Friday, November 24, 2017

Book Review: Prisoners in the Palace by Michaela MacColl

Prisoners in the Palace
Author: Michaela MacColl
Publication: Chronicle Books; First Printing edition (October 13, 2010)

Description: London, 1838. Sixteen-year-old Liza's dreams of her society debut are dashed when her parents are killed in an accident. Penniless, she accepts the position of lady's maid to young Princess Victoria and steps unwittingly into the gossipy intrigue of the servant's world below-stairs as well as the trickery above. Is it possible that her changing circumstances may offer Liza the chance to determine her own fate, find true love, and secure the throne for her future queen?

Meticulously based on newly discovered information, this riveting novel is as rich in historical detail as Catherine, Called Birdy, and as sizzling with intrigue as The Luxe.

My Thoughts: Before Victoria became a queen who ruled for sixty-four years and had an age named after her, she was Her Royal Highness Victoria Kent living in a shabby Kensington Palace and firmly under the thumb of her mother and Sir John Conroy. This is the story of the year before she becomes queen told by Miss Elizabeth Hastings.

Liza Hastings is a gentlewoman who was orphaned at seventeen and saddled with her father's debts. She is offered a position as a Lady's maid to Princess Victoria and her governess Baroness Lehzen and quickly becomes part of the political intrigue at Kensington Palace.

Liza is determined to help Victoria thwart the political ambitions of her mother and Sir John. Because Liza was raised all over Europe, she is fluent in German which is the language most often spoken in Victoria's home. Keeping her knowledge a secret allows her to learn of some of Sir John's plans.

When Liza learns that Victoria is being denigrated in the press, she meets Will Fulton who is the one publishing the broadsheets and, along with Victoria, uses them to get back at Sir John. Sir John is a dastardly villain who also seduces housemaids and one plot thread has Liza tracking down the young woman who had her job before her which allows us to see what life is like for a woman without prospects in England at this time.

The story was well written and mixes a variety of fictional and real characters to tell a fascinating story. Excerpts from Liza's and Victoria's journals add more detail. I recommend this one for fans of historical fiction.

Favorite Quote:
Inside Boy's anxiety was infectious. "What's a peeler?" Liza whispered after the man had passed.

"These new policemen. We call them peelers because they're Sir Robert Peel's men. Some folks call 'em bobbies."
I bought this one Oct. 20, 2010. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Book Review: The Door in the Alley by Adrienne Kress

The Door in the Alley
Author: Adrienne Kress
Series: The Explorers (Book 1)
Publication: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (April 25, 2017)

Description: Featuring a mysterious society, a secretive past, and a pig in a teeny hat, The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is the first book in a new series for fans of The Name of This Book Is a Secretand The Mysterious Benedict Society. Knock once if you can find it—but only members are allowed inside. 

This is one of those stories that start with a pig in a teeny hat. It’s not the one you’re thinking about. (This story is way better than that one.)

This pig-in-a-teeny-hat story starts when a very uninquisitive boy stumbles upon a very mysterious society. After that, there is danger and adventure; there are missing persons, hired thugs, a hidden box, a lost map, and famous explorers; and there is a girl looking for help that only uninquisitive boys can offer.

The Explorers: The Door in the Alley is the first book in a series that is sure to hit young readers right in the funny bone.

My Thoughts: Middle schoolers looking for action, adventure and footnotes won't want to miss THE DOOR IN THE ALLEY. Sebastian is a serious twelve-year-old attending a science and math magnet school. He is a rule follower. One day he discovers a sign on a door in an alley (that he only went down because his cousin took a wrong turn) that said The Explorers Society. He couldn't help but be curious about what the society did but was almost able to put it out of his mind until the day he rescued a little pig in a teeny hat who owner was a member of the society.

Sebastian helped him take his pig home, had tea with the leader of the society, and began to work at the Society to avoid being arrested for trespass. I loved his descriptions of the many strange rooms in the Society and the many strange people who visited there. Most strange of all were the Filipendulous Five that Sebastian learns about when he discovers a hidden wooden box filled with information about them.

Evie is an eleven-year-old orphan who is living at the Wayward School and attending weekly dinner parties with the Andersons who have befriended her. She finds the dinner parties very awkward and the Andersons very boring. At least, they were boring until one evening when two men broke in and threatened them all with guns if the Andersons didn't turn over some sort of mysterious key. Mrs. Anderson sent Evie out through a small tunnel with a letter and directions to go to the Explorers Society for help. The letter was from a grandfather that she thought was dead. The Explorers Society won't help Evie but Sebastian will. Rule-following Sebastian steps way out of his comfort zone when he offers Evie his help.

The two of them have lots of adventures as they try to find the missing key and the missing grandfather while avoiding dastardly villains. The story ends on a cliffhanger and will be continued in THE RECKLESS RESCUE which will be published in April 2018.

Favorite Quote:
Alleys in general tend to have an air of mystery that can be awfully ostentatious* but this alley in particular was, well, for want of a better word, creepy.

*Though they remain not nearly as pretentious as culs-de-sac.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, November 17, 2017

ARC Review: Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne

Rosemarked
Author: Livia Blackburne
Series: Rosemarked
Publication: Disney-Hyperion (November 7, 2017)

Description: A healer who cannot be healed . . .

When Zivah falls prey to the deadly rose plague, she knows it's only a matter of time before she fully succumbs. Now she's destined to live her last days in isolation, cut off from her people and unable to practice her art-until a threat to her village creates a need that only she can fill.

A soldier shattered by war . . .

Broken by torture at the hands of the Amparan Empire, Dineas thirsts for revenge against his captors. Now escaped and reunited with his tribe, he'll do anything to free them from Amparan rule-even if it means undertaking a plan that risks not only his life but his very self.

Thrust together on a high-stakes mission to spy on the capital, the two couldn't be more different: Zivah, deeply committed to her vow of healing, and Dineas, yearning for vengeance. But as they grow closer, they must find common ground to protect those they love. And amidst the constant fear of discovery, the two grapple with a mutual attraction that could break both of their carefully guarded hearts.

This smart, sweeping fantasy with a political edge and a slow-burning romance will capture fans of The Lumatere Chronicles and An Ember in the Ashes.

