Friday, December 2, 2016

Christmas in Paris
by Anita Hughes

Publisher: St Martin's Griffin
Pages: 277
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Isabel Lawson is standing on the balcony of her suite at the Hotel Crillon as she gazes at the twinkling lights of the Champs Elysee and wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. She was supposed to be visiting the Christmas tree in the Place de la Concorde, and eating escargots and macaroons with her new husband on their honeymoon. But a week before the wedding, she called it off. Isabel is an ambitious Philadelphia finance woman, and Neil suddenly decided to take over his grandparents’ farm. Isabel wasn’t ready to trade her briefcase for a pair of rubber boots and a saddle.

When Neil suggested she use their honeymoon tickets for herself, she thought it would give her a chance to clear her head. That is until she locks herself out on the balcony in the middle of winter. Thankfully her neighbor Alec, a French children’s illustrator, comes to her rescue. He too is nursing a broken heart at the Crillon for the holidays. With a new friend by her side, Isabel is determined to use her time in the city of lights wisely. After a chance encounter with a fortune teller and a close call with a taxi, she starts to question everything she thought was important.

Kritters Thoughts:  Isabel Lawson has just called off a wedding and decided to still go on her honeymoon.  In the suite in her hotel in Paris next door, Neil is also fresh off a break up before a wedding, so he shows her Paris and they hit all the big spots.  

I would say this is a romance book disguised as a women's fiction and of course with a holiday twist.  There are definitely some sexy times, but nothing that made me blush too much!  Of course with every romance you can probably guess what the ending will be, but the journey is worth the read.  

I would add this book to your Christmas reading list.  It was so fun to read a book set in Paris and during the Christmas season and the author really made me feel like I was experiencing the Christmas spirit.  This was my favorite part - how Christmasy the book was!

I have had ups and downs with Anita Hughes and I would say this one was a good one.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

November was a great month in reading!  I had some great weekends filled with dog cuddles and books.  I loved reading some quick and easy holiday reads towards the end of the month once Thanksgiving was over and done.

December is hopefully more of the same, but there are definitely some holiday plans in the works. 

1.  Beauty and Attention by Liz Rosenberg
2.  In the Blue Hour by Elizabeth Hall
3. Six Days in Leningrad by Paullina Simons
4. Girl Underwater by Claire Kells
5. Disruption by Jessica Shirvington
6. The Waiting Room by Leah Kaminsky
7. The Intersect by Brad Graber
8. Victoria by Daisy Goodwin
9. Wallflower Blooming by Amy Rivers
10. Find Her by Lisa Gardner
11. Hard to Die by Andra Watkins
12. Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes
13. Love, Alice by Barbara Davis
14. Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan
15. Why We Write Ourselves by Assorted Authors

Total pages read, clicked, and flipped:  5,024

Where Have I Been Reading?:
New Mexico
Arlington, VA
Phoenix, AZ
Boston, MA
Paris, France
Charleston, SC
New York City, NY

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hard to Die
by Andra Watkins

Publisher: Word Hermit Press
Pages: 264
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  You’ve heard the raves about the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Hamilton. But what happened to ‘Dear Theodosia,’ the fiery daughter Aaron Burr serenades? Hard to Die is an engrossing speculative fiction novel that provides a new take on the uncharted fate of Theodosia Burr Alston, daughter of Alexander Hamilton’s murderer.

Theodosia disappeared at sea in 1813. In Hard to Die, she reappears almost 150 years later with one assignment: Help a living soul navigate a life-changing crossroad or be erased from history’s timeline, forgotten forever.

Former spy Richard Cox is a West Point cadet. But his former commander presents him with an impossible ultimatum: Return to spying… or die.

Theodosia and Richard are immersed in a world where no one is as they appear. As they fight their attraction, they must learn to trust each other – or become pawns for a bigger foe determined to see them fail.

Kritters Thoughts:  This was book two in a series, but is self contained, so you aren't missing much starting at book two.  

Theodosia Burr Alston died in a mysterious way and so she hasn't transitioned into the next "world" or something.  She is stuck in Nowhere and has to do a good deed to be able to move forward.  

This book was completely out of my comfort zone with spirits and ghosts, but it worked a little for me because I am quite the historical fiction fan.  Of course this book is also on point right now because of the whole Hamilton craze, so if you want more about Burr and his time after Hamilton this book hinted at his life through Theodosia's eyes.  

I am on the fence about reading the first book and continuing on in this series.  I enjoyed the historical parts, but I didn't love the complete concept of the book, I couldn't get past why she had to help someone to move on.  I wanted more of the historical bits.

