Killing Ruby Rose

Title: Killing Ruby Rose

Author: Jessie Humphries

Genre: Young Adult Thriller

Buy it on Amazon, kindle edition


Killing Ruby RoseBook Description:

“In sunny Southern California, seventeen-year-old Ruby Rose is known for her killer looks and her killer SAT scores. But ever since her dad, an LAPD SWAT sergeant, died, she’s also got a few killer secrets.

To cope, Ruby has been trying to stay focused on school (the top spot in her class is on the line) and spending time with friends (her Jimmy Choos and Manolo Blahniks are nothing if not loyal). But after six months of therapy and pathetic parenting by her mom, the District Attorney, Ruby decides to pick up where her dad left off and starts going after the bad guys herself.

When Ruby ends up killing a murderer to save his intended victim, she discovers that she’s gone from being the huntress to the hunted. There’s a sick mastermind at play, and he has Ruby in his sights. Ruby must discover who’s using her to implement twisted justice before she ends up swapping Valentino red for prison orange.

With a gun named Smith, a talent for martial arts, and a boyfriend with eyes to die for, Ruby is ready to face the worst. And if a girl’s forced to kill, won’t the guilt sit more easily in a pair of Prada peep-toe pumps?”

Book Review: 

Do you have Amazon Prime? If you do, then you can read this book for FREE this month. It’s part of the Kindle First program, which allows Amazon Prime members to choose one of four new releases to read each month before they become available to the public. Sounds pretty sweet, right?! This is the first time I’ve tried it and I was pleasantly surprised.

Killing Ruby Rose is a young adult thriller, romance and chick lit all rolled into one. Ruby Rose is a genius Barbie-like heroine who sets out to find justice after her dad is murdered. The plot is interesting and there are a few twists toward the end that took me by surprise. Sometimes it didn’t seem realistic (Ruby might have been a little more believable if she was a twenty-something college student instead of a seventeen-year-old honor roll high school student), but it was a great first novel by this new author. Whether you have Amazon Prime or not, if you like books in this genre then read it.

I would recommend it for older teens as there is some language, romantic situations and quite a bit of violence.

The Stranger She Married

Title: The Stranger She Married

Author: Donna Hatch

Genre: Regency Romance

Buy it on Amazon, paperback or kindle edition


the stranger she marriedBook Description:

“When her parents and twin brother die within weeks of each other, Alicia and her younger sister are left in the hands of an uncle who has brought them all to financial and social ruin. Desperate to save her family from debtor’s prison, Alicia vows to marry the first wealthy man to propose. She meets the dashing Lord Amesbury, and her heart whispers that this is the man she is destined to love, but his tainted past may forever stand in their way. Her choices in potential husbands narrow to either a scarred cripple with the heart of a poet, or a handsome rake with a deadly secret.

Cole Amesbury is tormented by his own ghosts, and believes he is beyond redemption, yet he cannot deny his attraction for the girl whose genuine goodness touches the heart he’d thought long dead. He fears the scars in his soul cut so deeply that he may never be able to offer Alicia a love that is true. When yet another bizarre mishap threatens her life, Alicia suspects the seemingly unrelated accidents that have plagued her loved ones are actually a killer’s attempt to exterminate every member of her family. Despite the threat looming over her, learning to love the stranger she married may pose the greatest danger to her heart. And Cole must protect Alicia from the killer who has been exterminating her family before she is the next target.”

Book Review: 

I’ve had this book on my “to read” list for a LONG time. When I look for recommendations for regency style romances, this one always pops up. Unfortunately, it’s not one commonly found at your local library and I’m not one to purchase a book without knowing I’m going to love it. When I was looking at the reviews for this novel, I noticed several people commented that it was a copy of A Rose in Winter. And that book was available via my library e-book catalog. I started reading it and I was SO disappointed! The interaction between the characters was stale and when I came to a very crude scene I gave up. Eventually, I forked over the six dollars to read the kindle version of this one and thankfully it was MUCH better than the few pages I read of A Rose in Winter. Although the plots may seem similar (I can’t be entirely sure since I didn’t finish the other one), I found The Stranger She Married was much more to my taste. I enjoyed the dialogue and the characters.

If you like regency style romances, then this book is for you! Maybe you’ll get lucky and your library will have a copy!

Deadline

Title: Deadline

Author: Chris Crutcher

Genre: Young Adult

Buy it on Amazon, paperback or kindle edition


DeadlineBook Description:

“Ben Wolf has big things planned for his senior year. Had big things planned. Now what he has is some very bad news and only one year left to make his mark on the world.

