Thursday, October 31, 2013

[Review] The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve

The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve
Publisher: Back Bay Books (Little, Brown)
Publishing Date: 1998
293 Pages


A pilot's wife is taught to be prepared for the late-night knock at the door. But when Kathryn Lyons receives word that a place flown by her husband, Jack, has exploded near the coast of Ireland, she confronts the unfathomable - one starting revelation at a time. Soon drawn into a maelstrom of publicity fueled by rumors that Jack led a secret life, Kathryn sets out to learn who her husband really was, whatever that knowledge might cost. Her search propels this taut, impassioned novel as it movingly explores the question, How well can we ever really know another person?

My Review

This book has been on my TBR pile for quite some time (at least a year), and I just never got around to reading it. Both my mom and aunt read it years ago and really enjoyed it, which is why I wanted to pick up a copy myself. Plus my fiance is currently training to get his pilot's license. He has his private license, but still has a ways to go before he can fly the large airliners. With that being said, I finally decided it was time to read this and get it off my TBR list!

I really enjoy Anita Shreve's writing; I think she is incredibly skilled and has a way with words unlike many others. I loved her book Eden Close, but didn't like Body Surfing as much, so I wasn't sure what to really expect with this one. It's gotten many good reviews though, so I figured it would probably be pretty good. And I really did enjoy reading this story. It wasn't what I was expecting in terms of the story line, but the story was still told really well. I sympathized with Kathryn and all that she had to endure; she lost her husband and on top of that has to battle rumors about his life. She then goes on a search to figure out what actually happened on the plane that fateful day.

I thought the story was very well put together, but it didn't speak to me the way another book of hers has. I was expecting it to completely consume me, but it didn't. Nevertheless, I still thought it was a great story and really enjoyed reading it.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

[Review] 4th of July by James Patterson

 of July by James Patterson
Publisher: Warner Books
Publishing date: 2005
416 Pages


The Bestselling New Detective Series of the Decade Just Got Hotter, Deadlier, and More Suspenseful. In a deadly late-night showdown, San Francisco police lieutenant Lindsay Boxer fires her weapon...and sets off a dramatic chain of events that leaves a police force disgraced, a family destroyed, and Linsday herself at the mercy of twelve jurors. During a break in the trial, she retreats to a picturesque town that is reeling from a string of grisly murders - crimes that bear a link to a haunting, unsolved case from her rookie years. Now, with her friends in the Women's Murder Club, Lindsay must battle for her life on two fronts: in a trial rushing to a climax, and against an unknown adversary willing to do anything to hide the truth about the homicides - including killing again...

My Review

I just can't get enough of James Patterson's books! They're such fast paced and quick reads, I can't put them down. This one didn't disappoint either! I love reading the Women's Murder Club series and learning more about these characters.  I really hope that Yuki becomes a more prominent characters in these books. She seems like she'll add a fun twist to the story. I was not expecting the end of this book. I had a feeling one of the characters mentioned had something to do with the murders, but never would have guessed how it turned out! I also really loved that there were almost two stories in this book. They didn't seem to connect very much, but every now and again they did, and it made the story that much more interesting. I cannot wait to get a copy of the 5th book in the series! I'll need to make a trip to the store very soon :)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

[Review] 3rd Degree by James Patterson

3rd Degree by James Patterson 
Publisher: Warner Books
Publishing Date: 2004
339 Pages


The Women's Murder Club returns in a shockingly suspenseful thriller. Plunging into a burning townhouse, Detective Lindsay Boxer discovers three dead bodies....and a mysterious message at the scene. When more corpses turn up, Lindsay asks her friends, Claire Washburn of the medical examiner's office, Assistant DA Jill Bernhardt, and San Francisco Chronicle reporter Cindy Thomas to help her find a murderer who vows to kill every three days. Even more terrifying, he has targeted one of the four friends. Which one will it be?

My Review

James Patterson's novels never fail! I'm always sucked into the story in the first page and sit and think about it long after I've finished the last. Every time I open up a Patterson novel, I know that I will be in for a wild ride! I really enjoy this series of his, especially since the main characters are female, which you don't find too often in crime novels.

This story of the series was just as good as the previous two! Lindsay Boxer is a funny and smart detecting that I like reading about. She's humble and human enough not to have all the answers, and vulnerable enough not to fall in love with the first guy she meets. However, the love interest that did play out in this story was perfect. Just enough to keep me wanting to find out what happens between them without the suspense/mystery turning into a romance novel. Highly recommend this series to anyone!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

[Review] The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis

The Secret Keeper by Beverly Lewis
Publisher: Bethany House
Publishing Date: September 2013
Series: Home to Hickory Hallow
343 Pages
Review Copy


Jennifer Burns shocks everyone when she bids farewell to her modern life in favor of the Old Order Amish world, settling in with Samuel and Rebecca Lapp.

