On Dublin Street, an emotional journey of passion, love and trust

On Dublin StreetOn Dublin Street by Samantha Young
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An emotional journey of passion, love and trust.

Jocelyn Butler (Joss) has kept everyone at arm’s length for years, ever since her parents and sister, Elizabeth died in a car crash and then a year later her best friend, whom she had relied on while in foster care, was killed in an accident that Joss blames on herself. So for eight years she never let anyone close, as she spent her teenage years rebelling from everything, it was only after one scary incident when she was eighteen that she decided to change her life, yet still keeping her emotional walls up.

She moves to Scotland, the country her mother was from and with dual citizenship Joss is able to go to college and escape. Now, newly graduated from college she is ready to make her way as a writer. The problem is that she is in need of a new place and roommate since her best friend moved to London to continue her own education.

Joss is very frugal when it comes to her inheritance, as if it spending as little as possible would lessen the reason she has this money. Joss decides she needs to spend more for the kind of place she wants, something that will help the creative juices flow for her writing. She finds a great place and wonderful roommate in Elle; unfortunately it comes at a price: becoming friends with Elle, meeting and liking her family and feeling even more for her brother Braden, causing Joss to have panic attacks as she realizes she has not dealt with her family’s death after so many years.

We follow Joss as she works through her sorrow and begins to live again with the help of Elle and Braden. Braden pushes all her buttons and makes her live again and by falling in love with him she lets him break through the walls she has constructed around her emotions. This is an angst filled touching story about trust, love and letting others in. Although written in first person (something to get use to) I thoroughly enjoyed the story, as it kept me involved to the end to find if Joss completes her journey with the help of Braden.

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The Christmas eReader battle: Nook vs. Kindle

It took me a LONG time before I finally caved and bought myself an ereader. I was being stubborn and indignant about technology’s progress when it came to books. By golly, I would hold a physical book in my hand and read it or not read it at all!

That was silly.

When Pam was deciding whether to get a Nook or a Kindle, I helped do the research. That’s when I realized they weren’t so bad after all. And they aren’t, they’re really quite remarkable with everything that’s been pumped into them. From HD streaming movies, to full color games, internet, social media, email, and of course, books.

So, with Christmas coming around, and Santa’s list beckoning to you from your purse or wallet, an ereader just may be on your mind. The next question is, which one should you get? Especially with the introduction of the HD models and all the tablets available, which one is truly best?

I’m going to try and help you with that. Please know, I’m not a tech-savvy guru by any means, nor do I know everything there is to know, but I have done a bit of research and have personal experience with my Nook, so that is what I’m going to enlighten you with.

I’m going to focus my info on the two main ereaders on the market: Barnes & Noble’s Nook and Kindle’s Fire. I’m not going to touch the tablets or the mini tablets because they’re tablets that can be used as ereaders. Their first function isn’t reading. Plus, that would be way too much for me to tackle. So, here we go. There’s a lot of information.

Nook Family

Kindle Family

Back when I purchased my ereader, I chose Nook for a couple of reasons:

1)      The Silk browser on Kindle really wasn’t any faster than the Nook’s browser

2)      I could side-load apps and the Nook had external storage

3)      There was a brick and mortar store I could walk into and get help with my Nook and

4)      My Nook could accept almost any format of ebook imaginable, whereas Kindle can only do only a couple

Looking at the new ereaders available now, and going off of what I’ve been using my Nook Tablet for (which they don’t offer anymore. I think the closest thing would be the HD+), and what I wish I could do with it, I would be tempted by the Kindle.

I feel dirty saying that.

Here’s why I’d be tempted:

1)      The selection of books and music and movies via Amazon is, undoubtedly far superior to that of B&N. There are millions of self-published authors you have access to

2)       The pricing tends to be more competitive, especially if it is a self-published author

3)      The 4G capability, a true tablet-esque feature

4)      The app store has FAR MORE choices and there are more free apps here than with B&N (not that I really use that many apps on my reader)

5)      I like the classic look of the Kindle over the new Nook HD

But in the end, I’d still go with my Nook. I haven’t had any real problems with my Nook that going into the store didn’t fix. And the extended warranty I purchased was painless when I had to implement it the day my Nook decided to go for a swim in a mug-full of coffee at the bottom of my purse.

