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I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne

I Knew You Were Trouble: An Oxford Novel - Lauren Layne

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

I really enjoyed this enemies to lovers story. This was a pretty quick read and I found myself flying through this fun little book. This is the fourth book in the Oxford series and while fans of the series will enjoy seeing some of their favorite characters, this book could easily be read as a stand alone novel. This was one of those books that I could just totally lose myself in and ended up reading it for hours at a time. It definitely lived up to all of my expectations.

This book is about Taylor and Nick. The book starts out with short chapters showing some of their history with each other which I thought really set the stage of the book quite well. Taylor is planning to move in with her boyfriend, Bradley, but is surprised to find a break up note at the new apartment. When Taylor starts looking for a roommate, Nick decides to taker her up on it and the stage is set for a whole lot of fun.

I thought that Taylor and Nick had wonderful chemistry together. Each of these characters had some very painful moments in their past that really shaped how they deal with life. It became quite apparent that Taylor was very misunderstood because of how she was raised. Nick is a really good guy and sometimes others have taken advantage of his kindness. These two just seemed to fit together perfectly once they gave each other a chance. 

I really liked the way this book was written. The characters were wonderfully developed. Their chemistry with each other was intense and their banter was a lot of fun. I liked the fact that it took this pair some time to really get together since it felt more realistic. I must admit that I was pretty sick of Bradley before the book was over but Taylor and Nick seemed to feel the same way so I guess that is okay.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This is a fun little book that tells a really wonderful story. Lauren Layne is one of my go to authors when I am in the mood for contemporary romance and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

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

Initial Thoughts
I liked this one. Enemies to Lovers story that was a lot of fun. Nick and Taylor worked really well together.

Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis

Lost and Found Sisters - Jill Shalvis

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

What a wonderful book this turned out to be! Jill Shalvis is quickly becoming one of my favorite contemporary romance authors because her books are consistently good. This book was even better than I could have hoped. I was grabbed by the story right away and it just kept getting better. I ended up reading most of the book in a single day because I just couldn't put it down. It was one of those books that left me with a big grin when I reached the conclusion and was an utter delight to read.

Quinn is the main focus of this story. She is getting by one day at a time and not really feeling much of anything after the sudden death of her sister. She gets some unexpected news that turns her whole life upside down. She has some really big decisions to make that will have a lasting impact not only on herself but on other people as well. I liked Quinn a lot. She was resilient and cared about other people deeply.

Mitch is in Wildstone trying to help his mother get her house in order. His constant companion is an aging Golden Retriever named Coop. Along with Coop, Mitch runs into Quinn when she is having an emotional moment and something just seems to click. They run into each other again later on and just seem to hit it off. Mitch was such a great character and I loved everything about him. He really fit with Quinn very well and they had some wonderful chemistry.

The story was really well balanced. This book had a wonderful romance in it but it wasn't just a romance. Quinn had some other things going on that were just as life changing. I really liked that this story was so complex and full. The secondary characters were wonderfully done. There was even a bit of humor that gave the story an element of fun.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This was a really great story about love and completely rediscovering yourself. I am really excited that this book is the beginning of a new series because I am already looking forward to spending more time with the people of Wildstone. 

I received an advance reader edition of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
So much to love about this story. Amazing characters dealing with some difficult situations. And Mitch...I am swooning over here.

Lost Boy by Christina Henry

Lost Boy: The True Story of Captain Hook - Christina Henry

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

This was a lot of fun. I am not really someone who reads a lot of fairy tale retellings but the idea of this one really appealed to me. I really don't know a whole lot about the original Peter Pan story besides what I know from Disney which was probably one of the things that made me want to pick this book up. It did start out a bit slow for me and I was able to set it aside but once I really got going, I didn't want to put it down. This was really a great read.

I have a weakness for villains but Jamie really doesn't feel like a villain in this story. I really enjoyed seeing Peter Pan, the island, and the other boys from Jamie's point of view. Jamie was the first boy that Peter brought to the island and he is the favorite. He takes care of the others and keeps things in line. For a boy that will never grow up he is really very mature.

