Thursday, April 9, 2020

To Have and To Hoax
by Martha Waters

Publisher: Atria Books
Pages: 367
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads: Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.

Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.

Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them.

Kritters Thoughts:  A Victorian romantic comedy that was interesting to read, but not my cup of tea.  Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley have been married for five years after a very quick courtship and they had a very large fight that they have yet to work through four years ago, through an interesting circumstance they try to one up each other and it just may help them work through their things.  

For me this book was ok, but wasn't great.  There were a few moments that didn't feel as though they were completely historically correct and they took me out of the story and were distracting.  It just felt as though this book was at times really historical with language and customs and then there would be a break and it would feel current, it was weird.

The other thing that I just didn't love was the pacing and timing of the story.  It felt like it just didn't move along as much as it should have and I wanted things to keep moving forward.  There would be something happen and then it felt as though the book would just kind of pause and linger and not move from one scene to another.  

The characters were entertaining and that kept me reading until the end.  I would try another book from this author, but with a little bit of caution.  

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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 29 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Atria.  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, April 8, 2020

Truths I Never Told You
by Kelly Rimmer

Publisher: Graydon House
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  With her father recently moved to a care facility for his worsening dementia, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home and is surprised to discover the door to her childhood playroom padlocked. She’s even more shocked at what’s behind it—a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers and miscellaneous junk in the otherwise fastidiously tidy house.

As she picks through the clutter, she finds a loose journal entry in what appears to be her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing their mother died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker. Beth soon pieces together a disturbing portrait of a woman suffering from postpartum depression and a husband who bears little resemblance to the loving father Beth and her siblings know. With a newborn of her own and struggling with motherhood, Beth finds there may be more tying her and her mother together than she ever suspected.

Kritters Thoughts:  What a book.  Before I start my review, let me spoil my review, I loved this book.  This one swept me away and was the perfect read to get me out of a reading funk and keep my attention during the pandemic that was going through our world in March 2020.  This is such a good book.  

Beth Walsh is the youngest of four children and she has spent quite a few years with her husband trying to start a family.  She has reached her goal and they have a healthy baby boy, but motherhood and parenthood is what she thought it was and she doesn't know if this is the life she was meant to have after all.  At the same time that the reader is getting to know Beth and her siblings and their families, there are letters and stories from her mother telling her tale of how she met their father and how her life turned out.  

I loved the plot, the characters and the way this story was written.  The way that the mother's letters and story was interspersed throughout completely worked and everything was clearly marked with names and dates, so the reader knows where they are and who is talking at all times.  The author dropped the information needed at just the right time, I wasn't wondering for too long about anything, but the pacing was just right.

I wouldn't say this is one of those books with a current storyline and a historical, it is just two generations telling their story and the reader gets to enjoy how they line up.  

Beware this is one of those books that you want a post it note, so you can do a quick family tree so you can keep all the names and the kids and the generations in line.  This didn't bother me because once you have it written down you can refer to it, but super helpful to have a guide.  

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 27 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Harlequin.  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, April 7, 2020

Miss Austen
by Gill Hornby

Publisher: Flatiron Books
Pages: 288
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Whoever looked at an elderly lady and saw the young heroine she once was?

England, 1840. For the two decades following the death of her beloved sister, Jane, Cassandra Austen has lived alone, spending her days visiting friends and relations and quietly, purposefully working to preserve her sister’s reputation. Now in her sixties and increasingly frail, Cassandra goes to stay with the Fowles of Kintbury, family of her long-dead fiancĂ©, in search of a trove of Jane’s letters. Dodging her hostess and a meddlesome housemaid, Cassandra eventually hunts down the letters and confronts the secrets they hold, secrets not only about Jane but about Cassandra herself. Will Cassandra bare the most private details of her life to the world, or commit her sister’s legacy to the flames?

Kritters Thoughts:  Cassandra Austen may be a little less known than her younger sister Jane Austen, but in this book told through her perspective she is in pursuit of letters that will conceal the truth about her and her sister's past.  

Told through basically two points of time, one is the years just before Jane dies and the other the years right before Cassandra dies, these sisters were the only two Austen girls in their generation and had a very untraditional life.  Both single for their entire lives and living with their mother for quite a few years, they relied on their brothers for everything.

I enjoyed the birds eye view on parts of Jane Austen's life, but because I haven't read her a ton, I felt a little clueless at times.  I wish I knew more about her life and her work before reading this one.  I think those who are Jane Austen fans would enjoy this book more than I did.  It could to your Jane Austen shelf now.

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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 25 out of 100

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

Monday, April 6, 2020

Fighting for Space
by Amy Shira Teitel

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Pages: 448
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When the space age dawned in the late 1950s, Jackie Cochran held more propeller and jet flying records than any pilot of the twentieth century-man or woman. She had led the Women's Auxiliary Service Pilots during the Second World War, was the first woman to break the sound barrier, ran her own luxury cosmetics company, and counted multiple presidents among her personal friends. She was more qualified than any woman in the world to make the leap from atmosphere to orbit. Yet it was Jerrie Cobb, twenty-five years Jackie's junior and a record-holding pilot in her own right, who finagled her way into taking the same medical tests as the Mercury astronauts. The prospect of flying in space quickly became her obsession.

