Anne Stuart is probably one of my favorite authors. I tend to go to her when I get in a book slump (the Ice and Fire series usually). She bounces around different sub-genres in the romance genre, so she's done romantic-suspense, gothics, historical, contemporaries, etc. This one follows a bit of noir bent (in the sense that it plays with it).
I found this one in my local used bookstore, but some of her older releases can be rough to find! Sometimes she releases a kindle version, so that's been great. She has a lot of books out...like a lot. She's a reader's dream come true. I've seen this likened to Catspaw, and I can see it. It's a bit zanier than that one to me, but I get it!
I had a horrible migraine...not sure why to be honest but I went a bit ham since there wasn't much to do and read. A lot. I have a few cozy mysteries out from the library so I read those. I just don't like most cozy mysteries so it was more of a struggle than I wish. I just desperately want to love cozy mysteries.
The migraine I had messed up my sleep schedule and pulling an all-nighter gives me another migraine. So, I tend to slowly get back by staying up in increments. I woke up at 11 PM and I'm going to try and stay awake until 5 PM (with the help of a lot of coffee). I'll be more in line after today. Unfortunately, this hurricane (while far away from me) is messing up the barometric pressure enough that I'm super congested. Hurricane season is NOT my friend.
Migraine life suuuucks.
I have done a lot of cleaning and book reading. I also discovered that my library lets me check out as many magazines as I want and it doesn't count against my "limit." So...I checked out every trashy gossipy magazine as possible. I'm about to be totally up to date on all sorts of drama. I love it!
Anne Stuart is such an "instant buy" author for me. Even the books she writes that I don't adore are solid 3 or 3.5 stars. That's pretty amazing.
Her "Fire" series is a spin-off from her "Ice" series. While the Ice Series is set in the UK as a home-base, the Fire series is based in America. Specifically in New Orleans, Louisiana. This is the third book in the series and introduces two new characters, both tangentially related to the infamous Committee, the shadow spy agency.
I have a feeling this hurricane season is going to be not fun. Mostly because that tiny little tropical storm (well, it did kill people, so not tiny) Claudette took me out for a week. I still have a twitchy eye from the migraine. UGH!
Anyways, I didn't get a lot of reading done this week because of it but I'm back in the saddle. I managed to get most of my mail sorted and my desk is a little more clear.
Let's get to the book! I think Emma Mills is one of those authors that I just enjoy. I discovered her through a book subscription and then kept up with her output. Lucky Caller is the last book I read from her. She (or the publisher) has changed the artwork cover, which is very annoying mid series but since her books are stand alone - I can deal with it. It is sad how they don't match (since the others do). Her old books were re-released with new covers so that's nice. For other people.
This is a YA contemporary romance, set in a large high school in the States. It features two friends who had drifted apart end up in the same group in their elective class.
I've managed to stain my bathtub red and I think I'm going to have to bleach it to death to get it off. It was a bath bomb that did me in. I normally keep up with the tub better but I didn't really deep clean it after this bath because I was getting a migraine. And now it's set in a bit. Oh well.
I was just talking to a girl on bumble bff, we were discussing how nice it would be to have a month extra a year where we could just get stuff clean and all these extra chores done. Riveting stuff to be sure. There's just a backlog that doesn't seem to end.
Well, lets get on to the books. As we left the last one on a cliffhanger, it luckily resolves quite quickly. While both books begin in England, they move off to other areas. Both feature reoccurring characters and I quite enjoyed them.
I managed to get my kitchen mostly clean, it's still very dated in decor/looks but it's on the list for a renovation. I know some people managed to gut their house during Covid but I have not had the time to get that going. Also, I can't quite figure out what I want. Part of me wants a really basic white-neutral kitchen while the other part wants striking colored cabinets. Like black, green, or blue. Not yellow, orange, or red. Decisions!
Continuing on with this series. I've officially read all the books published in it so far (a new one is coming out...and I've put in a purchase for a pre-order). So one of these books takes place mostly in America and the other takes place back in London. They're both quite fun but I have to admit really enjoying the Queen of Hearts mostly for the Hollywood tie in. Malice at the Palace was also interesting, it has more of a true historical bent (far more royal as well).
I've started a new podcast that seems to have promise (or might be the weirdest thing I've ever listened to). This week is already starting oddly. I started the past weekend with a migraine, but was able to figure out my "trigger" for it fairly fast. Since I caused the migraine, it was pretty bad and my sleep schedule is still pretty messed up.
