Sunday, April 30, 2017

Thoughts: Baby It's Cold Outside

Baby It's Cold Outside

by Addison Fox
Book 1 of Alaskan Nights

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  4.0 Stars

Baby It’s Cold Outside is another one of those light-hearted and fun clichéd romances all packaged up into something delightfully sweet, cute, and fun.  While the love story itself wasn’t the most unique story-line in the world (perky, misunderstood girl with a heart of gold meets broody, commitment-phobic male with misguided notions of his life), the presentation of the story itself was fabulously entertaining.

It’s not Lucky Harbor-like nonsensical humor, but it’s got the same elements of friendship-bonding, family love, warm character interactions, and a bevy of character development that make it hard NOT to fall in love with the all the people in the entire small town of Indigo, Alaska.

Small town romances, I’ve noticed often hit your sentimentality where it’s most effective--at least it does for me.

The Story:
Sloan McKinley is the oft talked about thirty-three year old daughter of Winifred McKinley--she runs in social circles, was raised in the high society fashion, and thinks twice about her appearance and image before she goes into the public.  But after a terrible bout of match-making gone wrong thanks to her mother, who is desperate to have her daughter married off, Sloan receives an S.O.S. from her best friend, Grier Thompson.  Grier is in Indigo, Alaska sorting out the legalities of an estate inheritance from a father she never knew, and in the midst of it all, there’s a sullen half-sister who isn’t making things easy for her.

In a moment of desire to escape her high society New York life for a short time, Sloan agrees to fly up to Indigo to support her best friend, and maybe find some room to breathe away from her mother.  What Sloan didn’t expect to do, however, was slowly develop an attachment to the small town of Indigo and all of its occupants.  Least of all, she hadn’t expected to find instant attraction and a growing sense of love for the town’s lawyer, Walker Montgomery.

Also, there’s something of a small town bachelorette competition in an attempt to marry off all of Indigo’s bachelors.  Or something like that.

My Thoughts:
Baby It’s Cold Outside was fun.  It was fun, and it was cute, and it was sweet, and I found myself reading through the entire thing quite quickly, if only because I found it very enjoyable.  And fun.  I compare it to a Jill Shalvis work if only because I had just finished reading the first three books of Lucky Harbor in 2015--another small town romance type of story following three half-sisters and their love interests, and a whole town full of people you can’t help but fall in love with despite and in spite of all their weird antics.

To be totally honest, it’s hard NOT to see parallels in every Contemporary Romance set in a small town with a staple set of quirky characters.  So I mean no offense by making comparisons, but they just happen to pop up in my mind.

In this case, Indigo is a small town of eight hundred and twelve (something repeated quite often), with its own unique residents with their own unique personalities that are quite attention-grabbing all on their own.

The moment Sloan arrives into town, she meets and quickly befriends Avery Marks, a girl working at the hotel she is staying at who doesn’t hesitate to whip out the finest wine for a girls’ night bonding fest.  I love how easily and readily Sloan and Grier become attached to Avery, placing her as the third in this fast-developing best friendship.

Casting aside her former persona from New York, Sloan quickly jumps into the fray of Indigo’s population, making friends left and right without reserves, not caring that her mother would have disapproved of a lot of the things she does and intends to do… such as compete in the little bachelorette competition (which includes skeet shooting and Iditarod racing).

And like any other romance novel ever written, it doesn’t take long for Sloan and Walker to find each other and start up a courting dance of sorts, building that sexual tension until it erupts into a big steamy, explosion of great sex and multiple orgasms (am I all allowed to use this word in a public forum?).

Meanwhile, we also get to see some side stories of other couples including: Grier and Mick (their complicated relationship will be fleshed out in the next book), Avery and Roman (their even more complicated history will be hashed out in the third book), and Jack and Jess who get a subtle side story and their own quiet Happily Ever After™. Other couples are also hinted at throughout the book, but they aren’t the main focus, which DOES help make the cheese factor of the book a little easier to handle--not that there was a lot of cheese, but the story COULD have gone in that direction, what with Couple Curtain Calls and that sort of thing.

