Updates and Outlander!

My apologies for being so absent of late, but life is full of All The Things these days. The last month has been lots of travel, a birth, a wedding, and the start of a rigorous group weight loss program. All good things, but all things that have taken an enormous amount of time and energy. I hope to get back on a regular schedule, but things may be a bit spotty over the next few months as I try to focus as much as I can on dropping pounds and getting healthy. 

In the meantime, I’ve had the delightful experience of finishing two more YA series sequels (joining Pandemonium) that I actually preferred to their initial installments (Vanish and Wings of the Wicked), completing an impromptu long-distance group read of Divergent with my sister, and jumping back into the River of Time series by reading one novella and buying another (get Bourne and Tributary now!).

I’ll be sharing more on all of this soon, but for now, please consider joining the Outlander Read-along, which starts today! The first questions are live and you have all week to read 7 quick chapters. Join anytime!

The Outlander Read-a-long hosted by Into the Hall of Books, Gone with the Words, The Reading Housewives, Stalking the Bookshelves, Tangled Up in Blue, and yours truly is finally here and there is still time to join us! Starting today through July 23rd, we’ll be reading and discussing Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER. Each Monday during the read-along, we’re taking turns hosting a discussion of 7 chapters.  You’ll have a week to read the chapters and write up a response to the questions. 

Today Jess at Gone with the Words has released the first set of questions for chapters 1-7. So head over to check them out and crack open those books, or scurry off to buy a copy if you haven’t yet (slackers)!

The full schedule:

June 11th
Questions for chapters 1-7 announced at Gone with the Words

June 18th
Questions for chapters 1-7 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 8-14 at Stalking the Bookshelves

June 25th
Questions for chapters 8-14 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 15-21 on Tangled Up in Blue

July 2nd
Questions for chapters 15-21 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 22-28 on Into the Hall of Books

July 9th
Questions for chapters 22-28 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 29-35 on Logan E. Turner

July 16th
Questions for chapters 29-35 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 36-41 on The Reading Housewives

July 23rd
Questions for chapters 36-41 answered on Gone with the Words. 

To join us:

Please create a post announcing the event to help us spread the word, and then link up that post in the linky tool below! It’s that easy! The linky is the same at each host’s announcement post, so you only need to sign up once. And don’t forget to grab a button!

 

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Logan E. Turner

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Announcing the Outlander Read-A-Long!

I’m so very excited to announce that Into the Hall of Books, Gone with the Words, The Reading Housewives, Stalking the Bookshelves, Tangled Up in Blue, and yours truly are hosting an Outlander read-a-long! From June 11th through July 23rd, we’ll be reading and discussing one of the most beloved historical romance novels of all time (and one of my personal favorite books of all time) – Diana Gabaldon’s OUTLANDER!

The details:

It’s simple, really. The six of us love Outlander, and we want you to love it, too. If you know me at all, you know it holds a special place in my heart. We know you’ve been meaning to read it, but it’s looong. As looong as your TBR list. And you only have so many hours in a day. You’ve got a schedule to keep, what with your stacks of review copies and trips to the library. Who can blame you?

But the six of us love Outlander. Did we mention that? And we think you will, too. So we’re going to help you out. We’re going to walk you through it. We’re going to break it down into manageable chunks. We’re going to ask you questions and get you talking about it. We’re going to invite you into the community of readers who just can’t stop talking about Jamie Fraser and Claire Randall.

Each Monday during the read-a-long, we’re taking turns hosting a discussion of 7 chapters of the book.  You’ll have a week to read the chapters and write up a response to the questions. Then we’ll post a linky on that week’s host blog for participants to link-up their discussion questions so everyone can hop from blog to blog and see other readerâ??s thoughts. We’ll also post the next week’s questions so you can get prepared for the following week. 

The schedule:

June 11th
Questions for chapters 1-7 announced at Gone with the Words

June 18th
Questions for chapters 1-7 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 8-14 at Stalking the Bookshelves

June 25th
Questions for chapters 8-14 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 15-21 on Tangled Up in Blue

July 2nd
Questions for chapters 15-21 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 22-28 on Into the Hall of Books

July 9th
Questions for chapters 22-28 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 29-35 on Logan E. Turner

July 16th
Questions for chapters 29-35 answered &
Questions announced for chapters 36-41 on The Reading Housewives

July 23rd
Questions for chapters 36-41 answered on Gone with the Words. 

The book:

Outlander is widely available, both in print and ebook. We wanted to give you as much advance notice as possible, so you can get it reserved at the library, order a copy from your favorite retailer, or pick it up in your local store. It’s available worldwide. Mass market copies and the ebook are available for $8.99. Or you can pick up the fancier 20th Anniversary Edition. Or even a signed copy from The Poisoned Pen. You can probably find a copy at a used bookstore, or spring for a used copy online. However you choose to read it, we want you to join us!

