Month in Review: April 2015

April was a slightly better reading month for me, but I’m still working to get back on track.

For April, I read a total of 7 books. I managed to write reviews for 1 of them. Below you will find short reviews for the 6 books I read, but didn’t review.

Total Books: 7
Total Reviews: 1


immortal life of Henrietta lacks

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Genre: Non-Fiction
Series: N/A
Rating: B
In the 1940’s, an African American woman named Henrietta Lacks was diagnosed with cervical cancer at John Hopkins Hospital. Without Henrietta’s or the family’s knowledge, cells were collected from her body that quickly became known as HeLa. In this bookRebecca Skloot dives into the convoluted history of Henrietta, her family and John Hopkins Hospital to tell the story of the woman behind HeLa cells. This was an extremely engaging non-fiction book, which raises some interesting questions about ethics.


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Chasing Tail by Celia Kyle
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Quick and Furry #1
Rating: C –

Celia Kyle is great if you’re looking for a quick read without a whole lot of drama. However, Chasing Tail had an issue with nothing having consequences. A character would do something and the moment would be built-up as having an impact on another character, then in the next scene it would be completely forgotten. By the end, there were a lot of loose threads that never got tied-up. This made the end feel abrupt and pretty unsatisfying.


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Collected Poems by Stevie Smith
Genre: Poetry
Series: N/A
Rating: C
This is a collection of Stevie Smith’s poetry. While I enjoyed a couple of Smith’s poems, her style isn’t my cup of tea.


Atoning

Atoning by Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Young Adult/Novella
Series: Darkness Rising #3.1
Rating: B –
Atoning is set after Armstrong’s Darkness Rising trilogy. Chloe, Derek and gang go on a mini-camping adventure that gets interrupted when someone tries to kidnap them. This novella is more for fans of the series, but I read it to see if I could to get into Armstrong’s Young Adult books. After reading this one, I’m unsure if I can.

Armstrong has said that she started writing Young Adult because she wanted to create something that her daughter could read, and it shows. This story was laden with morals that Armstrong probably wanted to pass on to her kid. This is fine, except when all of your main teen characters are extremely responsible and understanding to the point of having no major flaws. It makes the characters boring and gets pretty heavy handed when the adults are all commenting on how crazy responsible they are.

However, I’m willing to give Armstrong the benefit of a doubt and will probably one day read a full length book in this series. I’m just not in any rush to do so.  Continue reading

Month in Review: January 2015

January was an excellent reading month for me. Out of the 16 books I read this month, I managed to write reviews for 9 of them. (Yay for hitting over half of them!) Below you will find short reviews for the other 9 books I read, links to the full reviews I wrote this month, and my challenge updates.

Total Books Read: 16
Book Reviews: 9


 Blood Wolf Dawning

Blood Wolf Dawning by Rhyannon Byrd
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Bloodrunners #7
Rating: D –
I like stories where people who are “fated” to be together initially reject their partner, so this one had sounded right up my alley. Five years ago, Cian Hennessey turned his back on the mate connection he felt toward Sayre Murphy. Now he’s back in town to protect Sayre from the very reason he had left her all those years ago. I just did not feel a connection to the main couple here. Sayre forgave Cian way to fast for my taste and Cian threw himself too many pity parties.


Wild Wolf

Wild Wolf by Jennifer Ashley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Shifters Unbound #6
Rating: C –
I really enjoyed the early books in this series and the premise of Graham’s book sounded interesting. Graham McNeil has always vowed to never take a human as his mate. Too bad he can’t seem to make himself end things with his human girlfriend and take a shifter mate like he promised his pack he would. I was a littlle disappointed with how everything played out in this addition to the series. Everything was a little too easy for Graham, which made reading this one a little boring. Continue reading

Read in December

Number of Books Read in December: 18

Below are the books I read in December but didn’t have time to review this month. I read a lot of novellas this month. Most of them were good quick reads for the busy holiday season.


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Alice in the Country of Joker: Afternoon Dreams Vol. 2 by QuinRose

Genre: Manga

Series: Nightmare Trilogy #2

Rating: B –

Alice is told about a book in a locked case that Nightmare doesn’t want her to read. Intent on finding out why, she recruits various people to open it for her. This trilogy isn’t shaping-up to be my favorite spin-off of the Alice books. However, I do find Nightmare an interesting character. I’m curious enough that I’ll read the last book in the series, which is due out in March.


