NCIS: LA: 5×10 – The Frozen Lake

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And cue a giant leap in the Deeks/Kensi relationship.  This episode was a goldmine for Deeks/Kensi fans.  Deeks protecting Kensi from gunfire, Deeks not wanting to take the shot in case he missed, Kensi punching Deeks because of it, the Frozen Lake metaphor, the Fern/Max scene, Kensi giving Deeks her father’s knife, Kensi rushing in to rescue Deeks, Deeks taking the shot, Deeks/Kensi and the “talking about this” scene ….

And the case itself with the Gurkha was interesting too.

The Mentalist: 6×07 – The Great Red Dragon + 6×08 – Red John

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Wow, and so the Red John arc finally draws to a close.  I haven’t been obsessed with the show in years so I couldn’t tell you if the resolution really does tie up every loose end and fits with all the info we’ve been given before.  However, it was definitely a deserving conclusion.  The showdown with the FBI team, Bertram being a red herring as was Bob Kirkland and like half a dozen other guys.

Where The Heart Is by Darcy Burke

Where The Heart Is (Ribbon Ridge)Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

A very cute festive start to what looks like will be a fantastic new contemporary romance series.

What this novella did better than any other novella is introduce a large family (hope each sibling gets their own story!) and give each of the characters their own identity, whilst still maintaining the focus on the main couple (Derek/Chloe).

As to the couple themselves, I have to admit that I wouldn’t have been able to be anywhere as near as understanding and forgiving as Chloe after the number of times Derek walked away or pushed her away due to his issues with his parents’ death.

Strangers->Engagement was definitely fast but it kinda worked in this case.

Book: 4*

Cover: 5*

Down on Love by Jayne Denker

Down on LoveReceived an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

1.5*

I honestly don’t like it when I dislike a book and then review it as I feel like I’m kicking a cute puppy when it’s down but ……. gosh, this book was just never-ending.  It went on and on and on that I ended up skimming the last quarter just to be done before I cried from boredom.

Small-town romances work because they have a certain charm to them but there was no charm to be seen in this one.  The characters were all various degrees of annoying, there was no sexual chemistry between George and Casey and by the end, I don’t even think I wanted them to get their HEA.

I also didn’t like the way the characters spoke to each other like they were still thirteen years old.

Yeah …… unfortunately this book didn’t work for me.

Book: 1.5*

Cover: 3*

Married for Christmas by Noelle Adams

Married for Christmas (Willow Park, #1)Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

The author prefaces this book about her trepidation at including religion in a contemporary romance and wonders whether there was too much or too little.  Well, Noelle Adams, I can confirm you got the balance just right.

As a non-religious person, I approached the book with no small amount of trepidation because religion is usually an unheard of obstacle in most contemporary romances.  However, it worked well in this book.

The religion aspect aside, I have to admit I wasn’t entirely convinced at Daniel’s sudden declaration of love at the end and I think the book could have done with dragging out the HEA for maybe another 40 pages.

Book: 3*
Cover: 3*

The Second-Chance Dog: A Love Story by Jon Katz

The Second-Chance Dog: A Love StoryReceived an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Fact: I could not stop looking at the cute cover.
Fiction: This book is all about the dog on the cover.  It’s not (but she does play a big part!).  It’s about humans and human relationships with each other just as much it is about human relationships with dogs.

This was undoubtedly a satisfying read that makes you think twice about life as well as our relationship with our pets.

Book: 3*

Cover: 5*

Autumn in the Vineyard by @MarinaEAdair

Autumn in the Vineyard (St. Helena Vineyard, #3)Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

4.5*

Fact: I am completely head-over-heels in love with this series and this book was special for two reasons:

1. How often do you get to watch two characters find love who are both enemies and friends?  Such a delicious mix of complex emotions.
2. Mittens

My only gripe was that there are jut a few too many characters that all play a role in the book – don’t get me wrong, I am really happy about this as hopefully we will get to follow all of the Baudounin and DeLuca brothers find love and the series will go on for a long time.  However, I did spend the first third of the book trying to remember who is who and by the time I had got that straight in my head, I had sadly come to the end of the book!  Suggestion: how about a Baudounin and DeLuca family tree at the start of each book and as the series continues it can be updated with each book?

Book: 4.5*
Cover: 4*

Confessions of a Hostie: True Stories of an International Flight Attendant by Danielle Hugh

Confessions of a Hostie: True Stories of an International Flight AttendantReceived an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

2.5*

As a big fan of airports and air travel, I was looking forward to reading this and getting an insight into the life of a flight attendant.  Did it live up to expectations?

Sort of.  The eye-opening tales are included such as the incident with the Polynesian man, what hosties do to get revenge on high maintenance passengers, not to mention the drinking, partying and infidelity in the downtime.

Highlights include the aforementioned Polynesian man and also the last incident described with the man who had a heart attack.

However, ‘Danielle’ came across just a bit too snarky, materialistic and superficial for me to really warm to her and with such a non-fiction book, you kind of have to like the author to truly like the book.

Book: 2.5*

Cover: 2*

Falling For Mr. Wrong by Inara Scott

Falling For Mr. Wrong (Bencher Family, #3)Received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

By the nature of the genre, it’s likely that once you’ve read about a dozen contemporary romances, you have discovered all the different plots and ‘twists’ in romances and all the rest of the books in genre are just more of the same with a few tweaks here and there.

However, what this book does best is the areas where it differs from the norm: Kelsey’s mother didn’t die in a car crash – she died on her mountain and she doesn’t have a close cosy relationship with her father as the result of losing her mother at a young age; Ross, although divorced with three children, actually gets on with an ex and they didn’t divorce due to an extra-marital affair.

It is because of these differences that makes the book a refreshing change and really endeared me to the couple.  Russ’s children were loveable as well, even Luke!  Kudos to the author for giving Kelsey a very different profession and lifestyle than you find in a typical romance.

Book: 4*

Cover: 3*