To join us:

Please create a post announcing the event to help us spread the word, and then link up that post in the linky tool below! It’s that easy! The linky is the same at each host’s announcement post, so you only need to sign up once. And don’t forget to grab a button!

 

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Review: When You Dare by Lori Foster

Click the cover to purchase at Amazon
Book: When You Dare
Author: Lori Foster
Publisher: HQN Books
Release date: April 26, 2011
Source: Purchased for Kindle
Series: Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor #1

Summary: (from Goodreads) The tougher they are, the harder they fall . . .

Professional mercenary Dare Macintosh lives by one hard and fast rule: business should never be personal. If a cause appeals to him and the price is right, he’ll take the mission he’s offered. But then the lovely Molly Alexander asks him to help her track down the men who’d had her kidnappedâ??and for the first time, Dare’s tempted to combine work with pleasure.

Fiercely independent, Molly vows to trust no one until she’s uncovered the truth. Could the enemy be her powerful, estranged father? The ex-fiancé who still holds a grudge? Or the not-so-shy fan of her bestselling novels? As the danger heats up around them, the only anchor Molly has is Dare himself. But what she feels for him just might be the most frightening thing of all.

First impressions: Hello, pretty cover. I’d ask how you are, but I think it’s fairly obvious. You’re doing great. So what’s going on back there, behind your beautiful abs of awesome? No, you’re right. I don’t really care.

Lasting impressions: A smart, strong woman meets a smart, strong man and somehow both are surprised they fall in love. I’m all about the slow burn, but with this one I was snapping my fingers hoping they’d move it along. I gots thangs to do.

Conflicting impressions: Dare is a mercenary, and a lot of time is spent talking about his job or watching him protect Molly, but we get snubbed when it comes to actually seeing his dare I say, daring rescue? I could pun all day with this guy.

Overall impressions: It took me probably three weeks to get through this book. I would read a few chapters, put it down, then not ever really get the urge to pick it back up. I was on board with a handsome mercenary who rescues a young woman, then falls in love while trying to track down her kidnappers. If only that was the book I got.

Instead, I got a really boring but handsome rich dude who says he’s a killer mercenary but in reality is just dull and likes dogs. A LOT. He calls them “his girls” and I think that’s supposed to be cute but I thought it was weird. The author wanted to make us think he had daughters by using this vague phrase.

Yeah. We get it. Very clever.

The book starts after the main event, which annoyed me. Dare has just rescued this woman out of the goodness of his heart while actually in Mexico to rescue his friend’s sister from human traffickers. There was this extra American lying around so he just scooped her up and put her in the bin with the others. It’s a good thing Lori Foster doesn’t try to make Molly feel indebted to him for going out of his way to save her because that would be super extra annoying.

But no. Molly feels indebted not because Dare rescued her, but because she hasn’t paid him. She spends the rest of the book worrying about the expenses Dare is racking up in order to get her things like food, clothing, and shelter (the nerve!) and is so overly apologetic about being scared and seemingly weak that she drives Dare (and us) crazy.

The secret is that Dare doesn’t think she’s crazy for being scared. He thinks she’s actually handling things really well and is so impressed with how awesome and strong she is that he wants to smooch her. Instead of going all Moonstruck and slapping Molly while Cher-ily telling her to “Snap out of it!” he just dives in and plants a kiss on a shell-shocked recovering kidnapping victim who was beaten and starved in a Mexican shack for almost two weeks.

Surprisingly, Molly reacts by wondering if she can get some more of that smooching. That pain in your eye? That’s called an eyeroll sprain. You may want to go put some ice on that.

The single most frustrating part of this book was that despite the somewhat forgivable back-and-forth nature of the characters’ escalating feelings, the plot itself didn’t really go anywhere. We come in after the exciting rescue and then spend a few hundred pages watching Molly try to build her life back up to normal, then spend the last 50 pages finding out whodunnit and watching Dare take them down in a very brief scene. Where was the danger I was promised in the summary? I wanted way more action than I got, and was disappointed with how slowly the book moved.

Our main characters spent most of the book telling each other the same thing over and over again, highlighting their mutual admiration. “You’re perfect.” “No, you’re perfect.” “You’re so strong.” “No, you’re so strong.” “I secretly love you.” “No, I’m the one in love with you secretly.” Ad nauseam. If you can stomach the slow pace and just want to follow the romance, this is for you. If you’re looking for some excitement or surprises, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Rating: 2/5 stars

Click the stars for a description of my rating system

Want a different perspective? Read these well done reviews by Ruby’s Reads and The Unread Reader.