Fur Baby Friday

This is Jake last week photo bombing my Stacking the Shelves book photos. He is always curious to see what is going on. In actuality, he was probably only checking to see if his human mom had any treats available. After a while he got bored watching me take photos, but he always stays close by.

Thanks for visiting and have a wonderful weekend. -J

Review: Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published May 2nd, 2017 by Riverhead Books
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.

Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother's sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she'd never return.

With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.

Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath. 

My thoughts…

I should be honest, I almost gave up on this book early on, it was not easy to get into because of the multiple point of views, I counted ten: Jules Abbott, Josh Whittaker, Niki Sage, Lena Abbott, Sean Townsend, Mark Henderson, Louise Whittaker, Erin Morgan, Patrick Townsend, and Helen Townsend. If that wasn’t enough we also had excerpts from The Downing Pool: Libby, Danielle Abbott, Lauren Townsend, Katie Whittaker and Anne Ward… sheesh, I hope I didn’t leave any characters out! I was halfway through the book before I could keep everyone straight, it was very confusing and hard to keep up with, although once I really got into the story it did get easier.

The entire story takes place in the small-town of Beckford, for it being such a small town some of the residents are hiding big secrets. Jules is back in Beckford after her sister Danielle (Nel) was discovered dead in the towns river. Even though Jules and Nel’s relationship was strained, Jules had to be there to care for Nel’s teenage daughter, Lena.

A section of the river is known as the drowning pool, residents of Beckford believe it to be a lure for women who seem to want to end their lives. It has a tainted history that reaches far back with the drowning deaths of young women accused of being witches. Nel had lived by the river her entire life, and most of her memories pretty much revolved around the river and the drowning pool. Nel had an unhealthy obsession with the river and the deaths of the young ladies that lost their lives there.

Nel’s death appears to be a suicide, as did Katie’s death before her, Lena’s best friend. Jules does not believe that her sister committed suicide, especially since her obsession with the drowning pool. Jules discovers that her sister is writing a book, The Drowning Pool, about the river and the mysteries deaths. Once Nel began to interview the residents of Beckford she discovered that some did not want their secrets told and they were angry with her need to hunt for the truth.

I did enjoy this book once I was able to get over the confusion, it flowed rather quickly and the ending was perfect. I did not see that coming, I had to read the last page over just to make sure I read it correctly the first time. I would certainly read another book by Paula Hawkins.

Happy Reading -J

Review: Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout
(A Wicked Saga #1)
Amy Landon (Narrator)
Audiobook, 371 pages
Published December 8th, 2014 by Tantor Audio
My rating 5 out of 5 stars

Things are about to get Wicked in New Orleans.

Twenty-two-year-old Ivy Morgan isn’t your average college student. She, and others like her, know humans aren’t the only thing trolling the French Quarter for fun… and for food. Her duty to the Order is her life. After all, four years ago, she lost everything at the hands of the creatures she’d sworn to hunt, tearing her world and her heart apart.

Ren Owens is the last person Ivy expected to enter her rigidly controlled life. He’s six feet and three inches of temptation and swoon-inducing charm. With forest-green eyes and a smile that’s surely left a stream of broken hearts in its wake, he has an uncanny, almost unnatural ability to make her yearn for everything he has to offer. But letting him in is as dangerous as hunting the cold-blooded killers stalking the streets. Losing the boy she loved once before had nearly destroyed her, but the sparking tension that grows between them becomes impossible for Ivy to deny. Deep down, she wants… she needs more than what her duty demands of her, what her past has shaped for her.

But as Ivy grows closer to Ren, she realizes she’s not the only one carrying secrets that could shatter the frail bond between them. There’s something he’s not telling her, and one thing is for certain. She’s no longer sure what is more dangerous to her—the ancient beings threatening to take over the town or the man demanding to lay claim to her heart and her soul. 

My thoughts…

Wow, I really enjoyed this paranormal romance and it certainly is not a Young Adult book, it is more of New Adult genre, the sexy scenes are not something you would find in a Young Adult book, it’s a bit more explicit.

Ivy is a member of the Order, which hunt and fight Faes to protect humans, they feed off humans with deadly consequences and Ivy is devoted to the Order and their cause. During the day, at least on Friday’s, she is an average college student but at night, Ivy is a strong kick butt heroine. Her entire family and boyfriend were killed by Faes and she blames herself for their deaths.

