18 Followers
7 Following
carolesrandomlife

carolesrandomlife

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance - Ruth Emmie Lang

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was such a magical story. I don't read a whole lot of magical realism but it seems that I love them when I do read them. I am not sure that this book would work for every reader since there are a whole lot of strange occurrences but it worked well for me and I am so happy that I decided to pick it up.

This book tells the story of Weylyn Grey. We don't learn his story from Weylyn. Instead, we learn about him in different points in time from others that are close to him. We see Weylyn as others see him and learn all of the incredible things that play a part in his life. Each section of the book shares a very vivid snapshot of this wonderful character.

Weylyn lives a life unlike anyone else. He is different in a lot of ways. He has a certain innocence throughout the book and it is hard not to fall in love with him. I also really liked the characters in the story that shared Weylyn's story. These characters grew and changed over the course of the book and seemed to be positively changed through their association with Weylyn.

There is a bit of magic on nearly every page of this charming story. This was a strange book in a lot of ways but it was strange in the best way possible. There are so many strange things associated with Weylyn and his life that I never knew what to expect. I quickly learned not to even try to guess what Weylyn would do next and just sat back and enjoyed the journey. 

I would highly recommend this book to fans of magical realism. I found this book to be a wonderful story filled with magic. I am very impressed by Ruth Emmie Lang's debut novel and can't wait to read more of her work in the future.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. 

Initial Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book filled with things you wouldn't expect. This probably won't be a book for everyone but it worked well for me.

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game: A Novel - Sally Thorne

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was such a cute story! I went into this book with extremely high expectations. I have seen so many 5 star reviews for this book that I just had to give it a try myself and was thrilled to catch it on sale recently at Audible. I thought it was good and I liked it but I didn't love in the way that some other reviewers did. Don't get me wrong....this is a great story but it wasn't as mind blowing as I had expected it to be. I did have a lot of fun with this story and really enjoyed my time listening to it.

Lucy and Joshua work together and are always up against each other. This story is told from Lucy's point of view and she does look at the world in a very interesting and often funny manner. Lucy sees Joshua as her nemesis which is why she pays such close attention to everything he does. When they both are going for the same job, tensions are high since only one of them will get the position.

I loved Lucy and Joshua. Lucy was a bit naive but I really liked her innocence. She leads a rather solitary life that really is centered around her job. Joshua was really easy to love. He was such a nice guy but didn't always know how to handle Lucy. It was really obvious how much they cared about each other even before either of them realized it. They were just so cute together! 

I enjoyed Katie Schorr's narration. I think that her voice was perfect for Lucy's character. She was able to bring the story to life and added a lot of emotion to her delivery. I thought that her delivery made the funny parts just a bit funnier and the sweeter moments just a little sweeter. I ended up listening to this book for hours at a time and had a lot of fun with it.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. I loved the blend of a sweeter romance and humor. All of the games that Lucy and Joshua played with each other brought a big old smile to my face. I am very impressed that this is Sally Thorne's first novel and look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

Initial Thoughts
This was entertaining. I liked the dynamic between Josh and Lucy. There were some really sweet moments and some other moments that made me chuckle a bit. I thought that this was a really cute story.

Book source: Audible Purchase

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine

Ink and Bone: The Great Library - Rachel Caine

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this story! I have wanted to read this book ever since I first started seeing a lot of great reviews for it. I then started noticing that people not only loved this book but they were loving the other books in the series. That sealed the deal and I knew that I would have to work this book in very soon. I ended up reading almost the entire book in a single day. I am starting to understand why everyone seems to love Rachel Caine's work as much as they do.

One of the things that I really loved about this book was the world building. What a vividly detailed world to spend some time in! As the book progressed and we discovered more about how things worked, I was amazed. The descriptions of the technology were so well done but I don't think I am going to be signing up to be transported in that world anytime soon. The politics and inner workings of the library were intriguing. 

