Posted in Historical Fiction Book Reviews

Book Review: DNF’d

Valentine

Hello friends,

Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore was a novel that I picked this up, and read three chapters, before I DNF’d it. The writing was good. Really, really excellent. But the story itself was not meant for me, as I was most definitely not the right target audience at this point and time.

Violent, gritty, the writing was easily some of my favorite; however I disliked the topic of the story, and the way it set up, in terms of justice, retribution, and the way things evolved. Three chapters probably isn’t fair, but I was hoping for something far more centered around survival out in the wilderness, than vengeance and graphic violence. Maybe I’ll pick it up again in another setting, but for now, it was just a bit too dark hearted for the mood that I was craving in terms of a good survival story.

A solid 3 stars.

Until later,

Pass Me That Book

Posted in Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: Foul Play

Foul Play

Title: Foul Play
Author: Janet Evanovich
Genre: Adult Romance
Page Count: 250
Publisher: Harper Fiction
Type of Book: Paperback, Owned
Received: Thrift Store
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 3.5 stars rounded up to 4/5 stars
Notes: A silly yet pleasant, a great read for fall

I randomly picked up one of my many, many Janet Evanovich books that I hadn’t read (I think I’ve about thirty of them I’ve not gotten my way through yet, I really need to re-read the series at the start too of Stephanie Plum) and finished this in one sitting, admittedly skimming through a large portion in the middle.

The book was silly, but not bad. I liked Amy and Elliot. I liked the animals. I liked the ridiculous situations that the characters got in. It didn’t wow the pants off of me as a story, but I still was entertained regardless. Amy reminded me similarly to Stephanie, in a weird kind of way. A subtle similarity that barely surfaced. I believe these books were pre-Stephanie Plum, though I could be wrong. I’d have to check on Goodreads to be sure.

The plot is as follows from Goodreads

When Amy Klasse loses her TV job to a dancing chicken, handsome veterinarian Jake Elliott rescues her with an offer to be his receptionist. Jake just can’t resist a damsel in distress, and Amy certainly doesn’t mind Jake’s charming sincerity.
Then suddenly the job-stealing chicken disappears and Amy is suspected of foul play. Amy and Jake search for clues to prove her innocence. But will Jake be able to prove to Amy that love, too, is a mystery worth solving?

Overall, I liked it. I’m glad I read it, because it was fun. I’m getting repetitive, so I’ll just end things here. If you’re a fan of Janet Evanovich? I’d recommend trying this when you don’t feel like reading anything serious during the holidays. It’s a good fall read, and with lots of funny moments, I found myself grinning quite a bit through this one.

3.5 rounded up to 4/5 stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Romance

Book Review: Virgin River

Virgin River

Title: Virgin River
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Book 1
Genre: Romance, Adult Fiction
Publisher:
Page Count: 500
Status: Completed
Type of Book: Kindle Ebook
Received: Library Loan
Rated: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Notes: Trigger warnings for detailed pregnancies, abandoned babies, army men returned from war, brief mention of spousal abuse, teens making poor choices, and occasional harsh language, as well as lots of injured patients, background death of a husband

This book didn’t quite live up to my expectations of what I wanted out of a romance. While the romance was very sweet and well handled, I just didn’t come away feeling super attached to the characters. I really liked Jack’s character, but Mel seemed a bit over the top and really dramatic. To be fair, she did have a lot going on but she seemed overall whiny and just not what I was in the mood to read about.

I should note, this is apparently being turned into a Netflix series, another reason that I snapped up the book to read and see if it was worth trying out. I love medical dramas, especially medical dramas set out in the wilderness where there isn’t as much medicine, help, or whathaveyou. The medical scenes in this book where well handled, coming from a grandmother who was a nurse and my mother who was a nurse, I recognized a fair bit of this book was definitely well researched. My hat goes off to the author for a splendid job, and I will be passing this book along to my grandmother who likes this type of romance more than I do.

