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And I Darken by Kiersten White

And I Darken - Kiersten White

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

This was a truly epic story. This story spans a lot of years and tells a sometimes brutal story. I was hooked by the book from almost the first page. I really couldn't get my mind to focus on anything besides this story until I had reached the end. It was a bigger story than I had expected with a lot of intricately woven layers. The characters were amazingly written and I found myself cheering for both Lada and Radu. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this wonderful book.

Lada is the daughter of Vlad and she is fierce. The book opens at her birth and even as a very young child, Lada is brutal when needed. Her brother, Radu, does not share the same trait. In every way that Lada is brave and fierce, Radu is sensitive and needs protection. Her father is force to leave both Lada and Radu in the Ottoman courts and they fear that they may never see Wallachia again.

By chance, Lada and Radu cross paths with Mehmed as children and from an unlikely friendship. Mehmed is third in line to the throne of the Ottoman empire, a throne he knows he will most likely never hold. He keeps Lada and Radu by his side largely because Lada will not treat him as anything but her equal.

I enjoyed the characters in this story. Going into the book, I thought I would fall in love with Lada. Who doesn't love a fierce female character that can hold her own? She isn't pretty but she is brave. I did like Lada a lot but I was more taken with her brother's character, Radu. I didn't realize that there would be as much of a focus on Radu in the story as there was. Radu really grew as a character over the course of the book and he was a character that I found I had a lot of respect for. He was really as resourceful as his sister and could be brave when it was necessary. Mehmed is a character that really left me with conflicting feelings since there were things I loved about him and other things I disliked.

The setting of the story was perfectly written. I really could envision this place filled with uncertainty and brutality. The descriptions of everything from the Head Gardeners duties to life in the harem really helped to bring this world to life. I thought that the descriptions of religion in the story was well done and I liked that it was an important part of some of the characters' lives.

I would highly recommend this book to others. The story really has so many great elements from the historical setting, great characters, political intrigue, and even a bit of romance. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in this planned trilogy!

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Children's - Delacorte Press via NetGalley.

The Fire Child by S.K. Tremayne

The Fire Child by S. K. Tremayne (2016-06-16) - S.K. Tremayne

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

I liked this book quite a bit. This turned out to be quite the page turner and I ended up liking it even more than The Ice Twins. This was a book that I never knew quite what might happen next. I ended up reading this whole book in a little more than 24 hours because I had such a hard time putting it down. I am very glad that I decided to pick this book up.

The story opens with Rachel and David as newlyweds at his family home, Carnhallow House. Rachel is now the step-mother to David's son, Jamie, whose mother has recently died. It is a huge adjustment for Rachel and the day to day task of caring for Jamie falls largely to her since David is away during most of the week for work. Jamie is still grieving the loss of his mother and it is showing in some of his actions. Rachel starts to wonder about what really happened to Jamie's mother and starts asking a lot of questions.

I thought this book had a whole lot going for it. It went in directions that I would have never imagined and I love being taken by surprise with this kind of book. The pacing was perfectly done with enough action to really keep the pages turning. Jamie was one of the creepiest kids that I remember reading about in a book which was a big plus. Add in the old house and the mining tunnels running all over the place and there is a whole lot of creepy in this story. I never really knew if I should trust Rachel. I think that Rachel's character was written in such a way that it was hard to tell if she was actually psychotic or if these things were really happening.

I would definitely recommend this book to fans of psychological thrillers. This was one of those books that made me wonder if any of the characters should be trusted but I had to keep reading to figure out what was real. This is the second book by S.K. Tremayne that I have read and I can't wait to read more.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Grand Central Publishing.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this one quite a bit. I thought that the kid in this story was pretty creepy which I loved! The story took a lot of unexpected twists that kept me guessing.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz

The Passenger - Lisa Lutz

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

I thought that this book was just okay. I have been a fan of Lisa Lutz for a long time and have a great fondness for her Spellman Files series. I knew going into this book that this was going to be a completely different kind of story and I was really looking forward to seeing what she would do with it. There were things that I did like about this story but other elements were not quite as enjoyable.

