Review: X by Sue Grafton


It was many years ago, in the basement of my local library during a used book sale, that I discovered the magic of Sue Grafton’s alphabet series.  Grabbing volumes A, B, and C for a measly .50 each, I soon fell in love with Kinsey Milhone.  I quickly grabbed all available titles and anxiously awaited each new release.  Sadly, I’ve slacked off a bit over the last several years.  Too many books, too little time. But still, I keep coming back to this series like a comfy pair of flannel jammies.

Once again, Kinsey finds herself unwittingly caught up in a mystery.  It starts off simple enough with a seemingly harmless meeting and an easy little job locating a missing person.  Soon, though, Kinsey finds out that she’s been had.  And the mystery goes much deeper than she ever suspected.  Stolen art, murder, robbery, it’s all there.  Of course, along the way, we are treated to generous helpings of the characters we’ve grown to love.  There’s Henry, Kinsey’s lovable landlord/surrogate father.  And Ed the cat, Rosie, William, they’re all there.

Is this the best book of the series?  Not by a long shot.  I found it a bit draggy at times and too drawn out at others.  With a character like Kinsey, however, those are just small bumps in the road.  You read these books for the storyline, sure.  But just as much, you read them because you’ve grown to know and love the characters.  It’ll be a very sad day when I read the very last page of volume Z.


Buy It Now:  X

Review: Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis

Cutie pie Pru learns to be very independent when her parents die in a car accident. She single handedly makes reparations to all those affected in the accident… and then she realizes she’s crushing on one – namely, Finn. 

I love the names Pru and Finn, and all the other character names too. They totally fit in to the “Melrose Place” type of setting and made this a very fun story to read. I wasn’t totally invested in the crew though, much like the Melrose Place television show! I’m hoping that with such an awesome cast of characters, this initial book in the series was serving as an introduction to the ensemble, as well as telling Pru and Finn’s story. If Shalvis can give me more of Elle’s and Sean’s snappy wit, and some more complex sub-plots, this series will be a winner. 

I’ll tell you what I absolutely enjoyed: Pru and Finn’s dates, the old guy by the fountain, the dumbwaiter, Finn’s ever-developing relationship with his brother, sweet Jake’s concern for Pru, and especially the way these friends always, ALWAYS, have each other’s backs. 



Review: A Blind Guide to Stinkville by Beth Vrabel

Random Book Muses

I’m not exactly a YA reader. I like realistic fiction with protagonists my own age – I can just relate better, you know? But A Blind Guide to Stinkville reeled me in. I was laughing in Chapter One. I was invested by Chapter Three. I was bawling my eyes out in Chapter Seventeen… but that’s for later in this review.

Alice moves across the country and, like the rest of her family, is having a hard time adjusting. Besides the friend factor and the school factor, Alice has some physical challenges that were much easier to handle when everyone in her old town had known her since she was born. In Stinkville, Alice has to learn how to do things without the predictable help of those around her.

I am SO IMPRESSED with Vrabel’s consistent pace and even-keeled writing. Alice could be barely holding it together, or the girl in…

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Series review: Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

maiden-lane A while back, one of my book buddies told us that she was listening to a book in the Maiden Lane series. I’ve never heard of them, but she swore it was FANTASTIC. I like historical romances, so I figured I’d give it a shot. And guess what? I loved them. LOVE. What I loved most of all was that they all intertwined. I was so very tempted to skip to the one my friend was telling me about but she forbade from doing that. She said I must read in order. So I did.

This series has a a bit of intrigue mixed in, that makes you not want to put it down. Of course I’m all about the love and this series has an overabundance of that. The best part of this is that, just when you think the secondary characters are just for fillers, they end up getting a book themselves. It’s so exciting! I start to think, “Is he going to be with her?” Or even, “Why isn’t he doing anything?” I know who I want to end up with whom, but I have to sit and be patient. In my reading I’m finding myself asking my friends if so and so will be in later books, just to keep me happy. I want all their stories!

I realize this is a horrible review, cuz I’m not being very specific, but if you like historical romances, I highly recommend this series. Also, I’ve heard that the audible are super hot. So if you have extra credits, grab a book or two and see what ya think. I’ve read the first 7 books and I’m currently reading book 8. I think this one is going to tug at my heartstrings a bit. And I can’t wait!


Grab all the Maiden Lane books HERE.

Review: The Sixth Idea (Monkeewrench, #7) by PJ Tracy

2777462129966598(Titled Cold Hit in the UK) I really love this series so I was well chuffed when I received an ARC to read and review. I’ve been a huge fan of the mother/daughter team of PJ Tracy. I was totally blown away when Monkeewrench was published in 2003 and I am always excited when a new installment comes out.

If I wasn’t already familiar with the Monkeewrench team I might have been a bit disappointed in this novel…or perhaps I wouldn’t have been disappointed in it, but I wouldn’t have understood the relationship that the 5 team members (yes, Charlie IS a team member) share.

I really enjoyed this novel. I just wish there had been more of the interaction between the team. I really missed that. No, we didn’t have to revisit and rehash all of the past, but there just didn’t seem to be the same chemistry between them as there has been in other novels.

Don’t let my disappointment stop you from reading a very good novel! Please! If I’m to be honest, maybe I can admit that the lack of chemistry between the team might mean that they are all in better places and much more able to support themselves emotionally.

Yes, you can read this novel and follow along just fine. You won’t be lost. It’s a good solid standalone crime novel…however, don’t cut yourself short. This is a series that deserves to be read from the first book. If only you can see how wonderful this series is.

Until next time…
Urania xx

ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review

Buy it now The Sixth Idea by PJ Tracy

Review: Claiming Noah by Amanda Orlepp


What would you do if you desperately wanted a child but were unable to have one? What lengths would you go to and where would you draw the line?

Catriona and James badly want a baby, James a bit more so. After trying unsuccessfully, they agree to try IVF. And it works. They soon find themselves the parents of a healthy baby boy. Diana and Liam are in the same predicament. They explore many options before eventually settling on embryo donation. And they, too, are successful. Another healthy baby boy.

But Catriona doesn’t find herself easily settling into motherhood. She’s soon in a downward spiral, deep in the throes of postpartum depression. Diana, on the other hand, quickly adjusts to being a mom. All is going well until the day her baby is taken right out from under her.

This story was completely different from what I expected. For that, I give props to whoever wrote the description. There’s not much worse than a book blurb that gives too much away. No such worries with this one. And I’m not going to give anything else away, either, other than to say that there are several juicy little twists and turns on the path to the final conclusion of this story.


Buy It Now:  Claiming Noah

Review: The Christmas Angel Project by Melody Carlson

This is a charming story of five book club friends whose main connection is friend Abby. When Abby dies, the remaining four need to find a way to carry on. Abby provides that guidance from some angel gifts she’s left for them. 

I was disappointed in the beginning of this book because I could sense the “setting up” of the plot… a little contrived or overplanned. However, by the middle, I loved the direction Carlson took the four women – it seemed natural and authentic. Seeing the women use Abby’s Angels to help them grieve and then use their talents to help others warmed my heart, and it will warm yours, too.