Final Thoughts:
Baby It’s Cold Outside is one of those books I’d read for the pure pleasure of seeing human interaction and heart-warming romance.  While Sloan does a lot of developing throughout the book, it doesn’t escape my attention that there wasn’t much for Sloan to develop from in the first place.  She’s a great person with very insignificant flaws of city girl expectations upon arrival in Indigo.  But her flaws are very quickly set aside as she shows her ability to step back and rethink her expectations and pre-judgments, or think through a situation before putting her foot in her mouth.

You can’t help NOT liking her because she’s so perfect, but at the same time not entirely a Mary Sue.

I’m slightly disappointed, however, that her relationship conflicts with her mother weren’t really expanded upon.  Then again, with Walker and HIS broody Daddy Issues™, I suppose there was no need for more delving into others’ parental conflicts.


On the other hand, I’m interested in the complicated history behind Avery and Roman--a little bit of a "First Love Gone Bad During Their Youth" type of story that will take place in the third Alaskan Nights book.  And just as well, I’m kind of interested to see where Grier’s life takes her as well--if it’s one character who has a bit of growing to do, seems like it would be her.

Again, this is a very well-written, heart-warming romance that is both enjoyable and fun. And I couldn’t help but feel the coldness of Indigo’s climate as I read the entire book during our own winter season in the States.  This would have made a pretty good holiday time read, honestly, and I’m glad I could make some time for it.


2016 Reading Challenges:
Goodreads Reading Challenge
BookLikes Reading Challenge
Bookish Resolutions Challenge -- New to Me Author #2

This review was originally posted at Ani's Book Abyss / BookLikes in January 2016.

Brief Thoughts: The Governess Affair

The Governess Affair

by Courtney Milan
Brothers Sinister #0.5 (prequel novella)

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

She will not give up…

Three months ago, governess Serena Barton was let go from her position.  Unable to find new work, she’s demanding compensation from the man who got her sacked: a petty, selfish, swinish duke.  But it’s not the duke she fears.  It’s his merciless man of business—the man known as the Wolf of Clermont.  The formidable former pugilist has a black reputation for handling all the duke’s dirty business, and when the duke turns her case over to him, she doesn’t stand a chance.  But she can’t stop trying—not with her entire future at stake.

He cannot give in…

Hugo Marshall is a man of ruthless ambition—a characteristic that has served him well, elevating the coal miner’s son to the right hand man of a duke.  When his employer orders him to get rid of the pestering governess by fair means or foul, it’s just another day at the office.  Unfortunately, fair means don’t work on Serena, and as he comes to know her, he discovers that he can’t bear to use foul ones.  But everything he has worked for depends upon seeing her gone.  He’ll have to choose between the life that he needs, and the woman he is coming to love…

This novella would be my first foray into Courtney Milan's work, and I will admit that I'm not disappointed.  While I feel like this novella could have been developed a bit better, it gives a pretty satisfying, even if kind of boring introduction into the world of the Brothers Sinister.  Maybe if this were a full-length novel instead of a short novella, we would have been able to delve a little deeper into each character's backgrounds?

Instead, this novella simply stood out a little awkwardly as a teaser, especially with the ending chapter wherein we get introduced to the next generation--this I hadn't realized until partway into those last two chapters, since I'm not familiar with Milan's other books, nor did I take any time to really read the summary of following books in this series.

Nonetheless, the way in which the boys we will meet in the novels are introduced really kind of felt forced.

Anyway, I did enjoy The Governess Affair.  It was written well, and the while there were certain, brief moments that felt distasteful, I had no problems with either the story nor the characters.

If I had to choose something I immensely enjoyed about this story, I'd probably say it was the banter between Hugo and Serena.  In contrast, while I can see that the author tried to make out Serena and Frederica's relationship to be that of close, loving sisters, it was actually kind of hard to believe--so I wish they could have had a stronger relationship.

Otherwise, The Governess Affair was a sweet, short story to pass the time.

Read-a-thon: Bout of Books 19

Bout of Books
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 8th and runs through Sunday, May 14th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.

For all Bout of Books 19 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.  - From the Bout of Books team

This will be my third participation in the Bout of Books read-a-thon.  For links to update posts related to other read-a-thons I have participated in, click here.

I love these week long read-a-thons, and even though I haven't always participated, I do try to make time for them.  This time around, I almost forgot about this upcoming Bout of Books due to the busy past couple months I've had.  This would have been a shame since I will actually be taking a week-long vacation from work, coinciding with this read-a-thon week.

