What I’m Reading Fridays with @MeganSlayer ~ The Whistler by John Grisham #read #books #review

I love John Grisham’s books. I know when I pick one up, I’m in for a treat. I really do. I got this one as a birthday present with the caveat I was supposed to give it to the giver when I finished it so the giver could read it. Odd way to give a gift, isn’t it? Anyway, it’s taken me a while to get to the book, but it’s quarantine time, so I’m reading a lot of things I’d otherwise put aside. Part of me wished I’d read it when I got it, but the rest of me is glad I waited. The thing is, this book is a tad uneven. It is. It’s almost like it was written in fits and starts. Not what I’ve come to expect from the author, but I was still entertained. It’s not one I’d recommend if you’re looking to try Grisham, but the story was interesting enough and kept me reading.

We expect our judges to be honest and wise. Their integrity is the bedrock of the entire judicial system. We trust them to ensure fair trials, to protect the rights of all litigants, to punish those who do wrong, and to oversee the flow of justice. But what happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe?

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. It is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

But a corruption case eventually crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business, and he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined. And not just crooked judges in Florida. All judges, from all states, and throughout United States history. And now he wants to put a stop to it. His only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. When the case is assigned to Lacy, she immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous. Dangerous is one thing. Deadly is something else.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ The Fast and the Furriest by Sofie Ryan #books #cozy

I’m still new to the cozy mystery genre, but this is a cute book. I liked the heroine owned her own business and is a force in her own right. I liked the cat, Elvis. First, he’s a trip and second, he’s good at catching a liar. I liked the chemistry between the characters, too. I’m more of a romance reader, so the weird romance-y thing that didn’t quite happen between Nick and Sarah, then Sarah and Mac was irksome. I wanted someone to get together, not the dancing around each other thing, but that’s okay. If you want a mystery that’s fun, but sad, too, then this might be the one for you.

Sarah Grayson and her trusty companion, Elvis, race to tail the right suspects in the fifth installment of the New York Times bestselling Second Chance Cat Mysteries.

Sarah Grayson owns Second Chance, a shop that sells lovingly refurbished items, in the charming town of North Harbor, Maine. But she couldn’t run the store without the help of her right-hand man, Mac–or her dashing rescue cat, Elvis.

Mac’s life before North Harbor has always been a little bit mysterious, but it becomes a lot more intriguing when a woman from his past shows up in town, and then turns up dead. Suspicion falls on Mac, but Sarah–and Elvis–know he can’t be the killer, and they hope they can prove his innocence quick as a whisker.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer

I’d never read anything by Fern Michaels and heard great things about the author’s work, so I decided to try this one. I have to admit, this is a tad dated. It shows it’s over 40 years old. The hero is a bit heavy handed in some of his actions and the heroine is…she’s headstrong, but naive. I’m sure that was the author’s point, but there were times when I wondered how the heroine could be that…dim. It’s not a horrible book, but it does lack something. I’m not sure what it’s lacking, but it is. If you want a bodice ripper, then give this one a chance, but if you pass it up… you’re not missing much.

She embarked on a life of deception and unexpected passion …

Aristocratic breeding and virtue could not save beautiful and adventurous Tori Rawlings from a repugnant marriage. To escape her betrothed, she exchanged identities with a tavern wench… and found herself in league with a band of brigands and at the mercy of Scarblade, the most notorious highwayman in England….

Vixen In Velvet is vintage Fern Michaels — an unforgettable novel of a young woman’s surrender to excitement darker than she’d ever imagined … and a love more passionate than she’d ever known.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @MeganSlayer ~ To Pleasure a Prince by Sabrina Jeffries #books #reading

I’ve said before I’m a sucker for Sabrina Jeffries’s books. This one was no different. There were a few plot points that were silly, but hey, it’s fiction. I’m surprised she got away with her secret for so long and surprised she did while working in a hospital situation. I know I want to learn about the side characters, particularly Louisa, so I’ll be looking for more in this series. Good reading.

Beautiful Lady Regina Tremaine has turned down so many suitors that she’s called La Belle Dame Sans Merci. The truth: she won’t marry because she carries a dark secret. She sees no good reason, however, why her brother shouldn’t court the lovely Louisa North — even if the girl’s brother, the notorious “Dragon Viscount,” objects.

Marcus North, Viscount Draker — bastard son of the Prince of Wales — is rumored to be a monster who holds women captive in his dark castle to have his way with them. He has been exiled from polite society for years. But when Lady Regina makes a plea on her brother’s behalf, Marcus proposes an outrageous deal: her brother can court Louisa so long as Marcus can court Regina. Can the beauty and the beast survive a proper courtship when the devastatingly improper passion between them threatens to cause the scandal of the century?