Has anyone read the first book in this series?  Should I try it?

Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Smith Publicity.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Find Her
by Lisa Gardner

Publisher: Dutton
Pages: 402
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Flora Dane is a victim. 

Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, Flora learned just how much one person can endure.

Flora Dane is a survivor.

Miraculously alive after her ordeal, Flora has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life, working with her FBI victim advocate, Samuel Keynes. She has a mother who’s never stopped loving her, a brother who is scared of the person she’s become, and a bedroom wall covered with photos of other girls who’ve never made it home.

Flora Dane is reckless. 

. . . or is she? When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime—a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him—she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? And with her firsthand knowledge of criminal behavior, could she hold the key to rescuing a missing college student whose abduction has rocked Boston? When Flora herself disappears, D.D. realizes a far more sinister predator is out there. One who’s determined that this time, Flora Dane will never escape. And now it is all up to D. D. Warren to find her.

Kritters Thoughts:  Told in three different parts - a. Flora's experience years prior being held captive, b. Boston detective DD is investigating a dead man and now a missing girl c.  current Flora and her adventures.

The eighth book in a series and only the second the series that I have read.  This is one of those series where the case is self contained, but the detective characters have stories that build from one book to the next.  I don't love reading out of order and not having read the first in this series, but it isn't necessary.  

I loved the case in this book.  I loved how there was a case that took place before the book and the after effects of the victim really impacted this book.  I liked the interjection of chapters from the previous case and learning about how Flora became who she was and how that influenced what was happening in the current storyline. 

I don't want to ruin this book as there are some fantastic twists and turns, but I will say that I loved it.  I read a lot of mystery/thrillers and this one definitely surprised me a few times.  

I hope to go back and read the previous books because I really like Detective DD Warren and I love how she investigates!

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2016 Challenge: 33 out of 50

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Dutton.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

What a great week and weekend of reading.  With the Thanksgiving holiday I was able to just curl up and read in between the eating and the shopping and the beginning of the holiday to do list!  I was quite proud of this week's reading!!

A meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Find Her by Lisa Gardner
Hard to Die by Andra Watkins
Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes
Love, Alice by Barbara Davis
Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Currently Reading:
A Shoe Addict's Christmas by Beth Harbison

Next on the TBR pile:
Days Like These by Sue Margolis

Thursday, November 24, 2016

From my family to yours, I hope today is full of food, fun and family (however you define family!)  I am hoping for some turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy and an hour or two with a good book!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

by Daisy Goodwin

Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  “They think I am still a little girl who is not capable of being a Queen.”

Lord Melbourne turned to look at Victoria. “They are mistaken. I have not known you long, but I observe in you a natural dignity that cannot be learnt. To me, ma’am, you are every inch a Queen.”

In 1837, less than a month after her eighteenth birthday, Alexandrina Victoria – sheltered, small in stature, and female – became Queen of Great Britain and Ireland. Many thought it was preposterous: Alexandrina — Drina to her family — had always been tightly controlled by her mother and her household, and was surely too unprepossessing to hold the throne. Yet from the moment William IV died, the young Queen startled everyone: abandoning her hated first name in favor of Victoria; insisting, for the first time in her life, on sleeping in a room apart from her mother; resolute about meeting with her ministers alone.

One of those ministers, Lord Melbourne, became Victoria’s private secretary. Perhaps he might have become more than that, except everyone argued she was destined to marry her cousin, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. But Victoria had met Albert as a child and found him stiff and critical: surely the last man she would want for a husband….

Kritters Thoughts:  If you are a historical fiction fan, stop what you are doing and get this book!  

Ok.  Started this review with an exclamation, but I am serious.  I absolutely adored this book.  A fiction tale based on a real person (which are always good!) on a former Queen of England who took the throne at an early age and had to put her foot down to give herself the authority to make the decisions a queen should.  

At first I didn't know that this was based in truth, but quick google search proved my instincts incorrect and I am glad I didn't read her whole wikipedia page or it would have ruined the big plot point - who would she marry!  Avoid wikipedia!

This book ends as she could be marrying and I liked that it took a deep dive into a small timeframe of her life.  My hope is that we can get another book or two on the rest of her reigning years.  

I love historical fiction, but this one was above a lot of what I have read.  I was completely sucked into the story from page one and had the hardest time just setting it down.

Sidenote - if you have watched The Crown on Netflix you would love this book and vice versa

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St. Martin's Press.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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