Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Else I Read in April, 2014

These are books I read but didn't review on the blog.  All had short reviewes on Amazon and Goodreads and those reviews are posted here.

Deep in the Valley by Robyn Carr - I love all of Robyn Carr's series. I read Deep in the Valley after reading both the Thunder Point and Virgin River series. This is not up to the quality of either of those but it has its own charm. I felt like it was a practice for the other two. The story was a not as smooth, the writing not as good but I did love the characters. This series follows one main character and one main romance. If you like Robyn Carr I think you will over look the short coming and keep reading.

Just Over the Mountain by Robyn Carr The writing here was much better than in book one. Still the same main character, June, the doctor in Grace Valley. There is a mix of other characters but June and her romance is still the focus of the book. Still not up to the same standard as the Virgin River and Thunder Point books but this one was written first. One nice thing, the some of the characters carry over as side characters in the Virgin River series.

Down By the River by Robyn Carr - This finishes June and Jim's story. Their romance is the focus of this trilogy. The book has too many pages of explanation and backstory. All of that really slowed the book down. I still looked at this book and the other in the series as practice for Robyn Carr's Virgin River and Thunder Points books. I did like the characters and was sad to leave Grace Valley. I read this after finishing Virgin River and now want to go back and re-read the Virgin River books so I can keep up with June and everyone in Grace Valley. They show up as side characters in some of the Virgin River books so they are not entirely gone.

Bluebonnets for Elly by Sandra Nachlinger - Two thing captured my attention when I saw this book.  One - bluebonnets and two the author.  Both Sandra and I have a Texas connection and both of us love bluebonnets.  I often go back in the spring just to see them bloom.  Sandra is a fellow blogger and I enjoy seeing what she reads.  Bluebonnets for Elly is a sweet romance.  The journey for Elly and Derick is filled with romance, a little mystery, and some strange twists in turns.  I loved the fact that Derick's past is different and it adds a nice touch to the story.  This is a easy to read story.  The romance is sweet and gentle with just the right amount of the physical.  I did not have to skim like I often do with pages and pages of sex.  

The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - I have read the entire series leading up to The Great Escape.  I wondered what happened to Lucy Jorik after she ran away from her wedding minutes before walking down the aisle.  Now I know.  It is a good story with some twists and turns and it seems to end this group of stories.  I usually laugh a lot during a Susan Elizabeth Phillips books but with this on I just smiled several time.  Lucy and Panda both have some serious problems and so do several of the other characters.  There is a HEA for everyone and I did enjoy the book.  I just felt it was a little different from previous books.   

The Clockwork Scarab (Stoker and Holmes #1) by Colleen Gleason - I picked The Clockwork Scarab up in the YA section of my public library.  It is one of several books loosely based on the Sherlock Holmes books.  The two main characters are Mina Holmes (niece of Sherlock) and Evaline Stoker (daughter of Bram Stoker).  They are recruited by Irene Adler to find out why young women are disappearing.  Add Dylan (a male that arrived from the future and is looking for a way to get home), Pip (a man from the other side of town) and Inspector Greyling (a police inspector who keeps arriving on the scene) and you have the main cast.  It was a fun book that spend much of its time world and character building.  The mystery is almost solved but it does leave loose threads for future books.

Task Force Ombra: Grunt Life by Weston Ochse - I really like Military Science Fiction and have read several that I really liked in the last few months.  The theme in Grunt Life is different.  Everyone in Task Force Ombra is a veteran suffering from PTS and has tried to kill themselves.  They are offered another chance to make a difference by becoming part of a unit that will fight off an alien invasion.  It sounds interesting and they do have to fight.  What I found was that I could put the book down after reading a few chapters and not pick it up again for several days.  It took me over a month to finish.  It does feature the lives of the ordinary soldier and they do a lot of fighting.  Even so for me it was a very slow paced read.  This is book one and the ending was just a set up for future books.  If you are a Military Science Fiction fan give it a try.  You may find it more exciting than I did.

Inn at Last Chance by Hope Ramsay –I hadn’t read anything by Hope Ramsay so when Netgalley offered it as a read now I picked it up.  Last Chance is a small town in South Carolina and Inn at Last Chance is part of the series set in the town.  Inn At Last Chance worked well as a stand alone so don’t worry if you have not read any of the other books.   This is Gabriel Raintree’s and Jenny Carpenter’s story.  There is a touch of the paranormal in the story.  Jenny is a caretaker who has had horrible luck with men.  Gabriel is a writer who comes back to work on his latest novel.  Both have issues to work out and both have to deal with a ghost who just will not move on.  There is enough danger, tension and romance to keep the story interesting. 

An Unwilling Husband by Tera Shanley - Both Margaret Flemming (Maggie when she arrives out west) and Garret Shaw are interesting characters.  Their childhood friendship should have continued when Maggie returns but it does not.  Garret just knows that Maggie will not stick around.  It is a nice story with two separate elements that provide the needed tension.  First is the threat to Garret's land and the second is the relationship between Maggie and Garret.  That relationship is not working.  Maggie tries very hard and Garret is a closed door.  This is a familiar theme with some new twists.  It makes for a nice easy to read romance.

Up to the Challenge (An Anchor Island Novel) by Terri Osburn - I am trying a Amazon Prime membership this year and Up to the Challenge is the first book I have checked out using the membership.  

Both Lucas Dempsey and Sid Navarro are side characters in Meant to Be, Book One, of the Anchor Island Series. I love Sid who everyone thinks and treats as just one of the guys. Who would know under the shapeless clothes she has on sexy under ware and has a very girl friendly house. Lucas on the other hand just wants to stay away from Anchor Island and has done that for years. Sid's crush on Lucas comes face to face with reality when the two volunteer to run the Dempsey restaurant while Tom Dempsey recovers from a heart attack. The tension between Sid and Lucas keeps the story going. I loved both Sid and Lucas. Seeing Beth and Joe from the first book was great. Both Sid and Lucas said they were just having a summer fling even as their hearts said they were really starting a serious relationship.

There are some great lines between Sid and Lucas. This is a fun romance filled with tension, wonderful characters and a romantic journey to the HEA. Sometimes the second book in a series disappoints but not Up to the Challenge. It is a wonderful read.

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