September & October 2017 Reads

Well….. it’s obviously been awhile ūüė¶ September saw a HUGE reading slump…. I went from reading anywhere from 6-9 books to a whopping 3 in September…. October wasn’t that much better….. Here’s to hoping November is better ūüôā

So I’ll do a quick mini-review round up of my September and October reads. It’s so impressive, I tell ya …. ::eyeroll::

Sate of the Onion
Title: State of the Onion
Author: Julie Hyzy
Read: Sept. 3-6, 2017
Pages: 325
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the first in the White House Chef Mystery series …. it was a fun read that I enjoyed! It was cute, but not cutesie …. if that makes sense? I definitely am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Where They Found Her
Title: Where They Found Her
Author: Kimberly McCreight
Read: Sept. 10-19, 2017
Pages: 326
Source: Purchased New
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: So this one I found in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble. I had my eye on it when it first came out because I had read and LOVED her previous book,¬†Reconstructing Amelia, so I think I had high hopes for this one. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t grab me right off the bat and I struggled to really get into it. And when it was all revealed in the end, it wasn’t as surprising as I had hoped for. So good, but not great.
Obstruction of Justice
Title: Obstruction of Justice
Author: Perri O’Shaughnessy
Read: Sept. 20-29, 2017
Pages: 512
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 3rd book in the Nina Reilly series. I have read and enjoyed the previous two so I was looking forward to this one! I enjoyed it and it definitely left me wanting to read the fourth book … if only they weren’t so long, I often find myself too intimidated by longer books these days….
Her Last Breath
Title: Her Last Breath
Author: Linda Castillo
Read: Oct. 2-5, 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 5th book in the Kate Burkholder series. I read and LOVED the first 4 in 2016 and had tried to pick this one up shortly after I read the 5th, but realized that I was a little burned out on the series. In fact, I can recall feeling like the books were all too similar to each other. So I set it aside and decided I’d come back to it later. Apparently a year later I decided it was time …. I’m glad I waited because I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had no trouble jumping right back into Kate’s life and I can’t wait to see where her and Tomasetti go in the future. I definitely recommend this series!
Pop Goes the Weasel
Title: Pop Goes the Weasel 
Author: M.J. Arlidge
Read: Oct. 8-13, 2017
Pages: 390
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I read the first book in this series, Eeny Meeny,¬†¬†back in January of this year and I absolutely adored it! So I had high hopes for this one, but I wanted to let it sit for awhile (series burnout is real!) … and while I did enjoy this one, it definitely didn’t grab me as fast as the first book did. It was gruesome and a roller coaster ride, but I felt like it was a letdown from the first book. Yet I still want to continue on with this series, so it wasn’t terrible either. A solid thriller.
Beautiful Storm
Title: Beautiful Storm 
Author: Barbara Freethy
Read: Oct. 6-25, 2017
Pages: 321
Source: B&N Serial Reads
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: This book was October’s selection for Barnes & Noble’s Serial Reads…. I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense, mainly because I don’t read a lot of romance. So I was a little unsure going into this one, but I was immediately intrigued by the storyline – the missing person’s case. If only it had been a little more on the intrigue and less on the romance (which really, wasn’t overbearing honestly…) it would have been a lot more interesting to me. So not something I would ever pick up on my own, but definitely a decent freebie read.
Winter Prey
Title: Winter Prey
Author: John Sandford
Read: Oct. 21-27, 2017
Pages: 400
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I remember very clearly thoroughly loving the previous book in this series, Silent Prey, so I was looking forward to getting to this 5th book in the Lucas Davenport series. Why did I wait so long between books?!? I really enjoyed this book. It was so creepy and suspenseful. I know I’m only on the 5th book in the series, but other than #2 they’ve all been home runs for me! Definitely makes me look forward to continuing on sooner rather than later!

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Mini Reviews … again!

I just keep getting more behind than ever in my reviews. One thing I’ve noticed is that when I had a really strong reaction to a book, I wrote out a full review…. these books, while (mostly) all pretty good, didn’t leave me with very much to say. So maybe I’ll just make this more of a habit – when a book really leaves me with something to say about it, I’ll do a full review. Otherwise, you’ll probably be seeing more of these mini-reviews ūüôā Anyhoo, on to the books!