Peter wasn't the lovable innocent child that I know from the Disney movie. Not at all. Peter was cunning and thought only of himself. He brings boys to the island so that he will forever have playmates and he wants them all to love him. That doesn't mean that he cares about them all that much because if they die or get hurt he can just go and get more boys. Peter wants things the way that he wants them and he has all of the power on the island so the boys follow his lead.

The story had a lot of exciting moments. I was happy to see the things that I remember from my limited knowledge of Peter Pan including the pirates, the tree, and mermaids. I was also thrilled to see a few surprises along the way. This was definitely not a Disney movie and some of the scenes were actually quite violent. There were plenty of characters to like and a few to hate. Once the book hit the mid-point the action really didn't let up until the final page.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought it was a really well done story with great characters. This is the first book by Christina Henry that I have read but I hope to read more in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
I don't really know much about the Peter Pan story besides what Disney has shown me. I must say that I really did enjoy seeing this other side of Jamie and Peter. I will have to check out some of Christina Henry's other books.

Wired by Julie Garwood

Wired - Julie Garwood

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

I really didn't get a whole lot out of this book. Julie Garwood is an author that I have been wanting to read for ages so when I saw this book offed on First to Read, I jumped at the chance to read it. I ended up being completely underwhelmed by the story. I had no trouble getting through the book but there was never a moment where I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. I just never really got hooked by the story and in the end it was really pretty forgettable.

Allison is the focus of this story. She is an incredibly smart programmer finishing up her last year of college. She is also a model because of course she has to be drop dead gorgeous. She was raised by her aunt and uncle along with her sister after her parents died. She didn't get a lot of support growing up and her family make her life very difficult.

Liam is an FBI agent. He travels all over the world cleaning up problems and he thinks that Allison can help him clean up his current problem. There is a computer leak in the government and he wants her to help him find it. He is very protective of Allison since she is his asset and seems to know just what to say and do when things go wrong.

I really didn't have a whole lot of feelings for any of the characters. Liam would be missing for big sections of the book and really felt like a stereotype when he was in the story. He is the super cool FBI guy there to save the day but we really don't get to know a whole lot about him. Allison was way too perfect and her character just never really felt completely developed. I never felt that wow factor between them that I look for in a romance.

I think that this book probably had too much going on. If Liam and Allison could have focused on the FBI case, that would have probably been enough. In addition to that, Allison's family has went absolutely crazy and her former roommate is causing all kinds of problems. The funny thing is that everyone in this book seems to screw up and then blame Allison for it. Everything in the world is probably Allison's fault.

This story is told from both Allison's and Liam's points of view. It was strange though because the points of view would just switch from paragraph to paragraph without any notice. You would be learning what Allison thought about something and then suddenly you are in Liam's head. I found that this style didn't work out very well for me and I would keep looking back to see which point of view had just read. It just all seemed very odd to me.

I wouldn't recommend this book to others. It is readable and I am sure that some readers will enjoy it more than I did. I just found it to be a lackluster overall story. I would like to read some of Julie Garwood's earlier works at some point.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
I am really somewhere between a 2 and 3 for this one. I grabbed this book because I wanted to try Julie Garwood's writing. I don't think that this was the right book to pick. How many people can really do bad things and blame someone else? Allison seems to be the one at fault for just about everything in this hemisphere if you listen to anyone else. I guess it just got old. I didn't really care for her character and really don't feel like I got to know Liam's at all. The book would change points of view from one paragraph to the next which felt very strange.

Killer Jam by Karen MacInerney

Killer Jam (A Dewberry Farm Mystery) - Karen MacInerney

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

I enjoyed this book. I was in the mood for a cozy mystery and really wasn't sure which one I wanted to read when I spotted this book in Amazon's Prime Reading. I actually had no idea that there were audiobooks included in the program but that is a whole other story. I decided to borrow this book and take a chance on it since it was the first in a series. It turned out to be a whole lot of fun in the end.

Lucy has just bought her grandmother's old farm in Buttercup, Texas. She really wants to make a go of it and is busy making jams and trying to contain her wandering cow. She runs into problems right away when a truck shows up on her property to look for oil. She learns that when she bought her farm the previous owner, Nettie, retained the mineral rights and there isn't much that she can do to stop her from looking for oil.

