Saturday, September 14, 2019

Review of The Truth About Cowboys by Lisa Renee Jones

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review

Synopsis: "While I was off pitching in the big leagues, my family was back in the small town of Sweetwater, Texas, running the family ranch. Then tragedy hit and I discovered there were secrets that my family kept, problems they hid. I went home, left behind the money, women, and fame. I took over the ranch and took care of my grandmother. I took over hiding the secrets. Then she came to town. A smart-mouthed, clumsy, too-smart-and-too-pretty-for-my-own-good city girl hiding out to write a book. She's right here, on my property, in the cottage my grandmother rented her without my permission, and she sees too much. She knows too much.

Now suddenly my world is spinning, and she's shoving a baseball back in my hand while baking cookies with my grandmother. She's the devil and an angel all in one fiery little package. I decide I'll wait her out. She'll go back to the city. Only suddenly I don't want her to leave, and everything I’ve settled for in my life isn't enough. I want to play ball and I want her, but there's that secret that won't let go, but neither will she."

My Review: I have really been in the mood for some good cowboy romances lately and I really liked the idea of the jaded, high power woman stepping out of the city into the country. Sadly, I really struggled with this one, normally I consume romance novels in a day or two and this one took me well over 2 weeks to read. I didn't connect with the characters much and found a lot of the story to be disjointed and it felt forced with bits of inspired dialog that really flowed. It took until the last third of the book for me to really get into the story and feel like I was picking it up to find out what happened next instead of because I needed to finish it. It just really didn't work for me, maybe Jones' writing style just doesn't jive with my reading preferences. The redeeming factor, Grandma Martha, Roarke, the neighbor and Kelly that cat, two rather minor characters but they seemed to have more natural personalities that flowed on the page.

My Rating: I really can't believe how much I struggled with this book, romances, specifically cowboy romances, are my cup of tea and I usually fly through them.  It really felt like a struggle to get from one inspired bit of the story to the next, it almost felt like a debut or even an early draft as opposed to a finished work.  It was not at all what I was expecting, but with that said I am debating giving the next book a shot because it follows one of the side characters I actually enjoyed.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. The above is my honest opinion

Friday, September 13, 2019

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Freckleface Strawberry: Backpacks! by Julianne Moore & Illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: "Academy Award–winning actress and New York Times bestselling author Julianne Moore brings us more adventures from Freckleface Strawberry! Freckleface and her best friend, Windy Pants Patrick, each have something secret in their backpacks: sticky, gooey gum and a squished, messy donut. When it comes time to pull their homework from their backpacks to hand in to the teacher, suddenly their snack choices seem like a really bad idea.
With predictable sentence patterns, simple words, frequent repetition, and bright, colorful illustrations, this is a new Freckleface Strawberry book that young readers can read all by themselves!"

My Review: This was a great book to pick up for kicking off the new school year. This is a great level 2 book, consisting of short, simple sentences, lots of repetition and introduces chapters. I like how it demonstrates how some kids like different things, and also weaves in what should and shouldn't be going into backpacks to school. This was an easy read for Munchkin but he found it funny that the teach thought the donuts were mountains. A little comedy keeps young readers coming back for more!

My Rating: This was a fun and quirky story to read for the school kids.  We enjoyed it and look forward to more Freckleface Strawberry books.  We give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Review of Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart

Read for: Recently Added & Highly Anticipated

Synopsis: "Nomi and Malachi find themselves powerless and headed towards their all-but-certain deaths. Now that Asa sits on the throne, he will stop at nothing to make sure Malachi never sets foot in the palace again.

Nomi's sister, Serina, is far away on the prison island of Mount Ruin - but it is in the grip of revolution and Serina leads. The women there have their sights set on revenge beyond the confines of their island prison. They will stop at nothing to gain freedom for the entire kingdom. But first they'll have to get rid of Asa, and only Nomi knows how.

Separated once again, this time by choice, Nomi and Serina must forge their own paths as they aim to tear down the world they know, to build something better in its place."

My Review: I absolutely loved Grace and Fury last year and the cliffhanger ending has been haunting me ever since, so I had to pick this one up right away once it was released. I was a little nervous about where the story would go, especially since it is a duology and would be wrapped up in this book. It was a quick read with all the action throughout the book, it kept the pages turning quickly. I really loved the development of each of the characters and how while they pulled strength from each other, they also became strong individually. I love where the story ended up, though it was a bit predictable for an ending. I would like to have a small after the fact novella but I am pretty satisfied with how the story-lines were tied up.

My Rating: I really enjoyed diving back into this book and following these powerful women as their struggles continued.  While I am glad it was all able to wrap up in a duology, I think there is certainly a lot left to be told in this world. I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Reasons I Keep Skipping that Book on my TBR

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube.

I believe that Sam is still on Hiatus and I have a few more ideas for Top 5 Wednesday posts. 

This week I wanted to talk about all those reasons I have for skipping over books on my TBR instead of picking them up. We all have those little reasons we tell ourselves and here are a few brutally honest reasons I haven't picked up the books that I bought and am really excited to read but just don't pick them up.

1. I don't have time, this book is too big!
Yup we all have this excuse not to pick up those big books, I always skip over them on the shelves but at the same time I know I usually end up enjoying them over many of the shorter books. 

