Saturday, January 2, 2021

Date Night with a Book: This Cowboy of Mine by R.C. Ryan


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley

Previous Books in the Wranglers of Wyoming Series:

Synopsis: "A cowboy with a wild side

Kirby Regan isn't opposed living on the edge. After all, she just quit her career in Washington, D.C, so she could move back to Wyoming and buy her family's ranch. But hiking the Tetons after dark during a snowstorm goes beyond being adventurous, especially when Kirby's boss warns her that an escaped convict is at large. Sheltering in a cave seems the safest option to ride out the blizzard-until Kirby realizes it's already occupied . . . by a ruggedly handsome cowboy.

Like the mustangs he treats, veterinarian and rancher Casey Merrick prefers to live wild and free, which is why a relationship is not in the cards for him. He doesn't mind sharing his space with a gorgeous stranger, as long as they can both keep their distance-a task that begins to seem impossible as the attraction between them heats up. But before they can worry about the spark smoldering between them, Casey must find a way to protect Kirby from nature's most ruthless conditions . . . and a convicted killer on the loose."

My Review:  This might be one of my new favorite cowboy romance series. I am always a sucker for Wyoming cowboys in particular, thanks to my childhood growing up there. After reading the first book, I was super excited to get into this one, Casey was my favorite brother and I couldn't wait to read his story. He did not disappoint me, he was just as expected, a little rough and tough, self-reliant, strong cowboy but with that quiet and patient side needed to work with animals. Kirby was also a girl after my own heart, grew up on a ranch and returning after a life in the big city. She still had that strong and independent streak that I really love in female lead characters. This book definitely gives you a glimpse of the toughness required to be a rancher in Wyoming, I definitely don't miss those winters! The suspense and danger (not to mention the tension between Casey & Kirby) keep the pages turning and even though it was easy to predict what was going to happen, it was still a very engaging read.

My Rating: I am really enjoying this series and really loved getting to know Casey more.  I love the close knit family and open spaces.  This is definitely a series I will keep following.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about R. C. Ryan and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.

This Cowboy of Mine just release on December 15th so you can pick both it and the previous book up in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it from your local library or bookstore.  It makes a perfect snowy day read!

Friday, January 1, 2021

Bedtime Story: Graphic Novel Review of Tom and Jerry: Grouchy Cat by Christopher Harbo & Illustrated by Scott Jeralds


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Graphic Novel & LOVE Tom & Jerry

Synopsis: "Tom and Jerry are back in an  all-new series of wordless graphic novels for the youngest learners. With simple, easy-to-follow panels, this series develops visual literacy, storytelling skills, and prediction abilities in prereaders and early readers alike. Best of all, these age-appropriate stories are chock-full of Tom and Jerry laughs and surprises that will encourage readers to revisit them again and again."

My Review:  I can't tell you how thrilled I am that Tom and Jerry are making a comeback. Munchkin loves watching the classic cartoons and Tom and Jerry is his all time favorite. I loved that this illustration style is still along the lines of the originals, but the modern elements are added in to appeal to this younger generation. It was a great modernization to revitalize this classic story of cat and mouse. This images are bright and bold, and being a wordless graphic novel it can be enjoyed by readers of all ages. This is definitely a graphic novel that will be added to our shelf and I can already hear Munchkin's laughter as he flips through the pages.

My Rating: I am so thrilled to see this coming out, it brought me back to my childhood and will be a wonderful way to connect with Munchkin. I give it a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Christopher Harbo's work on his Goodreads Page as well as Scott Jeralds' on his Goodreads Page, all of which include some great classic comics with a new feel.

Grouchy Cat is scheduled for today on January 1st, 2020, quite the way to kick off the New Year! You can pre-order it and the 3 other Tom and Jerry Graphic Novels in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or you can request a copy from your local library or comic book store.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Review of Unplugged by Gordon Korman


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Audiobook

Synopsis: "As the son of the world’s most famous tech billionaire, spoiled Jett Baranov has always gotten what he wanted. So when his father’s private jet drops him in the middle of a place called the Oasis, Jett can’t believe it. He’s forced to hand over his cell phone, eat grainy veggie patties, and participate in wholesome activities with the other kids whom he has absolutely no interest in hanging out with.

As the weeks go on, Jett starts to get used to the unplugged life and even bonds with the other kids over their discovery of a baby-lizard-turned-pet, Needles. But he can’t help noticing that the adults at the Oasis are acting really strange. Could it be all those suspicious “meditation” sessions?

Jett is determined to get to the bottom of things, but can he convince the other kids that he is no longer just a spoiled brat making trouble?"

My Review:  I was immediately drawn to this cover and was intrigued by the synopsis. I think it will appeal to many young readers the way it did for me. It starts off kind of slow, kind of a boring summer camp drag but things take quite an interesting twist and send the characters off on a bit of a mystery adventure. I did struggle a bit with the audio file from netgalley, it was computer generated as the full narration hadn't been released yet. It was difficult to distinguish the various POVs as well as the tone of each character, but I am sure that will be corrected once it has actual narrators voicing the story. That little issue made it difficult for me to focus on the story but I do really think it will appeal to a lot of young readers and I may give it a shot again in print format or the full audiobook once released. I think there is a character in this story that everyone can find a connection with.  I really enjoyed watching kids bond over something so different and the way friendships are built.

My Rating: I did struggle quite a bit with the audio version, but please keep in mind that I was not listening to a final narration, so don't let that put you off. I am sure the final version will be so much better. I give it a rating of Three Paws.

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

You can find out more about Gordon Korman and his book on his Goodreads Page or Website.