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer

I’m a sucker for anything written by Sabrina Jeffries. She’s one of my autobuy authors. I see her books and make sure I don’t have them already, before nabbing a copy. I got this one because I rather liked the idea of Lady Gwyn being so forthright. The writing flows well and I’m drawn in, but I’m not wild about her lying to him. But that’s okay. I’m only halfway through the book at the moment and I have high hopes for it.

Lady Gwyn Drake has long protected her family’s reputation by hiding an imprudent affair from her youth. But when her former suitor appears at Armitage Hall, manhandling the heiress and threatening to go public with her secrets, it’s Gwyn who needs protecting. Her twin brother, Thorn, hires Joshua Wolfe, the estate’s gamekeeper, to keep her safe in London during her debut. As a war hero, Joshua feels obligated to fulfill the assignment he has accepted. But as a man, it’s torment to be so very close to the beauty he’s fought to ignore . . .
With handsome Joshua monitoring her every move, Gwyn would prefer to forget both the past and the parade of money-seeking bachelors at her coming out. But Joshua is unmoved by her attempts at flirtation, and the threat of blackmail still hangs over her. With danger closing in, Gwyn must decide which is the greater risk: deflecting a scoundrel’s attempts to sabotage her—or revealing her whole heart to the rugged bodyguard she can’t resist . . . 

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ Dead of Winter by Kresley Cole

I picked this book up because I love the work of Kresley Cole. I do. The Immortals After Dark are some of my favorites. So when I saw she’d written YA and a hunger games slash vampire diaries sort of series, I thought I’d try it.

I admit I picked up book 3 and this series is probably best enjoyed in order. I started with little idea who the characters were and took half the book to get up to speed. The mind conversations in italics are a bit cumbersome because there are a lot. Then there’s the absolute childishness of Evie. I get she’s seventeen and seventeen year olds make rash decisions, but there were times when she got downright whiny. There were times when I didn’t root for her at all. I put the book down often and have had a hard time getting back to it. I just didn’t want to hear about how she loved Jack, but sort of love Death (a character) and couldn’t decide, but she’d decided… it made my head hurt. It’s told in first person, so the narrator, Evie, tells a lot. There were times I didn’t feel like I was in the story. Just watching from outside.

Still, there are strong characters, Selena being one, and the plot is definitely full of action. If you’re looking for something different, then this might be the book for you.

Can Evie convince her rival loves to work together? Their survival depends on it in this third book of #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole’s Arcana Chronicles, a nonstop action tale of rescue, redemption, and a revenge most wicked.

Heartbreaking decisions
Evie was almost seduced by the life of comfort that Death offered her–until Jack was threatened by two of the most horrific Arcana, The Lovers. She will do anything to save him, even escape Death’s uncanny prison, full of beautiful objects, material comforts . . . and stolen glances from a former love.

Uncertain victory
Despite leaving a part of her heart behind with Death, Evie sets out into a perilous post-apocalyptic wasteland to meet up with her allies and launch an attack on The Lovers. Such formidable enemies require a battle plan, and the only way to kill them may mean Evie, Jack, and Death allying. Evie doesn’t know what will prove more impossible: surviving slavers, plague, Bagmen and other Arcana–or convincing Jack and Death to work together.

Two heroes returned
There’s a thin line between love and hate, and Evie just doesn’t know where she stands with either Jack or Death. Will this unlikely trio be able to defeat The Lovers without killing one another first . . .?

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ The Dog Diet, A Memoir by Patti Lawson

This week, I read The Dog Diet, A Memoir: What My Dog Taught Me About Shedding Pounds, Licking Stress and Getting a New Leash on Life by Patti Lawson. I thought this would be a cute book. I did. It’s got a dog, a person learning how to be more of a person by having a dog and it’s supposed to be a memoir. I have to admit, I wasn’t bowled over by this book. In fact, there were a lot of times when I just plain wasn’t happy. This woman didn’t strike me as a dog person (people change, so I get that), but she seemed to really not having ‘time’ for a dog. She wasn’t built for having a dog. Um, they’re messy, they’re loud, they’re clingy…they’re dogs. She spent a lot of time being dismissive with the dog. Whatever. Then there were her thoughts on the diet part of the story. She decided the dog was a furry exercise partner. Sure! I agree. But part of her diet involved just putting down the (insert name of food here) and play with the dog instead. She went from being rather obsessive about exercise to a slug, then back to obsessive, but about moving while having the dog. She struck me as an obsessive person. When she has one thing to focus on, she’s happy. I don’t know. Her suggestions for diet items included things she and the dog could eat, eating quiet things so the dog wouldn’t bother her and walking. Um, that’s part of having a dog. You have to move around. They require exercise. She acted almost shocked about this. I’m glad she got her dog and found a buddy in her dog, but her advice wasn’t all that great. But try it for yourself. You might have other thoughts.

