Friday, February 29, 2008

February Stats and Reads

Here are the Books I read:
The Manning Sisters by Debbie Macomber (R C) 02-01-08 through 02-02-08 A+
A Dangerous Dream by Mary Paine (RC) 02-03-08 through 02-04-08 A
Birds of A Feather by Jacqueline Winspear 02-04-08 through 02-06-08 B
White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick (RC) 02-06-08 through 02-07-08 A+
Parallel Attraction by Deidre Knight (RC) 02-07-08 through 02-11-08 A+
Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear 02-11-08 through 02-13-08 A
Highland Stone by Sloan McBride (RC) 2-13-08 through 02-14-08 A
Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear 02-14-08 through 02-17-08 A+
Strikes Don’t Matter by Denise Patrick 02-18-08 (RC) A
Lady MacBeth by Susan Fraser King 02-18-08 through 02-19-08 A
Settling of Accounts by Carolyn Hart 02-19-08 through 02-121-08 D
Daddy’s Girl by Lisa Scottoline 02-21-08 through 2-23-08 A
Crave: The Seduction of Snow White by Cathy Yardley (RC) 02-24-08 through 02-25-08 A
The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig (RC) 02-25-08 through 02-26-07 A+
Introducing Sonika by Eilis Flynn (RC) 02-26-07 through 02-27-08 C
Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts (RC) 02-27-08 through 02-28-08 A
The Mistress by Leda Swann (RC) 02-28-07 through 02-29-08 A

Total Books Read: 17
New Authors: 10
Fiction: 17
Non-fiction: 0
TBR: 2
Chunksters: 2
Books I Reviewed: 9
Romances: 11
Mysteries: 6
From the Stacks: 8Books
I Bought: 0
PBS Sent: 4
PBS Received: 1
Total Pages Read: 5,046

I didn't think I'll get this other review book I have done in time. Plus I need to write. I am going to go book shopping tonight so most likely pick up 2. :) I'll update you tomorrow.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts

Tory Bodeen grew up in a small town in South Carolina. Her best friend Hope was murdered and it was never solved. Her father was extremely hard on her and she had to tiptoe around never to get beaten. Now she is back to Progress to set up her own home-design shop. Rumors seem to float around again but she is not determined to let that stop her. She has been running all her life and refuses to stop now. Getting re-acquainted with Cade Lavelle, her best friend’s older brother may not be a good idea but she’ll just have to take that one-day at a time. Tory might just be willing to open up her heart just a little to try. Being back near the place where it happened brings back memories that could be even worse than she ever imagined since the killer is still out there.

Ms. Roberts has seriously out done herself with this book. I loved seeing the story from Tory’s side, Cade’s side, and Hope’s twin sister’s Faith’s side of things. It really gave me a full rounded feeling that I don’t always find with some books. It is certainly not easy to write. This book had me before I even started it. I could not wait to see how everything played out.

Victoria “Tory” Bodeen is a sweet woman. She had a hard childhood and now is learning to deal with the past. It has followed her ever since she left so she figures it is best to just go back to where it started. She knows ahead of time that it’s going to be difficult but there does not seem to be a way around it. Cade Lavelle has always known who Tory is but never really thought much of her. Now that she has finally grown up, he cannot seem to take his eyes off of her no matter what his mother or sister may think. He knows that Tory had nothing to do with his sister Hope’s death and hopes to prove that to her.

I really liked this story and found it a quick read. I love Southern stories and this one just was added to my favorite books list so far this year. I am a huge fan of Nora and I really like her books. Not all of them are predictable and that is what makes her so much fun. I am definitely keeping this book!

Nora Roberts/Romance/ Romance Challenge/ Chunkster/470 pages/ 4 out of 5

I started the movie and noticed some significant changes right away. We'll see how the rest of it goes before I make a final opinon.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig

Letty Alsworthy is determined to set Lord Geoffrey Pinchingdale-Snipe straight when she catches her sister getting ready in the middle of the night. He shouldn’t marry her sister Mary. Letty must save her family name but in doing so gets mistaken for her sister and finds herself in front of Geoffrey being kissed. The scandal caused by this makes them get married and Letty finds herself near a man who hates her. Eloise Kelly is fighting her own battles with trying to find information on The Pink Carnation and The Black Tulip. She has found things that could change the course of history. Dallying with Colin Selwick, the great-nephew of Mrs. Slewick-Alderly, keeper of important hidden documents. She wants a romantic adventure to call her own.