The cast of characters in this book were wonderful. We see things from Jess's point of view and I liked his character from the very start. He proved that he was brave and able to think very quickly. The other candidates for joining the library were all so different but each added something to the story. I liked some of these characters quite a bit from the very start, like Thomas. I needed a little more time to get to know some of the other characters a bit more before I really liked them but by the end of the story, they had all won my heart. 

I highly recommend this book to others. This book has really left me eager to see what is going to happen to everyone in the next book. I will definitely be reading more from Rachel Caine in the very near future.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Penguin Publishing Group via Blogging for Books.

To Marry a Texas Outlaw by Linda Broday

To Marry a Texas Outlaw (Men of Legend) - Linda Broday

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this romance. I just discovered Linda Broday a few months ago when I read Knight on the Texas Plains and knew I wanted read more of her writing so I jumped on the chance to read this book. This is the third book in the Men of Legend series and I was a bit concerned going in since I have not read the earlier books. I had nothing to worry about and can assure readers that this book works well as a stand alone. I am so glad that I decided to read this wonderful little story.

This book opens with a bang. Luke finds a woman tied up and her captors flee. He has very important business to take care of but he just can't leave her. She is covered in blood and has no memory of who she is and what has happened. Luke is a wanted man and it seems that the woman he rescued may be in the same situation.

Luke and Josie were wonderful characters. Luke may be a wanted man but he was always thinking about how his actions affected others in his life. He really was a very caring man. Josie doesn't remember anything about her life but it was obvious what kind of person she was right away. She was very strong and I was eager to find out more about her. I thought that Luke and Josie were wonderful together. They seemed to really compliment each other and were always able to be open with each other. The chemistry between them was intense from the very beginning of the book and only got stronger as I continued to read.

There was a lot going on in this book. I had a great time learning more about how Luke became an outlaw and how Josie ended up in the situation she was in at the start of the book. Add in a little drama with a child they run into who happens to know Josie and some problems at the ranch and you have a really exciting story. There was never a boring moment in this book.

I would recommend this book to fans of western historical romances. I had so much fun reading this one and am really excited to go back and read the earlier books in the series. Linda Broday has created a wonderful family of characters in this delightful series.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley.

Holiday Wishes by Jill Shalvis

Holiday Wishes - Jill Shalvis

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was such a nice little story! I have really enjoyed all of the the books and novellas in the Heartbreaker Bay series and Holiday Wishes was no exception. This novella can easily be read as a stand alone story but readers of the series will enjoy seeing characters from previous books make an appearance in this installment. I had such a good time reading Sean and Lotti's story.

Sean and Lotti are the focus of this story. Sean is taking his role as best man for his brother's wedding very seriously. He wants to make sure everything goes perfectly for the weekend the group has planned at a Bed and Breakfast. He is in for a surprise when he finds his high school girlfriend running the establishment.

I love second chance romances and I thought that this one worked really well. When Sean and Lotti were together last, they were teenagers going through a lot of things and they made some mistakes. They had a lot of chemistry and I really wanted to see them make it work this time. They really were very good together and just seemed to fit. I was really surprised by how detailed their background was despite the length of this story. I was cheering for this pair to get their happily ever after.

It was really nice to see all of the characters that I have come to love in the series play a role in this book. We get to see the first wedding in the group and I enjoyed seeing the whole group work together to give their friends a perfect day. I have really liked Sean from his first appearance in the first book and I liked Lotti just as much.

I would recommend this story to fans of contemporary romance. It was a really nice romance that should appeal to many. I can't wait to read more of this fantastic series!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This was a nice story. I really liked Sean and Lotti together but do wish that we would have been able to see just a bit more.

Wilde in Love by Eloisa James

Wilde in Love: The Wildes of Lindow Castle - Eloisa James

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This book was such a delight to read! I decided that I was going to have to read this book as soon as I got a really good look at it. The cover is great and the description is even better. When I noticed that this was the first book in a new series, I was even more excited. This book lived up to all of my expectations. I had such a good time reading it and honestly hated to put it down. 

