Book Reviews + Bonus Tolkien Book Pics =)

Since I haven’t had a chance to do any cooking or baking for the better part of two weeks … I don’t have too much to post! I have been spending a bit more time than normal reading. I basically didn’t read at all this past January or February so I have a lot of things to catch up on! Not really, the books will always be there … but I like to read a certain amount and I was behind! =)

6 Books, 3 Novellas … all in the past 4 weeks! Summary list below!

Drop Dead Gorgeous (Cyborg Series #2)
By: MaryJanice Davidson
I read book #1 in this series awhile back, not sure how long ago, and thought it was okay. I’ve read quite a few books by MaryJanice Davidson and have enjoyed most of them thoroughly! Though, I read this one through in about 3 days, I didn’t find it to be as exciting(?) as I’d hoped. The question mark represents what I wanted to get from the book: exciting cyborg romance … except the cyborgs weren’t really in this story so much … I dunno, pretty cute story just not what I expected!

Blood Kiss: Black Dagger Legacy
J.R. Ward
This is a full length novel that takes place in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood but isn’t tied directly too much to the main characters (as they were more supporting cast members in this story). However, I had been looking forward to reading this one since I actually liked the little teaser the author had about the two main characters in a previous book (one from the main series). The book was great! If you read J.R. Ward, this is good addition to your library!

Runaway Vampire (Argeneau Vampire Series #23)
Lynsay Sands
Wow, #23 huh? I’ve read 22 other stories in this stories before this? Amazing … this author is on her stuff when it comes to publishing these! Cool! I like reading them! Though this one followed the normal story line (which I’m not tired of) of an Immortal and a Mortal falling in love … it didn’t actually finish the story as the main event of the book wasn’t resolved by the end. This isn’t unusual in this series. Since the author regularly publishes (twice a year I think), the next book will likely pick up where this one left off!

The Player
J.R. Ward
I’m not really sure where the title of this novel came from … the main male character isn’t really a player … *shrug* Also, I’m pretty sure that this book was published under Jessica Bird (same person tho …). Anyways, I liked it but … the main characters had too many non-starter moments to be really happy for them when they finally figured out how to be in a relationship.

Metamorphosis
Franz Kafka
After I finished that last book, I asked my husband what he thought I should read next! He said a classic .. I said “huh” .. then he said read something by Kafka … so, I read Metamorphosis. It was crazy!  I just felt bad for all of the characters in it. I’m so glad it was a novella because if it had been a full length novel I don’t think I could have finished it. The beginning had me super interested so I wanted to finish it but, as always, I wanted a happy-ish ending and this for sure did not have one!

The Story of Son: A Dark Vampire Romance
J.R. Ward
Another Novella … so weird too since I usually steer super clear of novellas … they are just so short! I really liked this one though … So, two of the three books I read this month by this author were really good and the other was just good. J.R. Ward is always something I like to read so I’m glad I got this novella even though I wouldn’t have minded more story with these two characters … I guess, since they’ve been introduced, they might be in more stories later! I’d like that =)

Falling Into Bed with a Duke
Lorraine Heath
I guess it’s okay to read books that are romance related but aren’t paranormal … I mean, people do that all the time right? Well, this was a period piece romance book with a super strong willed female character who didn’t had a lot of luck with meeting men … ie: most of the men sucked. Anyways, as with all the other romance novels, happiness is on its way with only one or two set backs? So, really the story progressed quickly =) Cute book, I might pick up more by this author in the future.

Dancers in the Dark
Charlaine Harris
I actually pre-ordered this one back in October and then forgot about it because if you pre-order books on your Nook … ya know, they never download. I had to log onto the Nook app on my cell phone, archive the book, then go onto my Nook device and un-archive it so that it would download … why in the heck Barnes and Nobel wouldn’t fix this is beyond me … it’s like they don’t really want my money … Anyways, the book was good. It was another Novella which is really baffling to me! It takes place in Harris’ Vampire Universe which I’ve always enjoyed since I first pick-up a Sookie Stackhouse novel … 10ish years ago? Wow … Cute story but so short! I really don’t like Novellas …

First Grave on the Right
Darynda Jones
This was one sassy main character! She didn’t like to listen, always had a sarcastic comment, and was generally super fun to read! I’m definitely going to be picking up book two in this series super soon and then (hopefully) I can move on to the author’s other stores. I really like this one, so happy to have read it!

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National Tolkien Day
I found out yesterday that it was National Tolkien Day … meaning a day to encourage you to read The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings (or for the daring read The Silmarillion). I absolutely love The Lord of the Rings movies and watch the extended editions regularly! I’m including a quick pick of my LotR books .. I haven’t’ actually read these (as I read them back in Jr High/High School and therefore just read my Dad’s copies) but they look lovely sitting on a shelf behind our Lord of the Rings pinball machine … I really have one, it was expensive.

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My next book review will have some pictures from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (The Illustrated Edition!!!). Now, off to read The Design of Everyday Things, I’m looking forward to it!

