Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Month in Review: December 2013

Here are my reading stats for December!
  • Books read:  13

Books I read (reviewed ones have * and link to review; books not yet reviewed will be linked up once review is posted.)
  1. The Diva Frosts a Cupcake-- Krista Davis
  2. The Wrong Girl* -- Hank Phillippi Ryan
  3. Takedown Twenty*-- Janet Evanovich (audio)
  4. The Silent Girl* -- Tess Gerritsen ( audio)
  5. All Summer Long* -- Susan Mallery (e-book)
  6. A Fool's Gold Christmas* -- Susan Mallery (e-book)
  7. Freaks --Tess Gerritsen (e-book)
  8. John Doe -- Tess Gerritsen (e-book)
  9. The Life List -- Lori Nelson Spielman
  10. A Seaside Christmas* -- Sherryl Woods (e-book)
  11. Touch & Go* -- Lisa Gardner (audio)
  12. Big Sky Secrets* -- Linda Lael Miller (e-book)
  13. Eggs in a Casket -- Laura Childs

Favorite Book of December:  
 

  • The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan

2013 Challenge Update:

  •  Read-a-Latte Reading Challenge -- Books Read: 125/100 (COMPLETED)
  •  Library Books Reading Challenge -- Books Read: 50/50 (COMPLETED)
  •  Off the Shelf Reading Challenge -- Books Read: 11/30
  •  Tea & Books Reading Challenge -- Books Read: 0/2
  •  First Reads Reading Challenge -- Books Read: 39/11+ (COMPLETED)
  •  Classics Reading Challenge -- Books Read: 1/3
  •  Historical Fiction Reading Challenge -- Books read: 25/25 (COMPLETED)
  •  E-Book Reading Challenge -- Books Read: 47/25 (COMPLETED)
  •  1st in a Series Challenge -- Series started: 6/10 + 7
  •  Finish the Series Challenge -- Series completed: 2/3 + 2
  •  Cruising Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge -- Books Read: 10/13+
  •  Audio Book Challenge -- Books Listened To: 36/26 (COMPLETED)
  •  Reading Challenge Addict Challenge - Challenges Finished: 6/12
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Review: Big Sky Secrets by Linda Lael Miller

Title: Big Sky Secrets  
Author: Linda Lael Miller 
Series: Swoon Worthy Cowboy Series, #6  
Published: December 2013, Harlequin HQN
Format: ARC e-copy, 384 pages  
Source: Netgalley   


Self-made tycoon Landry Sutton heads to Hangman Bend's Ranch to sell his land to his brother Zane. Though he's got cowboy in his blood, Landry plans to return to city life before the dust even settles on his boots. Of course, he didn't count on falling for Big Sky Country…or Ria Manning.

Ria's starting to settle into country life herself…until she has a close encounter of the terrifying kind with a buffalo. Turns out the peeping monster belongs to the cowboy next door—and he has her running even more scared than his bison. She wants a home where the buffalo don't roam, and the men don't either. Could Landry's homecoming be her heart's undoing?

My thoughts: Oh...I'm so bummed that this is the final book in Linda Lael Miller's Swoon Worthy Cowboy series (as I like to call it!!!). I have absolutely loved this series - each book brought us hot cowboys that found their happily-ever-afters with down-to-earth gals that just seemed to be their perfect matches.

In this latest (and final) installment, we get Landry and Ria's story. I really liked this book and the fact that while the chemistry between Landry and Ria is hot and heavy, their relationship is not the main focus of the book. There are many other issues going on in the book that these characters need to deal with, including Ria's niece who shows up at her house after running away from her controlling mother, the runaway bulls that trample Ria's flowers; Landry's father showing up unexpectedly to name a few.

I loved all the characters in this book, from the main characters to the minor ones. Landry's butler, Highbridge is hysterical - oh how I would have loved to have seen a picture of him in his "duds" for the rodeo! And then there's Ria's sister, showing up to the dusty countryside in all white! One of the things I love about these small-town series is how everyone comes together to stand up for their own. There is an instance when quite a few show their disgust when someone picks on Ria. 

