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Sheila

Sheila's Reads

I love to read. I am very eclectic in my reading but I especially enjoy erotica and erotic romance. I also like movies, live theater and concerts, hockey, and counted cross-stitch.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DUMPED by Jenny Colgan

The Good, The Bad And The Dumped - Jenny Colgan

Posy gets engaged but wants to make sure Matt is the right one for her so she goes back and sees her exes to learn why they did not work out.

 

Reading the blurbs and ads about this book I was expecting something funny but I found it to be a book that was sad. It was sad that Posy had so little confidence in herself that she could not believe Matt loved her. It was sad that she listened so much to others who did not seem to have her best interests at heart. They (her best friend, sister, and mother) were constantly putting her down because of her past failures. They also questioned why Matt would want her--a perpetual screw-up. Matt does not help when she goes off on her journey of discovery. He gets mad and quits talking to her (although I can understand why.) Both need to learn to communicate better. Posy's mother was--well, I cannot find the words to describe her but she did not build Posy up.

 

I did enjoy the book though it was not what I expected. I found the epilogue interesting. I enjoy reading Jenny Colgan.

DANGEROUS BOOKS FOR GIRLS: THE BAD REPUTATION OF ROMANCE NOVELS EXPLAINED by Maya Rodale

Dangerous Books For Girls: The Bad Reputation of Romance Novels, Explained - Maya Rodale

A look at the history of novels and publishing with an emphasis on the romance novel.  I found this informative as well as fun.  I liked the history of the published novel and how romance novels have changed over time as society changes.  Ms. Rodale documented her research and lays it out concisely.  Very enjoyable.

MURDERS AND METAPHORS by Amanda Flower

Murders and Metaphors - Amanda Flower

Charming Books is handling a book signing at Morton Vineyards with a famous wine reviewer and author. A murder happens and Violet stumbles upon the body. Mrs. Morton, of course, blames Violet for the bad publicity at the winery. So Vi does as she always does. She investigates especially when one of the suspects is her best friend, Lacey.

 

This book was really good. The story was realistic. I had a hard time putting it down. Things happen in the bookstore when David is there and Violet needs to decide to trust him or not. She also learns much about Nathan that she can use to help her close her past. I did not figure out who the murderer was until the murderer comes out at the end of the book. This is the best book of the series so far. I cannot wait to read the next book and I hope more are coming.

A DUKE, THE LADY, AND A BABY by Vanessa Riley

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby - Vanessa Riley

Patience wants her baby back. Lord Repington is now his guardian. She disguises herself as a nanny to be near her son. Repington will do whatever he needs to keep the baby safe and the nanny as well.

 

I loved this book. I loved Patience and Repington. I like how they try to deny their attraction especially as the truth comes out about what has happened to Patience's husband. They make a good couple. I enjoyed the story. This is a good set up for the series as it explains why these women fight to get what is theirs.

 

I also appreciated the short synopsis' at the end about the historical aspects of this novel. It helped me to understand how those of mixed races/blood/heritage were treated and the double standard applied to them. I also was glad about the short notes on some of the Peninsular War's battles and the effect of them on the time period's complications.

COYOTE AMERICA by Dan Flores

Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History - Dan Flores

Tells the story of the coyote in America through the Native tribes stories to its journey from west to east, south to north, across borders and how it has survived all attempts to eradicate it from the United States. The coyote is found in both rural and urban areas. They are adaptive like humans are. They have managed to learn and outsmart those coming after them.

 

I enjoyed the book. It took me a little while to get into it but then I got sucked in and learned a lot. I knew very little about coyotes but found their history and how the government and ranchers tried to destroy them fascinating. I chuckled over the Nixon administration's passage of laws protecting the environment hoping the youth vote would come his way. They turned out to be some of the strongest laws passed to protect the environment and no one read them until after passage then they had a lot to say. So much is in this book that reading was slower than usual but it is worth reading and savoring this history of a much maligned but necessary animal.

BLACK HILLS DEATHBLOW by Jon Sharpe

The Trailsman #395: Black Hills Deathblow - Jon Sharpe

Fargo's been asked to stop the men who are giving the Sioux alcohol and guns to start a war between the whites and the Sioux and other tribes. He also has to work with Logan Brennan, a notorious gun sharp, who plans to kill his brother, the purveyor of guns and alcohol to the Sioux. Fargo only wants to complete his mission but on the way he has to rescue a few people and deal with those who want to kill him.

 

This is a comfort read for me. I know Fargo will get his man, bed a few women, get shot at, but survive it all. I liked the action as well as the Cherokee who helped him once or twice. I liked that Logan's story does come out and Fargo has a change of heart about him. It's a good shoot-'em-up read--perfect for a snowy night.

BOOK OF LONGING by Leonard Cohen

Book of Longing - Leonard Cohen

Poems where the author looks back on his past and his current life and is not happy where he is. Some poems rhyme. Some are verse.

 

I found most of these poems and drawings depressing. I did like Alexandra Leaving and Boogie Street.

SONG OF THE WAVES by Anne Hampson

Song of the Waves - Anne Hampson

Wendy is given devastating news about her health so she sells her home and everything in it and takes a three month ocean cruise. She stays away from making permanent friendships to avoid hurting the other person. However, she falls for Garth and because of his attitude she figures he is only flirting with her and won't be hurt no matter how their relationship ends. But what if she's wrong?

 

I enjoyed this book. It reminded me of one of my favorite old movies, 'Til We Meet Again." Garth is very aloof and contemptuous but slowly he thaws towards Wendy. When his reason is revealed their relationship changes. I liked that Wendy tried to keep Garth from guessing what was wrong with her. I loved how he falls hard and how, at the end, they both let down their guards and let the other in. This has a HEA and that's how I like my romance.

