Showing posts with label January. Show all posts
Showing posts with label January. Show all posts

Monday, February 2, 2015

January 2015 Recap: Books, Reviews & Posts

This year, although I signed up to participate in the 2015 Sci-Fi Experience, my mood took me elsewhere and I read everything but science fiction. It happens. My year began with a great contemporary fiction book, as a result I followed through by picking up fiction, non-fiction, and other assorted books accumulated but not read in 2014. I spent most of the month catching up by reading books from my TBR.

Additionally, I am making an effort to get my reviewing mojo back. It is amazing how quickly and easily we lose it when we don't use it on a regular basis. Since I returned to blogging in November, I have been writing minis, and this month I finally moved on to writing full reviews again. That is a step forward. Hopefully, I can keep it up.

January 2015 Total Books Read: 12
Contemporary Romance: 2
Fiction: 4
Non-Fiction: 1
Fantasy/Fiction: 1
Urban Fantasy: 4

Favorite Books of the Month: (Click on title links to read reviews & posts) 

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin: B+
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: B+
Big Boy (Strangers on the Train) by Ruthie Knox: B+

The Prince of Los Cocuyos: A Miami Childhood by Richard Blanco: B
Stone Mattress: Nine Tales by Margaret Atwood: B (Upcoming review)
The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami: (Upcoming review)
Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty: C+
Lead (Stage Dive #3) by Kylie Scott: C+ (See mini below) 
Seven Years by Dannika Dark: C+
Bloodsick: An Old World Novella by Melissa F. Olson: C
Dead Spots (Scarlett Bernard #1) by Melissa F. Olson: C-
Of Wings and Wolves (The Cain Chronicles) by SM Reine: C-

Additional January Posts:
LGBT: 2014 Favorite Books & Authors
2014: Top Books of the Year
SF Mini: The Long Way To A Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
Closing: The 2014 TBR Challenge
December 2014: Books Read + Minis


Lead (Stage Dive #3) by Kylie Scott

I purchased this book based on Leslie's great review. She positively loved this book. It is book three of a contemporary series with famous music band members finding a happy ever after. I should have read the first two books of the series first but this one sounded good. I enjoyed this romance to a certain degree. There were some terribly cute moments,  good sexual tension throughout the story, and a sense of fun as a result of the young band members that intermingle on an almost daily basis with this couple.

There were also situations and characterization issues that did not work so well for me. For example, the female protagonist is supposed to be a tough and comes off as such at the beginning of the story when she is first hired to become Stage Dive's lead singer's companion or 'babysitter' while he goes through substance abuse post-treatment and therapy. Unfortunately, she promptly becomes adoringly in lust with him, and willing to forgive some of his worse behavior. Our male protagonist had a terrible childhood and struggles with addiction. He is used to getting his own way and can be pretty persuasive (manipulative). As a result there are scenes with inexcusable behavior on his part toward a woman he considers a friend. Don't get me wrong, he also shows vulnerability as their friendship grows and he becomes emotionally dependent on her. The story is compelling in many ways, particularly the sense of fun along with sections about how severe family dysfunction affects the male protagonist's self-destructive behavior, as well as his relationships with others.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

January 2014: Recap + Update

In January I reviewed and completed the 2014 Sci-Fi Experience, closed the year, and mostly reviewed books read during December 2013. So, January was a very busy month for me, at least blogging-wise, and my reading wasn't too bad either.

Total books read: 15
Contemporary: 3
Historical Romance: 1
Urban Fantasy: 1
Fantasy: 1
Science Fiction: 2

Favorite Books from books graded:
Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1) by Ann Leckie: A
Now and Forever by Logan Belle: A

Clean Sweep (Inn Keeper Chronicles #1) by Ilona Andrews: B+
Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction ed. by Timothy J. Lambert & R.D. Cochrane: B+
Fortune's Pawn (Paradox #1) by Rachel Bach: B
One White Rose (The Clayborne Brides #2) by Julie Garwood: B
Can't Buy Me Love by Molly O'Keefe: B-
My Heartache Cowboy (The Cowboys #2) by Z.A. Maxfield: B-
Spook Squad (PsyCop #7) by Jordan Castillo Price: C
Exit Strategy (Nadia Strafford #1) by Kelley Armstrong: C
Behind the Curtain by Amy Lane: C-
Love Me Back to Life by M.L. Rhodes: D

Upcoming Reviews:
Red Caps: New Fairy Tales for Out of the Ordinary Reader by Steve Berman
Scruffians: Stories of Better Sodomites by Hal Duncan

Written in Read: A Novel of the Others by Anne Bishop


If you read my blog, you may have read in a previous post that my husband was hospitalized on February 2nd. He came home this past week and is recuperating and doing better every day! Thanks to all of you who called, emailed and left comments. Your support is sincerely appreciated! [De todo corazón. . .]  I've been home with him playing "nurse," unable to spare time for blogging or reading. Things, however, are slowing down at home and hopefully by next week I'll be able to catch up with reviews and reading. :)

I hope you are all having a fantastic weekend. Keep dry & warm… enjoy the snow!

