Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teaser Tuesday: The Taking by Kimberly Derting (YA)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • 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:
I was still getting up, brushing away bits of rocks and gravel from my uniform where I'd landed and from my hands, which had taken the brunt of the skidding part of my fall, when everyone around me went white.

White, like blinding white.
My teaser this week comes  from The Taking by Kimberly Derting. I got this eARC from Edelweiss for review. Here is the description of this April 29 release:
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer meets The Fifth Wave in this chilling and explosive new series from author Kimberly Derting.

The last thing Kyra Agnew remembers is a flash of bright light. She awakes to discover that five whole years have passed. Everyone in her life has moved on—her parents divorced, her boyfriend is in college and dating her best friend—but Kyra's still the sixteen-year-old she was when she vanished. She finds herself drawn to Tyler, her boyfriend's kid brother, despite her best efforts to ignore her growing attraction. In order to find out the truth, the two of them decide to retrace her steps from that fateful night. They discover there are others who have been "taken," just like Kyra. Only, Kyra is the first person to have been returned past the forty-eight-hour taken mark. With a determined, secret government agency after her, Kyra desperately tries to find an explanation and reclaim the life she once had . . . but what if the life she wants back is not her own?

Monday, April 21, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 21, 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 had a great week last week. My friend and I went to a book signing at The Red Balloon. I got to meet Deb Coletti and buy her newest book for our media center. I haven't read her books but am eager to give them a try when I finally get my review stack under control. I have so many YA May releases that I am spreading them out between both my blogs. My adult books are just going to have to wait!

This coming week will be busier. I have a townhouse association meeting Monday evening, a book signing in St. Paul on Tuesday evening, and a school committee meeting on Thursday evening. I also need to find time to watch The Voice on my computer since I'll be missing both shows this week.

I'm glad I could get some extra reading in because of our one-day Spring Break on Friday. Easter was a great reading day too because I decided not to travel this weekend and am just nesting in at home.

Read Last Week
I read Project Paper Doll: The Hunt by Stacey Kade and enjoyed this second book in the Project Paper Doll series. It had lots of action. My review is here. The book will be released on April 22.

The Taking by Kimberly Derting was also an excellent science fiction story that begins a trilogy. My review will be posted on April 24. This book will be released on April 29.
Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim was an engaging sports romance. I enjoyed it. My review is here. This book was from my TBR stack.

The Wizard's Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke was an engaging fantasy novel. My review will be posted on April 26. This book will be released on May 6.
Nick and Tesla's Secret Agent Gadget Battle by Bob Pflugfelder and Steve Hockensmith is the third book in this middle grade mystery series. I liked the story and I like that there are directions for projects for young scientists to do. My review will be posted on April 24.

Who Needs Enemies by Keri Arthur is from my TBR mountain. This urban fantasy novel begins a new series and features a half elf, half siren as the main character. I enjoyed the character, the story, and the world Arthur created. My review will be posted on April 26.
A Creature of Moonlight by debut author Rebecca Hahn was an amazing fantasy. I loved the world and really loved the main character. I am so excited that I will get a chance to meet the author on May 9 at The Red Balloon. My review will be posted on May 1.

Currently
I am currently reading Royally Lost by Angie Stanton which is a cute contemporary romance. It will be released on May 6.

Next Week
These two are the last of my seven May 6 releases.

Monument 14: Savage Drift by Emmy Laybourne finishes the Monument 14 post-apocalyptic series. She is also part of the Fierce Reads tour I'll be meeting in June.

The Falconer by Elizabeth May sounds like an amazing combination of historical fiction, steampunk, and paranormal. I got this one from LibraryThing and it has been on my wishlist since I first heard about it. 
These three begin my five May 13 releases.

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart has been getting lots of buzz. It sounds intriguing. I got the eARC from NetGalley.

Second Star by Alyssa B. Sheinmel was one of the books sent to me from Macmillan.

