Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Riptide Ultra-Glide: A Novel (Serge Storms)

The Riptide Ultra-Glide: A Novel (Serge Storms)
by Tim Dorsey
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.46 
Kindle Edition $12.74  


3.0 out of 5 stars What's up with Florida and Serge and Coleman?, January 23, 2013
The Riptide Ultra-Glide: A Novel (Serge Storms) by Tim Dorsey

What should be on everyone's lips is not "What's up with Florida" but rather, what is up with this series. I have always loved this series for its irreverent look at life and death. Looking at life through Serge and Coleman's eyes has always been such a pleasure. These books have always reminded me of Carl Hiaasen's books but nuttier - a tad cruder. I have always loved them; but lately they seem to be more of a mish-mash of crime and history more than anything else and with "The Riptide Ultra -Glide" you don't even get a satisfactory ending. I really tried not read this with a tight butt attitude, but...

This book is less about the usual ingenious killings of those that *might* need killing and the usual fish-out-of water vacationers, and more about unnecessary swearing, gratuitous drugs and a level pf vindictiveness that I don't remember from previous books.

We have a drug war going on among other things, a war that is between the so-called Kentucky Mafia or the Hillbilly Mafia and the Mexicans. We have vacationers from Wisconsin, who are so naïve and sweet that you may just want to knock them upside their heads, and we have various stoners following Coleman around wanting his autograph.

The vacationers, Pat and Barb, have just been laid off from the school they teach at and they feel they deserve a vacation before they go on to the next phase of their lives and the next job. They make reservations in a part of Florida that they have not researched and haven't been to since the husband Pat, was six years old, and they did no research on the motel they are staying at. The vacation deteriorates quite quickly. And, it just keeps on going down-hill fast to the point that you really need to suspend your disbelief to a point that you may feel uncomfortable with.

What we do not have is very much of a story, which is somewhat normal for Tim's books. However, I have never seen anything in his repertoire as disjointed and slap-dash as this novel. The book really doesn't even get really interesting until you hit about 75% mark.

Perhaps I have just grown out of my liking of overly wacky novels with characters that just burst from the pages, but I don't think so.
*ARC supplied by publisher*
Killing Time (One-Eyed Jacks)

Killing Time (One-Eyed Jacks)
by Cindy Gerard
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99 
Kindle Edition $6.64

2.0 out of 5 stars Angst and Guilt Filled Characters, January 22, 2013

Killing Time (One-Eyed Jacks) by Cindy Gerard
 Book Description ---"a seductive contest of wills between a hard-living hero and a beautiful rogue operative who is on a mission to dig up the secrets of his past. Tension sizzles in this pulse-pounding first adventure in Gerard’s action-packed new series as Eva Salinas lures Mike Brown from the sultry streets of Lima, Peru, to the desolate Idaho wilderness on the hunt for the cold-blooded traitor behind a fatal military operation that haunts them both."

This is a novel quite reminiscent of Cherry Adair's work. About the only difference is, is that Ms Gerards characters and especially Mike Brown, is so filled with angst, guilt and self-loathing and recriminations that I never thought I would be able to finish this book

On the other hand I sure could not get enough of hearing how wonderfully beautiful, luscious smelling, smart, sexy and what huge and perfect hooters Eva had. It really made my day!

The story is quite typical of this type of book. The type being men and or women of a Black Ops squad, and a screw up of massive proportions that our Hero is going to blame on himself. Of course in all of these books we do always find out that it was never the Hero's fault -it was always the fault of someone higher up or someone who had been a close and trusted pal within the squad. It never really is what it seems and this book is no different.

The foreplay that each lover had going on inside their heads, was steamier that what they actually least compared to some of the other books that deal with this sort of story.

All in all, it wasn't a bad book, but I never did get sucked into the story like I do with some other books of this genre. It was just a little too predictable for my taste.

*ARC supplied by publisher*

Monday, January 21, 2013

When Lightning Strikes (Whiskey Creek)

When Lightning Strikes (Whiskey Creek)
Price: $5.99 (Kindle Copy)

4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars Wonderful Concept and Novel, January 21, 2013

When Lightning Strikes - by Brenda Novak

This is a lovely, clever, funny, thoughtful and ultimately romantic novel. It astonishes me that I have not had a lot of experience with this author and I am wondering how the heck I ever missed her. I'm going to make up for it now!

Gail Demarco has made one of the biggest mistakes in her career. You can clearly see why she has cut loose Simon O'Neal since he is a drunk trying drink away the pain from the disappointments in his life. Now that Gail has cut him loose, his business manager rallies all of Simon's friends to boycott (essentially) Gail's PR business. Now she is going to lose her company.

