Thursday, October 23, 2014

Halfway to Nowhere
by Steena Holmes

Pages: 137
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Nikki Landon walked away from her small town, Halfway, Montana, ten years ago, with no intentions of setting foot there again. But, when her mother dies unexpectedly, Nikki has no choice but to return, and this time with the child she was trying to hide—ten year old, Ryan.

Becky Jennings is living her happily-ever-after. She’s married to the man of her dreams and even though that means being the wife of a Christmas tree farmer, she’s happy. There’s only one thing missing from her fairy-tale life: a child to hold in her arms. After countless miscarriages, she’s struggling to accept that might be one dream that will never come true.

As teenagers, Nikki would have done anything to protect her best friend, Becky from heartache, which is why she left. But ten years later, there’s nowhere to hide in a small town where everyone can see the truth of the secret she can no longer keep. 

Could Nikki’s son be the child Becky has always longed for? And if he is, can the already fragile bond between the two friends, withstand the heartache?



Kritters Thoughts:  Three is always a company and these three friends find that out the hard way after many years apart.  Nikki Landon leaves her very very small hometown and escapes when she finds out she is pregnant.  She leaves her best friend and her best friend's boyfriend very suddenly and with no explanation.  Ten years later, her mother has passed away suddenly and she has returned to take care of business as quickly as possible and get back out of town - of course this doesn't happen!

The book is told in two perspectives - Nikki and Becky, their polarizing views helped create great depth to this book, with points of view the reader has a harder time taking sides and instead can see this big issue from both sides and have empathy with both women.  At some point, I did wonder if we should have heard a bit from Matt, Becky's husband who is crucial to the story.  

This was a concise book at just 137 pages and what a quick read!  I actually completely enjoyed that it was on the shorter end, I loved seeing the authors pull together a full story in such a short amount of time.  

Finally, let me just say that I adore Steena Holmes and sent her a note after I finished this book and she advised that the sequel is on its way and should arrive in December!  


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

Ebook 2014 Challenge: 58 out of 100









Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Bird in Hand
by Christina Baker Kline

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 288
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  
The accident was just that -- an accident. It was dark, it was raining, ALISON had two drinks in her, and the other car ran the stop sign. She just didn't get out of the way fast enough. But now a little boy -- not her own -- is dead, and Alison finds herself trapped under the twin burdens of grief and guilt, and feeling increasingly estranged from her husband . . .

CHARLIE, who has his own burdens. He's in a job he doesn't love so that Alison can stay home with the kids (and why isn't she more grateful for that?); he has a house in the suburbs and a long commute to and from the city each day. And the only thing can focus on these days is his secret, sudden affair with . . .

CLAIRE, Alison's best friend. Bold where Alison is reserved; vibrant where Alison is demure, Claire has just had her first novel published, a thinly-veiled retelling of her childhood in South Carolina (which is also Alison's, in a sense). But even in the whirlwind of publication, Claire can't stop wondering if she should leave her husband . . .

BEN, an architect who is thoughtful, kind, and patient. And who wants nothing more than a baby, or two -- in fact, exactly the kind of life that Charlie and Alison have . . .

Four people, two marriages, one lifelong friendship: everything is about to change.


Kritters Thoughts:  Alison is driving home from an event and although didn't cause an accident was involved and a child dies, this accident sets off a series of events that will forever change her life.  The concept of small incidents changing a person's path is very interesting to me and this aspect of the book completely kept me reading.

One thing that I loved about this book was the ability to read from everyone's perspective, although it was hurtful to read from those who were living beyond their marriages it was interesting to read their viewpoints.  

Still considering myself a newlywed and wedded bliss and all that, it was hard to read about lying spouses and cheating and deception.  I knew going in this was the topic, but I couldn't shy away from this book because I am such a fan of the author.  Because I have loved her other books I did want to read how she would tackle this subject and the characters that she would create in this setting and in all I did cringe a few moments but it was probably at the moments that she wanted me to cringe.  After reading this book, I am still a HUGE fan of this author and will still pick up each and every book she has written and will write in the future.


