Friday, June 29, 2007

Lean Mean Thirteen by Janet Evanovich

I love this series so I always have to read the newest book. I think I have read all of the Evanovich's books and have enjoyed most of them, but the Plum series is definitely my favorite. While I enjoyed this book, I couldn't grade it as high as I expected too. I give it a B.

Stephanie was married to Dickie Orr for about fifteen minutes before she caught him cheating on her wil her archnemesis, Joyce Barnhardt. Another fifteen minutes after that, Stephanie filed for divorce, hoping never to see either one of them again.

Ranger needs Stephanie to meet with Dickie and find out if he's doing something shady. turns out, he is. Turns out, Dickie's also back to doing Joybce. And it turns out Ranger's favors always come with a price...

Now Dickie has disappeared and Stephanie is the natural suspect in his disappearance. Is Dickie dead? Can he be found? And can Stephanie stay one step ahead in this new dangerous game? Joe Morelli, the hottest cop in Trenton, New Jersey, is also keeping Stephanie on her toes- and he may know more than he is saying about many things in her life. It's a cat and mouse game for Stephanie Plum wherein the ultimate prize might be her life.

This was another fun addition to the Plum series. Stephanie gets in to a big mess that I don't think she can herself out of. The everlasting love triangle between Stephanie, Joe and Ranger are still present. I had quite a few smiles on my face will I was reading it. It was a good read and I am glad I read it. That was the good.

The bad. First of all I am so glad I didn't use my gift card to purchase this book. I read it in less than one day, and at $26.95 would definitely have felt cheated. I didn't have any laughing out loud moments like in other books in the series. I am almost getting sick of the love triangle thing--- pick Joe already!!!!! Lula didn't have that big of a part of the story, though when she was in it, she was hilarous and funny as always. Grandma Mazur was hardly in the story and there weren't any laughs with her. Albert Kloughn, Stephanie's BIL, and sister were not in the story at all and I always laugh when they are in the book. It isn't one that I would read again, though I will not stop reading the series. Glad I read it, glad I didn't buy it.

Not sure what is up next. Probably the next Lisa Gardner book, Gone. Have a lot of fun this weekend and Happy Reading!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Alone by Lisa Gardner

I have been a fan of Lisa Gardner's book since I read The Perfect Husband. I have a lot of her books on the TBR piles, and finally decided to pick this one of the shelf. I have the next one in the loosely connected series, Gone, that I borrowed from someone so I wanted to try and get to it soon. This book didn't disappoint as it was a suspensful, well written B+.

Who can you turn to when you're at your most vulnerable?

State Trooper Bobby Dodge watches a tense hostage standoff through the scope of his sniper rifle. Dodge has only one second to react, or a woman and her child may die.

Where can you hide when this killer comes?

The woman at the end of Bobby Dodge's rifle isn't only in trouble- she is trouble. Cool, beautiful, and dagerously sexy, Catherine Rose Gagnon's life will change in an instant of violence.

It's the most terrifying place to be...

When Bobby pulls the trigger, someone will die. And then no one will be above suspicion, no one beyond harm. And no one will see death coming until it has them cornered, helpless, and alone.

The suspense was really good in this book. Whenever I thought I had figured it all out, another clue or development would come along and I would be shocked and surprised. There were so many ups and downs in this story, and it was never slow or boring. The end was left with a little cliffhanger, but not one that leaves me unsatisfied. I am not sure how the next book in the series is connected, but I will be reading that one soon. This was a quick read for me, and coming in at 448 pages, took me less than a day to read. Of course, we lost power all day yesterday and at night, so there really wasn't much else for me to do. I would recommend this to all suspense fans as long as you don't mind more than a few murders.

Up next is Janet Evanovich's latest, Lean, Mean Thirteen. I got it from the library but was surprised it came in so early. I have discovered a little trick when placing things on hold at the library. Popular books like this often come out in Large Print editions as well. No one hardly ever thinks of placing that version on hold (as they are listed seperately) so it comes in quicker. I will read it now though and fast as so many other people want to read it too. I don't like being selfish! Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Case of Imagination by Jane Tesh

As I mentioned in my previous entry I picked up A Case of Imagination from the library after reading a review somewhere. It was an all right book but nothing new or astounding. I would give this a C.

On this nice July morning in Parkland, North Carolina, the office of Madeline Maclin Investigations might as well have been an Egyptian tomb: hot, dusty, and dead. It doesn't help that her landlord Reid Kent, does a brisk business... and briskly hits on Mac to rejoin his agency. He maintains no one will hire a former Miss Parkland as a serious PI.

