Reading roundup 07/03/18

This week I have read three books all from the same series: Nichole Christoff’s Jamie Sinclair. I had run out of both print books and ebooks and so ended up purchasing these three. I had already enjoyed two other books in the series so I was looking forward to these.

The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff

The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff

The first was the second book in the series, called The Kill Shot. Here is the blurb:

…security specialist Jamie Sinclair finds herself caught in a dangerous game of international cat-and-mouse.

Jamie Sinclair’s father has never asked her for a favor in her life. The former two-star general turned senator is more in the habit of giving his only child orders. So when he requests Jamie’s expertise as a security specialist, she can’t refuse—even though it means slamming the brakes on her burgeoning relationship with military police officer Adam Barrett. Just like that, Jamie hops aboard a flight to London with a U.S. State Department courier carrying a diplomatic pouch in an iron grip.

Jamie doesn’t have to wait long to put her unique skills to good use. When she and the courier are jumped by goons outside the Heathrow terminal, Jamie fights them off—but the incident puts her on high alert. Someone’s willing to kill for the contents of the bag. Then a would-be assassin opens fire in crowded Covent Garden, and Jamie is stunned to spot a familiar face: Adam Barrett, who saves her life with a single shot and calmly slips away. Jamie’s head—and her heart—tell her that something is very wrong. But she’s come way too far to turn back now.

I gave the book three stars on Goodreads and wrote the following review…

Let me start by saying that this was a great read and a gripping thriller. I simply didn’t enjoy it as much as the first book in the series. In this one, Jamie allows herself to be so distracted by the men in her life that her supposed skills as a security expert seem to be almost non-existent! The fact that the reader can see her blatant mistakes and she cannot gets very annoying. Also, as a non-puritanical reader, I wish she would just get on with it and bed her man. The way that the author puts so many obstacles in the way, including numerous broken limbs, is irritating to say the least. If Jack Reacher can kick ass and have sex in each book, then Jamie Sinclair can too!

Um, OK. Also, as this book was largely set in England, there were a few mistakes that irritated, although nothing very important to the plot. Don’t get me wrong, this series is highly entertaining. Maybe I am getting too picky as I get older!

The Kill Box by Nichole Christoff

The Kill Box by Nichole Christoff

My next read was #03 in the series, The Kill Box, and was much better, deserving a solid four stars:

…PI Jamie Sinclair tackles a cold case that could cost her the one person who means the most to her.

Hardworking Jamie Sinclair can’t wait for the weekend. She plans to be off the clock and on the road to wine country with handsome military police officer Adam Barrett. But when a strung-out soldier takes an innocent woman hostage and forces his way into Jamie’s bedroom, everything changes. Jamie’s never seen the soldier before. But he’s no stranger to Barrett—and with one word he persuades Barrett to pack a duffel and leave Jamie in the lurch.

Jamie cannot fathom why Barrett would abandon her without explanation. But as the consequences of an unsolved crime threaten to catch up with him, a late-night phone call sends Jamie racing to Barrett’s hometown in upstate New York. In a tinderbox of shattered trust and long-buried secrets, Jamie must fight to uncover the truth about what really occurred one terrible night twenty years ago. And the secrets she discovers deep in Barrett’s past not only threaten their future together—they just might get her killed.

This was my review:

This was a much better book than #02 in the series in just about every way: better plot, better characters and much better writing. Christoff had dropped many of clichés that were so annoying previously: the glasses and Barrett’s boxers body. Well, she does mention them, but not nearly as often. She also likes to have a second love interest for our heroine, which is also getting rather repetitive. This book, however, was much more enjoyable and so gripping that I read it in one go. Now to my next read in the series!

The Kill Wire by Nichole Christoff

The Kill Wire by Nichole Christoff

This book was a definite improvement and so I turned to my final read of the week, #05, called The Kill Wire. What happened to #04, The Kill Sign? Well, some of you may remember that I read that book some time ago. In fact, I have just realised that it was almost exactly a year to the day and I gave it four stars. Anyway, this is the blurb for The Kill Wire:

With a long list of high-profile, high-paying clients, Jamie Sinclair has her hands full—and that’s the way she likes it. Still reeling from the brutal investigation that drove a wedge between her and her boyfriend, military police officer Adam Barrett, Jamie is counting on hard work to help her forget her recent history—but then DEA agent Marc Sandoval barges back into her life. The last time they worked together, Jamie almost crossed all kinds of lines. Now Marc doesn’t just want Jamie, he needs her . . . because she’s the only one who can help him—and the little boy he never told her about.

