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!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Slightly Married by Wendy Markham

As I mentioned in the previous post, I absolutely adore all of Ms. Markham's work, especially her suspense novels. I read the first book in this series, Slightly Single, and it had me laughing the entire time. I have continued to read the series, though I have stopped buying them because I just read them so fast. I do buy her suspense novels, but they aren't at trade prices. Anyways, this was a great addition in the series and it was a great way to pass an afternoon. This was a fun A-.

All Tracey wants is to get hitched without a hitch- but as the calendar marches towards her late-October wedding date, suddenly she and her fiance can't agree on anything. From where to get married (New York City or Buffalo?) to how many attendants they're going to have (she's already asked eight; he was just thinking of a best man). Meanwhile, Tracey's friends are caught up in their own drama. There's newlywed Raphael, who's just had his gay wedding; newly pregnant Kate, who is trying to adjust to impending motherhood; and Buckley, who is acting inexplicably strange. When Buckley unexpectedly breaks off his own engagement, all but leaving his fiancee at the altar, Tracey is stunned to learn that he may be in love with her.

With plenty of snafus to keep them distracted, is being Slightly Married to road to happily ever after, after all?

This book was just so well written. All of the ups and downs that Tracey feels and experiences while planning her wedding were so true to life and I found myself nodding my head along in a lot of places. Throughout the story, we see that Tracey really does love Jack, but there are doubts that I believe every bride-to-be faces and deals with. It is handled well and there are, of course, plently of laughs throughout. There was a little bit of foreshadowing as to what we may see in the next book. I know from her website, that there is at least one more Tracey book to be published, probably next year. I will continue to read it and recommend it to anyone looking for a fun and entertaining read. If you are not familiar with the series, I do suggest you start with the first book so you can see how Tracey evolves. If you are getting married, I also think it is a must read.

Up next is Electric Blue, which is the second in a series by Nancy Bush. The first book was titled Candy Apple Red and was a lot of fun for cozy mystery. Ms. Bush is the sister of Lisa Jackson who writes great suspense books. Well everyone stay cool (it is 96 degrees here today... without the humidity!) and Happy Reading!

Queen of Babble in the Big City by Meg Cabot

I just recently discovered Meg Cabot in the past couple of years with her Heather Mills series and some other stand alone books that I cannot recall. I read the first book in this series last year and enjoyed it a lot so it was a no brainer that I would place this one on hold. I read it in a few hours and it was a fun read that had me smiling. I rate it a B+.

Lizzie Nichols is back, pounding the New York City pavement and looking for a job, a place to live, and her proper place in the universe (not necessarily in that order).

When "Summer Fling" Luke uses the L word (Living Together) Lizzie is only too happy to give up her plan of being postgrad roomies with her best friend, Shari, in a one-room walk-up in exchange for cohabitation with the love of her life in his mother's Fifth Avenue peid-a-terre, complete with doorman and resident Renoir.

But Lizzie is not as likely in her employment search. As Shari finds the perfect job, Lizzie struggles through one humilating interview after another, being judged overqualified for the jobs in her chose field- vintage-gown rehab- and underqualified for everything else. It's Shari's boyfriend Chaz to the rescue when he recommends Lizzie for a receptionist gig at his father's posh law firm. The nonpaying gig at a local wedding-gown shop Lizzie manages to land all on her own.

But Lizzie's notoriously big mouth begins to get her into trouble at work and at home almost at once- first at the law firm and then with making the mistake of mentioning the M word (marriage) to commitment phobic Luke. Soon Lizzie may find herself right back from where she started.

This was a quick fun read where I enjoyed the characters and see them grow. The ending is a bit of a cliff-hanger, so right when I finished I searched to make sure there was another one following soon. I am thinking next year it will be published. This book is classic Meg Cabot and tons of fun and I recommend it to anyone who is looking for a light read.

Up next is another series I love by Wendy Markham. She also writes under Wendy Corsi Staub, who's suspense novels I love. She is probably one of my favorite authors. This book is one of her chicklit books in the Slightly series and I can't wait to begin! Happy reading!