Novel Reaction

Because you can't judge a book by its cover

words out of book

Do you ever find yourself lost in a series of books? It doesn’t even have to be the same series of books, you just find yourself caught up in the story, the flow of words, the adventure. Well, that is where I have been for the last couple of weeks. I would think “One more page and then I will go write that review I need to write or prepare a blog posting” and then I blinked and it has been a shocking three weeks since I last logged into Novel Reaction. I blame the public library. Seriously, any place that will someone to check out a total of 30 items at a time (print and ebook) is just bound to get a person in trouble. :-) And of course, because my son loves it (wink, wink), we have to go back at least once a week and I find myself behaving like Golem from The Lord of the Rings, grabbing the books off the shelves and petting them while whispering “My precious”. Honestly, this last visit I decided I was going to only get one print book, just one mind you! I am a strong woman. I have successfully completed Grad school, have passed the AZ Bar to become an attorney, both very difficult things that required disciple and yet, I am almost ashamed to admit it, I came home with eight print books and received an email letting me know the two ebooks I put on hold were available for download. *hangs head in shame* Apparently, I have no self control when it comes to books. Now for the more important question that I am sure you are asking yourself, what I have a read lately? Well, I am going to share with you some (just some mind you) of the books that I enjoyed, some of which will get reviewed some of which will not. I don’t review everything I read for two reasons, 1) I read ALOT and I mean ALOT (since getting my library card three weeks ago I have read 4 ebooks and 15 print novels not counting my reread of 4 books and 2 review copies) and 2) I want book reviewing to remain something I enjoy and so not forcing myself to analytically focus on everything I read but to simply enjoy the pleasure of a good book keeps it fun and interesting for me. Of course, anything amazing I come across I share with all of you. :-)

The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts (Second book in the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy)

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist—and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery McTavish… 
Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation—and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent. 
As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected—and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last… 

The Darkest Night by Gena Showalter (First book in the Lords of the Underworld series)

They dared to open Pandora’s Box, and now must carry an eternal curse. New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter’s incredible Lords of the Underworld series begins in a remote fortress in Budapest, where six immortal warriors, each more dangerously seductive than the last, are bound by an ancient curse none has been able to break. Journey through this dark and sensual world, where the line between good and evil blurs and true love is put to the ultimate test. Bundle includes: The Darkest Night, The Darkest Kiss and The Darkest Pleasure.

All her life, Ashlyn Darrow has been tormented by voices from the past. To end the nightmare, she has come to Budapest seeking help from men rumored to have supernatural abilities, not knowing she’ll be swept into the arms of Maddox, their most dangerous member—a man trapped in a hell of his own.

Neither can resist the instant hunger that calms their torments…and ignites an irresistible passion. But every heated touch and burning kiss will edge them closer to destruction—and a soul-shattering test of love….

I Thee Wed by Amanda Quick (Second Book in the Vanza series)

It isn’t easy making a living as a lady’s companion when one possesses a sharp tongue and an original mind. That’s why Emma Greyson has gone through three such positions in six months. Her current post at a tiresome country house party has her bored to tears—until an extraordinary encounter with the legendary Edison Stokes leads to a secret position as his assistant.

Stokes is on a peculiar mission, searching for an anonymous thief who has stolen an ancient book of arcane potions. He suspects his quarry is among the party’s guests—and that the villain is looking for an intuitive woman on whom to test a certain elixir. A woman just like Emma…

For Emma, the new post brings unexpected passion and chilling danger. But when murder strikes, she realizes the awful truth. Unless she and Edison devise a scheme to outwit a merciless killer, she could forever lose the man of her dreams—and even her very life….

So what have you been reading this lovely summer? Anything fabulous I need to add to my TBR pile?

Recently, in an attempt to save some money by not purchasing every child’s book I see for my son, he and I made a visit to the Scottsdale Civic Center Public Library. I don’t know if it is because I spent way too much of the last twelve years of my life in University Libraries or if it is because I grew up in a fairly rural area of Utah (St. George to be exact) and my memories of the library are of a small library but let me say that I LOVED it!! Their children’s section is in a wing by itself with a large foam castle with “reading towers” inside (wanted to climb inside with a copy of a Nancy Drew novel and just read in a way that I always wanted to as a child), an incredibly large number of children’s books and, my absolute favorite, board books that you can check out for small children. (Which is fabulous since my son is not to be trusted with real books at only 8 months of age, granted you do have to watch out for the ones that stick but still, board books!)  I was delighted to discover that they offer a children’s story time for children under the age of 2, James and I plan on attending it a couple of hours after this post goes live.