I guess pretty early on that Nettie was probably not going to be around for very long. I couldn't stand her character and kind of wanted her to come to a quick end myself. The sheriff is convinced right away that Lucy must be responsible and really doesn't work to hard to actually look for any evidence so it is up to Lucy to prove that she is innocent.

The mystery kept me guessing and I was really never quite sure who the villain would be in this story. There was actually a lot to this story in addition to the mystery. Lucy's best friend is dealing with a difficult situation and Lucy does her best to help. There is even a bit of romance with the local vet who seems to be a pro at catching wandering cows. I loved that there was a touch of humor spread throughout the book.

I enjoyed the narration in the end. This is the first time that I have listened to Teri Clark Linden and it did take me a little bit to get used to her style of narration but that is actually pretty normal for me. Once I really got into the story, I really enjoyed the narration. I think she did a great job with all of the different voices in the story and her pacing was perfect. I would definitely listen to her narration again in the future.

I would recommend this book to fans of cozy mysteries. I thought that this was a fun story filled with some really great characters. This was the first time that I have read any of Karen MacInerney's work and look forward to reading more of this series in the future.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this book. At first, I wasn't sure that the narration was going to work for me but after a bit, I really started to enjoy it. The mystery was complex enough that I never quite had things figured out and I really liked the characters. I am glad that I picked this one up.

Book Source: Amazon Prime Borrow

Dirty by Kylie Scott

Dirty (Dive Bar) - Kylie Scott

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

I really enjoyed this audiobook. I bought this audio when it was on sale several months ago planning to read it when I was in the mood for a contemporary romance. I started listening to it when I was ready for a fun romance and it really worked out well for me. This is the first book by Kylie Scott that I have read so I had no idea what to expect but it turned out to a great experience. I had so much fun with this book that I found myself finding chores to do around the house so that I would have an excuse to listen to the book just a little bit longer.

The set up in the book was wonderfully done. My heart broke for Lydia at the same time that I was wanting to laugh at the situation she ended up in. Lydia decides to run away from her own wedding when she realizes her fiance is having an affair with the best man. She jumps the fence and climbs into an open window at the house next door.

Vaughan finds her later that day hanging out in his shower and turns out to be a very accommodating host. They start to bond just a bit before more drama shows up at his doorstep. Vaughan and Lydia had great chemistry from the very beginning of this story but their relationship never felt rushed. I really liked the pair together as a couple and it was nice to see how much they really complimented each other. Lydia just seemed to fit perfectly into Vaughan's life.

Andi Arndt is one of my favorite narrators. One of the reasons that I decided to buy this audiobook was the fact that she is the narrator. She did a great job with this book and I had no problems listening to the book for hours at a time. She performed all of the character voices very well and portrayed a wide range of emotions during the story. I hope to listen to more books narrated by Andi Arndt soon.

I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. This story had a great balance of humor and romance and ended up being a whole lot of fun. I hope to read more of this series from Kylie Scott soon.

Initial Thoughts
I enjoyed this one. It was a fun and sexy story. I loved the set up at the beginning and grew to love the couple over the course of the story. The narration was wonderfully done.

Source: Audible Purchase

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

The Alice Network - Kate Quinn

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

This was an excellent novel. I found myself really getting hooked by this book more and more as I read. I knew that I wanted to read this book as soon as I read the summary. Historical fiction that focuses on female spies during World War I was just too interesting to pass up. It did take me a little bit to really get into the story but once I did there was no looking back. I am so glad that I decided to pick up this wonderful book.

This book is told in two different timelines. The first timeline is in 1947 just a few years after World War II and the second timeline takes place during World War I in 1915. So many times when a book is laid out in this manner, I find myself enjoying one timeline more than the other. That was not the case at all with this book. The shifts between the time periods flowed remarkably well. There was never a time where I wished the book would stay in either timeline a little longer. I was really very equally interested in both times and I thought that the way they worked together was flawless.