The romance itself between Landry and Ria is sweet, endearing, and even funny at times. It seems the perfect ending to a great series and I can't wait for Linda Lael Miller's next trilogy to come out - which is set to be released in the Spring of 2014.


Books in this series: 
  1. Big Sky Country
  2. Big Sky Mountain
  3. Big Sky River
  4. Big Sky Summer 
  5. Big Sky Wedding 
  6. Big Sky Secrets
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Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner (audio)

Title: Touch & Go   
Author: Lisa Gardner   
Narrator: Elisabeth Rodgers  
Published: February 2013, Brilliance Audio
Length: 14 hours, 29 minutes  
Source: Personal copy 

#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner, author of Catch Me and Love You More, returns with a heart-thumping thriller about what lurks behind the facade of a perfect family.
This is my family:  Vanished without a trace…

Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life that looks good in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year old daughter, Ashlyn. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s elite Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by friends and family.  A perfect life.

This is what I know:  Pain has a flavor…

When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives at the crime scene in the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and Taser confetti in the foyer.  The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their most personal possessions remaining behind.  No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive.  Just an entire family, vanished without a trace.

This is what I fear:  The worst is yet to come…

Tessa knows better than anyone that even the most perfect fa├žades can hide the darkest secrets.  Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices.  Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family?  And how far would such a person be willing to go?

This is the truth:  Love, safety, family...…it is all touch and go.

My thoughts: I really enjoy Lisa Gardner's books - they are excellent thrillers and this one is no exception. While a stand-alone, a few of the characters from her DD Warren series do make appearances in the book, in particular, DD and of course Tessa, who we first met in Love You More.

This story pulled me in from the beginning and held me captivated the whole time. Alternating from three of the main character's points of view, the story moves at quite a fast pace and is full of twists and turns throughout the book.

All of the characters are equally compelling and intriguing, and you really feel for the Denbes while they are being held captive. But just are interesting are the bad guys that held the Denbes captive. As the story progressed, and Tessa and Detective Wyatt were interviewing people and investigating possible motives, I found myself constantly changing my mind as to who was behind the abduction - I love when the authors throw in those red herrings!!!

I remember when I read Love You More, that I wanted more of Tessa Leoni and am glad to see she got her own book. Now I hope we get even more of her and that she gets her own series!


Audio Thoughts: Elisabeth Rodgers does a great job with this audio - her timing is spot on and she puts just the right amount of tension and emotion in her voice when needed. This is the third audio book I've listened to her narrate recently and find that she does well with psychological thrillers. She's definitely on my list of top narrators!

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Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Sunday Post #5 (12.29.13)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.   

I've decided to try a new weekly meme - a place where I can do both a weekly wrap up and share what books I get all in one post, so I'm going to give The Sunday Post a try, and also link up with Sheila's It's Monday Post over at Book Journey
 
Another crazy week that resulted in little to no reading time. Between getting last minute holiday stuff done before heading to my in-laws for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and then getting my house ready for my family's Christmas celebration today - I've been a bit frazzled!!! Today we're hosting 23 people - 14 adults and 9 kids - and hubby, my rockstar, is doing all the cooking! While I'm excited to see my siblings and their kids, I have to say I will also be glad when tomorrow comes and I can finally sit with my feet up and just read all day!

I'm also quite excited that hubby and I have decided to have a quiet night in for New Years. He has to work that day and I plan on just reading and catching up on the blog. I still need to put together my end of year post and my goals post for 2014 as well as finalize what reading challenges I will be participating in for the upcoming year. I'm super excited that the next Bout of Books will be the first full week in January - I'm hoping that will kick-start my reading for the new year. Will you be participating?

Hope everyone has a happy, healthy and safe New Year!!!

