RMFAO 2018 Classics Catchup

Want to read more classics? Re-read an old favourite? A book you missed by a favourite author? Or just browse and discover a forgotten author? This year we are moving the general guideline up to pre-1950, but there are quite a few later books (mainly from the 1960s) that are also acceptable.

A wonderful bonus advantage for this Challenge is that it is easy on the budget since so many are available free in numerous formats (including audio!) from such sites as Project Gutenberg, ManyBooks and LibriVox. You do not need to choose your books ahead of time, you’ve got all year. Late-comers are welcome.

Please note that Classics Catchup was created and is run by RMFAO’s first moderator, Dagny. You can find here on Goodreads here or at her amazingly bookish blog, Vauquer Boarding House

We have different yearly levels for which you can go for. These are listed below.

Levels:

  • Level 1: Casual Reader: 2 books
  • Level 2: Frequent Reader: 3 – 5 books
  • Level 3: Bookworm: 6 – 8 books
  • Level 4: Scholar: 9 – 11 books
  • Level 5: Professor: 12 or more books

Who’s joining? All you have to do is post here saying you plan to participate. You can choose the Level you hope to achieve now, or wait and see how it goes. Don’t know what to read and need suggestions? Just ask!

RMFAO 2018 Classics Catchup Thread

Other challenges that you can participate in are:

If you’re as crazy about reading and books as we are then go wild combining all or any challenges to spice up your reading lists!

One of the coolest things about this challenge is that the mods are so awesome that they even tell you the sources and links to obtain free books available online legally. What else can a bookworm ask for!?

Join RMFAO

In order to participate, simply announce your participation on the main board of RMFAO 2018 Genre Challenge. Or if you have a blog just do a simple post announcing your participation and sharing details of the challenge (you can freely copy and paste from here with a due credit or reblog this post.) Don’t forget to leave a link back here.

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Book Review: Cold Girl (West Coast Crime #1)

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Author: R.M. Greenaway 
Release Date: March 26, 2016 
Series: None
Genre: Mystery|Thriller|Suspense|Crime Fiction
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 336
Publisher:  
Source: NetGalley
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

It’s too cold to go missing in northern B.C., as a mismatched team of investigators battle the clock while the disappearances add up.

Smart urbanite RCMP Constable Cal Dion isn’t designed for snow, silence, and deep, dark woods. But that’s where he finds himself after a life-altering car crash: coping with brain damage and posted in the snowbound Hazeltons of northern B.C. But how can he find his footing in a new life when he can’t find his own keys?

Detective David Leith has his own demons to tackle. Forty-two years old and a dogged investigator, he’s seen a lifetime’s worth of cruelty on the job, and his conscience has taken a battering. And now a monster is murdering young women on his turf.

Kiera Rilkoff, a popular young singer, is missing. Has she also fallen victim to the so-called Pickup Killer? The urgency ramps up as one missing woman becomes two. It isn’t until the bitter end that Leith discovers who is the coldest girl of all.

Rating

4half-stars

Review

Plot/Story:

Cold Girl is one of those books that you can either love or hate. And for me, fortunately, it’s the first one. I really enjoyed the story and relished the way it ended. The plot is not only outright gripping but quite unique as well but in its own subtle way. Cold Girl has a character driven plotline and the author successfully pulls it off. The plot line is simple enough, but the twists and the turns scattered throughout the book makes it a fairly complicated one but in a good way.

The writing is a little different, which took me a fair amount of time to get used to, but by the end I got the hang of it. The story flowed well and the pace of the story was also good. But, in spite of everything being great, I thought that the book was exceptionally lengthy. In my opinion, it can be reduced to 3/4th of its length and still have the same impact. This little fact bugged me to no end because it was a really, really time-consuming read.

So, if you have enough time on your hands, then go ahead and read Cold Girl, as it’s a superb detective fiction.

