Tuesday, June 28, 2016

First Comes Love

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

My Review

This was an fine read. I just did not feel the sorrow or strong family bond with Josie and Meredith's family. Although I did appreciate Josie and Meredith bond as sisters. Yet, I was more drawn towards Josie and her carefree personality. Even though their marriage was fractured, I was on Nolan's side. When things got difficult it seemed that Meredith would retreat into herself or lash out at Nolan. Out of the two sisters, Meredith appeared to be closer to her brother.

This book was long kind of like a tome more than a book, which would not have bothered me if I had shared a strong connection with the characters in this story. This may not have been one of my favorite books by this author but I will still read more books by this author.

Summer Reading Challenge

Collecting the Dead

Magnus "Steps" Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Called in on special cases where his skills are particularly needed, he works as a tracker. The media dubs him "The Human Bloodhound," since Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface better than anyone else. But there's a secret to his success. Steps has a special ability---a kind of synesthesia---where he can see the 'essence' of a person, something he calls 'shine,' on everything they've touched. His ability is known to only a few people---his father, the director of the FBI, and his partner, Special Agent Jimmy Donovan.

When the remains of a murdered woman are found, Steps recognizes the shine left by the murderer from another crime scene with a physically similar victim. And he uncovers the signature at both scenes---the mark of a sad face. At the same time, another killer, one Steps has dubbed Leonardo and has been trying to track for over ten years, appears again, taunting Steps. But while Steps tries to find a clue that will lead him to Leonardo, the case of the Sad Face Killer heats up. The team uncovers eleven possible victims: missing women who fit the same pattern. Using his skill and the resources of the Bureau, it is a race against time to find the killer before it's too late.

My Review

I have found me a new author in my favorite genre...murder/suspense thrillers. I am so happy. Steps is an multi-dimensional character. Although I know Steps may not really appreciate the title of "Human Bloodhound" it is fitting. He has great instinct into the human mind and can assess a scene quickly.

The killer featured in this book had a strong frontal presence. I am glad about this as most of the other books I have recently read in this genre the killer is featured half the time as a strong figure. I felt that both the killer and Steps are on equal footing. The rest of the characters in this book were not just playing second string either. The ending has left me wanting more.

I like the motto of the Special Tracking Unit (STU) "We save the ones we can"

A Certain Age

The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers, brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingĂ©nue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

My Review

I was first drawn to this book by the lovely book cover. The next thing was the time period this story featured... the 1920's. I have really been intrigued by this era and getting my hands on new books that I come across that take place in this era.

As soon as I opened this book I was transported back in time. This is the best part about this book...the era. I was not immersed in the characters or their lives as much as I would have liked to be. In fact, for me I did not really see or experience a love triangle. Although, I thought that Octavian was good as was Sophie. Theresa was fine but I felt a brick wall between her and Octavian that they could not fully break down in their relationship. Despite not being in love with this book I did like what I read and would read more books by this author.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Running for Water and Sky

They say that right before you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes. But what they don't say is that the same thing can happen when your soul mate is dying. 

 After spending most of her 17 years being shuffled between families that don't want her, Bless Adler has no intention of opening her heart to anyone. And then she falls in love with Liam Reid.
The closer Bless lets Liam get, the more fearful she becomes. Then her new friend, Maylee, convinces her to go see a local psychic and the woman's glimpse into the future is anything but reassuring: Bless's absent father, drunk and bitter. A frantic crowd gathered at the beach. Liam lying in a pool of blood, a gun at his side. 

 Now Bless has 14 blocks to reach Liam on the shores of Lake Michigan. If he's still alive, she'll beg for him to fight for his life. If he's not, she'll say good-bye to the first person who made her want to fight for her own. Edgy, intense, and emotional, Running for Water and Sky is a story of the elation and angst that comes with love, and the challenge of learning to trust when betrayal is all you ve ever known.

My Review

It appears that I must have read a different book from the current readers. Everyone else is raving about this book. Don't get me wrong as in the beginning I thought this story was really going to go somewhere. Yet, after only a few chapters, I had lost interest in what was transpiring in the pages of this book. None of the characters jumped out at me and made me crave for their story. Yet I did keep reading as I thought I would find that "some" again. After just going through the motions until the half way point I was done. I did skip ahead to the last three chapters to see how the story would end. Unfortunately, this book was not for me.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Just but barely Within Reach

Dying wasn’t on seventeen-year-old Xander Hemlock’s summer to-do-list. Finding ways to spend more time with his girlfriend, Lila, was the most critical thinking he planned on doing. But that was before he found himself trapped in a realm of only darkness with thirty days to convince Lila he’s not actually dead—well, not completely, anyway.

As Xan tries to show Lila she isn't alone, she struggles to comprehend how her life has changed so completely. Six months ago her life was perfect: she was on her way to becoming a professional dancer, her parents were still married, and her boyfriend was alive. But now, with her anorexic tendencies stronger than ever, she must decide which is the lesser of two evils: letting go to be with a boy she doesn't love, or holding on to the unreasonable, yet overpowering, feeling that Xan is still within reach...and trying to show her something.

