Monday, February 13, 2017

Review: Spying in High Heels

Several years ago, I was binge reading Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I adored the first six books, enjoyed the next few, and then they began to get so repetitive that I just had to stop. She is a great writer and I loved the characters but I wanted to finally have some relationship resolution or some kind of new twist to the plot and it just never happened. It was like the never-ending love triangle.

Spying in high heels reminded me a lot of the Stephanie Plum series when it was still enjoyable to me. I loved the main character, Maddie. She is sassy and snarky and a little bit of a hot mess in life. She accidentally gets involved in a murder investigation when her current boyfriend goes missing. She meets Jack Ramirez, one of the officers assisting with the investigation. He reluctantly shares information with her and ultimately ends up fishing her out of some sticky situations as they try to solve the murder mystery.

The story is a lot of fun. I laughed a lot and the character interactions are engaging. There is a nice pacing to the story and I never got bored. Yes, Maddie makes some dumb decisions but it isn't too overdone and she eventually smartens up a bit. There is action, mystery, and some romance but it's not overwhelming. In my opinion, it was a great first book in a series and I plan to pick up the second one immediately.

Will I get bored of this series as I did with the Stephanie Plum books? It's possible, but I'm hoping the author doesn't fall into the pit of repetition and knows to end the series while it is still on a high note. For now, I can't wait to see what happens next!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros. February 7th

Every Tuesday, this book blog prompt is hosted by Bibliophile By the Sea. The idea is to share the first chapter, first paragraph of a book you are reading or plan to read in the near future so others can decide if they might be interested as well.

This week I'm finishing up both an audio book and a print book, but next week, I will be starting The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco.

"Let me be clear; I never intended to raise my brother from his grave, though he may claim otherwise.  If there's anything I've learned from him in the years since, it's that the dead hide truths as well as the living.  I have not been a bone witch for very long, whatever the stories you've heard, but this was the first lesson I learned."

Based on this first paragraph, would you continue reading?

Friday, February 3, 2017

Feature and Follow Friday, Feb 3rd

The Feature and Follow is a Friday meme hosted by Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. The idea is very simple and the name explains itself. It is about following and meeting new bloggers. 

This week's post prompt is:
Groundhog Day! What book or scene from a book could you live in and have it on "repeat?"

While I'm sure so many people including myself could easily pick any Harry Potter book, I'm going to go with A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness.  I would love to be a part of this magical adventure as Matthew and Diana join forces and begin to unravel the mystery of the enchanted manuscript at the Bodleian Library at Oxford.  One of my all time favorites.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Review: The Chemist

I have to admit, I went back and forth about getting this one for a bit before I finally decided to purchase it.  I loved the Twilight series (not the movies, just the books) and I was a little bit worried that I would be looking for that same type of writing as I read.  I began the book doing exactly that and I almost put it down after the first few chapters because I really didn't like the main character, Alex, as a person.  However, I don't like to abandon books so I kept trudging along and by the time I got to chapter 7, I was hooked.  I guess I just needed to get used to her as an imperfect heroine who really wasn't that good a person on some levels. Once the first action scene hit though, I found that I was able to appreciate the story and immerse myself more fully in the lives of the characters. 

What did I like?  I really enjoyed the character development once I accepted them for who they were.  Alex and Kevin were both quite unlikable at first but then began slowly to grow, forming an almost family-like bond that even they didn't quite realize they had until an important event in the storyline.  They were both able to find their more human sides. I loved the way dogs were such a big part of the book as well.  Einstein and Lola and the other trained dogs in the story really added to the engagement level.  I only wish we knew more about what happened to some of them in the epilogue. Plenty of action and violence, some romance (albeit a bit of an odd match at first), and some interesting minor characters as well. Val was great! A small amount of snark as Alex and Kevin verbally abused one another added a bit of humor to lighten things up occasionally as well.  If you like mystery thrillers, this is a pretty good story.  

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday

First Chapter, First Paragraph Tuesday Intros is hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea.  The goal is to post the first paragraph or two of the book you are reading or one that you will be reading soon to see if other readers/bloggers are interested.

This is my first time participating in this activity and I'm posting from chapter 1 of A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourne. This is the second book in the Veronica Speedwell series.

London, September 1887

“For the love of all that is holy, Veronica, the object is to maim or kill, not tickle,” Stoker informed me, clipping the words sharply as he handed me a knife. “Do it again.”

I suppressed a sigh and took the knife, grasping it lightly as I had been taught. I faced the target, staring it down as if it were an approaching lion.

“You are thinking too much.” Stoker folded his arms over the breadth of his chest and looked down his nose at me. “The entire purpose of this exercise is to train you to react, not to think. When your life is in danger, your body must know what to do, because there is no time for your mind to engage.”

I turned to face him, not lowering the blade. “Might I remind you that I have, upon many and various occasions, been in mortal danger and I am still here.”

“Anyone can get lucky,” he said coldly. “And I suspect your continued survival owes itself to a combination of good fortune and sheer bloody-mindedness. You are too stubborn to die.”

Based on this intro, would you read more or pass on this book?

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stacking the Shelves: January 21st

Stacking The Shelves is hosted by Tynga's Reviews as is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

I did quite of bit of book blog browsing this week and as a result, added four new books to my shelves (both virtual and real):

Lent to me by a friend, we will be reading this in February with some of our #sixtybooks readers.

Saw this is the Top Ten post this week and it looked interesting.  I love anything paranormal so should be fun!

This one was also picked up after blog browsing.  I love a lighthearted mystery and I'm looking forward to reading it.

I've been waiting for this one.  I adored the first book, A Curious Beginning and can't wait to see what Veronica Speedwell does next!

What did you add to your shelves?

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday, January 17th

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new Top Ten list for bloggers to answer.

This week's list topic is:

Top Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books We've Read In The Past Year Or So

I read a decent amount of books last year and while my choices for today weren't exactly completely unknown, a lot of them were not overly advertised or on the top seller lists.  Here are the books I considered hidden gems:

and my favorite hidden gem is actually an entire series that I didn't even know existed until I fell upon it by accident.  I loved every book in the series equally and was sad when the ending finally came.