Ms. Willig is a fabulous writer. This is the third book in the series and both story lines running in this book kept it close to me till I was finished. The history of that time in the 1800’s was so different that it compels me to keep reading. The characters are so similar in both time periods sometimes it just makes me laugh.

Eloise doesn’t want to ask for help in proving what she has found. She wants to find something to shove it in Colin’s face. She feels like forever has passed yet cannot think of any reasons to call him. Yet she cannot help feeling like there is something between them every time they meet. Letty feels double-crossed when she finds out that her new husband has left her behind. She is a very stubborn woman yet she is very sensitive. She knows that she is not the most attractive woman in her mind. Geoffrey is furious when he finds out she has followed him. The man still even resents having to marry her. I wanted to slap him upside the head sometimes. I loved seeing past characters come back in this book. It just made me smile. No matter what time period, they certainly know how to get themselves in trouble.

This is one series that never disappoints me. It takes me a few pages to get used to the style of writing that Ms. Willig uses but then it becomes like an old friend. I am so glad I have the next one in the series to read. Book 5 in the series cannot come out soon enough for me. The romantic scenes were wonderfully written. The feelings came across as very genuine once they were realized. The characters may have faults but that is what makes me enjoy them so much!

Lauren Willig/ Historical/ Romance/ 387 pages/ Romance Challenge/ 5 out of 5

Off to another review book and then Carolina Moon by Nora Roberts. :) Got a lot of review books on my pile.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Settling of Accounts by Carolyn G. Hart

Kay has to take the place for her partner Melissa when she falls and gets hurt. Kay does not want to go back to London where her past as a secret agent took place during World War 2. Once she arrives, she feels like she is being watched and cannot figure out whom it could be that would do such a thing. But going to the auction is what really sets her on her toes; she sees a face from the past. And there seems to be an account that needs to be settled but what will it take?

Ms. Hart really knows how to keep you in suspense. This book was published in the 1970’s but it falls flat some times. There were some things in this book that didn't make sense even though they were clearly explained. Sometimes the characters just went too far and told everything. Yet the ending was what bothered me the most. I never knew how the last situation turned out. It was very frustrating. I don’t like it when strings are not wrapped up. Well at least not one or two of them because I am not looking for a happily ever after just to understand who survived and who didn’t. Maybe I am asking for too much.

Kay had a privileged life and she didn’t understand that the friendships she made could be harmful for her. Her niece Julie had a better understanding of that and she was the one who came to look for her aunt. I liked the young Angus who was in this book because he understood the extreme situation that Kay and Julie were in. Yet it never seemed to be enough though, the police didn’t want to do anything. That was believable but yet not enough.

I hate giving bad reviews but this book just flopped for me. All the facts presented made sense and they fit together. Yet the ending was what made me so upset. Oh, well. I have another book coming from this author and ironically it was written after this one. So I am hoping it will go better than this one.
Carolyn G. Hart/ New Author/ Author of the Month/ 185 pages/ 2 out of 5

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie is learning all over again how to use what Maurice taught her. Georgina needs answers to her twin bother Nicholas’ death. So with the advice of Dame Constance, she seeks out Maisie. Struggling to put everything together, Maisie is tested again. She must go to places Nicholas loved and comes across hidden things. Yet while doing her best for Georgina, she becomes pulled away by a different tragedy. She now must get back to the case and figure out how the different things fit together and remain steady at the same time. Yet she wonders if she can do that.

Ms. Winspear weaves a story full of emotions. Her characters know how to truly feel things but not always share them. The doubts that Maisie must face are relevant to even today. The time and place could be anywhere because of the emotions in this story. War seems to be always there even if we are not involved. I admired Ms. Winspear’s blatant honesty and that her characters are flawed.

Maisie is a woman full of doubts, emotion, and not always willing to look inside herself for the answers. She not only has a lot to think about in this particular case but also in how to handle her personal affairs. Georgina’s family is very intriguing not only in the way they express themselves but how they act around each other. I think this is the most demanding case for Maisie. She has to deal with her dreams and what she wants for her life and so soon after falling ill. I was thrilled to see Inspector Stratton back. He is a man who knows how to listen to Maisie and take in everything she says. Even if her may look bad to other people he works with. He is an honorable man and one I hope to see more of in the next book.

