I’m not happy with this months read. I had such troubles with several books. I have yet not finished Strange the Dreamer that I started, but I have not DNF it because I still hope it will get more exciting soon. Santa Claus totally killed my desire to read but I felt I had to finish it and it took way to long. So even though I have had several days free from work, I have hardly read anything. Its sad but now I just hope January will be better for me.
Favorite book this month: Shadow Dance – Julie Garwood
Least favorite book this month: Santa Claus: The King of the Elves – B.C. Chase
Number of physical books: 2
Number of e-books: 5
Number of audiobooks: 1
Total pages: 3380
Female authors: 4
Male authors: 5
|Bird box – Josh Malerman
Settings: USA Pages: 262 Published: 2014
Genres: Horror, thriller, mystery, fiction.
My rating: 4/5
|Brimstone – Preston & Child
Settings: USA, Italy. Pages: 740 Published: 2004
Genres: Mystery, thriller, horror, crime.
My rating: 3/5
Book 5 in The Pendergast series.
|The Ghost – Jessica Gadziala
Settings: USA Pages: 239 Published: 2018
Genres: Romance, contemporary, suspense.
My rating: 4/5
Book 2 in The Professionals series.
|If looks could kill – Heather Graham
Settings: USA Pages: 384 Published: 1997
Genres: Romantic, suspense, mystery, thriller, paranormal.
My rating: 2/5
|Leah on the off beat – Becky Albertalli
Settings: Atlanta, Georgia Pages: 343 Published: 2018
Genres: Young adult, contemporary, romance.
My rating: 1/5
Book 2 in The Creekwood series.
|The fireman – Joe Hill
Settings: USA Pages: 768 Published: 2016
Genres: Horror, dystopia, thriller, fantasy, science fiction.
My rating: 4/5
|Shadow dance – Julie Garwood
Settings: USA Pages: 336 Published: 2006
Genres: Romantic, suspense, mystery, contemporary.
My rating: 5/5
Book 6 in The Buchanan/FBI series.
|Santa Claus: The King of the Elves – B.C. Chase
Settings: Fantasy Pages: 308 Published: 2017
My rating: 1/5
| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|
Goodreads synopsis: Meet Santa Claus, the epic hero. From internationally bestselling author B.C.CHASE comes an imaginatively fantastical take on the man in red featuring a brilliant host of classic and original fantasy creatures including dwarves, dragons, goblins, and of course elves. This not-to-be-missed allegorical tale of courage, determination, and selfless love has been critically acclaimed as an instant classic destined to be passed down for generations to come. Also available as an abridged children’s edition.
My thoughts: What a bad book. I’m so sorry Chase but this was not good in my opinion. The writing is terrible and it is really hard to read. Keep in mind that I read books with more than 1000 pages as if it was a magazine and English is not even my first language. I should not have this kind of problems. I’m not the only one who had troubles either. This was elected to be the December book in our book club. All of us (sure we are not that many) had trouble. I’m not even sure the others even finished it because they as me, struggled so much. But since it was a book club book and I also run this review blog, I wanted to finish it. I so wanted to like it and gave it a chance after chance. There was nothing fun about it and now I regret that I didn’t DNF it early on. Because god damn this was boring. And I payed 8 dollars for this.
The idea of an darker Santa story was intriguing and maybe it would have been a lot more fun to read if not for the writing. For me it felt like Chase tried to make it more than it was with a complicated way of writing. This is not Kafka, Chaucer, Mellville or Tolkien we are talking about. Books should not be hard. They should be enjoyable and fun to read. Don’t destroy it with a veil of sophisticated texts that clearly just isn’t you. I did not feel the author at all. There was no soul and for me, in my opinion, this one is just not worth the time.
| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|
Goodreads synopsis: Jordan Buchanan is thrilled that her brother and best friend are tying the knot. The wedding is a lavish affair–for the marriage of Dylan Buchanan and Kate MacKenna is no ordinary occasion. It represents the joining of two family dynasties. The ceremony and reception proceed without a hitch–until a crasher appears claiming to be a MacKenna guest. The disheveled and eccentric professor of medieval history warns that there’s “bad blood” between the couple’s clans, stemming from an ancient feud that originated in Scotland, and involving the Buchanan theft of a coveted MacKenna treasure.
