Sunday, December 30, 2007

They Did It With Love by Kate Morgenroth

I read about They Did It With Love on another reader's blog and placed the book on hold at my local library. It came in pretty quickly and I started to read yesterday and finished it this morning. It was such a wonderful book and I really, really loved it. I would rate it an A.

From Amazon:
Sofie and her husband have left Manhattan in search of a more tranquil life in the suburbs. But when a member of Sofie’s new neighborhood book club turns up dead, things get messy. She discovers that everybody has something to hide, including her own husband. Her neighbor Priscilla has been married to Gordon for fifteen years, but the love left their marriage a long time ago. Susan is Priscilla’s biggest supporter until she has to choose between loyalty to her friend and telling the truth. Ashley is eager to fit in, but her youth and status as a second wife keep her on the outside. She may know more than they think she does, though. Julia seems to have it all—the perfect house, job and husband. But her untimely death has people questioning how perfect her life really was. Through this swamp of suburban secrets, Sofie must wade to find the truth behind Julia’s murder and the state of her own marriage.

The premise is one of my favorites and I love the setting. I really enjoy reading about the wealthy and think it is fascinating to read about their lives. The fact that the characters are such fans of mystery books and have a book club dedicated to them was also a great idea. This book had its own mystery going on and they were a ton of twists and turns throughout the story. I ended up having parts of the whodunit correct but I was surprised with some of the ending. The characters were really well written, and as it turned out I didn't really like many of the characters but I still enjoyed the story. That was surprising for me. I am also going to look for the two other books Ms. Morgenroth wrote and check those out. I really enjoy her writing and highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good mystery.

I think I have one more book to read to reach my goal and I don't think I will be able to finish it. I am still not feeling too well and I also have more work to get done for my mom so that doesn't leave me with a lot of wiggle room. I am going to start a new book I just got earlier in the week called By Blood Written and seems to be quite the suspense book. Hope everyone else is having a relaxing weekend and Happy Reading!

Friday, December 28, 2007

T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton

I have been a fan of Sue Grafton's books since a couple of years ago when I received the first three of her books for Christmas. I hate the long wait between books all of the time, but I was excited to get the book in from the library. It was a pretty good book and I would rate it a B+.

From Amazon:
In what may be her most unsettling novel to date, Sue Grafton's T is for Trespass is also her most direct confrontation with the forces of evil. Beginning slowly with the day-to-day life of a private eye, Grafton suddenly shifts from the voice of Kinsey Millhone to that of Solana Rojas, introducing readers to a chilling sociopath. Rojas is not her birth name. It is an identity she cunningly stole, an identity that gives her access to private caregiving jobs. The true horror of the novel builds with excruciating tension as the reader foresees the awfulness that lies ahead. The suspense lies in whether Millhone will realize what is happening in time to intervene. Though set in the late eighties, T is for Trespass could not be more topical: identity theft; elder abuse; betrayal of trust; the breakdown in the institutions charged with caring for the weak and the dependent. It reveals a terrifying but all-too-real rip in the social fabric. Once again, Grafton opens up new territory with startling results.

Like the description says, this book really hits home to a lot of issues in the world today. As a loving grandaughter to my 93 year old grandmother it sickens me to think that people could abuse and be so mean to the elderly. I always enjoy Ms. Grafton's books and really like Kinsey. I love the little details in her in day to day live and love that she is willilng to take a risk. She has a fierce stand of what is right and what is wrong and I love that about her. The secondary characters in this series are also really enjoyable and I always love reading her books. There was not a lot of suspense or mystery in the book which is why I gave this a B+, but it is still an enjoyable and fun read.

Up next is They Did It for Love which I got at the library. I have two more books to read to get to my goal and I hope to do it. I have the flu which has cut down on my reading a bit, but do feel better today than I have the past couple of days. However, I have work to do for my mom's business here at home and I haven't done laundry and need to clean. I hope to get all of it done and should be able to as long as I get my butt in gear. I hope everyone else had an enjoyable Christmas and have been getting some reading done. I received several gift cards for the book store so that made me happy. Happy Reading!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Projection by Keith Ablow

After looking over some of my previous reads this year, I decided to select another of Mr. Ablow's book to read next. Much to my surprise it was a continuation of the first book I read in the summer and it took me awhile to remember what had happened. Once I did, I picked up the book more and read more than half of it this morning. I would rate it a B+.

From Amazon:
Distinguished plastic surgeon Trevor Lucas may not be guilty of the four murders he stands accused of, as Ablow's gruesome psychological thriller opens, but he has clearly lost his mind, claiming that his right arm is controlled by Satan. Frank Clevenger, hero of Ablow's first novel, Denial, and consulting forensic psychiatrist to the Massachusetts police, is well aware of Lucas's innocence, since he framed him to save their mutual lover, the pathologically jealous but pitiable Kathy Matheson. Kathy's four victims were Lucas and Clevenger's other sexual partners, including the woman who was Frank's real love, but he sees Kathy only as a victim, since she was raped by her father as a child. When Lucas takes control of the hospital ward where he is being held, cuts off his arm and begins mobilizing the criminally insane inmates to assist him in vivisecting their fellow patients and members of the hospital staff, Clevenger makes a foray into the grisly ward and convinces the state police to hold off their assault on the hospital for 24 hours so he can delve into Lucas's past to discover the roots of his trauma. Astonishingly, the cops agree, and Clevenger is off to Baltimore, Lucas's hometown. Along the way, ponytailed Clevenger scores heroin, falls in love with a prostitute and continues to affirm that criminals with difficult childhoods are not responsible for their actions.

I liked this book because their were surprises and twists I never even expected. Like I said, it started off slowly for me but then really picked up the pace. Dr. Clevenger is hardly anything close to a normal psychitrist and is far from perfect. He definitely has his own problems, which I sort of like. Quite often the hero in suspense books are close to being perfect and Dr. Clevenger is not. It is hard to like him, but I felt this book did show his good points. I was surprised by a lot of the events that happened and I feel like this book was not completely resolved. I hope there is more of this book in the future Clevenger books. I know I have a couple more, so hopefully I will be able to get some answers.

Up next is T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton. My idea of placing the books that are large typed on hold panned out again as people seem to forget about those. I got it in really quick and on the normal book list, I was number 136 for it. However, I will read it quickly because I feel guilty holding on to a popular book for a long time. Hopefully I can get it read fast over today and tomorrow, though of course we will be busy with Christmas. I also missed my blog anniversary yesterday. I can't believe it has been a year. I read some of my older entries and I really love being able to reflect on the books I have read over the year that I otherwise may have forgotten about. I also noticed I didn't meet some of my goals, but hopefully will meet my main goal of reading 100 books. I think it will be pretty big with graduating this semester and my problems I went through this summer. Three more to go, so hopefully I will be able to get it done.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable Christmas. I am looking forward to it all being done. Sometimes it just seems like such a chore since we have so many places to go. My parents just got divorced three years ago and it is a pain trying to see everyone, including the in-laws. Plus my anxiety and depression is getting bad again and I really don't feel like leaving my house. Oh well, gotta do it. To everyone else, have a wonderful Christmas and be safe! Happy reading!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Eye Contact by Stephen Collins

After reading the book by Mr. Collins that I got from the library used book sale I had to check out his backlist. While I was disappointed to find that he only had one other book, but I was glad to see that it was at my local library. I went and got it, and enjoyed it a lot. I rated it a B+.

From Amazon:

Actress Nicolette Stallings is a compulsive exhibitionist who in the throes of self-loathing manipulates men by leading them into sexual acts that feed her masochism. When she provides a night of uninhibited sexual fantasy for a man she picks up in a restaurant, he turns out to have more problems than she can handle, which plunges her into a frenzy of self-preservation. Teaming with memorable characters (first-time novelist Collins makes New York cabbies and doormen come alive in a few short sentences), the book is full of people who help Nick see herself for who she really is. Surviving visits to her analyst, an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, her mother's compulsive soup making, the desire to self-destruct, her need to expose herself, and her disastrous approach to her career, Nick learns to meet life one day at a time and could well become the Holden Caulfield of the 1990s.

This book had an excellent premise and was nothing like I have read before. At first, I hated Nick but as the story continues, you really begin to feel for her and get a better understanding of where she is coming from. The side characters are also wonderful, especially Nick's new-found friend Joanna. There is quite a few graphic scenes in the beginning of the story, but just like I mentioned in my previous post it didn't bother me. I may have liked this book better than Mr. Collins' previous book that I read, though this book ended with a few questions and I like things a bit more tied up. I also thought the resoulution to the main problem came out of nowhere, though it didn't bring down my assessment of this book that much.

I am not sure what is up next. I need to look at my bookshelves. I have now read two straight books from the library and I am trying to balance out my TBR books with my library books. T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton came in for me so I am looking forward to reading that but I am going to read one of my own books first. I will hopefully be able to make it to the library tomorrow because it is the last day before they close for the holiday. I would love to get that one read this weekend. I am know on vacation until January 7 and am really looking forward to it. I do have some work to do for my mom's business which I can do from my house in my pajamas, so I really don't mind that. I need to get two more gift cards and Christmas is done. Today was my DH's 30th birthday, so I am relieved that is all done now. I just need some time to decompress and relax a bit and am looking forward to that. Hope everyone else is getting some relaxing and Happy Reading in!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Pyres by Derek Nikitas

As I mentioned in my previous post, I read about Pyres on another bloggers site and it seemed interesting. I picked it up from the library and while it got off to a slow start, I was quickly into it. I give it an A-.

