Thursday, February 28, 2013

Written In Red

Written In Red: A Novel of the Others

Written In Red: A Novel of the Others
by Anne Bishop
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $15.48

5.0 out of 5 stars A Truly Wonderful Series Opener, February 28, 2013
Written In Red: A Novel of the Others
By: Anne Bishop

I have not read another author that can world and character build like Anne Bishop does. Her Black Jewels Trilogy is one that I pull out to re-read at least once a year. This new series appears to be one that I am going to be doing the same thing with. She has written this with her usual realism and you tend to think, "I know these people" or "I've been to this town" while you are reading. Moreover, when you are done with the book, the book is not done with you. You will walk away wondering about the characters, how are they doing in their world now that you've finished the book.

You are also wondering just when the next book will be coming out!

Meg Corbyn is a Cassandra sangue (Blood Prophet) and has run away from her keepers. And when I say `keepers,' I mean that literally. After all, Meg isn't even known by a name, she has a designation -a number - she is known as cs759 . She has never experienced anything ever that may stimulate her. All that she knows of the world was taught to her via pictures and edited film clips while sitting in a classroom filled with others like her. She is there for one specific purpose, to be a Prophet. One that needs to be cut/sliced in a very specific way to make her predictions. Since her keeper/Controller can receive huge amounts of money for her predictions, she is being hunted extensively now that she has run away. She has run right into Lakeside, a sort of town that caters to the Others but also in a small way to the Humans.

The Others - the terra indigene are shape shifters, vampires and Elementals that do not like, do not trust, do not need the humans. In this world, the Others rule and by that I mean that if the humans do something in this territory that the Others don't like - the human becomes a meal. After all Human Laws Do Not Apply here.

Anne Bishop has made the character of Meg a sympathetic one; she is almost like a fish out of water and someone who might frustrate you if she never grew. However, grow Meg does and while she stays afraid of a lot of things even at the end of the book, she has very good reasons to be afraid. She has seen a vision of her own death after all.

Simon Wolfgard is the shape shifting well...wolf, that has hired her to be the towns Human Liaison/mail clerk and he seems to be regretting it as time goes on...he also seems to be getting attached to Meg. He does not trust her, but you can feel the interest sizzling at the perimeter Meg and Simon's interactions. However, under Ms Bishop's deft pen, it is never obvious.

Naturally, there is more than one story line going on. There is a very interesting one involving a woman called Asia who is sending information about Simon and Meg back to someone she thinks wants to eventually do a TV show staring her. There are tons of characters. Ms Bishop has added an interesting bit at the beginning of the book to let the reader know how this world evolved, how man became food instead of the top of the food chain. The Others are wonderfully written and not the kind of character you usually read about in this genre. They are not kind and misunderstood creatures. They are what they are and they make no apologies for it.

 There is a lot of sly humor in this novel also, for example, in one scene Simon is talking about Meg who had been playing a game with several of the wolves that involved her acting as prey. Simon thinks to himself - "Of course, listening to John whine about not being allowed to go out and play hadn't done anything for his (Simon's) own eroding self-discipline - especially because he could tell could tell just by watching that Meg really did make a good squeaky toy."

I don't know what more I can tell you about this book that wouldn't ruin the story for you so I will just end with this ---this is a fantastic book, it is one that you will want to turn around and re-read as soon as you are done with the first read.

One more thing I will say, this series is vastly different from The Black Jewels books yet it is similar in some ways. This book seems to be appropriate for anyone over 16. There is some strong and salty language. There is some sexual innuendo - not too overt though. There is some violence but not as much as you would think for a book like this.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Immortal Ever After by Lynsay Sands


4 of 5 stars false

Although this is book 18 in the series, the books are written in such a way that you will have no problems jumping right in. While there are characters from past novels interspersed into this story, it is done in such a way that it won’t frustrate you. You will most likely be tempted to read some of the earlier books too
In this the 18th Argeneau novel, we meet Valerie Moyer Veterinarian, who was kidnapped and being held, drugged, caged and abused by a vampire. She is a brave one though, and she saves not only herself but also nine other women who are in various stages of dying. This isn’t the only time she is brave in this novel. She is one of the better heroines that I’ve read lately. She doesn’t wait for a man to do the job, if she can she does it herself!