*****************************************************************************************
Last week on the Blog:    
* Review: A Seaside Christmas by Sherryl Woods   
* Bout of Books 9.0 Sign Up!
 
Books Read:  
* Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner (audio book)

Currently Reading:    
* Eggs in a Casket by Laura Childs (review book)
* Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts (audio book)  
* The Lake House by Marci Nault (mine)
 
 
Books Up Next:    
* Big Sky Secrets by Linda Lael Miller (review e-book)    
* Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley (review e-book)
 

Current Giveaways:    
* None right now
 
Coming Up on the Blog:  
* Review: The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen 
* Review: Big Sky Secrets by Linda Lael Miller 
* Month in Review: December 2013  
* Year in Review Post: 2013  
* 2014 Goals for Reading/Blogging/Life in General    


Book Haul:   
For Review:    
* Sleigh Bells in the Snow by Sarah Morgan (e-book ARC via Netgalley)  
* Evening Stars by Susan Mallery (e-book ARC via Netgalley)  
* The Cottage on Juniper Ridge by Sheila Roberts (e-book ARC via Netgalley)  
* The Chance by Robyn Carr (e-book ARC via Netgalley)  
Purchased:    
* The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure (e-book)
From Library:
* Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts (audio b00k)
Gift (from my book friend T!):
* The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson (signed by author!)
* Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson(signed by author!)

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Friday, December 27, 2013

Bout of Books 9.0 Sign-Up!


Another Bout of Books is coming and I am declaring my intention to join. As it is happening the first full week of January, I hope it will give me a good reading burst for the new year. Not familiar with what Bout of Books is? Check out the blurb from the Bout of Books gals...

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

I'm not sure what my goals will be at the moment - a lot will depend on how much reading I get in between now and then. Same goes for what books I plan on reading. I will post a master goal post once Bout of Books 9.0 starts. 


Let me know if you plan on participating in this fun read-a-thon!
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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Review: A Seaside Christmas by Sherryl Woods

Title: A Seaside Christmas   
Author: Sherryl Woods 
Series: Chesapeake Shores, #10  
Published: September 2013, Harlequin MIRA   
Format: ARC e-copy, 288 pages  
Source: Netgalley  

#1 New York Times bestselling author Sherryl Woods takes you back to Chesapeake Shores for another heartwarming holiday season

As the only child of a single mom, Jenny Collins wanted nothing more than to be part of a large, rambunctious family like the O'Briens. Ironically, though, when her mother married into that family, Jenny found herself feeling more like an outsider than ever.

Now, after years in Nashville as an established songwriter, Jenny's drawn back to Chesapeake Shores to collaborate on a Christmas production, and to make peace with the past. As if that's not challenging enough, Caleb Green, the singer who broke her heart, has followed her to town, determined to win her back.

With the help of a little O'Brien holiday magic, will Jenny and Caleb find a way to make sweet music forever?

My thoughts: I was so excited when I saw that Sherryl Woods was coming out with another book in her Chesapeake Shores series and that it was a Christmas story only made it that much better. I love this series and was quite bummed when Sherryl Woods had made the decision to end it with the previous book, The Summer Garden. Luckily, she listened to her readers and decided to keep writing.

This latest installment about one of my all-time favorite families, the boisterous and noisy O'Brien clan, is all about second-chances and forgiveness that just happens to occur during the holiday season. Jenny has come home to Chesapeake Shores to mend her broken heart and to also help her Aunt Bree with the music for her Christmas show. At the same time, it would also be helpful if she took the time to work on the rift between her and her mother.

Caleb is the one who broke Jenny's heart and he winds up in Chesapeake Shores not too long after Jenny, realizing he's made a big mistake in letting her go. A popular singer, he's well-known, so it's not surprising that one-by-one as they run into him, the O'Brien all warn him if he hurts Jenny he will have to answer to them.