From Amazon:

In PYRES, 15 year old Lucia Moberg lifts a CD out of a store in a shopping mall-and when she and her dad get into their car, there is a tap at the window.The next second her father's brains are on the dashboard.So begins the story of the ruin of her mother, whose home life is shrouded in darkness, a mysterious and menacing motorcycle gang, the real-to-life female cop out to crack the case, who is facing her own family's collapse, and the struggle for Lucia to piece together some semblance of a normal teenage life.The writing is hard and crisp, and wholly multi-dimensional, while the story moves along at a nail-biting pace with twists, turns, literary allusions, and the engaging plight of several fascinating, memorable, and fully rounded characters.

This was a really well-written book. I really felt for Luc and all of the guilt and experiences she had to deal with. I couldn't even imagine the pain that she felt and then all of the blame she places on herself for her father's death. The book had a ton of twists and turns and the suspense was well done. About 75% through the book the read finds out all of the whodunits, but the suspense still builds. I really enjoyed the characters of Luc and Greta, the cop who investigated the murder. The only thing that I did not enjoy was some of the references to Luc's father's heritage because at times it seemed like it was a little far-fetched, and I do admit to skimming some of those parts. Overall, a very good first book by Mr. Nikitas.

Up next is the other Stephen Collins book titled Eye Contact. I got it from the library and want to see how this one is. We had a snow day today, so I was able to get a lot done last night and today. Most of the shopping is done and most of the wrapping is done. I have a couple more small gifts to get and a few gift cards to get. I am happy about that. Tomorrow I am only working half of a day, so I will be able to get the rest of it done hopefully. Hope everyone else had a good weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Venus Fix by MJ Rose

I have been a fan of Ms. Rose's books for some time and have read her Butterfield Institute books prior to this one as well as some of her stand alone books. I have had this one forever and started reading it a long time ago but never picked it up again. I found it the day and decided to pick it up. It was a good book and I rate it a B.

From Amazon:

As one of New York's top sex therapists, Dr. Morgan Snow sees everything from the abused to the depraved. From high-profile clients with twisted obsessions to courageous survivors, the Butterfield Institute is the sanctuary to heal battered souls.
Morgan Snow's newest patient is a powerful, influential man -- secretly addicted to watching Internet Web cam pornography. He's not alone in his desires. She's also working with a group of high school teenagers equally and dangerously obsessed with these real-time fantasies.
Fantasies that are all too accessible.
Then the women start dying online, right in front of their eyes.
Now it's all about murder.

This book definitely had an interesting premise and I enjoyed it pretty much. It wasn't terribly suspensful, and I don't think there was enough foreshadowing for the reader to actively decide who the killer was until the book was almost over. Dr. Snow also gets on my nerves a bit as she has some hangups from her childhood that bothered me. I don't think I am nitpicking as when I was looking over previous notes I wrote about her books said the same thing.

That being said Ms. Rose expertly weaves together erotica and suspense together. While I am normally a little prudish when it comes to the more erotic type books, I did not blush while reading it. I really enjoy reading a book written where a psychitrist is the main character. Part of me thinks if I didn't go into teaching, I would love to have gotten a degree in counseling. Part of teaching is psychology driven, so I think that plays a part in it too. Ms. Rose seems to have done a lot of research on psychology and it shows in the book. I am not sure what her background is, but she writes a good story. I hope she continues the series because it is somewhat left with a cliffhanger.

Well I am finally done with school. It is such a relief though I keep feeling like I forgot to do something. It is weird to have nothing to do with homework and all of that after so long. I took yesterday off and just hung out around the house. Today I got some shopping done and tomorrow I think I am just going to be snuggled in at home. We are supposed to get up twelve inches of snow which I am so not looking forward to. I so need to move somewhere warm year round. I have a lot of wrapping left to do so I hope to get some of that done. Still not done getting all of my Christmas shopping done, but I am not going to go out of the house tomorrow if it is bad. Up next I am going to read Pyres by Derek Nikitas. I got it from the library after reading a review for it, so I hope it is an enjoyable. I am still trying to reach my goal of 100 books by the end of the year. I am at 94, not including the DNF books I read, so I should be able to make it. Hope everyone stays safe and warm where ever you are and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Stop Dressing Your Six Year Old Like a Skank by Celia Rivenbark

I got this book from the library after seeing the title and getting a recommendation from Amazon based on the books that I looked at. I was interested in reading it since I assumed I could relate to a lot of the topics and ended up reading it in a couple of hours. I would rate it a B-.

From Amazon:

Celia Rivenbark is an intrepid explorer and acid commentator on the land south of the Mason-Dixon Line. In this collection of screamingly funny essays, you’ll discover: *How to get your kid into a character breakfast at Disney World (or run the risk of eating chicken out of a bucket with Sneezy)
*Secrets of Celebrity Moms (don’t hate them because they’re beautiful when there are so many other reasons)
*ebay addiction and why “It ain’t worth having if it ain’t on ebay”
*Why today’s children’s clothes make six-year-olds look like Vegas showgirls with an abundance of anger issues
*And so much more!
Celia Rivenbark’s essays about life in today’s South are like caramel popcorn---sweet, salty, and utterly irresistible.

Like I said, I read this pretty quickly. It was a light read and Ms. Rivenbark was dead on in some of her writings. I was often nodding along with her and did enjoy it. I believe part of the reason why I marked it down, however, was because in one paragraph she would be talking about something and then just rattle off in a totally different topic. Part of it could have been me, however, because I am very anxious and nervous. Today was my last day of student teaching and tomorrow morning I have my portfolio presentation which will allow for the college to recommend me for certification. I don't feel prepared enough and I am just so nervous. I have to be there by 8:30 a.m. tomorrow morning and it is in downtown Detroit and of course they are predicting snow right in time for rush hour.

Oops, there I go. I just rattled off into a totally different topic.

I suffered from a pretty bad depression and anxiety problems this summer and got them under control pretty well. However, the past month it has been rearing it's ugly head and I am having a really tough time tonight. I can't sit still and would love to go work some of this energy off on the treadmill, but unfortunetly I have a bad migraine and I don't think that will work. My kids today threw me a party and there were tears shedded, but I am not too upset because I know I will see them when I sub and next week at the Christmas party. Ugh, that's another thing I am stressing about because I am not done with my shopping and have wrapped exactly zero presents.

All right, enough. I know this sucks as a book review, but to sum it up, it was a fun book to read, though I doubt I will go out and look for more by her. Up next is a book by M.J. Rose named The Venus Fix. I have read many of her other books including the Morgan Snow series, and I think this one is the second one. I have already read the third one but am pretty sure it doesn't matter what order I read the books and it has been a long time. Hopefully I will get to read a bit before I attempt to sleep, but I am not sure. I want to study my portfolio and what I am going to discuss and I need to pick out my clothes tomorrow morning.

All right, sorry for putting anyone to sleep. I guess I just needed to vent a bit. Happy reading!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Double Exposure by Stephen Collins

All I can say about this book was wow. It was what I would consider an erotic suspense and seemed so out of what I was expecting. I really enjoyed this book, however, I rate it a B+.

From Amazon:

Joe McBride has his hands full. He's a TV critic in the running for an anchor position at a brand-new cable network. He's the adoring part-time father of five-year-old Mollie - when his ex-wife will let him see her. He's just been jilted by his new fiancee. And if all that isn't enough, he's right in the middle of moving into a new apartment, in the pouring rain. Joe McBride is stressed-out, to put it mildly...and things are about to get a whole lot worse. In this tense and twisty thriller, Joe McBride is plunged into a maze where few things are what they seem. He's barely begun to unpack when a beautiful new neighbor tries to seduce him. Still reeling from his broken engagement, Joe soon finds himself drawn irresistible to the young woman, but each new revelation about her life only deepens the mystery surrounding her - and as his curiosity escalates into obsession he discovers he's playing the lead in a deadly drama of someone else's design.

I was enthralled with this book and read it in about two hours all together. The book was really good and though not so suspenseful since I kind of figured out some of what was going on. I just couldn't get over the fact that Rev. Camden himself is writing this semi-erotic book. I really liked Joe, though part of it kind of confirmed of some stereotypes that are generally told about men and what they think with. He gets himself into a lot of trouble with his new obsession and it takes a nasty turn. I wasn't expecting what then happens and it had me whipping through the end of the book very quickly. The only reason why I didn't rate this book higher was because part of it was a little predictible. I know that Mr. Collins wrote one previous book and I think I am going to check out from the library.

Up next is another non-fiction book, Stop Dressing Your Six-Year-Old Like A Skank. I loved this title, and find it true. So many times these little girls that I see at school and other places are dressed like Britany Spears and it confuses the heck out of me. Hopefully this will have some humor with the topic.

Happy Reading!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress by Susan Gilman

Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress is yet another memoir I picked up at the library. This one was all right, where at times I was loving it, and then questioning why I had even picked it up and kept reading it. I rate it a C+.

From Amazon:

Adult/High School–Gilman has a gift for showing the humor in the ordinary. Her memoir takes readers from her childhood in the late 1960s and early '70s through adulthood and marriage. As the book opens, she is reminiscing about the summer of 1969 when she was four and her parents took her to a commune where one of their friends was filming a documentary. She got to personify innocence by dancing naked on the beach with other children. Other experiences include the challenges of being the only Jewish girl attending a private Presbyterian school, her mother's enthusiasm for transcendental meditation, and her own infatuation (and ultimate meeting) with Mick Jagger. Set against the backdrop of New York's Upper West Side, her descriptions of the insecurities that plagued her as an adolescent ring with truth. Gilman's narrative illustrates how the highs and lows that mark the teen years are remarkably similar among generations, and suggests that perhaps the gap isn't so wide after all. As she shares some of her adult experiences–career choices, the effects of her parents' divorce after she and her brother were grown, a work-related trip to the Polish concentration camps–her refreshing blend of humor and frankness does not trivialize the significance of her observations. Gilman's is not an extraordinary life, but she offers a view of American culture over the past 35 years that is compelling and highly readable.

