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Weekly Book Club {11.15.17}

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After reading two books from one of my favorite authors last week it was hard to top that. I did read a couple of books though- one that I enjoyed and one that I a bit more ambivalent about.

1. In the Night by Melissa Sinclair– Ten years ago Kara Vanderbilt was abducted and tortured for four days. She fought her way out of the hands of a sadistic madman and struggled to safety, nearly dying in the process, only to have her world shattered once safely home. Fleeing her family home and the only person who loves her, she tries to start over, but distance does not heal all wounds. Kara goes home seeking closure and gets sucked into a murder case that sounds eerily familiar. But the similarities must be a coincidence, because the person responsible all those years ago died in a fiery crash. With her life in turmoil Kara meets a man she can start a life with. But will it be too late? With the help of Detective Caleb Montgomery, Kara races to find the killer before he finishes the job that was started all those years ago.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I enjoyed this book. It was suspenseful, well written, character driven, and I liked the twists and turns. The ending could have been cliche but it was so tightly written that it came off well. There is some major triggers in this story so if sexual assault is an issue for you, skip this book entirely. It wasn’t a romance book per say, it was more in the genre of romantic suspense, heavy on the suspense. I will definitely check out more books by this author. 

2. Deal with the Devil by Evangeline Anderson– Luz Velez is a shapeshifter who can’t shift. Every time she tries to summon her inner wolf, she has a massive panic attack. Worse, her anxiety extends to the rest of her life. At twenty-seven, she’s still a virgin because attempting to have sex sends her into lockdown mode. She’s miserable and stuck—until Jude Jacobson comes along. Tall, blond and dangerous, Jude is the most feared vampire in town and the minute he sees her, he wants Luz. Vampires and shapeshifters don’t date but he makes her an offer she can’t refuse—a blood exchange that will help her control her panic attacks and give her the life she’s always wanted. Luz is desperate—she takes Jude up on his offer. But she doesn’t expect to fall for the darkly seductive vampire—or to be plunged into danger when her past comes calling. When Jude’s own dark secret comes to light, she begins to question her deal with the devil and wonder if she and Jude can make it…or if they’ll die trying.

My Rating: 3 Stars

I have mixed feelings about this book. I had really really high hopes, this story line sounded right up my alley. But something didn’t click for me. I liked the characters but I didn’t feel any connection to them. I felt like there was more smexy time than story and that was disappointing to me. I like my smexy scenes as much as anyone but I need a good strong story to go with it and this book was not that. I probably won’t read any more in this series. And again, trigger warnings in this book. 

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Weekly Book Club {11.8.17}

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I read 2 books from one of my favorite authors last week! I loved one and liked the other. I have so many books that I’m trying to get to by the end of this year!

1. Protecting Dakota by Susan Stoker– Dakota James’s life has become the stuff of nightmares. The leader of the Ansar al-Shari’a terrorist group has become obsessed with her, determined to take her as his wife. On the run, she’ll have to pin her hopes on the retired SEAL charged with finding and stopping Aziz Fourati before he can carry out plans to bomb more US airports. Recently recruited to join a sleeper SEAL team tasked with fighting terrorism on US soil, Slade “Cutter” Cutsinger, with the help of some Special Forces friends, has located the one woman who can identify the deadly Ansar al-Shari’a leader. That was the easy part. Keeping her safe proves more difficult than anyone ever imagined. When she and her new friend, Caroline, are kidnapped by the terrorist group, Dakota can only pray Cutter and the SEALs will reach them before they’re taken out of the country—and away from Cutter forever.

I loved this book! It was full of action, full of romance, full of badassery. The main characters were awesome, they were both older and wiser. They made good decisions, had great chemistry, and the story was fast paced. My favorite thing was seeing characters from her other books. It’s like catching up with old friends! This book is a standalone with a HEA ending. But you should read all her other books because they’re amazing!

