Ani's Book Abyss

Ani's Book Abyss

I like to read. A lot.

Booklikes-opoly | Roll #13!
Booklikes-opoly
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

 


For my previous roll, Roll #12 on 5/20, I rolled a 3 and landed on the BL Square.  A further roll netted me BL Task 11, which read: Read for two!  The rewards for your next book are doubled - and half of the money goes to another player of your choice!

 

 


According to the rules, I did not get to read for this square, so the doubled rewards will go to the book I get from today's roll!  And let me tell you, as much fun as I've been having will rolling the dice for my next move, without a book to read for Booklikes-opoly, I felt kind of lost, and the wait until the next roll felt like it was going on forever!

Meanwhile, however, I was actually able to finish reading a non-challenge related book and it felt kind of good, to be honest.  Okay, that was a lie.  The book I read was totally for another challenge, even if for a more personal challenge that I'm frankly just using as a way to make myself finish reading series.  I'm totally not taking that personal series challenge too seriously-ish.  But it still felt good to get some reading done that I've been trying to get to since the beginning of this year.

Anyway...

I wasn't sure how I wanted to choose who to share my rewards with, so I was thinking about doing a random roll or something.  Ultimately, however, I decided to skim the game posts and the Bank Balances, and see if there was someone who could maybe use a little boost, even if a tiny one.

After some deliberation, I decided on Portable Magic!  It looks like the game's been kind of slow-going for her due to baseball season and all, so hopefully this will help give a small boost.  I know it's not much, but wanted to be helpful.  To Portable Magic, I will send you a private message in case you don't see this update, and then will let you know when I finally finish my book and have money to share so we can both cash in!


And now moving onto my Roll #13:

So I got so obsessed with the dice roller app on my phone that I found myself playing with it at random moments.  I mean, you can tap it, shake it, or swipe, and it will roll!  So rather than going back to Random.org to do my roll, this time I decided to switch things up a bit and use the app.

Doesn't it look kind of cool?  I played with the background, the color of the dice, even gave it a metallic shine!  Ahem...

 

 


So, I rolled a 7, which takes me from the BL Square to Adventureland 27.

 


Magnetic Monkey:  "Is this where Teddy Bear is supposed to go?"

Monkey might be a bit of a diva, being all up on my game board, but at least he's helpful.


For the book, it took a bit of a search until I realized that Nora Roberts would totally fit this game space.  There were several books that had trees on the cover, but I think I was more interested in reading another Romantic Suspense.

I went ahead and checked out two books from the e-book library so I could get started on reading immediately.

 


Carnal Innocence is 402 pages on the Kindle version, just enough pages to get me a $5.00 cash reward!  The Obsession is 464 pages on the Kindle version, which would also be $5.00.  Truthfully, I had wanted to read River's End, but it just so happens to have already been checked out, so maybe I'll just leave it for the next time I land on Frontierland 4 and need a book title that can spell 'River.'

I'm leaning more towards Carnal Innocence, so that is what I will probably end up reading, but I'm going to give both a short sample go and see which one draws me in more.

Either way, I will be earning a double reward based on my previous roll wherein the BL Task I got allows me to share half the reward with another player, that player being Portable Magic.  Once again, I will make sure to let you know when I've finished the book so we can both collect on the $5.00!  I know it's not much, but hopefully it'll help,

 

 

Current Bank:   $56.00

  • Roll #12 (5/20):  BL Task - Double rewards on next read & share w/ a friend / No book read.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/booklikes-opoly-roll-13.html
Review
2.5 Stars
Brief Thoughts: Under the Mistletoe
Under the Mistletoe - Jill Shalvis

Under the Mistletoe

by Jill Shalvis

Lucky Harbor #6.5 (novella)

 

 

JUST ONE MORE KISS

There's no place like home for the holidays.  And the Lucky Harbor Bed & Breakfast is bursting with festive lights and good cheer.  But for Mia, Christmas is turning out to be anything other than merry and bright.  Her recent break-up with her boyfriend Nick has made her return bittersweet.  But then a surprise arrives, when Nick follows her to town bearing gifts-and asking for forgiveness.

Nick grew up without a family of his own so he's overwhelmed by the love that Mia receives from all her relatives, gathered together to celebrate the season.  Under their watchful eyes, Nick finds earning back her trust the hardest thing he's ever had to do.  If he succeeds, he will receive the greatest gift of all, Mia's love for a lifetime.



I feel a little mean giving this novella such a meh rating, especially since it DOES also give us a brief glimpse of Chloe and Sawyer--my utmost favorite Lucky Harbor couple.  Unfortunately, the glimpse is simply too brief for my liking.

I know, I know.  Chloe and Sawyer already got their book.  This novella is about Mia and Nick.

It's a cutesy and teeth-achingly sweet short romance story, but the events and our main couple's behavior was so over-dramatic that I found myself rolling my eyes on several occasions.  To be totally honest, I was never really able to relate with Tara and Ford's daughter, Mia in the third Lucky Harbor book--her development wasn't entirely fleshed out.  And while I'm glad that she gets a nice Happily Ever After in a short story, I don't feel like this story was totally necessary.

AND it infringed upon Chloe and Sawyer's wedding day as well, which makes me a bit disappointed.  As my favorite Lucky Harbor couple, I would have liked for these two to get a special epilogue or novella for their wedding...

Er... yeah...  Moving along...

Anyway, like I said, the novella is cute and sweet, but I just couldn't find myself understanding what the conflict truly was, though I DO see what we were trying to make of the conflict.  That whole thing where Mia was always the one to pick the people in her life and never the other way around, and for once, she wanted someone to pick her.

Except, as an adopted child, even with feelings of abandonment, it doesn't escape my notice that... well, didn't her adoptive parents pick her to be a daughter, part of their lives?

Anyway, this short seemed like a pretty flimsy plot, with some super cheesy dialogue in the end when Nick was trying to win Mia back.  Still, once again, it's cute and it's sweet, so we get points for that.

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/brief-thoughts-under-mistletoe.html
Review
3.5 Stars
Thoughts: Forever and a Day
Forever and a Day - Jill Shalvis

Forever and a Day

by Jill Shalvis

Book 6 of Lucky Harbor

 


While there were a lot of things about this book that bugged me, such as some characters' behaviors, or the almost too deliberate "Meant to Be" vibe coming off our couple in spades--actions, thoughts, and dialogue from both Grace's and Josh's POVs overtly mirroring each other--I found that I actually, really enjoyed this book.

Nonetheless, there were still a lot of loose ends left unwrapped, and some side tangents left unfollowed.  I feel satisfied, but at the same time... well, not quite.  If ya know what I mean.