The cause of my migraine was carpet cleaner! Apparently this is known but I didn't know because I've just not been around when the carpets were cleaned. I bought a little Bissell machine because my old one died after more than a decade and I had spilled foundation on my white carpet. So, I guess it was worth it.
Anyways, lets get back to the books!
I've given the other Rhys Bowen series a try but I can't get into them as much (I think they're more "cozy" in genre than this one?). These are from her "Her Royal Spyness" Series, which is so amusing for me as I'm not a monarchist and they are cozy. Cozy mysteries are not my jam. I get so utterly frustrated with them for silly reasons. During Covid, I gave some of the cozy books in my TBR pile a go and it seemed to work out better (well, I only hated most of them).
This was a poor introduction, but anyways. The next two books in the series don't take place in the UK as much. Instead, they take place on the European continent. Many of our favorite characters make appearances. This is also the first appearance of Rhys Bowen taking themes from classic literature. I enjoy retellings or hints to the classics for the most part, so I enjoyed it thoroughly.
I'm going to try and give them both good reviews (as in, me writing the review well) as I have a migraine starting and it's rudely not getting better even though I took medicine. This weather is going to be the death of me.
I've been trying more podcasts. I stumbled upon a design and arts one but I'm not too sure I can get with it. A lot of the guests are more woo-woo (design wise and medically) than I'm comfortable with. I think I avoid the woo because when you get sick, people push nonsense on you all the time and it's so annoying and unhelpful. No, your MLM shakes/oils/weight bands are not going to cure me.
I always know when Dr. Oz is on TV peddling bullshit, because someone calls me to tell me about some silly "cure" that works wonders and encourages me to try it. I lost my patience with my Aunt when she suggested I snort pepper (for real!). I asked if she even liked me! Who wants to willingly snort pepper when my actual, real doctor has prescribed real medicine that works?!
That was a bit of a tangent wasn't it. Whoops. Okay, this series! I have some of Rhys Bowen's other series. I couldn't really get into her Evans mysteries, set in Wales. I also am not totally sure on her Molly Malone series but I have a few more books to give a whirl on that so I might change my mind. There's just a form of a love triangle, which I don't adore. It's not a trope I give a lot of time too. I have finished this series, well, all the books that have been written so far. I still think its really fun and I hope to continue it in the future.
Alright, I'm going to intersperse these with other books, but I'll probably do two at a time. More or less. The first book is a novella and the second book is actually the first official book.
Oh my gosh, what a week! It's been non-stop hasn't it? I had been at the doctors (migraines, yuck) and I had just finished filling out my Bumble BFF profile when all those nutters stormed the capitol. I guess backwards America invaded America so then America had to invade backwards America to get America back on target. The plague kept America at home!
In all seriousness, it's pretty messed up. I read the capitol has not been invaded since 1814 when the British (technically, Canadian) troops torched it. I'm glad that so I don't know anyone who was part of the insurrection...although when I posted a meme from it (obviously against these people) my cousin liked it...until she saw that part where I called them treasonous scum. Then she unliked it. I don't talk to that side of my family anyways (mostly because of other reasons pre-Trump). The only thing they ever gave me for Christmas was whatever they couldn't sell from their various MLM schemes. It's not a loss.
Whatever. Trump is gone in two days. Although I'm sure he'll seethe in south Florida. Lucky them.
I picked this book up a long time ago. It's been sitting on my TBR shelf for awhile (because I'm slooooow) but with the "Great Reading" of 2020, I picked this up. It's based off a movie. The movie is based off the fairy tale.
Manga Classics: Pride and Prejudice + some other quick reviews (The Thousandth Floor, Quiet Neighbors)Read Now
My detox lasted for about eight days. So that was exciting. I tried to start some new shows, some new books, and some new hobbies. I didn't do my normal "admin" for the website so I don't have any pictures uploaded so I thought I'd go through my backlist and talk about some books that I didn't have any plans for a full review on.
Pride and Prejudice
The starting book is a "manga" or illustrated classic. I'm a big fan of multi-media approaches to literature because I feel that everyone learns differently. Also, sometimes reading the original text can be rough, but seeing a play/movie/radio adaption etc., can do wonders. It also tends to force me back to the source material to read again. I don't think Austen's works are that hard to follow but I will admit that sometimes I struggle through following the historical notes or satire that is throughout her works. I have a few of the Shakespeare illustrated/graphic novels/manga (I don't quite know the correct term for the oeuvre here) and I think they're great. I did give away some that I didn't love as much (one of Shakespeare's Tragedies, an Austen that I didn't love as much, and a duplicate copy that was sent to me) to a classroom near me.
