Belgrave Square (Charlotte and Thomas Pitt #12) by Anne Perry

So I want to start out by saying I read this as an unabridged audiobook. The narrator was Devina Porter – so far she has narrated every Thomas Pitt novel I have listened to and she does a fantastic job. My husband got me into the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series this past year. He loves good mysteries and Anne Perry does an amazing job of adding twists and turns that you would never expect. Belgrave Square is not exception. The series are all stand alone books, but usually reference incidents or events in previous books. The author explains anything referenced from other books very well, so you do not get lost at all, but you learn about endings of some of the other cases Pitt has worked on. Not all the time, like in this story, but some times it happens.

The book is full of political intrigue, scandals, blackmail, the concerns and cares of Society, and the trials of the working class. I thought it was a great book. Throughout the book, there are developments and dead ends, sudden changes in people and the mystery of how to survive in Society. Like her other books, the case does not become clear until the very end, keeping you engaged throughout the investigation. I somewhat guessed (not completely correct, but not totally wrong either) who was doing what and being blackmailed for what, but the ending was a surprise, which is always nice. Also, some of the scandals mentioned were quite interesting to follow.

I think I have a tendency to like Charlotte more than Thomas, but I think it is because she can be so clever and daring where Thomas is restricted by his job. We also meet Sergeant Innes in this book. I hope to see more of him in future books, though I don’t think we will. He was a fun character. Also, when the story resolved, I felt there were a few things unsettled. I hope to hear more about the young couple that was trying to get together (I don’t want to spoil anything, so I’m not mentioning names) and also what happened to Pitt’s superior and his love interest.

For anyone getting into Anne Perry, I would recommend Silence in Hanover Close (it’s my favorite of her books so far). It was more amusing and surprising than this particular book, but they are both very good and worth the read.

My rating:

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Last Chance Family (Last Chance #8) by Hope Ramsay

For anyone looking for an easy read romance that is really good, this is a great book. It is part of the “Last Chance” series but is completely stand alone which was really nice. I always find it hard to jump into a series with a book that sounds fantastic, but you end up having to read the books before it just to get through the main story line. Not so with this one. From what I have gathered, the story interacts with characters from other books, but you do not need to have read them to understand anything in this particular book.

I thought the story line was a common enough one – half sister dies and brother needs to care for his niece. However, the author did a nice easy twist on it making it a good read. It is a story of redemption and forgiveness, love and acceptance, and about being true to your heart. It was a unique romance in that there are no explicit sex scenes which was a nice change. A little third base description, but the rest is alluded to and nothing more. I found the characters to have developed really well and were extremely easy to relate to and realistic. It would be a great summer read. I did love the end, I just wish it had gone on a teensy bit more, maybe another chapter or brief epilogue. However, I’m hoping that their story is touched upon in the next book in the series.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romance, is looking to get in to romance reading, or is looking for a great read for a rainy or lazy summer day.

My rating:

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Wolf’s Fall (Alpha Pack #6) by J. D. Tyler

So I was really looking forward to reading this book as it was about the commander of the team the series is about. The story line was continued quite well from the book before, and there were a few unexpected twists. There was a lot of sadness in the book, but the spirits of the characters buoy the emotional heaviness. The character of Nick developed quite well, but not as well as some of the other main characters have progressed in different books. It did a fantastic job of setting up the story line to progress into new books, as well as establishing the basis for a few different potential couples. Again, the book can be read as a stand alone, but you really should follow this series from the beginning. The series in this book and the two before has started to incorporate vampires as well, but does it quite well. This book, the alpha mates with a vampire, but the author uses the relationship to help mend both. It is a good series for anyone who would like to start into paranormal romance. This book would be great for anyone who enjoys paranormal romance and specifically for wolf shifters.

My rating:

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Link to J.D.Tyler’s official site for the Alpha Pack! http://www.jdtyler.com/alpha-pack.html

January 24, 2015 – National Readathon Day

January 24th, 2015 will be the first National Readathon Day. Penguin Random House, Goodreads, Mashable, and the National Book Foundation have created the readathon to encourage literacy and fundraise to support programs to teach and encourage reading.

Join readers across the United States as we read between noon and 4 p.m. in our respective time zones. The tags #timetoread and #readathon are already lighting up Twitter, so be sure to post and use the hastags if you are participating! Many groups are hosting reading parties to celebrate.