I swear, I didn't purposefully plan it that way, and I actually DO have more non-bookish activities planned, including a road trip with the family to visit my cousin at college who will be graduating from Pharmacy school this coming Mother's Day weekend.

In the bookish life, I'm hoping to catch up to everyone else playing Booklikes-opoly.  Having landed first on the Jail Visitor square, then landing in Jail, my Bank is seeing a bit of non-movement.


My goal is always to read as many books as I can.  This time, I'm going to try to be more ambitious and set a challenging goal.  Basically, I'm hoping to at least read as many books as I'm allowed to roll for BL-opoly during this week.  Being that we are allowed to roll only every other day, that gives you at least four rolls during the week.

Then, I'm going to add two more books... just because.

Main Goal:  Read 6 books
Bonus Goal:  Read for at least 8+ hours daily, or on average

Read-a-thon Hopefuls

I actually have no idea what I will be reading during this week, because I'm kind of basing my reads off of what I end up rolling for Booklikes-opoly.  However, here are a few books I AM hoping to finish outside of the BL game, if I get a chance... and some books that I'm hoping will get read if I happen to land on the right squares.

The truth is, these are all books that I've been meaning to read since the beginning of the year, as well as some books that I've been meaning to get to since I started the series two months ago.

I know, there are a lot, and more than likely, I will not get to all of them, and dependent on my BL-opoly rolls, I may not even touch anywhere close to these books.  But definitely, I would like to get Backwoods by Jill Sorenson and Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis read.

Links to Update posts

(coming soon -- subject to change)
I don't know how often I will update for the Bout of Books week.  I WILL be updating more regularly for BL-opoly though, so I may just cross-link the two and update Bout of Books and BL-opoly at the same time.

We shall see how it all works out.


I'm going to try to have as much fun as I can.  If anyone else is interested in joining the read-a-thon, the badge at the top of this post will take you to the Bout of Books official website.  The link under the picture takes you directly to the sign-up post. Let's all have some fun for this week of a read-a-thon!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

BL-opoly | Fifth Roll and Read-a-thon Day Activities

I'm almost glad I didn't commit to participate in any reading for Dewey's Read-a-thon.  I've been spending more time trying to figure out what I want to read than actually reading.

Anyway, I'm going to try to make this a simple post with no Magnetic Monkey... monkeying around.

I rolled once already as a regular roll after finishing up the last book for my previous turn.  After clarifying, I was told I am allowed three extra rolls on top of this first roll--and with one set of doubles rolled, I basically rolled five times today.

Roll #5:  Landed on Paradise Pier 25 | Read a book set during Victoria's reign (1837 - 1901) or that is tagged steampunk on GR.

I have two books I am interested in reading for this category... but chances are, I will end up reading The Duchess War.  I was wanting to start with The Governess Affair, the prequel novella, but the setting of the novella just barely falls outside the time frame given for Victoria's reign, so I may try to get it read before jumping into The Duchess War.

On the other hand, I am wanting to read The Perfect Poison as well, needing to finish the Arcane Society series, but I still need to read Running Hot first before moving onto this one.

I don't necessarily have to read my books in the order I rolled, right?

The Duchess War is 271 pages (Kindle) = $3.00.
The Perfect Poison is 364 pages (Kindle) = $3.00

Following are the 3 extra rolls in celebration of the Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon!

Roll #6.1:  Landed on Main Street Station | Read a book that involves a trip across the United States, or that has a national monument on the cover.

I really don't know what to choose for this game space, so chances are, I'm just going to skip it.  I've got four other books to read after today's rolls anyway.

Roll #6.2:  Landed on Main Street 11 | Read a book that takes place between 1945 and 1965 or that was written by an author who was born before 1955.

In contrast, I will be reading a book for this game space.  Jayne Ann Krentz, if Wiki is to be trusted, was born pre-1955.  This is perfect because, like I've stated, I've been meaning to finish the Arcane Society series.

Running Hot is 352 pages = $3.00.

Roll #7:  Landed on Cars Land 16 | Read a book set in Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, or California, or where the page count ends in 1, 9, 2, or 6.

