Thursday, April 30, 2020

Books From the Backlog #1

Books From the Backlog is hosted by Carole's Random Life in Books and it's a way to feature our neglected books on our bookshelf.  

This is my first time participating! Here's my choice:

Publication Date: February 1st 2013 by Hardie Grant Egdmont
Pages: 316
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble 

About the book:

Sam is a geek movie-buff with a ragtag group of loser friends who have been taking abuse from the popular kids for years. But when the super-cool Camilla moves to town, she surprises everyone by choosing to spend time with Sam's group. Suddenly they go from geek to chic, and find that not everything boils down to us and them. With their social lives in flux, Sam and Camilla spend more and more time together. They become the best of friends, and Sam finds that he's happier and more comfortable in his own skin than ever before. But eventually Sam must admit to himself that he's fallen in love. If he confesses his true feelings to Camilla, will everything change again?
I got a copy of this back when I still read a lot of YA, because it sounded cute, and because Melissa Keil is an Aussie writer. I don't know about you, but I've had great success with Aussie writers, like Melina Marchetta, Cath Crowly and Ellie Marney. There seems to be something extra special about their writing!  Well, this still languishes on my Netgalley account, giving me the stink eye every time I open up my shelf! 

What about you? Have you read this? If so, what did you think?

Monday, April 27, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Wish I Had Read As a Child

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader where each week they post a new top ten list and ask fellow bookish folk to share their lists on that topic.

So this weeks topic was a little tough for me because as a kid I don't remember seeing a book and thinking "oooh, I want to read that, but it's not at my library" because a.) If it wasn't at my library I wasn't aware of its existence.  We didn't have Goodreads or any type of book-list service that I had access to as a kid.  The books below may have been at my library, but I was too busy working my way through Nancy Drew of Judy Blume to take notice.  b.)  I don't remember having any friends that who were readers like me to recommend anything that I didn't already read or have the intention of reading. c.) As I grew up I didn't really pay attention to middle-grade or children's stories.
So you can see how my limited knowledge of children's stories would have an affect on my list here.

I had to pull up "Favorite Books From My Childhood" lists off of Goodreads to help me formulate my choices below. That and there were a couple of my husband's favorites that I wish I would've read after hearing how much he loved them. So here we go with my list:

Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone (and the rest of the series): Would've been impossible for me to read as a kid since by the time it was released I already had my own kids, but I have no doubt I would've loved the series. 

The Little Princess: I loved the movie adaptation! It's one my daughter and I watched several times throughout her childhood, and I have no doubt I'd have loved the book even more as a kid.

The Secret Garden: I've seen this around forever and have seen a couple film adaptations advertised but I've never read or watched either. Seems like a favorite for many readers.

Anne of Green Gables: I never read the books, but  I did watch the series from the '80's and loved it! I did attempt to read it a couple of years ago and just couldn't get into the writing.  I think as a kid it would've appealed to me. 

The Great Brain: One of my husband's all time favorites growing up. Although, after informing him I'd be including it in this post, he did tell me that I wouldn't have liked it as a kid because it was more of a "boys" book.... ??

Wake: Another that I couldn't have read as a child because it wasn't released, but as an adult I LOVED it. Not the sequels, though.

The Swiss Family Robinson: I've always loved survivalist type of stories, so I think it would've been a hit.

Stranger With my Face: I read a few Lois Duncan's with my daughter (yeah, another book that wasn't around in my childhood) and I think I would've loved her creepy mysteries! 

Anyhow, eight books was all I came up with. How about you? What books did you wish you read as a child?

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Review: Cowboy Come Home by Carly Bloom

Publication Date: March 31st 2020 by Forever
Pages: 512 (including novella)
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible

About the book:

Welcome to Big Verde, Texas, where a love-'em-and-leave-'em cowboy faces his greatest challenge yet---the woman he left behind. Perfect for fans of New York Times bestselling authors Lori Wilde and Carolyn Brown.

