2017 Monthly Status Update: October

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October flew by, and we are that much closer to the holidays! October was also a crazy work month for me, I was barely able to keep up with the blog tour schedules never mind the additional books on top of that that I signed up to review. Luckily I was able to take the past two days off to catch up on some relaxation and fun. And hopefully in November/December I’ll catch up on my backlog! So below is my progress for October:

Monthly Stats:
# books read this month: 8
# pages read this month: 2,406
# books read year-to-date: 91
# pages read year-to-date: 27,167

Favorite Books I Read:

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First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen – 4.5 stars

Other Posts this month:

The Duke of Danger BLOG TOUR!!

The Highlander is All That BLOG TOUR!!

St. Martin’s Press Holiday Romance Blitz – Blog Tour Post

The Right Kind of Rogue BLOG TOUR!!

Status of 2017 Reading Challenges:

  1. Finish 2016 ARC’s from NetGalley that I missed – Still have 26 more to go, plus going to have another 30ish from 2017. Shouldn’t sign up for any 2018 reviews and should just read my backlog LOL
  2. Participate in 2 reading challenges – During May I participated in the Bout of Books challenge and during August I participated in ARC August so this Goal is checked!
  3. Other goals:
    1. Write shorter reviews – I think I’m doing better at this, this past month I was able to get out a few shorter ones
    2. Continue establishing relationships – I think I’m doing it, we’ll see how it goes I guess!

Next Month TBR List:

I did my best in October to keep up but I missed a bunch of reviews. My schedule for November is currently lighter than usual (hopefully that doesn’t change) so I’m hoping to catch up on some of the backlog during November. Below is my TBR list for November only though, make sure to check back regularly for some great reads this month!

-Deja New by MaryJanice Davidson
-Third Son’s a Charm by Shana Galen
-The Second Mrs. Hockaday by Susan Rivers
-Romancing the Scot by May McGoldrick
-Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
-Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan
-Sweet Tea and Sympathy by Molly Harper
-Like Broken China by JD Thompson
-The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

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2017 Book #83 – The Scot Beds His Wife by Kerrigan Byrne

51PMluAPISLTitle: The Scot Beds His Wife
Author: Kerrigan Byrne
Date finished: 9/27/17
Genre: Historical romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 3, 2017
Pages in book: 416
Stand alone or series: #5 in the Victorian Rebels series
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

They’re rebels, scoundrels, and blackguards—dark, dashing men on the wrong side of the law. But for the women who love them, a hint of danger only makes the heart beat faster.

Gavin St. James, Earl of Thorne, is a notorious Highlander and an unrelenting Lothario who uses his slightly menacing charm to get what he wants—including too many women married to other men. But now, Gavin wants to put his shady past behind him…more or less. When a fiery lass who is the heiress to the land he wishes to possess drops into his lap, he sees a perfectly delicious opportunity…

A marriage most convenient

Samantha Masters has come back to Scotland, in a pair of trousers, and with a whole world of dangerous secrets from her time spent in the Wild West trailing behind her. Her only hope of protection is to marry—and to do so quickly. Gavin is only too willing to provide that service for someone he finds so disturbingly irresistible. But even as danger approaches, what begins as a scandalous proposition slowly turns into an all-consuming passion. And Gavin discovers that he will do whatever is necessary to keep the woman he has claimed as his own…

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Sam Masters and Gavin St. James. Sam is not your traditional heroine since at the beginning of the book she was married to, well a villain. When we first meet Sam she is in fact helping her husband rob a train, up until she shoots him in the head. Which is especially unfortunate as one of her brother-in-laws sees her do it and now she is on the run not only from the law but also from her husband’s family, who are looking for revenge. Luckily on that train she meets Alison Ross, a woman from Scotland who happens to need a stand in on location in order to claim her family’s land. Works out well for Sam, who needs a place to hide out for awhile. Gavin is looking to use that same piece of land in order to get out from under his brother’s thumb however, so Gavin and Sam battle it out over this land dispute. But when Sam’s troubles follow her to Scotland, Gavin vows to protect her.

Overall I liked this book. The plot line, while a little far-fetched in certain parts, was certainly intriguing. And while Sam was most definitely a flawed heroine, she had spirit and was pretty fierce. I tend to appreciate honesty over all else so some pieces of the story line (towards the end) kind of rubbed me the wrong way but it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the book. There was a hell of a lot of flowery language in this book, especially considering how much of a rogue the hero supposedly was, I was surprised how poetic he could be. There was a good amount of swearing in this book, lots of f-bombs, so if you don’t like swearing just be warned. I didn’t mind it though, the characters in this story were fierce and it was fitting with their characters. I would be interested in reading some of the other books in the series.

Also make sure to check out my Blog Tour post on this book here!