Characters:

As I just said Cold Girl is a character-driven book and the author has managed to create something that I call as “awesomeness.” The main characters, Leith and Dion, are the life of this book and I can still picture them moving around and doing stuff in their daily lives –  that’s how powerful the characterization in this book is. I was totally able to connect with them and the bond that formed is a really strong one.

When we have two male leads who hate each other there is bound to a favorite. Mine is Dion. His vulnerability is what draws me to him and I’m sure in the coming books he’ll emerge as a really strong lead, even more than Leith.

The other characters such as the Law brothers, other constables and DCs, the victims and the suspects, each and everyone had a unique personality and surprisingly I was able to relate to them all. Full marks for characterization!

Romance/Kills:

There is no romance as such, but a major part of the investigation revolves around the relationship of the deceased and the suspect.

There is also a considerable number of killings prior to the main case which involves a serial killer. It serves as a great diversion initially and later on connects beautifully to the case-at-hand.

Writing:

The writing in this book is a little different than what I’m normally used to. Some of the sentences felt a little awkward at times but later I realized that it had more to do with the author’s style of writing than glitches. Fortunately, after reading half of the book I found myself getting used to it.

Having said that I would have definitely enjoyed the book more if the editor had straightened out those awkward sentences and made them a little less painful to read.

Still, I enjoyed the book and the amazing characterization totally made up for whatever problems I had with the writing in the first half of the book.

Beginning:

The book started off perfectly well with an intriguing prologue and then continued on a high note that kept me engaged the entire time. I enjoyed the detailed insight into the police procedurals and enjoyed the overall suspense that kept on building till the end.

Ending:

The ending of the book was perfect considering that it’s a part of a series. In fact, I’m really looking forward to how things are going to shape up in the next part. The mystery also ended well. A classic example of a simple situation going out of hands.

Blurb:

The blurb is apt and gives a really clear idea about what to expect from the book. If I had come across this book in a bookstore then I would have definitely grabbed it after reading the blurb.

Cover Art:

The cover art is good but not excellent. It could have a been a lot better.

You can also read this review at:
Goodreads and NetGalley

Other Stuff

Opening Line: She was the only patch of stillness on the planet, to Dion, the dark-haired girl sitting on the far wing of the bleachers, second to lowest tier, watching the band play.

Highlights: Exceptional characterization.

Lowlights: Length of the book.

Final Thoughts: A brilliant but lengthy read.

Novella Review: Home Is Where The Start Is (Roseland #1)

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Author: Eric Ugland
Release Date: January 29, 2015 
Series: Roseland Series
Book: Book 1
Genre: Contemporary Detective Fiction | Cozy Mystery | Cozy Paranormal 
Edition: E-Book (mobi) 
Pages: 113
Publisher: Air Quites Publishing 
Source: Author 
Buy it here: Amazon

Blurb

When Ginger Mitchell finds out her mother committed suicide, she packs up her life as a Vegas “dancer” (hey, somebody’s gotta do it) and drives her cherry-red SUV straight home to Portland. Without a disapproving mom to rebel against, what was the point?
But things aren’t what they seem once Ginger gets to the City of Roses. For one, nothing about her mother’s suicide adds up, but no one else even wants to entertain the idea that it could’ve been murder. No one that is, except the ghost of Ginger’s mother, who keeps scaring the crap out of her. It’s probably just a psychotic break because of the grief, right? Sure.
In any case, it’s during one of these visits from Ghost Mom that Ginger decides to solve the murder on her own. She really only ever wanted to be a cop, so maybe she should start a private detective business and see where it takes her. And look, that hippie kid running down the street after a muscle car right now probably needs help. Another case!

Rating

4-stars

Review

Home Is Where The Start Is started off pretty well. I really liked the don’t-give-a-damn attitude of Ginger and most of all the first line that really kick started the book. As I went along it kept on getting more and more interesting. As it’s the first book in Roseland series, it dedicated a good amount of time in setting up the basics (characters, locations, situations, etc.) and honestly, I  enjoyed reading every bit of it.