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

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  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, October 20, 2014

In Your Dreams
by Kristan Higgins

Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 480
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Emmaline Neal needs a date. Just a date—someone to help her get through her ex-fiancĂ©'s wedding without losing her mind. But pickings are slim in Manningsport, New York, population 715. In fact, there's really only one option: local heartthrob Jack Holland. Everyone loves Jack, and he won't get the wrong idea…. After all, Jack Holland would never actually be interested in a woman like Em. Especially not with his beautiful ex-wife creeping around, angling to reunite ever since he rescued a group of teens and became a local hero. 

But when the wedding festivities take an unexpectedly passionate turn, Em figures it was just one crazy night. Jack is too gorgeous, too popular, to ever end up with her. So why is she the one he can talk to about his deep, dark feelings? If Em is going to get her dream man, she'll have to start by believing in him…



Kritters Thoughts:  The fourth in the Blue Heron series centering around the only son in the family of girls raised in upstate New York on a vineyard.  Jack Holland has recently seen all of his sisters find love and he will finally find true happiness in this book!  At the same time Emmaline Neal is still getting settled in the small police department in Manningsport and is trying to make this town her real home.  

After reading the previous books in the series, it was fun to see the male perspective of this family.  As Kristan Higgins always does, the book is told from both Emmaline and Jack's perspectives, but I absolutely loved seeing the inner workings of the family from the male perspective - it felt fresh and new.  I also completely adored Emmaline - she was quirky but headstrong and their trip to her ex's wedding was just priceless; I sped through those pages and would love to read those scenes again!

This book renewed my love for this series and I am definitely wondering if there is another one to follow.


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.

Sunday, October 19, 2014


A good week followed with the Dewey's Readathon made for such a good full week of reading!  Hopefully this is the beginning of some good reading for this fall and winter.

A meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney. 

Finished this past week:
In Your Dreams by Kristan Higgins
Halfway to Nowhere by Steena Holmes
Bird in Hand by Christina Baker Kline
Killer WASPs by Amy Korman
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes
Certainty by Victor Bevine

Currently Reading:
Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam

Next on the TBR pile:
Proof of Angels by Mary Curran Hackett

So, after my last update my nap became a full night of sleep!  Have a quiet morning, so going to put in a few more hours this morning of reading.  I wouldn't call this a bust, I absolutely loved being a part of the readathon.

Book currently reading: 
Certainty by Victor Bevine

Books finished:
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes
Killer WASPs by Amy Korman

Running total of pages read:  645 pages

Running total of time spent reading:  11 and a half hours

Still haven't finished the third book, but only 100 pages left!  Going to try for a nap now, hoping it is only a nap and I can get up and finish this one.  
Book currently reading: 
Certainty by Victor Bevine

Books finished:
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes
Killer WASPs by Amy Korman

Running total of pages read:  645 pages

Running total of time spent reading:  11 and a half hours


Saturday, October 18, 2014


Still reading, crockpot baked potato soup has been had and looking for dessert!  

Book currently reading: Certainty by Victor Bevine

Books finished:
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes
Killer WASPs by Amy Korman

Running total of pages read:  493 pages

Running total of time spent reading:  9 hours

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? Certainity by Victor Bevine
2. How many books have you read so far?  finished two
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Certainty by Victor Bevine - enjoying it
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? yes, mostly food and dog related!
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  I haven't done as many challenges, have just been wanting to read away



Still reading the same book, but at least it is a good one!  I have 100 pages left, so hoping to have it done before my next update in 4 hours and maybe deep into my third book.

Book currently reading:
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes

Books finished:
Killer WASPs by Amy Korman

Running total of pages read:  315

Running total of time spent reading:  6 hours





Had to take a few breaks for dogs and food prep - two crockpots going!  I am happy with my progress so far and am hoping to keep up this pace.

Book currently reading:
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes

Books finished:
Killer WASPs by Amy Korman

Running total of pages read:  144

Running total of time spent reading:  3 hours


Here we are at the start!  I have a banana, PB2, vanilla yogurt shake in hand and my nook fully charged and my stack of books next to me in my library in my comfy chair.  I am excited to see how this day of reading will go.

I will be updating on this blog every four hours, but will be chatting it up on twitter @kdurham2 .  

