Outlander, Diana Gabaldon

outlanderspolier alertTitle: Outlander

Author: Diana Gabaldon, read by Davina Porter

Duration (audiobook) 32 hours and 43 minutes

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Adventure

Is this part of a series?  Yes, book one of the Outlander series.

Published:  July 14th, 2006 (again for the audio book edition)

Former combat nurse Claire Randall is on her second honeymoon in Scotland after reuniting with her husband Frank after the war. A visit to some standing stones hurls her back in time two hundred years into a world of war and raiding border clans.  Here she meets Jamie, a handsome highlander in need of some care.  Swept up in the intrigue and craziness of the time, she finds herself torn between the life she had and the life she could have….

I bought the audible accompaniment to my eBook because it was cheap and ended up just listening to it.  The storyline was interesting and I loved the characters.  I felt like Gabaldon took her time creating well developed characters and a rich world.  I loved the ideas behind the plot and I respected the issue Claire had deciding what was owed the two men in her life.

Unfortunately, once Jamie discovered sex I felt like the plot often took a back seat to very in depth sex scenes.  Maybe I am a prude, but I don’t like them to get too graphic.  When reading romances, I will usually skim those scenes and get back to the good stuff (for me anyway)- plot, dialogue and character development.  I would listen to this in the car or at the gym…. and I was too worried to skip forward because I was afraid I might miss part of the actual story.  I seriously feel like this was a 19 hour story that was sidetracked with nearly 14 hours of smut.  Okay, maybe it wasn’t that much, but it was a lot and I didn’t feel it was all necessary.  Also, *trigger alert* there was a lot of attempted (and succeeded) rape.  Due to this, it was a three star book for me.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, I give it a full ten.  As stated above there is violence, sexual content, and language.  My niece will not be getting a hold of this one.

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Have you read it?  Do you think I am being too harsh?

Link to book:

Amazon

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100 Notable Books of 2017- NYT Edition!

Can you believe there’s only a month left of this year?  It went so fast!!  I was going through the New York Times website and saw this list for notable books of 2017.  I have to admit to not having read a lot of them, but there are so many that look interesting!  Go through the list- do you have favorites?  Are there books that didn’t make the cut that you think should have?  I really want your opinion!

Here are the books I have added to my TBR list due to the list:

Also, a couple books that I feel really ought to be on the list:

 

Maybe I am biased, but…. oh,  I loved these books!  I am actually still reading This is How it Always is but I love it already.

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Weekly Wrap-Up! November 21st-27th

Personal life:

 

me and santa christmas selfie.jpgI feel like my life is pretty boring actually, and have been wondering if I should keep this part up.  I don’t actually do a lot except work, read, and see my family- just like everyone else.  This week we did have my brother-in-law down though.  I always enjoy Daniel’s visits.  He and Warren are really close and play together on line nearly every night.

Before he went back to school we saw Thor: Ragnarok.  I loved that movie!  I am actually a huge fan of the comic book movies.  They’re amazing!  I mean, you can’t take them seriously.  This is crazy plots, zippy one liners and mind-blowing action- just like the comics. Thor Ragnarok

I was lucky enough to have the morning shift on Thanksgiving and missed working the sale entirely  (yeah, only took me 13 years to get the plum shift!).  Warren and I spent the evening at home, and had a nice meal just the two of us.  My parents had gone to visit my little brother for the holiday.  Basically the only other thing I have done this week is read and cut my hair.  I have a pixie cut now.   (I have a really bad selfie above…. with our Santa…. never did learn how to do a good selfie.)

 

Bookish life:

I got to catch up on my Patterson books and read four of them this week.  I decided to bunch them together in one review and have already posted it.  I loved them!  I am reading one of the ARC’s for early December now, and listening to Hardcore Twenty-four by Janet Evanovich.  I finished the Outlander audiobook, but think I need time to consider before giving a review.

So that’s me for the week.  What’s new with you?