The characters in this book were amazing. Charlie is the first character that makes an appearance and she is the focus of the 1947 timeline. She is young but very smart and I thought she had a lot of spunk. Eve is really the star of this book. She is the character that brings the two timelines together. She is the focus of the 1915 time period and her character plays a very important role in 1947. I think that seeing the changes in her over time really added a lot to the story. I also really enjoyed Finn, Lili, and Violette. Everyone in this story plays an important role and each of the characters felt very realistic.

I loved that this book really made me feel for the characters. This story is set during two very rough periods of time historically. There were points in the story that I really felt the character's fear, uncertainty, and frustrations. Some parts of the book were heartbreaking and terrifying. I also liked that the book took a positive turn and ended with hope. There is even a bit of romance that really worked well for me.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of historical fiction. This story took a subject that I knew very little about and brought it to life. I am completely impressed by this book and will be checking out other novels written by Kate Quinn soon.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from William Morrow Paperbacks via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This was a great book. The dual timelines worked together perfectly and each period told a very interesting story. The characters were wonderful and the story was exciting. Definitely a book worth picking up.

Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle

Run to Ground - Katie Ruggle

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

I really liked this book. I have been wanting to read Katie Ruggle for a while and since this was the beginning of a new series, I thought that this would be a good place to start. The fact that this is a series about a K9 unit also really appealed to me since I am a huge dog lover. I was hooked to the story pretty much right away and was really wondering how everything would work out. This was a really exciting read that kept me guessing until the very end.

Theo was hard to figure out at first. He really seemed to come across as closed off and almost rude. He has been through a lot recently. His K9 partner died of cancer and his fellow officer also died. He has a new K9 partner, Viggy, who had previously worked with the officer that died. Both Viggy and Theo are having a very hard time adjusting to the change and they are both deep in grief.

Jules whisked her 4 siblings off to safety and needs to stay under the radar. She has moved into a local home in need of a lot of repairs and has taken a job at the local diner. She really just wants to keep her younger brothers and sister safe and will do whatever it takes to make that happen. She does live with the constant fear that they will be discovered.

I liked Jules and Theo together a lot. They really seemed to compliment each other perfectly. This is a very slow moving romance and I thought that they relationship built at a realistic pace. The build up between the pair was wonderfully done and I was so happy when they finally came together. Theo just fit in with Jules and her siblings perfectly even with all of his grumpiness.

There were a few issues that I felt like Jules and Theo really needed to work out and I kept waiting for them to get around to it. It never did happen so I feel like there are a few issues that were not completely resolved at the end of the story. I would have also like to learn a bit more about the history of all of the siblings. A little bit more of a backstory would have been very welcome.

I would recommend this book to other fans of contemporary romance. I really enjoyed Katie Ruggle's style of writing and found this to be an exciting and fast paced novel. I can't wait to see what happens next in this great series!

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

Initial Thoughts
I really liked this one. There was a lot going on probably so much that it wasn't realistic at all but I didn't care because it was so much fun to read. Jules and Theo were perfect together and I loved the slow build up of their relationship. The ending seemed a bit too easy but it was overall an exciting read.

Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Here and Gone: A Novel - Haylen Beck

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

This book was really hard to put down. I knew that this was a book that I needed to read just as soon as I read the description. I love a good mystery thriller and the fact the it sounded like the local police couldn't be trusted was a very interesting twist. Once I started reading, I was immediately hooked. When I wasn't reading, I was thinking about this story and what I would have done if I were in Audra's place. I really enjoyed the time I spent reading this book.

Audra is driving across the U.S. on her way to California with her two children, Sean and Louise. She is pulled over by the police just outside a small town in Arizona called Silver Water. Before Audra even knows what is happening she is asked to step out of her car while Sheriff Whiteside starts looking through her trunk. Drugs are found and she is taken to jail. A deputy is called and her kids are taken away to what Audra is promised is a safe place. When she asks about her kids later at the jail, the Sheriff tells her that she didn't have any kids with her when she was pulled over.