So why buy the Nook over the $600 Kindle when it seems there are so many more reasons to pump out a hefty price? If you’re going to spend that much money on something that’s “close to” a tablet, throw in a couple hundred more dollars and buy an actual tablet. That way, you can do everything under the sun on it, and not pay a tablet price for a fancy ereader.

There you have it. A bit of info and my two cents to help you make your decision. Whichever way you go, though, they’re all pretty comparable and you’re going to get a good product with great customer service. If you know someone with either reader (or any ereader, actually; Kindle and Nook aren’t your only options), ask to play with it a bit and get a feel for it. See which setup you prefer and why. Then, make your purchase and help make a very merry Christmas.

BOOK ADDICTS CALENDAR

Dec. 16 – Jan. 5

One Time Events:

E-Books for the Confused Reader: Tuesday, Dec. 18, 7-8 p.m., Library! At Hillcrest, Boise.

Taproot Book Club: 6:30 – 8 p.m., in conjunction with Boise Novel Orchard, Hyde Park Books, downtown Boise

Books to Film Movie Nights: Wednesday, Dec 19, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (with the Muppets!), Library! at Collister

Author Event: Thursday, Dec 20, 6 – 8:30 p.m., Eve Chandler, author of Building Bogus Basin and Brundage Mountain will be discussing and reading from her book at Hyde Park Books in downtown Boise

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Dec 22, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

All libraries closed: Christmas Day, Dec. 25

BLiP: Tuesday, Dec. 25, 7 – 9:30 p.m., a screenwriting reading, Hyde Park Books in downtown Boise

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Dec 29, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

Early Closure: Monday, Dec 31, 6 p.m., Main Library! closes early

All libraries closed: New Year’s Day, Jan. 1

Writing Group: Tuesday, Jan 1, 6:30 – 8 p.m., Boise Novel Orchard meets at Hyde Park Books in downtown Boise

Night Owl Story Time: Wednesday, Jan 2, 7 – 7:30 p.m., Main Library in Boise

Saturday Storytime: Saturday, Jan 5, 11 a.m., favorite Storytime books will be revisited today

Story Time with Justeen!: Saturday, Jan 5, 11 – 12 p.m., Hyde Park Books, Boise

Reoccurring Events:

Writers’ Block:  Tuesdays, Noon – 1p.m., Boise Community Radio, KRBX 89.9. Hosted by Jennifer Sanders Peterson and Amanda Turner

Poet’s and Writer’s Open Mic: Every first Thursday, 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Idaho Falls

Nook Tablet Class: Saturdays, 10 a.m., Barnes & Noble, Boise

Nook HD/HD+ Class: Saturdays, 11 a.m., Thursdays, 6 p.m., Barnes & Noble, Boise

Reoccurring Contact Information:

·         Library! At Collister: 4724 W State St, Boise 83703, (208) 377-4995

·         Library! Main: 715 S Capitol Blvd, Boise 83702, (208) 384-4076

·         Library! At Cole: 7557 W Ustick, Boise 83704, (208) 570-6900

·         Library! At Hillcrest: 5246 Overland Rd, Boise 83705, (208) 562-4996

·         Barnes & Noble: 1315 N Milwaukee Rd, Boise 83704, (208) 375-4454

·         Rediscovered Books: 180 N 8th St, Boise 83702, (208) 376-4229

·         Hyde Park Books: 1507 N 13th St, Boise 83702, (208) 429-8220

·         The Cabin: 801 S Capitol Blvd, Boise 83702, (208) 331-8000

 

Life of Pi

Author: Yann Martel

Genre: YA-ish (old man telling of his adventure at 16 years old)

Coffee Beans: 4/5

Content Rating: PG-13 (there’s some extreme, graphic violence)

Favorite Line: “The main battlefield for good is not the open ground of the public arena but the small clearing of each heart.” (pg 71, printed copy)

Cover Love: Simplisticly awesome

Instalove Factor: None present.