My Thoughts: This story begins a new fantasy trilogy. The Amparan empire is on the move. Zivah is a healer for her agricultural village. They surrendered peacefully and are now forced to house Amparan troops and pay the required tithes for the empire. When the troops currently in their village come down with the Rose plague, Zivah and the other village healers need to tend to them so that the emperor doesn't believe that they let the troops die. Zivah tends to the commander of the troops and manages to bring him through the disease but catches it herself.

There are three outcomes for those who catch the Rose plague. First and most commonly, they die. Second, they survive but end up rosemarked - still able to spread the disease and with a lifespan that could be measured in months or up to ten years. Third, they could end up umbermarked. The umbermarked are immune from the plague and can go back to their ordinary lives. The commander Arxa ends up umbermarked while Zivah finds herself rosemarked.

Dineas is a Shidadi tribesman. The Shidadi didn't peacefully surrender and are still fighting. Dineas was captured and tortured for information until he caught the Rose plague and was discarded with a bunch of other corpses. He survived umbermarked and managed to get back to his tribe. His leader and the leader of Zivah's village are in talks about uniting in opposition to the empire.

When Zivah is given an invitation to the emperor's city to be a healer to the city's rosemarked, that seems to be a good opportunity for Dineas and Zivah to act as spies for the rebels. Zivah will be living with Arxa's rosemarked daughter. Dineas will take one of Zivah's potions which gives him the amnesia that is often a side effect of the plague and join the troops.

Zivah and Dineas have different viewpoints and Dineas doesn't really respect Zivah. However, once he takes the potion he becomes a different man. He is lighter and friendlier and becomes Zivah's friend and even falls in love with her. Zivah is torn because she knows that the other Dineas is so different. She begins to love the new Dineas but doesn't want to all in love because she is living under a death sentence.

Together the two discover a number of things and pass the news back to their elders. When they are discovered, they are forced to flee which is where this story ends. I am eager to read the next book in this trilogy to find out how their relationship develops now that there are no more potions between them. I also want to know if the seeds they planted with General Arxa will cause changes in his loyalty.

I thought the characters were well drawn and interesting people. I especially liked Zivah's struggle with her duty as a healer and her need to be a spy for her people. I also liked both Dineas versions and could understand how different it would be to balance both personalities.

I recommend this for readers looking for a new fantasy world.

Favorite Quote:
Dineas snorts in disgust. "Must be nice, buying your safety with the blood of others."

And now I'm glad I'm bent over my herbs so he can't see my jaw clench. "We do what we must. And we've had our share of suffering."

"Blind kittens, groping at the teat. And they're surprised when they're thrown into a bag to be drowned."

Heat floods through me at my words. "And where has fighting gotten your people? Does it comfort your dead in their graves?"
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

ARC Review: Haven by Mary Lindsey

Haven
Author: Mary Lindsey
Series: Haven (Book 1)
Publication: Entangled: Teen (November 7, 2017)

Description: "We all hold a beast inside. The only difference is what form it takes when freed."

Rain Ryland has never belonged anywhere. He’s used to people judging him for his rough background, his intimidating size, and now, his orphan status. He’s always been on the outside, looking in, and he’s fine with that. Until he moves to New Wurzburg and meets Friederike Burkhart.

Freddie isn’t like normal teen girls, though. And someone wants her dead for it. Freddie warns he’d better stay far away if he wants to stay alive, but Rain’s never been good at running from trouble. For the first time, Rain has something worth fighting for, worth living for. Worth dying for.

My Thoughts: Rain Ryland grew up on the streets and in shelters in Houston. His only relative is his drug addicted mother who nicknamed him Rain because he represented the storm of trouble and ruin that followed her around. Despite that and the neglect, Rain managed to grow up to be kind and willing to fight for the underdog. Once his mother ODs Rain finds himself shipped off to an aunt he didn't know he had in New Wurzberg, a small town in the hill country of Texas.

Once in New Wurzburg, Rain finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy and a culture he couldn't have even imagined. He falls for Freddie Burkholdt who is a girl with more than her fair share of secrets. Freddie is reeling from the recent death of her father in what she was told was a farming accident. It doesn't take long to determine that her father was murdered and Rain is determined to find out who killed him.

This is an urban fantasy story with werewolves and witches living secretly in New Wurzburg. There is currently conflict between the traditional power structure and the new power structure that Freddie's father advocated for before his death. Since many of the witches are in control of the town it was easy to engineer a coverup and it makes it hard to know who was involved in the murder because hiding things is just second nature for them.

This is also a romance as Rain falls for Freddie and feels that he finally has something to live for. I liked the relationship between Rain and Freddie and could completely understand why she kept trying to play down the romance because she wanted to keep him safe. I liked that Rain wouldn't be set aside and kept trying to convince Freddie that he knew his own mind and what he wanted.

I liked the magical system in the story and the world building. I liked some of the side characters like Grant and Petra who were witches of Rain and Freddie's generation.

Fans of romance and urban fantasy will enjoy this well told tale.

Favorite Quote:
"This is a bad idea." She brushed her hair over her shoulder.

"You say that a lot."

"Well, you have a lot of bad ideas."
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Book Review: Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson

Into the Bright Unknown
Author: Rae Carson
Series: Gold Seer Trilogy (Book 3)
Publication: Greenwillow Books (October 10, 2017)

Description: The stunning conclusion to Rae Carson’s New York Times–bestselling Gold Seer trilogy.

Leah Westfall’s journey has been one of ever-present peril, hidden magic, harsh realities, loss, life, determination, and love. She has searched for a place to belong and a place—and people—to call home, people who can accept a girl with magical powers that prove to be both blessing and curse.

Rae Carson has been lauded as one of YA’s best writers of fantasy, and fans of Leigh Bardugo, Sarah J. Maas, and Westworld will be riveted by the conclusion of this remarkable historical fantasy trilogy.

Leah is poised to have everything she ever dreamed of on the long, dangerous journey to California’s gold fields—wealth, love, the truest friends, and a home. Thanks to her magical ability to sense precious gold, Leah, her fiancĂ© Jefferson, and her friends have claimed rich land in California Territory. But their fortune makes them a target, and when a dangerous billionaire sets out to destroy them, Leah and her friends must fight back with all their power and talents.

Leah’s magic is continuing to strengthen and grow, but someone is on to her—someone who might have a bit of magic herself. The stakes are higher than ever as Lee and her friends hatch a daring scheme that could alter California’s history forever.

