Book review: Grave Peril by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden – Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden has faced some pretty terrifying foes during his career. Giant scorpions. Oversexed vampires. Psychotic werewolves. It comes with the territory when you’re the only professional wizard in the Chicago-area phone book.

But in all Harry’s years of supernatural sleuthing, he’s never faced anything like this: The spirit world has gone postal. All over Chicago, ghosts are causing trouble – and not just of the door-slamming, boo-shouting variety. These ghosts are tormented, violent, and deadly. Someone – or something – is purposely stirring them up to wreak unearthly havoc. But why? And why do so many of the victims have ties to Harry? If Harry doesn’t figure it out soon, he could wind up a ghost himself….

With every book that I complete in this series I am enjoying it more and more. I have read some other reviews and I know some people seem to not like Harry’s view on women, I do not agree with them. While in some sense his view is old fashioned he fully admits that and as a man he of course does notice how a woman is dressed and what it does to her form, but you don’t see him running around molesting them. So that said the story itself.

We learn more about Harry’s past in this one and we see that even with all his powers he can’t always save the day in a perfect way like he wants too. No in fact sometimes he just can’t do much at all and has to deal like the rest of us with the cards he is dealt. I also found it interesting that we learn more about the different kinds of vampire in his world, the red’s, whites and blacks. Very curious and interesting. Overall this was another action packed installment and I am so happy that I started reading this series. Harry has a very practical look to magik and I like the way that he wields it.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Lover Avenged by JR Ward

J. R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood novels have introduced readers to a “different, creative, dark, violent, and flat-out amazing” (All About Romance)world. Now, as the vampire warriors defend their race against their slayers, one male’s loyalty to the Brotherhood will be tested-and his dangerous mixed blood revealed…

Caldwell, New York, has long been the battleground for the vampires and their enemies, the Lessening Society. It’s also where Rehvenge has staked out his turf as a drug lord and owner of a notorious night club that caters to the rich and heavily armed. His shadowy reputation is exactly why he’s approached to kill Wrath, the Blind King and leader of the Brotherhood.

Rehvenge has always kept his distance from the Brotherhood-even though his sister is married to a member, for he harbors a deadly secret that could make him a huge liability in their war against the lessers. As plots within and outside of the Brotherhood threaten to reveal the truth about Rehvenge, he turns to the only source of light in his darkening world, Ehlena, a vampire untouched by the corruption that has its hold on him-and the only thing standing between him and eternal destruction.

For me this was another one that hit out of the park on a high note. We spent a good deal of time with the Brother’s but we also get to know Rhevenge better, he was a shady character for most of the books. A man who dealt drugs, was part sympath part Vampire and all of that. What we didn’t know was what made him tick, what truly made him do what he did, was he just bad? Or was there a reason. Lover avenged answers that and more.

We also spend more time with my favorite Brother as he is recovering, Tohrment. Him and his wonderful (he doesn’t think so) guardian angel lassiter are there and he is working on coming back and being the Brother that he needs to be. Overall this is a win win for me and I am very glad I made it my next read. Its a great book in the series and only wets the appetite for more.


My Gemstone Rating:



Book Review: Fool Moon by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden–Wizard
Lost Items Found. Paranormal Investigations. Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates. No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or Other Entertainment.

Business has been slow. Okay, business has been dead. And not even of the undead variety. You would think Chicago would have a little more action for the only professional wizard in the phone book. But lately, Harry Dresden hasn’t been able to dredge up any kind of work–magical or mundane.

But just when it looks like he can’t afford his next meal, a murder comes along that requires his particular brand of supernatural expertise.

A brutally mutilated corpse. Strange-looking paw prints. A full moon. Take three guesses–and the first two don’t count..

Another good book in the series of Dresden. I am really enjoying the strong, modern and yet old fashioned guy that makes Harry. I was not sure that I would like the wolves because as a general rule I am not a fan of werewolves however I really enjoyed the way they were presented in Fool Moon. I like that there are different kinds of them and good ole Harry is pretty good at dealing with all of them.

