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LizH's 2013 book totals

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message 1: by LizH (last edited Jul 14, 2013 09:32AM) (new)

LizH (liz_h) | 52 comments Hard a hard time with quantity vs quality when trying to make my 100 goal for 2012. Although I made it, I don't think I will try so hard for 2013. Seems silly to post in the 50 club, because I know I will read more than that, just probably not 100 again. So, here we go:

1.THREAD OF SUSPICION by Jeff Shelby **** 2nd book in Joe Tyler series, ex-cop comes closer to finding his daughter. Love the characters, love the suspense, can't wait for the next one.
2. CHINA TRADE by SJ Rozan. ***1/2 First book in series, can see lots of potential. Mystery involving stolen China porcelain in Chinatown. Kept me guessing and made me crave Chinese food. Will continue series!
3. FALL OF GIANTS by Ken Follett **** Great book, looking forward to the next. The politics got a bit much, but I loved the characters. Nice twist that they were mostly European, liked the war from their perspectives.
4. THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE by Lene Kaaberbol**** Very different mystery told from several different characters with a little bit being revealed each time, until it all finally meshed in a surprising end.
5. STORM FRONT by Jim Butcher *** I really like the main character, but this might just be too wizardy for me. Might try the next one...
6. THE SUGAR QUEEN by Sarah Addison Allen****Loved this book, although it was very close to too much "magic". Interesting how several story lines and characters were intertwined. It was fun to progress thru this book.
7. CONCOURSE by SJ Rozan ****Was really surprised to find the book from Bill's voice. Didn't know they alternate. Lots of mystery, like the set up, like the additional characters in this one. On to the next...
8. NOTORIOUS NINETEEN by Janet Evanovich *** This was more of a mystery than her previous books, so I liked it more, and I feel she is moving closer to Morelli and Ranger, but still no decision yet. Getting so tired of this series, but yet I still read them?
9. SECRETS OF THE LOST SUMMER by Carla Neggers *** Woman tries to rebuild her life after getting burned in business by a friend. She gets involved in a mystery with her new, rich neighbor. depth of characters are pretty non-existant. Not a bad story, but I don't think I will waste my time with the next one. The author tried hard to write well, but the setting not interesting enough, and the characters not strong enough.
10. THE BRONZE HORSEMAN By Paullina Simmons *****Amazing love story in Russia during the war...Tatiana and Alexander, they rank right up there with Claire and Jamie, Eve and Roarke, Patrick and Angie. All the great loves.
11. TATIANA AND ALEXANDER by Paullina Simmons ***Didn't like this as much as the first, had a lot of background on both MC's and not enough togetherness! Will read the 3rd one.
12. CALCULATED IN DEATH by J.D. Robb ***Pretty standard stuff with this one, very ordinary, mundane, sameness. Slightly disappointed. This is the first time I think I am bored with this series.
13. MANDARIN PLAID by SJ Rozan ****This was a 3.5 for me, but I upped it to four since we can't do 1/2 stars. This series keeps getting better and better. Liked the mystery in this one, kept me guessing til the end. This one is from Lydia's point of view, and it was good to be with her, but looking forward to the next one with Bill's p.o.v.
14.TEN DAYS OF PERFECT by Andrea Randall ***Where do I begin with this book. It was so close to a 4 and maybe even a 5, but nope. No way. It started out as mindless drivel, then got really good, and then ended badly. Very badly, as in, I think I will write a new book and just keep going and leave the reader very unsatisfied. Just didn't ring true. **Spoiler - you don't give up on your one true love because there was a small trust issue. Communicate, work thru it, but don't end the book so the 2nd book can come out and she has 2 decide between her old boyfriend and her new true love that she dumped. UGH!! Can't decide if I will read the next one, not sure if it will be worth my time.
15. LOWCOUNTRY BOIL by Susan Boyer ****There were several things I didn't like about this book, I thought the writing was clunky and the ghost was way too informative and always gave the clues exactly when needed, the men were weak or at least not developed enough to be strong and the women were a little on the vindictive side.
However, I did really enjoy the mystery which was filled with twist and turns and good family intrigue. Will continue on this this series, although I will have to wait awhile for the next book.
16. BAREFOOT SEASON by Susan Mallery ****Started slow, but got good as the story went along. 2 sworn enemies work together to save the inn that the MC inherited. Liked the setting, liked the characters, will continue series.
17. PORCH LIGHTS by Dorothea Benton Frank ***Woman returns to her childhood home with her son to recover from the death of her husband and her military service. Loved the characters, love the Lowcountry setting, just thought this moved kinda slow. But ha, go figure.
18. RECKLESS ABANDON by Andrea Randall****Would have renamed this book Decisions, decisions. This book grabbed me from page one, and I kept reading until I was done. Still a little on the rough side with writing, and a few cheesy lines, but overall a good enough story to keep me reading until 2 am. Was surprised by the death...didn't see it coming, and truly didn't think the author had to do that, why not a severe injury instead?. Would have had same effect. Not sure if I will pursue her other book, I need more depth, but this was very good fluff!
