Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Wednesday Reads -- Two Weeks' Worth

Just as I had hoped, I got caught up in my reading goal during my vacation. Yes, I got some writing done, too, but it WAS my vacation, so at least I didn’t feel guilty reading more than I wrote. Here’s what I read during the last two weeks (and it’s lengthy--5 books worth):

Nov 15: “Doon” by CareyCorp & Lorie Langdon. This is a YA romantic fantasy (for want of a better description). Blurb on book: Veronica doesn’t think she’s going crazy. But why can’t anyone else see the mysterious blond boy who keeps popping up wherever she goes? When her best friend, Mackenna, invites her to spend the summer in Scotland, Veronica jumps at the opportunity to leave her complicated life behind for a few months. But the Scottish countryside holds other plans. Not only has the imaginary kilted boy followed her to Alloway, she and Mackenna uncover a strange set of rings and a very unnerving letter from Mackenna’s great aunt--and when the girls test the instructions Aunt Gracie left behind, they find themselves transported to a land that defies explanation. Doon seems like a real-life fairy tale, complete with one prince who has eyes for Mackenna and another who looks suspiciously like the boy from Veronica’s daydreams. But Doon has a dark underbelly as well. The two girls could have everything they’ve longed for…or they could end up breaking an enchantment and fid themselves trapped in a world that has become a nightmare. This story is told in first person, but with two POVs (Veronica’s and Mackenna’s). I might not have had problems with that, except the two voices were almost identical. It took me a bit to get into the story, too (but I think that’s because of me and not the story). By half-way, I was deep into wanting to know what was going to happen next. There is a sequel in the works (from what I’ve learned from the authors - who I do know, by the way) and I’ll most likely read that, too. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

Nov 18: “Time to Control” by Marie Pinkerton. This is labeled as erotica. I’d put it more into paranormal (time travel) romance. Blurb from Goodreads is too long to list here, but this is how it starts: "I was married five hundred years ago to the man I met on Thursday. It has made for an interesting start to a relationship." I was expecting erotica, and worried a bit when it was in first person (definitely not my favorite in this genre), but didn’t get anything close to that (which was somewhat of a relief, but only somewhat). For a paranormal romance, it was okay. I liked the time travel portion of the story, just wish there was more of it. And if you think Kerrelyn Sparks, Linsay Sands, Laurell K. Hamilton, or JR Ward write too sexy, you’ll have no problem with this book. I, however, wanted more and thus the 3 stars on Goodreads.

Nov 21: “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. This is a horror (duh!). Blurb from B&N: Acting on behalf of his firm of solicitors, Jonathan Harker travels to the Carpathian Mountains to finalize the sale of England's Carfax Abbey to Transylvanian noble Count Dracula. Little does he realize that, in doing so, he endangers all that he loves. For Dracula is one of the Un-Dead--a centuries-old vampire who sleeps by day and stalks by night, feasting on the blood of his helpless victims. Once on English soil, the count sets his sights on Jonathan's circle of associates, among them his beloved wife Mina. To thwart Dracula's evil designs, Jonathan and his friends will have to accept as truth the most preposterous superstitions concerning vampires, and in the company of legendary vampire hunter Abraham Van Helsing, embark on an unholy adventure for which even their worst nightmares have not prepared them. Why have I NEVER read this book before? Granted, when I got it for free when I bought my Nook, I took a look at it and thought I might not like the way it was written (the story is told through journals and letters), but man, was I wrong! I really don’t understand me at all. This was a great book and I’m sorry it has taken me this long to finally read it. I understand so much more now. I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.

Nov 22: “Cooking up Love” by Gemma Brocato. This is a contemporary romance. Blurb from Goodreads: Mix a chef and her contractor, stir in a mystery, and cook up a romance. Jemima George leads a charmed life as a personal chef and assistant to reality television's latest darling. But that changes in a New York minute when her Aunt Caro dies under odd circumstances, bequeathing her a small restaurant. Jem plans to sell the cafe and continue her life in NYC, until a dramatic phone call from her cheating boyfriend convinces her to experiment with the ingredients for happiness and accept her Aunt's legacy. Throwing herself into remodeling the restaurant with the help of the town's delicious contractor, Jem revamps the menu and renews her faith in herself. Jack Kerrigan considered Caro a surrogate mother and hates the idea that the cafe could be sold. He doesn't need the remodeling project, but if it means Caro's beautiful, fascinating niece will stay to run the restaurant, he's all in. He wouldn't mind being savory to Jem's sweet. Jack's brassy ex-wife is cooking up a scheme of her own, where Jack tosses Jem like a salad and comes back to her. Fold in a creepy attorney hiding secrets of environmental mayhem, add Jem's claustrophobia, half-pint niece and nephew twins, one mysterious lockbox, and bring to a boil-a recipe for romance. This was a light and breezy book and thoroughly entertaining. I’m not always fond of contemporaries, but I’m trying to read books by my Lyrical sisters. I really liked this one and I’ll read more by Ms. Brocato. I liked the couple very much right from the start. I gave it 4 stars on Goodreads. 

Nov 24: “First Frost” an Anthology by Lyrical Press Authors. Contemporary, paranormal, and erotica romances make up these nine short stories, and they’re all centered around the beginning of winter (cold weather). Like all anthologies I’ve read, I liked some stories better than others. The two paranormal ones were probably my favorite (gee, I wonder why??) and the erotica ones were quite steamy. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

So, are you hosting or visiting this Thanksgiving? We’re visiting. I only have to provide the pies, which I’m attempting to bake today. Hopefully I won’t have to shop at Kroger tonight! Haha!

Happy reading & Happy Thanksgiving!



JeffO said...

I am constantly amazed by how much you read! I'm currently in the midst of John Irving's In One Person. Pretty daring subject matter, but Irving is developing (has developed) a habit of lecturing about literature within his books.

Have a great holiday!

Stacy McKitrick said...

Jeff - You'd think I sat around and read all day, but I don't. I read during my walk on the treadmill (20 minutes on weight day, 60 minutes on non-weight day) and during lunch (30 minutes if the book is okay, 60 minutes if I can't put it down). Oh - and when I get down to the last 50 pages, then I'll sit and finish reading it. Now, on our vacation, I DID sit around and read a lot. And I can read in the car when my husband is driving (I can get a lot read in 3 hours). My husband says I'm a fast reader. I think he's just slow (haha). I've seen people read way faster than me.

LD Masterson said...

Sometimes I can squeeze in a lot of reading time but lately it's been a challenge.

We're hosting this year. Got a 22 lb. bird waiting to go.

Stacy McKitrick said...

LD - I doubt I ever host again. I just can't get into all that cooking. So glad (and thankful) to have a friend who LOVES to cook.

Michael Seese said...

I read Dracula a few years back. It's a hard read, but a good one.