Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Obsession by Nora Roberts


Product DetailsThe riveting new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Liar.

Book Description:

“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.” 

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton. 

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away."


REVIEW:ONE STAR



This book is so much like The Witness that I wonder if Ms Roberts is just using a template and filling in a few (very few) new details.  This book starts off with and interesting premise, though a little clichéd. 

A young girl follows her father through the woods on a moonless night expecting to find a hidden treat for her Birthday and finds something completely horrible instead.  Naturally this colors her life from then on.  Now other women in Naomi’s new neighborhood are falling victim to the same thing.  Is there a serial killer on the loose?  Or a stalker?

Sounds good, right?  Well this book would have been if ¾ of it hadn’t been taken up with DIY details on the new ‘old’ house she bought.  It would have been better without the endless repetitious details on repairing this house and let us not forget the details on the meals she cooked for the new man in her life. Let us also not forget that this man is so dislikable, he is almost to the point of being caricature of the Alpha male in werewolf books!

The dialogue is tedious and written in a very odd style.   When I read, I want to ‘hear’ inflection and emotion in the characters’ voices.  In this book, nobody (and I do mean nobody) had any inflection, emotion, no tone of voice.  They are talking about murder but could have been talking about the price of milk for all the emotion that was put into the dialogue.

Then there is the problem with this book being written in what I call -text speak.  It seems like extraneous words and punctuation are left out.  There is an over use of commas instead of inserting a simple ‘and’ where appropriate.  We have sentences like these:

“That got your attention. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I have to keep pressure on it.” Xander fixed his mouth on hers. “I have to hurt you. I’m sorry.”

Or this doozy:

“She took Harry’s hand as Xander carried her.  “When did you come? How did you get here so fast?” “Private jet. We’ve got connections…”

All in all, I feel sorry for all the readers who paid the asking price for this book.  I’m lucky that I got it during a sale and only paid 5 bucks or I would have had to have returned it and gotten my money back.


I feel so ashamed for Ms Roberts. Then I must wonder, did she even write this tripe or did someone else do the honors? 

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Whole Town's Talking by Fannie Flagg

Product Details

Book Overview:
Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. Original, profound, The Whole Town’s Talking, a novel in the tradition of Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Flagg’s own Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven, tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways.
Lordor Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends, and neighbors yet to come. “Resting place” turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking.
With her wild imagination, great storytelling, and deep understanding of folly and the human heart, the beloved Fannie Flagg tells an unforgettable story of life, afterlife, and the remarkable goings-on of ordinary people. In The Whole Town’s Talking, she reminds us that community is vital, life is a gift, and love never dies.




If anyone likes Fannie Flagg or thought provoking, light fiction -I just finished (and turned right around to read it again)The Whole Town's Talking

What a sweet and entirely thought provoking book. This is written in very short chapters by many different points of view and spans time from the founding of this town in the 1880's to 2021 and the generations that come from the (Swedish and German)founding fathers. There really is no plot (well two tiny mysteries, but they are more of an aside) and this is written in an almost diary type style with no ones voice any louder than any others. This is simply a novel about the founding, growth, happiness of a town and its inhabitants.

Funny at times, sad at others I imagine that you'll be as surprised at the ending as I was and then sent into a what if mood.



But I think it's worth it - I may even read it for a third time over the weekend.

It is the perfect calming book - no chase scenes or sword fights, no great angst or lust filled sex scenes, just quiet loves and lives lived to the fullest. Not always the best of lives; just the fullest.


*ARC Supplied by publisher.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Product DetailsBook Description:
Look for Miracle on 5th Avenue, the exciting new novel from Sarah Morgan, available from HQN books Nov 29, 2016. Pre-order your copy today!

It will take a Christmas miracle for two very different souls to find each other in this perfectly festive fairy tale of New York! 
Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she's given an opportunity to house-sit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan? What she didn't expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous—and mysterious—owner. 
Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife's death looming, he's isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company. He wants no interruptions, no decorations and he certainly doesn't appreciate being distracted by his beautiful, bubbly new housekeeper. But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?”


