Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Audio Review: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Publication Date: September 8th by Simon & Schuster Audio
Audio Book Length: 9 hrs 53 min
Narrator: Marin Ireland
Source: Publisher &
Pages: 336
Links: | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
Can you believe Anxious People was my first experience with Fredrik Backman? I’ve heard so many good things about his writing and this story didn’t disappoint. It brought out all the feels. 

I will say that at first, I was a bit confused about the story and where it was going. The police interviews and the cadence drove me a bit nuts, so I warn if you pick this up, hang on and have a bit of patience because it all comes together beautifully! It’s a story about an attempted bank robbery, an accidental hostage situation, but at the core it’s about love and how our actions impact others. The story is quirky, fun, and inspirational. I did shed a few tears by the end!

I listened to the audio and while Marin Ireland’s performance was good, I was a little disappointed that she didn’t have a Swedish accent. The story was set in Sweden after all. Other than that, I enjoyed the audio.

4 Suns

Goodreads Description:
This is a poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers slowly begin opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

As police surround the premises and television channels broadcast the hostage situation live, the tension mounts and even deeper secrets are slowly revealed. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Review: All Scot and Bothered by Kerrigan Bryne

All Scot and Bothered (Devil You Know #2) by Kerrigan Byrne
Publication Date: September 29th 2020 by St. Martin's 
Pages: 416
Source: Publisher
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

Five Reasons You Should Read All Scot and Bothered:

1. Kerrigan Bryne’s clever and beautiful writing.
Ms. Bryne expertly brings her characters to life, I felt every raw emotion: longing, passion, anger, and vulnerability along with Cecelia and Ramsey. Her writing is beautiful without being overly flowery and distracting.
2. The romance!
Lovely, delicious buildup, and oh, the wicked thoughts Mr. Ramsey does have running through his creative mind! He’s tried to control his indulgences and desires, but every time he’s around Cecilia he turns into a somewhat primal beast, and I loved it! Cecilia is not experienced, but she’s an adventurous woman with goals, determination, and a positive self-possessed spirit I admired. Their varied qualities spiced and enhanced the romance!
3. Never a dull moment!
There was danger, mystery, and passion and the mix kept me on the edge of my seat. I was so captivated, I read the story in a twenty-four-hour period.
4. The female friendship and camaraderie!
Alexandra, Francesca and Cecelia are not blood, but they are sisters of the heart, there for each other through thick and thin. These ladies are the kind that don’t ask questions, just help bury the body! My kind of girlfriends for sure!
5. The ending will make you happy!
Who doesn’t want a happy ending, especially now?! This is a romance so this is hardly a spoil, but All Scot and Bothered will leave you with a dreamy smile on your face!

All Scot and Bothered is the second book in The Devil You Know series, but it isn't necessary to read the prior book. You will miss Alexandra's story, though, and that would be a tragedy! 

5 Suns

Friday, September 25, 2020

Review: Someone to Romance by Mary Balogh

Someone to Romance (Westcott #7) by Mary Balogh
Publication Date: August 25th 2020 by Berkley
Pages: 413
Source: Publisher

My Thoughts:
Mary Balogh treats us to the lives and romances of the Westcott’s and family in this newest installment with Lady Jessica Archer as our heroine. It isn’t necessary to read the previous books in the series, Jessica’s situation and past is mostly explained, but it won’t have the same impact as you’d have reading the books in order.

Jessica hasn’t selected a husband.  As the sister of the Duke of Netherby and with wealth of her own she hasn’t lacked opportunity, but guilt at her best friend’s tragic set down held her back. But now that her best friend has a husband and baby to love, Jessica can’t help but feel a little resentful that she’s now alone. She can’t help longing to have the happiness Abigail so clearly has. The new season is about to begin in London and Jessica decides she’s going to find a husband and marry. Gabriel Thorne sets her hackles up with his assumptions, but his presence lights her up every time.

Gabriel Thorne is back in England after years away to claim his title, but it won’t be easy. His uncle is a piece of work, and the reason he left thirteen years ago.  He needs a wife at his side to help manage the difficulties ahead. Lady Jessica Archer fits the bill perfectly, born and bred to manage a household and navigate the societal complexities that come with being and Earl, and she’s beautiful.  He’s not sure he even likes her, though, Jessica seems cold and arrogant, typical titled lady. Still, it seems no other woman will do for him.

I loved the push and pull between them; they clashed, and sparks flew! They had chemistry! One of my favorite things about this series is how the Westcott family really comes through for anyone they’ve deemed their own, and it was no different this time, and it made my heart swell! I’ve loved the Westcott series from the beginning. Mary Balogh writes complex, relatable characters, and I felt for both Jessica and Gabriel and was invested in their HEA!

