Thursday, March 31, 2016

The Time Garden by Daria Song

The Time Garden



The Time Garden is an amazing and beautiful coloring book for adults.  Before receiving this book, I hadn't colored since I was a kid.  Now I understand why so many adults are now in a coloring phase and why there are dozens of intricate coloring books available today.  There is something meditative about coloring.  It helps our stressed-out minds focus on something other than our busy lives or frustrating jobs.

The Time Garden is beautiful.  All you have to do is open the cover and you'll immediately want to break out the pencils (or crayons, or markers).  I loved the fantastical drawings of the girl and the clocks, though I admit I enjoyed the trees and flowers the most.

I'd recommend this book to anyone who loves to color, or for adults who want to try it out.

I received this book through in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Rescue Me, Maybe by Jackie Bouchard

Rescue Me, Maybe


If you lost both your husband and your dog to cancer within weeks of each other, but you were sadder about the dog, would you tell anyone? Maybe your closest friends. Unfortunately, Jane Bailey’s closest friends are on the other side of the country. That’s where Jane plans to go now that she’s free to leave Philadelphia, the too cold, beachless, street taco-deficient city her husband dragged her to six years ago. But with no job prospects in her hometown of San Diego, Jane is roped into helping out temporarily at her uncle’s southwestern small-town B&B. En route to her new role as innkeeper and breakfast chef, she finds a stray at a rest stop. With her heart in pieces from the loss of her dog, she’s determined not to let this mutt worm its way into her affections. She’s also determined to have next-to-no interaction with the B&B’s irritating guests, and the even more annoying handyman who lives next door. Can Jane keep her sanity—and her secret that she’s not really a grieving widow—while trying to achieve her dream of getting back to the place she thinks is home?

Let's be honest here, I chose this book because of the dog.

I did not like Jane at all.  I'm surprised she had any family or friends who tolerated her.  She is extremely judgmental about everyone she meets and is defensive, stubborn, and rude.

It probably would have been a good book with a character I could relate to,  but as it is I couldn't read more than a chapter or two without wanting to toss the book aside in frustration.  

Even the dog didn't save things for me.

**Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for sending me a free review copy.**

The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate by Kay Berrisford

The Merman and the Barbarian Pirate



Raef, a lonely merman, spends his days watching the dashing Lord Haverford from afar and dreaming of love. When Haverford is robbed by a pirate, Raef vows to reclaim the stolen goods, hoping his victory will buy him the happiness he yearns for with Haverford.

But Jon Kemp does not match what Raef knows about pirates, and the simple quest Raef anticipated turns out to be an epic journey. For while Jon might be a nobler man than Raef believed, he’s still a pirate. Love and loyalty are not on Jon’s agenda, and he certainly has no plans to love someone not entirely human …

This was a very quick, fun read.  I loved the characters and the story line.  What could be better than pirates, mermen/mermaids, despicable villains, and seafaring adventures? 

This was a "slow burn" romance, which is how I like them.  I like the characters to get to know each other before they fall head over heels (or fin) in love.

This is a great book if you're looking for a little adventure with your romance and good characterization.  It's a quick read for those days when you need a pick-me-up.

**Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the free review copy.** 

Unwept by Tracy Hickman



18490661Gamin, Maine, is a remote seaside town where everyone seems to know Ellis Harkington better than she knows herself—but she doesn’t remember any of them.

Unknown events have robbed Ellis of her memory. Concerned individuals, who purport to be her friends and loved ones, insist that she simply needs to recuperate, that her memories may return in time, but refuse to divulge what has brought her to this state. For her own sake, so they say.

Ellis finds herself adrift in a town of ominous mysteries, cryptic hints, and disturbingly familiar strangers. The Nightbirds, a clique of fashionable young men and women, claim her as one of their own, but who among them can she truly trust? And what of the phantom suitor who visits her in her dreams? Is he a memory, a figment of her imagination, or a living nightmare beyond rational explanation?

Only her lost past hold the answers she seeks—if she can uncover its secrets before she fall prey to an unearthly killer.

I'm afraid I don't have anything good to say about this book. The rule of "when you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" makes it difficult to write a review on a book that you loathed.

I didn't like any of the characters and couldn't connect with them. I couldn't care less what happened to Ellis or any of her friends.
The author tried so hard to be mysterious that in the end nothing made sense and there was no resolution. The ending was especially awkward and confusing.

The book was a big mess and I would never have finished it if it weren't for the fact that I had to write a review.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for the free review copy.

Fool Me Twice by Meredith Duran

Fool Me Twice


Sensible and lonely, Olivia Mather survives by her wits—and her strict policy of avoiding trouble. But when she realizes that the Duke of Marwick might hold the secrets of her family’s past, she does the unthinkable, infiltrating his household as a maid. She’ll clean his study and rifle through his papers looking for information.
Alastair de Grey has a single reason to live: vengeance. More beautiful than Lucifer, twice as feared, and thrice as cunning, he’ll use any weapon to punish those who fooled and betrayed him—even an impertinent maid who doesn’t know her place. But the more fascinated he becomes with the uppity redhead, the more dangerous his carefully designed plot becomes. For the one contingency he forgot to plan for was falling in love…and he cannot survive being fooled again.

I had been looking forward to this book so much!  It has everything I usually love: a dark brooding hero, a lower-class love interest, secrets and lies and danger.   What I couldn't get past, though, was Olivia's refusal to apologize for some of her actions which could have been very damaging to Alastair's reputation and psyche.  She irritated me to no end. 

Besides that, the storyline was very good.  I loved the angst and the slowly-blossoming love between the two main characters.  The writing was very good and I am looking forward to reading more from Meredith Duran.

*Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the free review copy.*

Suffer The Children by Craig DiLouie

Suffer The Children

by Craig DiLouie

From an acclaimed horror writer, a chilling tale of blood-hungry children who rise from the dead in this innovative spin on apocalyptic vampire fiction.

Suffer the Children presents a terrifying tale of apocalyptic fiction, as readers are introduced to Herod's Syndrome, a devastating illness that suddenly and swiftly kills all young children across the globe. Soon, they return from the grave…and ask for blood. And with blood, they stop being dead. They continue to remain the children they once were...but only for a short time, as they need more blood to live. The average human body holds ten pints of blood, so the inevitable question for parents everywhere becomes: How far would you go to bring your child back?

Suffer The Children starts out as a great horror novel and the lead-up to the 'big event' was great.  I found it went slightly downhill after that, though.  Instead of the pure horror that I was expecting, there was a lot of dialogue between characters and filler scenes.  At times I grew bored and wished that things would hurry up. 

It was an interesting take on vampirism, though, and I liked the moral ambiguity the characters struggled through.

It would be a great book for people who like their books to meander along before hitting you with the more intense scenes.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for sending me a free review copy.