Caged Warrior by Alan Lawrence Sitomer sounded like a gritty contemporary. I requested it from NetGalley.
The Queen of the Tearling by Erikan Johansen doesn't release until July but I need to read it soon to stay in good standing at the Amazon Vine program. It sounds like a wonderful fantasy.

Reviews Posted


Something cool happened this week. Tracy Solheim saw my Friday post when I spotlighted Foolish Games and asked me if I would like a copy of the next book in the series. I quickly said yes. I can't wait to read that story!

How was your week? What do you have planned for this one?

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Stacking the Shelves (April 20, 2014)

Tynga of Team Tynga's Reviews has a meme to spotlight the books we receive each week. Visit her site to check out the linky and see what everyone gets. I guarantee that your TBR pile will grow.

Here is what I added to my shelves over the past two weeks.
I got the latest book in the Honor Harrington Universe for my Kindle this week. Cauldron of Ghosts is the third book in the Crown of Slaves story arc. 

Firebird by Susanna Kearsley is also a Kindle book. It was a daily deal that I had heard good things about.
Freak of Nature by Julia Crane was a free science fiction romance. I saw it on someone's stacking post and had to have it for my own.

Killer Librarian by Mary Lou Kirwin is a mystery by author Mary Logue. She talked about it at a conference I recently attended. 
The Collector by Nora Roberts was on my "must by" list since I really love Nora Roberts' books. It was also my only print book of the week.

New Orleans Requiem by D. J. Donaldson was a Kindle daily deal recently. I bought the whole 4 book series of mysteries for my Kindle for $.99 a book.
Bad Karma in the Big Easy by D. J. Donalson
Sleeping with the Crawfish by D. J. Donaldson
Louisiana Fever by D. J. Donaldson
Frost Moon by Anthony Francis was also a Kindle Daily Deal. It sounded like an interesting urban fantasy story. 

What did you add to your stack this week? Does anyone else feel like ebooks don't count when considering how many books are on their TBR stack?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Book Review: Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim

Foolish Games
Author: Tracy Solheim
Series: An Out of Bounds Novel
Publication: Berkley (December 3, 2013)

Description: This Hail Mary play for the heart is the latest sports romance in the sizzling Out of Bounds series. 

Bridal gown designer Julianne Marchione knows better than to lose her head at a client’s wedding. But, much to her embarrassment, a mix of migraine medication and a smoking hot football player lead to a steamy one night stand resulting in a surprise pregnancy. Julianne has every intention of leaving her NFL hookup far in the past until her son, Owen, is born with a life-threatening blood disorder that requires a transfusion—and Julianne is not a match.

Will “William the Conqueror” Connelly grew up tough, shouldering the stigma of being a bastard child born on the wrong side of the tracks. He refuses to let any child face the same discrimination. When he finds out about Owen, he’s furious that Julianne kept his son a secret. But when he sees her again at the hospital, he realizes that his feelings for her go far beyond anger.

Will insists that Owen recuperate at his home in North Carolina, and he’s adamant that Julianne become his wife—even if it’s only a temporary marriage in name only. But will their simmering attraction ever lead to a real connection?  Or are they just playing foolish games?

My Thoughts: This was an interesting story that explores the "secret baby" trope. Julianne had never intended to let Will know that she had had his baby. But when the baby suffers a medical emergency that can only be solved by a transfusion of parental blood and Julianne's isn't right, she has to let Will know he is a father. Will who grew up as an illegitimate child in a small town has always been determined that no child of his would suffer the same fate.

This one night stand will have life-changing consequences for both of them. These two people don't know each other but Julianne's guilt at keeping her son from his father and Will's need to make things right has them marrying with every intention of it being a temporary situation.

While they don't know each other, and Will certainly doesn't trust Julianne, the chemistry between them is evident to the people around them. And there is a strong cast of people around them. Will's mother has a strong role in the book as does Will's general manager. Julianne also has her friends Carly and Nick and her business manager Sebastian to support her. Julianne's brother the Senator also has a role in the story which adds tons of complications.