“Why in the world was I going to college? I could be in bed, all cuddled up and shit, dreaming about hot men with abs covered in powdered sugar.”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wicked

“The fae went down, and before he could retaliate, I went all Van Helsing on his ass.”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wicked

Because of increased Fae moving into New Orleans and Order members being killed in a short period of time, Ren another Order member transferred from Colorado comes to help fight the Fae. Ren has some secrets of his own, he also a member of the Elite, he hunts and kills the halflings (half human and half Fae).

Ren and Ivy have serious chemistry and an instant attraction to one another. Ivy isn't willing to get close to anyone because of belonging to the Order, life expectancy is very short due to the dangers of their job. Ivy has a terrible time resisting Ren’s Emerald eyes and all his yumminess. Ren is very clear with Ivy that he is interested in her. Ren and Ivy work together to determine why so many Ancients are in New Orleans, and how the Ancients are planning to open the gates for other Fae and Fae royalty to enter our world.

“I didn't need your permission," I spat back. Ren smirked. "Honey, I know what you need and you're going to get it.”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wicked

“You're going to have to get to know me better before you taste my cake.""Was that an invitation? Because I'm willing to get to know you in any way possible if that means I get to taste your cake.”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wicked 

“You were not acting. You were not pretending." The teasing dropped from his tone as his voice hardened. "You were riding my hand, and Ivy, there isn't a damn thing wrong with that. What's wrong is that you're acting like nothing happened between us. That's total shit. You lit up for me like a damn firework and I barely touched you.”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wicked

Ivy has a roommate, Tink, a Brownie, he's a creature from the Otherworld that Ivy rescued, brought home to help him heal from his injuries and kept him ever since. Ivy  considers him family and will do whatever it takes to protect Tink. Ivy must keep Tink and secret, because she can get into major trouble if the Order finds out she has a creature from the Otherworld living with her. I just loved little Tink, the humor between Ivy and Tink, and later Ren was hilarious. Tink has an attitude and he doesn't care what he says. When Ivy is away fighting, Tink spends his time ordering with the one click button on Amazon. He has a fascination with Harry Potter and has an immense Troll Doll collection.

“Grabbing a scarf off the chair, I threw it at him.
 He caught it, clutching it to his chest as he flew into the air. "You gave Tink a scarf. Tink is free!" He flew out into the hallway like a little cracked-out fairy, screeching, "Tink is freeeeee!" Ren looked at me. "What the actual f**k?"I sighed. "He's obsessed with Harry Potter. I'm sorry." Tink darted back into the room, holding the scarf to his bare chest. "There is no reason to apologize when it comes to Harry Potter.""You do remember what happened to Dobby, right?" I said. "S**t." Tink's eyes widened and he dropped the scarf.”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wicked
“You wouldn't lie to me, would you, Tink?" "No." He grinned. "You have Amazon Prime.”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wicked

“You got shot? Where? How? By who?" He zipped up in the air, darting left to right, right to left. "Did you cry? I would've cried. A lot. Like a river of motherfucking tears.”
― Jennifer L. Armentrout, Wicked

Since I listened to this as an audiobook, I had to borrow the quotes from Goodreads, Wicked Quotes. If you're a fan of Jennifer L. Armentrout, Fae, Fantasy or Paranormal, I think you will enjoy this book also.

Happy Reading -J

Stacking the Shelves #14

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and co-hosted by Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves; may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course e-books.

These are the books I added to my shelves this week:

Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Black -  This is book #2 in the paranormal young-adult duology, Book #1 is Anna Dressed in Blood.

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

The Flame Never Dies by Rachel Vincent – This is book #2 in The Stars Never Rise Duology. I really enjoyed the first book, The Stars Never Rise, 5 out of 5 stars, you can find my review here.

In these urban fantasies, a 16-year-old girl discovers not only that the Church is run by demons and she is one of the very few who can exorcise them, but also that she must join forces with other rogue exorcists to save her younger sister and ultimately, humanity.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer – This is book #4.5 in The Lunar Chronicles series, the final book I had to order. I recently finished Cress and I am enjoying this series greatly.

A collection of short stories written about The Lunar Chronicles, nine stories—five of which have never before been published.

This is the audiobook I borrowed from the library:

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick - A surprising, utterly romantic companion to My Life Next Door – which I also enjoyed, 5 out of 5 stars.

Tim Mason was The Boy Most Likely to find the liquor cabinet blindfolded, need a liver transplant, and drive his car into a house.