I spent maybe three and a half hours with this 500 page chunker, fyi. I simply flew through the pages, staying up till eleven o’clock to see what happens with Mel and Jack. The author’s writing style makes me think vaguely of Nora Roberts and Susan Mallory; the book was easy to read, and there was plenty going on…it was just too “cute” and “awwww” for me, if you get what I mean. I wanted a bit more than just mellow romance that was barely a 4 out of the 10 romance scale for hotness.

Overall, not bad but not sure I’ll continue trying out the author. Depends on what mood I’m in I guess. 3.5 out of 5 stars, and the jury’s out whether I’ll try out the Netflix series.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Uncategorized

Book Review: The Bear

The Bear

Title: The Bear
Author: Andrew Krivak
Series: Standalone
Genre: Adult Fiction
Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press
Page Count: 300
Status: Completed
Type of Book: Arc, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: I very much loved this book, it was beautifully rendered! Well deserving of 5 stars!

Lyrical and beautifully written prose throughout the whole book with a moving story about a girl struggling to survive in a world devoid of humanity. I’m so glad that I decided to ask for the arc of this on Netgalley. This is from an author I’ve never even heard of before, but rest assured I’m definitely invested in this author now. I should note that I’m also unfamiliar with this publisher, but am more curious about them as this is my first book read by this publisher, I do believe.

The Bear is a survival story. It’s a story about war, death, and the strength to move on when all you want to do is give up and surrender to the dark side. It’s a story about characters and people who have become the last two human beings in the world, an old man and his daughter. The story focuses primarily on the daughter, and how she grows up to become a strong, independent woman…alone in the entire world.

I found that you did have to suspend belief for some of the story, but otherwise it was very well done, and I greatly adored the writing and prose in this book. It’s well deserving of the five stars.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Historical Fiction Book Reviews, Mystery/Thriller Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: The Bride Sale

The Bride Sale

Title: The Bride Sale
Author: Candice Hern
Series: Standalone
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Mass Market Paperback
Received: Library Loan
Rated: 4/5 stars
Review Word Count:
Notes:

First half of this book started off strong, and I very much fell in love. And then the plot took a direction about 200 pages in that I didn’t want or care about and the rest of the book was just a ‘meh’ experience, which is very disappointing. Verity is a strong character, the villagers are cruel and harsh, and the bride sale was a fascinating new historical detail that I hadn’t heard or read of before.

A Bartered Lady
Lord James Harkness is shocked to discover a “bride sale” taking place in his small English village — and surprised by the depth of his feelings for the unfortunate gentlewoman being auctioned off by a disreputable husband. But is it honor and nobility that compel James to outbid the townfolk for the proud, beautiful lady — or is it something more akin to . . . desire?
A Mysterious Lord
Verity Osborne is not sure whether good fortune or ill brought her to this dark, brooding man and his lonely manor house on the moors. Local talk brands James Harkness as evil — but Verity senses a gentleness underneath. She dearly longs for her liberty, but his sensuous touch causes her to stay. However, James must first trust Verity with his secrets if they are ever to share love’s rapturous freedom. And will the promised passion she sees flaming in his eyes warm Verity’s heart . . . or burn her?
-Description as Seen on Goodreads

This was is going on my ‘must buy at once’ shelf, because I just really adored the first half of this book. I should also note that I’ve never read Candice Hern before, at least not that I recollect, and so I’m definitely interested in reading more of the author’s works because she definitely has talent in regards to writing. The romance also wasn’t surprisingly heavy in this book, there was very little smut scattered throughout which made for a pleasant change as well.

Overall, I’m giving this 4 out of 5 stars, and hoping to discover more good books by this author in the future. I highly recommend reading this if y’all like learning about old Scottish villages, herbalists, scary castles by the sea, and a guy named Lord Heartless.

Until next time,
Pass Me That Book

Posted in LGBT Book Reviews, Romance

Book Review: Artic Wild

 

Arctic Wild

Title: Artic Wild
Author: Annabeth Albert
Series: Book 2
Genre: M/M Adult Romance
Publisher: Carina Press
Page Count:
Type of Book: ARC, Kindle Ebook
Received: Netgalley
Rated: 3/5 stars
Notes: I was hoping for more outdoorsy survival scenario, not sickeningly sweet romance. Sigh.