Jordan has always led a cautious life and has used her intelligence and reason to become a successful businesswoman. So she is intrigued but skeptical of the professor’s claims that the feud has been kept alive by the grave injustices the Buchanans have perpetrated over the centuries. But when Noah Clayborne, a close family friend and a man who has never let a good time or a pretty girl pass him by, accuses Jordan of being trapped in her comfort zone, she determines to prove him wrong and sets out on a spontaneous adventure to the small, dusty town of Serenity, Texas, to judge the professor’s research for herself.
Maneuvering through a close-knit community in which everyone knows everyone else’s business, Jordan never anticipates the danger and intrigue that lie in her path, nor the threat that will shadow her back to Boston, where even in familiar surroundings, her life is at risk.
A powerful thug who rules by fear, a man who harbors a simmering secret, and an unexpected romance that pierces all defenses–beloved author Julie Garwood weaves these dazzling elements into a brilliant novel of romantic suspense. Shadow Dance is a searing tango of passion and peril.
My thoughts: This was so good. So, so good! I absolutely love Noah and Jordan. I love how different they are and even though their long history as friends, they never were any romantically inclined to each other. Their feelings never just appeared but slowly grew, together with their personality and everyday life, is just such a great line to follow. It is a deep, connectable story with an interesting side plot that to be quite frank, I never really needed. It was the cherry on the ice cream but oh, what a ice cream.
The whole book is just so warm, fuzzy, exciting with a lot of suspense, hilarious characters, deep connections and just wonderful romantic suspense. This is what I want and hell, you did it again Garwood. You freaking did it again.
Unfortunately it do end on a cliffhanger. Not one of those bad ones but still a cliffhanger. It may be quite interesting to get to know all the answers someday, but still, at this point, I don’t feel the need for it. So on that note, I do really recommend this series and even though there is cliffhangers, there is no bad ones. And it is just so worth it.
| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|
Goodreads synopsis: The fireman is coming. Stay cool.
No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.
Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.
Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.
In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke.
My thoughts: This is the type of book you wished Goodreads had the ability to give half stars to. Because I do not feel the book is worth four stars, but it is not as bad as a three stars either when I think about it as a whole. However I do not feel this was a consistent read. After N0S4R2 (which I freaking LOVED) this was a major snoozefest and I’m sad to say that I was so bored some of the parts that I’m now amazed that I actually continued.
The beginning was so good. I loved the whole burning plague, dystopia where the earth is on the brink to unravel plot. It was well thought out, written, interesting, capturing and skillfully described. I loved the characters and the more day to day business you was a part of. Then around two, three hundred pages in, it started to fall. The characters was now even better but the day to day business certainly started to drag. And worse it got, the longer I read. There was some highlights in the middle of the book that did capture me, but mostly I was more or less waiting for stuff happening. I was bored out of my mind some times and this is a great example of the saying “Longer does not equal better” .
And the ending, how am I even going to be able to describe my thoughts and feelings about the ending. There is so much but at the same time so little happening that I can’t wrap my head around it. Not after all that I have already read. And it was by far not satisfying.
So to be honest, I loved some parts of it, others bored me. But I did love N0S4R2 so I know he will make it.
| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|
Goodreads synopsis: Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.
When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.
So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.
My thoughts: I didn’t like Leah in the first book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, but I did like Simon and Albertallis way of writing that I wanted to give Leah a shot. However, I still do not like Leah and now I’m leaning to actually hating her. There is not that often characters bug the hell out of me like Leah did. And there is a lot more about the book that I don’t like.
