My Reading Room

I love reading and blogging about what I've read. I love to find new authors and enjoy my old favorites as well.

Review: The Geography of You and Me

The Geography of You and Me - Jennifer E. Smith

What a fun and cute story.  No real angst, a little love at first sight, but distance presents problems so I felt it and understood it.  Both characters have their own family issues but I like how those are worked through in the book.

Cute start with the elevator breaking down and the blackout in New York City bringing these two characters from two different economic backgrounds together and they find common ground and bond during those hours together.  Because Lucy lives in the building and Owen is the super's kid, these are not kids that would normally meet, but they do and it works.  Lucy is not worried with her status in life, she just wants to see the world and explore.  Owen longs to do the same thing but has been brought to NYC against his better judgment.  But just as these two get to know each other their families unknowingly pull them apart.

But I like them apart, it gives them time to grow without the other one affecting them.  It's interesting how they keep coming together and how they are always on each others' minds even when things aren't smooth.  The Geography of You and Me was a fun book and a great one that explores growing up and finding your way on your own and hopefully finding your way back to that true love you have found but didn't really realize how much it meant.  I loved this book, read it in one day and now cannot wait to go back and read Jennifer E. Smith's backlist books.

My Rating: 5.0/5.0


Win a Custom Booklikes Design from Parajunkee Design

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A Killing Notion - Melissa Bourbon

After taking a chapter or two to get into I fell right in with the Harlow, Will and the people of this adorable small town. This was the first book I read in the series and that's why it took just a bit to get to know the characters and understand some of the dynamics.  Readers of this series will be able to pick right up even though A Killing Notion can stand on it's own mystery and story-wise.  New readers will pick up the town life fast and become enthralled by the small-town dynamics and the mystery that ensues.

I really liked Harlow, Will and Gracie.  I also enjoyed Harlow's Meemaw and the mystique behind the gifts that the Cassidy women have.  I loved that Harlow was a dressmaker and the sewing aspect is what made me want to read this one.  While it's in the background, it's still integral to the story and was a fascinating line of work for a main character especially with homecoming nearing.
The mystery was a bit predictable, but it's a cozy so I'm use to that.  There will still surprises and I kept turning the pages to find out what would happen next.  So I would say the plot line more than satisfied me.  In fact I had a hard time putting down the book one evening to get some sleep.
I'm not going into details, but suffice to say A Killing Notion was a great read.  It had interesting characters, an interesting setting and a intriguing plot to keep you turning the pages.  I can't wait to read more of this series and get to know Harlow and the townsfolk even better.
Risk of a Lifetime (Entangled Ignite) - Claudia Shelton

If pressed to review this book in just a few words, I would have to say it was amazing and very hard to put down.

Now you know I'm not a woman of few words, so let's go into the whys of my love of Risk of a Lifetime.  First of all characters.  As usual this is a biggie with me and I love that Marcy and JB have a history, they were/are married, he may not know about the still married part, but she does.  They have this bond they cannot sever.  She couldn't sign the divorce papers, he can't help but want to save her and he always calls her "sugar" {swoon}.  However Marcy has stood on her own two feet and JB has continued his life following the dream of being in the FBI.  But when they are thrown back together again the sparks do fly and both characters begin to grow and mature into two people that can make it as a couple.  It takes a crazy man after them both to show them, but they do start to work through things.

I also enjoyed the plot.  There are some curves thrown in this one and every time I thought I had this one figured out, Ms. Shelton changed it up on me.  Kudos to her on this one.  It was a great suspense plot to go with the character development.

I thoroughly enjoyed Risk of a Lifetime. The characters seemed real and I loved the way they matured enough to figure out how to be together.  I also really enjoyed the suspense.  It kept me enthralled through the whole book.  As a romantic suspense book it scores perfectly on both elements.  Keeping a nice balance of romance and suspense.  I truly will look forward to more books by Ms. Shelton! 

Third Degree: Flirt New Adult Romance - Julie Cross

What a fascinating read.  It's like Gray's Anatomy meets college life.  I love the mix of the medical with "Izzy" trying to learn to lead a normal 19-year-old's life in college.  I was taken in by the first page, but the further the book went the more involved I was.  This isn't a simple story by far and I really enjoyed getting to know the characters and following the plot.