Bree, ever the match-maker, schemes to get Caleb to sing the songs for the show so that Caleb and Jenny will have to work together. Sparks are definitely flying, but can Jenny forgive Caleb for his past mistakes so that they can have their happily-ever-after?

I really loved this story. I loved that we got to see many of the O'Brien clan, including my absolute favorite, the matriarch of the family, Nell. There are many heartwarming scenes throughout, especially the one where Caleb and the O'Brien men decorate Jenny's lawn with Christmas decorations. Be prepared to laugh and tear up a bit throughout the book. I only hope that this is not the last we see of this fun, boisterous family.


Books in this series:
  1. The Inn at Eagle Point                          6.  Moonlight Cove
  2. Flowers on Main                                     7.  Beach Lane
  3. Harbor Lights                                          8.  An O'Brien Family Christmas
  4. A Chesapeake Shores Christmas      9.  The Summer Garden
  5. Driftwood Cottage                                10.  A Seaside Christmas
      
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Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Sunday Post #4 (12.22.13)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.  

I've decided to try a new weekly meme - a place where I can do both a weekly wrap up and share what books I get all in one post, so I'm going to give The Sunday Post a try, and also link up with Sheila's It's Monday Post over at Book Journey. 

Well - we've gone from freezing temps to temps in the 60s...and all the snow has melted. So much for a white Christmas here in New York! Oh well...

Can't believe Christmas is almost here. I have all my shopping done - just need to wrap all the gifts. Yesterday I did some baking - had to finish making fudge and I wasn't alone...it seemed quite a few of us on twitter were all making fudge. I make two kinds: regular chocolate fudge and a peppermint fudge that uses dark chocolate and then crushed candy cane pieces sprinkled on top. I made both last year to bring to my in-laws for dessert on Christmas Eve and they were a hit (and quite easy to make so I don't mind making them again!). 

Happy holidays to all...safe travels for those that are traveling and enjoy all the family time. 


*****************************************************************************************
 
Last week on the Blog:  
* Review: Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen  
* Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
* Review: All Summer Long by Susan Mallery  
* Review: A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery

Books Read:
* A Seaside Christmas by Sherryl Woods (e-book)

Currently Reading:  
* Eggs in a Casket by Laura Childs (review book)
* Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner (audio book)
* The Lake House by Marci Nault (mine)
 
Books Up Next:  
* Big Sky Secrets by Linda Lael Miller (review e-book)  
* Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley (review e-book)

Current Giveaways:
 
* None right now

Coming Up on the Blog:  
* Review: A Seaside Christmas by Sherryl Woods
* Review: The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen  
* Bout of Books 9.0 sign-up/intention post

 
Book Haul:   
For Review:  
* The Wife, The Maid, & The Mistress by Ariel Lawhon (courtesy of publisher)
* Mrs. Lincoln's Rival by Jennifer Chiaverini (courtesy of publisher)
* In the Blood by Lisa Unger (e-book ARC via Netgalley)  
Purchased:  
* Lovers at Heart by Melissa Foster (free e-book)

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Friday, December 20, 2013

Review: A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery

Title: A Fool's Gold Christmas  
Author: Susan Mallery 
Series: Fool's Gold, #9.5 
Published: October 2013, Harlequin HQN  
Format: ARC e-copy, 336 pages  
Source: Netgalley  

A classic heartwarming tale for the holidays from New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery

The cheer in Fool's Gold, California, is bringing out the humbug in dancer Evie Stryker. An injury has forced her to return home to her estranged family. So she won't add to the awkward scenario by falling for the charms of her brother's best friend, no matter how tempting he is. When she's recruited to stage the winter festival, she vows to do as promised, then move on, anywhere but here.

Jaded lawyer Dante Jefferson is getting used to the town he now calls home, but the pounding of little dancers' feet above his office is more than he can take. When he confronts their gorgeous teacher, he's unprepared for their searing attraction. Evie is his best friend's sister—off-limits unless he's willing to risk his heart. Dante has always believed that love is dangerous, but that was before he had to reckon with the magic of a certain small town, where miracles do seem to happen….

