I completed a lot of books in March. You might think that it was due to quarantining but my area did not start until the end of the month. My job didn’t allow me to start teleworking until March 24th. I think my reading/listening has actually slowed down some now that I am teleworking and staying home.
I had some slow days at work that allowed for listening to audio books and some reading here and there. I was anticipating work getting super busy mid March and April, so I was really focusing on getting some of my TBR list knocked out before it got busy. Then COVID 19 hit, and work didn’t increase. I’m still reading and listening as much as I can because we will be super busy when normal operations resume and reading may fall behind at some point in the year. (I have a goal to complete 100 books this year.)
Enough of that! Here are the books I read or listened to in March. If you need a good escape or way to pass the time, there are some good ones here.
Miracle Creek by Angie Kim- Audiobook via Scribd. I should have included this one for February because I listened to most of it in February and completed it March 1. A hyperbaric chamber explodes, killing two people. The chamber was treating a variety of illnesses, with a focus on autistic children. The mother of one of the children and victims finds herself on trial for murder. As the trial proceeds, more and more secrets are unraveled. Who was really responsible for the fire? This book could be classified as mystery, but it’s also a look at grief and the emotional roller coaster of caring for special needs children. I give it 3 stars. I probably didn’t like it as much as others did, but it’s still a good story.
Seconds to Live (Scarlett Falls #3) by Melinda Leigh– Read and listened via Kindle Unlimited. Mac Barrett returns to his hometown upon the death of his father. He has spent years running from the emotions of hi childhood and his delinquent past. On the way to his cabin, he see’s a woman;s body in the road and wrecks. Then the body disappears. Stella Dane responds and Mac becomes involved in her missing persons investigation. Attraction has been lingering between the two since their contact in book #2. A budding romance evolves and Mac finds a reason to stop running from his past. 4 stars I’ve read two of Leigh’s series now- Scarlett Falls and Morgan Dane. The characters are intertwined and her characters are always so lovable.
The Color of Love (Color of Heaven #6) by Julianne Maclean Read/listened via Kindle Unlimited. This was my least favorite of this series so far. Carla’s husband, who is a mountain climber, goes missing when his place crashes. Carla restarts a life with Josh after assuming her husband is dead. A hiker/climber is found and Carla goes to Canada only to find out it’s not her husband Seth but Aaron, who was on the plane with Seth. Arron had some of Seth’s belongings when he was found, including Carla’s picture, so he was mistaken for Seth. Arron is in love with Carla and she decides he is her true love as well. Too crazy for me! They don’t even know each other, and Josh was too nice for all of this to happen. This book also explores the mother/teen daughter relationship with Carla and her daughter. I rate this one 3 stars in spite of not liking the turn of events.
The Trapped Girl (Tracy Crosswhite #4) Read and listened via Kindle Unlimited This was the best of the series yet for me! A boy who is illegally crabbing finds a woman’s body submerged in a crab pot. It seems that she is someone (Andrea Strickland) who was trying to hide her identity. But is it Strickland? This book has some really neat twists and turns. If it’s not Stickland, where is she? Who is the woman in the pot? and who killed her? 5 stars
The Art of Inheriting Secrets- Barbara O’Neal Read/listened via Kindle Unlimited Olivia Shaw’s mother passed away and leaves her a 600+year old mansion in England that Olivia knew nothing about. She is instantly a countess. She has to travel to England to take care of this property and learn her mother’s secrets. In the process, she finds romance and learns about herself too. A little slow at times and all the secrets are piled in at the end of the story. 3 stars
The Color of the Season (Color of Heaven #7)– Read and listened by Kindle Unlimited and Audible Escape. Josh Wallace (Josh from #6 above) gets dumped by his girlfriend Carla and shot in the line of duty on the same day. He has an out of body experience that leads him back to childhood friends. This search for his childhood friends leads him to a new love. A story about healing, hope, and family reconciliation. 4 stars
Sweet Thing (#1) by Renee Carlino Read via Scribd/ listened via Audible Escape. I could easily read the same authors over and over but I’ve been trying to challenge myself to read different things. I’ve seen Carlino recommended before so I decided to give this a go. Wow! Upon her father’s death, Mia, 25, leaves Ann Arbor and goes to New York to take over her father’s cafe while she decides what to do with her life. On the plain, she meets Will, a charming musician she is instantly attracted to. She tells herself he is not her type- he doesn’t have a “real job”. Once in New York, he answers an ad she places and becomes her roommate. It’s clear to her he cannot be just her roommate (even though they date other people) and she is fighting a losing battle with herself. The tension (all fun) in this book had me finishing this one in almost one day just to see if they get together as a couple and then back together after they do and break up. Fun, serious and sad at times. Warning: has some sexually explicit content. 4 stars
