My Year – 2018 – in Books

Happy New Year and welcome to 2019!! I am happy to report this year has been better than the last. But it has been far from easy. Discovering and adjusting to my new norm after the accident has been difficult but a consistent theme in my life. Luckily, one thing that has remained a constant is my love for books! This year I read 26 books and around 8,135 pages.

Although I wish I would have read more, I am satisfied with what I did accomplish.


Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews
Img rulerIced by Karen Marie Moning
The shortest book I read in 2018 was Silent Blade by Ilona Andrews at 42 pages in length. The longest book I read was Iced by Karen Morning at 520 pages in length.
The average pages I read per book amounted to be 312

The book I read that has had the most popularity in 2018 is Can You Keep A Secret? by Sophie Kinsella with 354,850 other people reading this book. Unfortunately, I only gave this book 1 star. Probably would not recommend it..
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

The book I read that has the least popularity is Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars by Codi Cary with 1,313 other reviewers. I gave this book 4 stars and thought it was a good read.  Let me know if you thought the same 🙂
Good Girls Don't Date Rock Stars by Codi Gary

The average rating in book reviews was 3.2 out of 5…. I am glad it wasn’t 2 🙂 I think I am in need of some book recommendations. Any suggestions? 


A book I HIGHLY recommend and has the highest rating on GoodReads is Wildfire by Ilona Andrews. The average rating is 4.56 and I absolutely love this series!!
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Here’s a look at the books I have read this year! Click on the titles to jump to my review 🙂
1    Angel's Blood    Phantom Kiss    Blade Bound  Iced  Forever Black  Silent Blade  Good girls don't date rock stars  1  Priceless  1p
billionaire next door  1  1  1  1  1  1  1    1  2  1     11            1    11
silence_fallen_layout.indd

 


I am looking forward to 2019 and the many books I will hopefully read. Let me know what you think of this years books. Until next time, Happy Reading!!

White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2)

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As you can imagine, after reading book one in the Hidden Legacy series, I couldn’t help but pick up the next book in the series. And I was not disappointed!! This series is quickly becoming one of my new favorites 🙂


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Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: May 30, 2017
Pages: 389

Stars: 4 out of 5

Other books in the series:
Burn for Me (Hidden Legacy, #1)

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Synopsis:
Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice …


Review:
Nevada has one rule that no matter what, she has to follow- At the end of the day, you have to be able to live with yourself, your choices. So when Cornelius comes asking for help in finding his wife’s murderer, Nevada couldn’t say no. Soon she finds herself once again working with Connor (aka Mad Rogan) and discovering a surprising new ally, Augustine. I enjoyed Augustine’s character more in this book, especially the bickering between him and Rogan. Although he still had his moments of greed, I no longer hate him. 

Nevada’s character continues to grown throughout the book. She’s still the strong independent woman we all fell in love with, but now she’s taking taking responsibility over mastering her powers. But does she go too far? When using her power, what’s the line between becoming a monster and getting the information she needs? 

Ilone shows us the side of Rogan we only saw small glimpses of last time. He’s still the dangerous dragon, but like Nevada said, we get to see his more human side. In the first book, we saw Connor’s form of courting Nevada. It doesn’t take long to realize Conner is done with the passive romantic gestures and ready to take control. Except his need of control is a far cry from normal.

As the sexual tension between Rogan and Nevada builds, the quick stolen moments between them are intense, hot,and leaves you starving for more. Just as Nevada is allowing herself to be open to love, the monstrous side of Rogan shows itself. Is this side of him enough to destroy everything between them?

This is one of those books I wish I could talk about every detail. But giving away that many secrets would ruin the book for you. My leaving thought is that this book was a delight to read! The epilogue definitely leaves you wanting more! I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

The Hunt (Devil’s Isle, #3)

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This series keeps getting better! The Hunt is book three in the Devil’s Isle series and probably the best one so far. This book dragged so many emotions out of me. I love how the Chloe Neill was able to connect intense emotions with her readers. LOVED IT!!