From an entertainment POV this book ticks all of my boxes and I plan on continuing with the series. One of the last things I need is getting deep into another series, and yet I am very excited about this one. I would highly recommend anyone who has not read the series start and then keep on!

My Gemstone Rating:



Book review: The Holdout by Laurel Osterkamp

Robin wanted to win The Holdout, a cutthroat reality TV show, so she gave it her all, challenge after challenge. Then she fell for Grant, with his irresistible eyes and heartbreaking life story. But Grant was only using Robin as they competed for a million dollars. Once home, Robin wants to hide from the humiliation as episodes of The Holdout are aired, and she worries her family was right all along; she’s not a survivor. Or maybe she’ll have the last laugh Besides, Robin now has jury duty. And as she forges ahead, confronting her demons about bravery, justice, and romance, Robin will come to decide which is more important: the courage to stand alone, or the strength to love again. Laurel Osterkamp’s award winning novels have been hailed as funny, intelligent, snarky and poignant. She is the author of four novels and two novellas, including the November Surprise series, which, like The Holdout, features the Bricker family. Laurel was recently on a federal jury, and she loves watching Survivor.

Ah reality TV you can’t escape it! I love this book for the different look it takes at things. We see not only what a reality show can do to someone but life after the reality show along with what I feel is just living life.

Robin the main character did not have an easy life, she like many of us has had things she needed to cover come in her life. I appreciate what I feel is a very real feeling in this book. Looking at life as it happens after a big reality show. Laurel Osterkamp has done a fantastic job with The hold out.

My Gemstone Rating:



Blog Tour Book Review: A Thousand Perfect Things by Kay Kenyon

In this epic new work, the award-winning Kenyon creates an alternate 19th century with two warring continents on an alternate earth: the scientific Anglica (England) and magical Bharata (India). Emboldened by her grandfather’s final whispered secret of a magical lotus, Tori Harding, a young Victorian woman and aspiring botanist, must journey to Bharata, with its magics, intrigues and ghosts, to claim her fate. There she will face a choice between two suitors and two irreconcilable realms.

In a magic-infused world of silver tigers, demon birds and enduring gods, as a great native mutiny sweeps up the continent, Tori will find the thing she most desires, less perfect than she had hoped and stranger than she could have dreamed

I have to say that this book is so strange and so brilliant all at the same time. It was a very enjoyable read and it was something completely different then what I have been reading so far this year. I was looking forward to reading this one, and was not let down which was nice because all to often I end up being let down by books that I really want to read.

Kay Kenyon has created a beautiful alternative history with A thousand perfect things and I love her version of London, and the world in general. The descriptions are fantastic and vivid lending to the story so well you can’t help but picture everything that is happening. This one is going to be a read again for me.

My Gemstone Rating:


Book Review: Storm front by Jim Butcher

Harry Dresden — Wizard

Lost items found. Paranormal Investigations.
Consulting. Advice. Reasonable Rates.
No Love Potions, Endless Purses, or
Other Entertainment.

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically, he’s the only at what he does. So when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they come to him for answers. For the “everyday” world is actually full of strange and magical things — and most of them don’t play well with humans. That’s where Harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a — well, whatever.

There’s just one problem. Business, to put it mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder committed with black magic, Harry’s seeing dollar signs. But where there’s black magic, there’s a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry’s name. And that’s when things start to get… interesting.

Magic. It can get a guy killed.

A good friend of mine has been telling me to read these books for a long time. I always meant to just put them on the long line of books that I needed to get to. I am sure you all know that kind of pile. Well I finally got around to the audio book since that is my latest thing to try and boy am I glad I did. Putting aside that James Marsters reads them (love) the book was great.

Harry is my kind of guy, he can laugh at himself, he takes life seriously and even when he is down he finds a way to pick himself up and fight back. He can wield magic but always tries to do so with a good purpose. Yes Harry Dresden is my kind of guy and my kind of wizard. I love the crime solving aspects as well and I can just picture Murphy in my head. I am still working on coming to terms with some of the terms used in the Dresden world but overall thumbs up from me. I loved it and I am eager to start with the next in the series.

