Review: Only Her

Here is the description from Amazon:

“Former SEAL sniper Cody Roberts has returned from Afghanistan with too many demons and a simple wish: to be left alone. Working for K2 Special Services, caring for the war dogs he rescued, playing his guitar—that’s all he wants to do. But Cody is as protective as his nickname, “Dog,” suggests. A man like that can’t sit back when he realizes the beautiful veterinarian next door is being targeted by an unknown enemy.

Riley Austin is desperate to find out who’s poisoning her animal patients, and she’s stunned by her mysterious neighbor’s suggestion that it’s personal. But Cody makes her feel something else, too: a powerful attraction. He insists he’s no good for her, but those haunted eyes and that chiseled body tell Riley that surrendering to their mutual lust is worth the risk. And despite his conditions—no falling for each other, no regrets once it’s over—she’ll fight to love him just as fiercely as he’ll fight to save her.”

Cody is a fascinating hero. He’s a Navy Seal hero to most people with the possible exception of his parents — two anti-war professors. His parents sure packed his baggage for him. If Cody bonds with a dog in a war zone, it’s for life. He brings his dogs home.

Riley grew up in foster homes and became a protector of animals. She’s an admirable veterinarian who must uncover the mystery of why some of her patients are being poisoned. She’s dedicated to all species but chose to share her home with cats. This book reminded me of the question: What do you call a veterinarian who treats only one species? Answer: a physician.

Their pasts converge at just the right time in the present to propel them to the future together. I don’t want to include any spoilers but I have to say this book has one of the sweetest endings I have ever read:)

Disclosure: I received a copy of Only Her from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Posted in Cat, Dog, Patriotism, Reading, Reviews, Romance | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Mailbox Monday

I like the 1920s and I’m looking forward to reading Love in Exile. Here is the description from Amazon:

“Sabahat, a beautiful young Muslim woman, is known in her family for her intelligence, drive, and stubbornness. She believes there is more in store for her life than a good marriage and convinces her parents to let her pursue her education, rare for young Turkish women in the 1920s. But no one—least of all Sabahat herself—expects that in the course of her studies she will fall for a handsome Armenian student named Aram.

After precious moments alone together, their love begins to blossom. Try as she might to simplify her life and move on, Sabahat has no choice but to follow her heart’s desire. But Aram is Christian, and neither family approves.

With only hope to guide their way, they defy age-old traditions, cross into dangerous territory, and risk everything to find their way back to each other. One of Turkey’s most beloved authors brings us an evocative story of two star-crossed lovers inspired by her own family’s history.”

Disclosure: I received a copy of Love in Exile from Net Galley. This post contains affiliate links.

Update: Love in Exile is so well written that I went to Amazon to look for other books by Ayse Kulin and I found Last Train to Istanbul at a bargain price:

Here is the description from Amazon:

“As the daughter of one of Turkey’s last Ottoman pashas, Selva could win the heart of any man in Ankara. Yet the spirited young beauty only has eyes for Rafael Alfandari, the handsome Jewish son of an esteemed court physician. In defiance of their families, they marry, fleeing to Paris to build a new life.

But when the Nazis invade France, the exiled lovers will learn that nothing—not war, not politics, not even religion—can break the bonds of family. For after they learn that Selva is but one of their fellow citizens trapped in France, a handful of brave Turkish diplomats hatch a plan to spirit the Alfandaris and hundreds of innocents, many of whom are Jewish, to safety. Together, they must traverse a war-torn continent, crossing enemy lines and risking everything in a desperate bid for freedom. From Ankara to Paris, Cairo, and Berlin, Last Train to Istanbul is an uplifting tale of love and adventure from Turkey’s beloved bestselling novelist Ayşe Kulin”.

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Mailbox Monday

I’m looking forward to reading Only Her by Sandra Owens. Here is the description from Amazon:

“Former SEAL sniper Cody Roberts has returned from Afghanistan with too many demons and a simple wish: to be left alone. Working for K2 Special Services, caring for the war dogs he rescued, playing his guitar—that’s all he wants to do. But Cody is as protective as his nickname, “Dog,” suggests. A man like that can’t sit back when he realizes the beautiful veterinarian next door is being targeted by an unknown enemy.