The bottom line: I liked this book a good amount. There were a couple pieces of the plot that didn’t jive with me personally but I still thought it was a good story. There was a good build up of tension, I was on the edge of my seat by the end of the book. Lots of flowery language though.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #17 – The Surgeon by Tess Gerritsen

510KMAZR9FL._SX312_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Surgeon
Author: Tess Gerritsen
Date finished: 3/15/17
Genre: Fiction, mystery, thriller
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: August 21, 2001
Pages in book: 356
Stand alone or series: #1 in the Rizzoli & Isles series
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

In her most masterful novel of medical suspense, New York Times bestselling author Tess Gerritsen creates a villain of unforgettable evil–and the one woman who can catch him before he kills again.
He slips into their homes at night and walks silently into bedrooms where women lie sleeping, unaware of the horrors they soon will endure. The precision of the killer’s methods suggests he is a deranged man of medicine, propelling the Boston newspapers and the frightened public to name him “The Surgeon.”
The cops’ only clue rests with another surgeon, the victim of a nearly identical crime. Two years ago, Dr. Catherine Cordell fought back and killed her attacker before he could complete his assault. Now she hides her fears of intimacy behind a cool and elegant exterior and a well-earned reputation as a top trauma surgeon.
Cordell’s careful facade is about to crack as this new killer recreates, with chilling accuracy, the details of Cordell’s own ordeal. With every new murder he seems to be taunting her, cutting ever closer, from her hospital to her home. Her only comfort comes from Thomas Moore, the detective assigned to the case. But even Moore cannot protect Cordell from a brilliant hunter who somehow understands–and savors–the secret fears of every woman he kills.
Filled with the authentic detail that is the trademark of this doctor turned author . . . and peopled with rich and complex characters–from the ER to the squad room to the city morgue–here is a thriller of unprecedented depth and suspense. Exposing the shocking link between those who kill and cure, punish and protect, The Surgeon is Tess Gerritsen’s most exciting accomplishment yet.

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I read this book for the Terryville Library’s Fiction Lover’s Book Discussion group discussion for this month (March). This book tells the story of a homicide case under investigation in Boston, MA. Some crazy person is running around murdering women and cutting out their uteruses, and Detective Moore and Rizzoli is one of the people assigned to the case. Through their research, Moore and his team come to discover that this exact MO was also unique to a string of murders in Savannah, GA. And the only person to survive that murderer is now living in Boston. Rizzoli feels outnumbered as a woman on the force and feel like she has a lot to prove, so she’s determined to solve this case and put a win in her column, whatever it takes.
Overall I didn’t especially like this book. I thought Rizzoli was a total jerk and didn’t like her character at all. I felt like she was just whining the whole book and her surliness was way past tolerable. I’m all for the underdog but she put herself and her whole team in danger repeatedly. She kept complaining how she was better than everyone else but didn’t get the recognition because she was a woman but to be honest she didn’t seem all that better than everyone else to me. I didn’t understand how one character could be so insecure and so full of themselves at the same time. Also the conversations and other interactions between the characters seemed stilted and forced to me. The tension in this book, which I would have expected to be high due to the sick and twisted nature of the killer, just wasn’t there for me and I found it hard to work up any kind of emotion towards the plot. The mystery itself was good, if somewhat predictable. I enjoyed the plot twists though and found myself somewhat engaged in that piece of the story at least. If you like detective shows or novels then this book might work for you but it just feel flat for me.

The bottom line: I didn’t care for this book very much. The mystery plot line was alright but I hated Rizzoli as a character and the conversations and interaction between the characters was pretty stilted. I have heard this is a popular series but I personally didn’t enjoy this one.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Reading Retreat! 2016

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So this weekend is my annual Reading Retreat! For those of you who haven’t seen my posts in prior years, I’ll give a little explanation. Every year my Mom goes on a Quilting Retreat with her Quilt Guild. The retreat is at the Incarnation Camp in Ivoryton, CT. While I’m not a big quilter, I went a few years ago to spend the weekend with my Mom and have gone every year since. I spend the whole weekend reading, hanging out with Mom, and chatting with all the awesome ladies at retreat. The Camp provides our meals which means extra reading time since there is no food prep. I always have a great time and I usually get a lot of reading done. I wrote about my experience at retreat for the past two years, you can see those posts here: 2014 and 2015.

So for this year I wanted to make it a little more structured, mostly because I still have so many books to get done for the month of May. So I’m doing a Reading Retreat Read-a-thon for the coming weekend!

readathon

 

Looking at my review schedule (I sort by publication date on my priority list) the next 5 books on my To Read list are all historical romances, so this is going to be a great fun weekend! I love historical romances and I haven’t been able to read quite as many lately so this is a great coincidence that I have so many on my goals list for the weekend! I’m including more books here than I will most likely be able to read in 3 days because I am an optimist and would love to actually be able to read all of them this weekend. My goals for this weekend are as follows:

So that is my plan for this weekend and I am very excited to be spending the weekend at retreat with my mom and our friends! I am doing something different this year in that I am not bringing my computer so I won’t be doing any of my review posts until most likely Monday. If you’d like to keep up to date with my travels and adventures this weekend though be sure to check out the Rebeccabookreview Facebook page to keep up to date! Happy Memorial Day weekend to you all!