Gail really wants to save her company and keep her employees working. She really does care about those that depend on her. So Gail finally decides to try to solve everyone's problems by cleaning up Simon's reputation. And how exactly is she going to do that you may marrying him off to a goody-two-shoes.

This really was a great book. It had everything in it that a romance book lover could want. Inner angsting on Simon's part(but not too much), a hateful but gorgeous ex-wife, and uber smart heroine, a sexy and witty hero, great secondary characters and an ending that will knock your socks off.

I truly loved this book -it hit all my romantic buttons, let me shed a few tears and laugh out loud. It did the most important thing I think a book should do---it totally pulled me out of my own real-life problems and let me forget for a while.

Thank you Ms Novak.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Claws Bared (Blood of the Pride)

Claws Bared (Blood of the Pride)
Price: $4.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Getting Better as the Author Moves on With the Story, January 21, 2013

Claws Bared by Sheryl Nantes
* File Size: 415 KB
* Print Length: 186 pages
* Publisher: Carina Press (January 21, 2013)

Book two of Blood of the Pride

The debut novel, Blood of the Pride, was published last year. I recommend that you do read it before tackling this book. The back-story it will give you will make things so much clearer for you. I had read and reviewed it and thought that it was a good start to a new series. Now that I have read the next book in the series, I know it was a good debut and it is a good series. This second book is nearly as strong as the debut novel. Oh, don't get me wrong, it has a few things that make it not quite perfect, but I think this series is on the right track.

In this second novel, cat shifter (and not a lion or tiger mind you!) Rebecca Desjardin a shifter who is unable to shift at will, (read the first novel for a clearer explanation) and is also a PI in Toronto Canada, has been asked to come to America to investigate a murder. The thinking is that this murder has been committed by one of the communities many shifters and may have been a lovers' quarrel.
Bran, Rebecca's new human lover whom we met in the first novel, is a bit concerned when Rebecca needs to head off and is quite unhappy. They had just entered this new relationship and Bran is just starting to come to terms with the fact that Rebecca is a `shifter'. Now Bran wants to, as the synopsis says, "mark his territory".

The story is good with an interesting mystery and a red herring that may really throw you off of the correct track.. It is medium paced and at less than 200 pages, it is a fairly fast read. The characters for the most part, are very well written. What I do see as a problem is that Bran and Rebecca have some, shall we say, quirks that are nearly enough to almost make me give up on this book. Bran is almost always winking, waggling his finger in someone's face or giving huge grins. He is very nearly written as a clown would be. Rebecca on the other hand, can come off as a *itch instead of the tough as nails PI that the author wants us to think of when reading this book. They both can sometimes be super childish.

Be prepared for this to be a relationship with a dominant and a submissive, with those roles being interchangeable. The sex scenes are few and not too explicit.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Carrots (Shelby Nichols Adventures)

Carrots (Shelby Nichols Adventures)
by Colleen Helme
Edition: Paperback
Kindle Purchase Price: $3.99
Price: $10.56 

4.0 out of 5 stars Will Re-Read, January 14, 2013

Carrots by Colleen Helme

I didn't get this for free, but it really doesn't matter to me since I find that I will most likely be reading this a second time. Yes, it did have some editing and grammatical errors, and normally I would be truly upset about that, but I have just finished reading a famous and well known author and their book had some grammar problems. If a book with a proper editor can have problems than so can someone who is self-published. Perhaps I'm getting a little more mellow in my older age and that is why some of these things don't bother me so much? LOL!

At any rate - this novel had an interesting concept. Shelby is grazed on the head by a bullet while witnessing a robbery/shooting and suddenly is now experiencing ESP. This in turn gets her involved with both her husband's business (he is a lawyer) and the Mob! Now she knows what people around her really feel about her! It takes her a long time to learn how to filter not only other people's thoughts but also to keep a lid on responding to other peoples inner thoughts!

The story at times can seem sort of convoluted since there i s so much going on at almost all times, but stick with it because it all gets explained and it leaves you with a lovely set up for the next nove
Vlad to the Bone (Vlad Book 2)

Vlad to the Bone (Vlad Book 2)
Price: $3.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not Good, Not Bad, Just ...

This book wasn't wonderful but it was by no means a horrible read. And while I agree that you may want to read the first novel before this really isn't necessary. Ms Orsoff does a great job of adding enough back-story so that you know what is going on at all times.

I have re-read the first book Vlad All Over and still feel it was a good book, worth the time it takes to read. I loved the concept of Gothic Chick-Lit. And even though you just want to knock these two peoples heads together, I understand the betrayal that Gwen feels. So I decided that I really wanted to read the second book to see how things ended, and how it was going to go with Gwen's lawsuit.