When one particular person on the rescue team finds and touches Valerie, he just knows he has found his life mate. Moreover, if Anders (his first name is Semen, can you believe that?!) wasn’t absolutely sure of this fact, then you better believe that Marguerite , Lucian and the rest of the gang are going to do their darnedest to see that things go as smoothly as they can under these circumstances.

I’ve like the way this series has been going lately and this book is no exception. It is difficult for an author to keep everyone’s interest in the same series after 18 books. However, I think that Ms Sands is doing an admirable job of it lately. Past books had been getting a little boring, perhaps even a little stale, but lately the books have been so much better. This one rates right up there with some of the best. While Ms Sands still has to deal with the back-story of how Immortals become so, she has done it in such a way this time that long-time readers won’t be tempted to skip pages.

I really am starting to love this series all over again.
*ARC Supplied by publisher*

Sunday, February 24, 2013

What Happens in Scotland by Jennifer McQuiston

Feb 24, 13  ·

2 of 5 stars false

What Happens in Scotland by Jennifer McQuiston
This is Ms McQuiston’s debut novel and sometimes it shows. This book actually reads a bit like two novellas melded together at times instead of one whole book. There are so many characters to start with and they are all so confusing. And the points of view are constantly changing which makes it a bit difficult to stay engrossed in this story.

However, there is a very good reason for that…you see Lady Georgette has just come off of mourning and without remembering how it happened, she wakes up one morning next to a naked man, a naked man with a beard, a naked Scotsman! Apparently, she had gotten very drunk last night and cannot remember a single thing of what happened.

Now she has run from the naked man, after cracking him over the head with a chamber pot mind you and every one she meets seems to be in on what happened to her, but she is too scared and ashamed to ask what happened. Of course, she is imagining the worst had happened.

About halfway through the book Georgette and James finally meet up and it is still a comedy of errors, and if anything, it is even worse. Since neither of them remember the whole of what had happened.

The characters James and Georgette are at times very strong ones, and at other times, they are both lacking in backbone. Sometimes to the point that you might like to slap them upside the head or shake some sense into them. Secondary characters that seem to be important one minute, somehow disappear and we don’t hear from them again There is very little back story and what is there comes to us in dribs and drabs.

Much of the beginning of the story is told within the characters own head and I am not very fond of that tactic from an author. The secondary story line was an important one and I felt that it should have been explored in more detail and given a little more importance.

This was a very cute comedy of errors and quite a light read, but I do not think it is one I will be taking the time to re-read. I believe that the next book will be better than this one so I will be checking it out.
*ARC Supplied by publisher*

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Devil May Care (Speak of the Devil)

Devil May Care (Speak of the Devil)
by Patricia Eimer
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.29
Kindle Price: $4.99


5.0 out of 5 stars Will be a Re-Read, February 23, 2013
"Weddings are hell..."

To make this an enjoyable read, I suggest you read Luck of the Devil (Speak of the Devil) first so you don't have to much trouble figuring out who is who and what is what. Although I have to admit, Ms Eimer did a wonderful job of giving just enough back-story without making it boring for those who may have just finished the last book.

With this second entry in the "Speak of the Devil" series, we find our favorite daughter of the Devil helping to put together two weddings, fixing the missing drug problem from the last book, dealing with her ex-fiancé Dan who is back and trying to find her lost brother Tolliver. Oh and she is also helping out Matt's old girlfriend Brenda, who has conveniently shown up and is now staying on Faith's couch. In addition to all of that, just to add a little more stress to the days before the weddings, Faith also has to take care of the Angale and Matt's evil mother, all who are trying to get to Matt to sacrifice him.

Wow, that is a hell of a list of things to do before two weddings. And let's face it, for Faith to be a bridesmaid in her mother's wedding, and to wear the hideous dress her mother has picked out is a torture worse than Purgatory!

There are so many wonderful sub story-lines going on and some people acting out of character ,that I am afraid to make this too spoilerish so I'll leave it up to you to hunt them down!