My thoughts: I love reading holiday-themed books - it just helps put me in the holiday spirit and this holiday-themed Fool's Gold installment came at the perfect time. As I've been trying to catch up on this series this year - a goal I sadly realize is not going to come to fruition - at least I get to end up having read all about the Stryker family, who may just be my favorite Fool's Gold family.

This book is Evie and Dante's story - two people who would rather be anywhere else than in Fool's Gold, the small, family-centric town, that not only loves it's festivals but goes all out for the holidays. Deciding to stick together to get through the holidays, the two start spending lots of time together, but with each having separate plans of leaving Fool's Gold within the year, they agreed a long-term relationship was off-limits. Little did they know their hearts had other plans!

I enjoyed this story. There's a little bit of everything - a love story, a story of forgiveness (Evie and her family), the town once again rallies to help when Evie runs into issues putting the holiday show together - all the things I love about this series. Familiar characters make appearances and as usual there are some new faces as well. I've really loved getting to know the Stryker family and can't wait to see what Susan Mallery has in store with the rest of this series.

I love reading holiday stories and love when authors add a holiday-themed book to their series. This one just seemed to fit perfectly on all levels - Evie's story almost needed the holiday magic to make it that much more endearing. How do you feel about holiday-themed stories within series?


Books in this series:

      1.  Chasing Perfect                     8.  Summer Nights
      2.  Almost Perfect                      9.  All Summer Long
      2.5  Sister of the Bride             9.5  A Fool's Gold Christmas
      3.  Finding Perfect                     9.75   Halfway There
      4.  Only Mine                               10.  Just One Kiss
      5.  Only Yours                             11.  Two of a Kind
      6.  Only His                                  12. Three Little Words                     
      6.1  Only Us                                 12.5  Christmas on 4th Street
      6.2  Almost Summer
      7.  Summer Days  



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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Review: All Summer Long by Susan Mallery

Title: All Summer Long  
Author: Susan Mallery 
Series: Fool's Gold, #9 
Published: July 2012, Harlequin HQN 
Format: e-book, 384 pages 
Source: Personal copy  

Former underwear model turned entrepreneur Clay Stryker has loved, tragically lost and vowed that he'll never risk his heart again. After making his fortune, the youngest of the rugged Stryker brothers returns to Fool's Gold, California, to put down roots on a ranch of his own. But he's frustrated to discover that even in his hometown, people see him only for his world-famous...assets.

Firefighter Chantal (Charlie) Dixon grew up an ugly duckling beside her delicately beautiful mother, a feeling reinforced long ago by a man who left soul-deep scars. Now she has good friends, a solid job and the itch to start a family—yet she can't move toward the future while she's haunted by painful memories.

Clay finds an unexpected ally, and unexpected temptation, in tomboyish Charlie, the only person who sees beyond his dazzling good looks to the real man beneath. But when Charlie comes to him with an indecent proposal, will they be able to overcome their pasts and find a love that lasts beyond one incredible summer?

My thoughts: I was definitely right when I said I was going to love this latest trilogy in the Fool's Gold series involving the Stryker brothers and this most recent one, I think, is going down as my favorite. Charlie and Clay just stole my heart as their story was told and we really got to know them.

What I loved about this love story is that while at first glance Charlie and Clay appear to be completely different, they really are very much alike. Both have trouble being taken seriously. No on believed that anything horrible could happen to tough-girl Charlie and everyone assumes that  underwear model Clay is just too pretty to be smart or even reliable. But, as they get to know each other, they come to appreciate each other for who they really are. Clay appreciates Charlie for being strong and honest. She listens when he discusses his plans for the future rather than laughing at him. And Charlie appreciates that Clay recognizes her beauty as she is, without all the fuss and bells and whistles that other females go through. While neither one was looking to fall in love, it certainly was fun watching as they did.

