2 Book Lovers Reviews

Songs in Ursa Major

​By Emma Brodie

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Week of June 14/21


Book Review:

Julian

By Gore Vidal


When it comes to Roman fiction, I find that authors tend to go to that transition period when Rome went from being ruled by the Senate to the Emperor. This period is filled with great fodder for intrigue, drama, and characters that scream for attention (I’m talking to you, Caligula).  

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*See my full review...

Week of June 14/21 

Week of June 7th, 2021


Book Review:
The Library of the Dead
By T.L. Huchu


Sometimes for no particular reason I fail to connect with a book; The Library of the Dead  and I had suffered this  disconnect.

I’ve been trying to figure out what went wrong: it wasn’t poorly written; the premise was unique. I’m at a bit of a loss. I think in the end  The Library of the Dead was a bit too young for this old man. 

*See my full review...



Week of May 31st, 2021


Book Review:
Autumn: Dawn
By David Moody
*New Release!*


​​​Autumn: Dawn  is technically the seventh book in David Moody’s Autumn series; however, it runs parallel with book one, with a completely new cast of characters. Moody has created a fantastic world with the Autumn series, filled with so many different stories to tell.

What sets  Autumn: Dawn apart from the other books in the series is that this one is set in the heart of London...

*See my full review...



Week of May 24th, 2021


Book Review:
Project Hail Mary
By Andy Weir


​​​I am beginning to think that Andy Weir has a thing for people isolated in space. And you know what?  I think that he just might be able to make a go of it with this schtick.

Project Hail Mary  begins with the protagonist, Ryland Grace, waking up strapped into all sorts of machines, tubes, and whatnot, with two corpses on the beds surrounding him. 

*See my full review...



Week of May 17th, 2021


Book Review:
The Other Emily
By Dean Koontz


​​​There is something magical about Dean Koontz’s writing. The vocabulary he uses in his descriptions, the details he adds to his characters’ actions, just the way he tells his stories. The Other Emily  only reinforced my opinion of Dean Koontz’s skill.

To anyone who's ever said that life is stranger than fiction, have you read  The Other Emily

*See my full review...



Week of May 3rd, 2021


Book Review:
The Girl Who Died
By Ragnar Jonasson
New Release!


​​​Once in a while I like to immerse myself into a Nordic Noir, these stories have a much different feel from the old standby American mysteries. They are generally darker; the heroes more flawed, blurring the lines between the right and wrong side of the spectrum. The Icelandic novels are colder again, reflected in the isolation, short days and ruggedness of the land and people.

*See my full review...



Week of April 26th, 2021


Book Review:
Slaughterhouse-Five
By Kurt Vonnegut


​​​Billed as one of the 100 best novels of all time, and with my fabulous experience with  Galápagos, my expectations for  Slaughterhouse-Five  were set very high. Did the book meet my expectations? No. Was I disappointed?  Again, no. So it goes.

Vonnegut had a way about him. He was, and still is, able to entertain, while at the same time making deep, thoughtful statements about humanity.

*See my full review...



Week of April 19th, 2021


Book Review:
Nöthin' but a Good Time
By Tom Beaujour & Richard Bienstock


​​​​Have you every listened to that Audible that made you think to yourself, man I wish that could have been twice as long and a musical? Well, Nöthin' But a Good Time  is that book!

In the vein of  Ready Player One and  The Dirt, this book capitalizes on nostalgia. Every singer, every song, all those bands, each one brought back memories. 

*See my full review...



Week of April 12th, 2021


On my Radar!
Near the Bone
By Christina Henry
Releasing April 13th!


​​​​Mattie can't remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they’re not alone after all.

There’s something in the woods that wasn’t there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws...


*Read more...​



Week of April 5th, 2021


Book Review:
Hollow Kingdom
By Kira Jane Buxton


​​​​Every once in a blue moon a book comes along that makes you want, no, not want, need to scream its praises from the rooftops. Hollow Kingdom  is one such book. Read this book!

Buxton starts her story off with a unique enough concept: what would a domesticated crow make of a human zombie apocalypse? 

*See my full review...



Week of March 29th, 2021


Book Review:
Nameless
(6-Book Series)
By Dean Koontz


​​​​When it came to Dean Koontz’s  Nameless, I opted for the Audible version, which is a compilation of six short stories. Edoardo Ballerini did a fantastic job of narrating this collection of stories revolving around a man with no name.

