Contemporary · Romance · War/Military

Dear Aaron – Mariana Zapata

35404657.jpg| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.

The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.

What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.

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My thoughts: I really like Zapata and her way of writing. This is the third book I read by her and I still just loves her and she is one of my favorite authors. Yes I can say that after three books. This book, however, is probably the one I like the least of those I have read. And that is just because it is so god damn slow. I did expect some slowness since that is her thing. Slow burned, contemporary romance is what she do. So I was prepared and didn’t expect anything else. But I didn’t know that I had to wait like 90% of the book for something to really happen and at 40% I was actually ready to give up. I don’t have patience for slowness. But I did keep reading and I’m happy for that. It is a great book. But it would not be the first one I would recommend by her if anyone asked.

I did, however, really liked Ruby who is this nerdy, a little social awkward young woman with big dreams but also a lot of fear. She is trying to do some good because she is a genuinely nice person. Then we have Aaron, who kind of just float through life right now. He doesn’t know what he want out of life, he has no near relationship with his family and comes from a different kind of background than Ruby. But they spend 9 months just talking, getting to know each other, before stuff happens and things evolve. Just a great, great story. But so slow!

In some way I feel that this book is unfinished. There was parts that I didn’t really understood and others that was needlessly. And there is a pretty big part of the book (can’t say what because I do not want to spoiler you) that was kind of boring because nothing really happen until the end. And I found that the end was somewhat unfulfilling. Gosh is sounds like I didn’t like this book at all, but I did, I promises and I think that you would to. Probably even more than me.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Vigilante – Jessica Gadziala

35101098| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A new stand-alone dark romance from bestselling author Jessica Gadziala 

I’m a bad guy. I do bad things.
But I do them for the right reasons.
That’s why I can sleep easy at night even with the smell of fresh blood still in my nostrils. One more scumbag off the streets. One more righting of a wrong. That was all my life was about.
Until I came across her…

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My thoughts: Luce is probably one of my favorite characters of all time. Well, at least he is up at the top with Renny, Eli and Isaiah. I starting to see a pattern that I like Gadzialas darker characters more. Those with a history or a torment that makes my heart bleed. Those who have had it bad but got them self-through it and rising above it but still feel/thinks that they don’t deserve more. They have walls thicker than the one Trump wants to build between Mexico and USA. They are funny, lovable, kind and fiercely protective over those they call family. It is feel good books with feel good characters in a hot as sin story and afterwards I just feel this calm happiness in my chest.

This book is no different. Luce is wonderful, funny, sarcastic and insanely observant and at sometimes, obnoxious. But he is easy to love and if he was a real person, I would totally have a crush on him. Evan, however, I did not feel for at all. I mean, nothing! I found her a meek and lamblike kind of character, that just took it all a little too easy. I missed some feelings. Some hard , punch in the heart, angst feelings that put some depth to her character and the story it self’s. Since that had such a big part of it.

But still, this is a really good book. I loved how they ventured out of Navesink Bank. Normally all the books is in that city. Nothing wrong about that. But I just liked that for this story, they actually left the city. And not only that. They actually left the whole country. That was cool and really put a nice touch to the story overall.

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Slow Burn – Julie Garwood

107771| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Every fire begins with a little heat–and in Slow Burn, bestselling author Julie Garwood provides the spark, skillfully blending pulse-pounding action, intense emotion, and characters with grit and heart. The result is an electrifying novel of romantic suspense that will have readers burning through the pages.

An unpretentious beauty who radiates kindness, Kate MacKenna doesn’t have a bad bone in her body–or an enemy in the world. So why are bombs igniting everywhere she goes? The first explosion brings her face-to-face with a handsome Charleston police detective. The second sends her into the arms of her best friend’s brother–a Boston cop who’s a little too reckless and way too charming for comfort. But Dylan Buchanan won’t let emotion prevent him from doing his job: Someone is trying to kill Kate, and Dylan is the only one standing between her and the monster who wants her dead.