While the American and international media spun the shocking story of a "woman astronaut" program, Jackie and Jerrie struggled to gain control of the narrative, each hoping to turn the rumored program into their own ideal reality-an issue that ultimately went all the way to Congress.

Kritters Thoughts:  As a note before I get into my review.   I decided to listen to this on audio for many reasons, but one being that I tend to enjoy non fiction more when I read them via audio.  With the working from home I have been doing, I have enjoyed having one audio book to listen to while out on walks with the dog and this was one of them.

Amy Shira Teitel did extensive research on mainly two women, but also on other women and the industries of aeronautics and aviation.  Jackie Cochran may not be a household name for most compared to Amelia Earhart, but Jackie was a part of women in flight and space.  Jerrie Cobb, Jackie's junior, took part in aviation, but was really vital to the movement of women in space and again not a household name like others.  

I liked how the book was put together.  It covered a lot of years with ease.  There was only a bit of technical chatter about flying and space, it was enough to help get some perspective but didn't make me feel like a textbook.  

With my dad as a former NASA and Boeing employee who spent a lot of time working on advancements in aviation, this book had specific meaning to me because I got to see the industry he worked for through a different lens and learn about the years that preceded him joining NASA.  

This book made me want to read more about the history of aviation and aeronautics which is always a good sign when I finish a non fiction read. 

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 Grand Central Publishing.  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, April 5, 2020

Again another week without a commute allowed for more reading time.  I am so thankful that reading is still an escape and I am able to concentrate on a good book.

 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
A Criminal Justice by William L Myers, Jr.
Fighting for Space by Amy Shira Teitel (audio)
On the Horizon by Lois Lowry
Feels Like Falling by Kristy Woodson Harvey
The Socialite by J'nell Ciesielski

Currently Reading:
Crazy Rich by Jerry Oppenheimer (audiobook)
Master Class by Christina Dalcher

Next on the TBR pile:
Summer Darlings by Brooke Lea Foster

Friday, April 3, 2020

A Criminal Justice
by William L. Myers, Jr.

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Pages: 391
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A man in prison for murder. One woman wants him freed. One woman wants him dead.

Mick McFarland is stunned when he’s arrested for murdering business tycoon Edwin Hanson, brother to David Hanson—one of Mick’s former clients. Mick is even more shocked when he’s confronted with the incriminating evidence: surveillance footage of him stalking the victim and pulling the trigger.

As Mick’s legal team fights against windmills trying to beat the prosecution in court, his wife, Piper, journeys across the country, trying to win her husband’s freedom by going after the man she is convinced is out to destroy Mick and David both. What she doesn’t anticipate is that David’s wife, Marcie, is on a similar mission to shelter her own husband. And the two women may not be on the same side.

Piper has it all right…and all wrong. And her time is running out. Will she be able to save her husband from conviction and clear his name?

Kritters Thoughts: The fourth in a series and although each case is contained in each book there are some definite throwbacks and character developments from book to book that you will want to know about before going into this one.  Each one reads so smoothly and has some uniqueness to each of them, so you can even read them straight in a row.

I read the first three in a row and loved it.  There was a delay between reading book three and four and I wish I didn't have a delay.  I think there were some details from book three that I was missing when it went to reading this book.  The case from book three was heavily featured in this one, so I would recommend reading them very close so you have that case in the back of your mind when you go to read this one.

Mick McFarland is arrested for murder very early into the book, so the book features those who surround him more than himself which was different from the other books.  His law firm has to figure out who really committed the murder and how to get him out of jail.  I loved that it took the whole team working together to solve the crime.  All had to use their individual skills to get to a solution.  

I love this series and hope that even if there aren't more in this series that Myers keeps writing.  I like how he develops characters and then creates plots that make such great reads.  

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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 32 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.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

March was quite an interesting month. Halfway through the month, I like many started a work from home situation and without a commute and the ability to get out and about, my reading time greatly increased. This may be the most I have ever read in a month which is great, but I am definitely ready for normal life and an ability to eat at a restaurant!

1. Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
2. Before He Vanished by Debra Webb
3. Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
4. Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore
5. Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
6. The Philosopher's Daughters by Alison Booth
7. Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade
8. Essential Oils for Soothing Anxiety by Christina Anthis
9. The Ingredients of You and Me by Nina Bocci
10. I've Got This Round by Mamrie Hart (audio)
11. Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer
12. Girl Online by Zoe Sugg
13. On Tour by Zoe Sugg
14. Miss Austen by Gill Hornby
15. Bark Park by Brandi Dougherty
16. No Bad Deed by Heather Chavez
17. To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters
18. Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr
19. Who Speaks for the Damned by C.S. Harris
20. Going Solo by Zoe Sugg
21. Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
22. The First Date by Zara Stoneley

Total pages read, clicked and flipped: 6,821

Where having I been Reading?:
Tennessee (2)
Odessa, TX
English countryside
Seattle, WA
New York City, NY
Hampshire, England
California (2)
England (2)


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