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Dee's Blog Blog

i'll read anything and everything I can get my hands on - with the exception of horror and spiritual literature

Currently reading

Les Misérables
Victor Hugo, Norman Denny
Fight for Your Long Day
Alex Kudera
What's Left of Me
Kat Zhang
A Shot in the Dark
Jennifer Burrows
Southern Fried Blues
Jamie Farrell
Midsummer Moon - Laura Kinsale i've come to the conclusion that I like LK more as an audiobook - don't get me wrong, i think she is a good author, but I just think her books translate better into an audio format
The Paleo Diet for Athletes: The Ancient Nutritional Formula for Peak Athletic Performance - Loren Cordain, Joe Friel lots of good information - going to need to buy myself a copy so i can highlight important stuff - too much to remember off the top of my head
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) - Mindy Kaling i think she works better on TV than in book format...it felt kinda disjointed in places
Tempting Bella - Diana Quincy Review Copy Provided by PublisherI’ll admit, i’m a sucker for the arranged marriage trope…and even better, the forced marriage in order to settle a debt – so I got the double joy in Tempting Bella. Its interesting that I was reading this book and reading a thread on the Amazon forums about age differences in between characters in romance novels. And while there isn’t a significant age difference (7 years), it did make me think. Especially since at the beginning Bella was only 13 (yes, you read me right)…but thankfully the author did a nice job forward in time to when Bella was a bit older and more mature (although at times, I do say that tongue in cheek).I liked the idea of finding love with a couple that had actually been married for several years, although they had never officially been together. And how an individuals perceptions of one influences their behavior and beliefs (yes, that is the psychology geek in me speaking). While this is #2 in a series, it could easily be read as a stand-alone, but I am interested enough in going back and reading the first book, as well as later ones in the series. Overall, I gave Tempting Bella 3.5 stars and would recommend it to people who like historical romances with arranged marriages.
Educating Esme: Diary of a Teacher's First Year - Esmé Raji Codell this is one of those books that any teacher, or anyone inspiring to be a teacher should read (although, I don't fall into either of those 2 categories).
The Wishing Hill: A Novel - Holly Robinson Review Copy Provided By Author via Sisterhood of the Traveling BookI have to admit that I found it hard to write a review for this book. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoyed it – but I have so many thoughts going through my mind that I almost need to sit down and write out my thoughts before writing this review (of course, i’m actually not doing that). So after stepping away for a few days to think about what I wanted to write (but still not really knowing for sure), i’m back to attempt to write my review. Either way, regardless of what I write, this was not quite a five star read for me – there was just something missing to make it just miss out on that list. But it was a good read.One of the things I really enjoyed was the fact that while it was set in two different locations (Mexico and North-eastern US), and told from 2 different POV’s, that the story was pretty seemlessly woven – which made the reading all the more enjoyable. Sometimes when things jump between POV’s and locations, the story can seem really disjointed, but for some reason it worked here. Which I guess shows the strength of the author’s writing ability (and which is why I will likely pick up other books written by her in the future).I think my biggest issue with the story in general, was the character of Desiree. Have you ever come across a character that you literally want to slap silly because they are so self-absorbed? That was Desiree for me. Normally, I can deal with insane type characters (I mean, I really liked Gone Girl for all its general screwyness), but for some reason, I just couldn’t get past the character of Desiree. Oh the shallowness, self-absorbed twit that she was. Thankfully, the character of Claire was a great counter for her, in ways that I can’t necessarily describe without getting into a spoiler zone. The supporting cast of Juliet’s brother (Will), Ian (the handy-man), Desiree’s various Beau’s were entertaining and I would be interested in seeing some more of them in the future. I will admit that the ending had a bit of a cheese factor and was maybe a tad overdone which also kind of took away from the power of the rest of the story.Either way, I gave the book a solid 4 stars and I’ll be looking forward to reading more books by the author in the future.
Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself - Rich Roll so much to be said...and so little space...nah, just kidding - review to follow
Instant Gratification - Jill Shalvis enjoyed it more than the first one
The Best Advice I Ever Got: Lessons from Extraordinary Lives - Katie Couric I'll be the first to admit i'm normally not a fan of "self-help" type books but needed a book shelved as such for a challenge and my library had this one. But i was pleasantly surprised - while most of the advice is simplistic and obvious, sometimes you need that smack upside the head (a la gibbs) to make it sink in ;)
Risky Surrender (Take a Risk, #2) - Robin Bielman Review Copy Provided By PublisherSo I’ll admit that I went out and bought the first book in the series to read before reading this one because I was intrigued by the description and in doing so meeting Keats McCall (and BTW, I love the name) – so I was intrigued about him from then. Although, I will admit, that if I hadn’t been introduced to him in the book, I might not have been as interested in him, because I think his characterization in the book itself was lacking something. But Lucy was an intriguing character – she kind of reminded me of Anne Hathaway as the cat burgler in the most recent Batman movie…yes, I know a weird comparison, but hey it works…the story of Keats and Lucy was mildly entertaining and slightly different from a lot of the contemporary romances out there, but Lucy def. had a few TSTL moments which irked me (hey, what can i say, they really irk me). And the evil/bad guy just didn’t really intrigue me – I think that storyline needed to be more developed – in the short context of the book, it was just too empty (for lack of a better word). But don’t get me wrong, the story wasn’t bad – it was just lacking in a few places…but overall, I gave it 3 stars and will likely be checking out more by the author in the future.