There are a few new characters introduced in this book and some familiar ones continue to pop up. As not all the characters we've met so far have had their stories told, it will be interesting to see who gets paired up with who in the upcoming books.

Books in this series:

      1.  Chasing Perfect                     8.  Summer Nights
      2.  Almost Perfect                      9.  All Summer Long
      2.5  Sister of the Bride             9.5  A Fool's Gold Christmas
      3.  Finding Perfect                     9.75   Halfway There
      4.  Only Mine                               10.  Just One Kiss
      5.  Only Yours                             11.  Two of a Kind
      6.  Only His                                  12. Three Little Words                     
      6.1  Only Us                                 12.5  Christmas on 4th Street
      6.2  Almost Summer
      7.  Summer Days 



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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich (audio)

Title: Takedown Twenty   
Author: Janet Evanovich   
Series: Stephanie Plum, #20   
Narrator: Lorelei King  
Published: November 2013, Books on Tape  
Length: 6 hours, 12 minutes  
Source: Personal copy 

New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore “Uncle Sunny” Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it’s up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny is charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in—not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because—just Stephanie’s luck—the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail.

It’s not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client’s mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie’s Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she’s working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose—and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor.

With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail, and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

My thoughts: Oh, Stephanie...you never fail to make me laugh with all your crazy antics that you seem to find yourself involved in. In this latest installment, it's clear that you are no closer to figuring out what you really want to do with your life career-wise than you are to deciding what man you really want to be with.

Stephanie's latest case has her trying to locate Uncle Sunny - who happens to be Joe's godfather - which of course means that Joe's grandmother Bella is sure to show up once or twice with her crazy curses! On top of that, Ranger asks for her help when older women start showing up dead - the common thing being they all play bingo. Oh - and there seems to be a giraffe running around town and Lula has named him Kevin. She feels bad for him and goes around leaving him food where she thinks he might show up.

I love the relationships between all the characters - they are fun, and make the book that much more enjoyable. Even the ones that are don't get along are fun to listen to as they banter back and forth. There are the swoon-worthy men - Joe and Ranger - as well as the comical characters - Lula and Grandma Mazur. It's these types of characters that really make the series memorable and have me looking forward to the next book.

I'm not sure how long Janet plans on having this series go on for, but I do know there is at least one more book, due to come out next year. Will that be the end? How does an author know when a series has come to an end?

Audio Thoughts: Once again Lorelei King brings her A-game to narrate the latest installment of this series. How she manages to maintain the same voices for each of the characters is mind-boggling to me, but so very effective and appreciative! She really does rock as a narrator!

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Review: Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen (audio)

Title: Ice Cold   
Author: Tess Gerritsen   
Series: Rizzoli & Isles, #8  
Narrator: Tanya Eby   
Published: June 2010, Brilliance Audio  
Length: 10  hours  
Source: Library 

A spur-of-the-moment ski trip becomes a bone-chilling nightmare when a wrong turn leaves Boston medical examiner Maura Isles marooned—far from home and help—in the snowbound Wyoming mountains. Seeking shelter from the cold, she and her traveling companions stumble upon Kingdom Come—a remote village of identical houses that seems to have become a ghost town overnight. But the abandoned hamlet has dark secrets to tell, and Maura’s party may not be as alone as they think. Days later, word reaches Boston homicide cop Jane Rizzoli that Maura’s charred remains have been found at the scene of a car crash. But the shocking news leaves Jane with too many questions, and only one way to get answers. Determined to dig up the truth, she heads for the frozen desolation of Kingdom Come, where gruesome discoveries lie buried, and a ruthless enemy watches and waits.

My thoughts: As I make my way through this series, I have to say that I think this has been my favorite book so far. Right from the very beginning, I was hooked and found myself totally immersed in the storyline. I was also excited to get to this book because it answered a few remaining questions I had when I read the latest book in the series, Last to Die, last year. 

