Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Memes: City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe 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.

Beginning:
"I killed a man," I say to my new therapist.
Friday 56:
"No." I walk to him, and I put my hands around his neck, and I kiss him, and I pour everything I'm feeling into that kiss, everything I can't say.
This week I am spotlighting City of the Lost by Kelley Armstrong. Here is the description from Amazon:
Casey Duncan is a homicide detective with a secret: when she was in college, she killed a man. She was never caught, but he was the grandson of a mobster and she knows that someday this crime will catch up to her. Casey's best friend, Diana, is on the run from a violent, abusive ex-husband. When Diana's husband finds her, and Casey herself is attacked shortly after, Casey knows it's time for the two of them to disappear again.

Diana has heard of a town made for people like her, a town that takes in people on the run who want to shed their old lives. You must apply to live in Rockton and if you're accepted, it means walking away entirely from your old life, and living off the grid in the wilds of Canada: no cell phones, no Internet, no mail, no computers, very little electricity, and no way of getting in or out without the town council's approval. As a murderer, Casey isn't a good candidate, but she has something they want: She's a homicide detective, and Rockton has just had its first real murder. She and Diana are in. However, soon after arriving, Casey realizes that the identity of a murderer isn't the only secret Rockton is hiding―in fact, she starts to wonder if she and Diana might be in even more danger in Rockton than they were in their old lives.

An edgy, gripping crime novel from bestselling urban fantasy writer Kelley Armstrong, City of the Lost boldly announces a major new player in the crime fiction world.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

ARC Review: Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh

Rock Wedding
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Rock Kiss (Book 4)
Publication: TKA Distribution (July 19, 2016)

Description: New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love...even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

My Thoughts: ROCK WEDDING was an emotional roller coaster of a book. It begins with Sarah walking out on Abe who is in the depths of his drug and alcohol addiction. She can no longer be the only one in love. His words convince her that she will never gain his love.

The story starts again more than a year later. Sarah fell into a new relationship and had a stillborn baby but her new man turns abusive. Abe is clean and sober and has been for more than eight months. He is determined to win her back but she isn't ready to trust her heart to him again.

One careless night together results in another pregnancy. Abe is determined to prove to Sarah that he is man who stays, a man who can be trusted with her love and with their child. This story is about their internal struggles. There is no one who is trying to tear them apart beyond their own fears and trust issues.

It was good seeing the other members of the band with their own loves. This was a book of weddings since all of the couples got married in this one. I loved how they all became a close knit family always ready to support each other.

I cried when I read about Sarah's stillborn baby and her weekly visits to her grave. I blushed when she and Abe made love. And my heart swelled with joy as they managed to fall in love again for keeps.

Favorite Quote:
His world threatened to shatter.

But then he realized: words were easy. It was the doing that was hard.

He'd have to do. He'd have to lover her until she had no choice but to trust in his love.
I got this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Book Review: The Seduction of the Crimson Rose by Lauren Willig

The Seduction of the Crimson Rose
Author: Lauren Willig
Series: Pink Carnation (Book 4)
Publication: Dutton Adult; First Edition edition (January 31, 2008)

Description: Determined to secure another London season without assistance from her new brother-in-law, Mary Alsworthy accepts a secret assignment from Lord Vaughn on behalf of the Pink Carnation. She must infiltrate the ranks of the dreaded French spy, the Black Tulip, before he and his master can stage their planned invasion of England. Every spy has a weakness and for the Black Tulip that weakness is beautiful black-haired women?his ?petals? of the Tulip. A natural at the art of seduction, Mary easily catches the attention of the French spy, but Lord Vaughn never anticipated that his own heart would be caught as well. Fighting their growing attraction, impediments from their past, and, of course, the French, Mary and Vaughn find themselves lost in a treacherous garden of lies.

And as our modern-day heroine, Eloise Kelly, digs deeper into England's Napoleonic-era espionage, she becomes even more entwined with Colin Selwick, the descendant of her spy subjects.

My Thoughts: This episode stars Lord Vaughn and Mary Alsworthy. Both of them have appeared in earlier books. Neither was really a positive character. Mary is single-minded in her search for a husband and is willing to use all her womanly wiles to capture one. Lord Vaughn has been a mysterious character of uncertain loyalties.

