Monday, August 3, 2015

Smoke on the Water by Lori Handeland

Product Details

Smoke on the Water (Sisters of the Craft)

Aug 4, 2015 | Kindle eBook
by Lori Handeland

Reunited after four hundred years, three sisters join together to vanquish the power that tore them apart...and embrace the sorcery that is their birthright.Abandoned as an infant, Willow Black spent her childhood in foster care, the object of whispers and pity...and rumors about being certifiably crazy. Telling your young friends that you can foresee the future-and summon the rain-is a surefire way to end up in the psychiatric ward. But when Dr. Sebastian Frasier arrives at the facility, Willow's whole life takes a turn. Sebastian is the handsomest man she's ever actually laid eyes on-even though he has been in Willow's visions for years. But not even she could have predicted the storm of passion that engulfs them both. With Sebastian by her side, Willow is emboldened to embrace her history, and the sisters she never knew. Soon, the true power in her blood awakes-and the battle she was born to fight begins. While the temp est rages, Willow must depend on the friends and family she's found-and the man she has loved forever...In the final book of this enchanting new trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Lori Handeland sweeps readers into a bewitching tale of secrets, sisterhood, and the stunning magic of love.

Sadly, this is the last book in this trilogy.  For me, it is a good thing because this was the first book I read.  Now I can go back and read the first two and already know how it will all play out. So I don’t know how well this book is going to tie everything up, but knowing Lori Handelands writing from my previous experiences with her, I know that however it combined the first two books, the effort will have been stellar.

I did find this book to drag a bit in places and to be somewhat repetitious at times, but the plot-line was so fresh (the only book I have ever read that came close to it, was an erotica by M. A. Evereaux called “North Wolf”) I so totally enjoyed the whole kit and caboodle.  The idea of not having anyone in the world and then finding out you have two sisters, to find out you are a witch and not only that but you can teleport/transport people (very Star Trek!) you have visions that come true, and to top it off not only are you going to help save the world but you are going to fall in love with someone you’ve known in your visions…*sigh*

This book did it so well for me, that I have already gone and bought the first two books in this trilogy and as soon as I can I am going to delve into them and have a reading fest!
The twists and turns in the plotting of this book was great, although I must admit to  knowing who was going to be behind Sebastian’s abduction before the author told us. 

I recommend this whole heartedly and even if you do not feel like reading the first two books –this book has no problem being a stand-alone. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Best and the Brightest

"The collapse of a schoolhouse puts pressure on Amish families and their long-held educational values. Ella Hilty anticipates marrying Gideon Wittner and becoming a mother to his children. In a whirling clash of values, Ella seeks the solid ground that seems to have slipped away. Margaret Simpson, an English schoolteacher, wonders if she is losing her last chance at love. As the local authorities draw lines in the sand, Margaret puts romance at risk one final time. All eyes turn to Ella to make a sacrifice and accept a challenge that can bring unity to the Amish and understanding to the English."

If you have not read the other books in this series, I think you will be like me and feel lost at sea. I have never read this author before and I am quite sorry that I didn't know enough to trust that I wouldn't need to read the first books in this series. It has been said that this is a less heavy read than the others...that does not bode well for me and my tastes!

This was a very interesting historical novel set in 1918 that dealt with the separation of church and state. To call this a romance would be a bit of a mistake. There really was none. That must have been done in the past novels. What this was about was how the state decided that the Amish children be integrated or consolidated into a school that would teach the Amish children more about the 'English' the than the church wants them to know and to force them to go to school well past the eight grade which is the norm for the Amish.

There are several secondary and tertiary story lines going on throughout this book. I felt that this was a good book for knowledge and learning about what the Amish went through to gain respect for their religion. However, the novel felt overly long to me with a lot of repetition, and I had to struggle to stay interested in it.

*ARC supplied by publisher.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Dragon Fall Jul 28, 2015 by Katie MacAlister

Dragon Fall

Jul 28, 2015
by Katie MacAlister

Product Details

For Aoife Dakar, seeing is believing-and she's seen some extraordinary things. It's too bad no one else believes that she witnessed a supernatural murder at an outdoor fair. Returning to the scene for proof, Aoife encounters a wise-cracking demon dog-and a gloriously naked man who can shift into a dragon and kiss like a god. Now thrust into a fantastical world that's both exhilarating and terrifying, Aoife is about to learn just how hot a dragon's fire burns.

I can't say that I hated this book, but I cannot say that I loved it either.  I loved the fact that we got to visit with so many of our old friends (I had stopped reading this series, so seeing people like Aisling, Drake, Rene and Jim again was fun for me).  On the other hand, to end this book with a cliff-hanger?  This is not like the Katie I remember from so long ago when this series first started.  But, maybe her writing style has changed in this series?

Yes the romance was well established, but the ending of this book ...well let me put it this way, I was reading and quite happy and then all of a sudden the screen to rate the book came up.  Shocked the heck out of me.  I really don't like what could be construed as an almost blatant maneuver to get us to by the next book.