Personal Recommendation: Read it, but it’s an investment of time and brain cells. But worth it.
Life of Pi is a very unique book written in so many layers about
religion, survival, right and wrong and at a very collegiate level. The
writing is fantastic (almost hypnotic at times), the details both
captivating and repulsive, and the overall story so imaginative, I can’t
help but wonder, What was the point?

Let me explain.

The
book is a lot like the movie Castaway with Tom Hanks, but on a boat
instead of an island and with a Bengal Tiger named Richard Parker
instead of a volleyball named Wilson.

But there wasn’t any real
storyline or significant plot in the traditional sense. This boy is lost
out at sea for 227 days before he’s found (and you know he survives
because this book is an interview, you find that out in the beginning).
The first quarter of the book is about his childhood growing up, how he
got his nickname Pi, his schooling, and what it was like to grow up
living in a zoo (his father was the head man at the Pondicherry Zoo in
India). While it was fascinating to learn the ins and outs of zoos and
the different animals, the narrative was almost written like a
nonfiction, collegiate fashion that somewhat bored me and I ended up
skimming a little.

He also goes into theology. Pi, as a young boy
(he’s sixteen through most of this), constantly says that he just wants
to love God. As a result, he starts to follow not one religion, but
three. Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam. Needless to say, this was a
bit of an ordeal for his agnostic parents and the religious leaders of
the different houses of worship he was attending when they all found
out, but you couldn’t help but want to encourage young Pi in his journey
of seeking God. After all, he just wanted to love God, so why did he
have to pick only one religion to do so. While that vein of his life
story was interesting, going into the dry, theological details of each
religion was not, so I skimmed some of this, at times, as well.

The
next section was the majority of the book, and consisted of his story
being stuck out at sea. This was the most interesting part of the book,
obviously. And while it didn’t have any on the edge of your seat
action/peril/look out! moments, it was still very interesting. Martel
has a subtle way of telling the details of a story that seep into every
pore of your body. As Pi was baking from the sun and his skin getting
tortured by the salt spray, I could have sworn my skin tightened with
dehydration. I really could taste his victory of food and fresh water
when he found it, and was scared for him being exposed in the wild
Pacific ocean. This, to me, was the best part of the book, but I
couldn’t help but wish for more of a story arc.

The last section
of the book (about twenty pages or so) takes place when his ordeal ends.
Even though this was the smallest section, I almost liked this the
most. I got more personality from Pi, and this was where the most
thought provoking element of the book comes from. You are presented with
a question, and given the background of the book, and everything we
learn about Pi, it’s not the question I thought it was going to be when I
started reading the book. As a reader, you are given two very plausible
outcomes or paths to choose that come from the question. It’s almost
heart wrenching, the different possibilities. One is so real, and so
tragic, that you don’t want to pick that answer, you’re more willing to
pick the more fantastical option, however absurd it may be.

But in the end, the answer I chose to believe, I hope that is the truth. Because it is a sad and beautiful possibility.

I
would love to get a discussion group together to talk about this book
to see what everyone’s thoughts were, how they reacted to the storyline,
which answer they believe to be correct and why, and just to hear their
overall impressions. I also am planning on going to see the movie. I
heard it was fantastic and very beautifully filmed and followed the book
masterfully.

In the end, I would recommend this book. It’s not an
easy read, nor is it a light read. And you may end up like me at the
end, wondering what the whole point was, while still understanding what
the whole point was. But all-in-all, it was worth my time.

Happy reading, my friends!

–Me

Interview with Garden Valley author, Philip Arnold

Philip Arnold lives in Garden Valley and is the author of the middle grade novel, Suicide Plunge.

