Rachel's books

I'm a registered nurse whose specialization is end of life care (hospice).  Reading gives me that escape I need.  I read primarily romance in all genres.

 

 

I really look forward to this every month

(Warning- some of the pictures posted sideways and I thought I saw a work around to fixing that; but now I can't find it, so apologies for the sideways pictures.  But I do know how to make them smaller (or larger).  

 

Just wanted to share this.  I subscribe to this book box every month.  June's theme was Cowboy.  I was telling my husband how well thought out the themes are each month.  

Here is the card that details what is in the book for that month:

There has always been a mix of ebook and paperbacks (ranging from trade to MMP)

Here are the ebooks.  

3 MMPs in this one.  Each comes with a "Dear Reader" letter.  One was autographed!

The bandana is from the Morgan Ranch series (Kate Pearce). 

(Let this one as I accidentally deleted it from desktop).

Love this boot shot glass!

This cactus kit is a cool idea.  One that I might keep for myself, or gift it to someone.  I haven't decided.  Even came with a small spray bottle to mist the cactus once started. Can't forget the chili sucker!

I've subscribed to this since they started and I've enjoyed every box!  

I've subscribed to some of the book boxes (Fresh Fiction Box Not to Miss, Lit-Cube), but this is the only one I've kept every month.  Some of the other book boxes are YA. Ever After is not.  

Three authors are behind this box (Jeannie Lin, Shawntelle Madison, and Amanda Berry), I think that makes this box more interesting.  

 

(Just in case:  I wasn't paid for this review or box.  This box is purchased by yours truly) 

A Royal Mess

A Royal Mess - Jill Shalvis

Her Serene Highness, Natalia, is on her way to a wedding in NM when she gets waylaid. Bumped from 1st to coach, cancelled flight, and then mugged. Tim finds her and offers her a job as a cook. Not believing she is royalty, he thinks she's crazy. Yeah, in this day in age, he could have gone online and looked. But nah, let's think she's crazy.
I *almost* put this in the DNF pile, but continued reading. Starting out, I didn't like Natalia. At all. She was an entitled, spoiled, person who didn't treat people well. Tim was okay. Then, surprise! I'm into the book and want to find out what happens. I liked this more than I thought I would. I thought the reason Natalia is afraid of animals was kinda funny. Nice to see she gets over it. She ends up a better, more likable person at the end. Tim too. I rolled my eyes at the virgin thing (of course she is!).
This works for the ripped Bodice Summer Read Along Bingo too! "Hero has a pet that is not a dog or cat." Tim has a three legged pig, a nearly blind goat, and an old horse.

Sacking the Quarterback

Sacking the Quarterback (BookShots Flames) - Samantha Towle
Melissa, the assistant state attorney, is tasked with throwing the book at Grayson. Grayson is arrested for drug possession. Grayson just happens to be the star player for the NFL. Melissa, the assistant state attorney, and Grayson are just HAWT for each other. Of course they are!
I liked that Melissa, the assistant state attorney, was driven and smart. I didn't like how she was "struck dumb" by the hot guy. I didn't appreciate how willing she was to put her career on the line for a guy she just met. Neither character had much depth. Overall, not as bad as it was when I first started. Nice little plot with the brother, the cartel, and Melissa, the assistant state attorney's, boss. But then, as it usually does in Romance Land, everything works out just fine.
I was nice and rounded up to a 3 for Goodreads. I probably should have rounded down for all the times I was reminded that Melissa was the assistant state attorney. Keeping in theme with the book, I made sure to throw out plenty of reminders! Just in case.
 
 

 

Interesting.....

Boise, Idaho has a local, indie bookstore Rediscovered Books.  I got this in my email today.  They are branching out into publishing!  Granted, it's very locally focused, but will see where they go from there.  
 