The writing is exceptional and packs a big dose of humor. I loved the imagery and at more than a dozen occasions it made me laugh out loud.

The book ended on a high note and left me craving for more. I had low expectations from the book considering that it borders on the paranormal realm, but I really enjoyed the ghost angle. Though what I really found strange was Ginger’s mother’s personality. She seemed a little opposite of what was expecting her to be especially  considering her profession. Maybe in the next book it’ll be clearer.

For a novella, this book really packs a punch and is totally worth the time spent on reading it. I’d recommend it to anyone really as it’s a nice cozy mystery to read and enjoy.

You can also read this review at: 
Goodreads and Amazon

Other Stuff

Opening Line: I wish I hadn’t been sucking cock when my mother died, but I was.

Highlights: Storytelling

Lowlights: 

Final Thoughts: A nice and cozy mystery.

Graphic Novel Review: The Bigger Bang

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Author: Vassilis Gogtzilas
Illustrator: Unknown
Release Date: 26th May, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Science-Fiction | YA | Comics
Edition: ascm file
Pages: 128
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Source: NetGalley

Book Review: Blondes, Books & Bourbon (ARC)

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Author: R. M. Ridley
Release Date: March 13, 2015
Series: None
Genre: Urban Fantasy | Crime > PI | Anthology | Magic/Elementals | Paranormal
Edition: mobi
Pages: 21709 (kindle pages)
Publisher: Xchyler Publication
Source: Author (Thanks a lot Mr. Ridley!)

Book Review: The Lupane Legacy (Joshua Denham and Devon Kerr #1)

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Author: Darby G. Holladay
Release Date: September 1, 2014
Series: A Joshua Denham and Devon Kerr
Genre: Thriller | Mystery | Fiction | Political
Edition: mobi
Pages: 3441 (kindle)
Publisher: Manor Minor Press 
Source: NetGalley

Book Review: Almost Adept

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Author: Olga Godim
Release Date: January 5, 2014
Series: None
Genre: High Fantasy | Romance | Young Adult | Magic/Elementals
Edition: mobi
Pages: 4339 (kindle pages)
Publisher: BURST
Interest: Requested by author
Source: Author (Thanks a lot Olga!)
Buy it here: Amazon

Book Review: The Bone Treaty (Seal Of Solomon #1)

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Author: T.C. McKee
Release Date: August 1, 2014
Series: Seal Of Solomon
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal > Angels/Gargoyles | Young Adult | Urban Fantasy
Edition: mobi
Pages: 3853 (kindle pages)
Publisher: BookFish Books
Interest: Requested by Publisher
Source: Author (Thanks a lot Erin and Tammy!)
Buy it here: Amazon

RMFAO 2015 Genre Challenge

Hello dear readers,
I’m very excited to announce that I’ve created a reading-challenge: 2015 RMFAO Genre Challenge.
Every year we all think of reading atleast one book from all the genres but as the year progresses everything changes. This challenge will help you make sure that you read all the major genres in 2015.

Book Review: Enchanted (Donovan Legacy #4)

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Author: Nora Roberts

Release Date: April 1, 2009

Series: Donovan Legacy

Genre: Paranormal| Romance | Fiction | Contemporary

Pages: 331ISBN NO.: 978-0-263-87514-0

Publisher: Penguin India

Preceded by: Charmed (Donovan Legacy #3)

Blurb

Rowan Murray needed the space to make an important choice, so she ran to a cabin on the wild coast of Oregon. But her new house was isolated, and Rowan was a woman alone. Hiking in the woods one day, Rowan’s solitude was threatened by an encounter with a stranger. Liam Donovan was mysterious, temperamental, frightening – and Rowan’s nearest neighbour. In a terrifying storm, with the power out in her tiny cabin, Rowan desperately needed help. When Liam arrived just in time, she had no choice but to accept his aid. Rowan would have to trust an enigmatic stranger with her whole future.

