In my blogging break I obviously fell way behind on my book reviews. So I’ll be catching up a bit over the next week or so. As always, you can stay on top of my reading most by connecting to me on Goodreads. I’m also on LibraryThing and Shelfari, though I only update those in spits and spurts (mostly due to the lack of a phone app for those). My Shelfari is kind of nuts because I catalog my Kindle books there and pick up a lot of the freebies for loaning out so I don’t really recommend that one.
Has anyone tried the new social book site that popped up when Amazon acquired Goodreads, Booklikes.com? I’ve heard a few recommendations, but am loath to add another site to the list. Have you joined?
Only Flesh and Bones by Sarah Andrews - 4 stars. Once I hit my stride in Only Flesh and Bones it was hard for me to stop. I wanted to see what Em was going to uncover next and how she was going to get herself in trouble - something she never fails to disappoint us with. There were elements of this book I found somewhat rare for the genre - the crime was around a year old and the focus of the investigation was a dead woman. The only way we got to know her was through journals. It was an enjoyable change of pace, but didn’t stray too far from what I expected.
I very much enjoyed this read and will do my best to not let so much time lapse before I dive into book 5! See full review here.
Wined and Died by Cricket McRae - 3 stars. If you enjoy crafty cozies like Monica Ferris’ Needlecraft series or perhaps Susan Wittig Albert’s China Bayles series, but have an eclectic taste in crafting interests I think this series is worth reading. This craft-centric cozy mystery series took a little while to grow on me. I think it took a couple of books to really connect to the characters. Unlike many crafty cozies, this series highlights a wide variety of crafts instead of just one. There are always a handful of tips and recipes for DIY bath and beauty products in each of the books but deep down, she loves learning and exploring DIYing of all types.
In the end, the plot did not strike me as terribly complex, though I did not fully settle on the culprit until very near the reveal. I enjoyed the book and seeing Sophie Mae and Barr’s married relationship form and the growing pains of her business. The sprinkling of brewing information was interesting to me as we have done a bit of it ourselves and I think that actually helped carry the story a bit. Ultimately, I think my prior connection with the characters and the crafting elements carried this book for me more than the mystery element. I still look forward to see what Sophie Mae is going to dip her fingers into next! See full review here.
Soulless by Gail Carriger - 4.5 stars. Take a Victorian era London where werewolves, vampires and other supernatural beings are free to roam as desired as long as they are registered and add zeppelins, glassicles and other interesting inventions. Then throw in a mid-twenties woman with no soul, literally, who is scientifically minded and not prone to the typical niceties of the era and is surrounded by superficial half sisters and a mother similar to the Bennett girls of Pride and Prejudice who are unaware of her soulless state and there is little to not love. Pit this woman against a government official who also happens to be a recently adopted pack leader of the area werewolves and sparks will start flying.
Gail Carriger has built a wonderful alternate London, weaving supernatural and steampunk elements into a rich world for her Parasol Protectorate series. Her characters I found equally rich and well developed. Of course, I most loved Alexia with her poor social etiquette and inquisitive mind that tends to get her into trouble. Her head butting with Lord Maccon, a werewolf pack leader and government worker, only added to her charm and made me fall equally in love with him as well.
So often while reading this first book of the series I was chuckling out loud and caught by my husband that he immediately started reading the book once I was finished! It is very rare for me to do more than crack a smile when reading - chuckling or outright laughing is nearly unheard of. If that isn’t a mark of a great read for me, I don’t know what is.
I normally try to space out books by an author, but I don’t think I’ll be able to put off the next in the series for long. I’m dying to learn what other trouble Alexia and Lord Maccon can get wrapped up in!
A Taste of Trouble by Gina Gordon - 3.5 stars.
A Taste of Trouble by Gina Gordon was a fun weekend popcorn read. It had everything I expect in a fun romantic read - a heart damaged heroine, a great group of pushy friends (on both sides), a reforming ladies man, and plenty of conflict romantically and otherwise. I enjoyed getting to know Liv and Jake and their respective friends. While definitely supporting characters, Liv’s friends especially stole my heart, but Jake’s friends did as well. The plot and pacing and the quality of writing was good.
The best part was once the characters gave in to the electricity sparking between them. Although, isn’t that true of most contemporary romance novels? The scenes were steamy, and sticky, without being pornographic. But Gordon took her time in getting them to bed which I appreciate.
If you enjoy steamy contemporary romances with the support of great friends to knock some sense into the main characters ala Bridget Jones Diary and the like you will likely enjoy A Taste of Trouble by Gina Gordon.
I received an electronic ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.
Creed’s Honor by Linda Lael Miller - 3 stars. This second Creed Cowboys book was more or less what I’ve come to expect from Miller. A hunky cowboy meets a great woman; both have internal and external struggles to overcome before romance can be forged.
It wasn’t my favorite contemporary western romance. In fact, it was a bit flat compared to the first book of the series, but I enjoyed it and will continue reading this series for the time being.