In this story, Vaughn offers to pay for Mary's next London season if she will act as bait to capture the mysterious Black Tulip. Mary wants the season. In her defense, marriage really was the only acceptable path for a woman in her social class at the time. I loved the dialogue between the two of them as they sparred, exchanged quotations, and tried to outdo each other.

It was fun to watch two cynical and practical people fall in love but secrets from Lord Vaughn's past threaten to derail their bright new future. And the Black Tulip has plans of his own that create all sorts of danger for both Vaughn and Mary.

In the present section of the story, Eloise finally gets to have her date with Colin wherein she learns why he was so unwelcoming when she came to look at the family papers.

Favorite Quote:
But then, that was the way of illusions, wasn't it? All charlatans, whether stage magicians or the amorous rake, relied upon man's yearning to be deceived, to gaze in the mirror of his own desirings and be gulled by the image therein. It was a tempting prospect, to look and believe, like Faust panting after Helen's shadow. In the end, however, the mirror always cracked, revealing the images for the shams they were. Loyalty, love, the oys of home and hearth—no more substantial than an opium dream and just as debilitating while they lasted.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Books and a Beat. 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:
Abe flinched. He'd known this wouldn't be easy. He didn't want it to be easy.
This week I am reading Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh. I got this eARC from NetGalley. It is the 4th book in a series. Here is the description from Amazon:
New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh continues her Rock Kiss series with a hot, sweet, emotional contemporary romance about love and forgiveness…

After a lifetime of longing for a real family, Sarah Smith thought she’d finally found her home with rock star Abe Bellamy, even if she knew Abe didn’t love her the way she loved him. But their brief relationship, filled with tragedy and heartache, nearly destroyed her. Alone, emotions in turmoil, and already shaky self-esteem shattered, Sarah struggles to pick up the pieces in the wake of their divorce.

Abe knows he’s to blame for the end of his marriage. Caught in a web of painful memories, he pushed away the best thing in his life – the sexy, smart woman he adores – breaking them both in the process. Then fate throws him a second chance to get things right, to prove to Sarah that she means everything to him. Abe desperately wants that second chance at love...even if he knows he doesn’t deserve it.

But can he convince Sarah – now strong and independent without him – to risk her wounded heart one more time?

Monday, July 18, 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (July 18, 2016)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

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.

Other Than Reading... 

This was another quiet week. With the All-Star Game messing with the baseball schedule, I had more time to read. I decided to binge on the rest of the Pink Carnation series. I also spent some time waiting for review books to arrive.

The house hunt is going slowly. My realtor seems to be sending me one link a week for potential houses. Nothing is the right fit so far. I'm not sure what I want is available in the Duluth housing market. I'm starting to think that I am going to have to find land and built it.

Read Last Week
I began the week reading a review book that I won at LibraryThing. Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton begins a new series. This was a zany romantic comedy that makes Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series read like realistic fiction. It was fun. My review will be posted on August 18 for this August 16 release.

Then I started my Pink Carnation binge. The Orchid Affair by Lauren Willig takes place mostly in France and stars a governess who is a graduate of the Selwick's spy school. It was an excellent adventure and romance. My review will be posted on August 24.
Next was The Garden Intrigue by Lauren Willig. This one gave side character, bad poet, and spy Augustus Whittlesby his chance to be a romantic hero. After having his heart broken by Jane's rejection, he needs to team up with Yankee import, widow Emma Delagardie to find a device that Napoleon has commissioned from Robert Fulton. My review will be posted on August 31.

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig brings Jane and her chaperone Miss Gwen back to England when Jane's sister goes missing from her boarding school. It also brings in Colonel William Reid, fresh from India, as a romantic partner for Miss Gwen. My review will be posted on September 7.
The Mark of the Midnight Manzanilla by Lauren Willig stars Turnip's little sister who is determined to save Lucien, Duke of Belliston. He has returned to England to finally try to find the person who murdered his parents but rumor has it that he is a vampire. My review will be posted on September 14.