The people of Hickory Hallow are curious about the beautiful seeker among them - one handsome Amishman in particular - and Jenny faces many challenges in the Proving time the brethren set for her... challenges of the heart, as well as the spirit.

My Review

I received a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

This is the first Beverly Lewis book that I've read and I'm happy to say it definitely won't be the last! Ms. Lewis is a beautiful writer and draws readers in to this magnificent world. I've always had a fascination with learning more about the Amish. When I was younger, I read a Lurlene McDaniel book that had a few Amish characters, and I wanted to know more about their lifestyle. Then I recently found out about Beverly Lewis. This book describes how the Amish live plainly and what they believe. I think Jenny Burns is a very lovable character that everyone roots for. We see her struggle to join the plain world, trying to find herself and slowly falling in love. I really enjoyed reading this story and cannot wait to find more of Ms. Lewis'.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!

Feature and Follow is a blog hop hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. The purpose is to meet new people and gain more followers in the book blogging community. If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers. But you have to know, the point of this hop is to follow other blogs also. I follow you, you follow me. 

The general rules are: 
- Follow the Feature and Follow Hosts (Parajunkee and Alison Can Read)
- Follow the Featured Bloggers
- Put your Blog name and URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts. 
-Grab the button up there and place it in a post. This post is for people to say hi and that they are now following you in your comments. 
-Follow, Follow, Follow as many as you can. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Don't just follow, comment and say hi in the post! Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say 'hi'
-If someone comments and says they are following you, please follow back! 

This weeks question: What are some of your favorite magazines? 

I don't read magazines often, but when I do, I love flipping through People, Comso, Us Weekly and sometimes food or fitness ones as well. Its kind of a guilty pleasure finding out what's going on in celebrity lives - I don't really keep track or follow anyone, but its fun to read the drama or "important" news about these people! 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

To Finish or Not to Finish?

So I was thinking about this today as I was reading a new book. Do any of you ever not want to finish a book? What do you do? Do you push through and read it anyways? Or do you just stop, find something else, and get rid of the book?

In the past, I have always tried to finish a book that I started. If I didn't like it, I just tried to push through it and finish reading it. However, I then became a book hoarder and that had to change a little. Now, if I don't really like a book, or I can't seem to get into it right away, I put it down and pick up something else. I usually always go back to re-start the book at some time.

Then one day I came across a comment someone left on a blog that stated the blogger rarely ever finished a book if she didn't like it. Her reasoning? There were too many books in the world to waste time on a book that wasn't for her. After reading this, it was like a light came on in my head; why was I wasting all this time with a book that I wasn't that interested in? I could be spending my time reading novels that I actually wanted to read, rather than ones I felt like I needed to.

Well... easier said than done. I have a couple books that I feel like I really need to read, but every time I pick them up, I get bored and am easily distracted. I don't think I've ever stopped reading a book knowing that I wasn't going to finish it. Even after reading that one comment, I still find myself reading a book that I'm not really interested in. I just feel so GUILTY putting a book down and not finishing it. I feel like its rude to the author and everyone that went into creating this book. I know I should get past this eventually because there are so many books that I really want to read, but just don't have time for it because of all the other books that are I've either said I will read, or that I feel like I should read. I really shouldn't punish myself for not having read certain books. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable right? It's not supposed to make me want to watch TV instead or fall asleep.

How do I get over this feeling of guilt for not finishing a book?!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

[Review] Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray

Maybe I Will by Laurie Gray
Publisher: Luminis Books
Publishing Date: March 15, 2013
205 Pages
Review Copy
Format: paperback


It's not about sex.

It's about how one secret act of violence changes everything - how best friends can desert you when you need them most, how nobody understands it. It's about the drinking and stealing and lying and wondering who you can trust. It's about parents and teachers, police officers and counselors - all the people who are supposed to help you, but who may not even believe you.

It's about how suddenly all of your hopes and dreams can vanish, and you can find yourself all alone, with nothing and no one. Your only choice is to end it all or to start over... and all you can think is Maybe I Will.