Thankfully, this book continues with the fast pacing and wonderful characters that the first book had. We still have the clever plotting and nice tight writing that makes this another fun read. I loved it that there were plenty of cool surprises to keep things real interesting (Malachi for one and Harold for another) I am so glad I had both books with me so I could go right from the first one directly into the second one. I just wish that the third (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead) was out already!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Crazy Thing Called Love

Crazy Thing Called Love
Offered by Random House Digital, Inc.
Price: $7.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Hope Springs EternalFebruary 21, 2013

Can be read as a standalone novel.

In this the third installment in the Crooked Creek Ranch Series (and be careful looking up the ranches name since there is really such a place!), we have the story of TV personality Madelyn Cornish (at one time known as - Madelyn Baumgarten.) and ice hockey star Billy Wilkins. Billy is in very sore need of a makeover - from head to toe. So, he shows up for a meeting with Maddy and her crew about having a total make-over done on her show. He has a huge ulterior motive though. What nobody seems to know, is that a long time ago he and Maddy used to be married. It did not end well.

The relationship and marriage left both Maddy and Billy crushed, with each of them struggling to go about their lives. It left Maddy to continue her education and get a job and Billy to keep on being hockey's very, very bad boy. At this juncture of their lives Maddy seems to be doing well but is lonely, and Billy is at the point where he is going to throw his career in the garbage if he doesn't soften up some.

And this is where the author attempts to take us - to the softer side of these characters. Ms O'Keefe attempts to steer us through the emotional land mines that make up the relationship between Maddy and Billy. The awful past that they shared...getting married too young and being dumped into a life they were not ready for. Moreover, I admit Ms. O'Keefe does a fairly fine job of it. Reading flashbacks about the childhood and young-adulthood of both of these protagonists made it simpler for us the readers to see that Billy wasn't just an arrogant jerk and Maddy wasn't just a cold fish...there are perfect reasons for them to be who and what they are. I am just happy that the author took it that needed step further to make us stretch our credibility a little more when Billy's niece and nephew are used as pawns.

This was another very realistic look at the back end of sports, and an especially vivid look at morning TV

I enjoyed reading this book as much as I have the last two books in this series and hope there will be more in the future. This book will keep nearly any kind of romance fan content and happy. In fact, I almost viewed it less of a typical romance and more of flat out plain fiction type of book.

Well, however you view it, it will be worth your time to pick this up and immerse yourself in a couple of hours of pleasure.
Stalking You Now

Stalking You Now
Price: $2.99

4.0 out of 5 stars Blood, Tension and Evil Banter,, February 21, 2013

This review is from: Stalking You Now (Kindle Edition)
Stalking You Now - by Jeff Strand
Yikes! Stephen King is usually as far as I'll go and I thought when I saw this book on the list and read the synopsis that it was going to merely be a suspense novel. It was not, not by a long shot. This novelette (82 pages) was macabre and humorous all in one, with an interesting twist at the end.

I have never read anything else by this author as the other reviewers seemed to and I wish I had something else of Mr. Strand’s to compare this to, but I don’t think the casual reader of horror will find anything lacking in this book. It has all the elements a horror aficionado wants…blood, tension, evil banter, a woman and an evil nutcase. On the other hand, was he truly crazy? I loved him when he urinates on himself at the thought of dying. It is rather nice to see a mass murderer acting semi-human!
*ARC supplied by publisher*

One Night with a Cowboy - Cat Johnson

One Night with a Cowboy (Oklahoma Nights, #1)
An Oklahoma Nights Romance

A typical erotica/romance –you have a single young highly attractive and supposedly smart (in the academic sense) woman who has been left by a slime-bucket that has lost her job at Vassar and is now applying at Oklahoma State University. Now she meets a hot cowboy at the rodeo her sister drags her to the night before her interview. They are predictably hot for each other and go off at the end of the evening to have incredible sex!

The next day comes and no phone numbers or addresses are exchanged. After all, they figured they would never see each other right? Wrong!