Once again, I've landed on a perfect game space!  I will be reading Backwoods by Jill Sorenson, which will effectively help me finish the Aftershock series.  This entire series has been taking place in California, and after a quick skim of the first chapter, this one does as well.

Backwoods is 378 pages = $3.00.

Roll #8:  Landed on Water Works | Read a book with water on the cover, or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e., cries) because of an emotional event.

I did a little bit of shuffling, because originally I had thought of Backwoods first when I landed on this square.  As you can see, the cover DOES have water on it, but at the same time, this book also fit for Cars Land 16 due to its setting in California.  So after a quick search through my TBR, I found a book that will help me knock off two other challenges: Reading Assignment, and Mt. TBR.

It's a little hard to see, but there's a beach and waves, erego water.  Yay!

But I have to wait until May to read this to count for Reading Assignment.

Before the Storm is 336 pages = $3.00.

Booklikes-opoly | Read-a-thon Day Freebie Rolls!! #6, #7, #8

Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

Following on the tails of my Fifth Roll, I decided to separate out this post so things don't look so cluttered.  I tend to over-ramble already anyway and I'm sure everyone will probably get tired of my long-winded story-like posts for each roll.  And then this post ended up being longer than I expected, so stay tuned for another update post later for the books I will be reading!

Anyway, as decreed by Moonlight Reader this fine morning, in celebration of Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon, we are all being granted three extra rolls!  I'm super excited, since, seeing everyone else's updates, I'm lagging far behind, especially after landing on the Jail Visitor Square on one roll, and then landing directly in BL-opoly Jail the next.

My overall running updates since the first roll are at the very end of this post.

Essentially, today is the day to establish three more books to read, with three extra rolls, and going by the announcement, if you land on a square that doesn't give you a book to read, you get to roll again and not have it count against the three extra rolls.

Then, read or not, it's up to you, but you get a chance to pick up three more books to read.  I'm totally up for it, even if I'm not sure if I'll be able to read all three books I end up getting.  But at least I'll have that choice and can play catch up with my Bank Balance.  As a question was answered, we don't have to read all the books on Dewey's Read-a-thon day to count, which I'm glad about, because I definitely won't be able to finish all these books in one day, that's for sure.

I'm personally not really participating in the 24 hour thon, myself, but I'm very happy that we don't have to be participating to have the three extra rolls!!

Once again thank you to Moonlight and Obsidian for this fine game, and thanks for the new extra rolls today!

Here is my Read-a-thon Day 3 Freebie Rolls:

My First Freebie Roll, Roll #6.1 & #6.2:  Ended up being a Doubles roll first, so I rolled again.

For the First Read-a-thon Extra Roll (Roll #6.1 & #6.2), I first landed on Main Street Station 3 after rolling a Double 12; and since I rolled doubles, I rolled again and landed on Main Street 11.

Follow my progress live:

And Magnetic Monkey might be getting a little out of control...  But hey, he's having fun, right?  He's been sitting in the visitor square with Teddy Bear the entire time we've been in Jail, so I'll cut him some slack.

My Second Freebie Roll, Roll #7:


I rolled a 6 and ended up on Carsland 16.

So, for some reason, I couldn't get Teddy Bear game piece to stay on the space.  He kept sliding and I just hope that his magnet isn't losing juice.  Fortunately, Magnetic Monkey, hanging around as usual, decided to give his pal a hand and made a ledge for him to sit on.  Friends are great!!

My Third Freebie Roll, Roll #8:

Water Works Space Says:  "Read a book with water on the cover or where someone turns on the waterworks (i.e. cries) because of an emotional event.

We finally stop on Water Works after a last roll of 8.  And Magnetic Monkey looks like he's finally worn out from all the activity, so maybe it'll be quiet for a while.

Meanwhile, it looks like I've got some decisions to make, two of which I've already made.  Like, for instance, I'm probably not going to read a book for Main Street Station, as I can't really think of a book that meets those criteria off the top of my head.  However, I already know what I want to read for Water Works as well as Main Street 11.  I will still have some thinking for Cars Land 16.

Once again, stay tuned for an update on what I will be reading for all of these game square tasks.  Chances are, I may only choose two books, though I'd hate to squander these rolls.  These seem to be my best rolls yet, as I've landed on two squares that I really needed to use!