Riley Austin is desperate to find out who’s poisoning her animal patients, and she’s stunned by her mysterious neighbor’s suggestion that it’s personal. But Cody makes her feel something else, too: a powerful attraction. He insists he’s no good for her, but those haunted eyes and that chiseled body tell Riley that surrendering to their mutual lust is worth the risk. And despite his conditions—no falling for each other, no regrets once it’s over—she’ll fight to love him just as fiercely as he’ll fight to save her.”

Disclosure: I received a copy of Only Her from Net Galley. This post contains affiliate links.

Posted in Mailbox Monday | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Mailbox Monday

Two nonfiction books landed in my mailbox this week:

Here is the description from Amazon:

“Think Michele Guinness meets Bill Bryson. Finding Myself In Britain is a witty, insightful look at faith, identity and the quirks of British life by a stranger-turned-friend.
With a conversational style, this book explores rooting our faith in Christ to weather different seasons in our lives. It helps readers look at Britain and its culture with fresh eyes while finding Jesus in the midst of it.

“You don’t have to be an American to enjoy this book. Or British. Or a vicar’s wife. You just have to be somebody who has found themselves in an unusual place, felt a bit out of their depth, and wondered where God was in all of that. That’s most of us, I think.” Bob Hartman.”

Here is the description from Amazon:

“Ariel Bradley is Washington’s boy spy who pretends to be a country bumpkin (a
“Johnny Raw”). He ‘stumbles’ into General Howe’s camp “looking for the mill” his
father has sent him in search of. In reality, he is assessing the strength and numbers
of the British and their Hessian (German) allies. After he is sent on his way by the
unsuspecting English, he reports this to General Washington and his staff. This
information proves key in what became known as the Battle of White Plains.”

I passionately hope that American Revolutionary history will always be taught to students and it was great to receive this book. I’ve also heard that the PBS’ Series, Liberty’s Kids, is exceptional:

Disclosure: I received copies of Finding Myself in Britain and Ariel Bradley from Net Galley. This post contains affiliate links.

Posted in Mailbox Monday, Reading | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Mailbox Monday

I was happy to receive a copy of Chain of Title from Audible in my mailbox today. Here is the description from Amazon:

“In the depths of the Great Recession, a cancer nurse, a car dealership worker, and an insurance fraud specialist helped uncover the largest consumer crime in American history – a scandal that implicated dozens of major executives on Wall Street. They called it foreclosure fraud: Millions of families were kicked out of their homes based on false evidence by mortgage companies that had no legal right to foreclose.

Lisa Epstein, Michael Redman, and Lynn Szymoniak did not work in government or law enforcement. They had no history of anticorporate activism. Instead they were all foreclosure victims, and while struggling with their shame and isolation they committed a revolutionary act: closely reading their mortgage documents, discovering the deceit behind them, and building a movement to expose it.

Fiscal Times columnist David Dayen recounts how these ordinary Floridians challenged the most powerful institutions in America armed only with the truth – and for a brief moment, they brought the corrupt financial industry to its knees.”

Disclosure: I received a copy of Chain of Title from Audible in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Posted in American History, Audiobooks, Mailbox Monday | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Review: Frederick’s Queen

Here is the description of the Audible edition of Frederick’s Queen from Amazon:

“There can be no light without darkness, no hope without despair, no love without heartache

Some scars can’t be seen

When the handsome Frederick Mackintosh offers to marry Aggie McLaren, she is certain ’tis greed or insanity that motivates him. Besides land and a chance at a chiefdom, she believes she has nothing to offer. She soon learns nothing could be further from the truth. Hope she thought long lost blooms with her husband’s kindness, his honor, and his fierce determination to make their marriage and their clan a success.

Sometimes perfection is imperfect

Aggie McLaren is not Frederick Mackintosh’s image of the perfect wife. She isn’t well read, vivacious, or voluptuous. Wee, timid, and unable to speak, it is a glimpse of her smile and the chance to be chief of his own clan that propels him to offer for her hand. Frederick will do whatever he must in order to see her smile again and to help her find her voice.”

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This is an interesting premise. Would Beauty and the Beast work if you flipped the genders? Relationships where men are much better looking than women rarely look authentic to me.

