Monday, September 22, 2014

Review: Barefoot in the Rain by Roxanne St. Claire

Title: Barefoot in the Rain   
Author: Roxanne St. Claire    
Series: Barefoot Bay, #2      
Published: October 2012, Forever   
Format: Paperback,     
Source: Personal copy   

They say you can never go home again . . .

When "Life Coach to the Stars" Jocelyn Bloom is embroiled in scandal, the only place she can hide is the one place she wishes she could forget. She left Barefoot Bay-and the boy next door who knew all her secrets-years ago. Now nothing about the tiny island off the coast of Florida is quite how she remembers it, especially Will Palmer. He's even more gorgeous and tempting . . . and still capable of turning her world inside out.

But what if someone is waiting for you?

To Will Palmer, Guy Bloom is more than the elderly, senile neighbor he looks after-he's the last connection to Jocelyn, the woman Will loved and lost. But the reunion with Jocelyn doesn't go smoothly. Shocked by the change in her father's personality, Jocelyn struggles to reconcile her dark childhood with the sweet, confused man who has grown close to Will. Jocelyn has guided countless clients to happiness-but can she escape the rainy days of her past for a new sunny future with Will?
***Short & Sweet Reviews are short, quick reviews. These will mainly be used for series books where I have already done full reviews on some of the earlier books or for books that I feel will suffice with a quick review. These will not be used for review requests or blog tours.

My thoughts: As soon as I had read the first book in this series, Barefoot in the Sand, I just knew it was going to be a series I was going to continue reading. The characters are completely relatable, the story lines feel as if they could happen in real life and the romance is sweet.

This book is more than just a romance novel, though. It touches on real life issues, including Alzheimer's and domestic abuse. The emotion that comes out of the characters is raw and real, and had me tearing up quite a few times. But, the story is also uplifting - it's about second chances. It finds the main character, Jocelyn, answering the question, how far would you go for those you love?

I enjoyed the first book in this series and had been looking forward to reading this one. Jocelyn's story is heartbreaking and I found myself rooting for her all the way. I thought Wil was a great match for her and loved watching them find their way to their HEA again. As in the previous book, the three friends were great as secondary characters, as was the town. I can't wait to catch up with these characters again soon with Zoe's story, which is up next!
 


Books in this series:
  1. Barefoot in the Sand
  2. Barefoot in the Rain
  3. Barefoot in the Sun
  4. Barefoot by the Sea

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Sunday Post #41 (9.21.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. I'm also going to link this up with Sheila's It's Monday post over at Book Journey

Fall is almost here and while we've had some fall-like weather, it seems summer is making a last minute appearance here in NY this weekend. I did a little fall decorating around the house this weekend - I love the fall. It's definitely my favorite season, all the pumpkins and apples and leaves changing colors. I just need to get my fall candles and I'll be all set!


Have a great week everyone!!! 

*****************************************************************************************
Last week on the Blog:            

* Review: Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs
* Review: Winter of the World by Ken Follett
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in September 19

Books Read:        

* Winter of the World by Ken Follett (mine)
* The Homecoming by Robyn Carr (review e-book)
* The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell (audio book)
* Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little (review audio book)

 Currently Reading:              
* Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne (review book)               
* Close to Home by Lisa Jackson (review audio book)

Books Up Next:                  

* Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett (review book)
* Burn by James Patterson (review book)     
      

Recent Giveaway Winner:            
* Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers...Michele


  Coming Up on the Blog:
* Review: Barefoot in the Rain by Roxanne St. Claire

* Blog Tour & Review: Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne (with Giveaway!!!)
* Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
* Review: Perfect Together by Carly Phillips
  

 
Book Haul:     
For Review:
* A Place Called Harmony by Jodi Thomas (courtesy of Author)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in September 19


  #BookBlogWalkers is hosted by Felicia @ The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog
 
I was doing really good this week until I woke up Thursday with a nasty head cold! And it came out of no where...I was in the city on Wednesday and felt totally fine. I walked around all afternoon - managing to get in over 20,000 steps, even!!! It was  a great day, just wandering around. Then Thursday morning - sick...so, needless to say, I didn't do much the rest of the week. Oh well. Hopefully the cold is short-lived!
 