Currently reading:  Killer WASPs by Amy Korman

I am reading from my chair in my home in Alexandria, VA.
I am looking forward to every book in the stack, only picked good ones!
At noon, I am putting baked potato soup in the crockpot, so going to get excited for dinner and maybe a late night bowl of it!
I will be reading along side two crazy pups today, one currently in my lap and one chasing a ball down the hallway!
I will definitely take naps this year, I crashed last year and missed out on the end.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Mason Jar
by James Russell Lingerfelt

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

Goodreads:  Clayton Fincannon is a Tennessee farm boy raised at the feet of his grandfather. He and his grandfather leave letters for each other in a Mason jar on his grandfather’s desk; letters of counsel and affirmation. When Clayton attends college in Southern California, he meets and falls in love with a dark, debutante, named Eden. However, when an unmentioned past resurrects in her life and she leaves, Clayton is left with unanswered questions.

Clayton goes on to serve as a missionary in Africa, while he and his grandfather continue their tradition of writing letters. When Clayton returns home five years later to bury his grandfather, he searches for answers pertaining to the loss of the young woman he once loved. Little does Clayton know, the answers await him in the broken Mason jar.



Kritters Thoughts:  A sweet love story told through the eyes of a male who fell fast and hard for another college student and she leaves him with just a note and no communication for years.  This book is his recount of their story and a hope that maybe if she reads it she will remember their love and maybe they will find their ways back to themselves.

I loved the switch between Clayton's book The Mason Jar and then the moments from Eden's point of view, it was great to see the story from both sides and be "in the know."  I don't read many books from the male perspective, so that was a big selling point for this book for me.  I enjoy reading how a man is affected by a woman's decision and the life choices he makes because of the relationship ended abruptly.  

The one thing was the writing, at moments it was a little choppy and hard to follow.  I think the one thing I would say was a little bit of editing would have smoothed out the parts that seemed jerky.

If you are a reader who wants a love story, but needs something, this one is worth a try.

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 Litfuse 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.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It is the perfect timing for a read a thon!  I have quite the list of books that are on the TBR and I would love any excuse to curl up and read for 24 hours.  

I will start bright and early Saturday morning at 8am and will see how it all goes.  I will be on puppy duty and may have to take a break to spend time with the husband before he goes off to work, but going to try to do most of the 24 hours of reading.  


Any snack suggestions?



So here is the stack that I am going to try to accomplish this weekend:
Until You're Mine by Samantha Hayes

Certainty by Victor Bevine
Last Train to Babylon by Charlee Fam
How to Bake a Man by Jessica Barksdale Inclan

Maybe a little ambitious with my schedule, but I think of it as having a few options!

I will only be updating here every four hours or so, so if you want the minute by minute details, check me out on Twitter - @kdurham2

Happy Thon Reading!
Perfect Girl
by Michele Gorman

Publisher: Notting Hill Press
Pages: 
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Cinderella meets Falling Down in this wickedly funny tale about having it all

Carol is perfect… at least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality she’s sinking fast – her family treats her like their personal assistant and her boyfriend is so busy with work that he’s got her single-handedly running their relationship. Not that her job is any easier. As the only woman on the bank’s trading floor she spends twelve-hour days trying not to get sworn at or felt up by colleagues who put the "W" in banker.

How long can she go on pleasing everyone else before she snaps and loses it all?



Kritters Thoughts:  Michele Gorman is the queen of light hearted, yet thoughtful books with female main characters that are just awesome.  Carol is a daughter, sister, friend, girlfriend and co worker and in each of her roles she tries her darndest to do anything she can to make other's lives easier, even if it means giving of her own time and sanity.  From pre-selecting dates for her best friend to helping her sister plan her wedding, she does it all.  

From the beginning, I adored Carol and loved seeing how she tried every way possible to extend herself to help everyone in her life.  I don't claim to be the people pleaser that Carol is, but I did giggle at a few moments as I am the family researcher and probably tend to do things for others before I do my own list of things to do.  I appreciated that Gorman had the main character have a series of melt downs instead of a huge big blow up with everyone, it was person by person and felt more real and I loved it!

This is a great little novel to curl up with for an afternoon and chuckle at a character who is the people pleaser of people pleasers!

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2014 Challenge:  57 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Notting Hill 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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