11 June 2018

Book Review: Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones

Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
(Charley Davidson #2)
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published August 16th, 2011 by St. Martin's Press

If you hang around with dead people, life can get pretty complicated. Take it from Charley Davidson, part-time private investigator and full-time Grim Reaper. Complicated is her middle name. The deceased find her very sparkly. Demons find her irresistible. And one entity in particular wants to seduce her in every way possible. 

When Charley and Cookie (her best friend/receptionist) have to track down a missing woman, the case is not quite as open and shut as they anticipate. Cookie's friend Mimi disappeared five days earlier. Mimi then sends Cookie a cryptic message telling Cookie to meet her at an nearby coffee shop. The coffee is brewing, but Mimi's still missing. There is, however, a clue Mimi left on the bathroom wall: a woman's name. Mimi's husband explains to them that his wife had been acting strange since she found out an old high school friend had been murdered. The same woman whose name Mimi had scribbled on the bathroom wall. 

Meanwhile, Reyes Alexander Farrow (otherwise known as the Son of Satan. Yes. Literally) has left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. He's left his body because he's being tortured by demons who want to lure Charley closer. But Reyes can't let that happen. Because if the demons get to Charley, they'll have a portal to heaven...well, let's just say it wouldn't be pretty.Can Charley handle hot nights with Reyes and even hotter days tracking down a missing woman? Can she keep those she loves out of harm's way? And is there enough coffee and chocolate in the world to fuel her as she does? 

Here is your signpost for the most hilarious read of the year: Second Grave on the Left.

My thoughts…

‘Second Grave on the Left’ picks up right where ‘First Grave on the Right’ left off with a new mystery for Charley to solve. Charley’s receptionist and best friend, Cookie, is worried about the sudden disappearance of Mimi, her friend. Mimi's husband explains to them that his wife had been acting strange. As Charley and Cookie dig deeper, they discover someone from Mimi’s past has been killing off a group of her high school classmates.  

In the meantime, Charley is also trying to find the sexy and stubborn son of Satan, Reyes. He left his corporeal body and is haunting Charley. Reyes left his body because demons are trying to draw Charley closer to him, if the demons get to Charley, they'll have a portal into heaven. Reyes can't let that happen. Since he left his body, it’s being tortured by demons. Charley being Charley can’t allow the torture to continue and she must find Reyes corporeal body before it’s too late. She would do anything to save him.

The mystery behind Charley and her powerful abilities are becoming very interesting. As she learns more about her abilities she also discovers that there is more to be The Grim Reaper than she originally thought.

Once again Darynda Jones did not disappoint. There was more suspense and action in this book than the previous. Charley still gets into all kinds of trouble and this book was exactly what I expected, humorous with endearing characters (Uncle Bob, Rocket, Angel, Garrett and Cookie) and of course the sexy son of Satan, Reyes. This series is pure entertainment and I love it.

“Make it quick," I said when I picked up.
"Okay. Two men from the FBI are here." Cookie said. Quickly.
Crap. "Men in black are at the office?""Well, yes, but they're actually in more of a navy."Crapola. I so don't have time for men. In any color. "Okay, two questions. Do they look mad, and are they hot?"After a long, long, pause, Cookie said, "One, not really. Two, no comment at this time. And three, you're on speakerphone."After another long, long pause, I said, "Okie dokie then. Be there in a jiff.”
Darynda Jones, Second Grave on the Left
“His gaze slid over me like a veil of fire. He could ignite my deepest desires with a single glance. I decided right then and there no more reading romance novels by candlelight.” Darynda Jones, Second Grave on the Left

Happy Reading -J

08 June 2018

Book Review: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison
Paperback, 426 pages
Published September 5th, 2017 by Mira Books
They built a life on lies.

 Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. The couple seems made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her.

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.

My thoughts…

Ethan and Sutton Montclair seem to have it all to everyone on the outside, they are both authors, Ethan writes best-sellers and Sutton writes historical romances. But, behind closed doors they don’t have a good marriage. They are still mourning the death of their infant from SIDS. They constantly argue about prior infidelities while their financial problems continue to grow.

