Monday, August 26, 2013

Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
Just What Kind of Mother Are You?
by Paula Daly
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.54
45 used & new from $10.99

5.0 out of 5 stars WOW!August 26, 2013

Lisa Kallisto—overwhelmed working mother—is the not-so-perfect model of the modern woman. She holds down a busy job running an animal shelter, she cares for three demanding children, and she worries that her marriage isn’t getting enough attention. During an impossibly hectic week, Lisa takes her eye off the ball for a moment and her world descends into a living nightmare. Not only is her best friend’s thirteen-year-old daughter missing, but it’s Lisa’s fault. To make matters worse, Lucinda is the second teenage girl to disappear within the past two weeks. The first one turned up stripped bare and abandoned on the main street after a horrible ordeal. Wracked with guilt over her mistake, and after having been publicly blamed by Lucinda’s family, Lisa sets out to right the wrong. As she begins digging under the surface, Lisa learns that everything is not quite what it first appears to be.
In Paula Daly’s heart-stopping debut novel, motherhood, marriage, and friendship are tested when a string of abductions tear through a small-town community. Gripping and fast-paced, Just What Kind of Mother Are You? introduces an outstanding new thriller writer with a terrifying imagination for the horrors that lurk in everyday lives.
What would you do if you lost your best friends child due to your over- work and other responsibilities? How would you handle knowing that you most likely caused this child her life? That people hated you for your oversight. This book is loosely based on the true story of a mother who did almost the same thing. She forgot her own child (infant) in her car and the child subsequently died from the heat.

This book is filled with secrets, red herrings, hate and tension...but it is also filled with love, acceptance and good old common sense.

Lisa Kallisto has always just been doing what she had to help keep her family afloat. She is not one of the posh mothers who do not have to work. She has too, but she is lucky enough to love what she does. Moreover, life is working out until that fateful day.

The synopsis already posted is perfect. I do not want to say too much more about the plot of this novel for fear that I'm going to give away something crucial. However, let us just say that the ending was almost a total shock to me.

As a debut novel, this is right up there with the debut novel of Carla Buckley The Things That Keep Us Here (one of my all time favorite novels. "Just What Kind of ..." so held my attention, that I had to finish it in one sitting. I was not feeling up to reading something `heavy' yesterday, but I knew that I needed to read this, and I was riveted almost from the very first chapter.
The characters are deep, realistic well written and in turns both sympathetic and hateful. Everything was written so realistically and believable. The story is compelling, well written and gripping.

The only problem I had with this book is that I had to try to translate so many of the Britishisms! Now I know what a Brit feels when they try to read an American author who uses a lot of American slang!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Holy Anacondas

Unscrupulous (The Manhattanites #2)

Unscrupulous (The Manhattanites #2)
Price: $7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Holy Anacondas!, August 20, 2013

Book Description

August 14, 2013
Book 2 in The Manhattanites series

At thirty-three, Warner Truman is one of the richest men on the planet, a spa mogul who buys and sells resorts at will. He holds powerful executives' careers in his well-groomed hands. Nothing is beyond Warner's reach...until he meets her.

Stunning, tantalizing and perverse, Taddy Brill captivates Warner's carnal desire like no woman he's ever met. A self-made millionaire, Taddy is tougher than steel, more brilliant than diamonds and, at twenty-seven, she's never depended on a man for anything...until she meets him.

The more Taddy plays with Warner's affections, driving him to erotic heights, the more she is confronted by a dark past. Before she can love him, Taddy must meet her worst fears head-on or risk losing it all, including herself.

A Romantica® contemporary erotic romance from Ellora's Cave

This is book 2 in The Manhattanites series and the writing is even better than with the first novel. This book may appeal to the New Adult readers a little more than the over a `certain age' crowd.

Earthy, sexy, funny and I would say a bit of a parody of all things rich and inane. There is a lot of thinking and discussing of sex - real down and dirty sex- in the first 60% of this novel. The hotter stuff doesn't happen until the end

We also get more of a story towards the end. Taddy's mother trying to heal the rift between her and her daughter, brought some needed emotion to this novel. Of course the Mother being a supreme witch didn't help the healing.

I liked the fact that Taddy WAS a more emotionally driven person than she let everyone believe.

