Thursday, February 20, 2014

Evening Stars by Susan Mallery

Evening Stars by Susan Mallery


Book Description

Kindle Edition March 1, 2014 /Paperback Edition February 25th
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery returns to Blackberry Island with the poignant tale of two sisters on the verge of claiming their dreams.
Small-town nurse Nina Wentworth has made a career out of being a caretaker. More "Mom" than their mother ever was, she sacrificed medical school—and her first love—so her sister could break free. Which is why she isn't exactly thrilled to see Averil back on Blackberry Island, especially when Nina's life has suddenly become…complicated.
Nina unexpectedly finds herself juggling two men—her high school sweetheart and a younger maverick pilot who also wants to claim her heart. But as fun as all this romance is, Nina has real life to deal with. Averil doesn't seem to want the great guy she's married to, and doesn't seem to be making headway writing her first book; their mom is living life just as recklessly as she always has; and Nina's starting to realize that the control she once had is slipping out of her fingers. Her hopes of getting off the island seem to be stretching further away…until her mother makes a discovery that could change everything forever.
But before Nina and Averil can reach for the stars, they have to decide what they want. Will Averil stay? Will Nina leave? And what about the men who claim to love them? Does love heal, or will finding their happy ending mean giving up all they've ever wanted?

Susan Mallery rarely writes a bad book and Evening Stars is no exception. It was fabulous, thought provoking, anger producing, and giggle worthy. The added bonus of having two men from Nina’s past pursuing her, was icing on the cake.

Nina has always been the older sister, the sensible one, the mother in her family. Oh, Nina and her sister Averil had a mother, but not one that took her mothering job very seriously. Now Nina needs to get a life, stop making decisions for everyone else, and simply worry about herself. However, how can she when everyone around her screws up so much? How can she think only about herself and her needs when that would be so selfish of her…or would it?

Nina really needs to learn that she doesn’t always know best and that sometimes others need to make mistakes.

What will really get you about this book is exactly how real these characters feel…how real the situations are (to a point). Perhaps I can relate to this novel on a more basic level because I too am an older sister with a mother who was not the best at being mature. Yes you do have to leave your disbelief behind since some things that happen in this book, happen in such dramatic and unbelievable ways, but Ms Mallery is such a wonderful story-teller that it won’t be painful to do at all!*ARC provided by publisher for reviewing purposes*

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison 5 Solid Stars

The Undead Pool (Hollows) by Harrison, Kim (Feb 25, 2014)

Book Description

February 25, 2014
Supernatural superhero Rachel Morgan must counter a strange magic that could spell civil war for the Hollows in this sexy and bewitching urban fantasy adventure in acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Kim Harrison's Hollows series.
Witch and day-walking demon Rachel Morgan has managed to save the demonic ever after from shrinking, but at a high cost. Now, strange magic is attacking Cincinnati and the Hollows, causing spells to backfire or go horribly wrong, and the truce between the races, between Inderlander and human, is shattering. Rachel must stop this dark necromancy before the undead vampire masters who keep the rest of the undead under control are lost and all-out supernatural war breaks out.
Rachel knows of only weapon to ensure the peace: ancient elven wild magic, which carries its own perils. And no one know better than Rachel that no good deed goes unpunished . . . 

The Undead Pool by Kim Harrison

Although much of this book centers on what is happening to Cincinnati’s various Vampire populations, the rest of it is about the long anticipated story of Rachel and Trent.  There is so much happening to the humans as well as the Vamp, Demon and Elvin population that at times it can be a little stressful.  That stress can hit hard especially when Ms Harrison tries to ‘teach’ us too much stuff at one time.

This book can be a bit confusing at times, because there is so much action of the ‘hurry up and wait’ variety.  However once you get to the 50% point things take off on a full gallop.  Once I got to that point, I could not for the life of me put this book down.

The character growth is amazing in this novel.  The emotions are raw and honest between all of the characters that you just want to weep at times.  Old friends (?) or enemies depending on how you want to look at it will seem to be permanently taken out of future books.Or will they?  But since I hear that this is the second to last book in the series...I guess these changes are permanent.