Ethan wakes one morning to find a note from his beloved wife basically telling him she's left him and to not look for her. Ethan is worried because her personal items are still in the house. Confused, worried, and unsure, Ethan begins a search of his own by contacting her best friends, they have no idea where she is, and they are quick to blame Ethan. As the police investigate, lies begin to unravel and secrets begin to be uncovered.

The first half of the book is told from Ethan’s view point and we get to see the whole love-hate relationship between the two. The second half of the book is told from Sutton’s view point. I didn't find this half as interesting. There is also the unknown narrator who we get a glimpse of thought-out the book. Both characters are very unlikable, but the story kept me interested to find out the mystery of why Sutton left her husband and who was behind the set up. At times I found the plot to be a bit over the top and unbelievable. Although, it is a fast-paced mystery with plenty of twists and turns.

Happy Reading -J

04 June 2018

Book Review: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
(Charley Davidson #1)
Hardcover, 310 pages
Published February 1st, 2011 by St. Martin's Press

This whole grim reaper thing should have come with a manual.

Or a diagram of some kind.

A flow chart would have been nice.

Charley Davidson is a part-time private investigator and full-time grim reaper. Meaning, she sees dead people. Really. And it's her job to convince them to "go into the light." But when these very dead people have died under less than ideal circumstances (like murder), sometimes they want Charley to bring the bad guys to justice. Complicating matters are the intensely hot dreams she's been having about an entity who has been following her all her life...and it turns out he might not be dead after all. In fact, he might be something else entirely. But what does he want with Charley? And why can't she seem to resist him? And what does she have to lose by giving in?

With scorching-hot tension and high-octane humor, First Grave on the Right is your signpost to paranormal suspense of the highest order.

My thoughts…

What took me so long to read First Grave on the Right? I absolutely loved it, so much that I purchased the entire series.

Charley Davidson is a private investigator and The Grim Reaper. She helps those who have died pass to the other side. Charley works closely with the Albuquerque Police Department. Her uncle Bob is a Homicide Detective and her father is retired from the APD. Her father and uncle have known of Charley’s abilities since she was a child. Charley has been helping her father and uncle solve the difficult crimes by talking to the dead victims since she was a child.

In First Grave on the Right, three lawyers are murdered, and Charley begins talking to them at the crime scene of one of the lawyers. The other two lawyers let her know where the police can find their bodies. They begin telling Charley about the case they were working on before they died, which they believe is related to their murders. The APD begins searching for those involved, Charley goes along with them and she almost get herself killed. Charley is one of the best kick-butt heroines and it’s a good thing she heals quickly.   

While Charley is trying to solve the murders of the lawyers, she tries to solve the mystery of the sexy man that visits her dreams and seduces her with each visit. Mystery man seems very familiar to her, but she couldn't remember where she knows him from, until he calls her “Dutch”, then she remembers, Reyes Alexander Farrow, otherwise known as the Son of Satan, literally. Her chemistry with Reyes was off the charts. I’m looking forward to seeing what happens between Reyes and Charley.

The sarcasm and wit of Charley is wonderful, her banter with the dead and living is hilarious. I found the story to be fast paced, filled with plenty of humor and mystery. Charley as a character and the grim reaper aspect puts a nice spin on everything. In the beginning I was a little confused by all the characters, dead and living, once I got into the story I was able to keep up.│

This was a unique and entertaining read, and I think I've found a new heroine to love.

“I have three words for you," EMT Guy said. "Possible internal bleeding." I turned back to him. "Don't you think if I was bleeding internally, I'd know somewhere deep inside? Like, internally?”
Darynda Jones, First Grave on the Right
“But, you're his son," I said, trying really hard to hate him. "You're the son of Satan. Literally." "And you are the stepdaughter of Denise Davidson." Wow. That was a bit harsh, but, "Okay, point taken.” Darynda Jones, First Grave on the Right

Happy Reading -J

01 June 2018

May 2018 Monthly Wrap-up

Welcome to my May 2018 Wrap-up! A Monthly Wrap-up is exactly what it sounds like, a summary of the month. I’ll be reiterating books I read, posts of the month, a little bit of what’s going on outside the blog, and a little bit of what I have plan in the upcoming month. I am linking this post to the Monthly Wrap-Up at Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

May seemed like it went by rather quickly. I completed the second month of my self-imposed book buying ban, I have since decided to end it at two months instead of the original three I had planned. From today on, I will make better choices in the books I do purchase. I’m going to read at least two or three books in a series before I purchase the entire series. I'm also going to wait on purchasing hyped books. In the future I will purchase books from some of my favorite authors, even though I’ve read them on Kindle, I would like to have the physical copy.

