Book Review: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Book: The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

Published January 2021 by St. Martin’s Press|304 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: Adult Mystery/Suspense

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, Rachel Hawkins’s The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

I really liked The Wife Upstairs!  I’ve really enjoyed her YA books, and I knew I had to read this one!

For a good part of the book, I kept thinking about how this book was like a modern day Jane Eyre.  Then I realized that it’s a Jane Eyre re-telling.  Honestly, it’s a great take on Jane Eyre- Jane is a dog-walker instead of a governess, and Bea is missing/assumed dead, but not really because she won’t stay buried.

There was a touch of mystery/suspense with what happened to Bea and Blanche.  Was it Tripp?  Was it Eddie?  Or was it someone else?  I won’t reveal that here, but it was interesting to see how everything unravels.

The book is mostly narrated by Jane, but we do have Bea take over narrating every once in a while, plus a few chapters from Eddie’s perspective.  It was good to see Bea, since her memory was everywhere.  She’s not what I expected, and neither was Eddie.  I don’t blame Jane for looking over her shoulder, but it seems like things are pretty good.  Jane didn’t have an easy life, but I’m glad things worked out for her in the end.  I hope she finds some peace and happiness, and that she stops looking over her shoulder, wondering if her past will ever catch up with her.

The setting was creepy, though fitting.  It felt suffocating at times, and of course, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened on the night Bea and Blanche were at the lake.  We find out, of course, and the whole time I was reading this book, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something wasn’t right.  With a neighborhood full of rich people, with gossipy housewives going to what felt like all the fundraisers and planning committees really worked as the cast of characters in this novel.  Honestly, I don’t blame Jane for wanting to fit in, and find home and friends and people who care about her.  But they don’t really seem like her people, and it seemed like she had to be someone she’s not just to fit in.  Also, I thought it was sad that marrying Eddie was the only way they’d truly accept her.

This is completely random but I couldn’t get no body, no crime by Taylor Swift out of my head.  Seriously, it popped into my head every single time I picked up this book.

If this book had a theme song, that one would be my first choice.

Not that I have another choice, at least one that I can come up with on the spot.  But I’m sure there are other songs that would fit the book really well.  And that cover is amazing!  I don’t know why, but I love it, and somehow, it fits the book as well.  I see it differently now that I’ve actually finished the book but either way, it’s still a great cover!

4 stars.  I really enjoyed this book, and thought the setting was both creepy and suffocating.  The mystery was great, and I like the unraveling mystery of what happened to Bea.

Book Review: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Book: Cherish Hard by Nalini Singh

Published November 2017 by TKA Distribution|372 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Hard Play #1

Genre: Adult Contemporary

New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh kicks off her new Hard Play contemporary romance series with a sizzling story that’ll leave you smiling…

Sailor Bishop has only one goal for his future – to create a successful landscaping business. No distractions allowed. Then he comes face-to-face and lips-to-lips with a woman who blushes like an innocent… and kisses like pure sin.

Ísa Rain craves a man who will cherish her, aches to create a loving family of her own. Trading steamy kisses with a hot gardener in a parking lot? Not the way to true love. Then a deal with the devil (aka her CEO-mother) makes Ísa a corporate VP for the summer. Her main task? Working closely with a certain hot gardener.

And Sailor Bishop has wickedness on his mind.

As Ísa starts to fall for a man who makes her want to throttle and pounce on him at the same time, she knows she has to choose – play it safe and steady, or risk all her dreams and hope Sailor doesn’t destroy her heart.

I liked Cherish Hard, but not as much as her Guild Hunter series or her Psy-Changling series.  I really like those series, and thought I’d give some of her other books a try.  This book seemed like a good starting point, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would.

I had a hard time with the fact that it takes place in the real world.  New Zealand was a great setting, but after reading two really long series that take place in a more magical/futuristic setting, I had a hard time with present time and real world.  I didn’t feel completely invested in Isa and Sailor’s relationship, though I really felt for Isa and the horrible family she has to deal with.  Honestly, Singh is great at writing horrible parents, but cool siblings and friendships.  But I just wasn’t into the romance in this book, and I’m not sure why.

Sailor was a little too perfect, and somehow managed to have his whole life planned out at the age of 23.  I’m 34, and even now, my life is nowhere close to being planned out the way his life is.  And I get Isa’s insecurities- who wouldn’t be with her mother, and the way she was publicly dumped several years earlier- but there was something a little too sweet and angelic about her.  Something about it seemed off, and they seemed a little more bland than some of the other characters Singh has written.

