2 Book Lovers Reviews

The Neighbors​

​By Ania Ahlborn

December 14th, 2018 

December 14th, 2018

Book Review:
By Kurt Vonnegut

I think that everyone’s reading is influenced early on by the people in our lives.  Parents, teachers, friends, they all tend to point us in certain directions for our reading.  My influencing factors pointed me in directions other than Vonnegut. But I’ve heard his name come up frequently over the past few years, so it seemed to be about time to give him a shot.  I’ve certainly been missing something special.

Read my full review...

December 4th, 2018

Book Review:
By Christopher Golden

I love a story with a mysterious monster, make it biblical in nature and I am hooked.  Ararat is one of those books I had been eyeing for a while before finally embarking on the voyage.

​Golden masterfully created his cast of characters, although listed as Ben Walker #1, there were many other characters with critical roles.  

​​​Read my full review...

November 27th, 2018

Book Review:
The Outsider
By Stephen King

I’ve always found that it’s hard to go wrong with a book from Stephen King, he completely dominates the horror charts and shelves.  I love the meandering, detailed trails that I’ve traveled with him and his characters.

The Outsider grabbed hold of me with an incredible start.  I was left with feelings of: How?  What?  Why?  This story began with a total mind-f*ck.  I loved it.

​​Read my full review...

November 20th, 2018

Book Review:
By Jeff VanderMeer

Appropriately, this is going to be a strange one.  My Annihilation experience was perhaps as unusual as the story itself.  I grabbed the audiobook for this experience.  I really wasn’t sure what to expect, I generally set my expectations high when the powers that be decide to turn the book into a movie.  They are rarely ever able to duplicate the magic of a fantastic book, but the base is often a sure bet.

​​Read my full review...

November 16th, 2018

Book Review:
Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings
By Jodi Taylor

I’ll give Jodi Taylor this, she’s got a good thing going on with The Chronicles of St. Mary’s.  I’ve grabbed a few of her shorts on Audible.  They are great little distractions on my daily commute.

Ships and Stings and Wedding Rings takes its readers on a quick little holiday trip back to ancient Egypt.  It is filled with what I am coming to know as Taylor’s trademark sarcastic humor.  

​​Read my full review...

November 13th, 2018

Book Review:
Muse of Nightmares
By Laini Taylor

No book by my favorite pink-haired author would be complete without cake.  Yes, there is cake in Muse of Nightmares, and that is the last spoiler that you’re going to get from me.

Less than two months ago I finished reading Strange the Dreamer, I was so captivated by this amazing world created by Taylor that I wanted…no, needed to get to the rest of the story.  That in itself tells you how good this series is.

​​Read my full review...

November 6th, 2018

New Release & Review:
Someone Like Me
By M.R. Carey

What I love about all of M.R. Carey’s books is the tease.  The covers, while all distinct, have a certain continuity to them.  Even without the author’s name, you know that it is an M.R. Carey novel.  There is a mystery to his covers, no hint to the setting, nothing to suggest what this story could be about, other than a nondescript, shadowed character.

​​Read my full review...

October 26th, 2018

Book Review:
Roman Holiday
(The Chronicles of St. Mary's)
By Jodi Taylor

I was looking for a quick little story to listen to on my Friday commute.  I really didn’t want to start a full-length book and then let it sit over the weekend.  An hour and a quarter trip back in time to meet Julius Caesar and Cleopatra seemed like just the thing.

​​Read my full review...

October 23rd, 2018

Book Review:
The Hunger
By Alma Katsu

History is filled with many fabulous stories that can skillfully be turned into fictional horror.  The less we know, the fewer the survivors, the more horrific the actions of the participants, all the more readily we are to accept the involvement of evil.

​​Read my full review...

October 9th, 2018

New Release & Review:
100 Fathoms Below
By Steven L. Kent & Nicholas Kaufmann

The Hunt for Red October meets 30 Days of Night.  There is something terrifying about being trapped in a canister so far below the surface of the ocean that the pressure alone would crush your body.  Kent and Kaufmann selected an ideal environment for their tale.

​​Read my full review...

October 5th, 2018

New Release & Review:
An Easy Death
By Charlaine Harris

It pains me to write this review, almost as much as it pained me to finish this book.  I’ve always enjoyed Charlaine Harris’ writing: the Sookie Stackhouse /True Blood series, Harper Connelly, Midnight, Texas.  When I saw that Harris had a brand-new, what I would call, dystopian/fantasy, I was all in.​

​​Read my full review...

October 2nd, 2018

Book Review:
(Firefighters #1)
By J.R. Ward

I’ve read my fair share of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, but with so many titles in the series, it gets a little intimidating.  That’s why I was excited to see a brand-new series from J.R. Ward, one that I could get my hooks into from day one and not have such a massive catalogue to get caught up to.

