Show Me 5 Saturday – Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley

at Find Your Next Book Here


1 Title:  Your Roots Are Showing by Elise Chidley

2 Words that describe the book:   Lizzie’s changes

3 Settings or characters:

*  Lizzie Buckley, in the throes of postpartum depression, has little interest in her husband or life in general.

*  Tessa, Lizzie’s best friend since they were small, is her biggest supporter.  She won’t let Lizzie fall any deeper into the abyss of depression.  She gets her started on the process of climbing out.  Everyone needs a friend like Tessa.

*  Roger, Lizzie’s father-in-law.  Always her fan, he truly hopes she and his son can make things work.  He’s a bit of a character but he seemed genuinely in Lizzie’s corner.  I thought he was the one person who gave her hope.

4 Things I liked/disliked about the book:

*  I loved Elise Chidley’s way of telling the story so that it was easy to sympathize with almost every character.

*  The humor was laugh-out-loud at times.  That said, this is not a fluff book.  It addresses serious issues faced by many women at one time or another.  It was an emotional read but not a depressing one.

*  I liked how Chidley showed Lizzie’s experience of starting to run, starting therapy, dealing with her food issues, etc.  I could imagine myself feeling the same way as Lizzie.

*  I didn’t like that Lizzie and James seemed to give up too easily from the start (that’s not a spoiler).  I guess their feelings were so hurt they just turned inward.  Maybe that’s not so unusual.

5 Stars or less for the rating:   4.5/5 stars.  I recommend it.

Your Roots Are Showing

Back of the book: Lizzie Buckley is having doubts about her picture-perfect world.  She does love her country estate, precocious three-year-old twins, and handsome husband, James.  But nobody warned her about postpartum depression and the toll it would take on her marriage.  Or how she’d fantasize about chucking it all for a box of chocolates and an uninterrupted bath.

Lizzie vents these frustrations in an e-mail and her life is shattered: James gets the message by mistake.  Lizzie soon finds herself uprooting her children to start over in a ramshackle garden cottage.  Now facing life – and the twins – alone, Lizzie struggles to reinvent herself and forget about her soon-to-be ex.  But when thoughts of James still haunt her, she begins to wonder if the best part of marriage starts after the fairy tale ends…

Show Me 5 Saturday – A Summer In Sonoma by Robyn Carr

at Find Your Next Book Here


1 Title:  A Summer in Sonoma by Robyn Carr

2 Words that describe the book:  Friends and Lovers (I know, that’s 3 words…)

3 Settings or characters:

*  Cassie is 29 and still dating losers until a chance meeting of a total opposite.

*  Julie is married with three kids and is tired of trying to make ends meet while never getting ahead.

*  Marty and Beth (I couldn’t leave one out!) round out the circle of four friends who’ve known each other since they were kids.  Marty feel unappreciated by her husband and is ready for change.  Beth, a doctor, was recently diagnosed with a second round of cancer.

4 Things I liked/disliked about the book:

*  I love how Robyn Carr tells a story – great dialogue, setting, and pace.

*  I liked how Julie and her husband got on track with the money issues and other personal issues.  I imagine many readers could relate to their storyline.

*  For the most part I liked Cassie’s story.  I really liked the new man in her life.  What bugged me about Cassie was also quite understandable.  She has major trust issues with guys but it wore a little thin for me.

*  I liked that Robyn Carr wrote a stand alone novel.  I’ve read her Virgin River series (love it) but it was nice to meet new characters and setting.

5 Stars or less for the rating:  3.75/5

A Summer in Sonoma

From Goodreads: They’ve been best friends since seventh grade. But this summer, teetering on the threshold of thirty, four women are going to need each other more than ever.  Life can change in an instant…or a summer. And having old friends to lean on can only up the chances of happily ever after.

