July 2018 Wrap-Up

I’ve decided to do a monthly wrap-up post each month to see how I’m doing on my blog and what’s going on in my personal life. I plan to link-up to a couple of blogs that host wrap-ups and reviews of their months. The Month in Review is hosted at The Book Date, and the Monthly Wrap-up Round-up is hosted by Feed Your Fiction Addiction.

Personal life

A very busy month!

TV & Movies

We’ve watched episodes of The Great British Baking Show, The Indian Detective, Death in Paradise, Father Brown and DCI Banks during July. I especially like the baking show. It’s so fun to watch the challenges the bakers have to complete.

Yard & Garden

July started out with flash floods in Des Moines (one man lost his life when he was swept away from his car) and many people were stranded in cars plus lots of houses and basements were flooded. The rest of the month has been mostly dry and our lawn is brown. We’ve also had some weather in the 90’s so we’ve watered our young trees and new plants to keep them going.

Family

As I mentioned in my June Wrap-Up my daughter has moved to Indiana for a new job with her company. At the beginning of July I went with her to help get her settled, explore the area and to look at houses with her. She sold her house here in Des Moines the same day it went on the market and she found a house in Indianapolis in July. She should close on it by the middle of August. Negotiations have been stressful since she’s been gone from Indianapolis a lot of July (household goods being packed, a family vacation and a conference for her job). That made communications difficult at times. However, I think she’s on track now and due to get back to Indianapolis by the first Monday of August.

A birthday party at Mt. Rainier National Park

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My sister-in-law lives in Seattle with her family and last summer invited the whole family to Mt. Rainier National Park for a birthday celebration this year. My husband and I plus our two daughters were there. Our son stayed in Iowa and took care of our dogs and cats! We stayed at the historic Paradise Inn–built around 1917–for two nights. The rooms were small and the bathrooms were down the hall, but the inn–especially the lobby was amazing with rustic wood furniture built on-site about 100 years ago. We hiked in steep terrain and saw beautiful views. Even though the “easy” hikes were hard sometimes because of the steepness of the trails we all took part in the hikes we could manage. It was a beautiful, fun and wonderful family time.

Blog life

Books read during July

Books reviewed

I reviewed a few more books in July, but still have a lot to review. I’m working to get more reviewed in August.

Reviews

The Sinister Pig by Tony Hillerman (ebook, purchased) — A-

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse (ebook, purchased) — B+

Mini Reviews

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden (audiobook/library) — A

A Perilous Undertaking by Deanna Raybourn (Ebook, library) — B-

Evan Help Us by Rhys Bowen (audiobook, purchased) — B

A Dragon of a Different Color by Rachel Aaron (Ebook, Kindle Unlimited) — B+

My Challenges update

Goodreads Challenge

Goal–90 books read

I’ve read 59 books toward my goal. I’m not as far ahead in my goal as I was last month, but still I’m 6 books ahead.

Cloak & Dagger Reading Challenge

Goal–read 26-35 mysteries 

I’ve read 29 mysteries so far, but have only reviewed 9 of those mysteries so far.

Discussion Challenge

Goal — 1 -10 discussion posts

I haven’t written any discussion posts yet. I have a couple started so I hope to get one done real soon now!

POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Goal — 40 prompts to the challenge

I’ve read 10 books which match the prompts.

Swords & Stars Reading Challenge

Goal — 20 prompts for the challenge

I’ve read and reviewed 6 books which match this challenge.

What was the month like for you?

Review: Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Promise Not to Tell by Jayne Ann Krentz

Series: Cutler, Sutter & Salinas #2

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Setting: Seattle, Washington and San Juan Islands

Publishing Date: 2018

Source: Ebook from library

Synopsis: Seattle gallery owner Virginia Troy has spent years battling the demons that stem from her childhood time in a cult and the night a fire burned through the compound, killing her mother. And now one of her artists has taken her own life, but not before sending Virginia a last picture: a painting that makes Virginia doubt everything about the so-called suicide—and her own past.

Like Virginia, private investigator Cabot Sutter was one of the children in the cult who survived that fire… and only he can help her now. As they struggle to unravel the clues in the painting, it becomes clear that someone thinks Virginia knows more than she does and that she must be stopped. Thrown into an inferno of desire and deception, Virginia and Cabot draw ever closer to the mystery of their shared memories—and the shocking fate of the one man who still wields the power to destroy everything they hold dear. 

Jayne Ann Krentz is a “comfort read” author for me and this book didn’t disappoint. I haven’t read the first book in the series and though there were a few references to characters from the first book I didn’t feel lost. I am considering reading the first book since I enjoyed this book.

A little background

I enjoyed reading about Virginia Troy who owns an art gallery in Seattle. Even though she had a traumatic childhood, twenty years later she has managed to put a lot of that behind her and is a success. However, she’s aware of some others who survived the cult her mother was a member of who haven’t managed to get past the trauma. When Hannah Brewster, one of the few adults who survived the fire the night the cult was destroyed, dies and her cabin burns to the ground everyone thinks it’s suicide, but  Virginia thinks she might have been murdered. Hannah Brewster was an artist, but her paintings never sold in Virginia’s gallery. They are just too dark for most people. Hannah always painted scenes from the night of the fire at the cult. They always show the children who were at the cult as well as the cult leader. Before Hannah died she sent Virginia a digital camera with a photo showing a wall she painted in her cabin. Hannah notices that this painting of the fire is a little different from others Hannah painted. Since the police and everyone else thinks Hannah committed suicide and that she was crazy, Hannah decides to go to a private detective agency.

Cutler, Sutter and Salinas isn’t just any agency. The private detectives are also survivors of the cult and the police officer who was there that night and who saved the children. Cabot Sutter is one of the surviving children and he’s inclined to agree with Virginia that Hannah’s death should be investigated. Cabot and the rest of the investigators of the agency believe that although Quinton Zane, the leader of the cult, was declared dead that he might have faked his death and that he’s still alive. Cabot is eager to see if he’s behind Hannah’s death.

The romance and the mystery

Cabot and Virginia work together to solve the mystery and though they don’t want to like each other at first they admire each other. The admiration grows as they get to know each other and see the honesty and bravery both show. They were both scarred by their time in the cult, but they have managed to rise above it even though they both have issues. I like the way Ms. Krentz shows their angst as well as their integrity and courage. I felt the romance was real and that it didn’t overtake the mystery.

I also really like Anson Salinas also who was the policeman who saved the children and adopted three of them whose relatives wouldn’t or couldn’t take care of them. He’s very honorable and intelligent. There’s obviously a strong bond between him and the boys he adopted.

There’s a lot of action and adventure in the book that I liked. I didn’t like the parts that are in the antagonist point-of-view as well. I understand why at least some of it was necessary for the story, but still didn’t like those parts as well. The book also surprised me several times which is always fun.

I don’t like romantic suspense as well as a book that’s just a mystery, but thought this was quite well-done. I really do like Jayne Ann Krentz’s writing. These books continue the mystery of the cult and how it’s affecting the present day throughout the series.

My rating: B

Reading Challenge

Cloak and Dagger Reading Challenge hosted by Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!