I cannot say too much more for fear that I will be giving away the best part of this book…I will just say that this was what I consider to be the best book yet. I am deeply troubled that se only have one book left to this series and I am eagerly looking forward as to how Ms Harrison is going to tie everything up and keep her readers happy!*ARC supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes*

Atonement by B.J. Daniels

Atonement (Hqn Books) by Daniels, B.J. (Feb 25, 2014)

Kindle Edition Available for Pre-order. This item will be released on February 25, 2014. $6.15

Book Description

February 25th and March 1, 2014
Just how far are people willing to go to keep their secrets?
Protecting the citizens of Beartooth, Montana, is never an easy job. It's been one year, and Sheriff Dillon Lawson still feels guilty that he couldn't save his twin brother, Ethan. But the biggest test of his bravery comes when Tessa Winters arrives, claiming to be pregnant…with Ethan's baby. At first, Dillon can't decide if this beautiful woman is a con artist or a victim. If Ethan didn't die in that car crash, then where is he—and why is he hiding?
Now, Dillon is prepared to do anything to uncover the truth—anything except admit his growing feelings for Tessa. But with violence threatening, Tessa and Dillon must trust in each other to save not only themselves…but also Tessa's unborn child.

Many authors are ‘hit and miss’ and this is just how BJ Daniels is with her books.  I had loved the Beartooth, Montana series until this particular book. I am surprised at the amount of positive reviews.  This leads me to believe that there must be something about me that makes me see this book in a different light than so many others do.

This story is not exciting, romantic, gripping, riveting or even very well told.  The writing seems to be childish and quite flat, the romance isn’t really ‘there’ and the side stories are so many and so confusing that I just wanted to scream at times. I just cannot believe that the same author that wrote all of the other stories in this series wrote this one.  It just does not seem to be her usual style.

The book starts out well enough with a lot of promise.  A woman shows up on Dillon Lawsons doorstep thinking that he is his own twin brother Ethan who is supposedly dead.  She is pregnant, emotional and threatening…and this book has nowhere to go but downhill from there. There are, as I said, so many side stories that are all supposed to meld into one whole, but it does not really work. Somehow, BJ has lost her ability to weave multiple story lines into one believable whole. I found myself skimming to see if anything got better and it did not.*ARC supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes*

Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Curl Up And Die

The Curl Up and Dye
The Curl Up and Dye
Price: $9.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Cozy, Warm, Humorous and Sad With a Wonderful HEA!February 8, 2014
Book Description
 February 4, 2014
Those were the best days of her life...
"Poor LilyAnn," the local ladies lament. "She sure is stuck in the past."
Eleven years ago, LilyAnn Bronte was the Peachy-Keen Queen of Blessings, Georgia—the prettiest, smartest, and most popular girl in town, going steady with the star quarterback, a high school career on the fast track to success. Then Randy Joe was killed in Iraq, and somehow LilyAnn just let herself go to seed.
Ruby, Mabel Jean, Vera, and Vesta of the Curl Up and Dye have been itching to give LilyAnn a makeover, but she knows it would make more than a new hairstyle for her to get her life back.
Until one fateful day, when a handsome stranger roars into town, and LilyAnn has a revelation.
Maybe the best is yet to come...

LilyAnn has led a charmed life, at least in the beginning. Then the unthinkable happens - she loses her fiancé to the war in Afghanistan just after 9/11. She mourns for years. And, unbeknownst to her, her best friend and next door neighbor Mike has loved her almost all their lives.
Their lives are serene if not a tad boring and a little miserable until the day a handsome stranger comes to town. Lily decides it is time to change her life. This does not bode well for Mike, the man who has lived her for so many years. Now the women at The Curl Up and Dye salon want to help getting LilyAnn and Mike together. They belong together, it is fate or Karma whatever it can be attributed to they would be perfect together. `Sister' who does LilyAnn's hair every week, is especially keen on helping them out and what she does isn't always for the best, but it is always from the heart!

This is such a cozy read, with well-written and complicated, multi-layered characters, a wonderful story line and descriptions of a small town in Georgia that is so wonderfully written that I just want to go there and be around everyone! This book is mild compared to some, but does contain some salty language and some sex scenes. The sexual scenes are not overly erotic or too smutty, but just enough to make you tingle a little! I loved this book and I sure hope that there will be another book about the characters in this town.*ARC supplied by publisher for reviewing purposes*

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Blood From a Silver Cross by E. S. Moore


Blood From a Silver Cross (Kat Redding)

