Rachel's books

I'm a registered nurse.  Reading gives me that escape I need.  I read primarily romance in all genres.

 

 

He's So Fine

He's So Fine - Jill Shalvis

After the last book, I was really looking forward to Olivia's story. I was curious what her past was. It was satisfying. Cole was awesome and a really good fit for her. I enjoyed Cole and his interactions with his sisters. I liked that Becca was in this a little and Callie was introduced. Have to say, I'm looking forward to Tanner and Callie's story (even if Tanner is my least favorite of the 3 guys. Cole would have to be my favorite). Just sayin.

Kiss of the Goblin Prince

Kiss of the Goblin Prince: Shadowlands series - Shona Husk
I liked this better than The Goblin King. After the first, I was intrigued about Dai and wanted his story. Overall, I enjoyed the slow burn between Amanda and Dai. I wished Amanda had realized much sooner that she really wasn't living. I understand losing someone, but to not move on after it's been years, was a bit extreme. 
Dai, too, took along time to get over his fears and desire for vengeance. Amanda was good at reading him and giving him some suggestions. I thought his background and abuse was dealt with well, along with his PTSD and acceptance of his body- scars, tattoos, and all.
What kept this from being a 4 was the slow-burn. There were moments that were so slow. And I wanted more of a payoff between Dai and Amanda at the end. (But I think the ending was realistic and if both were running to the alter at the end, it wouldn't have been true to their characters). And, yes, those last 2 sentences contradict each other:-)
 
 

 

Ice Games

Ice Games (Games, #3) - Jessica Clare

I adore figure skating and I liked the previous 2 entries in this series. I ended up disappointed. The inaccuracies bothered me (triple axel anyone?) when it came to Zara and her skating. While what she did at the Olympics was funny, it also would be something unlikely to happen. Then not getting a second chance later? (If she was doing the triple axel, she would still have been very competitive). That aside, I liked Zara. Ty? Not really. I didn't like him. I didn't like his whiny-ass at the beginning. I didn't like how he thought it was okay to get into bed with Zara without asking. (Hey, he was drunk, so I guess he gets a pass? Yeah, no). That ruined the whole romance for me. And I could not get on board.
Now, I liked how the show played out. And I liked the ending. I was pleasantly surprised. Zara does get some respect and redemption.

Glitter and Gunfire

Glitter and Gunfire - Cynthia Eden

This explains so much: Cassidy is an idiot. I was interested in Cale's story, but this was just a disappointment.

A Wolf to Watch Over Me

A Wolf to Watch Over Me - Sela Carsen

Short and sweet. I enjoyed both Lauren and Hakon. I might have enjoyed it more had it been longer and more fleshed out. But, how often can you say this: Werewolves from outer space!
Currently free from Amazon.

Murder Most Horrid (Witches of Crystal Cove book 1)

Murder Most Horrid - Emma Watts

I could have done without the prologue. This was okay. Everything wraps up nice and neat. I assume Jane's mother's death will be dealt with at some point in time; it sounds suspicious. It would have been nice for the characters to be a little more fleshed out. Jane has an epiphany and very easily, quickly solves the mystery. It was over and done with very quickly. One thing that was good- no cliffhanger!
There were some things that did take me out of the story. There was the occasional, weird (IMO) phrasing, a few examples: "A gentle amount of snow was coming down." and "Jane pulled up in front of the low-income housing." There was a moment that goes from 3rd person, to 1st, and right back to 3rd. Then some inconsistencies; it's snowing heavily, then the sun is blinding. It's below zero outside, and a tire gets stuck in mud. 

Goddess With a Blade

Goddess with a Blade (Rowan Summerwaite #1) - Lauren Dane

Rowan is a vessel to Brigid. She was also raised by a very old, powerful vampire. She also happens to be a Hunter. She kills vampires who kill humans. She killed the old Scion of Las Vegas for killing a human and now has a new Scion to get to know. Clive is the new vamp Scion of Las Vegas. He and Rowan are both used to being obeyed and getting their way.
They both start out hating each other. So when they have sex the first time, it was weird. They both gradually develop a grudging respect for the other and that made the sex (I mean romance!) more believable. I liked Rowan much more than Clive. Clive was definitely missing compassion, he was too arrogant for my taste. 
Decent suspense and I liked the Celtic mythology with vampires.