This is the reason I have been skipping over The Forgetting Moon at 800 pages.

2. This is the last book in the series, maybe if I never read it, I won't have to say goodbye!
I find myself saying this more and more often, if I can binge right through the series I am fine but if I have to wait for a final book, I really struggle to pick it up, afraid to say goodbye to those favorite characters.

I still have Dawn Study sitting on my shelves, it has been out for nearly 2 years but I just can't bring myself to say goodbye to Yelena and Valek after 8 books and 4 novellas!

3. The Hype is too much! What if I am disappointed?!
Ugh, the dreaded hype, others get your expectations so high that you are guaranteed to be disappointed, and you know this so you keep waiting for the hype to die down along with your expectations.

For this very reason I haven't picked up King of Scars, the hype has died down now but the disappointing reviews are rolling in and it is making me even more hesitant to pick it up.

4. It's a Classic, they are so tedious!
Some of my favorite books are classics but on the flip-side some of my least favorite books are classics. You never know what you are going to get when you read one until you are in it and have potentially spent hours reading it.

Hence the reason The Picture of Dorian Gray is still sitting there mocking me from the shelf.

5. I don't have the Audio book yet and there are hard words.
With a lot of books that are inspired by non-english speaking regions, there are often words that are difficult to pronounce or read. I like to have an audio book to listen to while reading so that I can get the names and words correct.

Books I have struggled with in the past become instant favorites once I combine them with audio books, so I have to pick up both formats at the same time.  This is the reason I have held off picking up We Hunt the Flame and Descendant of the Crane, both of which I believe now have audio books available.

So what are some of your favorite excuses for not picking up a book on your TBR? Which excuse should I push through first to pick up one of these books?  What is your response when you start giving yourself excuses?

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Review of Becoming the Dark Prince by Kerri Maniscalco

Read for: Recently Added & Final Book Preparation

Synopsis: "In this irresistibly-priced short story, catch a glimpse of the inner struggles and triumphs that drive Stalking Jack the Ripper's endearing but troubled hero.

Enigmatic, brooding, and darkly handsome, Thomas Cresswell has always been the one mystery Audrey Rose has never been able to fully solve. As brilliant partners in crime investigation, they understand each other perfectly...but as young lovers, their passionate natures have led to both euphoria and heartbreak throughout the Stalking Jack the Ripper series.

This novella features a collection of scenes that takes place during and after the pair's horrifying Atlantic voyage in Escaping From Houdini. Experience new and familiar scenes from Thomas's unique point of view, including an intensely personal look into his plea for Audrey Rose's hand in marriage.

With a romance for the ages, Audrey Rose and Thomas reach the conclusion to their epic, irresistible partnership in their final adventure, Capturing the Devil."

My Review: Just like so many other readers, I was beyond excited to find out we were getting a novella from Thomas' point of view. I thoroughly enjoyed this little peek into his mind, turns out he isn't always as suave and charming and put together as he appears. We also get a little bit of what happens after the end of book 3 (Escaping Houdini), which had a very emotional ending. I inhaled this little novella and I am even more excited that I was before for the fourth and final book in this series. I do hope that we will get more either novellas or chapters in the new book from Cresswell's point of view.

My Rating: I absolutely adore Thomas, he is clever and charming and this little look into what he hides from the world was just perfect.  I loved getting this little taste to hold me over until Capturing the Devil.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson
Don't Let the Beasties Escape This Book by Julie Berry (Bedtime Story)
Carmen Sandiego: Sticky  Rice Caper (Graphic Novel)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Holy Sister
Truth About Cowboys

Currently Reading:
Realm by Alexandrea Weis - Ebook - 11%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
441:44 Hours Listened (13:01 listened this week)
24,866 Pages Read (352 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Year One
Girl Who Drank the Moon
King of Scars
Dactyl Hill Squad
The Darkdeep
Lord of the Fading Lands
Shadow of Doubt
Gates of Stone
A Conspiracy of Truths
Vortex Visions
Through the White Wood
Descendant of the Crane
Holy Sister
Dark Harmony
The Sea Queen
The Mountain of Kept Memory
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2
The Sea King
Ride Hard
Ride Rough
Ride Wild
Force of Attraction
Primal Force
Rival Forces
A Rogue by Any Other Name
A Scot in the Dark
The Day of the Duchess
The Pirate Bride
Man Made Boy
This Monstrous Thing
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
We Hunt the Flame
Dreaming the Bear
A New Hope
The Monsters We Deserve
Strange Star
Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816
Storm and Fury
Kingdom of Exiles
The Thankful Unicorn
Honeybees and Frenemies
Turning Darkness into Light
A Monster Calls
Master & Apprentice
The Chosen
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Mortal Engines
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Merciful Crow
The Bridge Kingdom
The Girl From the Other Side Vol. 2
The Girl from the Other Side Vol. 1
The Girl the Sea Gave Back
A Crash of Fate
Black Spire


Last week was kind of a bust! I had such high hopes for getting a lot of reading done but between open houses at school, soccer practice and games, family events and football season starting, I haven't had much time to pick up a book.  That and the two books I did read this week were longer, slower reads.

Hopefully, things will start to slow down a bit with the fall weather, not so many BBQs, a little more time at home, inside. I cannot wait to stay curled up under a blanket with a good book!

Where is your favorite place to read?