Thursday, February 28, 2019

Brief Thoughts: SEAL for Her Protection

SEAL for Her Protection

by Paige Tyler
Book 1 of SEALs of Coronado

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  2.0 Stars

He saved her from the danger once before.  Can he save her again, this time from danger he doesn't even see coming?

When investigative journalist Hayley Garner is kidnapped by terrorists, she's sure they're going to kill her.  But in sweeps handsome Navy SEAL Chasen Ward to rescue her.  After getting her to safety, he disappears into the night before she can even thank him.

Weeks later, while covering a story on the local navy base, Hayley runs into Chasen again.  Even though she didn't see his face that night he rescued her, she can't forget his beautiful blue eyes.

The attraction is immediate and intense, and Hayley finds herself falling into a fiery romance with the hunky hero out of her dreams.  Guys like this aren’t supposed to really exist, but Chasen does, and damn is he hot.

But ever since she got back home, Hayley has had the feeling someone's been watching her.  Is it post-traumatic stress or does she have a reason to be afraid?  Good thing she has a Navy SEAL to protect her.

So... this wasn't the Romantic Suspense slash Contemporary Romance I'd been anticipating, especially after having already read some books by Paige Tyler and enjoying them a lot.  And the truth is, obviously I wasn't really sure what exactly I'd been expecting.

Honestly, this book was kind of boring.  The romance was kind of juvenile (I know there is sexy times, but that doesn't mean it can't come off juvenile), and also kind of banal.  There were details of Hayley and Chasen's first date that felt unnecessary, down to all the smoldering looks and the whole "I know and understand your thoughts just by looking into your gorgeous eyes" development.  Oh yes, and the exact descriptions of what the two were eating, drinking, and wearing.  Maybe I'm just not as romantic as I should be, seeing as I'm a hopeless romantic for fictional romance novels...

The the plot circled back to the Romantic Suspense part of the story and started getting kind of convoluted by the end hour scenes...  I totally didn't see that surprise twist coming, and I'm not sure I really liked it or felt it was necessary.  Although it DID add some intrigue to the book, if only the build up had been a bit more on par with the sudden turn of events.  To be honest, it felt kind of out of place, and, in contrast, the main conflict seemed a bit rushed in its resolution.

So be it.  This was a short enough read that I got through it rather quickly and painlessly.  Paige Tyler's writing isn't terrible and I've enjoyed other books by her, as I've mentioned above.  There's always bound to be one I may not like, right?

Some Thoughts: Carnal Gift

Carnal Gift

by Pamela Clare
Book 2 of Blakewell/Kenleigh Family trilogy

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

"I expect you to show my friend just how grateful you are.  Your willingness is everything.”

With those harsh words, the hated Sasanach earl decided Bríghid's fate.  Her body and her virginity were to be offered up to a stranger in exchange for her brother's life.  Possessing nothing but her innocence and her fierce Irish pride, she had no choice but to comply.

But the handsome man she faced in the darkened bedchamber was not at all the monster she expected.  His green eyes seemed to see inside her.  His tender touch calmed her fears while he swore he would protect her by only pretending to claim her.  And as the long hours of the night passed by, as her senses ignited at the heat of their naked flesh, she made a startling discovery: Sometimes the line between hate and love can be dangerously thin.

Carnal Gift wasn't much different from Sweet Release in terms of angst and content matter, to be honest.  While the story was quite different, we didn't stray far from the whole formula of the villain wanting to force the heroine into bed with him, and the hero being the hero and saving the heroine's life over and over again.  Meanwhile, we also revisit the whole "hero and heroine are forbidden to be together" device, although this time around, I think that the romance faced more tangible barriers based on law and religion, and other societal and cultural conflicts.  In contrast, Sweet Release needed only to prove that Alec Kenleigh was Alec Kenleigh and all was well, and Happily Ever After.

That doesn't mean that I didn't see the similarities in the two story lines, which made it a little hard to enjoy this book as much as I was maybe meant to.  It didn't escape my notice that this book (and now that I think about it, even Sweet Release), seemed to be written in an "epic saga romance" type of light.  The truth is, I'm not sure if it managed to do that.

On the other hand, it's not like I didn't enjoy this book.  Pamela Clare's writing has this way of pulling you right in.  Whether it's her writing style or just that sense of righteousness that emanates from her main characters, I always find that I can't put her books down.  I DID love the detail given to the Gaelic culture and history.  While some of it felt too deliberately placed, I still found some of it interesting.