The Story:
Grace has spent her entire life trying to live up to her adoptive parents' standards, the two of them being rocket scientist over-acheivers.  While she cannot follow in her parents' footsteps to take on a career in the sciences, Grace has found her niche in numbers, financials, accounting... the like, and is determined to be the most successful financial manager for any prospective business that will hire her.  Unfortunately, her goals are dashed when she takes a position in Seattle, only to find that her boss is more interested in what she can do for him on a more personal level, if she wants to keep rising in her field.  With that, Grace walks away from that job and arrived in Lucky Harbor, hoping to find herself and figure out what her next steps will be.

In the meantime, she finds herself taking up all forms of odd end jobs in order to survive her day-to-day, including an impromptu dog-walker job for Lucky Harbor's favorite young doctor, Joshua Scott.  In no time, she's also babysitting Dr. McHottie's son, trying to help counsel his paraplegic baby sister, and generally worming her way into somehow managing to help organize his personal life for him.

After all, as an ER doctor who also inherited his father's practice, Josh doesn't seem to be able to find an extra hour anywhere in his day to spend with his sister or his son; something that has been looming over him as a source of regret.  But Grace's presence seems to start a cascade of change in his life; not only is he uncontrollably attracted to her, but her passion for everything she does seems to help him figure out how to finally balance his work and personal life...

... or something like that...


My Thoughts:
There's no good way to really summarize a book when, to be totally honest, very little happens outside of the developments between our main couple.  Sure, there are also developments between Josh and his sister, but those almost feel picked over in favor of the romance.  And then there's even the nonexistent interactions between Grace and her parents--I would have really loved to have seen something happen between them, such as an understanding that Grace doesn't have to become as "perfect" as her rocket scientist parents.  But this subject was never really touched upon outside of Grace's own misgivings and self-doubts.

I would have loved to see that maybe Grace's adoptive parents were never truly that stuck on Grace being the best or the perfect, ambitious over achiever.  I would have loved to see whether or not all of these obligations she's set for herself, were maybe just her own, and not her parents'.

Coming back to the relationship between Josh and his sister, Anna--the story behind the animosity stems from Anna's anger after a tragic car accident that kills the Scott parents and leaves Anna paralyzed.  But as we can see, Anna seems perfectly capable of taking care of herself, but has made it her life's mission to make her elder brother miserable in order to sate her feelings of anger, unable to truly express her self-doubt about her own life.

I thought there could have been so much more development between these two; a way in which they could come to some sort of understanding.  After the death of their parents, Josh was also thrown into a whirlwind of chaos, because not long before his parents died, he was left with little Toby when the little boy's mother walks away, never looking back.  On top of that, Josh had just started his career as a doctor.

The two Scott siblings had so much going on between the two of them, in their lives, and to add onto that, we learn that they are too stubborn for their own good to initiate taking a step towards working out their issues and fixing their relationship.

Even with Grace's presence as a catalyst, I think there could have been so much more potential between Josh and Anna's sibling relationship development.  The version in this book feels kind of deflated, truth be told.

Anyway, Jill Shalvis still manages to deliver a very enjoyable romance, though she DOES tend to focus too much on the romance, at the detriment of other tangential story lines that would have been awesome if expanded upon.

Nonetheless, Forever and a Day is probably my favorite of this second trio of books in the Lucky Harbor series.  Grace's unabashed show of ogling and groping Josh was actually kind of entertaining.  This is one couple whose romantic development actually felt fairly down-to-earth, with an insta-lust slowly growing into a full blown relationship, and then to love.

It's just unfortunate that their relationship still suffers from that same ailment that all romance novel couples suffer from--lack of proper communication.  No matter that Grace DOES spend a lot of time trying to pry into Josh's stubborn, tight-lipped secrets, whether to be helpful in figuring out how to take care of him and his family, or just out of pure curiosity.  The two still spend a lot of time second-guessing what each other want for their lives without once trying to talk it out until the end.

Meanwhile, Anna tended to get on my nerves with her bratty behavior--some of it that could have even been quite dangerous to a five year old little boy--and so did the way that Josh treated her.  These siblings could really use some good counseling, mainly on how to stop purposefully pissing each other off.  Then again, being one fourth of a set of siblings myself, I know perfectly well that there is no such thing as logical discussion when it comes to siblings and rivalry and the like.  Sometimes, you just fight for the stupidest reasons... because you can.  It's what siblings do.  Because at the end of the day, you're still related to each other.

On a side note, the best part of this book was probably the ornery duo of Josh's son, Toby, and their little devil of a pug puppy, Tank.  These two were so much adorbs that I couldn't help smiling every time they presented in the story!

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/thoughts-forever-and-day.html
Review
3.5 Stars
Brief Thoughts: A Kiss for Midwinter (novella)
A Kiss For Midwinter (Brothers Sinister, #1.5) - Courtney Milan

 A Kiss for Midwinter

by Courtney Milan

Brothers Sinister #1.5 (novella)

 

 

Miss Lydia Charingford is always cheerful, and never more so than at Christmas time.  But no matter how hard she smiles, she can't forget the youthful mistake that could have ruined her reputation.  Even though the worst of her indiscretion was kept secret, one other person knows the truth of those dark days: the sarcastic Doctor Jonas Grantham.  She wants nothing to do with him...or the butterflies that take flight in her stomach every time he looks her way.

Jonas Grantham has a secret, too: He's been in love with Lydia for more than a year.  This winter, he's determined to conquer her dislike and win her for his own.  It all starts with a wager and a kiss...



There was a lot about this novella that I loved, but then there were also a few things I didn't quite care for.  The characters were fun, up to a certain point, and while I DID sort of like their banter, it didn't escape my notice that both had a way of doing or saying things that kind of frustrated me.  Jonas tended towards condescending prick at times, but I DO like how straight-forward and no-nonsense he is.  Lydia got frustratingly irrational at the beginning, jumping to conclusions, and imagining slights where there were none; but she had her good moments as well.

I can't say that this was an entirely awesome and wonderful story, having recently coming off of the magnificent high that was The Duchess War.  Although since I hadn't been particularly enamored of the prequel novella, The Governess Affair, it wasn't like I was entirely disappointed.

Truth be told, while I did like Lydia from when she was simply a side character, as Minnie's best friend in the first book, I'm not quite sure I really needed a Lydia story.  I'm happy for her Happily Ever After, but I'm guessing I probably could have gone without this novella and would have been fine.

It was enjoyable to read, but nothing spectacular.

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/brief-thoughts-kiss-for-midwinter.html
Booklikes-opoly | Roll #12!
Booklikes-opoly
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

 


I was too jittery to wait until 5/20 to roll (my last roll was on 5/18).  And I will be at work with no backup book to read during my free time if I happen to manage to finish this novella I'm currently reading outside of BLopoly.  So I went ahead and rolled and set up my post (which I will be scheduling to publish after midnight so it goes up on 5/20; and yes, I'm that anal).  I will NOT begin reading the book until 5/20, anyway, though there are only a couple hours left of 5/19, so it's not like it's a really long wait.

