BOOK REVIEW: Project Duchess by Sabrina Jeffries

Sabrina Jeffries latest new series The Duke Dynasty series begins with Project Duchess released on June 25th. I was lucky to receive an eARC from NetGalley just prior to its release and really enjoyed the book.

The Duke Dynasty series will focus on a family of grown children of an often widowed mother. She married well three times, and provided heirs to each Duke she married. Project Duchess follows the story of Fletcher “Grey” Pryde the fifth Duke of Greycourt and Beatrice Wolfe, a cousin through marriage that he meets at the funeral of his stepfather.

Grey had a dark childhood and trusts no one with much of anything really, let alone his heart, but he is also immediately drawn to Beatrice because she is different from the ladies that were brought up politely in the Ton. Beatrice raises and trains dogs, walks through the woods in sturdy boots, and most importantly, doesn’t let Grey win his way in an argument easily.

Though in mourning Grey helps Beatrice and his sister prepare for their coming out parties and along the way falls for Beatrice. Though their feelings are mutual, neither fully trusts each other for most of the novel, refusing to share their past traumas with each other.

I found this a delightful read with the right amount of danger and romance. I can’t wait for the next installment of the series to come out!

Happy reading 🙂  

BOOK REVIEW: The Things I Know

Recently I finished reading an eARC of The Things I Know by Amanda Prowse which was released on June 11th. I received this eARC through NetGalley.

The Things I Know tells the story of Thomasina ‘Hitch’ Waycott who lives on a family farm outside of Bristol, England. She was born a little bit different from the ‘normal’ kids and grew up constantly made fun of, an outsider. The story line follows her growth from believing what others are saying to standing up for herself and her family and loved ones.

I found this story interesting because although there was a love story involved, the main plot was actually about Thomasina learning to stand up for herself and figuring out what she wants to do with her life. Various problems are thrown her way, from bullies, to men, family problems, and as with every other farm book, the potential sale of the family farm that has been in the family for generations. I don’t read very many English stories that aren’t regency era so it was fun to read a more modern story from England.

I enjoyed witnessing the problems and solutions unfold, each in their own time. The flow of the story happened at a good pace. I didn’t feel rushed by any of the chaos that ensued or that any of the plot lines overlapped too much. By requesting this book I was attempting to work on diversifying the types of books that I read so that I am not just reading the same exact thing over and over, and I think this novel succeeded in helping me accomplish that goal. I would definitely read another of her books.

By the way, Thomasina REALLY likes chickens 🙂

Happy reading!

Book Review: Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern

Hi all!

I’ll admit I’ve been really bad about writing up blog posts. I’ve been reading pretty steadily, and last I checked I am on track to stick to my reading goal of 75 books for the year!

Right now, I have a lot going on. I recently received a handful of ARCs to read and in terms of life, I started a new job at the end of April that has a much longer commute. While I am adjusting to this new position, I’ve put some of my goals on hold, but I am extremely happy to be in my new role, which is much less stressful. I should in the near future have quite a few reviews coming your way.

Now–for what the title promised you: a review of Summer Hours at the Robbers Library by Sue Halpern.

At the time that I read this book, many had already read it. There was a long line to get a chance to read it through my library, but I am happy I finally got the chance to read the book. It wasn’t the quick read I was expecting and in the long run–I had to force myself to finish the book. I wanted to read the book because, at the time, I was a librarian in a public library in a suburban town in New Hampshire. The book is set in a rural town in New Hampshire and I wanted to see how the book compared to reality.

I had a lot of problems with how Halpern represented libraries in her book. One of my biggest concerns was how the tiny library treated patron privacy in the book. NH has very strict patron privacy laws. Library staff are also not allowed to comment on the reading material chosen by patrons. This annoyance occurred very early in the book and may have resulted in hesitancy in finishing the book.

I was also annoyed that library staff had so much time on their hands to do the NY Times crossword puzzle while on the desk. This would be considered highly inappropriate, and after working in various libraries for the last 8 years I have found the smaller the library the busier you are because you are doing more things with a smaller staff.

I worked as a cataloger in and for libraries for 8 years before just recently moving into an acquisitions role at a liberal arts university. In this book the main character, Kit, is shamed for creating missing book slips. That is how you clean your catalog–by knowing what you actually have! This helps patrons actually be able to find what the want in your collection. The book cited reasons to not do this having to do with the library’s budget–but that’s not how town funding or collection development work.

It took me a long while to get past the shortcomings of the book that had to do with how libraries function and pay attention to the human story. Once I switched my focus I enjoyed the book a lot more. I could relate to both main characters background stories and was able to see that for some of the same reasons I had turned to books and libraries to ground myself. I think this book would be best for those that enjoy libraries, but don’t know too much about how they work. It was a shame that I got stuck in the weeds of details, distracted from the main plot.

I gave this 3/5 stars on Goodreads.

Happy Reading all!

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Alright, let’s take a break from the Tracers series by Laura Griffin and post about some non-fiction. I recently read Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Before this, I didn’t know much of anything about astrophysics, or even just plain physics at that. I skipped taking physics in high school and focused on the liberal arts during my undergraduate days.

I didn’t really have an interest in reading this book when I heard it was coming out, but I work in a library. This book was insanely popular when it came out. There were so many hold requests that I felt I needed to know what everyone was so interested in.

