Book Update!

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Yes, that’s right!  I’m here with more book reviews!

Looking at my 2014 Goodreads account makes me realize how much reading I did last year – quite proud of myself!  I’ve set my 2015 Goodreads reading goal – join me!

So,  let’s recap everything I’ve read since the last book update.  I hope you find something that piques your interest!

Louisiana Longshot (Miss Fortune Mystery #1), by Jana Deleon

This series starts off with Fortune Redding, a CIA assassin, who is forced to lay low in the swamps of Sinful, Louisiana due to a leak at the agency that puts her in danger.

Instead of enjoying shirt-drenching humidity and some spicy jambalaya, Fortune finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation after a corpse turns up in the backyard.  She tangles with the local deputy and gets to know the local group of ladies who engaged in many an activity besides bingo!

This was so much fun to read!  Easy, funny, and it has some good twists!  I’m signed up for notices when Ms. Deleon comes out with new books – she’s a delightful author!

Golden Threads (Once Upon A Time #1), by Kay Hooper

I listened to this one in the car, and it turned out to be really enjoyable and entertaining.  Lara Mason has been relocated to a discreet little town by Witness Protection, where she attempts to both lay low and find some joy in her new life.

After being cast as Rapunzel in the local play, she encounters Devon Shane, her character’s Prince Charming and possibly hers as well…if she can trust him.

Die Trying (Jack Reacher #2), by Lee Child

This book was my introduction to Jack Reacher.  Other than the severity of violence, I really enjoyed this book.  Reacher is a former Military Police Officer, and I must say his character is quite likeable.  Resourceful, steadfast, witty – he’s just great.

In this book, he becomes a hostage when the woman targeted for kidnapping happens to be one he’s assisting (due to her injury).  Kidnapped by a radical militia group, there’s more to the story than just presuming a simple ransom.  Even towards the end, when circumstances were perilous, Reacher’s humor (whether spoken or thought) is always there.

Now, this is interesting.  I have read the books, but also quite enjoy them on CD.  HOWEVER – it turns out that I only like the books read by Johnathan McLain.  His tone, inflection – absolutely brilliant.  I checked out another of these books on CD and had to return it: the author was not nearly as good as McLain.

Solomon vs. Lord (Solomon VS. Lord #1), by Paul Levine

Oh, what a find this was!  On the free cart at the library – how I love that!  I love legal books and the reviews looked great.

Victoria Lord is a stickler for the rules and assistant to the District Attorney.  Paul Solomon is…oh, how to describe him…The Oscar to her Felix!  He doesn’t always adhere to the rules, and yet always seems to be helping someone in need.  When Paul accidentally gets Victoria fired, the two team up to defend the wife of a murder suspect.

I really, really enjoyed this because the chapters alternate the perspective from which it’s written, Victoria or Paul.  I thought that would make it hard to follow, but not at all.  The dialogue is snappy and you sense the stirrings of attraction between them.  It’s not all lighthearted though, as the author touches on the thoughts and feelings of both characters, letting you a little further into their world and lending a little gravity to what might otherwise be too light a book.

This is the first book and I intend to read more!  I was disappointed to finish it!

The Next Best Thing, by Jennifer Weiner

I wasn’t sure if I’d like this; Ms. Weiner also wrote In Her Shoes and I wasn’t crazy about the movie, but wanted to give this a shot.  I listened to it on CD (read by Olivia Thirlby, who played Leah in Juno).

Ruth Saunders longs to create a show, based on the lives of herself and her grandmother, and starts by working from the bottom up in the world of television.  Along the way, she realizes the politics of that world, and also makes some good friends.

Ruth is very relatable – vulnerable, human and makes mistakes like we all do. In addition to professional success, she longs for the love she thinks she doesn’t deserve. A good character, and her grandmother is at once firm and loving – she’s a blast!

Missing You, by Harlan Coben

Detective Kat Donovan happens across a picture of her former flame while perusing an online dating website.  After a message rejecting her attempts to reach out, she attempts to put old feelings behind her as a new case emerges: A teenager claims something has happened to his mother, who was on her way to meet a gentleman caller.

While the twists in this book weren’t as good as I had anticipated, the author does have a way of keeping you on your toes by interweaving plotlines.  Not my favorite of his, but enjoyable.

Tales from the Crib, by Jennifer Coburn

This seemed to be a unique book: A married, yet estranged couple, raising a baby together.  Lucy Klein’s husband announces he wants a divorce….just before she has a chance to announce her pregnancy.  Certainly not the ideal situation.

They agree to raise the baby together – in the same house – while working towards a divorce.  I don’t even remember that much about the book, what kind of sign is that?  That is why one creates a Goodreads review; Recap: Long winded.  Tangents.