Since Izzy doesn't get into the residency program at 19, she decides with the help of her shrink to go back and have life experiences and learn to relate to others her own age in hopes that in 6-months she can retest and get her life back on track.  Of course to begin with it's pretty much a disaster.  Izzy has hardly been around her peers during her life and has a hard time relating to normal college life.  Enter Marshall the insanely hot RA on her floor.  There is chemistry and he has a real desire to help her acclimate to college life better and have real life experiences a 19-year-old should have.

At this point you know a romance will ensue, but the way it happens I never expected.  And from that point on I was fully invested in the book and the characters.  Izzy and Marsh were great.  Both finding their way together.  The turns the book take were sometimes heartbreaking but they had purpose.  The book was very well-thought out and planned to me and I enjoyed everything about it.

Looking for a little bit of medical life in your New Adult?  Third Degree is just the book for you.  Marsh and Izzy are amazing characters who take on a life of their own.  With each other and through other things they both grow and mature during the book and the journey is exciting to watch.  The romance is hot, the growth is great and I just can't say enough about this wonderful book. Read it and enjoy!


Rating: 5.0/5.0


Book Review: The Wanderers by Jessica Miller

The Wanderers - Jessica  Miller

Here's how I work a lot of the time. An author, publicist or someone asks me to review a book. I read the summary, decide I want to review it and then a few weeks later read the book. I purposely don't re-read the summary because sometimes they tell me too much about the book and I form opinions up front. So when I started The Wanderers, I had no idea what it was about (I can't seem to remember yesterday, but if When Doves Cry by Prince comes on the radio I can sing every word). And I liked not knowing. I went into the book with a clean slate and excited.

The Wanderers did not disappoint. I was hooked from the first page. Ella enticed me. She's a nice girl, she's been through a rough time and she just wants to start over at college. But there is a family secret and that leads to the start of the buildup of tension in the story. Then there is college, Ella's best friend Josie who is interesting and Jack and Tristan. I liked Jack okay, I had a friend like him in college. But I loved Tristan. Loved the love-hate relationship Ella had with him. Even with his faults I knew he had a good heart.

There is a lot of back and forth and Ella could seem wishy-washy at times, but I really didn't feel that she was. She really was trying to work out her feelings for Tristan, a known playboy which she didn't like yet she was attracted to him. And Ella is the girl that can make a bad boy into a great man for one woman. So the love/attraction part of the story is quite intriguing. But that's not all there is to this book. I'm not giving any spoilers, but let's say the book did not lack action. I found it exciting the whole way through. The tension built well and though everything happens fast at the end, I never felt like it was rushed. The pacing of the book was great, it hooked me and kept me enthralled until the very end.

The paranormal element is great and well-done. I'm still not sure whether to classify this as New Adult or not, it's not YA because they are in college, but while there is some grittiness to the book, it's not as gritty as what I consider New Adult, but then again I think the true definition of the genre (kids in their late teens, early twenties trying to find themselves and their way in the world) then this does qualify. Ella, Josie, Jack are all somewhat typical kids in their late teens feeling their way through the college scene, dating and just making up their minds (or not) about life. So it does work.

Overall this book is stellar and I was so glad the author allowed me to read this and had Reborn (The Wanderers #2) also ready for me to review so I could jump right into reading it. So I'm reading it now, look for it's review next week. But if it's anything like The Wanderers, I'm in for another fun ride that will keep me up late at night to see what will happen next!



What do you do when you learn your family is the one who's holding all the secrets? Secrets that could get you killed...

Ella is looking forward to starting college in the fall with her best friend Josie. She’s looking for a place where she can get away from her overbearing parents and two older annoying brothers. Unfortunately Ella realizes that sometimes the past comes back to haunt you.

Ella soon learns that the man who terrorizes her dreams is in fact real and coming after her.

When one of her classmates is murdered, Ella slowly recognizes this is not some strange coincidence. Ella fears that the boy she’s falling in love with is the one who stalks her dreams and no longer knows who she can trust.

When she finally learns the truth of her family's deepest secret, Ella has to face her demons by taking out one of the people she thought she could trust…before they kill her.

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Author Biography (from Goodreads):
I live in a fantasy world and have an over active imagination. But the best part about that is I never stop creating new characters and new stories to share. I love writing and expressing myself in a way that everyone else can enjoy as well. I work in the salon most days, but when i'm not doing hair, I'm writing or reading.

