Tag: Kindle Unlimited

Review: Not Quite Crazy by Catherine Bybee

Posted June 4, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Not Quite Crazy by Catherine BybeeReviewer: Holly
Not Quite Crazy (Not Quite, #6) by Catherine Bybee
Series: Not Quite #6
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: March 6, 2018
Point-of-View: Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 315
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
two-half-stars

From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee comes the sixth novel in the warm and witty Not Quite series.

No one drives in New York City. Everyone knows that, including California transplant Rachel Price. But that doesn’t stop her from driving into the city. From Connecticut. Every single morning. Rain or shine…or snow.

When she runs the charismatic and good-looking Jason Fairchild off the road, their immediate spark is met with bad timing. There is also one tiny little detail: Jason is her boss. And a woman as intelligent and dedicated to her career as Rachel knows not to date her boss.

As CEO of a private jet company, Jason Fairchild is more used to flying than driving. But if he hadn’t chosen to drive home one night, he wouldn’t have met the slowest—and most irresistible—driver in the entire metro area. Jason has never had time for love. Or dating. Or really anything that doesn’t involve work. But when he finds out that Rachel is the newest superstar in his marketing department, he can’t help wondering if fate has other plans…

Not Quite Crazy the sixth book Bybee’s Not Quite series. I didn’t read any of the previous ones. I don’t feel like I missed out on much by skipping the other books, though the “happy couples want everyone happy” bits got kind of annoying.

I really liked Rachel and Jason together. She has guardianship of her deceased best friend’s son, Owen, and I really liked him as well. The three of them together had a great family relationship. Sadly, there wasn’t enough of Rachel and Jason, nor the three of them together to make this work.

Neither of the central conflicts of the plot worked for me.

1) Jason is the owner of the company and therefore Rachel’s boss. This was problematic in that it was never properly explored. Rachel has major concerns – legitimate ones – that she could lose her job if their relationship goes sour. She worries she’ll be thought less of by her peers and that her work won’t be taken seriously. Jason agrees she’s right to have concerns and even discusses with his brother (and business partner) how the company lawyers would advise against a relationship, and yet he still pushes for a relationship. Something about the way it was done really bothered me. The power imbalance really stood out, and I never felt like Rachel had a choice in the matter. She told Jason no, he did it anyway, the end.

and

2) Owen’s father’s family wants custody of him. I admit I’m not an expert when it comes to family law, but I had a major problem with the way the custody aspect was handled. Rachel was given guardianship in California as stated in her best friend’s will. Then paternal grandparents show up and say they want custody. Owen is 15. He’s never met them before. She agrees to move from CA to CT to be closer to them in order to avoid a court battle for custody, though it the father’s family never actually tried to go for custody. They just threatened and she moved. She claims grandparents would get custody over her no matter what so she has to keep them happy. But, she has guardianship! He’s never met the grandparents. He’s only seen dad a couple times in his life. And he’s 15! He can decide for himself where he wants to live. Regardless of that, however, unless I missed something major, Rachel hasn’t explored her rights as guardian through any legal channels. There’s a brief mention of an attorney advising her to keep in contact with the grandparents, but that’s it. She hasn’t hired an attorney or done any research. Similarly, the grandparents didn’t go through any legal channels to gain custody. They threatened to, which was enough to make Rachel move closer to them, but that’s it. The whole thing seemed contrived and silly.

The hearing at the end worked much better for me, but still. I didn’t really buy into such a flimsy reason for Rachel to be in CT or for her natural concerns about dating her boss to be pushed aside in favor of the “emergency” with Owen. I did enjoy Bybee’s writing, however, so I may try another book of hers in the future.

2.5 out of 5

Not Quite

two-half-stars


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Bookish Thoughts: Reading Challenges, Rereads, Goodreads Romance Week, Silver Silence by Nalini Singh and Amazon Fresh

Posted February 9, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 8 Comments


The last few years I signed up for a Goodreads Reading Challenge. I set my reading goal at 200 books per year. Last year I fell short of that, but I’ve managed to meet or surpass it every other year. I get really frustrated with Goodreads, because reads aren’t tracked for the challenge unless the “date read” info is entered. Since I use the app 98% of the time, and there’s no “date read” option on the app, 98% of the time the challenge isn’t tracked properly. Last year, for example, because I did a lot of re-reading, Goodreads said I only read 33 books, when I actually read 124. It’s really annoying. Thankfully I create my own “200 Books in {year}” shelf, so I have an accurate total. I wish they’d fix that, however, so I could keep an accurate accounting.


In better Goodreads news, we can now log rereads and have them count toward our Reading Challenge. I do a ton of rereading, so I’m really excited about this. Of course, this means I need to start using the “Currently Reading” feature, but I suppose it’s a small price to pay.

How Do I Start Using the Rereading Feature?
Next time you decide to reread a book that you’ve already marked as Read on Goodreads, simply mark it as Currently Reading. When you are done, just mark it as Read. You can do this from the Goodreads iOS and Android apps and on Goodreads.com, as well as in the About the Book feature on Kindle (if you have connected your Goodreads and Amazon accounts – click here to connect your accounts). We take care of marking it as a reread for you. Bonus, it will also automatically be included in your Reading Challenge.


Speaking of Reading Challenges, as an avid reader, I get pretty down on myself when it comes to how many books I read per month. Reading is life, right? So when I don’t read a lot of books in a month I feel like I haven’t accomplished much. But then I log on to Goodreads and see others have set their Yearly Reading Challenges at 10 or 20 – PER YEAR – and I realize I’m not doing so bad with my 12 per month. Not that I’m shaming anyone. Whether a person reads 1 book or 1000 per year, the fact that they’re reading is all that matters. I just tend to be hard on myself, when there’s no need.


