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2016 Reading List

First of: HAPPY 2016!

Secondly, here is the list that I’ll be reading for this year.  As a review, I’ve posted last year that I’ll be reading some books this year.  Books that I’ve won by entering some book giveaways.

This is a tentative list.  I may end up changing it as the year advances.

 

January 

Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins

February

(Unknown)

 

Books in the list include:

LinkedIn In 30 Minutes (2nd Edition): How to create a rock-solid LinkedIn profile and build connections that matter by Angela Rose

The Coincidence in Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Jaded by Anne Calhoun 

Married ’til Monday by Denise Hunter

The Quest of All Ages by Maha Devi Li Ra La

Getting Rough by C. L. Park

 

This is not the complete list for my 2016 reading list.  But it’s a good place to start.

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2016 Reading List Proclamation

It has been a long time since my last post.  But I digress.  The point of this post is to proclaim the book list that I’ll be reading for 2016.  I had planned this for some time, and I wondered where I was going to post my list.  Then I remembered that I have this blog, and here it is.

Before I go on further about the 2016 book list, let’s talk about the manga portion of this blog.  And let’s face it, it has been what I’ve been posting about for the longest time.  So what is the future of that?  Not sure.  I hasn’t been reading manga for some time.  Well, the ones that I’ve been posting about.  I had read two chapters of this new manga series, but not enough interest about it to post an entry.  So the future of that is up in the air.  Or in other words, on hiatus.

That takes care of that portion of this blog.  Now back to the topic at hand.

I’ve been entering some book giveaways.  For a few of the numerous book giveaways, I ended up winning the prizes.  And I hadn’t read them yet.

Thus, my 2016 goal, in which I plan to read one book prize per month.

I have more than 12 book prizes.  I just plan to read at least one book per month because I also plan to review said book.  And I’m bad at book reviews.  Or at least posting them.  Plus, there is also the likelihood that I may end up reading other books during the month.  So I’m leaving myself a little wiggle room each month.

Flexibility is key for me in this 2016 goal.

I hadn’t decided which books I’ll be reading for my 2016 goal.  There are a couple that I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading, but they’re not a lot.  I’ll have another post focusing on my 2016 book goal where I’ll list the books that I’ll be reading.  This is just an announcement about my 2016 intentions.  Or resolution.  Or whatever.

So there it is.  More details will be announced at a later post.  Stay tuned!

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[Nora Roberts] Savor The Moment

Savor The Moment

By Nora Roberts

Reviewed by Era-hime

This is the third installment in the Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts.  I had taken a break due to the book not being available at the library until this month; however, I decided to get my own copy since I plan to collect all four volumes because I like this series.  Ms. Roberts has created an entertaining and romantic series featuring the wedding industry.  The first book focused on photography, the second book focused on flowers, and the this book features the wedding cake.  The last book, which ends the series, will be focused on the wedding planning aspect of a wedding.

Laurel McBane is the Icing of Vows, shepherding the desserts portion of the wedding, focusing primarily on the wedding cakes.  She is a blonde, blue-eyed woman who shares her living quarters with Parker Brown,one of her best friends, though each have their own portions of the main estate that encompassed the Vows headquarters.  For a long time, she had a crush on Delaney Brown, Parker’s older brother, who is a lawyer and co-owner of the Brown establishment.  Laurel had kept her feelings to herself for a long time, until one night she decided to change their relationship by kissing him.

Delaney Brown has been the ‘overprotective’ brother of the four friends, which included his younger sister.  For some time, he had noticed that one of his sister’s friends is an attractive woman, and when she kissed him, it changed their relationship.  This dark-haired, blue-eyed lawyer isn’t afraid to test the waters, and so this turn of events is a welcome change to see how compatible he is with Laurel.

I liked Delaney.  He is an overprotective brother, but Parker held her own, especially when Delaney decided to do mess a little with Parker’s personal life.   I felt more ‘connected” to Delaney than to Parker, so that’s why I liked the hero more than the heroine.

Thus, the book has a nice story.  I liked this one a tad better than the second installment in the series, though the first one is still my favorite out of the quartet.  I still have the last one to read, so I’ll see if the ranking of the quartet changes or not.