How long have you been a teacher? And what subject do you teach?

I have taught for 27 years, from 3rd grade through 8th grade. I currently teach 6-7-8th grade History and English at Garden Valley School.

What inspired you to write this book?

I had written and published about a dozen stories for outdoor magazines and had come to a dead-end there, so I decided to write a book.

How much of an inspiration were your kids?

They were a tremendous inspiration. I gave each of my 8th grade English students a copy of the rough draft of my book. We went through it page by page to spot my errors and add elements that they thought would be relevant to young adults. It was a great project because they were so in to it. They would come in every day full of ideas and angles of how to make the book better. We would discuss any potential changes as a class, although I had the final say. We focused on making this a book that the reader could easily picture in their mind as they read it. That is an important aspect of the creative writing that I teach.

Do you have any other projects you’re working on right now?

I’d love to say I am writing the sequel to Suicide Plunge, but I have yet to come up with an idea that is as good as the original. So my next book is still evolving.
Is the Suicide Plunge an actual race? Or a race based loosely on a real horse race?

It is based loosely on the “Suicide Race” a native American horse race that is run every August in Omak, Washington.
I, being a horse gal, noticed you had a lot of, what seemed to be, firsthand knowledge of racing and ranch work. Do you have a lot of experience in these areas? Or did you just do your homework?

I know a little about horses and ranch life but that only went so far. Luckily for me, there are a lot of horse savvy people here in Garden Valley. I had two students and one teacher in particular I went to for any questions I had about horses.

You’ve written two endings to your story. Personally, I prefer the one that’s in the physical book to the Kindle version. Why did you choose to write the ending both ways and which do you prefer?

I had always intended to have the main character die in the end. But when my youngest daughter was typing up the draft and got to the end where he died, she hated it. So I gave in to her and wrote an alternate ending which she loved. Ironically, I ended up liking the alternate ending better too.
When you’re not writing, what would we find you doing?

I do love teaching which takes up most of my time. When I have spare time though, I like doing anything outdoors. I am very lucky to be able to live in Garden Valley where I hunt, fish, snowmobile, hike and just enjoy the outdoors.
Last book you read?

Wild Men, Wild Alaska: An Alaskan Guide’s Story by Robert McElveen

Favorite holiday ritual or tradition?

EVERY year on the day before Christmas break, I sit down with my students and we all watch the movie, “A Christmas Story.” I have yet to have a student who disliked it.

I’ve read better, but still a fresh spin on Romeo & Juliette

Mystic City
Author: Theo Lawrence
Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-fi
Rating: 3/5
Content Rating: PG (Some
drug use/make-out scenes)
Cover Love: So in love
Instalove Factor: Not really
Spoiler Alert: None
Publisher’s Summary:
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City’s two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents’ sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn’t remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can’t conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have
glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.
My Review:
 