Mac has been friends forever with Jerry Fairweather. Jerry claims to be psychic, and is unlike his two brothers, somewhat screwy. And he refuses to claim a share in the Fairweather fortune. But he shares some good news with Mac- his Uncle Val has died and left him a house. The two friends drive out to Celosia, a half hour away, where they discover a local beauty pageant in trouble and a house just perfect for setting up shop. A Psychic Shop. The arrival of lawyer Olivia, Jerry's shark like girlfriend, rouses both Mac's interest in the mystery at the pageant and the one in her own heart.

And then comes the first murder...

This was your average cozy mystery when I was expecting a bit more from. Since it was set in a small town, which I love, there were just so many people introduced and I had a hard time following all of them. Several times I had to look back to try and keep track of who was who. The story was a bit funny, but Mac kinda got on my nerves. There was a slight love triangle, but I feel like Mac is a little bit of a wimp. It was a quick read where it only came in at 229 pages. And it is a HARDCOVER selling for $24.95! I am so glad I got this from the library. When it was all said and done, the ending was a little predictible and I am not sure I will be reading the next one even if the library added it in their circulation. I have so many books to read, and so little time, so I am really going to try and focus on books in a series that have only received a B or better.

Up next is a book from one of my favorite authors, Lisa Gardner. I am finally getting around to Alone after having it in the TBR for about a year. Hope everyone is enjoying their current books and Happy Reading!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ladykiller by Meredith Anthony and Lawrence Light

After reading about this book from some blog, though I can not remember which one. I really should record it when I keep track of my books of interest. Anyways, whoever reviewed this book I really need to thank you. This was one of the best books I have read in awhile. An excellent and wonderful A-.

From the bright lights of Times Square to the dark alleys of New York City, the Ladykiller is at work- and at prey. Four woman savagely murdered on the mean streets of the city. The Ladykiller leaves no trail and no clues.

Does the chilling secret lie in the death mask of each victim’s disfigured face- the look of someone who knew and trusted her killer?

The pressure is on for NYPD detective Dave Dillion when he joins forces with a beautiful young social worker. The search for a cold-blooded killer leads to a red-hot romance, but a host of forces threaten to intrude. The clock is ticking for Dave and Megan as they work feverishly to unravel a deadly secret- a secret that may make them both easy prey for the Ladykiller.

This book was everything a suspense novel should be. Lots of twists and turns, really interesting characters, good character development, a reason for all of the murders, an inside view of a killer's life, and such a surprise ending that I was left thinking about it and going to the author's website demanding a sequel! There is even a little romance which helps satisfy my need for some loving happening in the book.

I just loved, loved, loved this book! The only reason why I didn't give it an A was because it was a little teeny bit hard to get into and because it was so short (252 pages). However, that can be overlooked if I GET A SEQUEL!!! Run to the nearest library (it is a hardcover) and get this book if you love suspense novels. It is what all suspense novels should be like.

Up next is another book I got from the library that I read the review from another blog that I can't remember. It is called A Case of Imagination and is the first in a new cozy mystery series. It may have a hard time standing up against Ladykiller, but I will try and give it a fair shot. Happy reading everyone!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Murder with Reservations by Elaine Viets

I got Elaine's newest book from the library. I have always enjoyed her Dead End series and this one did not disappoint. I give it an enjoyable B+.

Working at Sybil's Full Moon Hotel in Fort Lauderdale keeps Helen both financially and physically fit. But cleaning up after hotel guests is not like cleaning a house- it's like cleaning fifteen houses in a single day. Not to mention dreaded room 323. the hotel's most notorious. The guests in 323 are always drunk, loud, and rude- and worst of all they never tip. When a maid goes missing the day after of disastrous mess in 323, the rest of the staff chalk it up to job burnout and imagiine that Rhonda has finally ditched the housekeeping gig to run off with the dreamy rich boyfriend she's always talking about.

But then Rhonda ends up dead in a dumpster, and no one feels safe and snug in South Florida, especially not Helen. Another dead body means another chance for the cops to find her. And to make matters worse, he ex-husband is hot on her trail, checking in to the very hotel she works at. Sadly, the cops don't seem to care much about a murdered maid, but they have noticed there's something shady about the victim's coworker and her not quite truthful story. If Helen doesn't manage to dodge their questions and shake off her ex, it could be checkout time for her.

Helen and her friends are always good for a fun laughs, including laughing out loud. I love Margery her purple wearing landlord and Pete the Parrot. The way Rob was handled was very funny, and I am wanting to find out what exactly happens. I guess I will have to wait for almost another year! The only reason why I marked it down to a B+ is because it was so short, at only 263 pages. However if you have not read this story, I highly recommend you pick it up.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Helpless by Barbara Gowdy

Well if the speed I read this book is an indicator of things to come, I would have to say I got my reading mojo back! I have missed it so! This was my first Barbara Gowdy novel and I was not disappointed. A solid A-.