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Author: Chloe Neill
Published: September 26th, 2017
Pages: 311

Stars: 4 out of 5

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Other books in this Series:
The Veil (Devil’s Isle, #1)
The Sight (Devil’s Isle, #2)

Synopsis:
When bounty hunter Liam Quinn discovered that Claire Connolly was a Sensitive and infected with magic, he should have turned her in to be locked up in the prison district known as Devil’s Isle. Instead, he helped her learn to control her power and introduced her to an underground group of Paranormals and humans who know the truth about the war and those who fought it.

Now the weight of Liam’s own secrets has forced him into hiding. When a government agent is killed and Claire discovers that Liam is the prime suspect, she races to find him before the government can. But she’ll discover proving his innocence is no simple matter. Their enemies are drawing closer, and time is running out….

Review:
Claire is a strong woman with conflicting feels about Liam. But when Liam needs her help, she doesn’t think twice about going after him.

When Claire goes looking for Liam, I expected a happy reunion. Maybe hugs, Liam’s famous half smile, something that resembled the affection the two of them once shared. The build up of seeing Liam again had my stomach doing somersaults. And the reality is devastating. Instead of affection, Claire is met with a solid flat wall. Putting myself in Claire’s place, I would be so hurt but also royally mad. It doesn’t help how utterly attractive Liam is and somehow is even more otherworldly masculine and sexy.

The question of Clair’s mother rises early in this book. Again I put myself in her position and wonder, would I want to know the truth of my mother – The possibility she could have been this evil entity? Or the tale her father strung of her early death before the war? Either way, Claire gets forced into the reality every person must eventually face. That moment when your parents fall from the enormously high pedestal you’ve held them at because they aren’t perfect. And in Claire’s case, they are more than flawed. They are this cold, evil stranger. 

Liam’s power is pretty cool. It takes a while before figuring out why he didn’t want to tell Clair about it. And it’s actually kind of sweet. I think I would have done a similar thing. Maybe with a little more communication though. 

I love the chemistry between Liam and Claire. The similarities between Liam and Clair’s father don’t go unnoticed and I wonder if there are any underlining ‘daddy’ issues Claire is compensating for. 

The story ends with the battle between time and Claire’s mother. Claire has shown an enormous amount of strength, clarity, and willingness to make the hard choice and follow through with it in this book. This book has so much love in it. Even though in the beginning it’s difficult to see, trust me it’s there. And it comes in so many forms and from the people you least expect. I’ll admit reading this book, my emotions ran high. But isn’t that the best gift an author can give!

The ending of this book – and I don’t mean the last few chapters, I mean the very end – of this book was ok. I’m somewhere between thinking ok, maybe that would work to yeah that was kind of an easy out. Either way, that was what we are left with and I’m hands down excited for the next book. 

I wish I could say more, dive into every detail of this book. But let’s be honest, that’s not what you want. I’m trying very hard not to give away too much but my hope is I gave you enough to entice you to read more. Although this isn’t my favorite series from this author, I still wholeheartedly enjoyed this book. 

Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars (Rock Canyon, Idaho #2)

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This book is not what I expected. Good Girls Don’t Date Rock Stars is the second book in Codi Gary’s Rock Canyon series. I absolutely loved the first book, Things Good Girls Don’t Do, and was excited to read this book. The books not perfect, but it’s a fun read.


Good girls don't date rock stars


Author
: Codi Gary
Published: April 22, 2014
Pages: 384

Stars: 4 out of 5

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Synopsis:
Gemma Carlson didn’t plan on waking up married. She also didn’t count on running into her old flame—and her son’s father-turned-country rock star—Travis Bowers, followed by a night of drunken dares. Apparently one of those involved a ring on her finger and a vow … neither of which she intends to keep. Now with a hangover from hell, this good-girl-gone-bad knows there’s just one thing to do: run.

