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Knight on the Texas Plains by Linda Brody

Knight On The Texas Plains - Linda Broday

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

This book was simply a delight to read! I was completely swept away by this wonderful story filled with characters that will stay with me. I used to read a lot of western historical romances but haven't picked up in years. I really decided to read this book on a whim and what a good decision that turned out to be. This was a book that was nearly impossible for me to put down once I started reading and I ended up finishing it in less than 24 hours. This book had so many wonderful elements that just seemed to work together flawlessly.

Duel McClain is a character that I won't be forgetting anytime soon. At the start of the story, Duel wins a little girl in a poker game. It quickly becomes obvious that while he has good intentions, he has no idea what he is doing. As luck would have it, Jessie finds her way to his campsite needing help. She is able to help Duel care for Marley Rose while he works to keep her safe. They have all been through some really tough times but together they seem to be stronger and really make a wonderful family.

I fell in love with these characters. Duel was such a good man. He was always trying to do the honorable thing and put other people's needs above his own. Jessie went through some horrible things before meeting Duel. She is a survivor and doesn't make excuses. She is honest with Duel from the very beginning despite what she thought it might cost her. She was such a caring person and her strength never ceased to amaze me. Marley Rose really helped to bring them together. The love the three of them shared really melted my heart.

I thought this story was really original. I am always looking for something that is a little different when I pick up a book. This one was a pleasant surprise. Duel and Jessie had such vivid and heartbreaking backstories that I was immediately hooked. Their romance was built on trust and respect and was at a much slower pace than I would have expected. There was plenty of excitement to keep the story interesting and the end of the book turned out to be quite intense.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical romance. I am really excited that this is the beginning of a new series because I can't wait to read more. This is the first book by Linda Broday that I have read but she has definitely captured my attention with this one.

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

Initial Thoughts
What a wonderful story this was! Duel and Jessie were wonderful together and Marley Rose was too cute for words. It has been a really long time since I picked up a western historical novel and I am really wondering why that is because I loved reading this book.

How the White Trash Zombe Got Her Groove Back by Diana Rowland

How the White Trash Zombie Got Her Groove Back - Diana Rowland

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

I liked this book but not nearly as much as I thought I would. I actually listened to about an hour and a half of this audiobook several months ago and found it just wasn't working for me so I decided to try it again later. I started over from the beginning this time and was able to make it through the book but still had some trouble with the first part of the book. The story did really pick up and by the end I was really enjoying myself but that beginning was rough for me.

I think that the beginning of the book had too big of a focus on Angel's internal dialogue. I love Angel but I have to tell you that she was starting to drive me crazy. Some of her actions seemed a bit childish to me and I kind of wanted the other characters to tell her to snap out of it. Once the action really got going I didn't have any of these issues so maybe the balance was just off at the beginning.

This book did have a lot of things going on and once the action got going it seemed to move pretty fast. There were a few revelations that I found completely surprising and look forward to seeing how they impact future installments. Angel proved that she can hold her own in a fight and is able to make really good decisions very quickly. The big twist was a pretty big surprise for me which was a definite plus. 

Allison McLemore does such a wonderful job in narrating this series and this book was no exception. She is the voice of Angel to me. She is able to perform a large cast of characters quite well making it easy to follow along with conversations. She reads the story at a very nice pace making it very easy to listen for hours at a time. 

I would recommend this series to others. This is the fourth book in a series that I think is best read in order. I thought that this was a good installment, not my favorite, but still good. I do consider 3 stars to be a good rating. I look forward to reading more of this series very soon.

Initial Thoughts
This book was a little harder for me to really get into it. I actually listened to about an hour and half a few months ago and set it aside. I started from the beginning again this time and eventually was hooked. I liked it but some of Angel's internal dialogue got on my nerves. Once I got about a third of the way through the book it did pick up a lot for me. The narration was wonderful. This really fell somewhere between a 3 and a 4 for me. 

Source: Audible purchase

Full Package by Lauren Blakely

Full Package - Lauren Blakely

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

I liked this book. I decided to buy this book during a recent Audible sale because it sounded like fun and Sebastian York was listed as the narrator. I knew that this would be a great book to listen to when I was in the mood for something fun and sexy. I ended up listening to this book for hours at a time and finished it within a few day. It wasn't a life changing read or anything but I had fun with it.