If you love your hero’s dark and brooding, and your heroines perky and uplifting, then this is going to be the perfect read for you.

This book was a perfect book for a quick holiday read -although very dark and down on the part of Lucas, it was light and perky on the part of Eva.  It should balance things out for readers quite nicely.
Unless you are like me and need the heroine (Eva) to have some flaws.  If I think deeply enough Eva may have just one flaw and that is the need do what is best for those around her.  Flaw? No, not really.  Annoying?  For me yes it was.  She was just too perfect for me.

This quote pretty much says it all about any book we read >>>” Characters in books are more believable if they’re no black-and-white. The all-good person is boring to read about and the all-bad person makes readers roll their eyes because the truth is there is good and bad in all of us and it’s what brings out the good and the bad that makes for interesting reading.”

The story itself does not suffer from what I consider Eva’s overly solicitous and uber happy outlook on life and seeming naiveté.  The only thing that suffered because of this was me.  I’m a little too cynical to believe that anyone is this perfect.

Don’t let my complaint color your choice of book -this was a very good book with complex character’s, a great, though predictable, story line and a requisite HEA.


*ARC supplied by publisher.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Whole Latte Murder by Caroline Fardig

A Whole Latte Murder -A Java Jive Mystery
By Caroline Fardig

A Whole Latte Murder by Caroline FardigBook Description/Synopsis:
“Coffeehouse manager and reluctant sleuth Juliet Langley returns in a gripping novel from the bestselling author of Death Before Decaf and Mug Shot. Just as things are perking up in Nashville, a serial killer sends tensions foaming over. Juliet’s personal and professional lives have recently received an extra jolt of energy. Her romance with the hunky detective Ryder Hamilton continues to simmer, and business at Java Jive has never been better. But her good mood quickly turns as stale as day-old espresso when she finds out that Ryder has been promoted to his precinct’s homicide division. With him risking his life to catch the worst kind of criminals, Juliet’s growing sense of unease ignites when a local college student goes missing. Suddenly every Nashville resident is on high alert, especially Juliet’s neighbor Chelsea. Juliet does her best to calm the girl’s nerves, but her worst fears are confirmed when she finds Chelsea dead. Even though she tries her best to stay out of it, Juliet’s involvement puts a strain on Ryder’s first homicide case.  The situation soon becomes even more personal for Juliet and her best friend Pete Bennett when one of their employees disappears during her shift. As a killer lurks in the shadows, Juliet, Pete, and Ryder seek out a double shot of justice.”

I have read only two of the three books in this series; the first one I never finished because it just didn’t live up to the hype and was a little too similar to other series.  It had many issues and I had hoped that the author would have dealt with them.  Unfortunately, she did not and the issues got worse as this her newest novel, went along.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a perfectly acceptable light mystery read if you don’t mind a main character who is whiny, immature, overly impulsive and oft times condescending.  She has a foul mouth, blames all of her problems with her temper on having red hair and she tries too hard to act like she is twenty when she is supposed to be a fairly mature character in her 30’s.

The plot to this book was a pretty complicated one featuring many red-herrings.  The biggest mistake is that Juliet’s relationships took up more pages than the actual mystery. The main male character and Juliet’s lover (Ryder), became very dislikable in this book.  I know that from my past reading that he is dealing with (and not very well) the death of his wife and a lot will be explained and solved in this book, so that explains a lot of his poor behavior…but still.  You   have to be willing to read the whole novel to see how this all works out.

 To add insult to injury - there is now a third man in Juliet’s life.  The best part is that this book doesn’t have any sex in it - yet.  But I suspect that given a little time this will become just like the Stephanie Plum series (author Janet Evanovich).  As it is this series is a little too reminiscent of author Cleo Coyle’s Coffee House series, but without the panache and believable characters and themes.

In one aspect, this book ends with a bit of a cliff hanger. No, not with the mystery, but with Ryder and Juliet’s relationship and with Ryder’s job.