Leah is a bitter, angry, mean, infuriating and unreasonable character who feels sorry for herself and taking it out on others who certainly do not deserve it. I really tried to understand Leah. I really did and to some degree I actually succeeded. Me too have been a teenager with all that it means. So yeah, I do understand, but there is limits to what I feel is acceptable and there was a lot about Leah that I did not accept or even liked.
And the story itself fell kind of flat. There was nothing I liked. No I do not wish to talk about this book anymore. It is just making me mad.
In 2019 there is a lot of sequels expected to be released. Many of these is series I have not read or yet been able to catch up in the order of already released books. But I did find some few I’m excited to read.
The Seduction Expert by Saya Lopez Ortega
Still with no synopsis published on Goodread, I hear a lot of talk about this one. There is 160 ratings and 4.08 in average rating. This is clearly one book I need to read. According to some of the reviews I have read it is a funny, sexy and a great book to get over a book hangover with. Expected publication is May 27th 2019.
The Silent patient – Alex Michaelides
This dark thriller, mystery is marked as THE debut novel of 2019. There is a lot of talk about this suspense filled novel about an criminal psychotherapist working with the biggest case of his life. With 518 ratings and an average rating of 4.32 this is a book I do not want to miss. Expected publication is February 5th 2019.
Untitled ACOTAR book – Sarah J Maas.
It was first announced that the fourth book in the A Court of Thorns And Roses series was expected to be published in the late 2019. This has however been changed according to information on Goodreads. But it is still marked as expected to be released in 2019. So I list it anyway, because I can hardly wait for this one.
In her sights – Katie Ruggle.
Even though I wasn’t overly fan of Ruggles latest series and still have one book left to read, I’m excited about the release of this new series. I love her writing and I do hope this new series will be more my taste. Because I absolutely loved the first series she wrote so I know she can. Expected publication is March 26th 2019.
Beard Necessities – Penny Reid
I have not yet read the fifth book in the series but since I have loved all the others, I can’t imagine that the fifth would for some reason make me not continue the series. This is the six book in the series about the Winston brother and focused on Billy. Finally! 🙂 Expected publication is October 7th 2019.
| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|
Goodreads synopsis: Madison Adair didn’t witness her famous mother’s brutal murder. But she saw it. Saw the gloved hand…felt the knife strike…knew her mother’s terror.
That was a lifetime ago. But the nightmares have returned; only, this time they’re of a faceless serial killer stalking women in south Florida. A killer she can’t see but who knows she is watching. Surrounded by her family, Madison knows she should feel safe, but she doesn’t.
And how much can FBI agent Kyle Montgomery protect her, when he can’t let go of the past they’ve shared? Madison is Kyle’s only link to the killer, but can they find the truth before the killer strikes again? Because sometimes, it’s what–or who–you can’t see that holds the greatest danger….
My thoughts: Nah! Nothing for me. Quite the same as always. Horrible history, broken hearts, murder mystery, stalker, new killings, FBI, macho man, irritating female protagonist and a situation that just feels dumb. Come on, they hardly talk but they do argue a lot. About the same thing over and over. If they actually had talked early in the beginning, the arguing would probably not have been as bad. And I probably would have liked the book a lot more.
It was a fast read without any real depth. The murder mystery was quite interesting, but you didn’t receive any clues to who the killer are so the whole guessing game for me fell flat. Oh Graham certainly tried to make other characters seem guilty but it was too obvious so I actually dismissed them from my “who the killer is” list early on.
Not overly fawn over the characters either. There is some stuff happening that just make you lose the respect for that character and creates a situation that is just awkward. To be quite frank, Kaila and Dan (two side characters) relationship and short chapters about them, are the one thing I actually liked and felt had the most depth. And the book was not even about them.
It is probably time to realize that Graham is not an author for me. I have read five of her books but not one of them have received a higher rating than 3 star. Average rating is 2.8. It is time to spell the flowers and confess to myself that it doesn’t matter how much the synopsis appeal to me, she is just not an author that I like to read. Unfortunately.
| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|
Goodreads synopsis: Sloane has everything she thought she ever wanted- a great career, a great apartment, great clothes, a life she had worked hard for.