There were a few pretty impressive things about Mystic City.
  1. This is Theo’s debut novel
  2. It’s a female progtag POV written by a male author
  3. The world was pretty impressive
The idea behind the story, to me, was intriguing. I loved the idea of a Romeo and Juliet-esque story set in a dystopian/sci-fi future Manhattan. I got a very good visual sense of the Waterworld-type setting with the lower half of the city underwater and everything pretty much being built on cat walks.
I loved that Aria woke up one morning, remembering nothing, but being told she was in love with their family’s sworn enemy’s son. I loved that, while she trusted her family and what they told her, she still was unsure of a few things and wanted to pry.
But that’s where the loving stopped and reality busted in.
Do away with the prequel. Just skip it. I got the wrong idea from reading it so had an incorrect mindset while reading the whole rest of the book. It doesn’t have any “need to know” info so just don’t bother.
The MC was pretty weak. She really didn’t take much action at all, just kind of stood there and let life (read: abusive father, overbearing mother, superficial best friend, back stabbing brother, and  lying fiancé) push and pull her around. It wasn’t until the end of the book that she actually started making her own decisions that I really got into it.
More of Tuck. There wasn’t nearly enough page time for this peripheral character. As it stands, I don’t know why he was even in the book except to act as a chauffeur when Aria needed one and no other character was available. I think he would have added A LOT to the story, so I would’ve liked to see more of him. In fact, I would have liked to see all the characters fleshed out more. They were too two dimensional for me.
There were too many times where I got this strong sense of déjà vu about Harry Potter while reading this. (ie – Aria’s looking for an address, but the houses skip over the number she’s looking for. She does something that triggers the “door bell” and the two houses spread apart and there appears her missing house. Order of the Phoenix, anyone?)
Ugh. It’s a series. And it’s a long book. Probably about a quarter of the book didn’t need to be included. Nothing happened. She would be at work. Or out eating with her friends. Or just filling space with text on a page. There really was a lot of filler in here. And I’m sure not invested enough to pick up the second book. Sorry.
I originally wanted to give it a 2.5 but decided to up it to a 3. Don’t ask me why. I guess because it wasn’t entirely bad. But, as always, pick it up and decide for yourself, you may be thoroughly impressed.
Happy Reading!

–Rach

Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide to Getting Girls
Author: Tallulah Darling
Genre:YA
Content Rating: R for “strong language, drinking, euphemisms, and lots of “’bow chicka wow wow’”
Coffee Beans: 4.5
Favorite Line: Holy crap, there were so many.
Personal Recommendation: Read it. Now
Cover Appeal: So awesome it’s beyond words
Instalove Factor: None
Spoliers: No
Publisher’s Summary:
Why the hell can’t chicks be more like guys?

That question plagues high school senior Sam Cruz. Sam is perfectly happy being a player. He just wishes girls wouldn’t change the game from sex to relationships. It makes him look like an asshole. But when Sam’s best friend, Ally Klinger, gets dumped, she begs him to transform her into someone who can screw around then screw off. No risk of heartbreak that way. It’s Sam’s chance to create the perfect female AND cheer up his best friend. Armed with Sam’s Three Step Guide to Backseat Success, Ally gets the game better than Sam thought she would and before long, Sam has his wish: the female version of himself. Too bad it’s driving him nuts. Told from Sam’s and Ally’s alternating POVs, Sam Cruz’s Infallible Guide to Getting Girls is a fast-paced romantic comedy that follows these teens as they navigate the minefield of sex, love, and friendship.

This book contains strong language, drinking, euphemisms, and lots of “bow chicka wow wow.”

My Review:
Holy hell. Was this book funny! I’m not talking, “Yeah, I cracked a smile a few times” funny, but “I laughed out loud and got strange looks from strangers” funny. Like, on every page.  I loved the hilarious banter between Ally and Sam. Their one liners and inside jokes. The scenes and situations that Tallulah wrote I could picture in my head at every second, which made the hilarity of what was going on even more real. I mean, this should be a movie. Granted, it probably wouldn’t be appropriate for the kiddos out there because of all the bow chicka wow wow.
So, here’s my warning to you about this book if you’re thinking about reading it: If you go into this with the mindset that this is supposed to be some serious, profound book, you’re going to be disappointed. Possibly even disgusted. But, if you go into this book with the mindset of “it is what it is”, you’ll appreciate what Ally’s trying to do and Sam’s struggle with turning his best friend into himself. That’s how I was able to enjoy this book as much as I did and read it in less than a day.
The book, obviously, is about sex. And while that’s a vulgar topic for a YA book to be about, Tallulah does it in a way that somehow, is completely un-vulgar. She has mad skill in the dialogue department and the setup of the relationship between Ally and Sam right from the beginning. I think it’s because alternating chapters are told from either Sam or Ally’s POV.
Which coincidentally was also a problem I had with this book.
There were several times I thought I was reading Ally’s POV only to remember it was Sam’s head I was in. Talk about confusing. The only other thing I had an issue with, was when a certain secret was spilled, suddenly everyone knew, but I don’t remember ever reading a scene where the friends were told about said secret. It just all of a sudden, was.
I especially enjoyed the relationship development between Ally and Sam. Given their history and backgrounds, the pace in which the evolution happened was totally believable. Especially the end. Which I won’t spoil for you. But I’ll for sure be on the prowl for more of Tallulah’s books.
Some funny lines:
“Yo, fry Ninja, step down.” –Ally
“Monkey humping credit card baller,” I mutter. “I don’t think so.” –Sam
“Having just gushed like chicks in a tampon commercial, I feel I need to get this speech back on a more manly track. ‘So deal with it.’ There. Balls back.” –Sam
I want you to go and read it for yourself, laugh until your sides hurt and you get cautious looks from strangers, and then pass the book on to a friend.
Now.
Like, seriously.
AND the book trailer is pretty kick ass. 🙂
Happy reading, my friends!