Alice Garrett was The Girl Most Likely to... well, not date her little brother's baggage-burdened best friend, for starters.

These are the Columbine from my backyard, I don’t know how I managed to take the photo without the entire flower in frame…

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has added to their shelves this week, have a wonderful weekend and thank you for visiting. -J

Review: Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

Just Listen by Sarah Dessen
Hardcover, 371 pages
Published April 6th, 2006 by Viking Books for Young Readers
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Last year, Annabel was "the girl who has everything" — at least that's the part she played in the television commercial for Kopf's Department Store.

This year, she's the girl who has nothing: no best friend because mean-but-exciting Sophie dropped her, no peace at home since her older sister became anorexic, and no one to sit with at lunch. Until she meets Owen Armstrong.

Tall, dark, and music-obsessed, Owen is a reformed bad boy with a commitment to truth-telling. With Owen's help, maybe Annabel can face what happened the night she and Sophie stopped being friends. 

My thoughts…

I have heard so much about Sarah Dessen, I just never had a chance to read any of her books, until recently when I purchased two at the thrift store. Since then I’ve purchased a couple more while browsing the book section at Walmart. Just Listen is the first book by her that I read and I really enjoyed it. I can now appreciate why Sarah Dessen is well known for her Young Adult Contemporary Romance novels, and I’m hopeful that I will enjoy her other books as well.

Just Listen is the story about Annabel, the youngest of three girls, a model with a nice family and the girl who has everything. Under all the perfection is the real Annabel, the one who suffered from something so devastating at the end of the last school year after party. Annabel not only lost her self-respect, but her best friend as well. Annabel does everything to forget about that night, but it’s not so easy when she begins a new school year and her ex-best friend Sophie makes her life miserable at school. Other students are whispering about her and Sophie and her friends are name calling and taunting her.

For the rest of lunch, I just sat there, making a point of not looking at anyone. When I checked my watch and saw I only had five minutes to go, I figured the worst part was over. I was wrong.
Shhh, Annabel. It’s just me.
A million red Jeeps mush have passed before my eyes in the last few months, and despite myself I’d checked each one for his face, this face. But only now, here, was it actually him. And while I told myself that in broad daylight I could be strong and fearless, I felt as helpless as that night, as if even in the wide open, the bright light of day, I still wasn’t safe.

Annabel is not only trying to forget about that horrible night and school problems, her family life isn’t all what it seems to be. Her mother suffers from depression and has become a different person since her grandmother’s death. Her oldest sister Kirsten, has moved away to New York, leaving a gaping hole in the family when she continually misses coming home to visit. Her other sister Whitney, is suffering from an eating disorder that her parents choose to disregard until it’s almost too late when Annabel finds her unconscious on the bathroom floor.

Annabel meets Owen at school, a student that once punch another student, then calmly walked away. Owen keeps to himself and never seems to be without his iPod. After Annabel gets sick outside of school one day, he offers he some tissue from his backpack, from then on, a friendship begins.

Owen taste in music is very diverse, and he tries to enlighten Annabel on what he considers great music.

“So you must really like music,” I said, looking back at all the stacks of CDs.“Don’t you?” he replied, switching lanes. “Sure,” I said. “I mean, everybody does, right?” “No,” he said flatly. “No?’
He shook his head. “Some people think they like music, but they have no idea what it’s really about. They’re kidding themselves. Then there are people who feel strongly about music, but just aren’t listening to the right stuff. They’re misguided. And then there are people like me.”
“People like you,” I said. “What kind of people are those?”
“The kind that live for music and are constantly seeking it out, anywhere they can. Who can’t imagine a life without it. They’re enlightened.”  “Ah,” I said, like this actually made sense to me. “I mean, when you really think about it,” he continued, “music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.”

Owen is the guy who never lies, no matter what, and Annabel is the girl who lies to protect other's feelings. Owen teaches Annabel that she needs to be honest with everyone, including herself. The honesty begins slowly by giving Owen her opinion on the music he plays and most of the time it is not in agreement with Owen's. Owen burned a stack of CDs for Annabel to listen to, when she reaches the one at the very bottom, the cover is black, except for two words “JUST LISTEN.”

As Annabel and Owen grow closer she gains the confidence to be open and honest with her family about her modeling and what happened to her on that devastating night.

