Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Book Review: Hot Ice by Lynn Raye Harris

Hot Ice (Hostile Operations Team #7)Hot Ice by Lynn Raye Harris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this title from the publisher for review.  All thoughts and comments are my own.

Grace Campbell leads a privileged life. The daughter of a United States senator, she moves within the social circles of the rich and famous. But Grace is also a scientist, and when someone learns she possesses the knowledge necessary to create a new super virus capable of destroying entire nations, she becomes a target for terror groups and foreign governments alike.

Garrett “Iceman” Spencer didn’t join the Army’s elite Hostile Operations Team to babysit a spoiled rich girl, but when his superiors insist on assigning him to a senator’s daughter as her security detail, he has no choice but to comply.

It’s a shock to find that beneath the glasses and serious scowl, Grace Campbell burns hot. And Garrett, who’s been burned before, suddenly wants to immerse himself in the flames.

Keeping Grace alive—and keeping his hands off her—is a full-time job for this HOT soldier. Failure is not an option…(from Goodreads).

This is the 7th book in the Hostile Operations Team (HOT) series and for me it didn't disappoint.  Hot Ice is full of action, snark and sexy good times.  I would recommend reading at least the book directly before this one (Hot Rebel), as the end of the story is mentioned at the beginning of this one and there is follow through with another character in this title.

This is Garrett (Iceman) and Grace's story. He's cool, calm and collected, letting nothing phase him. He goes through life quite detached. Enter Grace, the scientist who is his next assignment. From the start they irritate each other. Garrett resents having to look after a 'princess' and Grace is frustrated that she's stuck having a strange man following her around.  They clash, they snarky spar - sparks fly. This was a fun read, I probably say this every time, but I love some sass to my heroines.  And when she's pushed, Grace delivers. I think my only grumble with this book is the Grace is so insecure and let's people around her walk over her.  I kept wanting to take her by the shoulders, give her a good shake and say " You're a kick arse scientist, you're awesome.  Embrace the awesome Grace, embrace the awesome!"

The other thing that I enjoyed while reading this was getting to see Garrett and Grace fall in love.  It's one of my favourite things when you can see them falling in love and the characters either haven't noticed yet or are too busy fighting it to realise.  It just gives my heart a happy.  And they both fall head over heels, at the beginning, Garrett is a 'one & done', which for him is perfect, there's no attachment and he can't get hurt again and Grace is still smarting from a failed relationship. But they find their way to each other.

Finishing this I am definitely ready for another book in the series, I can see two possible characters getting their own book, but I would love to see Mendez get his own book, when the time comes, he is going to fall and fall hard.

View all my reviews

Until next time, happy reading :)


Thursday, 15 January 2015

Reading Challenges for 2015

I love a good reading challenge - sometimes a little too much.  I'll think to myself that challenge sounds fun, that one will be good and what about that one!  Then I stop, look AND I'm trying to attempt 17 challenges in one year.  And while that would be fantastic, I know I'm not going to finish all of them.  I'm trying to keep it fairly low key again, that seemed to work well for me in 2014.

I still have my Goodreads and Librarything challenges set at 75, I read 144 books in 2014, but I don't think I'll have as much time this year, so I'm not going to bump it up at all.  If I reach 75 books - awesome, but if not, I won't be crying into my Dickens.  I just want to read brilliant books.

So here's a round up of the challenges I'm going to be participating in this year:

Australian Women Writers Challenge - I don't read much by Australian authors, although when I do it tends to be women, so that is a bonus.  I'd like to read 12, roughly one each month.  At this stage I've got a couple picked out, but if you have any fabulous Aussie authors you can recommend - have at it!

1001 Books to read before you die - This is a challenge run on both Goodreads and Librarything.  Each month they have a book that they read and discuss.  I'd like to read 3 books from this list each month, (1 each from the group reads and an extra from my shelves), which will be a total of 36 books.

1001 Books to read before you grow up - This is a challenge on Goodreads, we usually read 2 books a month from the list, a picture book and a chapter book.  So I'm going to read 24 books in 2015.

Writers of Colour Book Club - Another one on Goodreads, there is also a page on Facebook and you can find them on YouTube as well.  This is a monthly group, so there will be 12 books read in 2015.

Reading Bingo Challenge 2015 - Presented by Random House, this year the bingo sheet is all things Canadian, which I'm going to have a go at, (there are 25 squares - I don't think I will finish all of them).  Hello Hemlock is a BookTube channel that reads Canadian authors, so I may be able to find some inspiration there!  Last year there was a more general slant to the bingo, with an Adult and a YA sheet, there were some good options that helped me read some of my Mt. TBR books, so I may print them out and see how I go again this year.

Just a lil' Book Group - This is my staff book group, we usually read 10 books throughout the year, I'd like to read all of our picks this year.  I would be very happy if I could manage that.

You may have noticed, if I manage to complete all the challenges, I'll be reading more than 75 books - no I'm not bad at Maths (ok I am), but this is my guide, I'd like to keep coming back to it throughout the year and see how I'm going with my reading, if I'm managing to read what I set out to, or if I've gone off on a tangent.  If I did finish all of the books YAY!

So what are your reading plans this year?  Do you keep a list of what you've read or do you just go with the flow and read whatever catches your eye?  Let me know.  Please let me know and don't forget to add any recommendations.

*** I just reread through this, I like how my 'low key' reading includes 6+ challenges, and it's not even the end of January.  Very low key, well done Cathy. ***

Until next time, happy reading.


Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Hello 2015!