While I could wax poetically about the children’s section and what they have to offer for even longer, it was really the romance section (and the covered parking, I live in Phoenix and the fact that I can park in shade means I will continue to drive to this library) that really sold me on this library becoming my library. Growing up in a smaller community, when I started reading more mainstream romance novels, I was devastated when I went to the library only to discover they had only about 40 books in their “romance” section and they valued them so little that you didn’t even have to check them out, you were just asked to only take four at a time and bring them back whenever. (This attitude towards romance novels and romance readers I have ranted about at length so I won’t bore you with that here but think about how that made this teenage avid reader feel about her reading choices but I digress!) From the rural public library I then moved to spending time at University and then eventually a law school library where I don’t think they even knew what contemporary fiction was, let alone romance novels. But the Scottsdale Library had 13, that’s right 13 bookshelves, front and back, of just romance novels. I felt like I had found some long lost friends! I gleefully started to wander up and down the aisles, desperately trying to decide what I could and couldn’t take home with me to read (and what I owned and didn’t own) but only made it through three before my chunky monkey decided he was done of the day. But don’t worry, I was able to find three books for me to take home before he became too distractive to other library patrons.

I am so excited to have rediscovered the public library and look forward to spending many an enjoyable hour there. Do you have library you love?

Follow Mr. Rally and his trusty sidekick as they dig all day in this read-along adventure! As he gets ready to dig, Mr. Rally counts his five different jobs for the day, and little ones can count with him while he makes his way across town.

Dig! is a cute construction story. I really like how the story rhymes but not obnoxiously so. There are certain phrases that are repeated throughout the story which makes it more familiar for the really young child being read to. In addition to being able to count the jobs Mr. Rally does, his dog gets a bone in each scene that will easily allow interaction of the child in finding where Lightning is getting the bones and counting them along with the counting of the jobs.

The art work is cute with several things going on on each page but not enough that it overwhelms the child and they can’t focus on specific items on the page.

Dig! is currently my son’s favorite book (he is eight months old), I have read it so many times that I can recite the entire thing by memory but he loves it. If I am reading him another book and Dig! is where he can see it, he will sit there and stare at Dig!, ignoring the book I am currently reading to him,until I pick it up and read it to him, he loves it that much.

digRating: Star 5copy

Title: Dig!

Author: Andrea Zimmerman and David Clemesha

Artist: Marc Rosenthal

Format: Board Book, Hardcover

Page Nos.: 30

ISBN: 978-0544173880

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: February 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

rural floridaPaige Morrison has had a rough few months, first she lost her job, then her boyfriend, and now she has been forced by her circumstances to move in with her retired parents who have moved to rural Florida. In Undone by Shannon Richards, Paige finds herself struggling to fit into the small town life of Mirabelle besides the difficulty of finding a job, but then she meets sexy mechanic Brendan and seems start to look up. But will she be able to overcome the secrets that lie between the two of them to finally accept the love she is looking for?

Brendan has always lived in Mirabelle and while he loves it he understands how the gossip and small town mentality can be difficult for someone like Paige, from a big city to adjust to. Brendan finds himself drawn to the artsy Paige with her sexy shoes and mouthy personality. But as the two of them drawn closer together will they be able to move beyond the secrets between them or will their love be undone?

Undone is the debut novel by Shannon Richard. I enjoyed it for the most part, the dialogue between Brendan and Paige was entertaining and the secondary characters in Mirabelle are entertaining if a bit sporadic in their behavior (her co-workers especially felt a little sporadic) but the set up of the small town and the cast of characters was well done. Genre wise I would put Shannon Richard in the same genre as Jill Shalvis or Mariah Stewart. I felt like the relationship between Paige and Brendan drug on a little long in the middle with a bit of unnecessary coverage of their dating (especially with a book that is 416 pages long). That being said, it was a fairly good novel and I plan on reading the next book in the series to see how Grace and Jaxson’s relationship works itself out. Undone does have its funny moments, like when Paige tells her nosy neighbor that she is regularly having orgies in the back shed (when really it is an art study where she paints). I feel like Undone should have a 3.5 star rating, not quite a four but better than a three but since I (and most review sites like Goodreads and Amazon) don’t have half-stars I am rounding it up to four.

You can read an excerpt here.

Country Roads Reading Order




Unforgettable (release date TBA)

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Undone

Author: Shannon Richard

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 416


Publisher: Forever (Grand Central)

Release Date: February 2014

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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