Unfortunately this book, while interesting at first because Gwen ends up in another relationship at the beginning - just frustrated the heck out of me as I read further. Alex is a manipulator with a passive aggressive streak, and Gwen, well she just defies explanation. She was always giving in to Alex's manipulations and ALWAYS making Alex pay for his first betrayal...ALWAYS!

The most interesting parts - the bits about Vlad Tepes and Gwen's claim to be an heir, were given short shrift in this novel.

I agree with another person who said that these two books could have and should have been combined into one long novel.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

My Bluegrass Baby

My Bluegrass Baby
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $1.99

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars I Liked It, December 18, 2012

This review is from: My Bluegrass Baby (Kindle Edition)
My Bluegrass Baby - Molly Harper

This is a wonderfully light, funny, and informative chick lit novel, not really a true romance. The characters are interesting, the capers are amusing and all of the information in this novel about Kentucky makes me want to go down there to visit. I never knew how many things that Kentucky was known for, how many things have been invented n Kentucky and how much of the South's uniqueness can be laid on Kentucky's doorstep.

The story was interesting in that it revolves around a woman Sadie who has been promised a promotion and Josh who comes in and nearly steals the job right from under her. This turns into a case of opposites attracting, or at least what appears on the surface to be opposites. Of course they fall in love and there is a `happily ever after' but the trip to the HEA is not as unique as I would have liked it.

I liked this book a lot, but upon reading it for a second time I found that I don't think it is going to become one of those books that you just HAVE to read over and over.

This is the start of a series based in the Tourism Promotion Offices in Kentucky.


Shadow Woman: A Novel

Shadow Woman: A Novel
by Linda Howard
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.31

5.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Mix of Genres

This review is from: Shadow Woman: A Novel (Hardcover)
Shadow Woman - by Linda Howard
This was a powerful, very suspenseful novel and I enjoyed it so much that I have read it twice already. This was an excellent and perfect mix of genres, written with a subtle hand that will keep the reader enthralled. There is a sort of unusual style to this novel in that about the only point of view you hear is Lizette's However... everything for the longest time is in her perspective with just very brief side trips to the other characters perspectives. Soon, though you will hear from Xavier's and some of the other tertiary characters, yet Lizette still has the main POV.

I wonder how I would feel if I woke up one morning and didn't totally recognize my face in the mirror...if certain things about my face were just a little bit different and every time I tried to remember a few of my past years I would get violently ill? Then I would meet a man in a drug store and be so intensely moved by him I would have very hot, very erotic dreams about him. This would just add to the confusion.

This is of course what happens to our main character Lizette and very soon, she knows or suspects that something is more wrong than just a few changes to her face and a lapse in a few years of her memory. Her memory is starting to come back, but not enough and Lizette really wants to know why. And so does the reader...Ms Howard has impeccable timing. If she had given the secret away any earlier this would have been a disappointing novel. But as I said her timing is perfect, you will be gnawing your nails to the quick wanting to know WHY this all happened and when you learn the why's of it all, you will be as flabbergasted as Lizette was (I hope!) I know I was shocked!

This is a medium-paced novel at times and super fast paced at other times. The characters are fairly well fleshed out and even show some growth even though this takes place over a fairly short period of time. The secondary characters are well fleshed and even though they don't play huge parts, you still get a good feel for them.

Some parts of the book may stretch your credulity but not enough to make it a huge issue for the reader - after all this is an espionage type of book AND romantic fiction!

The Merlin Prophecy Book One: Battle of Kings

The Merlin Prophecy Book One: Battle of Kings
by M. K. Hume
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.65

5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, But Complicated Story - Loved It!,

The Merlin Prophecy Book One: Battle of Kings by M. K. Hume
This was a wonderful book and I highly recommend it but mostly if you like books that delve deeply into ancient history. You should also love books that deal with war - the planning of and the execution of war, because at least 50% of the book is about war and, is very bloody and very descriptive. The fantasy about Myrddion (Merlin) is a very small part of this book. I do assume that Ms Hume is using this book as a stepping stone to the next 2 books where we will hopefully learn much more about Merlin, other than he was a great healer.

Myrddion (Merlin) came into this world in a very unfortunate way. His mother was brutally raped and never quite recovers from the horror of it. She suffers from post traumatic syndrome. She will always be taking this rape out on her son in the most horrendous ways. Myrddion has to deal with being called "the Demon Seed" for all of this book and sometimes it serves him well to be thought the product of a Demon and sometimes not.

Myrddion is accomplished at nearly everything he sets his mind to - healing, alchemy, planning and building the machines of war, etc.. He is sweet and extremely handsome and was a prophet until his mother tried to bash his brains in with a rock. Now his prophecies seem to just come and go.

