Saturday, July 25, 2020

Date Night with a Book: Delta Force Defender by Megan Crane

Date Night with a book is the new After Dark series of posts on my blog, books posted for Date Nights contain Adult  Romance themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for Date Night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)

Read for: Requested Reviews/ Netgalley

Reviews of Previous Books:

Synopsis: "Return to Alaska's Grizzly Harbor where danger strikes with arctic precision and love thaws the coldest hearts in the new romantic suspense from USA Today bestselling author Megan Crane.

After an explosion that should have killed her, Caradine Scott barely escaped her criminal family by leaving her old identity behind her. These days she runs the Water's Edge Café in a rugged little town on the edge of nowhere, vowing never to let anyone close to her again.

Isaac Gentry is back home after his career in the military, playing the part of an unassuming local in Grizzly Harbor, while also overseeing Alaska Force's special ops work as the leader and commanding officer he was in the Marines and beyond. He has better things to do than obsess over a woman who claims she hates him, but every glimpse he gets of the vulnerability beneath her prickly exterior is a distraction...and a challenge he can't ignore.

When Caradine's demons catch up with her, her café isn't the only thing that blows up. Her past pushes them together, and closer to a future that's been waiting for them all this time. They just have to survive long enough to enjoy it."

My Review:  We finally get to dive into the relationship between Isaac and Caradine that has been hinted at throughout the previous four books in the series. Unfortunately I really struggled with this book. The push and pull between the characters and the griping between the two of them just felt off and forced to me. I was excited to read more about Caradine, I loved her tough, take no BS personality, but in this book her mood/personality swings kept pulling me out of the story (not to mention the not so smart stunts she kept pulling). I did like the more suspenseful focus throughout the story; a little more action and a lot more who's behind it all. I will still continue the series, because like I said before, I really enjoy the whole group of Alaska Force characters.

My Rating: For all the build up to this couple throughout the series, I really struggled to get into this one and to follow their characters.  I understand the reasoning behind their different behaviors but at the same time it really threw me out of the story.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

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

You can find out more about Megan Crane and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.

Delta Force Defender just released on July 7th so you can now obtain your own copy of it and the previous books in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local bookstore or library.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Bedtime Story: Sorry (Really Sorry) by Joanna Cotler & Illustrated by Harry Bliss

Read for: Children's Books/ Borrowed Books

Synopsis: "Cow was in a nasty mood. When Duck came along Cow kicked mud in her face.

“Why’d you do that?” asked Duck.

“I felt like it,” said Cow. “And I’m not sorry.”

Little did Cow know that her bad mood would spread to the whole farm. But it does when Cow passes her anger along to Duck who takes it out on Frog who is mean to Bird who upsets Goat who bothers Pig. Until good-hearted Dog turns things around by showing kindness to Pig, turning not sorry into sorry (really sorry). But will that be enough to mend all of the hurt feelings on the farm?"

My Review: This was a really great book to help kids understand grumpy emotions. I love how it shows that one grumpy person (animal) being mean or cruel can start a whole chain of upset and grumpy people. It also shows how just one understanding and kind person can change and stop the chain. It was a simple story for little ones and had such a great message. The illustrations were cute and the use of animals will really capture kids attention.

My Rating: This is such a great book for kids learning about emotions and honest apologies.  I loved the illustrations style and the use of animals to convey the story.  I give it a rating of Four Paws and Stump Wag.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

Royal Court Book Tag

It has been a while since I did a book tag and I think it is about time to do one. I have a whole file of saved book tag bookmarks on my computer but one I saw on Drums of Autumn Youtube channel from a couple of years ago really stood out to me. The Royal Court Book Tag was originally created by Chels - My Reading Escape on the Amino App.  Since I read so many books with kingdoms both in fantasy and romance, this should be fun!