Once the weather finally warmed up, it’s been a busy month with gardening and all the blooms look beautiful. If it wasn’t for my neighbors “cotton-less” cotton tree, my morning outside coffee would be more enjoyable. I make sure to keep my coffee covered and shake out my hair before coming back into the house. The cotton falling looks like a winter snow.

For quite some time I’ve had problems keeping my books properly sorted on Goodreads. I have discovered that for most of the books I have sorted in shelves, there is at least two formats listed, I’ve tried multiple times to remove the duplicates. I would then have to go through each book format to see which is the one with my rating and/or review. I also had many of the Kindle books not listed or listed somewhere it shouldn’t be. It has been very frustrating. Every evening for the past few weeks I have been working on an Excel spreadsheet listing all the books I’ve read, purchased, borrowed and would like to read. I was able to export my Goodreads shelves, from Amazon get all my downloaded books using the web page html. I think once I have the spreadsheet populated with all the information it will be extremely helpful and easy to use.

Books Read/Listened to in May:

Brava,Valentine (Valentine #2) by Adriana Trigiani
On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman
Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer
See Me by Nicholas Sparks
The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway
I See You by Clare Mackintosh

Reading Stats:

Total Books Read:15
Books Read: 10
Audiobooks: 5

Library Borrowed: 5
From My Shelves: 10
Purchased This Month: 0
Gifted: 0

Longest Book: 498 Pages - Lover Revealed (Black Dagger Brotherhood #4) by J.R. Ward
Shortest Book: 290 Pages - Beneath This Mask (Beneath #1) by Meghan March

Total Books Read/Listened to Since January 2018: 66

Favorite Reads this Month:

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman
On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

Goodbye May, hello June. Thank you for visiting. 

Book Review: The Honey Trap by Karli Perrin

The Honey Trap by Karli Perrin
Kindle Edition, 503 pages
Published September 13th, 2017

After catching her childhood sweetheart cheating on her, Sophia Hamilton is hell-bent on stopping other women from getting played like she was.

 And so, the played becomes the player.

 Fast forward two years and Sophia is now one of San Francisco’s most successful honey trappers. Getting paid to expose cheating men has become the norm but just when she thinks she has seen it all, she is offered a unique proposition which threatens to turn her entire world upside down.

 Mason Hunter is a hotel tycoon, millionaire and cheater. Or is he?
 Sophia has six weeks to find out.

 She quickly discovers that Mason isn’t the only one keeping secrets and she becomes caught up in a tangled web of lust, lies and misplaced loyalties.

 Lines are crossed. Rules are broken. The real Mason Hunter is about to be exposed.

 The hunt is on.

My thoughts…

Sophia works for an agency that women trap men into cheating. We meet Mason when Sophia is hired, by his wife Emily, to trap him. During that first meeting of Sophia and Mason, things don't go as planned, at least not how Mason's wife think it should have gone.

Sophia can’t help feeling attracted to Mason and once she get’s close to him, she realizes that there is more to him and the entrapment then preciously disclosed. Mason is a very wealthy man and the owner of Hunter Hotels. He has worked hard to get where he is and doesn’t take anything for granted. Mason’s life is good, except his marriage to Emily. Emily is horrible, she is devious and just wants to get his money when they divorce. Sophia has mixed feeling continuing with the trap after learning what Mason’s wife really has planned. She feels obligated to continue with the trap because of signed contracts.

I was rooting for Sophia and Mason from the beginning. Their chemistry was off the charts and while they were immediately attracted to each other, their relationship was first that of friends. The change to lovers was slow, a slow burn, and I love that in my romance books. As much as I loved Mason and Sophia, Mason's best friend, Buzz, was my favorite character. I never laughed so much, he was hilarious.

The Honey Trap is great romance read and if you love friends to lovers, second chance romances, give this book a try.

Happy Reading -J 

20 May 2018

Inky Edition of the Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news - A post to recap the past week on my blog. Showcase books and things I may have received. Share a bit of news about myself and what to expect on my blog in the upcoming week. 