4 Suns

Goodreads Description:

Love comes when you least expect it in this captivating new novel in the Wescott Regency romance series from New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh.

Lady Jessica Archer lost her own interest in the glittering excitement of romance after her cousin and dearest friend, Abigail Westcott, was rejected by the ton when her father was revealed to be a bigamist. Ever practical, however, once she's twenty-five, she decides it's time to wed. Though she no longer believes she will find true love, she is still very eligible. She is, after all, the sister of Avery Archer, Duke of Netherby.

Jessica considers the many qualified gentlemen who court her. But when she meets the mysterious Gabriel Thorne, who has returned to England from the New World to claim an equally mysterious inheritance, Jessica considers him completely unsuitable, because he had the audacity, when he first met her, to announce his intention to wed her.

When Jessica guesses who Gabriel really is, however, and watches the lengths to which he will go in order to protect those who rely upon him, she is drawn to his cause—and to the man.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books on My Fall 2020 To Read List

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.

Top Ten Books on My Fall 2020 To Read List:

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

It's late and I'm way too tired to write up something for each of these books, but know that I'm super excited for each and EVERY one of them! 

What books are you looking forward to this Fall?

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Sunday Post #90

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. 

I'm back in Northern California this weekend and the temperatures in California have dropped both at home and up here. The smoke has cleared a bit too, which is nice. We still have fires burning in the state though, but I think the cooler temps have helped. I went on a six mile hike up here:

You can see the smoke has cleared a lot, but still there in the hills.

More cows on the trail

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

Loved Never Look Back. It was hard to stop listening. It took me about 50% before everything started coming together on Anxious People. The audio before that was driving me a little nuts, but I ended up really liking the story by the end.  Laura Griffin is a pro at romantic suspense and has a large backlist. I've had some I loved and then some that weren't as stellar like Hidden. Still, it was an entertaining read.

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

April Hunt is a new to me author, so we'll see how Fatal Deception turns out. I'm a little hesistant to pick up Christina Lauren right away because I've had both hits and misses. In a Holidaze seems to be getting positive reactions so I picked it up. Like the Ground Hog's Day sort of premise. I've read At Bertram's Hotel several times, but years and years ago. I thought I'd start re-reading some of Agatha Christie's by audio book and this one just came through from the library.


Started Yellowstone. The scenery reminds me of parts of Montana. Seems like a gritty show, but I'm liking it so far. 

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Review: Hidden by Laura Griffin

Hidden (The Texas Murder Files #1) by Laura Griffin
Publication Date: August 25th 2020 by Berkley Books
Pages: 349
Source: Publisher
Rating: ½
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
A woman is murdered on a running/hiking trail capturing the attention of reporter Baily Rhoades, and Detective Jacob Merrit.  Each are wary of the other, the press and cops are usually a bit at odds in my reading experience and it’s no different here, which makes the attraction brewing between these two a little inconvenient. Uncovering details about the victim soon reveals that a lot more is going on that just a random assault on a runner and digging puts Bailey in danger.

I’m usually not a huge fan of investigative reporters because they seem to be out for the story instead of justice, but Bailey is an exception. She’s principled and doesn’t just report without regard for the investigation and I liked that. I really liked her. Jacob and Bailey are a reluctant team, but I enjoyed the pairing and really liked how it all turned out.

I have to say this scenario wakes up my personal awareness, as I hike and run alone, and this situation is something I worry about often. I carry pepper spray as I go, but still. I feel it’s so unfair that men don’t have to worry about this, women are so often prey in so many situations. Why can’t we just enjoy the outdoors in peace?! My personal rant aside, I really enjoyed Hidden. Laura Griffin is a staple in the romantic suspense/crime procedural genre. Her stories are consistently entertaining and captivating.

3.5 Suns

Goodreads Description:
When a woman is found brutally murdered on Austin's lakeside hike-and-bike trail, investigative reporter Bailey Rhoads turns up on the scene demanding access and answers. She tries to pry information out of the lead detective, Jacob Merritt. But this case is unlike any he's ever seen, and nothing adds up.

Bailey has a hunch the victim wasn't who she claimed to be and believes this mugging-turned-murder could have been a targeted hit. When she digs deeper, the trail leads her to a high-tech fortress on the outskirts of Austin where researchers are pushing the boundaries of a cutting-edge technology that could be deadly in the wrong hands.

As a ruthless hit man's mission becomes clear, Bailey and Jacob must embark on a desperate search to locate the next target before the clock ticks down on this lethal game of hide and seek.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Review: Silence Fallen by Patricia Briggs

Silence Fallen (Mercy Thompson #10) by Patricia Briggs
Publication Date: March 7th 2017 by Ace
Source: Publisher and purchased audio book
Pages: 379
Narration Length: 11 hrs 13 min
Narrators: Lorelei King and George Newbern
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible | Goodreads

I originally posted this on The Readers Den, but as part of my read along with Anne at Books of My Heart I'm posting my original review for Silence Fallen here. Anne is a giving away a copy of Storm Cursed so stop by and check it out! 