I'm not sure that my brain is completely up with the fact that it is January already - and not just that, but also we're almost at the end of the second week of it.  I remember as a kid the year would pass so slowly, not so any more, it whizzes past and can barely keep up!

Time craziness aside, I'm excited to discover what the new year holds - both for life in general and for books.  I have quite a few that I am really looking forward to reading and I'm going to make another post with my reading goals.  I trying to take a more laid back approach this year.  We will see how that goes.

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year (or whatever you may celebrate), I had a quiet Christmas with family and despite the heat it was lovely.  I managed to have a whole week away and it was nice to wander around Handorf, and try the new chocolate shop in Stirling - it was delicious!  And of course pay a visit to Matilda Book Shop - where I managed to pick up a beautiful clothbound edition of Jane Austen's Youthful Writings and some short stories by J. M. Coetzee.  When I finally arrived home it was to a 40 degree house, so I spent my last few days under the fan watching Vampire Diaries, The 100 and The Originals, most enjoyable!

Until next time, happy reading


Thursday, 18 December 2014

WWW Wednesday 17.12.14

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by Miz B over at ShouldBeReading.  If you'd like to join in here is what you need to do - answer these three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you just finish reading?
What are you going to read next?

Once you're done, go and visit everyone else who is participating - simple :)

What are you currently reading?

It's a Christmas tradition that I read this each year, my Poppa love Dickens, and when we visited there I would always go into the library and sit and read this and Cricket on the Hearth.  This December I'm going to try and tackle all of his Christmas short stories - wish me luck - I have set myself the TBR of death for December.
What did you just finish reading?

This was a particularly hard read for me, my mother had EOAD, so I was quite emotional reading this.  But what a book!  I really did enjoy this.  I love that it was from Alice's POV, often it is how family members cope with a loved one having Alzheimer's Disease   I know this is an upcoming movie starring Julienne Moore as Alice, which it's safe to say I will have to wait until it comes out on DVD to watch.
What are you going to read next?

I've had this at home for a little while and haven't had the time to read it, but hopefully this weekend I can make time.  The Christmas #booktubeathon is running again and there is also the #cramathon which is overlapping that.  Fingerscrossed - because I don't think I'll get much reading done once Christmas hits.

So that's my WWW, what is yours?  Leave me a link in the comments so I can come visit you and see what you've been reading :)

Until next time, happy reading :)


Book Review - The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

The Things They CarriedThe Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an enthralling read, despite the contents. I'm not much for novels of war, but O'Brian is able to write a beautiful, lyrical tale that I wanted to read.  I listened to this on audio read by the author and then reread stories in print that I particularly enjoyed.  For me this was the best way to consume this story, I could immerse myself in it.  Listening to it was like having O'Brien and his characters over for a Sunday afternoon session, talking crap and lamenting the bad old days.

This managed to grab me from the start and while these are essentially short stories, they come together to paint a picture of Alpha Company and their time in Vietnam.  The opening story 'The Things They Carried', just, I still can't, it was beautiful.

"They shared the weight of memory.  They took up what others could no longer bear...They carried the land itself - Vietnam, the place, the soil -  a powdery orange-red dust that covered their boots and fatigues and faces."

That's not to say I loved all of this, I was frustrated by the senseless violence, the apathy towards other people, animals, the war. And I don't necessarily think this answered my questions about why the war happened, maybe I need a straight non-fiction book to tell me that.  Then again, I'm not sure it's something I can truly understand - there are some things that you have to experience first hand to fully understand.  It's given me a lot to think about and I know on a reread I'll discover more.

It is books like this that make me thankful that I'm slogging my way through the 1001 list.  Well worth the read, so much so that I would like to add it to my collection.

View all my reviews

Until next time, happy Reading.


Friday, 5 December 2014

Book Review - Hot Rebel by Lynn Raye Harris

Hot Rebel (Hostile Operations Team #6)Hot Rebel by Lynn Raye Harris
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A copy of this ebook was provided for me via Netgalley for review - in exchange for an honest review.

I loved that there was a lot more action in this book, plenty of suspense to keep the story moving.  The action is fast paced and having it set in Afghanistan (I want to say Afghanistan) makes it relevant to now.  I'm by no means an authority of women in the military, but it's always refreshing to see - even if Victoria is on the wrong side of it at the moment.  She's a kick arse character that can take care of bid'ness.  She's strong and I think Harris does well to portray that and her loyalty to family.  She'd do anything for her sister, even to the point that she puts her own life on hold.

Even though I liked Victoria and Nick together, and their scenes together were well done, I felt that the love side of things was quite rushed.  I would've been happy for a HEA without declarations of love, but that's just me.  I could quite possibly be become a cynical old biddy in my old age ;)

Nick was everything I like from my heroes - smart sexy and not too in your face alpha - he wants to take care of Victoria, but he also knows that she can take care of herself.  And I like how this seems to be a consistent character trait for Harris' heroes.

Overall, this was another fun foray into the world of HOT and I'm looking forward to reading more from the series in the future.  Again, this could be read as a standalone novel, but why would you want to miss out on the HOT fun!

View all my reviews

Until next time, happy reading :)


Friday, 28 November 2014

Weekend Reads ~ 29 - 30 November

I've got nine books on the go at the moment, it would be great to say that I'm going to finish ALL of them - but it won't happen.  I've got a few errands to run, so I won't be able to just sit and read all weekend - more's the pity!  But, I'll settle for finishing these:

If I manage it, I will be one happy lady.

So what are you reading over the weekend?  Let me know!

Until next time, happy reading :)


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