With a distinctive heroine and a unique interpretation of American history, Into the Bright Unknown strikes a rich vein of romance, magic, and adventure.

My Thoughts: When Becky gets a letter telling her that the house her husband had disassembled and shipped through the Panama Canal has arrived in San Francisco, most of the group decides to go along. The bachelors are looking to advance their careers and Leah and Jefferson want to see the Pacific Ocean.

San Francisco is a bustling, lawless town. They find Becky's house but without her deceased husband she has no right to it. She can attend an auction and try to buy it back. Leah discovers that Hardwick, who offered to get her a charter for her town of Glory, is one of the biggest crooks around. He is paying off people to get access to land which he sells over and over again. He is amassing a huge amount of gold which he intends to take back East with him to buy his way into the political power structure.

Leah and her crew want to destroy his plans and they plan an elaborate con to ruin his reputation and take his gold away from him. Leah develops new abilities in this one. Not only can she find gold but she can pull or push it too.

I loved the historical detail in this series. I also loved that Leah was a smart, honorable person who wanted to help those less fortunate than herself. This was a very satisfying conclusion to the Gold Seer Trilogy.

Favorite Quote:
My whole body is tense, like a bent spring. "That's not fair."

He puffs himself up like a cock ready to cry doodle-doo. "Sweet girl, you'll learn. Life's not fair."

"Then we're honor bound to make it fair," I snap.

He laughs at that, a genuine belly laugh, and it's like a slap in my face.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

ARC Review: Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda

Fragments of the Lost
Author: Megan Miranda
Publication: Crown Books for Young Readers (November 14, 2017)

Description: From the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and The Perfect Stranger comes a suspenseful psychological mystery about one girl's search to uncover the truth behind her ex-boyfriend's death. Perfect for fans of We Were Liars and 13 Reasons Why.

Jessa Whitworth knew she didn't belong in her ex-boyfriend Caleb's room. But she couldn't deny that she was everywhere--in his photos, his neatly folded T-shirts, even the butterfly necklace in his jeans pocket . . . the one she gave him for safe keeping on that day.

His mother asked her to pack up his things--even though she blames Jessa for his accident. How could she say no? And maybe, just maybe, it will help her work through the guilt she feels about their final moments together.

But as Jessa begins to box up the pieces of Caleb's life, they trigger memories that make Jessa realize their past relationship may not be exactly as she remembered. And she starts to question whether she really knew Caleb at all.

Each fragment of his life reveals a new clue that propels Jessa to search for the truth about Caleb's accident. What really happened on the storm-swept bridge?

My Thoughts: Jessa is grieving the death of her ex-boyfriend Caleb when Caleb's mother asks her to pack up his room. Jessa agrees because she has so many questions about him and about the day he stopped at her cross country meet and then was swept away in a flash flood. She is looking for pieces of her life that she shared with him and hoping to learn more about the boy she lost.

Each new discovery raises more questions and she begins to wonder if she ever knew Caleb at all. She begins to believe that she only knew the barest traces of what made Caleb Caleb. Each picture she finds brings back memories of happier times and we see flashbacks of Caleb and Jessa's life together.

But things aren't adding up for Jessa and she begins to try to track down the places he took her to solve the mystery. She is beginning to wonder if Caleb really died in that flood. Caleb's best friend Max also has questions and flashbacks reveal that he and Jessa have some complications in their relationship too.

This was a story that started out as a girl grieving the loss of her boyfriend and turned into an intriguing mystery. I enjoyed the writing and the story. The emotions that Jessa felt - grief, guilt, confusion - were all clear. I recommend the book to mystery fans.

Favorite Quote:
There are too many unknowns: the money he supposedly took from Max, that we cannot find; the unused bus tickets; the story Terrance Bilson told me about his college visit, and the man who showed up looking for him. As if Caleb had this whole other life, hidden beneath.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Book Review: Long Way Home by Katie McGarry

Long Way Home
Author: Katie McGarry
Series: Thunder Road (Book 3)
Publication: Harlequin Teen (January 31, 2017)

Description: Seventeen-year-old Violet has always been expected to sit back and let the boys do all the saving

It's the code her father, a member of the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, raised her to live by. Yet when her dad is killed carrying out Terror business, Violet knows it's up to her to do the saving. To protect herself, and her vulnerable younger brother, she needs to cut all ties with the club—including Chevy, the boy she's known and loved her whole life.

But when a rival club comes after Violet, exposing old secrets and making new threats, she's forced to question what she thought she knew about her father, the Reign of Terror and what she thinks she wants. Which means reevaluating everything: love, family, friends…and forgiveness.
He h
Caught in the crosshairs between loyalty and freedom, Violet must decide whether old friends can be trusted—and if she's strong enough to be the one person to save them all.

My Thoughts: This story is Chevy and Violet's romance. Their viewpoints alternate with each chapter. Violet has broken up with Chevy despite the fact that she still loves him. After her father's death, she is angry and doesn't want anything to do with the Terror. Chevy has always been torn between his loyalty to the Terror which is run by his grandfather and his loyalty to his mother who doesn't want anything to do with the motorcycle club. He has always felt like the knot on a tug-of-war rope and fears that choosing one with cost him the other.

When Violet is kidnapped by the Riot and Chevy is taken along because he was there too. Both face all sorts of danger and, even after being rescued, suffer all kinds of trauma. Violet is told that in order to protect her mother and brother she will have to betray the Terror and provide information to frame Eli. Meanwhile, Chevy is given information that leads him to believe that his father James was a traitor to the Terror.

The is an emotionally intense story as are all of McGarry's books. Both Violet and Chevy are torn between loyalties and have difficult choices to make. As a background note and as what I see is the theme of the book is a essay that they have to write for English about Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken. Both Chevy and Violet need to choose a path for their lives.

This was a wonderful story that drew me in and kept me reading until the final page was turned.

Favorite Quote:
"I'm eighteen."

He tilts his head. "That's not what Eli said."

"I turned eighteen the day I came home from the Riot." I don't blame anyone for forgetting. We've all been too busy cauterizing the bleeding while waltzing through a mine field.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

State of the Stack (Nov. 1, 2017)

This is my monthly State of the Stack post. It is my way to keep track of my review books and to hopefully reduce the stack that I have waiting for me. I take a look at my review commitments on or near the first of the month. Link with Avalalinha's Books (description below) to check out other people's progress.