Men in Blue
Title: Men in Blue
Author: W.E.B Griffin
Read: Aug. 4-9, 2017
Pages: 352
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 2/5

Thoughts: This one was …. weird. I went into it thinking it was going to be a detective type story, but it’s not even close. The reader is presented with a murder within the first chapter but then it never followed the detective work to solving the crime. It was more a background history of the police department itself. This one just wasn’t what I was looking for.

Cross My Heart
Title: Cross My Heart
Author: James Patterson
Read: Aug. 7-10, 2017
Pages: 432
Source: Purchased new
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I’m a sucker for a James Patterson novel. He’s usually something I pick up when I need a good, mindless read that I can knock out in a couple of days. This one fit the bill, but it also ended with somewhat of a cliffhanger. I hate those – bleed more money out of us, why don’t you? Just a pet peeve – finish the book in the book, don’t stretch it to a second book. Especially when it’s a part of a series anyway! Ugh.

Mistletoe Murder
Title: Mistletoe Murder
Author: Leslie Meier
Read: Aug. 13-17, 2017
Pages: 240
Source: Purchased used
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This one was an impulse purchase at my favorite used book store. I read it in August because I needed it to fulfill a challenge callout in one of my Goodreads groups. And it was a cute book! It is billed as a cozy, but it’s not as “clean” of a cozy as I was expecting – which was a nice sigh of relief for me. I enjoyed it enough to go ahead and order the next two in the series from Paperbackswap!

Dirty Work

Title: Dirty Work
Author: Stuart Woods
Read: Aug. 19-22, 2017
Pages: 336
Source: Library book sale
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: These are no literary feats, but I enjoy a good Stone Barrington novel anyway! This one is the 9th in the series and a good fun read. I’m definitely looking forward to many more Stone Barrington adventures (and I’ve still got a lot ahead of me ūüôā )

Officer Down
Title: Officer Down
Author: Theresa Schwegel
Read: Aug. 23-27 , 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased used
Rating: 2/5

Thoughts: I’m still flabbergasted that this won an Edgar Award. I mean overall the book is not bad. But I just didn’t find it believable. My brother-in-law is a police officer and I didn’t find the main character, Sam, to be a very good representation of a police officer. Perhaps my expectations were a little too high, but it fell below the mark for me.

Mortal Stakes
Title: Mortal Stakes
Author: Robert B. Parker
Read: Aug. 28-31, 2017
Pages: 328
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: Spenser is growing on me. I didn’t like him in the first book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the second book. This is the third installment and I once again enjoyed it. I am looking forward to reading more of Spenser (and again, I have lots more of this series ahead of me!)

 

Mini Reviews

So somewhere along the line I’ve managed to get really behind on my reviews. I’m just going to do a quick round-up of these instead of full reviews.

The Night SeasonTitle: The Night Season
Author: Chelsea Cain
Read: July 7-11, 2017
Pages: 352
Source: Purchased new
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I had tried to read this one years ago, after I read the first 3 in the series. I remember putting it aside, not being able to get into it. I thought it was because I knew Gretchen wasn’t going to have any part in this book. But when I picked this one back up this time around, I flew through it. It was really good!

One False MoveTitle: One False Move
Author: Harlan Coben
Read: July 17-20, 2017
Pages: 400
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I don’t know why I don’t read more Myron Bolitar. I always enjoy these books. And this one was no exception. I enjoyed navigating all the family secrets in this one with Myron. And that ending – it was not at all what I had expected! It definitely made me look forward to reading more Myron sooner rather than later!

Vengeance in DeathTitle: Vengeance in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Read: July 21-26, 2017
Pages: 357
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: The last book in this series,¬†Ceremony in Death, left me feeling a little bit flat. So I was a bit hesitant to pick up this one, but I’m sure glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I loved seeing more about Roarke and Summerset. It definitely gave a new perspective on them individually, as well as on their friendship. This book left me excited for more of these books (and there’s only a gazillion more, ha!)