Just Listen is so well written and very emotional, it deals with many difficult issues such as rape, eating disorders, depression and anger management. I quickly became invested in not just Annabel and Owen but her whole family as well.

Moving on to the next Sarah Dessen novel, Happy Reading -J

Review: Wounded by Abby Brooks

Wounded by Abby Brooks
Kindle Edition
Published March 18th, 2017 by Little Bird Publishing, LLC
My rating 5 out of 5 stars

For every wound, there is a scar.

Raised on fame and fortune, Liam McGuire is a spoiled man-child. His handsome face blinds the world, but I see through it to what he is inside.


When his tour bus rolls off the road, Liam’s rushed to the hospital where I work. A jagged scar runs the length of his face, ruining his good looks and jeopardizing his career. As his nurse, I’m around him more than I’d like, but the more I get to know him, the more I realize the world wasn’t blind to him.

I was.

Liam McGuire feels deeply and loves wildly, throwing himself into everything he does with more passion than I ever dreamed possible. With that intensity aimed at me, the scars slashed across my own heart start to heal. He is fire and I’ve been cold my whole life.

Am I ready to thaw? Or is life better—safer—when I’m cold and numb? 

My thoughts…

This is not your typical Popstar/Rockstar romance novel.
I don’t know if it’s because he’s been famous since he was fourteen and all the attention spoiled him, or if he’s just got asshole in his genes, but it only takes a minute or two of being around the guy to get my hackles up. I don’t care how good looking he is or how well he can sing, if you’re ugly on the inside, you’re ugly on the outside.

Liam is the spoiled pop star, tabloid headliner and underwear model who gets injured when his tour bus rolls off the road, Liam is lucky to have survived the horrific accident. Liam is left with a scar runs the length of his face, from hairline to chin. Brent, Liam’s manager, is desperate to get Liam back to LA for an appointment with a plastic surgeon to get the scar less visible before it can jeopardize his career.

Bailey is the nurse who has the misfortune of getting assigned care for Liam and she is not impressed with him whatsoever. Liam is rude, annoying and very disrespectful to Bailey. Bailey tells Liam exactly what she thinks of him…

“What the hell happened to you?” Liam stares me right in the face and laughs. “It looks like you swallowed something nasty. Face all screwed up. Nostrils flaring. Not your prettiest look, sweetheart.” So much for being professional. “First of all,” I say, my words carefully carved from ice and stone. “I didn’t swallow something nasty, thank you very much. I just get a little sick to my stomach being around you. Second of all, I can barely stand to look at you because you’re an asshole. And third of all, I never liked your music. You can rest assured that’s not going to change now.”

Liam is shocked that Bailey feels that way about him, most of the girls and woman he meets swoon instantly and will do anything to be close to him, Liam sees that as a perfect opportunity. Liam is not going back to LA, he hasn’t been happy with his manager, his music or his mother for a while now. Liam tells Brent that he is not returning to LA, that he will be staying with Bailey. Bailey is stunned by this announcement and then plays along with it, she figures he would find somewhere else to stay while in town. Bailey also mentions that Liam will be building her a patio while staying with her. Brent is flabbergasted, along with Liam, because Liam is no handy man.

Liam was thrust into a life style early on and manipulated by his mother, she should have loved and protected him.

I’m pacing while rage wings through my body, tightening muscles and quickening my breath. No one cares about me. They only care about my face. My body. My image. The fans? Those girls who swear they love me? They don’t give two shits about who I really am. How I really feel. And Brent? My mom? My whole team back in LA? They look at me and see dollar signs. They don’t see how empty I am. They don’t see the nights I lay in bed in some hotel and wish for it all to end.

Bailey had to step up early on to take care of her brother after her parents died in a car accident, which she blames herself for. Bailey was also dealing with the death of her boyfriend after he committed suicide. She was determined to do things on her own and not accept help from anyone, not even Liam.

Liam studies me for a long time. “You know what I see? I see a woman who’s so afraid of letting go of her past that she just digs in her heels and refuses to let anything change. A woman who is so afraid of the pain in her heart, she isolates herself and walks away from the people who want to help. You think you’re being strong? Bullshit. You’re broken and hurting and are too stubborn to admit it. You’re stuck in this house, frozen in time, unable to move on because that would mean you’d finally have to man up and face all the shit that happened to you.”

Liam and Bailey were two broken souls who found their way and helped each other heal. Wounded is an emotional read that will make you fall in love, make sure to have your tissues nearby.

