Tag Archives: Caveat Emptor

WWW Wednesday, 18-December-2019

18 Dec

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I keep trucking through Wild Ink by Victoria Hanley. This is about the pace I thought I’d read this book so I’m not upset it’s taking this long. I like the steady drip of YA writing advice and I think it’s helping me keep my books in mind.
I’ve been bouncing back and forth between Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and The Dutch House. I’m loving Pachinko and I know it’s going to be a slow burn. The characters and the setting are wonderful so far and I’m looking forward to seeing how the rest of this epic unfolds.
Today is the first buddy-read meeting I have for The Dutch House by Ann Patchett. We read the first five chapters and are having dinner tonight to talk about it. It’s fun to read a book this way with a close friend. I hope we can do more of these in the future.
I should finish Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward this week. Audiobooks going quickly for me now with my commute. I’m still unsure how to feel about this one. The writing is really good and the plot is engaging, but I’m not connecting with it for some reason. I’ll see how it’s going next week.

Recently finished: No books finished this week, but I think that will change next week with how fast I get through audio right now. Stay tuned.

I was able to post three book reviews since last week! I first shared my thoughts on Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie. I adore this series and the characters in it. I can’t wait to get to the next one soon. Four out of Five Stars.
I also posted my review for My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart. I had some issues with this book, honestly. I think I had too high of expectations because I adore Hannah’s YouTube channel so much. Three out of Five Stars.
I also posted a review for Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine. This was my first ARC in a while and I enjoyed it, but I didn’t love it. I’m hopefully going to do an interview with the author in the coming weeks so stay tuned for that. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I plan to pick up Sarah’s Quilt by Nancy E. Turner still. I think this will be a good audiobook to wrap up the year. Reading about a quilt sounds nice when it’s so cold outside.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Book Review: Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie (4/5)

12 Dec

I stumbled across this series in college and I’ve been making my way through it faster now that I’ve realized all of the books are available as audiobooks on Hoopla. I really enjoy the characters and writing so expect this to continue for some time!

Cover image via Goodreads

Caveat Emptor (Medicus Investigation #4) by Ruth Downie

Other books by Downie reviewed on this blog:

Terra Incognita (Medicus Investigation #2) 4/5
Persona Non Grata (Medicus Investigation #3) 4/5

Summary from Goodreads:

Ruso and Tilla, now newlyweds, have moved back to Britannia, where Ruso’s old friend and colleague Valens has promised to help him find work. But it isn’t the kind of work he’d had in mind-Ruso is tasked with hunting down a missing tax man named Julius Asper.

Of course, there’s also something else missing: money. And the council of the town of Verulamium is bickering over what’s become of it. Compelled to delve deeper by a threat from his old sparring partner, Metellus, Ruso discovers that the good townsfolk may not be as loyal to Rome as they like to appear.

While Tilla tries to comfort Asper’s wife, an anonymous well-wisher is busy warning the couple to get away from the case before they get hurt. Despite our hero’s best efforts to get himself fired as investigator, he and his bride find themselves trapped at the heart of an increasingly treacherous conspiracy involving theft, forgery, buried treasure, and the legacy of Boudica, the Rebel Queen.

I just love this series and these characters. Tilla is very relatable and Ruso always finds himself in the best situations. The characters that surround them are amazingly diverse and fun and the detail that Downie puts into the setting brings it to life well. I don’t know much about life in Roman Britain and the ways Downie describes it doesn’t exactly make me want to move there, but I might visit.

The supporting characters are a bit unbelievable, a caricature of real people, but man are they funny. Albanus and Valens are less believable than most but they’re some of my favorite characters in the series. Tilla and Ruso are very down-to-earth and much more believable so that the whole store has an overall realism to it even with such jokesters around.

Tilla is my favorite character. She is very smart and independent, to a point where it’s almost detrimental to her. She is fine in her society of native Britains but when she comes into Roman society with Ruso, she’s very out of place. The two of them are very good together, though, and I can’t wait to see where they go throughout the series.

I related to Tilla. Her care for the young baby was very realistic and made her seem very motherly while she’s going through the struggles of trying to conceive. Her mothering instinct kicked in and I can understand how that would happen! I have a few friends with babies and I always want to be holding them and making sure they have everything they need all the time.

Ruth Downie
Image via Audible

Valens and Albanus together made my favorite parts of this book. The humor they infused was great and I got excited each time one of them was mentioned and coming into the storyline. Albanus always seems to find a way to help and Valens a way to intercede. They’re great supporting characters to Ruso and Tilla and good for a bit of fun.

I felt like this book ended before the end and I was a little frustrated until I realized that they were still solving the mystery. It seemed to wrap up so well that I was a bit thrown off about how much time was left but I still liked how it ended. So this is really a minor gripe. I really enjoyed this book.

My audiobook was narrated by Simon Vance and I thought he did an amazing job. He gave great weight to things that were heavy and a light tone to things that are funny. He used a good variety of voices for the characters, differing his pitch enough to keep them straight but not so much that it was distracting.