Current Bank:   $30.00
  • Roll #1 (4/15):  A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn / 345 pages = $3.00
  • Roll #2 (4/17):  The Paris Assignment by Addison Fox / 284 pages = $3.00
  • Roll #3 (4/21):  False Memory by Dean Koontz // Donated 200 pages ($2.00) to the Jail Library
  • Roll #4 (4/23):  Rolled three doubles, ended up in Jail. / Total of $4.00 Earned
    • #4.1:  Schoolgirl by DAZAI Osamu / 50 pages = $1.00
    • #4.2:  Don't Look Away by Leslie A. Kelly / 323 pages = $3.00
    • #4.3:  300 pages of sentence to be served // 332 pages read total
      • Storming the Castle by Eloisa James // 138 pages served
      • False Memory by Dean Koontz // 194 pages served
  • Roll #5 (4/29):  In progress

Booklikes-opoly | Moving Onto the Fifth Roll!

Booklikes, the book blogging social platform

So it took a little while to get to my next roll, but here I am, finally.  Having rolled three doubles on April 23rd, I ended up landing on two regular game task spaces, then BL-opoly Jail.  This is quite ironic (is that the correct usage of that word), since I'd just landed in the Jail Visitor Square (same square, different purpose), on the roll previous and read 214 pages of a book, donating 200 pages to the Prison Library.


So I decided to just go ahead and read books for all of the game spaces I landed on.  For a full summary, read my post for Fourth Roll Activities.

And here's a very simple, basic summary of what happened:

  • Roll #4.1:  Rolled a Double 3 = 6 and landed on Adventureland 24.
    • Read Schoolgirl for 50 pages = $1.00, increasing Bank to $27.00.
  • Roll #4.2:  Rolled a Double 6 = 12 and landed on Mystery Square 35.
    • Read Don't Look Away for 323 pages = $3.00, increasing Bank to $30.00.

  • Roll #4.3:  Rolled another Double 3 = 6 and went straight to BL-opoly Jail.
    • Listened to Storming the Castle, clocked at approx. 3 hours, at a book page equivalent of 138 pages.
    • Finished reading last 194 pages of False Memory.
    • Both reads totaled 332 pages, fulfilling the 300 page jail sentence to be served!

With the new, modified rules, as decreed by Moonlight Reader, we are now allowed to roll outside of odd numbered days as long it wasn't just yesterday that you rolled.  So you can only roll as frequently as every other day, but you don't have to wait for an odd numbered day.  I was hoping I'd finish my read early and be able to roll yesterday, which would have been fine since I hadn't rolled since 4/23, almost six days ago.  But that didn't happen, so I am rolling today, finally.

Here is my fifth roll:


I rolled an 11, and since I've been sitting pretty in BL-opoly Jail for a while now, I will move from there, landing myself on Paradise Pier 28.

We're all excited to be out of Jail, as well as finished with a long, dragging read.  Magnetic Monkey is doing his happy twirl, and Teddy Bear game piece is... well, he's just hanging there, but take me word on it that he's quite excited.

I'm not entirely certain I know what book I want to pick for this space.  I'm not entirely familiar with the Victorian era and what books would work, nor have I ever really been too interested in steampunk.  So I'm going to use a Goodreads Victorian Romance page I stumbled across to see what I can find that would interest me.

There are a bunch of Sherry Thomas books from my own TBR listed as Victorian, though I'm not sure if I'm feeling Sherry Thomas at this moment...  Maybe a new author?

That being said, is there a way to tell if a book is Victorian era if the author doesn't include a year at the beginning of the book?  I know some historicals have a time setting presented on the first chapter, but I don't think they all do.

However, I am very much considering that new Sherry Thomas book, A Study in Scarlet Women, which I believe takes place during this time period.  Going to check and see and make my decisions.

Otherwise, I might just skip this space since, with Moonlight's newest Read-a-thon Day announcement, I've got three other freebie rolls I can make anyway.

More updates to follow soon.  I'm going to establish all of my rolls for today first.  Stay tuned for another, separate post.

