Monday, April 23, 2018

Review: On His Watch by Katie Ruggle


On His Watch by Katie Ruggle
Book 0.5 of the Search & Rescue series
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date: January 5, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Kindle copy bought from Amazon

Summary (from Goodreads):

In the remote Rocky Mountains, lives depend on the Search & Rescue brotherhood. But in a place this far off the map, trust is hard to come by and secrets can be murder...

Ice rescue diver Derek Warner never meant to be a hero. But when two little girls go missing, he's the first in line to bring them home-even if that means scouring the wilderness with the woman he once loved and lost, Artemis Rey.

Artemis has never stopped wanting Derek. Now, racing to find the girls before it's too late, minutes turn to hours. Night falls. Old flames rekindle. And a danger grows in the darkest wilderness that may be more than even the Search and Rescue brotherhood can hope to face...

What I Liked:

I picked up this novella on a whim, not only because it was free, but also because I've always wanted to try some of Katie Ruggle's books. I've heard great things about all of her series, and I tend to enjoy romantic suspense but always want to read more. I think I'm going to start this series! This novella was a perfect step into the series, and I'm ready for more.

Note that I'm completely new to the series, I haven't read anything else and I don't know anything about any of the characters. So Derek and Artemis are the first hero/heroine pairing that I'm aware of, but I see the "next" pairing based off this novella. Which is cool!

Derek is an ice rescue diver, and one of the best at the job. He's fearless and he has good instincts - which is exactly what is needed, when a young boy falls into the ice, during a school field trip. To make matters worse, two young girls go missing in the nearby forest. He'll have to search the forest with the students' teacher, none other than a childhood friend and ex-girlfriend, Artemis Rey. Derek never wanted to break up with Artemis, but after a life-changing event occurred when they were in their teens, he did what needed to be done. Years later, it's clear that neither of them got over the other, and both of them still have feelings for each other. What better way to figure things out than during a search and rescue mission?

This is a novella so it was a short, compact story, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It's nothing short of romantic suspense, with both the romance aspect, and the suspense aspect. I wasn't expecting a ton of "suspense", but Ruggle did a great job with bringing that into the story. There is an arsonist in town, and this plot is hinted at in this novella, but perhaps more fully explored in the first full-length novel of the series. This was really well-written!

I adored Derek, with his easy charm and goofy, carefree nature. He seems like a big lovable guy with lethal charm and a killer smile, but he is also very brave, smart, and he never hesitates to act first. He's a good guy - heck, even his reasons for breaking up with Artemis are good. He has a noble, selfless soul, and that makes him really good at his job.

Artemis is also another selfless soul; she's a kind schoolteacher who would do anything for her students. Years ago, Derek broke up with her, and it took some time to move on. Years later, she realizes that she never got over him, and she never wants to get over him. They're a great match, with her gentle kindness, and his goofy charm.

The romance is cute! I usually don't go for second-chance romances because of all the angst and hurt that is usually associated with them. But this one did not have as much of all that! I mean, it was there in the past, but not in the novella itself. And also, Derek and Artemis talk about things while they're searching and rescuing, and the open communication does a lot of good. I love seeing open communication in romance novels - usually a lot of drama could be avoided if the hero/heroine just talked about things.

There was a side of steamy too! While this novella was short (as expected), there were one or two steamy scenes between Derek and Artemis. Their chemistry is undeniable, even after years.

There is a happy ending for Derek and Artemis, and a happy ending for the missing children! But like I said, there is the "suspense" side of things that is hinted at throughout the novella, that will most likely be the focus of the first full-length of the series. Which probably features Callum and Lou. I'm excited! I have that book and hope to read it soon.

What I Did Not Like:

Nothing specific comes to mind! My foray into the series is going well so far. 

Would I Recommend It:

If you like romantic suspense, I hear Katie Ruggle's books are a good place to start! Hence what I'm doing. I'm not an expect in romantic suspense but I know other romance bloggers who are, and I trust their opinions.