To Charm a Naughty Countess

To Charm a Naughty Countess - Theresa Romain
I thought Caro and Michael fit each other perfectly. Sometimes slow-burn romances are nice and this one was. But, the journey to get there was slow at times. Both have issues. Said issues could have been dealt with much easier and faster had they just talked. Instead, assumptions were made. And you know how that goes.
One thing I really enjoyed: a beta, virgin hero! Michael also has an anxiety disorder that complicates things for him. Caro was experienced and that was also refreshing. The author's note at the end explaining the historical significance of 1816 (being one of the coldest summers/years recorded) was also interesting.
3.5*- not quite a 3, not quite a 4. For GR purposes I am rounding up. 
Looking forward to the last book in this trilogy; the heroine Miss Augusta Meredith made an appearance in this one and she's interesting.
 
 

 

Dewey's 24 Readathon Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?  Boise, Idaho.  Mountain time, 0600 start time for me (2 hours ago, I woke up about 0630 and just enjoyed laying in bed without having to get up and go to work).  Already starting the day behind.   Oh well!


2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? Finishing my current one- To Charm a Naughty Countess


3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? I like it all.


4) Tell us a little something about yourself! Um, well, I'm offering a prize this time for the Dewey's hourly winners:-)


5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? I want to read a lot.  By that I mean 12 hours or more.  But. It. Never. Happens.

Participate in the Scavenger Hunt in the Goodreads Dewey's group.  And 1 Mini Challenge on the Dewey's page. 

Pretty When She Dies

Pretty When She Dies  - Rhiannon Frater

This had such a good beginning. This was brutal and dark. Amaliya is attacked and buried. She wakes up and digs herself out of her grave. Confused and starving, she kills. And she comes up with a plan to attempt to figure it all out.
It lost me with the cheating. Cian is engaged to Samantha. Amaliya shows up and quickly they are attracted to each other. It wouldn't have irritated me if Cian and Samantha broke up first. I'm not sure how old Samantha is, but all the petulant foot stooping got old fast and made me dislike her. Even though I didn't like her, I didn't like Cian's decision to sleep with Amaliya. I just couldn't get on board with Amaliya and Cian's relationship. No slow burn there.
Innocente, Amaliya's grandmother is the best thing about this book!

Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race - Margot Lee Shetterly

This is going to be a hard book for me to rate. It's very technical and took me almost the whole month to get through. But, the story it told was an important one. I consider myself educated and this was a story I was completely clueless about. Not anymore. Dorothy, Katherine, Mary, and Christine's stories are out there now. Hopefully, more people will read this book and educate themselves. Hopefully, each gets their own biography since there is (I think) much more to learn about them as individuals.

Frost Burned

Frost Burned  - Patricia Briggs

This picks up after the events of Fair Game. Mercy is out Christmas shopping on Black Friday with her step-daughter Jesse. Mercy's beloved Rabbit gets totaled. None of the pack answers when she calls. They've been kidnapped.
This one was so much better than River Marked (thus far my least favorite). This one picks up full steam ahead. I liked the who-done-it. But, I thought it could have been a little more suspenseful. Jesse and the Sandovals disappear after a certain point. The mystery is still out there how the mercenaries were able to get their hands on so much of the formula that does, very effectively, take down werewolves. Who else knows about the formula? I loved that Tad and Stefan (and briefly Zee) were in this one. Kyle also had a decent toll to play too. 
One thing I wish were different: Mercy has people who, if not friends, are allies. But they are all men. The women in the pack (Honey and Mary Jo) don't like Mercy. Marsilia is a bitch. Ariana might be a possibility, but she's on the page briefly. That leaves Jesse. As much as I like Jesse, she's a teenager. Why can't Mercy have an adult female friend?
And this: Jesse's question to Mercy at the beginning on the book when they are out shopping. "When are you and Dad going to have a baby?" Mercy never had or got a chance to answer that. And I admit I'm curious.