The beauty of the Audible version of  Nameless  was how Ballerini’s narration enhanced the atmosphere.

*See my full review...



Week of March 22nd, 2021


Book Review:
Heroes
By Stephen Fry


​​​​Sometimes you just know that a book is exactly what you want and need. Stephen Fry’s narration of his own book, Heroes, hit the spot.

This wasn’t a book about creating something new, a unique story unlike anything people have read before. Stephen Fry created nothing new. This was a book of presentation and Fry’s presentation of these well-known stories was immaculate. 

*See my full review...



Week of March 15th, 2021


Book Review:
Bubba Ho-Tep
By Joe R. Lansdale


​​​​Now this is what a short story is supposed to be!

Lansdale kept it simple and shocking with  Bubba Ho-Tep. Two protagonists and some real toilet bowl humor. I laughed my whole way through this story.

The concept was brilliant. I won’t get into the details, that’s for the synopsis, or I would spoil the whole thing.

*See my full review...



Week of March 8th, 2021


Book Review:
The Lost Spear

By N.J. Croft


​​​​I love a good archaeological adventure; they always bring me back to my dreams of being Indiana Jones: pursued through the jungle while recovering a long-lost talisman from the past. These stories allow for all of the convenience and setting of a modern story with a connection to our past. The Lost Spear  brings us back to the world of Genghis Khan.

*See my full review...



Week of March 1st, 2021


Book Review:
The Scarred Woman
By Jussi Adler-Olsen


​​​​I’ve now completed book seven in the Department Q series, it really speaks to the strength of Adler-Olsen’s characters that I’m still so invested in the series; I find all too often with a series that it will go stale over time, but these characters are continually refreshed, with back-ground secrets still just around the next turn.

*See my full review...



Week of February 22nd, 2021


Book Review:
The Sanatorium
By Sarah Pearse


​​​​The Sanatorium  had all the makings of a great story: an isolated location with a serial killer on the loose, a broken detective trying to put herself back together again, more suspects than you can shake a stick at. Unfortunately, I felt nothing.​

*See my full review...



Week of  February 16th, 2021


New Release:
The Minders
By John Marrs


​​​​In the 21st century, information is king. But computers can be hacked and files can be broken into - so a unique government initiative has been born. Five ordinary people have been selected to become Minders - the latest weapon in thwarting cyberterrorism. Transformed by a revolutionary medical procedure, the country's most classified information has been taken offline....​

*Read more...​


Mythos

​By Stephen Fry

​​​​​​This week's list of new

releases is posted.

Let's read!  


                

    New Releases!


Daltrey (Pushing

Daisies #4)  – By Heather

Young-Nichols – Rock star

romance! 

Daltrey
I can feel myself spiraling

out of control. It’s been

years since I’ve had an

issue with any substance

and the last thing I wanted

to do was go back to that.
I couldn’t do that to my

family, my bandmates.

They were relying on me

and we were catching our

big break.
But the pressure is getting too me. I’m not so sure that I can handle it. If I leave the band, I hurt them. If I stay, I might not come out of the experience the same person.
Then I meet Ella. She's not a fan but she helps me at a time that could've turned out badly for me. She's straight forward, not afraid to do what needs to be done, and sexy as hell...

- Persistent Protector: A Hero Club Novel  – By Barbra Campbell 

- Baby Maker: A Hero Club Novel  – By M.L. Broome



Releasing on June 15th!


The Layover  – By Lacie Waldon

After ten years as a flight attendant, Ava Greene is poised to hang up her wings and finally put down roots. She's got one trip left before she bids her old life farewell, and she plans to enjoy every second of it. But then she discovers that former pilot Jack Stone--the absurdly gorgeous, ridiculously cocky man she's held a secret grudge against for years--is on her flight. And he has the nerve to flirt with her, as if he doesn't remember the role he played in the most humiliating night of her life. Good thing she never has to see him again after they land....
But when their plane encounters mechanical problems, what should have been a quick stop at the Belize airport suddenly becomes a weekend layover. Getting stuck on a three-hour flight with her nemesis was bad enough. Being stranded with him at a luxury resort in paradise? Even with the sultry breeze and white sand to distract her, it will take all the rum punch in the country to drown out his larger-than-life presence.
Yet the more time Ava spends with him under the hot Caribbean sun, the more she begins to second-guess everything she thought she knew about him...and everything she thought she wanted from her life. And all too soon, she might have to choose between keeping her feet on the ground and her head in the clouds....