Everyday Life:

This past week the weather in Colorado was beautiful, even with the faithful afternoon thunderstorms but last night it was chilly. I had to go track down a hoodie to wear and I was considering turning the heat on. We usually wait until after Mother’s Day to plant our annuals, good thing I waited a bit longer this year. On Friday there was a hail storm and I was so worried about my newly bloomed trees and lilac bush, compared to other areas in town we didn’t get as much. In some areas of Colorado Springs, it looked like winter again with the hail covered grass.

I went with my sister to Barnes & Noble and I browsed all my favorite sections. I was so tempted to buy all the newest releases that I’ve missed out on and it didn’t help that I had coupons. I’m happy to report that I was able to control myself. Other than that, I had a wonderful week.

What I am currently reading/listening to:

Very Valentine (Valentine #1) by Adriana Trigiani (audiobook)
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

What I read/listened to this past week:

Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer (audiobook)
See Me by Nicholas Sparks

On Turpentine Lane by Elinor Lipman

Stacking the Shelves:

I only borrowed one audiobook from the library. The link below is to original post from yesterday.

Very Valentine (Valentine #1) by Adriana Trigiani
The adventures of an extraordinary and unforgettable woman as she attempts to rescue her family's struggling shoe business and find love at the same time, Very Valentine sweeps the reader from the streets of Manhattan to the picturesque hills of la bella Italia. Already a national bestseller, here is a valentine from the incomparable Trigiani that you can take into your heart.

Last week on the blog:

Nothing… I’m a lazy bum.

Fur Baby Photos:

Poor little Avery had his teeth cleaned Friday and when he returned home, he was a very needy lazy fur baby. He had to wear the “Cone of Shame” the first night, he kept licking at the shaved area on his front legs. The last photo is him trying to sleep on the comfy chair back, he likes to lay there when I read. I add blankets along the top, so he doesn’t slip down the back cushion/pillow. 

Thank you for visiting and I have a lovely week ahead. 
19 May 2018

Stacking the Shelves #46

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and co-hosted by Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the latest books I have added to my shelves; may it be physical or virtual. I can include books I buy in a store or online, books I borrow from friends or the library, audiobooks, gifts and of course eBooks. All book title links will direct you to Goodreads.
I went with my sister to Barnes & Noble to get her grandson some books for his upcoming birthday and I browsed all my favorite genres. I kept asking myself, “why am I doing this stupid book buying ban anyway?” I was so tempted to buy all the newest releases that I’ve missed out on and it didn’t help that I had coupons. I’m happy to report that I was able to control myself.

This week I only have one book to share, an audiobook borrowed from the library. I have plenty of audiobooks on hold, a few in line for next available and I’m very much looking forward to starting those. I’m only about four hours into the book below, and so far, I like it. 

Meet the Roncalli and Angelini families, a vibrant cast of colorful characters who navigate tricky family dynamics with hilarity and brio, from magical Manhattan to the picturesque hills of bella Italia. "Very Valentine" is the first novel in a trilogy and is sure to be the new favorite of Trigiani's millions of fans around the world. 

In this luscious, contemporary family saga, the Angelini Shoe Company, makers of exquisite wedding shoes since 1903, is one of the last family-owned businesses in Greenwich Village. The company is on the verge of financial collapse. It falls to thirty-three-year-old Valentine Roncalli, the talented and determined apprentice to her grandmother, the master artisan Teodora Angelini, to bring the family's old-world craftsmanship into the twenty-first century and save the company from ruin. 

While juggling a budding romance with dashing chef Roman Falconi, her duty to her family, and a design challenge presented by a prestigious department store, Valentine returns to Italy with her grandmother to learn new techniques and seek one-of-a-kind materials for building a pair of glorious shoes to beat their rivals. There, in Tuscany, Naples, and on the Isle of Capri, a family secret is revealed as Valentine discovers her artistic voice and much more, turning her life and the family business upside down in ways she never expected. "Very Valentine" is a sumptuous treat, a journey of dreams fulfilled, a celebration of love and loss filled with Trigiani's trademark heart and humor.
Have you read Very Valentine or any books by the author, Adriana Trigiani? Have a wonderful day and happy reading -J