Monday, May 4, 2015

A DEADLY WEB (KAY HOOPER) A BISHOP FILES NOVEL) - NEVER BEFORE PUBLISHED

ISBN: 978-0-515-15334-7

John Brodie is a Guardian, a member of a secretive network devoted to winning a way very few even know exists: protecting the vulnerable psychics in his charge from a deadly, ruthless - and virtually invisible enemy.

Tasha Solomon is a gifted psychic whose abilities have saved her more than once from situations as dangerous as they are baffling. She doesn't believe she needs help and she doesn't even know that Guardians exist - until Brodie saves her life.

Unaccustomed to depending on anyone for anything, Tasha now finds herself embroiled in a deadly game where the ultimate goal is a fate far worse than any nightmare. Brodie is the only person she can trust to guide her through a maze of danger and deception, lies and treachery, friends and enemies, until they reach safe harbor.

IF they reach safe harbor.

Kay Hooper has penned another glue your eyes to the page read!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

INDISCRETION (HANNAH FIELDING)

 

ISBN: 978-0-9926-7188-4

INDISCRETION is an intense read. From the Spanish landscape to the homes, to the people to the relationships, to the entertainment of the bull fighting ring.

The passion between Salvador and Alexandra runs deep. Although she couldn't understand his intermittent aloofness towards her, she loved him unconditionally. Salvador would go from talking to her, being passionate toward her to totally ignoring her and not even acknowledging her presence at times.

Alexandra leaves her home in London during the Spring of 1950 to reunite with the family she's been estranged from for a long time. What she finds in Spain is not at all what she expected and she finds herself wondering if she's made a mistake by going there. Her only redemption in her visit there is, Salvador whom she falls madly in love with. The love and deep passion between the two of them is like one heartbeat.

I kept finding myself wanting to rush them into their relationship, wanting to push them to the point of no return but it was not to be, I had to be patient. Their love story took my breath away and left me reeling and wanting more. I so didn't want this story to end.

I thought Ms. Fielding had outdone herself with her second novel but she's done it again with this third one. The writing was so clear and descriptive that I could hear the crowds in the bull fighting ring, I could feel the dust in my nose and eyes and feel the scorching Spanish sun on my skin. I loved the gypsies, one of whom actually scared me!

Indiscretion is filled with passion, intrigue, suspense, and a deep intensity that you'll want to read it again. I was taken in from the very first page and could hardly swallow until I reached the end. I'm looking forward to Ms. Fielding's next book with bated breath.

Friday, March 27, 2015

FINDING ME (KATHRYN CUSHMAN)



ISBN: 978-0-7642-1261-1

 
What would you do if you learned your life was a lie?

All her life, Kelli Huddleston has been told the story of a fire - a fire that killed her mother and two siblings when she was an infant. After her father's death, though, she uncovers evidence of a different story, including clippings about a boat accident that killed a young father and his infant daughter. And Kelli quietly realizes the story of her life has been a fiction.

How far would you go to discover the truth?

Armed with only a few pictures of what she thinks might be her family, Kelli crosses the country to Tennessee, determined to uncover the truth about what happened over twenty years ago in a small southern town. When the trip threatens to open doors to the past better left shut, and her plans for the future are jeopardized, Kelli is faced with an agonizing choice that will change her life forever.

FINDING ME was a phenomenal read, don't miss this one!

DOG CRAZY (MEG DONOHUE)



ISBN: 978-0-06-233103-8

As a pet breavement counselor, Maggie Brennan uses a combination of empathy, insight, and humor to help patients cope with the anguish of losing their beloved four-legged friends. Though she has a gift for guiding others through difficult situations, Maggie has major troubles of her own that threaten the success of her counseling practice and her volunteer work with a dog resuce organization.

Everything changes when a distraught woman shows up at Maggie's office and claims that her dog has been stolen. Searching the streets of San Francisco for the missing pooch, Maggie finds herself entangled in a mystery that forces her to finally face her biggest fear - and to open her heart to new love.

Packed with deep emotion and charming surprises, DOG CRAZY is a bighearted and entertaining story that skillfully captures the bonds of love, the pain of separation, and the power of our dogs to heal us.

Anyone who loves dogs will adore this story and understand the physical, emotional, and spiritual bonds that people have with their four-legged fur friends. I hope their will be a sequel to this.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

HOUSE BROKEN (SONJA YOERG)


ISBN: 978-0-451-47213-7

For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They're also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it's up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.

Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm's length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva's husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship.

Geneva isn't expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she's been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive.