The Pursuit of Mrs Pennyworth

The Pursuit of Mrs. Pennyworth - Callie Hutton

Charlotte was a companion to Lady Barton. Accused and threatened for something she did not do, she fled. Eighteen months later Charlotte is a widow and enjoying her freedom. Until someone leaves unwelcome and threatening things on her doorstep. She seeks the help of a lawyer/private investigator, Elliot. 
Elliot used to work the the Scotland Yard. He had some things happen and now distrusts all women. Yes, all women. "Women are not to be trusted..." Now he is a lawyer and private investigator. He agrees to take one her case, but knows she is hiding something.
An interesting mystery. It was a bit out of left field I thought. There are enough hints dropped that the individual is guessed. Nothing more is made of it and I found myself more interested in the villain and wondering about the woman who was murdered. 
But back to Charlotte and Elliot. While I liked Charlotte as a character, I can't say the same for Elliot. I understand why Charlotte never confessed her secret. The moment her secret came to light Elliot turned his back on her and that was unforgivable for me. But, this being a romance book, you can (correctly) assume/guess that he is forgiven. Before that I was lukewarm about the romance. And after that? No fucking way.

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing, LLC and NetGalley
Published on March 26th

I Am Malala

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban - Christina Lamb, Malala Yousafzai

I remember hearing in the news about Malala. I read the articles about her and followed her recovery, and later her activism. While this book is about her, her family, and her life, it is also a history lesson about Pakistan. Overall, I liked the interweaving of history with family life. This is one book I am getting my mom and sister (both are very conservative Trump voters and neither of them read much at all). For those who are anti-refugee, anti-Islam, anti-anything that is different should read this book. I think reading about someone, maybe making oneself a bit uncomfortable, learning and feeling empathy for a person born and raised in a different part of the world might make one a little less rigid and a little more open to opinions different then their own.

Pirate

Warning, this is a long one, but writing this has helped me.

Pirate  4/1/2004 to 3/28/2018

It's been 2 weeks today.

 

Having grown up with many animals, I was very used to cats.  Pirate was really my “first” cat that chose me and was really mine.  Bebe (Ballerina May-yay) was my technically first cat, but came from my mom).  We had got Bebe as a kitten and she was an indoor/outdoor cat out in the country at my mom’s.  Bebe spent most of her time outside because she didn’t get along very well a few of the cats we had.  When I graduated from college and moved back close to home, I needed a companion and Bebe was perfect.

Pirate found me.  I remember the day June 22nd, 2004.  I was sitting by my apartment door, putting on my shoes, getting ready to walk out the door and start my 12 hour night shift at Methodist.  I heard meowing from the hallway.  Opening the door, in runs this little tiny kitten.  Immediately purring and wanting my attention.  She was very little, maybe 10 weeks.  She had a flea collar on.  I remember thinking how sweet she was and how some neglectful bastard let her out.  But, not knowing how Bebe would be, not knowing how Pirate would be, and not wanting to come home to something amiss, I put her back in the hall, locked the door, and drove to work.  I thought,  she has that flea collar on and she is so friendly, maybe she ran out while her guardian went to run an errand or something.  I also didn’t live in the best area and didn’t want to be accused of stealing.  I felt guilty.  I thought about her all night long.

The apartment complex I lived in at the time was a large one.  It easily had at least 300 apartments (including townhomes).  My building had 12, but was connected to a row that had a total of 36.  Each 12 had their own front and back entrance with a laundry room on the ground floor.  My apartment was on the 2nd floor.  When I got home, the building was quiet.  I walked down the stairs to the laundry room and looked around.  I had decided that if this little kitten was still around,  and unattended, she was MINE.  On the floor of the laundry room I found her flea collar.  It looked to have been cut off.  But no kitten.  I looked outside and in the bushes.  No kitten.  I was disappointed and worried.  I hoped she was somewhere safe and happy.  I planned on looking again that afternoon after I slept.       