Some cowboys aren't cut out to be Prince Charming---and Claire Kowalski knows that better than anyone. She gave her heart to Ford Jarvis two years ago, yet that didn't keep him from disappearing into the sunset. Now that he's back in Big Verde, Texas, she's determined not to make the same mistake twice. But the ruggedly sexy cowboy still knows how to push all her buttons, and avoiding him is nearly impossible when she needs his help.

Ford didn't plan on returning home---ever---but when he hears that the Kowalski ranch is in trouble, he hightails it back to town. He's not eager to be reminded of the life he can never have, but his time in Big Verde is only temporary. He'll stay long enough to get the ranch up and running, then hit the road again. But when Ford finds out the new foreman he's training is Claire, still as stubborn and beautiful as ever, this cowboy is going to have to decide what matters most---repeating the mistakes of the past or fighting for a future with the only woman he's ever loved..

My Thoughts:
I’m a sucker for a second chance romance! The thought of two people who should’ve been together getting another go at HEA just makes me happy, and Claire and Ford’s story was a standout in a sea of romances.

Two years ago Ford and Claire couldn’t keep their hands off each other. Ford worked at Claire’s family ranch, but he made it clear that their romance was temporary. They fell hard for each other and Claire asked him to stay, and even though Ford wanted to stay he left anyways, believing himself to be cursed and doomed to fail in romance. Now he’s back at the ranch as foreman and determined to keep his distance from Claire, but resistance is futile! Claire doesn’t want to get her heart broken all over again either, but these two are like magnets unable to fight that pull, and what a delicious pull it was!

Ford was a good man, not a guy who didn’t want to commit because he wanted to play the field, but because he believed any woman he attached himself would end up with a broken heart because of a curse. When he sees the happiness of the other couples in town, he yearns to have what they do. I had no idea cowboys were so superstitious, but I was happy when Ford started to realize that life is what you make of it, and not dictated by a ridiculous curse.

This story was more than a romance, it was about family and friends coming together in difficult times. I loved the way both Claire and Ford stepped up when they were needed. Claire putting her big girl panties on and taking on a role that wasn’t her dream because her family needed her. I loved the little community of Big Verde and how they banded together when disaster struck.

I just loved Cowboy Come Home so much! It was well-written, funny with just the right amount of sizzle! Omg! I was laughing out loud so many times: Oscar the cat, Bubba and Trista, the book club meeting were all kinds of funny!!  I loved this quirky set of secondary characters! I immediately requested the first book when I finished because I loved the Ford and Claire’s story so much. A definite recommend!

4.5 Suns

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Sunday Post #72

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week. 

Nothing really new going on other than it still being slow for me at the hospital. My hours have been cut and I'm mostly okay with that because it's given me some time to do a couple of things I've always wanted to do. Like vegetable gardening and canning.
I planted a vegetable garden a couple of weeks back and today I tried my hand at canning. I planted a few tomato plants so I thought I'd give it a try just in case I get a bumper crop. I bought a bunch of tomatoes at the Farmer's Market for a test run.
Yes, only three, but I was happy with the results. :)

(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)

Still on my Mercy Thompson re-read binge. I did pause after finishing book five, Silver Borne, to read the newest release, Smoke Bitten, book twelve because I had to know what was going on after reading a few reviews. I'm now back into my re-read and have started book six again for the third time. 

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:

Not a thing, but I'm eyeing a few books...


I started watching Heartland a long time ago, but only got to season two. I couldn't find anything I wanted to watch so I started it up again. It's set in such pretty country and I love the idea of horse ranching. Didn't know there are eleven seasons and it's still going strong, but I'm game. 
Re-watched Virgin River with the hubby because he didn't see it the first time I watched. Still want Charmaine gone, and now I need season two!

How was your week?