Yes, I know we need more books in which to get the old bad guy, but the ending still seemed very abrupt.  And THAT I did not like.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Thrill Me by Susan Mallery

Product Details

Thrill Me (Fool's Gold) Mass Market Paperback – July 28, 2015

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lorie's Heart

Product DetailsWelcome back to Wells Landing, Oklahoma, the tranquil Amish community where still waters run deep and a brave young woman sets out to discover her faith, her family, and herself…
Lorie Kauffman is grief-stricken when her father passes away unexpectedly. But her heartache quickly turns to bewilderment when she discovers he’d been leading two lives—one of simplicity and hard work in Wells Landing, and one fraught with painful ordeals in Tulsa. As she starts digging into her family’s past, Lorie finds herself torn between the Amish world and the Englisch world—and she’s no longer certain where she belongs…

Lorie knows that if she leaves Wells Landing, she may never be able to return. But what if her destiny lies in the outside world—the world her father knew so well? Change is never easy, but with a bit of courage and the help of a handsome and kind-hearted Englischer, she just may find the peace, acceptance, and love she’s been longing for…

Lorie's Heart (A Wells Landing Romance)

Jul 28, 2015

Perhaps if I had read any of the other books by this author, I might have been prepared for this book. Without doing so I have no clue whether or not this author writes her other books about breaking ones faith for love. A very romantic notion.

I felt that this book was written more for the YA market and I have to wonder if that is the author's style or if this is in truth, a fact. 

The characters seemed really immature (even for an Amish person) and the constant introspection, lying and sneaking around by Lorie got a little annoying after a while. It led to me skimming a lot of this novel just to see what happened to her father. And that was a big let down. Perhaps the author should have allowed us more time with Lorie's other Grandmother and other relatives?

I don't know -everything just cam to easily to Lorie and I would have been as unhappy if this had been a non-Amish romance.

*ARC supplied by publisher

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Bennington Girl's are Easy - Charlotte Silver

Bennington Girls Are Easy: A Novel
Bennington Girls Are Easy: A Novel
by Charlotte Silver
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $13.07

Weird Al Yankovic is More SubtleJuly 14, 2015

Book Description :

Bennington College, founded in 1932 as a suitable refuge for the wayward daughters of good families, maintains its saucy reputation for attracting free spirits. There, acres outnumber students, the faculty is composed of fading hippie and clothing is largely optional. Or, as J. D. Salinger put it in Franny and Zooey: a Bennington-type "looked like she'd spent the whole train ride in the john, sculpting or painting or something, or as though she had a leotard on under her dress."     Cassandra Puffin and Sylvie Furst met in high school but cement what they ardently believe will be everlasting friendship on Bennington's idyllic Vermont campus. Graduation sees Sylvie moving to New York City, where, later on their twenties, Cassandra joins her. These early, delirious years are spent decorating their Fort Greene apartment with flea market gems, dating "artists", and trying to figure out what they're doing with their lives.     The girls are acutely and caustically observant of the unique rhythms of the city but tone deaf to their own imperfections, which eventually drives a wedge between them. Equal parts heartfelt and hilarious, Bennington Girls Are Easy is a novel about female friendships—how with one word from a confidante can lift you up or tear you down—and how difficult it is to balance someone else's devastatingly funny lapses in judgment with your own professional and personal missteps.

I tried....I truly tried. I confess, I only made it halfway through before the compulsion to slit my throat or to pull out my eyeballs to end this pain became nearly overwhelming.

If I had to read the childish conversations one more time, I think I would have done something unmentionable. (the use of the word "like" was enough to out me over the edge.)

I can understand that this was supposed to be satyr, but all I could think while trying to read this was Weird Al Yankovic. Except that Weird Al is a bit more subtle!

If anyone has read or watched the book/movie Mame -I think that you might see the similarities between this book and this school and the scene when Mame is defending her choice of school for Patrick.

*ARC Supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Product DetailsSight: The Delta Girls - Book One Jul 14, 2015 by Juliet Madison

Kindle Edition

Available for Pre-order. This item will be released on July 14, 2015.

Book Description:

“I spent my birthday fast asleep. In a coma to be exact.”
When Savannah wakes up after two months in the hospital, she sees a whole lot more than expected, things that could put those close to her at risk.
The five Delcarta sisters have never believed in the paranormal, not like their woo-woo mother. Instead they believe in the power of sisterhood, of romance, and rebuilding their lives after their father’s mysterious disappearance nine years earlier. Starting anew in the small town of Iris Harbor, they see potential in all.
But Savannah’s awakening after having surgery on a life-threatening aneurysm brings a unique ability to the Delcarta sisters–together, each can predict the future with one of the five senses. And Savannah has the gift of sight.
A serial arsonist has been terrorizing the tight-knit community, and the Delcarta sisters have their suspicions on who could be to blame, including a boy who starts as an adversary to Savannah and then very quickly becomes her whole world. Investigating these crimes, trying to stop them before the next flame is sparked will call upon Savannah to use her newfound abilities with the help of her sisters, and will put each of their lives in danger.
This stunning new paranormal series blends the sweetest of romances with breathless suspense, and introduces five young women who share a haunted past, an extraordinary gift, and an uncertain future. 

 I sometimes like reading young adult books as they sometimes surprise me very much and be more like a cleaner version of an Adult novel.  This book is very good, with an interesting and   unique story-line/twist, likable characters and a good mystery to go along with the speculative fiction bent.

However this book is exactly as advertised –a YA novel and I mean for younger audiences –perhaps in the 12 to 16 year old range.

When Savannah one of five sisters awakes from a comma, it seems that the sister’s reality shifts one step to the right.  Now they have visions (for lack of a better word) and each sister ‘sees’ things (future things/ past things) with a different sense.  Five senses, five sisters.  One sees things visually, one via smell, touch, taste and sound. This makes for a very interesting new life for these teens.

Along with this dilemma, normal teen angst abounds what with the girls moving to a new town and going to a new school…getting your new boyfriend to believe you really aren’t a nut-case and that you really can see his dead father.

There is also a mystery involving arson to add some spice to this story.

All in all a good read for any age.