Review

Here and Now and Then by Mike Chen

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Published: Mira
Date: January 29th 2019
Genre: Science Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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Here and Now and Then is a time travel book, set in the twenty second century where they have advanced health wise and no longer eat that unhealthy fast food!

Kin Stewart is an agent who time travels back to a certain era and sorts out crime and other events that his superiors assign him. Only his device to travel back breaks and he is stranded in our time. And… he quickly forgets all that he has known before. He settles in and marries and has a daughter.  Only trouble is an incident brings him right back into contact with his previous world.  And back to it. Oh the anguish as he re-enters his own world again but does not forget his previous family. How might he reach them?

The story is full of interesting technology and the method of time travel and the idea of it was sort of believable.

What I did find was that while I wanted to know how things would work out I didn’t really emotionally connect for some reason to the characters. I was happy at how it all worked out for Kin but for me the momentum was not there.

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Review

Nightchaser by Amanda Bouchet

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Published: Hachette Au/Piatkus
Date: 1st January 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

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Nightchaser is the first in a new series by Amanda Bouchet. This series is set in the future in outer new galaxies. The world as we know it has imploded and people live in a variety of places in outer space. This “world” is ruled over by a despotic Galactic Overseer, who rules with an iron fist.

However there are pockets of resistance and none more so on board the cargo cruiser Endeavour, captained by Tess Bailey. She has a small crew with her and when we meet them for the first time they also have attached to them a stolen cargo that is going to be central to this book and further on.

Tess is tough, strong, young woman and along with her crew she has escaped the wily and cruel clutches of the Overseer – for the moment. At all costs they need to stay out of the hostile Dark Watch soldiers and do what they know is important. It turns out there are hidden depths to Tess and as the story unfolds much is revealed. I especially liked her total focus on the needs of Starway 8 where orphans live under the care of two amazing women. By the end of the book we and she understands herself more, but yet more is to be learned I suspect.

On board along with the stolen cargo is “big guy” and later when they dock, Shade is introduced. While there is a strong attraction immediately between Shade and Tess, things are rather till unclear about him.

It takes awhile to become acquainted with this world, but once all the details are gathered, I was completely along for the ride. The main and minor characters are interesting and many of them soon started to grow on me. I look forward to seeing how they all develop in the next book.

The story is full of adventure, while at times there are lulls, there is always a sense of danger either right there or just ahead.  The romantic element is strong without being overpowering.

The book leaves us all set up for the next one, the adventure or quest has began but is no means finished or near finished. I certainly will want to read the next one and am waiting eagerly.

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Review

The Best of Us by Robyn Carr

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Published by: MIRA
Date: 8th January 2019
Pages: 384
Source: Little Bird Publicity
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The Best of Us is #4 in Robyn Carr’s small town series of Sullivan’s Crossing, Colorado.  A new book in any of her series has always been a delight and this is just as much so in this case.

I liked especially the variety of age range in this book. Firstly we have I guess what might be the central couple of Leigh Culver – the local doctor and Rob Shandon the local pub owner. Leigh is thirty four, Rob is forty and has two teenage sons.  Rob is the brother to Sid, we met her in a previous book when she fell for Dakota Jones.

It’s not long before Leigh and Rob fall for each other, there is a fun first meeting and from then on its all on. But… do this couple have their act together? They both have previous experiences that make them cautious. When one is hot the other is cold on a permanent relationship. So will they ever be on the same page… and believe me they sure need to get there!

Helen is Leigh’s aunt and she comes to stay with Leigh. In fact she brought Leigh up as Leigh lost her mother at the age of four. Helen is a retired teacher and a writer of mystery books – quite gory ones if her new reader can be believed!  She finds that she loves sitting on Sully’s porch out at the camp at Sullivan’s Crossing, looking out at the wild life while she writes. And that’s not all that she finds herself looking at.

The young people are represented by Finn (Rob’s son)  and his girlfriend Maia,  both just finishing high school and preparing for college. They are a delight and full of tender, young love. There is a rather huge crisis that brings Finn stepping up very much to the plate and indicates what kind of man he is going to grow into.

This is very much a story of family, being there for each other, sorting through challenges and coming out the other side. Another charming developed story, with characters I couldn’t help falling for.  Sean and Finn looking right at you!

 

Review

December 2018 Reading in Review

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Welcome in, do join me by sharing your link to your look back at this month. I’m looking forward to visiting and seeing what everyone has been up to.  The link will be open for you to share your post whenever you post over the next few days.  Do visit each others’ posts.