2. Rescuing Bryn by Susan Stoker– When you’re a Delta Force soldier, you see a lot. Often too much. But nothing can ever prepare you to see your entire team die before your eyes… The loss of his Delta brothers—and his arm—has Dane “Fish” Munroe still struggling months later. He’s moved to Idaho, where an isolated lifestyle is making things worse, not better. Not that there’s anyone left to care. Actually, Bryn Hartwell cares. In fact, she tries to surreptitiously make life just a little easier for the mysterious man who comes into the grocery where she works late at night, only to get a tongue lashing for her trouble. Still, he’s obviously hurting; someone has to worry about him, spurring Bryn to nurse Dane when he hits a particularly low point. Intrigued by the quirky, kind, socially awkward woman, Dane allows himself to get close to someone for the first time in ages. A potentially epic mistake—because when her interest in the prepper lifestyle puts Bryn in the hands of a homegrown terrorist, losing her could put Dane’s mental recovery permanently out of reach. But once a Delta, always a Delta. And there’s a team in Texas who are ready to have Dane’s back at a moment’s notice. 

I enjoyed this book but there were things that bugged me. First, this book is number 6 in the Delta Force Heroes series. It was a good edition to the series but definitely not my favorite. Bryn was a difficult character. I understand why the author wrote her the way she did but she was still annoying. She had more than a couple too stupid to live moments that frustrated me and slowed down the story line. I liked Dane and I liked them together but it was hard to believe the chemistry between them. 

 
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Weekly Book Club {10.25.17}

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I carved out some serious reading time this past week. Mainly while sitting in the waiting rooms for two different kids therapy appointments. But, whatever. Reading time is reading time, right? I read 2 books from two of my favorite authors.

1. Without Merit by Colleen Hoover– Not every mistake deserves a consequence. Sometimes the only thing it deserves is forgiveness. The Voss family is anything but normal. They live in a repurposed church, newly baptized Dollar Voss. The once cancer-stricken mother lives in the basement, the father is married to the mother’s former nurse, the little half-brother isn’t allowed to do or eat anything fun, and the eldest siblings are irritatingly perfect. Then, there’s Merit. Merit Voss collects trophies she hasn’t earned and secrets her family forces her to keep. While browsing the local antiques shop for her next trophy, she finds Sagan. His wit and unapologetic idealism disarm and spark renewed life into her—until she discovers that he’s completely unavailable. Merit retreats deeper into herself, watching her family from the sidelines when she learns a secret that no trophy in the world can fix. Fed up with the lies, Merit decides to shatter the happy family illusion that she’s never been a part of before leaving them behind for good. When her escape plan fails, Merit is forced to deal with the staggering consequences of telling the truth and losing the one boy she loves.

Oh this book hit me right in all the feels. Right in the feels, y’all. Colleen Hoover’s books always do that to me in the best way. These characters were flawed- every single one of them was flawed. And that made them so real and so easy to relate to. It was family drama and dysfunction at it’s finest and I loved every page. I highly recommend this one!

2. Shelter for Sophie by Susan Stoker– She’s shy, he’s stoic…not the hardest personality traits to overcome, but Sophie Carson and Roman “Chief” Proudfit have their work cut out for them. Sophie has a crush on the silent-but-studly firefighter next door. She’s been pining away silently while secretly helping the hardworking man by mowing his lawn—which he thinks is being done by her nonexistent husband and/or boyfriend. He’s definitely not big on neighborly chitchat, but with her stutter, that suits Sophie just fine. But now a misunderstanding at a bar has put him even further out of her reach. Roman’s difficult upbringing on an Indian reservation is a sore spot, so when he thinks Sophie is taking advantage of poor people for medical trials at her workplace, he lets her know exactly what he thinks. But when he discovers he misunderstood, he’s man enough to admit it…and also that he should have opened his eyes to his beautiful, sensitive neighbor sooner. As the couple gets closer, each helping the other overcome lifelong pains, for the first time in years, Roman has something to live for other than his job. And, as he discovers when Sophie puts herself in danger, something even bigger to lose.