The book opens with the death of Tanya's husband. Tanya immediately leaves town and starts working on assuming a new identity. Tanya tells us that she didn't hurt her husband, Frank, but we have no idea why she feels like she needs to leave town. I was really curious about her motivation to run. That wasn't a small decision and she knew exactly what to do so it was very obvious that Tanya had disappeared before. Tanya changes her name several times in the story but for the purpose of the review, I am just going to stick with Tanya.

Tanya meets Blue in a bar when Blue figures out that she isn't exactly who she says she is. They find themselves in a serious situation soon after they meet and they form an interesting friendship. Both Blue and Tanya are on the run and are both hiding who they truly are from the world. Blue's character was one that I didn't quite trust. Blue just seemed to have a more criminal mind than Tanya did.

I did want to keep reading so that I could learn why Tanya felt she had to run in the first place. If she didn't hurt her husband, it didn't make sense unless she had something else from her past. The emails that were sprinkled in the book between chapters quickly hinted that there was something from her past that we hadn't discovered yet. I also really liked the humor that was sprinkled throughout the book. This isn't a funny story but Lisa Lutz's sense of humor is still very evident in the writing.

I was really disappointed by the ending of this book. Seriously disappointed. I read all of those pages eagerly awaiting a big reveal that caused Tanya to be on the run and it just didn't do a lot for me. The big twist that was supposed to shock me at the end just added another layer of disappointment.

I am not really sure that I would recommend this book. I do think that a lot of readers will really enjoy this book a lot more than I did. I did like the book and I do consider 3 stars to be a good rating. It just wasn't as good as I had hoped it would be. I do plan to continue reading Lisa Lutz's work in the future and commend her for writing a different kind of story.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Simon & Schuster via NetGalley and Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
Way late on reviewing this one. I must say that I am really disappointed by how this one ended. I would say that this book was okay overall but I feel let down now that I finished.

The Cutaway by Christina Kovac

The Cutaway: A Novel - Christina Kovac

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

I liked this story well enough even if I didn't love it. I think that the newsroom setting was one of the strengths of this book and it did add a rather unique quality to the story. Unfortunately, I was never completely hooked by the story. The mystery was interesting but I just never found myself truly invested in the story.

This story is told from the point of view of TV new producer, Virginia. When Virginia sees a missing poster for Evelyn, she knows that she has seen her face before. She remembers Evelyn being in another piece on the news station as a cutaway shot and she is drawn to her story. As Viriginia works to find out what happened to Evelyn, she soon realizes that the case may be much bigger than she originally thought.

This book actually had a whole lot going on. Probably too much if I am being honest. While Viriginia was working on this case, it seemed that her whole world was falling down around her. There is a big shake-up at the news station that makes everything tense. Virginia's personal life is also a major focus with past relationships, new relationships, and family making an appearance. These topics were interesting but it seemed to change the focus from the mystery so often that I had a hard time keeping track of everything and I don't think that it always added a lot to the overall story.

The overall mystery was rather complex. This book did take a lot of twists and turns that I didn't see coming but there was nothing that was truly unexpected. I thought that the mystery did make sense in the end. As the mystery really started to unfold, the excitement levels increased. I did enjoy the newsroom perspective and thought this felt rather authentic.

This is a book that I am glad that I read and I think that mystery readers will enjoy the newsroom point of view. I thought that this was a solid debut novel from Christina Kovac and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Atria Books - 37 Ink via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I liked this one even if I didn't love it. It was interesting to see a case solved by someone in a newsroom. This one took a few twists but there was really nothing that was completely unexpected.

The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin by Stephanie Knipper

The Peculiar Miracles of Antoinette Martin - Stephanie Knipper, Andi Arndt, Cassandra Campbell

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

This was really a great story. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started listening to this audiobook but I soon found myself hooked. The story touched on so many difficult topics and everything worked together in a way that I wouldn't have expected. I really liked that the story was told from multiple points of view and I thought that each perspective really added an important piece to the overall puzzle. I really ended up enjoying this book.

This is a book that is really about a lot of things. It is a book that tells the story of two sisters, Lily and Rose, mending their relationship. Lily and Rose have seen very little of each other in the years leading up to the start of the book but when Rose needs Lily, she comes to help. That is just one part of the story. This book also focuses on a little girl with disabilities who has a special gift.