Friday, April 17, 2020

Blog Tour Review: Sunrise on Half Moon Bay by Robyn Carr

Publication Date: April 14th 2020 by MIRA Books
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound | iBooks

About the book:

Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…
Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other. 
When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women 
Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.
Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it.
Set in the stunning coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California, Robyn Carr’s new novel examines the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change.
My Thoughts:
Even though they are sisters, Adele and Justine are twenty-years apart, and haven’t really been close, but they’re both at a crossroads in their life. Adele, the younger of the two had put her life on hold to care for her ailing parents, but now that they’re both gone, she’s not sure what to do next. Add to that is her feelings for her best friend Jake: friend or more? Justine’s marriage of twenty-eight years is over after her husband is caught cheating. Even though they hadn’t been close, their situations make is so they have to be, but this proves to be a blessing as they draw close, and support each other through the tough times.

I love Robyn Carr’s heartfelt, and emotional stories with characters you can relate to, flaws and all. The Virgin River series is one of my favorites, but her women’s fiction reminds me a bit of Kristan Higgins’, so I think fans of KH would enjoy Sunrise on Half Moon Bay. Even though I think this would be considered more women’s fiction than romance, there was a bit of that in there, too. 

4 Suns

Author Bio: 
Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty novels, including highly praised women's fiction such as Four Friends and The View From Alameda Island and the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan's Crossing series. Virgin River is now a Netflix Original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her website at

Connect with Robyn Carr:

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Review: After Sundown by Linda Howard & Linda Jones

Publication Date: March 31st 2020 by William Morrow
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

About the book:

Danger brings together two guarded hearts in a battle for survival in this irresistible story from New York Times bestselling authors Linda Howard and Linda Jones.

Sela Gordon, the shy owner of a Tennessee general store, finds safety in solitude. But if anyone can pierce her protective shell it’s the handsome, mysterious ex-military man living alone in the wilds of Cove Mountain. For two years, he’s kept his distance—until the day he appears to warn her that a catastrophic solar storm capable of taking down the power grid is coming. Now, Sela must find the courage to become the leader Wears Valley needs.

Bitter experience has taught Ben Jernigan it’s best to look out for number one. For two years the former soldier has lived in a self-imposed exile, using a top-notch security system to keep people away. But he had to let Sela know about the impending threat—and now the quiet and undeniably sexy woman is making it too easy for him to lower his guard.

As panic spreads, Sela and Ben discover that in the dark, cut off from the outside world, there’s no more playing it safe—in life or in love.

My Thoughts:
Sela starts off as a quiet sort of heroine, happy to go unnoticed, getting by running her convenience store/gas station with her aunt and niece pitching in.  However, every time Ben comes in the store she’s captivated, he’s so serious and focused, but she’s also just fine that he doesn’t seem to register her presence.  That is until the morning he comes in and tells her to prepare for a massive solar storm that’s about to hit the earth and knock out the world’s power grid.

This story is a little different than Linda Howard’s usual romantic suspense/thrillers. This time she partners up with Linda Jones to write an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it story. I wouldn’t call this an apocalyptic story, because it’s not really an end of the world situation, but a huge change in the convenient, buy anything at will, life that we’ve all lived… Well, until recently.  Some readers, in view of the situation that we’re in, have had an aversion to end-of-the-world stories, and some have been attracted to them. I’ve fallen into the latter category, although I’m not a fan of really gritty stories.

I thought After Sundown struck an excellent balance of urgency, keeping me on edge without scaring me into a panic. Of course, there are bad apples here, like in any community, and the threat they posed made my heart race, but Sela was no pushover, and she did end up having Ben at her back. Mostly, the story was about their small-town banding together as a community, working together to survive.  I find the prepper lifestyle fascinating, even before our world had sort of gone to hell, so I enjoyed seeing what everyone had to do to get by, living in a world without a working power grid. I wish I had a place like Ben’s right about now!

Even though it took a while for the romance to get into gear, Ben and Sela’s relationship was at the heart of this story, and my favorite part! Having a military background, Ben was naturally a protective and take-charge kind of guy, but he recognized that Sela was a strong, resourceful woman, he didn’t just barge in and take over.