This story is told from Chase's point of view. Chase is an emergency room doctor at one of the local hospitals. He has been best friends with Josie's older brother for years and has always spent a lot of time with Josie. Chase and Josie have become great friends themselves so when Josie has an opening for a roommate and Chase needs a place to live the answer seems obvious.

They are great together as roommates but Chase soon realizes that he wants something more from Josie. He decides not to act on it because their friendship is too valuable to risk. Of course, things take a turn and they become more than friends. I liked these characters as a couple and thought they had great chemistry. They really just seemed to belong together.

My only real complaint with this book was that it was too predictable. There were literally no surprises. And I like surprises. The story felt so similar to other things that I have read which took some of the fun out of the whole experience. I just felt like this was a story that really could have used some kind of element that could set it apart from other books.

Sebastian York did a fantastic job with the narration. He does such a great job with this kind of book. He really made Chase's character come to life. He also handled all of the other voices in the story, including Josie, very well. Everything in the story felt very natural with his narration. This narrator is one of the main reasons that I bought this audiobook and I thought his performance was at the caliber that I have come to expect.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. I had a lot of fun with this book and wanted to see Chase and Josie get their happily ever after. I plan to read more for Lauren Blakely soon.

Initial Thoughts
This book is falling somewhere between 3 and 4 stars for me right now. It was really quite predictable but still enjoyable. I will admit that I bought this audiobook largely because of the narrator. Sebastian York does a great job but this story is just so similar to other books that I have listened to him narrate. I may end up rounding up to 4 stars after I think about it for a few days.

Book source: Audible purchase

Sprinkle with Murder by Jenn McKinlay

Sprinkle with Murder - Jenn McKinlay

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

I enjoyed this fun cozy mystery. I recently read Jenn McKinlay's contemporary romance, About a Dog, and loved it so I started looking at some of her other works. When I saw this series set in a cupcake shop, I knew I wanted to give it a try. Who doesn't like a little mystery with their cupcakes? This audiobook ended up being a really quick listen for me because I found myself wanting to listen to it for hours at a time. 

Mel and Angie have been best friends for a very long time and are now working together at the cupcake shop. They are also best friends with Tate who is soon to be married. Tate's fiance is rather difficult and when she shows up to the shop to decide on cupcakes for the wedding, she proves how difficult she can really be. They also have a rival bakery owner hanging outside of their store at all hours. It was obvious early on that Mel and Angie would have a few challenges.

When I read a cozy mystery, I like to try to figure out who is going to be the one to die before it is revealed so I didn't really read the summary before jumping in to the book. Once Mel discovers the body, I had a guess about who the murderer was right away but I really had no idea how things would play out. This story did take a few turns that I never expected and did me guessing and entertained to the end. 

This was the first time that I have ever listed to a book narrated by Susan Boyce but I thought she did a fantastic job. She handled a large number of characters very well in this story and used a very distinct voice for each one. I always knew who was speaking during conversations. I thought she also did a great job of portraying the character's emotions. I always felts like I knew how the character was feeling. 

I would recommend this book to cozy mystery fans. It was a really entertaining story filled with wonderful characters. I look forward to continuing with this series very soon.

I received a review copy of this audiobook from Dreamscape Media, LLC via Audiobook Jukebox.

Initial Thoughts
This was a really quick listen for me. The characters were great and I loved the little cupcake shop. I had a pretty good idea who the culprit would be as soon as the character was introduced but I had a lot of fun seeing how everything would play out.

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Wildfire - Ilona Andrews

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

I loved this book! I have actually already read this book twice since I was able to get my hands on a copy. I couldn't wait to get started the first time through the book and barely came up for air until I finished the story. I knew that I would need to slow down and read it a second time before being able to write a review. So I read this book for a second time less than three months after my first read through and I liked it just as much the second time. There really aren't many books that I would able to do that with. I had such a good experience reading this book.

This is the third book in the Hidden Legacy series which really does need to be read in order. The whole series is amazing so you won't want to miss the earlier books anyway. Nevada and Rogan have been through a lot together by the time this book starts and things have changed drastically for Nevada and her family. Nevada and her family can no longer stay hidden so they must decide how to safely move forward. Their agency has taken on a case for Rogan's ex, Rynda. Rynda's husband is missing and nobody seems to want to look for him. 

