My First Experience With Audio Books #Papertowns

I’ve waited a long time to try audio books because I just wasn’t sure I would be able to listen to one and not miss anything. Also, there is just something about actually reading a book and I felt that by listening to an audio book I was going to be cheating myself of being able to enter the fantasy land that is a book. I am visiting my parents this weekend and it’s a 4 hour drive one way so I decided to finally give an audio book a try.

I decided to do the audible free trial to get a free audio book and see if I like them. I went with Paper Towns by John Green. I just recently read my first John Green novel and instantly fell in love with his writing style. You can see my review for Looking for Alaska here.

I’ve only listened to about half of the book so far and I must say that I am delighted with it! I was completely wrong about audio books. Not only can I connect with the characters but hearing it in someone else’s voice allows me to feel like I am right there with them. As I head back to my home on Sunday I will be listening to the remainder of Paper Towns so look for my review on Monday.

What was your first experience with audio books like? Have you tried them? Or are you like me and scared to try them? I’d love to hear about your experience in the comments.

Book Review: The Guest House by Erika Marks

Title: The Guest House
Author: Erika Marks
Genre: Romance
Publisher: NAL Trade
Publication Date: June 4th, 2013
 
Format: Hardcover (368 pages)
 
Series or Stand Alone: Stand Alone
For generations, the natives of Harrisport have watched wealthy summer families descend on their Cape Cod town and inhabit the massive cottages along the town’s best stretches of beachfront. But when rich southerner Tucker Moss breaks the heart of local girl Edie Wright in the summer of 1966, an enduring war is started between the two families that lasts for generations
As Edie’s youngest child, Lexi Wright should have know better than to fall in love with a Moss, but at nineteen, she falls hard for Tucker’s son, Hudson- only to find herself jilted a few years later when Hudson breaks off their engagement to marry his high school sweetheart. Now, fifteen years later, Lexi has just returned home, secretly nursing a broken heart after another failed romance. But when Hudson’s younger brother, Cooper, arrives unexpectedly to reclaim the Moss cottage after his father’s death, an unlikely attraction forms between the two, and Lexi finds herself torn once again between passion and family loyalty.
And then, renovations at the Moss guest house reveal a forty-five year-old declaration of love carved into a piece of framing- a truth that will force two women and the men who love them to confront the treacherous waters of their pasts.
Review:
 
This book goes between the past, 1966, and the present, 2012. We meet Edie Wright in the summer she gets her heart broken by Tucker Moss when she’s just eighteen. Then we meet her daughter, Lexie, who is just returning from a 2 year trip to London where she studied photography. Fifteen years prior she had her heart broken by Hudson Moss who is the son of Tucker. She has definitely struggled to get over her heart break and move on.
The Moss guest house plays a significant role in the story. Not only is where the story begins but it is intricately woven into the remainder of the story all the way up to the end. I was taken to the Cape and was engulfed with the beauty of the Moss estate.
I’ve been wanting to read this book since it was published and finally got around to it. It was everything I hoped for and more. This book is really about letting go of the past and moving on. It’s also about the bond between mother and daughter. I had a hard time putting this book down.
Rating: 5 stars
 




Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club. Unfortunately I am not currently part of a book club but if I was I would want to be part of one that reads Young Adult. So here are my top 10 picks for a YA book club

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs   
We Were Liars by E. Lockhart.
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

The Hit List by Nikki Urang
Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Fallen by Lauren Kate
What would you read with your book club?

Book Review: Surrender by Violetta Rand

Title: Surrender
Author: Violetta Rand

Genre: New Adult Romance

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group- Loveswept
Publication Date: January 27, 2015

I received this ARC for free in exchange for an honest review. 

Series or Stand Alone: Series- Devil’s Den #1

Welcome to the Devil’s Den, a Texas strip club where the air is heavy with desire–and sometimes dreams come true. 

Ever since her mother kicked her out, twenty-year-old Robyn Gonzalez has been working the poles at the Devil’s Den, saving up to finish college and travel the world. With only her wits and her gorgeous body to rely on, Robyn has learned to be independent–fiercely independent. She’s never been tempted to let a man distract her from her dreams… until she meets the dead-sexy Garrick Dempsey.

