Because you can't judge a book by its cover


cemetaryElizabeth Jennings and her fifteen-year-old daughter Claire have relocated from the big city to a tiny town in Virginia so Claire can bring the local newspaper into the digital age. In The Ghost Next Door by Ginny Baird, both Claire and Elizabeth are concerned when it turns out the house they are renting sight unseen is next door to a cemetery.  When creepy things start to happen in the empty house next door, Elizabeth is grateful the sexy single sheriff is there to help her out. But Elizabeth trust her heart to someone who fits in so well in such a small town?

Nathan Thorpe likes taking care of the people in his town and he is content to take care of everyone equally until Elizabeth moves to town, now he finds himself wanting to take of her and Claire and becoming a family. But Nathan knows that he is in Blayton Virginia for a reason, but as that reason becomes clearer will he be able have the family he wants?

Okay, I have to admit that the ending of The Ghost Next Door totally threw me. Baird does a great job of foreshadowing the ending but she does it in such a way that I expected a different ending than what really happened. The romance between Elizabeth and Nathan was sweet and I loved the secondary relationship between Claire and Perry. I found The Ghost Next Door to be an entertaining quick read and I loved the scene where the teenage girls broke into the empty house to scare Claire and managed to freak themselves out instead. The mystery elements are a nice combination with the sweet romance stories in The Ghost Next Door but I have to admit that I am disappointed that we don’t get the romance story of Dan and Belle.

ghost-next-door-e-reader-copy (1)Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon2 NB

Title: Ghost Next Door

Author: Ginny Baird

Format: Paperback,  eBook

Page Nos.: 190


Publisher: Winter Wedding Press

Release Date: August 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


**I received a copy of this book from the author but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Lucy Sheridan left the town of Summer River as a teenager after Mason pulled her from a party claiming she was in danger, now thirteen years later she is returning to Summer River to deal with her deceased aunt’s estate. In River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz, Lucy never expected to run into Mason Fletcher on her first day back in town, last she had heard he was off pursuing a career in law enforcement.

Mason has returned to the town of Summer River to get his head on straight after a case went wrong but he didn’t realize he was sleepwalking until Lucy showed up, jolting him awake and aware. But will the secrets from the night of that party that Mason saved Lucy from come back to haunt to whole town and pull the two of them apart or will they be able to find a murderer in time?

River Road is a return to Jayne Ann Krentz romantic suspense stories, no paranormal elements here (which is one of things I love in some of her other novels). I have to admit, Krentz’s romantic suspense novels have been very hit or miss for me, some I love and some I don’t care much for but River Road is a fabulous tale of murder, passion, and secrets long buried. I was completely surprised by where they find the first body (wasn’t expecting them to find a body that quickly), which is always fabulous when reading a romantic suspense. Lucy’s personality was a bit brusque at times but I still liked her and her no-nonsense approach to the problems in her life. I loved how we got a glimpse of Mason’s potential when he was a teenager and then got to see him live up to that potential with a few bumps along the way. I devoured River Road pretty quickly and enjoyed every suspenseful moment.

You can read an excerpt here.

river roadRating:Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: River Road

Author: Jayne Ann Krentz

Format: Hardbound, eBook

Page Nos.: 352


Publisher: Penguin

Release Date: January 7, 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


**I received a copy of this book from the publisher but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.


Here in America it is Thanksgiving week. For me this means time spent eating way too much yummy food (completely ignoring the fact that I have several pounds left to lose before I will be able to fully fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes), time spent with the family (love to see them and love to leave them after a couple of days) and time spent in the car traveling to see the family. For me, this also means some down-time where I get to tackle some of my ridiculous TBR pile (so much to read, so little time). So I thought I would share with all of you some (notice I say some and not all) of the books I am hoping to read this coming week.

enders gameEnder’s Game by Orson Scott Card

In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut—young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.

Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.

erasedErased by Jennifer Rush

They thought they had escaped. They were wrong.
After fleeing the Branch with Sam, Cas, and Nick, Anna is trying to make sense of the memories resurfacing from her old life. At the same time, she’s learning how to survive in hiding, following Sam’s rules: Don’t draw attention to yourself. Always carry a weapon. Know your surroundings. Watch your back.

     Then a figure from Anna’s childhood reappears. Is it a Branch setup, or could it be the reunion Anna has hoped for? Uncertain of where her loyalties lie, Anna must fight to learn the truth — before she is betrayed again. Ultimately, the answers hinge on one question: What was the real reason her memories were erased?
This is the second book in the Altered series (you can find my review of the first book here).

the ghost next doorThe Ghost Next Door by Ginny Baird


When destiny takes a hand…
You’ve got to hold on tight.