As we have come to expect, Nevada and Rogan will work together through some pretty tense situations in this novel. The action gets pretty intense and is really quite exciting to read. This book is so much more than a romance story but the romance is really well done. Nevada and Rogan belong with each other. I love every time they are on the page with each other. Their chemistry is off the charts and their banter is a lot of fun. Add a few magical elements into the mix and you have a story you can't quit thinking about.

The secondary characters are so well done. I think that every character in this series has something to add to the story. Nevada's family are so much fun and their feelings for each other are really genuine. Rogan's people are loyal and a force on their own. Cornelius and Matilda have almost become an extended part of the Baylor family and I really like the perspective that Cornelius brings to the agency. There is even a pacifist Kodiak bear and a blue tiger that is literally out of this world. 

I highly recommend this series to everyone. I love the world that the writing pair of Ilona Andrews has crafted in this series and am in awe at the characters that live in that world. I will keep my fingers crossed that there might eventually be a few more novels in this wonderful series.

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

2nd Read
Yep...still as good as I remembered. Maybe even better.

Initial Thoughts
I loved this book! Seriously, this book is amazingly good. I couldn't put it down and didn't want it to end. I love Nevada, Rogan, Nevada's family, and everyone else. Lots of action, some tender moments, and a few laughs - all done perfectly. 

Prior to Reading
I was able to get an ARC of this book. All is right in the world :) Now to lose myself with Rogan and Nevada.

Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain

Scandalous Ever After (Romance of the Turf) - Theresa Romain

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

I really enjoyed this book! This is the first book by Theresa Romain that I have had the chance to read and it ended up being a great one. This book is listed as the second book in the Romance on the Turf series but it can be read fine as a stand alone novel. Once I really got hooked by the story, I didn't want to put this book down. I kept sneaking peeks throughout the day and before you knew it, I had reached the end of the story. 

Kate and Evan are the focus of this story. Kate became a widow two years ago when her husband died in an accident. She is working to take care of the debts left by her husband. Evan was Kate's husband's best friends. They consider each other friends as well but Evan fought with Con just prior to his death and has stayed away since his passing. Kate and Evan cross paths at one of his lectures and they decide to travel together. 

I liked Kate and Evan together. They have been friends for a very long time and know a lot about each other but quickly learn that not everything is as they had thought. I really liked the fact that they were a bit older and seemed more mature than a lot of couples featured in romantic novels. Kate has been married and is the mother of two children. They both had a lot of respect for each other and were willing to stand up for themselves when needed. I thought the chemistry between them was wonderfully done and their banter was a lot of fun.

I really liked the way the story flowed. Since Kate and Evan spend a lot of the book traveling, we get to see them in several different environments. Kate's family were so much fun and I loved how Evan seemed to fit in perfectly. Evan's family were in dramatic contrast and it was fun to see them interact. Once the pair arrived at Kate's estate, I enjoyed the way they were with the children and Con's mother. The secondary characters really added to the overall story.

I would recommend this book to fans of historical romance. This was a heartwarming romance that was a lot of fun to read. I can't wait to read more of Theresa Romain's works in the future.

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

Initial Thoughts
I really enjoyed this! Kate and Evan had wonderful chemistry and I loved their banter. The story was just a lot of fun.

Two Nights by Kathy Reichs

Two Nights: A Novel - Kathy Reichs

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

Well, this was disappointing. When I saw that Kathy Reichs had written a stand alone novel, I knew that I wanted to read it. I have really enjoyed her books in the past and was looking forward to this book. This book never clicked for me and I found myself constantly setting the book aside. There were some parts of the book that I did enjoy and I never really considered not finishing it but it wasn't a story that did much for me. 

I think one of my main problems with this book is that I didn't care for the characters. The focus of this book is Sunday Night, or Sunnie. Sunnie is an ex-cop that carries a lot of scars both physical and emotional. She was paranoid but had a lot of skills that were put to the test as she tried to find out what happened to the girl she has been hired to find. There are sections of the book spread throughout the story that talk of Sunnie's past. I thought that learning her backstory was way too drawn out and by the time any real information was given I had lost interest.

The mystery never grabbed me. I just had a really hard time getting into the overall story. Of course, I wanted to know what had happened to the girl but the story seemed to move really slow. Everything was a waiting game wrapped up in Sunnie's paranoia. It just felt like it took really long time for things to get moving. So much so that this turned into a book that I kept checking how much more was left just because I wanted to be done with it.