Mercy Thompson continues to be one of my two favorite Urban Fantasy series' and I'm working my way through a third time. Every time I notice new things and love the story just a little bit more. The audios are perfection!

My Thoughts:
Re-read for the 3rd time Sunday August 23rd 2020 and listened to the audio book in one day! My husband and I couldn't stop listening! One of my favorites of the series!

Re-read April 4th 2017, and my re-reading binge is over! *sobs* I want more Adam and Mercy!

Original review:
Silence Fallen
kicks off with a bang as Mercy is abducted and taken to Europe by vampires. What do they want and how will she get away?

As usual Mercy survives by her wits, thinking things through quickly and using hard won experience to her advantage. Mercy is away from Adam and her Pack for most of the book, but before you go panicking, let me reassure you Adam is still very much a part of the story and we get his POV more than we have in any other books in the past. I loved it! Got to “see” just how much Mercy means to Adam, and how living with his wolf is more of a struggle than I knew.

It was interesting to get a bit of Marsilia, Stefan and Wulfe’s history, why they came to America. It was interesting to see Marsilia in a little different light, and not as awful as she usually is.

Patricia Briggs has crafted one of my all-time favorite female characters in Mercy. Her intelligence shines with every problem she encounters. Mercy ponders things through like body language, repercussions of action, and what she says, weighing possible outcomes, doing this pretty quickly!

Silence Fallen
is another amazing installment in the Mercy Thompson series! I was almost glad I was sick this weekend because it gave me an excuse to sit home and read this straight through. It took me longer to finish than an average book, because I didn’t want to miss anything! There were a few twists, and one surprise I did not see coming. The reveal was worked in very quietly, too, IMO. All around it was a riveting read, one of the best in the Mercy Thompson series! 

5 Suns

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Sunday Post #89

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. 

Well it's been another week of California burning. The state is blanketed with smoke and the news is depressing. On a positive note the smoke cover has made it so we've cooled down a bit and the triple digit weather they've forecasted hasn't happened. Instead we're in the 80's and 90's and it cools down quite a bit at night. I hope the lower temps help get some of these fires under control.  Right now I'm on bad news overload so I've gone into ostrich mode. This bird is burying her head in the sand with books and Netflix!

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

Home Before Dark was a haunted house horror story, scary in parts with a mystery that kept me guessing! The Ghost Story wasn't as scary as I'd hoped. More a coming of age sort of Brothers Grimm horror fairy tale. Still, entertaining.

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

I just downloaded the audio and e-book version today of Never Look Back through Kindle Unlimited and I'm already 75% through the book! Looking forward to Anxious People as so many praise Fredik Bachman. Love Maisey Yates so of course!


Didn't know this was based on a Katherine Center novel! Figured it out about a quarter way through. Really enjoyed this one, but I bet the book fleshed out the characters and motivations better. Loved the setting and the old Texas farmhouse where her aunt lived! I ohhhed and ahhhed over the farmhouse.

How was your week?

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Review: The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry

The Ghost Tree by Christina Henry
Publication Date: September 8th 2020 by Berkley Books
Pages: 426
Source: Publisher
Rating: ½ 
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

My Thoughts:
The Ghost Tree a creepy story with some magical elements, but I think this was more a coming of age story than a scary one. It felt like a Brothers Grimm sort of scary fairy tale with a curse, witches, and several gory murders. The town of Smiths Hollow doesn’t seem to register these murders for longer than a day or two.

The story is told from several points of view: Lauren an almost fifteen-year-old whose father was murdered less than a year back; a grisly murder with his heart cut out in the woods bordering the town. Yet, Lauren isn’t afraid in these woods and still longs for the days when her and her best friend Madison would meet and play at the Old Ghost Tree. Lauren and her friend Madison on in the between stage of adult and young teen, and with that transition these two best friends are growing apart. Madison’s focus is boys, hair and makeup, a pretty unlikeable, selfish character as she spent most of the book annoyed with Lauren for not going along with her plans. Lauren for her part has had enough of Madison’s bossiness.

However, Lauren’s growing concern over her relationship with her best friend takes a back seat when two girls are found murdered, an event that has magical repercussions for Lauren and her little brother David.

I liked Lauren’s burgeoning romance with Jake and her relationship with her little brother, David. Lauren’s mother also had a POV and she was unlikeable until the very end IMO. There’s a few more POVs, one I didn’t really care for: Mrs. Schneider a hateful bigot of an old lady, and then one I did like a lot: Officer Alex Lopez, a newer resident to Smiths Hollow, there with his family for a better life away from the city. He’s not as affected by the curse as the old-time residents of Smiths Hollow and therefore latches onto the mystery of the murdered girls. 