Antoinette was a great character. She is nonverbal but she still says so much. She is her mother's world and the feeling is mutual. She is a caring child that doesn't want to see anyone or anything ill or in pain. She is willing to do anything she can to help take care of those that she loves. Unfortunately, Antoinette's gift comes with a price that those who love her work to protect her from.

I loved how so many different elements came together to tell this story. I loved the parts from Rose's point of view that really demonstrated her love for Antoinette. Lily's struggle to fit in and the things she struggles with in her life every day was very well told. Seth and Will both added to the story with their actions in the present and they both had really interesting pasts. I enjoyed the magical realism elements that helped to tell this story.

I loved the narration. I have listened to Andi Arndt several times in the past and have always enjoyed her work. This was the first time that I have listened to Cassandra Campbell and I thoroughly enjoyed the parts of the book that she narrated. I think that using two narrators really added to the impact of the story. Andi Arndt did narrate the bulk of the story but they both did an equally wonderful job. This was an emotional story and both narrators really did a great job expressing a lot of strong feelings.

I would recommend this book to others. This is the first book by Stephanie Knipper that I have read and I am really impressed by her ability to write wonderful characters dealing with a lot of difficult issues. I would definitely like to read from this author in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from HighBridge Audio via LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this story. The narration was great. I really liked the little bit of magic that made its way into the story.  

Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs

Iron Kissed (Mercedes Thompson) - Patricia Briggs, Lorelei King

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

This book left me with all kinds of feelings. I have had a hard time getting it out of my head since I finished it hours ago. This was a re-read for me but it has been roughly 6 years since the first time I read this book and it really had a bigger impact on me this time around. I have so much love for this series having read all of the books set in the Mercy world and now working on re-reading them as time allows. This book felt like a really pivotal book this time around since I know how things do work out. I am in awe of the magic that is the Mercy Thompson series.

Mercy is asked by Zee to help out with an investigation investigation involving the fae. Things get a whole lot more complicated almost immediately after when Zee is arrested and charged with murder. Mercy knows that he is innocent so she is going to do everything in her power to set the record straight even when she is told to leave things alone. I will be honest and admit that I didn't remember who the bad guy was in this mystery and was trying to puzzle through everything right along with Mercy and she discovered new pieces of information.

The other major point in this book focuses on Mercy's love life. In the previous books in the series, Mercy has had both Adam and Sam showing interest in her. Sam ended up moving in with her as roommates and Adam has declared her as his mate. Sam and Adam are both very strong Alpha wolves and a choice has to be made. Mercy does finally figure out where her heart is in this book and she does it in a way that reminds me why I love her character as much as I do.

The final section of the book really got to me. It was intense to say the least. I was emotionally all over the place as I listened to the everything that happens to Mercy. I was angry for her. I wanted to cry for her. I wanted to help glue back all of the pieces or try to do something to make it be that things didn't really happen. I think that the way that Patricia Briggs decided to share how Mercy was feeling during the aftermath of the big event is genius. I am in awe of her writing ability. Mercy dealt with the pain by turning into her coyote. In doing so, the way she acted and her body language took on a very obvious meaning. It was powerful stuff to say the least.

I loved the narration of this book. Lorelei King did a spectacular job in narrating this story. There are quite a few characters in this book and she did a fantastic job in using different and consistent voices for those characters. She really showed the emotions of the characters during this story. The pacing of her reading was really nice and I found myself being able to listen for hours at a time.

I would highly recommend this series to others. I do think that this is a series that is best read in order since the relationships between the character grow and change over the course of the series and events from earlier books do come up from time to time. I can't wait to continue with my re-read of this fantastic series!

Initial Thoughts
The ending of this book was a lot more intense than I had remembered. Such amazing storytelling and the narration added to the experience.

Marked in Flesh by Anne Bishop

Marked In Flesh - Anne Bishop

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

I do love this story but this book started out really slow for me. It did pick up and moved much faster for the second half of the book but I found myself having a hard time staying focused during the first part of the story. This is a series that is very detailed and I think those details became tedious for me as the story started to unfold. Once things really got going, I did move pretty quickly through the book and really enjoyed myself.

One of the things that I do love about this series is the characters. Previous book have been largely focused on Meg and Simon with a lot of great supporting characters. This story featured Meg and Simon less than the in previous books. They are still central characters but this book spent a lot of time away from the Lakeside Courtyard. I liked the characters that were featured in these other locations but I missed Meg and Simon.

