Friday, March 28, 2008

An Incomplete Revenge by Jacqueline Winspear

Maisie is asked by James Compton to look into some things down in a village in Kent. There have been mysterious fires that keep happening and the villagers say that it is all being clumsy. The villagers are prejudiced against the outsiders who come to pick hops as well as the secret that they all cling to about a Zeppelin raid that killed a family. She must use her finely tuned skills to figure out what is going on and get to the bottom of it all.

Ms. Winspear does her best work yet. There were some events in the book I was not happy to read but they were not unexpected. The depth and the richness of the details were so wonderful! I liked that we got to see into more of Maisie’s background with her family. That was so cool! This is one author who truly knows how to delve into the emotions of her characters and make you truly feel along with them.

Maisie is dealing with stuff from the past book as well as trying to figure out what is truly going on in the village in Kent. The villagers are tight lipped and all agree on the same story. Maisie knows something is not right but it will take her awhile to figure it all out. I loved having Billy Beale’s family around again. He works so well with Maisie and his wife Doreen understands what he does. Maisie’s father Frank is such a gentle spirit. He did so much for her and I love seeing their relationship.

This is one series that I hope more come out in because it keeps getting better but not sure what she would write about next due to the events in this book which I cannot share. This was a read that I enjoyed a lot and I hope to see more by this author even if it is not in this series.

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

I just got a bunch of review books but am hoping to sneak in some favorites still. lol

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lust in Translation by Pamela Druckerman

It’s crazy to think that books are written about this topic but I was mildly interested to see what this author would have to say. She gave a lot of facts and figures but it all came down to the simple fact that people do cheat on their spouses. Oddly enough, preconceived notions about who does the best or not true at all. Italians and Latin Americans are on the low scale for cheating while Togo and Cameron are the highest. That surprised me a lot; I would have thought it would have been what I had always believed. Though there are some countries that do not talk about sex at all like Russia, there are countries like South Africa where they should not be so much going on but that is the opposite case. With the spread of aids, you’d think that would slow things down but not at all. Then there are men who live double lives in China and the wives would rather not know that it happens. Or in countries where polygamy is accepted, it is not considered cheating.

Ms. Druckerman does her best to get statistics but finds it is not an easy task if morals are not where they should be. Or people just don’t want to admit to what they are doing at all. Now mind you some people feel no guilt at all like in China where there is a village of second wives. Or here in America where truth must be told and things can change. Some people never are able to get over it.

After reading this book, I definitely do not want to cheat. Whether I would feel guilty or not, there is a lot of possibilities, I could get sick or get pregnant and it is sincerely not worth the risk or excitement. I need to learn to do better about enjoying what I have than wanting something I do not. Life has moments where they could be heated up or cooled down; weathering the difference is not easy. That is why I read as many romance novels as I do, so I can appreciate what I do have and maybe learn something from them. I appreciated everything Ms. Druckerman had to say for her complete honesty and wanting to figure out what is truly going on in the world of infidelity.

Pamela Druckerman/ New Author/ Non-fiction/ 304 pages/ 4 out of 5

This is a book I got requested to review. Defintely an eye opening book. Now off to An Incomplete Revenge by Jacueline Winspear.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Palindrome by Stuart Woods

Liz Barwick is tired of her physically abusive football player husband. The last trip to the emergency room has her re-thinking everything. She wants to get away but is not sure how but she does know that she cannot tell anyone where she is going. She retreats to a beautiful island off the coast of Georgia. Yet she knows it may only be a matter of time before he finds her when she hears about the deaths of two people who were the only ones who knew where she was going. She is no longer safe and just hopes it will all be over soon.

Mr. Woods is a fantastic writer and I was pleased with this thrilling work. His characters in this book are complex yet has vulnerability to them. The descriptions were wonderfully done. Though there were a few instances where I did not need descriptions and was pleased that there was not.