The book didn’t have a lot of drama, and overall, it was enjoyable.  It didn’t have the drama or tension I was expecting, but then again, I don’t usually read a lot of contemporary romance- historical and paranormal are much more my speed when it comes to romance, so that might be part of why I didn’t love Cherish Hard but still enjoyed it.

It was nice to see a romance where the heroine is older than the hero- it was refreshing to see it, because usually, the guy is older.  I wish we saw this more in romance, but maybe it’s there, and I just haven’t come across one that’s memorable enough to stick with me.  Or come across one at all- either one’s possible.

I don’t know if I’ll keep reading this particular series- I believe the series focuses on a different brother, so I might pick one up.  I also might not pick one up, but I am curious to see if I’ll like any of her contemporaries more.

3 stars.  I didn’t love it, but it was enjoyable, and a quick read.  I wasn’t super into the romance, but I did like that Isa was older than Sailor.

Book Review: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Book: Archangel’s Sun by Nalini Singh

Published November 2020 by Berkley|382

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Guild Hunter’s #13

Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance

A horrifying secret rises in the aftermath of an archangelic war in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s deadly and beautiful Guild Hunter world…

The Archangel of Death and the Archangel of Disease may be gone but their legacy of evil lives on—especially in Africa, where the shambling, rotting creatures called the reborn have gained a glimmer of vicious intelligence.

It is up to Titus, archangel of this vast continent, to stop the reborn from spreading across the world. Titus can’t do it alone, but of the surviving powerful angels and archangels, large numbers are wounded, while the rest are fighting a surge of murderous vampires.

There is no one left…but the Hummingbird. Old, powerful, her mind long a broken kaleidoscope. Now, she must stand at Titus’s side against a tide of death upon a discovery more chilling than any other. For the Archangel of Disease has left them one last terrible gift…

I really liked Archangel’s Sun! I’ve really enjoyed this series, and I’m glad the story is continuing!

This book focuses on Titus and the Hummingbird and it picks up where Archangel’s War left off.  It’s definitely hard for everyone, and there’s a lot of work to do.  There are some pretty terrible surprises along the way, but everything works out in the end.

It’s been a while since I’ve read any of the books in the series, so I was a little bit fuzzy on some of the details.  The really nice thing about this book was that I could be a little bit fuzzy on the details and still know what was going on.  And what had happened before, of course.  A little refresher would have been nice, but at any rate, my fuzziness didn’t get in the way of me enjoying this novel.

I really like the Hummingbird!  She’s had a lot to deal with, and she is easily one of my favorite characters in the series now.  I’m glad she got her own book, because she’s been mentioned before, and I really liked getting her story.  I’m glad things worked out for her, and that she got some happiness.  She’s empathetic and a fierce warrior and this really amazing artist.  She’s different from Titus in a lot of ways, but I really like them together!

I liked Titus too, and even though I remembered his name coming up before, that was all I remembered about him.  We learned a little bit about him, and it sounds like he has quite the family.  But I was a lot more interested in Sharine’s story, and I wanted to know everything about her.  I didn’t feel the same way about Titus, but I think they’ll be really good for each other.  I know we won’t get another book focusing on them, but we’ll for sure see what’s going on with them in the future.  Especially with Sharine’s connections to some of the other characters.

I liked seeing Titus and Sharine work together- he really underestimated her, which is understandable, but she also completely proved him wrong.  She took the time to listen to his people and wasn’t intimidated by him.  She really was the best choice to help him deal with the reborn.  And he really did respect her and listen to her, which was nice.  And I really appreciated seeing that.  I’m not sure why, but I did.  She brought a certain kindness and grace to everything she did, which I loved, and she didn’t let what happened destroy her.  I think that’s why I loved her so much.

4 stars.  I really liked Archangel’s Sun- especially Sharine and her backstory!  I can’t wait to read the next book!

Audio Book Review: Prey by Rachel Vincent, Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck

Book: Prey by Rachel Vincent, Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck

Published July 2009 by Harlequin S.A.|Length: 12 hours, 33 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audiobook

Series: Shifters #4

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Sometimes playing cat and mouse is no game…Play? “Right.” My Pride is under fire from all sides, my father’s authority is in question and my lover is in exile. Which means I haven’t laid eyes on Marc’s gorgeous face in months. And with a new mother “and” an I-know-everything teenager under my protection, I don’t exactly have time to fantasize about ever seeing him again.