19. THE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich ***Started out as an engaging coming-of-age story about a boy who's mother is attacked and raped, and how the family deals with this. Good story as there is somewhat of a mystery involved, but depressing, then very drawn out. Was gonna rate it 4 stars until the last 100 pages.
20. THE WANDERER by Robyn Carr ****Ah, romance. Boy finds girl, they fall in love, deny that it can ever work, and then it does. Easy going story, love Robyn Carr's settings and characters. They feel like old friends. Will continue with this series, of course.
21. WHISKEY BEACH by Nora Roberts *** I would have probably rated this a 4, as it is Nora, and she is my very favorite. But I was a little disappointed. It was a little too convenient, caretaker of the house ends up falling for the grandson who is recovering from being accused of his wife's murder. The mystery part was good, but I had it figured out early, and it really really dragged to the very end. About 100 pages too long, plot too convenient, and just not really up to my Nora standards. It was a good read, just slow and predictable.
22.23.24.HOT SECRETS; DANGEROUS SECRETS; SECRETS EXPOSED *** all by Lisa Renee Jones. Sex, more sex, plot, sex, characters, plot and more sex. It did hold my interest through all 3 books, so I guess I just needed some mindless drivel for a week or so :)
25. NO COLDER PLACE by SJ Rozan ****Another great installment in this series, from Bill's point of view. Lots of good twists that had me guessing, and is it my imagination, or are Bill and Lydia getting closer?
26. THE DEAD DON'T DANCE by Charles Martin **** Beautifully written full of emotion, love, loss, and above all never giving up hope. Should be 4.5 stars, too good to be just a 4, not quite a 5. There are some many reasons why he is one of my favorite authors, his writing is top notch!
27. THE THIRD RAIL by Michael Harvey *** 1/2.Love the Chicago setting, lived there for many years and I miss it! I lived there when this crash happened, and even though i was young, it was very concerning to me! Liked the main character, the plot and of course the twists! Will continue with this series that I have neglected. Would rate it a 3.5
28. LOOKING FOR ME by Beth Hoffman 4.5/5 Another book that should be 4.5 stars. Although I didn't love it as much as I did Saving Ceecee Honeycutt, I was unable to put it down. A little bit of everything, mystery, romance, chick lit, I liked the characters and loved the highly described setting of Charleston. Makes me want to live there. The thing that strikes me the most about this book, is the truly kind and gentle voice of Beth Hoffman's writing. She is unlike any other, and I will joyfully continue to read everything she writes!!
29. SNATCHED by Karin Slaughter 5/5 Slaughter at her best, very fast pace as Will discovers a kidnapping in progress and they race to save the child. Couldn't put it down as it grabs you from the first page until the last.
30. BUSTED by Karin Slaughter 4/5 Quick novella by Slaughter. Classic, fast paced, with a good twist or two, liked her other novella much better, but again it is Slaughter, so I like anything she writes.
31. BENEATH THE SECRETS by Lisa Renee Jones 2/5 This book deals with the third more mysterious brother. Having read the other 2, I knew this would be the same sex, plot, sex, plot, sex and more sex book, but I think I got tired of these kids of books. Need a break!
32. A BITTER FEAST by SJ Rozan 3/5 Another installment from Lydia's point of view. This was just ok for me, but I liked the mystery and twist. Will continue on...
33. MAGGIE by Charles Martin 5/5 This is the sequel to Dead Don't Dance, and even though I wasn't sure about reading this one, I couldn't help but not because I needed to know how their story continued and ended. Gotta love when a book brings you to tears for the last 50 pages. Yup, once again Charles Martin, your writing is brilliant, making me feel such emotion for people that aren't real.
34. SAND CASTLE BAY by Sherryl Woods 4/5 High school sweethearts reunited after 10 years. Lots of angst about should we or shouldn't we, but with any good romance, you can't fight love. 1st in a 3 book series, will continue on, of course :)
35. THE ESKIMO HUNTS NEW YORK by Stefan Kanfer 4/5Ex Navy seal and now special agent gets suspected of murder and is hunted in New York while he is hunting the Russians in a discount/bad manufacturing drug ring. Very good twist, caught me by surprise! This is a NTMA, will stick with this series as well.
36.WIND CHIME POINT by Sherryl Woods 3.5/5 2nd book in the series, this time one of the sisters is pregnant and the local craftsman falls in love with her despite losing his wife and unborn child several years ago. She is fiercely independent and ambitious but all that changes once she is pregnant and the father drops her and she is fired from her job. So the usual dilemma ensues, should we, shouldn't we. Blah Blah Blah, BUT, I do like the characters, I do like the ease of a quiet read, so yes, will continue this series as well.
37. OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE by Neil Gaiman 4/5 This was my first venture with Gaiman, and while not my genre, I was totally drawn in from the very beginning and couldn't put it down until the last page. Loved the Hempstock women, all knowing, mystical and gentle yet with enough power and heart to take care of what they need to. Very intriguing read. This one will stick with me for awhile.