Unfortunately, the characters didn't really do anything for me.  While I found young Jamie in the first book quite charming for a four year old boy, adult Jamie in this book is kind of a jackass.  Brighid was a typical standard damsel in distress, and I honestly don't have much to say about her.  Brighid's brothers weren't really all that likable, both because they never seemed to understand how much danger and trouble they were in, and put their own pride before everyone else's lives.  It was quite frustrating.

I liked Matthew and Elizabeth enough as the parental figures in the story, but they didn't really appear a whole lot.

Then there was the standard Pamela Clare repetitive exposition fairy conversations that I've gotten used to seeing in many of her books.  Her characters just can't seem to help but to keep talking about the events that occurred to everyone they come across.  These don't really bug me as much, but I found it interesting that this wasn't really a thing in Sweet Release.

Still, I was entertained and found myself finishing the book pretty quickly.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Dice Roll #3

Well... I hadn't expected to finish reading SEAL for Her Protection so quickly, but it was a pretty bite-sized book, just barely crossing the 200 page line.  According to my Kindle edition, it's noted at 234 pages, but the book actually ends at 217 pages... although Goodreads lists it as 208 pages.  Either way, it's more than 200 pages, so I'm going to make it count.  Especially since finishing it so quickly had nothing to do with it being any good... quite the opposite, really, but we'll get to that in my review at a later time.

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders

Meanwhile, my next roll landed me on Square 18: "Set in a school."

To tell you all the truth, I wasn't all that thrilled to land on this square, because the only kind of books I can think of guaranteed to take place in a school are either YA books or New Adult.  I don't read New Adult, and I wasn't feeling any desire to read YA.  I thought for sure that I'd have to just give in and read any random book from my "set reading list of the moment," and then just roll one die afterward.

But never let it be known that I'm not too stubborn for my own good!  I actually found TWO books I'd be interested in reading.  Unfortunately, my first choice, Broken Girls by Simone St. James, isn't really available to me at the moment unless I want to dish out $11.99 for the Kindle edition.  I'm not sure any e-book is ever worth that kind of money... even if I've dished out that kind of cash for e-books in the past.  But I was super excited that Broken Girls sounded like it took place in a school, only to be disappointed that I had no access... and I'm not likely to wait for library availability before moving on, because I NEEDZ to roll again!

So in my continued stubborn quest to find another possible book, I stumbled across Gail Carriger's Etiquette & Espionage and found the stirrings of interest hitting me.  Young Adult book though it is, I think I like the idea of the basis of this "finishing school" where young ladies "learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage--in the politest possible ways."

I'll be starting Etiquette & Espionage as soon as I finish reading Ride the Fire, which is my first priority right now.  Meanwhile, I also need to finish reading Thunder on the Right because the book is due to be turned into the library pretty soon... and I'm sort of out of renewals.  Le sigh...  It might be a while before I get to roll again, but maybe I'll have at least two books in my arsenal for future use!

Currently Reading


Books Read Pending Square Selection

None yet.

My Progress

Dates for each dice roll corresponds with respective update post.
Book titles link to reviews if written.
Completed books' covers (read and used for squares) following table.

Date Dice Roll Square/Prompt Book Title / Author Fits Square?
1.  Author is a woman Sweet Release by Pamela Clare Yes
(2 + 4)
7.  Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D. Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare Yes
(2 + 3)
12.  Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z. SEAL for Her Protection by Paige Tyler Yes
(2 + 4)
18. Set in a school Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger Yes

Monday, February 25, 2019

Some Thoughts: Sweet Release

Sweet Release

by Pamela Clare
Book 1 of Blakewell/Kenleigh Family trilogy

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

For five pounds in cash, the convict was hers. Though Cassie hated the slave trade, her Virginia plantation demanded the labor, and she knew this fevered man would surely die if she left him.  But as his wounds healed and his muscled chest bronzed in the sun, Cassie realized Cole Braden was far more dangerous than his papers had indicated—for he could steal her breath with a glance and lay siege to her senses with a touch.

Abducted, beaten, and given a new name, Alec went from master of an English shipbuilding empire to fourteen years of indentured servitude in the American colonies.  There, he was known as Cole Braden, a convicted ravisher and defiler of women.  And while he longed to ravish the auburn-haired beauty who owned him, he knew his one hope of earning her love—and his freedom—was to prove his true identity.  Only then could he turn the tables and attain his ... Sweet Release.