My eyes never left the pages until I was done, I read this in one sitting as I just couldn't put it down. Helen is certainly a force to be reckoned with and I'm glad she wasn't my mother. I felt sorry for Geneva who put up with a lot, much to the detriment of her own health and sanity, but she did what any responsible adult child would do and took Helen in anyway. However, even the worst of families sometimes come out at the end okay, much worse for the wear at times, others better people for what they've endured together.

MEAN STREAK (SANDRA BROWN)




ISBN: 978-1-4555-8114-6

Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband, Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.

While police suspect Jeff of "instant divorce," Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consicousness and finds herself held captive by a man whose violent past is so dark that he won't even tell her his name. She's determined to escape from him and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.

As her husband's deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer from those who wish her dead - and from heartbreak.

This was a real nail-bitter of a read! And, surprise oh surprise, I certainly didn't see THAT end coming at all. As usual, Sandra Brown continues to entertain to the fullest degree possible. Highly recommended for those who want a good suspense story.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

THE BOSTON GIRL (ANITA DIAMANT)




THE BOSTON GIRL (ANITA DIAMANT)

 
ISBN: 978-1-4391-9935-0



Told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in the North End of Boston in the early twentieth century, Addie Baum is the Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Addie's intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can't imagine - a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women; a world where women finish high school, go to college, have a career, and find true love on their own.

THE BOSTON GIRL begins when Addie's twenty-two-year-old granddaughter asks "How did you get to be the woman you are today?" Eighty-five-year-old Addie starts her story in 1915 - the year she joined the library group for girls at a neighborhood settlement house, where she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naive girl she was, empathy for the woman she has become, and wicked sense of humor.

Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Diamant's previous novels bestsellers, THE BOSTON GIRL is a moving portrait of one woman's complicated life in twentieth-century America and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.

I fell totally in love with Addie Baum. She was so lovable, so kind-hearted, so naive, so innocent that you just wanted to hug her and tell her how much she was loved. Anita Diamant has certainly outdone herself with THE BOSTON GIRL. I'm going to remember Addie Baum for a long time to come. I highly recommend this novel for everyone, especially those fascinated with history.

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES (SALLY HEPWORTH)



ISBN: 978-1-250-05189-9

Neva Bradley, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy - including the identity of the baby's father - hidden from her family and coworkers for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it unbearable to let this secret rest. The more Grace rods, the tighter Neva holds to her story, and the more the lifelong differences between private, quiet Neva and open, gregarios Grace strain their relationship. For Floss, Neva's grandmother and a retired midwife, Neva's situation thrusts her back sixty years in time to a secret that errily mirrors her granddaughter's - one which, if revealed will have life-changing consquences for them all. As Neva's pregnancy progresses and speculation makes is harder and harder to conceal th truth, Floss wonder if hiding her own truth is ultimately more harmful than telling it. Will these women reveal their secrets and deal ith the inevitable condequences? Or are some secrets best kept hidden?

Three generations of women with secrets from the present and the past make for good story-telling. I loved these women's characters and felt like I knew them well and wanted to spend more time with them. I didn't want the book to end. I also enjoyed Ms. Hepworth's writing style and will be looking for more of her work. For anyone who enjoys stories about midwives, this one will give you exactly what you're looking for. Highly recommendable.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

HOLLOW CITY: THE SECOND NOVEL OF MISS PEREGRINE'S PECULIAR CHILDREN (RANSOM RIGGS)



ISBN: 978-1-59474-735-9

 
September 3, 1940, TEN PECULIAR CHILDREN FLEE an army of deadly monsters. And only one person can help them - but she's trapped in the body of a bird. The extraordinary journey that began in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children continues as Jacob Portman and his newfound friends journey to London, the peculiar capital of the world. There, they hope to find a cure for their beloved headmistress, Miss Peregrine. But in this war-torn city, hideous surprises lurk around every corner. And before Jacob can deliver the peculiar children to safety, he must make an important decision about his love for Emma Bloom. Like its predecessor, this second novel in the Peculiar Children series blends thrilling fantasy with vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience.

Hollow City was as exciting and magical as the first novel and I couldn't wait to finish it to find out what happened. The characters are so well fleshed out and the plot line runs along smooth as glass, not a single word out of place. I'm really looking forward to the third installment.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN (PAULA HAWKINS)



ISBN: 978-0-385-68231-2
Every day the same. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She looks forward to it. She's even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life - as she sees it - is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

Until today. And then she sees something shocking. It's only a minute until the train moves on, but it's enough. Now everything's changed. Unable to keep her discovery to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good.