My Gemstone Rating:


Blog Tour Review: Must love Otters by Eliza Gordon

Hollie Porter is the chairwoman of Generation Disillusioned: at twenty-five years old, she’s saddled with a job she hates, a boyfriend who’s all wrong for her, and a vexing inability to say no. She’s already near her breaking point, so when one caller too many kicks the bucket during Hollie’s 911 shift, she cashes in the Sweethearts’ Spa & Stay gift certificate from her dad and heads to Revelation Cove, British Columbia. One caveat: she’s going solo. Any sweethearts will have to be found on site.

Hollie hopes to find her beloved otters in the wilds of the Great White North, but instead she’s providing comic relief for staff and guests alike. Even Concierge Ryan, a former NHL star with bad knees and broken dreams, can’t stop her from stumbling from one (mis)adventure to another. Just when Hollie starts to think that a change of venue doesn’t mean a change in circumstances, the island works its charm and she starts to think she might have found the rejuvenation she so desperately desires. But then an uninvited guest crashes the party, forcing her to step out of the discomfort zone where she dwells and save the day … and maybe even herself in the process.

This book made me laugh out loud and cry too it made me run the gamete of emotions and I enjoyed every page. Hollie is a woman that could easily be me, or anyone I know really and I love a character that I can latch into and feel a connection with. Some of the thing that she gets into I could totally see myself getting into, like spraining an ankle while on vacation, or having to run naked through the lobby of the resort!

Must Love Otters is really a book that I think just about anyone will enjoy. If you like humor and a dash of romance with a little drama, this one is for you.

My Gemstone Rating:


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Book Review: After Dead: What Came Next in the World of Sookie Stackhouse by Charlaine Harris

Dead Ever After marked the end of the Sookie Stackhouse novels—a series that garnered millions of fans and spawned the hit HBO television show True Blood. It also stoked a hunger that will never die…a hunger to know what happened next.

With characters arranged alphabetically—from the Ancient Pythoness to Bethany Zanelli—bestselling author Charlaine Harris takes fans into the future of their favorite residents of Bon Temps and environs. You’ll learn how Michele and Jason’s marriage fared, what happened to Sookie’s cousin Hunter, and whether Tara and JB’s twins grew up to be solid citizens.

This coda provides the answers to your lingering questions—including details of Sookie’s own happily-ever-after…

The book will feature extensive interior art by acclaimed Sookie artist Lisa Desimini, including a Sookieverse Alphabet, color endpapers, and several full-page black and white interior illustrations

I am going to add some warnings to this review. First take heed:


Second, I am not one of the masses who is angry that Sookie ended up with Sam. I thought it was a bit, well okay whatever. I do however hate when authors betray characters and readers. Yes I know they are the author they can do what they want, but still. So there are the warnings.

First this book is WAY over prices. Do not waste your money on it. I am sure there will be plenty of copies in the give away bin soon enough.

So the round up:

Sookie ends up having a hum drum life. Kids. work you know normal person. well good for her.

Bunch of random people we don’t care about have humdrum lives too.

Bill becomes the King of Louisiana (this made me laugh) book Bill never had interest in it was more of a loner, but hey lets make something like the shows right?

Now Eric, yes my favorite character from Day one. I was angry when she sold him off into slavery in the last book, but I thought okay okay so now he will get a good ending. She wouldn’t make it worse… WRONG.
She tries to make us postively sure that because Eric is a survivalist and his nature is strong , Eric is able to find happiness in slavery with Freyda…except WTF? The chilling parallels to Eric’s early years with his domineering, abusive maker, Appius Livius Ocella, hang over his life with Freyda can’t be missed by ANYONE. Despite CH taking pains to characterize Freyda as ‘strong but fair’, the fact that Eric spends the first years of his marriage pining for Sookie and his old life (just as he once pined for his children and his human life when he was turned by Ocella) merely hammers home how much his own will has been denied in this situation. CH tells us that as with Ocella, Eric learned to care for the one who had taken everything from him, and eventually he will be happy. So much so that when offered his freedom, he decided to stay with her. REALLY?! He comes off as an abuse victim falling into familiar patterns, not the Alpha Male we know and love. I am sorry but she did say he was a VIKING right? I mean seriously VIKING….there is no way the Eric we were lead into loving would be steam rolled like this. NO WAY.

