Archive of ‘Adult Fiction’ category

Review: The Rogue Not Taken

The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel #1) by Sarah MacLean

From Goodreads: The youngest of the infamous Talbot sisters scandalized society at the Liverpool Summer Soiree, striking her sister’s notoriously philandering husband and landing him backside-first in a goldfish pond. And we thought Sophie was the quiet one…

When she finds herself the target of very public aristocratic scorn, Sophie Talbot does what she must to escape the city and its judgment—she flees on the back of a carriage, vowing never to return to London…or to society. But the carriage isn’t saving her from ruin. It’s filled with it.

ROYAL ROGUE’S REIGN OF RAVISHMENT!

The Marquess of Eversley was espied descending a rose trellis—escaping an irate Earl and his once-future countess. No lady is safe from Eversley’s Engagement Ending Escapades!

Kingscote, the Marquess of Eversley, has never met a woman he couldn’t charm, a quality that results in a reputation far worse than the truth, a furious summons home, and a long, boring trip to the Scottish border. When King discovers stowaway Sophie, however, the trip becomes anything but boring.

WAR? OR MORE?

He thinks she’s trying to trick him into marriage. She wouldn’t have him if he were the last man on earth. But carriages bring close quarters, dark secrets, and unbearable temptation, and suddenly opposites are altogether too attractive…

Jennie’s Thoughts: I am a huge Sarah MacLean fan, though I only discovered her in the last year or so. But I’ve binge read all of her books, and couldn’t wait until it was my turn at the library for her newest.

The Rogue Not Taken is the first book in MacLean’s newest series, one that I’m certain I will be gobbling up. Not only was the drama high (society outcasts and gossip papers and carriage road trips!) but the characters were fabulous in their own right. A bruised guy with a big heart and the youngest sister of a collection of dramatic sisters. Plus, a super mysterious doctor (I really want his novel soon!) and a collection of hilarious and fantastic secondary characters.

I think it is the characters in her novels that make me the fan that I am. (Confession: I am such a sucker for characters over plot, which I think is why I like reading series so much…I get to follow characters along for a long ride.)

Oh, and there is a cross-dressing heroine which is reason enough in itself for anyone to read this book!

A Reading Funk

I could feel it coming. I would binge a few great books and then stare at my library pile with apathy. Indecision meant starting multiple books before setting them aside.

I was in a Reading Funk.

The fact that reading keeps me sane means a reading funk is no good. I picked up a few quicker romance reads and that kept me going for a few more weeks.

But then I was back to aimlessly staring at covers, my fingers slipping over the spines but ending up empty handed. It was time of the big guns.

The only thing that can save me from this situation is a good old fashioned reread.

Sometimes it only takes one more trip to Paris with Anna and Etienne to pull me out of my funk, but this time it felt bigger than that. I needed a series reread, but Anna wasn’t calling to me.

Sookie Stackhouse was calling to me instead. In the past few days I’ve read the first and second, and am starting on the third. I needed something fast, dramatic, and familiar, and this series gives me exactly that. I don’t know if I’ll reread the entire series (though that would surely help me recover from my lackluster beginning of the month) but I figure I’ll reread until I see an unread book on my shelves that jumps into my waiting hand.

What do you do when you hit a reading funk/slump? Power through? Take a break? Reread?

Review: The Library at Mount Char

The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

From Goodreads: Carolyn’s not so different from the other human beings around her. She’s sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for.

After all, she was a normal American herself, once.

That was a long time ago, of course—before the time she calls “adoption day,” when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.

Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible.

In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn’t gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father’s ancient Pelapi customs. They’ve studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power.

Sometimes, they’ve wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.

Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library—and with it, power over all of creation.

As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her.

But Carolyn can win. She’s sure of it. What she doesn’t realize is that her victory may come at an unacceptable price—because in becoming a God, she’s forgotten a great deal about being human.

Jennie’s Thoughts: That is the longest GR summary I have ever seen, but I had no clue how to manage it in my own words. So, if you’re still reading after all that, here are my thoughts.

This book is gory and sickening and twisted and weird and suspenseful and intriguing and crazy. (See this is why I didn’t attempt to rewrite that GR summary shorter…) But, I highly recommend it, which maybe makes me as twisted as some of the characters in the book, but oh well.