Besides the romance part of the story, Will is also dealing with accusations of collecting bounties for hitting players too hard. The coach he idolized and who got him out of his poverty-stricken background and into Yale is right in the middle of it. Will is determined to be loyal to that coach despite what it could do to his career. Julianne's brother is chairing the Senate investigation into these activities by calling them racketeering.

I enjoyed the intensity of this romance and am eager to seek out other books in the series.

Favorite Quote:
Her challenge hung in the air for a moment before he descended on her. "Stop telling me I don't want my son." He wanted to strangle her, but only a psychopath would do that to his child's mother with their kid in the room. So he opted for kissing her instead. And it was an incredible kiss. Like a mon who'd gone without food or water for days, he devoured her.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Friday Memes: Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim

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 Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim. I first saw this book on Penguin's First To Read website. I wasn't chosen to be an early reader but I bought it as soon as I could. I am a sucker for sports romances and this one sounded really good.
Here is the description:
This Hail Mary play for the heart is the latest sports romance in the sizzling Out of Bounds series. 

Bridal gown designer Julianne Marchione knows better than to lose her head at a client’s wedding. But, much to her embarrassment, a mix of migraine medication and a smoking hot football player lead to a steamy one night stand resulting in a surprise pregnancy. Julianne has every intention of leaving her NFL hookup far in the past until her son, Owen, is born with a life-threatening blood disorder that requires a transfusion—and Julianne is not a match.

Will “William the Conqueror” Connelly grew up tough, shouldering the stigma of being a bastard child born on the wrong side of the tracks. He refuses to let any child face the same discrimination. When he finds out about Owen, he’s furious that Julianne kept his son a secret. But when he sees her again at the hospital, he realizes that his feelings for her go far beyond anger.

Will insists that Owen recuperate at his home in North Carolina, and he’s adamant that Julianne become his wife—even if it’s only a temporary marriage in name only. But will their simmering attraction ever lead to a real connection?  Or are they just playing foolish games?
Beginning:
Paternity.

The word reverberated inside Will Connelly's head, pummeling his temples until they began to throb. 
Friday 56:
"Julianne will always be a part of Owen's life," he said. "We all need to try to get along, for his sake. Beyond that, she isn't a part of this family."

"In a few minutes, she will be."

"That's just a legal technicality, Mom."

Thursday, April 17, 2014

ARC Review: Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

Otherwise Engaged
Author: Amanda Quick
Publication: Putnam Adult (April 22, 2014)

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. . . .

My Thoughts: With OTHERWISE ENGAGED Quick returns to an old familiar style and handles it excellently. This is an excellent mystery story without even a hint of the paranormal.FansoFan

Amity Doncaster is a world traveler who hopes to write a book about traveling for gentlewomen. She rescues Benedict Stanbridge on a tropical island and nurses him back to health. Stanbridge is an upper class member of society who is wealthy and very interested in engineering. He is on a mission for his uncle to gather information on a possible solar weapon. It is his first and, if he has anything to say about it, last foray into the Great Game of spying.

However, chasing down a Russian spy who wants the plans is only part of the story. When Amity returns to London, she finds herself an object of gossip because of her suspected relationship with Benedict. The gossip draws the attention of a mad serial killer named the Bridegroom. When he kidnaps her in broad daylight, it is her quick wits and unusual weapon that saves her.

She and Benedict need to track down the Bridegroom before he kills again. And find the Russian spy. And fall in love.

Amity is an interesting character who considers herself a free-thinking, woman of the world. She is outspoken and rather eccentric. Benedict styles himself as a boring engineer who is very unlikely to ever write poetry to his love. However, Amity likes the man Benedict is.

A secondary romance between Amity's widowed sister and the Scotland Yard inspector assigned to the case also adds interest to this story.

Fans of historical mysteries and romances will enjoy this story.

Favorite Quote:
The following morning, Amity Doncaster woke up to find herself notorious—for the second time that week.
I was chosen to read this eARC at Penguin's First to Read. You can buy your copy here.

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. . .