The characters in this book were wonderful. Alaric is frustrated by all of the attention he is receiving. He is the kind of man that cares little of what other people think unless they are important to him. Willa knows what is expected of a proper lady and is not impressed by Alaric's fame in the least. These two fit together so well and the chemistry between them really helped to keep the pages turning. I liked these two characters on their own but they really seemed to come alive in the scenes that they shared with each other.

There were a lot of secondary characters that played important roles in this story. I had a moment early in the book that I had to really concentrate to keep everyone straight but each character was so well developed that wasn't an issue for long at all. I am a huge animal lover so I am usually a fan of animals being a part of the story especially when they are important characters in the story. Sweetpea and Hannibal were such nice additions to this story. Who doesn't want an adorable pet skunk?

This was a really well done romance. There is enough excitement to really keep things interesting especially as the book progressed. I found the story to have some more humorous moments and a few nail biting scenes. I loved how romantic the story really was with just enough steamy scenes to have a very nice balance.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This book has that happily ever after I was looking for and things wrap up nicely for Alaric and Willa. There is a bit of an open end for Alaric's brother, North, that has me really eager to get my hands on the next book in this series. I will definitely be reading more from Eloisa James in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
I had so much fun reading this book! Willa and Alaric were simply wonderful characters and had great chemistry with each other. The secondary characters were great as well and really added to the overall story. There was even an adorable skunk and a misunderstood cat to round out the ensemble. I can't wait to read more about the Wildes!

The Winter King by C.L. Wilson

The Winter King - C.L. Wilson

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was good! I have heard great things about this book since its release date. I am really not sure why I waited so long to pick it up. I am glad that I listened to all of the recommendations and finally read this wonderful story. I was swept away into this world and fell in love with the characters. It was the kind of book that I didn't want to put down. I really enjoyed reading this story.

Wynter, the King of Wintercraig, has just defeated the Summerlea and has come to claim a princess as part of the bargain. Khamsin is the daughter of the Summerlea King but she is not one of his treasured daughters. She is the daughter that he depises and keeps hidden away. The Summerlea King agrees to the deal and forces Khamsin into the role as bride. 

Wynter and Khamsin have fantastic chemistry from the start but they have a lot to learn about each other. At the start of the story there is no trust between them and they are prone to thinking the worst of each other. They are both good people and as they spend time with each other they start learning that their assumptions may not be accurate. It was really quite nice to watch this pair open up to each other. I fell in love with both of these characters and loved watching them pull each other out of their shells. They really seemed to be made for each other.

Wynter must deal not only with his new bride but also with the Ice Heart which threatens his life. He has been able to control it so far but those around him question how much longer that control will last. I thought that the Ice Heart was a nice aspect of the story. It was really interesting to watch Wynter with his internal struggle. Khamsin must deal with life as an outsider in a realm where her brother is a known enemy, having sparked a war. I really felt all of Khamsin's emotions as she navigated her new world. 

I enjoyed the world at the center of this book. There were so many vivid details to the story that helped bring everything to life. I thought that Wynter and Khamsin both had really interesting powers that nicely complimented each other. There were a few really unique creatures to keep things very interesting. Everything came together perfectly to form a well told story. 

I would highly recommend this book to others. It was the perfect blend of romance and fantasy with enough action to keep the pages turning. This was a rather long book at around 600 pages but it didn't feel long. In fact, it was over all too soon. I can't wait to read the next book in this series!

Initial Thoughts
This was good! Once I really got into the book, I didn't want to put it down. Too bad that this was a busy week and life kept getting in the way. I really liked the characters and the world that they lived in. There was a lot of growth for Kham during the course of this book. Very exciting!

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. Carey

The Girl with All the Gifts - M.R. Carey

This review can also be found Carole's Random Life in Books.