I picked this up because Julie at Book Hooked Blog informed me that I had to read it. And when Julie says something is a must read, I obey. And she’s rarely (if ever, honestly!) lead me astray. This book was NOTHING like I’ve ever read before, and even when things got gross (my stomach LITERALLY hurt at parts) it was still something I could not put down.

But, a word of wisdom, do NOT read this alone at night unless you’re braver than I am. It was a bit unsettling to leave this world between the closed book and try to go to sleep without jumping at every little sound.

Review: The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir

From Goodreads: Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he’s sure he’ll be the first person to die there. After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won’t have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old “human error” are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn’t ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?

Jennie’s Thoughts: I had multiple friends rave about this book last year when it first came out, but for some reason it took me this long to pick it up. Which is a travesty because it’s SUCH a Jennie book. Science and snarky characters and crazy suspense = my kind of story.

Oh, man, did this book bring the suspense! It was told in alternating points-of-view between Watney and NASA personnel, and each time you start to think things are going to calm down, some crazy awesome stuff happens and then everything is insane again. Watney is the perfect narrator, bringing the snark and levity, but also bringing the heart. This is the worst review I’ve possibly ever written for a book I loved (5 STARS!) but it’s hard to describe without SPOILERS.

So, if you’ve been avoiding this because you think it’s too heavy a subject or not something you’d enjoy, I highly suggest you get yourself on the library hold list and give it a whirl.

For the Romance Readers Out There

Lately I’ve been on a romance binge, dancing between contemporary and historical, some pretty H-O-T and some tame in the bedroom (at least tame in what is described on the page).

I know I’m one of the only WSR ladies that reads romance novels, so I thought I’d share a few of my new favorite romance series with our readers. Just in case any of our readers are looking for a steamy read or two. 😉

The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. The first book is The Best Man. Another bookish mom friend recommended this series to me, saying I would love it. And she was right on the money. I devoured these books! You know, ignoring my family to read, hiding in the bathroom for a few more pages…that kind of thing. The next book comes out in December (I believe) and I’m already dying for it!


Hearts and Crafts by Nicole Michaels. First book is Start Me Up. Confession: Nicole is a local-to-me author and one of the nicest people I’ve met. Seriously. Which might surprise you when you read the steamy scenes in her novels! :) I just finished her newest in this series a week or so ago, and it was delicious and heart-warming. So. Good.

Love By Numbers by Sarah MacLean, the first book: Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake. I loved Sarah’s more recent historical series, so I thought I’d try her first series and I was not let down. I prefer her more recent series, only because of the gaming hell aspects, but Love By Numbers still brought the awesome heroines and those super sexy romances that only Sarah MacLean can do!

Review: The Girl With All the Gifts

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From Goodreads: Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite, but they don’t laugh.

Erin’s Thoughts: The description from Goodreads was all I had to go on when I picked up this book, but it was enough to intrigue me.  Well, that and a stamp of approval from Joss Whedon.

This is the story of a girl who lives in a cell.  Every morning she and the other children, also in cells, are strapped to wheelchairs while guns are pointed at their heads and then wheeled into a classroom.  There, the students are taught lessons by a variety of teachers.  Lessons that, as it turns out, they really never need to learn.

The main players in this tale are Melanie, her teacher, a military sergeant, and a medical researcher.  When their research facility is destroyed, these four find themselves hurled out into a dangerous world with little to protect themselves from the world around them or from each other.

A mysterious pathogen that is terrorizing humankind, real, gripping characters, a surprisingly touching story,  and an ending I never saw coming.  This book wasn’t about what I expected.  If a horror story can have heart, this is it.

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

From Goodreads: Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

Jennie’s Thoughts: I’m newish to the high fantasy world (HP excluded, of course) but I feel pretty confident in saying that this book IS AMAZING. Seriously.

The multiple Londons is straight up creative and brilliant and I wanted to hop on a plane to our London just to stroll those streets and daydream that I could meet Kell somewhere. Although, he is usually involved in some sort of drama and heart-pounding action, so maybe not.

I was on the edge of my seat the entire book. From page one to the very end. And when I finished I cursed myself for reading it so soon after release day because now I have to wait like, FOREVER, for the second to come out. I want more Kell and Lila NOW!

Also, can we talk about how kick-ass Lila is? Because this girl is fabulous and takes no crap from anyone. Her attitude about living and adventure is something that struck me down to my core. I love her and her cross dressing style.

Has anyone else read this book yet? I’d LOVE to chat about it!

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