It’s now, sitting at a piano, singing and playing and fighting tears, that I realize I’m falling in love with Liam. That I never want him to leave. That I’m better when I’m with him. That after all these years of struggling, I feel whole again.

Happy Reading -J

Stacking the Shelves #13

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and co-hosted by Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves; may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course e-books.

These are the books I added to my shelves this week:

Once and For All by Sarah Dessen -  Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that's why she's cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm's length. But Ambrose isn't about to be discouraged, now that he's met the one girl he really wants.

Throne of Glass, Crown of Midnight, Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas – I had purchased books #4 and #5 in this series (Throne of Glass) awhile back from Book Outlet, it was time to complete the series so I order these books from Amazon. While complete is relative, because there will be a book #6 and #7 to eventually add.

After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.

Shattered Souls by Mary LindseyLenzi hears voices and has visions - gravestones, floods, a boy with steel gray eyes. Her boyfriend, Zak, can't help, and everything keeps getting louder and more intense. Then Lenzi meets Alden, the boy from her dreams, who reveals that she's a reincarnated Speaker - someone who can talk to and help lost souls - and that he has been her Protector for centuries.

What I added to Kindle this week:

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata - Mariana Zapata is one of my favorite authors her books are always a one-click purchase for me. I enjoy slow burn romances and she always delivers. After reading this book I would have read all seven of her novels.

Ruby Santos knew exactly what she was getting herself into when she signed up to write a soldier overseas.

The guidelines were simple: one letter or email a week for the length of his or her deployment. Care packages were optional.

Been there, done that. She thought she knew what to expect.

What she didn’t count on was falling in love with the guy.

This is the audiobook I borrowed from the library:

Cursed by Jennifer L. Armentrout - Dying sucks, and high school senior Ember McWilliams knows firsthand. After a fatal car accident, her gifted little sister brought her back. Now anything Ember touches dies. Ember operates on a no-touch policy with all living things-including boys. When Hayden Cromwell shows up, quoting Oscar Wilde and claiming that Ember's curse is a gift, she thinks he's a crazed cutie. But when he tells her he can help control it, she's more than interested. 

There's just one catch: Ember has to trust Hayden's adopted father, a man she's sure has sinister reasons for collecting children whose abilities weird even her out.

Flower photos: 

Columbine are one of my favorite flowers and I like the variety of colors you can find them in. Plus, the Columbine is the State Flower of Colorado, Colorado Blue Columbine to be exact. I have one growing in my backyard and will share a picture next week.

As I was recently leaving the veterinarian office, these beauties caught my eye and could not pass up taking a photo. I need to visit the nursery to add this color to my yard.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has added to their shelves this week, have a wonderful weekend and thank you for visiting. -J

Fur Baby Friday

Beware of Dogs!

Toby and Avery are guarding the house, barking at any leaf that would fall from the tree or the neighborhood children playing in the yard. This was taken when Avery was still a puppy and Toby still had his sight. Avery still enjoys cuddling with his brother Toby.

Happy Friday -J 

Review: Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Till Death by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published February 28th, 2017 by William Morrow
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In New York Times bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout’s gripping new novel, a young woman comes home to reclaim her life—even as a murderer plots to end it. . .

It’s been ten years since Sasha Keaton left her West Virginia hometown . . . since she escaped the twisted serial killer known as the Groom. Returning to help run her family inn means being whole again, except for one missing piece. The piece that falls into place when Sasha’s threatened—and FBI agent Cole Landis vows to protect her the way he couldn’t a decade ago.

First one woman disappears; then another, and all the while, disturbing calling cards are left for the sole survivor of the Groom’s reign of terror. Cole’s never forgiven himself for not being there when Sasha was taken, but he intends to make up for it now . . . because under the quirky sexiness Cole first fell for is a steely strength that only makes him love Sasha more.

But someone is watching. Waiting. And Sasha’s first mistake could be her last. 

My thoughts…

Cole and Sasha met in college and were newly dating, their relationship would have turned into something more if that horrific night never happened. As Sasha was leaving Cole's place she was taken, kept and tortured by the Groom, a sick twisted serial killer.

The Groom. Serial killer and rapist of at least six women. Some people believed there could’ve been more, but it was unlikely that anyone would ever find out. My escape had led to his arrest.