Again even with such a short novel, the characters are fairly well fleshed out, detail and back-story is adequate without being redundant. There really is no need to have to read book one, to jump right into this one, but it wouldn't hurt.

The only think that didn't quite float my boat totally is that Warner seem to fall in love with Taddy so quickly. But, this IS about the very rich and jaded, so what do I really know!!! Just be prepared to suspend your disbelief for the ending. Which is sweetly romantic, if a bit fraught with various bodily fluids!

Now why can't I get the images of snakes, and rather large ones for that matter, out of my head?

I would love to see how the author would give us Kiki's story (if she chooses to!)*ARC supplied by publisher*

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Series Takes a Giant Step Backwards

Under A Spell (Underworld Detective Agency)

Under A Spell (Underworld Detective Agency)
by Hannah Jayne
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19

Book Description
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
Count your blessings, guard your curses--and watch your back. . .
Sophie Lawson was seriously hoping life at the UDA would get back to relative normal now that her boss Pete Sampson has been reinstated. Unfortunately, her new assignment is sending her undercover into a realm where even the most powerful paranormals fear to tread. . .her old high school. Being a human immune to magic is no defense against soulless picture-perfect mean girls--or a secret witch coven about to sacrifice a missing female student. And Sophie's Guardian, uber-proper Englishman Will, is determined to convince Sophie he's the kind of temptation she should indulge in permanently. Now as the clock ticks down to apocalypse, he and Sophie will have to summon every trick in the book to battle devilish illusion, lethal sorcery--and betrayals they'll never see coming . .

This is yet another book in this series in which the character of Sophie has no growth. If anything, her character has taken a great leap backwards.

I believe that these books are might be mismarked and should possibly be labeled - Young Adult or even New Adult. The humor, what little there was, was childish and over-done. The plot, part of which has Sophie having to go back to her old High School to investigate student disappearances and possible coven activity was interesting. However, having Sophia re-live her own experiences in the same high school over and over, felt as if we were beating a dead horse after a while.

I can almost compare these books to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series - the first few are great and you think that the humor and naiveté of the main character is cute, but after a while, it starts to grate on you. You start to wonder just how someone can be so stupid or naive after so many books. Shouldn't they have learned something by now...anything?*ARC SUPPLIED BY PUBLISHER*

Friday, August 2, 2013

Bless their hearts!,

Wedding Belles

Wedding Belles
Price: $8.49

3.0 out of 5 stars Bless their hearts!, August 2, 2013

Book Description
"Publication Date: August 1, 2013
The Sassy Belles are back… 
and this time, wedding bells are ringing! 
Seven months pregnant and head over heels in love, Vivi Ann McFadden is busy pulling together the final details for her wedding to Lewis Heart, famous play-by-play announcer for the Crimson Tide. But with two wedding-planners-gone-wild, a psychic giving her advice, and the ceremony happening on the same day as the wildly popular Crimson Tide kickoff game, chaos reigns supreme. Luckily, maid of honor Blake O'Hara Heart is on the job. She'll tackle this wedding if it's the last thing she does! 
But not everyone is cheering for the happy couple. News of the upcoming nuptials has brought Lewis's old flame back to Tuscaloosa—and she's got a secret that could mean the end of Lewis's marriage…before it even begins.  
Sexy Southern fun…with a hint of magnolia!"
This review is from: Wedding Belles (Kindle Edition)
This is the second book in a series. I do not recommend that you dive into this series with this as your first book. I dove into this book without reading the first one and am regretting it mightily. There is very little back-story so I am finding it very difficult to work up any feelings for this group of friends and family. In addition, not knowing the back-story is making it very difficult to understand the attitudes, language and personalities of the characters. In my opinion, light reading this is not. There are so many story lines that you might lose your mind just trying to keep up with the hyperactive antics of this group of Belles.
If you do not appreciate college football and especially if you are not a fan of `Bama, you might not see the humor that this book is wrapped in.

This is n interesting mix of different stories -we have a pregnant Vivi, who has just found out that her fiancé is married. A second storyline of Blake a lawyer who is finding herself enmeshed in a hidden relationship with an old beaux while she gets a divorce from her husband who is running for the Senate. There is a thread of a story about the wedding planners, Fru Fru Caterers; they are a bit of a cliché.