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Counterfeit Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Series: Women of the Otherworld 10.4

Rating: A

Counterfeit Magic takes place right before Waking the Witch and is told from Paige Winterbourne’s perspective. In this novella, Paige and company are hired to investigate a death in one of the supernatural fight clubs. I really loved this one, even though it ends a little abruptly. What really drew me in was seeing the emotional struggle Paige and Lucas were facing as he steps firmly into his role of heir to the Cortez Cabal. I would highly recommend this to fans of the series.


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Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Prince Catchers #1.5

Rating: B +

Kisses, She Wrote was my introduction to Katharine Ashe’s writing. Cam Westfall is shocked when he discovers that the steamy diary full of fantasies starring him belongs to shy Jacqueline of Sensaire. I kind of cringed when I found out the plot was centered on a diary. I hate the inevitable moment when everyone reads it. So, I was relieved when Ashe didn’t go the expected route with this. All in all, this was a cute holiday read and I look forward to reading more by Ashe in the future.


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Witches of Bourbon Street by Deanna Chase

Genre: Urban Fantasy (?)

Series: Jade Calhoun #2

Rating: B –

Witches of Bourbon Street is a new (to me) series I stumbled across while surfing Amazon. Jade Calhoun is a reluctant witch with empathetic powers. After coming across three possessed paintings the people in her life start acting oddly. As things turn to chaos, she must work with the local coven to fix things. I really enjoyed Chase’s take on empathetic powers and how they could be seen as a burden. However, the characters didn’t really draw me in. I’m not sure if I’ll continue with this series or not.


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Viscount’s Christmas Temptation by Erica Ridley

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Dukes of War #0.5

Rating: B –

Another author I had never read before. This was a cute holiday read to launch Ridley’s Dukes of War series. Lady Amelia Pembroke is determined to see that the annual Sheffield Christmas ball continues as usual, despite the Sheffield’s ballroom having been destroyed. To do this, she wedges herself into Lord Benedict Sheffield’s life for the holiday season to help him orchestrate the affair at a new location. I really liked Amelia’s no non-sense character and her interactions with Sheffield as he found himself oddly drawn to her. I might, in the future, read the first full length novel in this series.


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How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe

Genre: Historical Romance

Series: Falcon Club #3.5

Rating: B +

 Katharine Ashe is slowly convincing me to read historical romance again. This is a feat, considering it’s been quite a few years since I managed to make it through a full-length book in the genre.Teresa Finch-Freeworth is determined to marry Duncan, the Earl of Eads… so she proposes. His terms for accepting her offer is that she first find a husband for each of his seven sisters. Teresa was fun to watch as she spun tall tales and traipsed about town trying to contrive marriages for the seven oddball sisters. If you’re looking for a light historical romance, I would recommend you pick this one up.


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Defining Destiny by Deanna Chase

Genre: Erotica

Series: Defining Destiny #1

Rating: A –

Defining Destiny was a huge surprise for me. I was not expecting to enjoy the story as much as I did. In the Defining Destiny universe, everyone has one true soul mate. However, sometimes who destiny chooses isn’t the right person for you. This is the case with Lucy Moore and her soul mate, Devin. I really enjoyed how Chase played with the soul mate idea and how people changing can impact their relationships. There are expectations that you stay with your soul mate no matter what and I loved watching the heroine struggle past the  different expectations. All in all, a great start to the series. I look forward to reading the next book.


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Roaring Up the Wrong Tree by Celia Kyle

Genre: Erotica

Series: Grayslake #3

Rating: D+

I had sworn off reading Celia Kyle a while ago, but I wanted something quick to read earlier this week so I ended-up reading this one. Part-Hyena, Trista has spent years fighting for her life against the other shifters who hold major prejudices against her species. This all changes when shifter, Keen steps into her life. There were a lot of gaps in logic throughout this book, which were getting to me by the end of the story. Parts of this book also dragged because not much was going on. Don’t think I’ll be picking-up the next book in this series.


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This Time by Marie Hall

Genre: Erotica

Series: Moments #3

Rating: F

I came really close to not finishing This Time. The only thing that kept me going is that it would’ve been my one and only DNF book for the year. Jamie Sullivan has spent most of her life trying to save her high school sweetheart, Angel, from his self-destructive path. After a one night stand with the drummer Tor Boler results in a pregnancy, she’s forced to reevaluate her priorities. I absolutely hate books where an unexpected pregnancy gets two characters to fall in love and changes the heroine’s life for the better. So this book was not my cup of tea. In fact, it read a lot like a crazy soap opera to me. While I enjoy Hall’s Kingdom series, I won’t be trying another of her Moments book.