Thursday, 23 June 2016

Short & Tweetish Reviews #8 Paradise, Idaho series by Rosalind James

I'm back to doing Short & Tweetish Reviews (There's no way I can keep it to 140 characters!).  This style of reviewing was introduced to me by Mary@The Book Swarm  and Karen's @For What It's Worth

Carry Me Home (Paradise, Idaho #1) by Rosalind James
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: June 16th 2015
My rating:  4 stars  
Links: Amazon | B&N | TBD | GRs
 
My Thoughts:
Zoe is focused on the goals drilled into her by her father, a completely selfish man, IMO, and doesn’t know how love and family can fit in. That’s okay she has Cal to help her with that. He’s funny, confident and successful, even though Zoe misjudges him at first they soon click. Good thing because Cal is exactly who you want in your corner when you have a stalker after you. There was a lot of sexy, fun banter, but this story was a turns scary, and the end had me on the edge of my seat! The mystery of who is behind it all is good and kept me guessing!




Hold Me Close (Paradise, Idaho #2) by Rosalind James

Pubulisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: December 8th 2015
My rating:  4.5 stars  
Links: Amazon | B&N | TBD | GRs

My Thoughts:
Love the small town and the way they helped each other out; the Jackson family and the unquestioning support they gave to Kayla. Loved that Luke allowed Kayla be her own person with dignity and respect, allowed her to rescue herself and Eli, but also gave help and support. Even though intimacy between Luke and Kayla was taken slow, and with caution, it was very hot! I was thrilled to visit with Cal and Zoe (from the previous installment) again and be in on special events/news.

This was very much romantic suspense and had me on edge over Kayla’s safety! Alan made my skin crawl and frightened the heck out of me, because I know so many Alans are out there in real life! Rosalind James' had me hooked! This was my favorite of the series!


Hold Me Close (Paradise, Idaho #2) by Rosalind James
Pubulisher: Montlake Romance
Publication date: May 17th 2016
My rating:  3.5 stars  
Links: Amazon | B&N | TBD | GRs

My Thoughts:
Rochelle Marks has been a staple in this series, the sexy fun loving friend with curves. She has a big heart and a fierce drive to make the best of herself.  Seeing her friends find happiness has underscored Rochelle’s desire to have her own happy ending. She’s no longer willing to waste time on someone who just wants to have fun.  Rochelle has had her share of letdowns in her love life, but Travis seemed different, someone with possibility, until she didn’t hear from him. Now he’s back in her life, in a temporary position at the University she works at, wanting another chance. 

Travis needed to sort through some things in his life before he could get serious with anyone, so his one night with Rochelle, even as unforgettable as it was, had to be put on the backburner.  Meeting up with her again Travis can’t ignore the powerful pull Rochelle has on him. They have smoking hot chemistry, and Rochelle is amazing. Now Travis just needs to convince her he’s serious.   

This was probably the least suspenseful of the three books. Rochelle’s sister’s problems translate into big trouble, and I kind of wanted to smack her a few times. She’s lucky Rochelle and Travis had her back!

I love Rosalind James’ brand of storytelling, especially with romantic suspense.  One minute it’s all fun, or steamy hot, and the next you’re on the edge of your seat hoping for the best! Thrilling and addictive! A total recommend!


Friday, 17 June 2016

#FitReaders & General Update 6-17-16

Hello everyone. Jasprit and I have been trying to get healthier and more active lately so here is our #FitReaders update as well as what we've been reading and up to this last week.

Rachel
What I've been reading:
(click on cover for Goodreads link)

Paradise Valley (A Virgin River Novel) Just This Once (Escape to New Zealand, #1) Turn Me Loose (Paradise, Idaho, #3)

As most of you know, I've been addicted to Robyn Carr's Virgin River series and I've just finished #7 and loved it! I listen to the audio version of this and Thérèse Plummer is an amazing narrator! Highly recommended! Eva at All Books Considered turned me onto Rosalind James with this sale and I've been gobbling up her books for the last few weeks. Her writing is HOT and wonderful! She writes both contemporary romance and romantic suspense. I'm currently listening to Just This Once book one in her Escape to New Zealand series. It's super cheap to add the audio narration once you buy the book ($1.99 + $0.99 for the e-book on Amazon) Claire Bocking (the narrator) is making me want my very own hunky New Zealander with that sexy accent!


Jasprit:
What I've been reading:
(click on cover for Goodreads link)

Unfortunately there's no links for me this week as I didn't get to read any books, I got straight back into work after my family weddings and it's been two long work weeks! I'm hopefully planning to finally get some sort of reading list planned over the weekend. 

What we've been up to:

Rachel:
Not much, thank goodness! Just working and relaxing by the pool on the weekends. That's what I have planned for this weekend, maybe with some sort of frosty mango drink in hand! It looks to be a very hot weekend here in Southern California.