This was a compulsive read and one I could not put down. Highly recommendable.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

THE FIRST WIFE (ERICA SPINDLER)



ISBN: 978-1-250-01254-8

As a child, Bailey Browne dreamed of a storybook rescue: of a knight in shining armor swooping in to bring her and her mother to a better life. After her mother died, those dreams transformed, becoming ones of a mysterious stranger who would sweep her off her feet and whisk her away from her ordinary existence to one of passion and adventure. Then, suddenly there he is: tall, dark, and wonderful. Despite the ten-year difference in their ages, and the differences in her workingclass upbringing and his of privilege, Logan Abbott and Bailey fall deeply in love. Marriage quickly follows.

However, when Logan brings her home to his horse farm in Louisiana, a magnificent estate on ninety wooded acres, her dreams of happily-ever-after begin to unravel. A tragic family history she knew nothing about surfaces, plus there are whisperings about the disappearance of his first wife, True, and then rumors about the other women from the area who have gone missing - and when another woman disappears, all signs point to her husband's involvement.

At first Bailey ignores the gossip, even as it grows louder and the circumstancial evidence against Logan mounts. But finally, she must make a choice: believe what everyone says is true, and turn against the only person who ever saved her - or bet her life on the man she loves but who she realizes she hardly knows.


My Review
I was very disappointed this novel. It just wasn't up to Ms. Spindler's usual and almost seemed as if it had been penned by someone else. I'm so disappointed in the entire novel that I don't have anything else to say. This is one book I unfortunately won't be recommending.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

WELL IN TIME (SUZAN STILL)



WELL IN TIME is the sequel to Suzan's second novel 'Fiesta of Smoke' but most definitely can be read as a stand-alone.

Javier Cartena and Calypso Searcy return for another exciting, sit-at-the-edge-of-your-seat adventure! An ancient gold locket, which was a gift, has the ability to tell the future; sometimes through a whispered word, sometimes during a dream. Calypso also has the ability to wander through different worlds; the present and a world where she meets a group known as 'The Ghosts'. They are a very dark, scary, mysterious group who mean business.

While searching the locket's past, Calypso and Javier's ranch in Mexico is attacked by a certain drug cartel. Along with their good friend, Walter Hill, Calypso manages to escape unseen. Thus begins her journey through another world where everything she ever knew about herself is tested to the nth degree - her physical strength, her endurance, her emotional and spiritual strengths. WELL IN TIME has such a stong mystical aspect to it that Calypso carefully straddles the line that divides worlds and tests her ability to stand in either.

My favourite part of the book is when Calypso takes us through the caves and into the tunnels. You won't believe what she goes through and will want to keep reading and reading. Some of the tunnels are so constricting we don't know whether she is going to get through or have to turn back again and again to locate an alternate route. Ms. Still's writing is so descriptive and vivid that you'll feel like you literally can't breathe as you transverse the tunnels with Calypso. You almost have to the put the book down to catch your breath and psyche yourself up that you can do this, never mind Calypso! The writing is just phenomenal.

Through their struggles both Calypso and Javier learn that there is more to life than they both thought and that you don't always have to be together to accomplish your goals. You can change, you can be alone and be okay with that, and you can force yourself to be a more positive influence in this world and on the people around you.

Suzan Still has outdone herself with WELL IN TIME. She is a literary queen with the ability to pen the most beautiful prose, creating characters, and plotting her story to get the most bang for the buck.

I whole-heartedly believe WELL IN TIME is going to be a huge success and I wish Ms. Still great success. Thank you for providing me with the best two days of reading I've done in quite some time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

HAATCHI AND LITTLE B (WENDY HOLDEN)



ISBN: 9780552170314


Haatchi and Little B tells the inspiring and moving true story of Owen Howkins (also known as Little B, short for 'Buddy') and Haatchi, an Anatolian shepherd dog who was abandoned on a railway line as a puppy and left for dead.

Thankfully, Haatchi was rescued, despite sustaining severe injuries. And so Haatchi, in turn, was able to rescue Owen, at the time an anxious and withdrawn boy born with a rare genetic disorder, who found it hard to make friends. But Owen fell in love with his new three-legged canine housemate at first sight and life would never be the same.

The touching story of this dynamic duo is a life-affirming tale of happiness and friendship.