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My thoughts: Sometime you seek that kind of book, that gives you a feeling of comfort. That makes you want to settle down on the couch, in bed or in that favorite reading chair. With the biggest blanket (that you bought just to have when you read) with a big cup of beverage of your choice, and just stay there. The world outside does not exist and it is just you and your new friends. And for those brief moments, it all feels okay. Well, this is one of those books for me. And I hadn’t really expect anything less since this is Julie Garwood. I know what to expect and I’m so happy that I got it. It was just what I needed. Garwood is an great writer in this genre and one of my favorite authors. And I always feel so good after one of her books.

Here we get to follow Kate. After her mother’s death her life is starting to crumble around her. But she is a strong woman and refuse to give up. After she almost been blown up twice, in one week, Dylan Buchanan, Kate’s best friends brother, comes to help find out what is happening. He is on leave from his work at Boston PD and since he always had strong, secret feelings for Kate, he can’t let her fend for herself. The situation is intense and fireworks is going off right from the start.

This is a “typical” romantic suspense book. You pretty much know what is going to happen. Though I do not want to call it predictable. I couldn’t early one foresee who the bad guy was in this book. It was easy to see why and there was no secret about the reasons, but it was not as predictable to find out who it really was. It was awesome.

It is a great book. Just what I needed. There is great characters, great development, great story and plot and the way it is unfolding feels real and suitable. There is never any cliffhangers and sometime you get to meet characters that have had bigger parts earlier in the series. Mostly I would say that you can read it as an stand alone. But if you are as OCD as me, I do not recommend it.

Fantasy/Paranormal · Suspense

Assassin’s Apprentice – Robin Hobb

21956219.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: In a faraway land where members of the royal family are named for the virtues they embody, one young boy will become a walking enigma.

Born on the wrong side of the sheets, Fitz, son of Chivalry Farseer, is a royal bastard, cast out into the world, friendless and lonely. Only his magical link with animals – the old art known as the Wit – gives him solace and companionship. But the Wit, if used too often, is a perilous magic, and one abhorred by the nobility.

So when Fitz is finally adopted into the royal household, he must give up his old ways and embrace a new life of weaponry, scribing, courtly manners; and how to kill a man secretly, as he trains to become a royal assassin.

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My thoughts: This is an complex book with many layers. Great read and a lot different from all those YA Fantasy books that seem to take over the shelf’s in the bookstores. It is a slow burner and I don’t have a good history with slow books, since I easily get bored. I did however not get bored with this book but I’m not used to read fantasy anymore (read a lot as an kid) and it took me awhile to get used to the writing style and language. So it was quite “heavy” for me in the beginning. Fantasy is often written in a different kind of rhythm and has words not that common in today’s literature (that I read anyway). It is more medieval, proper and sentences are usually a lot longer with more describing words. So it took some time for me to get used to it again, but eventually my reading speed went up and it got much more easier for me to enjoy the book. I do think that if I read the book in my own language, it would have been easier from the start. But I find reading on English suits me better in the long haul so that’s why I stuck with it.

The book is about Fitz. The bastard boy, son to the king in waiting. Not officially acknowledged by the royal house, he lives with the king in waiting’s first hand man. Eventually he gets mixed up and pushed in to situations beyond his own control and you get to follow him through his childhood years, becoming the Kings man and fight for more than life.

The world Hobb has built in this book is amazing. The environment is livid, the Red Ships terrifying and the story over all, insanely enthralling. This book is the first one in the Farseer Trilogy and the first book in the 16 long series about The Realm of the Elderlings.

I read this book for the first time as an kid. Not remembering much more than that it was a great book and that I had a crush on Fitz, I am now happy that I chose to read the book in an adult age. It is certainly a hidden gem  and it is sad that it took me 15 years to read it again.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Midnight rainbow – Linda Howard

350523| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Grant Sullivan had been one of the government’s most effective agents, and he’s agreed to rescue Jane Hamilton Greer, a wealthy socialite possibly engaged in espionage. In the time they spent together, questions of guilt and innocence began to fade against the undeniable reality that two people from such different worlds should never have met.

