Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Sometime later she awoke with a start. An unfamiliar flash of awareness shivered through her, rattling her nerves. She blinked several times, listening closely in an attempt to identify whatever it was that had roused her from her troubled sleep.
This week my teaser comes from Amanda Quick's latest - Otherwise Engaged. I love this author and always find her books a satisfying experience. I was pleased to be chosen to read this eARC at Penguin's First to Read.

Here is the description:
Miss Amity Doncaster, world traveler, is accustomed to adventure and risk. Benedict Stanbridge, a man of science and a spy for the Crown, has faced danger in the darker corners of foreign lands.

But they are about to face a threat that is shockingly close to home . . .

One does not expect to be kidnapped on a London street in broad daylight. But Amity Doncaster barely escapes with her life after she is trapped in a carriage with a blade-wielding man in a black silk mask who whispers the most vile taunts and threats into her ear. Her quick thinking, and her secret weapon, save her . . . for now.

But the monster known in the press as the Bridegroom, who has left a trail of female victims in his wake, has survived the wounds she inflicts and will soon be on his feet again. He is unwholesomely obsessed by her scandalous connection to Benedict Stanbridge—gossip about their hours alone in a ship’s stateroom seems to have crossed the Atlantic faster than any sailing vessel could. Benedict refuses to let this resourceful, daring woman suffer for her romantic link to him—as tenuous as it may be.

For a man and woman so skilled at disappearing, so at home in the exotic reaches of the globe, escape is always an option. But each intends to end the Bridegroom’s reign of terror in London, and will join forces to do so. And as they prepare to confront an unbalanced criminal in the heart of the city they love, they must also face feelings that neither of them can run away from. . . 

Monday, April 14, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 14, 2014)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

I did successfully make it to my conference this year. Last year's snowstorm that stranded me in Duluth would be only a memory except here is what Duluth looked like Friday morning this year. That is my friend Bev acting as a point of reference. She is about 5' 5". My brother tells me that the snow is down a couple of feet since it was at its highest and you can see bare grass where the snow wasn't drifted. However, both the front and back yards have very substantial drifts. Backing out of the driveway was a little tricky because the height of the ridges on each side didn't allow me to see if there was any traffic on the streets.
April 11, 2014 Duluth, Minnesota
Luckily, all we got was a few big puffy flakes on Saturday morning that had stopped before we started our drive back home.

Spotlight on Books was fun! The traveling weather was great. The authors were engaging and informative. The food was excellent (but served way too often!). I bought too many books to donate to my media centers. I didn't have much time to read though.

This coming week is a little quieter. I am traveling to The Red Balloon Thursday evening for an author signing with Deb Caletti. We have most of her books in our media center but I haven't read any. I look forward to buying her most recent to add to our collection.

We do have next Friday off for Easter. I hope to get some extra reading time then because I am not traveling this year.

Read Last Week
The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa was an excellent ending to her latest trilogy. I like her interpretation of a vampire story. My review is linked below.

The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones was a nice middle grade fantasy. My review will be posted on April 17.

Currently
I am reading The Hunt by Stacey Kade which is the second book in the Project Paper Doll trilogy. I like the main character who is an alien-human hybrid. This book will be released on April 22.

Next Week

Here are the next books on my review stack.
The Taking by Kimberly Derting (April 29)
Royally Lost by Angie Stanton (May 6)
Monument 14: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne (May 6)
The Wizard's Promise by Cassandra Rose Clark (May 6)
A Creature of Moonlight by Rebecca Hahn (May 6)
Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith (May 6)
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (July 8 but an Amazon Vine book)

Reviews Posted


That was my week. What do you have planned for yours?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Book Review: Up from the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Up from the Grave
Author: Jeaniene Frost
Series: Night Huntress (Book 7)
Publication: Avon (January 28, 2014)

Description: Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband Bones.  They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war...

A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights.  Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death...because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences.  And if they fail, their lives--and those of everyone they hold dear-- will be hovering on the edge of the grave.

My Thoughts: UP FROM THE GRAVE was a great conclusion to the story of Cat and Bones. The story starts simply enough. Cat is unable to contact the colleagues she worked with when she was with the government. This forces her to deal with her old nemesis Madigan who now controls the unit and who really wants to get Cat back under his control.

Dealing with him leads to shocking revelations regarding secret experiments the results of which could shatter the fragile peace between the ghouls and the vampires. Cat and Bones find themselves right in the middle of the problem. Both are in great danger as they try to outwit an extremely powerful enemy.