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[Gayle Callen] A Most Scandalous Engagement

A Most Scandalous Engagement

by Gayle Callen

Reviewed by Era-hime

I liked the first book of this series.  This second book, not so much.

I understand that this is one way that Peter had reacted with his guilt.  But I disapprove of his “recent rake-ish” ways.  I guess I’m not understanding enough about it, nor do I “love” him as Elizabeth does.  I’m really thankful that Elizabeth loves him.  I do feel that Peter deserves to be loved and forgiven, especially as he loves and forgives Elizabeth.  It is just my own preference that I didn’t “click” with Peter, in this book as well as in the previous book.  Since I hadn’t read Matthew’s and Emily’s book, where Peter does play a part, I probably won’t mind Peter’s existence in that book.  However…Peter didn’t grab me as much as Leo and Julian.  I guess, when I read the first book of this trilogy, I felt that there was ‘something’ in Peter that didn’t grab my attention as much has his two friends.  I don”t mind ‘noble gentleman’ types at all.  But I do disapprove of those gentleman taking a turn for the “worst,” as in the case of Peter’s guilt turning him towards ‘women of questionable repute.’  Leo Wade, as mentioned in the first book, has already been dubbed as a “true rake” so I already know his type and expected him to have these ‘rakish’ ways.  As for Julian…well, I read his book and his character made me respect him.  Thus, out of the three friends, Julian is at the top and Peter at the bottom.  Still unknown what I think about Leo, though.  I do have Leo’s brother’s book, but I hadn’t read that yet, either.  Thus, Leo’s character will have to be dissected when his book comes out later this year.

Now for Elizabeth…she wasn’t so bad.  I felt that she ‘acted’ her age, yet retain some maturity.  Though I think I liked her younger cousin, Rebecca, a lot more.  I’ll put that up to the book, though.

I did like the secondary characters, especially Mary Anne Derby and her troubles.  I liked the possibility of her with Lord Thomas Wythorne, and I hope that their courtship is fruitful.

I will say that I’m being confused as to who the model is of that painting.  I think all three women are, but I’m not sure how it all comes together.  Again, I have to wait for the last book of this trilogy to be out later this year.

Overall, the trilogy isn’t so bad.  I may not have enjoyed the second book as much, but I’m still eager to finish reading the trilogy.

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[Christine Feehan] Samurai Game

Samurai Game

by Christine Feehan

Reviewed by Era-hime

I don’t care to be restricted by how a book review should be formatted, so I’m doing this my own way.  First of, it will be a mix of positive and negative points I’ve read from the novel, so anything pointed out out here is basically my opinion of the book.  Secondly, the points will be in randomized order, so if anyone wants to read the novel, please remember that what I had pointed out will not be in the chronological order of the story.  Lastly, consider this book review a rant and a rave at the same time, since that will be what this post is basically about.

Before moving onward to the points I’ll be mentioning, let me give some brief and pertinent details about the book:

Sam Johnson = the hero of the book

Azami “Thorn” Yoshiie = the heroine of the book

Dr. Peter Whitney = the villain of the whole series

Now that that’s over, shall we move on to the points that I’ve gathered from the book?  Still with me?  Well, here they are!

Lashes: Lashes, lashes lashes!  Seriously, that is what I’ll always remember Azami as a character.  She’s all “lashes” to me.  I felt that it was overused by the author in defining the heroine.  Yes, I understand that it was a “turn on” for the hero, but I just felt it was overused as a description of Azami.  By the time I was halfway into the story, the “lashes” description was making me crazy!  Any other characteristic details of Azami was overshadowed by the “lashes”.  Her beautiful, long and silky hair; her innocent yet fierce warrior aura; her Asian features…all were overshadowed by the “lashes” that frequently described her throughout the book.  Not a good way to remember her by, that’s for sure.