Unplugged releases on January 5th, 2021 so you can pre-order  your copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore.

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Review of The Princess Knight by G.A. Aiken


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Enjoy the Author's Books

Previous Books in Series: 


Gemma Smythe dedicated her life to the glory of battle. With her fellow War Monks, she worshipped the war gods, rained destruction on her enemies, and raised the dead when the fancy took her. Until her sister Keeley became the prophesied Blacksmith Queen, and Gemma broke faith with her order to journey to the Amichai Mountain and fight by Keeley’s side.

The Amichai warriors are an unruly, never-to-be-tamed lot, especially their leader-in-waiting, Quinn. But when the War Monks declare support for Gemma’s ruthless younger sister Beatrix, the immaturity of her key ally is the least of Gemma’s problems. She has to get to the grand masters, dispel their grudge against her, and persuade them to fight for Keeley and justice. If her conviction can’t sway them, perhaps Quinn’s irritating, irreverent, clearly unhinged, ferocity will win the day . . ."

My Review: I have really enjoyed Aiken's (Laurenston's) books in the past, and really loved the dragon series. If you follow her books at all you know to expect somewhat brutal worlds, a lot of banter and snark and a lot of steam, all of which make highly entertaining reads. I was excited to see a new series from her last year but struggled a bit with the first book but enjoyed it enough to want to continue. It took me a while to settle back into this world, I remember the main players and events but not all the details. This book focused on Gemma and she is a tough character to like, especially after the first book, but the constant banter kept the story moving along. It felt like there was a lot more action in this book than in the previous book. We get to see a bit more of the world and meet a lot of new characters, so there wasn't as much focus on the romance (I did miss that a bit). I did like the way she connected this book with others, and that is all I can say about that without getting into spoilers.

My Rating: I struggled to stay focused on this one, even more than the first.  I don't know if I would continue with the rest of the series except for the little bit that happens in the Epilogue that is drawing me back in.  For now I give this one a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

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

You can find out more about G.A. Aiken and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website.

The Princess Knight was just released on November 24th so you can purchase your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore.

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Review of The Great Unicorn Race by Whitney Sanderson


Read for: Requested Review/Netgalley

Synopsis: "Ruby loves riding fast on Tempest. Iris enjoys showing off her control and skill with Lyric. But who is the better unicorn rider? Their friend Cole suggests they have a race. Whoever can cross the Diamond Desert and reach the magical Lotus Gem first is the winner. But the Diamond Desert is filled with dangers. Can Ruby and Iris overcome their rivalry and work together to make it back home? There are unicorns behind Magic Moon Stable, but no one except Iris and Ruby know they exist. As Unicorn Guardians, it is their job to protect the unicorns and their magic to keep them safe from the outside world."

My Review:  Even as an adult I am still instantly attracted to anything to do with unicorns, so of course I had to read this book. This is definitely a book that younger 3rd grade me would have been obsessed with. This is the 8th book in the series but even having not read the previous books, it was still super enjoyable. It is pretty easy reading and would be appropriate for young readers getting out of those beginning reader books and wanting something a little more advanced. There are a lot of illustrations throughout the book as well. Think along the lines of Kingdom of Wrenly or Magic Tree House books. I really liked the message in the story about there being an time and a place for both speed and careful control, all wrapped up in quite the adventure. I think I want to go back and read the rest of the books, and share them with my nieces.

My Rating: Just reading this book brought me back to being the unicorn obsessed girl, adventure and lots of riding unicorns were everything I lived for as a kid.  I really appreciate how this story gives adventure while providing a good message to the readers.  It is easy to read even without the whole series behind it, so readers can pick up the book the find and can still enjoy it.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

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

You can find out more about Whitney Sanderson, this book and her many other horse related books on her Goodreads Page.

The Great Unicorn Race releases on January 1st, so you can pre-order  your copy in print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, or request it at your local library or bookstore.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Monday Reading List


    It is Monday again and it is 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

Marshmallows & Mistletoe by Marianne Rice

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

Snuggle Time Christmas Stories

Currently Reading:

Unplugged by Gordon Korman - Audio - 18%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
932:47 Hours Listened (NONE listened this week)
30,523 Pages Read (26 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
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
The Voyage to Magical North
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hades & Persephone
Dark Skies
About That Kiss
The Girl and the Stars
A Choir of Lies
Loving Cara
Girl of Fire & Thorns (gift)
Fury of a Phoenix
Homicide in Hardcover (gift)
Unravel the Dusk
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Unhaul Cut Off ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
A Likely Story (Gift)  -READ
More than Cocoa (gift) - READ Years ago


Boy did I drop the ball last week! I only read one tiny picture book for Advent Reads and then I didn't even get the review up on time.  I hope that those of you who celebrate had the best Christmas possible in the current times. If you couldn't be with your loved ones, I hope you found a way to connect with them. Can you believe that this year is nearly over?! I am having a hard time believing it.  I know for some this year has seemed like the longest year of their lives, but for me it was just insanely busy. We have been fortunate that both hubby and I have been able to continue working but the difficulties of doing so with all the restrictions and having to take on distance learning and no child care options have been stressful.  With all that said, I feel like I didn't even get a chance to come up for air this year, and am happy to see it go but plan to just continue on as I have been for the past 9 months. Normally by now I have planned out my next year's reading challenges and have set some TBRs but I haven't even gotten that far.  I have started a shelf reorganization to help me limit down my physical TBR, you can follow along on my Instagram @EasternSunset9 as I clean up my bookshelves and remove some to focus that TBR down to a more manageable number.

I wish you all the bright hope a new year brings!