Friday, February 1, 2013

January 2013: Recap + The Vintage Science Fiction Month

January is already over! I can't believe it... I guess it is true that "time flies when you are having fun." And I had lots of fun during this first month of the year reading and blogging about different types of science fiction reads, both the old and the new.

I would love to thank The Little Red Reviewer for hosting The Vintage Science Fiction Month. Not only did I read a few oldies but goodies, but I also added to my "to read" list by visiting other blogs and reading some excellent reviews posted by fellow participants. I am also participating in The 2013 Science Fiction Experience hosted by CarlV from Stainless Steel Droppings and enjoying it to the fullest, but I still have one more month of enjoyment left and planning to read quite a few books too.

Books read & Related Posts:
Andre Norton: Sargasso of Space (Solar Queen #1)
Group Read: Dragonflight (Pern #1) by Anne McCaffrey (Parts I & II)
Group Read: Dragonflight (Pern #1) by Anne McCaffrey (Parts III & IV)
Sci Fi Books Old and New: When the price is right
Andre Norton: Storm Over Warlock (Forerunners, Book #1)
Plague Ship (Solar Queen #1) by Andre Norton (Not reviewed but recommended)
AND, here is my recap of all books read for the entire month of January:

Total books read: 19
 Contemporary: 5
 Historical: 3 (Fiction/Romance: 1, Historical Romance: 2)
 Science Fiction: 8
 LGBT: 3 (Gay Mystery/Romance)


1)   The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley: A-
2)   Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry: A-
3)   Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey: B+
4)   Plague Ship (Solar Queen #1)by Andre Norton (Not reviewed but recommended): B
5)   Taking the Reins (Roped & Tangled #1) by Kat Murray: B
6)   Sargasso of Space (Solar Queen #1)by Andre Norton: B
7)   The Human Division #1: The B-Team by John Scalzi: B
8)   Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey (Kowalski #1): B
9)   How to Misbehave (Camelot #1) by Ruthie Knox: B+
10) Deadly Wrong (Deadly Mystery #2) by Victor J. Banis: B
11) Deadly Nightshade (Deadly Mystery #1) by Victor J. Banis: B-
12) Deadly Dreams (Deadly Mystery #3) by Victor J. Banis: B-
13) Dragonflight (Pern #1) by Anne McCaffrey: C+
14) The Seduction of Elliot McBride (Highland Pleasures #5) by Jennifer Ashley: C+
15) Unforgivable by Joanna Chambers: C+
16) The Human Division #2: Walk the Plan by John Scalzi: C
17) Storm Over Warlock (Forerunners, Book #1) by Andre Norton: C
18) Seven Sexy Cowboy Robots by Sandra McDonald: C
19) Bound to You by Bethany Kane: C-

Favorite books of the month: Within Reach by Sarah Mayberry, The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley (upcoming review for Read-along hosted by Christine from The happily ever after...), and the Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

January 2010 Reads & Mini: Every Night I'm Yours by Christie Kelley

January is over! This was a tough month for me. I started the month with readers block, broke through that and then this last week I couldn't pick up a book due to a week-long migraine that would not quit. Ugh! But, thank goodness that seems to be over too. So, on to February!

Looking at it from the positive side, my month was not a total waste. I did read some good books after all. I read two new beautiful and excellent books this month, plus I chose to re-read an old favorite that was a sure thing. There were two solid reads in there, one new-to-me author that although not great, I'll be checking out in the future, and only one real disappointment in the whole lot.


1) Fool for Love Anthology edited by Timothy J. Lambert and R.D. Cochrane (M/M) - A Upcoming Review

2) Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger - A

3) Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard (Re-Read) - A

4) Naked in Death by J.D. Robb - B

5) At Home in Stone Creek by Linda Lael Miller - C-

6) Don't Tell by Karen Rose - B
Upcoming Mini

7) Every Night I'm Yours by Christie Kelley - C+

This book sounds like an erotica book when you read the blurb, but it's actually a historical romance from a new-to-me author. I was a bit surprised I finished this book in one sitting.

When I began reading, I thought the writing was kind of awkward and the storyline was a bit far fetched. The heroine is a spinster who is an unpublished author and lives on her own -- she's also a lady. She finds an erotica book that sparks her curiosity about passion and decides to take a lover (not very original). She chooses a friend; someone who's not quite right. The hero finds out about it and blackmails her into having an affair with him instead.

The thing is that even though I found quite a few problems with the book, I liked the main characters -- both the hero and heroine -- and really got caught up in their story. There's a lot of sex at one point in the story and it's really good, but the author doesn't throw it in right away or at every turn. There's also sexual tension and Ms. Kelley uses this tension very well throughout the story. The hero and heroine have known each other for a long time -- he's her best friend's brother -- and have an antagonistic relationship, so it works.

The book had some editing problems that kept jolting me out of the story. Kelley is a new writer and the story could have used further secondary character development and the plot could have been tighter and a bit less predictable. I know by the grade and some of my comments it sounds as if this was not a great read for me, but well... the chemistry between the hero and heroine was wonderful, and even with all the above problems, I couldn't stop reading the book. Ms. Kelley kept me reading and I'll check out her next release. Not bad.