I walked up to my 2nd floor apt.  As I came up the stairs, I was surprised to find a little kitten sitting outside my door.  I unlocked the door and she ran inside, meowing and wanting attention.  I picked up and took her into the kitchen thinking she would be thirsty and hungry.  I showed her where the food and water was.  Not interested, she wanted to be held.  I put her in the cat box, same thing.  Bebe was fine and didn’t react.  I went into the bathroom to shower the hospital dirt off before laying down.  Pirate came right in and sat on the corner of the bathtub and watched.  After I got done, she followed me into the bedroom where she preceded to lay on my face.  I moved her and she settled on my pillow by my head.  Bebe settled in with me too.  I woke up about an hour or so later to kitten on my face.  I moved her.  And this happened again twice more.  Thankfully I was off that night.  After a couple of hours I decided to just get up.  She followed me right into the kitchen.  Pirate immediately went to the litter box and when she was done, preceded to the food and water.   I remember being surprised she remembered where everything was since I had only showed her once.

The rest of the day I was either holding her or she was laying on me.  Bebe too. 

It turns out I didn’t have to worry, in hindsight I could have let her in my apartment.  Pirate knew where everything  was.  Bebe was just fine and seemed to like having another cat around.  She fit right in.  

I don't know when Pirate's birthday is.  She was most likely born at the end of March to beginning of April.  Since my birthday is in April, I decided to make hers the 1st.

Pirate LOVED being kissed on her forehead and this also meant she loved Bebe licking her there too.  I’ve since long lost count of the times she’d get a Bebe bath and then come to me for her kisses and I’d be kissing a wet forehead.  Bebe would tolerate a little play, but Pirate seemed to know when to stop too.  Pirate had a habit of playing with non-cat toys.  Like when Bambi came out on DVD, I bought it at Best Buy so I could have a little Thumper stuffed animal (I thought it was cute- and free with purchase!).  Pirate decided this should be hers.  I caught her carrying it in her mouth with her head up so it wouldn’t drag on the ground.  She was bigger, but not by much.  She’s fetch too. 

She also developed bad habits.  Like getting up on the counter.  She knew she shouldn’t.  I’d get up to go and tell her “no” and I’d hear her jump down and run down the hall.  So, she knew better.  After a time, I decided fuck it, and gave her full rein.  I figured if she was going to be bad, be bad and do it in front of me.  I didn’t really care, her house too, right?  She liked her food, but also wanted what I had.  She decided she liked lettuce, French fries, bread, cantaloupe, watermelon.  We had to keep the bread up, otherwise she’d get into it. 

She handled the car ride to Idaho well.  Pirate hid under my seat for the 2 day trip.  Bebe rode on my lap.  That’s fun when driving.  I think they both liked the house, much more space than my one bedroom apartment in Indianapolis. 

When Pirate was 3, in the Spring of 2007, Bebe got sick.  We made the decision to euthanize since her kidneys were failing.  The timing on this sucked.  Bebe died right before we left to go back to Indiana for both of sister’s college graduations.  Deanne was an Optometrist and Jessie a Physical Therapist.  I think we were gone for about 2 weeks.  I admit to not thinking how Pirate would feel all by herself.  Granted, someone checking in, scooping the boxes, changing the water, etc was nice, but not us.  Nor did she have a companion anymore.  When we got back, her voice was so hoarse from meowing while we were gone.  It took a few days for her meow to fully come back,  She and Bebe was best buds so we thought need to get another cat ASAP! 

Widdison joined our family at the beginning of June.  One of the vet techs at one of the veterinarians managed a feral cat colony doing TNR (trap, neuter, return).  Widdy’s mom was pregnant and gave birth to him and his siblings later.  So, she kept the kittens and adopted them out stipulating they would be sprayed/neutered and indoor (which I really liked).  Pirate really, really didn’t care much for Widdison, but eventually grew to tolerate him.  There was no joint grooming or sleeping together.  But, as things happen, everything settled into a pattern.

Widdison is on the left, Petya on right

Petya joined our family after I talked the hubs into a 3rd cat.  Petya came from one of my hospice patients.  Petya very easily has him wrapped around her paw, she just loves her B!  Petya and Widdison are just a couple of months apart.  Widdison was born March 27, 2007, Petya May 31, 2007.  They are best buds. 