Current Bank:   $30.00
  • Roll #1 (4/15):  A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn / 345 pages = $3.00
  • Roll #2 (4/17):  The Paris Assignment by Addison Fox / 284 pages = $3.00
  • Roll #3 (4/21):  False Memory by Dean Koontz // Donated 200 pages ($2.00) to the Jail Library
  • Roll #4 (4/23):  Rolled three doubles, ended up in Jail. / Total of $4.00 Earned
    • #4.1:  Schoolgirl by DAZAI Osamu / 50 pages = $1.00
    • #4.2:  Don't Look Away by Leslie A. Kelly / 323 pages = $3.00
    • #4.3:  300 pages of sentence to be served // 332 pages read total
      • Storming the Castle by Eloisa James // 138 pages served
      • False Memory by Dean Koontz // 194 pages served

Friday, April 28, 2017

Quick Thoughts: Storming the Castle (novella)

Storming the Castle

by Eloisa James
audio book narrated by Nicola Barber
Fairy Tales #1.5 (novella)

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  2.5 Stars

What Miss Phillipa Damson needs is a good, old fashioned knight in shining armor.  What she has is a fiancé she never wanted and a compelling urge to run away.  But if she manages to escape, will she find her happily ever after?

This novella started strong, and truthfully, I had been thinking that I liked it more than I liked it's preceding book, A Kiss At Midnight.  Because, truthfully, A Kiss At Midnight was just riddled with romance plot clichés and over dramatic angst, even if the book itself was pretty enjoyable.

The conditions of which Phillipa leaves her family and her betrothal to pursue a life for herself was exciting.  In fact, it was the best part of the novella, because it helps establish Phillipa's character outside of just being a Romance Novel Heroine, where everything revolves around a man and her love life.  I loved that she has a self-revelation about not wanting to continue being told what she should feel, how she should think, what she should want with her life, or how lucky she was to have her future taken care of for her.

That she took the initiative to step out of that mold to find her own way in life drew me in, and made me intrigued at what was in store for her.

That she would find Jonas Berwick, majordomo extraordinaire, in her future was also a bonus for me since I absolutely loved him from the first book.

The insta-lust that took place as soon as she enters the castle to become a nursemaid was not surprising.  And I was actually looking forward to the potential love story between her and one of my favorite characters from A Kiss At Midnight, Prince Gabriel's half-brother, Jonas Berwick.  Since the first book, I had found Berwick's character to be much more attractive and interesting than the main male character and had secretly wanted Kate to fall for him instead.

I had hoped he'd get his own book.

But a novella will have to suffice, I suppose, though, to be honest, after finishing this novella, I feel like Berwick deserved a much better story.

The moment we get to the castle, the story kind of plateaus and stops being exciting.  The love story feels supremely lukewarm, and while I like that Phillipa and Berwick don't fall in love at first sight, I never felt the chemistry between them.  I felt more chemistry between Kate and Phillipa, or even the castle's French cook and Phillipa, than between our resident main couple.  Berwick was severely underused in this novella, and honestly, I repeat, he deserves a full length novel and a better story.

When we get to the concluding chapter and find out that Phillipa had, yet another reason for not wanting to marry her betrothed Rodney... I guess that was it for me.  Because simply wanting the freedom to make her own choices wasn't enough?  I couldn't fault her for that.  But she announces another, much more superficial reason to her father, barely even mentioning the fact that she was tired of being strung around like a puppet by the people in her life.  No, Phillipa's reasons for not wanting to marry Rodney had more to do with the fact that Rodney isn't exactly the most physically appealing person, despite the fact that he was never a bad person to begin with.

That conclusion severely set Phillipa's character development from the first couple chapters backwards, and I stopped feeling bad for her that her father kept trying to force her into a life she didn't want.

Anyway, I can't deny that despite everything I disliked about this novella, Eloisa's writing style for the Fairy Tales stories are written in a distinctly "Once Upon A Time" like whimsical way that I like.  It truly feels like I'm reading (or in this case listening to) a fairy tale being told.



Roll #4:  (A third double landed me in Jail.)
Read 138 pages to add onto my 300 page Jail sentence.

No increase in Bank.

See Also:  Fourth Roll Activities

Collective Reading Updates: Don't Look Away

Don't Look Away

by Leslie A. Kelly
Book 1 of Veronica Sloan

~ Goodreads ~

The most recent updates will be added to the top each re-post.