So anyway... moving right along...

For my Roll #11, I rolled an 11 and ended up on Cars Land 18.  I chose to read The London Deception by Addison Fox, a book published in 2013--meeting the game space requirements.  This book is 282 pages, which gave me a cash reward of $3.00, bringing my Bank Balance to $56.00.

 

 


The London Deception was immensely more enjoyable to me than the first book in The House of Steele series, The Paris Assignment.  I think it might have had to do with how the couple's relationship was handled, as well as all the talk of archaeology and an Egyptian dig site, and whatnot, even if not a whole lot of time is given to the actual dig itself.  The suspense plot was a little weak, truth be told, but it DID keep our main couple on their feet, and I liked out readily they were able to respond to these stressors together and develop their bond along the way.

A review might be forthcoming at some point.

Meanwhile...

Here is my twelfth roll:

 

 


I rolled a 3 and moved from Cars Land 18 to BL Square.

 


Monkey is trying to steal attention again.  Looks like he's out of his slump, though, so that's good.

But anyway, seeing as how I landed on BL, it means I get to roll again for one of the 12 BL Tasks.  And since I like visuals, I searched the internet for a 12 sided DnD dice, only to be denied that pleasure.  So what did I do?  I downloaded a dice roller app on my phone!  =D  One that allows you to shake the phone and the dice will roll... although you have to be careful, because apparently when I put my phone down after I shook it for the first, roll, the dice rolled again... so I had to go with that number since I didn't have a proper screen capture of the first one...

 


So, 11 for the BL Tasks says:  Read for two!  The rewards for  your next book are doubled - and half of the money goes to another player of your choice!

And after posing the question in the Q&A forum, this will count towards the next book I read for the next roll.  So until I can roll again on 5/22, I will not be reading a book for BLopoly.

I suppose this will give me a chance to catch up on some other reading I'd been meaning to do without any restrictions.  Hmm...  Reading a book of my own choosing without challenges or games to dictate...  LOL  What SHALL I read?

Anyway, as I am running out of time before I need to wrap up this post, stay tuned for another update post, and I will figure out how I will choose who to give half my reward to at some point tomorrow!

 

 

Current Bank:   $56.00

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/booklikes-opoly-roll-12.html
Can You Read a Series In A Month? June 2017 Challenge


I will definitely be participating in this reading challenge again, as I really enjoyed it last year in August when I read Maggie Shayne's Brown and de Luca series, enjoying it so much that I pretty much breezed through the entire thing before the month even really got started!

Unfortunately, with a lot of things going on in real life and in my bookish life, there is a distinct possibility I will fail this challenge.  HOWEVER, this year is the year of The Laid Back Reading Plans, wherein I just relax and read when I want to read and try not to stress too hard.  Meanwhile, this is also the year I decided to do what I can to cut down the number of series I've started already, so I'm hoping that this challenge will help me further my goals.

Also, with Booklikes-opoly still ongoing, depending on what my rolls and game tasks present... well that will be the difficult part.


The rules are pretty simple:  Read or finish one series in one month.  This time it is the month of June!  It can be a series you've already started, but there must be at least 3 published books that you have not yet read.  So if you want to read a trilogy and you haven't started, it'll count.  If you want to read a four book series and you've already read the first book, it'll count, too.

For more information and more answers to questions about the rules, refer to the sign up post link above.

 

 

My Series Pick

 

Brothers Sinister by Courtney Milan


1.  The Duchess War -- Already Read
2.  The Heiress Effect
3.  The Countess Conspiracy
4.  The Suffragette Scandal
novella 0.5:  The Governess Affair -- Already Read
novella 1.5:  A Kiss for Midwinter
novella 4.5:  Talk Sweetly to Me

*Click on series title for GR series page. // Click on book title for my review.

 

 

My Backup Series

 

Mordecai Young by Maggie Shayne

 

 

Ramblings

 

I read The Duchess War for Booklikes-opoly, for a game task that required reading a book either taking place during Victoria's reign (1837 - 1901), or a book tagged steampunk.  Since I don't really read steampunk, I decided on a Victorian romance.  And I absolutely loved it!  Needless to say, I'd really love to finish this series!  There are also two more novellas I need to finish for this series; since we don't have to read novellas or short stories for this challenge, I'm going to try to read A Kiss for Midwinter before the challenge actually starts to get it done, because it would bother me too much to skip over books and shorts and novellas in a series.  Talk Sweetly to Me, thankfully comes after the fourth book in the series, so I can always try to get it read anytime after June if I don't make it in time.

I had briefly considered reading another Maggie Shayne series based upon my luck with this author so far.  But I will use Mordecai Young as a back-up series, even though I have a feeling (and know for sure) that I probably won't need one, unless I absolutely lose interest in Brothers Sinister.

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/can-you-read-series-in-month-june-2017.html
Booklikes-opoly | Roll #11!
Booklikes-opoly
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

 



Due to some IRL situations, I was extremely happy with my luck for the tenth roll.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to roll on my next available roll day, so I was happy to have rolled a double, ending up with two books to read over the weekend while out of town.

Unfortunately, I failed to keep in mind that I would probably be extremely busy while out of town, so while I didn't have to fret about rolling again after 48 hours... I didn't quite have the time I needed to finish reading both of my books for my rolls.

And since I fully intended to finish both books, the activity for Roll #11 got a little delayed... more than I would have liked.  It pretty much took me a whole week just to finish reading The House of Riverton alone; so fortunately, I breezed right through Two Guys, as it was a pretty easy read, even if I ended up not really caring for it.

 

    

 

  • Roll #10.1:  Rolled a Double 6 = 12.  Moved from The Monorail (29) to Frontierland 4.
    • Read The House at Riverton by Kate Morton.  Click on book title for review.
    • This book fits the game space in an obvious way via the book title.
  • Roll #10.2:  Rolled a 4.  Moved from Frontierland 4 to Mystery Square 8.


Here is my eleventh roll:

 

 


I rolled an 11 and moved from Mystery Square 8 to Cars Land 18.

 


I'm... not entirely sure what's going on with Magnetic Monkey...  I suppose some of his over-energetic activity is catching up with him.  Poor guy is barely hanging on.  At least Teddy Bear game piece is staying in place.  Maybe Monkey is just a little upset that he doesn't have to help Teddy Bear sit in place this time?

 


Anyway, for this particular game space, I've decided to go with the publication year rather than look for a book cover with a car on it.  Off the top of my head, I can't really think of one.  So I'm going to go with The London Deception by Addison Fox which was published in 2013.  I'm trying to work on series that I've started, after all, and since I started reading The House of Steele series, I figured I should make an effort to finish it.

