Summer Goals–Books and Otherwise

51AGnoEhYGL
Currently reading…

Today has started a little bit slowly, but as it is the last day of school (for my kids), I feel like the pace was perfect. It’s an introduction to a slow summer, the season I look forward to the most. Yes, even more than my favorite season, fall.

I was sweeping floors and doing laundry when it struck me that I have no real plan for summer. Other than choosing books to read, I have no idea what we’re doing. No vacations planned, no real goals set. But, wait one second–there is a million projects around the house I feel we can finish. And, I can probably make most of them fun and interesting.

For a start, I think I know a couple of teenage girls who would do a really good job at re-staining kitchen cabinets and painting a few rooms. And, I have two boys and a nephew or ten who are perfect little weed eaters. I think I’m also going to dive into making my own popsicles this summer. Last summer I bought a mold that makes six pops of whatever you want and I did really well with making my sugar free treats, but I was still buying the kids their own to have. This year, I think we’ll make an effort at freezing about 75% of the frozen treats we eat ourselves. If we make it to 100%, that’s even better.

As far as reading goes, I’m looking into some educational sites for kids. We might even buy a few books (print, that is) online. For myself, I’d like to keep working on my reading schedule and try to finish August and September’s lineup while I read through the books I’ve penciled in. I’m pretty excited about it, really. Summer can be a lot of things, but to us, it’s the season of books, yard stuff, and frozen things. All the frozen things!

 

 

Advertisements

Tall, Dark, and Deadly by Kharma Kelley

deadly

Well, this book is a big NO from me.

I was excited to read this book. The premise is solid and interesting, but I couldn’t make it to the fourth chapter. I would suggest the book be pulled for editing and re-released after some edits and revisions. Two stars because had it not been for the glaring errors and editorial issues, I could have really loved this book.

Example: Somewhere in the second or third chapter, author uses the word “just” three times in one sentence.

Unlike the majority of my reviews, this was not an advance copy. It’s been out for a few years now so I really see no sense in this sort of issue. Most books will have errors, but not one right after the other within the span of three or four pages.

I know that there are some really good reviews on Amazon for this book already, but it does make me wonder if those readers actually read with their eyes open because I seriously had a hard time getting through the beginning. Maybe I’m just an asshole.

**shrugs innocently**

But, the editorial issues were not the only ones.

I felt like the main character, Chloe, was an absolute brat. I didn’t like her, not even a little bit. She was immature and, at times, I wanted to smack her teeth out. Ethan was a little bit more likable, but given what I know of Chloe, I found it unbelievable that he would ever want anything to do with her romantically–but, keep in mind, I didn’t make it far enough to see how that all happened. I’m assuming she must have had a drastic personality change somewhere in the middle of the book.

I really do hate it when things like this happen. I don’t think anyone downloads a book to their e-reader and actually wants to dislike it. Some of the reviews on Amazon come from some notable reviewers, so I’m going to investigate further–this is NOT the author’s only book and I do like the premise, so I’d like to give her another chance to entertain me. After all, vampire books seem to be disappearing these days. Or, not showing up anywhere at all.

Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Summer Binges

I’m really looking forward to summer, but I have to admit that I’m not looking forward to trying to navigate all of my streaming services. At our house, we have access to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, so we have a lot of choices. Problem is, I can’t figure out what I want to watch. I have one show picked out and that’s it!

TheMagiciansHP.jpgBut, first, I want to tackle the latest season of The Magicians. Why? Well, because it’s somehow managed to become a good show. I have no idea how that happened because I wasn’t expecting it to be so good. I expected it to be juvenile–something you might watch to pass time, no other reasons. White noise. But, there are some really great themes within the episodes of the show. The characters are all great (some you love to hate and some you hate to love), the premise is incredibly fun, and I really need a good sci-fi fix.

But, if you haven’t started the show, be warned that it airs on the Sy-fy network. They are notorious for cancelling shows (**Ahem…** HAVEN) after three or four seasons and The Magicians is already a few seasons in.

James-Fraser-B

Do any of you have any binges planned for summer break? Obviously I need some shows to carry me over until the next season of Outlander starts…because I’m really starting to miss the show and I have a sinking feeling there might not be many more seasons coming.