Show Me 5 Saturday: Italian For Beginners by Kristin Harmel

A meme  by That’s A Novel Idea

Mr. Linky at Find Your Next Book Here


1 Title:  Italian For Beginners by Kristin Harmel

2 Words that describe the book:  Italian Holiday

3 Settings or characters:

*  Rome – Kristin Harmel described the sights of Rome so well that I felt like I was there.  Cat’s friend Marco takes her on a memorable tour that was very romantic.  *sigh*

*  Karina – is the waitress who rents a room to Cat when she finds herself without a place to stay after her first day in Rome.  Karina pulls no punches with anyone and doesn’t expect anything less in return.  She’s about Cat’s age and is a single mother of a six year old son.  She was my favorite character!

*  Cat Connelly – has always put the needs of her sister and father above her own.  She’s ready for a little ‘me time’ and heads to Rome for a month after a co-worker gives her the push she needs.  I understood Cat and really pulled for her throughout the novel.

4 Things I liked/disliked about the book:

* I liked Kristin Harmel’s writing.  I’ll be looking for her backlist books.

* I really enjoyed the main characters – flaws and all.

* I loved my visit to Rome via a novel.  I liked that the author tells how the book came about and what she added from her own experiences.  There are a few recipes at the end too.   Now I want to watch Roman Holiday and pretend I’m Audrey.

* I was satisfied with the ending.  It had me smiling – and I love when that happens.

5 Stars or less for the rating: 4/5 stars


Italian for Beginners

Back of the book: Cat Connelly plays it safe.  She’s an accountant with no debt who lives near her family in Manhattan.  She’s also thirty-four, unmarried, and with nothing promising on her romantic horizon.  After a humiliating incident at her sister’s wedding, she throws caution to the wind and flies off to Rome to find Francesco, the man she’d fallen in love with thirteen years earlier on a trip to Italy.   When Francesco turns out to be a dud, Cat is adrift on the streets of Rome, no safety net in sight.  With the help of an eccentric waitress with a spare apartment to rent, the handsome restaurateur who calls her Princess Ann, and the family secrets only Rome can unlock for her, Cat discovers that happiness can be found on the back of a speeding Vespa. . . but only if you’re willing to take a few risks.

Show Me 5 Saturday: God Never Blinks by Regina Brett

A meme  by That’s A Novel Idea

Mr. Linky at Find Your Next Book Here


1 Title:  God Never Blinks50 Lessons for Life’s Little Detours by Regina Brett

2 Words that describe the book:  Life Lessons

3 Settings or characters:

* Regina Brett – Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist.

* Bruce, Brett’s husband

* Brett’s life

4 Things I liked/disliked about the book:

* Brett’s heartfelt sharing of her life experiences is something I could appreciate especially since we share some similarities in upbringing.

* I really liked the audiobook.  Her voice is so easy to listen to and her sincerity is apparent.

* I think any reader could relate to Brett’s columns about life’s ups and downs.

* I’m glad I listened to the audiobook.  It made a cross-state car trip go by in a snap.  That said, I think it may be even more meaningful if listened to one lesson at a time.  Each column lends itself to reflection and/or discussion.

5 Stars or less for the rating:  4/5 stars

Thanks to Bonnie at Redlady’s Reading Room for passing her copy to me.

* * * * * * *

God Never Blinks: 50 Lessons for Life's Little Detours

Back of audiobook case:

“It took me 40 years to find and hold on to happiness.  I always felt that at the moment I was born, God must have blinked.  He missed the occasion and never knew I had arrived. . . I ended up confused by the nuns at age 6, a lost soul who drank too much at 16, an unwed mother at 21, a college graduate at 30, a single mother for 18 years, and finally, a wife at 40, married to a man who treated me like a queen.  Then I got cancer at 41.  It took a year to fight it, then a year to recover from the fight.

When I turned 45, I lay in bed reflecting on all life had taught me.  My soul sprang a leak and ideas flowed out.  My pen simply caught them and set the words on paper.  I typed them up and turned them into a newspaper column of the 45 lessons life taught me.” – Regina Brett, from the Introduction.

She added 5 more lessons when she turned 50.

Show Me 5 Saturday

A meme  by That’s A Novel Idea

Mr. Linky at Find Your Next Book Here

1 Title: Barely a Lady by Eileen Dreyer

2 Words that describe the book:  Historical Romance

3 Settings or characters:

Jack Wyndham, Earl of Gracechurch – finds himself being tended to by his (former wife) after he was injured at Waterloo.  He has amnesia and doesn’t remember divorcing Olivia or anything else that’s happened in the past five years.