Pamela Clare books never cease to be addictive for me because of the fact that they're often well-written and contain a lot of heart.  I'm more familiar with Pamela's contemporary series, and will usually devour them in one read through.

Sweet Release was no exception, although there were some parts where I wished the book would either get on with it, or stop creating so much added drama towards the end--a lot of the ending felt a bit deliberate in creating more suspense than necessary.  I feel like, maybe a whole lot more went on in this book than was actually necessary.  And while I thoroughly enjoyed myself reading this book and got hooked, I really didn't have any strong feelings towards the two main characters, one way or another.

I DID feel like Cassie was more shrill than I liked, and was inconsistent in her behavior.  Some moments she would show some backbone and stand up for what she believed in, other times she would back down and let others walk all over her.  It got frustrating, and it's not like I expected her to HAVE too much of a backbone and stand up to the men in the book--this is a historical taking place in the 1700s after all where women were treated no better than chattel, and any kind of attempt at back talk or expressing opinions either got belittled or reprimanded.  But I still wish she could have been a bit more consistent.

Alec had his moments, but came off a bit of an ass.

In contrast, I loved all the background characters much more than the main characters.

This is probably the first time I've read a historical taking place during this time frame, set in the Americas when slavery was so prominent.  I can't say one way or another whether the historical aspects were handled properly or accurately (history was never my best subject), but it certainly managed to bring to surface how terrible people were treated, based on class, gender, and race.

Story wise, I was truly only interested in finding out how Alec would reclaim his real identity, though it didn't take a lot of sleuthing to know who was behind his abduction in the first place.  The rest of the story got super angsty, and even the main villain of the story felt kind of comic.

Overall, this could have been a better book, even if I DID get hooked into it and finished it in pretty much one sitting.

It's Monday! What are you reading? | 2/25/2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile!  So welcome in everyone.  This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey.  Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.  And here we are!

I almost didn't make it (mainly because I forgot), but with an hour left of Monday, here's my 'It's Monday!' update!

With a new reading game starting up, I'm hoping to have more books read per week, maybe...  I won't push myself, but the need to roll a set of dice in order to receive a prompt for the next book I'm to read is quite strong.  So... yay for BookLikes Snakes and Ladders!

What I Read Last Week

What I'm Currently Reading

What I'm Planning to Read Next

Other Plans On the Blog

With March coming up at the end of the week, I'm planning on starting the next Flat Book Society read, Furry Logic.  I've got the book in my possession and I'm ready to roll!  Meanwhile, with a new month comes a new set of books to read for Reading Assignment--Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld will be one of the next books to read for this challenge.  I'll be listening to the audio book version, narrated by Alan Cumming, and I'm totally looking forward to it!

There may or may not be updates along the way.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping to finish the last book of the Blakewell/Kenleigh Family trilogy, and so a few more reviews will be on the way.

And just as well, we'll be seeing some more updates, because I'm sure to finish SEAL for Her Protection in time to roll at least once more before the end of the week for BookLikes Snakes and Ladders.

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Dice Roll #2

Okay, so I changed my mind.  There WILL be a table... because I couldn't help myself.  It's a simple table, but it's a table nonetheless, because I like using tables now.

Meanwhile, since I got lucky and the book I was going to start reading anyway fit the square I landed on.  For square seven: "Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D." I read Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare.  Yay!

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders

My next roll was not so to my liking, landing me on Square 12: "Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z."

While I was hoping to get another coincidental "two birds with one stone" deal, that didn't happen.  I would have loved to be able to count the next Blakewell/Kenleigh Family trilogy book, Ride the Fire, towards my square, but that's not going to work.  Of course, I could have probably just done so anyway and taken the "roll only one die" hit, but I'm stubborn... which doesn't account for the fact that now it'll probably take a couple extra days for me to roll again.

Meaning, I actually need to finish reading the Pamela Clare historical to count for February's Reading Assignment.  Of course, I could have just found myself another historical novel written by an author who's last name starts with the above listed letters... but I'm dead set on finishing the Blakewell/Kenleigh Family trilogy.

So... SEAL for Her Protection by Paige Tyler it is!  This book has been sitting on my Kindle for some time now and I'd been talking about needing guns and explosions in my reading life anyway.

So I decided that I will be reading these books in tandem and hopefully finish both in a timely enough manner to matter for anything.  After all, there's no urgency to roll again... really (except maybe my own excitement).  And after I finish Ride the Fire, I'll have a book I could retroactively claim for a future square with a prompt that fits, right?  Per the "holding a book in anticipation of landing on a specific square" Q&A?  Right?  =D

Because there are so many squares that Ride the Fire could fit with, and I'm stubborn enough to wait it out.

