Monday, January 21, 2019

In Dog We Trust
by Beth Kendrick

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:   When everything has gone to the dogs . . .

When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce's pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She's spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn't without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she's confronted at every turn by her late benefactor's estranged son, Liam, who thinks he's entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she's determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the "Best in Show" standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.
 


Kritters Thoughts:  The fifth book in a series and this is one of those series where you can read them out of order because each book focuses on a different character in the town, but I always advise to start at the beginning and enjoy them from start to finish.  

This one centers around Jocelyn who lives in town and has a business with her mother.  The leading man is Liam who comes to town due to the death of his father and he wants some of what Jocelyn has.  They start on a completely bad foot and the reader has to wonder if they could ever see eye to eye and end up together.

This book felt very different from the others in the series.  I couldn't put my finger on it and still can't, but this one just felt like a departure, not a bad thing, just a little different from the rest.  The reason for this couple to come together was an inheritance and drama and just seemed different from the previous books in the series.  

I love Beth Kendrick and her writing.  I don't know how to categorize her writing because it has a little romance, but has a lot of heart and soul.  The characters in her books are always entertaining and it easy to root for them.  These are the type of "romance" books that I like to read throughout the year.  


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 Berkley.  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, January 20, 2019

Another crazy week and the Stephen Ambrose book read real slow, so this is what I finished this week.

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
How the Light Gets In by Jolina Petersheim
Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose
Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault

Currently Reading:
The Moon Sister by Lucinda Riley

Next on the TBR pile:
The Victory Garden by Rhys Bowen

Friday, January 18, 2019

The Other Side of the Bridge
by Camron Wright

Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Pages: 352
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Two coasts. Two strangers.
And a bridge that silently beckons them both.

Katie Connelly has lived in San Francisco all her life. Her late father made his career on the Golden Gate Bridge, and the many stories of how he saved jumpers still haunt her. And now her job assignment is to write about the history of the bridge—a history that includes a secret journal about a promise ring and a love story that may be the answer to her unresolved sorrow.  

Meanwhile, Dave Riley, a marketing executive in New York, has sorrows of his own. Grasping at straws after tragedy strikes his family, he decides to follow a daydream that has turned into an obsession: to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge on a motorcycle on the Fourth of July. 

Does the bridge somehow mysteriously hold the answers both Katie and Dave are looking for? Or will they find something completely different when they get to the other side?


Kritters Thoughts:  Two people have reason to be in awe of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Each are led to go there to find answers for their futures.  

There are two storylines in this book.  Katie Connelly lives in San Francisco and is mourning the loss of her father.  She is tasked to write a history of the bridge and through the task she is reconnecting with her father and learns a lot about the bridge and how it contributed to her father's death.  Dave Riley lives in New York City and has always earned to drive a motorcycle across the bridge and after a tragedy befalls him and his family this dream becomes a reality.

I loved this story.  I love a dual narrative and I love when the why of the two stories lines isn't a plot piece.  It was easy to know from the beginning most of the reasons for the two storylines and there is a sweet twist to add more depth.  

My only gripe was the ending.  I wanted so much more.  I wish it hadn't ended when it did, I couldn't believe that that was where the author left us.  I am a reader that likes to know the complete ending - I don't want anything ambiguous!  

This was my first Camron Wright read.  Where should I go next after this one?


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from PubVendo.  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, January 17, 2019

The Au Pair
by Emma Rous

Publisher: Berkley Books
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:   Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.

Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.

Who is the child and what really happened that day?

One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.


Kritters Thoughts:  A gothic mystery thriller that was a good read in the cold winter season.  Twins Seraphine and Danny were born and shortly thereafter their mother committed suicide.  When their father passes away they are cleaning out his things and stumble upon a photo that leaves Seraphine questioning everything that the adults in her life have told her, so she must do some sleuthing and get to the bottom of it all.  

This was one of those books that I loved the atmosphere and the story, but there characters were just ok for me.  They were fully realized and written ok, but I just couldn't get to the point of liking any of them; this affects my reading, but I can still like a book despite not liking a character.  The atmosphere of this book is what really sold me on it.  On the coast of England with cliffs and houses with mystery areas, the author made the setting come to life and I fell in love with how she described where all of this drama took place.  

The story/plot were great.  There are twins in a family lineage where twins have been doomed to not survive.  There is a nanny that you can't trust from day one.  There is a mother who dies within hours of giving birth which seems weird and on and on.  The drama was packed from the beginning to the end and it made the story read so quickly.  

This was a solid debut from Emma Rous and I would read more from her.  


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

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  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.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Life Admin
by Elizabeth Emens

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Every day an unseen form of labor creeps into our lives—stealing precious moments of free time, placing a strain on our schedules and our relationships, and earning neither appreciation nor compensation in return. This labor is life admin: the kind of secretarial and managerial work necessary to run a life and a household.
 