The underlying plot of Tilla’s infertility was really touching. It spoke to truthfulness in marriage and what love will endure. I thought it was touching how far Tilla was going to try to conceive and showed how much she cared about Ruso. I wonder if they’ll be able to have a baby together and I can’t wait to see how that plays out.

Writer’s Takeaway: Downie does a great job of balancing humorous and serious moments. When something is too silly, you can be almost certain that something unpleasant is coming. I like being able to laugh and be shocked by the book from scene to scene. It’s a great emotional rush going through one of these titles.

A really enjoyable read from a favorite series. Four out of Five stars.

This book fulfills the Pre-1300 time period of the When Are You Reading? Challenge.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Related Posts:
Caveat Emptor | S.J.A. Turney’s Books & More
Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie | Mixed Book Bag

Challenge Update, November 2019

2 Dec

I know I’m epically behind on reviews, but I did keep reading in November. NaNo slowed me down but I couldn’t be stopped (completely)! You can look at my progress at any time on my challenge page.

Books finished in November:

Caveat Emptor // Ruth Downie (4/5)
My Drunk Kitchen // Hannah Hart (3/5)
The Mortifications // Derek Palacio (3/5)
Eastbound from Flagstaff // Annette Valentine (3/5)
Not Without My Daughter // Betty Mahmoody (3/5)

So many reviews to catch up on! I’m planned out until after Christmas at this point. So don’t fear! I will get you your reviews as soon as I can.

When Are You Reading? Challenge

11/12
I got the Pre-1300 period finished now by finishing Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie. I do love that series so it was no problem at all to finish it. I’ve got a plan for my final time period so I’m feeling amazing about checking this challenge off during December and getting ready to do it again in January.

Goodreads Challenge

58/52
Killing it!

Book of the Month

Based on my ratings this month, it’s probably easy to see that I’d pick Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie for November. I love this series and I’ll continue with it as long as Downie keeps writing them. I think Ruso and Tilla are wonderful and I hope more people can find and love this series because it’s really wonderful.

Added to my TBR

I’m still sitting at 66 so no change for this month. I’ve added more than I really intended to, but it just happens that way some months.

  • Semper Fidelis // Ruth Downie. It’s the next book in the Medicus series so, of course, I put it on the list right away!
  • Joy, Inc. // Richard Sheridan. I heard Sheridan speak at an HR conference and I really liked his ideas about making work joyful. I’ve had some rough jobs as I’m sure many have and with a job in HR, I feel I could help make a difference in some workplaces and I’d like to know more about how Sheridan did it.
  • Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince // V.E. Schwab. I didn’t realize there was a graphic novel in this world! I’m so excited to learn more and also try a graphic novel. I’ve been seriously lacking in that area.
  • The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue // Mackenzi Lee. This will be the final book in my challenge this year so I’ll have this one off the list very shortly!

Personal Challenge

I’m gearing up again to track personal goals here. This is a great way to keep me accountable and to tell you about me outside the wide world of books.

  • Finish 70.3 Half Ironman: DONE!
  • Attend six weddings: DONE!
  • Finish a weather blanket: I’m behind AGAIN but I’ll catch up. With NaNo over and the cold weather here, knitting is a welcome past time while watching TV.
  • Write: I didn’t expect to do NaNo this year so I’d say this one was a success! The manuscript is a complete mess and needs some major editing but I’m up for it. I really enjoy editing, to be honest. And I’m feeling brave enough that I think I can submit my first manuscript! I’m about ready to hit ‘send’ and feeling brave.
  • See my friends more: This month was not a prime example but I’m still doing okay at this. December is always full of parties and Ii think I’ll be up for them. I was sick twice in November which didn’t help but I’m going to assume it means no being sick in December!

How are your challenges going so far? I hope you’re off to a good start. If you love historical fiction, give some thought to my challenge for 2020, it’s fun!

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 13-November-2019

13 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I think Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine will be done by next week. I really enjoyed the first half of the novel but it’s slowed down for me a lot and I’m dragging a bit through the last 100 pages. I thought it would be done sooner but oh well.
I made a great surge with My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart. I had a slow conference with a lot of downtime to read a silly cookbook and this was perfect because the frequent interruptions weren’t a problem. I’m optimistic about getting this one finished this month.
With just one audiobook, I’m moving through The Mortifications by Derek Palacio pretty quickly. The audiobook is well done. I’m noticing a lot of subtle magical realism elements that are often found in Hispanic literature. It’s not a favorite of mine, but I’m still enjoying it and learning a lot about Cuban culture from it, too.

Recently finished: I loved Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie and I’m so glad there are more books in this series. I recommend this book series a lot because I think it deserves more attention than it’s gotten. It’s funny and well-plotted. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

I’ve only posted once since last week and thankfully it was a book review (as I’m growing behind on those). I posted my review of When I Crossed No-Bob by Margaret McMullan on Thursday. I gave the book Three out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I’m still reeling from all the free time I have to read what I want! I need to be ready with an audiobook and a physical book soon. For my audiobook, I think I’m going to listen to The Maximum Security Book Club by Mikita Brottman. I saw this one at Powell’s and talked myself out of buying it but still wanted to enjoy it eventually. It seems like now is a great time.
I’m also going to get ready with a physical book from the library. The next on my list is Not Without my Daughter by Betty Mahmoody. I’ve heard this is a crazy-true story and I look forward to enjoying it!