The club’s new head of security, Garrick had walked away from a career as a mechanical engineer to return to his roots in Corpus Christi. He hadn’t planned on getting to know someone like Robyn, with her sinfully sweet combination of vulnerability and strength, at the Devil’s Den. She acts tough, but only because she’s been hurt. Soon Garrick knows he will do anything to win Robyn’s trust. And if that means surrendering to the red-hot chemistry between them, all the better.

Review: 

Robyn’s kicked her out of the house causing her to grow up at a young age. This left her strong, determined, and a little vulnerable. She’s definitely not what you think of as a typical stripper. Garrick is an alpha male who isn’t afraid to show Robyn his softer side. From the moment they meet, their chemistry is electric.

“My arm brushes against hers. Skin on skin. Something sparks, and I look down at her. She catches my glance, then quickly averts her eyes.”

At first I didn’t like Garrick. The way he spoke to Robyn bothered me. This book is written from both of their perspectives and if it wasn’t for that, I’m not sure I would have liked Garrick. There are some things that he does for Robyn though that made me want to make him my book boyfriend. I love how he doesn’t rush to sleep with her.

“‘Will you trust me?’ Her hands slip up my waist, stopping on my chest. ‘With what?’ ‘Time,’ I say. And you…

I’ll admit that I wasn’t sure this was gonna be a book I liked with the setting being in a strip club. However, I will definitely be reading the rest of this series as it comes out.

Rating: 4.5 stars

 

 




A Winter’s Respite Read-A-Thon

I love reading challenges and read-a-thons so I thought I would join in for A Winter’s Respite Read-A-Thon. It’s starts today, January 26th, and runs through February 1st. I’m don’t have to work Friday-Sunday this week so those days will give me extra reading time. My goal is to read 4 books and listen to 1. Leave me a comment to let me know you are joining in.  

Weekly Book Recap

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey.
Last week was a quiet week at work and there wasn’t a whole lot going on after work either so I had time to get some reading done. Now I just need to catch up on my reviews. A Winter’s Respite Read-a-thon starts today so I hope to read several books for this. 
Finished Reading: 
As Good As Dead by Elizabeth Evans (Netgalley)
This book will be published March 31. Look for my review in March.
The Guest House by Erika Marks
Look for my review later this week. 
Surrender by Violetta Rand (Netgalley)
Look for my review tomorrow. 
What I wrote: 
I wrote my review for Autumn in Carthage by Christopher Zenos. 
Currently Reading: 
Columbine by Dave Cullen 
Reading Next: 
Heart of Fire by Mary Lennox (Netgalley)
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Paper Towns by John Green (audio book)

2015 Reading Challenge Addict

I would say I’m a Reading Challenge Addict. I’ve signed up for 18 reading challenges. My goal is to complete all of them so I’m going for the Out of This World level of 16+. My challenges are:

  1. 2015 Where Are You Reading? Challenge
  2. 2015 Contemporary Challenge
  3. 2015 Historical Romance Reading Challenge
  4. 2015 Erotic Romance Reading Challenge
  5. 2015 Alphabet Soup Challenge
  6. 2015 Books in Translation
  7. 2015 New to You Challenge
  8. 2015 Literary Pickers Challenge- completed 11/24/15 
  9. 2015 Back to the Classics Challenge
  10. 2015 Victorian Bingo
  11. 2015 Pages Read
  12. 2015 Banned Books Challenge
  13. 2015 What’s In a Name? Challenge
  14. 2015 You Read How Many Books? 
  15. 2015 Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge- completed 11/17/15
  16. 2015 Netgalley Challengecompleted 12/13/15
  17. 2015 Just For Fun Reading Challenge
  18. #2015HW Reading Assignment Challenge

You can see my progress on each challenge here.