I felt the book was somewhat hit or miss depending on the chapter I was reading. Some chapters bored me, while others inspired me to be in awe of our galaxy and universe, and even just the fact that life exists at all.

Tyson explained the subject well, which I would hope he would with his knowledge of the subject! I was surprised at the level the topic was covered at. I expected it to be a bit more for the layperson, and as someone who never took any physics classes I felt that I was missing some knowledge that I needed to fully understand some of the subject matter.

With all that said, I did find the book enjoyable, and I’m happy I read it. I’m not sure that it inspired me to go read more on the subject though. Have any of you read it? What were your thoughts?

Happy reading 🙂

Deep Dark (Tracers, #10)

I’m getting close to being caught up with this series!! Only two more books are currently published and then I’ll have to find a new focus.

Deep Dark returns to the Delphi Center in the 10th installment of the Tracers Series. Delaney, Laney for short, Knox is part of the cyber unit there and is credited as one of their best hackers. The other half of this couple-to-be is Reed Novak, an Austin PD detective.

Reed is dumbfounded by the crime scene he just walked onto. There’s no physical evidence left behind whatsoever. There are no hairs, no fingerprints, no sign of a break in. Nobody working the crime understands it. That’s when Reed receives a mysterious clue somehow sent from the Chief of Police’s phone number. One thing is clear, it wasn’t the Chief of Police who sent the text. After doing some digging of his own Reed learns about Laney and her skills. He seeks her out to find out what else she knows.

The murder of Laney’s friend is eerily similar to an attack that she survived a few years ago. Because of this Laney just can’t stay away from this case, and she uses her skills to illegally search for information about the killer. Turns out he’s been spying on his victims through their webcams. Eventually, Reed caves and allows Laney to help him with the case, but she doesn’t turn up all the clues. One of the forensic investigators notices metallic shavings from the door lock on a colleague’s paper booties during a followup run through of the crime scene. Turns out the killer hasn’t been as careful as he thinks!

Laney is onto the killer and decides to follow up on the lead by herself, asserting her independence. As the pieces of the puzzle come together for Reed, he finds out that Laney has gone off to the killer’s home alone, without telling him. This was my biggest annoyance in the plot. I mean, I get it. I’m a woman, and I’m fairly independent myself, but I don’t think I would be foolish enough to go to the suspected killer’s home by myself. I get that it sets up Reed coming to the rescue on a white horse and all, but it seemed pretty weak to me. I’m not sure why I didn’t fall for the plot line as much in this book than I have in the past. Only time will tell if I will enjoy the last two books as much as the books prior to this one in the series.

Happy reading folks! 🙂

Shadow Fall (Tracers, #9)

The ninth installment of Laura Griffin’s Tracers series is called Shadow Fall and it centers in on Special Agent Tara Rushing and ex-Marine, security expert Liam Wolfe. For those of you following the series, yes, Liam is the brother of Delphi Center Mark Wolfe.

After a SWAT Team raid Tara is asked to go to a murder scene by a judge that she knows. She is supposed to gain control of the crime scene. This is a high profile case that focuses on the murder of a former public office candidate that was controversial. As time goes on more women are found murdered, and some old cases are linked to the same mystery killer. Which means that Agent Rushing has a serial killer on her hands.

Throughout the investigation the focus on Liam Wolfe as a suspect continues to be a distraction. Tara is sure he is clear, but the local officers continue to use him as a suspect. Rushing continues to go to the Wolfe Security Compound to learn more about the security company and Liam Wolfe himself. Along the way she realizes her intense attraction to the security expert. She also uses Liam for his knowledge of the small town they are in.

As Tara gets closer to figuring out the case the killer turns her into a target as his next victim. When this happens Liam goes alpha male in protection mode to make sure Tara is safe from harm. Tara is an alpha female though, and they butt heads for a while over who does or doesn’t need protection. Ultimately, the two work as a team to bring down the killer and both of their skills are needed in the take down. Without one part of their team they wouldn’t have been successful in ending the killing spree, and likely an FBI agent would have been the next victim!

This book was hot and thrilling with lots of intense moments. The way Griffin worked with this couple and their seconds in command was riveting. I’m coming to realize that I seem to prefer the books in this series that include more than just the main couple. I’m looking forward to the last few books of the series!

Happy reading 🙂

Beyond Limits (Tracers, #8)

Beyond Limits, book 8 in the Tracers series by Laura Griffin was an exciting read that revisited two characters that readers of the series had previously met.  FBI agent Elizabeth LeBlanc and Navy SEAL Derek Vaughn. We met them previously in book 6, Scorched, and Griffin has finally decided to make them the feature couple.

This story picks up with Derek and the SEAL team finishing up a mission that ended with the death of a fellow SEAL. Back on the mainland USA, Elizabeth is assigned to a career making case, one that links to this mission the SEALs wrapped up. The problem is almost everybody believes the cases aren’t linked. Elizabeth doesn’t believe she was assigned to the case because of her merit, but because of her history with Derek. Derek unofficially helps out through the majority of the case, even getting arrested since he isn’t officially on the case.

It was a long passionate battle between Elizabeth and Derek between getting him cleared of any wrongdoing in the case and their romantic interest in each other. This book was one of the more enjoyable in the series for me. I really enjoy when Griffin decides to revisit characters she’s set up in previous segments of the storylines. It demonstrates that she’s really in tune with her readers and you can tell who the fan favorite characters are.