Swear On This Life by Renee Carlino- I dove right into another Carlino book after the first one. Read and listened via Scribd and Audible Escape. Emiline’s roommate brings home a novel about two childhood friends who fall in love. Emiline reluctantly reads the book and quickly realizes it is her story- her abusive childhood and her friend Jase’s troubled upbringing with a drug addicted mother. As teens they fall in love but are separated by circumstances. Jase writes the book in hopes of finding her and to heal her. Not only a love story, but one of forgiveness and self-discovery. This one is raw, real and emotional. Favorite line- “She has her own demons and if she rejects you, it’ll have nothing to do with who you are.” Emiline’s dad 4 stars
Wish You Were Here by Renee Carlino Yet another Carlino book that sucked me in. This book overuses foul language, sex and starts out shallow. I almost stopped reading it but kept going. Charlotte and her roommate are in their 20s with no life plans, bouncing from guy to guy and job to job. Then Charlotte has a one night stand with Adam and can’t forget him. She also doesn’t understand why he doesn’t make contact with her, yet he paints a mural on a building with a scene from their conversation during the one night stand. Charlotte has started seeing Seth but finds out the shocking truth about Adam and has the chance to reunite with him. The story moves from shallow to deep story of love, loss, grief and healing. Favorite lines -“Rules are for people with the luxury of time.” “We won’t be judged by the brevity of our lives. ” Adam 4 stars
Yes, I read three Carlino books in about three days! I will be reading more of this author.
A Low Country Wedding #4 by Mary Alice Monroe Read via Scribd. The summer girls are all finally getting married. But then another Muir half sibling surfaces- and his is African American. Add more drama to the stressful wedding planning drama! The wedding planning is a little drawn out but overall it’s still a good read and a good wrap up to the previous trilogy. Carson and Dora are dealing with commitment issues and Taylor and Harper have to deal with Granny James’ interference. 4 stars I appreciated this series because I live near and frequent the low country. I could always smell the sea and feel the humidity when I read these books.
Last Day Luanne Rice Another new to me author I had not read before. Read/listended via Kindle Unlimited Beth Lanthrop is found dead in her home and a valuable painting is missing. Is this a repeat of her mother’s murder? Did her husband, who has a mistress and another child and motives, kill her? The same investigator that worked Beth and her sister’s kidnapping and mother’s death years ago is working the case. Kate, Beth’s sister, is doing some digging of her own and learns secrets about her sister. The killer was close to the family but a surprise to me. Favorite line -” the best of us waste our time repenting , forgiving everyone but ourselves.” Beth 3.5 stars
Anyone read Luanne Rice? Can you recommend more of her books?
A Painted House- John Grisham The Unread Shelf Challenge for the month of March was to read the book that has been on your unread shelf the longest. This was it. I’ve had this book since it was first published and it’s moved with me a couple of times. I used to be an avid reader of Grisham novels, but once I started working in the legal system myself, I stopped reading. This book is a departure from his usual legal thrillers and is a coming of age, loss of innocence type book. The story is told from 7 year old Luke’s perspective and is about his life on a cotton farm in rural Arkansas. Luke witnesses many things, including violent acts by two dangerous men, during this cotton season. A rambling story, but entertaining, funny at times. I laughed at Luke’s view (truthful) of the church and southern baptists- everything is a sin! 3 stars
A Dog’s Purpose- W. Bruce Cameron Read the paperback and listened to parts on Scribd. The book that has been on my unread shelf the second longest amount of time, going back to my decision to read again. I asked for this and received it for Christmas 2018 and just got around to reading it. I didn’t like the beginning much, but once “Buddy” became “Bailey” and went home with Ethan, I was hooked. Cute, funny and sad all at the same time. This book is a true depiction of the compassion our pets have for us. After I finished the book, my husband and I watched the movie. The movie doesn’t exactly follow the book- that always bothers me- but still worth watching whether or not you read the book. The book is worth the read. 4 stars
David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell My nonfiction for the month was this book via Audible. It’ s well written but I was disappointed. I learned some interesting things, but never really got Gladwell’s explanation of how underdogs succeed. He had no strong conclusions. I’ve also decided I like to read non-fiction books rather than listen to them. 3 stars
Whew! Fourteen books is a lot for me and I doubt I top that again.
Linking up with Show Us Your Books.