2015 Netgalley Reading Challenge

The Netgalley Reading Challenge is hosted by Ariel at Fictively
The goal of this challenge is to get your feedback ratio to at least 80%. I recently joined Netgalley so my feedback ratio is currently at 0%. Therefore I am going to try to read and review at least 30 books. Hopefully I will be able to do more than this though. 
Goal: 30 Galleys

  1. As Good As Dead by Elizabeth Evans
  2. Surrender by Violetta Rand
  3. Playing Doctor by Kate Allure
  4. Heart of Fire by Mary Lennox
  5. Power and Possession by C.C. Gibbs
  6. Escape Velocity by Jess Anastasi
  7. Stealing Hearts by Erika Marks
  8. Fool’s Paradise by Jo Ann Ferguson
  9. Game Play by Lynda Aicher
  10. Stealing Rose by Monica Murphy
  11. Enchantment Lake by Margi Preus 
  12. The Joker’s Dozen by Laurie S. Sutton
  13. Seduction by Violetta Rand
  14. Love, Lucy by April Lindner (Invitation) 
  15. A Touch of Passion by Bronwen Evans 
  16. Sinful by Joan Johnston 
  17. Unforgiven by Lori Adams 
  18. Cupcakes and Crushes by Keri Ford  
  19. Loving Lucas by Violetta Rand 
  20. College Bound by Lilia Ford
  21. How to Lose a Bachelor by Anna Banks 
  22. Calling Her Bluff by Kaia Danielle 
  23. The Billionaire’s Christmas Proposal by Victoria James
  24. Compromising Her Position by Samanthe Beck  
  25. The Royal Conquest by Stacy Reid 
  26. A Whisper of Desire by Bronwen Evans 
  27. Persuasion by Violetta Rand 
  28. Crashed Out by Tessa Bailey
  29. His to Take by Katee Robert 
  30. Say You’re Mine by Diane Alberts

Harry Potter Moment of the Week

Harry Potter Moment of the Week is a meme hosted by Uncorked Thoughts. The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object, quote, etc. from the books/films/J.K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related. The list of topics can be found here.

This week’s topic: 
Best spot to chill at Hogwarts


I think the best spot to chill would be Hagrid’s hut. He always supplies tea and you never know what kind of creature he’s going to have there. Also, Fang is there to cuddle with even though he’ll slobber all over you. 

Book Review: Autumn in Carthage by Christopher Zenos

 

Title: Autumn in Carthage
Author: Christopher Zenos

Genre: Science Fiction

Format: eBook (332 pages)

Stand alone or series: Stand alone

The nether side of passion is madness. 

Nathan Price is a college professor with crippling impairments, seeking escape from his prison of necessity. One day, in a package of seventeenth-century documents from Salem Village, he stumbles across a letter by his best friend, Jamie, who had disappeared six months before. The document is dated 1692- the height of the Witch Trials. The only potential lead: a single mention of Carthage, a tiny town in the Wisconsin northern highland.

The mystery catapults Nathan from Chicago to the Wisconsin wilderness. There, he meets Alanna, heir to an astonishing Mittel-European legacy of power and sacrifice.In her, and in the gentle townsfolk of Carthage, Nathan finds the refuge for which he has long yearned. But Simon, the town elder, is driven by demons of his own, and may well be entangled in Jamie’s disappearance and that of several Carthaginians. As darkness stretches toward Alanna, Nathan may have no choice but to risk it all.

Moving from the grimness of Chicago’s South Side to the Wisconsin hinterlands to seventeenth-century Salem, this is a story of love, of sacrifice, of terrible passions- and of two wounded souls quietly reaching for the deep peace of sanctuary.

Review:

This is a book that I got for free off of Amazon and I’m not really sure what made me get it other than the free part. I don’t normally read science fiction and when I say don’t normally I mean never. Whatever it was that made me choose this book, I am so glad I did. Nathan is a very relatable character for anyone who has a mental disorder or has suffered from depression. Though the author never names what mental disorder Nathan actually has, I think this added to his character. The way he goes looking for his best friend, Jamie, after he goes missing says a lot about the kind of person he is and what that friendship meant to him. He takes a sabbatical from the university and goes to Wisconsin to a tiny town where the locals are mysterious.

Alanna is one of the locals he meets and I just picture her as being this gorgeous elegant woman. I wanted a romance to ensue between Nathan and Alanna from the moment she was introduced and I got just that. I love that the author did parts of the story from her viewpoint.

A major problem I had with this story is the Salem witch trials. From reading the blurb about the book, you would think that the witch trials plays a significant role in the story. This is not the case until closer to the end of the book and even then it’s not a huge part.

Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I think I may pick up a few more science fiction books to give a try.

Rating: 4.5 stars