Travis has been all over the world, but Gemma has never been far from his thoughts. So when they had the chance to catch up over a few drinks, he didn’t hesitate. Of course, he didn’t expect it would lead to marriage, or a runaway bride! Travis finally has a second chance and doesn’t plan on losing Gemma again—or the son he didn’t know he had. He proposes, albeit belatedly, a date. Or rather, a few. If they can make this marriage work by starting over, he stays. If not …

Gemma’s not interested; she’s got a son to protect and a heart to heal. But having Travis around could make both a little easier. Still, good girls don’t date rock stars . . . right?

Review:
Gemma is a 28 year old single mom. She is consumed with keeping her child protected, out of the spotlight, and safe. If I had to describe her, I would say she is a hot mess. Gemma has no idea what she wants and hurts others if it means protecting herself and her son. She is full of insecurities and as an adult, she has never fully been able to escape the taunts she received throughout her youth. 

Travis, is a country music star who has a soft and loving heart. Running into Gemma after years apart has brought perspective into his life. Realizing he is a father to a young boy, that completely changed his life. Now Travis is trying to find a balance between his career and his new family. Unfortunately, Gemma makes this exceptionally difficult. 

Wow, Gemma is something else. This is one story I feel like the burden of fault mainly lands on Gemma’s shoulders. For one, how selfish can she be for not telling Travis he has a son. I honestly can’t wrap my head around that. Then the snide, hurtful comments she makes once things start changing.. Did she not realize her life needed to change if she wanted to be with him? 

Gemma hides behind her son instead of taking responsibility and taking a chance. I hate how much of a coward she is. She continues to let Travis down, giving him reasons not to trust her. But he always does and he forgives her like her actions didn’t hurt or cause too much damage. When in reality, her actions turned his entire life upside down. On top of all this, everyone in town blames Travis for everything- for breaking up with Gemma when she’s pregnant. Oh wait, that was Gemma who broke up with him and then hid her pregnancy from him. Then there’s him leaving Gemma after trying to make things work. Oh wait, again that was Gemma who kicked him out. 

Overall, this is a love story that is a fun and easy read. I wouldn’t jump into this book with the hopes of a serious plot. The author, at least for me, really pulls on the readers emotions. And even though I didn’t care for Gemma, the author did a nice job creating a consistent character. This isn’t a book I would buy but it was fun to read. 

 

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone, #1)

There are a lot of good reviews for this book, so I don’t plan to go into too many details. I recommend reading the book but I’m still up in the air about the series.


Daughter of smoke and bone
Author: Laini Taylor
Published: September 27, 2011
Pages: 422

Stars: 3.5 of 5

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Synopsis:
Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Review:
It took me a bit before I figured out what was happening in the book. And then it took me till I was half way through before I truly understood. Karou is strong, compassionate, and cares deeply, but has no idea who she is. And when faced with love or finding out her identity and saving her family- is there any question on what she will choose…

Akiva knows only death and war. A long time ago he lost the one person he loved, Madrigal. And recently he meets someone who is no closer than a stranger yet as familiar as Madrigal. What will Akiva do when faced with a second chance, will he choose an old love or family?

I thought the characters were creative and the plot was familiar yet unique. I really enjoyed Brimstone’s character. The plot surrounds themes such as oppression and forbidden love. And so much pain.  

I didn’t really like how the story kept going from present to past without much if any transition. And at times, I felt like the plot dragged or I was reading information that didn’t add anything to the plot. Overall, I enjoyed the book enough to want to read the second. 

One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #3)

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I have been looking forward to reading this book. Usually I Ilona Andrews work is impeccable. But this book fell a little short for me. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed it and would buy the next book. But one thing that is interesting is how there is not one (okay, maybe one but you get the idea) character introduced in this series that doesn’t come back around. There aren’t a lot of books like this and I can see why. In many ways, this series doesn’t appear to have small characters. And because of this, each character is thought out and comes with a complex background. I absolutely love Ilona Andrews work!