message 2: by LizH (last edited Aug 02, 2013 02:38PM) (new)

LizH (liz_h) | 52 comments 38.THE NEWCOMER by Robynn Carr 3/5 Several wordy spots, easily could have been 100-150 pages shorter, less conversation, more plot. The title doesn't make sense because I am not sure who the newcomer is, but still a good book from Robyn Carr. I will continue this series, as always.
39. ON THE ISLAND by Nancy Garvis-Graves 4/5 Several wordy spots, easily could have been 100-150 pages shorter, less conversation, more plot. The title doesn't make sense because I am not sure who the newcomer is, but still a good book from Robyn Carr. I will continue this series, as always.
40.SEA GLASS ISLAND by Sherryl Woods 3/5 The last in the series, took forever to finally get the two (I love you but can't commit) together. Though there was an interesting twist, thought it came way too late in the book
41. UNSEEN by Karin Slaughter 5/5 Slaughter serves up her usual scary roller coaster, speeding bullet, edge of your seat, out of control runaway freight train in her latest book. Lots of emotions, good and bad and then the OMG, what about...that makes your stomach drop. Love this writer, love her books.
42. SUMMER RENTAL by Mary Kay Andrews 3/5 Loved this book, hated this book. Really wanted more of Ellis, and less of the rest. Good try with the mystery of Maryn, but didn't like that it was quickly added at the end. Good characters, weak characters. This could have been so much better with more focus on one main story line, and the rest as fillers. Pretty disappointed overall as I waited a couple of years to read this.

message 3: by LizH (last edited Aug 31, 2013 12:55PM) (new)

