Tuesday

Review: A Tale of Two Kitties

A Tale of Two Kitties A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Well, I have to disagree with one of the reviews here that it was a seamless knitting of previous story into this 9th book in the series. Frankly, I got lost with all the characters that seemingly had nothing to do with moving the story along.

I love the small town relationships, it's just that there were so many of them. It took forever to get into the mystery. I finally gave up.

The writing is very good, the characters were already developed in earlier books so I missed out on that. But the kitties were a delight. I just love the premise of these books. I'll have to go back and read from the beginning so I'll know what's going on, I guess. Anyway, this is a good, clean story and the way Sofie Kelly tells the story is excellent. If you've read something of hers before, then you'll love this one just as much. If you haven't read anything of hers before, I strongly suggest that you purchase an earlier book and then come to this one just because there are so many characters to keep track of that you might get lost like I did. I said "might", not would.

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Monday

Review: The Silent Corner

The Silent Corner The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been a die hard Koontz fan for decades (I won't say how many because that would date me:). This book did not disappoint me. It's a bit different, but such a great read. I read the ARC, so some of his wordiness had not been edited out. However, his descriptions have hit a new high. Reallly good, very poetic. In fact so poetic that some of them were a little distracting.

The story premise is very good and extremely frightening. Scary because technology can reach this peak, and who's to keep some corporation from doing this very thing? Koontz's mind is a scary place for sure.

Jane Hawk is a marvelous character. She's the only person who realizes what's going on, and she doesn't have anyone she can trust. I felt her frustration, her fear, her courage, and her patience-end. I cheered and I shivered. There are times when I got aggravated with Koontz's plot twists. After all, a hero needs her sidekicks!

Received the ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: prepared to die

prepared to die prepared to die by Peter Dudgeon
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really like books from UK authors. This one didn't really hold my attention because there were so many different angles and points of view. I really hate this kind of jumping around, and seeming disorganized plot. Somehow the author gets to the end, but I'm bumfuzzled as to how. The language gets foul at times that doesn't add to the plot or give any kind of impact.

This is not an Agatha Christie type of mystery that is well thought out and all the characters are well developed. The, I think, protagonist is a bit introspective for me. But there are so many different characters whose heads we pop into and out of that it's hard to keep track.

The premise is good. The writing is also fairly good. It's the editing that needs a lot of improvement.

I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Review: No Easy Target

No Easy Target No Easy Target by Iris Johansen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow! I really like how Iris Johansen draws you into a story and gives the old brain lots of twists and quirks. How neat to have a protagonist that can talk to dogs. What an interesting beginning to have her talking to a tigress!

This is a wild ride. The story doesn't stop escalating, and the stakes keep getting higher and higher. Love this story, the premise, and the characters. I really cared what happened to all of them!

The characters are very well developed, and they do surprise you. How a person can endure what she endured and then [spoiler alert] walks right back into the horror she escaped from!

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Review: Lockdown

Lockdown Lockdown by Laurie R. King
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This book has way too many points of view from way too many characters. I couldn't get interested enough in a character to actually care what happened to that character. Even trying to skip forward and focus on one character didn't help. If this is the way that publishers are going to edit and publish books -- thank goodness for indie publishing!

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Review: Sherlock Mars

Sherlock Mars Sherlock Mars by Jackie Kingon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was intrigued by the book blurb. How fun to have a sci-fi murder mystery. Well, in a way it was fun, but very complicated. You've got about 4 storylines rolling along in this book and it's difficult to keep up with each one. My favorite was the prejudice problem with androids and humans. It could have been the mystery -- but that got lost in all the puns and wedding and wondering who was who.

This would have made several good books if the storylines had been separated, but then the characters weren't developed very well so the storyline would be the only thing holding it all together. Perhaps, it would have helped if I had read the first one? But if it was just like this one, I doubt I'd spend the time just to sort it all out.

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Wednesday

Review: Fringe Runner

Fringe Runner Fringe Runner by Rachel Aukes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this book as one of the few sci-fi novels that was good from start to finish. A lot of them have really poor writing, character development, and other problems. This one had none of that. Oh, a few typos, but nothing seriously wrong.

It's fast paced. It has an excellent storyline and a good beginning for the series. It is not a cliffhanger ending, but you get a sneak peek at the next books so you don't feel quite so deprived. This is going to be a great series and I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the books.