1. Kingdom: Every Court Needs a Kingdom -What Fictional World Would You Rule Over
So, I would definitely die in pretty much every fantasy kingdom I have read about. Those worlds are brutal and terrifying. But as far as what we saw in Sorcery of Thorns, that the Kingdom of Austermeer doesn't sound too bad, just your usual bad guys.

2. Consort: Life At The Top Can Get Lonely - Pick Your Partner in Crime/ Book Crush
He has always been and will always be my top Book Boyfriend, though he isn't king in Fire, he definitely has all the qualities needed.  Brigan from Fire is my choice for Consort

3. Heir: Someone Needs to Keep Your Legacy Going - Pick a Royal Character Who Deserves to Rule After You
Having just met her this year, I think Razia would make a fantastic heir. She is so awesome, she is smart, confident, strong and loyal. She can make strategic plans with the best of them and execute them as well! 

4. Royal Guard: Being a Ruler Comes With Many Dangers - Pick a Character You Trust To Have Your Back
Without a doubt the two most protective characters I have come across are Murderbot and ART, they will stop at nothing to protect those around them, whether under contract or not!

5. Adviser: Its Nice to Have Someone to Blame When Things Go Wrong - Pick a Character Who Usually Has Great Advice
It has been a few years since I read the Winner's Curse series but for some reason, Kestrel keeps popping up in my mind for this position. She may not have always made the best decision but she learned from them and came out on top anyway.

6. Spy Master/Assassin: You Have to Set an Example - Pick a Character Who Would Destroy Your Enemies
Only the best of the best, I need to recruit Valek, Ari and Janco from the Ixian Chronicles.  If you have only read the Study series, you need to read the rest of the series, especially the novellas!!

7. Court Magician: When Brutal Force Doesnt Work Magic is the Answer - Pick a Character With Useful Powers
Not only is Cat blessed by the gods, but she can also absorb power and use it, and she has some pretty darn powerful friends too!

8. Diplomats: You Need Someone to Make Favorable Trade Deals, or Perhaps Prevent a War - Pick a Character Who's Great At Convincing Others
While he may not always have the most ethical of ways, he always gets what he wants.  I am definitely putting Gen in charge of negotiations (granted he might start a war or two but his skills are worth it).

9. General: Sometimes War Is Inevitable - Pick a Strategic Character to Defend Your Kingdom And Lead Your Army
Again, she might not have the most ethical of methods but she has a brain for strategy and getting the job done. I am going to hire Lada (and probably a couple others to try to keep her in check).

10. Stable Master: All Life Must Flourish In Your Kingdom - Pick an Animal Companion
I don't know why I struggled so much with this question, I always love the animal companions.  Normally I would go for a feline companion or even an equine but I don't think anything could be better than Storm, a wolven, from the Faithful & the Fallen.

11. Court Jester: Life As a Ruler Can Get Stressful -Pick a Book/Character That Made You Laugh
For some reason I find it easier to remember the characters that made me cry, as opposed to made me laugh.  The Night Court group though stand out as being very entertaining, at least when they aren't in battle mode. 

12. Usurper: There Will Always Be Someone After The Throne - Pick a Villain Who Would Make a Worthy Opponent
I can't remember his name but he is Lara's Father in The Bridge Kingdom series.  He is evil and always power hungry, but try as he might I don't think he can over take my kingdom with the group I put together.

13. Nobles: The Courts Life Blood - Who Do You Tag?
This was super fun to do, and I hope you will all try out the tag too.  So if you are reading this and made it through all those questions, I want you to do this tag too.  Let me know if you do, so I can come check out your answers. 

Also, take this tag as an ultimate recommendation list. I think every book or series I referred to in this list are all time favorites! Some truly fantastic books are listed here!