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Thoughts on The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook by Christina Dymock

The Hungry Family Slow Cooker Cookbook - Christina Dymock

I really like this cookbook. I have been paging through it for days and love the ease of the recipes.  Most sound absolutely delicious with very little fuss and use ingredients that are found in most kitchens.  And that is what I love. No lengthy grocery list full of things I might use one time, then find out the recipe is something I don't like.  No, Ms. Dymock has written this for the busy and hungry family.  Some of my favorites that will be tried in the near future are Dilly Potatoes, Whatever Veggie Pasta, Spicy Shrimp, Fried Rice (in the crock pot!!), Sweet Chicken Rice Bowls, French Onion Soup, and Dark Chocolate Mini Cakes.  And there are so many more.  I cannot wait to start cooking from this cookbook. And I would have before the tour, but I have been having health problems that have limited anything extra during the day (it's been a lot of leftovers).  But now I think that is past and I can't wait to get busy trying out recipes.

If you like easy and delicious recipes then be sure to check this wonderful cookbook out.  Filled with beautiful pictures and easy-to-read and easy-to-prepare recipes I am sure this will become a family staple.
Barefoot by the Sea - Roxanne St. Claire

I read and enjoyed the first book in the Barefoot Bay series, Barefoot in the Sand and really enjoyed it.  I've been reading Ms. St. Claire for years and love to read her books.  But somehow books 2 and 3 got shoved aside for other reads.  They've been staring me in the face for months.  So I thought when I received Barefoot by the Sea I would read them first.  Of course life and other reading happens and I've been on a YA kick lately, so I had to jump into book 4 without reading the previous 2.  Something I do not like to do, but something I found didn't matter too much with this series.  Yes I will go back and read the previous books I missed, but I enjoyed reading Barefoot by the Sea just fine.  In fact like it does so often when I return to my first love genre, romance, I'm reminded why I love reading this genre.  The books are happy, have some conflict to make them seem real, have heat between the characters and make me appreciate and love my husband every time I read one of them.


Barefoot By the Sea is about Tessa.  Tessa does not like secrets, so of course Ms. St. Claire introduces her to the one man on the island with the most secrets, John Brown and there is instant attraction.  Tessa also wants a baby feeling like having a child will complete her life.  However Tessa has a secret from her friends as well.  There is lots going on with the characters in this one.  Tessa struggles with whether to keep her main secret from her friends.  She struggles with a new secret and she struggles with feelings for a man who she still feels is keeping secrets.  So I would say the theme is trust.  And Tessa isn't very trusting, however her romance with John Brown has her begining to trust again and falling in love with the one man she doesn't want to fall in love with.


John has his secrets and they are big.  He's currently the love 'em and leave 'em type but he hasn't always been that way.  But then he meets Tessa and he finds himself drawn to her and wanting to tell her his secrets but he can't.  The main storyline is whether he can be honest with her before it is too late and whether they can have a life together.  I liked John and Tessa both.  They both have struggles and I felt them.  Ms. St. Claire wrote these characters very true to life and their situations hit home with me.  I also like the way they fell in love.  Yes there is instant attraction and one hot scene in the bar, but then they take things slower and John begins to "woo" Tessa.  I enjoyed their getting to know each other and the progression to falling in love.


For the plot, it all pretty much boils down to John's secret, Tessa's desire for a baby, a small secondary plot involving another secret to provide interest and involve former characters and Tessa and John falling in love. The conflict was put together perfectly.  The secondary plot was interesting and relevant.  And the romance was wonderful.  I started this one on Friday night and finished it Saturday afternoon.  Once I dove in I had to finish and find out how these two would get their HEA, because at times it really seems like it will be impossible.  But it's a romance and even though you know they will get their HEA, you still read it because it's the journey that is fun.  And Ms. St. Claire really makes the journey in this one full of bumps and bruises but a great ride nonetheless!


As I mentioned before, I love returning to romance novels, it's like coming home.  I really enjoyed Barefoot by the Sea because I loved visiting Barefoot Bay again and the best friends that make up these four books.  The book provided me with just what I wanted, romance, conflict and a HEA.  It was perfect for me.  I think it could be perfect for you as well.  And the nice thing is yes reading the first three would probably make the experience a little more fun since you would know more of the backstory on the other three couples, but this little romance nugget of gold can be read all on it's own.  But I warn you if you do read it by itself, you will probably want to go back and read the first three.  And do it before the next trilogy centered around Barefoot Bay comes out in the future.  I read the tease at the end of the book and I cannot wait for more Barefoot Bay novels to come out!