Until one night, one chance encounter, one decision that changed everything.
With no options left, she enlists the help of Quinton Baird & Associates, who promptly inform her that she has to leave it all – the career, the apartment, the life she had worked so hard to build for herself – behind.
If all that wasn’t enough, her entire future – and life in general – was in the hands of a man whose coworkers called ‘The Ghost.’ Because that was what he did; he ghosted people, hid them, gave them new lives, made them impossible to find.
With no other choice, she agrees to his terms, climbs in a car with him, and travels almost clear across the country toward her new life. But the long hours on the road – and even longer hours in cabins and hotel rooms – together start to show her things. Like how unhappy she had actually been, how hollow her life was, how much she had denied herself in the name of superficial success.
And maybe, just maybe, how much she was starting to see how wrong first impressions can be, and how much a person can begin to mean to you when you decided to let them in…
My thoughts: Such a sweet story. You mostly knows what to expect while starting a Jessica Gadziala book. Sweet, funny, sexy, sometimes a little angst filled, exciting and a lot of hot. And this is certainly not an exception. But I did miss a little more suspense. I know I’m always say that about her books and I do know she is not that type of author. But I’m that type of reader and little more suspense either in the case or in the relationship would have done it for me. But it is still not in any way a bad book. I really loved it. I loved Gunner and Sloane. How due to preconceptions, their relationship started off on the wrong foot and when they finally realized that not everything i s what it seems, it really started to hit it off.
There is a lot of tension in this one. Tension in the case, the situations and between the characters. But still it is easy and fun to read. Maybe because you already know how it will end but that doesn’t bother me. You get to know some of the other characters and oh my, my heart is breaking for Kai. He has his own book next in line in the series so I do someday in the near future get to know what will happen.
| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|
Goodreads synopsis: Behind the gates of a fabulous Hamptons estate, FBI Special Agent Pendergast comes upon the carnage of a gruesome crime: one that recalls the legendary horrors that befall those who make a Faustian pact with the devil. Surrounded by the choking stench of brimstone, the smoldering remains of art critic Jeremy Grove are found in a locked, barricaded attic next to a hoofprint singed into the floorboards.
Unable to resist a case that defies all but supernatural logic, Pendergast reunites with police officers Vincent D’Agosta (Relic) and Laura Hayward (Reliquary) to search for a more earthly explanation. But their investigation soon takes them from the luxury estates of Long Island and penthouses of New York City to the crumbling, legend-shrouded castles of the Italian countryside, where thirty years ago four men conjured up something unspeakable. . .
My thoughts: I had such problems connecting with this book. It felt like it took me forever to read it. In reality it only took me 12 days but for someone like me, it does feel like an eternity. I did like the beginning and the end, but there is all that in the middle that didn’t do it for me. It was slow, cold and to detailed to be honest. But the story is yet really interesting. The murder case is quite mysterious and the urge to get all the answers was the only thing that kept me going. I did like the ending but at the same time I did not. There is some things that you do not get the answer to and I really do not like “cliffhangers”.
But in any case, I freaking LOVE Pendergast. He is such an interesting character. After “The Cabinet of Curiosities”, where you got to know him better, he is one of the best characters I know of. He is interesting, mystic, funny, so freaking smart and with a moral compass going haywire but still points in the right direction. In this one you also get to meet D’Agosta again and some other characters you briefly meet in the earlier books. And I love it. I love how the story is weave together with the earlier books and still lay ground for the future ones. I feel that there is some details not explained or released and I do hope the answer to it will be released in the next book.
In comparison I did like the “Still Life With Crows” more than this one even though I gave that one a three star rating to. The books are so different form each other and should not really be compared. But it is hard not to.
So to summery it up, I’m happy that I finished it, even though it was not a favorite. I still love the series as an whole and I do need to read the next book in the future to see what will happen. There is some other details released in this book that I’m really looking forward to dive deeper in to.