Olivia Grace – once married to Jack and is trying her best to move on and protect the one person who means more to her than life itself.  And now she finds herself in the unfortunate position of protecting the man she once loved.

Lady Kate – the duchess who befriends and then employs Olivia, thereby protecting her when she most needs it.

4 Things I liked/disliked about the book:

I liked the characters – main and minor were all entertaining and interesting.

I liked that most of the novel takes place outside of England – on the battlefield or in Brussels.

I appreciated the epilogue.

I look forward to the next book in Eileen Dreyer’s  Drake’s Rakes series (can’t type that series title without smiling).

5 Stars or less for the rating:  4/5 stars

* * * * * * *

Barely a Lady (The Drake's Rakes series)

Synopsis from Goodreads (not my review):

Olivia Grace has secrets that could destroy her. One of the greatest of these is the Earl of Gracechurch, who married and divorced her five years earlier. Abandoned and disgraced, Grace has survived those years at the edge of respectability. Then she stumbles over Jack on the battlefield of Waterloo, and he becomes an even more dangerous secret. For not only is he unconscious, he is clad in an enemy uniform.

But worse, when Jack finally wakes in Olivia’s care, he can’t remember how he came to be on a battlefield in Belgium. In fact, he can remember nothing of the last five years. He thinks he and Olivia are still blissfully together. To keep him from being hanged for a traitor, Olivia must pretend she and Jack are still married.

To unearth the real traitors, Olivia and Jack must unravel the truth hidden within his faulty memory. To save themselves and the friends who have given them sanctuary, they must stand against their enemies, even as they both keep their secrets.

In the end, can they risk everything to help Jack recover his lost memories, even though the truth may destroy them both?

Show Me 5 Saturday – Supreme Courtship

A meme  by That’s A Novel Idea

Mr. Linky at Find Your Next Book Here

1 Title: Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley

2 words that describe the book: Political comedy

3 settings or characters:  Pepper Cartwright: TV judge who becomes a reluctant nominee to the US Supreme Court.

Buddy Bixby: TV producer of Pepper’s show (Courtroom 6) and also her husband.

President Vanderdamp:  He’s tired of his Supreme Court nominees being rejected and tired of being president.

4 things I liked/disliked about the book:   I liked Pepper.  She’s sassy and funny and doesn’t take herself too seriously.

I liked the President’s lawyer Graydon Clenndennynn – smart, funny and getting on in years.

Although a bit over the top I enjoyed most of the characters. Love a book that makes me laugh out loud.

I liked the footnotes that explained things like latin phrases, popular tv shows, and legal precedent cases.

5. Rating: 4/5 stars

Supreme Courtship

Goodreads synopsis (not my review): President of the United States Donald Vanderdamp is having a hell of a time getting his nominees appointed to the Supreme Court. After one nominee is rejected for insufficiently appreciating To Kill A Mockingbird, the president chooses someone so beloved by voters that the Senate won’t have the guts to reject her — Judge Pepper Cartwright, the star of the nation’s most popular reality show,Courtroom Six.

Will Pepper, a straight-talking Texan, survive a confirmation battle in the Senate? Will becoming one of the most powerful women in the world ruin her love life? And even if she can make it to the Supreme Court, how will she get along with her eight highly skeptical colleagues, including a floundering Chief Justice who, after legalizing gay marriage, learns that his wife has left him for another woman.

Soon, Pepper finds herself in the middle of a constitutional crisis, a presidential reelection campaign that the president is determined to lose, and oral arguments of a romantic nature. Supreme Courtship is another classic Christopher Buckley comedy about the Washington institutions most deserving of ridicule.