Marc’s ex has vanished, leaving their six-year-old son in his care. Despite a troubled past, Elena never wavered in her duties as a parent, so something must be very wrong now. Teaming with Marc to track Elena through her home state of Colorado and beyond, Jamie finds herself on a cross-country search for the missing mother of Marc’s child, at a crossroads with Adam, and on a collision course with the killers who’ll stop at nothing to find Elena first.

Perhaps I was getting upset because I couldn’t go to the Library and get more print books, or perhaps I shouldn’t read so many books in one series at one go. Well, whatever was irritating me caused me to write this, erm, “honest” review:

I am beginning to wish that I hadn’t stuck with this series. Whilst the main plot in each book is a pretty good and exciting thriller, the longer term arc of Jamie’s relationships with her men is getting increasingly annoying. Do I assume that she gets to have incredibly hot sex in book six to make up for all this coitus interruptus in every book so far? If not….. well….

Right, well there we go! There is one more book in the offing, as far as I know, and I will read that if only to find out whether it has a “satisfactory” ending! Due to be published in June 2018, it will be called The Kill Chain, according to Goodreads.

Thank goodness I have been able to get to the Library at last. I have one more ebook reservation to read and then I will dive blissfully into my fresh book pile 📚📚📚📚📚…

Happy reading to you all.

Best wishes,


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Outfit of the day 06/03/18

I decided to wear some “old friends” today: my rather whimsical book earrings which I bought when I was still working as a school librarian. We didn’t manage to go out, but I have enjoyed watching some TV and, of course, reading.

Today’s outfit:

  • Teal and black wool mix jumper – Windsmoor.
  • Book earrings – Etsy. I have other jewellery related to books as you can see on this post: Wardrobe planning #23: Fun jewellery
  • Multi-coloured flowers on black silk scarf – Accessorize. Placed into a bias fold and then tied in a half-bow knot.
  • Black pyjama trousers.

I had a bit of fun with my collage App today and tried a slightly different style.

Outfit of the day 06/03/18 with book style earrings

Outfit of the day 06/03/18 with book style earrings

I have also had two lovely deliveries today. As they arrived in the afternoon, it was too gloomy to take photos so I will give you a small hint. I will tell you more about these new arrivals on Thursday.

I am planning to write a Reading Roundup post tomorrow, so I had better get on with my latest book 📚

Best wishes,


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Outfit of the day 05/03/18

The weekend was extremely difficult and highly stressful for both me and Lovely Husband. Facebook friends will know what I mean and also some of the details, so I won’t say much more here except to acknowledge their much needed and wonderful support. Anyone who has lived with a family member who has ASD, will have an idea of what we have been suffering. We are hoping for some peace and calm for a while.

Anyway, I have some better news today! I actually made it as far as the Library 😄😄😄. LH drove me there and I was able to choose my next pile of books to read and also pick up two reserved books in The Expanse series. Whoop!

We didn’t stay out for long, but it felt brilliant to leave the house for the first time in weeks.

Today’s outfit:

  • Navy velour cowl neck top – Cotton Traders.
  • Navy velour joggers – Cotton Traders.
  • Crystal and gold stud earrings.
  • Montana blue and aquamarine crystal and gold plate vintage brooch – eBay. I wore this for the first time today, but found it difficult to photograph. The best version was in the image below although I don’t look my best!
Outfit of the day 05/03/18 with vintage brooch

Outfit of the day 05/03/18 with vintage brooch

That’s all for now, folks!

Best wishes,


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Update 02/03/18 with some humour to end the week

This has been such a tough week and, although I feel a bit better than I did a few days ago, I am still stuck in bed with the thick woolly jumper and numerous shawls. It is such a contrast to this day last year when Lovely Husband and I celebrated 30 years since our first date by visiting one of the venues where that took place. We had such a wonderful day. I hope that we are able to do something similar for our 30th wedding anniversary in a month’s time.

I am a bit more cheerful now than earlier in the week and have a fun link here so that you can share one of the sources of humour: WTF Just Happened At Gucci! Readers will know that I am interested in clothes, accessories and fashion, but this is just…

…I think I am losing my, erm, head over it…

…well, have a look for yourselves and let me know what you think!