Wow! This was a bit of a surprise for me. I don't really know why it was a surprise since I have heard wonderful things about it but it was. I guess I went into this book thinking that I would probably like it but I had no idea how much I would end up enjoying it. Once I started listening, I was hooked and I wanted to know more about Melanie. I spent hours at a time listening to this book and enjoyed the experience immensely. This is a zombie story that I will not be forgetting anytime soon.

This book is told from Melanie's point of view. She is a very bright girl but her experience at the start of the story has been very limited. I really enjoyed seeing the world she know through her eyes. Melanie's entire existence is limited to her cell and her classroom. She knows the rules and how things are supposed to be. She knows exactly what to expect from day to day.

Melanie was a fantastic character. I would never have imagined that she would turn out to be so easy to relate to but she was. I loved the way she worked out problems in her mind and how observant she was of everything going on around her. She was able to work things out very quickly and made the people she was around re-think some of their beliefs. All of the key characters in this book were really well developed and added something important to the overall story.

I thought that Finty Williams did a fantastic job narrating this book. This was the first time that I have listened to her narration and I wasn't sure of her voice as the book first began. I was over any reservations that I initially had pretty quickly and her voice became Melanie's voice. I thought her voice was very pleasant and she brought a lot of excitement to the story. I was able to listen to this story for hours at a time and never tired of her narration.

I would highly recommend this book to others. It is a different kind of zombie story that was highly entertaining and hard to put down. I would not hesitate to read more of M.R. Carey's work in the future.

Initial Thoughts
This falls somewhere between 4 and 5 stars for me. I was really pulled into the story from the very beginning. Melanie really got to me early on in the book. All of the key characters in this book were really well developed and the story had a lot of excitment. This book really kept me guessing until the very end. Finty Williams did a wonderful job narrating this wonderful book.

Book source: Audible purchase

The Art of Not Breathing by Sarah Alexander

The Art of Not Breathing - Sarah  Alexander

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book. I have had a review copy of this book for about a year and a half and put it off after I started seeing mixed reviews. That was a mistake because this book worked really well for me. It is a rather short book but I think it moved fast for me because of how the story flowed. I just didn't want to quit turning pages once I reached a certain point in the story.

I was curious about the characters and their histories from the start of the book. The more that I read the more that I hooked. These characters have a lot of issues to deal with and I really wanted to see things work out for them. I am kind of surprised by how many tough topics found their way into this story but it worked.

This story follows Elsie. Elsie's twin brother, Eddie, died in a drowning accident 5 years earlier. Elsie and the rest of her family are just trying to keep moving forward but in many ways they are failing. Elsie's dad leaves for long periods of time and nobody knows where he is. Her mom drinks more than she should. Elsie isn't doing well in school and has no friends. Dillon seems to doing the best in the group but that's not really the case.

Elsie doesn't remember exactly what happened the day that Eddie died but she wants to remember. When she meets Tay and the other diving boys, she ends up learning to dive and finds that she feels closer to her lost brother under the water. She is remembering things and hopes to learn what happened just as her family is falling apart.

There were a few times in the story that I wanted to shake the characters for some of their actions but I always felt that what they did felt authentic. People don't always do what they should and as teenagers it can be even harder. While I didn't always like what the characters were doing, I understood why they made the choices that they did.

I would recommend this book to others. It was a book that had a really strong finish that made me feel for the characters. I am really a bit upset that I put this one off for as long as I did. I would definitely read more from Sarah Alexander in the future.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group - HMH Books for Young Readers via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This book had a really strong finish. It was a quick read that really hit on a lot of difficult topics. I was as desperate as Elsie to find out what happened to Eddie and it was really hard to see how much everyone was hurting.

Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

Berserker - Emmy Laybourne

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was an excellent book! I was really quite surprised by just how much I ended up liking this one. I try to go into books as blindly as possible so I didn't read the summary of this book too closely and as a result, I was really quite surprised by some of the turns the story ended up taking. This was the kind of book that I found myself reaching anytime I had a moment to spare. I am so glad that I took a chance on this gem of a book.

Hanne and her siblings posses a gift. Or maybe a curse depending on how you look at it. Hanne doesn't see it as a gift. She is a Berserker which means that anytime someone she cares for is in danger she loses control to the Nytte and people die. Hanne doesn't want to be someone who kills so she really struggles with this gift. She must eventually flee Norway with her siblings after one of her murderous rages.

I really liked the characters in this story. Hanne was so easy to like and her struggle with her different sides felt authentic. Her elder brother, Stieg, has his own gift which proves to be rather useful to the family. Stieg is a really even tempered and intelligent man. Knut also has a gift and is the quietest of the siblings but he possessed a certain wisdom. Sissel was the youngest sibling and the most difficult of the group. I am not sure that I really cared for her character but I think she added a needed element to the group.

When I started reading this book, I had no idea that the story would soon shift to the American frontier. The change in setting was really well done. I could completely envision the small towns and wilderness that this group encountered. I think the combination of the frontier setting and the Norse mythology worked perfectly in this little story and I found it to be really exciting. There were a few sections of the book that were a bit more violent that I would have expected but it worked well with the story.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This book is listed as being the first in a series but this story stands on its own. This was the first book written by Emmy Laybourne that I have had the chance to read but I am eager to read more of her work including future installments in this series.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group - Feiwel & Friends via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts

I really liked this book. It was very different than I had imagined it would be which was wonderful. I loved the characters and the premise of the story.

Two for the Show by Megan Derr

Two for the Show - Megan Derr

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this story. I don't read a whole lot of M/M romances but I do enjoy them every once in a while. The cover of this book really grabbed my attention when I first saw it and after reading the description, I knew that I wanted to give it a try. This book is the fourth book in a series but it can easily be read as a stand alone novel. This was a quick read that really had me excited to see the characters make things work.

I liked the characters in this book quite a bit. Nikko and Jake were so good together and I liked the chemistry that they shared. They were very different from each other but seemed to really compliment the other. They are both at a spot in their lives where a lot of things are changing but in very different ways. Nikko is headed out of the spotlight to focus on family while Jake is trying to figure out what project he will pursue next. 

I did wish that there would have been a bit more of this pair together. We do see Nikko and Jake spending time together in the book but they also spend time apart. It just felt like they were apart for the wrong reasons and a conversation could have cleared a lot up. I would have liked to see a bit more resolution to the story. These two have a lot to work out with the kids, Jake's new role, and trying to be a couple and I would have liked to see a bit of that. It almost felt more like a happily for now instead of the happily ever after I was hoping for.

I would recommend this book to others. It was a nice quick read with great characters. There were a few points in the story that the writing felt a bit awkward to me but there were no major concerns. I would read more from Megan Derr in the future and would be interested in reading some of the earlier books in this series.

I received an advance reader copy of this book from Less Than Three Press via NetGalley.

Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush

Devils & Thieves - Jennifer Rush

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was an entertaining read! As soon as I read the description for this book, I knew that it was one that I would have to read. Motorcycle gangs and magic...yes, please! It took me a while to read this book but that had everything to do with my personal life and nothing to do with the book. One I really had the chance to sit down with the book, I ended up reading the final 2/3 of the story in a single day and really enjoyed the experience.

Jemmie lives in a world filled with magic. It can be hard for her sometimes because she does not want to use her magic and being around magic makes her feel ill at times. She has never really worked to hard at learning to control and use her own magic and has instead focused on self-medicating to cope with being around magic.

Jemmie has ties to the Black Devils group through her best friend, Alex, and her brother, Crowe. A gathering of the different groups has tensions at a high. Things get even more intense when several people go missing and nobody knows who to trust. Jemmie finds herself at the center of the mystery and is determined to help Crowe find out what is happening before it is too late.