They do meet up again and it might have been very ugly, but Ms Johnson seemed to have toned it down a bit. Things again heat up but complications arise and our hottie cowboy Tuck sends himself off to Afghanistan!!! Now here is where I have problems with this book. It seems that the book splits – and while I can see that Ms Johnson wants to do her part by writing about the ugliness of war and what heroes our men are, this just didn’t seem to be (to me anyway) the proper way to do such a thing. When Tuck goes to Afghanistan it ceased being a hot romance and turned into something that just turned me off. It was interesting to read about what our people are facing but I don’t think it should have played such a huge part in THIS particular type of story.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see very well rounded characters or even a very consistent story.
*ARC supplied by publisher*


Three Sisters by Susan Mallery

Please forgive me for starting this review in this manner but I need to be clear ----> this is NOT a romance novel. The Blackberry Island books are more Fiction or Women’s Fiction with one of the characters finding her male Happily Ever After!

SPOILERISH---->And this book is even different yet again since each woman finds a HEA, but two of them do it with the men they have already been married to.

Briefly - You have a book about three different neighbors - one a single woman, a pediatrician who was left at the altar and is going to redo a crumbling Victorian house. The second woman has lost her infant son and has not grieved. She is showing some very irrational behavior, but keeps it well hidden. The third woman is the most complicated. She is sort of being accused of being a poor mother and wife by her husband. She is strict and seeks perfection in everything and from everyone.

As usual, Ms Mallery has written intricate and very believable characters. Characters that are easy for us to put ourselves inside of to walk a mile in their shoes. Her descriptions are vividly drawn, the secondary characters are as fully fleshed as her main characters, even the tertiary characters have been well thought out and portrayed.

The story is rich and rewarding. I had hoped this story would never end. I just wanted to keep reading to see how their lives are working out. However, unfortunately for me, the book did end. So I guess I’ll just have to wait for the next Blackberry Island novel.
*ARC supplied by publisher*

Monday, February 18, 2013


Protecting Lulu (Global Protection Agency)

Protecting Lulu (Global Protection Agency)
Kindle Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars- I Liked But Not Loved It, February 18, 2013

Protecting Lulu - J.M.Jeffries

This is an interesting novel. It deals with several different topics besides romance. One topic is the idea that a woman doesn't need to be stick thin to be thought of as beautiful, Lulu is a model, I suppose the term might be, a plus-sized model. She is NOT a size 4. She is gorgeous, smart and very,very wealthy.
The other issue this novel deals with is celebrity stalking, and what happens when the threats escalate and physical danger starts playing a part in Lulu's life. After the danger becomes more real, with a hit and run, Lulu's brother Wilder brings in a team of bodyguards. Each guard is sexy in his or her own right and I assume that they will most likely each have his or her own story, if their story isn't told within this novel.

This is a fairly slow read, and by that I mean that there really is not a lot of real action for most of the book. There are other underlying mysteries such as the unsolved murder of Lulu and Wilder's parents 22 years ago.
There are many secondary and tertiary characters, which at times can confuse the story. However, this can be forgiven, as this looks to be the set up novel for the rest of the series.

If the action can be considered slow, then the romance went at a snail's pace. It is commendable of the author to try to keep Lulu and Noah's romance apart from Noah's work. It is commendable to keep it it this pace, in this day and age of the `anything goes' types of books, but it left me confused as to what genre was supposed to have been. The synopsis speaks of them falling in love, but I never really saw that happening.

What I did see was (poor editing aside) a story where the female lead reminded me of a modern day "Auntie Mame." The movie with Rosalind Russell playing the lead. Lulu reminds me of that type of character, one that on the surface looks to not be taking anything too seriously or being a little dumb, but deep down inside is affected by all that is going on around her, is very clever and smart.

Lulu is working in a shallow field, one of beauty, sex, gossip and superficiality, so you do expect some sort of shallowness to her. However, you don't really get that she is shallow, she has a good heart, she is smart and clever, never smarmy and she honestly loves everyone. Noah, on the other hand, is her polar opposite - he is highly masculine, rigid, almost unaffected, a real man's man. He is deep and brooding and takes his world and work very seriously. This makes them perfect for each other.