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A James Patterson read-a-thon! (Catching up with my favorite Detectives)

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So, this past week I haven’t had any ARC’s in danger of being late and I indulged in four of the books I had bought by James Patterson.  I decided to combine them and do the reviews here.  Let’s get started!  As always, there are some minor spoilers.  I try to keep it at a minimum.  spolier alert

Haunted, James Patterson and James O. Born.  Published September 18th of this year, this is book #10 in the Michael Bennett series.  Feeling drained from personal and work happenings, Bennett decides it’s time for a vacation.  When an old partner offers up a house in Main for cheap rental, he is thrilled.  It’s time for the family to escape the city!  But even here, his efforts are needed as kids are disappearing without explanation.  Pulled into a case involving drug dealers and buried secrets, Michael has to figure out what’s going on before the whole situation explodes.

I loved this one for a dozen reasons.  It paid a lot more attention to family dynamics inside the Bennett household and I got more time with Seamus whom I adore.  The story line was great- really interesting and intense.  There were moments where I truly wanted to scream- that can’t happen… it never would!  Yet, it’s fairly true to how things might pan out with the current mood toward police.  I think that above all was terrifying about the book.  I loved the character Sadie, strong and no-nonsense without a hint of self-pity.  I also liked the introduction of his old police partner.  For me this is a five star book.normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, I give it a six.  There’s a lot of language and violence.

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Manhunt, James Patterson and James O. Born.  This one is a bookshot that was published November 7th.  It follows book #10 in the Michael Bennett series.  Michael is still reeling from a major disrupt in his home life (Brian is awaiting trial for selling drugs).  Still, he has a job to do and nine more children to see to.  When he takes the kids to the Thanksgiving Day Parade he gets a front row view of a truck driving into the parade, and a bomb detonating.  As the only cop available he gives chase.  As the case goes longer he works with the FBI to catch the bomber…. but what if things aren’t as they seem?

This is perhaps one of my favorite from the Bennett series. The struggle Michael dealt with in his family was very real and potent.  I always did love the family aspect to both this series and the Alex Cross books.  The story line is amazing and action packed, though sometimes felt rushed simply because it had to be wrapped up in 145 pages.  I liked the side characters, and I loved the little twists in the story that kept me guessing.  This is a five star book for me. normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale, I give it a six for violence and language.  mature audience.

Count To Ten, James Patterson and Ashwin Sanghi.  Book #13 of the Private novels.  This one is in Mumbai and circles Santosh Wagh and his crew.  When a tryst gone terribly wrong exposes a unique burial site Private is hired on to find out what’s going on, and keep it as quiet as humanly possible.  Having had little to do with politics when possible, Jack is ill prepared for the level of intrigue and backstabbing- he and his team just want to find out the truth of what’s going on!  What they uncover is beyond description- a ring of organ harvesters that includes some of the city’s biggest names.  Who’s behind all this?  While they are going through their investigation, The Deliverer is doing some of his own.  He has the names of the top people in the scam- and they won’t be seeing jail time.   Can they figure out everything and stop the vigilante before it’s too late?

The Private novels are usually touch and go for me.  I think my issue is that there are so many different characters…. I grow to like this or that person and then I won’t see them for half a dozen books.  It’s harder for me to connect with the series due to this.  I will say that I liked all the main players in the India office; they were interesting, well developed characters each with their own demons working together to strengthen one another.  I also liked the plot, and the way it played out…. though the ending seemed a bit rushed to me.  Still, it grabbed my attention enough that I will continue the series, and thus did it’s job I suppose.  I wish I knew when I could see the three Private India detectives next, and follow up…. but that could be years from now if he ever introduces the characters again.  I guess I find it hard to get over the inconsistency of main characters in the series- or even supporting ones.  Seriously, when’s the last time I saw Mobot?  I read Patterson’s series for their in depth characters- I grow to love them and crave news of them.  This series simply does not provide that for me.  For me, this is a three and a half star book.  normal star rating normal star ratingnormal star rating2000px-Half_Star_Yellow.svg

On the adult content scale, there is quite a lot of violence and a bit of language.  We also go into depth on Santosh’s road to being a recovering alcoholic.   For these reasons, I give it a seven.