The writing felt really choppy with lots of short sentences that never really flowed. There was a lot of really traumatic things happening in the story but I never felt like any of the characters had a single emotion. I did think that the book had a good start. I like the idea of Sunnie. I like that she was quirky and a little different but that feeling faded quickly. 

I am not going to be recommending this one. I think that anyone interested in reading Kathy Reichs should start with the Temperance Brennan series which I loved. I haven't read the whole series but have read the first 13 books or so in that series and really enjoyed them and actually plan to re-read the series at some point. This book was a miss for me but I do look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine via NetGalley.

Initial Thoughts
I had a lot of hopes for this book. I have enjoyed all of the previous books that I have read by Kathy Reichs so I was excited to read her new stand alone novel. This was disappointing. I didn't care of any of the characters and found the story to be boring.

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf - Molly Harper, Amanda Ronconi

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

I could kick myself. I bought this audiobook back in 2015. Heck, I bought the whole series and then promptly got distracted by some other shiny book. I have seen so many great reviews for this book but did I start listening. Nope. Because I was distracted. Well, I finally dusted it off and started listening to it earlier this week and had a great time with it. 

Mo is the focus of this story and I liked her character right away. The book opens with Mo moving to Alaska. It is a big change from what she is used to in Mississippi but she needs a change. And she needs to get away from her over the top parents. Her parents are quite the pair and I can completely understand why she took such a drastic step. 

Mo quickly becomes a part of the local community by working at the local bar and grill. She is making friends and finding her way. She is even getting the attention of a couple of the local men. Enter Cooper, local werewolf extraordinaire. Cooper always seems a little grouchy but Mo can't seem to stay away. One thing leads to another and they decide to act on their chemistry. 

There were so many things to love about this book. I really liked the humor woven into the story. I had a big grin on my face the entire time I was listening to this story. I liked Mo and Cooper as a couple and thought they had great chemistry. The story had a lot of things going on besides the romance with a wolf attacking the local community and some drama with Cooper's family. 

I really enjoyed Amanda Ronconi's narration. I thought she captured Mo's personality very well through her narration. She handled all of the different characters very well and it was always very easy to tell who was speaking. This story has a wide range of emotions and she portrayed them all very well. I felt Mo's fear, her joy, her confusion, and her frustration. She read the story at a very natural pace and I really just felt like she was telling me a story. I was able to listen to this book for hours at a time and look forward to listening to more of her work in the future.

I would recommend this book to fans of paranormal romance. This was a fun story filled with great chemistry and a wonderful sense of humor. This is the first book by Molly Harper that I have read and I cannot wait to continue with this series.

Initial Thoughts
This was fun. There were quite a few funny moments and I really enjoyed Mo's sense of humor. The narration was great and I look forward to listening to more of this series very soon.

Book source: Audible purchase

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella

I Need a Lifeguard Everywhere but the Pool (The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman) - Lisa Scottoline, Francesca Serritella

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

These books are just a lot of fun. I have read quite a few of these books by Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, and have really enjoyed all of them. The stories in this book are each very short and can be read in a couple of minutes but are highly addictive. I couldn't seem to read just a few of the stories but found myself reading this book like it was a marathon or something. I just cannot get enough of these glimpses into Lisa and Francesca's lives. 

I found it so easy to relate to Lisa and Francesca. Lisa Scottoline is an author that I really enjoy and have been reading for a number of years. While I was at one of Lisa's book signings, another fan recommend that I read the books in this series. So I did and the rest is history. Though these books I really feel like I have had the chance to really get to know Lisa and Francesca. I feel almost like I could pull up a chair at their table for a nice chat because they have really let me into their lives through these books. In the previous books in the series, I found myself relating to Lisa much more than Francesca but I this book I think it has evened out a bit. Maybe it is because Francesca didn't really talk about dating as she has in previous books because she is on a hiatus from men. I am an old married woman and barely remember dating so I am happy to read about other things. 

This book covers a little bit of everything. Seriously everything. There are stories about yoga, bridal showers, snakes, dogs, doggy diapers, family members, building furniture, remote controls, exercise equipment, buying trucks, and the list goes on. Really these stories are just about navigating through life and all of the things that are encountered on a daily basis. These stories are told with a good dose of humor and many mentions of Bradley Cooper. Lisa has a series thing for Bradley Cooper. Not all of the stories are pretty and some made me squirm. Hello...snakes!! Some stories were more serious and heartfelt but all of them were very real. 