This book does pick up right where the previous book left off so this is a series that really needs to be read in order. The world is in turmoil with humans and the Others at odds. Of course, it isn't all humans that are causing trouble but the Humans First and Last organization has grown and is making plans to take control of the land away from the Others. The fight between the groups will end up being dangerous for everyone involved.

I would recommend this series to others. I think that the world building is very strong and the story is filled with characters that are hard not to like. I can't wait what will happen next!

Initial Thoughts
This book started slow for me but ended rather strong. I didn't think that there was quite enough of Meg or Simon in the book.

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

Never Let You Go - Chevy Stevens

This was a very solid mystery thriller.  I was hooked by this book from the first page and I had a really hard time putting it down.  I do have to say that the beginning of the story was a bit better in my opinion.  I liked the last half of the story as well but it just wasn't quite as enjoyable.  I picked up this book because I was looking for a change of pace and it definitely filled that need.  This book really turned out to be quite the page turner.

The book opens in the past and it does jump around in time for the first bit of the story.  Lindsey is the focus of this book and as the story beginnings we learn piece by piece what her marriage to Andrew is like.  There were some scenes that were truly frightening.  Eventually Lindsey is able to get away from her abusive husband with her daughter.  Her husband gets in wreck that same night that ends up sending him to jail for the next ten years.

Lindsey and her daughter, Sophie, have been moving on with their life.  Lindsey owns her own housekeeping business and Sophie is almost done with high school.  They have connections and are doing okay.  Sophie doesn't remember everything that happened between her parents and was shielded from most of it by her mother when it was happening.  She is curious about her father and reaches out to him while he was in prison.  Unfortunately, this means that he knows where they are.

This book took a few twists and turns and there were some things that happened that completely caught me off guard.  I thought that Lindsey's fear of Andrew was demonstrated remarkably well.  There were several characters that I didn't quite trust completely.  There were also more than a few moments that I really wished Sophie would just listen to her mother.  While I wasn't completely sold by the ending, I did really appreciate the fact that this book ended up in a direction that I would have never guessed.

I would recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers.  This is only the second book by Chevy Stevens that I have read but I do enjoy her writing style.  I plan to read more of her work very soon.

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

Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu

Afterward - Jennifer Mathieu

This is a really tough book for me to rate and review.  Before I started listening to this audiobook, I had no idea that the story would so closely follow a kidnapping situation that happened in my hometown.  At first, I thought it was a coincidence but the more I listened and the more I realized that the real event had to be the inspiration for this book.  I have no problem with books that are inspired by actual events but I do think it is extremely important that enough of the story be changed that it isn't so easily recognizable especially in situations like this one where minors where involved.

The book doesn't exactly follow the actual events.  But it is really, really close.  The only big differences were the fact that one of the boys in this story has autism and the kidnapper kills himself rather than allow himself to be captured.  The other details of the kidnapping are pretty much spot on.  One of the boys is kidnapped at age 11 and kept for 4 years until he is found when he is 15.  The other boy is kept for 4 days before he was found.  The first boy is kidnapped while riding his bike to a friend's house.  All of these things happened.  I remember seeing the parents of the first boy begging for his safe return for all four of those years.  I remember the absolute shock that I felt when they were found safe.  I couldn't believe that they were here just miles from my house for that entire time period.  The actual rescue took place a little more than 10 years ago when my girls were 12 and 6 and I remember the absolute fear that I felt that something like this could happen so close to home.   I think that this had to be a very traumatic experience for everyone involved and I wonder how having a book like this that tells such a similar story makes them feel.

The bulk of this book does take place after the kidnapping and I doubt that Ethan and Caroline's tale during this time would look anything like the actual victims.  I did like the focus on therapy for Ethan's family and I really wished that Dylan would have had the same opportunities.   I liked the friendship that developed between Ethan and Caroline.  They have both been through a lot and sometimes have trouble relating to other people.  Ethan has a lot of issues that he needs to work through and he really doesn't have any friends.  His mother is extremely overprotective which is understandable considering what they have been through.