Ten years later and with years spent in intensive therapy Sasha returns to her home town and the loved one’s she left behind. Even though Sasha is still coping with her past, she is ready to help her mother run their family inn. Cole discovers that she is back and rushes over to see her. She hasn’t seen or spoken to Cole since that evening he kissed her goodbye.

As soon as my eyes settled on Cole, I knew what I was feeling was real, and the intensity of that swelling brought tears to the back of my throat. Truthfully, I’d fallen in love with him ten years ago and never fallen out of it.

Once Sasha returns home strange things begin to happen. Young blond women are starting to disappear again, her car windows are broken out but nothing is taken, a dead deer is left in her mother’s truck. The circumstances have Sasha wondering if this is coincidence or something more sinister. Until a box arrives in the mail addressed to Sasha, it contains a finger with pink nail polish.

Turning my head toward Cole, I drew in a deep breath. “If he had killed me, he would’ve cut off my ring finger. He would’ve stripped me out of the gown, put me in a new one, and that gown . . . and my finger would’ve hung in the room with the rest of them.”
Now a nightmare from the past was back, and I had to believe this was happening. Someone was out there and they’d already killed one woman, most likely two, and I knew that if the person was following the behaviors of the Groom, he already had someone else.

This book has the perfect balance of suspense and romance, Cole was so patience and loving with Sasha and he was not letting her go again. Why not five stars… I pretty much knew early on who the killer was and that was a bit disappointing, but overall I enjoyed it.

Happy Reading -J

Review: Velocity by Dean Koontz

Velocity by Dean Koontz
Michael Hayden (Narrator)
Published May 24th, 2005 by Random House Audio
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Bill Wile is an easygoing, hardworking guy who leads a quiet, ordinary life. But that is about to change. One evening, after his usual eight-hour bartending shift, he finds a typewritten note under the windshield wiper of his car. If you don’t take this note to the police and get them involved, I will kill a lovely blond schoolteacher. If you do take this note to the police, I will instead kill an elderly woman active in charity work. You have four hours to decide. The choice is yours.

It seems like a sick joke, and Bill’s friend on the police force, Lanny Olson, thinks so too. His advice to Bill is to go home and forget about it. Besides, what could they do even if they took the note seriously? No crime has actually been committed. But less than twenty-four hours later, a young blond schoolteacher is found murdered, and it’s Bill’s fault: he didn’t convince the police
to get involved. Now he’s got another note, another deadline, another ultimatum…and two new lives hanging in the balance.

Suddenly Bill’s average, seemingly innocuous life takes on the dimensions and speed of an accelerating nightmare. Because the notes are coming faster, the deadlines growing tighter, and the killer becoming bolder and crueler with every communication—until Bill is isolated with the terrifying knowledge that he alone has the power of life and death over a psychopath’s innocent victims. Until the struggle between good and evil is intensely personal. Until the most chilling words of all are: The choice is yours.

My thoughts…

Velocity starts with death by garden gnome story in a bar while Billy is bartending, which drew my interest right away (because I like garden gnomes) and it only became more interesting as the story progressed.

Billy wants nothing to do with this creep taunting him and trying to frame him for murders. Because of Billy’s own past (murdering his parents) he doesn't feel comfortable going to the police even though he wants to. It was frustrating that Billy was threatened and manipulated by the killer. Each time the creep would murder someone he would plant evidence in Billy’s home or property, and Billy would have to search for it and remove it from his property. I was routing for Billy all along as he came closer to determining the identity of the killer.

The only thing I didn’t care for was the explanation as to why the creep had targeted Billy in the first place.

Overall, I did enjoy it and would recommend it to other Koontz fans.

Happy Reading -J

Stacking the Shelves #12

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews and co-hosted by Reading Reality. It’s all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves; may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course e-books.

I spent last week with my parents in Cheyenne to celebrate both their birthdays and their wedding anniversary. Since my parents both enjoying reading as well, I bought each of them books for their birthdays. While at Barnes & Nobel, I happened to be browsing in the Bargain Books aisle and came across these two books for myself:  

Holocaust Chronicle by Ltd Publications International - The Holocaust Chronicle, written and fact-checked by top scholars, recounts the long, complex, anguishing story of the most terrible crime of the 20th century.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions) – The cover is so pretty, gray and silver, my mom was laughing because I was gushing over how beautiful the cover is. I can never have too many editions of Jane Eyre, right? Plus, it was in the Bargain Book aisle! 