So guess what this book gets a NEGATIVE Gemstone rating. Yes I hate it that much on all levels. Way to betray all of the people who have spent years and lots of money on your books CH. WAY TO GO. Seriously.


Book Review: The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner

The story of a remarkable boy called Yann Margoza; Tetu the dwarf, his friend and mentor; Sido, unloved daughter of a foolish Marquis; and Count Kalliovski, Grand Master of a secret society, who has half the aristocracy in thrall to him, and wants Yann dead. Yann is spirited away to London but three years later, when Paris is gripped by the bloody horrors of the Revolution, he returns, charged with two missions: to find out Kalliovski’s darkest deeds and to save Sido from the guillotine. With a tangle of secrets, a thread of magic and a touch of humour, the follies of the aristocracy and the sufferings of ordinary people are unfolded as their lives move relentlessly towards the tragic and horrific days of the Terror. THE RED NECKLACE is not only a tremendous adventure story but a vibrant and passionate picture of Paris in turmoil and of a large cast of memorable characters.

What do you get when you combine Historical Fiction (my favorite genre) and this guy? (Tom Hiddleston for those of you who don’t know.)


You get me buying and listening to my very first Audio book ever. I have to say I am sold. From the audiobook point I love Hiddleston’s read of this not only because it is his very deep and sexy voice that reads it but he does different voices for the characters. I loved that!

Now onto the book itself, well I really loved it. This novel had everything you want to see in a good Historical Fiction (okay everything I want to see). Action, suspense, drama a little bit of a love story and of course a lot of history. The French revolution is one area where I know a little bit but not a lot because I just have not studied it as much as I could have. I felt like I got a nice education though and this book goes right into the favorite category with the other handful of books I have read on the subject. I also LOVE the magic references throughout and the magic work Yann and his friends can do.

Sido and Yann are an amazing pair of characters and ones I am going to enjoy reading more about (it is a series). There were times when Sido’s instance not to leave her Father bothered me, but then I asked myself if it was me wouldn’t I be the same way? Even if my Dad was not the best person in the world if he was the only one I had in the world, wouldn’t I do the same? I came up with a yes. In short, read this book or even better listen to it. Two thumbs way up from me.

My Gemstone Rating:



Book Review: The Other Woman by Jane Green

When Ellie Black meets Dan Cooper, she feels as though she’s found her best friend and soul mate. After an idyllic courtship, Dan proposes and Ellie happily accepts. She loves everything about Dan, even his family: his sister, Emma, has become her good friend, and his mother, Linda, might end up being the mother Ellie never had when she was growing up. Ellie’s own family was far from ideal–her alcoholic mother died when she was 13, and Ellie and her father withdrew from each other almost completely. She hopes Dan’s family will become her own, that is, until she gets to know Linda and realizes how controlling and manipulative she can be. Ellie’s resentment toward Linda grows after she gets pregnant and gives birth to Tom. When an accident puts Tom’s life at risk, Ellie’s bottled-up emotions spill over and threaten not just her relationship with her mother-in-law but her marriage itself. Green, best-selling author of Jemima J (2000) and To Have and to Hold[BKL Mr 1 04], is particularly adept at producing engaging women’s fiction, and her latest is a prime example–warm, convincing, and eminently readable. Although at times Ellie’s venomous anger toward her mother-in-law grates, overall, she is a sympathetic heroine

I want to start my review by saying that in general I really enjoy Jane Green and her writing. So with that said this was not my favorite book of hers. The writing was still solid and very readable, put together well with a good flow to the overall story. So that is why I kept with it. The rest of it however is all pretty predictable and honestly I had a lot of time trying to enjoy Ellie because she is supposed to be the “heroine” of the book the one you should connect with. I just couldn’t. We all have our issues with in laws I am no different on that but the reasoning behind a lot of her issues is just not very solid at all. Overall if you like Green you can give this one a try and see if you like it better then I did.

My Gemstone Rating:



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