Check out the giveaway for the full set of Barefoot Bay novels at My Reading Room

Doctor Sleep Book review (can I even begin to tell you how amazing this was?)

Doctor Sleep - Stephen King

Stephen King was probably the second adult author I read as a young teenager. My first book was It, which is now my favorite book of all-time. I then worked my way through Salem's Lot, The Stand, Pet Semetary, and of course The Shining. Through the years I have continued my love of all things Stephen King by reading most of his books. So obviously I am a huge fan and when I heard Doctor Sleep was coming out as a sequel to The Shining I was beside myself. I read every article that came out that came through my email about the book. So to say I was excited might be an understatement. So it was a very magical day when the opportunity to review the audiobook came through my email from my wonderful publicity person at Simon & Schuster audiobooks. Thank you Lauren and Simon & Schuster for allowing me to listen to and review this title! Okay now that I have blathered on about my love for all things Stephen King, let's get to my thoughts.


First The Shining is probably my 3rd favorite Stephen King so a sequel was just what I wanted. What did happen to Danny Torrance after the end of The Shining (and that would be the end of the book, not the movie). So we move to the future. Dan Torrance is now pretty much a drunk like his father. He's a man who moves from place-to-place when drinking makes him lose his job. And then he hits rock bottom and moves on and we find him in New Hampshire where a man takes him under his wing, gets him into AA and into a job for him. Quickly Dan moves on to a job that fits him better and we find him settling down and getting into the groove. Then strange things start happening and he gets insight into a young girl, his "Shining" helping him see moments in her life that she transmits to him. I like Dan, even when he hits rock bottom, you know he's going to somehow get through it even though it is a major rock bottom. I found myself cheering for him during the first part which reminds us of his past, gives some of the history in between and describes him currently. Abra is also a fascinating character. We meet her and her family at birth up to the time that her and Dan meet and things are looking bad. I love her, love the things she does as a child and her need to do good things. Casey, Billy and John are also integral characters. Casey being Dan's AA sponsor, John being Abra's pediatrician and he happens to also be an AA leader of one of the meetings Dan attends. And Billy who introduced him to Tiny Town, the train and also to Casey. Billy is a true friend through and through as are Casey and John. The final character is also introduced early on and that is the True Knot as a whole, but with a focus on Rose the Hat. Now that is one scary group of characters. In true King fashion he has created a scary paranormal force to be reckoned with that is truly evil yet somehow fairly ordinary on the outside. I disliked and feared them from the beginning so they were the perfect scary villains for this story.


Now onto the story. Wow, even the beginning which gives a history of Dan and some insight into the True Knot was fascinating. Nothing in Doctor Sleep drags to me. It was well paced and probably from the middle to the end if I had been reading the book I wouldn't have put it down. With the audio I began taking it on walks, and honestly I don't usually listen to audiobooks except in the car, I listen to music on walks, but I had to find out what would happen next so I kept finding ways to listen. On walks, while making breakfast, while making supper. Anytime I could. It was that good. And there were surprises I didn't see coming that just made me say wow. There were scary moments, touching moments and characters that inspired and haunted me. It was just an amazing story.


I love how in Doctor Sleep there seemed to be a marriage of the earlier creepy Stephen King with the current more character driven and reality-based Stephen King. It was wonderful to see an example of a man who makes it through AA. Yet having the paranormal aspect between Abra and Dan was like the old days. The True Knot was truly an evil to be reckoned with similar to the vampires in Salem's Lot. It was just a wonderful way to craft a story. Doctor Sleep is a book that will grab you, make you hang on for dear life and keep you enthralled and slightly creeped out until the end. And then you will continue to think about it and it's characters long after you finish. Kind of the way Danny Torrance may have stayed in the back of your mind from The Shining. Hearing his story was wonderful and it's a great sequel. So thank you Mr. King, you've been scaring me for the last 25 years and I hope you continue to scare and enthrall me for many more.


Audiobook review: Will Patton is the narrator and I believe he is a new one to me. I wasn't sure about him at first, but the more he read the book the more I really grew to love him. He became the characters and just from his different voices I was able to discern each character before they were identified. That means a lot to me. I would get lost in his reading and he made my drives, walks and cooking very enjoyable. The production is outstanding. Wonderful job Simon and Schuster and I now have a new narrator to look forward to enjoying in the future.


My rating: 5.0/5.0

Audiobook Rating: 5.0/5.0

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