Some of the things Ms. Gilman discusses seem so absurd, but as I continue to read these memoirs, I have soon discovered that I have lived a fairly sheltered life. At times there were some really laugh out loud moments with her describing finally meeting Mick Jagger and other things going on. I really related to her experience dealing with her parents' divorce when she turned 26. About a month after I got married, I found out my parents were getting a divorce after nearly 30 years of marriage. It really hit me hard, and in some ways, still does today. A lot of what Ms. Gilman had to say about it was so true and I had tears in my eyes while reading it.

I really thought the ending dragged on. There was one point towards the middle where I flew through 100 pages, but the last 40 pages seemed to take about 2 hours for me to read. I also skimmed a lot, especially at the end. The author also discusses so many friends and seems to act like they are all some of her closest friends, though there were so many I couldn't keep them straight. At the end I almost just gave it up, because I was so frustrated it with it. The middle of the book, though, kept me reading and made this one not a DNF.

Up next is one of my books I got yesterday at the book sale. I am going to read the Stephen Collins' book because I am so anxious to see how he writes. It is also a suspense, so sometimes I need to go back to a gritty mystery holding me to the pages. I have a couple more memoirs to read, though I think my best strategy is to alternate between reading those. I hope I am not getting burned out. That would really stink, especially since I am about 4 days away from graduation! Hope everyone had a good, relaxing weekend and Happy Reading!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Library Used Book Sale

I hit up one of our local library used book sales and while not one of the bigger ones, I still got a good haul. I picked up 8 books for myself, 2 books for teaching, a magazine, and six children's chapter books for my future classroom. All of this I got for $3.25! I couldn't believe my luck. All paperbacks were a quarter a piece or six for $1.00 and the same for the children's books. The magazine and teaching books cost a dime each. While I may not have picked up some of these books normally, I couldn't pass up the oppourtinity to find some new authors. For me, I got the following:

Murder Can Cool Off Your Affair by Selma Eichler
Double Exposure by Stephen Collins (yes, the guy from Seventh Heaven!)
Kill Me Again by Leslie Rule
Death in a Funhouse Mirror by Kate Flora
Cradle and All by Zachary Alan Fox
Death Splits a Hair by Nancy Bell
The Violet Hour by Richard Montanari
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

Not too bad. I love going to these sales! Though I did feel kind of guilty because I so do not need anymore books to read, I really couldn't pass it up and the money does go to a good cause. No more new books until after Christmas, at least!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

The Wrong Man by John Katzenbach

Can I just say I loved this book? This story is what a thriller and psychological suspense is all about and what it should have. This was my first book that I read by Mr. Katzenbach, and I can guarantee that I will be reading many more by him. I rate this book an A.

From Amazon:

Ashley Freeman is a promising art-history student passionate about every aspect of her life. One night, the twentysomething Bostonian meets Michael O'Connell, a handsome, dark-haired stranger whom she readily forgets after a single steamy session between the sheets. But Mike, a street-smart psychopath who stalks women for sport, has no intention of letting Ashley go. He watches her every move from the shadows and sends her countless e-mails professing his love. Ashley's family and friends shrug it off as a crush, until O'Connell, an ingenious computer hacker, reveals the damage he can do: he sabotages the reputation of Ashley's professor father with a stinging accusation of plagiarism and nearly gets her mother, a lawyer, disbarred. Bribes and threats do nothing to deter him, and when a private investigator assigned to the case turns up dead, the Freeman family takes extreme measures to quash O'Connell's relentless pursuit.

This was a long book and it killed me that I didn't have more time to read it. Every spare minute I did have, however, I picked it up and was reading. I was almost late going back to school on my lunch break because the book was so good. The story is told through many different perspectives and I feel does a great job getting into the emotions of everyone. While I went into the story expecting the focus to be on Ashley, this is not the case. The ending made me a little mad, though I do understand it. The suspense was just so well written and my heart was pounding as I read it. It has been a long time since I have read a psychological suspense like this and I am sure that it will take quite awhile for me to forget this one. Mr. Katzenbach is definitely on my list of author's to be on the lookout for.

Up next is another memoir, this one titled Hypocrite in a Poufy White Dress. I got it from the library and I think it needs to go back soon, so I figured I would read this one next. I am sure it should be a quick read, and as December continues to pass quickly, I am really trying to get to that 100 books read mark. I am done with the teaching aspect of my student teaching and will just be doing observations on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Tomorrow I have a conference to go to, and then my presentation is on Thursday of next week. Besides preparing for that and doing a final run through of my portfolio, my outside work is done so hopefully I will be able to get a lot of reading done. I still have to finish my Christmas shopping, Chris' 30th birthday is on the 20th and I need to get ready for that, and I need to get my cards out. I am hoping to do that tomorrow night or maybe even bringing it with me to the seminar tomorrow. Even if I can right out the envelopes, I will be happy. Well, enough talking out loud to myself, I am going to squeeze in a quick chapter before I go to sleep. I do get to sleep in a bit tomorrow, but we are supposed to get some snow tonight that they are predicting will make the roads messy. Fun fun! Happy reading!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Autobiography of a Fat Bride by Laurie Notaro

This is my second book by Laurie Notaro and I enjoyed it. I liked it slightly better than the first one I read, especially since this one had some order in the way the story is told. I would give this book a B+.

From Amazon:

Notaro's first book, The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club (2002), achieved cult status and became a surprise best-seller. Returning with another uproarious collection of personal essays from the dating front, Notaro proves that her first-time success wasn't a fluke. Detailing her trip down the bumpy road to matrimony, Notaro outrageously entertains with a sweetly skewed outlook on everything from breaded meats to baby wipes. Having endured boyfriends from hell and survived kamikaze-style dating, Notaro does the unthinkable by getting someone to fall in love with her! This, in Notaro's world, is not the equivalent of the Holy Grail. First, there are in-laws to impress and weddings to plan, both without inflicting bodily harm or doing jail time. Next come the challenges of permanent cohabitation, with its surprise revelations of untoward bodily functions and appearances. Finally, there are the joys of first-time home ownership and joint income-tax filing. Notaro tackles them all with the inimitable, acerbic wit and ruthless, self-deprecating candor that have deservedly earned her legions of loyal fans.

Ms. Notaro really does have a good voice and tells a pretty funny story. Now I don't know if this makes me weird or what, but I really good relate a lot to her and some of her stories. I won't go into too much detail about what I can relate to because that just might be too much information. Her mom and Nana are absolutely hilarious and I loved the chapters that they were involved in. Her and her husband's relationship also reminded me a bit of my and my hubby's relationship, so that brought a few smiles to my face. Again this was a short book and what I really liked about it was it was perfect for me to pick up and read for three minutes while in line at the post office or bank and not be confused when I picked it up again.

While I am loving these memoirs and I have two more from the library by two different authors, I think I am going to read a thriller. I need to switch it up a bit. I looked at my bookshelves and I think I am going to read next The Wrong Man by John Katzenbach. I read about this on one of the blogs I was reading and have it on my shelf, so I think I am going to grab that. I also have been bad lately and bought quite a few books so I really need to pick more books off those shelves instead of constantly reading library books. That is going to be one of my reading goals next year is for every new book I buy or get from the library, I need to read one from my shelves. We'll see how long that will last but is something I really want to focus one.

I don't think I will be leaving the house much today as the weather is crappy. Last night we got snow, then ice, and now it is supposed to rain all day. Perfect day to stay in! Hope everyone else is reading and having an excellent weekend! Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro

Continuing on my memoir kick, I picked this book up at the library after getting a recommendation for it while searching for more books by Jen Lancaster. It is a pretty short book, only 225 pages and I was able to finish it quickly. It definitely had some pretty funny points and I could relate to some of the things she talks about. I give this a B.

From Amazon:

I’ve changed a bit since high school. Back then I said no to using and selling drugs. I washed on a normal basis and still had good credit.”Introducing Laurie Notaro, the leader of the Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club. Every day she fearlessly rises from bed to defeat the evil machinations of dolts, dimwits, and creepy boyfriends—and that’s before she even puts on a bra.For the past ten years, Notaro has been entertaining Phoenix newspaper readers with her wildly amusing autobiographical exploits and unique life experiences. She writes about a world of hourly-wage jobs that require absolutely no skills, a mother who hands down judgments more forcefully than anyone seated on the Supreme Court, horrific high school reunions, and hangovers that leave her surprised that she woke up in the first place.The misadventures of Laurie and her fellow Idiot Girls (“too cool to be in the Smart Group”) unfold in a world that everyone will recognize but no one has ever described so hilariously. She delivers the goods: life as we all know it.

Like I mentioned above, this book was very lighthearted and funny. It is an easy book to read in small bits like during commericals or when I wanted to take a quick 5 minute break from working on my portfolio. The wide range of topics from jury duty to when Laurie's mother finally gets email. I had a few chuckles out loud and overall it was a pleasant read. The only downside I had to the book was that it seemed to be completely out of order. In one chapter she is unemployed with no boyfriend, and in the next she is living in a house with a boyfriend. After doing some research on Amazon though I saw that these were all entries from her columns that she wrote for a newspaper in Phoneix. I wish she could have put it in some type of a timeline, though, as I wouldn't have been bouncing around so much. Overall though, I was able to really enjoy it.

Up next is the second of her books, Autobiography of a Fat Bride: True Tales of a Pretend Adulthood. This book is slightly longer, coming in at 258 pages though if I read for another hour tonight, I should have it done by tomorrow. Lately I haven't been able to stay awake later than 10:00 p.m., which is really early for a nightowl like me. However, I am absolutely giddy that I only have a couple of small things left to do on my portfolio which I plan on doing right after school. That is going to be wonderful. I even did my weekly cleaning tonight, so I all I will have to do is laundry this weekend. My husband and I have our bowling night on Saturday and I am meeting my dad Saturday afternoon but besides that it is going to be relaxing, reading, and catching up on my recorded shows. I can't wait! Well I hope everyone else is having a great time reading! Happy reading to all!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

I listened to Sellevision on my IPOD and this story had me cracking up. I decided to get Running With Scissors because it is written by the same author and I am on a memoir kick. I wasn't sure of what to expect from this book, but I don't think anything could have prepared me for this. It was an interesting read that I would have to rate a B+.