Rating:

4 stars. I liked this novella - it serves a good purpose in introducing readers to the series - and I'm interested in reading more by this author, whether in this series (preferably, at this point) or one of her other series. Search & Rescue is really cool, just saying!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Science in Fiction (#39): Earth Day Edition (+ Giveaway!)


Welcome to this month's Science in Fiction feature! Science in Fiction is a meme I created to showcase the wonderful aspects of science in Young Adult fiction novels. For more information and previous feature, check out the "Science in Fiction" tag!

This month, I'm not featuring a specific book - I'm featuring Earth Day!

Today (April 22nd) is Earth Day. Earth Day was started in 1970, and it's April 22nd every year. It just so happens to fall on a Sunday this year, which is perfect for this month's Science in Fiction post.

This year's Earth Day has a special focus - ending plastic pollution by 2020. Plastic pollution is something I've talked about before, featuring different YA books. Last month, I featured Pacifica by Kristen Simmons, and I talked about trash islands in the ocean. Like the Great Garbage Patch:


And Roatan, Honduras.

Photographer Caroline Power said that a plastic waste island that she recently documented was "tiny compared to the ones in
Source: Phys.org

Did you know that there is an estimated 150 million metric tons of plastic in our oceans today? 300 million tons of plastic is produced every year. And think about this - it takes roughly 20 years for a plastic bag to decompose. It takes about 450 years for a plastic bottle (the kind you buy in cases at the grocery store) to decompose. So if I throw a disposable plastic bottle in the Chesapeake Bay right now, it'll decompose in the year 2468. And what it decomposes to (little tiny filaments of plastic) isn't great either. 

Check out this graphic from Ocean Conservancy:

Plastic Ocean
Source: Ocean Conservancy

People can say what they want about global climate change (is it real? is it a hoax made up by scientists to get more funding?), though you all know my stance on global climate change. But you can't deny the incredible pollution that is going on, in the oceans, in other bodies of water, in wastelands, underground. 

This Earth Day, we should pledge to make small changes in our lives that will have a lasting impact on our planet. Here are some things that you can do:

- Use reusable bags in the grocery and other stores. Use whatever reusable bags you want! They don't need to be ones that you buy at that store. Heck, I walk into Giant (our local grocery) with cloth bags that are from Giant, but also free cloth bags from other grocery stores.

- Use reusable bottles. Stop buying cases of water bottled in plastic. Think about where those bottles end up. Are you placing them for recycling? Are you throwing them in trash?

- Give up bottled drinks altogether. I'd argue that glass bottles are better to use/buy, but in general, bottled drinks are a good thing to stop consuming. It would be incredibly difficult for the average person (myself included). 

- STOP USING PLASTIC STRAWS. Plastic straws are terrible! Use reusable ones or just drink from the cup.

- Choose cardboard over plastic. Cardboard is usually easier to recycle than plastic bags and bottles are not.

- Stop using products with microbeads. Like hand soaps, example. We've all seen hand soaps with tiny little beads in them. Those beads do not break down and usually have a component of plastic in them.

- Stop chewing gum. Did you know that gum is made of plastic? Yeah. And then you spit that out, and a bird might get stuck in it. 

There are sooooo many other things that you can do, but these tend to be the easiest ones. If demand for certain products go down, then the companies producing them will have to limit supply. Which is fantastic! If we all did a few of the things on the list, we might see a huge difference, in the long run.

And now, the giveaway!


Win the above prize pack, plus some other books that will be a surprise! Open internationally, ends on May 11th. I'll try to announce the winner on my next Science in Fiction post. Giveaway rules apply. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (#278)


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!


So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, April 15th to Saturday, April 21st?


(all links to Goodreads are provided!)


In the mail:



Thank you, Harper! I think I'm most excited about A Thousand Beginnings and Endings. It's an anthology of stories based on Asian legends, written by Asian authors. I'm a fan!