This book had me literally chilled to the bone at times - there were so many twists and turns and at times the story took on a real sense of horror. The whole cult thing was utterly fascinating and once again, Tess really does her research on this backstory. All of this, coupled with the ending, really has this book sticking with me long after I finished it.

What I really loved about this book is that it really shows the friendship that has developed between Jane and Maura. Jane has a really hard time when she is first told that Maura is dead. She heads out to Wyoming to look into things and even after she gets back to Boston, isn't willing to leave things alone. At the same time, Maura, still alive and fighting for her life, makes a call to the one person she knows can help her - Jane. 

From the non-stop action to the character development, this book has been the best in the series, in my opinion. I look forward to reading the rest of the books, but am not sure anything can top this book. Do you have a favorite in this series?


Audio Thoughts: This is the second audio book I've listened to with Tanya Eby narrating and I really like listening to her. She is able to create unique voices for the characters and infuse just the right amount of tension and emotion when needed - which is good for a thriller.


Books in this series:

  1. The Surgeon                                7.  The Keepsake            
  2. The Apprentice                          8.  Ice Cold
  3. The Sinner                                    9.  The Silent Girl
  4. Body Double                                9.5  Freaks
  5. Vanish                                            9.7  John Doe
  6. The Mephisto Club                    10.  Last to Die
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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday Post #3 (12.15.13)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. 

I've decided to try a new weekly meme - a place where I can do both a weekly wrap up and share what books I get all in one post, so I'm going to give The Sunday Post a try, and also link up with Sheila's It's Monday Post over at Book Journey.

It was quite a busy week, with very cold temps here in NY and we got quite a snow storm yesterday. It was lovely to watch and I was glad I didn't have anywhere to go - other than having to take the dogs out, I stayed in, reading and crocheting. I will say the dogs absolutely love the snow and I only wish our yard was fenced in so I could let them out to play - that's on the list of things to do in the spring.

A few of you asked to see a picture of the candle-thingy I mentioned in last week's post and I really had meant to included the picture but totally forgot, so I'm including it in this week's post. I've only made the one so far, but will be making 5 more to put in the windows on our enclosed porch - I think they look quite festive and since they aren't too Christmasy, I think they will be perfect all winter long!

All I used to make it is a large mason jar, filled it a quarter of the way with epsom salt and added a pillar candle. Around the neck of the jar, I tied a piece of red ribbon and added a piece of holly berry with a leaf (I bought a vine of holly and cut a little piece off). Easy peasy!!!


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Last week on the Blog:
* Review: Close Your Eyes by Iris Johansen/Roy Johansen
* Review: Summer Days by Susan Mallery
* Review It Must Be Your Love by Bella Andre
* Book Spotlight: A Bordeaux Dynasty by Francoise Bourdin

Books Read:
* All Summer Long by Susan Mallery (e-book)
* A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery (e-book)
* Freaks by Tess Gerritsen (e-book)
* John Doe by Tess Gerritsen (e-book) 
* The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman (mine)

Currently Reading:
* A Seaside Christmas by Sherryl Woods (e-book)
* Eggs in a Casket by Laura Childs (review book)
* Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner (audio book)

Books Up Next:
* The Lake House by Marci Nault (mine)
* Big Sky Secrets by Linda Lael Miller (review e-book) 
* Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley (review e-book)

Recent Giveaway Winners:
* Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs - Traveler
* The Diva Frosts a Cupcake by Krista Davis - Marie
* The Wrong Girl by Hank Phillippi Ryan - Suko

Current Giveaways:
* None right now

Coming Up on the Blog:
* Review: Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen
* Review: Takedown Twenty by Janet Evanovich
* Review: All Summer Long by Susan Mallery
* Review: A Fool's Gold Christmas by Susan Mallery


Book Haul: 
For Review:
* Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge (courtesy of publisher)
Purchased:
* Secrets on the Sand by Roxanne St. Claire (e-book)
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