Show Me 5 Saturday – Shut Up And Kiss Me by Christie Craig

1 Book title: Shut Up and Kiss Me by Christie Craig

2 Words that describe the book: Romance/Suspense

3 Settings or characters:
*  Shala Winters, hired to make Precious, TX (pop. 893)  a tourist destination
*  Sky Gomez, police chief of Precious, needs to find out who’s trying to kill Shala Winters
*  Jose Darkwater, foster brother to Sky.  He left Precious years ago for NYC .  When he returns to see his injured father nothing goes right

4 Things I liked/disliked about the book:
I liked the quirky minor characters
I enjoyed  Christie Craig’s humor, had me laughing out loud a lot.
I think Jose needs his own book, it would be hilarious (if this book is any indication)
I liked the small-town aspect – where everyone knows everyone.  That usually makes things interesting.

5 Stars or less: 4/5

Back of the book:

Shut Up and Kiss MePhotojournalist Shala Winters already had her hands full bringing tourism to this backward, podunk town, but her job just got tougher.  Pictures can say a thousand words, and one of Shala’s is screaming bloody murder.  Now she has to entrust a macho, infuriating lawman with her life – but she’ll never trust him with her heart.
Trusted or not, Sky Gomez isn’t about to let a killer get his hands on Shala’s Nikon – or any of her more comely assets, for that matter.  Her mouth might move faster than a Piney Woods roadrunner, but all he can think about is how good it must taste…and how she’ll never escape true love.

Show Me 5 Saturday -Roses by Leila Meacham

1. Book title: Roses by Leila Meacham

2. Words that describe the book: multigenerational saga

3. Settings or characters:
* Howbutker, TX founded by the Toliver, Warwick, and duMont families.
* Mary Toliver, heir to the cotton plantation
* Percy Warwick, heir to his father’s lumber company

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
* I liked the cinematic feel to the writing. It was like watching a movie from the 1930s or ’40s – I love that era of sweeping epics.
* I think the author did a great job of making her characters come off the page. Appearances, emotions, actions were quite vivid.
* I thought it became a bit overly dramatic a few times – maybe that’s why it reminded me of a movie.
* I loved that it took me away – this would be a good vacation read.

5. Stars or less: 4/5

Goodreads synopsis (not my review):
RosesSpanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled by the scions of the town’s founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been–not just for themselves but for their children, and children’s children. With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.

Show Me 5 Saturday – Girl In Translation by Jean Kwok

1. Book title: Girl In Translation by Jean Kwok

2. Words that describe the book: Fiction, Immigrants

3. Settings or characters:
* Kimberly Chang, 11 year old who emigrates to the U.S. (from Hong Kong) with her mother. They live in a run-down Brooklyn apartment that has no heat but plenty of insects.
* Aunt Paula, older sister of Kimberly’s mother. She’s bitter and jealous and doesn’t want her sister and niece to ever forget how much they owe her. She and her husband run the factory where Kimberly and her mother work.
* Matt, the boy at the factory who befriends Kimberly. At first he seemed aloof and a little curious about Kimberly but later he became a good friend. He had a tough life working a few jobs to provide for a sick mother and a brother with special needs.

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
* I liked that the novel reads like a memoir but is fiction that draws on the author’s own life experiences.
* I love the character of Kimberly. Jean Kwok gives us a young girl full of life and optimism even under the bleakest of circumstances.
* I liked the device Kwok used that showed the difficulty someone who has learned English in her home country has in understanding spoken English in the US (or other country where English is the primary language). She spelled some words incorrectly but as they were heard by Kimberly – which makes for a lot of misunderstanding. It was very effective.
* Kwok describes the factory scenes in detail. That had me thinking she probably experienced this to a certain extent.

5. Stars or less: 4.5/5. Recommended!

Girl in Translation

Goodreads synopsis:
When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family’s future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles. 

Through Kimberly’s story, author Jean Kwok, who also emigrated from Hong Kong as a young girl, brings to the page the lives of countless immigrants who are caught between the pressure to succeed in America, their duty to their family, and their own personal desires, exposing a world that we rarely hear about. Written in an indelible voice that dramatizes the tensions of an immigrant girl growing up between two cultures, surrounded by a language and world only half understood, Girl in Translation is an unforgettable and classic novel of an American immigrant-a moving tale of hardship and triumph, heartbreak and love, and all that gets lost in translation.