Then our long-awaited reunion is ruined by a vicious ambush by strays. Now our group is under attack, Marc is missing and I will need every bit of skill and smarts to keep my family from being torn apart. Forever.

I really liked this one!  I’ve really enjoyed this series, and this book is no exception.

In Prey, we see Faythe dealing with Marc in exile…and Marc goes missing, of course, so Faythe has to deal with that as well.  She’s not willing to give up on finding him, even though there are so many other things that are going on.  She has a lot of heartbreak in the novel, and I was really sad about it.  Faythe and her family has a lot to deal with and they didn’t need that at all.  It made me really sad for her.

Faythe is Faythe, though, and while it hurts now, she will be okay, even if it takes time.  She’s pretty tough, but we do see her as a slightly more vulnerable person in this book.

There are some mysteries in this one, like everything we see with the strays.  I’m curious to see how that works out in the next couple of books, because I feel like that story is far from over.  Also, I really hope Mark is able to leave exile and come back home, but who knows when or how that will happen, if it does?

Honestly, I’ve been feeling pretty frazzled, so I’m surprised I can remember this much about the book!  Granted, when I take a while to review a book, there are times where I don’t always remember a lot, but with school, my brain is somewhat fried.  At any rate, this was an interesting listen, and I really felt for Faythe.  She does find herself in the weird situations, and trouble seems to follow her wherever she goes.

As an audio book, I really liked it!  Jennifer Van Dyck continues to narrate the series, and she does a great job.  Once I finish this series, I want to check out some of the other audio books she narrated.  Honestly, that’s how much I like her!

4 stars.  I really enjoyed Prey, and there’s both mystery and heartbreak for Faythe and her family.  I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Book Review: The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer And Ann Barrows

Book: The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Ann Barrows

Published July 2018 by The Dial Press|322 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction

It’s 1946 and author Juliet Ashton can’t think what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – by chance, he’s acquired a book that once belonged to her – and, spurred on by their mutual love of reading, they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, her curiosity is piqued and it’s not long before she begins to hear from other members. As letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under the German Occupation, Juliet soon realizes that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name.

This was a book I read for school, and I liked it!  I’ve talked about this book a lot in discussion posts.

This book is told entirely through letters- we see letters from a lot of different people, though most of the letters are addressed to Juliet and are from Juliet.  I didn’t love the letters, especially at first, but overall, I liked the story.  I really liked following Juliet as she learns more about Guernsey, the literary society and and the German Occupation during World War 2.  All of the people from Guernsey seem like really interesting people, and while I wasn’t enthused with the letters, I still liked reading their letters.

It is a book about books, and that was one of my favorite things about the book.  Some of the characters love reading, while others haven’t read in years.  I just love books about people who love books, though there are a lot of other things going on.  But a love of books and reading does bring together this very strange group of people.

Getting that letter from Dawsey really changed things for Juliet.  She ends up writing the biography of the mother of the child she adopts, she ends up getting married and settles on an island that had a lot to deal with over the last few years.

I liked Juliet’s story, though.  Though we get the stories of the other characters, hers is the one that’s the main focus.  She’s an interesting one, and I wonder what’s in store for her now that she’s married.  I really want to know what she’s going to write after finishing Elizabeth’s biography, and if she’ll ever write something that’s more in the realm of fiction.  Non-fiction seems more her style but you never know.  Anything is possible.

I don’t know that I would have picked this book up on my own, and if I did, I think the letters would have been the reason I decided not to finish it.  But since it was for school, I had to finish it, and I’m glad I did.  I feel like I learned some things- I never knew Guernsey existed before this book, or that it was occupied by German soldiers.  As much as I want to say that I’m going to learn more about it, I know that I probably won’t.  Still, it is in the back of my mind in case I ever change my mind.

I will say, though, that the letters felt very real and thoughtful.  I liked seeing the characters tell their own stories, and the letters made it easy to connect to characters.  It did feel like I was the recipient of the letters, even though I really wasn’t.  In a way, it made it easy to get through, because there were a lot of points where I could easily put the book down and pick it back up.  I can’t imagine the book being told any other way, but…I just don’t know that epistolary novels are for me.

I know it’s a movie, and I’m curious to see how it translated to film as it’s told entirely in letters.  I’d imagine there’s a lot of liberties they could take with the movies, because there’s a lot they could fill in.  Maybe one of these days, I’ll watch it.

3 stars.  I liked the story but I didn’t love that it was told through letters.  Still, I enjoyed it and I think it’s worth checking out.