What I added from an Amazon purchase:

The Japanese Lover a Novel by Isabel Allende – This is a book club read for the month of June at my local library, I’m excited to read it.

In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco's parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family's Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family, like thousands of other Japanese Americans are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world.

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – Between the Shades of Gray is one of my favorite books by this author, this book was an automatic purchase.

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer.

She devises a plan to get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street. Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak – Has been my TBR list for a long time. It is also on the “100 Books Everyone Should Read Before They Die” list. Hopefully I don’t die before I get a chance to read it…lol

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is what I added to my Kindle this week:

Complicate Me (The Good Ol' Boys #1) by M. Robinson -  A Kindle Freebie. I've read book #2 in this series, not sure why I skipped #1…hmm. It is a standalone series, I don’t have to read book #1 again.

It was complicated, it was also just the beginning.
A decision.
A simple choice.
There is always that one moment in life where things could have been different. That one moment where you could have chosen a path that would lead you down a certain road.
A different life.
It was easier to pretend that we were still best friends, and that she was my girl and I was her boy.
Pretending was better than knowing the truth...
I. Ruined. Us.
I had her.
I lost her.
I love her.

All I did was complicate us.

When Life Happened by Jewel E. Ann – I wasn’t too sure if I wanted to read this because there is cheating involved, and I tend to avoid those books but I gave in this time.

Parker Cruse despises cheaters. It might have something to do with her boyfriend sleeping with her twin sister.

After a wedding day prank involving a strong laxative, that ends the already severed relationship between the twins, Parker decides to grow up and act twenty-six.

Step One: Move out of her parents’ house.
Step Two: Find a job.

Opportunity strikes when she meets her new neighbor, Gus Westman. He’s an electrician with Iowa farm-boy values and a gift for saying her name like it’s a dirty word.

He also has a wife.

Sabrina Westman, head of a successful engineering firm, hires Parker as her personal assistant. Driven to be the best assistant ever, Parker vows to stay focused, walk the dog, go to the dry cleaners, and not kiss Gus—again.

Step Three: Don’t judge.
Step Four: Remember— when life happens, it does it in a heartbeat.

This is what I borrowed from the library:

PleasureUnbound (Demonica #1) by Larissa Ione (Audiobook) –  Already read/listened to, I liked it. Hate turn to love relationship between and Demon Slayer and a Demon.

In a place where ecstasy can cost you your life . . .

She's a demon-slayer who hungers for sensual pleasure-but fears it will always be denied her. Until Tayla Mancuso lands in a hospital run by demons in disguise, and the head doctor, Eidolon, makes her body burn with unshakable desire. But to prove her ultimate loyalty to her peers, she must betray the surgeon who saved her life.

Two lovers will dare to risk all.

Eidolon cannot resist this fiery, dangerous woman who fills him with both rage and passion. Not only is she his avowed enemy, but she could very well be the hunter who has been preying upon his people. Torn between his need for the truth and his quest to find his perfect mate before a horrific transformation claims him forever, Eidolon will dare the unthinkable-and let Tayla possess him, body and soul . . .

Dumplin'(Dumplin' #1) by Julie Murphy (Audiobook) – Currently reading/listening.

Dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom, Willowdean has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American-beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . .  until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Teen Blue Bonnet Pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, numerous, messy, affectionate. And every day from her balcony perch, seventeen-year-old Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them . . . until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs her terrace and changes everything. As the two fall fiercely in love, Jase's family makes Samantha one of their own. Then in an instant, the bottom drops out of her world and she is suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?

When two unlikely allies become two unwitting outlaws, will two unforgettable lovers defy unbeatable odds?

Bonnie Rae Shelby is a superstar. She’s rich. She’s beautiful. She’s impossibly famous. And Bonnie Rae Shelby wants to die.
Finn Clyde is a nobody. He’s broken. He’s brilliant. He’s impossibly cynical. And all he wants is a chance at life.
One girl. One boy. An act of compassion. A bizarre set of circumstances. And a choice – turn your head and walk away, or reach out your hand and risk it all?

I just had to share this picture of my mom, I took her this week to get a library card. She just turned 72 years old and never had a library card, she was happy to check out a true crime novel and a blu-ray movie. She wasn’t too happy about the computer system she must use to check out the items, she doesn’t like anything electronic, thank goodness, the library has someone there to help with check-out.

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has added to their shelves this week, have a wonderful weekend and thank you for visiting.