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The People VS Alex Cross, James Patterson.  Book #25 of the Alex Cross series.  Absolutely do not read this book unless you are up to date on the series- especially if you haven’t read the bookshot Cross Kill.  This brings things to a head that has been happening for a while.  On suspension for the happenings in Cross Kill, Alex awaits his trial- for unjust killings of two of the Soneji group members and the assault of another.  They were armed… he knows they were!  But all evidence points to Cross being as branded- a trigger happy cop believing himself above the law.  Even some of those closest to him begin to question it!  While he is trying to find a way to clear his name, Sampson is caught in a huge case and enlists his help- off the record of course.  A string of blond women begin to disappear, and the evidence leads the detectives into the darkest part of the web.

There was a lot going on here.  On the home front, we spent a lot more time with Ali, who’s growing up way to fast, Janie and Bri.  I loved the time with the family, and getting to know Ali better-  I really love the smart little guy.  The dual storylines were a bit much to handle, but it was really interesting as well and everything tied together well.  I loved the new characters and the interaction between everyone.  I especially loved the time with Sampson and getting to see how he was recovered and a detective again.  It was fast paced, exciting and really well written.  Five stars all the way!

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On the adult content scale…. there’s a lot.  Gratuitous violence, some sexual content, and a trigger- snuff…. and I don’t mean the tobacco.  That alone made this more uncomfortable than others for me.  I have to give it a ten.  adult content rubber stamp

Have you guys read any of these?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

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Weekly Wrap-Up! November 15th-20th

Personal life:

Guess who was awarded a free year at her gym!  Colaw Fitness has a deal where if three people sign up on their special night and use you as a reference you get a year free.  I guess I had been talking to my mother about it so much that she, dad, and Amanda (Dad’s nurse) came in on their open house night and signed up.  My cheap gym membership just got better!  Warren has also decided to sign up.  He was my +1, but could only work out when I was there; so he decided to get his own membership.

Bookish Life:

I am nearly caught up to where I want to be with ARC’s.  There are still several that are already out and I should be doing…. but there are also books that I really want to read.  I am behind on so many Patterson books- and they used to be priorities for me!  I think I just went request crazy and then haven’t had a ton of time for books outside my read-for-reviews.  I need to do better about requesting less.  That said, I have two more books coming to me from First to Read tomorrow so…. probably not happening.  And, of course, I am still finding books I love to buy.  My TBR list will never end!!!!!!   Lol it’s an addiction.  massive pile of books.jpg

Well that’s me this week.  How was your week?

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Every Dog Has His Day, Jenn McKinlay

every dog has his dayspolier alertTitle: Every Dog Has His Day

Author: Jenn McKinlay

Pages: 336

Genre: Contemporary romance

Is this book part of a series?  Yes, Bluff Point #3.

Publish date: January 2nd, 2018

When confirmed bachelor Zachary Cain saves Chaos the neighbor’s cat from his roof, his life is changed forever.  Now there are two little girls coming by and laughing and talking and basically stealing his heart…. then there’s their mother.  Lord, their mother!  Jessie Connelly has already told him what she thinks of him… and it’s not good.  Yet she is gorgeous, strong, funny…. and anyone that wants her had better be ready for the long haul.  Is that what he wants?

Jessie Connelly has been burned before.  Having one “bad boy” man-child in her past has made it glaringly obvious what she doesn’t want in her life.  Sadly, as hot as her neighbor is she’s pretty sure Zach falls into that category.  A storm pulls the households together as Zach and his dog Rufus come over to share the generator and help take care of the girls.  The more Jessie learns about him, the more she knows she was wrong- he’s one of the good guys.  One worth fighting for.