Jasprit:

Rachel's week sounds fantastic! It hasn't been all that hot over here in the U.K, this week has been full of rain and thunderstorms, weirdly I love this sort of weather especially when I'm indoors with a good book! Other than that I've been watching the Euro's and backing my team Germany all the way! 




#FitReaders is hosted by Jen @That's What I'm Talking About and Felicia @TheGeekyBlogger.

Here's our progress for this last week:

Rachel:
My knee pain was still giving me trouble earlier this week, but today and yesterday it finally seems like it's getting better. I think the exercises, joint supplement, and stretching are paying off.  I actually jogged a little today instead of just walking like I've been doing.

Friday:  13,899 steps
Saturday:  11,495 steps
Sunday:  11,045 steps
Monday:  16,412 steps
Tuesday:   16,268 steps 
Wednesday: 13,305 steps 
Thursday: 14,884 steps 
Total steps: 97,308 steps

Jasprit:
I hit my step goal every day this week in the workweek hustle, which I'm super proud of. And I'm planning to go back to the gym this week after four weeks off! *fingers crossed*


Friday: 17,105 steps
Saturday: 9,295 steps
Sunday: 4,483 steps 
Monday: 14,378 steps
Tuesday: 12,849 steps
Wednesday: 13,657 steps
Thursday: 12,333 steps
Total steps: 84,100 steps

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Review: Fan the Flames by Katie Ruggle

Fan the Flames (Search and Rescue #2) by Katie Ruggle
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: June 7th 2016
My rating: 4 stars 
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...
As a Motorcycle Club member and firefighter, Ian Walsh is used to riding the line between the good guys and the bad. He may owe the Club his life, but his heart rests with his fire station brothers...and with the girl he's loved since they were kids, Rory Sorenson. Ian would do anything for Rory. He'd die for her. Kill for her. Defend her to his last breath-and he may just have to.
Every con in the Rockies knows Rory is the go-to girl for less-than-legal firearms, and for the past few years, she's managed to keep the peace between dangerous factions by remaining strictly neutral. But when she defends herself against a brutal attack, Rory finds herself catapulted into the center of a Motorcycle Club war-with only Ian standing between her and a threat greater than either of them could have imagined.



My Thoughts:
Fan the Flames is the second book in the Search and Rescue series.  This installment was full of danger and thrills and a sweet romance with a lot of heat! Katie Ruggle is very good at building tension and steam between a couple, heightening my anticipation for Ian and Rory’s romance!

Rory has been crushing on Ian for some time, but her social ineptness has made her miss clues that Ian’s been lusting after her, as well. Being raised by survival extremist parents (who are now dead) only prepared her for such things as the zombie apocalypse or a nuclear disaster.  End of the world scenarios? Rory is your girl. Romance and relationships? Not so much.  She is very cute, though, with her naiveté, and I really liked that she was kind of a badass.  Owning the local gun shop puts her in the path of some violent and nutty people, one group being the Motorcycle Club that Ian was born into. An altercation with some of the MC members makes Rory a prime target and in serious danger. These men are bad news! Lucky for her, she has Ian at her back.

Ian nicknamed “Beauty” by his fellow firemen crew because he’s so good-looking doesn’t let his looks go to his head. There’s been one girl that he’s had in his sights, Rory Sorensen, and it seems like he’s finally going to get the girl. I wish we would’ve got more of his POV throughout the story instead of just at the very beginning, because I adored Ian! He’s patient and understanding with Rory’s social awkwardness, and would do anything for her. I loved that he was super protective over Rory and still had respect for her own ability to take care of herself.

My only complaint with this story and that was the constant mention of Rory blushing, flushing or turning red at any interaction with Ian. I knew she was inexperienced and I know it was put in to underscore that, but it was a little overboard. Other than that I loved this story! Katie Ruggle does a fabulous job balancing the plot and character development without sacrificing either. I cared for and liked both Rory and Ian. They had just enough quirks and flaws to make them feel real and relatable. As far as the plot, there was plenty of excitement and danger to glue me to the pages to see what would happen next! Can’t wait for the next one: Gone Too Deep!
   




 Connect with Katie Ruggle:



Monday, 13 June 2016

Review: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible (The Austen Project #4) by Curtis Sittenfeld
Publisher: Random House
Publication date: April 19th 2016
My rating: 1 star/DNF
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25644437-find-her
A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.

Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.

Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .

And yet, first impressions can be deceiving. 


My Thoughts:
Eligible is supposed to be a re-telling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, but I found it more of a mocking shell of that beloved classic than any re-telling.  There’s no way I’m going to imagine that the original version would’ve ever devolved into this story. I didn’t care for or respect any of the characters, maybe with the exception of Jane.  Just the fact that Bingley was in a Bachelor type reality dating show gave me pause. Didn’t care for the situation they were in when I stopped reading.