LizH (liz_h) | 52 comments 43. UNBROKEN by Laura Hillenbrand 4/5 Love how this author brings history to life. Amazing story about how much the human spirit can endure and then the mental capacity to deal with the torture during and after. Well done by making the characters come to life.
44. BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by S.J. Watson 3/5 Sort of a Fifty First Dates in book form, without the humor. A woman can't remember anything, and then loses what she learns throughout the day when she goes to sleep each night. A compelling read, but the inconsistencies drove me crazy! So could have used a better editor. As the plot developed and we learn what happened to her and how, it became more implausible. Still not a bad read.
45. JUST ONE KISS by Susan Mallory 4/5 Good to be back with the characters from Fool's Gold. Got away from this series because I thought they we all becoming too similar. This one was one of the better ones. But as usual, typical romance, guy and girl reunited 10 years after high school. Guy came back because he couldn't resist her, girl never got over her crush. He can't commit because he has a dangerous job and past, she will always love him.
46. A COLD DAY IN PARADISE by Steve Hamilton 4/5 Thrilled with the beginning of this series. Can't wait to get to the rest! Quick paced, fully developed characters, great mystery, very good suspense! Private investigator, ex-cop deals with psycho who models himself after freaky guy who shot him and killed his partner.
47.WINTER OF THE WOLF MOON by Steve Hamilton 2nd in the series, keeps the tension with plot twists. Really beginning to like Prudell. Like how Alex isn't a private investigator, and yet is. On to book 3.
48. THE GOOD WOMAN by Jane Porter 2/5 Was super disappointed in this one. Was recommended by a friend so I tried hard to like it, but the only character I liked was the guy who the main character had an affair with. He at least had not only a backbone, but some pride as well! Story about sisters who get together, but they all have some sort of marital problems, including the mc who is neglected. So she wanders. Drivel. :(
49. THE HUNTING WIND by Steve Hamilton 3/5 Not my favorite...not sure why I didn't like this one. Could have been influenced by other reviews, could have been the pacing. McKnight tries to help an old baseball buddy but of course there are several twists and turns.
50. TWO OF A KIND by Susan Mallory Another installment, good installment, but not one of my favorites...good twist with adding the kid, yet the denial was disturbing. How can u believe you are not capable of emotion if a child enters the picture?
51. NORTH OF NOWHERE by Steve Hamilton 3/5 Another one that wasn't my favorite, getting a but tired of the I'm-not-a-PI-but-I-keep-getting-involved-with-weird-bad-guys. Will continue with the series, but maybe I need a break.

message 4: by LizH (last edited Sep 29, 2013 11:59AM) (new)

LizH (liz_h) | 52 comments 52. THE HERO by Robyn Carr 4/5 Good 3rd book in series, there is so many more connections she can build, so there must be more books coming. I don't think the men are as strong as in the Virgin River series, but this series is pretty easy on the brain power and still about 100 pages too long.
53. THE YONAHLOSSEE RIDING CAMP FOR GIRLS by Anton DiSclafani 4/5 This was an interesting story, and I enjoyed how the back story evolved. It was very slow moving, but I think that is what I liked about it. I had no problem putting it down, and while it didn't call to me to pick it back up, it did whisper softly that I needed to keep reading. I would have liked the ending to be a bit more developed, but I think this book will stick with me while.
54. THANKLESS IN DEATH by J.D. Robb 4/5 So good to be back with Eve and Roarke! Excellent pacing on this one, had be on the edge of my seat racing to finish this. Love that with each book Eve becomes more accepting of people :)
55. LOWCOUNTRY BOMBSHELL by Susan Boyer. 4/5 Thought the writing was better in this one than the first, still really like the characters, loved the mystery. Got a little tired of the the Marilyn Monroe look-a-like thing, but that was part of the mystery, altho I could have done without it. Am looking forward to her next book, as her writing should improve again.

message 5: by LizH (last edited Nov 01, 2013 07:06AM) (new)

LizH (liz_h) | 52 comments 56. A PERFECT EVIL by Alex Kava 4/5 I really liked this book, as it kept me on the edge of my seat throughout most of the book, but it was extremely predictable. I knew who the killer was early, I knew who the next victim would be, and I knew how it would end. But, great mc and will continue this series eagerly!
57. THREAD OF BETRAYAL by Jeff Shelby 3/5 Good closure to this series, but there was so much left on the table. So many unanswered questions, very surprised as abrupt ending.
58. OUTLANDER by Diana Gabaldon - listened to on audio.

message 6: by LizH (last edited Nov 30, 2013 04:54PM) (new)