Review

4+1/2-Stars

The best thing about Nora Roberts’s books is that all the sweet and magical romance makes you forget all your tensions. Well atleast they do this for me! I liked this one a lot because it was different, firstly the lead male-witch, Liam, was a shape-shifter and second the female lead, Rowan, was also a witch, coming from a family of a long-forgotten but a real one!

Rowan as a character was brilliant and successfully flaunted the stuff women go through atleast once in a lifetime like confused, vulnerable, burdened and on the tricky edge to make a life-changing decision. On the other hand, Liam is a typical egoistic and arrogant male character with “I-take-all-the-f***ing-decisions” attitude. He behaves snobbishly and keeps throwing the excuse-ball of responsibility on everyone’s face.  I guess I’ve made it quite clear that I really didn’t like Liam but trust me it didn’t ruin my reading experience because at the end Rowan had the nerves to ask Liam to literally beg and confess his love. That douche-bag really deserved it! That little moment literally made up for everything!

I liked the angle of a Rowan’s grandmother’s forgotten legacy. After reading Captivated, Entranced and Charmed, loosely based on the same concept, except for all the different styles of love-making 😉 , this one was totally different.

The writing was simple and the plot was interesting. If you’ve read the other books from the series then you’ll be happy to know that in this book we get to meet Morgana’s, Ana’s and Sebastian’s families as well. It really felt good to read about all the cousins again, as over the first three reads, one really develops a relation with the leads.

You can also read this review at Goodreads.

 Other Stuff

Opening Line: “Dark as the night and fleet of foot, the wolf raced under a hunter’s moon. ”

Highlights: Different storyline.

Low-lights: Liam’s behaviour!

Quotes: “She sighed once, wishing she had a talent for the details of telling stories. She wasn’t bad at themes, she mused, but she could never figure out how to turn a theme into an engaging tale.”

Memorable paragraph:

““I was your lover Liam, but never your partner. I won’t settle for that, not even for you. You had my heart in your hands, and you didn’t know what to do with it. I can tell you, without the crystal ball, without the gift, you will never have another like it.””

Final Thoughts: A good book to conclude The Donovan Legacy.

Ten Book Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by the awesome authors of The Broke and the Bookish.

Here’s my list…

Ten Book Characters That Would Be Sitting At My Lunch Table

  1. Bilbo Baggins – The HobbitBilbo_Baggins_(2)
  2. Arya Stark – ASOIAFarya-stark-1
  3. Jon Snow (with Ghost) – ASOIAF5047
  4. Edward Cullen – TwilightEdward-Cullen-edward-cullen-16914892-1024-640
  5. Hermione Granger – HPHermione-DH-hermione-granger-22914458-598-800
  6. Jacob Black – TwilightJacob-Black-twi-hards-and-fanpires-35826886-900-720
  7. Daenerys Targaryen (along with Drogon, Viserian & Rhaelgal) – ASOIAFdaenerys-targaryen-her-dragons-poster-1373605087
  8. Eddard Stark – ASOIAFEddard_1x01
  9. Darya – Squirrel Of Magic21900440
  10. Katniss Everdeen – Hunger Gamescatching-fire-still06

Share your list aswell…

Book Review: Entranced (Donovan Legacy #2)

entranced

NoraRoberts
Nora Roberts
Author: Nora Roberts
Release Date:
Series: Donovan Legacy
Genre: Paranormal| Romance | Fiction | Contemporary
Pages: 329
ISBN NO.: 978-0-263-87185-2
Publisher: Silhouette Books
Preceded by: Captivated (Donovan Legacy #1)
Followed By: Charmed (Donovan Legacy #3)

Summary

A missing child. A desperate mother.

A private investigator running out of time.

Mel Sutherland didn’t need the help of a fraudulent psychic to find the abducted baby – and she wasn’t about to let a con artist exploit a grieving mother’s vulnerability.

Then all the leads dried up.