How can a pint-sized, smart-ass seventeen-year-old do anything significant in the nowheresville of Trout, Idaho?

First, Ben makes sure that no one else knows what is going on—not his superstar quarterback brother, Cody, not his parents, not his coach, no one. Next, he decides to become the best 127-pound football player Trout High has ever seen; to give his close-minded civics teacher a daily migraine; and to help the local drunk clean up his act.

And then there’s Dallas Suzuki. Amazingly perfect, fascinating Dallas Suzuki, who may or may not give Ben the time of day. Really, she’s first on the list.

Living with a secret isn’t easy, though, and Ben’s resolve begins to crumble . . . especially when he realizes that he isn’t the only person in Trout with secrets.”

Book Review: 

To start, this book has lots of potty language and discusses several mature topics so I would only recommend it for older teens…and maybe not even then. As far as the story goes, did I enjoy it? Not so much, “enjoy” is not a word I would use to describe reading this book. But it was interesting and I kept reading it. Ben is in such a unique situation and I wanted to find out what his choices would be and see the reactions of others to them. I admire his sometimes snarky attitude and his desire to help others and live his life to the fullest. This book is definitely one that makes you think about how precious life is but it also addresses the deeper stories of many of the characters. It seems everyone has an extra layer to two that gives the reader another perspective on their actions. It reminds me a little of The Fault in Our Stars. Like I said, I’m not sure if I really liked it, but if the description intrigues you, give it a shot.

Tuesdays at the Castle

Tuesdays-at-the-Castle-by-Jessica-Day-GeorgeTitle: Tuesdays at the Castle

Author: Jessica Day George

Genre: Young Adult (especially great for pre-teens!)

Buy it on Amazon: Paperback or Kindle

Book Description:
Every Tuesday Castle Glower takes on a life of its own-magically inventing, moving, and even completely getting rid of some of its rooms. Good thing Princess Celie takes the time to map out these never-ending changes. Because when the castle is ambushed and Celie’s parents and oldest brother go missing, it’s up to Celie to protect their home and save their kingdom. 

What I Think:

I loved this simple book!  It reminded me a lot of Princess Academy, because I feel like it is written for that pre-teen age group and the Celie is such a great heroine that can hold her own.  This will go on my list when other Moms ask be for recommendations for their daughters!  It is fun and engaging with some twists and turns and it never gets too out of hand.  Add it to your library list today and try for yourself. :)

The Hallowed Ones Series

The Hallowed Ones is a series with two books currently published, with the third expected this year.  These two first books are available in the Oyster book subscription in case you’re interested in trying out its month-long free trial.

thehallowedones the outside cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Titles: The Hallowed Ones/The Outside

Author: Laura Bickle

Buy them on Amazon: Hallowed Ones Hardcover or Kindle; The Outside Hardcover or Kindle

Book Descriptions:

The Hallowed Ones

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

The Outside

After a plague of vampires is unleashed in the world, Katie is kicked out of her Amish community for her refusal to adhere to the new rules of survival. Now in exile, she enters an outside world of unspeakable violence with only her two “English” friends and a horse by her side. Together they seek answers and other survivors—but each sunset brings the threat of vampire attack, and each sunrise the threat of starvation.

And yet through this darkness come the shining ones: luminescent men and women with the power to deflect vampires and survive the night. But can these new people be trusted, and are they even people at all?

In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, it’s up to one Amish girl to save her family, her community, and the boy she loves . . . but what will she be asked to leave behind in return?

What I Think:

I have read several Amish themed books, but never ones with this type of plot.  I wouldn’t have guessed that the Amish setting would mix well with a thriller end of the world scenario, but the combination provides two great stories.  The books show Katie’s struggle with the Amish lifestyle, but always in a way that shows respect for its teachings with a healthy dose of commonsense and compassion that keeps her skeptical of some rulings or people.  I particularly enjoyed the role of the Hexenmeister in the books, even if it seems to have a far-fetched connection to Amish tradition.  The books are fast reads and entertaining even with their need for a good imagination as you read along.  Enjoy!

 

3 Fantastic Georgette Heyer Reads

Like I mentioned in our post on book subscription services last week, I was able to access a lot of Georgette Heyer books to read over the last month.  I have read and reviewed two of her books before, Arabella and The Convenient Marriage, and liked them, but didn’t love them.  The three picks below were MUCH better.  These will often show up as free or very cheap for Amazon Kindle, so keep them on your radar!