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Review of Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass

Read for: Borrowed Books/ Audio book/ Trying new Genre

Synopsis: "With the help of her rescue cat, Eddie, librarian Minnie Hamilton is driving a bookmobile based in the resort town of Chilson, Michigan. But she’d better keep both hands on the wheel, because it’s going to be a bumpy ride…

Eddie followed Minnie home one day, and now she can’t seem to shake the furry little shadow. But in spite of her efforts to contain her new pal, the tabby sneaks out and trails her all the way to the bookmobile on its maiden voyage. Before she knows it, her slinky stowaway becomes her cat co-pilot!

Minnie and Eddie’s first day visiting readers around the county seems to pass without trouble—until Eddie darts outside at the last stop and leads her to the body of a local man who’s reached his final chapter.

Initially, Minnie is ready to let the police handle this case, but Eddie seems to smell a rat. Together, they’ll work to find the killer—because a good librarian always knows when justice is overdue."

My Review: I have had the urge to dip my toes into new genres and decided to start with Cozy Mysteries. This one immediately attracted my attention with revolving around books and a cat! I did really adore Eddy's involvement, while clearly more intelligent than the average cat, he is still clearly a cat, with cat behaviors and attitude. I wasn't a huge fan of Minnie, she was a bit of a bumbling fool, sticking her nose where it didn't belong, but I understand that is kind of the point of these books. While we did get clues throughout the book, we weren't really given enough information to figure out the mystery, which is a bit of a bummer. All in all it was an okay book, I liked the atmosphere and the side characters were all interesting. It wasn't bad for my first Cozy Mystery and I will be trying more in the genre and will pick up more in this series from the library.

My Rating: While I know this is outside my normal reading comfort zone, and maybe I need to get more into the genre to really start to enjoy it. I like to be able to put the pieces together throughout the mystery and I just didn't really get to do that here.  I also prefer when people let the police and detectives do their jobs, so it was a bit of a struggle. I still give it an overall rating of Three Paws.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Blog Tour & Review: A Whiskered Perspective by M.G. Spear

Synopsis: "Meet the cutest new black kitty in fiction, Pumpkin!

Like cats? Relationships? Then A Whiskered Perspective is for you.

Relationships are hard, but they are worth the effort. You should try your best, no matter what, to work things out, right? Not always.

Miller thinks she has found love but her cat, Pumpkin, tells a darker story. Not all love is equal, even if you desperately want it to be.

It’s a different take on relationship turmoil and the power of a connection between a cat and his human."

My Review: I knew I had to read this book when I saw the cover and read the synopsis, cats always get me! This book is definitely not for the faint of heart. I really enjoyed the beginning of the story, with Miller and Pumpkin finding their way as cat and human companion. I loved the portrayal of the way nine lives works in this story. Then enters the relationship portion with the new love interest Rob. I appreciate the perspective from Pumpkin, it gives you a fly on the wall perspective and the relationship develops. I wasn't a huge fan of the more human abilities given to Pumpkin, he can read, I feel like it took it a bit away from being a cat's perspective, I would have preferred a little more instinct based behaviors. I also found that it was a very quick story and I wasn't able to really get involved in the story and become super attached to the characters. The story does take a very dark turn and I would have liked to have felt the emotions throughout the second half of the book. With all that said, it was a quick read and a hard hitting one with some very tough subjects, and one very lovable and noble cat.

My Rating: While I did enjoy this story, it is a rather dark one and may be triggering to some readers.  I did find that the human abilities given to the cat took me out of the story a bit. I also would have liked to have the story fleshed out a bit more to draw me in more and let me really grow connected to the characters.  With that said it is a good and hard hitting short story.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Pump Up Your Book & the author. The following is my honest review and opinion.