Oh man, I think my office became noticeable gloomier overnight. It's just so overcast today and it's doom and gloom in the office. It could be because I was listening to the EAR/ONS/GSK case episodes on Casefile (and before that the Moors Murders). Just gloomy.
I also somehow didn't photograph this book. I don't know how that happened to be honest. I don't think I have it anymore either, perhaps I sent it off in a book/spa pick-up package to a friend. Somehow this is a mess. I need to get it together.
I picked this up because Kat Martin is one of the author's listed in the results if you search for "author's like..." I had put in Anne Stuart (since she was in between publications) and I had stopped reading Janet Evanovich (that's another story, but basically the books were getting ridiculous. Well, more ridiculous than I could handle. It was the giraffe running loose in Trenton that finally did me in). I've been looking for new authors to add. So Martin came up in the search, and this is the first book in her series.
This is the second book that I've bought double copies of. I rely on book covers far too much but in this instance, it's because the title has been changed. It's okay though. I don't really adore either covers as I've become quite fond of the super art deco covers with gilded flourishes.
No matter what cover, the editions are the exact same inside.
This is not quite a romantic story, which Heyer is famous for. It is part of her "country house mysteries," which are slightly cozy but more so a comedy of errors. I've really enjoyed the ones I've picked up in this genre (although her romances are fun little romps too).
I've got to get a better way of clean/dirty mask in/out system in place. I bought a bunch of masks (general to outright fun ones) but I guess the system I have now isn't great since everyone is using them (a good thing!) but there's no set way to determine if they're clean or dirty when they get thrown back into the same pile. I'll figure it out. Maybe.
I read this one a few weeks ago. I like Sandra Brown's books because (other than just one of them) they all settle at a 3* (like) to 4ish* (really liked). So I have a regular author that I can know will be good. The cover for this one is just beautiful isn't it? I love a nice cover.
Uh, just remember that my personal rating system is harsher than I am on Goodreads. I have this one much higher on Goodreads or if I recommend it. Does that make sense? Like if I rated this a 3.5 star, I'd rate it 4 stars on Goodreads but 3 stars on my personal system.
I have these four books on my kindle tablet. It's a four book series that follows a family, The Morgans, as they solve four different crimes. It's pure romantic suspense, with each of the four members of the Morgan family getting their own book and their own romance. I found these to be solid mysteries, solid romances and my ratings ranges from 3* to 4*. Sometimes I found the men to be extra grumpy and I didn't like the lady lead (which kinda makes a hard start). Burton's female leads tend to be harder as characters and her male leads tend to be closer to the "alpha" stereotype. There's nothing wrong with this of course, it's just not my favorite so I do struggle with that. My favorite book of the four was I'll Never Let You Go, which did have a mystery but was done differently than the other three.
These were written between 2014-2016. I love a good romantic suspense (heavy on the mystery more than romance) book where there's a capture of a serial killer or deranged killer. The themes in these book deal with possibly wrong convictions, stalking, abuse, and forensics to solve old cases. I understand there are some real bad apples (or, in some cases, departments) that are wrecking the ideal of policing in real life. I haven't really resolved my favorite trope with real life as of yet. It's a worthy discussion though.
I finally managed to get all my TBR all in one area. They're in one of those tall bookcases that was left over from university days (via Target/Walmart) and then...stacked in front on the floor. I'm not too sure how many there are left because I didn't count them but maybe around 400-500.
Which is a lot. Not going to make any qualms about that. It's not even counting my e-books. I'm quite determined to make a dent this year though. I read over 200 last year so I think it's doable. I realize these numbers are insane though.
I'm actually reading a different Anne Stuart (a historical) but I'm going to talk about her second book in the fire series today. Isn't that a nice cover? I really like it.
I'm still sloooooowly cleaning my office up. There's just a lot of stuff packed in here at the moment. I think some of my problem is that I only go through the hoard when I'm feeling like tossing things. Otherwise I'll just convince myself to keep it. I think I'm a secret pack rat at heart. I've moved half my "to-be-read" books off my massive pile (group of piles) and into a tall bookshelf.
I've also managed to read three books this weekend, but that's because my sleep schedule is still wacked from the migraine and there's not much else to do at 3 AM. I am technically 17 books ahead of schedule (according to Goodreads). I've set my goal for 230 and I've read 125 books.