–Me

The Trouble with Cowboys

The Trouble with Cowboys (Catcher Creek, #1)The Trouble with Cowboys by Melissa Cutler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: The Trouble With Cowboys
Author: Melissa Cutler
Publisher: Kensington (October 2, 2012)
ISBN-10: 1420130048
ISBN-13: 978-1420130041
Pages: 312

Catcher Creek, New Mexico is home to Amy Sorentino, although she has not lived here from several years she is now committed to creating a life here with her sisters and nephew as she has given up her career and sold her condo to put money in the ranch project.

Unfortunately she has to live down her most humiliating experience, her mental collapse on the reality TV cooking challenge called The Ultimate Chef Showdown. She came close to winning the show but was sabotaged by a chef who dressed like a cowboy (Brock McKenna) and probably never spent any time near a horse. Amy liked Brock and flirted with him throughout the show never knowing that he was trying to ruin her chance at winning. When her meal was ruined and she was voted off the show, she had a meltdown that was filmed and viewed my millions. Rule number one became her top priority – stay away from cowboys.

Amy likes to chop vegetables when she is stressed and coming back home to the stares and whispers of the town has her chopping celery to an extreme, much to the delight of the hogs on the farm. While on a desperate search for celery one day, Kellen Reid comes to her rescue before she makes a scene at the mini-mart in town. Kellen is the owner of Slipping Rock Ranch one of the best ranches around that has quality beef and she needs to talk to him about plans for the ranch.

Her sisters (Rachel and Jenna) along with Amy are transforming their farm into a vacation spot for families, including a restaurant. Her restaurant called The Local Dish will feature locally grown ingredients and she is visiting the local business owners to buy their products. As she talks with Kellen about the future restaurant, she totally forgets rule number one and spends an amazing night with Kellen only to regret it almost immediately no matter how attracted she is to him.

While growing up, responsibilities of the farm were left to Rachel and Amy while their father was always thinking of his next money making scheme. Jenna did not work on the farm much preferring to run a little wild until she found herself pregnant and turned her life around for her son. Although all three sisters have had their priorities changed since Tommy was born, Rachel is still angry the other two left her the responsibility for the farm, and they are constantly bickering about anything and everything. Their father was a dreamer and their mother self medicated her depression to where they could not count on them. Their mother (Bethany) is currently in a facility because she no longer can take care of herself. Amy has always felt she would turn into her mother so was deeply affected when she had the meltdown on TV.

Years ago Amy’s father signed an agreement with Bruce Morton and his company Amarex; he is the uncle of Kellen to be able to purchase the farm in case of foreclosure. He has been trying to get the sister’s land even though it is thought that there is no oil on it. Kellen is at a loss as to why his uncle wants it so badly. Kellen knows that his uncle is an unscrupulous person so never wants to help him when asked. So when Morton contacts him about the Sorentino farm he is determined to finally ruin him and send him to jail. Kellen has been taping conversations for several years to ruin Morton for just this reason.