Myrddion grows from, an infant to about 16 years old in this book, so a lot of time passes even though it doesn't seem like it does. The time that does pass does not always have Myrddion in the forefront. There is a lot of action taking place at all times, but a lot of it will revolve around the Kings and to a lesser extent, the Queens who are fighting for their places in history.

This book kept me avidly reading for two days straight and I am really looking forward to the next novel even if I do tend to very lightly skim over some of the battle scenes, stopping to read when something of note is happening. For a person who loves history, this is going to be a treasure trove of information as Ms Hume has done a LOT of research and has added a lot of fact into her fiction. For anyone that likes historical fiction this is going to be a book that you will read over and over - and for Fantasy readers this will be a series to keep an eye on.


Blood Money

Blood Money
by James Grippando
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.81

5.0 out of 5 stars Action, Suspence, Mystery and More, January 9, 2013

This review is from: Blood Money (Hardcover)
Blood Money - James Grippando

Take the horror of the Casey Anthony trial and acquittal, mix in a good dose of the O.J. Simpson trial then toss in some outrageous social media and a huge dose of sensationalistic TV and you have the basis for this astonishing book.

Mr. Grippando has written 20 books to date and this is the first one I have ever read. It will not be my last one. The author has written this book as part of a series, but I guarantee you that you will not have had to read any of the other ones to follow this story. It has been written as if it were a stand-alone and it gives you just enough back story for many of the characters so that you will immediately feel like you have grown up with them.

A brief summary of this book -- Jack Swyteck has defended one of the most seemingly despicable women that this country has seen in a while and he expects that her release from prison is not going to go well. However, nobody could have predicted just what exactly did happen that morning.
Celeste Laramore who has a striking resemblance to Sydney Bennett (also known as Shot Mom) shows up at the jailhouse on the morning of Sydney's release. The crowd has be driven to a frenzy by a certain TV reporter (who bears a startling resemblance to one of my least favorite TV personality/Attorney) from the BNN network - Breaking News Network. While this crowd is essentially, rioting, someone is trying to strangle the Sydney look-alike. To make a long story short, because of illegal technical maneuvering/tampering by BNN, crucial medical information does not get to the ambulance in time and Celeste slips into a coma.

Not only all of that is going on, but also at the same time there is a murderer loose that is threatening all of the people that Jack loves...a real brilliant nut-job is doing his best to get to Sydney. Initially you think it is to exact some sort of retribution for her acquittal, but you would be wrong.
Can Jack find a way to prosecute an entire TV station? Did Sydney really kill and hide the body of her own daughter? Was there extenuating circumstances to this murder? Is ANYTHING as it seems?

This novel is filled with wonderfully tight writing. There is nothing extraneous in this novel. Nothing that will make you roll your eyes in frustration, because we all know that truth is stranger than fiction. The characters are interesting, dislikable, sympathetic, hateful, loveable and interesting. I could go on but I will not bore you with the characters attributes. The plot was so believable, that at times I had a difficult time separating fact from fiction.

This is a fast-paced book and one that I could not out down until I finished it.

Many thanks go out to the publisher for allowing me to read and review this book. I had a fantastic time with it and rest assured I will be buying this authors back-list.
Bridesmaid Lotto (McMaster the Disaster)

Bridesmaid Lotto (McMaster the Disaster)

1.0 out of 5 stars Totally Awesome - NOT!
I truly cannot understand how this book could have become a USA Today bestseller. There must be another version out there that I couldn't down-load, because the book I got was so riddled with typos, grammatical errors and just plain old lousy dialogue, that I can't imagine it going anywhere on any kind of list.

Not only did this book have the above problems, but the simple fact was the the protagonist Josie was plain old rotten - most of the time she was just horribly mean,witchy, cruel, childish and whiny! Yes, this was a book about Josie winning this lottery and you come to find out that she never wanted to enter and yet - she won! Out of hundreds of thousands (or whatever) of entries - she won. Did she ever seem a little grateful? Was she at all kind to the bride? Did she treat the bridesmaids that were a little different, with the respect she demanded? An emphatic NO to all of those questions. And let's not even start with the character of Jake Hall...ugh.

The premiss sounded good, but that was it. I SOUNDED good. I did not work under this authors attempt. What was supposed to be a funny, light and light-hearted book, turned into a painful experience for most of the people who actually read it.

The dialogue was trite and cliched and written as if the characters were living in the late 80's or 90's not the 21st century. I can't beleive that women in this age bracket still talk this way or act this way.

Hopefully this author got a proof-reader for the next two books, because quite frankly, even my simple Word program would have cleaned up most of the problems with this manuscript.

This was a painfully disappointing read.