 

One Fell SweepAuthor: Ilona Andrews
Published: December 20, 2016
Pages: 257

Stars: 3.5 out of 5

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Other books in this Series:
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)
Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, #2)

 

Synopsis:
Gertrude Hunt, the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, is glad to have you. We cater to particular kind of guests, the ones most people don’t know about. The older lady sipping her Mello Yello is called Caldenia, although she prefers Your Grace. She has a sizable bounty on her head, so if you hear kinetic or laser fire, try not to stand close to the target. Our chef is a Quillonian. The claws are a little unsettling, but he is a consummate professional and truly is the best chef in the Galaxy. If you see a dark shadow in the orchard late at night, don’t worry. Someone is patrolling the grounds. Do beware of our dog.

Your safety and comfort is our first priority. The inn and your host, Dina Demille, will defend you at all costs. We ask only that you mind other guests and conduct yourself in a polite manner.

Review:
One Fell Sweep is similar to the previous books in this series with the constant action and detailed description of what everything looks like and what’s happening. I will be honest, there were parts of this book that I skimmed. I never thought I would say this but Ilona Andrews took her descriptions a bit far. At times I fought boredom and just felt like some of it was an overkill. 

Like I said above, this book starts with action and ends with not so much a cliffhanger but something close enough. I’m not going to tell you every action packed detail of what happened through this book. But what I will say is there is heartache, love, death, bad omens, and potential. The ending of this book, possibly the last third of the book, was the most captivating. I couldn’t put the book down even if I wanted to. I needed to figure out what happened next. 

Overall, this isn’t my favorite series by this author and the book isn’t perfect. But it’s still a good series/book. Knowing this, the book is still highly entertaining and a fun read. Ilona Andrews provides a world that is hard to imagine with deadly flowers and different dimensions. I’m looking forward to the next book in this series. 

 

Sweep in Peace (Innkeeper Chronicles, 2)

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I really enjoyed this book. Sweep in Peace is the second installment in the Innkeeper Chronicles Series by Ilona Andrews. I just love the world Andrews created and the characters are deeply developed and so much fun to read!


Sweep in Peace

 

Author: Ilona Andrews
Published: November 13, 2015
Pages: 237

Stars: 4 out of 5

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Other Books in this Series:
Clean Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles, #1)

 

Synopsis:
Dina DeMille doesn’t run your typical Bed and Breakfast. Her inn defies laws of physics, her fluffy dog is secretly a monster, and the only paying guest is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. But the inn needs guests to thrive, and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina’s door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance.

Unfortunately, for Dina, keeping the peace between Space Vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the devious Merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. On top of keeping her guests from murdering each other, she must find a chef, remodel the inn…and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it’s all in the day’s work for an Innkeeper…

Review:
Six months later, this book opens with a similar problem as before, the inn Dina runs only has one guest. For her and the inn to grow stronger, they need more guests. If only Dina knew how to attract more guests.. Just as she is trying to solve her dilemma, an arbitrator by the name of George stops by. And as you can imagine, he holds the key to her problem- host 30 magical beings while they try to come to an agreement without killing each other. And although this is highly dangerous, this is just the thing she needs to save her inn. 

Preparations didn’t go as smoothly as Dina would hope and she soon finds herself stretched for time and money. With less than a day and still needing to find a chef, she comes across the perfect solution. Hire a chef who lost his ranking because he was accused of poisoning a guest. But the chef she hires, Orro, is absolutely wonderful! I found myself laughing at his dramatic speeches and just loving his character. 

As you can imagine, other obstacles come up and many things go wrong. And to top all this off, Dina is constantly mourning for Shawn. But honestly, what would this book be without a little drama and sexual angst. Except when Shawn returns, he isn’t himself. The old Shawn seems to be a figment of the past and the new one is haunted by war and death.

I really enjoyed this book. There were parts that seemed to drag and that were full of too much, slightly boring, information. The end of the book almost brought tears, but that’s probably because as a mother my greatest fear is losing my children. Trust me, if you read the book, you will understand the connection. I loved all the characters and am grateful the author decided against a love triangle. I’m not sure where Sean and Dina stand, but I’m sure it will be fun finding out.