Aggie McLaren endures a brutal childhood. Frederick Mackintosh has a few wounds of his own. In adulthood, Aggie McLaren chooses to become a protector instead of a sadist. It’s easy to hope that a heroine who endured so much brutality has a happy ending. And this is a well written novel with good narration. Plot twists make it interesting. I expect Frederick’s Queen resonates powerfully with readers.

Disclosure: I received a copy of Frederick’s Queen from Audible in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

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Herding Cats -“Don’t Let Anybody Tell You It’s Easy”

As these cowboys will tell you, anybody can herd cattle but herding cats –don’t let anybody tell you it’s easy:

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FREE – The book John Grisham says is his “most important”.

Here’s the description from Amazon for the book John Grisham has called his “most important”:

“John Grisham says THE TUMOR is the most important book he has ever written. In this short book, he provides readers with a fictional account of how a real, new medical technology could revolutionize the future of medicine by curing with sound.

THE TUMOR follows the present day experience of the fictional patient Paul, an otherwise healthy 35-year-old father who is diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Grisham takes readers through a detailed account of Paul’s treatment and his family’s experience that doesn’t end as we would hope. Grisham then explores an alternate future, where Paul is diagnosed with the same brain tumor at the same age, but in the year 2025, when a treatment called focused ultrasound is able to extend his life expectancy.

Focused ultrasound has the potential to treat not just brain tumors, but many other disorders, including Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, hypertension, and prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer.

For more information, you can visit The Focused Ultrasound Foundation’s website. Here you will find a video of Grisham on the TEDx stage with the Foundation’s chairman and a Parkinson’s patient who brings the audience to its feet sharing her incredible story of a focused ultrasound “miracle.”

Readers will get a taste of the narrative they expect from Grisham, but this short book will also educate and inspire people to be hopeful about the future of medical innovation.”

John Grisham has generously made this medical knowledge accessible to everyone by offering The Tumor for free. You can download your free copy of The Tumor by clicking on the image above or the link below:

The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

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Mailbox Monday

I love the idea of reading about the Wizard of Oz from the viewpoint of Dorothy’s dog, Toto. Here’s the description from Amazon:

“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was written in 1900 by L. Frank Baum. Many other Oz books followed, as well as the famous 1939 movie. Not until now, however, does Toto tell the story, as he remembers it. In Toto’s Tale, we read his version of the beloved adventures. Toto tells how he first found Dorothy when she arrived in Kansas on an orphan train and how they were both adopted by Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. In the end, he says, the silver shoes (not ruby slippers as in the movie) weren’t lost in the desert, but put to good use.”

Here is the description from Amazon:

“In the summer of 1978, residents of Love Canal, a suburban development in Niagara Falls, NY, began protesting against the leaking toxic waste dump in their midst-a sixteen-acre site containing 100,000 barrels of chemical waste that anchored their neighborhood. Initially seeking evacuation, area activists soon found that they were engaged in a far larger battle over the meaning of America’s industrial past and its environmental future. The Love Canal protest movement inaugurated the era of grassroots environmentalism, spawning new anti-toxics laws and new models of ecological protest.

Historian Richard S. Newman examines the Love Canal crisis through the area’s broader landscape, detailing the way this ever-contentious region has been used, altered, and understood from the colonial era to the present day. Newman journeys into colonial land use battles between Native Americans and European settlers, 19th-century utopian city planning, the rise of the American chemical industry in the 20th century, the transformation of environmental activism in the 1970s, and the memory of environmental disasters in our own time.

In an era of hydrofracking and renewed concern about nuclear waste disposal, Love Canal remains relevant. It is only by starting at the very beginning of the site’s environmental history that we can understand the road to a hazardous waste crisis in the 1970s-and to the global environmental justice movement it sparked.”

Disclosure: I received copies of Toto’s Tale and Love Canal from Net Galley. This post contains affiliate links.

Posted in American History, Animals, Mailbox Monday | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Clever Cats

If any species could form an effective Army despite napping several times a day, it would be cats:) In Cool Cat Mysteries, cat sleuths solve mysteries without missing a nap.

How would you describe Bertrum Thumbcat — the cat leader in the cat video? Clever? Sneaky? Cute? Something else? Would you describe the cat on the cover of Cool Cat Mysteries the same way?

Posted in 1920s, Animals, Cat | Tagged , | 44 Comments