Here is my Review Books Spreadsheet I list them in publication order and sort them by month. I can quickly see how many books I have for each date. Ideally, this keeps me from over-committing to review books. Check my spreadsheet to find out where I got each book.

I also do this post because sometimes (frequently) review books sit on my stack for a while before I read and review them. I try to read and review books within two weeks of publication date. Sometimes I can't, though, if too many books are releasing on the same date or if the book arrives too near its publication date and my calendar is already full.

I am very grateful to the authors and publishers who support my reading habit.

My Review Pile

November
Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne (Nov. 7)
Lure of Oblivion by Suzanne Wright (Nov. 21)

December
 No Place Like You by Emma Douglas (Dec. 5)
Pathways edited by Mercedes Lackey (Dec. 5)
 Rugged Texas Cowboy by Lora Leigh (Dec. 5)
Bury the Past by James L'Etoile (Dec. 12)
 A Case of Syrah, Syrah by Nancy J. Parra (Dec. 12)
A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert (Dec. 12)
Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm (Dec. 19)
Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins (Dec. 26)

January
 Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley (Jan. 2)
Dragon Blood by Eileen Wilks (Jan. 2)
 The English Wife by Lauren Willig (Jan. 9)
A Mortal Likeness by Laura Joh Rowland (Jan. 9)
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Megan Spooner (Jan. 9)
A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (Jan. 16)
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann (Jan. 23)

February
 The Greed by Scott Bergstrom (Feb. 6)
The Ambrose Deception by Emily Ecton (Feb. 13)
The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delany (Feb. 13)
 No One Can Know by Lucy Kerr (Feb. 13)
The Sweetest Kind of Fate by Crystal Cestari (Feb. 13)
Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare (Feb. 20)
Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda (Feb. 20)
The Policeman's Daughter by Trudy Nan Boyce (Feb. 27)
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Feb. 27)

March
Losing Leah by Tiffany King (March 20)
Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston (March 27)
Lost Crow Conspiracy by Rosalyn Eves (March 27)

April and May
The Window by Amelia Brunskill (April 3)
White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig (April 24)
Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton (May 22)

I Read This Month

These are listed in the order I read them. Links go to my reviews for all that have been posted already. Otherwise, the date the review is scheduled for is listed.
  1. Make It Count by Tamar Sloan (Oct. 18)
  2. Death at the Emerald by R. J. Koreto (Oct. 26) 
  3. Much Ado About Murder by Elizabeth J. Duncan (Nov. 2) 
  4. Unholy City by Carrie Smith (Nov. 4) 
  5. A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford (Nov. 8) 
  6. Fragments of the Lost by Megan Miranda (Nov.8) 
  7. Twisted Truth by Melinda Leigh (Oct. 24) 
  8. City of Lies by Victoria Thompson (Nov. 9) 
  9. Haven by Mary Lindsey (Nov. 15)
Read Previously, Reviews Posted This Month
  1. Osiris by Eric C. Anderson (Oct. 4) 
  2. A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron (Oct. 5) 
  3. Death Overdue by Allison Brook (Oct. 7) 
  4. Berserker by Emmy Laybourne (Oct. 6) 
  5. The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman (Oct. 11) 
  6. Best-Laid Plants by Marty Wingate (Oct. 12) 
  7. House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick (Oct. 18) 
  8. Mind Game by Iris Johansen (Oct. 19)
I Added These Books

These are listed in the order I received them. Links go to Amazon. Date published is listed in parentheses.
  1. Make It Count by Tamar Sloan (Oct. 10)
  2. No Place Like You by Emma Douglas (Dec. 5)
  3. The Cat of the Baskervilles by Vicki Delany (Feb. 13)
  4. No One Can Know by Lucy Kerr (Feb. 13)
  5. Lost Crow Conspiracy by Rosalyn Eves (March 27)
  6. Twisted Truth by Melinda Leigh (Oct. 31) 
  7. Lure of Oblivion by Suzanne Wright (Nov. 21)
  8. Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins (Dec. 26)
  9. Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton (May 22)
  10. The Policeman's Daughter by Trudy Nan Boyce (Feb. 27)
  11. Dragon Blood by Eileen Wilks (Jan. 2)
  12. Pathways (Valdemar) by Mercedes Lackey (Dec. 5)
  13. The English Wife by Lauren Willig (Jan. 9)
  14. Truth Be Told Kendra Elliot (Nov. 7)
  15. The Sweetest Kind of Fate by Crystal Cestari (Feb. 13)
  16. The Window by Amelia Brunskill (April 3)
  17. The Ambrose Deception by Emily Ecton (Feb. 13)
  18. Prince in Disguise by Stephanie Kate Strohm (Dec. 19)
  19. Rosemarked by Livia Blackburne (Nov. 7)
  20. Haven by Mary Lindsey (Nov. 7)
Next Month's Plan

I added a number of new review books to the pile this month. I am keeping up with review books and managing to fit in some from my own TBR Mountain as well. My calendar is as full as I would like it for December, January and February so I will be very selective about any new review books being released those months. It doesn't mean that I won't accept any but I will try to be selective.

********
I am also linking up with the State of the ARC meme. Here is the explanation and rules.

State of the ARC is a monthly meme at Avalinah’s Books meant to motivate you to finish up all your long overdue ARCs (Advanced or Early Reader Copies). You can track your reading progress and link up with your own post. Most commonly it comes out on the 30th of every month.

Rules of State of the ARC:

  • Mention that you’re linking up with State of the ARC @ AvalinahsBooks, which is a fun way to share our ARC progress, challenges, wins, woes and mishaps.
  • Include the link to this post, or the current State of the ARC post. You can use my State of the ARC image too.
  • Don’t forget to visit all the other people in the link-up and comment.
  • And most importantly – have fun!

Book Review: The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

The Friday Society
Author: Adrienne Kress
Publication: Dial Books (December 6, 2012)

Description: An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns–and the heroines who use them all

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician's assistant. The three young women's lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It's up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

My Thoughts: This is a steampunk story with friendship and lots of girl power. Cora is a lab assistant to inventory Lord White who found her in a poor part of town and educated and trained her. Nellie is a magician's assistant who was discovered when she was a child doing burlesque. Michiko is was in training to become a samurai when she encountered her current employer and finds herself in London giving fighting lessons.