From Amazon:

This memoir by Burroughs is certainly unique; among other adventures, he recounts how his mother's psychiatrist took her to a motel for therapy, while at home the kids chopped a hole in the roof to make the kitchen brighter. Not all craziness, though, this account reveals the feelings of sadness and dislocation this unusual upbringing brought upon Burroughs and his friends. His early family life was characterized by his parents' break-and-destroy fights, and after his parents separated, his mother practically abandoned Burroughs in hopes of achieving fame as a poet. At 12, he went to live with the family (and a few patients) of his mother's psychiatrist. At the doctor's home, children did as they wished: they skipped school, ate whatever they wanted, engaged in whatever sexual adventures came along, and trashed the house and everything in it, while the mother watched TV and occasionally dusted.

The things that Mr. Burroughs writes about are just totally unbelievable, but sadly believable. After teaching you realize that some parents and the things that they put their children through are absolutely unbelievable. This story had me laughing at times and also feeling like crying. The pure madness and craziness is just so out there and weird. I did enjoy the book though at times felt uncomfortable. Some of the details are so extreme and can be a little bit over the top. It does go into some graphic details and probably not for everyone. I did enjoy it though, and this past weekend bought his other two memoirs from the Borders Outlet store. I know the title of one of them is Dry, though I am not sure what the other is. Another customer there told me they were both excellent so I picked them. I probably won't read them right away, but soon.

Things are finally calming down. I have my last observation tomorrow and I think I am just so tired of it all that I am kind of thinking who cares. I have worked so hard for so long and am getting the recgonition, which I am thankful for, but I have a case of senioritis and I love just relaxing at night. After Thursday I will be able to finish my huge project so that should be put to bed by Sunday. Yay! Anyways, I love getting back into my reading swing and am so happy that I am reading at a relative good pace. My goal that I set for myself for 2007 was to read 100 books and I am at 86 right now. It may be a stretch with only a little bit over a month left, but I am going to try. Considering how busy and little reading I have done since school started in September and my big slump this summer when I was going through depression and anxiety, I am pretty impressed with my reading. Most of the books were not short ones so that makes me feel better.

Up next I am reading another memoir by Laurie Notaro. This one is called The Idiot Girls' Action-Adventure Club. I hope it is as good as the others I have been reading. I hope everyone else is getting a lot of reading done. Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Cage of Stars by Jacqueline Mitchard

I am not sure how I ended up picking this book up but I did get it from the library. This is another book that I probably would not normally read, but I am glad I did. I started it this evening and stayed up to finish it because it was really well-written. I rate it a B+.

Twelve-year-old Veronica "Ronnie" Swan witnesses the murder of her two sisters in her family's yard in tiny Cedar City, Utah. Murderer Scott Early is immediately apprehended, but is diagnosed with schizophrenia and ends up spending just three years in a state mental hospital. The rest of Ronnie's family turns to their faith to forgive Early, visiting him just before his release after a battery of drugs have restored him to normalcy. But Ronnie remains angry and haunted by her inability to save her sisters from him, and as she comes of age she tracks Early to San Diego, becomes an EMT, talks his wife into hiring her as a nanny for their infant daughter, and starts planning her vengeance. But as Early's life comes into focus, Ronnie's plan leads to an unexpected, if overly summative, climax.

This book really tugged at my heart strings. The story was so well written and though there is not a lot of dialogue and action in it, which I really like, I enjoyed it. I couldn't even imagine what Ronnie and her family went through and I think the story had some really important life stories. Told over a span of about 10 years, I really enoyed how we got to see Ronnie grow up. The story is somewhat depressing because of the horrible acts, but I found it so compelling. This is the first book I have read by Ms. Mitchard and I will probably look for more of them at the library. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good story that has a lot of character development. While not exactly suspensful, I had no idea where the ending was going though I was satisfied with the ending. I really came to love and care about Ronnie and thought she was just such a likeable character. The story also allows the reader to get a look inside the Mormon church, and not the radical Mormon's who practice polygamy. I am very interested in the Mormon religion because of all of the news lately about those extremists.

I started this book this evening and finished it in about 2 and half hours. It felt really good sitting down and just getting lost in a book. I got a ton done today, including all of my Christmas decorations up, all of my cleaning and laundry and more work for school. I will probably spend a little bit more time working tomorrow, but I mainly am planning on starting my next book Running With Scissors. I listened to the author's other book, Sellevision, on my Ipod this week and was cracking up, so I am looking forward to it. Hope everyone is getting some reading done and having a wonderful weekend! Happy Reading!

Friday, November 23, 2007

The House on Sprucewood Lane by Caroline Slate

While at the library checking out the paperback shelves, I saw this book and it kind of jumped out at me. While reading the back, it sounded like something right up my alley. I picked it up because I had kind of been reading books outside of my comfort zone. It wasn't what I was expecting, but still turned out to be an all right book. I rate it a B-.

Calista McQuade is a star from the beginning, adored and pushed by her strong but driven mother, Melanie; loved from a distance by her damaged journalist father, Tom; and both loved and hated by her older brother, Jared. After the murder, at Jared's request, Melanie's sister, Alexis, is reconciled with the family after a rupture caused by her affair with Tom. But can the troubled and bulimic Lex even help herself? And whom can she trust? Suspicion centers on the family and 12-year-old Jared in particular. Lex employs her considerable detective skills as a documentary filmmaker to discover anything that might help her nephew. There are other possibilities: the McQuades' wealthy friend Courtney and Courtney's husband, Calista's coach, Vin; their maid, Tonya. But the police are looking no further than the family, and Lex knows Jared's time is running out.

From the blurb on the back of the book, it sounded like it was going to be a turn pager and highly suspensful. Instead, a lot of time is spent looking into Lex's growing up and her history. It really didn't add much to the story and in my opinion, did not have much at all to do with the mystery. The mystery kept me reading and while some of the backstory was interesting it was way too much. The book was over 400 pages long and the print was really tiny. I think that probably 100 pages could have been cut out. I did quite a bit of skimming. If the mystery wasn't as compelling to me as it was, I would have otherwise stopped reading it especially since my reading time is so limited. I finished this yesterday, though I am just now getting around to posting it.

I am running on pure steam right now. I went shopping lst night at midnight and didn't get home until almost 8:00 this morning. I slept about 4 hours and then got a ton of work done. It feels so nice. I am probably 90% done with my portfolio which is my huge project for graduation. Most of the stuff that I have to finish is just making up some title pages and organizing a bit. It shouldn't be too hard and I will get to it later. Tomorrow, I want to clean and maybe get a little bit more done on it and then get all of my Christmas decorations. Sunday will be spent reading and relaxing. I can't believe I have less than 3 weeks until graduation. It is surreal!

Up next is Cage of Stars by Jacqueline Mitchard. It is something else that is kind of out of my normal range, but I have high hopes. Well I am off to bed. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and have a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster

I am not even sure where I heard of this book but it must have been somewhere out in the blogosphere, but oh my gosh, this was hilarious. I loved the way it was written and it went by way to fast for me. I have to give this book an A.

From Amazon:

Jen Lancaster hates to burst your happy little bubble, but life in the big city isn't all it's cracked up to be. Contrary to what you see on TV and in the movies, most urbanites aren't party-hopping in slinky dresses and strappy stilettos. But lucky for us, Lancaster knows how to make the life of the lower crust mercilessly funny and infinitely entertaining. Whether she's reporting rude neighbors to Homeland Security, harboring a crush on her grocery store clerk, or fighting-and losing-the Battle of the Stairmaster- Lancaster explores how silly, strange, and not-so-fabulous real city living can be. And if anyone doesn't like it, they can kiss her big, fat, pink, puffy down parka.

Totally not my usual type of book but this was such a find. Now I am sure I am missing a whole genre of books that I would probably love but just didn't give a second glance to. I love the way this book is set up with footnotes and emails and the like and Ms. Lancaster has such a wonderful voice. I flew through this and it was perfect for the five minutes here and there that I could steal, though I can tell you I would open this up while sitting at red lights just to read a paragraph. This is Ms. Lancaster's second book and I have her first on hold at the library. I have already talked about this book to my SIL, it was just so funny that I had to gush about it. I never thought that a memoir or an autobiography would be my type of book but this was just wonderful. If anyone else has any more books like this, I would love to hear about them.

I am also listening to Sellevision on my IPOD by Augusten Burroughs. He is the author of his memoir Running With Scissors. I am LOVING Sellevision, and anyone who has any opinion about Home Shopping must read this. The reader is wonderful and I found myself driving around the block to just listen to a bit more. I got Running With Scissors from the library today and will probably read that soon. My SIL told me she heard wonderful things about it so I am hoping it is a good one. Like I said, I would love any and all suggestions for more books like this.

Up next is A House on Sprucewood Lane by Caroline Slate. This book is more of my usual cup of tea and it sounds promising. I haven't heard of this author though so hopefully it is good. I got a ton of work done today, so I think I may just spend the day tomorrow reading and doing laundry. I know I will feel guilty so maybe I will work a bit on my portfolio. I am on a good pace to get it done, but I think I need a day to recharge. Plus after two really good books back to back I have got bitten by the reading bug and that is what I am thinking about. Hope everyone else has a great rest of the weekend and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta

I read Little Children by Tom Perrotta earlier this year and enjoyed it and was not even aware that Mr. Perrotta had a new book coming out. While surfing some blogs, I came across a review for this book and decided to put it on hold at my library. After giving up on the previous book I was reading, I decided to give this one a try. I almost didn't but am so glad I decided to start reading it. I really enjoyed it and it held my attention. I rate it an A-.