When her past threatens her future, can Jessie pull through with her family in tact?  Can she trust Zach to be her partner in all things and help her through?

I loved this book for a lot of reasons.  It was sweet and charming.  I loved the play between characters- and the pets.  It was a fast paced and often funny read.  Now I will admit that there were times where the adults were a bit… juvenile for my tastes.  Dirty jokes, betting on the number of orgasms and finding the best euphemism for basically everything.  Do people really do this?  Some other reviewers have spoken with distaste about the amount of time taken to introduce side characters- the main crew in particular.  I actually liked that part.  It gave me a better sense of who Zach was by who his chosen crew was, and I liked them as people.  In fact, several of the characters were so interesting to me that I will no doubt go back and read their books.  (Yes, I accidently grabbed a book in the middle of a series again).  I really did enjoy this book for the sweet, funny, fast read it was.  It’s a four and a half star book for me.  normal star rating normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating2000px-Half_Star_Yellow.svg

On the adult content scale, lord there was a lot.  Sexual content, dirty jokes, and language.  Obviously meant for adults.  Let’s give it an eight.  mature audience.

I received an eARC of this book from First to Read in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks!

The book comes out 1-02-18.  Who’s ready?

Link to book:

Amazon

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Sweet Tea and Sympathy, Molly Harper

sweet tea and sympathyspolier alert

Title: Sweet Tea and Sympathy

Author: Molly Harper

Pages:  320

Genre: romance, contemporary

Is this part of a series?  Yes, Southern Eclectic #1

Publish Date:  November 21st, 2017

Big city event planner Margot Carey has had the mother of all bad days.  Between the ass of a chef, tower of food the hostess is allergic to, and angry birds there’s apparently a meme dedicated to her fowl up (ha ha!).  What there isn’t, is job offers.  Having lost her place at her prestigious event company, she sends her resume to everyone- the only bite being a “what not to do” learning session for interns.

When the aunt she never knew about contacts her, she grudgingly takes the job working with her estranged father’s family at the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop (yes, you heard that right) in Georgia.  The city girl in her hates that you can’t get good coffee and everything is sweet enough to induce a coma…. but there’s another side.  A side that revels in having a large, messy family after years of feeling alone.  Getting to know her cousins and Aunt Tootsie is a definite plus.  Then there’s Kyle who looks like a hot lumberjack but is in reality the principal of the elementary school.  Yes, Kyle is a definite perk.  He comes with his own drama, though, in the form of two little girls.  Can Margot, who has never really been in a relationship or had a good parenting role model, take on this family?

Let’s begin with the pros for this book- the character interaction is hilarious.  I loved watching Margot and her family get to know each other.  This was well written and fast paced, keeping my interest the whole time.  I think I read it within a few days ( a feat seeing as I was working and had family functions vying for my time).  I liked these characters so much that I will be looking into the rest of the series in hopes of seeing more of them.

On the other hand, there are moments where the book seemed so outlandish and the characters so catty that I found it hard to swallow- surely these things just don’t happen!  I also found her relationship with her father to be overly stilted and painful- more so than it had to be because we were bludgeoned with it several times.  Lastly, more often than not her relationship with Kyle seemed contrived and there were just too many misunderstandings.  That aside, I still had a lot of fun with this book.  It’s a four star book for me.  normal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star ratingnormal star rating

On the adult content scale there’s language and sexual content.  Let’s be real, this is an adult romance novel and as such was not written with teens in mind in anyway.  I would say seventeen and up at the very least.  Let’s give it a six.  Parental_Advisory_label.svg.png

I received an eARC of this book from Netgalley and Gallery books in exchange for an honest review.  My thanks.  pro_reader_120

The book comes out 11-21-17.  Are you planning on reading it?   I would love to hear your thoughts!

Link to book:

Amazon

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