The book's description does tell readers the basic set up of the story and I had a pretty good idea of where the book would end up but I had no idea how it would get there. The story really did make me think about a lot of things. I don't know how you would be able to prove your innocence in a situation like this. The media was another huge part of the story since they put Audra in a very unfavorable light. I also couldn't stop thinking about how Audra could get someone to take her seriously. Even though the events in the story weren't a total shock, the journey was entertaining.

I did like the characters in this book a lot and liked the fact that the book is told from different points of view. Audra really does care about her kids but is the first to admit that she has not always been a great mother. She is committed to being the best she can be at this point in her life. I thought that the part of the book that talked about her past were very well done. Part of the story is told from Sean's point of view. He is only 11 years old but has a certain maturity to him. He senses when things seem wrong and jumps into to care for his younger sister during the ordeal. There were also a few parts told from Danny and Sheriff Whiteside's point of views that added to the overall story.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This book moved really fast and I was never quite sure what would happen next. I found myself having a very hard time setting this one aside because I was completely invested in the story. This is the first book by Haylen Beck that I have read but look forward to more works in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Crown Publishing Group via NetGalley, Blogging for Books, and First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
This was a great book. Such an interesting set up that completely captured my attention and wouldn't let go. I had guess how the book would end but no idea how the story would get there. Definitely a serious page turner of a book.

The Cajun Doctor by Sandra Hill

The Cajun Doctor: A Cajun Novel (Cajun Books) - Sandra Hill

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

This was just an okay read for me. I got off to a pretty rough start with this book and seriously considered giving up on it. I am glad that I stuck with it because the actual romance between Daniel and Samantha was really well done. Once the romance really got going and because the total focus of the book, I really did enjoy it. I actually ended up reading the book pretty quickly once I got over the difficult start.

Daniel and Aaron LeDeux are twins that come to Louisiana to meet their father's family after their mother's death. Daniel is a pediatric oncologist, which is an emotionally draining job for him. After his mother's death and a very difficult case at his work, he decides to leave medicine. They stay in Louisiana and Aaron pushes his twin into buying an old mansion that needs a lot of work.

Samantha is from a very wealthy family but she hasn't always had it easy. She works hard at the family business, Starr Foods, and seems to have it all together. Her ex-husband is always after her for more money despite the fact that he should be making a good living himself as a doctor. After her divorce, she starts to take in animals needing rescued and has quite the interesting menagerie, including a depressed pig and a bird with a dirty mouth.

I really liked Daniel and Samantha together. They just seemed to fit and they had a lot of chemistry. In the past the pair didn't get along very well but they soon figure out that what they each thought of the other wasn't very accurate. I liked how quickly Daniel jumped in to help when Samantha asked. They really seemed to work well as a pair while they were dealing with the larger issue.

There were some things that I really didn't like about the book. I hate to say it but Tante Lulu would have to top my list. I know that her parts of the book were supposed to be funny but I found them to be over the top and ridiculous. She is a very prominent character for the first part of the book and I couldn't stand reading about her. I was so glad when she faded from the story and I started to really enjoy the book. Hundreds of pages went by and then she entered the book again. I didn't think her character took over the story at the end of the book as she did at the beginning. A lot of the conversations in this book are written in the Cajun dialect which I found difficult to read after a while. I simply didn't enjoy reading so many creatively spellings. I am very thankful that Daniel and Samantha didn't have the same strong Cajun accent that some of the other characters had.

I am really not sure if I would recommend this book to others. This book is number 10 in the Cajun series and while it read fine as a stand alone, I do think that readers who know some of the characters from the earlier books will appreciate their appearance much more than I did. I am really not sure if I will be picking up any future books in this series.

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

Initial Thoughts
This was an okay read for me. The main couple in the story were really the highlight of the book but some of the other characters were just too much. I actually came really close to marking this one as a dnf at the beginning just because of how annoying I found some of the other characters. I really didn't care for how much of the book is written in dialect. I understand that they are Cajun but some of the oddly spelled words are just hard to read.

White Hot by Ilona Andrews

White Hot - Ilona Andrews

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

I loved this book so much! I really wish that I could give it more than 5 stars because it has an extra layer of awesome that you don't often find. I have been wanting to get my hands on this book ever since I finished Burn for Me back in 2014 and it turns out that it was worth the wait. I have already read this book twice and I know that I will be reading it many more times in the future. It is really that good.