Improbable and endearing, Within Reach is a story of two soulmates discovering that sometimes it takes more than one lifetime to get it right.
My Review
Ok, so I did not totally see the ending coming. I liked how it ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. The story had a nice flow to it. I was able to read it without any real stumbling blocks. The main reason why I can't say that I am in love with this book is because although I did feel the strong connection between Xan and Lila, I did not experience the love worth going to the ends of the Earth for. I was craving this reading this book. It was like me the reader had to be assured of this factor at the end of every chapter. Yet, there was a few other love interest that came into the picture for Lila and I could not picture anyone else with her but Xan. For example one of the guys was Jason. At first I thought he was a good friend but as the story went on, he quickly got on my nerves and I found him annoying. So much that when he could come into the picture I would quickly skim over his parts of the conversation. As far as soulmates and a ghost story, this is not a bad one. It is actually one of the better stories I have read in a while.

Friday, June 24, 2016

In the Shadow of the Gods



Inside the Book:

Title: In the Shadows 
Author: Rachel Dunne 
Release Date: June 21, 2016 
Publisher: Harper Voyager 
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure 
Format: Paperback/Ebook

A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals led by a violent, secretive man must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.

Eons ago, a pair of gods known as the Twins grew powerful in the world of Fiatera, until the Divine Mother and Almighty Father exiled them, binding them deep in the earth. But the price of keeping the fire lands safe is steep. To prevent these young gods from rising again, all twins in the land must be killed at birth, a safeguard that has worked until now.

Trapped for centuries, the Twins are gathering their latent powers to break free and destroy the Parents for their tyranny—to set off a fight between two generations of gods for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it.

When the gods make war, only one side can be victorious. Joros, a mysterious and cunning priest, has devised a dangerous plan to win. Over eight years, he gathers a team of disparate fighters—Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law.

These warriors must learn to stand together against the unfathomable power of vengeful gods, to stop them from tearing down the sun . . . and plunging their world into darkness.

    photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N

Meet the Author:

Rachel Dunne
Living in the cold reaches of the upper Midwest with her great beast of a dog, Rachel Dunne has developed a great fondness for indoor activities. For as long as snow continues falling in Wisconsin, she promises to stay inside and keep writing. 

Her first novel, In the Shadow of the Gods, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and will be published by Harper Voyager in June of 2016. Its two sequels will follow.  
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Tour Schedule

Monday, June 20 - Guest blogging at A Title Wave
Book featured at Book Cover Junkie
Tuesday, June 21 - Interviewed at Harmonious Publicity
Guest blogging at The Dark Phantom
Wednesday, June 22 - Book featured at Bound 2 Escape
Book featured at The Literary Nook
Thursday, June 23 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Friday, June 24 - Book reviewed at Cheryl's Book Nook
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
Monday, June 27 - Interviewed at The Review From Here
Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight
Tuesday, June 28 - Interviewed at Voodoo Princess
Book featured at Lover of Literature
Wednesday, June 29 - Book reviewed at The Recipe Fairy
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Thursday, June 30 - Interviewed at As the Page Turns
Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Friday, July 1 - Book reviewed at Cover2Cover
Book featured at CBY Book Club
Book reviewed at 3 Partners in Shopping
Book reviewed at Ashley's Bookshelf
Book reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt

Thursday, June 23, 2016

All Summer Long

Tia Gets a Second Chance at Love When an Old Crush Suddenly Reappears

Though it means giving up the chef's job at her uncle's small town Italian restaurant in Washington, Tia D'Amico is thrilled to move to San Francisco to help her aunt with a new business venture: transforming an old luxury yacht into an upscale floating restaurant. The icing on the cake is that Leo Parker, Tia's crush from a long-ago sailing camp, has been hired as the yacht's captain. The only problem is that he's engaged to someone else.

Tia hides her feelings and rolls up her sleeves as she sets out to make her aunt's dream a reality. But as the tide turns on Leo's relationship, does Tia dare hope he might set a course for her heart?

All the romance of a summer in San Francisco is captured in this delightful story from an author who has made a career of tugging our heartstrings.

Review by Blanche Mancuso

You will want to read this love story set in the San Francisco area. Tia D'Amico goes to San Francisco to help refurbish an old yacht owed by the D'Amico family. She has just finished her studies at Culinary School and has become a chef.

Her Aunt and Uncle want to make the yacht into a floating dinner cruise ship in the Bay area and they have asked Tia to be in charge of the renovations. Tina ends up falling in love with the ship as well as an old flame who reenters her life...but will the love extend to the captain?

What happens next is a joyful and entertaining book that will keep you turning the pages to see what is going to happen next. This is the perfect book for a fun summer, romantic read. I so enjoyed this book and very much look forward to reading the next book by this author, Melody Carlson. Which by the way this book is the second one in this series and it can be read as a stand alone novel.