I would highly recommend this book to others. I think that just about any woman that has made it to adulthood will find something to relate to in this book. I can't wait to read more of their work in the future.

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

Initial Thoughts
This was an entertaining group of articles. I related to most of what both authors talked about and found myself chuckling a few times.

River Marked by Patricia Briggs

River Marked: Mercy Thompson, Book 6 - Lorelei King, Patricia Briggs

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

This wasn't my favorite book in the series but it was still a really good story. If you have been following my reviews you probably already know that I adore this series. I remember reading this book back when it was first released and enjoying it and I liked it just as much on this audio re-read. This is a series that I have made a point to keep up with and look forward to every installment. I had a lot of fun listening to the audio of this story.

This story takes place away from most of the group and I have to say that I missed some of the characters that I have grown to love just a bit. Mercy and Adam are there for the whole book so I didn't have too much time to spend missing everyone else. Mercy and Adam are off on their honeymoon but they end up getting involved in a situation that needs their help. There are some interesting characters that are a part of this installment including some that knew Mercy's father.

This book had a lot of really good elements. I like how Mercy and Adam's relationship just keeps getting stronger. I really cannot get enough of these two and think that they are just perfect for each other. The chemistry between them is amazing. It was interesting to learn a little bit more about Mercy's background. Her father is really quite a mystery so getting the chance to learn a little bit more is really quite exciting. There was plenty of excitement in this installment. I mean there is a river monster to be battled so of course there is some excitement. This was the kind of book that you just don't want to put down.

Lorelei King does an amazing job with this audiobook. I really didn't expect anything else. She has done such a fantastic job with all of book in this series that I have listened to so far. She has become the voice of Mercy form me. She does a great job with a large cast of characters and brings a lot of emotion into the story. Her voice is very pleasant to listen to and she read the story at a very natural pace. I was able to completely lose myself in this book for hours at a time. I can't wait to listen to more of this series.

I would highly recommend this series to others. I do think that this is a series that really does need to be read in order since the relationships between the characters develop throughout the series. I can't wait to continue with my re-read of this series very soon.

Initial Thoughts
Not my favorite book in the series but still a really good story. Adam and Mercy are away for most of this book and I did kind of miss the rest of the regular group. Plenty of excitement in this installment.

Book source: Audible purchase

Final Girls by Riley Sager

Final Girls - Riley Sager

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

Meh. I am so incredibly disappointed by the fact that I didn't really care for this book. Based on the description, I was so sure that I would fall in love with this book. I do think that my opinion will be in the minority with this book. Based on all of the reviews that I have seen so far, most people are really enjoying this book and I predict that it will be very popular.

I didn't hate this book but I didn't really like it either. This was one of those books that I really didn't connect with any of the characters and by the time the big twists started happening, I just didn't care what happened. The book was a bit different than I expected. Since the description mentions a horror movie-scale massacre, I expected the book to be pretty gruesome. I wanted gruesome because I am weird like that. There are a few more bloody scenes but not like I had thought it would be.

This book is told from Quincy's point of view. Quincy is a Final Girl which means she was the only survivor from a nightmare that killed her friends. She is deeply affected by that night years later. I just never liked Quincy. Not at all. Since the whole book is told from her point of view, it was really hard to enjoy the story. Most of the book is really about what is going on in the present time period with Quincy and Sam, another Final Girl.

I am not going to be recommending this book but I do think that a lot of readers will like it a lot more than I did. There were a few twists that I wouldn't have ever been able to guess and the premise was pretty interesting. This is the first book by Riley Sager that I have read and I would be open to trying his work again in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Dutton via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
Meh. I was really looking forward to this book but it ended up not being what I had expected it to be. I didn't care for the characters and so much of the story seemed implausible. When the big twists finally came around, I found that I really didn't care anymore.

The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase

The Wildling Sisters - Eve Chase

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

I would say that this book was just okay for me. I decided to read this book because the premise sounded really interesting. The story opened with a bang and I was pretty sure that I had made a great decision in picking up this book. After just a few pages, things slowed down. All the way down. I found myself setting the book aside to clean and I hate cleaning. About a third of the way into the book, I seriously considered adding it to my dnf pile and moving on to something else. I decided to read just a bit more before quiting and it did pick up. The second half of the book was much more interesting to me and I am glad that I hung in there a bit longer.