It does have foul language, but it isn't every other word, jam-packed with them. No taking the Lord's name in vain, which is a show stopper for me. I didn't get an allergic reaction to them.

It didn't take long to like the characters. That is rather a rare characteristic in novels today. I can't read a story where I don't like the main characters. I especially like the girl pilot in the wheelchair. Her attitude is heroic. I like that a lot. So often there are stories that have characters that don't have any flaws. How boring. This book is anything but boring!

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Monday

Review: Fatal Gift

Fatal Gift Fatal Gift by Michael Frase
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Character development is top notch. You really get to know these characters, but in not in such a way that has you deeply caring about them. They have flaws; their emotions are raw; they make really bad choices; really bad things happen to them. Other than that its a rollercoaster ride for the reader.

I really really hate head jumping without transitions that ease the reader in a logical slide from one character to another so that connections can be made and distinctions between characters are drawn. Oh well... there are a lot of characters and it can get a bit confusing at times. This is more suspense than mystery.

This is a raw book, graphic, and void of much compassion. I get the feeling that the author didn't like even one of these characters. However, it is very vibrant. You can smell the grass pollen and dust and the fear.

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Review: From Ice to Ashes

From Ice to Ashes From Ice to Ashes by Rhett C. Bruno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is not exactly riveting fare. Although it is interesting. It would be nice if the author realized that readers are not dumkaufs and can actually remember from page to page that the Ringers are long, skinny humans with very slender hands and not a lot of strength. Instead, we are constantly reminded. We are constantly reminded that germs are deathtraps to Ringers, and the cleansing process one must take moving from level to level is also drilled into the noggin. These constant reminders drag the story to a snail's pace. With some really good editing, this could truly be a riveting spacer saga. The language is coarse, but I've found that to be the case in almost all sci fi I've read lately. Sigh...

The reader can easily skip over the constant reminders and find a pretty good storyline. It's probably worth the eBook price.

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Wednesday

Review: Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes Behind the Scenes by Jen Turano
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've really enjoyed other books by Turano. The other books she's written have characters whom I grew to care about quite quickly. Caring about what happens to the characters, wondering what's going to happen next are prerequisites for an enjoyable read for me. This one didn't quite hit the mark.

For no apparent reason Asher is drawn to Permilla (obviously made up name, which people just didn't do back in previous centuries unlike now, which is a drawback for me because period works should stay in the era they depict). While I can understand great passion can arise just because a person likes the way another person looks, Permilla is described as pretty--but why is she a wallflower... oh! She can't talk to men... but, then why can she voice her opinion so eloquently about Asher to Asher?

When I got to the point where the two main characters were going to let someone else find out who the potential murderer was, I completely lost interest and put it down. So sorry Turano. This one flop (in my opinion) won't keep me from reading your books because they previous ones have ALL been really good. Everyone is allowed at least one backstep once in a while :)

It wasn't meshing for me. When I consider the high quality of previous books by Turano with this one, this one falls flat.

Got it from Netgalley exchanging for an honest review.

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Review: Inspector Hobbes and the Bones

Inspector Hobbes and the Bones Inspector Hobbes and the Bones by Wilkie Martin
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I got this book because I really like Wilkie Collins' stories and the premise sounded wonderfully quirky. Let's just say that I'm allergic to certain types of language, and the dialogue in this book was limp and couldn't draw me into the story. I know this isn't because it's from across the pond. It's just that the writing did not appeal to me as a reader nor as an editor. I'm sure this must be because I didn't read any of the first 3 in the series. But on the other hand, I just couldn't get into the story. So much happened to poor Andy that I found I didn't really care about Andy. Any he's not like Mr. Bean who funny in the mishaps. Just didn't click for me, but I see that it does for most of those who reviewed it. Guess I'm the one out in the cold :)

Downloaded from Netgalley in exchange for a honest review.

