Friday, July 1, 2022


Another small completion number due to another busy month from work to house things to other things taking priority - pretty proud of my veggie garden!

1. The Brighter the Light by Mary Ellen Taylor
2. Meant to Be Mine by Hannah Orenstein
3. Privacy by Nina Sadowsky
4. Island Time by Georgia Clark
5. When it Falls Apart by Catherine Bybee
6. The Girl From Jonestown by Sharon Maas
7. Out of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber
8. Dog Friendly by Victoria Schade
9. After Camelot by J. Randy Taraborrelli

Total pages read, clicked and flipped: 3,549


Where Have I Been Reading?:
Outer Banks, NC
New York City, NY
San Diego, CA (2)
Australia
Guyana
Florence, Italy
Nantucket




Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Dog Friendly
by Victoria Schade

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Exhausted veterinarian Morgan Pearce is feeling overworked and under-thanked, so when two favorite clients ask her to watch their special needs senior dog in their Nantucket home, she jumps at the chance for a summer break. She hopes her time on the island will be a reset from the stress of her everyday life, but her chill vacation vibe takes a hit when she gets roped into fostering a challenging, anxious dog and helping plan the local rescue group's glittery annual fundraiser.

Her trip starts to feel more like a vacation when Morgan begins falling for Nathan Keating, an irresistible entrepreneur who thinks every problem can be solved on a surfboard. Just as the summer is shaping up to be the magical refresh she needs, thanks to a fling that feels like the beginning of something real and Hudson, the foster dog who reminds her how much she loves her job, a visit from her estranged brother and the discovery of who Nathan really is changes everything. Morgan finds herself at a crossroads, trying to determine if mistakes from the past must define the future, or if she should forgive, forget, and grab hold of a chance to finally rescue herself.
 


Kritters Thoughts:  A book with a dog on the cover and knowing it is a romance will always be a book that I will start and probably like!  Morgan Pearce is a veterinarian who has been through it all and is about to lose all of her marbles when the perfect summer break shows up on her doorstep when a patient of hers needs extra care while their parents are away and it is in a semi secluded location - so off Morgan goes to Nantucket.  

While always in a romance, the reader can easily predict where the characters will end up, the journey is the reason for reading.  I felt at times there were a few pieces missing, but overall I felt as though the journey was a great ride.  It was interesting reading about the turmoil a veterinarian and how dealing with both pets and humans is hard, especially when it can be a hard day for all parties involved.  With dogs in my care, I spend a lot of time with our vet and never thought about how their job is difficult dealing with both animals and humans! 

I loved how the healing care of dogs was shown in this book.  We recently lost a pet and our other two have been a part of the healing process and dogs can definitely bring the heart rate down!  

My third Victoria Schade book and third time was a charm - I have loved all three.  I hope to catch up with her books that I haven't read shortly and sure hope that there is a dog or two in each one!


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

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 50 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Random House.  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, June 28, 2022

Out of Her Depth
by Lizzy Barber

Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  There are summers that will change your life.

There are summers that may end it.

In the lush green hills beyond Florence sits the Villa Medici—a graceful pensione surrounded by manicured gardens. Rachel, a college student from an unfashionable London suburb, can’t believe her luck in landing a summer job here. Especially when she’s drawn into a circle of privileged young sophisticates, including her glamorous coworker Diana, who promises to help Rachel win the affections of handsome, confident Sebastian.

But as champagne flows and rivalries fester in the Tuscan countryside, Rachel realizes that Diana has motivations of her own. Adrift in a world of backstabbing and bed-hopping, lavish parties and easy betrayal, Rachel feels the stakes rising along with the temperature until, one night, something snaps. Someone dies. And nothing will ever be the same…


Kritters Thoughts:  Rachel is a young woman headed to college, but before she goes to Cambridge, she lands a good job in a fun location - a mansion/hotel in Florence, Italy.  She is out of her league when another young woman arrives - Diana who is sophisticated and has access to her parents wallets which helps when their paycheck is limited.  And of course, an Italian summer isn't complete without a dreamy Italian guy and Sebastian fits the bill.  

The book is told in two different timelines - one in the present as Sebastian is released from prison and Rachel is trying to handle it all.  And the other storyline is 20 years ago as Rachel and Diana meet and work and the summer that really changed their lives forever.  I for sure loved the one from the past more than the present, but I am glad the author included the present to see where these characters were and are.    

While I have become quite the reader of the mystery/thriller genre, I have learned a few tricks of the trade and predicted the ending very early on, so this book for me was more for the journey to confirm if I was correct in my guessing - and I was!  

There is one book in Lizzy Barber's backlist that looks like this one and I hope to read it very soon.     


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

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 49 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  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, June 26, 2022

A weekend spent recovering from a long work week made for some hours by the pool with a few good books!


A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Girl From Jonestown by Sharon Maas
Out of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber
Dog Friendly by Victoria Schade
 
Currently Reading:
Miss Aldridge Regrets by Louise Hare

Next on the TBR pile:
Reputation by Sarah Vaughn 
The Girl From Jonestown
by Sharon Maas

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 417
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When journalist Zoe Quint loses her husband and child in a tragic accident, she returns home to Guyana to grieve. But when she hears cries and music floating through the trees, her curiosity compels her to learn more about the Americans who have set up camp in a run-down village nearby. Their leader, Jim Jones, dark eyed and charismatic, claims to be a peaceful man who has promised his followers paradise.