As I said, there were a lot of technical, grammatical and editorial mistakes, especially in the latter half of the book. The fact that there was more than one couple getting together in this book was a rather unique idea. The story was interesting, the mystery was fairly difficult to figure out, the sex was very brief and a happily-ever-after was had by almost all!

The Best Man – Kristan Higgins

“Sometimes the best man is the one you least expect…”

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins

This is a love story of opposite sides of the track attracting, It is a story we all have read of before I’m sure. However, I don’t think you’ve ever read it quit like this. Ms Higgins does a great job an had me rolling on the floor with the prologue. It only gets better as you go along. At times this book will seem slow, that maybe some of it should have been edited out, at least it did for me, but in the end I appreciated the slowness as it told a better story in the end in my opinion.

This is told in the 3rd person which is a little unusual, because as far as I know writing this way is a first for her.

Faith was left at the altar by her fiancé,. Everyone in town always dreamed that this perfect couple would have the perfect wedding. And perfect Faith and Jeremy were, except for one tiny little issue ---or well, a really big issue. However, it would spoil the book for you if I told you what it was.

Now 3 1/2 years later /faith is back in town to help her family out and the first person she see is Chef of Police Levi Cooper. He was Jeremy’s best friend all through high school and Faith really has a good reason to dislike him. Now…well let’s just say that Levi has grown up into an exceptional man and Faith deep down inside knows it. Sparks fly but not too soon. Time is left for them to try to resolve some past issues. Levi is also suffering from a little PTSD and from a case of “extreme manliness” – he wants Faith to talk to him but will not return the favor so it is taking a long time for him to heal and to open up.. *sigh* All of this will be explained to your satisfaction when you read this novel.

There is a lot going on with this book besides just the main plot. The secondary and tertiary plots are wonderful. The characters are complex, wonderfully written, and as crazy as loon’s! It rather reminds me of my own family and how we react and interplay with each other.

I re-read several of Ms Higgins novels and I think I’m going to be adding this one to my re-read pile

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Branded for You: Riding Tall

Branded for You: Riding Tall
by Cheyenne McCray

3.0 out of 5 stars 3.5 Stars- I Liked, Not Loved It, February 17, 2013

Branded for You: Riding Tall Book 1 - Cheyenne McCray

Megan has been told repeatedly, that she just wasn't good enough, that she was too fat by her ex-husband Bart the Fart. Now her confidence is in the dumpster and doesn't think that anyone will love her just the way she is. That is, until she meets cowboy Ryan McBride. And this is one sexy cowboy! He is adored by kids, has a large and loving family, is patient, kind and did I already say sexy?

Even her parents don't give her the respect and love that she deserves. Then one night Megan's world comes crashing down around her ears and it all appears to be Ryan's fault.

This is a fast-paced and easy read, with lovely and extremely hot love scenes. The characters are well drawn, but the plot leaves just a little something to be desired. When it comes time to the `mystery' in this book, it is almost too easy to figure out. But that is okay since this is a hot romance and a light fluffy mind-candy type of read, so do we really want something too complicated?

I really liked this book, but not as much as the next one in the series Roping Your Heart: Riding Tall. And no, you do not really have to read these in order, but you may like to, so things progress easier for you.

Saved by the Rancher by Jennifer Ryan


2 of 5 stars false

Read on February 16, 2013

Saved by the Rancher: Book One: The Hunted Series
This book has its pluses and minuses. The dialogue is a bit melodramatic, but the plot, while a somewhat over-done lately in this genre (Romance. Suspense/Thriller), is still an interesting one. It is a story of a woman needing a protector and finding one in an ex-army Ranger/cowboy. The story and relationships are at times overly sweet and sometimes a bit cloying, but that can be refreshing to some readers after so many books featuring kick-butt heroine’s and dialogue with tons of sarcasm and snark. The characters do come off at times as caricatures and that sometimes makes it a painful read..

Her vile ex-husband is hunting Jenna, and her lawyer has sent her out to his old friend Jack to recover from her horrendous wounds and to hide. Very quickly (nearly too quickly) Jack is feeling more than he should for Jenna.

