Tag Archive: romance



Hold Back the StarsHold Back the Stars by Katie Khan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t like romance, well, maybe the occasional You Got Mail or Nottinghill, but mostly I find them boring. I DO love me some space, dystopia, futuristic sci-fi. This book has all four elements. Within the science fiction setting there just happens to be a love story. It was fun!

Spoilers are threatening to spill out of me as I write this and seem to be overwhelming my brain. I seem not to be able to give more of my opinion without them and I refuse to put them here.

I might like to read this again. I can think, if the author would like the suggestion, of a way to make a book two, or at least an alternative ending. As it is I think she did put in two different endings.

If any of my friends read this, and I hope they do, I hope we can have a bit of a discussion about the endings.

This story will stay with me for a while. Think of Gravity the movie mixed with a strange dystopic earth threatened by meteors. SO GOOD!

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Third Life: Taken (Life First, #3)Third Life: Taken by R.J. Crayton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a good ending to a good series. It was good because it offered plenty to think about. When a government can tell a person what they can or can’t do with their bodies, where does it end? Can they make you give up a kidney because it can save someone else? And who is held responsible when something goes wrong? And though there are scientists that can prove or disprove as much in the scientific realm as theologians can do the same with the Holy Books who can we trust?

Let’s say you decided not to give up your kidney. You feel you need it as much as anyone else. Where does your right to live stand in comparison to someone else’s? What if the government decided who should or shouldn’t have babies? Can you see what a sticky-wicket of a world it would be?

In this last book, which makes me sad to say as I will miss these characters, there are a wedding, a kidnapping, and healing while running for one’s life–or that of another. The action picks up and isn’t as slow as book two.

It has been nearly a month since I read this but I feel good reviewing as I feel I remember quite a lot. At least it made a big enough impact for me that I could remember the gist. **SMILE**

Now a quick question for the author: What was the purpose of the hidden room? Did I miss something? Or did I imagine a greater purpose than that given to us? Could there be more in store for us?

Anyway, I highly recommend this series. Sure there is romance but it doesn’t take over the main story and sometimes adds to it.

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Second Life (Life First #2)Second Life by R.J. Crayton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found this second book to be slower and not nearly as exciting as the first book. But then how do you compete with emergency skydiving? I tried to be patient realizing we were getting to know other characters better.

Having a disabled person as the main character was a plus. I love it when authors take a chance with something other than perfect people and let us see characters who are different.

Still, the first half of the book took place in two rooms. THAT was boring! Sure we needed to get to know our characters’ thoughts but there had to be another way to do that.

Towards the end, things picked up and felt more like the first book. Knuckle were whitened, nails were bitten. And I was praying that there would be no cliffhanger. And there wasn’t. The book left you in a safe enough place but you knew there was more that needed to be done. Luckily, I had book three lined up and took off with that one!

Something I need to add here is another original idea of these three books is the moral dilemma similar to abortion or capital punishment. What if we were forced to give up our organs to those we match who are dying? This book takes further into what if by being forced we become disabled or otherwise harmed? Who is held responsible? I love books that make you think and this series does do that while presenting well-developed characters and lots of adventure.

Shoot, I just decided that I need to raise this from three to four stars, just due to my own review. I will remember this series long into the future that hopefully doesn’t have the dilemmas presented here.

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Open Minds (Mindjack Trilogy, #1)Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This had a brilliant concept. But I am disappointed. What ruined it most? The Audible narrator: Kelli Shane. Her voice sounded like she was on the last story to ADHD kids at bedtime. How do I know that? Yep, been there had that voice. It works well at putting the reader to sleep. ADHD kid just laughs and takes the book to read to themselves as mom falls to sleep.

I would have been better off just using the text-to-speech. But chose to continue. The story line was interesting. I even sort of liked the main character.

On the other hand, really, if a person can read another’s mind and be read what is to stop intrusion? And possible mind jacking? I don’t see how the jacker can’t read first and the reader not jack. After all, we are talking teens. They are already in each others’ heads. So a lot of this seemed to not ring true.

It was a nice diversion. But I just wasn’t that into it, and I really wanted to be. Maybe others will love it. I hope so. I doubt I will seek out the next in the series. I do have the German version so I might try it again just to practice my German reading skills.

By the way, the Kindle version is free right now. I hope you enjoy it.

