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Review: A Lot Like Love by Julie James (FBI/US Attorney #2) *Light Spoilers*

A Lot like Love

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The FBI wants her cooperation…

As the daughter of a billionaire and the owner of the city’s top wine store, Jordan Rhodes is invited to the most exclusive parties in Chicago. But there’s only one party the FBI wants to crash: the charity fundraiser of a famous restaurateur, who also happens to launder money for the mob. In exchange for her brother’s release from prison, Jordan is going to be there—with a date supplied by the Bureau.

Agent McCall just wants her…

As the top undercover agent in Chicago, Nick McCall has one rule: never get personal. This “date” with Jordan Rhodes is merely an assignment—one they’re both determined to pull off even if they can’t be together for five minutes before the sarcasm and sparks begin to fly. But when Nick’s investigation is compromised, he and Jordan have no choice but to pretend they’re a couple, and what starts out as a simple assignment begins to feel a lot like something more.

The Julie James FBI/US Attorney series glomming continues!

This one was good. I enjoyed it but not as much as books #1 and #5. It was good. Not great but good.

Of course, some of my trepidation maybe related to the fact that I dislike deception in Romance books. I don’t know why, it just makes me all squirmy. While I understood the reason and nature of the deception (Jordan and Nick pretend to be a couple in order to get information to stop mafia related corruption), it still bothered me. Especially since Jordan has to introduce an undercover Nick to her friends under a false identity. She felt bad about deceiving her friends and I felt bad about it, too. I actually took quite some time (for me) to finish reading this one – I kept putting it down due to the deception – but since the deception wasn’t between the hero and heroine I was able to finish the book with too much squirming.
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Reveiw: Something About You (FBI/US Attorney #1) by Julie James

Something About You

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Fate has thrown two sworn enemies…

Of all the hotel rooms rented by all the adulterous politicians in Chicago, female Assistant U.S. Attorney Cameron Lynde had to choose the one next to 1308, where some hot-and-heavy lovemaking ends with a death. And of all the FBI agents in Illinois, it had to be Special Agent Jack Pallas who gets assigned to this high-profile homicide. The same Jack Pallas who still blames Cameron for a botched crackdown three years ago—and for nearly ruining his career.

Into each other’s arms…

Work with Cameron Lynde? Are they kidding? Maybe, Jack thinks, this is some kind of welcome-back prank after his stint away from Chicago. But it’s no joke; the pair is going to have to put their rocky past behind them and focus on the case at hand. That is, if they can cut back on the razor-sharp jibes—and smother the flame of their sizzling-hot sexual tension.

Another winner!

I decided to read Something About You after completing the fifth book in the FBI/US Attorney series, It Happened One Wedding. It Happened One Wedding just charmed me to pieces so I bought the remaining four books in the series ASAP. It was a great decision so far! I really enjoyed Something About You as well.
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2014 Book Purchases: May

I always start the draft for these monthly book purchase updates at the beginning of the month. It gives me a chance to look back over the previous month and encourage myself to do better throughout the coming month.

Update: I went over my book budget by $1.22. That’s not too bad. Not too bad at all… But I still need to work on my spending.

 
 
Cordelia's HonorBook: Cordelia’s Honor
Author: Lois McMaster Bujold
Cost: $0.58
Format: Trade Paperback
Date Purchased: 07-May-2014
Notes: Omnibus Edition, FoF read Shards of Honor as a group for April 2014
 
 
Howl's Moving Castle (trade)Book: Howl’s Moving Castle
Author: Diana Wynne Jones
Cost: $4.75
Format: Trade Paperback
Date Purchased: 07-May-2014
Notes: Gift
 
 
FederationsBook: Federations
Author: John Joseph Adams (Editor)
Cost: $0.01
Format: Trade Paperback
Date Purchased: 08-May-2014
Notes: Picked up on a whim from the library, discovered a short (sequel to The Ship Who Sang) in the Brainship series by McCaffery. HAD to purchase ASAP. Review Here
 
 
BounceBook: Bounce
Author: K.M. Jackson
Cost: $0.99
Format: ePub Ebook
Date Purchased: 12-May-2014
Notes: Dear Author strikes again…
 
 
Bone RiderBook: Bone Rider
Author: J. Fally
Cost: $1.10
Format: ePub Ebook
Date Purchased: 13-May-2014
Notes: Damn Dear Author review! Had to buy after reading the review.
 