- Very Sincerely Yours  – By Kerry Winfrey 

Teddy Phillips never thought she would still be spending every day surrounded by toys at almost thirty years old. But working at a vintage toy store is pretty much all she has going on in her life after being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend. The one joy that she has kept is her not-so-guilty pleasure: Everett’s Place, a local children’s show hosted by Everett St. James, a man whom Teddy finds very soothing . . . and, okay, cute.
Teddy finds the courage to write to him, feeling slightly like one of the children who write to him on his show. He always gives sound advice and seems like he has everything figured out—and he pretty much does: Everett has a great support system, wonderful friends, and his dream job. But there is still that persistent feeling in the back of his mind that something is missing.
When a woman named Theodora starts writing to Everett, he is drawn to her honesty and vulnerability. They continue writing to each other, all the while living their lives without meeting. When their worlds collide, however, they must both let go of their fears and figure out what they truly want—and if the future they want includes each other.


- Plot Twist  – By Bethany Turner 

February 4, 2003, promises to be a typical day for Olivia Ross—a greeting card writer whose passion project is a screenplay of her own. But after she and a handsome actor have a magical meet-cute in a coffee shop, they make a spontaneous pact: in ten years, after they’ve found the success they’re just sure they’re going to achieve, they’ll return to the coffeehouse to partner up and make a film together. The only problem? Olivia neglected to get the stranger’s name. But she doesn’t forget his face—or the date.
For the next ten years, every February 4 is marked with coincidences and ironies for Olivia. As men come and go and return to her life, she continues to write, but still wonders about the guy from the coffee shop—the nameless actor she’s almost certain has turned out to be Hamish MacDougal, now a famous A-lister and Hollywood leading man.
But a lot can happen in ten years, and while waiting for the curtain to rise on her fate, the true story of Olivia’s life is being written—and if she’s not careful, she’ll completely miss the real-life romantic comedy playing out right before her eyes.


- MONSTERS (Heathens #2)  – By Amanda Richardson - It is highly recommended that  HEATHENS (Heathens #1) be read first. Read my review of  HEATHENS.

Can I destroy the monsters without becoming one?
Evelyn Snow is impenetrable—daring, defiant, and oftentimes reckless. After escaping the worst thing imaginable, tempting death brings her solace. Now a student at Oxford, she’s trying to move on. The last thing she expects is an invitation to the Blackfriars Brotherhood—a secret society based in London. It’s a proposition she can’t pass up.
Benedict Martin is the son of a monster. Attempting to distance himself from his father, he moves to London and reinvents his life. When the past comes back to haunt him in the form of Evelyn Snow, he knows he should keep her safe, push her away—but he can’t help but admire her courage and resilience. Instead, he invites her to join him in the darkness.
When they finally surrender to the scorching connection between them, it’s a fight between carnal depravity, vengeance, and forgiveness—one neither of them knows the outcome of until they’re staring the enemy in the eyes.
Maybe monsters are born—or perhaps they can be honed.


- Message in the Sand  – By Hannah McKinnon 

Wendell Combs is as local as they come. Born and raised in the small town of Saybrook, Connecticut, his venture into the larger world was met with heartbreak. Now, middle-aged and a confirmed bachelor, he seeks solitude from his tour of duty as a soldier back in his hometown, working as head caretaker for wealthy Alan Lancaster’s forty-acre estate, White Pines, a place he has come to love for its beauty, peace, and quiet.
Alan’s eldest daughter, fifteen-year-old Julia, also loves White Pines, but for very different reasons. She and her little sister spend their days riding horses, swimming in the lake, and painting landscapes inspired by the property they adore. While her parents prepare to host their annual summer gala fundraiser, Julia’s eyes are set to the simpler joys of summer: she’s fallen in love with the boy-next-door and longs for their next encounter.
But as the last guests leave on that magical summer night, a tragedy no one could have predicted suddenly occurs, shaking the entire town to its core...


- The Maidens  – By Alex Michaelides – Thriller! 

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.
Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.
Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?
When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.


- Knocked Up: A Secret Baby Romance Collection

- Tell Me When You Feel Something  – By Vicki Grant – YA Thriller! 