This book got to me because we are in a war now. And no matter what your opinion, it is something we need to think about. Not only those affected by what we do in other countries, but how it affects us at home. Ms. Winspear’s books do make you question what you think about life. Though that may not be her intent that has been my experience. I feel truly blessed that I live now and can appreciate the freedoms we have. As alluring as any other time period might be, I’m glad to be here now. I looked forward to the next book in the series to see what Maisie is up to next. This is one character that never disappointed me with all her faults. It reminds me that I have much to learn still and will do my best every day.

Jacqueline Winspear/ 322 pages/ Mystery/ War/ Historical/ 5 out of 5

I finished this one Sunday but have been busy reading review books. Right now I am working on a book for the author of the month for my yahoo group AN2R. :) Well off to bed!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pardonable Lies by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie is in for the most difficult case of her life. A friend of Lord Compton’s, Cecil Lawton promises his wife on her death bed that he would find out if their son Ralph survived the war or not. So not only does she have to do her best to find out the truth but also Maisie will have to face some of her own past as well. That is not something she has done yet. It will test her strength and her friendship to Maurice Blanche. Her old friend Patricia Evernden asks for help in finding out what happened to her brother as well. The connections found will surprise Maisie and hopefully help her deal with her past.

Ms. Winspear has such emotion in her books. Her characters have a lot to deal with living when they do but that never seems to slow them down for too long. The things that happened in this book were hard to handle at times but I just had to keep reading. A lot of trust was tested but it was going to take awhile to heal. Ms. Winspear does a fabulous job of describing what places look like so I feel that I am right there.

Maisie is such a sweetheart. I felt horrible with the things that happened to her. I had to know who was behind it all. Maisie kept going no matter what she was told because she was being paid to find out the truth. I feel like she would have done it even without the pay but she has to make a living somehow. Maurice really surprised me in this book. The things that he had done and were still involved in shocked me. Old friends reappeared in this book for Maisie and the things she was asked to do was not always good. Things finally caught up with the poor lady and I truly felt for her. She was doing her best at setting things to rest and then new things kept coming up.

I really do enjoy this series. It is something to be cherished. I learned a lot about that time period and cannot wait to pick up the next one. Maisie is a character I can still relate to even though I was never involved in a war. Her job at finding the truth makes me want to seek that out in my own life everyday. Ms. Winspear has a treasure on her hands and it just keeps getting better.

Jacqueline Winspear/342 pages/ Mystery/ Historical/ 4 out of 5

I am now reading a review book and then onto Messenger of Truth, the fourth book in the Maisie Dobbs series.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Parallel Attraction by Deidre Knight

Jared Bennett has been focused on his people’s fight for freedom. Thinking of nothing else, the people around him keep reminding him that he needs to mate. He has the power to overthrow his enemy the key to time. Yet one woman will change his life forever. Kelsey has always known someone was out there for her. Though she never found him. When she meets Jared, the attraction for him is so strong she cannot explain it. She knows he has not told her everything but she has no idea what he is hiding. Could his secrets cost them their future together?

Ms. Knight is a fantastic author. The word she uses to spin her tale is amazing. I was swept up not only in the romance between Jared and Kelsey. I also found the culture of the Refarians fascinating. I am sure there is so much more to learn and I cannot wait! The intricate details were planned and I was blown away by how well she created the alien world. Having it take place in our backyard just makes it come alive.

Jared is a man full of duty and honor to his people. That was so refreshing. He also knew that he could not commit to someone he did not care for romantically. Scott Dillon, his best friend, did not understand that at all. But he had to get over it to support Jared’s decision. Kelsey had so much heartache but knew someone was out there for her. Her friends thought she was silly but she knew it in her heart. That was all that mattered to her. I really felt for Thea since she had this ideal in her mind since she was a child. All the people truly loved Jared and I believed that he deserved their admiration.

This is a series that truly delights from the start. I love Science Fiction and if all aliens look like Jared. They truly sizzle. Yet the people do want to protect Earth and win their world back from their enemy. I was pulled in from the beginning. The emotions are real and the difficulties ahead for Jared and Kelsey are not easy for them to face. I just hope they continue to do well.