One of the things that I love the most about this book are the characters. I really can't get enough of them. Mad Rogan is a powerful man that is feared by many. He can move buildings...literally. He is sexy and doesn't care what anyone thinks of him. Nevada really is learning what she is capable of in this book and it turns out she is much more than simply a lie detector. She is smart and thinks on her feet. She is very focused on doing what is right and protecting her family.

I loved the changes in the relationship between Mad Rogan and Nevada. This is really a pivotal book in terms of their relationship with each other. I really enjoyed all of their scenes together whether they were related to the case or extracurricular activities. You can really see how they feel about each other anytime they showed up on the page together and the build up was really off the charts.

Nevada starts working on a case involving a murder after Cornelius shows up at her office with his young daughter and an assortment of animals in tow. His wife was murdered in service to another house and nobody seems to want to look into it. Rogan gets involved and they find themselves trying to solve a much bigger conspiracy that is tied to several important houses. There was a lot of excitement and they worked to solve the case and I had more than a few moments where I was sitting on the edge of my seat wondering how things would work out.

I would recommend this book to everyone who likes an exciting story set in a wonderful world. This is the second book in the Hidden Legacy series and I do recommend that you read the series in order. You really can't go wrong with this book because the story is exciting, the characters are some of the best I have ever read, and there are a few lighter moments to really even things out including a covert team of ferrets. I am an avid fan of Ilona Andrews and can't wait to read the next book in this fantastic series.

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

Initial Thoughts

I have so many things rushing through my mind after finishing this book:

1. 5 Stars are not enough for this book
2. Why can't all books be this good?
3. I just lost a nights sleep to Mad Rogan #notsorry
4. Nevada's family = awesome

What did I like about the book?
1. Everything

What didn't I like about the book?
1. I had to wait a really long time for it. Really, really long.
2. The cover. A story this magnificent should have a great cover. This isn't a real issue for me but I do wish this book had a cover deserving of its contents.

If you haven't read Burn for Me yet, you will want to be sure to read it before this book is released in May 2017. Seriously, you do not want to miss this book!

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss.

The Night Mark by Tiffany Reisz

The Night Mark - Tiffany Reisz

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

I loved this audiobook! I had read a couple of really good reviews for the book and decided to give the audio a try. I am so glad that I did. I couldn't get this book out of my head. If I wasn't listening to it, I was thinking about it. I listened to it for hours at a time and never tired of the story. I am so glad that I took a chance and bought this book.

Faye is in a bad place in her life at the start of this book. She is in a marriage that has reached its final days and is still grieving the husband she lost 4 years earlier. She asks for a divorce and leaves to do a photography job. She is going to take photos of lighthouses in the area but is really drawn to the lighthouse on Bride Island. When she sees a photo of the lighthouses caretaker from nearly a hundred years ago, she is floored because it looks just her dead husband.

Fate enters the picture when she is transported to the past and finds herself with that man who looks just like her dead husband. Carrick not only looks like her dead husband but has many of his mannerisms. Faye finds herself occupying Faith's body who looks remarkably like her. Can they love each other for who they really are instead of who they look like?

I really liked Faye and Carrick together. They seemed so right together and really seemed to come alive when they were with each other. They were very honest with each other and had a lot of respect for the other's feelings. I loved the secondary characters as well. Dolly was just amazing and I liked the link to her in the present time. Father Pat was very wise and kind and was even willing to help make things happen.

I thought Teri Schnaubelt was the perfect narrator for this story. I have never listened to her narration before but I really want to listen to her again soon. She did such a good job with all of the different voices in this book. I really felt all of the emotions of the story and never felt like the reading was over the top in any way. She had a really nice delivery that made this an incredibly enjoyable experience. I am pretty sure that I liked this book a little more because I decided to go with the audio.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of time travel romance. This book is filled with wonderful characters and a really interesting story. This was the first time that I have ever read anything by Tiffany Reisz but I hope to read more very soon.