LizH (liz_h) | 52 comments 59. SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE by Jill Shalvis 3/5, maybe more a 4... Hot sexy drivel...mindless entertainment, yet I continued through the book, and have grabbed the 2nd in the series. I think I like the men much more than the women in this series. They are wise, patient, and understanding. Nice.
60. THE SWEETEST THING by Jill Shalvis 3/5 Really a 3.5, still not liking the female characters, but loving the men in this series. Kinda hokey, kinda sappy, but a good quick read. Will continue the series.
61. HEAD OVER HEELS by Jill Shalvis 3/5 Continuation of the story, now the 3rd sister. Got tired of the asthma angel, but it did work. Towards the end there started to be some plot lines that were added and didn't go anywhere. Could have done with better editing on this one. Will take a break from this series but will continue.62.
62. THROUGH THE EVIL DAYS by Julia Spencer Fleming 5/5 Wow, what a ride!! Non- stop action!! I have been sitting on the edge of my seat almost all of the book! Did not not see the ending coming, thought it would go differently for so many of the issues. Wow. Stunned. Cannot wait for the next book, but as usual, it will be awhile :(
63. THE DARK WITCH by Nora Roberts 3/5 Not my favorite Nora, nor my favorite series of her. I could blame it on the genre, as I am not fond of this genre, but unfortunately I mostly have to blame it on the writing. Most of the time I had a really hard time trying to figure out who was saying what, and to whom, and had to re-read most of the passages through out the book to help sort it out. Never the less, it is Nora, so that means great characters, great plot, even if very predictable. I don't think you can go into the first book of a trilogy and think that the evil will be defeated in the first book. Anyway, a disappointment, but still a good read.
64. ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes 5/5 This book will definitely be in my top 5 for the year. The MC is hired to be an aide/companion to a quadriplegic. This book deals with relationships, stereotypes, assisted suicide, hopes, dreams, disappointment, devastation, joy and love. Wow. I am filled with so many thoughts and emotions after reading this book. It's gonna take me a little while to fully process everything I am feeling!
65. LUCKY IN LOVE by Jill Shalvis 2/5 Started out really stupid and sappy, then just continued with sappy, with occasional stupidity. Cannot believe the MC's have sex so quickly! Seems to be a theme in her books! Like, meet some hot guy, and then within an hour or so of meeting him, have sex! Anyway,the book did get better, but not by much. So far my least favorite, and now I am not sure I will continue with this series.

message 7: by LizH (last edited Jan 01, 2014 11:07AM) (new)

LizH (liz_h) | 52 comments 66. SPLIT SECOND by Alex Kava 2/5 2nd in the series, seems to be more hard-boiled than the first. Not sure I can continue this series, but I might try. Romance continues, sort of, and then is abruptly stopped. I am still not overly enamored with Maggie yet.
67. AT LAST by Jill Shalvis 3/5 This one was one of the better books in the series to date. They didn't jump into bed right away, and actually there was a little plot this time. They are such simple light reads, I confess I must continue.
68. FOREVER AND A DAY by Jill Shalvis 4/5 Definitely the best of the series to date. I still have issues with the women being stupid and helpless, and in steps the all knowing, strong silent man. However, I did really like the complications the 2 mc's faced, but got tired of some of their constant interruptions. But any book that can keep me up reading until 1 am when I have to work the next day is worth 4 stars.
69. THE FIFTH WITNESS by Michael Connelly 4/5 Another great installment in the Haller series. Love Mickey! Good mystery, good pacing, and a nice little twist at the end. Should have seen it coming, but I didn't!
70. IT HAD TO BE YOU by Jill Shalvis 2.5/5 Disappointed in this one. The mystery was a good one, but I am getting a little tired of the helpless females!
71. ORPHAN TRAIN by Christina Baker Kline 4.5/5 Very interesting! I loved how the author weaved the 2 mc's stories together. Great couple of surprises in the middle. Did not see the ending coming, but loved it.This was a book that constantly called to me to be read.
72. SIX YEARS by Harlen Coben 4/5 Edge of your seat Coben! Always searching, always wondering. Are things truly what they seem, and if not, why? My only complaint would be that the ending was exactly how you thought it should be.
73. ALWAYS ON MY MIND by Jill Shalvis 3/5 Not good, not bad. Definitely formulaic! But a good easy read during the craziness of the holidays.
74. THREE LITTLE WORDS by Susan Mallory 2.5/5 Good to be back in fool's Gold, until I remembered why I left. Tired of the men not wanting to commit, even though they have fallen hopelessly in love but didn't know it. Ugh! I did skim alot of this book! Got to admit though, the sex was good!
75. THE BOOK OF SOMEDAY by Dianne Dixon 3/5 I am starting out at 3 stars but may change it to 4. Separate stories interwoven until the end. It got a little confusing dealing with the time differences, and if I had paid more attention to those, it might have been a different read and rating. Lots of unanswered questions with this one. Would make an excellent book club read.

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