Deidre Knight/ Romance/ Midnight Warriors Series/ Paranormal/ 320 pages/ 5 out of 5

I have book 2 Parallel Heat on order. I am so glad my friend from AN2R thought up this challenge. Off to the world of Maisie Dobbs again!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

White Chocolate Moments by Lori Wick

Arcineh Bryant’s world fell apart after she fell asleep in the back of her parent’s car and then woke up with them gone. Now she is living with her grandpa and things seem to get back to normal. Yet there is something that will happen that is out of her control. She feels betrayed years later and has to get out of there. She meets a girl who she can live with and starts to do hard physical labor. Yet there is a hole in her heart that she cannot fill. She does not know if her path will ever cross with her grandfather again.

Lori Wick is at it again. The transformation between Arcie’s loss and then the end is wonderful. This is not a typical book for Ms. Wick but then she has written so much that I found I did start to really like this book. There is a lot about this book that I really liked. Arcineh is such a sweetie as well as the minor characters are a blast too.

I could not get enough of Arcie. She is a sweet girl who develops into a wonderful woman. I loved watching her grow up. Her cousin Quinn drove me up the wall. Sam, Arcie’s grandfather, was truly married to his business. Though he got a wake up call and had to learn how to change things. Business did still take a bit of priority. I loved Violet, who was the housekeeper for Sam. She is a sweetie and picks up the pieces for Sam. She is a solid rock for Archineh to lean on.

This book had me going from the beginning. I had to find out how Arcineh would turn out. This is certainly not one of my favorites but this was a wonderful book. I loved seeing the relationship between Arcie and Gage grow and bloom. This is one I do recommend and now I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next. Chocolate is a good thing and how it played a part in this book was very cool!
Lori Wick/ 368 pages/ Christian Romance/ Family/4 out of 5

Well off to a romance by a soon to be favorite author of mine Diedre Knight.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Birds Of A Feather by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie is having her hands full with the cases coming in rapidly. Though one case grabs her attention. A well to do gentleman Joseph Waite needs her help to find his daughter Charlotte. She has run away again and he wants to have her back as soon as possible. While searching her room, Maisie comes across an address book that had a prayer in it. Maisie has ideas on where to look at but needs to stay focused. On top of it all, three women are dead and there could be a connection to Charlotte. So Maisie needs to figure out what that is before something awful happens to Charlotte.

Ms. Winspear knows how to write emotion. There is so much emotion in the book that it was overwhelming at times. Yet through it all, it was an emotional time after the war. I can understand that. That is what made it so compelling. All the characters had their place and the reminiscing really brought the book full circle so that you kept things solid in your mind.

Maisie had a lot to deal with in this book. I truly felt for her. She did seek out some help but she did seem more helpful to others than she did herself. It takes time and I hope she can realize it better. I also liked how Maurice was back in this book helping her realize how to see things and be able to solve the crime. Maisie did her best work when she shut up and let the room speak for it self. She also tried to visualize things and that was great.

This book was a lot more emotional than the last but that is how the case presented to Maisie. I am so glad I have the other two books on my shelf cause I am curious to see how quite a few things play out in the next one. This is a series so far that really lives up to being a mystery. There is more than just solving a crime there is the motivation behind it. That is what Maisie always tries to figure out so that she can help. I really liked it. I didn’t like it as much as the previous one but it was still a book that I really did like.

Jacqueline Winspear/ 336 pages/ Mystery/ 4 out of 5

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Manning Sisters by Debbie Macomber

The Cowboy’s Lady

Taylor Manning is not sure what she thought when she agreed to go to Cougar Point, Montana to teach. She must have lost her mind! Yet her mind seems to drift when she spots rancher Russ Palmer. He seems to have all the right things except he irritates her to no end. Her thoughts keep going back to the same thing how she would not mind being the cowboy’s lady.

This was a sweet story by Ms. Macomber. The differences between Russ and Taylor made the story so much more real. Opposites attract a lot in life but they can never seem to make it work. I liked that a lot. It wasn’t that they hated each other but Taylor found herself rationalizing what could be wrong with the relationship instead of what could make it work.

Taylor kept banging things around in her head. Already hurt once before, she was determined not to go down that road. And the funny thing was that she wasn’t looking for anything, just wanted a break from it all to heal. Russ Palmer seemed to have other ideas. But even he took awhile to come around to the idea. Mandy, Russ’ little sister did her best to keep these two involved. She was a little stinker but I think she even realized that they would have to figure it out on their own.

I cannot wait to see what happens in the next story. These characters are making me laugh out loud and I hope the next one does too!