​​Read my full review...
Read Shelley's review.

September 25th, 2018

Book Review:
Strange the Dreamer
By Laini Taylor

This is my second venture into the kaleidoscopic mind of Laini Taylor.  I fell in love with her  Daughter of Smoke & Bone series.  There was just too damn much in the synopsis for me to resist this new series.

There are different types of authors:  some are storytellers (they captivate you with their tales), others are writers (they expertly piece together stories that follow all of the rules), then there are the world-builders...​​

​​Read my full review...

September 11th, 2018

Book Review:
The Book of M
By Peng Shepherd

This is one of those books that piqued my interest long before it was released.  The whole idea of lost memories tied to an apocalyptic loss of shadows was new and unique.  I love it when an author says: let’s make a different apocalypse.

​​Read my full review...

September 4th, 2018

Book Review:
The Passage
By Justin Cronin

I’ve heard many great things about The Passage over the past few years, the timing was right, so, I decided to embark on this epic journey concocted by Justin Cronin.  I’ve got to tell you, I loved it.  This was one of those books that I opened up to read whenever I had a few minutes…or hours.

​​Read my full review...

August 28th, 2018

Book Review:
Mega 2:  Baja Blood
By Jake Bible

It was two years ago that I read Mega by Jake Bible.  I was in the mood for another fun, fast and furious ocean adventure.  What could be better than a return voyage with Team Grendel on a new and improved Beowulf?

After finishing Baja Blood, I had to go back and take a look at my review for book one.  There are a lot of things that can

change in two years:  my expectations among those things.​​​

​Read my full review...

August 21st, 2018

Book Review:
By Madeline Miller

Greek mythology is filled with women.  Many of these women were portrayed in a villainous or destructive role:  Pandora, Clytemnestra, Helen, Medea…and Circe, to name a few.  Why the Greeks did this is a completely separate topic, but they did.  I love what Madeline Miller has done with Circe, she has taken one of the most famous villainous Greek women and she has shown her readers the other side of the story.​​​

Read my full review...

Normal People

By Sally Rooney

It's going to be a busy week-

end of shopping, baking,

wrapping, and hopefully some

reading.  If you're looking for

a bit of escapism amid all of

the hustle and bustle, my

latest review is posted.  More

books have also been added to

this week's list of new releases.


       Book Review:

       The Song of David 

        By Amy Harmon

There are a few authors whose

books always leave me

wondering how they are able

to imagine such thoughtful,

heartfelt stories.  Amy Harmon

is certainly one of those

authors.  Her writing never

fails to deliver a touching story that fills me with so many emotions and leaves me completely satisfied.  I always have to pause after reading one of her books and just let all of the goodness sink in. 

*Read my full review...

New Releases!

- Luna and the Lie  - By Mariana Zapata

The problem with secrets is that they’re too easy to keep

Luna Allen has done some
things she would rather no

one ever know about. She also knows that, if she could go

back in time, she wouldn’t change a single thing.
With three sisters she loves, a
job she (mostly) adores, and

a family built up of friends she’s made over the years, Luna figures everything has worked out the way it was supposed to. 
But when one of those secrets involves the man who signs her paycheck, she can’t find it in her to regret it. Despite the fact that he’s not the friendliest man in the world. Or the most patient.
Sometimes there are things you’re better off keeping to yourself.

Unzipped  – By Lauren Blakely – Romantic comedy!  Standalone.  100% of pre-order proceeds & first five days of sales go to California Fire Relief Charities!  
Wanted: hot nerd seeks dating coach.
Picture this - I’m ready to win back the love of my life, and I’m going big this time. We’re talking boom box, sing her name in the rain, let the whole damn neighborhood know I'm good and ready this time around. After all, if you're going to grand gesture the ever-loving hell out of a second chance, you need to pull out all the stops. 
There’s only one little problem.
My college girlfriend isn't the one who shows up when I play my "I'll do anything to win you back" tune. The woman who flings open the second-floor window tells me my ex doesn’t live here anymore. But she'll help me win her back. Anything for romance, anything for a guy so willing to go big for love. And that's what I want at first. Until I get to know my new “romance coach” and discover she’s funny, clever, and keeps me on my toes. Now I don't want to win anyone else’s heart. I want the woman who's been helping me all along. Trouble is - she thinks I'm in love with someone else, and when we take off on a road trip, everything I think I know about women is about to be unzipped and turned inside out...