The story begins by introducing the three girls and their mentors before it introduces the mystery. Each girl has part of the story and it isn't until they all meet that they get a better picture of what is going on.

I liked that each girl has a unique personality and a unique relationship with their mentors. I likes the steampunk gadgets that Cora and the villains of the story invent. I liked the friendship that grew between the girls as they teamed up, each with their own particular skill set, to solve murders and find out who was blackmailing London.

There were lots of interesting situations and the villains were way over-the-top from the scientist who was collecting body parts and had a special interest in eyes to the grave robbers who supplied him with bodies.

This was a fun adventure.

Favorite Quote:
"It's a very long story."

Which clearly wasn't a good enough excuse for him.

And so...she told him everything.

That she could think to make up in the moment.
I bought this one in 2012. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Book Review: In Other Lands by Sarah Rees Brennan

In Other Lands
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Publication: Big Mouth House (July 17, 2017)

Description: Sometimes it’s not the kid you expect who falls through to magicland, sometimes it’s . . . Elliott. He’s grumpy, nerdy, and appalled by both the dearth of technology and the levels of fitness involved in swinging swords around. He’s a little enchanted by the elves and mermaids. Despite his aversion to war, work, and most people (human or otherwise) he finds that two unlikely ideas, friendship and world peace, may actually be possible.

My Thoughts: IN OTHER LANDS is an engaging and different sort of contemporary fantasy. Elliot is offered the opportunity to visit a magical land. But Elliot is not the hero type. He is the abrasive, sarcastic, annoying type. Socially inept and convinced that he is smarter than everyone else. Elliot finds it no easier to make friends in the Borderlands than he does on Earth. It doesn't help that he is attending a battle school and has absolutely no interest in fighting or weapons. He is on the counselor track which is fading away from lack of use.

He meets and falls immediately in love with Serene-Heart-in-the-Chaos-of-Battle who is a elf maiden and who doesn't really understand why they are letting men - the obviously weaker sex - train to be fighters. He also meets Luke Sunborn who is the golden boy who does everything well and is the one everyone wants to be near.

The three of them form a group of their own though Elliot is quick to point out - frequently - that he and Luke are not friends.

This tells the story of four years at the battle camp where they grow into their talents and their relationships change. I loved that this story twists some of the usual fantasy tropes through Elliot's sarcastic viewpoint. I liked his fascination with the other sorts of people who live in this world - elves, dryads, harpies, trolls, and Elliot's favorite mermaids. I liked that Elliot was determined to write the treaties that would keep all these types of people at peace and workin together.

Relationships make up a huge part of this story as does sexual identity. Elliot was abandoned by his mother and ignored by his father which helps explain the reasons why he doesn't know how to relate to other people and chooses to keep them at a distance by hurting them before they can hurt him. It takes great persistence to be Elliot's friend.

I really enjoyed this story.

Favorite Quote:
Elliot especially did not like the "other kids" aspect of magic land. Elliot had "does not interact well with peers" on all his report cards.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Book Review: Golden by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Golden
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Series: Golden (Book 1)
Publication: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (July 25, 2006)

Description: When Lissy James moves from California to Oklahoma, she finds herself in the middle of a teenage nightmare: a social scene to rival a Hollywood movie. And if understanding the hierarchy of the Goldens vs. the Nons isn’t hard enough, Lissy’s ever growing Aura Vision is getting harder and harder to hide, and if she’s not careful, she’s going to become a Non faster than you can say “freak.”

But it’s becoming clear that Emory High has a few secrets of its own. Around the halls, the term “special powers” goes way beyond one’s ability to attract the opposite sex, and there may be something more evil than the A-crowd lurking in the classrooms. Lissy can see a lot more than the average girl, but she’s about to learn the hard way that things aren’t always as they appear and you can’t always judge a girl by her lip gloss.

My Thoughts: All the women in Lissy's family have the Sight - a psychic gift that Lissy would be more than glad to give up. After all, the Sight caused the family to move from California to Oklahoma because her mother's gift is finding lost things. Only she didn't find the kidnapped child before he was murdered and public sentiment has turned against her.

Lissy's gift is growing. Now she sees connections between people. This doesn't help in her new high school which is divided between the Goldens - the popular, beautiful people - and the Nons. She is thrown together with Lilah whose mother is dating Lissy's uncle and her crew of Goldens but soon finds her own crew with Nons Audra and Dylan.

Something evil is happening at her high school but she can't convince her mother and grandmother that her new math teacher is evil. This leaves Lissy, Audra, Dylan and Lissy's younger sister Lexie to find out what is going on and stop it before there are more deaths.

This is the author's first book and was written when she was nineteen. It has some rough edges but was an enjoyable paranormal story.

Favorite Quote:
Was that what I was seeing? I wondered.The connections between people? This was certainly an interesting development. With my eyes on the little strings of light, I tripped again, and flew straight into an encore performance of the Herald of Freakdom Incident.
I bought this one on Feb. 5, 2010. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Review: Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Fate
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Publication: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (February 24, 2009)

Description: For the past two years, Bailey Morgan has lived a double life: high school student by day, ancient mystical being by night. As the third Fate, Bailey literally controls the fate of the world, but as Plain Old Bailey, her life is falling apart. She’s got a tattoo that was supposed to be temporary (but isn’t), friendships that were supposed to last forever (but might not), and no idea what her future holds after high school graduation.

Then Bailey meets the rest of the Sidhe, an ancient race defined by their power, beauty, and a sinister habit of getting what they want at any cost. Before Bailey knows it, she’s being drawn into an otherworldly web more complicated than anything she weaves as a mortal Fate.

My Thoughts: In this sequel to TATTOO only Bailey retains her magical powers. She is one of the three Fates whose gift is life. But that is only her night job. During the day she is a high school senior along with her three best friends and dealing with normal high school stuff. Bailey is facing the thought that things will change when they all graduate and she is afraid that they will lose the closeness that has been a part of her life since they were all toddlers.

Bailey doesn't know that she might be going farther than she had thought. Because she is part faerie, she is coming to the Reckoning. She is supposed to restore balance by choosing either the Seelie or Unseelie courts and living in the Otherworld all the time. Both the Seelie and Unseelie courts are putting a lot of pressure on her.

Because the world isn't in balance, immortals are able to come to Earth and create mischief. Bailey and her friends need to find a way to restore the balance and keep Bailey on Earth.