Currently Reading

Books Read Pending Square Selection

None yet.

My Progress

Dates for each dice roll corresponds with respective update post.
Book titles link to reviews if written.
Completed books' covers (read and used for squares) following table.

Date Dice Roll Square/Prompt Book Title / Author Fits Square?
1.  Author is a woman Sweet Release by Pamela Clare Yes
(2 + 4)
7.  Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D. Carnal Gift by Pamela Clare Yes
(2 + 3)
12.  Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z. SEAL for Her Protection by Paige Tyler Yes

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Series Review: Vanza


by Amanda Quick
Book #1: With This Ring | Goodreads | Rating:  3.0 Stars
Book #2: I Thee Wed | Goodreads | Rating:  3.0 Stars
Book #3: Wicked Widow | Goodreads | Rating:  2.5 Stars
Book #4: Lie by Moonlight | Goodreads | Rating:  4.0 Stars

Average Series Rating:  3.125 Stars

I find it hard to review a book series by Amanda Quick (or Jayne Ann Krentz, if you will) without ultimately clumping the entire series together into one post.  Mainly because the stories become so by rote that there's little to say about them outside of the typical admissions of enjoyment, entertainment, and fun had by all.

Leo Drake, the "Mad Monk of Monkcrest," is notoriously eccentric and unquestionably reclusive.  But he is also a noted antiquities expert, which is why Beatrice Poole has demanded his reluctant assistance.

The freethinking authoress of "horrid novels," Beatrice is searching for the Forbidden Rings of Aphrodite, a mythic treasure she suspects played a role in her uncle's death.  Beatrice finds Leo every bit as fascinating as one of the heroes in her novels--and she's convinced he's the only one who can help her.  But after only five minutes in her company, Leo is sure he's never met a woman more infuriating...and more likely to rescue him from boredom.

Yet the alliance may well prove to be the biggest mistake of their lives.  For a villain lurks in London, waiting for the pair to unearth the Forbidden Rings--knowing that when they do, that day will be their last....

I came across a short review of someone's who described this book as kind of ridiculous, yet highly enjoyable.  I'm in agreement.  Although not as highly enjoyable as other Amanda Quick books I've already read, this book DOES indeed contain the typical Amanda Quick charm... even if nothing really stood out.

It isn't easy making a living as a lady's companion when one possesses a sharp tongue and an original mind.  That's why Emma Greyson has gone through three such positions in six months. Her current post at a tiresome country house party has her bored to tears—until an extraordinary encounter with the legendary Edison Stokes leads to a secret position as his assistant.

Stokes is on a peculiar mission, searching for an anonymous thief who has stolen an ancient book of arcane potions.  He suspects his quarry is among the party's guests—and that the villain is looking for an intuitive woman on whom to test a certain elixir.  A woman just like Emma...

For Emma, the new post brings unexpected passion and chilling danger.  But when murder strikes, she realizes the awful truth.  Unless she and Edison devise a scheme to outwit a merciless killer, she could forever lose the man of her dreams—and even her very life....

It's hard to say how I felt about this one.  It was a bit more memorable, maybe, but I had a hard time liking the hero, because he was more jackass than the usual Amanda Quick hero.  The heroine was standard for Amanda Quick.  And I probably would have liked to see more from the secondary character partners-in-crime, so kind of enjoyed the grandmother's ultimate involvement nearing the end.

That's about all.

Madeline Deveridge is aware of the whispers behind her back, the rumors that she dispatched her husband to the next world and concealed her crime.  But she has a far more pressing problem than her reputation as the Wicked Widow.  It's impossible to believe that her late husband is haunting her and her aunt, but something odd is happening, and Madeline doesn't dare take chances.

Summoning the brilliant, reclusive Artemas Hunt, secret owner of London's favorite pleasure pavilions and master of arcane talents, she blackmails him into providing help.  As soon as the bargain is struck, Artemas and Madeline find their arrangement complicated by searing desire, and the frightening recognition that the ghost poses a very real danger.  Now they must plunge into a world of intrigue and ancient mysteries, where a calculating killer — and a tantalizing passion — will not be denied.

I gave this book in the series the lowest rating and I barely recall why.  I didn't really like it and found the main hero, Artemas to be even more jackass than the jackass of the previous book in this series.  But that's about all I remember.  Sad, isn't it?