Reluctantly, Mel had to accept Sebastian Donovan’s aid. She was cynical about his powers and suspicious of his motives. But as the clock ticked, Sebastian unfailingly knew how to follow abductor’s tracks and Mel had to make up her mind. Was Sebastian’s gift real? Or was something far more sinister at work?

-Back-cover

Review

4

Entranced is an engaging story about a psychic and a cynic. Yes, the psychic being Sebastian Donovan, Morgana’s cousin. Sebastian uses his powers of “seeing”,  to help cops solve twisted cases.

On the other hand, Mel Sutherland is a private investigator whose friend’s child is missing. She tries everything she could to get some clues about the kidnapper but like the cops, hits a dead end. Tired of waiting for her police to find her son, Rose enquires about Sebastian’s powers and then convinces Mel to take her to him. Being a cynic, Mel tries to stop Rose but ultimately gives in to the idea and meets Sebastian.

Accepting the fact that Sebastian might be her only chance to find Rose’s son, Mel starts investigating with Sebastian and makes him her temp. partner.She ends up falling in love with Sebastian and accepting the fact that there are some things beyond logic and reason and comes to accept and respect Sebastian’s gifts.

The story is predictable, but is adorably romantic. The characters in the book are full of life and you can instantly connected to them. Also we get a sneak peek in the lives of Morgana (who is pregnant at the time) and Nash Kirkland from Captivated, which really makes you feel like you are a part of the Donovan family.

Read this review of Goodreads here.

Other Stuff

Opening Line: “He understood his power early.”

Highlights: Simple writing.

Low-lights: Very predictable.

Final Thoughts: A comfortable read.

Sign

Sweet Summer Read-A-Thon

Hi guys, from June 9th – June 15th, Hannah at The Book Tower will be hosting the Sweet Summer Read-a-thon. To participate in this event all you have to do is make a post or a video saying what your goals are for the week and share your link on the sign up post over on her blog.

9-15 June’ 2014

My Goals

  • Read a classic.
  • Read 100 pages a day.
  • Review one of the books from requests sent by authors.
  • Visit a new blog everyday.

My TBR List

  • Entranced by Nora Roberts
  • Breath Of Aoles by Alan Spade (author’s review request)
  • Holding The Dream by Nora Roberts
So friends these are my goals and TBR list, feel free to share your own.
Have a great day!

TTT: Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer

Hi, everyone! Welcome back to Top Ten Tuesday! This weekly event is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Today’s topic is Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer.

toptentuesday

Ten Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag This Summer:

1. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green.

2. Looking For Alaska by John Green.

3. Holding The Dream By Nora Roberts.

4. Life, the Universe and Everything by Douglas Adams.

TBR Pile Reading Challenge

TBR (To Be Read) Pile Challenge is yearly event hosted by Bookish. It’s awesome and I would recommend all the book lovers to consider taking part. I’ll be fun 🙂

We all have those books. We buy them, win them, they're gifted to us. Then we put them up on a bookshelf and there they stay, collecting dust, waiting for the time when we'll finally decide to pick them up... 
Join us on a quest to dust off your TBR Pile and read all the books you've been telling yourself you'll read next time you'll get a chance.. This is your chance! And we've got PRIZES!!!
-By Bookish

2014tbrpilerc

I am an avid reader and I always read all the books that I buy (actually I buy only those books that I really wanna read!) But sometimes I am gifted some books that I really don’t look forward to read. But one day or the other, I’ll have to read them as I hate giving away my books. So this is the reason I am participating in this challenge. The level I am taking up for this challenge is

Book Review: The Longest Ride

 

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Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks
Author: Nicholas Sparks
Release Date: September 17, 2013
Genre: Romance
Pages: 449
ISBN No:978-07515-4997-3
Publisher: Hachette

Synopsis

Ira Levinson is in trouble.  At ninety-one years old, in poor health and alone in the world, he finds himself stranded on an isolated embankment after a car crash.