Total books read this month: 14

New to me authors:

Mike Chen
Jon Cohen
Celeste Ng
Marion Lennox

Reading Challenge Update: How I finished the year!

2018
Full House Reading Challenge
23/25 books

Audiobook Challenge 28/28 books

Modern Mrs Darcy Challenge11/12 books

Library Challenge 33/24 books

Emilie Richards Reading Challenge 17/18 Books

Top Books for December

Looking forward to reading in January

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Main Reading Goals for January..

  • Enjoy my books
  • Get my reading challenges off to a good start

Incoming Books for December….

Purchased

Yes that says Middlemarch by George Elliot for reading … at some point!

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Library Books

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From NetGalley or Edelweiss

Audio Books

 

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General, Review

Celebrating 2018 Books and Reading

Top Books for 2018

I read about 155 books this year and here are the ones I really loved.

A Favourite New to Me Author

This Irish author – I’ll be back reading her books as time goes by, I have already purchased an audio for future happiness. Trish from Between my Lines introduced me to this book, and I just loved it. I borrowed it from the library but I am waiting till I can buy it with this cover and then I will buy it. I know this cover doesn’t look much, but read the book and then went “perfect cover”.

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A Debut that I Liked

Extraordinary book for a debut, beautifully written, one that sucked me in, even though I wasn’t happy about the ending but that is neither here nor there!

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Coverlicious

This cover just says “read me” when I look at it, and I love the colours and the Christmas lights.

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Addictive Read

Well that would be the Fatal series by Marie Force and this year was no different. And as can be seen from my Goodreads Year in Books – so many other readers are with me on that! By the way that’s not the highest rated book on Goodreads. Just out of the books I’ve read this year! This series I just love. Romantic suspense in spades. But should be read from Book one.

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So thought provoking

This one touched my heart and mind. What about you might ask? Homelessness. Such a memorable book.

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Best Library find

I borrowed this from the library in CD audiobook format, a bit of a pain listening on CD but I made it work for me and was great listening. Saved me a credit at Audible! That said, 2018 was the year of the library for me, so many new 2018 books read from there.

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Thank you to the wonderful authors who wrote these books and many thanks to bloggers who shared their reads and hooked me in to reading them.

Review

Lost Without You by Rachael Johns

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Publisher: Harlequin Australia
Date: October 29th 2018
Format:  Trade Paperback
Source: Own book
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Lost Without You by Rachael Johns is a roller coaster ride of family, friendship, a secret, loss, guilt and love.

Rebecca is a mother to Paige and wife of Hugh. Early on she is faced with a serious health issue that throws her family into some stress. Evaluating her life Rebecca decides to look back and open a door in her life she has hidden away.  Her daughter is about to go down the marriage path and has a really lovely partner Sol. So Paige decides she wants to find her mother’s wedding dress and be married in it.

This search leads her to Josie and Nic – married and Josie is not coping with the miscarriages she has had to endure. However the two girls become friends and everything there seems to be good.

Clara is another person in the mix – she nurses Rebecca when she is in hospital and also helps Josie out with her grief.

When Rebecca’s secret is revealed everyone is thrown out of their comfort zones. Some become judgemental and angry and rifts occur. And it also turns out that all the women’s lives are more intertwined than first thought.

I felt for them all but most of all for Rebecca because of the way others turned on her. I understand that we can get hurt and angry with family members so I could see where they were coming from, but all the way through I was on her side!

It was a very good read,  possibly some links were a little too coincidental, however it was story with challenging issues that were well explored.

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Review

The Valentine’s Curse by Jodi Thomas

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Published: Kensington Books
Date: 18th December 2018
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Rating 4.5 stars

 

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Set in Texas after the civil war The Valentine’s Curse is a short (74 pages) novella, however it makes a very satisfying read and it was an absolute pleasure to lose myself in the pages for a little while.

Brody is a Yank and not that well received by the other cowboys on the ranch that he works on, they were on opposite sides of the war. So he is an outsider.

Valerie has lost two husbands and its said in town she has a widow’s curse and anyone who touches her will die by evening. So she too is an outsider.

But… these two outsiders are upstanding and outstanding people and what does it matter what others say or do?

Perfect reading for a wet afternoon.

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Month in Review, Review

November Reading month in Review

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Welcome in, do join me by sharing your link to your look back at this month. I’m looking forward to visiting and seeing what everyone has been up to.  The link will be open for you to share your post whenever you post over the next few days.  Do visit each others’ posts.

Total books read this month: 12.