You'll definitely need the tissues when reading this true story. The relationship between Haatchi and Owen is absolutely incredible. It's like Haatchi is really human and knows exactly what Owen is saying to him. They climb into his crate together and have chats with each other and I'm positive Haatchi knows every word Owen says. This was both an incredible story and an incredible journey these two foraged together. Just a beautiful story all round.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

THE HAREM MIDWIFE (ROBERTA RICH)



ISBN: 978-0-385-67668-7


The Imperial Harem, Constantinople, 1578, Hannah and Isaac Levi, Venetians in exile, begin anew in the Ottoman Empire. Isaac owns a silk workshop, and Hannah, the best midwife in the capital tends to the hundreds of women in Sultan Murat III's lively and infamous haren One night, Hannah is summoned to the palace to ascertain the virginity of Leah, a Jewish peasant girl. The sultan favors Leah as his next conquest and wants her to produe his heir, but if the spirited girl fails this test, she faces a terrible fate. Captivated by Leah's tenacity, Hannah must decide whether to risk everything to lie for her. Soon Leah reveals a dark secret that could comdemn them both. Meanwhile, as Hannah agonizes over her decision, a beautiful woman arrives from Venice with a plot to destory Hannah's marriage, and steal her beloved son, Matteo.

This novel is filled with adventure and vivid detail and peopled with memorable characters.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

THE WOMEN OF DUCK COMMANDER (KAY, KORIE, MISSY, JESSICA, AND LISA ROBERTSON) WITH BETH CLARK



ISBN: 978-1-4767-6330-9

You've seen these spunky and loving women on Duck Dynasty, and you know that they are the beautiful wives of the quirky Robertson men, but you don't know much about who they are as women or what goes on when the cameras are turned off and the production crew has gone home.

Are they really who they seem to be - down-to-earth, sincere, commonsense, loving wives and mothers? Do the women really get along and support one another? Do they truly love their families as much as they seem to on the show? Are their children actually as respectful as they come across? And do they really have the sense of humor that viewers have come to love?

In the pages of this book, you'll find the answers to these questions and much more. The five leading ladies - Miss Kay, Korie, Missy, Jessica, and Lisa - share their hearts and thoughts on the spiritual foundation that guides their lives. In a section titled "Happily Ever After Can Take A While," they reveal some of the difficulties and challenges they have faced. And they share how each one became a Robertson and talk about the myths regarding their motives for marrying into the family. The wives of these beloved characters share precious stories about thier love for Phil and Kay - with chapters titled "Oh, Kay!" and "Getting Our Phil" - as well as what life in the limelight is really like. You'll learn about all their children, their own parents and grandparents, and what made these strong women of substance the spirited characters you've come to love.

Each of these women love God first above all else and raise their families up on His word. God first, family second, and everything else comes after that.

All of the women have a huge amount of love and respect for Miss Kay and Phil and can't say enough about their faith in God, their willingness to share with anyone whether you're rich or poor, fat or thin, black or white, or just need a listening ear and some helpful advice.

All the daughters-in-law lay their cards on the table, no holds barred and bare their souls for us to see the "real" family the way we've always wondered. The questions you've always wanted answered will be done in this book. I read it one sitting as I couldn't put it down it was that interesting.

The Robertson's are quite the clan and I wish them much continued success. They strive to live in a way that we've lost over the past many years. No foul language, no smut, or dirty talk...just good clean, faithful fun. Their families are very important to them and they strive to keep them together and running as a well oiled machine. You won't be disappointed in this book and I highly recommend it for everyone.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

THE WINTER SEA (DI MORRISSEY)



ISBN: 978-1-250-05119-6


Cassie Holloway is not content. She's stuck in an unhappy marriage and an unsatisfactory job. Longing for an escape, she moves to the little Australian coastal town of Whitby Point. There she meets the Aquino family, whose fishing business was founded by their ancestor, Giuseppe, an Italian immigrant, some ninety years before. Life for Cassie on the southwest coast turns sweet as she sets up a successful restaurant and finds an intriguing new love. But when the Aquino family patriarch dies, a devastating secret is revealed that threatens to destroy her dreams. Cassie's future happiness now rests with her quest for the truth.

I was glued to this book from the first page to the last. I had not ever read any of Di Morrissey's novels before but will be looking for more of her work in the future. An excellent story!

ALL THE BRIGHT PLACES (JENNIFER NIVEN)



ISBN: 978-0-385-75588-7

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death. Every day he thinks of ways he might die, but every day he also searches for - and manages to find - something to keep him here, and alive, and awake.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her small Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister's death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school - six stories above the ground - it's unclear who saves whom. And when the unlikely pair teams up on a class projec to discover the "natural wonders" of their state, they go, as Finch says, where the road takes them: the grand, the small, the bizarre, the beautiful, and the ugly, the surprising - just like life.