My Review

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

This book has a very powerful message in its story. We never really know if Sandy is a boy or girl, but it really doesn't matter. Because anyone can be assaulted, at any time. I kept trying to figure out if Sandy was a boy or girl, and there were plenty of times I thought I had it figured out, but then something happened at it changed! But I really liked that I couldn't figure it out. It just goes to show that men and women don't fit into a certain role. I think this book did a great job of showing the effects of being assaulted and how people can react differently. Some people withdraw and resort to alcohol or drugs. Some people want to talk about it. And some people just want to forget that it ever happened and move on with their lives.

Additionally, the justice system isn't always perfect when it comes to these issues. People of authority may not believe what actually happened and those that do can't always do something about it. We want prosecutors and police officers to immediately arrest and charge the offender, but unfortunately, it can't always happen. However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't talk to someone if something happens to you. And I think that's what this story is all about. Its not always best to keep things inside and try to deal with it on your own.

I think this story is very important for everyone to read. There are a lot of issues discussed here that many people think are taboo, but are actually important to talk about!

Friday, October 11, 2013

[Review] Changes by Gillian Felix

Changes by Gillian Felix
Publisher: GillianFx Publishing, LLC
Publishing Date: August 2013
Series: Family Portraits, Vol. 1


Robin Banovic's desire to fulfill his dream has brought him full circle to the very thing he tried to escape - the family business. A stipulation in his father's will prevents him from selling the business without the signature of his elusive brother, Adrian. Robin must find Adrian or be stuck in a life he wants no part of. But how do you find someone who doesn't want to be found?

When Robin's fifteen-year-old daughter, Adriana, is fired from the #1 daytime soap opera, she is forced to return to the place she hates the most - Westwood Academy. Adriana becomes consumed with getting herself expelled; however, with a faculty influenced by Hollywood, this could turn out to be harder than first anticipated.

Enjoying the life of a rock-star, Savannah (Savi) DaCosta has grown accustomed to a 'certain lifestyle'. When her Grammy Award-winning daughter, Leighann, walks away from her career in pursuit of a normal life and enrolls in Westwood Academy, Savi sees it as a personal attack and takes drastic measures.

My Review

I was asked to review this novel and received a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

I was quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. I thought the author wrote well and it was easy to follow. I found myself wanting to keep reading and figure out how all of the characters' lives were related. It was a very quick and short read, however, and I found myself wanting more. I think maybe this could have been combined with the next book in the series. It felt like right when we started getting into some issues and events in the story line, it ended. I wish this would have been a longer book with a little more taking place. Nevertheless, I liked this story and can't wait to see what happens in the next novel! I think it has great potential to be a very interesting series :)

Thursday, October 10, 2013

[Review] Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding

Burning Embers by Hannah Fielding
Publisher: Omnific Publishing
Publishing Date: April 2012
269 Pages
Review Copy


Coral Sinclair is a beautiful but naive twenty-five-year-old photographer who has just lost her father. She's leaving the life she's known and traveling to Kenya to take ownership of her inheritance - the plantation that was her childhood home - Mpingo. On the voyage from England, Coral meets an enigmatic stranger to whom she has a mystifying attraction. She sees him again days later on the beach near Mpingo, but Coral's childhood nanny tells her the man in not to be trusted. It is rumored that Rafe de Monfort, owner of a neighboring plantation and a nightclub, is notorious womanizer having an affair with her stepmother, which may have contributed to her father's death.

Circumstance confirms Coral's worst suspicions, but when Rafe's life is in danger, she is driven to make peace. A tentative romance blossoms amidst a meddling ex-fiance, a jealous stepmother, a car accident, and the dangerous wilderness of Africa. Is Rafe just toying with a young woman's affections? Is the notorious womanizer only after Coral's inheritance? Or does Rafe's troubled past color his every move, making him more vulnerable than Coral could ever imagine?

Set in 1970, this contemporary historical romance sends the seemingly doomed lovers down a destructive path wrought with greed, betrayal, revenge, passion, and love.

My Review

I was asked to review this book and received a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This story is so beautifully written and Ms. Fielding is a wonderful storyteller. I was very pleasantly surprised when I began this book. I was drawn into the beauty of Africa and felt like I could really imagine what the country looked like. Coral is a very sweet character and I had a love/hate relationship with Rafe. In the beginning, he drove me crazy and I didn't like the way he acted. But as Coral got to know him, I felt like I did too and he turned out to be a pretty nice guy! I am so happy that Ms. Fielding asked me to review this novel. It truly was wonderful and I really enjoyed reading it! :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the The Broke and the Bookish. Every week she posts an idea for a 'Top Ten' list relating to books, and encourages other book bloggers to respond and participate. All the details are listed on her site. 