 
Dear Friends,
 
Our bookshop has embarked on a new adventure.  We are opening a publishing division to produce hyper-local non-fiction books for kids, teens and adults.  We have been working with many local authors and the Boise State's Community Research Series and we know that we can be a strong advocate for local voices in Boise.  Rediscovered Publishing seeks to promote local voices that share the ideas, knowledge and history of what makes Boise this incredible and unique place.  We are planning on publishing 2-3 books each year, and we will be sure to tell you more about these books as they move from the drawing board to the hands of our readers.  Information about how to submit proposals and queries is here.
 
Regards,
Laura & Bruce DeLaney

 

Queen of Hearts

Queen of Hearts: A Sin City Collectors Novella - Kristen Painter

Claude (Claudette) is a feline shifter and owns a pawn shop. She also happens to be a semi-retired "Collector." The Collectors pick up supes who are misbehaving. Jason is a gargoyle working for a magician. The Queen of Hearts is an elaborate ruby necklace that was stolen by Jason. Claude soon finds out not all is as appears.
This was good. I really adored Claude. She is strong, intelligent, and just plain awesome. Jason wasn't bad either. I liked that he was a gargoyle. I liked giving him a weakness that was then used against him. Very well done novella with the plotting and pacing.

Midnight Angel

Midnight Angel - Lisa Kleypas

If you liked this book.....don't read this. Rant ahead. You have been warned.
Taisa was found guilty of a murder she has no memory of. Sentenced to death, she manages to fake her death and travels to England to take refuge with her cousin and her husband. She finds employment with a friend of theirs as a governess to his 12 year old daughter.
I love LK books. This sounded like my cup of tea. Well, this sucked ass instead and I found myself still reading. It was like that car accident that everyone slows down to look at, because you can't not look at it!
My complaints:
Their ages. I was fine when I thought she was 22 to his 34. Then I find out she's really 18 and her closeness in age to Emma (Luke's daughter) is brought up. A lot. I wasn't crazy about reading about the hero having sex with someone else. I didn't believe in their romance. At about 20% in and they don't like each other to about 40% in and they are in love. Give. Me. A. Break!
I HATED Luke. He is mean, inconsiderate, stupid (there's still a kidnapping!), and overall Alpha-asshole. This is a description of his for Taisa: "She was sly, mysterious, haughty....all the qualities of a car. He hated cats." There's the confrontation with Tasia when he dismisses Nan for getting pregnant- but the baby daddy gets to keep his job. "Luke strode around his desk with a snarl, catching the front of her bodice in his large hand. She gave a whimper of fear. Luke shook her briefly, like a dog with a rat. You obey me without question." It goes on to say how turned on he gets holding Tasia off the ground. "There was a responsive ache in his groin....."
Then there is this before the fall in lust (oops, I mean love). "He had deliberately ignored her. Beneath his cool self-possession there had been something tightly reined and threatening."
Then (yes there's more) the threat of assault and rape: "I'm coming to your room tonight," he said after one particularly heated episode..." "I'll lock the door." I'll break it down." and this towards the end: "I'll tough you whenever and however I want," Luke said harshly. "Don't push me too far, Tasia...or you'll regret it." "He won't beat me," Tasia said, though privately she had her doubts." Luke's a catch don't you think?
The best thing about this book was Emma. I read some reviews for her book and I'm not going to read it since I think I will have similar issues with it. I won't be reading LK's earlier books. This sucked ass.

The Restorer

The Restorer - Amanda Stevens

I read the novella, The Abandoned, and really liked it. This didn't disappoint either! Amelia restores old cemeteries. She can also see ghosts. A body is dumped in a cemetery she is currently working in. This introduces her to detective John Devlin. He is also haunted by 2 ghosts. Amelia gets involved with the investigation.
I was intrigued by this world. In this world, ghosts are parasitic and shouldn't be acknowledged. Amelia was raised to do so. She finds herself breaking these long held rules. She is also drawn to John, and he to her. His ghosts are intriguing. I thought the who-done-it was both interesting, but also a little disappointing and a little anti-climatic.
This definitely is a first in a series book. There is some romance, but not as much as I thought I would get when I started. (Some kissing). Amelia's father has Secrets. I think her mother does too. So, family Secrets. There are MANY unanswered questions (including the Secret Society, and the dark entity she shes- I have questions!). I was glad I read this during the day- creepy!