This was a book that where it said ‘plane crash’ + ‘m/m developing romance’ = unexpected good times, I was all for ‘yes please’. But the two main male characters, while charming and adorable, were rescued far too quickly and most of the rest of the book was all just smutty smutness.

And while that’s not a bad thing, it wasn’t what I was in the mood for, or hoping for based on the plot that I read on the blurb. I was hoping for two men trapped in the wild for more than just a couple of chapters, and that is most definitely NOT what I received.

Ah well.

Still, it wasn’t a bad read, and I liked all the characters. Every character felt realistic, and the storyline was interesting if rather smutty, I wish it had been more about survival in the wild with just one strange man at your side.

3.5/5 stars for a overall decent job, but nothing super fancy or memorable (at least for me).

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

1st Promo Post: The Beast’s Heart

Greetings all,

Today dawns snow and ice on the ground and the beginning of changes here on my blog. I mentioned in my January stats post that I wanted to do more than just book reviews this year. I wanted to do promo posts for books I love, author interviews, guest bloggers. This is all a slow learning process for me but I hope it goes well. If you have advice as more experienced bloggers I would be happy to hear it!

The Beasts Heart

Today’s Promo Post is for an upcoming release called The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shellcross.  This was one of my favorite reads for the beginning of 2019, and I love how it reads, the characters, the world, all of it. I’ve a review coming up soon, but felt that it was only appropriate to do a promo post first.

A luxuriously magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in seventeenth-century France–and told from the point of view of the Beast himself.

I am neither monster nor man—yet I am both.

I am the Beast.

He is a broken, wild thing, his heart’s nature exposed by his beastly form. Long ago cursed with a wretched existence, the Beast prowls the dusty hallways of his ruined château with only magical, unseen servants to keep him company—until a weary traveler disturbs his isolation.

Bewitched by the man’s dreams of his beautiful daughter, the Beast devises a plan to lure her to the château. There, Isabeau courageously exchanges her father’s life for her own and agrees to remain with the Beast for a year. But even as their time together weaves its own spell, the Beast finds winning Isabeau’s love is only the first impossible step in breaking free from the curse . . .

-As Seen on Goodreads

Having already read this, I can say that this is well worth buying on Amazon, and that it’s less than $10 in paperback format. Here’s the link to that, if you’re interested:

Now, please let me know if the links don’t work because I’m still figuring out how to do all of that, despite being on my blog for nearly three years. I also hope you all go and check out this beautiful work, because it’s well worth it.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book.

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

New Release Review: Beneath the Sugar Sky

Beneath the Sugar Sky

Title: Beneath the Sugar Sky
Author: Seanan McGuire
Series: Book Three of Every Heart a Doorway
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tom Doherty
Page Count: 200
Type of Book: Hardback, Library Loan, New Release
Received: Library
Review Word Count: 400
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Now to wait for the next book to come out!

As I close the third book to Every Heart of Doorway series, all I can think about is how I’d like for all the characters to meet each other, and that I still liked the character Jack best of all. Jack would’ve liked Cora, I think. I also think that Christopher is my favorite, but I also really love Nancy, Rini, Nadya, Kade, and everyone else too. Perhaps the last book in the series just might bring all the characters together? Or so I hope, anyway.

This book tells the tale of Rini and how she’s trying to find her mother to save her Nonsense World, as well as herself, from spinning out into nothingness. Rini is, at first, a bit hard to like but towards the end of the book I really find her a nice enough character though not the story I was most interested in being told (that would be Christopher’s story).

The story itself was fast-paced, full of fascinating ideas, and had a lot of baking involved. From baking up an escape from the north tower, to baking other things, this was a wild, fun, and sometimes slightly confusing ride. I liked how it all played out towards the end, with a major twist that made me want to read book one all over again.

I can’t say much more without spoiling the book, but I will say that I want to read Christopher’s story quite badly, and I want to see how Cora fits in (I identified with both her and Jack most of all), and I want to see the Magicians making an appearance with this story too.

