Reviewing the Unreviewed: October + Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday! I have nothing book related to say about that, but I just wanted to share it 🙂  Yesterday at work my coworkers made me a candy bouquet!

candy 1  candy 2

Before I get to my reviews, I want to say that you probably won’t see a lot from me in November, as I am attempting to participate in NaNoWriMo. If I’m successful at this, it means way less time for reading, so we’ll see how it goes. Now, onto the book stuff…

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. I thought I’d start doing a post once a month  with just the couple thoughts I shared on Good Reads.

In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4)

In Your Dreams (Blue Heron #4) by Kristan Higgins. Read September 30 – October 2. 3 stars.

Another adorable book by Kristan Higgins. I liked that there was a pretty decent presence of the whole Holland clan in this one.        

Always On My Mind (Lucky Harbor, #8)           

Always on My Mind (Lucky Harbor #8) by Jill Shalvis. Read October 13-14. 3 stars.

I’ve read one other book by Shalvis and didn’t love it, but was encouraged to give her another shot, so I picked this one because of my love for the Fake Relationship trope. However, it wasn’t quite what I was expecting. There weren’t really any cute moments where they were a fake couple out and about. It was just kind of announced they were couple to the town and the only times they were together really were in private where some slightly-more-graphic-than-I-would-like things happened. I felt like their background could have been expanded on and the side-plot was a little too predictable. But overall, it was an ok read.

Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan (Hundred Oaks) by Miranda Kenneally. Read October 20-21. 3 stars.

While the premise of this book was interesting and had some unique aspects, I had a lot of issues with this book. Mostly in the relationships between the characters and how the guys viewed it. One example, a girl really liked one of the guys and slept with him and when Jordan asks him about how he feels about the girl his answer is that “she’s a good lay” and it’s a nice stress reliever. The whole book highlights all the reasons why these characters are too immature to be having sex, yet it is never addressed as being emotionally harmful, but completely normal and casual.

There were times that I was ready to give this book 1 star, but because of it’s interesting premise and the fact that I liked how it ended, I’m giving it three. I’m going to try the next book in the series only because I got the 3 book bundle from the library.

Stealing Parker

Stealing Parker (Hundred Oaks #2) by Miranda Kenneally. Read October 21-21. 3.5 stars.

3.5 stars. I liked this book better than the previous one in the series. While it had it’s own set of issues, it made up for all the issues I had with the previous book (which was not showing any of the possible emotional effects all the casual sex could bring). I also thought it was interesting that it involved God and a relationship with Him and church, without being preachy. It had the full spectrum of “church people” which is unusual to see in a non-Christian-fiction book.

Perhaps my biggest problem was that Parker’s mom’s big life lesson to her daughter was to do whatever makes you happy and to forget everyone else. That may work sometimes for a seventeen-year-old, but as a mother of 2, it kind of makes you horrible.

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements, #2)

Stone Cold Touch (The Dark Elements #2) by Jennifer Armentrout. Read October 22-24. 2 stars.

This book didn’t really keep my attention. I think it was a bit longer than it had to be. An interesting twist in this series is that readers get the chance to vote for which guy in the love triangle we want Layla to end up with in the next book. However, I didn’t feel like it was written in a way for there to be any real contest. I think it’s obvious who it’s supposed to be, even though I’m totally voting for the other guy!     

The Fine Art of Pretending (The Fine Art of Pretending, #1)

The Fine Art of Pretending by Rachel Harris. Read October 24-25. 3 stars.

I’ve been looking forward to this book for awhile and ended up being a little underwhelmed. While it was overall cute, it didn’t have a lot of the things I love about the fake relationship trope.

Racing Savannah

Racing Savannah (Hundred Oaks #4) by Miranda Kenneally. Read October 25-26. 3 stars.

When book 3 in this series didn’t keep my attention, I skipped to this one. It was ok, but I think it’s the last in this series that I’ll read.

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BACK ON THE TBR SHELF

Something Strange and Deadly (Something Strange and Deadly, #1)  The Winner's Curse (The Winner's Trilogy, #1)  Visions (Cainsville, #2)

Something Strange and Deadly by Susan Dennard, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski, Visions (Cainsville #2) by Kelley Armstrong. These are all books I barely started and  just couldn’t get into. I was in a pretty big reading slump, so I put them back on the TBR shelf.

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RE-READS

Gone Girl

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I wanted to read this again before I watched the movie. While I prefer the book to the movie, I thought the movie was very well done. And I forgot just how much I loved the book!

Review: He’s so Fine (Lucky Harbor #11) by Jill Shalvis

He's So Fine (Lucky Harbor, #11)

I received a copy of this title from NetGalley. It does not impact my review.

He’s So Fine will be available on September 30, 2014

Synopsis from Good Reads:

For Olivia Bentley, Lucky Harbor is more than the town where she runs her new vintage shop. It’s the place where folks are friendly to strangers-and nobody knows her real name. Olivia does a good job of keeping her past buried, not getting too cozy with anyone . . . until she sees a man drowning. Suddenly she’s rushing into the surf, getting up close and personal with the hottest guy she’s ever laid hands on.

Charter boat captain Cole Donovan has no problem with a gorgeous woman throwing her arms around his neck in an effort to “save” him. In fact, he’d like to spend a lot more time skin-to-skin with Olivia. He’s just not expecting that real trouble is about to come her way. Will it bring her deeper into Cole’s heart, or will it be the end of Olivia’s days in little Lucky Harbor?

I requested this book from NetGalley not realizing it was part of a series. However, it’s more of an anthology series about different characters in the town of Lucky Harbor than a series that focuses on the same set of characters with one overall arc. Usually these types of series annoy me, but coming in at book 11, I appreciated it.

He’s so Fine is a pretty typical romance read. The main couple, Cole and Olivia, meet in a cutely absurd way. They’ve both been burned before and are hesitant to start a relationship, but not that hesitant. There are some “steamy” scenes that contain a little more details than I want to read. There is a big misunderstanding, followed by lots of self reflection and the hopes of a Happily Ever After.

In addition to the main romance, we get to see the close relationships Cole has with two best friends and his family. Though I have the feeling there was more of them in the past books (and some of them will be in future books), I would’ve liked to see them more developed here. However, I still really liked Cole’s sisters. I didn’t care for Cole’s friends, Tanner and Sam, as much and I felt like they got off too easy when they had their own Big Misunderstanding with Cole.

If you’re a fan of the romance genre, you’ll probably enjoy this read. You read a romance book because you want a fun, light, romantic story that will leave you happy. You know exactly what you’re going in for and you get it. In that regard, He’s so Fine will not disappoint. However, I wanted to read a Shalvis book because my favorite romance writer, Kristan Higgins, speaks so highly of her on social media. I was expecting a similar style and was a little disappointed that this lacked some heart for me, compared to Higgins books. Despite that, I’ll still probably give Shalvis another a try.

Rating (out of 5):
Plot: 2.5
Characters: 3.5
Readability: 3.5
Enjoyability: 3
Overall Rating: 3.125 Stars