You can sign up and pledge financial support here: https://www.firstgiving.com/10658/national-readathon-day

Here is the link for the information: http://global.penguinrandomhouse.com/readathon/

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

So to be honest, I took a couple days to think about how I wanted to write this review. This was one of those books that I couldn’t decide if I liked it or hated it. I’ve decided that for literary reasons, I’m going to like it. The story line is absolutely brilliant. It is not predictable at all, which was a fantastic change. Also, it was not told in first person from any of the main characters – it was told from the perspective of the housekeeper as she was relying the history to her new employer, which made it more interesting. This was also done extremely well. You were pulled into the story, but when it bounced back to the present day, it wasn’t jarring or disconcerting; it flowed really well. I do believe she chose some of the hardest emotions to portray and did it with such technique and skill that you felt for every character. Some you loved, some you hated, some you pitied, some you resented, and some you celebrated. I cannot say it is a happy book, because it is not. Heathcliff reminded me of an obsessive stalker, as well as an abuser, and Catherine (the first one) was a terribly selfish, self-absorbed person. However, you can see the author’s study of human behavior and interaction in the realistic way the characters interacted in the book. Each had a distinct personality and was developed well. You end up pitying Heathcliff, but throughout the book you really hate him. I did love the way the book ended. I would recommend the book to anyone who likes classics or can appreciate the book for the literary quality it holds.

My rating:

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Cole’s Redemption (Alpha Pack #5) by J. D. Tyler

This is the fifth book in the Alpha Pack series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but I recommend reading the other books first. The author does a good job of filling in back stories, but there are several stories that carry, build, and change through the series. I did really like this book, though. Probably my favorite of the series so far. Magic, werewolves, treachery, fighting, and sex mix in a good combination. It’s a good crossover book for moving from regular sci-fi to paranormal romance. The story line is fairly original. I particularly liked the depth to which the main characters were developed – it is very easy to relate and connect to the characters. The author does a great job of building and maintaining character depths, connections, and interactions. I am impressed at how she connects the books and maintains such strong secondary story lines across several books and changes to the story line. She also does a good job of setting up future story lines in a way that makes readers want to read the next book(s).

My rating:

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The Charmed Sphere by Catherine Asaro

This is actually a re-read for me. I read this book when it first came out in 2004, over 10 years ago. I loved it then, so when I saw it pop up on my suggested reading list, I decided to re-read it. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it nearly as much. I found the story line to be somewhat basic: a kingdom made vulnerable by the death of a king and led by a reluctant heir is invaded. There were high points, however. The way the author developed magic in her world was quite interesting. I liked how she thought of it, a very nice change. Honestly though, I only really finished it to see what happened to the characters. I did not attach to them like I do with many books. However, the characters were interesting. Overall, not a bad book for teen readers or people starting out with sci-fi.

My rating:

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Book Formats

So there is a lot of debate out there about which types of book formats are the best. Well, I thought I’d weigh in on the subject. Personally, I use pretty much every book format: mass market paperback, hard back, audiobook, and e-book. I thought I’d share the pros and cons I have discovered with each type.

Audiobooks – I was never very into audiobooks until about three years ago. I am a visual person, so text appeals to me. However, I landed a new job that had a one-hour commute one way and was dating (whom I am now married to 🙂 ) that lived a ten hour drive away – I learned to like audiobooks. First, they allow me to feel like I accomplished something on my drive. Second, I often had a lot of trouble reading classics because I would get bored with the large words and long phrases (which is what I actually love about them – but they take work to get through) so audiobooks enable me to focus long enough to read the classics. However, I discovered that my recall on the story, characters, plot, etc. was very poor after I had completed the book. When I read, I can pretty much recall the whole story, but not so with audiobooks. So, whenever I come across a book that I listen to and really love, I buy the paper format.

  • RECOMMENDATIONS: I buy my audiobooks through iTunes because they are cheaper and allow you preview the book before hand. PREVIEW THE BOOK! It is exceedingly difficult to get through an audiobook where you can’t stand the way the narrator is speaking…

E-books – I love e-books for the ease they offer when traveling and carrying. I take books with me everywhere, and my Kindle has allowed me to take many more books. Also, e-books have a tendency to be cheaper. If there is a book that I am not sure I would be interested in, I buy the e-book. What I don’t like about e-books is that if the internet or electricity crashes you can’t read them. Also, you can’t move the format between different sellers (Kindle, Nook, etc). So again, if I really love the book, I buy the paper version.

Hard Backs – I have not really found an advantage to hard back books. Aside from the larger text size and the earlier release date, I usually do not buy hard back books. That being said, my husband and I are in the process of developing a family collection that is made up of hard backs of classics that we favor.

Mass Market Paperbacks – I love mass market. Cheaper, easy to store, light weight, and can take a beating LOL. The vast majority of my collection is mass market or trade paperbacks (when the book isn’t available in mass market).

Well, those are my thoughts. I hope they help you guys!

2015 Reading Challenges

I have decided to take part in two reading challenges this year:

2015 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge

& 

2015 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge

I have decided that any book I read can count for only one category on each challenge, but it can still count towards both challenges. I will be making notes on the pages have set up to mark off which challenge tasks I have finished and with which books. I look forward to a very interesting year!