I love the relationship between Cat and Bones. They would literally die for each other if it became necessary and wouldn't hesitate to do anything to keep each other safe. Cat's fearless nature makes this slightly more difficult to accomplish for Bones.

I enjoyed seeing old friends from earlier books in the series as many of them had roles in this current story. Having reached the conclusion, I am so tempted to go back to the beginning and read the whole series in one serious readathon. This is excellent urban fantasy!

Favorite Quote:
Some people were born to be mothers, fathers, inventors, artists, speakers, preachers...and then there was me.

"He's right," I said in a quiet tone. "My true skill is killing. I've excelled at it since I was sixteen, when I took on my first vampire without knowing anything about them."
I bought this one for my Kindle. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Friday Memes: Up from the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

This week I am spotlighting another book from my TBR mountain. I have chosen Up from the Grave by Jeaniene Frost. This is the final novel in the Night Huntress series. I will be sad to see this enjoyable urban fantasy series end.
Here is the description:
Lately, life has been unnaturally calm for vampires Cat Crawfield and her husband Bones.  They should have known better than to relax their guard, because a shocking revelation sends them back into action to stop an all-out war...

A rogue CIA agent is involved in horrifying secret activities that threaten to raise tensions between humans and the undead to dangerous heights.  Now Cat and Bones are in a race against time to save their friends from a fate worse than death...because the more secrets they unravel, the deadlier the consequences.  And if they fail, their lives--and those of everyone they hold dear-- will be hovering on the edge of the grave.
Beginning:
Crunch.

The sound was a relief. So was the sudden limpness of the form beneath her. It was over. 
Friday 56:
The ground actually began to shake as he dropped his shields and the full weight of his fury-fueled power crashed into the room. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Book Review: The Chance by Robyn Carr

The Chance
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Thunder Point (Book 4)
Publication: Harlequin MIRA (February 25, 2014)

Description: Share the joys, heartbreaks, challenges and triumphs of the people who inhabit the small Oregon town of Thunder Point with #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr 

With its breathtaking vistas and down-to-earth people, Thunder Point is the perfect place for FBI agent Laine Carrington to recuperate from a gunshot wound and contemplate her future. The locals embraced Laine as one of their own after she risked her life to save a young girl from a dangerous cult. Knowing her wounds go beyond the physical, Laine hopes she'll fit in for a while and find her true self in a town that feels safe. She may even learn to open her heart to others, something an undercover agent has little time to indulge.

Eric Gentry is also new to Thunder Point. Although he's a man with a dark past, he's determined to put down roots and get to know the daughter he only recently discovered. When Laine and Eric meet, their attraction is obvious to everyone. But while the law enforcement agent and the reformed criminal want to make things work, their differences may run too deep…unless they take a chance on each other and find that deep and mysterious bond that belongs to those who choose love over fear.

My Thoughts: THE CHANCE is the fourth book in the Thunder Point series. It stands alone well but, I'm sure, would be a richer experience for readers who had read the first three books. There are lots and lots of characters and relationships in this story which would have been clearer had I read the first books.

There are also three main plot threads in this story. The first is the romance between FBI agent Laine Carrington and ex-con Eric Gentry. Laine is looking for a place to recover from being shot while on her last undercover case and reassess her life while Eric is looking to connect with the daughter he didn't know he had and build a new business. The two don't seem to have a lot of interests in common but the sexual chemistry between them is epic.

The second plot thread is also a romance. Al Michel is a drifter who has worked for Eric in the past. Ray Anne is a local realtor. He is still recovering from a teenage marriage and the crib death of his son. His reaction was to run and these 38 years later he is still running. He also has a feeling of inferiority because he can't read because of dyslexia. He might have found a home in Thunder Point if he's brave enough to stay.

The third thread is not a romance. It is the story of a seventeen-year-old trying to keep things together for his family. His mom is in the stage of MS when she needs constant nursing care. He has two younger brothers. He is trying to hold on until he is eighteen so that he can get custody of his younger brothers and keep the family together. The boy works for Eric in his garage and is befriended by Al.