 

 

Wolf Moon (The McKenna Legacy Book 7) by Patricia Rosemoor

Release Date: Available NOW
**I was given an ARC copy of Wolf Moon by Patricia Rosemoor, but I got my copy only a day or two before the release, so while this is a new release, this review will post after the actual release date. Apologies!**

Wolf Moon

Aileen McKenna came to the remote town of Wolf Creek to study wolves in the wild and ran into Rhys Lindgren, an enigmatic man with dark secrets and a connection to the local wolf pack. Frightened townspeople were convinced a predatory wolf was on the loose after three men were found dead in the woods. Rhys didn’t believe it any more than Aileen, and she intended to prove the wolves’ innocence. But would Rhys take her into the snow-covered forest to do just that? She’d have to be alone with him and trust him to draw out a killer…

For the sake of being honest, I really couldn’t get into this book at first. It doesn’t have a very strong beginning and I had to push through the first few chapters in order to become engrossed in the story. That being said, once I got through the first stretch, I was happy I kept reading because the book (after chapter three or so) is great. Keep in mind that this is book 7 of a series (so the title says), so maybe if I’d read books 1-6, the beginning of book 7 wouldn’t have felt as though it was dragging.

The story has everything a wolfy romance should. The mystery is mysterious, the suspense is suspenseful, and the pages almost turn themselves. The only thing that really bothered me is that I didn’t find anything in the story that would make me really want to stand in line for book 8 (if there is one). I’ll still read more by Patricia Rosemoor, but I really feel like I should see how many books are ahead in the series before I read out of order again.

I really wish I could have loved this book, I just really didn’t. It entertained, but with no pizazz. I’m actually really bummed about it. I’m still giving the book three stars because I feel like it does deserve that many for entertainment value alone.

 

Summer Reading and Vampire Mania

cropped-burne-jones-le-vampire.jpgIs it just me, or are things going back to the way they were pre-Twilight era? I have no idea what’s going on. Maybe it’s because the weather is warmer, maybe because I know fall is getting closer (I’m counting down, y’all), maybe because there are so many awesome summer releases coming, or maybe it’s because I’m an absolute weirdo and an obviously a glutton for punishment.

But, I can NOT get enough vampires and werewolves lately. I’m going bananas trying to find enough to get me through and it appears as though there is a supernatural romance DROUGHT going on right now. I hope I’m wrong and it only seems that way because I’m a whiny loon.

AshleyThere are a few good releases coming that I know of and I’m excited for both. One of them, Twilight Desires by Amanda Ashley, is coming August 28, 2018, according to Amanda Ashley’s website. I’ve been waiting on this one forever. FOREVER, people. And, I am of the personal belief that nobody does vampires like Amanda Ashley. If you haven’t read any of her books, I would suggest you go to her website, choose a title, and go. Any title. Just pick one. You can thank me later. I prefer Dove dark chocolates, cash, and Chilis gift cards.

The second book I’m looking forward to is Serpentine by Laurell K. Hamilton. It’s an Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter novel and the release date is August 7, 2018. I don’t have to go into details about this book because every self respecting vampire fan has read the Anita Blake books or has at least given them a chance. Either we like them or no, there is usually no in between there (lol). serpentine

The issue I’m having is that I can’t find enough vampire fiction, particularly of the romance variety. A few years ago, when the Twilight books were in the spotlight, vampire novels were a dime a dozen–and I was so happy about it because FINALLY there were vampires and werewolves getting shelf space in places that didn’t require a ladder or a flashlight to find them. I can remember a time when finding supernatural romance novels was, for people in rural areas in particular, incredibly difficult. Obviously the books were out there somewhere, but locating them took some doing.

I’m not even having any luck finding vampire titles in grocery stores and Wal-Mart. Am I looking in the wrong places? I keep finding every romance genre but vampires and werewolves.

I feel like I’m trapped in a fantasy super library full of every book ever written, sorted by rooms/genres, and I’ve finally read the very last book in the vampire room. I’ve gluttonously read through every single bloody word in every single black book. Every word has been consumed and I’m standing on a table, innocently shrugging at the angry librarian. I’ve read so many vampire novels that I’ve spontaneously sprouted my very own fangs and I’ve sucked the life force out of the genre and left nothing but a husk.

Obviously, that’s not how it happened, but I do have a flair for the dramatic.

So, without any more of my sulking, I leave you with one final plea.

Please, for the love of vampires and books, if you know of any vampire romance NEW releases, you can email me at KellyShrewsbury@Gmail.com or leave a comment below! I really look forward to suggestions.

 

Rogues Rush In: A Regency Duet by Tessa Dare and Christi Caldwell

rogues rush in

Release date: 5/22/18
Available at Amazon.com now!

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors Tessa Dare and Christi Caldwell come together in this smart, sexy, not-to-be-missed Regency Duet! 

Two scandalous brides…
Two rogues who won’t be denied…

His Bride for the Taking by NYT Bestselling author Tessa Dare
It’s the first rule of friendship among gentlemen: Don’t even think about touching your best friend’s sister. But Sebastian, Lord Byrne, has never been one for rules. He’s thought about touching Mary Clayton—a lot—and struggled to resist temptation. But when Mary’s bridegroom leaves her waiting at the altar, only Sebastian can save her from ruin. By marrying her himself. 