Nine year old Rachel Fox has the face of an angel, a heart-stopping lumionisty that strikes all who meet her. Her single mother, Celia, who works at a video store by day and a piano bar by night, is not always around to shield her daughter from the attention- both bengin and sinister- her beauty draws. From modeling agencies, for example, or from Ron, a small-appliance repairman who, having seen Rachel once, is driven to see her again and again.

When a summer blackout plunges the city into darkness and confusion, Rachel is taken from her homoe. A full-scale search begins, but days pass with no clues, only a phone call Celia receives from a woman whose voice she has heard before but cannot place. As Celia fights her terror and Rachel starts to trust in her abductor's kindness, the only other person who knows where she is wavers between loyalty to the captor and saving the child. Will Rachel be found before her absuctor's urge to protect and cherish and turns to something altogether less innocent?

While this novel sounds like it has a suspense aspect to the story, it is really a drama and a touching story of community coming together and the special bond mother and daughter share. This book was very touching and had me welling up with tears a little bit. There is a bit of feeling of empathy for all of characters, and you really care about the characters. The only reason why I didn't give it an A is because the ending is left a little too open for me. I guess I really like closure and having it spelled out for me. I will definitely be on the lookout for more of her books as I believe she has an extensive backlist.

Up next I picked up Elaine Viets latest book in her Dead End Jobs series. I so enjoy her books and they always make me laugh. I really wanted to buy it in hardcover, especially since she had a stroke a few weeks before her book was released, but unfortuntely with me not working right now, I am trying to really hold on to my budget.

Happy reading everyone!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Unspeakable by Sandra Brown

I may be getting my reading mojo back. I picked up this book yesterday only about 100 pages in and quickly read 300 pages and then finished it up today. I always enjoy Sandra Brown's novels, and this one was no different. While not my favorite of hers, it was still a good read once I got into it. I give it a solid B+.

Carl Helbold is a cold-blooded psychopath who has just escaped the penitentiary where he was serving a life sentence. Bent on revenge, he's going back to where it began- Blewer County, Texas.

Born deaf, lately widowed, Anna Corbett fights to keep the ranch that is her son's birthright, unaware that she is at the center of Herbold's horrific scheme- and that her self-impose isolation is about to explode...

Drifter Jack Sawyer arrives at Anna's ranch asking for work, hoping to protect the innocent woman and her son from Herbold's rage. But Sawyer can't outrun the secrets that stalk him- or the day of reckoning awaiting them all...

This book had all of the things I was looking for... a good mystery, or suspense, a nice romance and all that comes along with a small town. The love story was really well devolped and you got to see them falling in love instead of when 10 pages to the end, they fall madly in love with each other. I would love a sequel to see how life is now in Blewer County. A child did play a major part in the book, but he was just adorable and well written.

The only thing that prevented me from giving it an A is the fact that sometimes the story goes back into the past without any explaniation. I had to read back and see if I missed anything. Now this could be due to some of my problems of late, but I really think it was the style.

Up next is a library book, Helpless by Barbara Gowdy. Saw a review of it somewhere and placed it on hold. Hope it is worth it!

Happy reading and stay cool (if it is as hot and humid it is here with a broken air conditioner... that we just found about a couple of hours ago!!!).

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Red Room by Nicci French

As you can probably tell from my recent amount of posts, I have not been doing much reading lately. I have been having a rough time for awhile, but lately it is escalated. I am having problems with anxiety and depression and that has taken a hit on my reading. I can't concentrate on reading for more than 5 minutes or so. So that makes me even more upset. I never finished reading the Dean Koontz book and I started reading Unspeakable by Sandra Brown two weeks, Monday. I am only about 70 pages in. Pretty sad. However, I have books coming in from the library and thrift stores. I also downloaded 2 e-books through the library and have completed one of those. It was 468 pages, but I read that in about 5 or 6 days. So anyways, here is my review of The Red Room by Nicci French... which I give an A-.

In this case, the two people whose lives are being most unfairly manipulated hold opposite, even antagonistic, places in society. One is a clinical psychologist, Katherine Quinn; the other, Michael Doll, is the troubled young man who not long ago left her with terrible facial disfigurement, having suddenly attacked her while undergoing an evaluation in his jail cell. Somehow, out of curiosity, misplaced duty, and a desire to try to "reduce him to his human size," Kit Quinn allows a police detective to talk her into seeing Michael once again. This time her nemesis--about whom she has recurring nightmares of a blood-spattered red room--stands accused of murder. The trouble is, after coming face to face with him, Dr. Quinn isn't at all convinced he's guilty.

I really enjoy Nicci French's novels. I think I have mentioned this before but her novels are set in London and while I have a hard time understanding some of the slang terms, I always love her suspensful novels. While this one was as suspensful as her others, The Red Room is a nice story that I was able to read fairly quickly... compared to my other reading of late. Oh well. I am going to try and keep reading Unspeakable by I did just get 2 books in from the library that I read reviews on blogs. They are Ladykiller and Helpless by 2 new to me authors. Maybe they can help with the slump.