Taking Charge

Taking Charge - Ruth Cardello
Lucy, introduced earlier in this series, took a loan from someone with a questionable reputation. This individual takes advantage at a time where she is down. David falls in love at first sight. With Lucy and during a period where she was down.
I could have gotten on board with this. Instead, it just pissed me off. I'll start with Lucy. I got tired, so tired of her inner monologue. I really, really didn't see why David fell head over heels. Her self-esteem is so low, with little improvement throughout the book. She also puts up with a liar, who supposedly did all of the "for her own good." Bullshit. And that leads me to David.
I could have gotten behind David, but his behavior at times was stalker-ish. He also lied to Lucy. Repeatedly. When he had an opportunity to come clean, he lied again. He even involved her friend, Sarah. Presumably, "for her own good." And guess what? All is quickly forgiven.
FAIL.
 
 

 

Outpost

Outpost - Ann Aguirre

Picks up where Enclave left off. Deuce and the gang now live in Salvation. Salvation is a completely different place from where she grew up. I thought Salvation was also a dark, depressing place. I could argue its even worse since they have traditional gender roles and anyone who is outside that proscribed roll is treated badly.
I did like how Deuce was willing to try to learn and fit in. She was loved and accepted, just as she was, by her foster family. By the end, she did find her place, but events happened and this ended in a cliffhanger. I have to decide if I want to read book 3. It's been dark and depressing and I'm not sure I will be in the right mood for it.

It's Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Never After

It's Not Okay: Turning Heartbreak Into Happily Never After - Andi Dorfman
Okay, I admit it. I watch the Bachelor and Bachelorette. I liked Andi when she was on Juan Pablo's season (worst Bachelor ever). Excited when she was picked to be the Bachelorette. Her break-up was public and I liked reading her version of events.
The Brand name dropping got old. So did the drinking. Props to her break-up playlist (excellent songs on it). I admit to not being crazy about her pick during her season. Nor did I like his behavior on BIP (of course I watch that too! Guilty pleasure) last summer. So, never been a Josh fan.
After reading this: Andi: 1 Josh: 0
 
 

 

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions

Dear Ijeawele, or A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
With all the shit going on in the world, this should be required reading. It's not that long and can be easily read in an evening. Written in first person, this is a letter to a friend by the author. She gives suggestions for raising a strong, feminist girl (and these suggestions could also be used to raise feminist boys too).
Highlights:
"Share child care equally." "...you both made the choice to bring a child into the world, and the responsibility for that child belongs equally to you both." Preach.
"We judge powerful women more harshly than we judge powerful men." A good, recent example of this is Hillary Clinton and all the criticism that got thrown her way last year.
"I have kept my name because it is my name. I have kept my name because I like my name." Loved this since I didn't change my name when I got married. I got a lot of criticism for that choice too. I remember my mom saying something like, "why bother to get married?"
"Teach her that she is not merely an object to be liked or disliked, she is also a subject who can like or dislike." Growing up, it was always be nice!
"The shame we attach to female sexuality is about control. Many cultures and religions control women's bodies in one way or another."
"Teach her about difference. Make difference ordinary. Make difference normal. Teach her not t attach value to difference." I loved this one.
 
 
 

 

Dazzling

Dazzling: The Diamond Trilogy, Book I (BookShots Flames) - Elizabeth Hayley, James Patterson

Siobhan is an artist who takes a hostess job at an upscale bar. Derick is a billionaire (aren't they all?) who patronizes the bar. Siobhan literally falls down (seriously- she HAS to be clumsy) in front of him. But wait! He catches her and is instantly interested.
This was predictable and boring. Luckily, this was short, so I didn't waste a lot of time on it or money (Thanks to the library!). It's also part of a trilogy- cliffhanger ahead! No HFN (much less a HEA). And guess what? I really don't care and won't be reading further.