In eleven years, he’s never laid a finger on his best friend’s sister. Now he’s going to take her with both hands. To have, to hold…and to love.

His Duchess for a Day by USA Today Bestseller Christi Caldwell 
It was never meant to be…
That’s what Elizabeth Terry has told herself while trying to forget the man she married–her once best friend. Passing herself off as a widow, Elizabeth has since built a life for herself as an instructor at a finishing school, far away from that greatest of mistakes. But the past has a way of finding you, and now that her husband has found her, Elizabeth must face the man she’s tried to forget.

It was time to right a wrong…
Crispin Ferguson, the Duke of Huntington, has spent the past years living with regret. The young woman he married left without a by-your-leave, and his hasty elopement had devastating repercussions. Despite everything, Crispin never stopped thinking about Elizabeth. Now that he’s found her, he has one request—be his duchess, publicly, just for a day. 

Can spending time together as husband and wife rekindle the bond they once shared? Or will a shocking discovery tear them apart…this time, forever?

HIS BRIDE FOR THE TAKING by Tessa Dare

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story. I read on my computer during my morning coffee/breakfast/busywork ritual, which means it’s a short read, but a very entertaining one. One sitting is all you need.

I’ve read Tessa Dare before, so I was already familiar with her style. I felt like Mary was a likable character, but that sometimes her thought process was skewed. I think we all know a few people like that in our real lives, right? Sebastian, the hero, was rough and gruff and everything one might ask for in an alpha male, but I’m not sure I’d really call him a rogue. Nevertheless, the story was great and the romance within was sweet. Details were given where needed and kept away where not needed. Perfect for a night in when you might have to get up early the next day.

HIS DUCHESS FOR A DAY by Christi Caldwell

I would have liked this in a longer story–I don’t feel like the characters got their moment in the sun as they should have. I don’t feel like it was fair to them to cram the entirety of their romance into a few short chapters. BUT, I have no reason to not suggest this story to other readers. After all, if the only problem I can come up with is that it’s just not long enough, then the writer has done her job and well beyond. I am entertained and I want more.

Crispin Ferguson is the kind of storybook romance novel hero readers (myself included) tend to go bananas for. There is an element of mystery, a gentleman with a reputation that precedes him, and by description, he’s handsome. Oh, and he’s a duke, so he’s loaded. He’s every nineteenth century woman’s fantasy man. His bride, Elizabeth, is a woman most can relate to and identify with in some way or another. I felt the romantic scenes were nicely written and appropriate within the story.

I have absolutely no reason to not give this book my recommendation. I actually really enjoy shorter stories sometimes because there are days when a gal just likes a light read. I’m not someone with a lot of time on my hands, so when I read something (short or long) I enjoy, I feel like my minutes and hours were more than well spent and I can not wait to see what’s next from BOTH of these authors.

Enchanted By the Highlander by Lecia Cornwall

enchanted by the highlanderEnchanted by the Highlander is the fourth book in a charming and enchanting Scottish series that reimagines fairytales by Lecia Cornwall.

Gillian MacLeod is shy and quiet, the least likely of all her sisters to seek out excitement and adventure. But on a moonlit night at a masquerade ball, Gillian steals a kiss from a mysterious stranger, knowing she’ll never see him again.

John Erly, disowned by his noble English father, started a new life in Scotland. Most people are suspicious of the foreign mercenary and he does everything is his power to avoid romantic entanglements. But he can’t forget the bewitching beauty who kissed him in the dark, and stole his heart, even though he has no idea who she might be.

A year later, John is given the duty of escorting Gillian to her wedding and immediately recognizes her as the temptress he’s dreamed of for months. There’s not much he can do when she’s promised to another man, but fate intervenes and this time, passion—and adventure—can’t be denied. Honor demands he stay away from the MacLeod’s enchanting daughter, but love has a very different ending in mind…

***

I really enjoyed this story. I was surprised to learn there are others in this series, so I’ll be trying to look those up today, too. As of right now, my reading queue is ridiculously long, but one more won’t hurt.

Okay, three more.

I enjoyed the storytelling and the fairytale aspect to the story. It’s a feel good romantic read. Gillian is a woman I can identify with in a lot of ways and I think maybe that’s what makes the story so appealing. I think a lot of women could probably picture themselves in her shoes, if only for a moment. But, it isn’t just Gillian. All of the characters are likable and believable. Bravo, Lecia Cornwall.

The plot of the story is so fantastic and that’s how the fairytale vibe kicks in. It’s very Cinderella-like, but I found myself holding my breath for Gillian and John throughout the story. I knew there would be a happy ending, but at times I found myself worrying how it would come about. I wasn’t disappointed and I can’t wait to find the other books in the series!

You can find your own copy at Amazon!