Four of these are library books.
Three are audiobooks.
Two are review books.
Two are books I bought in 2018.

Where do the authors come from?

Five authors from the USA
Three authors from Britain
One from Ireland
One from New Zealand  ( Who – well that’s Nalini Singh of course!)
Two from Australia

New to me authors:

Tricia Stringer
Fiona Palmer
Carmel Harrington

Reading Challenge Update:

I am nearing finishes with most, I think I will make my audiobook goal, even though I thought I wouldn’t. I may not read a banned book so that will mean I don’t finish the Anne Bogel one, but that’s okay.

Reading Club Update:

I read Brothers and Sisters by Fiona Palmer for one online book club and really enjoyed it, the listen on audio was the way to go and the discussion on Facebook with Books with Heart was interesting.

I read Table for Eight by Tricia Stringer and that will be for next month along with Liane Moriarty’s latest book, Nine Strangers Waiting.

Outside Reading Highlights

I had installed a bookcase in my lounge room, and I love the fact I can now keep all my books in one place. I did cull some as I put them on their new home. I love the cupboards underneath which will hide stuff!!

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Top Book for November…

Have you read this Irish author? I hadn’t up until this month but I loved the story and the exploration of homelessness, which is so prevalent in everyone’s country these days. At first the cover didn’t really wow me, but once I’d read the book – perfection!

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Looking forward to reading in December …

 

 Reading/Blogging Goals for December…

  • See how many of my reading challenges I can finish or near finish.
  • Decide if I will host a reading challenge for 2019 … or not.
  • Think about what challenges I might take part in for 2019.
  • Decide on my first book to read for 2019.

Last month I wanted to get 3 to 4 rereads accomplished. I read two and as they were rather solid reads I count that as good enough!

Incoming Books during November

Purchased

Library Books

From NetGalley or Edelweiss

Audio Books

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Review

A Thousand Roads Home by Carmel Harrington

book coverPublished: HarperCollins
Date: October 2018
Format: Trade Paperback
Pages: 440
Genre: Mainstream Fiction
Source: Library
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Goodreads callout

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Firstly thank you to Trish from Between My Lines who intrigued me with her review of A Thousand Roads Home by Irish author Carmel Harrington.  It is the first book I have read by this author and I do believe I have discovered another author I will want to read more from.

This book grabbed me by the heart and I just had to keep reading it, it engaged me from the first page and didn’t let me go all the way through. When I had finished it I didn’t want to have finished it. I loved all the characters, cheered when things when well for them, chuckled sometimes and reached for the tissues quite often!

The story explores homelessness, having Asperger’s syndrome, being a single parent, being lost and in grief and so much more. And… it shows how one person with their kindness and compassion can change the world one person at a time.

It is set in Ireland and very authentically Irish, but… it is an universal story and has issues we can all relate to one way or another. If you can, read it – it is indeed “warm, powerful and unforgettable.”

Read Trish’s review here just to check it out! I haven’t gone into details, let’s just say I won’t ever forget it.

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For USA readers this will be published there in June 2019.

#IMWAYR, Review

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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What I read last week:

If you are a reader of this series then you’ll know I am so… waiting for this time next year when the next book comes out because there is a big cliff hanger in this one. Can’t wait to see what tack Nalini Singh has in story for Elena the partner of Raphael, she was made into an angel and was on her way to becoming immortal. But now there is a spanner in the works! Love this couple and want the very best for them, and I rest in the belief that so does Nalini want the best for them!

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I changed my mind about what to read next because a few library reserves came in and I went with…

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This is a new series by J. R. Ward and involves fire fighters, their lives and challenges, the danger they are in and where just sometimes bravery might waver into stupidity. I liked the two main characters, especially the kick ass heroine Anne Ashburn. (Has to be a play on her name for sure!) Anyway she is not going to be taken down by any double dealing, dirty playing criminals. It might be she is just one or more steps ahead of them in the brains department. Nothing wrong with her brawn either.  Engaging read that had me going back any moment I had to read.  And… there is a dog named Soot. I’ll want to read the next one.

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Sisters and Brothers was  a great listen and my first time reading this Australian author. It explored adoption, discovering birth parents and adjusting. I loved all the characters.

What I am reading now:

So this is a reread, my aim is to eventually reread through the whole series, maybe over time!

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I am listening to Lake Silence. I loved this series and initially thought I wouldn’t take up the new arc in the series, but here I am! Borrowed this from the library.

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

The Other Miss Bridgerton  Julia Quinn

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