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The Last Chance Matinee (The Hudson Sisters #1)The Last Chance Matinee by Mariah Stewart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One of the things I noticed as I wished this story hadn’t ended was that it has a series name: The Hudson Sisters #1. Yay! I don’t have to leave my new friends forever! And while I am talking about the ending, relax, it isn’t a cliff-hanger. Everyone is safe. I just miss them.

You can look up the blurb to see what the book is about. I try to concentrate on my feelings about the story. What I noticed most of all, was the lack of conflict and yet I kept wanting to read more. I suppose the conflict is the undertone of how the characters ended up owning a theater. They had to spend the time getting to know each other and see how they fit into the scheme of things. But there was no great adventure, no one is in grave danger. Yet through each of their perspectives, you see their birth order and history.

It was because of the description of the story on the blurb on NetGalley dot com that I picked this up to review. I am so glad I did. It is quite an interesting story. I look forward to book two so I can see these women and watch them remake a theater together.

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All Good StoriesAll Good Stories by Linda G. Hill

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As an author of a busy, fun blog who is a single mom facing some special needs tests, trials, and triumphs, Linda G. Hill won my admiration long ago. I love reading her blog. I enjoy participating in her challenges. So it is understandable that I had to read her book.

Remember the challenge question in When Harry Met Sally? No. Not the restaurant scene. Wouldn’t we all want what she ordered? No. The question was: Can best friends that are male and female remain friends or is it inevitable that romance would play a part? Sally believed in the friendship as I recall whereas Harry said that friendship can’t stay in that realm. That sex was the most likely outcome.

All Good Stories attempts that question once again. This time it is through a series of smaller stories (started as A-Z challenge on Linda’s blog) that tell of the ebb and flow of friendship of Jupiter and Xavier. I won’t tell you how the story goes. I will merely say that there are topless pirates and bookstores involved. And there are laugh aloud situations. This is worth an evening with popcorn, at least. I enjoyed it and I think you will, too.

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Say Goodbye for NowSay Goodbye for Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Do you remember ‘Pay It Forward’? If you live under a rock or somehow never got to see it, I’m about to give a spoiler. Skip to the next paragraph where I will strictly talk about this book. The author, Catherine Ryan Hyde, wrote that book which became the most up-lifting and crash ending movie. I bought the movie because I loved that concept so much. But the ending of the movie, when the main character was killed, keeps me from watching it ever again. Ms. Hyde, though set up the foundation of Pay It Forward which is a marvelous way for folks to live. Maybe I will buck up and give it another try for the meat of the movie (or read the book). I would have loved to know that about the author before I began reading this book. But unfortunately, that information was in the back of the book after the book club questions.

A series of events in the 1950s gives the reader so many character-lines to follow that one wonders where this is leading. A wolf-dog hit by a car. An abused but wiser-than-his-age boy tries to find help for this poor creature. Seem to make it look like a simple book, a boy and his dog, kind of thing. But the story gets deeper and deeper. Some surprises happen as opposed to how the reader may think they would. The story was well-written and draws one in. The characters are deeper than some books offer. Sometimes I wanted more. But I think the author knew how to pull us through.

Yes, there is a bit a romance but it isn’t the leading subject. But neither is the dog. Have I made this vague enough to incite interest? Don’t come into the book thinking, like I did that it was going to be a sweet book about a boy and his dog. This book is worth the read. I wish there was a book two as I already miss these character and wonder what happens next.

By the way, I received this book free of charge from NetGalley. Thank you!

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From a Distant StarFrom a Distant Star by Karen McQuestion

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a fun ride! I wish I would have noted where I heard about this book. Since it cost $1.99 I would guess someone recommended it to me. Thank you, whoever you are!

This was sci-fi. Not my favorite type which is on other planets or roaming outer space. But it is the next best thing, an alien on this world.

Those who have lost others or have had cancer may find the first part of the book a little triggery as the love interest is dying of cancer. But this holds hope, so stay with it. It gets better.

I was lucky to have a free credit at Audible and could listen to Kate Rudd narrate the story. She is very good at the different character voices. I kind of wish Lucas’s voice was a little more distinct from Scout’s but there wasn’t enough of that voice to worry about. Kate kept the story interesting, I think more interesting than had I read it without Whispersynch.

Get ready because around the middle of the book you won’t want to put it down, it gets more and more exciting. And all threads are neatly tied up at the end. Even so, I miss the characters and wish there were more. Maybe more from the alien planet and what happens next there? And maybe a connection happens between the new friends. Maybe Lucas could develop some sort of ability?