Kellen also comes from dysfunction; Kellen and his brother raised themselves until their parents went to jail sending them into foster care. His brother Jake rarely speaks to him because he feels betrayed when Kellen turned eighteen. Kellen feels bad about that but at the time he was too messed up. Here in Catcher Creek, he has made a family with his good friends.

While Kellen and Amy sort out their feelings family, business and emotion come into play to make life a bumpy road to happiness.

I loved this book as it is an emotional roller coaster ride from the beginning to the end. The characters are a wonderful collection of quirky and interesting people. I loved the interactions between Kellen and his friends that he has embraced as family. The story was touching, you could tell both Amy and Kellen have issues they must resolve before they can totally commit to each other however the attraction between them keeps them coming back together. The storyline of Kellen’s family is so moving that I needed tissues. What started out as a combustible attraction between them moved to friendship then love – wonderful.

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Rescue My Heart – An enjoyable addition to the Animal Magnetism series.

Rescue My Heart (Animal Magnetism, #3)Rescue My Heart by Jill Shalvis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Title: Rescue My Heart (Animal Magnetism #3)
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Berkley (November 6, 2012)
ISBN-10: 0425255816
ISBN-13: 978-0425255810
Pages: 304

Adam Connelly has PTSD and although has been in therapy for two years he does not believe he is dealing with it well. Two years ago he came home from a mission in Afghanistan and has battled his nightmares ever since. He makes a living teaching and training search and rescue personnel and dogs and is very accredited; however he had not been involved in an active rescue in two years, not since Afghanistan when he and his unit had been called to rescue a group of British soldiers stuck on the side of a mountain. His group rappelled from helicopters into enemy fire and were stuck in caves for several days, half his unit was killed in that rescue attempt and he has not gotten over it.

Holly Reid is the daughter of one of Adam’s clients and what others do not realize is that twelve years ago, before he went into the army she was much more to him. Holly’s father, Donald Reid is a very wealthy business man who has bought several failing ranches and turned them around. Holly is handling the business side of the ranching conglomerate. Her father and Adam work together as Donald fosters several search and rescue puppies while Adam trains them until they were ready to go to work.

Adam had been Holly’s first everything until he left for the army breaking her heart. She got married quickly when she left town much to the dismay of her father and brother. It turned out to be a miserable marriage when she caught him cheating so she left him and when Derek did not show up at court, was granted a divorce. Her pride has prevented her from saying anything to her family, as she did not want to hear the “I told you so” speech.

Holly has only ever asked Adam for one thing, that when he went into the army he kept her in his heart, however he didn’t and left without looking back. And now unfortunately she is back seeking him out to ask him for another favor. Her father is missing and she feels something bad has happened. As they race to find her father in the Idaho wilderness, they relive old hurts. Holly realizes she still has strong feelings for Adam and yet Adam feels his current state of mind is dangerous and does not feel he is stable enough to take on more than he is doing now. Even though he has strong feelings for Holly, he is one very scared man.

I think this was my favorite out of the series so far. I love the damaged hero and Adam was the perfect fit. They complemented each other nicely and I loved how Holly helped him deal with his issues without making him feel worse. Holly so protected her feelings from everyone that when she did let them show it was unforgettable. I enjoyed seeing Adam’s brothers as they tried to help him yet realizing that Holly was so good for him. All in all a wonderful story full of hope.