When single mom Elizabeth Jennings gets sent to a new town to revamp its weekly paper, she resists. Her daughter Claire is just fifteen, and has recently started high school. But Elizabeth’s boss insists, so the two pack up and move to the tiny Virginia town, which isn’t even on most maps. Their luck goes from bad to worse when they discover the house Elizabeth rented online cozies up to an abandoned house. When creepy things start occurring next door, Elizabeth’s glad to have the small-town sheriff in their corner. Nathan Thorpe is not just a stand-up guy they can trust, he’s cool to have around when things go bump in the night. Elizabeth also learns he’s good at holding her tight. And, when she’s wrapped in his arms, she becomes afraid of more than ghostly happenings. She fears she’s losing her heart.

Like most folks in Blayton, Nathan Thorpe is here for a reason. Only, he didn’t fully understand what that reason was until a stunning brunette and her daughter came to town. Nathan’s immediately drawn to Elizabeth and feels motivated to protect her and Claire, believing that means shielding them from nonsensical small-town lore. With Halloween approaching, there are rumors swirling about concerning the old Fenton place located across the street from the graveyard, and next to the newer home occupied by the Jennings. Nathan’s a calm thinker who can find a rational explanation for almost anything. Yet there are deeper mysteries in Blayton than Nathan can explain. When he learns the truth, will he still be able to hold onto the woman he loves?

cold spellCold Spell by Jackson Pearce

     Kai and Ginny grew up together–best friends since they could toddle around their building’s rooftop rose garden. Now they’re seventeen, and their relationship has developed into something sweeter, complete with stolen kisses and plans to someday run away together.
     But one night, Kai disappears with a mysterious stranger named Mora–a beautiful girl with a dark past and a heart of ice. Refusing to be cast aside, Ginny goes after them and is thrust into a world she never imagined, one filled with monsters and thieves and the idea that love is not enough.
If Ginny and Kai survive the journey, will she still be the girl he loved–and moreover, will she still be the girl who loved him?
Iinnocent bloodnnocent Blood by James Rollins and Rebecca Cantrell
     A vicious attack at a ranch in California thrusts archaeologist Erin Granger back into the folds of the Sanguines, an immortal order founded on the blood of Christ and tasked with protecting the world from the beasts haunting its shadows and waiting to break free into the sunlight.  Following the prophetic words found in the Blood Gospel–a tome written by Christ and lost for centuries–Erin must join forces with Army Sergeant Jordan Stone and the dark mystery that is Father Rhun Korza to discover and protect a boy believed to be an angel given flesh.But an enigmatic enemy of immense power and terrifying ambition seeks the same child–not to save the world, but to hasten its destruction.  For any hope of victory, Erin must discover the truth behind Christ’s early years and understand His first true miracle, an event wrapped in sin and destruction, an act that yet remains unfulfilled and holds the only hope for the world.
The search for the truth will take Erin and the others across centuries and around the world, from the dusty plains of the Holy Land to the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean, from the catacombs of Rome to an iron fortress in the Mediterranean Sea, and at last to the very gates of Hell itself, where their destiny–and the fate of mankind–awaits.
Okay, so I probably won’t be able to get to all of these gems this week but I will do my best. :-) What fabulous reads do you have lined up for this holiday week?

School Starts

Sophronia survived her first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality (Etiquette & Espionage you can read my review here), getting away with stealing a device, Sophronia is prepared to knuckle down to her studies. In Curtsies & Conspiracies by Gail Carriger those studies include poisons, the proper way to curtsy and proper protocol for dealing with supernatural members of society all while traveling in a floating dirigible.

With an unexpected trip to London and several boys from the neighboring school for evil genius, Sophronia should be busy.  But as usual, something clandestine is going on the school and it is up to Sophronia to figure out what it is before the long-term implications for society and the paranormal society take a turn for the worse.

Curtsies takes up where Ettiquette leaves off but where Ettiquette is a fun lighthearted humorous adventure story, Curtsies takes on a more serious note by the end of the novel with Sophronia growing as a spy and about living with the consequences of her actions. Just because she can achieve something without getting caught, should she?! Sophronia has grown, now 15, and I think Carriger has done a fabulous job having her age appropriately, getting more interested in boys and more adult but with enough light-hearted youthfulness to keep the reader quickly turning pages. Gail Carriger’s humor, interesting and, at times, ridiculous characters make her series (both the Finishing School and The Parasol Protectorate) a must read for me. I love how Sophronia jumps from level to level outside in the dirigible in her bustle and dress. I highly recommend this series and am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the Finishing School series.

While you could start the series with Curtsies & Conspiracies (Gail gives a little explanation about prior events) I honestly think you need to read Etiquette & Espionage first to really  understand what is going on and the history of all the main characters.

You can read an excerpt here.

There is a really fun website at Finishing School where you can apply to attend.

Finishing School Reading Order:

Etiquette & Espionage

Curtsies & Conspiracies

curtsies and conspiraciesRating: Star 4copy

Content:favicon no background

Title: Curtsies & Conspiracies 

Author: Gail Carriger

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 313


Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Release Date: November 5, 2013

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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