This is a book that is told in two different periods of time. One story is set in 1959 and features Margot and her three sisters. The other story is set in the present time and features Jesse and her family. The connecting link is Applecote Manor. I knew that eventually the two stories would come together but it took a very long time for that to happen. I found the story that was set in 1959 to be much more interesting than the present day at least for the first half of the book.

I did really enjoy this book a lot more once the two timelines started to come together. Both timelines became much more interesting and I wanted to learn what happened to Audrey all of those years ago. I felt for her parents and thought that the way it impacted their lives was illustrated very well. Margot was an interesting character but I never got to really know her sisters very well. Jesse's story really focuses on the relationship between Jesse and her step-daughter Bella. I wanted to see them work things out and come to trust each other more as the story progressed.

I think that I would have enjoyed this book a lot more if it had been told in with just one timeline. As soon as things would get interesting, the time would shift and it slowed everything down for me. I am glad that I read the book but it isn't a favorite. I would like to read more from Eve Chase in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from G.P. Putnam's Sons via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
I had a really rough start with this book. I seriously considered giving up on it around page 80 since I really wasn't enjoying it all that much. It wasn't bad but I found myself putting it down to do other things constantly. The second half of the book did pick up and I found myself more focused on the story. It was an okay read in the end.

Bring Her Home by David Bell

Bring Her Home - David Bell

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

I found this to be a rather enjoyable read. After really enjoying Somebody I Used to Know and Since She Went Away, I jumped at the chance to read David Bell's newest release. I do have to say that I didn't enjoy this book quite as much as the others that I have read but I still found it to be a solid story. I liked the format of the book with short chapters that seemed to move really fast. I found myself wanting to read this for hours at a time just to see what was going to happen next.

This book is told from Bill's point of view. I can't say that I ever really liked Bill all that much but I did understand why he acted as he did. Bill is still grieving the sudden loss of his wife a year and a half ago. As this book opens, Bill is called to the hospital to be with his daughter, Summer, who has just been found after being gone for several days. The girl she disappeared with is dead and Summer has a long recovery ahead of her.

This is a book that I think readers will enjoy more if they go in as blindly as possible so I am not going to go any deeper into the plot. I did find some of the twists in this book to be rather predictable. As soon as one big twist was revealed, I found that I had a pretty good idea about what would happen next. The second half of the book wasn't as predictable for me and I found myself reading at a much faster pace.

I would recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers. It is a very well done novel with a whole lot to the story. I can't wait to see what David Bell comes up with next.

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

Initial Thoughts
I thought the beginning of this book was well done but somewhat predictable. At about the mid point, the mystery got a lot stronger. Overall, this was an enjoyable read.

Lord of Lies by Amy Sandas

Lord of Lies - Amy Sandas

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

I thought that this was a very interesting historical romance. I picked up this book largely because of the cover. Isn't it gorgeous? I had never read anything by Amy Sandas before but I thought that the story sounded interesting so I decided to give it a try. I haven't read any of the previous book in this series and thought that this book worked well as a stand alone novel. I really enjoyed this story.

I really liked the characters in this book. Portia was quite the character. She was really outspoken and could be demanding when it was required. She was very focused on helping others and was incredibly brave. Dell lives a very interesting life. He seemed to know how to handle just about any situation. Dell and Portia really made a great pair and seemed to be very evenly matched.

This was an exciting story and there was a whole lot going on in this book. Portia and Dell first meet when Portia and her aunt hire Nightshade to find Portia's sister who has been kidnapped. There are questions that need to be answered and Dell is the man for the job. The pair work together on another related operation which turned out to be rather tense at times. I did think that the book had a bit of a slow start but once it got going the pace really didn't let up.

This book had some really unique aspects. I liked reading about all of Dell's disguises and how he was able to do the work that he does. I can really understand why Portia was intrigued by what he does. I loved the fact that there was a bit of humor woven into the story. The chemistry between the pair was very well written. I liked the secondary characters in this book as well. Portia's aunt was really interesting and I would love to know her full story.

I would recommend this book to fans of historical romance. This was a really wonderful story that held my interest. I hope to read more from Amy Sandas soon including the previous books in this exciting series.

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

Initial Thoughts
Interesting story. I liked the chemistry between Portia and Dell. I found the begnning of the book to be a bit slow but I was hooked by the end.