But everything changes when Zoe meets one of his followers, a young woman called Lucy, in a ramshackle grocery store. Lucy grabs Zoe’s arm, raw terror in her eyes, and passes her a note with a phone number, begging her to call her mother in America.

Zoe is determined to help Lucy, but locals warn her to stay away from the camp, and as sirens and gunshots echo through the jungle at nightfall, she knows they are right. But she can’t shake the frightened woman’s face from her mind, and when she discovers that there are young children kept in the camp, she has to act fast.

Zoe’s only route to the lost people is to get close to their leader, Jim Jones. But if she is accepted, will she be able to persuade the frightened followers to risk their lives and embark on a perilous escape under the cover of darkness? And when Jim Jones hears of her plans, could she pay the highest price of all?


Kritters Thoughts:  Zoe is a journalist who has returned to Guyana after traveling the globe trying to escape a tragedy from her past.  As she is staying with her aunt and uncle, there are weird noises at night and she comes to find out that the group called Jonestown is next door and many people are wondering what is going on, but don't want to intrude as this is a live and let live situation.  

What I wanted more in this book was more moments from Lucy's point of view from within Jonestown.  Without spoiling, there were definitely a lot of moments in the back quarter of the book that took place within Jonestown, but I would have loved more in the build up before Zoe arrives on property.  This was my only criticism of the book - I wanted more!    

I loved that while reading this book, I kept wondering where fact and fiction where and what was historical truth.  This book also made me want to read more, whether it be fiction or non fiction around Jonestown and that is always a positive feeling when I finish a historical fiction book.  


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

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 48 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  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, June 21, 2022

When it Falls Apart
by Catherine Bybee

Publisher: Montlake
Pages: 364
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Brooke Turner has always had a complicated relationship with her father. But when his health takes a turn for the worse, she drops everything to care for him. He’s her dad, after all, and he needs her. What Brooke doesn’t anticipate is the unraveling of her long-term relationship and a cross-country move to San Diego’s Little Italy.

Luca D’Angelo is the oldest of three children and a single father to a young daughter. When his mother rents the top floor of their house to Brooke, he’s angry. Who is this beautiful stranger with no ties to the neighborhood? Can she be trusted in such close proximity to his family?

As Luca learns of Brooke’s difficult journey with her ailing father, his heart softens. And Brooke, who witnesses Luca’s struggle as a single parent, develops feelings for him, too. But when it all falls apart, will love heal their wounded hearts?


Kritters Thoughts:  Brooke Turner has a tough relationship with her dad and when he has a health crisis she decides to show up and showing up for her dad sends her own life into a tail spin.  She ends up moving her whole life from Seattle to San Diego and hopefully she can piece together a new life that looks better than the last.  

When it comes to romance book, I always have a hard time when the characters meet in the book and don't have any history.  For me it always feels like instalove and this one did.  I felt as though they went from oh hello to oh I am in love way too fast.  Going into the book knowing it was the first in a series, I was hoping for something a little different.  

The plot of the book was great and the characters were entertaining, so I will continue in this series, but just wish for a little more slow builds.  This Italian family in San Diego with a restaurant was just so much fun.  There were a few times while reading where I wish I had a bowl of homemade pasta to enjoy!  The plot was great, young woman new to town, single dad trying to keep his life afloat - and they both fit what the other needs.  

I hope that book two focuses on someone else in Luca's family and we can see Brooke and Luca in the future.  


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

Ebook 2022 Challenge: 47 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Pitchlit.  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, June 19, 2022

Two books a week seems fair for now, with a work trip, I am hoping for some airplane reading!


A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Island Time by Georgia Clark
When it Falls Apart by Catherine Bybee

Currently Reading:
The Girl from Jonestown by Sharon Maas

Next on the TBR pile:
Out of Her Depth by Lizzy Barber

Thursday, June 16, 2022

Island Time
by Georgia Clark

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 412
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  The Kellys are messy, loud, loving Australians. The Lees are sophisticated, aloof, buttoned-up Americans. They have nothing in common…except for the fact that their daughters are married. When a nearby volcano erupts during their short vacation to a remote tropical island off the coast of Queensland, the two families find themselves stranded together for six weeks.

With only two island employees making up the rest of their party, everyone is forced to question what—or who—they really want. Island Time is a sumptuous summer read that dives deep into queer romance, family secrets, ambition, parenthood, and a bird-chasing bromance. This sexy, sun-soaked paradise of white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters, and lush rainforest will show you it’s never too late to change your destiny.


Kritters Thoughts:  A set of sisters, a married lesbian couple, both of their parents and two outsiders get stuck on an island and crazy is about to happen.  Matty and Amelia are the sisters.  Matty and Parker are the lesbian couple and the Kellys are Parker's parents and the Lees are Matty and Amelia's parents and while that sounds confusing, they are written so uniquely that is easy to keep them straight from page one.  

While I can't pinpoint one thing, I can just say that I just didn't love this book.  This is my second Georgia Clark read and I would like to read more before I make a full decision.  The characters in this one were fine and they had a good arc, but I can say it felt weird that they weren't more exasperated that they were stuck on this island.  I felt their response to their situation was underwhelming.  The pacing also didn't work for me and I know that is part of my own reading life right now, as my reading time is limited, I need books that are constantly moving and this one had quite a few quiet moments that for me fell flat.  

I will say the characters kept me reading and I was definitely invested in them and wanting to know how all the things would be resolved, so I am thankful that from the beginning I cared about the entire cast and there was no way I was going to DNF and not know all the resolutions.  


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

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