Initial Thoughts
I just loved this! I am a sucker for a good time travel story but I am surprised by how much I ended up enjoying this book. I liked the characters and the story kept me guessing. I loved the narration and think that that was one of the reasons that I liked this book as much as I did. It definitely made my work day more enjoyable.

Source: eStories purchase

Long Black Veil by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Long Black Veil - Jennifer Finney Boylan

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

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. It was a bit of a different story than I expected it to be only because I don't tend to read book summaries very carefully. I went into this book expecting a straight forward mystery thriller but I think that this book really a bit different. I didn't really think that the mystery was really the main driving point of the book instead the focus was on the characters and how their lives have changed since the event at the prison. I am glad that I decided to give the book a try.

This book focuses on several different periods of time. In 1980, this group of friends were locked in an abandoned prison and one of them never made it out. The other main focus of the book is set in more recent times when her body is finally discovered. There are some chapters that are told entirely during one period of time but a lot of the book set in the more recent times include a lot of memories. The past is obviously still a big part of these characters present day.

The book spends some time with each member of the group that was at the prison that night back in 1980. The main focus really seemed to be on Judith's life since that day. Her life is nothing like it was back then. Her situation has changed dramatically but it really doesn't have anything to do with what happened at the prison that night.

I did have a few issues with the story. Judith's deception to her husband of many years just seemed like to big of a stretch. I don't really understand how a close married couple like that would be able to keep such a huge secret from each other. I also don't get how the body could of been lost for so long when it was right there the whole time. Did they not do a proper search? I also feel like I should probably warn readers that there is a scene in this book where an individual is putting shelter dogs to sleep one after another as part of his job. I know this happens and I really wish it didn't but I know that reading that kind of scene will bother some readers.

The writing is what really won me over with this book. The story just flowed and even when I was questioning a plot point, I didn't want to put the book down. The point of views in the story seemed to be changed exactly when they needed to be and I always felt like the book was moving forward. The memories of the past worked into the sections set in the present worked perfectly. This was a book that I read very quickly because it completely held my attention.

I would recommend this book to others. The book isn't perfect but the writing is great and the story is solid. This is the first book by Jennifer Finney Boylan that I have read but I would definitely pick her work up again in the future.

I received a review copy of this book from Crown Publishing via Blogging for Books.

Initial Thoughts
I really enjoyed this book. I liked the way the story unfolded and was equally interested in the present and the past.

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus

One of Us Is Lying - Karen  M. McManus

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

Every once in a while a book that is a joy to read ends up in your hands. This was one of those books. Initially this book completely escaped my notice but then I started seeing some really great reviews for it from a lot of different people. I saw a bandwagon and decided to jump on. I am so glad that I did. This book was such a surprise for me. I hoped that I would like it but I never expected to love it. Once I got about midway through the book, I didn't put it down until I turned the last page.

The characters in this story are great. I had hoped that I would like the characters when I started reading this book. I never dreamed for a moment that I would love them. The four main characters at the heart of this book are all very different from each other and I really felt like I got to know them over the course of the book. There were times that I felt like the book was really focusing on one character more than the others but then the focus would move on to the next character for a while. I really enjoyed getting to know all four members of the group.

This book starts out in detention. Simon, Bronwyn, Addy, Cooper, and Nate are the only students in detention that day but after a terrifying emergency only four students ever get to leave. Simon is rushed to the hospital where he later dies. The authorities think that one or all of the other students might be responsible for his death since Simon was about to reveal big secrets about each person on his gossip blog.

The mystery in this book was really very well done. I had no idea what happened to Simon. I would come up with a theory only to realize that I had to be wrong soon after. I was literally guessing until the end of the book. I also really felt for each of the characters as their secrets were revealed. All four really go through a major life change during the course of this book.

I would highly recommend this book to others. This was a very smartly written story that was next to impossible to put down. I am very impressed by the fact that this is the first book written by Karen M. McManus. I look forward to reading more of her work in the future.

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

Initial Thoughts
I can't even believe how good this book was! I liked the whole thing but the ending really got to me. I cannot believe that this is the first book the Karen McManus wrote.