I really enjoyed this story. I could empathize with Bailey who didn't want things to change. I also really liked the relationship between the four friends who each had distinctive personalities.

Favorite Quote:
"You are a bad driver." Zo hopped out of the SUV and delivered the comeback at the same time. "I, on the other hand, am efficient."

"I think I can say with a high level of certainty that efficiency has never been so well and truly terrifying." Annabelle Porter was the fourth of our group, and the one of us subjected to Zo's "efficiency" most often since the two of them were first cousins and actually shared a car. "Nothing like a good brush with death to wake you up in the morning."
I bought this one in January 2010. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Book Review: Make It Count by Tamar Sloan

Make It Count
Author: Tamar Sloan
Publication: Clean Reads (Oct. 10, 2017)

Description: Casey’s touch can reveal the one thing a person would never want to know — the number of days they have left to live.

By the time Casey turns seventeen, she’s learned to withdraw. But the phobia she fakes in order to avoid human contact is sorely tested by hot, persistent, motorcycle riding PJ. For a girl who craves contact, maple-eyed PJ is impossible to resist. When the inevitable happens; when hands, bodies and lips collide, Casey sees PJ's number, one that can only be seen as a cruel twist of fate.

Now she must decide. Will she continue counting the days of her life, or start living a life that counts?

With the memorable writing and humor of writers such as Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun blended with the attitude, chemistry and unexpected plot twists of Katie McGarry’s best sellers, Make it Count is a romance that will leave you swooning and smiling.

My Thoughts: Casey has a gift and has had it since she was a pre-schooler. When she touches someone, she sees the number of days that they have left to live. Trying to find a way around her younger sister's number yet having to watch her die in a freak accident when Casey was eleven has caused trauma for her whole family. She has become withdrawn, is homeschooled, and is very careful not to touch anyone outside of her family. Her younger brother, whose twin died, is withdrawn and still suffers from nightmares.

Everything changes when she meets a boy named PJ. She is immediately fascinated by him and he equally entranced with her. But starting anything would definitely break her rules. He is pretty persistent. But it isn't until Casey begins attending group therapy for phobias - at her mother's instigation, that she sees PJ again.

Things go pretty well for them. They meet on the beach in the late evenings and he doesn't say anything about the gloves she always wears. He even encourages her to take her younger brother to the mini motos track where he races. Being out among people is really hard for Casey but it is good for her younger brother Harry.

When the owners of the track threaten to close it, Casey gets involved in a fund-raising campaign to save it and PJ and the other older racers decided to do a demonstration to raise interest. Despite trying not to touch PJ, one day it accidentally happens and Casey learns that his number indicates he'll die during the demonstration. She doesn't see any choice but to try to convince him not to take part without telling him about her gift.

This was an engaging story with great characters. I would hate to have Casey's gift and admired her strategies to cope with it and her courage when she had to abandon those strategies. PJ was also a wonderful character who had so much potential that he felt he couldn't realize. I liked Casey's best friend Em who is the only one outside her family who knows about her gift and Ari, the therapist who was helping the kids overcome their phobias while battling one of her own.

The writing was smooth and lyrical without being flowery. I loved the dialog and the love that was visible in Casey's family.

Favorite Quote:
The thing is, we all have a number. For most of us it won't be 21, but it will still be a number. A countdown.

And they will all run out on some some square on the calendar.

Sometimes we forget that. So today, I want you to decided how you're going to live. What you're going to prioritise. What's going to matter.

And then darned well go and do it.
I received this one from the author in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, October 13, 2017

ARC Review: Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz

Last Chance
Author: Gregg Hurwitz
Series: The Rain Brothers (Book 2)
Publication: Tor Teen (October 17, 2017)

Description: The Rain brothers fight for the survival of humanity in Last Chance, the thrilling sequel to New York Times bestselling author Gregg Hurwitz's YA debut, The Rains.

The New York Times bestselling author of Orphan X, Gregg Hurwitz, returns to Creek's Cause to follow the Rains brothers as they fight an alien threat that has transformed everyone over the age of 18 into ferocious, zombie-like beings, in this thrilling sequel to The Rains.

Battling an enemy not of this earth, Chance and Patrick become humanity’s only hope for salvation.

My Thoughts: This sequel to THE RAINS is an action-packed, thrill-a-minute science fiction adventure. Patrick Rain, his younger brother and the narrator of the story Chance, and their best friend Alex are among the few survivors after the alien invasion. The invasion immediately turned anyone over eighteen into a sort of zombie. Anyone who turns eighteen is also infected. Patrick is the exception.

Chance had an encounter with an alien rebel who tells him that he and Patrick could be the saviors of the Earth but they need to stay alive long enough to find out how. Worst of all, Alex only has a month or so before her eighteenth birthday.

The kids have gathered a few remaining survivors into the high school but among the survivors is Ben who is Patrick's rival and who wants to take control of the group. Not only are they fighting aliens but among themselves.

The story keeps building excitement as the kids face test after test and danger after danger. Hope and despair seem to alternate. I enjoyed the relationship among the three main characters. Both of the boys love Alex who also loves them both. The bond between the brothers is strong. Chance idolizes his big brother Patrick who has always been there for him.

Fans of dystopias, science fiction, and stories with great characters will enjoy this series. However, read THE RAINS before tackling this one.

Favorite Quote:
"I hadn't thought of that. I figured we'd at least have more time to, you know..." My sentence trailed off. Even the air felt heavy.

Alex swallowed hard, seemed to set aside her sadness. She cocked her head at me. "Play foosball?" she said.

I grinned. "Work out a synchronized-swimming routine."

"Learn how to bake souffles."

We were cracking up now, but Patrick wasn't. He was steadily scanning the horizon, squinting against the setting sun.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from the publisher. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

ARC Review: The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman

The Innocence Treatment
Author: Ari Goelman
Publication: Roaring Brook Press; Annotated edition edition (October 17, 2017)

Description: You may believe the government protects you, but only one girl knows how they use you.
 
Lauren has a disorder that makes her believe everything her friends tell her―and she believes everyone is her friend. Her innocence puts her at constant risk, so when she gets the opportunity to have an operation to correct her condition, she seizes it. But after the surgery, Lauren is changed. Is she a paranoid lunatic with violent tendencies? Or a clear-eyed observer of the world who does what needs to be done?