Breaking CreedTitle: Breaking Creed
Author: Alex Kava
Read: July 28-31, 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Purchased new
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I am a¬†huge fan of Alex Kava’s Maggie O’Dell series. So when she introduced Ryder Creed and his dogs in the last installment of the Maggie O’Dell series, I was really excited to see a spin-off. And I thoroughly enjoyed this one. But it felt more like an extension of Maggie (not complaining – I love her character) than it did a new series with a new character. Maybe that changes in the next book. I don’t care either way, I enjoyed it and look forward to more from Alex Kava!!

Mini Reviews: Ceremony in Death & Hard Eight

ceremony-in-deathTitle: Ceremony in Death
Author: J.D. Robb
Read: Feb. 9-15, 2017
Pages: 310
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: ¬†This is the fifth book in the¬†In Death series. I read #4 back in the beginning of 2016. I don’t remember much about it other than that I really liked it. So I was looking forward to dipping back into this series. But this one fell flat for me. It had to deal with Wiccans and witchcraft. Which if you’re a long-time follower of mine, you know that I only sparingly dabble in anything dealing with witchcraft/magic. So my personal feelings on these types of storylines definitely affected my overall opinion of the book. But I will still continue on with the series and hopefully the sixth book will be back on track to what I prefer.


hard-eightTitle: Hard Eight
Author: Janet Evanovich
Read: Feb. 16-24, 2017
Pages: 326
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: ¬†I picked this one up because I needed something light after reading the J.D. Robb book. I read a few of these books last year until I kind of burned out when they started to all feel the same. So I was looking forward to knocking another one of these series books out of the way. Overall it wasn’t a bad book. I will say that Albert Kloughn has to be one of the funniest characters I’ve seen in a book in a while. He definitely made the book much better. But seriously …. how many times can Stephanie’s car get blown up? At this¬†point I can’t help but think that Ms.Evanovich needs to get some new ideas for her books – it’s no longer funny when Stephanie’s car gets blown up … it just makes me roll my eyes at this point.

3 Mini Reviews

Here’s something I’ve never done before …¬†mini reviews.

I still have no blogging mojo. In fact, I’m typing this up quickly while my daughter screams fusses in her crib after only a 20 minute nap – momma needs more nap than that, darling!

So while I have little to no blogging mojo, I have been reading a bit. And I need to get these thoughts down before I forget everything.

So without further ado…..

Fates and Furies Title: Fates and Furies
Author: Lauren Groff
Read: Oct. 10-30, 2015
Pages: 392
Source: Book of the Month Club
Rating: 2/5

Thoughts: ¬†This was my very first selection from the Book of the Month Club. To say that it was a disappointment would be the understatement of the year. To be completely honest, none of the October books really caught my eye, this one was just the one that seemed like it would be the most enjoyable for me. Oh how wrong I was on that! I struggled through this one. For 3 freaking weeks. I still don’t know why I bothered to finish it. I did not like it in the least. I can’t in good faith recommend this book, but hey, I’m sure someone out there would enjoy it … just not me.


Private BerlinTitle: Private Berlin
Author: James Patterson & Mark Sullivan
Read: Nov. 7-10, 2015
Pages: 448
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I knew I had to have something fast paced after coming off of Fates and Furies, so of course I picked up a James Patterson book. Overall, I enjoyed this one relatively well. I think I prefer the Private books where Jack Morgan plays more of a role, but this one was still interesting. I can almost always rely on Mr. Patterson for a quick and enjoyable read, this one does not fail on that part. Recommended for sure.

 

 


 

The Alpine Advocate Title: The Alpine Advocate
Author: Mary Daheim
Read: Nov. 11-18, 2015
Pages: 240
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: What a cute little first in a series. Cozy mysteries are not usually my cup of tea, but for some reason this one really caught my eye and was an impulse order on Paperbackswap. I think a lot of the draw for me was the journalist/newspaper aspect of the storyline – I originally declared print journalism as my major in college. Anyway, like I said this was a cute little book. It kept my interest throughout. And I had no idea who the killer was until it was revealed at the end – I had missed all of the clues laid throughout the book. I am definitely looking forward to continuing this series in the future and would definitely recommend it!