Ruth Ramsey, divorced, is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school; she believes in being honest with her students, telling them that some people "enjoy oral sex." She lands in hot water when an evangelical church, offended by her curriculum, forces the school board to include a section on abstinence. Tim Mason is the beloved soccer coach of Ruth's young daughter, Maggie. He is also a reformed stoner/loser and an entrenched member of the church that attacked Ruth. Things get interesting when Tim, in a moment of crisis, leads his team of girls in prayer, and Ruth publicly drags her daughter from the soccer field. Ironically, Ruth and Tim find they have more in common than they thought, and a shaky—at times humorous—interchange begins.

I am not sure what exactly made me love this book so much, but I found myself counting down the minutes until my lunch break so I could read it. This book really got me thinking about how and where I stand on all of the issues addressed in the book and I really felt for both characters. This book is not my normal reading fare, I flew through it (well flew through it with my schedule) and I couldn't get enough. The book was written with both sides of the issues clearly stated and I could agree with both of them. I just really liked this book and I would reccommend it to anyone who likes realistic fiction and keeps up on current events. I am thinking about checking out more of Mr. Perrotta's books to see if they also hold up. I do know that his book Election is what the movie with Resse Witherspoon starred in was based on, so maybe I will check that out.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I have parent teacher conferences tomorrow and Friday so I probably will not get that much reading done. Still, I want to start something. Hope everyone else is reading a lot of good books! Happy Reading!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Got Your Number by Stephanie Bond

Finally finished a book! I was reading another book and was about 100 pages in, but wasn't that into it and really wanted to spend the little time I had to read on something fun. Turning to Stephanie Bond, who always puts a smile on my face was a good idea. Got Your Number was a B read.

Gutsy Roxann Beadleman, a volunteer for an underground organization that helps abused wives escape from their husbands, needs to be rescued herself. She's being hunted by Frank Cape, a smarmy PI who wants his wife and child back, and by Joe Capistrano, a rugged police detective whose partner was shot by Cape. Joe intends to find Melissa, Cape's wife, and have her testify against her husband, but Roxann refuses to cooperate, fearful that the police won't be able to protect Melissa. When Roxann receives an invitation to her cousin Angora's wedding, she seizes the opportunity to flee town. Unfortunately, her cousin is jilted at the altar and, against her better judgment, Roxann agrees to accompany Angora to their college reunion in South Bend, Ind. En route, the former roommates have an unnerving run-in with Cape, but Joe steps in just in time. Although Roxann insists that she doesn't need his help or his affection, she quickly changes her mind when she and Angora are accused of murdering their theology professor.

This was a fun read. While not as funny as some of her others, especially Our Husband, I did like it and was looking forward to reading it whenever I had a free moment. I think the light hearted tone of the book really helped me get into it and it was fun. The mystery was kind of light and I had it figured out early on, but I still enjoyed it.

I really miss reading! Books that I have had on hold forever are coming in and I am having to return them unread because I don't have the time. I am not sure if things are going to start to slow down soon, but I do know that I have one month left. I have a ton of stuff to get done, but I think it is really less than I think. This weekend is dedicated to printing things out and preparing my portfolio so once I can see it organized and together, I won't stress as much. This stress is causing problems physically and I am losing a ton of hair and other womanly problems. I am somewhat scared too because I have been in school for so long and I don't know what to do with my time! Wait, I know... catch up on my reading! Yay!

Anyways, I hope everyone else is reading great and fun books. I do have a library book I started called Unnatural Causes by Leah Ruth Robinson. I have only read 24 pages and am on the fence about it. I decided I will probably give books 75 pages to capture my attention and if it doesn't, then it is on to the next one.

Happy reading and a have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay

Boy it has been forever since I posted. Things have been crazy busy with school and trying to get ready for graduation, so my reading has almost ceased. Anyways, I have been reading No Time for Goodbye by Linwood Barclay for awhile and finally finished it. I enjoyed the book and give it a B.

From Amazon:
Barclay (Bad Guys) tugs hard on the heartstrings with the tragic tale of Cynthia Bigge, whose parents and brother vanished without a trace the day after she had a tempestuous teenage argument with her father. Twenty-five years later, raising a daughter with her husband, Terrence Archer, in Milford, Conn., but still haunted by her family's disappearance, Cynthia goes on TV to talk about what happened and plead for clues. A mysterious phone call leads her to believe her father, at least, may still be alive, but as her excitement grows, so do Terrence's worries. It soon appears that someone is playing a unexpectedly vicious game with Cynthia's emotions, and that her family held secrets she never suspected.

I was a bit disappointed by this book. I have loved all of Mr. Barclay's books and this is his first stand-alone. Everywhere I read they said it was such a great suspense, and to me it was all right, but nothing Earth-shattering. Maybe because it took me so long to read broke up the suspense, but I didn't find it to live up to the reviews. Not to say that it wasn't a great book, I was just a little underwhelmed. I also really didn't care for Cynthia, the main character's wife. She had been through a lot, but to me seemed like she was a little too intense and took somethings out on her husband that she shouldn't have. Actually, the more I think about it, that is kind of the case in all of Mr. Barclay's books. I always enjoy the main character, but the wife seems to come across as too brash. Anyways, it is a good book and I recommend it.

Not sure what I am going to read next or how long it will take me. I really miss reading, but I leave the house at 6:30, get home around 4:30 and then am doing work for school, checking papers, etc. If I didn't have to do so much for graduation, I know I would have more time. I am really enjoying school and am going to miss everyone when I leave in December. I won't be missing college though. I look forward to taking a little bit of time off until I start my Masters. Anyways, I hope everyone else is reading some good books and I expect that when I have time to do more bloghopping, I will have a ton of books to look out for. Happy Reading everyone and have a great weekend!

Friday, October 12, 2007

Honeymoon by James Patterson

After reading The Quickie by James Patterson, I decided to look on my TBR shelves and found Honeymoon. I started reading it Tuesday and read it real quickly and am definitely thinking I need to check out more of his books. I give this an A-.

From Amazon:

When FBI agent John OHara first sees her, she seems perfect. She has the looks. The career. The clothes. The wit. The sophistication. The tantalizing sex appeal. The whole extraordinary packageand men fall in line to court her. So why is the FBI so interested in Nora Sinclair? Because mysterious things keep happening to people around her, especially the men. With the irresistible attraction of the greatest Hitchcock thrillers, HONEYMOON is a sizzling, twisting tale of a woman with a deadly appetite and the men who dare to fall for herand James Patterson will keep readers guessing until the last deadly kiss.

This book really had a lot of twists and turns and really kept me turning the pages. Maybe that is part of the reason why I enjoy his books so much since I can't figure everything out all of the time. Some of it didn't leave me guessing, but enough did that it was a great suspense. I loved how Mr. Patterson alternates between Nora and the other main character which allows us to see in both of their minds and their motivations for all that they do. I also enjoy the short chapters since lately I have to grab a few minutes to read whenever I can get them and I am so anal that I have to stop at the end of the chapter or a page break. I am looking forward to the new series that starts tonight that is based on Mr. Patterson's Women's Murder Club. I hope it is as well written as his books are (or at least the two I have read!)

Not sure what I will read next. I am going to look at the shelves and take whatever grabs my attention. I hope to get a lot of work done this weekend and I don't have any plans so I am looking forward to hibernating, especially since the temps. have fallen so much! If anyone has any recommendations for more of Mr. Patterson's please let me know! Everyone have a great weekend and Happy Reading!

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Quickie by James Patterson

I won The Quickie from Emily's blog contest, and I was excited to read it. It was my first James Patterson's novel and all I heard about him was true. This book was great and I read it quickly. An A-.

From Amazon:

Lauren Stillwell is not your average damsel in distress.When the NYPD cop discovers her husband leaving a hotel with another woman, she decides to beat him at his own game. But her revenge goes dangerously awry, and she finds her world spiraling into a hell that becomes more terrifying by the hour. In a further twist of fate, Lauren must take on a job that threatens everything she stands for. Now, she's paralyzed by a deadly secret that could tear her life apart. With her job and marriage on the line, Lauren's desire for retribution becomes a lethal inferno as she fights to save her livelihood--and her life.Patterson takes us on a twisting roller-coaster ride of thrills in his most gripping novel yet. This story of love, lust and dangerous secrets will have readers' hearts pounding to the very last page.

This book was really good. I know that sounds so bland, but it really sums up how I feel. The reader is constantly being led by red herrings throughout the story and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. I loved getting in the mind of Lauren and all that she goes throughout the story. I enjoyed reading a good suspense novel where there wasn't a serial murderer on the loose (though I do love those types of books) and the detectives track them down. We are taken through the whole experience with Lauren and most of it isn't through an investigation. I highly recommend this book. The only downside I have with the book is it was so short. The font was big, the chapters short, and only 347 pages. With a going price of $27.99, I truly find it to be disgusting that publishers try and get that much money out of us for such a short book. I mean I haven't been reading a whole lot lately and I finished it so fast. I think I will read future Patterson books, but through the library or UBS.

Not sure what is up next. I don't have any library books out right now so I am going to look on the TBR shelves and see what grabs my attention. Hope everyone is staying cool since this heat wave has taken over us. 90 degrees on October 8 in Michigan! I love it but it is going to change tonight. Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Stone Rain by Linwood Barclay

So ever since last year when I discovered Mr. Barclay's books while looking on the shelves at the library, I have been obsessed with them. I picked up Mr. Barclay's fourth book in the Zack Walker series from the library and just absolutely loved it. I grade it an A-.