This is book 8 in the Badge of Honor: Texas Heroes Series. I love this author. I’ve read every series she’s written and my favorite 3 series happen to have intersecting stories and characters. This book was really good. I enjoyed the story and the way the author wove the hero’s culture into the storyline was authentic and interesting. I love that her main characters are real and have issues and sometimes make bad decisions. But all the women are tough and not afraid to stand up for themselves. If you haven’t read this series yet then you really should! And her SEAL of Protection and Delta Force series are just as great. Plus, a lot of the characters appear in various books so it’s really fun to revisit their stories. 

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Weekly Book Club {10.18.17}

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This past week was a heck of a difficult one in our house so I didn’t have time to read a whole lot. But I did finish a book in one of my most favorite series by one of my most favorite authors. I took my time with it, mainly because I didn’t want it to end. 

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Dark Legacy by Christine Feehan– In a beautiful compound hidden away from the world, Emeline Sanchez tries to blunt the pain that has wracked her body ever since her terrifying ordeal in the labyrinth beneath the city—when she was forced to exchange blood with an evil master vampire. Now, it’s his voice that haunts her…that calls to her in the dark…that never lets her rest. And while the children that she helped to free from his clutches struggle to heal, watched over by their Carpathian protectors, Emeline knows one thing: She must sacrifice herself to keep them all from harm.

I’m totally biased about this series. I love it so much. And I’ve read every single book multiple times so the characters feel like family. I love that you see a lot of the old characters in the newer books but it’s not over the top. The story still very clearly revolves around one couple. The side characters add to the story rather than compete with the main characters. That’s a hard balance to achieve when you’ve written 27 books in one series, I think. And Christine Feehan does it beautifully. I really loved the main heroine in this book, she was strong and brave but she also knew her limits. She didn’t have any too stupid to live moments that required the big strong man to rescue her. I hate that. If you have not read any of this series I highly recommend it. While each book is a standalone story you will enjoy them so much more if you read them mostly in order. 

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Weekly Book Club {10.11.17}

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I finished 2 books in the last week and made good progress on a third. One book I loved. One book made me uncomfortable. And the last one that I’m still reading is by a favorite author. So it’s been an up and down reading week for me. 

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A Beautiful Terrible Thing by Jen Waite– What do you do when you discover that the person you’ve built your life around never existed? When “it could never happen to me” does happen to you? These are the questions facing Jen Waite when she begins to realize that her loving husband–the father of her infant daughter, her best friend, the love of her life–fits the textbook definition of psychopath. In a raw, first-person account, Waite recounts each heartbreaking discovery, every life-destroying lie, and reveals what happens once the dust finally settles on her demolished marriage. After a disturbing email sparks Waite’s suspicion that her husband is having an affair, she tries to uncover the truth and rebuild trust in her marriage. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment from the last five years that isn’t part of the long-con of lies and manipulation. With a dual-timeline narrative structure, we see Waite’s romance bud, bloom, and wither simultaneously, making the heartbreak and disbelief even more affecting.

My Rating: 4 Stars

I’m not quite sure how to rate this one. It was a hard read. It’s a non-fiction first hand account of a marriage crumbling. It was intense and emotional and difficult to read. I almost felt like a voyeur peeking in the windows of a neighbor’s house watching their marriage implode. The story alternated between the past and the present giving readers a glimpse of how the relationship started and what went wrong. Definitely a story that made an impression. 

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Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason– Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her–and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone. In a sweeping plot that takes them into long-buried memories–and the depths of the heart–Haley and Steven will have to solve the mystery of Haley’s past while dodging bullets, bombs, and bad guys who just won’t quit.

My Rating: 5 Stars

This is book 4 in one of my favorite series- the Elite Guardians series. It can be read as a standalone with no problems but the characters from the other books are in this one too so it will be a more enjoyable read if you start with book 1. And honestly these books are so great that you should read them all anyway. There’s action, suspense, romance, and bad ass women….it’s everything I love!

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