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Review: My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille

My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Loved this story. It had some great character development and the dialogue was very believable as well as pushed the story along. Head hopping was at a minimum, and for that I am very grateful. I truly enjoyed the children characters who were not as developed as the main characters. That was a bit of a disappointment because there wouldn't have been a story without the children. The narration and the dialogue were period- accurate. In other words, I wasn't jerked out of the 1800s into the 21st Century with the turn of a phrase. Good book, and a keeper! I give this 4 stars out of 5 stars because there were a couple of places that were a bit confusing that blocked the story flow for me. I know it was probably because this was an advance reader copy rather than the real-deal off the shelf. But, I call them as I see them, and I've read things off the shelf that have this same problem, so those stumbling blocks may still be there when you read the book. Just sayin'

Received this book from the publisher at NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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Monday

Review: From This Moment

From This Moment From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was intrigued from page 1. I do recommend this book for historical romance readers. I am also intrigued with the historical accuracy. However, Once again the era norms are ignored and the women are encased in 20th and 21st century ways of thinking. I don't find that very historically accurate so you've got a fine line to walk that as a general rule falls on the side of accuracy, but there are moments when you are jerked out of the 1800s and experience a 20th century smack-down. If that doesn't bother you, then you'll like this book.

I especially liked the scientific aspects, the tensions among the characters, which makes for good conflict without seeming like the author is trying too hard to create conflict. It just comes naturally among the characters. Character development is pretty good, too.

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Tuesday

Review: Deep Freeze Christmas

Deep Freeze Christmas Deep Freeze Christmas by Marian P. Merritt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well... I reviewed this book several weeks ago, but I haven't a clue what happened to it.

This story is very well written and has that authentic Cajun flavor that pours from Chef and the main character Leona Buquet. Also well done is the electricity that spark between Leona and Cameron. I like that peppering of faith that sprinkles the story. Not preachy... just good story writing. Excellent editing, too!

Well done White Rose Publishing! Kudos to you, too.

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Saturday

Review: Wed by Necessity

Wed by Necessity Wed by Necessity by Karen Kirst
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I tried and tried to get into this book. I really liked the premise, but the execution fell flat. I just could not care one way or another about the main characters. The animosity/attraction between the two main characters is far too heavy-handed in the beginning. If someone is aggravated by another person, they aren't interested in how broad his shoulders are. The beginning is just not believable in my opinion. This kind of writing goes way back to those kidnap-woman-fall-in-love books written back in the late 70s and 80s.

Some authors made the premise work because the story was about preconceived perceptions being wrong, lack of communication, and finally discovering the other person's true character. Classic Pride and Prejudice. This one does not work.



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Thursday

Review: A Hero's Homecoming

A Hero's Homecoming A Hero's Homecoming by Carlene Havel
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Truly a captivating read. However, there are some holes in the storyline that constrict the story flow somewhat. The protag comes home to find his house sold, his bank account drained and his wife is nowhere to be found. Now... all those problems seem to just disappear when he finally makes it home to his dad's house. The reason I say it's captivating is because you seem to forget those problems as he gets closer to God and to the one woman who is actually worthy to love. I guess if your dad is as rich as Midas you don't have to worry that you've lost everything.

One thing that I really liked about this book is that the characters don't agonize over everything and the author doesn't constantly "bring you up to date" like you've forgotten the plot from one chapter to the next.

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Review: Christmas at Dove Creek

Christmas at Dove Creek Christmas at Dove Creek by Scarlett Dunn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Great story, great character development, solid and believable external conflicts and then you get to the end and realize why there's very little internal conflict with both main characters. What I found wonderful was the authentic Cajun flavor of the dialogue, the story, the details even though it is set in Colorado. Great job by the author, the editor, and the publisher. Thanks for a good read!

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Review: Stars in the Grass

Stars in the Grass Stars in the Grass by Ann Marie Stewart
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The premise is very depressing. A child is killed in an accident and the family has to deal with the tragedy--all seen from the eyes of a 9-year-old girl. There are some sweet moments, and one or two places made me smile, but frankly the whole is gut-wrenching. I fight depression all the time, so this book was not good for me to read. The reason is there was no hope or ray of sunshine given at the beginning of the story. I need that to know that to latch onto because we can't count on happy endings anymore. There have been lots of books that end, and I feel cheated because the ending did not meet expectations.

It's very well written. It stays in the 70s with no oppsies from the 21st century, even speech patterns stay in the 70s. BUT readers need hope when faced with reading something so depressing. There has to be hope for the sunshine in a rainy week otherwise it becomes too oppressive.

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