But even as a solo book, it was a lot of fun! I gave up binging on another series (TV) because the book was far more interesting. If you get the chance to read this, you should. I think you’ll like it.

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Atlantis RiptideAtlantis Riptide by Allie Burton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have always wanted to be a mermaid. I lived for my time in the water. I never understood my friends who spent hours working on their tans when a perfectly good body of water was there calling me. In late grade school, early junior high, my brother and I walked three miles over a hill. We stopped at the bottom of the hill where my aunt lived so we could get a drink of her Sparkletts water then continue our walk to the pool. There we would pay our first dime for the first session of swimming (I think it was an hour and a half) then we’d dry off and hang out in the park until the second session. Then we’d pay our second dime and swim some more. After all that swimming we would walk back to our aunt’s for another drink then attack that three-mile-hike over the hill. I loved summer and all that swimming! A secret I learned later was that our aunt would call our mom each time we stopped so that Mom would know we were okay. Thank goodness I wasn’t raised now. I can’t imagine not having that kind of freedom. Anyway, I say all this because I still wish I was a mermaid. The only difference now is that I cannot handle cold water with my fibro. I miss swimming so much. Thereby, I read.

I must have really wanted to read this book. I picked it up twice from BookRooster.com then once again for free on Amazon. (It is free right now.) The version I read was the BookRooster as I can listen and read on the same machine (MoonReader Pro). By the way, I don’t know what’s up with BookRooster site. I can’t seem to find it so I won’t be able to post the review with them. Anyone know what’s up with them?

Back to the book. It is a Young Adult/Romance. Romance is the part I hate most. For all the angst wondering about the love interest, this mermaid could have been swimming and enjoying the flora and fauna beneath the waves. More time could have been spent talking about the freedom there is in swimming, the sensations of water as the body slices through it. But the author did give me the best gift: if you are a mermaid you don’t notice the change in temperatures. Your body can stand the cold of deeper water or the heat of being near the volcanic vents. Now I wish I were a mermaid even more. Oh, and if a mermaid breathes into an air breather more than 5 times an air breather can then live in the water as a merperson. Where do I find a merperson to do this for me?

Romance or not, I was happy that this poor mermaid found a friend who cares for her since her life didn’t seem to have much of that. And having this extra person to help her opens her life for new experiences. I don’t know if my writing is coming across rather haltingly, I am trying not to give spoilers. Hope I succeeded at piquing your interest in reading this book without giving too much away.

This book is part of a series, but the book didn’t leave the reader on a cliffhanger. Whew! I was glad about that. It did leave me wanting to see what happens next. So as soon as I can afford it I will pick up the next in the series. My inner mermaid needs more!

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Legend (Legend, #1)Legend by Marie Lu

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am SO impressed with this series! Especially since I had to read it backward. For the most part, I read it on my local library’s Kindle and listened to the library Overdrive version. This last book, book one, I actually had had the chance to buy the Audible version. I figured I will eventually buy all of this series (Kindle and Audible) so that someday I would read it in the correct order. If it is good and held together reading it the way I did, imagine how good it is reading it the right way!

Spoilers are hard to avoid as I write this. In fact, I thought by knowing what was to come I wouldn’t be able to continue. Then something happened between Metais and Day. Something seemed off as I remembered what was to happen in book two. Luckily, by the end of book one that issue revealed itself properly. Everything else held together very well. Again, I am so impressed with the world, characters and story that Marie Lu (author) built.

In this first book, you get to see how June and Day meet and start falling for each other. I had wondered about that. You get to see how Day meets Tess. You actually meet Day’s family. You meet all the people who play crucial roles later in the series and now you know why (if you read it back to front, that is).

Yesterday, I saw that Legend is on sale on Amazon. It is $3.00. If you can, I suggest you buy it. If I had more than a dollar to my name, I would buy it now. Alas, that will have to wait.

Now a comment on the narration by Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan who play June and Day respectfully. I don’t know if this is their first narration gig or if they were finding their voices to these characters, but this one felt like they were new. Especially, Mariel Stern, whose voice appeared higher and a little crackly in comparison to the later books. Maybe she was attempting to sound younger? And, of course, if they recorded them in order that would still be the case, right? But as this story continues both voices become stronger and true to the characters. I was often in a situation where wearing headphones and listening were impossible and I had to read the book strictly by sight, and there were times my eyes were tired and I just listened, either and both methods hold up and maintain a fantastic story. An author who writes very well, combined with narrators who read very well, makes a wonderful experience, even in a dystopian world.

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