner

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Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Lessons in ChemistryLessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

this book is painful. I have heard nothing but great reviews about this book and I put it on hold at the library. I dove right in when I got it and I want to dive back out.
TOO MUCH. Everything is over the top and just too much...
this is a DNF for me... No, just no
I would like to file this under the "books everyone raves about... and I hate"

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The Scandalous Ladies of London #2 The Duchess: The Scandalous Ladies of London

Classic Sophie Jordan! I really , really enjoyed this book. I could not wait to read about Valencia! I thought her story was very unique... ...