After Sundown mixed a bit of reality, romance, and thrills that hooked me in and held my attention enough to finish the story in one day! Not an easy feat right now!

 4 Suns

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Sunday Post #71

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week. 

So it's been raining, a lot. This is unusual for Southern California, and I'm not complaining because we can always use the rain here, but weird. Today is the first day in like seven days (?) we haven't had rain. The sun was shining and it's beautiful. I went for a "run" (more like jog/walk lately). Here's a picture from my adventure today and one from a few days ago:

Sunny day run

Dry but on the verge of a rain. Rare time of dry this last week.

(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)

Loved After Sundown. Finished it early this morning after a marathon read yesterday. People in the aftermath of a coronal mass ejection (massive solar storm) that knocks out the power grid for everyone on the planet. Survival story that makes me want to buy a place away from it all, live off the grid, self-sufficient like. Bears Behaving Badly was a whacky, fun, sexy adventure! While I was a little stressed starting Iron Kissed for the 3rd time (cause I knew what was coming) it was such an amazing story. Patricia Briggs' writing just runs circles around most authors out there. So good!

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
(Click on cover for Goodreads link:)


My husband has grown tired of my end-of-the-world stories. Have no clue why, could it be the end-of-the-world-pandemic we're facing now,? Lol, for some reason the situation has me looking up all those kinds of stories to watch.  Out of consideration for my husband's more normal reactions to the pandemic we watched The Spy Who Dumped Me. Love Kate McKinnon and yes, it was pretty funny. Still managed to get an end-of-the-world story with The Day After Tomorrow (5th time watching? ) in so yay me! I have no idea why I'm so bent on them lately. 

How was your week?

Romance Giveaway of Eight Books!

Hope your day is going well!  Just wanted to post a giveaway. Eight Paperback Romances:

Walk Me Home by Liza Kendall-Paperback ARC Copy

FYI, these copies have not been used/read.  If I read any of the books above it was by e-copy. In case you were wondering. :) The giveaway is open to US Residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. Good luck!

Friday, April 10, 2020

Review: Bears Behaving Badly by MaryJanice Davidson

Publication Date: March 31st 2020 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the book:

These social worker bear shifters give the term "mama bear" a whole new meaning! Bestselling author MaryJanice Davidson is back with this brand-new paranormal romance series featuring a foster care system for at-risk shifter babies and teens.

Werebear shifter Annette Garsea is a caseworker for the Interspecies Placement Agency. When a selectively mute and freakishly strong teen werewolf is put in her custody, Annette has to uncover the young girl's secrets if she's to have any hopes of helping her. And not even the growling of a scruffy private investigator can distract her from her mission...

Bear shifter David Auberon appreciates Annette's work with at-risk teen shifters, but he's not sure if her latest charge is so much a vulnerable teen as a predator who should be locked up. All that changes when he, Annette, and her motley band of juveniles find themselves dodging multiple murder attempts and uncovering a trafficking cartel that doesn't just threaten the kids, but risks discovery of the shifters by the wider world of homo sapiens.

My Thoughts:
Annette teams up with fellow bear-shifter, David, investigating an assault by one of their at-risk juvenile charges, and that’s what starts this whacky, fun-filled mystery.

David’s had a crush on Annette, but hasn’t found the courage to ask her out, and when a rumor gets out at the office that they’re dating Annette forcefully denies it making it seems she’s not interested. Little does he know that she really, really is, and just denies anything going on because Annette thinks David isn’t interested. They operate under this misconception all the while hunting down a horrible, abusive group of shifter traffickers. But the more they work together, the more their undeniable attraction surfaces, and it’s impossible to hide that they’re falling a little more with every hour spent together. These bears were made for each other!