The London Decpetion is marked at 282 pages on my Kindle book, which will award me $3.00 upon completion.  Since it's such a short book, I'm hoping that I'll be able to roll again in two days and move forward.  Meanwhile, if I can manage to finish reading it before I have to roll, maybe I can start another short novella I'm meaning to read.

Truthfully, I had been hoping that a bunch of other books would get a chance, but alas, none of them fit the publication year.  I'll have to cross my fingers and hope I roll another ideal square so I can get some of my 2017 TBR reads read.

 

 

Current Bank:   $53.00

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/booklikes-opoly-roll-11.html
Review
2 Stars
Thoughts: Two Guys Detective Agency
Two Guys Detective Agency - Stephanie Bond

Two Guys Detective Agency

by Stephanie Bond

Book 1 of Two Guys Detective Agency

 

 

Linda and Octavia are estranged sisters.  The stay-at-home mom and socialite have never had much in common...until now.  When they suddenly find themselves husband-less and broke, they reluctantly agree to combine their talents and take on a faltering P.I. agency in a strip mall.  Old emotional wounds keep the two at odds and both sisters think they've made a huge mistake. But soon they realize all their clients have secrets...and who better to help them than two women who have secrets of their own?



I think I had been expecting a whole lot more from this book than a simple teasing introduction.  While the book is tagged as a mystery, and the cover even suggests that this is a "Humorous Mystery Series," I certainly did not find any part of that title to be true.

It's probably why the series was renamed to simply Two Guys Detective Agency?  The concept was going to be a nice one, even if a little overdone.  Two sisters, down on their luck when they find themselves husband-less and broke, reluctantly team up to take on a private investigation agency.

The summary suggests so much more than what actually happens in the book.  We spend a good 60% of the book itself setting up the "What will Linda and Octavia do now?" part of their failing marriages and broken families.  And while I liked the whole aspect of them maybe finding a niche in taking over Linda's husband's investigation agency, starting off by helping him close a few domestic cases, the entirety of that story line maybe comprised about 10% of the book... if even that.

I was even hoping that maybe the two would stumble upon a criminal case and a murder and help solve that case, and maybe make a name for themselves.  But aside from closing a few insurance fraud cases, and maybe helping to find patient zero for a spreading STD case in a nursing home (the conclusion they came up with was both, a long stretch, and not at all able to be proven with anything but speculation), nothing that these two women do suggest that they are cut out for investigative work.

Which makes me extra resentful that I felt righteous indignation on their behalf that everyone else also snapped to the judgment that the two of them couldn't possibly be good investigators, for other reasons that I didn't like.  Because it's the truth, but the other people didn't know that they were doing a laughing-stock of a job being investigators.  They were just all, "Well, you're just a stay at home mom and wife.  What could you possibly know about investigative work?"

Anyway...

To be honest, Two Guys felt like a drawn out introductory of sorts.  The only true mystery was the question of what happened to Octavia's husband, Richard, and what he ended up getting himself involved in.  Then there was the very, very open-ended conclusion regarding Richard's dealings, which turned out much more chaotic than I had expect... and also wasn't quite concluded, if we were to really be honest with ourselves.

Virtually nothing is really solved in this book, but the characters convene and close out the story as if everything is just wrapped up nicely with a bow on top.  And I probably would have been less upset if everything had been wrapped up nicely with a bow on top.  But there are so many loose ends, and so many more questions that need to be answered, and even so many turn of events in the entire story that made absolutely no sense.

The missing case files that the D.A.'s office is still requesting from Linda's husband, Sullivan's agency and how they relate with a murder case labeled "Foxtrot" was never closed out.  The mysterious evidence bag that Richard left with the maid, who was then killed, and which now leads to an even bigger mysterious twist in the book was, again, also still left hanging.

Then there's the death of Linda's husband, Sullivan, which I kept getting vibes that there was much more to it than a simple heart attach.  I keep trying to connect the "Foxtrot" case with his death, and my line of thinking when it comes to crime thrillers, or even cozy mysteries, is that there is definitely a connection.

And then, for some reason, I find Dunk Duncan--the private investigator who works on more high-end cases--kind of shady.  Mainly, the fact that he offered to pick up all of Sullivan's open cases seemed a little sketchy to me.  Or maybe I'm just paranoid.  And then I'm even seeing some sketchiness in Detective Oakley Hall as well--something about him gives me bad vibes.

Unfortunately, as I already stated, there were so many things left unanswered, so many loose ends that had no tie up.  And the ending was so abrupt that it might as well have been a cliffhanger--it almost feels as if our author just sort of needed to wind things up and turn in a manuscript because she was meeting a deadline, and screw the quality of the book.

Anyway, I'm contemplating reading the next book whenever it finally gets published, though, to be honest, it's kind of a stretch, and I might just stop here.  Aside from the children and the dog, and maybe Brittany, the Waffle House waitress, I didn't really care for anyone else in this book.  Octavia was driving me insane with her self-absorbed selfishness, and Linda really, really needed to grow a backbone.

But I DO find the parallel of both women, having molded their entire lives around their respective husbands, then finding themselves in a quandary when they both lose their husbands, kind of a great premise to bounce off of.  If anything, it gave the two a chance to rekindle their estranged relationship.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly


Roll #10:
This book is tagged 'mystery' on GR.

Page Count:  255
Cash Award:  $3.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $53.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/thoughts-two-guys-detective-agency.html
Review
3.5 Stars
Thoughts: The House at Riverton
The House at Riverton - Kate Morton

The House at Riverton
by Kate Morton

 

 

Grace Bradley was just a girl when she began working as a servant at Riverton House.  For years, her life was inextricably tied up with the glamorous and eccentric Hartford family's daughters, Hannah and Emmeline.  Then, at a glittering society party in the summer of 1924, a young poet shot himself.  The only witnesses were Hannah and Emmeline, and only they--and Grace--knew the dark truth.

Many years later, when Grace is living out her last days in a nursing home, she receives a visit from a young director who is making a film about the events of that summer.  The director takes Grace back to Riverton House and reawakens her memories of the last days of Edwardian aristocratic privilege, of the vibrant twenties and of a stunning secret that Grace kept all her life.

A vivid, page-turning tale of suspense and passion, The House at Riverton is marked by indelible characters and a breathtaking ending that readers won't soon forget.



This is my very first Kate Morton book, and unsurprisingly, I found it extremely addictive to read in spite of the fact that there were so many frustrating events.  The story itself even seemed to drag a little bit at some points, and I found that there were some points where I wished the progression would just move on already and give us the next event.  Foreshadowing left little to be interpreted, thus making all the secrets left to be revealed pretty predictable.  Really, the only thing I think I finished reading the book for were the little holes of the story left to fill in, and Kate Morton's beautiful writing style.