I did like the narration a lot.  This was the first time that I have listened to either of these narrators and I thought they both did an excellent job.  I liked that the use of two narrators to tell this story.  I don't think that the book would have had the same impact without the dual points of view.  I would definitely listen to both of these narrators again in the future.

I thought the actual story was well done.  I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I wasn't constantly comparing it to the event it was based upon.  I am probably quite a bit older than the target audience for this book and I think most readers will not be familiar with the kidnapping that inspired this book.  I just wish that the events in this story would have been changed so that it didn't so closely mirror the actual events.

I received a review copy of this book from Recorded Books via LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Vision in Silver by Anne Bishop

Vision in Silver - Anne Bishop

This was another really strong installment in a series that is quickly becoming a favorite for me.  This book picks up right after the events of the previous book so this is a series that really does need to be read in order.  I did really enjoy this book but I found it easier to set aside than the previous two books in the series.  I do think that this is really my issue.  I am not really someone that reads books in a series back to back.  I have done it on occasion but in most cases I become overwhelmed with the world.  I think that with a series like this one that is full of details, I really do need to take a short break between the books in this series at least during my first read through.

There are a lot of things going on in this book.  The other blood prophets like Meg that have been rescued for the facility are having a hard time adjusting to life in the outside world.  The individuals caring for these girls really do want to help but they don't know what they should do.  Meg, along with members of her human pack as Simon calls them, works to come up with a list of tips and rules to make the adjustment easier.

Tension is building between the Others and their human neighbors.  The Humans First and Last or HFL movement is really showing up everywhere.  Many human businesses do not want to deal with the Others any more and opinions are starting to seem hostile.  Humans are no longer welcome in the shops in the courtyard with the exception of certain known people.  Things are definitely becoming very tense.

I do love the characters in this series.  Probably a bit more with every book.  Simon is just amazing.  He is my favorite character in this story by a lot.  Meg is great although she did have a few meltdowns in this book that didn't really seem like her.  Henry, Vlad, Tess, Skippy, Nathan, and Sam are all starting to feel like friends you want to have around.

I did think that the pace of this book was a bit slower at times.  There were plenty of incredibly exciting moments to keep things interesting.  I really did enjoy seeing a bit from the point of view of one of the girls as she starts to learn to adjust to life outside of a facility.  I hope that we get to see more from her in future installments.  Simon and Meg are still dancing around each other and I don't even know if I want to see them become more than friends or not.  They don't seem to know so I guess it is okay that I don't.

I would highly recommend this series to others.  This series has so much going for it with fantastic characters and excellent world building.  I can't wait to see what happens next!

Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop

Murder of Crows - Anne Bishop

I liked this book just as much, if not more, than the first book in the series.  I love all of the wonderful characters in this book but I also was really drawn to the story.  Meg has really sparked a lot of change in Simon and her world.  I now completely understand why so many people love this series.

Meg speaks prophecies but she doesn't just come out and say what is going to happen.  It takes some work to put everything together.  The Others seem to be very good at piecing together her warnings and they don't hesitate to act upon them.  There has been an outbreak of strange behavior in both humans and the Others caused by a new drug that has resulted in a lot of deaths.

There is another group in danger.  The other blood prophets, like Meg, are not being cared for in the manner that everyone believes.  They are used for profit and really live in a prison.  Once the Others learn how things really are for this group they intervene.  There are some truly heartbreaking scenes involving this group of people

I love the characters in this book.  We met nearly all of the characters in this book in the first book but the more time we spend with them the more I like them.  Simon is just awesome.  He confused himself but he knows that he wants to be around Meg and considers her to be his.  Henry is another favorite character.  He is always so peaceful and has a really gentle strength.  Tess, Vlad, Jenni, and the rest of the individuals in the Courtyard are all a lot of fun.

I would highly recommend this series to others.  This is a second book in a series that really does need to be read in order since each book builds on the last.  I can't wait to read more of this exciting world.

A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon

A Breath of Snow and Ashes (Audiobook - Audible Download) - Davina Porter, Diana Gabaldon

I almost feel like Claire and Jamie are family.  We have been through a lot together over the years and it seems like things never really get any easier do they?  This was my first time through this book and I went ahead and did the audio instead of reading the paper version.   This was a really long audio.  Too long if I am being honest.  I love Jamie, Claire, Brianna, Roger, and the whole gang but I was really ready to move on to something else by the time I finished this audio.  Don't get me wrong this story is really good and I am glad that I listened to it but it almost exhausted me at a point.