Petya is super friendly with everyone.  Widdy will hide.  And Pirate is middle of the road.  She’d watch from a distance.  Each with their own distinctive personality that makes them them.  The most Pirate ever weighed was around 8-7.5#.  Widdy is 20# (and now on a diet).  Pirate would deliberately pounce on Widdy, and of course he’d respond.  She’s get so pissed at him.  I’d tell her, “What did you expect!  He’s more than double your weight!”  But did she listen?  Nope.  Of course not.

Life continued on.  Until I noticed at the beginning of this year Pirate was drooling and not eating her dry food.  Started her on a wet food diet.  She lost weight.  Got her into vet.  5.5#  Vet looked in her mouth and told me her mouth looked okay, she had seen worse, but a dental was definitely needed.  She was concerned by her enlarged thyroid and rapid heart rate with a murmur.  Labs were drawn and the diagnosis was hyperthyroidism- TSH was 6.7.  (Very common in cats I learned, especially 10 and older).  She got put on medication and we made an appointment for a month out for lab work.  When the anti-thyroid medication be high enough? 

For the month Pirate gradually had more difficulty with eating.  Chewing seemed to be an issue.  She could only eat pate wet food.  Anything that was wet and not ground she couldn’t eat.  My cat who always wanted what I had (and would have no problem trying to steal it) lost interest.  She continued to lose weight.  I would add water to her food to thin it more.  The drooling continued and she started to paw at her  mouth.  Grooming became an issue too leading some hair loss of her legs, face, and neck.  Giving her a bath regularly helped, but as soon as she’d eat again she was dirty again.  Bought baby wipes to clean her between meals. 

When we presented to the vet for labs, I brought up her eating difficulty again.  My thought was she had a bad tooth that wasn’t obvious (or something) and if she could eat, she’d feel better and gain some weight back.  She got weighed.  Now 4.5#.  The vet techs got her blood work.  One of the then palpated her neck and under her jaw and noted it was firm (it’s supposed to be soft) and looked in her mouth.  Noted right side of tongue was swollen.  Luckily the vet was available and came in for another assessment.  Pirate was so good, it was like she was thinking, FINALLY!  Unfortunately it wasn’t a bad tooth.  She had a mass under her tongue.  Opted to not do a biopsy since that was a surgical procedure and we weren’t going to treat.  Most likely my beloved Pirate had oral Squamous Cell Carcinoma, a common cancer that cats get.  However, it is usually fatal.  Chemo and radiation are largely ineffective.  The effective treatment is surgical removal of the effected part of the jaw.  What or not that is an option is dependent on location and when cancer is detected.  Surgery is often disfigured and creates other difficulties for the cat.  Needless to say, none of the treatments were ones we were going to pursue.  We planned on continuing her anti-thyroid and added pain medication (buprenorphine) and a steroid (prednisolone).   When we were ready, she didn’t have to come back to the vet, but rather the vet would come to us.

The steroid helped her comfort for about a week.  After that, I did a taper and then took her off.  The pain med helped.  She continued to lose weight.  The hardest thing was balancing and recognizing when her quality of life wasn’t there.  And making that phone call to the vet that it was time.

The best thing about our vet, is we didn't have to go back.  They came here to us, to Pirate.  She was able to have a peaceful death here, at her home.  With me stroking her head and talking to her as she took her last breath.

She really liked food, and wanted what I was having.

 

 

I miss my shadow.  She was almost always with me.

Angel in Chains

Angel in Chains - Cynthia Eden
After the last book, I really was looking forward to Az's story. Was disappointed in this one. In the first book of the series, Az is the angel in charge, with power and in the second he fell and was confused (confusion happens when an angel falls). In this one, with his memory restored, he is pissed and all about what he can do to get his wings back. 
Brandt was the typical alpha-hole of many a paranormal; except in this one he wasn't the "hero," but the villain (and he's is considerably more violent. I was mainly referring to the "it doesn't matter what you want, you're MINE!" phenomena of some other paranormal books). Don't worry, he gets what's coming to him. At first, Az and Jade's relationship is about using the other. It develops into something more.
I can't put my finger on what my issue was with this book, except I just wasn't feeling it. I did enjoy the first 2 books. Something that came out of this one: maybe falling isn't a punishment, but a new opportunity.
 
 

 

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