Happy reading and have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Contest L.U.R.V.E.

I have entered a contest on Meljean Brook's website! Here is some of the great information!!

Dear People Magazine,
Every November, you come out with your “Sexiest Man Alive” issue; every spring, you print your list of the “World’s Most Beautiful People.”
But in 2007 — and for the last two hundred years — the sexiest man and the most beautiful person has been … a vampire.
George? Pffft. Brad? Come on! Jude? …no.
Why isn’t it that Colin Ames-Beaumont hasn’t graced your cover? Is it simply because his picture cannot be taken? (He’s so beautiful a blank cover with just his name on it would make your readers drool.) Because he usually only comes out at night? (How is that different than Johnny Depp?) Because you think he hasn’t bared his assets for a Hollywood camera?
Are you afraid of his tainted blood? You shouldn’t be: one look will not send you to the Chaos realm, surrounded by flying dragons and the screams of the damned. Only Colin sees that realm when he looks into a mirror — it will not trouble you. Is it the woman he’s falling in love with? Geeks need love, too, People Magazine — a fact you have long overlooked (but that is another campaign to be won.)
Is it the fear that if you met him in a dark alley, the words “Oh my God you’re so beautiful!” would hardly be past your lips before he had you up against the wall for some hot sexing that you wouldn’t remember the next day?
No; none of those things are true impediments to being called “the sexiest” or “the most beautiful”. I think the problem is that you’ve been stuck on one pesky little word in the “Sexiest Man” title: Alive.
But there are those of us — readers and authors, geeks and norms — who know that Undead can be just as sexy as Living. And we’ve got hundreds of paranormal romances to prove it.
So I’m beginning my campaign to get a vampire on the cover of your magazine. To no longer be forced to stare longingly at men who can’t read my mind. Men who can’t use a sword. Men who can’t wear satin-lined capes and look good doing it. I’m calling for all readers, living and undead, to fight for vampire equality.
And I’m nominating Colin Ames-Beaumont to the be first representative of the “Sexiest Man Alive (and Undead)” for 2007. What separates him from other vampire romance heroes, you wonder? He’s strong, as they are. He sucks blood, as they do. He’s got out-of-control sexual appeal, as they do. But there is one thing, People Magazine, that makes Colin stand out from the rest of the vampire heroes.
Colin … is blond.
But do not take my word for it; judge for yourself. And because he is cursed, unable to see his reflection or to have any pictures taken, the only proof I can offer is in Demon Moon. The book cover cannot do him justice — you must look inside. Want a peek? The first four chapters are in a PDF here. Or you can buy it at Amazon (it is available June 5 in stores everywhere).
Sincerely,Meljean Brook

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Lethally Blond by Kate White

I have read all of Kate White's books and have enjoyed them all. I got the latest from the library, and like I mentioned in my previous entry, I was a little hesitant to read it since I was kind of over the chick-lit mystery books. I read it anyways, and enjoyed it. A solid B read.

Whenever a celebrity hurls a phone, crashes a car, or murders a spouse, crime journalist Bailey Wiggins is there to cover it for the gossip magazine Buzz. Now the much hyped show Morgue has begun shooting in Manhattan, and just as Bailey starts reminiscing about her fling with the show's gorgeous star, Chris Wickersham, he phones her. But Chris isn't calling to rekindle their flame. His friend, Tom, who plays a small role on the show, has gone missing, and while no one seems to be alarmed, Chris can't believe his friend would just take off before the show premiers.

Bailey starts to investigate Tom's disapperance as a favor to Chris, and she soon realizes there is more going on then meets the eye. Delving deeper into the glamourous yet crazy world of TV, she finds herself in the middle of a killer story- literally- and also in the line of fire. As the missing person case gets hotter, so does the action between the sheets for Bailey- especially the moment her crush Beau Regan hits town again.

When mysterious phone calls turn ominous and it's clear she's being stalked, Bailey becomes determined to solve the case in less time than the length of a Hollywood marriage. Unless she unearths the truth, she could become the inspriation for Morgue's next episode.

Kate White is a wonderful author and she really knows how to tell a story. The mystery was well covered and Bailey does a wonderful job off solving it without leaving the reader thinking that that could never happen. I hate in some mysteries where you know the way that the sleuth solves it could never happen in real life. Ms. White is also the editor-in-chief for Cosmopolitan magazine, and I was sure that that fact would only add to the amount of name dropping of couture designers, but there was little of it. The love triangles that developed were also very interesting, though I definitely had a favorite. I will choose to read the next in the series, but as they all come out in hardback, will get it from the library.

Not sure what is up next. I went to the thrift store yesterday and got 10 books for $2.00 so maybe one of those or another from the TBR piles. Have a good rest of the weekend and happy reading!