Soon it's only with Violet that Finch can be himself - a bold, funny, live-out-loud guy, who's not such a freak after all. And it's only with Finch that Violet forgets to count away the days and starts living them. But as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink.

This is a heart-wrenching, unflinching story of love shared, life lived, and two teens who find one another while standing on the edge.

I totally fell in love with Finch and Violet. Finch so wanted to be loved and cared for but just couldn't see his way through. He loved Violet, deep down and it shows throughout the reading of the novel. These two had a connection like no other.

I'd heard a lot of hype about this book and it didn't disappoint.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

BREAKING CREED (ALEX KAVA)



ISBN: 978-0-399-17076-8


My Review
 
Ryder Creed and FBI Agent Maggie O'Dell team up in this spine-tingling mystery to find the killer on the lose. Ryder Creed is a K9 specialist with a large entourage of trained dogs at the ready. He has explosive detector dogs, cadaver dogs, bomb-sniffing dogs, and just about every other type of detector dog you can think of and he's very good at what he does.

When a body washes up on the shores of the Potmac River in Washington thus begins not only the beginning of a new case for Maggie, but also for Ryder who meets Maggie. Soon sparks are flying and they each have feelings for each other but try to maintain a professional relationship. Will they be successful?

The "Iceman" who no one has ever seen is at the head of the killings in the story and anyone who has seen him, winds up dead. No one sees the Iceman without dying.

Can Maggie, Ryder and his well-trained K9 unit find the Iceman and stop these brutal and tortureous killings before the Iceman finds them first?

Alex Kava has done it again. I've read every single book she has ever penned and have never been disappointed yet. I was literally glued to the edge of my seat and read this in one sitting. I just had to keep turning page after page to find out what happened next. I'd try to book the book down but just couldn't do it. I'll be highly recommending this one.

A sequel titled "Silent Creed" will be coming out shortly. Don't miss it either.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

THE DRESS SHOP OF DREAMS (MENNA VAN PRAAG)



Since her parents' mysterious deaths many years ago, scientist Cora Sparks has spent her days in the safety of her university lab or at her grandmother Etta's dress shop.  Tucked away on a winding Cambridge street, Etta's charming, tiny store appears quite ordinary to passersby, but the colorfully vibrant racks of beaded silks, delicate laces, and jewel-toned velvets hold bewitching secrets.  With just a few stitches from Etta's needle, these gorgeous gowns have the power to set free a woman's deepest desires. 

Etta's dearest wish is to work her magic on her granddaughter.  Cora's studious, unromantic eye has overlooked Walt, the shy bookseller who has been in love with her forever.  Determined not to allow Cora to miss her chance at happiness, Etta sews a tiny stitch into Walt's collar, hoping to give him the courage to confess his feelings to Cora.  But magic spells - like true love - can go awry.  After Walt is spurred into action, Etta realizes she's set in motion a series of astonishing events that will transform Cora's life in extraordinary and unexpected ways. 

You will simply and absolutely fall in love with this spellbinding novel.  I couldn't take my eyes off the page for fear I might accidentally skip over a word.  I will be highly recommending THE DRESS SHOP OF DREAMS and can't wait for Menna's next book!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

MY SUNSHINE AWAY (M. O. WALSH)



ISBN: 978-0-399-16952-6
MY SUNSHINE AWAY is one of those rare books that you'lll remember long after the last page has been turned. Although a story of growing up and coming-of-age, it is also quite the mystery.

The book begins with the rape of a young teenage girl named Lindy Simpson and thereby lies your mystery. Who committed this horrible crime? As the group of neighborhood teens contend with the every day effects of growing up and experiencing a lot of firsts, the underlying current is always "who done it?" The narrator of the novel is one of four suspects. I found myself wondering a great deal about the narrator throughout the story. I had a difficult time trusting him. Although his words and actions apeared to be honourable, there was just "something" about him that kept me from letting my guard down and moving on to other suspects in a more detailed way with a more intense critical eye.

Lindy's rape becomes personal for the narrator because he is obsessively in love with her, watching her out his bedroom window, talking to her late into the night on the telephone and looking through photos of her someone else gave to him.

From what I know of the south in the late 80's and early 90's, M. O. Walsh seems to have hit the nail on the head. with perfectly descrptive prose he lays out the traditions and rituals of that era with precision.

All in all this was an excellent read and one I would highly recommend. I look forward to reading more of M. O. Walsh's work in the future.