The Grand Sophy

thegrandsophy

Buy it on Amazon: Kindle Edition

Book Description: 

When the redoubtable Sir Horace Stanton-Lacy is ordered to South America on business, he leaves his only daughter Sophy with his sister in Berkeley Square. Newly arrived from her tour of the Continent, Miss Sophia Stanton-Lacy invites herself into the circle of her relatives, the Ombersleys, and Charles Rivenhall, the Ombersley heir, vows to rid his family of her by marrying her off. But vibrant and irrepressible Sophy was no stranger to managing delicate situations. After all, she’d been keeping opportunistic females away from her widowed father for years. But staying with her relatives could be her biggest challenge yet.

When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Beautiful, gay, impulsive, shockingly direct, Sophy swept into elegant London society and scattered conventions and traditions before her like wisps in a windstorm. But Sophy discovers that her aunt’s family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: her uncle is of no use at all, the ruthlessly handsome cousin Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee; lovely cousin Cecelia was smitten with an utterly unsuitable suitor, a poet; cousin Herbert was in dire financial straits; and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom, and she’s arrived just in time to save them all.

What I Think:

The description definitely does this book justice.  It perfectly outlines the book and I loved Sophy as a character, even if I probably emulate more Charles’ awful fiancee.  The schemes she creates and her positive no nonsense attitude are refreshing and entertaining.  It is a super fast and easy read for Spring Break or one to catalog for summer vacation.  Enjoy!

Frederica

frederica-cover

Buy it on Amazon: Kindle Edition

Book Description:

Frederica Merriville and her three siblings have come to London for the glittering social season, in order to give young and beautiful Charis a chance to make a good marriage. Frederica herself, a witty charmer, believes herself happily beyond marriageable age — she is twenty-four, after all. But when they are introduced to London society by their distant “cousin” Lord Alverstoke, Frederica is amazed to finds herself, unknowingly, falling in love. Likewise, Alverstoke, a cold aristocrat, finds himself thoroughly beguiled by Frderica and her young rascally brothers.

What I Think:

Out of the three, Frederica is my favorite.  She seemed to have the most sense and responsibility while retaining just as much wit as her counterparts in the other books.  And I especially enjoyed her brothers, they showed enthusiasm while also showing love and compassion for each other, what a great family!

Venetia 

venetiaBuy it on Amazon: Kindle Edition

Book Description:

At five-and-twenty, Venetia Lanyon despairs of ever meeting the handsome hero of her romantic dreams. Then her long-absent neighbor, Lord Damerel, returns home to Yorkshire. An infamous rake, he is the most scandalous man in all of England and he has set his amorous sights on the lovely Venetia.

Determined to woo and win the fair Venetia, Lord Damerel pursues her with a passionate abandon that is soon the talk of the town. But Venetia has no intention of losing her heart to the rakish lord until she is sure that beneath his swashbuckling ways and shocking manners lies a tender heart belonging to her.

What I Think:

Out of the three, I’ll also admit that Venetia is my least favorite.  In most of the Georgette Heyer books I’ve read, the tall dark and handsome hero is also a total jerk and just happens to like the heroine because she is “curious” and “amusing”.  In this book however, I felt like he was even more lacking in morals than usual.  Either way, I sped through the book and it still garnered 3 stars from me.

 

 

Eve

eveTitle: Eve

Author: Anna Carey

Genre: Dystopian

Buy it on Amazon: Hardcover or Kindle

Book Description:

Sixteen years after a deadly virus wiped out most of Earth’s population, the world is a perilous place. Eighteen-year-old Eve has never been beyond the heavily guarded perimeter of her school, where she and two hundred other orphaned girls have been promised a future as the teachers and artists of the New America. But the night before graduation, Eve learns the shocking truth about her school’s real purpose and the horrifying fate that awaits her.

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Arden, her former rival from school, and Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust… and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.

What I Think:

There is so much out there in the dystopian genre.  Secluded and sometimes naive main characters jump outside of their walls to find out that everything they’ve known is wrong and the head of government is obviously evil and corrupt.  Eve was well executed, but definitely fell into this mold.  I would pick it up if your reading list is short and you need something easy to flip through in an afternoon.  Plus, if you’re a dystopian junkie, this is definitely up your alley.