I grasp that this book is about the Southern culture and the authors' knowledge of it, but for some reason the interactions and dialogue does not ring as real to me. Of course, this is merely from my point of view and my relationships with the Southerners that I call friends. Everyone just seems clichéd to me. However, alas, I am a Yankee so who am I to judge, right? LOL!

The book may be a bit difficult for ¾ of the country to understand but it still was a fun and entertaining read, with enough heat and mystery to keep you engrossed. That is if you can keep up with this zany group of characters. Bless their hearts! *ARC Supplied by publisher*

Wow, Was I Wrong!

Three Little Words

Three Little Words
by Susan Mallery
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.19

4.0 out of 5 stars Wow, I Was Sure Wrong!, August 2, 2013
"Can first love turn into the real deal? Anything can happen in a sizzling new Fool's Gold story from New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery.

Isabel Beebe thinks she's cursed in the romance department. Her teenage crush, Ford Hendrix, ignored all her letters. Her husband left her for another…man. So Isabel has come home to dust off her passion for fashion and run the family bridal shop until her parents are ready to sell it. Then she'll pursue her real dreams. At least, that's the plan, until sexy, charming Ford returns and leaves her feeling fourteen all over again…..

Seeing Isabel all grown-up hits bodyguard trainer Ford like a sucker punch. Back when heartbreak made him join the military, her sweet letters kept him sane. Now he can't take his eyes—or his lips—off her. The man who gave up on love has a reason to stay in Fool's Gold forever—if three little words can convince Isabel to do the same.

If you're a fan of Fool's Gold, you'll love Ana Raquel and Greg's delicious romance, featured in Susan Mallery's Fool's Gold Cookbook, along with her favorite recipes from the land of happy endings."

I have had a hit or miss relationship with the Fools Gold series. I happen to think that some books that feature a small, community of busybodies, to be too cute for words. However, this book in this series shows me just how wrong I could be about some of my opinions.

The premix is not a new one, but the execution by Ms. Mallery is flawless. What might be clichéd in any other authors hand, is poignant in Ms. Mallery's hand.

The characters are well drawn and realistic (for fictional characters that is!), you do not need to stretch your suspension of disbelief too far to imagine the plot could really have happened.

My only problem is that the secondary story between Kent and Consuela should have been a full-length novel and not just a sort of side not to this book. I realize the there is most likely a limited number of books under contract and Ms Mallery has introduced us to so many book worthy characters that some may get the short end of the stick. But this story I think would have been a wonderful full length novel.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The Monsters in Your Neighborhood

The Monsters in Your Neighborhood
Offered by Simon and Schuster Digital Sales Inc
Price: $2.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Not a Bad Book, But..., August 1, 2013

Book Description

July 29, 2013
As one of Frankenstein’s Creatures, Natalie Gray knows that unique parts sometimes make up a great whole. Still, leading a diverse support group for monsters—now including Cthulhu!—isn’t an easy task. Especially not since the internet arrived.
New York City embraces the different and the bizarre. Still, even for such a fun-loving city, the supernatural and monstrous might be a bit too much. It’s been six months since the members of “Club Monstrosity” overcame the most recent spate of anti-monster violence and they’ve reestablished their routine of meeting in a church basement once a week to (ugh!) talk about their feelings. Still, they also know a war against them is brewing. "

Natalie and Alec (the werewolf) have begun dating, and the mummies Kai and Rehu are tighter than a bug in a…well, bandage. But when modern means (YouTube, Twitter, bits and bytes) are used to chilp away at the solidarity of these ancient monsters, it’s up to Natalie to save the day. #MonstersInNewYork may be trending on Twitter, but this girl’s trending toward saving the day…somehow."
This book takes place right after "Club Monstrosity" and while the previous novel was fresh, new and clever for me - this new book doesn't seem to be able to hold up to the first one. I know this is a series so there will be similarities in the 2 books, but this book seems a little different. This book little more vulgar, a little more clichéd and unable to pull any emotions out of the reader.

There are too many plot lines left unexplained for my taste and while it was interesting in the first book, it is a bit annoying in this one.

The problem may be that this is a very short novel at a mere 170 pages - very nearly a novella and there really isn't enough time to develop the plot.

Some of this book was quite funny but not enough to keep me engaged.* ARC supplied by publisher*