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land - Elizabeth Acevedo

Told in verse form, it tells the story of two girls--one American, one Dominican Republican--who lose their fathers on the same day. Secrets are revealed. Some know the secrets; some only are finding out the secrets. The girls must decide what to do with the secrets.

 

I wasn't sure what I felt about the story until the end. I liked how it went back and forth between the girls then switched to both of their sides. It was interesting how they ended up helping each other. Until the last quarter of the book, I was not happy with the book. I don't like all these secrets being kept. When the secrets finally are acknowledged by all then I enjoyed the story. I liked the ending. It was what I hoped it would be.

END GAME by Samantha Wayland

End Game - Samantha Wayland

Rhian is now in Boston playing for the Bruins where Savannah is the trainer. Garrick is stuck in Moncton trying to rebuild the Ice Cats. Not a good situation for any of them. Rhian breaks off with Garrick with no word and Savannah wants to know why. She will not allow Rhian to go without a real good reason. Rhian is still haunted by his past and soon his past will catch up with him. Are the three of them strong enough to deal with all that comes their way?

 

I loved this book. I loved the emotion shown between Savannah and Rhian. I loved that Savannah would not let go of Rhian. Watching them come to terms with their relationship and letting other people into their private world made for good reading. I enjoyed the nod the "With Grace," one of the first books I read on polyamory.

 

I'm glad there is still a Christmas book with these three. I'm going to miss them.

THE TRUTHS WE HOLD: AN AMERICAN JOURNEY by Kamala Harris

The Truths We Hold: An American Journey - Kamala Harris

I wish I had read this before the 2020 primaries.  This gives a good idea of what her platform was.  She describes the problems facing us today and gives solutions to those problems.  Utilizing stories from her own life and others who have crossed her path, she gives faces to those problems and solutions.  Ms. Harris comes across as someone who listens and tries to help where she can and she'll go where she needs to to lend that helping hand.  She has a lot of empathy and compassion.  I am glad I read this.  I think she will help lead this country back into the light.

ASSAULTED CARAMEL by Amanda Flower

Assaulted Caramel (An Amish Candy Shop Mystery) - Amanda Flower

 Bailey goes to visit her grandparents when she learns that her grandfather's health is failing. While there she learns of much she did not know about them. She also discovers the body of a man who wants to buy her grandparent's candy shop. With the whole family under suspicion of murder, she needs to find out who did it before one of them ends in prison.

 

I enjoyed this book. It sets up the series well. I liked Bailey. She puts her life on hold while helping out her grandparents. I liked that being with them in the Amish community brings her to question her choices in her English life. The story was good. I did not figure out the murderer until it was explained in the end.

 

I look forward to the rest of the series.

A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT by Mark Twain

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court - Mark Twain

An 19th Century man travels back to Arthurian England of the 6th Century where he tries to bring them from a monarchy to a republic. He brings his knowledge and starts building a modern world.

 

It took me a while to get into the cadence and rhythm of Arthurian English. Once I do this becomes a rollicking good time. Watching The Boss deal with the superstitions of the time and trying to teach, which he eventually does with Arthur, was interesting. I enjoyed how he set up his own alternate society which he keeps secret from King Arthur and Merlin. But just like Camelot ends in war so does this story and The Boss loses everything he built.

 

This shows how a person is born in a time and a mind set and it is very difficult to change them, no matter how much life improves with the changes.

THE GHOST AND THE HAUNTED MANSION by Cleo Coyle (AKA Alice Kimberly)

The Ghost and the Haunted Mansion - Alice Kimberly

Pen and Jack must travel back to Jack's time to find what is similar about one of his old cases to the current murder of the owner of Todd Mansion. With Seymour a prime suspect in the murder, it is up to them to save him.

 

I enjoyed this story. I always enjoy when Pen goes back to Jack's time. I love the 1940's. As Jack pushes her to find the connection between their cases and pushes her to develop more of her detecting skills, it's fun to watch her grow both as a person and a PI. There is humor as everyone mistakenly believe something is going on between her and Seymour.

 

For as many cozy mysteries as I have read I would think I would get who it was but until the end of the story I had no idea. Guess I'll never be a detective.

LOST DECEMBER by Richard Paul Evans

By Richard Paul Evans Lost December: A Novel (First Edition) - Richard Paul Evans

Luke breaks his father's heart by not taking over the family business. Instead he takes his trust fund and goes traveling with his friends. He does not listen to himself or others about these friends. In the end he loses everything including his self-respect.

 

I like the way this is written. Short stories of what is happening with Luke after a chapter beginning of his diary. From the beginning you know how the story will go but I was interested in how he would rebound. I am glad there were people who taught him and stood by him on his way back up. I also liked the lessons he learned and how he applied those lessons.

 

This is a story that will stay with me long after I close these covers. So much is here to reflect on.

HAUNTED HEARTS by Teresa Desjardien

Haunted Hearts (A Zebra Holiday Regency Romance) - Teresa DesJardien

Olivia is finally coming out of mourning and decides she wants to experience everything. Her first outing is a Masquerade where she meets Ian Drake, a spy thinking she is who is to contact him. He soon realizes his error. When they meet later she knows who he is but he has no idea who she is. He figures she is just a snooty aristocrat. When he later learns who she is he is unsure what to do as he still needs to help a French spy who helped the English escape from England.

 

I liked these characters. Olivia is a total innocent who gets herself involved in things she has no idea exist. Ian does his best to protect her. Because of Olivia's innocence many people are drawn to her. That is fortunate as it helps her at the end. The secondary characters were interesting and eclectic. The story was fun. This is a good read for a lazy afternoon.