We live in a diet-obsessed age, when we lose five pounds just to gain ten, delude ourselves that the next exercise contraption we buy from that midnight infomercial will finally take that extra inch off our thighs, and become convinced that the latest diet fad of beet soup and goat’s milk will help us look good in a bikini. But now you can forget the Zone, Atkins and South Beach! It turns out that the ultimate weight-loss plan is owning a dog: Man (and woman’s) best friend is the fail proof personal trainer-dietician-nutritionist you’ve been looking for you all your life.

That’s just what Patti Lawson found in her dog, Sadie.

A diet-obsessed, single lawyer, Patti spent the winter indulging in multiple brands of chocolate while mourning the demise of her latest relationship. Spring found her pudgy and pitiful, when Fate – and a fortuitous trip to PetSmart – brought rascally puppy Sadie into Patti’s petless, pristine, if a bit sterile, life. Since that day life hasn’t been the same for Patti or Sadie.

A life that began together with 3:00 a.m. walks through the park, incessant barking and stolen moments of trying to eat just a crumb of breakfast without puppy-interference soon morphed into a partnership of exercise and healthy eating with the added bonus that Sadie taught Patti a thing or two about letting go and stopping to smell the roses.

A memoir-cum-diet, The Dog Diet takes a tongue-in-cheek look at our obsession with weight loss and will have you laughing out loud as you recognize your own dysfunctional relationship with food. In the process you’ll learn a simple and natural method for shedding unwanted pounds without the usual stress and disappointments that go along with typical dieting regimens.

What I’m Reading with @meganslayer ~ Swimming Without a Net (Fred the Mermaid Book 2) byMaryJanice Davidson #reading

This week I picked up a copy of Sleeping with the Fishes by Mary Janice Davidson. I’ve read this author before and liked her books. This one…it wasn’t quite as much of a hit. Fred isn’t your average little mermaid type mermaid. She’s cranky, snappy and gives no…you know. She has two men to choose from Artur and Thomas. Here’s the thing and why it wasn’t as great a book for me…Fred is downright snotty sometimes. I didn’t like her. I had a hard time rooting for her. I had a hard time deciding if I should root for Thomas because he’s just sort of there. Artur is nice enough, but almost like someone to settle for. I didn’t feel the passion between any of the characters. And if I had to read about Jonas, her friend, and his girlfriend one more time…it’s done too much. But this is book 2 in the series, so maybe if I’d have read book 1 first, this one would’ve been more fun. I don’t know. It just didn’t hit the mark for me.

As Fred the Mermaid tries to fit in with her own kind, she finds herself hooked on both Artur, the High Prince of the undersea realm, and Thomas, a hunky marine biologist. She’s also caught between two factions of merfolk: those happy with swimming under the radar-and those who want to bring their existence to the surface.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @MeganSlayer ~ A Gift for A Rogue by Julia Parks

I have to admit I picked this book up at the book sale because it was a Christmas book, but also because I thought it was set in a later time period than it is. I’m not much of a history romance buff, but I thought I’d give this one a try. I’m glad I did. It was a cute story. There was a lot of back and forth between the heroine and hero. Some of it was cute, but other times I wanted them to make a decision. I guess I’m not as well versed in the ton and the social scene of the time. Oh well. You don’t have to know a lot about it to enjoy the book. I’m glad I picked it up.

When she is hired by legendary scoundrel Alexander Havenhurst, Earl of Foxworth, to tame his wicked ways and help him find a wife, professional matchmaker Lady Isabelle Fanshaw loses her heart to the dashing rogue and longs to be in his arms – for eternity.

What I’m Reading Fridays with @meganslayer ~ Sizzle by Jennifer Crusie #bookreview

When things weren’t so scary and crazy and I could get books from the local book sale, one of the ones I picked up was a copy of Sizzle by Jennifer Crusie. Now I love her books, especially the one with the dog that would fall over when someone shouted bang. It sounds a lot funnier when your own dog does it because she thinks she’s one of those tiny goats. Anyway, I picked up this book, this short book, because I knew the author. It’s a cute book. Short. The story moves rather fast, too. The thing is, it’s too fast for my taste and the characters were rather hard to root for. Emily seemed angry the entire time. I didn’t like that. I didn’t want her to be putty, but she could’ve softened a little faster. Richard was pushy, but I guess I took it more from him because this book is over 25 years old. It’s quick and if you want quick heat, then grab a copy.

Business takes a backseat when successful ad executive Emily Tate meets Richard Parker. He’s an accountant who’s been sent to keep her in line and under budget in her ad campaign for a sensual new perfume called Sizzle. And if Emily’s not careful, she just might melt in Richard’s hands.