Bears Behaving Badly was slapstick mayhem, with a sweet romance, and hilarious characters. It was a little on the long side, and went around in circles a bit, but pretty fun, and downright steamy in the end! I think fans of Shelly Laurenston would enjoy Ms. Davidson’s brand of storytelling.

4 Suns

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Review: Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs

Publication Date: January 7th 2007 by Ace
Pages: 335
Narrator: Lorelei King
Audiobook Length: 10hrs 2min
Source: Purchased Audio & e-book
Purchase Link: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible

About the book:

Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places - and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shapeshift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind.

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary - and neither is the demon inside of him.
So FYI, I originally read and posted this review while on another blog: The Readers Den, back in August of 2013, but as I participate in of Anne @Books of My Heart read-along & series giveaway (For info & giveaway click HERE). I thought I'd re-post my review and my re-read updates. I first re-read the entire series back in 2017 and I've just started my third re-read a couple of weeks ago. This series is so awesome and I can't recommend it more, so if you're at all interested join all of us in the read-along!

My Thoughts:
Re-read for the 3rd time April 2nd, 2020. I notice more to love with every re-read! 

Re-read March 21st 2017. Even better the 2nd time around!

4.5 Stars

Blood Bound, the second installment in the Mercy Thompson series has me officially addicted!

This begins as Mercy’s friend, Stephan the vampire, calls in a favor owed. Little does she know that repayment puts her and the pack in grave danger, not something Stephan intended, either. What they stumble upon is a powerful threat that Mercy can’t let stand and before you know it, she’s waist high in dangerous vampire politics. Trying to distinguish the truth from subterfuge is difficult and vital if Mercy plans on staying alive.

Like most UF’s I’ve picked up, Mercy Thompson has a new mystery/problem to overcome with each book and also a continuing story arc that progresses, bit by bit in each installment. The new mystery is the vampire/sorcerer-crazy with massive amounts of power and wicked intent. There were parts of this story that genuinely made heart race from fear! Vampires are scary (and not sparkly), especially in the end!

I love Mercedes Thompson! She’s intelligent, a master of reading complicated situations and handling them with care. She reads between the lines and looks beyond the obvious, making her a force to be reckoned with.

The continuing arc is the romance, and it’s the part I love best! There is sort of a love triangle with Adam and Samuel in the mix, but not in an irritating way. Samuel has decided to stay in Washington, more specifically, with Mercy, when she’s made it clear she’s not interested. Samuel makes it clear he is. He was her first love but finding out exactly why he was interested her sent her running years ago. Highlight for spoiler: Mercy could bear his children, ones that would have the potential to be born werewolves, and therefore Samuel would have children he wouldn’t outlive. Finding out this was more a motivator than love broke Mercy’s heart at sixteen. End of spoiler. Now that Mercy looks back, though, she doesn’t regret the situation, because she realizes now that Samuel, as dominant as he is, would’ve wrapped her up in a protective cocoon and stifled her independent spirit.

Adam, the Alpha of the pack is domineering but still respects and appreciates Mercy for who she is rather than what she can do. He’s attracted to Mercy the woman, and isn’t looking for a pack brood mare. Mercy knew that Adam claimed her as his mate but thinks this was in name only, just for protection. A lone “walker” coyote like Mercy without protection would be a target for the wolves and probably wouldn’t last long. A few things happen that make it apparent that Adam’s “claim” has more power and sincerity behind it. This puts Mercy in a bind with Samuel back. Poor Mercy, *not* with two handsome, possessive, alpha males after her!

This was an exciting, and sometimes frightening read. Parts at the end gave me chills and goose bumps! I tried to force myself to put it aside just for my commutes. Something I wasn’t at all successful at! I’ve just finished book three: Iron Kissed, and I have to say the series just gets better!

I loved Lorelei King as the narrator. She has a warm, rich voice with a slightly sarcastic and humorous tone that I find perfect for Mercy. Her male voices are also quite good, as well, and the story flowed seamlessly because of it. I highly recommend the audio version!

4.5 Suns