Told in journal entries and therapy session transcripts, Ari Goelman's The Innocence Treatment is a collection of Lauren's papers, annotated by her sister long after the events of the novel. A compelling YA debut thriller that is part speculative fiction and part shocking tell-all of genetic engineering and government secrets, Lauren's story is ultimately an electrifying, propulsive, and spine-tingling read.

My Thoughts: This near future dystopia is a science fiction story about a girl who has a medical treatment that changes her from being trusting, believing everything a person tells her, and loving everyone to a girl who is paranoid about what the government is up to. Or is she? Paranoid assumes that what she believes isn't true. But what if it is?

Lauren Fielding is living near Washington DC after the Emergency through civilization - at least, in the United States - into chaos. A new Department has been formed to "protect" the citizens from dangers as a result of the Emergency Act. People are afraid to say anything derogatory about the government or the Department for fear of being arrested and imprisoned without any legal representation. There are spies and informers everywhere watching everyone.

When the story begins, Lauren is looking forward to the operation that will "fix" her. She is tired of having a set of rules to live by and a school paraprofessional dogging her steps all day. She wants to be normal. After the operation, she begins to see that her friends aren't really friends and she develops a taste for violence. When an older boy, playing on her supposed innocence, attempts to have sex with her, she uses the self defense skills she has been taught to discourage him. When he spreads the story around school that she had sex with him, she is helped by Sasha Adams, a new student and informer for the Department.

She and Sasha become as good of friends as they can be considering that everything she says to him while he is wearing his glasses goes right into the Department's hands. One clear indication that the Department has over-reached is that Sasha was recruited by the Department from a Ukranian refugee camp when he was a pre-teen and trained to be a spy. Failure to follow their rules will see him deported.

This story is told by Lauren's older sister Evelyn who has gathered together Lauren's journals, the case notes of the psychologist who interviews her while she is in "voluntary" detention, and interview transcriptions. Evelyn wants to get out the true story of the Innocence treatment and of her sister who was a hero.

The book was fascinating and fast-paced. I enjoyed it.

Favorite Quote:
I'm almost tempted to believe your explanation about how "a bit of paranoia is completely natural given your completely innocent state beforehand." It is weird that pretty much everyone I know (except Evelyn) has turned out to be a liar. Even my father, for God's sake. Maybe I'm not super-perceptive -- maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Gabriella really does love the way my head looks all stubbly and studded with scars. Maybe you really do want to help me out of the goodness of your heart. And maybe the moon really is made of delicious green cheese. None of that seems too likely, though.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, October 6, 2017

ARC Review: Berserker by Emmy Laybourne

Berseker
Author: Emmy Laybourne
Series: Berserker (Book 1)
Publication: Feiwel & Friends (October 10, 2017)

Description: Are Hanne's powers a gift from the old Norse gods, or a curse?

Her brother Stieg swears their powers are a gift from the old gods, but Hanne Hemstad knows she is truly cursed. It's not Stieg's fault that their father is dead, their mother has left, and their brother Knut has been accused of a crime he didn't commit.

No, the fault lies with Hanne and her inability to control her murderous "gift"―she is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she flies into a killing state. Now, Hanne and her siblings must leave Norway for the American frontier or risk being brought to justice.

Aided by a young cowboy who agrees to be their guide, they use their powers to survive the perilous trail, where blizzards, wild animals, and vicious bounty hunters await.

Will they be able to reach their uncle, the one man Hanne believes can teach her how to control her drive to kill?

My Thoughts: BERSERKER is historical fiction with a magical twist. Owen Bennett is a young cowboy in the wilds of Montana in 1883. He is a bastard and his only inheritance from his father is a horse and his loyal cattle dog. After being robbed of his entire wages at the end of a cattle drive, he is left looking for work.

Hanne Amundsdottir is one of four kids on a farm in Norway. They are descendants of Vikings and have some magical gifts. However, each of the gifts has consequences. Steig, the oldest brother, wants to emigrate to the United States and become a teacher. He is eighteen and his gift lets him bring storms but will also eventually cause blindness. Fourteen year old Knut is an Oarbreaker. He's big and strong but he is still a child at heart. Hanne is a Berserker. When someone she loves is threatened, she becomes fast and strong and a killer. Sissel is the youngest child. She is weak and scrawny and a whiner who doesn't have one of the Nytte gifts.

When men come to the farm and threaten their father, Hanne goes Berserker and kills them all. The kids flee first to an aunt who gives them some money and then they take off for the United States. The aunt is sending them to their uncle who is also a Berserker and who lives in Montana.

Meanwhile there is a baron who is collecting the Nytte and who dispatches his librarian and another man to track this family down.

Needing a guide once they reach Montana, they hire Owen. The kids have all sorts of adventures as they travel through Montana looking for their uncle and trying to stay ahead of the law who have sent out wanted posters for Knut thinking he is the one who killed the men. They also need to stay ahead of the baron's deputies.

This was an entertaining story. I liked that Hanne was so conflicted about her gift and took quite a while to come to terms with it. I liked the romance between Owen and Hanne.

Favorite Quote:
He still wanted her to be alive, and it rankled Hanne, because the only way she had survived her mother's departure and their father's rapid descent into cruelty and drunkenness was to go dead at the heart.
I received this one in exchange for an honest review from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Book Review: The Great Shelby Holmes by Elizabeth Eulberg

The Great Shelby Holmes
Author: Elizabeth Eulberg
Series: Great Shelby Holmes (Book 1)
Publication: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (September 6, 2016)

Description: Sherlock Holmes gets a fun, sweet twist with two irresistible young heroes and black & white illustrations throughout, in this middle grade debut from internationally bestselling YA author Elizabeth Eulberg.

Shelby Holmes is not your average sixth grader. She’s nine years old, barely four feet tall, and the best detective her Harlem neighborhood has ever seen―always using logic and a bit of pluck (which yes, some might call “bossiness”) to solve the toughest crimes.,

When eleven-year-old John Watson moves downstairs, Shelby finds something that’s eluded her up till now: a friend. The easy-going John isn’t sure of what to make of Shelby, but he soon finds himself her most-trusted (read: only) partner in a dog-napping case that'll take both their talents to crack.

