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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 Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America - Richard Rothstein

Interesting book on how the government ignored the Constitution to create segregate communities of African-Americans and Caucasians.  I learned a lot and much made me angry.  He gives the history of how and when this happened and remedies to correct the past.  At times I didn't understand but he wrote so that I could understand the concept.  He documents everything.  I especially liked the FAQ section.  Worth reading.


Never Dare a Wicked Earl (The Infamous Lords) - Renee Ann Miller
  Hayden is shot by a woman who wants to be his wife. Sophia is his nurse. They are at odds from the beginning on his treatment. He suggests a bet that she will not stay 10 days. And they are off.

I enjoyed this story. Hayden and Sophia are well developed characters. At times they are funny as they fight about his treatment. I am glad that they learned to communicate and tell the truth rather than keep secrets. Both have secrets that weigh them down with guilt. Celia, Hayden's daughter, is a doll. I liked the acceptance both find with the other and within the family.

This is a good set up for the series, Infamous Lords. I look forward to more of the books


Taking Out the Trailer Trash - Janice Ivy

Charlene is a writer making a living managing a trailer court.  She has an array of tenants that make for a wild ride especially when they start dying.  Turns out peoples' pasts are coming back at them.


This book held my interest.  The characters are some of the best I've read.  They are well defined and you know who they are.  The story was good.  I wanted to know what secrets were being hidden.  I loved Charlene.  She thinks she is a mild mannered good woman but, wow, when she needs to defend herself, she can. 


I look forward to more of the series.


ONE SHINGLE TO HANG by Deann Smallwood

One Shingle to Hang - DeAnn Smallwood
  Lil leaves her family in Denver to move to Chesterfield, Colorado, to open her own law practice. She's one of a handful of lady lawyers in the country. Before she has even opened for business she has her first two customers, one a local rancher accused of cattle rustling. She figures out a way to save him and ends up falling in love with Drew.

I loved this story. The characters are well defined. Lil is outspoken and feisty. Drew is a product of his times but he begins to see where he may be wrong. Around them they build a family but not a traditional one. The villains are hiss worthy. Her parents are a piece of work. I loved when she stood up to them. There is a subtle humor running below the surface. I felt happy while reading this. The only thing missing was a clear resolution on the rustling charge but it doesn't change the story or my feelings towards the tale.


A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler - Jason Roberts

An interesting man who went from being a naval lieutenant who suffered from joint pain then became blind and traveled the world alone.  Fascinating!  And this all takes place from 1787-1857.  James Holman was an apothecary/shop owner's son who was destined to follow in his father's footsteps when family fortunes changed.  He goes to the Navy at 12 and expects to be there for the rest of his life but his health turns bad and he must retire on half-salary.  He becomes a Naval Knight of Windsor to retain his half-salary.  He absents himself a lot from his duties as he travels the world.  What is does and how he learns his way around with short funds and limited language skills is remarkable. 


I loved that the history of the time is explained and that what is happening in the countries he explores is also given.  That he often is on naval vessels and helps is remarkable.  I also enjoyed seeing the societal downsides of his times.  He is a remarkable man.  I am glad the bookseller recommended it as I was checking out.  Excellent read!


Brea And The City Of Plastic - Michelle Gamble-Risley

Brea moves to Los Angeles to be a screenwriter and gets involved with men from home and LA.


I did not like most of these people at all.  Brea and Drew (as well as Drew's many "friends") were so shallow that I was disgusted by them.  All Brea worried about was clothes and sex.  She was raped but went along with it instead of calling the cops especially with Drew.  He is a whacked out job.  I truly could not relate to her.  I was in shock that she tells Drew off but never goes to the cops. She finally finds a good guy and she messes it up.  I liked Kale and Maya.  They seemed the only ones who were realistic and down-to-earth.


The author can write (which is why I finished the book.)  She had me feeling emotions towards the characters (probably not the ones she wanted me to feel.)  She also writes good sex scenes.  I would like to see her write a book with less shallow characters who care about something or someone rather than how people or events affect/serve them.  I probably will not read the next book of the series because I only want to know what happens between Brea and Kale and the blurb for the next book mentions Kale but he's in a list with others.  I will, however, look for other books by her because I liked her writing style.


Holly & Hockey Boots - V.L. Locey

Short Christmas read of Adam, a minor league goalie, and Cason, a man who brought his nephew to a game.  Eyes meet and they click.  So Adam does something stupid and it backfires.


I liked Adam.  He is quirky and fun.  I also liked his aunt and uncle who bring stability to his life.  His roomie and teammate, Rob, is a quirky as he is.  They have a good relationship.  The secondary characters were good.


The story was so-so.  It was predictable.  The characters made the story and were well-developed which is why I finished it.  Not her best book.

LONE WOLF by Jodi Picoult

Lone Wolf - Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is an excellent writer but I always hesitate to pick up her books because her subjects are so weighty yet timely.  Lone Wolf is the same.  It deals with euthanasia.  Not a pretty subject, but one that will touch most people at some point.  I liked the story.  I liked how it was written from each character's point-of-view so you get a well-rounded view of Luke.  I especially liked Luke's sections as he talks about wolves and their packs.  I learned a lot. 


The characters were well developed.  I had strong feelings about some of them.  I could understand Luke well.  Cara, I just wanted to turn her over my knee and paddle her.  She was so bratty.  She was my least favorite character.  I liked Edward.  Yes, he had to grow up more but he did manage to create a life for himself and survive.  I liked also the input of some of the peripheral characters.  It was interesting to see what outsiders thought of Cara, Edward, and Luke.