This is a fine cotton-candy read (much lighter and more forgettable than a potato-chip read) that won’t tax your brain, but may frustrate the heck out of you!


*ARC supplied by publisher.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Other Sister by Dianne Dixon

Product Details


One sister has everything. Her twin hates her for it.Would life be better without Ali? Probably. At least then people might think about Morgan. Ali's always gotten everything — she doesn't even realize how much Morgan resents her.
Ali also doesn't realize that when she shuts Morgan out entirely, she will unleash a chain of events that show just how dangerous the underside of love really is. As their lives spin toward something neither one of them can control, a terrifying crime reveals how those who know us best can destroy us...or save us.



Is this truly written about adults? Is it really written BY an adult???

I am really not enjoying the way this was written what with choppy chapters, a lack of character development, moving to something new with no explanations or closure, the immaturity of the character's - there is a distinct lack of vital information in the beginning -although I'm hoping that some of this is explained later in the book. (one moment dressed the next moment with no description -naked -then running naked to scream and hurt sister? Ugh.)

I think the idea of twin sisters who really aren't twins, with one being the beautiful popular one and one being the plain boring one that becomes psychotic, has been done to death. Then again they both feel psychotic to me. Add in a boyfriend who seems to be less/more than what he appears to be and you have trite and cliched storytelling.


Frankly, I have given it more than 100 pages and I am tempted to give up. There is just so much time and too many books. 


*ARC  Supplied by publisher

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mistletoe Cottage (Harmony Harbor) by Debbie Mason


Product Details

"'Tis the seaon for love . . . Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she's forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter's blue eyes-and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.
Sophie's return is a shock for everyone . . . especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they've concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic..." 


If ever a book needed to come with a warning, this one should have.  The warning?  “Lies beget lies.”  And this book and this town was filled with them.  Everyone seems to have a big secret and/or lie following them around so I can see this as a fairly long running series.  And that may be a good thing because this was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a very long time.  It is going to be interesting just exactly what everyone is hiding.

 Mistletoe Cottage might make you frustrated and even make you dislike Sophie a bit for not coming clean (but then it would be a different book), it may frustrate you that her daughter is, eventually, using her PTST as a sort of weapon.  (I can understand, it but I didn’t have to like it). You may become frustrated with Liam for not getting the help he needs (and for the author to not have delved into Liam’s issue a tad more).

You may need a scorecard to keep everyone straight -there are a lot of character’s and I mean a lot.

 I loved the biggest bomb that I never once saw coming.  Total shock!

 I loved that this book dealt with the issues like it was ‘real life’ and not a fictional novel. 


I loved this book…period.

*ARC supplied by publisher.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Lullaby Sky - Carolyn Brown

Product Details


Description
After seven years of misery and abuse, it’s all over—Hannah O’Malley is officially divorced. Hallelujah. It’s like every Christmas in her life all rolled up into one glorious day. Not only does Hannah get to keep her grandmother’s spacious old house, but she has full custody of her sparky five-year-old daughter. All Hannah has to do now is put the past behind her.
And now that she’s free, she wants to make a difference. With the help of her warm, close-knit circle of friends—including her high school crush, Travis Wilson—Hannah begins turning her home into a safe house for other women who’ve endured the pain she’s known. But even as life and laughter return to Hannah’s home, she’s haunted by the memory of her dangerously unstable ex. With a second chance at love on the horizon, Hannah must face down her past in order to let the sunshine back into her life.






When this author was new and fresh to me, I found that I loved her work. I was thrilled to read her newest work. However it might have been that it was what I was was choosing that kept me so happy. But the last few books I have read are so similar in theme that wonder why I am even bothering with reading them. I can tell exactly how it is going to proceed and end. 

The Lullaby Sky is the traditional 'Southern small town abused by rotten husband woman becomes strong but has a poop load of friends to help her recover and who stand behind her and a totally hot man who loves her - but 'secretly' story.

I don't remember the author using this much preaching in her last books - but I read so much that maybe she did and I just didn't notice.



*ARC supplied by publisher