The Good Girl by Mary Kubica

The Good Girl - Mary Kubica

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

I enjoyed this audiobook quite a bit. I have seen this book around but never gave it too close of a look. I noticed it recently during an audible sale and decided to listen to the sample. I was immediately sold on the book after listening to the sample. I tend to enjoy audiobooks with multiple narrators and the premise of the book sounded really interesting to me. I ended up listening to this audiobook for hours at a time and finished it in just a few days.

This story is told from three main points of view. Mia's mother, Eve, describes her fear for her daughter and everything she does to try to put things back together. Detective Gabe Hoffman is the detective assigned to this case and it was really nice to get his point of view. Colin is the man that abducts Mia and his point of view was by far my favorite of the group.

The three points of view jump around in time a bit. There are parts of the book that focus on before Mia was rescued and other parts that focus on after. I think that by mixing the timeline up a bit the story really became more intense. I really wanted to learn everything that had happened to Mia that caused her to be as she is in some of the scenes.

The narration of the book was very well done. There were four different narrators that helped to bring this audiobook to life. Andi Arndt is one of my favorite narrators so I admit that I was a bit disappointed that she didn't narrate more of the story. She was the voice of Mia and only came into play for the epilogue. Tom Taylorson voices Colin's point of view and did a fantastic job. His parts of the story always completely held my attention. His delivery was very well done. Johnny Heller really sounded like a Detective to me and I enjoyed his sections. Lindy Nettleton narrated the sections that were from Eve's point of view. Her accent was great and she did take on the role very well. I think that her sections of the book were my least favorite but that would be due to the story instead of the narration.

I would recommend this book to others. I did figure out the big twist before the end but still enjoyed the journey. I really enjoyed the fact that this was one of those books that made me really like the bad guy more than any of the other characters. The pacing was well done and I found myself very hooked by the story. I do think that I enjoyed this book a bit more on audio than I would have in print form. I plan to read more from Mary Kubica soon.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this book. The twist wasn't really too hard to figure out. I really liked the fact that the book had multiple narrators. It definitely held my attention and kept me wanting to listen.

Book source: audible purchase

Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley

Lily and the Octopus - Steven Rowley, Michael Urie, Simon & Schuster Audio

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

Why is it that every dog book that I read leaves me in tears? I am a huge dog lover so I am always drawn to this kind of book even though I know that I will be a mess before it is over. But the journey is usually worth it in the end and this book was no exception. So many things in this book reminded me of my own special dogs and I really enjoyed getting to know Lily and Ted.

My sweet Hershey

Lily is a dachshund and more importantly, Ted's best friend. They have been through so many things together during their 12 years together. They have a routine and enjoy their time together. This story takes you through so many of their milestones with each other including Lily's adoption, Ted's relationships, and health issues. I loved Lily and Ted's conversations with each other and could totally relate to them since I often converse with my own dog pack.

I spent most of this book being reminded of all of the dogs that I have been lucky enough to have in my life. I grew up with my Tiger dog who turned out to be a wonderful dog that I still love immensely even though she has been gone for over 20 years. As an adult, Hershey blessed my life. I was able to have her for a best friend for 13 ½ amazing years. She was a very intelligent Golden Retriever Rottweiler mix and the perfect member of our family. She died in September 2015 and we still miss her so very much. We currently have 3 dogs in our family. Our Cookie is a Chow mix that is still going strong at 12 years of age. We added two puppies to the mix in late 2015 and our Stella and Molly are still keeping me on my toes.

Michael Urie was a fantastic narrator for this story. He did such a great job with both Ted and Lily's voices. I have to say that they way he delivered Lily's lines were exactly how I would imagine my dogs would talk...you know, if they could talk. This was an emotional story and he really captured all of that emotion. I honestly don't know how he managed to deliver parts of this book without breaking down because I had tears streaming down my face just from listening to it.

There were some parts that I didn't care for as much. Some of the parts involving the octopus just seemed to pull me out of the story. I was always able to jump back in when the book switched gears but it would lose me a bit during those scenes. That is really my only complaint regarding the book and it is really just that the book chose to go in a direction that I wouldn't have went.

I would highly recommend this book to others. I do think that the audio is a fantastic way to experience this story and do recommend it. I did make the mistake of listening to this book at work. I quickly figured out that I had to stop and finish it at home or I would have been a blubbering mess at the office. So choose your listening or reading place well...and bring tissues. I would definitely read more from Steven Rowley in the future.

Initial Thoughts
Damn. I really didn't want to cry. Why do books about dogs always make me cry?

Source: audible purchase