Friday, July 29, 2016

Curious Minds by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton

Product Details
Book Description:

"Janet Evanovich, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, teams up with Emmy-winning writer Phoef Sutton for a brand-new series of mysteries featuring Emerson Knight and Riley Moon, a dynamic duo with instant and undeniable chemistry. Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich, and (some people might say) handsome, or he’d probably be homeless. Riley Moon has just graduated from Harvard Business and Harvard Law. Her aggressive Texas spitfire attitude has helped her land her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight. What starts off as an inquiry about missing bank funds in the Knight account leads to inquiries about a missing man, missing gold, and a life-and-death race across the country. Through the streets of Washington, D.C., and down into the underground vault of the Federal Reserve in New York City, an evil plan is exposed. A plan so sinister that only a megalomaniac could think it up, and only the unlikely duo of the irrepressibly charming Emerson Knight and the tenacious Riley Moon can stop it.

From the Hardcover edition."

This is one of the most difficult reviews I've ever had to write.  I love the Stephanie Plum books, they never fail to keep me happy for the few hours I can sink myself into them.

I had such high hopes for this book -the book did not reach up to them.  The idea might have been fairly fresh (not totally, but we won't go there), but the characters and writing was flat, flat, flat...I don't think that I have ever read a book in which I really didn't care what happened -about the crime or to the characters.

Was Emerson supposed to have had some sort of medical condition?

Like I said the writing was flat -none of the conversations between the characters had any inflection to them.  As a matter of fact Emerson had a few 'saying' that if I had heard one more time I would have tossed my cookies.  Repetition is not really funny.  Well maybe if you are 9 years old...

The mystery was insipid and even a little over done -I mean how many books have there already been about the bad guys taking over the world?  Stealing the worlds gold -well maybe that is a tad unique, but then again I haven't read every book ever written.

All in all this book read like it was written for young adults and was written BY a very young adult.

ARC supplied by publisher

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Beau for Katie by Emma Miller

Product DetailsA  Beau for Katie by Emma Miller
The Housekeeper's Surprise Match
“Agreeing to work for two weeks as a housekeeper to help a family in need seems like a good idea to Katie Byler. But when Katie sees the handsome, young—and single—Freeman Kemp for the first time, she wonders what she's gotten herself into. Freeman may be considered a catch, but the stubborn young man is driving strong-willed Katie to distraction. When the two of them decide to play matchmaker for Freeman's elderly uncle, though, their feud takes a different turn. The spark between them is strong, but can Katie and Freeman reach common ground to find their happily-ever-after?”

Emma Miller does it again, in my opinion.  This is the perfect (for me) gentle romance that has a message, the perfect book that doesn’t push religion in your face even though it is an Amish/Christian romance.  I am not a Christian, but I love these books because it makes the Amish belief so palatable to me.

However, had I not kept reading this book, I would have never have thought that these two could ever fall in love.  I was tempted to give up after only reading a quarter of this book, because both of these characters were irritating.  Actually I think they reminded myself of me and that is what most likely caused me to b e less than happy with this book.

I’m glad I persevered, since both finally came to see that they were both wrong and could both use a bit of a refresher on how to ‘manage’ others!

But the end proves that Sara ALWAYS knows what she is doing!

ARC supplied by publisher

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen

Product Details

Book Description:

"Natalie is a Bloomingdale's salesgirl mooning over her lawyer ex-boyfriend who's engaged to someone else after just two months. Felicia has been quietly in love with her boss for seventeen years and has one night to finally make the feeling mutual. Andie is a private detective who specializes in gathering evidence on cheating husbands—a skill she unfortunately learned from her own life—and lands a case that may restore her faith in true love. For these three women, as well as half a dozen others in sparkling supporting roles—a young model fresh from rural Alabama, a diva Hollywood star making her Broadway debut, an overachieving, unemployed Brown grad who starts faking a fabulous life on social media, to name just a few—everything is about to change, thanks to the dress of the season, the perfect little black number everyone wants to get their hands on . . ."

  Does the woman make the dress, or does the dress make the woman? I think that there is really a lot of truth to this cliché and we are encouraged through this book to understand that while clothing makes for great outward armor, we really can’t be more than we are deep down inside.  Yes, a lovely fitting dress can do wonders for our ego and even go a long way to giving us some courage at times.  But if we are a horrible person inside, no matter what kind of clothing we wear, we will still be that same horrible person.