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 6-November-2019

6 Nov

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’m happy with how far I’ve come int Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine. The story is a little slow for me, but I’m still enjoying it. I like that Simon is living in Detroit during the 20s, definitely a setting for me!
I’ve slowed down a bit with My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart because I’m making work friends that I eat lunch with. It’s a balance between having people to talk to in the office and getting some reading done. I can go back to being anti-social once I have friends to talk to other times in the day.
I’m devouring Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie with my longer commute. I love this series and I’m looking forward to seeing how this one ends. I have a feeling there’s going to be a big twist! I’m counting on it actually.

Recently finished: Nothing new finished this week. I started doing NaNoWriMo on Friday so that’s taking up quite a bit of time. Reviews may be delayed as well, but WWW Wednesday will not falter! I love hosting this meme too much to let it drop.

Reading Next: I need to make a decision on this one. I think I’ll wait a little bit before pushing to finish my Historical Fiction challenge. I realized I’m done with book club meetings until January and I’ll take this time to tackle some that have been on my TBR for a while. My next audiobook will be The Mortifications by Derek Palacio. I met Palacio at the Midwest Literary Walk in 2017 so this has been here for a while.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 30-October-2019

30 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: I’ve made good progress with Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine. The character just moved to Detroit so I’m excited to see my home town represented in a book. Obviously, I wasn’t alive and living in the same area at the time but it’s still fun to see.
I’m enjoying My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart during my lunches though I don’t think I’d classify it at all as a cookbook. Her recipes are simplified versions of the things she’s made on her channel and I’m enjoying the parts about her life and how she grew her fame with the channel and her show more. I can see her humor in this part more.
I’m listening to Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie on audio and enjoying it as I knew I would. I’ve loved this series so far and I’m looking forward to seeing what else Russo gets up to in this one now that he’s back in Britannia.

Recently finished: I finished Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and I really enjoyed it. I’m glad Walter wrapped it up as well as she did. The story was well crafted and the writing was good. I liked certain characters more than others, but there were enough that I liked that I could still enjoy each plotline.

I posted my review of We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix on Friday. It was an enjoyable fall book, though I’m still pretty sure horror isn’t a good genre for me. I still gave it Four out of Five stars.

Reading Next: I haven’t decided what I’ll read next. I need one more book for a reading challenge and I’m thinking of doing a buddy read and there are a few other considerations I have that are keeping me from making a decision. Maybe I’ll have an idea come next week.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

WWW Wednesday, 23-October-2019

23 Oct

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived here on Taking on a World of Words. Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!IMG_1384-0

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Note: For users of Blogspot blogs, I’m unable to comment on your posts as a WordPress blogger unless you’ve enabled Name/URL comments. This is a known WordPress/Blogspot issue. Please consider enabling this to participate more fully in the community. 


Currently reading: Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter has been a good listen over the past week. I’m enjoying the multiple plot lines and multiple timelines and waiting to hear them come together. The blend of history and modern is really fun and I’m enjoying the variety of characters.
I started Eastbound from Flagstaff by Annette Valentine over the weekend. I’m so glad to finally have this one going after having it on my bedside table for so long. Not too far into it yet so I’ll have a better report next week.
I needed a new ebook and decided to jump into My Drunk Kitchen by Hannah Hart. I enjoyed her YouTube series a lot and I’m interested to see how her comedy translates to a book.

Recently finished: I finished When I Crossed No-Bob by Margaret McMullan finally. I’d hoped to finish it earlier but work got really crazy and ate into my lunch reading a bit. It’s going to be a while before I get to my review, though. I’m got quite the backlog.|
I work up early on Saturday to finish The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy by Pietra Rivoli before I left for a road trip. I didn’t want to bring it along with me again! And I need to get it back to the library so I don’t lose my ILL privileges.

I finally got some reviews up! So glad to say that. Monday I reviewed The King’s Curse by Philippa Gregory. I liked this one well enough, but it wasn’t a favorite for me at all. There are other Gregory books I like much more. I gave it Three out of Five Stars.
I also reviewed A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. I was happy with the final book in this series and how it wrapped up the character progression through the series. I gave the book Four out of Five Stars.

Reading Next: I haven’t thought a lot about books I’ll read next. I’m just trying to make it to NaNoWriMo. However, I’m looking forward to getting some historical fiction in and I think Caveat Emptor by Ruth Downie will be my next audiobook. I need a book from that time period for the When Are You Reading? Challenge and I adore the characters in this series.


Leave a comment with your link and comment (if you’re so inclined). Take a look at the other participant links in the comments and look at what others are reading.

Have any opinions on these choices?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on GoodreadsFacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!