Reviews from this week:

  
(Click on the cover to go to my review!)


Favorite Instagram post from this week:

A post shared by Alyssa (@theeaterofbooks) on


I just need to rant for a moment - I want it to be summer! Forget this 900th winter we're having! Why am I still wearing my winter coat?! I want to have that dry-cleaned and stored in my closet until October. Goodness, is that too much to ask for?! In 10 days it will be MAY! *forever bitter about the 7-month-long winter we're having*

Friday, April 20, 2018

My Favorite YA Books That Need A Sequel

Hey friends! Today is another day in which I didn't feel like writing/posting a review, but did feel like posting something... so I'm doing another favorites post! You can check out my favorite YA books with hate-to-love romance HERE, favorite books with the word "shadow" in the title HERE, favorite adult books (alphabet style) HERE, favorite Jane-Austen-Inspired YA books HERE, favorite YA foreign editions posts HERE, favorite YA books (alphabet style) HERE, favorite YA books with one-word titles HERE, favorite swoons from YA books HERE.

Here are some of my favorite YA books that really need a sequel! 

    
All Our Yesterdays  Brightly Woven  Two-Way Street
Transparent (Transparent, #1)  Where the Stars Still Shine  Silver Eve (Guardians of Tarnec, #2)


Don't you hate it when you finish a book and you're like OMG that was amazing, but where's the rest?! Sometimes we need more! 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Swoon Thursday (#273): Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris


- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting


This week, my swoon is from Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris!


His hand tilts my chin up. I close my eyes. His breath is warm against my skin. Our noses brush against each other. I hold my breath. Before he kisses me, I can feel how close we are, like the nerve endings in my body are so sensitive they've extended inches outward, and the electricity between us charges the space between. Ben hesitates, and I wonder if he's changed his mind. I open my eyes to check.

And then his lips touch mine.

They're soft and smooth, ad they taste salty from his tears. And then he opens his mouth, our tongues touch, I taste mine, and his other hand slides around my waist, settling on my back. My mouth opens wider, and I don't know if I'll ever get enough of him.

- Finished copy, page 346



I read this book a looooong time ago - back in 2012 - and I loved it! I'm rereading it before reading the next book (for the first time). =)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Waiting on Wednesday (#277): The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.


This week, I'm featuring:


The Dark Days Deceit by Alison Goodman
Book Three of the Lady Helen series
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: November 20, 2018

Summary (from Goodreads):

The thrilling, genre-bending conclusion to Lady Helen's demon-hunting adventures, set in the glittering Regency world.

Lady Helen has retreated to a country estate outside Bath to prepare for her wedding to the Duke of Selburn, yet she knows she has unfinished business to complete. She and the dangerously charismatic Lord Carlston have learned they are a dyad, bonded in blood, and only they are strong enough to defeat the Grand Deceiver, who threatens to throw mankind into chaos. But the heinous death-soaked Ligatus Helen has absorbed is tearing a rift in her mind. Its power, if unleashed, will annihilate both Helen and Carlston unless they can find a way to harness its ghastly force and defeat their enemy.

In the final book of the trilogy that began with THE DARK DAYS CLUB and continued with THE DARK DAYS PACT, the intrepid Lady Helen's story hurtles to a shocking conclusion full of action, heartbreak, and betrayal.




I love this series! I can't wait to read this final novel. It has been a long time coming!

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday (9)


Happy Tuesday! Today I've decided to participate in Top Ten Tuesday, formerly hosted by Jamie at The Broke and the Bookish, now hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl.

Today's topic is: 

Frequently Used Words In [Insert Genre/Age Group] Titles

(I chose "Fire" in YA Titles!)

    
    
The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)  
Fire and Heist  Girls of Paper and Fire


It's funny because I just did a post on favorite YA books with the word "shadow" in the title. So I did "fire" for today's TTT. I cheated a little because the last three are books I have not read yet, but hope to do so this year!