Take Me - Diane Alberts Review Copy Provided by PublisherOk, let’s get first things first out of the way, holy hotness on the cover…I wanted to just get my hands on the guy and well…potentially do very naughty things…lol! Yes, I’ll admit, i’m shallow when it comes to covers, the hotter guys on them the better (I refuse to be ashamed of the books I read, and the covers they use). But moving on…I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical since this was book 4 in a series and I hadn’t read the previous books in the series and normally, I am a tad AR about that…but I didn’t really have the time to read them, so I took the chance and for the most part I enjoyed it. i mean, who wouldn’t enjoy a book that starts off with a guy (who is adamantly anti-marriage) insulting a dancer at a bar by calling her a stripper, that turns into a love-fest (for lack of a better word).Yes, there were a few times where parts of the story related back to previous books in the series, but it wasn’t so much that I felt completely lost and I think the author did a great job developing the relationship between Mike and Morgan. And I personally loved the fact that both of them were career minded and neither of them really wanted to give up what they had as singleton’s in order to fulfil the standard romance trope of happily single, and then all of a sudden married and popping out kids (which kind of irks me). Morgan was kick-ass and sassy and I found her totally relatable in a funky kind of way – the not willing to settle down as society seems to dictate, to march to her own tune.The smexy-ness in the book was appropriately high and hot ;) Holy man, was it hot in places (I even found myself waving my kindle over my face, because i’m sure I was blushing…lol). All I can say is that I am sure to be reading more by this author in the future. Overall, a solid 4 stars.
Wedding Cake and Big Mistakes - Nancy Naigle Review Copy Provided by Author via Sisterhood of the Traveling BookIts weird – I both liked this book in the series more than the previous ones and yet was disappointed with it. Weird, I know. I loved being back in Adam’s Grove and meeting up with the people from Sweet Tea and Secrets again – especially since the wedding between Jill and Garrett from the first book in the series was a key event in this one. And you got to meet Carolanne, the MC, who is a good friend of Jill and her law partner Conner. I think my biggest disappoint was that the book couldn’t decide if it wanted to be more romance, or more mystery.From the description off the back, I was expecting more from Carolanne’s relationship/estangement from her father – but it was kind of a fizzle…i wanted more conflict/angst – because that is kind of what I was expecting based on the description, and the storyline of Ben being suspected of murder just seemed like a minor tack-on. While there was a mystery, it kind of felt under-developed. Whereas, in the previous 2 books in the series, the murder (or other mystery) took place early on in the story, in this case, nothing happened until almost 2/3 of the way through the book, and then was solved equally as quick.But that being said, the story was well-written and engaging – I finished it in just over 2 metro rides (so about 2.5 hours) – but i was sucked into the story. I definately like visiting Adams Grove, even if the mystery in this case, didn’t really work for me. Overall, I gave the book 3 stars.
One Night in the Spa - Kathy Lyons Review Copy Provided By PublisherThere is just something sexy about a guy giving a girl a massage, the closeness between the two, the intimacy of the act. And I loved that part of the book, but for the most part, I was kind of disappointed. Kim kinda of drove me nuts quite a bit during the story – I just struggled to find anything that I liked about her – she was a tad self-obsessed and too woe is me, for me. but I did like David – even though, he was a bit of a jackass in places (i mean, there is one thing he did, which is like oh heck no, you didn’t just do that). But at the same time, he was there for Kim when she needed him – so it kind of made up for his potential douche-bagginess…(and yes, that is a word, or at least I think it is…)I’m not sure if I would personally read any more books by this author – while cute, it just didn’t quite work for me. Overall, I gave it 2.5 stars.
Eat Play Lust - Tawna Fenske Review Copy Provided By PublisherSometimes after reading lots of longer books, you need a shortie to clean the palate (for lack of a better phrase). And Eat, Play, Lust did just that. I can safely say that after reading it, I might not look at Tater Tots the same way again in the future. I never pegged them as a potential aphrodisiac, but man, that was one hot scene...lol! and I loved the use of SUP Yoga (Stand-Up Paddle Yoga) to move the story along. It was quick funny, in that, an online friend of mine had just been talking about trying it out and now I'm kind of interested (especially if there might be a hot guy involved for me ;) )The story itself was short, only about 55 pages, and so I was able to read it rather quickly (all of it while waiting for a prescription to be filled at the pharmacy), but for such a short book it really packed a punch. I would love to see a long book between Cami and Paul, or even with them as secondary characters. In fact, I would probably even buy this book over if it were revised/expanded to tell a longer story (can that be registered as a request please...)
Aunty Lee's Delights: A Singaporean Mystery - Ovidia Yu need to muse on rating/review some more
Love Waltzes In  - Alana Albertson review to follow - think DTWS meets GI Joe Marine style