From Amazon:

Metropolitan newspaper writer Zack Walker has a knack for stumbling onto deadly stories. But it’s one that his good friend Trixie Snelling doesn’t want told that’s about to unleash a storm of trouble. As a professional dominatrix in the suburbs, Trixie has her share of secrets, but Zack has no idea what she’s really hiding when a local newspaperman threatens to do an exposé on her…not until Zack finds a dead body strapped to the bondage cross in her basement dungeon.

Now Zack is implicated in a murder, Trixie is missing, and everything he thought he knew about his friend, his town, even his own marriage, reveals a darker side. Zack’s twisted trail to the truth will lead to a long-unsolved triple homicide, bikers, drug wars, and a stone-cold killer hell-bent on revenge. It’s a story that’s already cost him his job and possibly his wife, and, if Zack’s not very lucky, it will cost him his life.

Zack is such a lovable character who always seems to be falling into trouble. While I would be hard pressed to label these books as mysteries, since we always know who the bad guys are, they keep me reading and turning those pages. There is always humor and you really get a great feel that Zack is just a great family man who is trying to do right by those he loves. The first couple of books were laugh out loud funny, and this one had a few chuckles. It wasn't as funny of the earlier ones, but still real enjoyable. While you certainly do not have to read these books in order, I would recommend it. To anyone who enjoys Carl Hiassen's books, I would urge you to try one of Mr. Barclays books.

Mr. Barclay recently released a stand alone book that is titled No Time for Goodbye which was just released. This book sounds a bit darker and not so much an action book as a a suspense novel. I have it on hold at my library and hope it will get in soon! If you haven't tried his books, run to your nearest library and check his books out!

Up next is The Quickie by James Patterson. I won three books on Emily's blog a bit ago and this was one of the books I selected. I saw the tv commercials for it and it really interested me, so I hope this will be a great read. I have high hopes for getting through a book a bit quicker, especially since I have all day to read. I got a lot done today, so tomorrow should be a bit easier and relaxed. This week is too be crazy, so I want to get some reading in. Hope everyone is having a fantastic weekend and Happy Reading!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane

As I mentioned in my previous post, I decided to read this book after hearing about the movie to be released shortly and how the premiere has been pushed back because of the Madeline McCann case in London. This was my first Dennis Lehane book, and boy was it powerful. I give it an A.

From Amazon:

Vanished, in this complex and unsettling fourth case for PIs Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro is four-year-old Amanda McCready, taken one night from her apartment in Dorchester, a working-class section of Boston, where her mother had left her alone. Kenzie and Gennaro, hired by the child's aunt and uncle, join in an unlikely alliance with Remy Broussard and Nick Raftopoulos, known as Poole, the two cops with the department's Crimes Against Children squad who are assigned to the case. In tracing the history of Amanda's neglectful mother, whose past involved her with a drug lord and his minions, the foursome quickly find themselves tangling with Boston's crime underworld and involved in what appears to be a coup among criminals. Lehane develops plenty of tension between various pairs of parties: the good guys looking for Amanda and the bad guys who may know where she is; the two PIs and the two cops; various police and federal agencies; opposing camps in the underworld; and Patrick and Angie, who are lovers as well as business partners. All is delivered with abundant violence?e.g., bloated and mutilated corpses; gangland executions; shoot-outs with weapons of prodigious firepower; descriptions of sexual abuse of small children; threats of rape and murder?that serves to make Amanda's likely fate all the more chilling.

This book was great. I loved getting into the heads of Angie and Patrick and seeing how they all change throughout the book based on all of the evidence that is developing. While the book really tugs at a lot of heartstrings and really gets the reader thinking, it is still a good suspense book. It touches on a lot of really tough topics such as child abuse, including sexual abuse, and the fate of all of some missing children.

This book had me thinking and changing my mind often. It was hard to decide just exactly who the bad guys were and what the appropriate conclusion should be. It really was a heartbreaking story and at times had me upset, but was well worth it. It was so well written, and even though it took me a little less than a weekend, it kept me turning the pages. I will definitely will be looking and picking out more books by Mr. Lehane in the future. However, I am not sure if I will be able to see the movie, because I think it may ruin the book for me. I highly recommend this book to everyone even if you are not a big fan of suspense books.

Hopefully, the next book I read will not take me as long to read. Things have just been crazy with school and with something going on every weekend, I am having a hard time finding reading time. Hope everyone else's reading is going better! Happy reading!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Heartsick by Chelsea Cain

Wow... what a great book! I so get what all of the excitement and hype was about this book. Though I normally try and reserve A+ grades for those books I would reread again and I would not probably reread this book, I do give it an A+.

Damaged Portland Detective Archie Sheridan spent ten years tracking Gretchen Lowell, a beautiful serial killer, but in the end she was the one who caught him. Two years ago, Gretchen kidnapped Archie and tortured him for ten days, but instead of killing him, she mysteriously decided to let him go. She turned herself in, and now Gretchen has been locked away for the rest of her life, while Archie is in a prison of an other kind- addicted to pain pills, unable to return to his old life, powerless to get those ten horrific days off of his mind. Archie's a different person, his estranged wife says, and he knows she's right. He continues to visit Gretchen in prison once a week, saying that only can get her to confess as to the whereabouts of more of her victims, but even he knows the truth- he can't stay away.

When another killer begins snatching teenage girls off the streets of Portland, Archie has to pull himself together enough to lead the new task force investigating the murders. A hungry young newspaper reporter, Susan Ward, begins profiling Archie and the investigation, which sparks a deadly game between Archie, Susan, the new killer and even Gretchen. They need to catch a killer, and maybe somehow then Archie can free himself from Gretchen for once and for all.

This book has it all. Such a great and wonderful well written thriller story but it was not all bloods and guts. There was a great character development with a bunch of the characters, though mostly with Susan and Archie. I loved Susan and sometimes wanted to go through the pages and strangle Archie for some of the things he choses to do. Gretchen's hold over Archie is unbelievable and the things that she did to him are absolutely unbelievable. I have read that this is the first book in a trilogy and absolutely HATE the fact that I have to wait any amount of time for the next installment. Anyone who has any info for me needs to let me know. ASAP.

Up next is Gone Baby Gone by Dennis Lehane. He is the author of Mystic River and the movie based on this book is to be released soon. It was recently in the news because the movie's release is being pushed back in England because of the disappereance of Madeline. That really peaked my interest as I have been following the case and always kinda suspected the parents. I mean give me a break, what type of parents leave their young children under the age of three alone when they go to dinner?!? Anyways I picked it up from the library and will get started with it now. Hopefully it won't take me as long as the past few books have.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Blown Away by Shane Gericke

Whew... I finally finished a book! It took me forever since school has been so busy and crazy and on the weekends we have always had plans. Though I love my students and teaching, it is just so much work! But it will be worth it! Anyways, I have both of Shane Gericke books and I was looking forward to a good, gritty supense novel and grabbed this one off of my shelf. It was a good read, and once I got less than halfway through, it really held my attention. I give it a B.

Since joining the force, rookie cop Emily Thompson has had one ambition: to work homicide. Now she's got her chance. A twisted sociopath is turning her safe Chicago suburb into a brutal killing field, and every single one of his grisly clues leads directly to Emily. In 72 hours, on her fortieth birthday, he intends to make her his greatest trophy. If she doesn't stop him before then, Emily's first case will be her last.

In a city gripped by terror, and with little more to go on than her instincts, Emily must match wits with a madman bent on chilling revenge. It is an investigation that will lead her into a nightmare world of unimaginable crimes, the dark secrets of her own past- and to a final shocking discovery...

The suspense part of the book was really good. I had a pretty good idea who the bad guy was, but some clues kept making me second guess myself. I loved how flashbacks were done which really allowed the reader to get a good insight on Emily. However, sometimes I had to go back and reread passages because the author didn't give a lot of explanations for some things. It was a little bit confusing and hard to follow at times. The author also used a TON of exclamation points. They were everywhere, for things that really did not require an exclamation point and it really grated on my nerves. Overall though, I think it was a good first suspense novel written. However, I do feel I should warn you that the little romance was so off of the wall and it was pretty graphic in some of the killings that really kinda upset me when I normally do not.

Up next is a book that I have highly antipicated and waiting for... Heartsick by Chelsea Cain. I have heard great things about this book from blogs and other places about how good this book is supposed to be. I hope it holds up and I hope I can read it within a week. LOL.

Happy reading everyone!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Party Girl by Anna David

I am not sure were I heard about this book but I had it on hold for awhile at the library and it finally came in on Friday. This was a definite change from my usual reading type, but it was still a good book. I rate it a B.

Celebrity journalist Amelia Stone is the quintessential L.A. party girl. She goes to Hollywood's most exclusive, star-studded events, where she rubs shoulders (and occasionally more) with celebrities, stays out until all hours of the night, and indulges in the ultimate sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll existence. In short, she's got everything a party girl needs: the looks, the the job, the lifestyle. And oh, yes, the out-of -control coke habit.

But it's hard to keep topping your own outrageous exploits, and after losing her job, her friends, and much of her mind (not to mention waking up in the hospital after combining five Ambien, four lines of Special K, and an inestimable amount of cocaine), Amelia makes the drastic decision to end her drug abuse. Soberity, she finds, has it's rewards: she starts seeing the man who could be Mr. Right and gets hired by a big-name magazine to write a column detailing her wild adventures with the Hollywood crowd. And who could write it better? After all, she has plenty of experience to draw on.

There's just one little problem. Overnight, Amelia Stone has become the new face of Hollywood nightlife, and her editior- who don't know she's become clean-want her to play the part. As her popularity skyrockets and the film and TV agents start calling, the lure of her former fast-and-furious lifestyle begins to pull at her. Faced with the most exciting opportunity of her career, she must now decide to either save herself- or salvage her reputation as the ultimate party girl.