 
Beast Master's PlanetBook: Beast Master’s Planet: Omnibus of Beast Master and Lord of Thunder
Author: Andre Norton
Cost: $0.21
Format: Hardback, Omnibus
Date Purchased: 16-May-2014
Notes: Andre Norton Collection
 
 
Blood SongBook: Blood Song (A Raven’s Shadow Novel)
Author:
Cost: $6.94
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 16-May-2014
Notes: FoF May 2014 Group Read, borrowed from library but decided to purchase
 
 
It Happened One WeddingBook: It Happened One Wedding
Author: Julie James
Cost: $6.64
Format: MMPB
Date Purchased:
Notes: OMG! LOVED IT. Found a new author! Review Here

 
 

 
 

May 2014 Totals:
Total Books Purchased: 8
Total Amount Spent: $21.22
Malazan Books Purchased: 0
(M) Amount Spent: $0
(O) Amount Spent: $21.22
Potential Sales Abandoned: 0
Money Saved (Lost Sales): $0.00
May Budget Available (not including Malazan purchases): -(1.22)

Review: It Happened One Wedding by Julie James (FBI/US Attorney #5)

It Happened One Wedding

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SHE KNOWS BETTER THAN TO SAY “I DO”

After a humiliating end to her engagement, investment banker Sidney Sinclair is done with commitment-phobic men. But when her sister winds up engaged after a whirlwind courtship, she’s thrown in to close contact with exactly the kind of sexy playboy she wants to avoid—the gorgeous best man. She’s stuck with him, for better or worse, until her sister walks down the aisle, but that doesn’t mean she has to give in to his smooth advances, no matter how tempting they are…

BUT HE MAKES IT HARD TO SAY “I DON’T”

Special Agent Vaughn Roberts always gets his man on the job and his woman in bed. So Sidney’s refusal to fall for his charms only makes him more determined to win over the cool and confident redhead. Only what starts out as a battle of wills ends up as a serious play for her heart. Because the one woman who refuses to be caught may be the only one Vaughn can’t live without…

I decided I wanted to read this book after it received a Recommended Read tag by Dear Author. Once I made that decision, this book and I did a little dance for some weeks. Amazon and Barnes & Noble sell the ebook version for $5.99…but I have a Kobo. Kobo sells the ebook for $7.99. That made my itchy “buy” fingers slow down. I simply was not going to spend $2 for the privilege of buying the book from Kobo and I almost always compare prices. When you have a book buying habit like mine every penny counts. So I eyed the MMPB a few times. B&N was selling it for $7.99 but Amazon was selling it for $7.19. I stared at it a few times but didn’t buy – I wanted the ebook. Then I saw that Amazon dropped their MMPB price from $7.19 to $6.64. I bought it right away. I have no problem paying more for a paper version but I wasn’t paying $2 more for the ebook just because I own a Kobo and not a Kindle or a nook.

Anyway.

I loved this book! I’ve had a pretty good case of the cranky book fussies lately. Very little has really caught my attention long enough for me to complete a book. It’s been driving me a bit batty, lol. I finally had a chance to crack open It Happened One Wedding on a recent flight and I became seriously annoyed when people (including the suddenly talkative hubby) kept interrupting me. Yaaaay! I love a good read!
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Review: The Ship Who Returned by Anne McCaffrey *spoilers*

Federations

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From Star Trek to Star Wars, from Dune to Foundation, science fiction has a rich history of exploring the idea of vast intergalactic societies, and the challenges facing those living in or trying to manage such societies. The stories in Federations will continue that tradition. What are the social/religious/environmental/technological implications of living in such a vast society? What happens when expansionist tendencies on a galactic scale come into conflict with the indigenous peoples of other planets, of other races? And what of the issue of communicating across such distances, or the problems caused by relativistic travel? These are just some of the questions and issues that the stories in Federations will take on.