Here's how my week went:  

Sep 13:  rest
Sep 14:  rest
Sep 15:  45 minutes
Sep 16:  45 minutes

Sep 17:  4 hours of walking around NYC (20,000+ steps!!!)
Sep 18:  rest - sick :-(

Sep 19:  rest - sick :-(
 
How did your week go?

Friday, September 19, 2014

Review: Winter of the World by Ken Follett

Title: Winter of the World   
Author: Ken Follett    
Series: The Century Trilogy, #2      
Published: September 2012, Dutton Adult  
Format: Hardcover, 940 pages   
Source: Personal copy  

Picking up where Fall of Giants, the first novel in the extraordinary Century Trilogy, left off, Winter of the World follows its five interrelated families—American, German, Russian, English, and Welsh—through a time of enormous social, political, and economic turmoil, beginning with the rise of the Third Reich, through the great dramas of World War II, and into the beginning of the long Cold War.

Carla von Ulrich, born of German and English parents, finds her life engulfed by the Nazi tide until daring to commit a deed of great courage and heartbreak....American brothers Woody and Chuck Dewar, each with a secret, take separate paths to momentous events, one in Washington, the other in the bloody jungles of the Pacific....English student Lloyd Williams discovers in the crucible of the Spanish Civil War that he must fight Communism just as hard as Fascism....Daisy Peshkov, a driven social climber, cares only for popularity and the fast set until war transforms her life, while her cousin Volodya carves out a position in Soviet intelligence that will affect not only this war but also the war to come.


These characters and many others find their lives inextricably entangled as their experiences illuminate the cataclysms that marked the century. From the drawing rooms of the rich to the blood and smoke of battle, their lives intertwine, propelling the reader into dramas of ever-increasing complexity.

My thoughts: As I mentioned in my review of Fall of Giants, I am only just getting into this series, but let me tell you, I am absolutely loving the books. Despite the length of books - each of the three books is at least 900 pages - once you start reading, the story reads quite quickly, at least books one and two did (and I hope book three does, too!).  I feel that with each book, not only am I getting a great story, but a crash course in history.

Winter of the World picks up ten years after Fall of Giants ends. Many of the same characters are in the book but we are also introduced to the second generation of the families and it is these characters that really carry the story forward. I feel that by the end of each book, you really know these characters. Each and every character is completely flushed out and, while we see them go through some pretty heavy stuff, including all that comes with the war, we also see the interpersonal relationships the characters have and all the drama that goes along with that.

This book seemed to hit me a bit harder than the first book. There were a few more disturbing scenes included in the book that centered around WWII. It really reminds us just how horrific the war really was and how it wasn't just the soldiers that suffered. I appreciated reading about the attacks on Pearl Harbor - I was born on Pearl Harbor day, so that's a day that I never forget. Reading about accounts of it from the perspective Ken Follett gives us, in the eyes of our beloved characters, puts it in a new light.

There is one more book to this amazing trilogy and I cannot wait to start reading it. Although, like most series, I'm not sure I want it to end...



Books in this series:
  1. Fall of Giants
  2. Winter of the World
  3. Edge of Eternity

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Review: Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs

Title: Fatal Voyage   
Author: Kathy Reichs    
Series: Temperance Brennan, #4      
Narrator: Kate Harper   
Published: August 2001, Simon & Schuster Audio  
Length: 11 hours 47 minutes  
Source: Personal copy via Audible    

A plane crashes high in the mountains of North Carolina. But a severed foot is discovered a good distance from the crash site.

Forensic anthropologist Dr Temperance Brennan is first on the scene. Her task is a sickening one, and her investigation seems to be raising more questions than answers.

But when Tempe starts asking dangerous questions, her professional standing is threatened. Convinced that another corpse lies in the woods, Tempe pits herself against a conspiracy of silence - and uncovers a shocking tale of deceit and depravity.
***Short & Sweet Reviews are short, quick reviews. These will mainly be used for series books where I have already done full reviews on some of the earlier books or for books that I feel will suffice with a quick review. These will not be used for review requests or blog tours.

My thoughts: I am desperately behind in this series as I am reviewing book 4 and book 17 is due out next week - eek!!! Despite that, I have to say that I really have enjoyed the books I've read/listened to so far in this series. There's just something about this series that keeps me hooked and the suspense builds steadily throughout the book. I think this is my favorite of the series so far.