Here is a small taster from the link and this is a mild one 🤣😂🤣. No, I don’t intend to wear my scarves like this!!! 😄😆😄 Nora Batty has nothing on this lass – look at those legs…

Gucci Fall 2018

Gucci Fall 2018

I hope that you all have a great weekend and that we get more Spring-like weather very soon.

Best wishes,


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Reading roundup 01/03/18

Here is the promised Reading Roundup post, even if it is a day late. I am not sure why I read ebooks far more quickly than the print ones, but I do. Or perhaps I have read five this week because I have so rarely been able to get out of bed and have given myself an extra day? Anyway, here they are…

Lamarchos by Jo Clayton

Lamarchos by Jo Clayton

I read the first book in Jo Clayton’s The Diadem series, Diadem from the Stars, a few weeks ago and I finished the second, Lamarchos, this week. Here is the blurb:

The diadem that crowned the head of Aleytys was in contact with her central nervous system – and invisible to outsiders. But even that star-born fugitive herself did not know what the diadem’s powers were or what it could do to or for her.

What she did know was that it made her the target of the diadem’s unrelenting and non-human owners who had tracked it across space and were still on her trail. She herself had started in search of her own people – but before she could make progress she would have to conquer both the unyielding mind-slave band she wore and the menace it held for all in contact with her.

This is my three star Goodreads review:

Again, this second book in the series is a weird mixture of fantasy and science fiction, leaning more towards the fantasy side. The plot is set on a different planet and we have the space thing at the beginning and the end, but the main part of the story is pure fantasy. I liked this more than the first as there was more action, particularly in the second half. There are small irritations around naming and also the unreal behaviour of Aleytys’ baby! He certainly never seems to cause any issues for his mother, or the plot!. So, an OK book. I may read #03 if I run out of other books as it is available as an ebook from the local library service.

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

Reservoir 13 by Jon McGregor

By this point, I was eager to get to the Library to borrow more books, but was far too ill to go. Thanks to the local library service’s ebook offer, I was able to download some unusual (for me) and interesting reads. Reservoir 13, by Jon McGregor, was definitely a departure for me and here is the blurb:

Midwinter in an English village. A teenage girl has gone missing. Everyone is called upon to join the search. The villagers fan out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on what is usually a place of peace. Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed. As the seasons unfold and the search for the missing girl goes on, there are those who leave the village and those who are pulled back; those who come together and those who break apart. There are births and deaths; secrets kept and exposed; livelihoods made and lost; small kindnesses and unanticipated betrayals. An extraordinary novel of cumulative power and grace, RESERVOIR 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a tragedy refuse to subside.

This book has won and been nominated for prizes and I can see why. Here is my review:

This was a total departure from any of my usual genres. I never, ever read books like this. Except that I did when I chose Reservoir 13. I love stories where something(s) happens, usually something with a lot of action and perhaps emotion. This book is so very different. There are 13 chapters and each one contains the story of a year in a village, starting in the year that a girl goes missing. The chapters document the tiny details of the lives of the villagers with the natural events of the plants and animals around them. It is fascinating to read those small events and build up a snapshot of thirteen years. The main issue I had was that I found it hard to keep track of all of the names. There was another issue too, but that would be a spoiler and I don’t do those!

Was I a bit mean to only give it four stars? Perhaps…

Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel

Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel

My third book was a return to a more familiar genre: a thriller called Dead on Arrival by Matt Richtel. I gave this one three stars and here is the blurb,

An airplane lands at a desolate airport in a remote Colorado ski town. On board, Dr. Lyle Martin, a world-class infectious disease specialist, is brusquely awakened to shocking news: everyone not on the plane appears to be dead. A lethal new kind of virus may have surfaced, threatening our survival, and now Martin—one of the most sought after virologists on the planet until his career took a precipitous slide—is at the center of the investigation.

The symptoms are the most confounding the experienced doctor has ever seen. Is it the work of terrorists? A biological attack? A natural occurrence? As word of the deadly sickness spreads, panic leads to violence and chaos. Armed and terrified partisans and patriots, stoked by technology and social media, have dug in, unknowingly creating fertile ground for the deadly syndrome Dr. Martin has begun to identify.

As the globe begins to unravel and paranoia and hatred take hold, Martin is forced to face a question as terrifying as this syndrome itself: is the world better left unsaved?

This is my short review:

A thriller with tech and sci-fi mixed in. The early sections of the book were good with really creepy and disturbing parts, but then the plot began to drag a bit. I think some of it could have been edited out. Certainly and interesting and largely entertaining plot, but the writing could have been better.