Contents:
Introduction by John Joseph Adams
Mazer in Prison by Orson Scott Card
Carthago Delenda Est by Genevieve Valentine
Life-Suspension by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
Terra-Exulta by S.L. Gilbow
Aftermaths by Lois McMaster Bujold
Someone is Stealing the Great Throne Rooms of the Galaxy by Harry Turtledove
Prisons by Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason
Different Day by K. Tempest Bradford
Twilight of the Gods by John C. Wright
Warship by George R.R. Martin and George Guthridge
Swanwatch by Yoon Ha Lee
Spirey and the Queen by Alastair Reynolds
Pardon our Conquest by Alan Dean Foster
Symbiont by Robert Silverberg
The Ship Who Returned by Anne McCaffrey
My She by Mary Rosenblum
The Shoulders of Giants by Robert J. Sawyer
The Culture Archivist by Jeremiah Tolbert
The Other Side of Jordan by Allen Steele
Like They Always Been Free by Georgina Li
Eskhara by Trent Hergenrader
One with the Interstellar Group Consciousnesses by James Alan Gardner
Golubash, or Wine-Blood-War-Elegy by Catherynne M. Valente


“The Ship Who Returned,” which first appeared in the anthology Far Horizons, is a sequel to The Ship Who Sang, part of McCaffrey’s Brain and Brawn Ship series. This story follows Helva, a sentient spaceship with the mind of a human girl, as she deals with the death of her human partner and an emergency return to the planet she had saved years before.

Note: This review is for the short story The Ship Who Returned only. This review will contain serious spoilers for other books in the Brain and Brawn series. Read at your own risk.

I’m a huge fan of Anne McCaffrey’s Brain and Brawn Ship series – well, the ones written by Anne McCaffrey herself, that is. Continue reading

Review: Alta (Dragon Jousters #2) by Mercedes Lackey *Spoilers*

Alta

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National best-selling fantasy legend, Mercedes Lackey created a vivid, dynamic fusion of the Upper and Lower Kingdoms of ancient Egypt with the most exciting, authentic and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined.
In the second novel in Mercedes Lackey’s richly-conceived Dragon Jousters series, the dragonrider Vetch escapes to Alta, the subjugated land of his birth. There, he hopes to teach his people to raise and train dragons-and build an army that will liberate his homeland.

NOTE: This review will contain spoilers for the first book in this series, Joust. If you haven’t read Joust, please do not read this review unless you are ok with spoilers.

This one is cute. I enjoy this book but not as much as Joust.

Alta continues the story of the serf Vetch from Joust. In Alta, Vetch is no longer known as the serf “Vetch.” He is “Kiron, son of Kiron,” a displaced but well-born son of Alta and a dragon rider. Kiron arrives in Alta, gets settled and becomes a jouster-in-training almost immediately. He is also given lessons: reading, writing, philosophy and history. Throughout the book the reader can see Kiron’s change from unlettered serf to educated noble by the way he speaks and carries himself. I felt Lackey did a good job showing Kiron’s maturation.

Kiron has achieved his goal: he is no longer a serf – he is a free Altan and dragon rider. But in Alta all is not what he expected: there’s something rotten at the core of Alta and Kiron seems to get into the midst of things very quickly.
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2014 Book Purchases: April

I always start the draft for these monthly book purchase updates at the beginning of the month. It gives me a chance to look back over the previous month and encourage myself to do better.