Scribd vs. Oyster Book Subscription

So I’ve had a few people ask me about book subscriptions and I hadn’t tried them for myself yet, but finally got around to a couple of those free trials.  Check out my thoughts on the two services and how they compare.

oysterBook Selection

Scribd – C+

Oyster – B

At first glance, they both seem to have a lot of the same stuff…if you like to just compare some bestsellers out there.  However, I have particular genres I’m after, particularly Young Adult and Historical/Regency Romance.  As far as YA material, Oyster hands down has a better selection and it recommended several YA books to me that I’ve really enjoyed.  Scribd made up for its lack of YA content with its complete collection of Georgette Heyer’s novels which highly appeal to me.  Overall, neither have quite enough of what I’m looking for in either genre.  The library is still my go-to for books.

scribd-logoSearch Function

Scribd – A-

Oyster – D

Hands down, Scribd wins this category.  It has a easy to use search function on both its app and online.  Oyster’s website lacks any search functionality at all.  I even had my husband jump on to double check that I wasn’t missing something right in front of my face.  It does have search capabilities within its app, but when I was first making up reading lists for my trial, I wanted the ability to look at all of the options online first.  Some things just don’t work as well on a phone and this is one of them.

oysterEase of Use

Scribd – B

Oyster – A

This is completely preference based, but I found it much easier to navigate the pages in Oyster by sliding my finger up than in Scribd by sliding my finger from right to left.  Although, after reading a book on Scribd and then going back to Oyster, it was really annoying that it automatically highlighted material when I accidentally swiped right to left.  Also, I felt like the Oyster app did a better job of loading and saving my place when I switched back and forth using my phone and iPad.

amazonWith all of that said, I think there’s a player that will wipe out both of these subscription services when they come online and that’s Amazon.  I will wait patiently until I see their service come out before I make any commitments to the others.  I MUCH prefer reading on my kindle than on the brighter screen of my phone or iPad.  And likely, since they already have the Amazon Lending Library in play, their materials will be much more varied than either Scribd or Oyster could compete with.

Have you tried out an online book subscription service?  Which one is your favorite?  

Reforming Lord Ragsdale

Title: Reforming Lord Ragsdale

Author: Carla Kelly

Genre: Romance

Buy it on Amazon, paperback or kindle edition

Reforming Lord RagsdaleBook Description:

“Emma Costello owes a debt of honor to one of the most dishonorable lords in the realm. The infamous Lord Ragsdale is as rich as sin, as sinful as he is rich, and as heartless as he is handsome. But after he saves Emma from a life of indentured servitude and shame, she decides that it is her personal duty to save him from his reckless ways . . . without falling in love.”

Book Review: 

The story line doesn’t ring true to the strict regency period (a servant taking control of a situation), but I enjoyed this novel anyway. Emma Costello takes charge of her life and makes her own future. But there were holes in this plot and other things that didn’t quite “fit”. Since this was written in a time and place removed from present day, I felt it could have conformed more to its time and setting. But if you’re looking to escape into a romance for a couple hours and your library has a copy of this novel then by all means read it. After reading this novel, I think I’ll give author Carla Kelly a chance and read another one or two of her novels.

As a warning, the character Lord Ragsdale is crude and vulgar in a few spots!

Better Off Friends

Title: Better Off Friends

Author: Elizabeth Eulberg

Genre: Teen Romance

Buy it on Amazon, hardcover or kindle edition

Better off FriendsBook Description:

“For Macallan and Levi, it was friends at first sight. Everyone says guys and girls can’t be just friends, but these two are. They hang out after school, share tons of inside jokes, their families are super close, and Levi even starts dating one of Macallan’s friends. They are platonic and happy that way.

Eventually they realize they’re best friends — which wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep getting in each other’s way. Guys won’t ask Macallan out because they think she’s with Levi, and Levi spends too much time joking around with Macallan, and maybe not enough time with his date. They can’t help but wonder . . . are they more than friends or are they better off without making it even more complicated?

From romantic comedy superstar Elizabeth Eulberg comes a fresh, fun examination of a question for the ages: Can guys and girls ever really be just friends? Or are they always one fight away from not speaking again — and one kiss away from true love?

Book Review: 

It’s the story of the girl/boy next door. Although predictable at times and super frustrating at others (how can you be so daft, characters!?!), it’s a very cute romance that teens and adults can enjoy. It examines the many faces of romance and the many reactions we can have to it, from fear to denial to acceptance. With some other great messages included (don’t bully!), this novel is one that I would definitely recommend. It’s not earth-shattering, but it’s great for a quick read.