Book Review: Sweep In Peace by Ilona Andrews

Book: Sweep In Peace by Ilona Andrews

Published November 2015 by NYLA|315 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Innkeeper Chronicles #2

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Dina DeMille isn’t your typical Bed and Breakfast owner. Her inn defies laws of physics, her dog is secretly a monster, and the only permanent guest of the inn is a former Galactic tyrant with a price on her head. The inn needs guests to thrive and guests have been scarce, so when an Arbitrator shows up at Dina’s door and asks her to host a peace summit between three warring species, she jumps on the chance. Unfortunately, for Dina, bridging the gap between space vampires, the Hope-Crushing Horde, and the merchants of Baha-char is much easier said than done. To make the summit a success, she must find a chef, remodel the inn, keep her guests from murdering each other, and risk everything, even her life, to save the man she might fall in love with. But then it’s all in the day’s work for an Innkeeper.

I really liked Sweep In Peace!  We follow Dina as she hosts a peace summit, and, of course, trouble ensues.

It’s a not a surprise, of course, and I think the book would be a lot less interesting.  She really has a lot to manage, from 3 different groups of people to a new chef to a mysterious and manipulative arbiter…I’m surprised things didn’t go completely haywire.  She really had her hands full, with mysterious guests and fighting and everything else that happened.

I really liked Dina in this book.  She’s an interesting one, and she really does care about her inn.  This treaty means Gertrude Hunt will be okay for a while.  Finding out what happens to her parents doesn’t come up in this book the way I thought it would.  There’s so much going on in this book that I didn’t realize it until later on.  We may see more of that in the future, but don’t expect it for this book.  Still, I did like seeing the couple of times her parents did come up.

I really am curious to see what happened to them, and if a guest will lead the way to what happened to them.  There hasn’t been a change in her rating, but she did get a pretty important endorsement, so anything is possible.  It really makes me wonder what’s going to happen next, and who will be staying at the inn in the rest of the series.  I’m pretty sure we’re going to see some colorful characters- and I think I’d be slightly disappointed if they weren’t as colorful as some of the other characters we’ve seen so far.

4 stars.  Sweep In Peace was an entertaining, fast read and I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Audio Book Review: Pride By Rachel Vincent, Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck

Book: Pride by Rachel Vincent, Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck

Published February 2009 by Harlequin Books S.A.|Length: 13 hours, 18 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: Shifters #3

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

The werecat council has three cardinal laws; and headstrong Faythe stands accused of breaking two of them: infecting a human with her supernatural skills and killing him to cover her tracks. With the death penalty hanging over her head, Faythe has no escape route left. That is, until a shapeshifter informs the pride of a rash of rogue strays terrorising his land. Yet this threat is nothing like any they’ve seen before. Only Faythe has the knowledge to save the pride, but can she prove her worth? Or will the council’s verdict condemn them all…?

I liked Pride!  We’ll see how much I actually talk about this book, considering it’s been a few weeks between me finishing the book and me writing this review.

In this book, we see Faythe on trial for everything that happened with Andrew.  There are some interesting developments on the Mark front, and I do want to see how that works out.

I was angry at the panel deciding Faythe’s fate.  Mostly because her fate largely rested on her desire to get married and have kids.  It seems like female shifters are pretty rare, and to execute her because she’s not sure about marriage and having kids?  It made me so angry, and angry for Faythe that more importance was placed on her child-bearing abilities and desires.

And because we’re talking about Faythe, she gets wrapped up in some weird things going on.  Most of which revolve around a girl who ended up in Faythe’s care because she wouldn’t let anyone else near her.  And of course, Faythe realizes that with a new (young) shifter, the council really has no reason to keep her around.  Plus, a younger female would be more likely to listen to them, as opposed to Faythe, who is really headstrong and independent.  Still, Faythe makes it through everything.  I knew she would, but it was quite the journey.  And I’m definitely planning on listening to the next book to see what happens next.  Whatever it is will be sure to get Faythe into some sort of trouble.

Jennifer Van Dyck continues to do a great job at narrating!  She is great to listen to and she really has a way of making me feel like she is Faythe.  She’s a great choice for this series.