I already feel that I’ve spent too much money on books this month – Sad, aren’t I? 🙂

I’m going to have to try harder. But I’m nervous about April because it is my birth month. I always find a way to indulge myself in April…

01-May-2014 Update: Yaaaay! I managed not to go over my $20 budget!!! 😀

Wind-Gone-MadBook: Wind Gone Mad
Author: L. Ron Hubbard
Cost: $2.99
Format: Paperback
Date Purchased: 02-Apr-2014
Notes: Shits & Giggles, plus that cover! O_o

 

 

The Phoenix EndangeredBook: The Phoenix Endangered (The Enduring Flame #2)
Author: Mercedes Lackey, James Mallory
Cost: $4.50
Format: Hardback
Date Purchased: 02-Apr-2014
Notes: Second in a series
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Review: Dealing with Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1) by Patricia C. Wrede

Dealing with Dragons

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Meet Princess Cimorene – a princess who refuses to be proper. She is everything a princess is not supposed to be: headstrong, tomboyish, smart…
And bored.
So bored that she runs away to live with a dragon. And not just any dragon, but Kazul – one of the most powerful and dangerous dragons around. Of course, Cimorene has a way of hooking up with dangerous characters, and soon she’s coping with a witch, a jinn, a death-dealing talking bird, a stone prince and some very oily wizards.
If this princess ran away to finds some excitement, it looks like she’s found plenty!

 

 

This was adorable! I quite enjoyed every minute of this read – and I’ve been a very fussy reader lately.

Cimorene is curious about everything – except those things deemed appropriate for princesses. After being told by her parents she was going to be married off to someone she didn’t want to marry, Cimorene runs away and volunteers to serve a dragon.

One of the things I adored about Dealing with Dragons is that Cimorene gets to be quickly known for her common sense and clear thinking. This is definitely a book I could see giving to a young girl to read! Cimorene isn’t “too good” to do anything, her problem is that everyone wants her to do nothing. Princesses are pretty and ornamental but they don’t learn Latin or magic or sword fighting – everything that Cimorene finds interesting.

Instead of being content with her lot in life, Princess Cimorene takes action. She becomes the servant of a dragon, Kazul, and then proceeds to make herself very comfortable. Kazul expects Cimorene to cook, clean and serve. She also expects Cimorene to know enough (or learn!) to be a Librarian and she trusts Cimorene in her treasure room.

I love that this book explores and embraces being different and experimenting with new and different things until finding what makes you happy.

This was a fun but quick read. It’s much more MG than YA but I loved every second of it. It’s not a book I can see myself re-reading but I would like a copy in my library for future young readers.

Review: Joust (Dragon Jousters #1) by Mercedes Lackey

Joust

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For the first time ever, national best-selling legend Mercedes Lackey draws from her extensive knowlege of animals—and her professional background as an avian expert—to create something truly special…

The most exciting, authentic and believable portrayal of dragons ever imagined.

It is a richly conceived, fully realized vision, inspired by the culture of ancient Egypt, the legends of Atlantis-and the science of animal behavior and biology. This is how dragons would live, breed, hatch, hunt, and bond.

The first book in this thrilling new series introduces readers to a young slave who dreams of becoming a Jouster-one of the few warriors who can actually ride a flying dragon. And so, in secret, he begins to raise his own dragon.

Joust, the first book in Mercedes Lackey’s Dragon Jousters series, is a wonderfully rich re-imagining of ancient Egypt. The story follows a young serf, Vetch, as he slowly gains agency.

Vetch is an Altan serf. He became a serf when Alta lost a major war with their neighbor Tia. Vetch’s father was murdered and the rest of the family were turned into serfs and bound to the land they once owned.

As a serf – which are considered less than slaves – Vetch was severely mistreated. He was beaten, starved and overworked by his master. During one of the many miserable days in which Vetch lived this spirit-breaking life, Dragon Jouster Ari happens to see him. Ari – noticing that Vetch was being mistreated – decides to take him and make Vetch his dragon boy. Dragon boys live in a complex with their dragons, Jousters and support staff. Dragon boys were not mistreated, overworked and they were fed well and regularly. For Vetch, starved as he was, it was like he’d almost reached Heaven.
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B&M Bookstores: Hard Bean Coffee & Booksellers, Annapolis, MD

Hard Bean Coffee & Booksellers
36 Market Space
Annapolis, MD 21401
410-263-8770

My Impression: Hard Bean Coffee & Booksellers is really more of a place to get food and drink rather than a place to shop for books. There are books for sell – but it’s a hodgepodge collection with no real rhyme or reason.
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