That “Missing” Tension: I understand that it was love/lust-at-first-sight for Sam and Aazami, and I get that, but I was missing that “tension” in the first 100 pages of the book.  I felt that the action overpowered the “tension” between the couple.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I adore action, especially in this series, but I felt that the short tidbits of “tension” between the couple didn’t really go smoothly for that section of the book.  What I meant is that the action was forefront in that section with the “tension” being a huge second place in that.  It just felt like the ‘link’ between the action and the “tension” isn’t as smooth as previous books.  Yes, the relationship of the couple became foremost in the middle part of the book, which was nicely done by the author.   Yes, there is also action in the last part of the book.   I really am unsure if it was my mood when I was reading the first part or if it is the story, but I just felt that there was not “balance” between the action and the “tension” of the couple.  Therefore, I’m missing the critical “turning point” of the relationship between Sam and Azami.  It just felt like the relationship between Sam and Azami “jumped” a few steps forward and I missed those “steps” from the book.

Daniel: Can I say he’s a CUTE infant?!  Someone commented in a online community that he somehow ‘stole’ the show in the book.  I sorta agree with that person.  I don’t think that he ‘stole’ the whole book, but he sure is a highlight of the book.  I will say this: I really see this nine-month-old superkid as an infant and not as a toddler, even though Daniel can walk and do sign language.  Just because he’s a superkid doesn’t mean that he is a toddler, per se.  The switch between “toddler” and “infant” bugged me when I was reading the book.  It felt like the author couldn’t decided on Daniel’s age.

Okay, back to the good about the infant.  It was nice to learn more about the first of the GW children (how I know that he is the oldest of the brood I got from reading this book).  He was simply an adorable child, having his parents and the rest of Team One, particularly his ‘uncles’, wrapped around his little finger.  Learning about his gifts, and how he is advanced for his age, makes it more concrete that Daniel will be a challenge for his parents and the rest of the team.  That said, I want to read more of him!

Random “Missing” Details: I’m really upset about random details in this book.  For example, what happened to the ring (the one that Azami’s adopted father forged for his daughter) that Sam had on his palm before he and Azami took that next step in their relationship?  Where did it go the morning after?  Also on that same morning, what happened to the coffee that Sam was holding on to before Azami gave him a morning “pleasure”?  Does the reader need to infer for themselves about such details for themselves?  Why can’t the author give a concrete answer to that within the story?  So not cool.

Team One: The team is rocking!  I loved the story of how some members of the team were rescuing a Frenchman and they encountered some difficulties during their rescue.  How it was told made it seem so ‘lighthearted’ but in reality, it was truly something else.  The camaraderie between each member made them all seem like a “family”, and I liked that.

Azami: I couldn’t do this book review without mentioning the heroine, right?  I respected her childhood and how she overcome her broken past.  It took some time for her to get her priorities right in relation to Dr. Whitney, but in others, she got everything going for her.  I’m glad to see how she has an “equal” relationship with Sam, and how her traditions “blended” with his.  Seeing her interact with Daniel, Saber, and Lily as well as the rest of Team One (especially with Tucker and Ian), makes her more “real” within the GW series.

As a female warrior, she has great strengths and quite deadly.  Intelligent, strong, loyal, and beautiful, she is a petite warrior that I’m glad to read about.  Other than that annoying physical trait that the author kept repeating in defining her, Azami is a great addition to the GW teams.

Sam: Didn’t think that I would miss mentioning the hero, right?  I’m glad to read about an African American hero, and it was nice to read about an American “hero”, or the “All-American boy” kind of person.  At least, that is what I felt that the book made Sam to.  His patriotic life doesn’t really delve on other aspects of this hero, like did he retain any lessons from his harsh childhood?  And what about his life with his foster parents, General Ranier and his wife?  I just felt that the book focused on one dimensional on this hero and didn’t delved deeper into his character.  I understand that the action and the “courtship” is more important, but I wouldn’t have minded reading more about this hero’s life and character.

So what do I think about the book?

Well, I consider it one of my fave GW book just because of Azami.  I support the Asian heroines the most due to my ethnicity, and thus why I support them.  Sad to say that the first part of the book was a disappointment, while Azami’s description of “lashes” made it feel downright annoying, especially since I felt it overshadowed her Japanese beauty.  And I needed more from Sam, since I was missing some “vibe” from him.

Overall, the book shows some progression in the GW series, but it truly wasn’t 100 percent “perfect” in my eyes.