Burn for Me by Ilona Andrews

Burn for Me - Ilona Andrews
My Review

This book was absolutely amazing.  The writing team of Ilona and Gordon Andrews have consistently been able to produce books that are written to a higher standard.   I have only one complaint regarding this book - the cover.  Nevada looks like a damsel in distress on the cover instead of the strong woman she is in the book.  Can someone please tell me why Mad Rogan's shirt is half off on this cover?  If Mad Rogan (or this cover model) were anywhere near me, I would encourage him to remove his shirt right away but I don't think this image represents the book at all.

I loved that the world this book is set in was so easy to jump into.  There is a very brief intro before the prologue that really sets the stage for the novel very well.  I never felt lost regarding the rules of this world which is a major strength for a first book in a series. 

The characters were phenomenal!  Nevada is a competent, strong woman who places her family above all else.  Nevada does not yet seem to know the extent of her power and I look forward to watching her learn throughout this series.  Her family was so much fun.  How can you not love Grandma?  Everybody who reads this book should love Grandma. 

Mad Rogan is your average lovable psychopath.  Alright, maybe he is not a psychopath (or average) but he does have a few violent tendencies.  And he is powerful and he knows exactly how to use his powers.  The powers that the characters had were just so much fun.  I would love to be able to shake a building when I feel that I am being ignored - I bet that would get my husband's attention even when his favorite show in on television.

This book had tons of action and kept the excitement going.  The banter between the characters was some of the best that I have ever encountered in a book.  The sexual tension between Mad and Nevada was intense but we will have to wait until later books to see that fully realized.  This book ended up being everything I had hoped it would be and I can't wait to get my hands on the next book in this series.  I would highly recommend this book and all other Ilona Andrews books to everyone. 

The Audio

Renee Raudman does a fabulous job narrating this audiobook.  All of the characters have a unique voice and the dialog between them always felt very natural.  Nevada experiences a wide range of emotions over the course of this story and it was really well portrayed in the delivery of the audiobook.  I think that the way the story was told added to the story making the exciting parts more exciting, the funny parts even funnier, and the chemistry between Mad Rogan and Nevada was even more intense.  I have already pre-ordered the audiobooks for the next two books in the series and cannot wait to listen to them.

Unsub by Meg Gardiner

UNSUB: A Novel - Meg Gardiner

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

I really enjoyed this one. I have never read anything written by Meg Gardiner before picking up this book but after reading the description, I knew that I would have to give this book a shot. I am very glad that I did. The books opens with a lot of excitement so I was immediately hooked. There was never a moment where I felt like I wanted to put this book down even though I had to every once in a while due to various responsibilities including my job and other such boring things. This was one of those stories that really got into my head and didn't let go until I got to the last page.

The Prophet killed one person after another, sometimes more than one at a time, before suddenly stopping over twenty years ago. He was never caught and he killed his victims in different ways so that it was hard for the police to get ahead of him. Mack Hendrix was one of those detectives tasked with catching this ruthless serial killer. He was never able to catch the murderer and the case ended up destroying his life.

Caitlin, Mack's daughter, became a detective even after everything her father has went through. She has worked in narcotics but as soon as a murder occurs similar to that of the Prophet, she gets a call. Is it a copycat or could the Prophet be back? She is highly motivated to catch this killer but also fears losing herself in the case as her father did.

I really liked the characters in this one. They just all felt really authentic to me. Caitlin seemed like she really cared about her job but she worked hard to have a life outside of it. I really felt that all of her emotions during the case were very well done. Sean was amazing. He knew exactly how to be supportive without being overbearing. I thought that Sean and Caitlin were wonderful together. The secondary characters were equally well done.

I thought that the mystery was exciting and pretty complex. This wasn't one of those books where you figure out what is going on early on. I don't think I ever figured anything out before the author wanted me to but I never stopped trying. All of the descriptions in the story really helped bring the story to life.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of mystery thrillers. This story does involve a serial killer so there are a few more graphic scenes as you would expect in this kind of story. I am really looking forward to future book in this series.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Penguin Group Viking - Dutton Books via First to Read.

Initial Thoughts
I like this one. It kept me guessing until the end and it was pretty exciting.