The Lure of the Moonflower by Lauren Willig is the twelfth and last of the Pink Carnation series. This one finally stars Jane and gives her a chance to have a romance. Her romantic hero turns out to be Jack Reid who is also known as the Moonflower. My review will be posted on September 28.

Currently
I am currently reading Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh. I had asked for this one at NetGalley a while ago and was finally approved on Friday night. This book will be released on Tuesday! So far it is a very engaging emotional roller-coaster.

Next Week
First to be read next week are two August 9 releases that arrived in my mailbox on Saturday.

These Honored Dead by Jonathan F. Putnam is a historical mystery with Abraham Lincoln as one of the detectives.

The Damascus Threat by Matt Rees is a fast-paced thriller.
Next I'll be reading House Rules by Jodi Picoult from my TBR mountain. I have been curious about this author. When a lady I lunched with at the Senior Center recommended it, I had to get a copy and put it on my stack.

Shadow Falling by Rebecca Zanetti was an Amazon Vine pick. This is a post-apocalyptic romantic suspense title that will be released on August 30.

Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?
 These Honored Dead by Jonathan F. Putnam (review book - August 9)
The Damascus Threat by Matt Rees (Review book - August 9)
 Rock Wedding by Nalini Singh (review book - July 19)
The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (review book - March 1, 2017)
Over Easy by Pamela Ford - I have been seeing this on lots of blogs and it sounds like a fun romantic comedy. I bought myself a Kindle copy.

To see what Young Adult books I have been reading and plan to read, check out Ms. Martin Teaches Media - my other blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Book Review: Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

Allegiance of Honor
Author: Nalini Singh
Series: Psy-Changelings, Book 15
Publication: Berkley (June 14, 2016)

Description: A staggering transformation has put the Psy, humans, and changelings at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: old enemies, new allies, wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can't be so easily forgotten, and it threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman's cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: a child who is both Psy...and changeling.

To find the lost and protect the vulnerable - and to save Trinity - no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?

My Thoughts: This book was a great opportunity to catch up with all the beloved characters in the earlier Psy-Changeling books. A few of the entwined events were the impending arrival of Mercy and Riley's pupcubs, a Psy Net that seems to be failing again, a lost shapechanger from the BlackSea clan, a kidnap plot with Lucas and Sasha's daughter Naya as the intended victim, and plotting from both Ming LeBon and the Consortium.

The story also shows how connections are growing between all the various groups of humans, Psy and Changelings. It especially shows how each group treasures their children and strives to make a good life for them.

I enjoyed this story because of the strong relationships between the various couples and the growing trust between the various groups. I can't wait to see where this series goes next.

Favorite Quote:
The signs had been there for a long time, if he thought about it. Lapses in concentration, lost or missing pieces of data, a distinct lack of growth since Kaleb was a child. Yes, the neosentience grew at a glacial pace in comparison to the Psy mind, bit it had shown no development in over two decades.

In point of fact, it appeared to have gone backward, to an even more childlike state.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Friday Memes: Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh

Happy Friday everybody!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City ReaderThe 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.

Beginning:
No one could've predicted this moment in time.
Friday 56:
From the private diaries of Father Xavier Perez, July 8, 2073

Nina,

I'm sitting surrounded by the phantom image of what was once our village.
This week I am reading Allegiance of Honor by Nalini Singh. This is the 15th book in this urban fantasy series. Here is the description from Amazon:
A staggering transformation has put the Psy, humans, and changelings at a crossroads. The Trinity Accord promises a new era of cooperation between disparate races and groups. It is a beacon of hope held together by many hands: old enemies, new allies, wary loners.

But a century of distrust and suspicion can't be so easily forgotten, and it threatens to shatter Trinity from within at any moment. As rival members vie for dominance, chaos and evil gather in the shadows and a kidnapped woman's cry for help washes up in San Francisco, while the Consortium turns its murderous gaze toward a child who is the embodiment of change, of love, of piercing hope: a child who is both Psy...and changeling.

To find the lost and protect the vulnerable - and to save Trinity - no one can stand alone. This is a time of loyalty across divisions, of bonds woven into the heart and the soul, of heroes known and unknown standing back to back and holding the line. But is an allegiance of honor even possible with traitors lurking in their midst?