I guess I also kind of hoped that we would get to catch a few more glimpses of Grace's life post-Riverton.  Truth be told, while the story about the Hartford sisters, with the main focus being on Hannah, was intriguing, I can't say that I truly felt much care for their day-to-day lives, or how conflicting their life decisions were.  Even the main, tragic event that Grace continually alludes to throughout the book ended up being less than interesting, once you picked up all the hints and figured out what probably really happened.

I knew going into this that it was obviously not going to be a Happily Ever After; that the book was going to be hauntingly tragic, even if atmospherically attractive.  While I had a hard time relating to characters--this was, after all, a much different world than what I'm used to in modern times--it was hard not to entirely sympathize with them, even though it was clear that our main characters all kind of dug their own graves (pun, not quite intended) with each and every step they took forward in their lives. I found myself wincing outwardly whenever a character made an important decision that I KNEW was not going to end well for anyone.

I even openly winced when Grace kept getting dragged into the middle of her Mistress's secrets, and while I found it frustrating that she would be so intent and passionate about her loyalties to Hannah, it was also understandable, in a way.  Again, this is a different world than what I know, after all, and people's mindsets were infinitely different.

Nonetheless, the book was written very beautifully, and with such a big secret being lead up to for the bulk of the book, I subconsciously found the need to keep right on reading.  Predictable as it was, I still loved how the story was framed and formatted, as Grace remembering the past and recording her story and the story of those at Riverton for her grandson to hear.  It was a very nice touch, and I DO love how we drift back and forth from present, to randomly different times in Grace's history, with only the main story following a specific timeline.

Once again, those slight mentions of how she came to be pregnant with Ruth, and how she ended up pursuing archaeology as her career, and how he came to be part of the next war, thus separating her from her husband (whom she did not love), were sweet little gems that gave the story telling a more down-to-earth feel, rather than the Gothic, almost incredible story of events that took place at Riverton.

I will probably continue to read books by Kate Morton, as this was a great introductory to her work.  However, reading this book reminds me why I have a hard time loving or one hundred percent enjoying historical fiction.  This book shows a much more detailed, nitty-gritty accounting of the times, and takes a closer look at how snobbish aristocrats can be, and how divided classes were.  It gave us a different rendering of how one culture unabashedly stereotypes and judges another based solely on their own closed-minded knowledge of the world.  It showed a more historically accurate representation of how women were treated and, in turn, how women responded to this treatment, even during the timeline wherein the "times were changing."

Basically, I have a hard time NOT getting angry on behalf of how obviously unequal people were treated dependent on class, gender, birth, etc....  And while I had some issues with Hannah, as a person and as a character, I couldn't help but to sympathize with her, and grow indignant on her behalf when everyone pretty much implied that she was good for nothing but being married off.  That her ideas and dreams of being independent and working and seeing the world needed to be quashed by marriage to a good man who would keep her in line.

Anyway, this book was a great read, very enjoyable, even if not my typical cup of tea.  The secrets were obvious and predictable from the start, and while I enjoyed the build up to each reveal, I also found I wasn't overly excited about them, and was actually quite relieved when said secrets were no longer secrets, because that meant we could move on to the next secret reveal.

One thing is for sure, as I told my BFF when describing the book to her, this book may not be a personal favorite for me, but it sure incited a lot of emotions, and it certainly stays with you for some time after you've finished reading it.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly
 


Roll #10:
Book title = RIVERton.

Page Count:  468
Cash Award:  $5.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $50.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/thoughts-house-at-riverton.html
BLopoly Musings: Tomorrowland 36 Suggestions

There was an earlier post by Hol when she landed on Tomorrowland 36:

Read a book with either an image of or from space, or where the author's full name contains all of the letters in "SPACE."

 

She had mentioned that she looked through every book she owned and couldn't find any author whose name contains all the letters in 'SPACE'. So on a whim (and productively wasting hours of my day, because I got caught up in the activity), I went through, first my own shelves, then my entire list of 3000+ books shelved at GR to find author's whose names had all the letters in "SPACE" present.

 

And, because I am who I am, I made a spreadsheet and proceeded to document all the authors names from my GR shelves, marking off how many letters in their names correspond with the word 'SPACE'.  There were certainly a lot of names (500+) that had three of the five letters, and even two that had none of the letters present.

 

This... turned out to be a rather frustrating, difficult, and drawn-out, yet somehow addictive task...  I just couldn't stop listing and counting letters...  You should see my spreadsheet... it might be a bit too elaborate for just listing names, though.

 

I'm due to finish cleaning out my closet and doing some more tidying up and cleaning around the house since we have relatives coming next month... but I found this task a great way to procrastinate, I suppose.  O.o

 

Anyway, out of over 1000+ authors on my list, only 24 actually fit the criteria, with all five letters of the word "SPACE" accounted for within the author's full name.

 

I even went as far as doing some Google work to see if I could find middle names, or figure out what some initials stood for--which also wasn't an easy task.  Some authors, I found, were using their pen names, so I went ahead and included their real name as well.  Other authors have several pseudonyms that they've used over the years.

 

I think Jayne Ann Krentz has seven or eight of them, outside of her better known two: Amanda Quick and Jayne Castle.  Authors who liked to use initials for their name were also hard to figure out, as there are very few places that will even tell you what those initials stand for.  And then you find out that that name might be a pen name... and you're not sure how to proceed from there.

 

Anyway, long story short, here are the authors I came up with from my own TBR shelves, taken straight from my spreadsheet.

 

Bancroft, Stephanie (pseudonym)
Buck, Pearl S. (Siddenstricker)
Camp, Shannen Crane
Chapman, Elsie
Conant-Park, Jessica
Cypess, Leah
Harris, Neil Patrick
Kinsella, Sophie (Madeleine Sophie Wickham) real
Lewis, C.S. (Clive Staples)
Michaud, Stephen G.
Ness, Patrick
Paolini, Christopher
Park, Jessica
Parker, Amy Christine
Pearce, Jackson
Pitcher, Chelsea
Podos, Rebecca
Prelutsky, Jack
Richards, Penny
Rosemoor, Patricia
Sparks, Nicholas (Charles)
Spencer, Cathy
Stampler, Ann Redisch
Weekes, Patrick

 

At least two of the authors listed above, I'm not entirely sure about.

 

1.  Stephanie Bancroft is actually a pen name that Stephanie Bond used to use for some of her romances.  If we go by this name, it has all five necessary letters.  If we just go by Stephanie Bond's real name, we're still missing a 'c'.  So I'm not entirely sure if an author's name counts if it's a pen name.