I have never read a book written in an almost vignette style like this has.  The first third of the book is spent by exploring a bit of the lives that this dress is going to touch.  From the very first person to wear this dress in the prologue, to the pattern maker who built this miraculous dress, we are introduced in very short chapters to everyone.

The second third goes into more detail about these lives and some of these couples find themselves in some very funny situations.

The last third looks at these couples in even more depth and bring to conclusion that everyone will get what they either desire or deserve.  I understand that some readers are a bit out off by the brevity of the character building, but I just didn’t see it that way.  I think this book would have been a big letdown for me if it had been written differently.  Yes, this is a fairly short book coming in at less than 300 pages and for sure I was so entranced by everyone’s lives that I may have wanted more – but what we did get was like having the perfect meal and you still had room for dessert without getting sick!

This book even had something for every age bracket.  It is so difficult for me to find satisfying romances for my age group, but the author managed to hit everything from New Adults to the middle aged and she did it splendidly!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Daughters of the Bride by Susan Mallery

Product DetailsDaughters of the Bride by Susan Mallery

Book Description:

"With Joy, Love and a Little Trepidation, Courtney, Sienna and Rachel Invite You to the Most Emotional Wedding of the Year…Their Mother's 
The Misfit 
As the awkward one, Courtney Watson may not be as together as her sisters, but she excels at one thing—keeping secrets, including her white-hot affair with a sexy music producer. Planning Mom's wedding exposes her startling hidden life, changing her family's view of her—and how she views herself—forever. 
The Free Spirit 
When Sienna's boyfriend proposes—in front of her mom and sisters, for crying out loud—he takes her by surprise. She already has two broken engagements under her belt. Should she say "I do" even if she's not sure she does? 
The Cynic 
Rachel thought love would last forever…right up until her divorce. As Mom's wedding day draws near and her ex begs for a second chance, she's forced to acknowledge some uncomfortable truths about why her marriage failed, and decide if she'll let pride stand in the way of her own happily-ever-after."


Although this is a book encompassing all three sisters, only one of the sisters gets the fullest happily ever after (descriptive sex). The other two sisters get a varying degree of HEA.  Yes they all get the guy, but their stories aren’t as fully realized as Courtney’s is.  Their stories are as interesting, but not as gripping since Sienna and Rachel don’t have the familial issues as Courtney does.

Yes this is a book about secrets –and a second time bride who in my opinion, was a bridezilla.  The secrets make this a frustrating read and the slow start to this book added to that frustration.  I very nearly didn’t give this book enough time to grab me –luckily I did.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sweet as Honey by Jennifer Beckstrand

Product Details“Sweet as Honey is a warm, wonderful book filled with delightful characters, humor and tenderness. Jennifer Beckstrand writes lovely stories, sure to touch your heart.”--RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author

Smart, kind, and good-hearted, the three Christner girls are affectionately known as The Honeybee Sisters in the beloved Wisconsin Amish community where, under the care of their aunt, they've grown into skilled beekeepers--and lovely, sought-after young women. . .

Though she has blossomed into a beauty, Lily Christner doesn't really believe it. Deep down, she still feels like a lonely, gawky teenager. Maybe that's why she's all but promised herself to Paul Glick, the one boy who never teased her in her awkward girlhood--unlike Dan Kanagy, whose creative name-calling left her in tears many a time. Now he's back in town after two years away--and being surprisingly sweet, suspiciously attentive--and making Lily unsettlingly yet deliciously nervous. It seems Dan wants Lily's forgiveness--and her heart. But can he convince her--not to mention her protective schwesters and aendi--that despite the past, her future lies with him?... 

This is an interesting take on Amish romance/fiction and that may be because the Aunt that raise these sister's had been out in the world for about 20 years.

This is the story of Lily. She grew up homely and naturally became lovely. As she was growing up, the boy that she was most interested in teased her the most...actually he never really understood that what he was doing was teasing and hurting Lily. So Lily formed a friendship with another young man -Paul - this turned into an engagement of sorts. 

The boy who teased her -Dan -has never forgotten her and is now back in town. Now things are going to get VERY interesting indeed.

I have to say that I found Lily somewhat spineless and I'm not sure if that is the Amish coming out in this character or if she really was spineless. Paul is the über creep of the story and you most likely will come to hate him (or at least dislike him) as much as I did.

I learned a ton about bee keeping, and while that can be good, in my opinion, it did not add that much to the story and I hope that the next two sisters books have more story and less 'lessons'.

I am looking forward to the next two books.

ARC supplied by publisher.