Elizabeth Emens was a working mother with two young children, swamped like so many of us, when she realized that this invisible labor was consuming her. Desperate to survive and to help others along the way, she conducted interviews and focus groups to gather favorite tips and tricks, admin confessions, and the secrets of admin-happy households.   

Life Admin
 tackles the problem of admin in all its forms, from everyday tasks like scheduling doctors appointments and paying bills, to life-cycle events like planning a wedding, a birth, a funeral. Emens explores how this labor is created, how it affects our lives, and how we might avoid, reduce, and redistribute admin whenever possible—as individuals and as a society.


Kritters Thoughts:  What seemed like a little book that I picked up at the end of 2018 to get me thinking about new years resolutions and things that I wanted to change going into 2019 made a big impact on how I view what I do professionally and what I have to do personally.  

I am an Executive Assistant for my full time job.  Rarely does a book cross over and affect my work life.  The fiction I read is entertaining but doesn't impact my day to day professional life.  This title struck me because of my job and then reading the description it made me think about what I do for my home and my family.  Sometimes I wish that I had an assistant for my home life who could do what the author describes as life admin.  After reading this book and thinking about the tips and tricks, I have a few things I want to implement that could affect both my personal life and my professional life.  

I want to purchase a physical copy of this book and reread it every so often to be reminded of how life is full of admin and things go well when you take into consideration that some of the choices you make may create a little bit of admin!


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

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 96 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  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.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

No Mercy
by Joanna Schaffhausen

Publisher: Minotaur Books
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Police officer Ellery Hathaway is on involuntary leave from her job because she shot a murderer in cold blood and refuses to apologize for it. Forced into group therapy for victims of violent crime, Ellery immediately finds higher priorities than “getting in touch with her feelings.”
For one, she suspects a fellow group member may have helped to convict the wrong man for a deadly arson incident years ago. For another, Ellery finds herself in the desperate clutches of a woman who survived a brutal rape. He is still out there, this man with the Spider-Man-like ability to climb through bedroom windows, and his victim beseeches Ellery for help in capturing her attacker.
Ellery seeks advice from her friend, FBI profiler Reed Markham, who liberated her from a killer’s closet when she was a child. Reed remains drawn to this unpredictable woman, the one he rescued but couldn’t quite save. The trouble is, Reed is up for a potential big promotion, and his boss has just one condition for the new job—stay away from Ellery. Ellery ignores all the warnings. Instead, she starts digging around in everyone’s past but her own—a move that, at best, could put her out of work permanently, and at worst, could put her in the city morgue.

Kritters Thoughts:  The second in a series and this is one of those typical mystery series where each "case" is self contained in each book, but there is character development of the main characters from book to book.  So I suggest starting with book one, but you can skip to book two if you wish.

Ellery Hathaway is on leave due to the ending of book one.  She is attending mandated therapy and group therapy and while at group therapy she inserts herself into a current investigation and one from the past that maybe a little different then what people think.  The FBI profiler, Reed Markham, is back from book one and I love the way the author brings him back and the dynamics they have in this book.

I think my most favorite thing about this book was that due to Ellery's inability to use all of her police insider stuff, she has to be creative to solve the two crimes.  I loved how she had to really use different techniques to investigate because she couldn't use all the databases and such that she could have if she were a full time police officer.  

The two cases were so different, so I didn't have a problem at all keeping them separate and enjoying each one of them.  I think it was a good idea to have two in this book because they each had ebbs and flows in the investigative process and when one was a little stagnant the other picked up. 

I hope there is more to come from this series, I enjoy the duo of Reed and Ellery.   


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

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 97 out of 100



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.

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Best of Us
by Robyn Carr

Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 384
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.


Kritters Thoughts:  Robyn Carr is one of those authors that I read when nothing else will work.  I picked up this book in the middle of the holiday season when I needed something to be easy and entertaining and this did that and more.  

The fourth in a series, but this is a series where you can read them in any order you choose as each book focuses on a different character in this town.  I have read all of them and suggest reading them all, but you can start wherever you please in this series.

This story focuses mostly on Dr. Leigh Culver and Rob Shandon.  Leigh has recently moved to this small town in Colorado for a change in life.  Rob has lived here awhile and owns the pub in town.  After some meetings, they decide to take a try at dating although their lives are busy their relationship blooms quite slowly.  There are two other mini romances in this book - Leigh's aunt who comes for a visit and the general store owner, Sully and one of Rob's kids, Finn and Maia.  

I loved having a few romances to follow in this short book.  It was fun that each "couple" were at different stages of life and how that affected the pacing of their relationships.  I enjoyed seeing love at different ages and how that could affect the story.  

Robyn Carr just does romance right.  There were a few scenes that could make you blush in this book, but there is still plenty of plot for those readers who want a full story to read.  She has just the right balance for me when I want to read some romance.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Little Bird 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.

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