Runaround (Getaway Series #4)  – By Jay Crownover 
Webb Bryant is intimately acquainted with every type of trouble there is. Trouble is all he’s ever known and the only constant in his life.
Webb’s a man constantly on the move. He’s a drifter. A wanderer. He bolts from one bad choice to the next, never able to put enough distance between himself and the ghosts from his past. He lives hard and fast, until everything comes to a screeching halt the moment he lays eyes on Tennyson McKenna. The stunning woman appeared out of nowhere to save the day, and Webb’s been unable to forget her. The leggy, blonde forest ranger might very well be the one person in the world important enough to finally keep him in one place. Only, Ten isn’t impressed by Webb’s knack for finding trouble. And no matter how hard he tries to shake it, he can’t escape his bad habit of falling into the deep end of questionable decisions...​

Rock Rebel (Nothing But Trouble #3)  – By Tara Leigh -  Rock star/forbidden romance!
He's a rock star with a secret,
she's a pop princess with a

painful past - can their forbidden romance survive, or will their lies destroy them both?
I've earned my bad reputation.
A few years ago, I was New
York City's hottest classical

music prodigy. But I wanted something else, something 

more. So I chased my real dream, and now... I'm rock

royalty. Dax Hughes, lead guitarist of Nothing but Trouble. But to my family and former Juilliard classmates, I'm an outcast. A misfit. A rebel.
They're not entirely wrong. I don't give a damn what other people think, and I'm all for breaking the rules... except when it comes to our new opening act, Verity Moore.
Rock gods don't tour with pop princesses.
It's not personal. Actually, under that fallen diva reputation, Verity's incredibly talented. And her fiery redheaded personality is... intriguing. But I'm convinced the skeletons in Verity's closet are as scandalous as my own, and when we're not sparring, she has a way of drawing out all those secrets I'm determined to keep hidden.
Yeah. Verity Moore is definitely off-limits . . .
But since when do I give a damn about the rules?

For Better and Worse  – By Margot Hunt – Domestic thriller! 
On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.
Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?

- Troublemaker  – By Katie McCoy 

Dante Delgado is arrogant, mysterious… and sexy as hell.

He’s also my brother’s best friend, which makes him

seriously off-limits — until one of our infuriating fights

turns into a steamy make-out session. 
Now, all bets are off.
I know he’s trouble, but I can’t
stay away. The chemistry

between us is burning out of control, but Dante’s hiding

something behind that bad boy smile, and his secrets could destroy us both. 
Am I heading straight for heartbreak? Or can this troublemaker open his heart for the right woman? 

The Blood that Drives Us (Devils Dust Legacy #1)  – By M.N. Forgy – MC romance!  Standalone. 

Zane has learned everything he knows from his father, the most dangerous biker of The Devil’s Dust MC. He devours the darkness with a cocky grin and no f**** to give. His immoral obsessions barely keep him content in a life of chaos and havoc until he finds himself craving more. 
Addie doesn’t need the risk that comes with Zane... that is until her perfectly orchestrated life takes a sudden turn and she’s left with nowhere else to go. 
She's sunshine and charities, he’s bullets and ecstasy. 
Will he step out of his hell and into her bed knowing it’ll mean that he’s dragging her into the depths of his criminal world?

- ReWined: Volume Two (Party Ever After)  – By Kim Karr - The continuation of the story that began in the first volume!

- A Me and You Thing  - By Taylor Dean

Golden couple, Sawyer and Quinn Denali, have an amazing love story. A match in every way, their happiness is evident to all who spend time with them. The arrival of twin baby girls completes their picture-perfect family.
When Quinn has the opportunity to help others on a two-week volunteer trip, she reluctantly leaves her family, knowing a short break from the demands of motherhood will be good for her. She doesn't expect the trip to change her life forever. But it does. It changes everything.
Struggling from day to day, the young family moves forward, finding happiness . . . and love.
But fate isn't done mixing things up in their lives. When an unexpected event leaves them all reeling, the unspoken question rings loudly and can't be ignored: "What happens now?"

- Permission (Perversion Trilogy #3)  – By T.M. Frazier - The conclusion of Grim and Emma Jean's story. 

- Rum & Coke (Saddles & Racks #4)  – By Kimberly Knight - Romantic suspense!

Not everything goes as planned …
Vincent Reed always believed he’d play professional volleyball in the Olympics, but when he’s injured his sophomore year of college, his dreams are crushed and he loses his scholarship. Instead of dropping out of school, Vinny began working as a male escort to pay for his education and fulfill his new dream of teaching children. Enjoying the life of luxury and travel, Vinny continues moonlighting as a male escort after graduation. He has everything he could ever need.
Everything happens for a reason …
Teresa Stewart never planned to get pregnant before she was married. She also didn’t plan for the father of her baby to die in combat before she could even tell him the news. Struggling to feed herself and her son, Colton, Tessa moves to Las Vegas where she hopes the cost of living will be cheaper and she’ll find a job in a popular hotel. But finding a job isn’t easy for Tessa, and a neighbor soon convinces her that stripping is the best way to make the money she needs to provide for her small family. All of life’s puzzle pieces are starting to come together, but Tessa knows something is still missing.
They say best friends make the best lovers …
At a bachelor party for his co-worker, Vinny meets Tessa. The sexual attraction is undeniable, but they each have something holding them back from moving forward. They grow even closer when Vinny becomes Colton’s teacher, and it seems as though all the pieces are finally falling into place. 
However, sometimes the best-laid plans turn to hell …
Because murder will change everything.