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My thoughts: Somewhat cliche and predictable but at the same time exactly what I needed to get over my hangover from the Kristen Ashley book I read last. This is one of those old school, romantic suspense that are the core of what I love with an romantic suspense book. We got the strong, independent woman who do not need her father or any other man to “take care” of her. We have that alpha, jaded military man who has forgotten anything according to love and a woman’s touch. We have some bad men, corrupted governments, spies and a hunt trough the jungle. All to save there lives and there country.

It is not this great literary work of art but it is still beautiful and did what it was suppose to do. Now I’m ready for other adventures. 🙂

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Rock chick regret – Kristen Ashley

13184992.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Sadie Townsend is known by all as The Ice Princess and she’s worked hard to earn her reputation. Her father, a now-incarcerated Drug Lord, has kept her under his thumb her whole life and she’s learned enough from living in his world to give everyone the cold shoulder. But one inebriated night, she shows the Real Sadie to the undercover agent she knows is investigating her father, the handsome Hector Chavez, and he knows he’ll stop at nothing to have her.

Hector makes one (huge) mistake; he waits for Sadie to come to him. Tragedy strikes and Sadie’s got a choice, she can retreat behind her Ice Fortress or she can embrace the Rock Chick/Hot Bunch World. Guided by Hector, the Rock Chicks, the Hot Bunch and her new gay roommates, Buddy and Ralphie, Sadie negotiates a life out from under her father’s thumb, a life that includes poison, arson and learning how to make s’mores.

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My thoughts: What a great book. What a great, great book. I don’t even know how I should put my feelings for this book into words. This one is by far my favorite in the Rock Chick series. And even though I loved the other books, this one stands out on its own and completely touched me. It is by far more emotional and graphic than the other books have been, but not in a way that makes it hard for me to read. Yeah I do have triggers when it comes to sexual assault but as long as it not very graphic, I can distance myself to get through and focus on other things. In this book, it is not that graphic but it is the aftermath that can be heart wrenching.

Her we get to know Hector more. He is Eddies (book 2) brother and Hector have been a character that has gone in and out throughout the series due to that he is an DEA agent and often undercover. Well in this book he is done with DEA and has gone to work for Lee Nightingale instead. That’s when Sadie (who’s criminal father Hector brought down before quitting DEA) walks in and turns everyone’s life upside down.

You get to meet some new, crazy lovable characters and the story is just heart wrenching and warming in the same time. I haven’t cried so much as I have done to this book in a long, long time. Maybe because I can relate to some of it. The part with not having friends and that feeling of being completely, utterly alone and the feelings that all the good that is happening will be taking away from you, because you do not deserve better, is something I do understand.

I also love that Asley went a little different with how the story is build and the dynamic between Sadie and Hector. And that it is not as repeatedly as the books sometime can be. It is truly a work of art and to think I had to read six books to have this next in line is just…. Well, I didn’t know what I had and if I knew, I would have read it a lot earlier.

Gosh I just rambling here. But this was the perfect book to end this month’s reading spree on and I just want to recommend the Rock Chick series because it is just perfect.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense · War/Military

Midnight captive – Elle Kennedy

23398610.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Former CIA agent Bailey Jones has spent months trying to forget her night of passion with mercenary Sean Reilly. An elite and methodical assassin, she has no room in her life for a reckless, rule-breaking Irishman, and she’s vowed to steer clear of the tempting bad boy who lured her into his bed under false pretenses.

When Sean is implicated in the robbery of a Dublin bank, Bailey knows something isn’t right. So what if she can’t trust him? There’s no way Sean would end up on the wrong side of the law. In fact, he’s stuck in the middle of a dark and dirty conspiracy that could put his twin brother’s life at risk with one wrong move. And Bailey’s life too when she agrees to help.