Very quickly (again nearly too quickly) Jenna is having sexual feelings for Jack and is feeling, after only a couple of days, that Jack has healed her.

Since Jenna is rich beyond most of our imagining, Jenna does a lot of good for Jack and his family using her divorce settlement. It is nice for once that the female protagonist is the extremely wealthy one and bestows her largesse over everyone. However, it just seems again to be too soon and too much. I believe I would feel this way even if it were a male protagonist doing this.

With only 295 pages, it amazed me that there were 62 chapters. Moreover, even though this is a relatively short novel, it reads as if it was much longer.

Jenna can act irrationally. Take, for example, in one scene she is confronting then leaving with her ex-husband David when he makes himself known to her while he is on Jacks ranch instead of going into the house and arming herself. This might be looked at as if she were a ‘too stupid to live’ heroine.

The author does a fine job of setting up the men for her next few books.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel

Guilt: An Alex Delaware Novel
by Jonathan Kellerman
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.29

2.0 out of 5 stars A Non-Thriller/Suspense Novel, February 12, 2013

This novel is being touted as a mystery, thriller, and suspense novel. There is a mystery in it but as far as thriller and suspenseful go - no dice.

I have never read anything by Mr. Kellerman and if this novel is anything to go by, I most likely never will. I had high hopes for this novel. Reading that Alex and Milo are supposed to be the next best thing since sliced bread intrigued me. See this quote - "the most original whodunit duo since Watson and Holmes" (Forbes) However, they are not. They are like any other middle-aged duo that has been working together for a long time and that have been friends for years.

This book was so filled with minutiae that I never quite knew what was important and germane to the story and what was just a filler/page padder for the author. I like my mysteries or suspense novels to not lead me by the nose to the obvious answer, but this story just really made no sense to me. For instance, why was it so important that we the readers understood (had it pounded into our heads) that this couple is based on true life people and more importantly, why would this author ever pick this true-life couple? Well actually, I can figure out t he why, it just seems so superfluous of the author.

At any rate - this is a story of dead babies. One which is decade's dead and one, one month's dead Then we have a couple of dead adults thrown in. While this COULD have been an interesting book, and the plot could have been a lot more twisted than it was - it was just filled with talking, interviewing, side stories that meant absolutely nothing and went nowhere, and an awful lot of descriptions of who was wearing what, etc. The characters had no depth and I felt neither love nor even like for them, nor was I ever even repulsed with the `bad guy'. The characters where like cardboard cutouts - stiff and uninteresting. I just could not bring myself to care about them or what was happening.

May I also suggest to a new reader that while this CAN be read as a standalone book with no difficulty, perhaps t would be better to read the rest of the series since there seem to be a lot of inside jokes and such being bandied about!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Escape Diaries: Life and Love on the Lam (A Loveswept Contemporary Romance)

The Escape Diaries: Life and Love on the Lam (A Loveswept Contemporary Romance)
Offered by Random House Digital, Inc.
Price: $2.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow! Excellent Debut Novel!, December 10, 2012

The Escape Diaries by Juliet Rosetti
There are so many books, that after a while I find so many of them just don't manage to hold my complete attention...but not so with The Escape Diaries, a debut novel and whist a debut! I picked it up this morning and didn't put it down until I was done. This was an amazing book. It was funny, mysterious, filled with action and it even managed to have a bit of romance!

Mazie Maguire has been convicted of murdering her husband; and it must be true because after all it was filmed on the nanny cam right? Now she has spent 4 years of a life sentence behind bars and has missed so much of life. Until one day, a tornado touches down and Mazie takes a chance. She manages to escape and I must say she has an action packed escape. It was actually true to life, the reader did not have to take him or herself out of reality too far to believe what was happening, Mazie had to go through a lot to continue with her escape. Nothing was ever easy or convenient for her and I as a reader appreciated that.

One of the best parts of this book is how the town itself starts backing Mazie and her escape...It become hysterically funny. Add to this her demented Mother-in-Law who had been baking poisoned cookies and sending them to Mazie in jail and then manages to nearly electrocute Mazie while she is on the lam.