 

2.  Sophie Kinsella, in contrast, is the pen name, and the author's real name, if Wiki is to be trusted, is Madeleine Sophie Wickham, which perfectly includes all five letters of 'SPACE' in it.

 

Other parentheses above merely include the author's middle name, or in C.S. Lewis's case, what his initials stand for.

 

Anyway, hopefully this list can help some others out, and if anyone can come up with others, let me know and I'll add it to my spreadsheet.

 

 

One of the reasons I went to the trouble, mainly, was because this particular game space seemed like a doozy, and I wondered about what I would do if I landed on it myself.  Much like Hol, I'm not entirely interested in space reads, either, so I'd otherwise have to sit this one out if I landed there.

 

I know I might have gotten a little obsessive about this little activity, but the idea stuck and I just couldn't stop thinking about it until I finished the task.

 

I suppose I could start a Reading List, like Tannat's been doing.  I'll get around to it at some point.

 

 

Edit:  I've started a Reading List at: Tomorrowland 36 Suggestions.  I think I've done it right.

 

 

Bout of Books 19 Wrap Up and Weekend News!
Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team

 



I was out of town for the weekend starting Friday, and after so much activity and driving around, I'm worn out.  Sometimes road trips and vacation can be so exhausting!

 


At least Baby thinks so.  He probably slept a lot more this weekend than anyone else did though, AND he got a nice toy out of the whole ordeal!

 


The little one was dragging that thing around like a new security blanket, feeling perfectly content to having it just hanging off of him, when he normally doesn't even like having anything bulky or clumsy hanging off of him like that.  He must really love the new toy!  Mom thinks it looks like a noose though, so she's been removing it; however, it seems a bit heavy for him to drag around in his mouth, so it kept ending up back around his neck.

Anyway, the weekend was busy with my cousin's graduation from Pharmacy school (!!!), and some shopping, and lots of eating.  I ended up completing my mission of needing to find a nice outfit for my brother's wedding (!!!) coming up in about a month.  And yes, I DID put off shopping for clothes for a long time because, a) I'd been hoping to lose some weight so I could wear something nicer, and b) I just don't like going shopping because it's so exhausting and I suck at fashion trends and stuff anyway.

Needless to say, losing weight is not one of my better skills, so I just had to find something that looked nice on me, but also didn't make me look bigger than I already am.  With my mom's help, we managed somehow.

And in the meantime, I continued my penchant for NOT losing weight by enjoying any and all food:

 


We went for a go at this new place that made rolled ice cream, which was delicious.  Unfortunately, being lactose intolerant, I paid for it later, even with the help of Lactaid.  Apparently, I'm very good at making poor life decisions, even with my resolutions to quit making myself miserable by eating things I shouldn't.  But it was vacation, and rolled ice cream, and there are bananas on my rolled ice cream, and that should count for something... right?

Other food choices included an all-you-can eat Italian buffet called Cinzetti's which was fabulous!  The dessert and crepe station was even more fabulous!  The Sangria Blanco also hit all the right spots!

We also had appetizers for lunch at a chic little bar, but the food wasn't all that great.  I'd never seen a more pathetic looking loaded fries.  Then after my cousin's graduation ceremony, my aunt invited everyone out to an Asian Bistro where she proceeded to ply everyone with food and drink because she was so happy for her daughter's achievements.  And because we were all so happy for her, we indulged!  There might have been some Sake and Sashimi involves well.

 

 


At some point in time we stopped for an early dinner wherein I  ended up seeing the word "scallops" and "risotto" in the same menu item description and got really, really happy.  Also, there's a really good Seared Ahi Tuna appetizer my family and I couldn't pass up, even though my youngest brother and I are the only ones who enjoyed it.  Mom ate off of the salad on the side.

At least there were a lot of green veggies on my plates!

That being said, the weekend was very long and very busy and very tiring, which didn't leave me a whole lot of time for reading except during those moments at the beginning of the day when you're sitting around and waiting for everyone else to wake up.  Since I'm such a light sleeper, I'm usually one of the first ones up, so I was at least able to get some reading accomplished, even if not what I'd hoped for.

And so, that brings us, finally, back to the Bout of Books update!

 

 

Update for Days 5, 6, 7 and a Summary
(Fri. 5/12, Sat. 5/13, Sun. 5/14)

 

  • End of Week Reading Status
    • # Books Read:  0
    • # Pages Read:  151

 

  • Running Totals
    • # Books Finished:  2
      • Before the Storm by Leslie Tentler | 336 pages
      • The Thing About Love by Julie James | 380 pages
    • # Pages Read:  951

 

 

 

Books I'm Still Reading

 

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton | 244 of 468 pages
Two Guys Detective Agency by Stephanie Bond | 15 of 255 pages
 

 

Read-a-thon Hopefuls I Didn't Get To

 

 

A Brief Summary

 

So I didn't quite reach my goal of four books and reading for at least four to eight hours each day.  I still feel like I made some good progress, but I was really hoping to do better, as well as finish my books before the weekend was over.  That being said, my hopeful plans of rolling once again for Booklikes-opoly by tomorrow, 5/16/17, is probably not going to happen.

That's fine.  I DO have two books I'm still finishing.

And while my entire body is still a little stiff from driving all day, and then falling asleep in a very awkward position upon arrival at home, I think this weekend has been a pretty successful one in terms of personal life necessities.

At least I got a cute new pair of dress shoes to show for it, and Baby seems to be a lot happier to be home as well!

 


Anyway, cheers, everyone!

 


This morning before returning home, Baby decided to make himself quite comfortable on my brother's couch, squeezing in right next to me while I was reading, between a stack of blankets, curling up just small enough to fit into the little space.

 

 

Previous Update Posts and Other Links

 

Bout of Books 19 Participation Announcement
Bout of Books 19 Starter Post
Bout of Books Day One Update
Bout of Books Midweek Update

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/bout-of-books-19-wrap-up-and-weekend.html
Bout of Books 19: Midweek Update
Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team

 



So there was some slacking off going on these past three days for Bout of Books.  Of course, since my goal was to read at least 4 books for this read-a-thon week, I'm well on my way to reaching that goal.  Finishing up two books and beginning a third, I'm hoping to have a fourth finished before the end of the thon.  However, being that I will be out of town with family for the weekend, reading opportunities might be scarce.

Just crossing my fingers and hoping that I'll at least be able to finish my third book and get started on the fourth, even if I can't reach my ultimate goal.  Obviously, I'm not going to get around to my Read-a-thon Hopefuls...