I find that with each book, we get a better picture of Tempe Brennan. This is why I love reading series in order - for the character development. I love seeing Tempe at work and this time around, she was involved in a case in the US as opposed to Canada, where the last books seemed to take place. She is relentless in her pursuit of finding out what is going on, and I loved that tenacity in her!  I was also pleased to see that Andrew Ryan was back in the picture. I like the dynamics between Tempe and Ryan and hope we haven't seen the last of him!


Audio thoughts: I enjoyed Kate Harper's narration of this story and hope she will be doing more of this series. She gave each of the characters their own unique voice and did a good French-Canadian accent when needed.


Books in this series: 
  1. Deja Dead                                12.  206 Bones
  2. Death du Jour                       13.  Spider Bones
  3. Deadly Decisions                 14.  Flash & Bones
  4. Fatal Voyage                         15.  Bones are Forever
  5. Grave Secrets                        15.5  Bones in Her Pocket
  6. Bare Bones                              16.  Bones of the Lost
  7. Monday Mourning              16.5  Swamp Bones
  8. Cross Bones                            17.  Bones Never Lie
  9. Break No Bones
  10. Bones to Ashes
  11. Devil Bones

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Sunday Post #40 (9.14.14)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. I'm also going to link this up with Sheila's It's Monday post over at Book Journey

This past week was so busy at work that I didn't have a lot of quality reading time. On top of that, the book I'm reading is quite the chunkster, so even though I was able to read a little bit here and there, I'm still not done. The book is great, but it's just taking a bit longer to read than I would like! And this week isn't looking much better...

On the positive side, I do get to spend the day in NYC one day this week. I have a training workshop I need to go to on Wednesday and it just so happens that my brother, who lives in London, will be in NYC this week, so we're going to meet up for dinner! And I just might be able to sneak in a quick visit to my favorite tea shop to stock up on the loose teas I love.

Have a great week everyone!!! 

*****************************************************************************************
Last week on the Blog:            

* Blog Tour, Review & Giveaway: Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers
* Review: Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
* Review: The Other Girl by Pam Jenoff
* Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in September 13

Books Read:        

* none :-(

 Currently Reading:              
* Winter of the World by Ken Follett (mine)               
* Dear Daughter by Elizabeth Little (review audio book)

Books Up Next:                  

* The House We Grew Up In by Lisa Jewell (review book/audio book)
* Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett (mine)     
      

Current Giveaways:            
* Accidents of Marriage by Randy Susan Meyers...Ends 9.15.14


  Coming Up on the Blog:
* Review: Fatal Voyage by Kathy Reichs

* Review:Winter of the World by Ken Follett
* Review: The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
* Review: Barefoot in the Rain by Roxanne St. Claire
  

 
Book Haul:     
For Review:
* Crazy Love You by Lisa Unger (courtesy of Author)


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Book Blog Walkers: Weekly Check-in September 12


  #BookBlogWalkers is hosted by Felicia @ The Geeky Bloggers Book Blog

This past week was crazy busy at work. I work mainly from home, occasionally going into the office for meetings or trainings. This week, though, I had be in the office every day to cover the phones due to sick leave and vacation coverage, so it really messed up my regular schedule. I got in short walks each day, but everything felt very rushed, trying to fit it all in in order to get to the office on time. Working from home is so much more relaxing!!! (Plus I don't have to get all dolled up - I can stay in my comfy clothes all day!) Unfortunately, it's going to be more of the same for the next 2 weeks...ughh!


Despite all that, I still managed to get in my 10,000 steps Monday-Friday. Last weekend I was helping my sister pack and while I got 5,000 steps on Sunday, I didn't quite make it on Saturday. I was close and made sure I got my deficit in on Sunday. My trick to getting my steps in when I don't get in a super long walk in the morning is to walk around my living room at night while catching up on my drv. Hey - whatever works, right!

 
Here's how my week went:  

Sep  6:  rest
Sep  7:  rest
Sep  8:  30 minutes
Sep  9:  30 minutes

Sep 10:  30 minutes
Sep 11:  45 minutes
 
Sep 12:  30 minutes
 
How did your week go?
 

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