This was a good book.  It flowed well.  It read quickly because I never got bogged down in one character's emotions because of the changing points-of-view.  I read it in one day basically.  I could not put it down.


Murder at the Book Group - Maggie King
  Hazel's ex-husband's current wife dies at their book group's meeting. Did she commit suicide as it looks or was something else going on?

There are so many characters introduced in this book that I was confused as to who did what and how did they fit in. After I figured it out the book got better. I enjoyed the mystery. I had no idea the who or what until it started being explained to me. I liked the characters especially as they got weeded out and it seems as if there will be fewer characters in the next book. I enjoyed watching Hazel working to figure out who was involved and why. When she did it was an epiphany. I look forward to more of her.

MERRY MURDER by C. S. McDonald

Merry Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery (Volume 2) - C.S. McDonald

Set at Christmas, Fiona's Uncle Wilbur, who plays Santa at the mall, is murdered.  Why?


I enjoyed this book more than the first one in the series.  I had a better sense of the characters and liked the dynamics between Fiona and Nathan.  I liked Uncle Wilbur.  The short time he was in the book, I could see him as Santa.  I also enjoyed her kindergarten class, especially Lincoln.  Don't know if I wanted him around much but he is the kid who enjoys ruining things for others.  I figured out the why but not the who until the end when it was going down.  The mystery was good and made sense.  There was humor in it.  It was fun and I look forward to more Fiona.

MOONRISE by Erin Hunter

Moonrise - Erin Hunter
  The cats now have to return home to tell the message they must bring to the Clans. As they journey home, they meet a Tribe where they learn more hunting techniques and the importance of working together. Meanwhile, the Clans have to deal with the Twolegs destroying more of their territories.

I enjoyed this book. I liked the interactions between the travelers and the Tribe and how they learned new things and realized that there is more than just them in the world. There was the edge of the seat thrills and action. I still have questions about a whole lot of things especially Leafpaw and her promise. I look forward to reading the next book.

A ROOM WITH A BREW by Joyce Tremel

A Room with a Brew - Joyce Tremel

A member of an oompa band that is to perform at Max's brew pub.  Now Max is out to figure out why.


This is an excellent installment in the Brewing Trouble series.  Max is faced with a murder as, once again she finds the body.  The police don't listen to her and there she is solving the murder for them.  I liked the story.  I figured out the why but not the who.  I was surprised by the who as well as the follow-up activity.


Some new characters are introduced.  They fit into the story just fine.  I hope they stay.  Can't wait for number 4.


Girl Waits with Gun - Amy Stewart

Constance wants paid for the accident that destroyed their farm cart but instead she and her sisters get harassed and threatened by the head of a silk company.  She takes steps to protect herself and her family.


I enjoyed this book.  Constance and her sisters are unusual for the period in which they live.  The story started slowly but picked up as Constance gets more involved in protecting her family and home as well as the mystery of what happened to a young silk worker's baby.  Constance is smart and resourceful.  She learns and is formidable.  I liked her. 


I will be reading more of this series.

DUKE OF STORM by Gaelen Foley

Duke of Storm (Moonlight Square, Book 3) - Gaelen Foley

The previous 3 Dukes of Amberly have died in a short period of time.  The new Duke is from Ireland and faces much discrimination.  The Ton wants nothing to do with him but it is up to him to figure out what happened to the other three Dukes when he learns that others believed they were murdered.  He needs an entrée to the Ton which he gets through his neighbor, Lady Margaret Winthrop, who lives with her married sister. 


I liked Connor, the new Duke, but I loved Maggie (Margaret).  She was feisty and would not let Connor treat her like his troops.  Her sister I would have loved to dropped kicked her.  She was a witch of the first order.  Thoroughly disagreeable!  The male villain was somewhat predictable.  He did what I figured he would from the beginning although his "accomplice" at the end was unexpected.  I also liked the other members of Moonlight Square and their insights into Maggie and her sister, as well as their support of Connor. 

I am enjoying this series more and more. 


The women are independent and the men can handle them and work with them instead of trying to put them into a stereotypical role.

LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders

Interesting way to look at death.  It took me 80 pages to get into the book then I enjoyed it.  I also had the wrong Lincoln, which did not help at the beginning.  I liked how the historical records were interwoven into the story with the ghosts.  I also liked how Vollmer and Blevins wanted what was best and right for Willie.  They were funny at times.  The three bachelors and their hats were comic relief.  I liked how we readers got to learn more about the cemetery inhabitants as they tell their stories in their own words.  Some are very quick.  Others linger.  Not what I expected but worth reading.

THE MISTLETOE INN by Richard Paul Evans

The Mistletoe Inn: A Novel (The Mistletoe Collection) - Richard Paul Evans

Kimberly, a divorced would-be romance author, is trying to deal with her divorce and learning that her dad is sick. Christmas is coming and her dad wants her to go to a writing conference as his gift to her. She goes where she meets Zeke who becomes her writing partner for the conference. They share secrets but not the whole truth.

I enjoyed this book. I liked the characters. I liked Kimberly's father. He is so upbeat and full of life. Kimberly has a lot to deal with and she is not equipped to deal with it all. Trust is hard for her. Zeke also has to learn to trust. I liked watching their interactions. I also figured out the secret fairly early on. While the Hallmark movie was good, the book is so much better.