This is a tightly written novel, with very well fleshed out characters. Even the secondary and tertiary characters have been comp;lately written to a believable degree. There is no extraneous annoying inner-dialoguing to get in the way of the action. The action is nearly non-stop, but Ms Rosetti is such a good author that she knows when to give the reader and her characters some time off.

I would love to see this become some sort of trilogy or series...but since at this point in time Ms Rosetti has no Web-Site, we have no clue as to what is up on deck for us next.

Lycan Unleashed (From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency)

Lycan Unleashed (From the Files of the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency)
Price: $2.99

2.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of a Slow Read For Me, February 9, 2013

This is the third installment in the Otherworlder Enforcement Agency saga, and as another reviewer also said, I won't be reading the others. This book, while short in pages (about 115 pages), read as if it were much longer. It was a slow, sometimes tedious, read and it just didn't keep me interested.

Astrid is a Detective and a sensitive with the Chicago police department. Mason is a lycan and an agent with the same police department. They kissed...once. At the time of the kiss, he claimed it was a mistake. Now Mason is all Astrid can think of and wonder why he never kissed her again.

There has been a murder of a vampire on a floating casino and Astrid has been called in to help with the case. Unfortunately, things go very wrong and Astrid is temporarily relived of her duties.

Both of these characters have issues, which can make for an angst-filled read at times. Astrid is one of those `heroines' that seems to weep or to be holding back tears on nearly every other page and Mason is the type of male who doesn't want to talk, to explain things or to even treat Astrid as the competent Detective she supposedly is.

The characters never seemed to develop, the sex was a bit bland and somewhat contrived and the story itself was a bit unbelievable, with a typical plot device to sew up the loose ends.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Touch & Go

Touch & Go
by Lisa Gardner           
Penguin Publishing
This price was set by the publisher
Kindle Price: $12.99

Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.47

5.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Almost Perfect, February 6, 2013

This review is from: Touch & Go (Hardcover)

Book Description from Amazon

February 5, 2013

#1 New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner, author of Catch Me and Love You More, returns with a heart-thumping thriller about what lurks behind the facade of a perfect family. This is my family:  Vanished without a trace…
Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life that looks good in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year old daughter, Ashlyn. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s elite Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by friends and family.  A perfect life.
This is what I know:  Pain has a flavor…
When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives at the crime scene in the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and Taser confetti in the foyer.  The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their most personal possessions remaining behind.  No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive.  Just an entire family, vanished without a trace.
This is what I fear:  The worst is yet to come…
Tessa knows better than anyone that even the most perfect façades can hide the darkest secrets.  Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices.  Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family?  And how far would such a person be willing to go?
This is the truth:  Love, safety, family…it is all touch and go."
My Review:

“This is my family:  Vanished without a trace…”

This is a thriller and a fascinating look at a family falling apart, as well as how a family copes when they are kidnapped, beaten and forced to face some hard truths.
This may not be part of a series but I think it might have helped had I read some of Ms Gardner’s earlier works since this book refers to earlier books.  At this point, I loved this book so much I already have Tessa’s book   "Love You More"  on my wish list!

The story was well written and the mystery was subtle enough so I don’t think you’ll be able to figure out what is going on too soon.  The characters are well fleshed and believably written.  The action may feel a little slow, since I don’t think this is an “action book” as some might, and that caused no discomfort for me as I was reading.  Sometimes the story was a little slow, but this slowness was necessary.  There are a myriad of characters and that may make it difficult at times to follow along.

A family is kidnapped, beaten and held; not quit hostage at first but with that as a threat. We meet a wealthy father who is important in the large project building trades, a lovely mother who is a jewelry designer and a sweet, pretty and smart teenager that never causes her parents a moment’s despair. And each one holds within a dirty little secret.   Some secrets are more deadly than others are though.

I love the fact that for me, the mystery of who was who and what was what was so subtle that I didn’t catch on until I was nearly finished with the book.  I really loved this book to the point that I must read some others of hers to see if this had been a lucky chance or not.