As the stakes are raised and Bailey finds herself torn between two brothers, the fine line between danger and desire is crossed…and it’ll take more than a killer instinct to survive

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My thoughts: I thought this book was going to be a love triangle since that is the impression I got from the synopsis. So, to be honest, I have been avoiding this book because I really don’t like that kind of drama. But since I have loved pretty much every book before this one, I couldn’t ignore it any longer. I just needed to get it read and done with it so that I could read the next book in the series. I just hoped it was not as a big part of the book because it is always the same thing. One girl, two guys and it is just exhausting. Well I can happy announce that this is not one of those books. There is no real love triangle and it made me so happy. This book is the 6th book in the Killer Instinct series. It is a standalone series with small stuff that twines them together. But Kennedy does a great job with recapping that if you want, you can read in which order you like. But as always, I do recommend that you read it in order.

The series is awesome and there is no difference here with this book either. I totally love Bailey and Sean who are the main characters. They are like oil and water and have a history that is not that great. Which makes them fight all the time but it never gets boring or too much of it. Sean is a little rougher around the edges than the other guys in the books and are not from the same kind of military background. He is a former IRA soldier who, with his brother, has been running their own business for the last eight years.  Bailey is a little more mysterious and you do not know that much about her. The truth will come out eventually and it is somewhat cliche, just to warn you, but still a good story.  I love it. There is sparks and fireworks in every chapter they are together in and it is freaking awesome.

I loved the story. Somewhat unusual compared to the other books and much more personal. And even a little sad. But it was perfect for these two characters. I hope it is/comes a book for Sean’s Twin brother, Oliver, to because, hot damn I need to read that one.

I do have to warn that this book ends one somewhat of a cliffhanger. Not a serious one but still.

Contemporary

A man too old for a place too far – Mark W Sasse

36582442.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: If she wanted help changing the world for one forgotten child, she chose the wrong man. Seventy-two-year-old Francis Frick would scorn his own family to close another deal. But Bee doesn’t see the world like you or me. She is an optimist, searching for potential where none exists, and so she hovers above Frick’s bed every night, eating pomegranates and waiting for his eyes to open to the possibilities. One night, it finally happens. A rogue droplet of juice slips through her fingers and hits the sleeping Manhattan businessman on the forehead, thrusting him on a series of baffling adventures to some of the twentieth century’s most brutal regimes—all to help Bee save a forgotten child of history.

A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far is part one of The Forgotten Child Trilogy—a one-of-a-kind adventure that mixes time travel, magical realism, and historical fiction into a contemporary story about an old man, his estranged daughter, and a tiny flying person in a white robe, who chooses to believe that anything can happen with enough prodding and an endless supply of pomegranates.

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My thoughts: A received this book from the author against an honest review. I haven’t heard about Sasse before he contacted me and I was a little skeptical when I started the book but now I’m happy that I gave it a shot. I’m pleasantly surprised with the book and its story and Sasses unique way of writing. It was refreshing and new.

In this book, you get to meet some really unique characters that keeps growing and evolve in this unique story. We get to follow Francis Frick, who is like a modern Scrooge, you know, the stingy character from Mr Dickens’s story “A Christmas carol”? Frick is a man who has lived his life in the purpose to make money. He hates everything and everybody and has no care for anyone but himself. Not even his daughter. He is a grumpy old man who one night meets Bree, who takes Frick through time and place and forces him to see others than himself. The big different here is that Bree in reality, takes Frick back in time and everything he does there, changes the future. She has a purpose with everything she does but nothing of it is clear for the readers or Mr Frick.

It is an intriguing story and Mr Sasse do not give the readers much to figure out how it all fits together until the end. The language is easy to read and understand and the book keeps the same flow through and through. All the characters are great and keeps evolving deeper in the story and the whole book just captivates you. However, it feels a little long sometimes since you don’t get a lot of clues and after 200 pages, I still didn’t know more than I did at the 50 pages’ mark. Well, not more than that Frick is a total asshole and every human in his company is a freaking saint who put up with it.