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Book Review #13-15

Three more books have been absorbed into my reader’s brain since I last posted a book review. Two were for fun and one was for a class … bet you’ll never guess which was for school! =p Nah, it’s pretty obvious … =)

A Career of Evil
By Robert Galbraith

Third book in the J.K. Rowling Cormoran Strike series. And Oh My Gosh, what an ambiguous ending!!!! ~~~ So mean of her !! =(

Love it though, read it two weekends ago while not feeling good. It was just as interesting as the first two in the series and I really like how the characters seem to gain new experiences each novel instead of always relying on the same skills … though, Cormoran did have a mysterious “break through” like he did in a previous book … that’s okay though! Lovely read!

Did learn something important about Nook though, don’t pre-order books!!!  Apparently, if you pre-order it Nook won’t push the book to your Nook for your to read and you have to CALL them to get it fixed!!! What is with that? Instead I just read the whole thing on my iphone 6 … I mist have swiped left at least a thousand times … and now I know to never every pre-order a Nook book!

About a Vampire: An Argeneau Vampire Novel
By Lynsay Sands

Book #22 in the series!  I read these books quite quickly and really enjoy them!  Always a happy ending, always some hi-jinks and some Vampire *ahem* Immortal Romance =)

Another complaint about Nook though … they always send me e-mails phrased like “We noticed you’ve just read book #22 in a series, would you like to try book #21”?????
I really want to tell it “No, Nook. I do not want to read book #21, mostly because I already have read it! I don’t pick up the last book in a series without reading the first 20+” … And, all of the books were bought on Nook so “it” should know … ugh, oh well!

Loosing the Signal: The Untold Story Behind the Extraordinary Rise and Spectacular Fall of BlackBerry
By McNish and Silcoff

Actually read the whole thing for my Leadership and Ethics in Organizations course this quarter. Was quite interesting and very sad …

Every bad decision that was made at BlackBerry, or R.I.M., is laid out for you to read in this book and some of them are just idiotic … understandably so the company is in the position it is in now there was no reasonable way for them to stay the top cell phone maker with their company leadership ….

We’re now reading The Children for the same course. Not sure I’ll finish this one, it is quite well written and interesting but it’s 800+ pages and I just don’t have enough time!

As always, when I read more I’ll post more!

Book Review 12 ~

Was able to get one more book thoroughly read before my Graduate classes started back up last week.  So, here it is! ~~

Wicked Charms
By: Janet Evanovich

I’m am seriously a huge fan of everything Janet Evanovich writes that isn’t The Stephanie Plum Series. That main character bugs me so much! “I love this guy but I really love this guy”, “I’m gonna marry this guy but when things go bad I’m gonna go spend the night with this guy” … ugh, so wishy-washy!! ~~

Anyway, the main character in the Lizzy and Diesel Series is nothing like Stephanie Plum. Yay!  Lizzy, is gainfully employed, has magical powers, and knows for sure whom she likes (though there is little she can do about it). Diesel is decisive, protective, and naturally always saves the day! Lizzy helps though!  Their rag-tag group of accomplices are less helpful than funny but are a perky addition to the book!

I’ve read the first two books in this series already, of course, and I look forward to more. Hopefully, next year? =)  One thing I love about working authors is that you can count on new books every year … sometimes, more than once a year (even better)!!

Conclusion: Read it! =) lol super helpful I know … I don’t want to discuss the plot in anyway though!! =)

Next up on my reading list is Career of Evil: A Cormoran Strike novel. Written, of course, by J.K. Rowling as Robert Galbraith. Coming out this month! It’s gonna be great!!! ~~

Of course, of course, a horse, a horse =p

Book Reviews 7 through 11 ~~

Having time off from Grad classes is really awesome! Just this week more though and then it’s back to having class two nights a week after work. It doesn’t sound like much (and really attending class is easy) but the homework and reading and studying that goes along with the classes really eats into any free time I might have had! =)

Book Review #7 ~
     Kiss of Steal
Bec McMaster

Last year, I read the Parasol Protectorate Series and it was my first jump into the Steampunk Romance genre. Earlier this year, I read the Iron Seas Series and it was my second jump into the genre. This third book series seals the deal, I like the Steampunk romances that have become pretty popular!  When I first started reading paranormal romance novels … oh, I dunno … circa 2005(?) There was basically vampires, werewolves, and witches. Yep, that covers it. Now, I can easily find all three in a single novel and I must say that makes things more interesting!

The main character, as is my preference, is a pretty woman with a brain. She doesn’t always use her brain but it is there for her! Rather hilariously, she makes several bad choices but always makes the right one when it really counts!  I enjoyed reading not only about her escape from what hunts her but also helping her “true love” escape what hunts him as well!

I promptly finished this book and picked up book two in the series.

Book Review #8~
     Heart of Iron
Bec McMaster

This second novel in the series follows the hi-jinx and love of the little sister in the family. She may be younger but don’t underestimate her ability to act like it!  She really did toy around a bit to much and I would have preferred she be a bit more open about her feelings, intentions, goals, and such … But, quite enjoyable! =)

Book Review #9~
Sweet and Deadly
Charlaine Harris

I’m thinking at this point in time, Charlaine Harris is my favorite author. Every year I get to look forward to two or three books from here that I always tear right through a quickly as possible! Unlike many of her novels, Sweet and Deadly is not of the paranormal sort.

