April Books

April was a very busy book month and I was definitely using my time to read as a stress reliever. I read a few classics/standards for me, deep dived into a Nora Roberts trilogy, tried 2 that I was unsure of, and checked out 2 that were mentioned repeatedly on the Bad on Paper podcast.

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#1 Crucible {James Rollins}B+ Rollins’s Sigma series is one of my favorites. It blends the secret agent/spy thing with science and saving the world. This one features a “friendly” A.I., a religious cult called “Crucible” who is fixated on destroying/saving the world and controlling said A.I., and a traumatic kidnapping that affects the Sigma Group. I was really drawn into this one and was actually worried about the direction the book/series was going. Since I love this series, I don’t want to drop spoilers but its a definite recommend. I suggest starting from the very beginning though!

#2-4 Guardians Trilogy {Nora Roberts}B+ The three books included are Stars of FortuneBay of Sighs, and Island of Glass. This trilogy was just a classic NR fantasy – goddesses, demons, magic, mermaids, werewolves, time travel – all with some romance. I would definitely compare it to the Circle trilogy (which I love and recommend for a fun fluff read) and I enjoyed the first 2 books more than the last one. The plot centers around 3 stars that need to be found and returned to their place by the moon. 6 people are “chosen” to find the stars before an evil goddess finds them and uses them for destruction and pain. Each book centers on 1 of the 3 females’ story line and her subsequent romance with 1 of the 3 males in the group (standard for NR) well as the quest for one of the stars. There were A LOT of pop culture references (Star Wars, Star Trek, the Avengers, etc) which were fun at first but by the 3rd book seemed forced. Anyway, fun light read that requires no thinking.

#5 Sea of Greed {Clive Cussler & Graham Brown}Any of the NUMA series books are  go-to for me. There’s pretty much always the same plot – something crazy happening within the oceans, some sinister plot behind it all, and a NUMA team to the rescue while suffering set-backs and hatching crazy missions. One thing I did like – they’ve been incorporating a new character, Priya Kashmir, over the last couple books and she’s slowly getting more “screen time”. One thing I did not like – SEVERAL books ago, and I mean several, Dirk Pitt was named the director of NUMA yet he’s never featured in the Kurt Austin section of the NUMA files. The original director, Sandecker, was always involved but now that Pitt has taken over AND still has his own book series, he is never in play during the other ones. Where is he?! Anyway, that’s just my peeve.

#6 Daisy Jones and the Six {Taylor Jenkins Reid} – A- I thought this book was fantastic! I read it like I was reading the script for a VH1 Behind the Music documentary. It very easily painted an image in my mind of the band and everything they were going through. It’s been highly recommended by numerous sources so I won’t spoil anything. The basis of the plot is Daisy Jones is brought in to help the Six with their second album. Her and the lead singer, Billy, clash like oil and water in real life but are electric together when it comes to writing and singing songs. The books features interviews with all the top players and looks back on the band starting, Daisy joining, their subsequent 2 tours and all the drama and chaos in between.

#7 The Proposal {Jasmine Guillory} – B+ Another fun rom-com! Nikole is at a baseball game with her boyfriend when he surprise proposes – after 5 months of dating AND he spells her name wrong! She says no, and is rescued from the fans and a tv crew by Carlos and his sister. After striking up a friendship with Carlos, they start a casual rebound fling. Neither of them are looking for anything serious yet that obviously never works out.  Perfect for a low-key afternoon with a glass of wine!

#8 The Glass Ocean {Beatriz Williams} – I used to LOVE historical fiction when I was in middle school, so this was a trip down memory lane. It’s a historical mystery centered around the Lusitania and its subsequent sinking during World War 1. The book switches off between the characters and drama in 1915 and in 2013. In present time, Sarah is trying to come up ideas for her next book. She finds a pocket watch among her deceased great-grandfather’s things (he died on the Lusitania) that has been engraved by a Robert Langford. She sets out to England to convince a relative of Langford to work with her to figure out the mystery behind their relatives’ relationship. Back in 1915, Tess is pulling her last con/heist aboard the Lusitania before starting a new life. Caroline is traveling to England with her husband to sell a rare piece of music. Robert is returning home to his father to hopefully mend their relationship. Amidst all of this is rumors of German spies, and U-boats threatening to strike the ship. Oh and of course there’s some romance mixed in!

#9 Before and Again {Barbara Delinsky} – A This one took me while to start reading. I think it was another one that I actually checked out twice from the library before I finally read it. SO GLAD I DID! I was immediately drawn into the story. Mackenzie makes one fatal mistake while driving her daughter to a playdate that results in the death of her daughter and another driver. Years later she is living in Vermont with her dog and cats under a different name (still on parole), working to repair her life and create a new one for herself. A friend’s son is accused of computer hacking and is thrust into the spotlight and Mackenzie has to grapple with being there for her friend and staying out of the media glare. Also her ex-husband, brother and estranged mother show up and her whole world is thrown for a loop!

After an extensive month of reading, May has gotten off to a slow start. I have a few books to tackle for work before I jump back in to my “fun” books but I have a few ready to go on the shelf!

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