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

My next read only deserved two stars! This is the blurb for Shari Lapena’s A Stranger in the House:

Karen and Tom Krupp are happy—they’ve got a lovely home in upstate New York, they’re practically newlyweds, and they have no kids to interrupt their comfortable life together. But one day, Tom returns home to find Karen has vanished—her car’s gone and it seems she left in a rush. She even left her purse—complete with phone and ID—behind.

There’s a knock on the door—the police are there to take Tom to the hospital where his wife has been admitted. She had a car accident, and lost control as she sped through the worst part of town.

The accident has left Karen with a concussion and a few scrapes. Still, she’s mostly okay—except that she can’t remember what she was doing or where she was when she crashed. The cops think her memory loss is highly convenient, and they suspect she was up to no good.

Karen returns home with Tom, determined to heal and move on with her life. Then she realizes something’s been moved. Something’s not quite right. Someone’s been in her house. And the police won’t stop asking questions.

Because in this house, everyone’s a stranger. Everyone has something they’d rather keep hidden. Something they might even kill to keep quiet.

I was was going to give the book more stars and write a more favourable review, but I slept on it and changed my mind. So this is what I wrote:

Started quite well and the blurb was intriguing, but the main characters were all so unlikeable and behaved in such unlikely ways. So then the book became simply irritating. It was an example of how many plot twists, plot holes and ridiculous about-turns an author could pack into one book.

If you don’t like any of the characters, is it possible to like the book? I think that I have to root for at least one of them, I have to care what happens to keep me reading. Mind you, I did finish this book, so perhaps that isn’t quite true. Or maybe I was having a weak moment and just hung in there!

The Kill List by Nichole Christoff

The Kill List by Nichole Christoff

My final read of the week was much more successful, so much so that I immediately bought more of the series as ebooks as I realised that the snow would prevent a Library visit for quite a while. I stumbled across in Nichole Christoff’s Jamie Sinclair series quite some time ago, read #04 The Kill Sign, and decided to buy some of the other books as they are not available through the local library service. So, this time I read #01 The Kill List And here is the blurb:

As a top private eye turned security specialist, Jamie Sinclair has worked hard to put her broken marriage behind her. But when her lying, cheating ex-husband, army colonel Tim Thorp, calls with the news that his three-year-old daughter has been kidnapped, he begs Jamie to come find her. For the sake of the child, Jamie knows she can’t refuse. Now, despite the past, she’ll do everything in her power to bring little Brooke Thorp home alive.

Soon Jamie is back at Fort Leeds—the army base in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens where she grew up, the only child of a two-star general—chasing down leads and forging an uneasy alliance with the stern military police commander and the exacting FBI agent working Brooke’s case. But because Jamie’s father is now a U.S. senator, her recent run-in with a disturbed stalker is all over the news, and when she starts receiving gruesome threats echoing the stalker’s last words, she can’t shake the feeling that her investigation may be about more than a missing girl—and that someone very powerful is hiding something very significant . . . and very sinister.

And here is what I wrote in my four star review:

Good, engrossing thriller with a touch of romance. An enjoyable read with plenty of suspense and unexpected turns. I have read another in the series, but will have to buy more as the Library doesn’t stock them, sadly.

Well, I obviously mean that the book deserved four stars, not the review! I was feeling very ill yesterday when I finished the book and it helped to take my mind away from my woes, but I was unable to express myself very well as a reviewer. Anyway, I am now reading the second book in the series, so that is telling…

The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff

The Kill Shot by Nichole Christoff

I will let you know what I think of Christoff’s The Kill Shot next week.

Happy Reading to you all.

Best wishes,


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Update 28/02/18

This is unusual for me, but I have to admit that I am not capable of posting properly again today. Last night I had the most horrible series of anxiety/panic attacks that lasted from 23.00 until about 4.00. I won’t go into the nasty details, but I have never suffered from anything like this before. I have also been unable to sleep today.

I am now terrified of this happening again, but hope that I get some sleep tonight.

Best wishes,


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Update 27/02/18

Sorry, but there will not be a proper post today. This household has been suffering from what I might call “post-holiday ASD meltdown let’s muck-spread over everyone until they crack syndrome”. Lovely Husband and I are totally frazzled and at the end of our tether(s). I hope to be capable of writing a Reading Roundup post tomorrow.

Best wishes to you all,


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