I was utterly frustrated that Liz would waste so many years (twelve? I don’t care enough to check) on a man that was (highlight for spoiler) taken either by a girlfriend or later by his wife! Oh, and they had a toddler when Liz and Jasper finally got together! I’m sorry, Liz, but you brushing your hair away before Jasper could do it all those years ago didn’t foil your meant-to-be relationship! He was/is an ass and you were/are an idiot! ( (end of spoiler) I was very underwhelmed by her relationship with Darcy. Had Liz been a likable character or one that I could relate to in any way I might have enjoyed this story even with the abundance of hateful people. Sadly, that wasn’t the case.

When I got to the 52% mark (a little over 250 pages) I just couldn’t read any further.


Friday, 10 June 2016

#FitReaders & General Update

Hello everyone! Jasprit & I have been a little scarce lately. Both of us have had a lot going on in our lives but we thought we'd pop in and give a quick update. 

Rachel
What I've been reading:
(click on cover for Goodreads link)
Compulsion (Max Revere, #2) Fan the Flames (Search and Rescue, #2) 

It's no secret that I've been addicted to romantic suspense lately, and even those these two titles fall into that category they're very different. Compulsion is the 2nd Max Revere novel (loved the first), she's an investigative reporter intent on finding justice and the truth for victims and families. This is very much a procedural crime investigation with a little bit of romance thrown in. I just got to a very scary part and I'm biting my nails nervously over what's going to happen!  Fan the Flames is the 2nd in the the Search & Rescue series and I'm loving it! There's a bit more romance in this one. Ian = SWOON!


Jasprit


Hi all, I hope you all haven't forgotten me, the two back to back family weddings that I've had, have me completely swamped! I've been acting like an Uber taxi driver taking family back and forth to the wedding house (my cousins), I thought that with the two weeks off from work, I'd be able to get a lot of reading done, but nope, I read 0 books in two weeks! Honestly I don't even know what I'm in the mood for anymore, so please hit me up with your book recommendations or even buddy reads!!

My cousin and I 

What I've been up to:

Rachel:
I've been on a lot of trips lately and while they were fun I'm happy to been home for a while! I won't bore you with details but here are a few pictures:

 Golden Gate Bridge
 Hawaii
 Southern California Coast

Jasprit

I didn't get to visit all the pretty places like Rachel did, I didn't even get to visit my gym in two weeks :( but the last month has been a manic but great one. The lovely Allie came to visit and we attended a wonderful chocolate making workshop, where we made our own truffles and chocolates, we stuffed our faces the entire day and then we got to revel in Leicester becoming Premier League champions!





Allie and I at the Leicester parade

It's been a celebrity sighting month for me too, I bumped into one of the Leicester players just before the parade in town, and an incredible DJ and Punjabi singer who I've been a fan of since ages! Of course like usual I was a mouse when meeting the Leicester player and DJ, but was able to squeak out some words when talking to the singer JK, one day I will be able to formulate a coherent sentence next time I'm with someone famous!

DJ AJD and JK 

Although I haven't been reading much, I was able to watch two amazing films back to back last week; Me Before You and X-Men: Apocalypse. Me Before You was everything I could have imagined it to be, the book to film adaptation was done wonderfully, the cast for me was spot on and I was delighted to see Brax from Home and Away cast as Nathan. Of course I was an emotional mess in the end, but the film was definitely worth it! And X-Men: Apocalypse reignited my passion for the X-Men comics and cartoons I had as a child, I wasn't  huge fan of the last X-Men film, but seriously this film went all out, that I had to go an order the box set of the films just so that I can watch them all over, also I can never resist Michael Fassbender! ;)





#FitReaders is hosted by Jen @That's What I'm Talking About and Felicia @TheGeekyBlogger.

Here's our progress for the last week:

Rachel:
I've been experiencing some knee pain so I took it a little easy with running. I looked up this article with exercises developed to strengthen areas of the body to take pressure off the knees and have been doing the exercises. I've also been taking a supplement to help with joints. Taking a rest has helped and I'm hoping the exercises will, too, because I've become addicted to running!

Friday:  21,267 steps
Saturday:  10,248 steps
Sunday:   5,960 steps
Monday:  12,989 steps
Tuesday:   17,025 steps 
Wednesday: 10,188 steps 
Thursday: 14,208 steps 
Total steps: 91,885 steps

Jasprit:
I barely hit my daily goal these last two weeks (except for the days of the reception hall party, where I smashed it with all the dancing!). But work decided to get busy straight after my break, but with two workweek hustles this week, they really pushed me to hitting more steps again!

Friday: 20,296 steps
Saturday: 8,227 steps
Sunday: 8,282 steps 
Monday: 15,513 steps
Tuesday: 19,282 steps
Wednesday: 16,969 steps
Thursday: 20,023 steps
Total steps: 108,592 steps
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