Category Archives: Series

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue

Finished The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee. 

Henry Montague is…I guess you’d call him a scoundrel. He’s certainly not a gentleman and I guess he really is the teenage Rhett Butler. But he does love his best friend Percy—though he would deny it and also sucks at showing it. Henry, Percy and Henry’s sister Felicity are touring Europe when they get sucked into a mystery. Chaos ensues. 

I love this book and Henry and Percy. Honestly, though, Felicity is my favorite and I cannot wait for the sequel; it’s from her perspective. 

Everything about this book is fantastic though. It’s clever and sweet and wickedly funny. I couldn’t have lived during this time period; God only knows how Felicity didn’t go insane. 

Highly recommended. 

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Warcross

Finished Warcross by Marie Lu. I received a copy for review. 

Emika is a bounty hunter. She tracks down people who illegally bet on Warcross (the most popular online game ever, and that is a huge understatement) and barely manages to keep her head above water that way. Then the game’s developer asks her to track down a hacker who’s interfering with the game. Her cover: a wild card in the major Warcross tournament. 

This book is BANANAS. It has everything: enough tech to make me feel smart, enough romance to make me swoon and enough intrigue to keep me hooked. And Emi is a total badass. It’s impossible not to love her. 

I cannot wait for the second book. Highly recommended. 

Snap Judgment

Finished Snap Judgment by Marcia Clark. I received a copy for review. 

After Alicia broke up with her boyfriend, he posted naked selfies of her on a revenge porn site—with a note that she was into rape fantasies. Days later, she was found dead, her throat slashed. The ex is obviously a suspect but wasn’t arrested…and later, he’s found dead (suicide via hanging). Except maybe it WASN’T a suicide. Maybe Alicia’s father did it. 

This is the third Samantha Brinkman novel and my favorite of the three (a high bar; all are excellent). I love that, though she is…we’ll go with “morally ambiguous,” she uses her powers for good. So while yes, she may use very sketchy means, bad people get punished. (Team Sam.)

I recommend binging the series, as I did, but now I miss her. But I think there will be another one (and hopefully soon). 

Highly recommended. 

Moral Defense (mini review)

Finished Moral Defense by Marcia Clark. 

Cassie is the only survivor of a mass murder that left her parents and brother dead. Except the police are wondering if maybe she isn’t really a victim at all. And enter Samantha Brinkman. 

I am such a fan of this series! It’s beyond entertaining and is perfect for fans of mysteries (even if legal thrillers aren’t generally their thing). 

Sam is a great heroine, too (OK, maybe antiheroine, though from where I sit, she only uses her powers for good). 

Recommended. 

Blood Defense

Finished Blood Defense by Marcia Clark. 

Samantha Brinkman is a defense attorney, and not one of the flashy ones. She runs a small operation, one that’s constantly on the verge of going out of business. And then she gets the case of a lifetime: a detective accused of murdering a young actress and her roommate. 

I loved Sam and her coworkers, Michelle and Alex. I had my theories about whether her detective client Dale was guilty, and everything about this book was a complete delight. There are some loose threads going into book two, and I can’t wait to see how they’re resolved. 

I haven’t read any of Marcia Clark’s books before, though I hear her other series (about a prosecutor) is excellent, as is her nonfiction book about the OJ Simpson case. I plan to read them all, but I’m happy I started with this one AND that I have the other two to binge. 

As with any good thriller, good luck getting anything else done while you’re reading this. My commutes were too short (a rare complaint) and I begrudged everything that kept me from the book (including work and sleep, generally two things I love). 

Recommended. 

Patina

Finished Patina by Jason Reynolds. I received a copy for review. 

Patty (short for Patina) runs track. She and her little sister Maddy live with their aunt and uncle after their dad died and their mom got so sick (diabetes; both legs had to be amputated). And that’s basically her life: track and caring for Maddy. 

Like everything Jason Reynolds writes, this is a masterpiece. It’s impossible not to root for Patty, even if she’s a sore loser (though really, who likes to lose?). She’s such a great person and an amazing sister. 

She has so much on her plate and she never seems resentful. She has this innate sense of self, and I actually envy that. 

I will read everything he writes. You should, too. Highly recommended. 

Brooklyn Girls

Finished Brooklyn Girls by Gemma Burgess. I received a copy for review. 

This is the first in a series about girls in their early twenties who are roommates in Brooklyn. This one focuses on Pia, a pretty epic screwup who goes from job to job and guy to guy. 

I think if I had read this book as a teenager or even, say, before the age of 25, I would have loved it. As it is, I couldn’t stop rolling my eyes at Pia. She is the epitome of the girl who means well but doesn’t think at all, ever. 

So she starts a food truck with money from a loan shark. She works SO HARD to earn the last $10,000 for him and takes the money with her everywhere so it isn’t stolen. Shocker: IT GETS STOLEN. 

This is a very entertaining story and it is a crazy fast read. But I didn’t connect with it at all. Because I am old now. 

Parable of the Sower

Finished Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler. 

Lauren lives with her dad, stepmom and little brothers in a scary world. The economy has collapsed; between that and global warming, it’s a hard existence. People are routinely robbed, assaulted (beaten, raped or both) and killed. Lauren wants to leave their community but there’s no guarantee that anyplace is better (and every likelihood that it will be worse). Soon, though, she’s got no choice. 

There’s a lot more going on than that, of course. Lauren has some unorthodox religious beliefs (a new religion, really; she calls it Earthseed) and an unusual illness (she can literally feel other people’s pain like it’s her own). 

This book is amazing. It feels so real (and it doesn’t help that it’s set in the near future—it begins in 2024—and while things are much different and worse, it also seems not too unlikely that we could get there from here. 

There is a sequel and I definitely want to read it. 

Highly recommended. 

The Late Show

Finished The Late Show by Michael Connelly. I received a copy for review. 

This is the first in a new series about Detective Renee Ballard. She’s working “the late show,” or overnight shifts in the LAPD. Here, she’s investigating two different cases–and reluctant to turn them over to the day shift, which is what typically happens. 

This isn’t a departure from his usual series. Like his Harry Bosch novels, this is a police procedural. And, like Harry, Renee tends to maybe skirt acceptable cop behavior a tad in order to get results. Not like Dirty Harry or anything, but the ends definitely justify the means. 

October will see the release of a new Bosch novel, and I am very happy about that (he is my favorite). But I very much like Renee Ballard, too. I look forward to spending more time with her. 

Recommended. 

Beware the Ranger

Finished Beware the Ranger by Debra Holt.  I received a copy for review.

Summary (from Goodreads):

Twelve years ago, Kaitlyn Russell had a dream: living happily ever after with Clay Morgan. Except her grandmother had bigger plans for her beloved granddaughter and they didn’t include life in the small town of McKenna Springs as the wife of a young, poor deputy. Kaitlyn’s heart was broken when Clay and her grandmother convinced her to pursue her second love, Broadway stardom.

Texas Ranger Clay Morgan is a widower with a young son to raise. A dozen years before, he had to make the most difficult decision of his life when he agreed to let go of the only woman he’d ever loved so that she could pursue her dreams.

Now, fate and an old woman’s guilty conscience conspire to bring Clay and Kaitlyn back together once more. Will they be able to lay the past to rest and rekindle their love from the ashes?”

I completely adored this story! The characters feel like people I know and the chemistry between Clay and Kaitlyn is almost tangible.

I absolutely dare you to read this and not smile and/or sigh at least once a page.

The best part is that this is the first in a series! I can’t wait to see what happens next and I hope that Clay and Kaitlyn make a cameo (and I bet they will).

Recommended.