I loved Christina Henry’s The Girl in Red and so I was excited to pick up The Ghost Tree. The Ghost Tree was an entirely different kind of story. It gave me a Stranger Things kind of vibe, maybe because that series is very centered on teenagers in the ’80 (same here) with weird things going on. It was an entertaining read, but I didn’t love it as much as TGiR. The story dragged for me in a few places, and I was wondering a few times where the story was going. Still, I enjoyed the story overall, and I think it would make a good creepy read for the coming Fall/Halloween season. 

3.5 Suns

Goodreads blurb:

When people go missing in the sleepy town of Smith's Hollow, the only clue to their fate comes when a teenager starts having terrifying visions, in a chilling horror novel from national bestselling author Christina Henry.

When the bodies of two girls are found torn apart in the town of Smiths Hollow, Lauren is surprised, but she also expects that the police won't find the killer. After all, the year before her father's body was found with his heart missing, and since then everyone has moved on. Even her best friend, Miranda, has become more interested in boys than in spending time at the old ghost tree, the way they used to when they were kids.

So when Lauren has a vision of a monster dragging the remains of the girls through the woods, she knows she can't just do nothing. Not like the rest of her town. But as she draws closer to answers, she realizes that the foundation of her seemingly normal town might be rotten at the center. And that if nobody else stands for the missing, she will.

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Giveaway & Review: Nowhere to Hide by Leslie A. Kelly

Nowhere to Hide by Leslie A. Kelly
Publication Date: August 25th 2020 by Forever Yours
Pages: 368
Source: Publisher
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

About the book:

A cold case is suddenly too hot to handle in the second installment of the Winchester Brothers romantic suspense series from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Leslie A. Kelly.

Police officer Rowan Winchester wants nothing to do with his celebrity family's legacy. Working with the LAPD is his way of atoning for the Winchesters' dark and secretive past. And, right now, the last thing Rowan needs is true-crime novelist Evie Fleming nosing around the most notorious deaths in Los Angeles -- including the ones that haunt his own family. To make things worse, he's torn between wanting the wickedly smart writer out of his city . . . and just plain wanting her.

While researching her latest book, Evie suspects that a dangerous new killer is prowling the City of Angels. Now she just has to convince the devastatingly handsome cop that she's right. Soon Evie and Rowan are working together to try to find the killer, even as their attraction ignites. But when the killer hones in on Evie, she and Rowan realize they'll have to solve this case fast if they want to stay alive.

My Thoughts:
Nowhere to Hide starts off with a bang sucking me into the story right away. There’s a lot of danger, and suspense wondering if Evie will be safe and not knowing exactly who is behind the sinister threat hanging over her. I really liked Evie, and her inquisitive spirit. I will say some of her actions in the end bordered on TSTL, and resulted in a tragedy, but technically it wasn’t her decision in the moment so I can’t really say it was all her. Still, it was a bit annoying.

The romance was a slow burn, and even though both were attracted at first meet there were some obstacles to overcome before either would give into their desire. Rowan was hesitant because he didn’t fully trust, at first, Evie’s intentions. Was worried if he let her in, she’d betray the family’s secrets, but I liked how it all turned out.

Nowhere to Hide was a nice blend of action, mystery, danger, and romance. There was a mystery that wraps up in this installment, but there’s also a mystery arc started in the first book involving the Winchester’s sister, their agent and the brothers that isn’t yet solved.  I didn’t read the first book and I didn’t feel too left out of the loop. I’m eager to see how it all turns out in the next book.

4 Suns

The lovely people at Forever graciously provided A Paperback Copy of Nowhere to Hide to giveaway to one lucky reader. Fill out the rafflecopter below for a chance to win. The giveaway is open to US Residents only.

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Sunday Post #88

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. 

I took an unscheduled mini blog break, so I've been out of things the last week and half. I was out of state, back in Montana last week for a fun filled time of pool, skeet shooting, and horseback riding. It was nice to be away from the horrible heat wave and smoke. 
I'm currently back in California and the smoke is better, but the heat is still pretty bad. At home it's supposed to be 114 today and 113 tomorrow. I'm up north at my daughter's house and it's a little better, but still pretty hot. We're supposed to have a high of 106 today and 107 tomorrow. It was much cooler yesterday so I took advantage of that and went on a six-mile hike:

Smoky view-In the center is one large oak tree! It's huge!

Cute cows along the way. This is a baby.

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

World War Z was a fun listen, but I liked the movie better. Loved Emerald Blaze, Thick as Thieves, and my re-read of Silence Fallen. 

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

I just started the audio and I'm liking it so far. 

How was your week?