The characters are all regular and believable. Though the overall premise is a little silly (the culprit just seems to like killing rather than having a good-ish reason, in my opinion, to do so), I enjoyed watching the story grow and like that the main character was at a different place in her life emotionally when the story ended.

I definitely recommend all of Charlaine Harris’ books, both part and not part of a series!

Book Review #10~
Mean Streak
    Sandra Brown

This is an author I’ve seen on book shelves in stores for as long as I can remember. I don’t generally gravitate towards the serious genre but really enjoyed this romance mystery read. I initially purchased just a sample for my Nook, but as soon as I finished it I’d purchased the rest! I had to know what was going to happen!

Though there weren’t any major “oh my goodness” moments, there were some twists in the story. The main character was successful but miserable and apparently is well liked by most but utterly hated by the two people closest to her … I can’t believe she didn’t notice that in her daily life … I know I would!

Anyway, her life gets all mixed-up/upside down and she ends up on the wrong side of the law for the right reasons!  It’s cute, I do recommend it. Finished it in about 4 hours so not a particularly long read =)

Book Review #11~
     The Bourbon Kings
J.R. Ward

This author is another paranormal romance regular on my reading list. However, she has also published some pretty good romance novels under the moniker Jessica Bird. I have to say I’ve enjoyed those too!

This story wasn’t really a happy one and to my dismay seems to be book one of a series. There are quite a few characters to keep track of and the point of view changes quickly. I just finished reading it Sunday morning and wish I didn’t have to wait a year for the next one … talk about cliff hangers for every aspect of the story!

Though, like everything I read by J.R. Ward, I liked it and will read the next one when she publishes it (hopefully soon!).

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Not sure what is next on my reading list. I’ve been wanting to read Gone Girl  but I feel like at this point the plot has been basically ruined! =(  I’ll post more soon, reading isn’t really a hobby I’m giving up …

Book Review 6 ~

The Girl with All the Gifts.
By: Mike Carey

Read this book in about three days. Was my only read for the month of August. Thankfully it was interesting or I’d be sad I didn’t have time to read anything else! Instead I was satisfied to think about this book for a few weeks (knowing I didn’t have any free time to read another novel anyways).

I’m big on supernatural novels and this one delivered in a cool way! Zombies! I honestly can’t think of any zombie books I’ve read recently. I read World War Z but that was ages ago. … Most books have magic users of some kind or Vampires :))

**Spoilers**

The story follows a group of humans trying to reconnect with what they think is a safe zone. They just happen to be traveling with one particular companion who is, basically, an enlightened Zombie.
So enlightened, in fact, that she decides not to eat people. However, not so enlightened that she decides humanity as a whole doesn’t need to die…

**End Spoilers**

The ending was unexpected and surprising! And I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

I have a few books on my “To Read” list right now and I hope to get to them all during the next month I have off from school. Especially when I’m taking that work trip next month, planes rides are an excellent time to read!

By the way, there is technically no Book Review 5 as apparently I had two posts titled “book review 4” lol oopsie! 🙂

Book Review 4 ~

This year has not been good to me book wise. I started reading this one in June, got about 30 pages in and realized it wasn’t what I expected. Got to page 120~ and set the book down … Didn’t pick it back up until this past Friday night. I didn’t read for a month and a half because of this book!

The Underwritting
By: Michelle Miller

Here is a link to the Good Reads page about the book. I like romantic comedic romps in my books. Or supernatural drama, that’s always good too. But, this …. real drama? Not for me!

At first you get two main characters both with a flaw who at one time had hooked up and I was on board with that. Then they introduced more characters and more characters and then they killed one off and then introduced more characters … None of the characters were especially likable since they all had a personality flaw that they themselves reveal multiple times during their chapters.

It was well written I think. But, just not for me!

Started reading The Girl With All Of The Gifts by M.R. Carey. So far so good!

Ended up not being able too bake last weekend. I seemed to have sprained my neck/back doing who knows what and was in a fair amount of pain from Thursday-Sunday (when I’m writing this). Just found two really neat recipes though so I hope to make them next weekend! Basically all I can do right now it sit/stand still with my neck and spine properly aligned … all other things hurt! =(

Book Review 4 ~

As with nearly every novel by this author, I loved it! Read it so fast that I was sad 😦 

Author: Charlaine Harris

Title: Day Shift

Of the 38 books (roughly) listed on her Wikipedia page, I have 32 of them. The Julious House series is where I’m missing most of them as I found out about a storyline early on that I didn’t want to read in the future… I won’t write it just in case!

The second book of Harris’s Midnight Series is lovely. Some of  the characters got a bit more fleshing out in this story plus a few new ones added. I love that these characters are tied to her other stories. It makes it feel like I’m reading about family rather than a group of fictitious characters. 

I wholeheartedly recommend this to anyone who enjoys paranormal topics in their books (I most certainly do). 

Two days until I hope to have a sink again! 

*crosses fingers*