Show Me 5 Saturday – Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery

1. Book title: Chasing Perfect by Susan Mallery

2. Words that describe the book: Contemporary romance

3. Settings or characters:
* Charity Jones, a city planner hired to bring businesses to Fool’s Gold, CA that will bring mostly male employees to this town of mostly women (huh?)
* Josh Golden, a retired world champion bicyclist who grew up in Fool’s Gold. He is haunted by the tragic crash that resulted in the death of a friend.
* Fool’s Gold is a small lakeside resort town in California wine country.

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
* I liked the setting. The small town was quaint yet modern.
* I liked the characters, flaws and all.
* There’s a bit of a mystery worked into the plot. It seemed weak and I thought it could have been left out of the book.
* I like that Chasing Perfect is the start of a new Susan Mallery series.

5. Stars or less: 4/5 stars

Chasing Perfect (Fool's Gold, #1)

Goodreads synopsis:
Welcome to Fool’s Gold, California, a charming community in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There’s lots to do and plenty of people to meet, especially women. Because there’s just one tiny problem in Fool’s Gold: the men don’t seem to stick around. Maybe it’s the lure of big-city life, or maybe it’s plain old bad luck, but regardless of the reason, the problem has to be fixed, fast. And Charity Jones may just be the city planner to do it.

Charity’s nomadic childhood has left her itching to settle down, and she immediately falls in love with all the storybook town has to offer – everything, that is, except cyclist Josh Golden. With her long list of romantic disasters, she’s not about to take a chance on another bad boy, even if everyone else thinks he’s perfect just the way he is. But maybe that’s just what he needs – someone who knows the value of his flaws. Someone who knows that he’s just
chasing perfect.

Show Me 5 Saturday – The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

1. Book title: The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

2. Words that describe the book: Historical fiction

3. Settings or characters:
* Tall Oaks plantation owned by Captain James Pyke
* Lavinia McCarten, orphaned on the voyage from Ireland to America and taken home with the Captain to live at Tall Oaks.
* Belle Pyke, daughter of Captain Pyke who lives in the kitchen house because her mother was black. Lavinia lives with Belle.

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
* I liked that the story was told from the perspectives of Lavinia and Belle.
* I thought the story was completely enthralling
* I thought the book wrapped up a bit too quickly
* I’d love to read a sequel (which is a sign of a good story)

5. Stars or less: 4/5 stars

The Kitchen House: A Novel

From the back of the book:
Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction, Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.
The Kitchen House is a tragic story of page-turning suspense, exploring the meaning of family, where love and loyalty prevail.

(giveaway win from Passages to the Past)

Show Me 5 Saturday – Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner

now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here

1. Book title:
Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner

2. Words that describe the book:
Western, suspense/romance

3. Settings or characters:
* Jessica Thornton – a long way from her home in England, she’s seeking a new life and hoping to find her brother.
* Brady Wilkins – a cattle rancher who runs the RosaRojo ranch.
* The New Mexico desert location

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
* liked the author’s descriptive writing. I could imagine the gorgeous sunsets and the odors and aromas of the ranch.
* Jessica and Brady are opposites so it was fun to watch the attraction grow. The pace of the story was great.
* I liked that the minor characters (passengers on the stagecoach, for example) didn’t distract from the story. They were a bit over the top but they served a purpose.
* I’ve never read a historical western novel so I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. I really enjoyed it and look forward to the second in the Blood Rose Trilogy.

5. Stars or less: 4.5 stars

Library copy

Pieces of Sky

Goodreads synopsis (not my review):
On a stagecoach traveling through New Mexico Territory, Jessica Thornton is a long way from the cool mists and lush gardens of her native England. An authoress and milliner, she carries the weight of a scandalous secret-a horrible shame that has brought her to the West on a desperate search for the only family she can trust: her brother.

No one prepared Jessica for the heat and the hardships. And no one prepared her for a man like Brady Wilkins. For, despite the rancher’s rough-hewn appearance and her own misgivings, Jessica must put her life in his hands after their stagecoach crashes. And she begins to see the man behind the callused hands and caustic wit. A man strong enough to carve out a home in the wilderness, brave enough to fight for his own, and passionate enough to restore her faith in herself-and in her heart.