That last one, I doubt will ever happen, but a girl can dream.

As per usual with these books, I’m giving this a 5/5 stars, because it’s unique, awesome, and carries with it a good message for all at the end.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.

Posted in Fantasy Book Reviews

Paperback Book Review: Magician Apprentice

Magician Apprentice

Title: Magicians Apprentice
Author: Raymond E. Feist
Series: Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, Adult Fiction
Publisher: Bantam
Page Count: 400
Type of Book: Paperback
Received: Purchased
Review Word Count: 500
Rated: 5/5 stars
Notes: Why did I wait so long to read this book?

I’ve found my next favorite “Pawn of Prophecy” series. Of course, it’s not the same at all, but it feels like it tried the same epic fantasy style, the great characters, and romances. It had the same feel good feeling Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings as well.

The story opens up with Pug attempting to outrun a storm after being out and about, and instead getting ill luck by twisting an ankle after falling of some rocks by the rocky shore, and trying to get through the woods yet being attacked by a boar and being rescued by a hunter and taken to the hunter’s companion who happens to be a magician. We learn that Pug is an orphan at the castle, and that his choosing day is coming up, where he chooses what kind of career he wants-rather, which craftmaster will take him on. It’s a whirlwind of activity when later on almost no one chooses Pug, and then the magician steps forth and asks him to be his apprentice. And, lo, we get why the book is now called ‘the Magicians Apprentice’.

There’s lots of dastardly good deeds, horse and sword training, friendships and rivalries, a princess that needs saving a time or two, and even magic performed throughout this book. On the whole, it reminded me very strongly of Pawn of Prophecy, as I mentioned, and I believe its from the same era as well. I don’t know why I’ve waited so long to read this book-I’ve had it sitting on my shelves for a few months now, but I’ve such a backlog that it took me a while to pick up the book and dive into yet another fabulous fantasy series that’s been around for ages.

There’s shipwrecks in this book, a dangerous journey through snowy mountains and jungles, dwarves, elves, and even another world using magic to get into this one. It’s fantastical and magical, and I highly recommend giving this series a go, especially if you haven’t read it yet!

5/5 stars for a fun few hours with Pug and his friends, and I am definitely looking forward to buying the rest of the series so that I can continue the entertaining journey of how Pug eventually gets the rank of Master Magician.

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book

Posted in Science Fiction Book Reviews

Hardback Book Review: Reap the Wild Wind

Reap the Wild Wind

Notes: Fixed the cover as well as the title of the review thanks to WayTooFantasy! Thanks for the assistance!

Title: Reap the Wild Wind
Author: Julie E. Cznezda
Genre: Science Fiction, Adult
Series: Book 1
Publisher: DAW
Page Count: 600
Type of Book: Hardback, Book I Own
Rated: 4/5 stars
Notes: A slow burn science fiction novel that leaves the book wide open for book two.

I liked this book. I didn’t love it, but the writing was decent, and while it seemed to take forever to finish, I also enjoyed the slow-building plot, the characters, and the world-building involved. The aliens were definitely alien enough for me to have trouble picturing them, and the world was incredible with lots of climbing trees, and avoiding nasty monsters, and just general awesomeness all around.

I really liked this book, but again, it’s not going to be one of my all time favorites I think. I can’t say why for sure, because I don’t know myself. It’s a good book, there’s plenty of action and adventure and survival to be had within, and there’s loads of science as well as fiction too. It’s got everything that a person could want. So I don’t understand why I didn’t love it-perhaps because I just wasn’t connected enough to the characters? Granted, I came to really like them about halfway through the book, when things really started getting interesting, and there was a lot more action going on…

I’m giving this a 4.5/5 stars. Perhaps book two will make me like the series even more? I hope so. I plan on requesting it at the local library, since I don’t own a physical copy. I’m glad to have read this one, and knocked it off my tbr shelf. It took me four days to get through 600+pages, something that doesn’t usually happen, but then there was a lot of backstory, describing everything, and characters to get through. I still look forward to book two, however. Let’s hope it’s even better than the first book!

Until next time,
-Pass Me That Book.