This Week's Topic: Best and Worst Series Endings

This was a little difficult for me because often times I won't finish a series if I don't like where it's headed. The more I think about it, I actually don't read a lot of series - I tend to prefer standalone books. These are just a few that I could think of :) 


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Not much to say about this one; I LOVE the Harry Potter series! 


Well, maybe I can't really put these under the worst category because I didn't even finish them. I tried a couple times to pick them up, but lost interest and really didn't feel the need to finish them. 


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Blog Tour [Review] and GIVEAWAY of All The Shiny Things by Robin Mahle


The endless nightmare has been brought to life and it's too late to turn back, but Katie and Marshall are no longer fighting the battle alone. In this second installment of the Redwood Violet series, the last piece in this horrifying puzzle has been revealed and the case grows beyond what they could have imagined. Now the FBI wants in. 

Katie enters into a dangerous came of cat and mouse with the man who taunts the authorities at every turn. 

Soon, an unexpected alliance forms as she takes matters into her own hands. 

But Marshall knows she's risking too much and sides with the FBI. Now the authorities have precious little time to find the killer before he takes another life. Who will it be this time?


"But in the past few weeks, Katie's life had been dramatically altered, leading her down a path she still feared, and so "unusual" had become the norm. No sign of the reporters yet, but it was still early. She stepped back into her apartment and closed the door. The latch clicked and she cringed, wondering if it would stir Marshall. He was still asleep on the couch. He hadn't left her side since the sketch of her abductor went public." 

My Review

This series is really great. The novels are fast-paced and so easy to get sucked in to! Robin Mahle certainly knows how to create a thriller with many twists and turns; I never know whats coming! Katie is a wonderful character that you can't help but root for. She has gone through so much and still fights to find out the truth and eventually put this all behind her.  If you haven't read either of these books, I highly suggest it whenever you get the chance. This story definitely isn't what I was expecting, but in a very good way (: 

About the Author

Bestselling author, Robin Mahle, lives with her husband and two children in Arizona. Robin found her passion for writing, which later became her second career, after spending nearly 20 years in the construction industry.

Having always been a lover of books, Robin attributes her creativity to the wonderful overseas adventures she has shared with her husband of 14 years. Backpacking (or certainly close to it), throughout Europe and having lived in England, opened her mind and with that came a steady stream of story ideas inspired by her author-idols in the thriller/suspense genre.

Through many late nights and weekends locked away in a room, Robin published her debut psychological suspense novel, Redwood Violet in the Spring of 2013.

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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

[Review] The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Central
Publishing date: September 17, 2013
398 pages
Format: hard cover
Review copy


Ira Levinson is in trouble. At ninety-one years old, in poor health, and along in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash.

Suffering multiple injuries, he struggles to retain consciousness until a blurry image materializes and comes into focus beside him: his beloved wife, Ruth, who passed away nine years ago. Urging him to hang on, she forces him to remain alert by reminiscing about their lifetime together - how they met, the precious paintings they collected, the dark days of World War II, and its effect on them and their families. Ira knows that Ruth can't possible be in the car with him, but he clings to her words and his memories, reliving the sorrows and joys that defined their marriage.

A few miles away, at a local bull-riding event, a Wake Forest University senior's life is about to change. Recovering from a recent breakup, Sophia Danko meets a young cowboy named Luke, who bears little resemblance to the privileged frat boys she has encountered at school. Through Luke, Sophia is introduced to a world in which the stakes are high: Reward and ruin - and even life and death - loom large in every day life. As she and Luke fall in love, Sophia finds herself imagining a future far removed from her plans - a future that Luke has the power to fulfill... if the secret he's keeping doesn't destroy it first.

Ira and Ruth. Sophia and Luke. Two couples who have little in common and who are separated by years and experience. Yet their lives will converge with unexpected poignancy, reminding us all that even the most difficult decisions can yield extraordinary journeys: beyond despair, beyond death, to the farthest reaches of the human heart.

My Review

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Nicholas Sparks does it again. Unlike any other author, he knows how to bring you and and keep his hold until beyond the very last pages. Even after you finish reading his stories, you continue to think about the characters in the book and wonder what became of them. I loved learning about the characters in these books. Its a story about true love and how it changes but never leaves; from the beginning stage of lust, physical attraction, chemistry (whatever you want to call it), to the love that develops as you grow old together, battling ups and downs in your relationship. Ira and Ruth are a beautiful couple that I truly envy and can only hope that the love I have for my fiance will grow to the same love they had for each other. I truly recommend reading this story, and not just for those who like romances. I think this story can teach you a lot about love and life, and help you realize the meaning of so many things.