​It seemed like a cool part-time program -- being a "simulated" patient for med school students to practice on. But now vivacious, charismatic Viv lies in a very real coma. Cellphone footage just leads to more questions. What really happened? Other kids suspect it was not an intentional overdose -- but each has a reason why they can't tell the truth.
Through intertwining and conflicting narratives, a twisted story unfolds of trust betrayed as we sift through the seemingly innocent events leading up to the tragic night. Perhaps simulated patients aren't the only people pretending to be something they're not . . .


- Bath Haus  – By P.J. Vernon – Thriller! 

Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they've made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn't be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance he goes, and it's a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it's the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.
He races home in full-blown terror as the hand-shaped bruise grows dark on his neck. The truth will destroy Nathan and everything they have together, so Oliver does the thing he used to do so well: he lies.


- The Wisteria Society of Lady Scoundrels  – By India Holton 

Cecilia Bassingwaite is the ideal Victorian lady. She's also a thief. Like the other members of the Wisteria Society crime sorority, she flies around England drinking tea, blackmailing friends, and acquiring treasure by interesting means. Sure, she has a dark and traumatic past and an overbearing aunt, but all things considered, it's a pleasant existence. Until the men show up.
Ned Lightbourne is a sometimes assassin who is smitten with Cecilia from the moment they meet. Unfortunately, that happens to be while he's under direct orders to kill her. His employer, Captain Morvath, who possesses a gothic abbey bristling with cannons and an unbridled hate for the world, intends to rid England of all its presumptuous women, starting with the Wisteria Society. Ned has plans of his own. But both men have made one grave mistake. Never underestimate a woman.
When Morvath imperils the Wisteria Society, Cecilia is forced to team up with her handsome would-be assassin to save the women who raised her--hopefully proving, once and for all, that she's as much of a scoundrel as the rest of them.


- SAINT: Kings of Carnage MC- Prospect  – By Nicole James

Kami—
I’m no longer the little girl he once knew, one who believed in fairy tales.
And he’s no longer the white knight I believed him to be.
How can he be when he shows up on a black Harley wearing leather and biker boots?
I didn’t want this, but the decision is out of my control.
Now I’m his.
I have to remember this is only temporary.
I can’t let the way his predatory gaze sets fire to my body fool me.
Because I’m just a debt he’s paying, and I can’t risk my heart by letting myself believe it can ever be more.
Not with a man like him.
He’s dangerous, and only focused on one thing—securing his place with the baddest MC in town.
He’s no longer the boy I remember when I was nine years old—the one who helped me when I got stuck in a tree. The one who climbed up, wrapped an arm around me and hauled me down to safety, calling me short cake.
He was my savior then—a childish crush—but we’re no longer children.
Now he’s a stranger.
Now he’s my husband...


- Resisting You Anthology: A Charity Collection of Second-Chance Romance Novels 


- Broken Like Me  - By Kaitie Howie


Releasing Later This Week!


- June 18A Circle of Crows  – By Kelsey Kingsley – Romantic suspense!

Nothing ever happens in Fort Crow, Scotland, or so Inspector Alec Brodie thinks. But when the body of a tourist is found in the woods, the detective begins to see that things aren't all that they seem in the sleepy little town, especially when the murder is ruled as an accident. With raised suspicion, Alec now has to wonder, who is trying to cover up the killing of Grace Allan?
Realizing he can't trust anybody, Inspector Brodie sets out to solve the mystery on his own, until he meets Rosie Allan, a woman determined to help catch her sister's killer. Stubborn and set in his ways, Alec is reluctant to accept her assistance, but Rosie is persistent, not to mention beautiful, and he finds her impossible to refuse.
Together, they begin to uncover the dark secrets hidden within the small Scottish town, and with those secrets, they find answers. But can they solve the mystery without getting themselves killed—or worse, falling in love?


- June 18 - The Bookshop of Forgotten Dreams  - By Emily Blaine - Opposites attract!

Sarah and Max should never have met. She’s a shy bookworm who’s barely ever left her little village; he’s a bad boy actor with the world at his feet. But when Max crosses one line too many, he’s faced with community service in Sarah’s bookshop.
With an unruly theatre group to run and a gorgeous, tattooed stranger under her roof, Sarah’s about to discover that real life is more complicated than anything she’s ever read in her beloved books…


- June 18Henry & Ivy  – By JB Salsbury 

- June 18Grapes & Wrath: a forbidden romance (Forbidden Fruit)  – By Eve Cates
 

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