All of these threads are woven together quite well as all the characters deal with their complicated pasts and come to some happier future. Fans of romances with large casts of characters will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
Just because Laine was an FBI agent and an expert markswoman didn't mean she was a thug or a tomboy. No, sir. She was actually a girly girl. Yes, she could throw a big guy over the hood of a car and cuff him. And yes, she had been in some fights—not by choice, but hell, sometimes duty called. She was strong, tough, fearless and feminine. 
I got this book for review from Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Chance by Robyn Carr

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
She left him then and as she walked through the bar she was thinking that old soldiers go away quietly. It was apparent to her that Rawley had used his time in the Army well, but it had also used him up.
This week my teaser comes from The Chance by Robyn Carr. I chose this romance from the Amazon Vine program. It was released on Feb. 25.

Here is the description:
Share the joys, heartbreaks, challenges and triumphs of the people who inhabit the small Oregon town of Thunder Point with #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr 

With its breathtaking vistas and down-to-earth people, Thunder Point is the perfect place for FBI agent Laine Carrington to recuperate from a gunshot wound and contemplate her future. The locals embraced Laine as one of their own after she risked her life to save a young girl from a dangerous cult. Knowing her wounds go beyond the physical, Laine hopes she'll fit in for a while and find her true self in a town that feels safe. She may even learn to open her heart to others, something an undercover agent has little time to indulge.

Eric Gentry is also new to Thunder Point. Although he's a man with a dark past, he's determined to put down roots and get to know the daughter he only recently discovered. When Laine and Eric meet, their attraction is obvious to everyone. But while the law enforcement agent and the reformed criminal want to make things work, their differences may run too deep…unless they take a chance on each other and find that deep and mysterious bond that belongs to those who choose love over fear.

Monday, April 7, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 7, 2014)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Baseball season has begun. That must mean that Spring is around the corner. Our sleet/snow mix on Friday that caused some schools north of us to delay or close makes it sort of hard to believe though. The weekend has been warmer and melted away most of the new snow. I had a quiet week with no meetings or appointments and so managed to get quite a bit of reading done.

I am excited for next week as I will be traveling north to spend the night at my brother's house and celebrate his birthday on my way to Grand Rapids for the Spotlight on Books conference. This year the weather looks better. I ended up snowed in last year and didn't get out of Duluth until Saturday afternoon. The temperature is supposed to be 48 to 52 degrees on my travel days this year but my winter coat and snow boots are still going in the back of the car!

The one disadvantage of the conference is that it will cut into my reading time. I'll be traveling on Thursday evening and Friday morning and again on Saturday late afternoon. In between times, Friday afternoon and evening and all day Saturday will be filled with conference activities. I am hoping to fit in a couple of hours of reading but that will likely be the most until I get home late Saturday evening.

Read Last Week
Sea of Shadows by Kelley Armstrong is the beginning of a new young adult fantasy series. I enjoyed it but it left lots of questions to be answered in the rest of the trilogy. My review was posted on April 5.

The Chance by Robyn Carr was an interesting romance that was the fourth book in a series but the first one I read. My review will be posted on April 10.
House of Ivy & Sorrow by Natalie Whipple was another young adult book. This one blends contemporary life and hereditary witchcraft complete with a spell that has haunted the heroine's family for generations. I enjoyed this one too. My review will be posted on April 10.

I dug into my TBR mountain for Up from the Grave by Jeaniene Frost which concludes the Cat and Bone series. I thought this brought the series to an excellent conclusion. My review will be posted on April 12.
Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick was an engaging historical mystery. It was classic Quick without any hint of the paranormal that has been filling her more recent titles. It still had Quick's quirky characters and dialog. My review will be posted on April 17.

Panic by Lauren Oliver was a young adult contemporary. It was a gritty story about a game that recently graduated seniors play in secrecy and with utmost seriousness. I liked the main characters and I liked the potentially happy ending. My review will be posted on April 9.

Currently
I am currently reading The Forever Song by Julie Kagawa which is the concluding book in her vampire trilogy. I always enjoy Kagawa's writing and characters and this book is no exception.

Next Week
First I have a couple of YA review books from Edelweiss

The Islands of Chaldea by Diana Wynne Jones and Ursula Jones (April 22)

Project Paper Doll: The Hunt by Stacey Kade (April 22)
Next I have a couple of Amazon Vine picks

The Taking by Kimberly Derting (April 29)

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (July 8)
Finally, if time permits, I have a couple from my own TBR mountain.

Who Needs Enemies by Keri Arthur

Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim

Reviews Posted


What does the coming week look like for you? Leave me a link. I'd love to visit.