These books are a little different than what you would normally read.  I always tell people that most books deal with a certain problem and have a definite story arc.  Books in the Outlander series are very character driven and they don't focus on any particular plot point.  It is really just all of the things that happen during this period in Jamie, Claire, Brianna, and Roger's lives.  You do need to read this series in order because things from previous books do tend to pop up from time to time.

So much happens in this book.  Like I said, Jamie and Claire feel almost like family so when bad things happen to them, I really tend to feel it.  Bad things do happen in this book.  Things that made me want to cry, things that made me laugh, and things that made me mad.  I do really like how Jamie and Claire's love for each other never wavers and even now that they are older, they still have a very healthy sex life.

Davina Porter does a fabulous job in narrating this book.  The voices and accents that she uses for all of the main characters have remained very consistent over the course of the series.  I find it amazing how well she handles the male voices.  Her Jamie is just perfection.  I like how much emotion really shows in her voice as she reads this story.  I am able to listen to her voice for hours at a time without ever tiring of it.

I would highly recommend this series to others.  This is a series that I plan to revisit from time to time because the characters are so wonderful and the writing is so well done.  I will be continuing with this series in the near future.

Written in Red - Anne Bishop

I loved just about everything about this book!  I can't believe that I waited so long to finally start reading this series.  I bought this book 2 years ago but for some reason never actually started reading it.  I should have read it then but I am making up for lost time now.  Once I really started getting hooked on this book, I didn't want to stop.  This is one of those rare books that make me want to lose myself in the world within its pages.

Meg is pretty awesome.  Since I don't usually read book summaries before starting books, I had no idea what was going on with Meg.  I was as lost about who and what she was as Simon, Henry, Tess, and all the others at the courtyard.  I figured out pretty early on that she was smart, tough, and able to think on her feet.  She went about doing things in a completely unorthodox manner but she tended to get results.  There was an innocence about Meg that I liked and I also liked the fact that she was willing to take suggestions and input from others.

The world building was amazing.  I read the first part of the book at a pretty slow pace largely because I wanted to make sure that I was completely taking in this world that Meg is a part of.  The attitude and feelings between the humans and the Others was quite original.  As a human, I have never thought of myself as meat but I suppose it is all in how you look at a situation.  The Courtyard was a world on its own.  I liked the idea of shops open to both humans and the Others and it was interesting to witness some of the interactions.

The story had so much going for it.  Everything that happened with Sam really helped me see just how special Meg and Simon really were.  The Elementals and Vampires on this world were very original and powerful.  The pacing of the book was very well done and by the end of the story, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough.  The writing was at times detailed but I think everything added to the story.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  I am planning to binge read this entire series because I am so taken with this world and its characters.

Silence Fallen - Patricia Briggs

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

This book! Oh how I loved this book. This is such an amazing series that seems to be getting better and better with each book. I started reading this book the moment I had it downloaded on my ereader and finished it less than 24 hours later. I just couldn't put it down. I had to know that things would work out for Mercy, Adam, and the whole gang. This is the kind of book that I just love to read.

This is the tenth book in the Mercy Thompson series which I do recommend reading in order. The relationships between the characters have grown and developed over the course of the series and readers really need that knowledge to get the most out of this book. The series is absolutely amazing so you really don't want to miss any of it anyway.

This story is a little different than what I have come to expect from this series. Different in a good way though. Much of this book occurs away from home and I have to admit that this worried me. Have no fear. The awesomeness of this series is still there it just happens in a different location. The key characters from the series all do play a part in this book even though it occurs far from home. I actually think that the change in setting was a plus in this book since it added a new and unknown element.

Another difference that I was thrilled to see in this book is that part of the story is told from Adam's point of view. I was incredibly excited to get to read some of this story from Adam's perspective. We have had the opportunity to see so much of Adam over the course of the series and I found it really nice to finally get to spend some time in his head. This story really only would work well with another point of view and I am really glad that it came from Adam.