My Thoughts: This middle grade mystery introduces nine-year-old detective Shelby Holmes and her new friend and partner John Watson. When John and his newly divorced mother move into 221 Baker Street in New York City the first thing that happens is an explosion. Their landlady Mrs. Hudson is not at all surprised and bring Shelby down to apologize.

John is used to moving around. His mother is a former Army doctor who has been transferred frequently. So John is used to being in a new place and making new friends. His mother has arranged for him to attend a school which lets him focus on being a writer. But his parents' divorce has left him with writer's block. School won't start for a couple of weeks so he's glad to meet Shelby even though she is two years younger than he is.

Shelby reluctantly introduces him to the neighborhood and he is glad to take part in Shelby's latest case - a dognapping of a show dog belonging to one of Shelby's schoolmates. Shelby has no social skills and has no friends of her own age. John is determined to help her with her case and become her friend.

This was a nice mystery and a great story about friendship. I liked the references to Sherlock Holmes. I liked Shelby's personality despite the fact that she is a bossy know-it-all. I liked that John was willing to work hard to be a friend to Shelby.

Favorite Quote:
The only person who wasn't ducking for cover was our new landlady, Mrs. Hudson.

"Oh heavens!" she exclaimed with a shake of her head. "No need to panic, everybody! It's really nothing." She excused herself, muttering "I told her not today" under her breath.
I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

State of the Stack (October 1, 2017)

This is my monthly State of the Stack post. It is my way to keep track of my review books and to hopefully reduce the stack that I have waiting for me. I take a look at my review commitments on or near the first of the month. Please feel free to join in and let me know the state of your stack.

Here is my Review Books Spreadsheet I list them in publication order and sort them by month. I can quickly see how many books I have for each date. Ideally, this keeps me from over-committing to review books. Check my spreadsheet to find out where I got each book.

I also do this post because sometimes (frequently) review books sit on my stack for a while before I read and review them. I try to read and review books within two weeks of publication date. Sometimes I can't, though, if too many books are releasing on the same date or if the book arrives too near its publication date and my calendar is already full.

I am very grateful to the authors and publishers who support my reading habit.

My Review Pile

October
Mind Game by Iris Johansen (Oct. 24)
 The Wicker King by K. Ancrum (Oct. 31)
November
 Unholy City by Carrie Smith (Nov. 7)
Much Ado About Murder by Elizabeth J. Duncan (Nov. 7)
 City of Lies by Victoria Thompson (Nov. 7)
Death at the Emerald by R. J. Koreto (Nov. 7)
A Spoonful of Magic by Irene Radford (Nov. 7)
Fragments of the the Lost by Megan Miranda (Nov. 14)

December
 Rugged Texas Cowboy by Lora Leigh (Dec. 5)
Bury the Past by James L'Etoile (Dec. 12)
A Murder for the Books by Victoria Gilbert (Dec. 12)
A Case of Syrah, Syrah by Nancy J. Parra (Dec. 12)

January
Death Below Stairs by Jennifer Ashley (Jan. 2)
Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner (Jan. 9)
A Mortal Likeness by Laura Joh Rowland (Jan. 9)
A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (Jan. 16)
Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann (Jan. 23)

February
The Greed by Scott Bergstrom (Feb. 6)
Ink, Iron, and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare (Feb. 20)
Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda (Feb. 20)
Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Feb. 27)

March
Losing Leah by Tiffany King (March 20)
Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston (March 27)

April
White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig (April 24)

I Read This Month

These are listed in the order I read them. Links go to my reviews for all that have been posted already. Otherwise, the date the review is scheduled for is listed.
  1. Enigma by Catherine Coulter (Sept. 27)
  2. Her Last Goodbye by Melinda Leigh (Sept. 28) 
  3. Devils & Thieves by Jennifer Rush (Sept. 25) 
  4. Satellite by Nick Lake (Sept. 27) 
  5. The Wicked Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden (Sept. 30) 
  6. Osiris by Eric C. Anderson (Oct. 4) 
  7. A Cajun Christmas Killing by Ellen Byron (Oct. 5) 
  8. Death Overdue by Allison Brook (Oct. 7) 
  9. Berserker by Emmy Laybourne (Oct. 6) 
  10. The Innocence Treatment by Ari Goelman (Oct. 11) 
  11. Best-Laid Plants by Marty Wingate (Oct. 12) 
  12. House of Shadows by Nicola Cornick (Oct. 18) 
  13. Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz (Oct. 13)
Read Previously, Reviews Posted This Month
  1. Her Dark Half by Paige Tyler (Sept. 2)
  2. The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match by Elizabeth Eulberg (Sept. 4)
  3. Nyxia by Scott Reintgen (Sept. 6)
  4. Body on Baker Street by Vicki Delany (Sept. 7) 
  5. All the Secret Places by Anna Carlisle (Sept. 9) 
  6. The Exact Location of Home by Kate Messner (Sept. 11)
  7. Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones (Sept. 13) 
  8. The Last Move by Mary Burton (Sept. 13) 
  9. Archangel's Viper by Nalini Singh (Sept. 21) 
  10. A Poison Dark and Drowning by Jessica Cluess (Sept. 15) 
  11. Sleep Like a Baby by Charlaine Harris (Sept. 16)
  12. Stolen Secrets by L. B. Schulman (Sept. 18) 
  13. Find Me by Tiffany Snow (Sept. 20)
  14. The Hunt by Chloe Neill (Sept. 23)
I Added These Books

These are listed in the order I received them. Links go to Amazon. Date published is listed in parentheses.
  1. Hot and Badgered by Shelly Laurenston (March 27)
  2. Enigma by Catherine Coulter (Sept. 12)
  3. Best-Laid Plants by Marty Wingate (Oct. 17)
  4. Last Chance by Gregg Hurwitz (Oct. 17)
  5. White Rabbit by Caleb Roehrig (April 24)
  6. Ink Iron and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare (Feb. 20)
  7. Pitch Dark by Courtney Alameda (Feb. 20)
  8. Losing Leah by Tiffany King (March 20)
  9. Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann (Jan. 23)
  10. The Greed by Scott Bergstrom (Feb.6)
  11. Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman (Feb. 27)
  12. A Mortal Likeness by Laura Joh Rowland (Jan. 9)
Next Month's Plan

I am just staying even with my review books. I have a nice assortment already for 2018 but expect to be adding to the collection as publishers post books to Edelweiss and NetGalley.