- Tall, Dark and Tempting: A Best Friends to Lovers Romance  - By Erika Wilde

Dylan Stone and Serena Fields have been best of friends their entire lives. For Dylan, she's the solid, dependable woman in his life. His person. The one who has been there for him through the best and worst of times and doesn't see him for the millions he has in the bank. And even though he's been secretly attracted to her for years, there are some lines that best friends don't cross—even if he does spend most of their time together entertaining dirty thoughts about her that have no business being in his head.
Serena has been in love with Dylan Stone for as long as she can remember, but she's searching for her happily-ever-after and that's not her best friend's thing. Unfortunately, her dating life is one disaster after another, yet Dylan is always there with a pint of her favorite ice cream and a listening ear after each and every disappointing encounter. 
It's the perfect arrangement, until one night changes everything.

- Roma King (Roma Royals Duet #1)  - By Callie Hart

“911. What is your emergency?”
Every night, Zara Llewelyn picks up the phone and assists people in distress. House fires. Assault. Motor vehicle accidents. Home invasions...
Between the hours of six and two, she is the answer to a thousand cries for help. But when the payphone outside Zara’s apartment building mysteriously begins ringing night after night, the very last thing she wants to do is pick it up. And yet, she can’t seem to help herself...
Pasha Rivin’s trying to outrun fate. He’s been running from it for years now, but escape isn’t in his cards. As the oldest son of the oldest Roma family in the country, he’s not just a member of a proud and fiercely traditional clan. He is their reluctant king...and now he’s expected to find a wife.
The fiery redhead that shows up on his doorstep, following a trail of breadcrumbs, hunting for a missing little boy, is the last person Pasha’s mother has in mind, however. 
She’s an outsider, an intruder, and as far as his family are concerned, she’s not welcome on their land, let alone in their king’s bed.
Pasha has never allowed his destiny to stand in the way of what he wants, however. And he’s never wanted anything more than he wants the girl with the burning green eyes.

- Amour Battu:  Timeless Love  - By M.J. Fields - Standalone.  Military romance!

My dreams were always in black and white, once in a while, I’d be gifted something gray. 
Until her.
Then, I broke her. I tore her up. I shattered her. But she was breathing, living, and I knew damn well, she was on the verge of loving, but it couldn’t be me.
I turned from her for the red white and blue. Because war, destruction, hell even death was more welcome than the possibility of hurting her.
I didn’t deserve her, and she sure as f*@^ didn’t deserve me.

- Damaged Hearts  – By Monica Murphy 

Christmas in Kentbury  – By Claudia Burgoa 

If practice makes perfect, I should excel at pretending that Heath Miller doesn’t affect me. That I’m immune to that wide jaw, taut body, and the unique woodsy-aftershave-engine-oil scent that makes my ovaries explode.
Since before I could walk, he’s been my champion. My best friend. The one problem I can’t solve. Why? If I tell him I love him, I’ll lose him and his adorable daughter. Maybe the best Christmas gift I can give him—and myself—is to turn in the keys to my B&B and put some distance between us.
I’ve made my share of mistakes. Lost my MIT scholarship, came home to fix cars and romance Kentbury’s female tourists—until I wound up a single father. For all eight years of Cassie’s life, Knightly’s been my anchor. 
I’ve changed. Cassie’s the best part of me, and Knightly’s been there every step of the way. But as Christmas lays its mantle of magic over Kentbury, she drops a bomb—she’s following a dream to New York City. I’ve got one week to do everything, say everything I’ve never dared. To convince my best friend to be mine—ours—for all the holidays to come.

Happy Reading! 

December 14th, 2018

Book Review:

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

By Kim Fu

Sometimes I’ll read a synopsis and get a specific idea in my head.  This can be a good thing or a bad thing, but it’s the reality of what I do.

When I read the synopsis of  The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, I thought: Awesome!  This sounds like a West Coast, female version of  The Troop meets  Stand by Me (tell me that doesn’t sound fabulous). 


Read my full review...

What he's reading!

What she's reading!

Greg's Dailyish Blog

Shelley's Daily Blog