This book is a semi-autobiographical book as the author has dealt with a lot of the same issues in her life. It was really interesting to see how someone can rationalize their thoughts when they are addicted to such a destructive lifestyle. At first when I read the blurb about this book I was sure it was going to be somewhat of a chick-lit type of book but it wasn't. Yes, you have a writer living in a big city, but she doesn't talk about clothes all of the time, I think only mentions shoes once and even states that she doesn't wear makeup. It does go into all of the dirty and disgusting things that happens in Hollywood, and I have to tend to believe that it is mostly true. Overall, it was a really good book and I enjoyed it.

Not sure what is up next, but I hope to get some more reading done. It felt good to finish a book so fast. Hope everyone had a great weekend and happy reading!

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Elevator by Angela Hunt

While looking over the shelves at the library, I came across this book. It is a Steeple Hill suspense book and I was nervous about trying it since I don't like reading about people worshiping God all of the time. I believe in what I believe and will worship Him, but don't want to read all about it in my books. But I checked it out anyways and it was a pretty good book. I give it a B.

In the path of a devastating hurricane, three very different women find themselves trapped in the elevator of a high-rise office building. All three conceal shattering secrets- unaware that their secrets center on the same man.

The betrayed wife, eager to confront her faithless husband, with rage in her heart and a gun in her pocket...

The determined mistress, finally ready to tell her lover she wants marriage and a family...

The fugitive cleaning woman, tormented by the darkest secret of all...

As the storm rages ever closer, these three must unite to fight for their lives in the greatest test of courage- and faith- any woman could ever face.

This book was good. The pace was well written and the story moved well. It was a bit cliched, but it worked and was done good. I got sucked into the story and loved the way the reader gets information about the three ladies and their history. I wouldn't call the book a suspense book but more like an adventure story. The descriptions of the destruction of the hurricane are so clearly written.

While I enjoyed this book, I probably won't search out another Christian book. It wasn't overly preachey, but I think I like a little more grit and maybe a bit of murder in my suspense books. Call me a psycho, but that is what interests me the most!

I am not sure what I am going to read next, but I know school is kicking my butt. I have been working so many hours and going from zero to one hundred and it is knocking me out. I do want to read, but right now I am just so tired. I hope everyone is reading and enjoying the last weeks of summer. Happy Reading!

Monday, September 3, 2007

Denial by Keith Ablow

I have several of Mr. Ablow's novels, but after reading a review on a blog for his book Denial, I ran out to the library and checked it out. It was a good book, though I really felt it was short on suspense. I grade Denial a B+.

Frank Clevenger is a forsenic pyschiatrist who hates authority, fears intimacy, uses sex as an anesthetic, is tortured by his professional mistakes, and can't free himself from the shadows of a brutal, alcoholic father and an absent, unfeeling mother. But it is precisely this injured psyche that allows hiim to understand the deranged behavior of the mental and emotional outcasts who cross his professional path.

As Denial opens, all of Clevenger's understanding and expertise are put to the test: He has been asked to rubber-stamp the mental competence of a homeless schizophrenic who has confessed to a particularly grisly murder. But as evidence of a shocking series of murders begins to mount over the next seventy-two hours, Clevenger will be forced to confront his own most terrifying and powerful demons.

This book focused more on Frank's growth as a man and a pyschiatrist than the mystery. Through the mystery, Frank is able to realize a lot more about himself and why he choses the destructive path he is on. It was quite interesting to learn and see a lot about a guy who is a doctor working with the police that is constantly getting drunk and high on cocaine. It was a great look at all of the problems Frank has and how they can affect someone.

My reason for marking this book down was because I felt there was little work and discussion on the case in the story. While several murders occur, there is not a whole lot of investigation. This book was relatively short at just over 260 pages, and I felt that Mr. Ablow could have expanded more on the mystery while still allowing the reader see Frank grow as a person and a doctor. The killer was somewhat of a surprise and it was an enjoyable book. I will definitely plan on reading more of his books, particularly the ones on my TBR shelves.

Not sure what is up next. I start my student teaching tomorrow which is full time and I am already overwhelmed with the additional work that the college is assigning us as well. I hope to continue my reading pace, but lately it seems like I have been so tired and reading is taking a backseat. I hope it comes back though since reading is something I can "reward" myself with after the day. Somehow, I feel guilty laying around watching t.v. but not reading!

Hope everyone had a good Labor Day and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Count to Ten by Karen Rose

I have only read one book by Ms. Rose, even though I am sure I have most of her backlist on my shelves, and I enjoyed it a lot. After reading all of the great reviews around the blogosphere, I decided to bump Count to Ten up the TBR list. It was a good read, and I give it a B+.

In all his years in the Chicago Fire Department, Lieutenant Reed Soliday has never experienced anything like this recent outbreak of house fires- devasting, vicious, and in one case, homicidal. He has another problem- his new partner, Detective Mia Mitchell. She's brash, bossy, and taking the case in a direction he never imagined.

Mia's instincts tell her the arsonist is making this personal. And as the infernos become more deadly, one look at the victims' tortured faces convinces her and Reed that they must work closer to catch the killer. With each new blaze, the villian ups the ante, setting firetraps for the people Reed and Mia love. The truth is almost too hot to handle. This monster's desire for death and destruction in unquenchable... and for Mia he's started the countdown to an early grave.

This book was well written. The suspense was done pretty well, though the reader does discover who the killer is about halfway through. I loved the sexual tension between Reed and Mia, and they really seemed to make a great connection. This story does explore something close to me, foster children and the problems that plague the system. Reading some of the things that happen to those children were heartbreaking, but definitely added to the story. While a long book, coming in at 550 pages, it is an easy read. I must be in a slump though, because it took me almost a week to read it. I don't blame the book in any way though. I just got Karen Rose's newest book, Die For Me, which was released yesterday and would like to get to it soon though I have two library books to read first.

Up next is Denial by Keith Ablow. The is the same Dr. Keith Ablow that a talk show on last year and makes the talk show circuits. I have a couple of his later books to read in the shelves, but read a review about this book that was so good and really caught my attention.

Everyone have a great rest of the week and happy reading!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A Secret Rage by Charlaine Harris

From what I read on others' blogs, Ms. Harris is a quite popular author, especially with her vampire or some other type of paranormal series she writes. I am not a fan of this genre, so I had not read any of her books. While reading Romantic Times or someone else's blog, I realized she has written other books and decided to see what those were like. I saw A Secret Rage on Amazon, and my library had it so I decided to check it out. It was not that great of a book, just average. I grade it a C.

The safe, easy-paced college town of Knolls, Tennessee, seems like paradise to Nickie Callahan, retreating from noisy and crime ridden New York City. After a brief and glamourous career as a successful model, Nickie looks forward to finishing college at Knolls and to reviving old friendships. But the safety is illusory, and the crime that comes nearer and nearer to Nickie's own life is rape. The courageous and startling way in which Nickie and her friends confront the stalking terror makes this book heartening to read.

This book just didn't work for me. Maybe part of the reason is because the book is over 24 years old and it shows. The style of writing is different and the way the characters behave is just strange. I had a hard time following some of it, and even though the book was just 200 pages long, it took me 2 days to read it. This seems to becoming a pattern, and I really hope it isn't the beginning of a reading slump as I have a week before school starts and Student Teaching starts and I want to read as much as possible. So the reason why I give this book a C and not something lower is because I am not sure if it is me or the book.

I am not sure what I am going to read next. I have one more library book checked out, a Jackie Collins one, but I am not sure that will hold my attention. I want a good mystery, one that has me held and I can't put down. I think I will just return the book and grab it later. I think I am going to the TBR shelves and pick out a good mystery. I have Karen Rose's Count To Ten that got some really good reviews in the blogosphere, so I think that may be it. Even though it is my bedtime, I will go get it and read the first chapter.

Everyone have a good Friday and Happy Reading!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Chasing Darkness by Danielle Girard

I read on someone's blogs that if you enjoyed Ms. Girard's books, you would enjoy Wendy Corsi Staub books. Since I love her books, I was hoping the reverse would be true. I checked one of her books out of the library and it was a decent read. I give it a B-.

A tough special agent with the Department of Justice, and a dedicated single mother to her orphaned nephews, Sam Chase is unbreakable. Until two women, both from the shadows of Sam's past, are discovered strangled. For Sam, the most unnerving detail is the ecalyptus branch tucked behind the victims' ears- the signature of a notorious serial murderer already convicted and executed for his crimes.

To detective Nick Thomas, the only link to the copycat killings is Sam herself. And when she becomes the target of threats- each one more menacing than the last- his feelings for just might jeopardize the case. But to understand the killer's twisted motive is to explore Sam's past- and a crime she's spent a lifetime trying to bury...

This book started out very slow for me. It picked up about a little less than halfway through the book. I don't see how the threats become more menacing throughout the book, but it was suspensful. The writing was kind of weird though, and the dialogue was somewhat hard to follow. The time periods did not mesh well either, and it was hard to see how much time had passed. Sometimes it seemed like the author just stopped writing, forgot where she was when she started again and it didn't make a lot of sense. The suspense was well written and the characters were likeable, so it brought the grade up. I will probably read another one of her books, though not right now with so many others waiting to be read.

Happy reading!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Here She Lies by Kate Pepper

I have enjoyed Kate Pepper's books in the past, so reading her latest was a no-brainer. After being on hold for it forever through the library, it finally came in. I started it last night and finished it this morning. I spent awhile thinking about this one and have finally decided to grade it a B+.

When she discovers e-mail evidence of her husband's infidelity, Annie Milliken is shattered. Dismissing his pleas of innocence, she takes their baby daughter and goes to the one person she has always trusted: her twin sister, Julie. Annie and her sister soon become as close as they were growing up, spending their days together, dressing the same, sharing the baby. But when Annie applies for a job, everything comes undone. Her credit cards are stolen just as she's arrested for grand larceny. The police realize she is the victim of identity theft, but she has yet to understand the true scale of the crime. For when Annie turns to Julie for help, she finds that her twin sister has disappeared... along with her baby.