As I progress through the book and find reasons to update, more events may or may not be revealed.
Review for Don't Look Away | link coming soon

Progress on 04/28/16:  55 of 323 pages (17%)

For a crime thriller/romantic suspense, this book is actually moving along a bit slowly, and we're spending a lot more time dealing with political gesturing.

Anyway, the whole O.E.P.I.S. thing kind of fascinates me, but at the same time, I found myself wondering about how invasive this kind of technology is since it literally records everything the individual with the O.E.P. device installed sees.

Case in point:
If he had been having any sort of inappropriate relationship with the victim, the downloaded images from her optic chip would certainly reveal it.  Ronnie hoped it wasn't the case.  She truly didn't want to see pictures of the Polo-League dude doing it.  Especially not through the eyes of the woman being done.  Talk about voyeurism to the extreme.

Um... I know I read a lot of erotica and erotica-lite, but I'm not sure I'd want to be in Veronica's place when she goes through other people's O.E.P. downloads.  She'd mentioned something about the death row inmates who volunteered to be experimented on with this technology, and how during her training with these inmates, they'd purposefully recorded themselves doing outrageous things of which she had observe.

I still don't know how she is to extract recordings straight from another person's O.E.P. device, so I hope it gets explained soon.  So let's find that head, ASAP!

Anyway, at this point in the book, I'm seeing a few logic holes here and there about this new technology that are hopefully either explained, or mentioned.  I'm glad that others have already mentioned the one biggest flaw of the O.E.P. device is that, at the time of murder, there's no way the victim would have been able to download the recorded images into a computer.  And if someone was willing to go as far as murder, and knew that the victim had an O.E.P. device installed, what's to stop the killer from removing and disposing of the head... as gruesome as that sounds.

Obviously that is what happened here, even though we find out that the removal of the victim's head wasn't because of the O.E.P. device, but for some other reason.


Progress on 04/27/16:  34 of 323 pages (12%)

Okay... the first sentence of this book makes so much more sense now, aside from just being shockingly gruesome as a story opener.

So, apparently this book takes place in the year 2022 (which is how the book opens anyway with a location and time marker, so I don't know why I'm surprised).  There is new technology created that involves embedding a camera into an individual's head, that is connected to that person's optical nerve, and at least 5000 individuals were selected for this program, especially law enforcement officers.  And apparently our MC Veronica Sloan was one of these individuals.

This technology was taken by the government as an experiment in criminal investigation, as 500 of the 5000 individuals are from law enforcement agencies, all of them forming the Optical Evidence Program Investigative Squad, O.E.P.I.S.  And depending upon the success of this new investigative approach, the plan is to plant at least one or two law enforcement officers with O.E.P. technology in every law enforcement agency throughout the nation.

The idea is that these individuals would record all the goings-on in their day through sight, though this information must be downloaded regularly into files.  Although this feels like an immense breach in personal privacy--because, how do keep from recording more intimate, persona, private moments in your day?--the book DOES explain away the ethical complications using a big tragedy of terrorism that happened five years prior to this story's time setting.  And this is essentially how a lot of dystopian books explain away or justify their story's government making these kinds of rulings that affect the personal freedoms of their people.

While the book doesn't state it straight-out, I think the story leans toward dystopian-lite... or something.

Now, how Veronica, or even anyone from O.E.P.I.S. are supposed to be crucial to solving murders of other individuals with this kind of technology embedded in their brains is still a little confusing to me.  According to the book, so far, the images recorded by the O.E.P. device must be downloaded onto a computer before anyone else can access it.  But the book is implying that other people with an installed O.E.P. device are able to access those images directly through another individual with an O.E.P. device?

Because, obviously when our victim died, she was unable to download those last recorded moments of her life as she was being murdered.

And now her head is missing from the crime scene, so we've got our first big dilemma pertaining to this technology.

Honestly, there's so much going on in these first couple chapters right now that I'm having a little bit of difficulty keeping up, but hopefully things will fall into place soon.

Progress on 04/26/16:  3 of 323 pages (1%)

First sentence of the book:
Leanne Carr tried to keep her eyes open through her murder.



Roll #4: (See Also: Fourth Roll Activities)
The MC, Veronica Sloan is a police detective.

Page Count:  323
Cash Award:  +$3.00

Bank Balance:  $30.00 upon completion of this read