While investigating a suspicious death, private inquiry agent Ambrose Wells finds himself on the grounds of Aldwick Castle---and in the midst of utter chaos.  The ramshackle castle is in flames--and a beautiful woman and four young girls are taking flight on horseback.  It turns out that the strong-minded Miss Concordia Glade and her four bright students are on the run from a notorious London crime lord who'll stop at nothing to destroy them.  Now, their only hope is Ambrose, a confirmed loner with more than his share of secrets--and more than his share of desire for the unconventional teacher.  And as Ambrose and Concordia risk everything to bring down a criminal mastermind, they will also be forced to battle something even greater: the steamy passion that threatens their hard-worn independence...

This final book in the Vanza series is on more familiar ground with me pertaining to Amanda Quick.  The hero is broody, but not a big jackass, as the previous two heroes were.  I even like that we're nearing a more modern age where issues of women's suffrage comes up.  Both Concordia and Ambrose are quite enjoyable characters and very likable, as are typical of Amanda Quick characters.

The investigation felt a bit better handled, and I loved the inclusion of the four young girls, Concordia's students.  They made the book more entertaining, especially watching the interactions between them and Concordia, as well as with Ambrose.

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Dice Roll #1

I finished reading Pamela Clare's Sweet Release as my first book for the first square: "Author is a woman."  This was yesterday, but due to sporadic internet issues at home, I hadn't been able to do a proper update.  But here it is now, my first dice roll!

Meanwhile, I decided to just keep my updates simple, so there probably won't be an elaborate table or anything.  Just the update board with my Dino Baby marker:

I'm too lazy to "Rawr" today...

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders

Since my book fit the square prompt, I rolled two dice with my nifty dice roller app and got a six.  Moving to square #7 (see board above for Dino Baby marker position), the prompt is: "Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D."

This prompt is PERFECT!  The next book on my reading list was going to be Pamela Clare's next Kenleigh/Blakewell Family trilogy book, Carnal Gift.  Cheers!

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders | Let's Do This!

I'm totally joining in, if only because this looks like a bit of simple fun pre-BL-opoly anticipation!  And the reading tasks are broad enough.  Going to be using Dino Baby as my marker (see tiny image on square one below).

For the first square I'm going to just continue with my reading plans and read Pamela Clare's Sweet Release, so I'm already set.  Meanwhile, I'm contemplating creating a table for a more organized view of my game play tracking--work in progress.

BookLikes Snakes and Ladders

1. Author is a woman -- Sweet Release by Pamela Clare (currently reading)
2. Genre: mystery
3. Set in the twentieth century
4. Published in 2019
5. Published in 2018
6. Title has a color word in it
7. Author's last name begins with the letters A, B, C, or D.
8. Author's last name begins with the letters E, F, G, or H.
9. Author's last name begins with the letters H, I, J, or K
10. Author's last name begins with the letters L, M, N or O
11. Author's last name begins with the letters P, Q, R, or S
12. Author's last name begins with the letters T, U, V, W, X, Y, or Z
13. Author is a man
14. Author is dead
15. Genre: romance
16. Genre: fantasy
17. Genre: horror
18. Set in a school
19. Set in the UK
20. Set in a country that is not your country of residence
21. Set in Europe
22. Set in Asia
23. Set in Australia/Oceania
24. Set in Africa
25. Snake - go back to 5
26. Part of a series that is more than 5 books long
27. Set during WWI or WWII
28. Written between 1900 and 1999
29. Someone travels by plane
30. Someone travels by train
31. Road trip
32. Genre: thriller
33. Set in North America
34. Snake - go back to 1
35. Has been adapted as a movie
36. Set in Central or South America
37. Has won an award
38. Newest release by a favorite author
39. A reread
40. Characters involved in the entertainment industry
41. Characters involved in politics
42. Characters involved in sports/sports industry
43. Characters involved in the law
44. Characters involved in cooking/baking
43. Characters involved in medicine
44. Characters involved in science/technology
45. A book that has been on your tbr for more than one year
46. A book that has been on your tbr for more than two years
47. Snake - go back to 19
48. A book you acquired in February, 2019.
49. Recommended by a friend
50. Has a domestic animal on the cover
51. Has a wild animal on the cover
52. Has a tree or flower on the cover
53. Has something that can be used as a weapon on the cover
54. Is more than 400 pages long
55. Is more than 500 pages long
56. Was published more than 100 years ago
57. Was published more than 50 years ago
58. Was published more than 25 years ago
59. Was published more than 10 years ago
60. Was published last year
61. Cover is more than 50% red
62. Cover is more than 50% green
63. Cover is more than 50% blue
64. Cover is more than 50% yellow
65. Snake - go back to 52
66. Part of a series that is more than 10 books long
67. Set in a city with a population of greater than 5 million people (link)
68. Something related to weddings on the cover
69. Something related to travel on the cover
70. Something related to fall/autumn on the cover
71. Involves the beach/ocean/lake
72. Involves the mountains/forests
73. Categorized as YA
74. Categorized as Middle Grade
75. Set in a fantasy world
76. Set in a world with magic
77. Has a "food" word in the title
78. Set in a small town (fictional or real)
79. Main character is a woman
80. Main character is a man
81. Ghost story
82. Genre: urban fantasy
83. Genre: cozy mystery
84. Genre: police procedural
85. Written by an author who has published more than 10 books
86. Author's debut book
87. Snake - go back to 57
88. Comic/graphic novel
89. Published between 2000 and 2017
90. A new-to-you author
91. Snake - go back to 61
92. Reread of a childhood favorite
93. Author's first/last initial same as yours (real or BL handle)
94. Non-fiction
95. Memoir
96. From your favorite genre
97. Title starts with any of the letters in SNAKE
98. Title starts with any of the letters in LADDERS
99. Snake - go back to 69
100. Let BL pick it for you: post 4 choices and read the one that gets the most votes!