There you have it.  I probably won’t read any more by this author, unless something really jumps out at me.

Fifty Shades of Gray, by E.L. James

Yes.  You read that right.  I wasn’t going to read it – truly.  I had read reviews and if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s improper grammar and poor editing (a frequent complaint of this book).

I stumbled across a link to this book online, I forget how (no, I was not looking it up!).  Apparently, it began as Twilight fanfiction and was originally posted chapter by chapter online.

How do I explain this?  First, let me apologize to my lovely followers – I really do have better taste in books than this.  Why did I read it?  I felt it couldn’t possibly be that bad.  I’m often the one who likes movies that critics don’t, so – would I like the book?

No.  No a thousand times!  That is three hours of my life I will never get back.  It could have been productive…I could have regrouted the tile on the kitchen counter.  Polished my toes.

Why was it so bad?  Settle in, folks…

Apparently there was no editor present at any point.  I will admit that perhaps some of it was the formatting on the website.

And perhaps not.  It doesn’t explain the lack of grammar.  The redundant phrasing.  There is so much blushing and lip biting going on in that book that it boggles the mind.  That girl’s in serious need of lip balm.

At one point, Christian’s good looks are mentioned so many times I lost count – on one page.  Also, British phrases are awkward in a book about Americans.  I’ve never been accused of throwing ‘my toys out of my pram’ when I snapped at someone.

It’s hard to believe that someone as stoic and introverted as Christian signs the majority of his emails with ‘laters, babe’ because he said it once.  And the possession!  New phone, new computer, he flies to see Ana when she is out of town.  Betcha the GPS is activated! CREEPER!!!!

The voices!  Ana’s inner goddess and subconscious bounce around in her head like a bouncy house!  It’s hard to decipher, too, because nothing sets their voices apart – no italics, quotes – nothing.

If MY inner goddess called me a ‘ho’, I’d get a new one!

It’s just so awful.  The reviews were right.  Please do something else with your time: Repaint your bedroom.  Plant some flowers.  Pet a kitty!  Anything else!

Never Go Back (Jack Reacher #18), by Lee Child

Another Reacher novel!  This one, however, was a disappointment.  In this book, Reacher is headed to meet Major Susan Turner, his replacement in the Army (with whom he’s been speaking).

When he arrives, Susan isn’t to be found, after apparently having been fired.  To top that, Reacher is retroactively enlisted in the Army (the why and wherefore of that I can’t even recall).  So, he sets out to find out not only what happened to Susan, but also why he’s being slapped with accusations from his past.

So, I didn’t like this one.  Some action, I can understand, especially if the book and storyline is amazing.  This one wasn’t.  The phrase “because he had responsibilities too” was used continuously when the author would refer to a conversation between the two antagonists. When the twist was revealed, it was really unentertaining.  Oh, and the ending – didn’t like it at all!

Here’s hoping the latest Reacher novel to emerge is a lot better!

Adventures of a Salsa Goddess, by JoAnn Hornak

OH, what a find! I don’t know how long this had been on my shelf before I finally read it. I will say up front the only thing I didn’t like is how the author describes some of the characters as having “chubby thighs”, and the like.  Other than that, this was very enjoyable.

Samantha Jacobs is on assignment for her magazine; Her mission: To find a groom by New Year’s Eve!  Her boss has arranged everything else for the wedding of the year to prove that a woman in her forties can find love in the most unexpected of places: Milwaukee, Sam’s new home.

Sam’s story unfolds over the summer as she has many dates in search of her Prince Charming and starts taking salsa lessons on the side.  It made me want to embrace life – and shake my hips!

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher #1), by Lee Child

What?!  Another Reacher book?!  Can you tell which author I discovered last year?

This book introduces us to Jack Reacher as he’s passing through (he is a loner, you know) the small town of Margrave, Georgia.  When a dead body is found, he’s arrested on suspicion of murder.  Action, smart dialogue – and I really like the interaction with Officer Roscoe!

This was read by Johnathan McLain and he does such a wonderful job!

The Price of Pleasure, by Joan Elizabeth Lloyd

An interesting read, this book: Erika Holland finds herself struggling to make ends meet after her husband dashes off with another woman.  After an offer to accompany a gentleman to dinner, her entire life changes.

I started this thinking Ok, she’s an escort.  How good can this book be?  I was very surprised.  Yes, she becomes an escort, yet the author interweaves so many other threads like her love life and struggles with her estranged daughter.  You realize Erika is like any other woman, struggling to find happiness and balance relationships.  I was pleased with how it ended as well.

What have you read lately that you enjoyed?  Let me know!

Adieu and remember: Books are an awesome addiction to have!

Katy

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