Blood From a Silver Cross (Kat Redding)
Price: $5.38

2.0 out of 5 stars Not For a First Time Reader, February 6, 2014

Book Description
Publication Date: February 6, 2014
Trust is a dangerous business.
Some people still call Kat Redding by her hunter name: Lady Death. But she’s not eager to see more violence brought to her doorstep. The neverending tide of hungry supes and vicious humans doesn’t change the math—sooner or later Kat’s one-vamp battle against the nightmares that infest Columbus is going to leave her dead. And she has innocent people—well, a werewolf and a demon-summoner—depending on her now.
But when a rogue werewolf who’s opted out of the bloodbath is found crucified and mutilated with toxic silver, Kat knows she’ll be tangling again with the dangerous Pureblood murderers of the cult of the Left Hand. She already has an undead countess blackmailing her into taking out the city’s garbage and a demon playing with her head. Add to that her serious suspicions about changes at the house of her uneasy ally Jonathan Alucard, werewolf denmaster, and Kat might have finally gotten in danger so deep, not even Lady Death can survive…
90,000 Words
If you have not read anything else in this series, I would highly suggest you do NOT try to start with this book. I had not read anything in this series and it took me more than 50% of the book to get a handle on what was going on The author does a commendable job of not supplying a lot of back-story which is a good thing if you are and have been a fan from the very first books. It will true fan from skimming a lot of back-story and give them something to sink their teeth into. It stinks though, if you are the type of person who picks up a book simply because the synopsis sounds good and then you are left hanging.

The story was interesting – Kat needs to find out just why the werewolves are being crucified, she has to hunt down and take care of a vampire who is using ‘children’ to make blood-porn, she has to deal with her feelings for Jonathan and try to keep away from Adrian. She sure has a lot on her plate –I have left a lot of Kats issues out of this review. There are just to many to list.

Kat ends up being the kind of ‘heroine’ that just makes you feel exhausted and want to slap her silly for her whining. She is also a lot like a somewhat watered down version of Kate Daniels from the series by Ilona Andrews. In fact, this book just feels like an Ilona Andrews book, but without the flair.

There was just too much going on (and with no explanations for the why of it) with too many people (Purebloods?) and creatures for me to enjoy.*ARC Supplied by Publisher*

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sleep With the Lights On (A Brown and De Luca Novel)

Sleep With the Lights On (A Brown and De Luca Novel)

Sleep With the Lights On (A Brown and De Luca Novel)
Price: $5.99

5.0 out of 5 stars A heart stopping, nail-biting, edge-of-your seat book, February 4, 2014

Book Description

October 1, 2013
Through the eyes of a killer… 
Rachel de Luca has found incredible success writing self-help books. But her own blindness and the fact that her troubled brother has gone missing have convinced her that positive thinking is nothing but bull.
Her cynicism wavers when a cornea transplant restores her sight. The new eyes seem to give her new life, until they prove too good to be true and she starts seeing terrifying visions of brutal murders—crimes she soon learns are all too real.
Detective Mason Brown's own brother recently died, leaving behind a horrific secret. In atonement, Mason donated his brother's organs, though he's kept the fact quiet. Now he wants to help Rachel find her brother, but when he discovers the shocking connection between her visions and his own brother, he suddenly has to do everything in his power to save her from a predator who is somehow still hunting from beyond the grave.

This was a heart stopping, nail-biting, edge-of-your seat book and I am very glad to have found and read it!

It consists of a mix of genres –horror, speculative fiction, suspense and lastly –romance.  However, romance takes a full back seat to the other aspects of this novel.

What would you do if the cornea transplant you thought would never work suddenly did?  But with these cornea’s comes a little ‘gift’ shall we say.  This gift is not a happy shiny gift; oh my no it is not.  It is a full on horror story for our protagonist   Rachel. Rachel is an acerbic, witty, somewhat @itchy protagonist that just somehow writes what some call “airy-fairy” self-help books.  Rachel does NOT practice what she preaches.  One day while still blind, she is hit by a police detective Mason who is running to find out what is wrong with hi brother.  Let us just say that Mason’s brother dies and Mason helps his family to donate organ IF the cornea’s can go to the person he hit with his car.
  This is where the fun of this book really begins!  Can you suspend your disbelief enough to imagine that the DNA from a donated organ can somehow manifest itself in the recipients’ body; somehow change that recipient into what kind of person the donor was?  Because if you can then this is going to be one thrilling ride for you, like it was for me.

The story was engaging to the point that I just had to buy a copy of this book and send it to my sister.  The characters a full and well written. While you ARE asked to suspend disbelief quite often; the author’s style and voice makes it easy for you to do so without sacrificing any of the pleasure of the novel.  The plot is well written, fast paced with no huge info dumps or filler and the mystery aspect really keeps you guessing.

I hate to sound trite or clichéd but if I could, I would have given this book more stars than just 5 of them!