And I feel that how it all hangs together, is still not 100% clear to me even though I’m done with the book. There are some questions I have that I never got any answers on. Probably done with purpose since this book is part of a series and there is a strong possibility that those answers will come in another book. However, I do not feel that the book ended on a cliffhanger and you, who have followed me for some time now, knows how much I hate cliffhangers.

So one question still stands unanswered and that is “Would I read anything by Mr Sasse again?” and after reading this book I only have one answer. Yes! Yes, I would.

Contemporary · Humor/Funny · Romance

Christmas from hell – R.L Mathewson

27742535.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ |

Goodreads synopsis: Duncan Bradford is used to putting other people first even the annoying little jinx that lives next door, but when the unexpected happens and he starts to see her in a whole new light, he decides that it’s time that he acts more like a Bradford and takes what he wants.

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My thoughts: Sometimes I feel for an easy read. A book that is funny, easy and a little predictable. A book you just read for the happiness of it. A book that makes your mind rest for a bit. I often feel to read this kind of books after I have read something big or boring, difficult or just not that pleasing mentally. Many would say that these books are simple and not real literature. But to make me laugh or cry to a book is the hardest thing for an author to do. And if you succeed with that, you have succeeded to write real literature in my opinion. And R.L Mathewson has certainly succeeded with that.

This is the 7th book in the series about the Bradford family. After 6 books, I know what to expect and I was not disappointed. We meet Duncan who haven’t been a big character in the other books. But he is an original Bradford trough and trough with the food obsession and everything. Then we met Necie, who is a queen in both cooking and baking. I would have thought the relationship between Duncan and Necie would start off from the beginning with his food obsession and her skills with food. But Necie is one unlucky person who keeps hurting herself or Duncan so he “hates” her and tries to avoid her at all costs. And the whole thing is just hilarious. Hilarious!

There is not one book in this series who have gotten a lower score than 4 by me and this one must be one of my favorites. It is just that good. It is funny and relatable and it just makes me happy. Exactly what I wanted when I picked it up.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction

The underground railroad – Colson Whitehead

30555488.jpg| GOODREADS | AMAZON | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood – where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor – engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven – but the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom.

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My thoughts: I’m sad that I didn’t like this more. Maybe I had too high hopes for it but I thought it would move me more than it did. Since Whitehead won a Pulitzer prize for this one there are obvious people who think this is literature art with some beautiful sentence, genius structure and intriguing story. However, it did not work for me and my biggest problem with the book is that it is written in this type of macro view, the chapters are jumbled and there is a big historical “fault” in the book. If the chapters were in a “correct” timeline order (except Mabel’s chapter) it would not have been too much jumping back and forth for me. I hate broken structure and time jumping like that when it isn’t done with smooth finesse.

So, let’s start with the historical “fault”. I read this book as an historical fiction because that is how it was presented to me. Now however I wish someone would have told me that it is more of an allegory. Then I would probably not have irritated over the fact that in this book the underground railroad is an actual railroad underground with train and everything. I didn’t think I was so bad on American history so I had to dedicate some time to google and find out what was true. No there was no real underground railroad as I thought. And this irritated me boundlessly.

The next thing is that I felt the book somewhat unemotional, distant, meek and cold. No real thoughts or feelings. Nothing that really moved me. Maybe it is me who are to jaded and cold for a book like this, or maybe I can’t relate on the same level since I’m not American or black and my history, family’s history and my country’s history is a lot different. If it would have been written from first person perspective, so that me as a reader would get some thoughts and feelings and not this cold storytelling, I would find it a lot stronger and more relatable. Because feelings I can relate to.

It is still an uncomfortable read with a terrible story and it do make you think. So, Whitehead have done something right. The book is not a graphic read and even though I felt somewhat detached, I think Whiteheads goal was to start some thoughts and of all the discussions I have found on the internet, he has certainly succeeded.