There is a bit of a love triangle in this book. Jemmie and Crowe seem to belong together from the very start of the story even though they don't seem to realize it. There is another guy that seems to want a chance with Jemmie but I never really felt like he was a serious contender. Jemmie and Crowe do seem to have a lot of chemistry and I can't wait to see more of them together.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that the world was rather interesting and the mystery was pretty exciting. I wouldn't say that this book ends in a cliffhanger but it did leave me pretty eager for the next book so that I can see what happens next. I definitely plan to read more from Jennifer Rush soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers via TheNovl.com.

Initial Thoughts
This was entertaining. I enjoyed the magic and how everything worked. Just enough romance and excitement to keep things interesting.

Worth the Fall by Claudia Connor

Worth the Fall - Claudia Connor, Johanna Parker

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I really enjoyed this book! I read the other 2 books in this series when they were released and decided that it was finally time to go back and read the first book. I am always looking for something a little different to read and this one definitely met that definition. I honestly cannot remember the last time I read a romance where the heroine is pregnant with 4 kids. This book not only worked, it worked well. I was really hooked by Matt and Abby's story and wanted to listen to it for hours at a time. I am so glad that I decided to pick this one up.

Abby has taken her 4 young children to the beach for a vacation. Her husband recently died so it is just her and the kids. Abby is pregnant with her 5th child so she wants to fit one more trip before it becomes harder with a new baby. Matt is a Navy SEAL who is taking a much needed break at the beach. When Abby's son asks Matt to play ball with him, he can't say no. He finds himself wanting to spend more and more time with Abby and her family.

I loved the characters in this book. I have to say that I don't tend to pick up a lot of books with kids playing a large role. I like kids and even have had a couple myself but I don't always like to read about them. These kids were amazing. They were all really great characters that added something to the story. Matt was such a great guy. I loved how he was with both Abby and the kids. It seemed so natural from the very beginning, like he was meant to be with them. Abby was such a great mom and very independent. I liked watching her learn to trust Matt and let him into her life.

Johanna Parker does a wonderful job with the narration in this book. I have listened to her narration before and knew that I really liked her style. She handled all of the different characters in this book so well. She had realistic voices that she used for each character including the young children. She was able to put a lot of emotion into the reading and her voice was very pleasant to listen to for hours at a time.

The only thing that didn't seem realistic about this story was how well behaved Abby's children were at all times. As a mom, I kind of wanted to see one of these kids have the meltdown you know would happen at some point. Anyone who has taken young children on vacation knows there is going to be tears, screaming, and most bodily fluids will most likely be involved. Of course, the absence of these things may be the reason that I liked these kids as much as I did.

I would recommend this audiobook to others. It was a really fun and romantic story that was really a joy to listen to. I plan to read more of Claudia Connor's work in the future.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this story. Abby is not the average heroine being pregnant with 4 young kids which I really liked. Matt and Abby were great together and I loved what the kids added to the story.

Book source: library via Hoopla

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

Lie to Me: A Fast-Paced Psychological Thriller - J.T. Ellison

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book but not as much as I had hoped that I would. I decided to read this book after seeing a few really good reviews. I love a good thriller so I decided to give it a try. I decided to take a peek at the first few pages of this book late one night and ended up putting other books aside so that I could focus on this one. Unfortunately, the book became much easier to set aside the further I read. 

I love a good thriller with a lot of twists and turns. This book takes some pretty ambitious twists that could have been really exciting if I had been even a little surprised. All of the big twists in this story were fairly easy for me to predict and ended up being quite disappointing. I had the urge to set the book aside for a bit whenever there was a bit reveal in the story which was unfortunate.

I didn't have any really strong feelings about the characters in this story. I don't think that took anything away from the story though. I think that this is the kind of book that being unsure of the characters actually works well. Ethan and Sutton both had characteristics that were hard to like but understandable because of the things they have been through.