Ever After

Ever After (Love to the Rescue) - Rachel Lacey

Olivia gets caught and arrested while spray painting graffiti on a local factory farm. It's funny, because the phrase "chicken assassins" ended up being "chicken ass" because she got caught. Pete is the deputy that arrested her. That's how she spend her 29th birthday.
I think I liked this one the best in this series. Olivia owned up to her mistake and learned from it. She's passionate about animal welfare and I liked that plot line. She did come across as immature; mainly because she doesn't stand up to her parents. They are both lawyers and dream of her becoming one too. Except, she doesn't want to, so rather then tell them no and do something about it, she dropped out of law school. By the end of the book, she's much more mature and owns it.
Pete dreams of making detective. Divorced and has been BIG parental baggage too. He is stuck in a rut. Olivia gets him out of that rut.
I really liked the animal rights/welfare take in this book (and series). And Hallie was a white kitten and Timber is a German Shepherd- so the cover got it right!

Trinity

Trinity - Lauren Dane

Renee is mated (or imprinted) to Galen. She literally bumps into Jack on her way home. Jack, a werewolf, realizes Renee is his mate. He finds out she is imprinted with Galen.
I thought this was decent. I liked the dialogue between the three and how they worked it out. I thought they communicated well and talked things out. Of course things moved at a fast pace. I would have liked more development with Galen and Jack's relationship.
What drove this done in rating, was there was just too much going on and not enough time to devote to anything. There's Renee not knowing anything about her heritage/not knowing anything about her powers, her mother's murder, her bitch of a stepmother and asshole father, a stalker who tries to kill her, secret family...woo, I'm out of breath! If the focus was on a few of these things and explored more, this would have been so much better. Not to mention there is a fricking CLIFFHANGER.
I probably won't be picking it up, since this one just had too much going on, and the next one is about someone else close to Renee (I will not say who as it is a bit spoilery).

Fair Game

Fair Game  - Patricia Briggs
Something is wrong with Charles. Anna is the only one to see it. She tries to intervene on his behalf, only to be dismissed. It isn't until she bring it up with another werewolf, that Bran decides to have Charles do other things too. This leads them to Boston. They go to consult with the FBI. There is a serial killer targeting supernaturals.
I both enjoyed this and found it frustrating. One was Charles attitude towards Anna by not TALKING to her. Anna is kidnapped and needs to be rescued. However, Charles does learn. And I think, if given a chance, maybe Anna could have saved herself (and yes, I know that's a lot of wishful thinking- but she didn't give up and would have gone down fighting).
I really enjoyed the mystery regarding the serial killer and figuring out the who-is-it. I didn't see THAT ENDING coming. Holy shit! That will (I would think) play into the next book (in the timeline it is a Mercy book). I need to read the synopsis to find out.....
 
 

 

Viable Threat

Viable Threat - Julie Rowe

eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing and NetGalley
Available May 22nd

Ava Lloyd, a microbiologist with the CDC, is tasked with trying to find the source and cause of a deadly outbreak. River, a Special Forces soldier, is tasked to help protect her. They have to dodge anything and everything.
I liked the pacing. The majority of the book (about 90%) occurs over 28 hour time span. It's just jam packed with action, no one gets a break. I really got the sense of racing against the clock. There are a few sexy times during the first 28 hours, but it felt realistic to the situation and didn't make me roll my eyes (you know those romantic suspense books where the sexy times happen while bullets are flying...not here). They fall for each other quickly, but their circumstances are rather unusual too.
I also liked the medical knowledge that went with writing about an outbreak. Very nice!
The villain is kinda decent (but can be guessed at fairly easily). I did like that religion was not a motive behind the attacks (and not mentioned at all that I remember). There are open ended questions/plot lines that may pick up in book 2 (if there is a book 2). I happen to have the first book in this author's another series (Deadly Strain) that I got on sale. I will have to bump that one up (currently buried in Mt TBR).

****eARC courtesy of Entangled Publishing and NetGalley
Out May 22nd

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