Show Me 5 Saturday – Kill Me Twice by Roxanne St. Claire

now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here

1. Book title:
Kill Me Twice by Roxanne St. Claire

2. Words that describe the book:
Romantic Suspense

3. Settings or characters:
* Miami
* Jasmine Adams – identical twin sister of the missing news anchor Jessica Adams
* Alex Romero – Member of elite security company called The Bullet Catchers, hired to protect Jessica Adams

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
* I liked the mystery/suspense
* I liked the main characters but wished there was a little more back story on each. Maybe that is revealed in the books that follow this first in the series.
* I liked the pace and the action. It was a fast read.
* I liked that I didn’t know the outcome (even though I thought I did!)

5. Stars or less: 3.5 stars

Kill Me Twice (Bullet Catcher, #1)
Goodreads synopsis:


Alex Romero is the hottest “Bullet Catcher” in the business. Tall, dark, and deadly if necessary, this high-priced bodyguard’s got the muscle and the moves — especially when it comes to the ladies. Alex can keep his beautiful clients out of danger, but sometimes they can’t keep their hands off of him. Now Alex has one last chance to prove he belongs among the elite force known as The Bullet Catchers, but his assignment is stacked…against him.


Private investigator Jasmine Adams is fiercely independent and fearless under pressure — she doesn’t need some hunk-for-hire’s help to catch the creep stalking her twin sister. But when Jazz uncovers bigger forces targeting her sister for death, she’s glad to have Alex’s brain and brawn handy. From the steamy streets of Miami to the sultry beaches of Key West, Alex and Jazz try to fight temptation as they race to keep a madman from fulfilling his promise to kill not just once, but twice. And some temptations are too powerful to resist….

Show Me 5 Saturday – On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here

1. Book title:
On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

2. Words that describe the book:
Life-changing misunderstandings

3. Settings or characters:
* Edward
* Florence
* England

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
* I love McEwan’s spare writing.
* I like the way the characters’ back stories are revealed and the similarities they unknowingly share.
* I’m intrigued by a novel about two people whose lives are forever changed by one misunderstanding.
* I liked the audiobook.

5. Stars or less: 4 stars.

On Chesil Beach
From Goodreads:
It is 1962 when Edward and Florence, 23 and 22 respectively, marry and repair to a hotel on the Dorset coast for their honeymoon. They are both virgins, both apprehensive about what’s next and in Florence’s case, utterly and blindly terrified and repelled by the little she knows.

McEwan is the master of the defining moment, that place and time when, once it has taken place, nothing will ever be the same after it. It does not go well and Florence flees the room. “As she understood it, there were no words to name what had happened, there existed no shared language in which two sane adults could describe such events to each other.” Edward eventually follows her and they have a poignant and painful conversation where accusations are made, ugly things are said and roads are taken from which, in the case of these two, the way back cannot be found. Late in Edward’s life he realizes: “Love and patience–if only he had them both at once–would surely have seen them both through.” This beautifully told sad story could have been conceived and written only by Ian McEwan. –Valerie Ryan

Library copy – audiobook

Show Me 5 Saturday – Can’t Stand The Heat by Louisa Edwards

now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here

1. Book title:
Can’t Stand The Heat by Louisa Edwards

2. Words that describe the book:
Contemporary; Romance

3. Settings or characters:
Miranda Wake – a food critic known for her ‘take no prisoners’ reviews
Adam Temple – talented chef and owner of a new restaurant
Market (Adam’s restaurant)

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
I liked the descriptions of the restaurant kitchen. Louisa Edwards’ detailed narrative makes me think she has worked in a restaurant.
I liked all of the supporting characters
I liked Adam – a good character
I couldn’t warm up to Miranda – she was annoying most of the time

5. Stars or less: 3.5 – 4 stars

Can't Stand The Heat

Goodreads: For sharp-tongued food critic Miranda Wake, the chance to spend a month in Adam Temple’s kitchen to write an exposé is a journalistic dream come true. Surely Miranda can find a way to cut the hotshot chef down to size once she learns what really goes on at his trendy Manhattan restaurant. But she never expected Adam to find out her most embarrassing secret: she has no idea how to cook.