The Sheriff Takes A Wife

Christy Manning is only planning on helping her sister Taylor adjust to her life after baby. She can only take two weeks off, but her boss understands since he is also her new fiancé. Christy just gets in the door when Taylor tells her it is time to go to the hospital. Russ is nowhere around so she calls for Cody. Her heart does flips when she notices him the first time. But can she tell him that she is engaged before anything happens or will she find herself heart broken?

Ms. Macomber does it again! Oh my word, this story was so emotional. I could not stop reading it! Cody and Christy had so much to get through before they could make a commitment to each other. This was quite the roller coaster but I knew it would be resolved somehow whether it ended good or bad.

Christy had a lot on her shoulders. Her parents had always expected a lot out of her and now she was not sure what to do since she no longer wanted to live up to it. Cody had his heart broken once before but Christy seemed to be the one for him. Yet when he finds out what is really going on can he keep his heart together and his hands away from Christy.

I liked both these stories. They were very real to me and so full of heart. It was a nice clean romance and I needed that. Heat has its place but something sweet is nice from time to time. I cannot wait for the next book in this series to come out in August. This is one author who never disappoints.
Debbie Macomber/Romance/Sisters/ 528 pages/ 5 out of 5

Oh and I hope to finish a review book that I will count towards my romance challenge set up by my yahoo group AN2R. :)

Four Wives by Wendy Walker

Four friends live a life most women achieve for. Yet behind it all, there is self-doubt, marital problems, and personal integrity. They may have it all but it is something that they fight for every day. Love, Marie, Gayle, and Janie are good friends and they rely on each other for help. Well as much help as one can get without being truly honest. They figure someone wrong is going on each other’s lives but can never prove it. Each woman has to figure out how to be true to herself first before anything else can happen.

Ms. Walker has a compelling story in this book. She tells it straight for each character and I felt I got a really good glimpse into each life. She puts characters that are easy to believe and problems that almost everyone is affected by. I really liked that and I also liked how you got to see everything from each character’s point of view. It made the story that much more believable since these four women were fairly close.

Love Welsh is a prodigy child who has let her past sit and fester. Marie is a divorce lawyer and normally helps out the father in the situation. Gayle is pretty much a stay at home mom but she comes from a wealthy family, which her husband resents. Janie is struggling in her marriage because she wants adventure and her husband likes what they have now. They all have children that they take care of in some aspect. Gayle wants to be more involved with Oliver but her husband wanted a nanny. Love wants to keep snuggling her 7-month-old son but other mothers say to toughen up. I felt for all these women. They did their best at expressing themselves but felt like they were going in circles.

This is one book that any woman can relate to even if we do not share their problems. These four women are doing their best to find their place in their own world and want to be fulfilled whether they have a job or not. Ms. Walker really gets her point across that you have to be happy where you are even if that means you have to move out of the world you are in and into another. This is a good debut novel and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

Wendy Walker/ Women/ Family/ Adult Fiction/ 368 pages/ 5 out of 5

I read this one last month but wanted to wait till the month of it's released to post to the review. Definitley a book to check out. :)

January Stats and Reads

My stats:
Total Books Read: 14
New Authors: 8
Fiction: 14
TBR: 0
Chunksters: 3
Books Reviewed: 7From the Stacks: 6Books I Bought: 11
PBS Sent: 3
PBS Received: 2Total Pages Read: 4, 392


Killing Fear by Allison Brennan 12-29-07 through 01-06-08 A
Three Weeks Last Spring by Victoria Howard 01-08-08 A
Blaze by Richard Bachman 01-08-08 through 01-10-08 A
Play Dirty by Sandra Brown 01-10-08 through 01-11-08 A+
Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear 01-11-08 through 01-14-08 A+
Leftovers by Laura Wiss 01-14-08 A
Third Degree by Greg Iles 01-14-08 through 01-19-08 C
The Darkest Evening of the Year by Dean Koontz 01-19-08 through 01-20-08 A
Peppermint Twisted by Sammi Carter 01-21-08 through 1-23-08 A
The Accidental Mother by Rowan Coleman 1-23-08 through 01-24-08 A+
The Art Thief by Noah Charney 01-25-08 through 01-29-08 C
Four Wives by Wendy Walker 01-29-08 A+
Dangerous to Know by Nell Dixon 01-29-08 through 1-30-08 A
Tough Cookie by Diane Mott Davidson 01-30-08 through 01-31-08 A+

I am working on number 2 of the month. I have 2 reviews to post though. :)