 

 

Update for Days 2, 3, 4
(Tues. 5/9, Wed. 5/10, Thurs. 5/11)

 

 
  • Midweek Reading Status
    • # Books Read:  2
      • Before the Storm by Leslie Tentler | 336 pages
      • The Thing About Love by Julie James | 380 pages
    • # Pages Read:  787

 

  • Running Totals
    • # Books Finished:  2
    • # Pages Read:  800

 

 

Books I'm Currently Reading

 

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton | 108 of 468 pages read

 

 

What's Next

 

Two Guys Detective Agency by Stephanie Bond | 255 pages

 

 

Read-a-thon Had Been Hopefuls

 

 

 

Previous Update Posts and Other Links

 

Bout of Books 19 Participation Announcement
Bout of Books 19 Starter Post
Bout of Books Day One Update


***

I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/bout-of-books-19-midweek-update.html
Review
4.5 Stars
Thoughts: The Thing About Love
The Thing About Love - Julie James

The Thing About Love
by Julie James

**The Thing About Love is not listed as part of James' FBI/U.S. Attorney series, but takes place in the same world, much like Suddenly One Summer.  Familiar characters from the series appear.

 

Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past.  The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy.  Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time.  Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office.  And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team.  In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation.  Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .



Next to Love Irresistibly, this is probably one of my favorites of Julie James' works.  This newest release was pretty amazing, to be honest, and even though there were a few things that frustrated me a little bit, it didn't seem to matter all that much to me.  In light of how much I loved the dynamics between our main couple, and even between other side and minor characters, I don't even care that some parts of the book were kind of slow-going.

The conflict between Jessica and John actually played out like a tacky home television family comedy at the beginning, truth be told.  But I found the way that they handle their situation in the present rather a nice, mature touch, setting aside their problems to do their job without causing even more problems.  And then actually talking about their conflict, even if neither of them will one hundred percent agree to how they remember their version of history from six years prior.

I found the "she said" and "he said" chapters, both flashing back to our couple's respective accounts of how things had gone down during their twenty-one weeks at FBI training Academy, rather clever.  It was presented well and DID show how such a petty conflict could have been born to begin with.  Especially with each person jumping straight to conclusions without actually talking to each other first.  While it seemed like a really childish competition, it also sort of gave their conflict a bit more depth than just "we didn't get along for reasons" and then leaving it at that.

Once again, the progression of the story DID turn out a bit slow for the most part, but I loved the developments in John and Jessica's relationship.  Their partnership on the job was actually a lot more fun to follow than when they started getting romantically involved, but the banter didn't fade any.

I also loved seeing all the work that went into one undercover operation, and the emphasis on how some undercover operations could take longer than a couple hours or days, even.

Also, for those familiar with Julie James' other work, there are some nice cameo appearances from beloved characters in the FBI/U.S. Attorney series--Jack and Sam, Nick McCall, and Vaughn Roberts.

Once again, Julie James just has this way with words and story telling.  Most importantly, I love the humor and the witty banter that are signature Julie James traits!  In spite of the fact that I had found her previous two contemporaries a bit mediocre, I am very happy with The Thing About Love, and am looking forward to the next release by Julie James.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly


Roll #9:
This book involves travel by air (characters travel from Chicago to Jacksonville throughout the book).  Also, the book takes place mainly in Chicago, which has a subway system.

Page Count:  380
Cash Award:  $3.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $45.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/thoughts-thing-about-love.html
Booklikes-opoly | Roll #10!
Booklikes-opoly
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

 



My Roll #9 yielded a seven, moving my from Water Works to The Monorail (29).  I chose to read The Thing About Love by Julie James, which featured both travel by air (the characters fly to Jacksonville from Chicago a few times), as well as took place in Chicago, a city with a subway system.  This book was 380 pages, worth $3.00, which brings my Running Bank Total to $45.00.

 


Just as Julie James is wont to do, this book was written very well, with all of the usual quips, witty banter, and dry humor that I love.  And I absolutely loved this book!  I totally can't wait for the next one by Julie.  A review will be forthcoming soon, which will hopefully be better than just me squealing about how much I loved the book!  =P


Here is my tenth roll:

 

 


Rolling a Double 6, I moved from The Monorail (29) to Frontierland 4.

 


First of all, I'm a little sad, because I think Teddy Bear's magnet isn't holding very well at certain spots on the board, specifically the spots on the board that I need him to stay.  So Magnetic Monkey is here to save the day again, lending a hand... or an arm, I suppose.  Thank you, Monkey!

Since I rolled a double, I rolled again:

 

 


From Frontierland 4, I moved 4 spaces and landed on Mystery Square 8.

 


Okay, we're both excited that I landed on a very ideal square, one I landed on for my very first roll of the game, which is great!  But Monkey, maybe tone it down a little bit?


Anyway, it looks like double rolls pop up a lot in this game as I've been seeing a lot of them.  But in this case, I'm extremely happy with my luck.  I was trying to figure out what to do for the weekend when I will be out of town and possibly unable to roll... or if I DO roll, I may be unable to access my board and my photo sources to post my roll update.  Rolling a double will allow me the chance to choose two books to read for BL-opoly.

So even if I won't be able to roll again in 48 hours, I'll still have books to read for BL-opoly that will keep me busy over the weekend until I get home.

Although, while I'm ecstatic about Mystery Square 8 (there are SO many books I can choose from!), Frontierland 4 may be a bit harder to figure out.

So after some diliberation (approx. 2 hours of scrolling through possible titles), I've come up with the following books:

For Frontierland 4, I went the easy route and just looked for books whose titles' letters can be used to spell "RIVER," because knowing which books feature characters traveling by boat wasn't going to be an easy one to figure out.

Nonetheless, the second part of the game task was also not an easy task--I went through all the books I currently own and only found two (Falling for Her Rival by Jackie Braunn; The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis)... neither of which I'm in the mood to read.  So then I just started looking at random titles and found three possibilities, though I'm not sure which one I want to read:

 


River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz -- The Kindle edition as a library check out shows that it is 353 pages, which is worth $3.00.

The House At Riverton by Kate Morton -- If I pick up the hardback copy from the library, it will be 476 pages, as listed on the library's website; or I could read the Scribd version at 480 pages; either way it will be worth $5.00.

River's End by Nora Roberts -- The Kindle edition as a library check out shows that it is 447 pages, which is worth $5.00.

I like both Jayne Ann Krentz and Nora Roberts, so it's a hard decision to make.  I've never read Kate Morton, but she's been on my radar for the longest time and The House at Riverton, which I believe is her debut novel, sounds very interesting and has lots of good reviews.  I feel like I'm going to have to roll another set of dice or something or ask for a vote.


Meanwhile, for Mystery Square 8, I already have several books that would fit this one, specifically books that are already on my TBR.  The following are the ones I'm intent on reading, but once again, it's so hard to choose without flipping a coin or something, y'know.

 


Two Guys Detective Agency by Stephanie Bond -- A cozy mystery.  I would be reading the Scribd e-book version which is 255 pages, worth $3.00.