Adam’s not about to have his reputation burned by a critic who doesn’t even know the difference between poaching and paring. He’ll just have to give the tempting redhead a few private lessons of his own—teaching her what it means to cook with passion…

Show Me 5 Saturday – McCarthy’s Bar by Pete McCarthy

now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here

1. Book title:
* McCarthy’s Bar: A Journey Of Discovery In The West Of Ireland by Pete McCarthy

2. Words that describe the book:
* Humorous Nonfiction

3. Settings or characters:
* Ireland
* McCarthy’s Bars (there are many)
* Pete McCarthy

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
* It’s funny – I laughed the entire flight home while reading this book
* I’ve travelled the path taken by Pete McCarthy a couple of times (Cork to Donegal along the coast) so I enjoyed reading his experience
* Underneath the hilarity is a deep affection for the Irish
* I liked it so much that it’s on my keeper shelf. I don’t loan it out but I’ve purchased copies for several friends and relatives

5. Stars or less: 4 stars – I thought it was entertaining and very funny. I looked at ratings on Goodreads (click the cover and then click the next cover) and found some reviews agreed with mine and some didn’t.
McCarthy's Bar: A Journey of Discovery In Ireland
Click on cover to enlarge

Despite the many exotic places Pete McCarthy has visited, he finds that nowhere else can match the particular magic of Ireland, his mother’s homeland. In McCarthy’s Bar, his journey begins in Cork and continues along the west coast to Donegal in the north. Traveling through spectacular landscapes, but at all times obeying the rule, “never pass a bar that has your name on it,” he encounters McCarthy’s bars up and down the land, meeting fascinating people before pleading to be let out at four o’clock in the morning.

Written by someone who is at once an insider and an outside, McCarthy’s Bar is a wonderfully funny and affectionate portrait of a rapidly changing country.

I purchased my copy and read it several years ago

Show Me 5 Saturday – Marked By Passion by Kate Perry

now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here

1. Book title: Marked By Passion by Kate Perry

2. Words that describe the book: Paranormal Romance

3. Settings or characters: The Pour House (bar where Gabrielle works); Gabe’s “hovel”; San Francisco area

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book: I liked the paranormal powers of the characters; I liked the customerss who frequent The Pour House; I liked Gabrielle’s main romantic interest – but I’m not sure I would have trusted him; I wish it hadn’t wrapped up as quickly as it did (seemed too tidy).

5. Stars or less: 3.5 stars – This is the first book in The Guardians of Destiny series. I received a review copy of the second book, Chosen By Desire, from the publisher several months ago and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I think the second book was a bit stronger than the first but I enjoyed Marked By Passion and now look forward to the third book, Tempted By Fate (due out this year).

Marked by Passion (The Guardians of Destiny, #1)

Gabrielle Sansouci Chin is turned for a loop when she receives the ancient scroll that she was marked to protect. Her possession only means one thing…her father is dead.

Gabe has no idea how she is going to balance her new responsibilities as a Guardian being a painter by day and a bartender by night. Having just been contracted for her new “Enter the Light” series, Gabe tries to handle it all.

But it seems like her luck has run dry when she’s ill trained to take her proper place as guardian, having a dry spell at painting, and for some reason can’t help but fall for Rhys Llewellyn, the sexy Brit who offers his help in more ways than one.

Personal purchase

Show Me 5 Saturday – A Matter Of Class by Mary Balogh

now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here

1. Book title: A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh

2. Words that describe the book: Historical Romance

3. Settings or characters: England, Oakridge Park, The Mason house on Portman Square

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book: I liked it all: the clever story, the witty dialogue, the setting, the characters.

5. Stars or less: 5 stars – A nice escape from this never-ending winter. It’s the first Mary Balogh novel that I’ve read. If you’re a fan, please tell me which book I should read next!