4 stars.  I really enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Book Review: Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet by Jamie Ford

Book: Hotel On The Corner Of Bitter And Sweet by Jamie Ford

Published January 2009 by Random House|317 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: None

Genre: Adult Historical Fiction

In 1986, Henry Lee joins a crowd outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has discovered the belongings of Japanese families who were sent to internment camps during World War II. As the owner displays and unfurls a Japanese parasol, Henry, a Chinese American, remembers a young Japanese American girl from his childhood in the 1940s—Keiko Okabe, with whom he forged a bond of friendship and innocent love that transcended the prejudices of their Old World ancestors. After Keiko and her family were evacuated to the internment camps, she and Henry could only hope that their promise to each other would be kept. Now, forty years later, Henry explores the hotel’s basement for the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot even begin to measure. His search will take him on a journey to revisit the sacrifices he has made for family, for love, for country.

I’m not going to lie, this was a book that I’ve had on my TBR for ages…and the only reason I read it was because it was required reading for my English class.  I actually really liked it, and who knows when I would have gotten to it, if it weren’t for school?

I really liked seeing Henry change over time- we see him as a child in the 1940’s and as an adult in 1986.  Eventually, the two timelines come together and we get a more complete picture of what happened to both Henry and Keiko.  Well, Henry more than Keiko.  What happened to her in the years after World War II is unknown, and we never find out what path her life took.  I wish we knew more about that, but it’s also fun to wonder what happened.

I really felt for Henry- in 1986, we see see him deal with resurfacing memories because of found objects at the Panama Hotel.  He has some great conversations with his son about what happened in the 1940’s, and his son eventually finds Keiko and gets Henry over to New York so he can see her again.  It was nice to see Henry have some sort of closure.

As for the 1940’s, I really liked seeing that part of Henry’s life.  He doesn’t have a great relationship with his dad, and by spending time with Keiko, his relationship with his father really changes.  And not for the better.  You could tell that Henry really cared for her, and it seemed like she really cared for him as well.  It couldn’t have been easy to see her go through so much, and you could tell that what was going on really bothered him.  As a 12-year-old, he knew that how Japanese-Americans were treated was wrong.

There was still a lot I didn’t know about the time- like how families who were sent to internment camps often didn’t return to their homes once they were released.  Families had little time to get rid of their belongings, and either sold them for really cheap or gave them to others to hold on to.  That’s how Henry made his way to the basement of the Panama Hotel, looking through belongings.  Another thing that I had no idea about was a conflict between China and Japan at the time.  It explains why Henry’s father hates those who are Japanese.  Which doesn’t mean it’s okay, but I can understand it.

It also explains why he has Henry wear a button that says “I am Chinese.”  I get being scared that they’ll be next, and that he was trying to protect his son in his own way.  It couldn’t have been an easy time to be an immigrant.

Glancing over this review, I’m surprised I talked so much about it!  Between the discussion posts and writing assignments I had to do for this book, I thought I had already gotten all of my thoughts and feelings out there!  Obviously not, but I am glad I read this book.  Then again, I think all of the assignments I did for this book are why I remember so many details, even though I’m writing this review nearly 3 weeks after finishing the book.

4 stars.  I didn’t love it, but I still really liked it.

Audio Book Review: Rogue by Rachel Vincent, Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck

Book: Rogue by Rachel Vincent, Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck

Published April 2008 by Harlequin Books S.A.|Run Time: 11 hours, 30 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: Shifters #2

Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Rebellious werecat Faythe is shocked when the bodies of murdered men begin turning up in her Pride’s territory, especially as the killings can be traced back to her former life as an ordinary college student. But could a message from an old friend provide a chilling clue?

Faythe knows that a past indiscretion may have led to these men’s deaths. She also risks exposing her family’s supernatural secret. Faced with a terrifying choice, Faythe must decide: pray the tribal council grant her mercy – or risk everything to pursue her own brand of justice.

I really liked Rogue!  I’m glad I picked this one up because I really wanted to see what happened to Faythe.

So, after reading Stray, I was wondering what happened to Andrew.  I felt like he was mentioned and we never heard about him again.  We actually find out what happened to him in this book.  That surprised me, but I was glad we found out.  I wasn’t expecting it to happen but it was an interesting storyline.  Everything is connected, and it kept my interest.  I really needed to keep reading so I would know what happened next.

Faythe does seem more human than the rest of her pride.  She makes a lot of mistakes, and rushes into things.  It is a little annoying at times, but maybe that’s what makes her seem more human.

I don’t know that I like her with Mark.  They seem to have pretty terrible communication, but I’m not really surprised because that would make things too easy.  He just seems to want her to be someone different, and even though he’s known Faythe for a long time, it also feels like he doesn’t completely accept her for who she is.  I am curious to see if he changes, or if she will have to in order to make him happy.