The Perfect Poison by Amanda Quick -- A historical mystery.  I would be reading the library e-book version via Kindle books, which is 364 pages, worth $3.00.


Oh my, decisions!


Current Bank:   $45.00

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/booklikes-opoly-roll-10.html
Review
3 Stars
Brief Thoughts: Before the Storm
Before the Storm - Leslie Tentler

Before the Storm

by Leslie Tentler

 

 

Six years earlier, Trina Grissom disappeared, on the run for her life.  Now living under an assumed identity—as Samantha Marsh—she still struggles with the dark secret she harbors and the fear she might one day be found.  When she moves to the coastal town of Rarity Cove, South Carolina, to open a café, a handsome widower begins to chip away at the walls she’s built to protect herself.

Mark St. Clair lost his wife two years ago in a tragic accident.  Head of the grand St. Clair resort, he distracts himself from his lingering grief by running the family business and caring for his troubled young daughter...until a beautiful restaurateur sets up shop in town.  Before meeting Samantha, Mark was convinced he could never be drawn to another woman.  But as his attraction to Samantha grows, the mystery surrounding her deepens.

As the two begin a hesitant courtship, double perils emerge.  Someone from Samantha’s lurid past comes calling, threatening to expose her.  And a powerful hurricane is forming in the Atlantic with the small beach town in its path.  Trapped in the storm by the brutal man who wants vengeance on Samantha, she and Mark must fight for their lives.



With the slow start and some over-dramatic moments between characters throughout the beginning of the book, I had started getting wary of how the rest of the story would play out.  There was the potential for a love triangle, a frustratingly childish sibling rivalry, and one of those rich and snooty high society mothers who is just mean because she can be.

Meanwhile, most of the book felt a little dragged out since the main suspense conflict was simply floating around in the background.  We spend a whole lot more time looking into the angsty romance and the tenuously fragile relationship between a set of brothers.

Surprisingly, when I was about to give up on this book being any good, things began to pick up midway, and got kind of exciting.  There were still a lot of events that defy logic a big, and still a whole lot of angst-ridden romantic drama.

At the least there was an emotional climax that might have gotten me a bit teary-eyed, but when it comes to kids in a work of fiction, I find I'm getting soft.  Kids and animals.  And this book manages to present an adorable young girl who is having a post traumatic reaction to her mother's death from a few years prior to this book's setting--apparently, ever since a tragic accident that took said mother's life, the little girl had just stopped talking.

The events surrounding the little girl's recovery, I wish could have been explored a bit more.  Of course, this is a romantic suspense about our main couple, so... yeah...  But what little we get to see about how the little girl starts talking again was quite touching... even if slightly incredible.

All-in-all, the book was enjoyable, kept my attention, and had me breezing through it.


***

 

Booklikes-opoly


Roll #8:  Water Works says to read a book with water on the cover.
This book features water on the cover.

Page Count:  336
Cash Award:  $3.00

Updated Bank Balance:  $42.00

See Also:  Freebie Roll Activities

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/brief-thoughts-before-storm.html
Booklikes-opoly | Roll #9!

 

Booklikes-opoly
Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

 



A lot of activity happened for the previous rolls:

On top of my fifth roll, we were also given a chance to add 3 extra rolls in celebration of Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon on April 29th.  Even though I didn't really participate in the read-a-thon itself, I still happily rolled my three extra rolls!

For more information on those activities, see my posts here:


And here's a very simple, basic summary of what happened:

Roll #5:  Normal roll after finishing book from previous roll.
I rolled an 11 and landed on Paradise Pier 28.  I read The Duchess War for 271 pages = $3.00, increasing Bank to $33.00.  This book opens up in 1863.  Click on book title above to see my review.

 

 

 


The following are Read-a-thon Day Extra Rolls!!

 
  
  

 

  • Roll #6.1:  Rolled a Double 6 = 12 and landed on Main Street Station (3).
    • SKIPPED -- DID NOT READ FOR THIS TASK.
  • Roll #6.2:  Rolled a 9 and landed on Main Street 11.
    • Read Running Hot for 352 pages = $3.00, increasing Bank to $36.00.
    • Author Jayne Ann Krentz was born pre-1955.
    • Click on book title above to see my review.
  • Roll #7:  Rolled a 6 and landed on Cars Land 16.
    • Read Backwoods for 378 pages = $3.00, increasing Bank to $39.00.
    • This book takes place in California.
    • Click on book title above to see my review.
  • Roll #8:  Rolled an 8 and landed on Water Works.
    • Read Before the Storm for 336 pages = $3.00, increasing Bank to $42.00.
    • This book features water on the cover.
    • Review forthcoming within next couple days.


I was hoping to be able to roll more for Bout of Books this week, but I ended up getting behind on finishing that last book from the previous roll.  It wasn't like Before the Storm was a hard read or anything, it just took a long time to finish for other reasons to do with real life.  But hopefully we'll be moving along at a better pace now.

All posts for previous rolls are listed at the end of this update with links, as well as previous book reviews for previous rolls.


Here is my ninth roll:

 

 


So from my previous Water Works position, we have moved forward 7 spaces and landed on The Monorail.

 


The game board has become a lot quieter these days considering it took a little over a week for me to finish reading the books from my previous rolls.  But Magnetic Monkey has taken it upon himself to showcase my stats and my most recent roll.  Tada!  Meanwhile, it doesn't show in this photo, but Teddy Bear game piece is having trouble staying on his spot, as he keeps sliding down the board.  Hopefully, he stays put, or I'll have to set him aside for a while until my next roll.


As for books, I've decided to read Julie James' newest release, The Thing About Love.  Her books primarily take place in Chicago, Illinois, which I confirmed does indeed have a subway, so that satisfies one of the tasks on The Monorail game space.  But then I found that the book also spends some time in Jacksonville, Florida, which DOES NOT have a subway system.  I'm not certain how much of the book needs to be set in a city with a subway?

 


I was about consider another book when, skimming some of the book to see how much time is actually spent in Jacksonville, I realized that our two MCs also spend a lot of time traveling back and forth from Chicago to Jacksonville by plane (air)--Ding! Ding! Another factor satisfied!

Needless to say, I'm a very, VERY happy reader right now as I'd been trying to find time to fit this book into my reading "schedule."  Of course, there is also that little thing about needing to read another book on my Reading Assignment list for this month, and there are at least two other books on said list that would also satisfy this game task.

But still, I want to read The Thing About Love, so the decision is made and I'll just have to hope for another game space that will allow me to pick up a book off my Reading Assignment list.

The Thing About Love is marked as 380 pages (Kindle edition), which will yield a $3.00 increase to my Bank, bringing me to $45.00 upon completion.


Current Bank:   $42.00

 

 

Source: http://anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/05/booklikes-opoly-roll-9.html