Giveaway win from Borders

A Matter of Class

Goodreads synopsis:
Reginald Mason is wealthy, refined, and, by all accounts, a gentleman. However, he is not a gentleman by title, a factor that pains him and his father within the Regency society that upholds station over all else. That is, until an opportunity for social advancement arises, namely, Lady Annabelle Ashton. Daughter of the Earl of Havercroft, a neighbor and enemy of the Mason family, Annabelle finds herself disgraced by a scandal, one that has left her brandished as damaged goods. Besmirched by shame, the earl is only too happy to marry Annabelle off to anyone willing to have her.

Though Reginald Mason, Senior, wishes to use Annabelle to propel his family up the social ladder, his son does not wish to marry her, preferring instead to live the wild, single life he is accustomed to. With this, Reginald Senior serves his son an ultimatum: marry Annabelle, or make do without family funds. Having no choice, Reginald consents, and enters into a hostile engagement in which the prospective bride and groom are openly antagonistic, each one resenting the other for their current state of affairs while their respective fathers revel in their suffering.

So begins an intoxicating tale rife with dark secrets, deception, and the trials of love—a story in which very little is as it seems.

Show Me 5 Saturday – Deep In The Valley by Robyn Carr

now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here

1. Book title: Deep In The Valley by Robyn Carr

2. Words that describe the book: Contemporary Fiction

3. Settings or characters: Grace Valley, CA; Dr. June Hudson; Every inhabitant of the town

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
I liked the small town setting
I liked the quirky characters
I liked the medical drama
I liked the conflict
I like that this is the first of three books

5. Stars or less: 4.5/5 I enjoyed this book even more than I expected. Robyn Carr is a favorite author.

Deep in the Valley (Grace Valley Trilogy, #1)
Goodreads synopsis:
Welcome to Grace Valley, California—where blood runs thicker…ties are stronger…and love is all the more sweet

Visitors to the town often remark about the valley’s peace and beauty—both of which are plentiful. Unlocked doors, front porches, pies cooling in the windows—this is country life at its finest. But visitors don’t always see what lies at the heart of a community. Or just beyond…

June Hudson grew up in Grace Valley, the daughter of the town doctor. Leaving only to get her medical training, she returned home and followed in her father’s footsteps. Some might say she chose the easy, comfortable route…but June knows better.

For June, her emergency room is wherever she’s needed—or wherever a patient finds her. She is always on call, her work is her life and these people are her extended family. Which is a good thing, since this is a town where you should have picked your husband in the ninth grade. Grace Valley is not exactly the place to meet eligible men—until an undercover DEA agent suddenly starts appearing at all sorts of strange hours.

Everybody has secrets down in the valley. Now June has one of her own.

Show Me 5 Saturday – All That You Are

now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here

1. Book title: All That You Are by Stef Ann Holm

2. Words that describe the book: Contemporary Romance

3. Settings or characters: Alaska, Boise, The Blue Note jazz club/bar

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book: I liked the descriptions of the various locations; I liked the main characters; I wished for more character depth – there were a lot of details about construction and code violations but I wanted to know more about the characters (who spent a lot of time trying to avoid each other); I wished for more story – it seemed to wrap up too quickly.

5. Stars or less: 2.5/5 . This is the last book in a series. I enjoyed the two previous books.

All That You Are
Single mom Danalee Jackson owns the Blue Note—an Alaskan bar offering nightly jazz and a cocktail of regulars who have an opinion about everything. Between dealing with her son’s dad, a failing float-plane business and her bar’s code violations, Dana has no time for romance.

Mark Moretti is burned-out after finishing his father’s legacy project, the multimillion-dollar Grove Marketplace in downtown Boise. He’s ready for a break from the family construction business—maybe for good. And a summerlong fishing trip looks like just the ticket.

When a canceled flight leaves Mark stranded in Ketchikan, he finds himself at the Blue Note. One look at the exotically beautiful Dana and he decides to stay in town. But her fierce independence not only could jeopardize Mark’s help with renovations—it could also bring their mutual attraction to a screeching halt. (Goodreads synopsis)