I know Faythe lives in a male-dominated world, and I get that females tend to get a pass in her world, especially those who can have kids.  But it seems like no matter what they do, they get a pass, which is kind of unfair, because the guys don’t.  Something does happen where Faythe will eventually have to go before the council, and while I admire that she’s brutally honest and wants to do the right thing, I also feel like she has a death wish.

I liked that her father gave her an opportunity to change her story.  Of course, she didn’t, because we’re talking about Faythe, but I liked that he wanted to protect her, and keep her from going in front of the council.  I’m sure we’ll see that at some point, and even though I know she’ll be okay, I’m still curious to see the journey.

I did like how everything connected.  We get some more information (and resolution) of some of the things that happened in the first book.  I doubt it’s the last we’ve seen or heard of women going missing, and I feel like it’s the larger mystery of this series.  I really liked seeing how everything came together.

This is random, but we also see a little more of Faythe’s mom!  I don’t really have much to say about her, but I really hope we see more of her.  We see a lot more of Faythe’s dad, and it would be nice to get to know her mom a little better.

Jennifer Van Dyck is back as the narrator, and she continues to do a great job.  I really do like her narration, and she does a great job with making me feel like I’m going on this crazy adventure with Faythe.

4 stars.  I really liked Rogue and I can’t wait to read the next book!

Audio Book Review: Stray by Rachel Vincent, Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck

Book: Stray by Rachel Vincent, Narrated by Jennifer Van Dyck

Published May 2007 by Harlequin Books S.A.|Run Time: 13 hours, 49 minutes

Where I Got It: I own the audio book

Series: Shifters #1

Genre: Adult

There are only eight breeding female werecats left…

And I’m one of them

I look like an all-American grad student. But I am a werecat, a shape-shifter, and I live in two worlds.

Despite reservations from my family and my Pride, I escaped the pressure to continue my species and carved out a normal life for myself. Until the night a Stray attacked.

I’d been warned about Strays — werecats without a Pride, constantly on the lookout for someone like me: attractive, female, and fertile. I fought him off, but then learned two of my fellow tabbies had disappeared.

This brush with danger was all my Pride needed to summon me back…for my own protection. Yeah, right. But I’m no meek kitty. I’ll take on whatever — and whoever — I have to in order to find my friends. Watch out, Strays — ’cause I got claws, and I’m not afraid to use them…

I really liked Stray!  I’ve read a few of Vincent’s series and I’m glad I picked this one up.

I liked Faith, and thought she was a great character.  She is very independent, and doing her own thing is important.  She wants more than what is expected of her, but I also felt like she started to understand the power her own mom had.  Faith is definitely smart and she’s a fighter.  While she can take care of herself, I also liked seeing how protective she was of her cousin.  I’m curious to see how much she changes over the course of the series.

Faith lives in an interesting world.  I like it, though.  I mean, there is definitely a structure there, though I think there’s a lot we don’t know about the rest of the world.  I have the feeling we’ll see a lot of Faith’s Pride, but will also see some of the other ones.  That’s what I’m hoping, because I think there’s a lot to work with.

The one thing that I was reminded of was her Menagerie series, which I still need to finish.  I have no idea why I kept thinking of that series.  Well, it is set in a carnival, and you see mermaids, minotaurs and other mythological creatures.  The two series are two very different worlds and in no way connected to each other, but it makes me wonder how the two would come together.  It makes me wonder what other creatures/cryptids exist in Faith’s world.

Anyway, Faith ends up in a spot of trouble.  Which is a vast understatement, but things work themselves out in the end.  I knew they would, but there are definitely some obstacles along the way.  It makes me want to know more about the strays that are pretty important to this story.  I feel like there’s more to them than what we’re getting, and I feel like this is not the last we’ve heard of them.

I am wondering a few things, though.  For starters, what is going on with Andrew?  I get why he came up at the beginning of the book, and then we didn’t hear from him for most of the book.  Until the end, when we find out he just randomly left school, and vanished without a trace.  I honestly can’t remember if they even broke up or if they were still together.  A lot happens, and it was either mentioned and I wasn’t paying attention, or it was never mentioned and happened off-the-page.

I am glad I went with the audio book.  I liked Jennifer Van Dyck as the narrator, and her voice sounded really familiar.  That was pretty odd because this is the first book of hers that I’ve listened to.  But her voice reminds me a little of Gabra Zackman, who is pretty awesome.  Maybe that’s why I was reminded of Menagerie- I listened to that series, which is narrated by Zackman.  I’m definitely going to continue series on audio.

4 stars.  I really liked Stray, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for Faith.