View all my reviews

No PSA here, just a great book about a real topic

Easy
Author: Tammara Webber
Genre: NA (New Adult)
Content Rating: R for, you know…
Coffee Beans: 4
Favorite Line:
Personal Recommendation:
Read it. Now
Cover Appeal: Awesome sauce
Instalove Factor: None present
Spoliers: Yes, sort of. But I warn you when
Publisher’s Summary:
A girl who believes trust can be misplaced, promises are made to be
broken, and loyalty is an illusion. A boy who believes truth is relative, lies
can mask unbearable pain, and guilt is eternal. Will what they find in each
other validate their conclusions, or disprove them all?
When Jacqueline follows her longtime boyfriend to
the college of his choice, the last thing she expects is a breakup two months
into sophomore year. After two weeks in shock, she wakes up to her new reality:
she’s single, attending a state university instead of a music conservatory,
ignored by her former circle of friends, and failing a class for the first time
in her life.Leaving a party alone, Jacqueline is assaulted by
her ex’s frat brother. Rescued by a stranger who seems to be in the right place
at the right time, she wants nothing more than to forget the attack and that
night–but her savior, Lucas, sits on the back row of her econ class, sketching
in a notebook and staring at her. Her friends nominate him to be the perfect rebound.When her attacker turns stalker, Jacqueline has a
choice: crumple in defeat or learn to fight back. Lucas remains protective, but
he’s hiding secrets of his own. Suddenly appearances are everything, and
knowing who to trust is anything but easy.

My Review:
Easy is a very convoluted, detailed book. And not in a bad
way. I tried explaining it to my friend when she asked what it was about, and I
realized, at the end of my sloppy description, that there is A LOT going on in
the story. Let’s see if I can make it better this time around.
Mostly, this book is about Jacqueline’s journey through
coping with the fact that she was assaulted and almost raped by someone she
knew, and then her relationship with Lucas. But mostly her relationship with
Lucas and him helping her and her being empowered to deal with what happened to
her.
See? Even that was messy.
*sigh*
Let’s get out of the way what I didn’t like (and this is a
bit of a spoiler, so skip a head if you don’t want to read this). There were
two things.
1.
She has this attraction to Lucas, a guy in her
econ class. He’s super cute, a bad boy, and according to her friends–the perfect
rebound guy from her recent break-up. So, she toys with him. He plays along.
They make out and then at class the next day, they completely ignore each other
like nothing ever happened. Like the hadn’t even met!! That, to me, was
frustrating and a tad unbelievable. But not a deal breaker.
2.
Because of said break-up, (and the assault) she’s
in a hot, emotional mess, and skips two weeks of her econ class because her ex
is taking it, too. The teacher says she can take up tutoring with the TA (who
she’s never met) to catch up on what she missed and then get a project
assignment to make up for her midterm. His name is Landon.
Landon.
Lucas.
Lucas.
Landon.
Anyone else seeing what’s being set up here? To me, it was completely obvious that they were the
same guy. Like, 100%, no bones about it. I can’t believe Jacqueline didn’t pick
up on it.
So those were the only two issues I had. The rest is all
good.
The writing of Tammara is very, very good. It seems, with
these types of books (I don’t know if they have an official genre or not. But
you know the ones; Beautiful Disaster, Crash/Clash, 50 Shades), writing seems
to come secondary to all the other “stuff”. But with Tammara, writing and
telling the story comes first. And it’s soooo
well done. All of it.
I enjoyed the characters immensely. Jacqueline was a real
person with believable actions and thoughts, her friend Erin was saucy and
offered strength, wisdom, and comedic relief. And Lucas was actually a strong
male character in this book. And not just physically strong (cuz he was that,
too), but he was mature and reasonable and was kinda just a normal guy (thank
you, Tammara. There aren’t enough Lucas’ in YA/NA/Crossover books).
I LOVED how
Tammara talked about the importance of a female knowing that being raped isn’t
their fault. That it’s not something to be ashamed of, and it’s okay to get
help. She delivered all the important information and the truth of the
situation in a natural way and at no time did I feel like I was reading a PSA
(public service announcement).
I’ll tell you this, I’m signing up for a self-defense class
after reading this book.
One thing I do wish, that she added a little more to the
stalker element of the story. I think that would have added a bit more depth to
the plot, given it a bit more to sink my teeth into.
And I loved that this was a standalone book. Can you tell
that I’m not really into books that are setting up a series?
Happy reading, my friends!

–Me