This book starts off with a bang. Actually, it starts off with cookies and then quickly gets exciting when Mercy is kidnapped and taken halfway around the world to Prague. Mercy is thought to be very powerful by her kidnappers and she must figure out how to outsmart them in order to save herself. The kidnappers have a head start but Adam isn't too far behind and he is willing to do what it takes to save his mate. There are some pretty awesome vampires, werewolves, and ghosts among other things. There were a few surprises along the way and at least one twist that totally floored me.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This is a book that I will definitely be reading again. Probably quite a few times. This is a truly great series that is dear to my heart. I can't wait to read more books about Mercy, Adam, and the gang as soon as I can get my hands on them.

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

Initial Thoughts
This was sooo good! A little different than other books in this series but a very fun ride. I loved that we get a lot of the story from Adam's perspective in addition to Mercy. This one was hard to put down.

So excited to get my hands on an ARC of this book! Thank you NetGalley!

Long Road Home - Marie Meyer

I really enjoyed this romance.   I decided to read this book after learning that it was set in Missouri.  There aren't too many books set in my home state so I was immediately curious.  The story was what grabbed me from the very beginning.  The fact that they meet when he is giving her a traffic ticket just set a great tone for the whole story.  This was a really nice story that ended up leaving me with a big grin on my face.

After Cayden gives Ren a traffic ticket, it leaves a lasting memory for both parties.  While Ren is performing her duties as the maid of honor at her best friends wedding, she is surprised to be asked to dance by none other than Cayden, off-duty and very interested.  I liked the chemistry between this pair from the very first and it never stopped.  They just fit perfectly together.

Cayden and Ren both have things going on in their lives.  Cayden is a former Marine and he is feeling some guilt that his buddies are being deployed while he stays home.  He has decided to stay home so that he can be there for his mother who is ill.  He isn't really sure that he has time for a relationship at this point in this life.  Ren is dealing with her past.  She was victimized during her college years and is still working to move past it.

There were so many things that I liked about this book.  I liked that it dealt with a couple of really difficult issues.  Everything wasn't perfect in their world but they worked to do the best they could in the situation they were given.  I liked how Cayden was able to sense when Ren wasn't comfortable and always let her be in control.  I liked the fact that this story was truly romantic and they spent the whole book trying to figure out how to make things work.  I fell in love with Ren and Cayden and there wasn't a boring moment in the book.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance.  This was the first book by Marie Meyer that I have read but I definitely look forward to reading more from her in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) - Forever Yours via NetGalley.

Seven Days of You - Cecilia Vinesse

I liked this story.  I found it to be a really quick read and while it wasn't the perfect story, it did have a lot of things going for it.  I thought that the range of emotions that Sophia goes through in this story really rang true.  The book was a little different than I had expected from the description and while there was a romance featured in the story this book was about so much more than that.

Sophia is moving to the United States with her mom and sister in just one week.  She has spent the past few years of her life living in Tokyo and that is where all of her friends and her life is.  Moving is never easy but moving so far away where the possibility of seeing your friends is incredibly tough.  Jamie is moving back to Tokyo after spending a couple of years at a boarding school in the United States.  Jamie and Sophia didn't part on good terms when they last saw each other.   Sophia really wishes that he had waited until she left to come back.

Sophia soon feels a connection to Jamie like she hadn't felt before.  He seems to be there when she needs him and he somehow finds the right words for the situation.  It was fun to watch this pair open up to each other and make a connection.  It is really too bad that the time that they have together is so limited due to Sophia's upcoming move.

This book takes place in Tokyo and I was really looking forward to experiencing a bit of this area. Unfortunately, I didn't really get a feel for Tokyo from this story.  Sophia attends an English speaking school and her friends are largely like her.  There were some food items mentioned but other than that this story felt like it could have taken place anywhere.  

In addition to moving and sorting out her feelings toward Jamie,  Sophia is also saying goodbye to her friends in this story.  I felt like some of the drama between Sophia and her friends was unnecessary.  Another thing that Sophia has to figure out is her relationship with her father.  This was really one of the strong points of the book.  I felt really bad for Sophia and thought that the emotions portrayed were realistic.

I would recommend this book to others.   I think that the author was able to create an interesting story around a very realistic teen.  I am impressed by Cecilia Vinesse's debut novel and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

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