It’s Romance Week on Goodreads. They have a list of the Top 100 Romance Novels on Goodreads (based on 4.0 ratings for adult romances on the site). I’ve read 44. I was really surprised at some of the titles listed, and even more surprised some weren’t listed. What do you think of the list? They’ve also broken down the top 10 Paranormal, Contemporary and Historical romances.

 

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Nalini Singh‘s most recent newsletter included a full chapter excerpt from Silver Silence, her upcoming Psy/Changeling Trinity book. It doesn’t release until June and she’s torturing us with an excerpt now? Ahhhh. I need this in my life. Even though I’m sort of anti-werebear. I’m willing to make an exception because I know and trust Singh. Plus, it’s Silver! And, Bonus! It probably means more Kaleb (rwar).

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh introduces a bold new chapter in her extraordinary paranormal romance saga with the Psy-Changeling Trinity series. Wild passion will encounter the darkest of betrayal…

Control. Precision. Family. These are the principles that drive Silver Mercant. At a time when the fledgling Trinity Accord seeks to unite a divided world, with Silver playing a crucial role as director of a worldwide emergency response network, wildness and chaos are the last things she needs in her life. But that’s exactly what Valentin Nikolaev, alpha of the StoneWater Bears, brings with him.

Valentin has never met a more fascinating woman. Though Silver is ruled by Silence—her mind clear of all emotion—Valentin senses a whisper of fire around her. That’s what keeps him climbing apartment buildings to be near her. But when a shadow assassin almost succeeds in poisoning Silver, the stakes become deadly serious…and Silver finds herself in the heart of a powerful bear clan.


In my quest to try more new authors, I’ve been randomly buying or downloading books from Kindle Unlimited and Prime reads. So far they’ve mostly been duds. Part of it is probably my reading taste, but it’s kind of solidified my choice not to subscribe to KU.


Not book related, but I recently tried Amazon Fresh, Amazon’s grocery delivery service. For Prime Members the service is $14.99/mo and includes free delivery, sometimes same day (though same day doesn’t seem to be available in my area yet). I used the 30-day trial to test it out and I don’t think I’ll continue my subscription. I can get most of the items for the same price or less at my local grocery. So really I’d end up paying $14.99 for the convenience of delivery. Some items, like meat, were really expensive. Bulk items, too, were more spendy than Costco. Since I would still have to visit the store, I don’t think it’s worth the money. I might consider subscribing if it were a bit less per month, but at $14.99 I just can’t justify it. I’m all for anything that allows me to shop from home, but my thrifty soul won’t let me do it.


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Bookish Thoughts: It’s Time to See Other People, Changes to NYTimes Bestseller Lists, Cliffhangers and Kindle Unlimited

Posted January 27, 2017 by Holly in Discussions, Features | 7 Comments


​I’ve been struggling with contemporary romances that focus solely on the protagonists without any external conflicts. This has been on my mind since I finished Playing the Player by Amy Andrews, book three in the Sydney Smoke Rugby Series. The hero and heroine didn’t do much away from each other. They obviously didn’t live in each other’s pockets, but all their focus and attention was on the other. There were no breaks in the story where, say, the hero was at rugby practice, or out with his boys, that he wasn’t thinking or talking about the heroine, and vice versa. I enjoyed the story overall, but I would have liked to see them have a life away from each other.

This is something I’m seeing a lot more of lately. We’d come out of it there for awhile, but now even my favorite authors are sliding back into the habit of having them focus just on each other. Can we go back to the hero and heroine falling in love, but also doing things away from each other?


The New York Times had dropped their Bestseller lists for Manga and Graphic novels. They announced plans to revamp their lists, and indicated others may be done away with as well.  From the PW article:

“Our major lists will remain, including: Top 15 Hardcover Fiction, Top 15 Hardcover Nonfiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Fiction, Top 15 Combined Print and E Nonfiction, Top 10 Children’s Hardcover Picture Books, Top 10 Children’s Middle Grade Hardcover Chapter Books, Top 10 Children’s Young Adult Hardcover Chapter Books, and Top 10 Children’s Series. Several more including Paperback Trade Fiction, Paperback Nonfiction, Business, Sports, Science, and Advice Miscellaneous will remain online. Readers will be notified that individual lists will no longer be compiled and updated by the New York Times on the relevant article pages.”

Among the lists that appear to have disappeared are the graphic novel/manga and the mass market paperback lists as well as the middle grade e-book and young adult e-book lists.


This week I discovered a new UF series. Shadows of the Immortals by Marina Finlayson. Stolen Magic, book one, was an Amazon recommended read. It was $3.99 so I figured I’d give it a go. I really enjoyed it, but it ended on a cliffhanger. Though I grumbled a bit, I bought book two (also at $3.99.), Murdered Gods, and read it immediately. And it ended on a cliffhanger. No other books from the series are out yet. Each book is listed around 260 pages, though they felt much shorter, especially the second book. Assuming the series stops at 3 books (though I have no idea, since I can’t find any information about it on the author’s website), I’ll end up paying approximately $12 for what is, in essence, a single full-length novel. If the author stops with three parts. Otherwise, who knows when it’ll end.

Look, I don’t mind spending money on books. Especially when I’m really loving a series. But this new trend of breaking a novel into parts and releasing it as a serial, with each part costing $2.99-$5.99, is really starting to irk me. Especially when they aren’t marked as having cliffhangers or being “parts” of a book, rather than full-length titles. Or maybe I’m just being cheap?

To be fair, both parts are available for free on Kindle Unlimited. Since I don’t subscribe, I had to pay full price for them. Which brings me to…


Is Kindle Unlimited worth the money? I’ve avoided subscribing thus far because there weren’t a lot of books available that I wanted to read when it first launched. Now it seems like they have a greater, more varied selection. Thoughts?


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