What I Read in February

I stuck to my usual genres this month- crime thrillers, suspense and a little mild romance. I also completed some non-fiction on my TBR list.

book reviews

The Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman 4 stars

 I listened to the audiobook via Scribd. Set in the 60s in Baltimore, Maryland. Madeline “Maddie” Schwartz leaves her husband and pursues a career as a reporter. She also becomes involved with an African American police officer, a relationship that must be secret. Maddie has the chance to make her name by following the story of a dead African-American woman, Cleo Sherwood, but Cleo’s ghost (or is it her ghost) would rather the story be left alone. Maddie is a pretty shallow character who only sees her own needs and wants, but the story is still intriguing enough to stick with.

The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni 4 stars

Read and listened via Kindle Unlimited. I always appreciate Dugoni’s efforts at being realistic about the criminal justice system and procedures. In this legal thriller, a priest who runs a homeless shelter for troubled boys ends up accused of the murder of one of the boys. Peter Donley is a young attorney who ends up defending him when his uncle, senior attorney at their firm, falls ill. The only way to really prove the priest’s innocence is to find the real killer and in the process uncover criminal justice corruption.

Regretting You by Collen Hoover 4 stars

Read and listened via Kindle Unlimited. This story is told back and forth between Morgan and her sixteen year old daughter, Clara. Morgan’s husband and Morgan’s sister are killed in a car accident, together when no one knew they were together or why. As they navigate their grief, Morgan discovers lots of things about herself at a time when Clara is coming of age. Secrets lead to resentment all around. I liked this one very much. Hoover has a way of getting you caught up in the story. I wanted so badly to solve everyone’s problems for them.

The Color of A Dream by Julianne MacLean 3 stars

Read and listened on Kindle Unlimited Book 4 in the Color of Heaven series. I usually rate these books at 3, because I like them but find this author’s writing sometimes “cheesy” and choppy. I do find it fascinating how the characters in each book in the series, sometimes random characters, get connected in other books. Once we get past Rick and Jesse’s backstory, which is a little choppy, this book gets better. It picks up with Nadia from book 3 who is recovering from a heart transplant. Rick shows up out of the blue wanting custody of their child. In their search to find dirt on Rick, Nadia and her sister contact Jesse, Rick’s estranged brother. Nadia and Jesse have a connection. Nadia has also been having weird dreams and wants to know more about her heart donor. Her search to find the donor sets up book 5.

The Color of a Memory by Julianne MacLean 3 stars

Read and listened on Kindle Unlimited/ Book 5 -This book details the backstory and romance of Audrey, an ER nurse and Alex, a firefighter. Alex is killed in the line of duty and Audrey begins to learn things that make her question her perfect marriage. There seems to be another woman, but who is she? There is a fun twist to this story. Alex also turns out to be Nadia’s heart  donor and Nadia gets to meet his family and Audrey.

Minutes to Kill by Melinda Leigh 4 stars

Read and listened on Kindle Unlimited.  Book 2 of the Scarlett Falls Series. Hannah Barrett tries—and fails—to stop a kidnapping in Vegas. She can’t shake the haunting image of the terrified young girl she couldn’t save. She also starts receiving emails from the girl. The killers have followed Hannah to New York to Scarlet Falls to get rid of her as well and take other victims in their search for Hannah.

Eight months after her brother’s death, Hannah turns to Detective Brody McNamara once again. Brody is eager to help, though he’s embroiled in the investigation of a brutal murder. But the closer they work together, the stronger their feelings grow…and the more they stand to lose when two seemingly unrelated, but equally deadly, cases collide. A suspenseful crime thriller with a romance thrown in. I always like Melinda Leigh’s characters.

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth 2 stars

Lot’s of hype for this one, but it almost made my short DNF list. It fell very flat for me. Maybe is was the narrator. It might have been better if I were reading it but I doubt it. It’s boring and not much of a suspense novel to me. Lucy never really got along with her mother-in-law, Diana. Diana turns up dead suddenly with a suicide note but the investigation suggests murder. Who did it? The book is told back and forth between Lucy and Diana, past and present.

It’s Not Supposed to Be This Way by Lysa TerKeurst 3 stars

Read and listened. Kindle/ Scribd When we experience disappointment, hurt and trials that are more than we can handle, it’s easy to doubt God. Lysa shares her owns journey of faith through health and relationship trials. I liked this book but not as much as “Unglued.” Even though the author narrated, I think I would have liked this more if I had read all of it instead of listened to parts. I think it has the potential to speak differently to the reader at different seasons of life and perhaps this isn’t my season to fully appreciate this book.

The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees by Meredith May

Listened to the Audiobook via Scribd. Meredith grows up with a mentally ill mother who carries her brother and her across the country to live with their grandmother and step-grandfather when Meredith’s parents divorce. Her step-grandfather tends honey-bee hives in an old bus and teaches Meredith about family and community through the bees. Part of this dragged a little, but it was worth the investment. I was left with a feeling of nostalgia after completing this one. I known several bee keepers so this one was interesting to me where as it might not be to everyone.

Abbas’ Child by Brennan Manning 3 stars

The challenge from The Unread Shelf for the month of February was to read a book gifted to you. My husband gave me this one several years ago, but I just couldn’t get into it. I made it my challenge this month and made it to the end. I really do like the ideas and philosophy in the book but I’m not crazy about Manning’s style of writing. If you don’t know God as your father and intimately as your “Abba” “daddy” you should read this and give some thought to your relationship to God/Christ. The chapter that spoke to me the most was the one on Present Risenness. Jesus did rise from the dead and is as much present and here as the person next to me and you, but do we really live that way? I know I tend to think of him as being very distant most days instead of walking with me daily like he really does.

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