This was a very easy book to read. I think that it had a nice overall flow and I found myself reading big sections of the book in a single sitting. I liked the short chapters that kept the pace of the book feeling quite rapid. I thought that alternate perspectives were worked into the story exactly when they were most effective. My biggest issue was the fact that I was really let down with every twist that proved to be very predictable. These usually happened just as the focus of the book shifted and I found myself setting the book aside a little easier.

I do think that many readers will enjoy this book a bit more than I did. It is a fast paced story that has quite a few exciting moments. I would definitely pick up more of J.T. Ellison's work in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from HQ Digital via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I didn't fall in love with this book but I did like it. There were a lot of twists in the book. Unfortunately, I found those twists to be pretty predictable. I liked some parts of the book quite a bit and found other sections to be just okay.

The Hunt by Chloe Neill

The Hunt - Chloe Neill

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This was a really good book! I was really excited to dive back into this series after reading and enjoying the first two installments. This was a solid addition to the series. I feel that this is a series that really does need to be read in order since the events in each book builds on the earlier events. I found myself really getting hooked by the story and I ended up most of it in a single day.

Claire and the rest of the crew are laying low in New Orleans. Liam left without a word to anyone now that he has magic like Claire. When Liam is accused of murder, Claire insists on going to find him along with a couple of other members of the group. They do find him but also find another problem that seems to be putting paranormals at risk.

I really have been enjoying the wonderful cast of characters in this series. Each of the recurring characters are well developed and I think that I like them just a little bit more with each installment. They have all grown over the course of the series and have learned to rely on each other. The world that this story takes place in is equally well done. I really liked the contrast of the world outside of New Orleans that we saw a bit of in this installment.

I thought that the mystery at the core of this book was entertaining and quite complex. I found myself really working to figure out who was really responsible for the murder and how it connected to everything else going on. Claire must also deal with a few discoveries that are quite personal. The book does end in a very exciting manner that makes me want to get my hands on the next book as soon as I possibly can.

I would recommend this book to others. This is a really exciting series that takes place in a well crafted world that I think a lot of readers will enjoy. I can't wait to find out what happens next to Claire and the rest of the group!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
This was a really good book. There was a lot of excitement and the mystery kept me guessing. I loved the way that Claire took on everything. She had to deal with a lot of things that had a big impact on her personally but she always seemed to be able to come out on top.

Chasing Christmas Eve by Jill Shalvis

Chasing Christmas Eve: A Heartbreaker Bay Novel - Jill Shalvis

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I just loved this story! I have found this series to be consistently good so I was really excited to get my hands on this newest installment. I was even more excited to read this one once I discovered it would be Spence's story since I have really enjoyed his character in the previous books in the series. I had pretty high expectations going into this book and it met or exceeded every one of them. I had such a good time reading this charming romance.

Spence and Colbie are the focus of this story. Spence has had a role in the previous books in this series that revolves around a group of friends and the building that they live and work in. Spence happens to own the building and is the genius of the group. He spends his time inventing and working out complex problems.

Colbie is a big name author and the stress of her life has prompted her to run away from everything for just a bit. Colbie meets Spence during an unfortunate encounter at a rather famous fountain. They are so much fun to see together from that very first meeting. Colbie decides to stay for a while so that she can get the break that she so desperately needs.

Spence and Colbie were just adorable together. They had great chemistry from the very beginning of the story. There were so many moments that brought a huge grin my face and I may have chuckled out loud a time or too. The banter between this pair was really well done and provided a nice balance to the hotter sections of the story.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This book is the fourth book in the Heartbreaker Bay but it could easily be read as a stand alone novel. Readers of the series will enjoy seeing all of the characters featured in earlier books in the series. I can't wait to see what happens next in Heartbreaker Bay!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
I just loved this story. Spence and Colbie were so great together. It was nice to see the other characters from the series play a role in the story as well.