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Brief Thoughts: The Ebony Swan

The Ebony Swan

by Phyllis A. Whitney

~ Goodreads ~

Rating:  3.5 Stars

Susan Prentice is a woman alone.  In the past six months her father has died, she has called off her engagement to a cynical young doctor she no longer loves, and she has begun to question the ethics of the medical profession of which she is a member.

Now at a crossroads in her life, Susan decides to make contact with her maternal grandmother whom her father had forbidden her to see since Susan's mother's death from a tragic fall almost twenty-five years earlier.

There are so many questions she wants to ask--about her mother and her own dimly remembered childhood on Virginia's eastern shore.  Susan is also determined to get acquainted with her grandmother, a reputedly difficult woman, on her own terms.

Traveling across the country to the lush Southern land of her birth, Susan has no way of knowing that her entire life is about to change irrevocably.  Once there she discovers that her mother's death may not have been an accident and that her return has caused anxiety among people who fear what may lie dormant in Susan's memory.

Just as fellow BL-er, Murder by Death noted, this story is a slow trudge, with parts that dragged throughout.  There were moments when I just wanted the plot to get on with it.  However, the mystery itself is quite intriguing and the writing is excellent.  The characters are pretty one-dimensional, and I found I didn't really care for them one way or another--didn't like them, didn't hate them.

There were some thought-provoking anecdotes, even if the whole "white swan, black swan" thing felt a bit trite.  In the end, the book DID end up grabbing my attention and keeping it without me making too much of a fuss over any frustrations.  Truly, the only complaint I have is the slow pacing of the story's unfolding, but otherwise, this was enjoyable and entertaining enough to please me.

Monday, February 18, 2019

It's Monday! What are you reading? | 2/18/2019

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and 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 that ever growing TBR pile!  So welcome in everyone.  This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey.  Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.  And here we are!

I think this was a good week for reading, and I'm happy that I managed to finish The Ebony Swan.  Meanwhile, I managed to get some other things done in real life as well, but that's not important.  Otherwise, it's been a pretty slow week for anything else.

In other news, the pup and the not-quite-pup look like they're pretty tuckered out.  Playing hard and sleeping hard and eating all the time.  It's tough being a dog.

What I Read Last Week

What I'm Currently Reading

What I'm Planning to Read Next

Other Plans On the Blog

I'm trying to stick to my reading schedule for the sake of reading challenges, but I'm at a point where I'm kind of feeling the need to read a romantic suspense involving guns and explosions.  I know, that sounds weird, but I had that thought sometime during the moment right before waking up and after coming out of a strange dream about a romantic suspense.

I don't claim to understand my own moods.

So at some point this month, I might spontaneously insert a random romantic suspense into my schedule.  The problem is that I haven't quite decided which book I want to read for a random romantic suspense... despite the fact that Amanda Quick books are also considered romantic suspense, if you really think about it.  And technically, Phyllis A. Whitney and Mary Stewart are romantic suspense, too.  But as I'd mentioned, I'm kind of wanting guns and explosions, so I need something military or crime thriller or something...

I'm weird like that.