You can obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon

Have you ever been set on fire?
            I have.
            Tied up, thrown into a bag, the smell of gasoline filling my nostrils…
            Such is the way of the warrior.
            I had been minding my own business, hunting mice for dinner when the neighborhood bully caught me by surprise with a pillowcase.
            The local humans would whisper I was the trouble tom, always picking fights with their house cats, or spraying on their fence line.
            And, of course, attacking the neighborhood bully when he threw rocks at me.
            Now he had the advantage. My sharp claws could only do so much damage through the fabric, and he grabbed my legs and tied them so my claws would no longer be an issue. I yowled and spat and hissed with the rage of fire but to no avail. The way of the warrior is to accept death, but this was my seventh life, and I was not ready to give it up. But I could see no way I would survive as the pillowcase caught fire.
            “Hey!” a woman screamed.
            I heard the bully run away laughing as my flesh started to sear. The pain was building, and even with meditation techniques, I could not get my mind far enough from the pain.
            Then my miracle came. Someone doused the pillowcase in water. Cold, blessed water.
            The ropes came off and the makeshift sack was opened. Delirious as I was, I knew not to struggle as this random woman, this passerby, scooped me up in her arms and carried me down the street. She took me into her house and tended my wounds while I lay panting, grateful to be alive.
            Weeks go by, and I continued to heal and snuggle with this woman. I made sure to do nothing to upset her, to throw me away, and only sprayed in the litter box and did my business there. She was grateful for this kindness and cleaned it every day for me.
            Her house was a small three-bedroom house. She lived alone, a teacher educating other people’s children but coming home to no one. I was the answer to her loneliness. She talked to me every day about the goings-on in her life. She kept a diary, which I read from time to time. We were grateful for each other.
            This is the story of my friend and me.

M.G. Spear is a teacher who writes for stress relief, and currently has published multiple books with more in the works. She teaches Biology to both college and high school students, and mostly her days are filled with logic. But M.G’s creative side comes out in her writing.

M.G. has been writing for as long as she can remember and hones her craft by reading books and constantly writing. She is very eclectic in her writing passions, from general fiction to horror books, to motivational and humorous posts on her blog. Her major influences are Edgar Allen Poe, Gillian Flynn, Chuck Palahniuk, and Frank Peretti. She published her first short story collection, Jumping on the Trampoline, in 2006, but then life got in the way. Now she is back in the game, ready to bring more stories to life.


Monday, July 20, 2020

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


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

Lending a Paw

Currently Reading:

You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers - Print - on page 98 of 320
The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron - print/ebook - on page 134 of 528
Book of Dragons by Various Authors - ebook - on page 283  of 576
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien - print - on page 109 of 328

Pages Read/ Time Listened
559:11 Hours Listened (9:23 listened this week)
16,117 Pages Read (None this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
Phoenix Unbound
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids  (gift)
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter Vol. 1
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
Ash and Quill - UNHAUL
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking
Smoke and Iron - UNHAUL
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood (gift)
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Red, White & Royal Blue
Dark Skies
No Country for Old Gnomes (gift)
About That Kiss
The Ranger of Marzanna
A Heart of Blood and Ashes (gift)
The Girl and the Stars
A Choir of Lies
Loving Cara
This Will Kill That
One to Watch - READ
Woven in Moonlight
Steel Tide
Girl of Fire & Thorns (gift)
Murder Past Due
Books Can Be Deceiving
Due or Die
Book Line and Sinker
Apple Cider Slaying
All My Loving
Fury of a Phoenix
Homicide in Hardcover (gift)
Unravel the Dusk
Ruthless Gods
Mexican Gothic
Happy and You Know It


How come I never get any reading done while on vacation?!  I wasn't even able to get online at all, so couldn't even post any reviews. With that said we got a lot done around the house and did a bit of relaxing.  Went swimming at the pool and a trip to the zoo, a family BBQ and a lunch date.  I didn't check in at all with work and it was so refreshing! After spending the past several months on the top of my limit of stress and on the verge of complete meltdown, this down time was much needed. 

Now it is time to get back to work though and back to getting read for Munchkin's 1st Communion next weekend, back to school coming far to soon (with a lot of extra requirements).  I have a bunch of requested reviews to get done and up. But at least I will be able to get back to reading without Hubby and Munchkin constantly hovering around.