Now with her daughter- and her own life- on the line, Annie is going to fight for what is hers...

Hmm... where to start? First of all, the writing of this book is a little bit different than other Kate Pepper books. Maybe it's just that I was used to the Jackie Collins books and dialogues. There was a lot of inner dialogue with Annie, as the story was written in first person. Most of the time I prefer this type of writing, but Annie was a little bit annoying. I found her to be a bit weak, and it drove me a little crazy. By the end, I couldn't believe how stupid she was. That really had me wanting to give this a little bit lower of a rating, probably a C+ but the end was just so surprising and blew me away. I had no way of seeing that end coming. That really bumped it because in a lot of the suspense books I read I have it figured out from the beginning. This just blew me away! I still don't have a lot of respect for Annie as a character, but the book was definitely worth the time. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good suspenseful read.

Have a great weekend and Happy reading!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Hollywood Wives: The New Generation by Jackie Collins

Continuning my reading of Jackie Collins’ books I read Hollywood Wives: A New Generation. This book was a fun read, though I did not read it as quickly as the other books from her. It was a nice read, though not as good as the others. I would rate it as a B+.

Whatever they don’t have, they want- and whatever these women want, they get. Once they lived in the shadows of their famous husbands. Now, Hollywood wives will stop at nothing for their chance in the stoplight. Today, there are no limits to their passions- or their excesses. Today, there are all new rules to the power game. And as megastar Lissa Roman is about to discover, the game itself can exact a deadly price…

I really enjoyed the main character of the story, Lissa. She was down to earth, even though she is the biggest star around Hollywood. She was a likeable character and I enjoyed getting to know her. Her daughter, Nicci, who I thought would be a spoiled brat, was a nice character as well. We really see her grow up and mature. There are plenty of romances and a little action and adventure.

I am not sure why I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the others, but I would suspect that is in part because there was so much focus on Lissa, and while I enjoyed her, I liked Ms. Collins’ previous books where there were a lot of other characters and we get to see how they all wind together.

Up next, is Kate Pepper’s newest book, which I am not too sure of the title. Her books are always a good suspenseful read. I do have one more of Ms. Collins’ books from the library to read though I am going to go for a darker read now.

Happy reading everyone!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Deadly Embrace by Jackie Collins

What can I say... I am on a kick for Ms. Collins' books. Deadly Embrace was a prequel (though written after) to Lethal Seduction. I got this one from the library and read it real fast. Another great read and I rank it an A-.

Nothing has prepared Madison Castelli for learning the truth about her father- revelations about murderous crimes that have thrown the beautiful, street-smart journalist into a tailspin. Michael Castelli, on the run in Las Vegas, vows to exact revenge on his enemies. Meanwhile, Madison steps into a deadly trap in L.A., where one mistake may cost her her life. She can try to run from danger, but playing with fire runs in her family.

This book focuses more on Michael, Madison's father and how he has ended up in his situation. The book goes all the way back to before he was born and cleverly interwinds several different characters to come to an explosive conclusion. There is still some of the same sex and murder and revenge that were shown in Lethal Seduction that kept me turning the pages. Secrets are exposed and really give the reader an understanding for all of the characters motivations, especially since I had so recently read Lethal Seduction. I think I enjoyed Lethal Seduction a little bit more because there were other characters that didn't have much to do with Madison that I really enjoyed as well. I know of at least one more book that features Madison in it and I do plan on checking it out from the library. I just don't think I can gush enough about her books, they have all been great reads!!!

Happy reading!

Friday, August 10, 2007

Lethal Seduction by Jackie Collins

When I read my first Jackie Collins' novel after reading a review of her newest in Romantic Times, I was hooked. This is my second book by her and I absolutely loved it. This was a wonderful pleasure of a read with me giving it an A.

Caught between two lovers, Madison Castelli's sex life is in overdrive. But when she discovers someone close to her is keeping deadly secrets, the real excitement begins...

Plunged into the high-powered circles of New York and the manic thrills of Las Vegas, Madison steps among explosive passions, mob machinations, and dangerous deceptions, only to find that nothing is ever as it seems.

This book was so much fun! There are a ton of characters though they are easy to follow along with. They all intercept a little bit and is great to see what is going on in so many of the high-power and celebrity types. Everything is in this book, including romance, sex, violence, mystery and plenty of fun! I don't know what else to say about this one just that it was so excellent.

Yesterday, when I was about halfway through the book (which was long at 564 pages but I flew through) I went to the library and got three more of her books. I plan on reading another one where Madison is the lead character next. I guess there are previous books with her in them and I will probably go back and read those though I hate reading books in a series out of order just because these are so good. I pure beach book or a lose your thoughts and just enjoy it type of book. I am so glad that she has such an extensive backlist which I am planning on reading a lot of them!

Enjoy your weekend and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

The Thrill of Victory by Sandra Brown

After finishing The Ex earlier today, I decided to pick up something light and quick. What I hadn't anticipated was how light and fast The Thrill of Victory was. I read it in under two hours, and it was a nice way to pass the evening. I give it a B.

Stevie Corbert is in jeopardy of losing everything she's sacrificed and worked so hard for- her career, her future. Her life. She has just two weeks to make a monumental decision, but her fate rides on keeping the truth a secret.

It's Judd Mackie's job to uncover secrets. And he's spent the last view years dogging Stevie, exposing her for the spoiled glamour girl he believes her to be. Now he has the chance to scoop the story of the year and let the whole world know the truth about Stevie. All he has to do is betray her trust...

This was a nice love story, a true romance. No suspense or even comedy to take away from the sweet love story. Of course there is a HEA which I believe every love story MUST have for me to truly enjoy it. I really liked Stevie and enjoyed Judd and seeing his tough exterior slowly being broken down. The only downside of this book was it took awhile for the characters to develop, and you really didn't get a sense of who they were until over halfway through the story.

This book was written orginally under Sandra Brown's pseudonym Erin St. Claire and was rerealeased through Mira under the name of Sandra Brown. I am not sure how I got this book, but it was probably at the thrift store. While this one was different from the usual Sandra Brown books I read, it was a pleasure.

Not sure what is up next, but probably something a little more gritty. I am thinking I am in the mood for a good suspense. Who knows though? Whatever catches my eye I guess! Have a good night and Happy Reading!

The Ex by John Lutz

Mr. Lutz sure does know how to write a great psychological suspense novel. This is the second of his that I have read and I enjoyed it very much. Short chapters, which are my favorite, only added to the pleasure of reading The Ex. I give it a well deserved A.

David and Molly Jones live with their three-year-old son on Manhattan's Upper West Side. They are devoted to their child and secure in their love for each other.

Then Deidre invades their lives...

Once upon a time, she was David's wife. Now, suddenly she is their new neighbor... befriending their son... luring her ex-husband back into a world of addictive sex David both craves and fears. But Deidre won't be content to be the other woman forever. She wants David back- this time for keeps. There's only one force Deidre didn't reckon on: David's wife. To hold on to her family, her sanity, and her life, Molly is willing to go to hell and back.

This book is just so well written. there is suspense on every page and is no way predicitable. You learn alot about Deidre and how truly messed up she is. I feel so much for Molly and love her attitude. I don't know how much I can go into the story and what I loved about it without giving away too many spoilers. I would recommend this to all who love psychological suspense novels. It is such an easy, fast read especially with all of the twists and turns. Mr. Lutz also wrote the novel Single White Female which the movie was based on and The Ex was made into a HBO movie. I am going to try and see if I can find a copy anywhere.

I am not sure what is up next. I will have to go look through the shelves or maybe my list of books I have to see what jumps out at me. I hope everyone is staying nice and cool if it is as hot where you are as it is here. Happy Reading!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Electric Blue by Nancy Bush

I read the first book in this series last year which was Candy Apple Read. It was an interesting fun read so I decided to get the second in the series from the library. I believe a third one is to be released in October. Anyways, this was an all right read and I give it a C+.

From Amazon:

The members of the wealthy, eccentric Purcell clan of Lake Chinook, Ore., are all crazy, warns Jane's rakish mentor Dwayne Durbin, but Jane, a PI in training, agrees to work for the handsome Jasper "Jazz" Purcell anyway. Jazz wants Jane to help assess the mental faculties of his aging grandmother, Orchid, who holds the family purse strings. With various kooky Purcells vying for an inheritance, Jane and her beloved pug, the Binkster, are embraced by Orchid. But the family's fishy history motivates Jane to investigate the long-ago death of Jazz's mother, Lily, who perished at a sanitarium. Meanwhile, Jane wrestles with ambivalence about her blossoming romance with Jazz—and her flirtatious relationship with Dwayne. Bush dials up the suspense when one of the Purcells is found dead.

This book was a fun read somewhat reminiscent of the Stephanie Plum books but without the crazy and zany family members and friends. Jane Kelly is a likeable character and her little pug Binkster is absolutely adorable. The mystery was not that well written and it was kind of like the reader wasn't sure what mystery exactly was. There were a lot of characters to keep track of which was a little difficult to follow. The romance aspect of the story was written well and there is a lot of sexual tension between Jane and Dwayne and Jazz. The third book will be released in October, and the ending of this book sets up the next one. While I will probably read it, I will get it from the library if I see it. It is not something that I will probably place on hold.

Up next is a novel by John Lutz titled The Ex. Mr. Lutz is the author of the book Single White Female in which the movie was based on and I read it as well. It was pretty good so I grabbed this one off of the TBR shelves. So far it is pretty good and I am about 75 pages in. Hope everyone had a great weekend and Happy Reading!