Liz has had a difficult life but her desire to rebuild is commendable. She really does wonderful and she feels on top of the world. The people who live on the island are a family who love it. That is what made it so sweet. I loved getting to know the family members as well as the visitors who came to the island. The twins Kier and Hamish were the most intriguing pair. Yet Kier could be so sweet and wanted to help Liz get the best possible pictures of the island. While Hamish kept his distance and saw that was best. Bake Ramsey, the football player, was a horrible man. He let his desire to be the best no matter what overshadow what he could have been. It just proves again that abuse of steroids can cause problems. I know there are healthy ways to use them but in Bake’s case, there was a lot of abuse of them in their ability to make him stronger.

Mr. Woods is someone I definitely want to read more of. I know he has a great series and I would love to delve into that someday. For now I will keep myself reading his stand alones to acquaint myself better with his writing. This was quite the book and the twist at the end shocked me! So he does now how to play his hand well and keep you interested.
Stuart Woods/ AN2R Author of the Month/ 434 pages/ Chunkster/ Fiction/ 5 out of 5

I enjoyed this book immensely. Now I am working on a review book and then a book Lust in Transaltion, mind you it is a review book but it looks interesting.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Race Against Time by Justine Davis

Kit Cameron is trying to piece together the book her father wanted. Though she keeps getting distracted by trying to help whomever is breaking into her neighbors’ houses for food. She wants to help him no matter the problem but the question is if he will let her? Race Barkley has known very little kindness in his life and keeps his secrets guarded. Now having met Kit, he wonders if there is something more he can have with her that is if he can just see past today.

Ms. Davis keeps everything so simple that I could just fall in love with the characters. The situation that they were dealing with was certainly not an easy one. The writing style was nothing fancy but her descriptions really made the story come alive. I am a romance buff and this is one author I would definitely want to read more of.

Kit was in for some shocks to come as she worked on unraveling the puzzle of what her father was working on. She kept saying she was better with words than with science and I could see that. If explained she could follow it, but it was not her forte a bit. Race, on the other hand, was a sponge. He seemed to be able to soak up anything except kindness. With his past still haunting him, it took him forever to be able to trust someone and now that person was gone.

This was a light read even though rather suspenseful. There was not a whole lot to it, which made it go by even quicker than usual. As I said before, this is definitely an author I would like to read more by.

Justine Davis/New Author/ Romance/ 256 pages/ 4 out of 5

I am glad to finally get to one of my own pile! lol Now I just started Palindrome by Stuart Woods and then back to review books.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

IOrish Dreams by Nora Roberts

Irish Rebel

Keeley Grant has had a privileged life. Everything she has ever wanted has been hers. Now her father brings Brian Donnelly to Royal Meadows to help train horses. Keeley is not sure what to think. Brian is taken aback by Keeley, not only is she beautiful but she has talent with teaching children to ride horses. He is not sure what to do with her since her position and her wealth should keep him back. Her innocence is what attracts him and he wonders if he could find a place to stay.

I really liked this story not only for the way Brian talked, which did make me swoon. But for the lovely story of two people overcoming the ideals set for them and to make new ones for themselves. Nora Roberts has a wonderful writing style that pleases my heart time and time again.

I loved all the characters. Keeley is a determined woman and does not always like to ask for help. Brian cannot seem to get past the class distinctions that are stuck in his head from being over in Ireland. But it is Keeley’s mother Adelia who seems to be the one to set everything right. She won my heart because she was compassionate and could keep the men in line.

Sullivan’s Woman

Cassie St. John is struggling not only in her journey to get published but to keep a job in general. So when she is asked to pose for Collin Sullivan, she decides to take the job since she could use the extra pay and then time to work on her second book. Everything seemed to point that her troubles were over but just one look and she knew it could only be the start.

This story was endearing for the simple fact that they were not out to jump each other’s bones right away. There was more to it than that and they had a lot of stuff to work through. This was just as wonderful as Irish Rebel. Nora Roberts can captivate you so much.

Having them deny their love was fun to watch. They knew that there was something between them but Cassie didn’t want to be known as one of Collin’s next thing. Collin wanted to keep things professional. Cassie was so sweet and yet had such a temper. Yet Collin could match her with her temper.

Both stories were really good. I really liked Sullivan’s woman better. Though they both had class distinctions, the last story reversed the situation. This is one book that was immensely good with both stories. I love books like this and hope to read another one by Ms. Roberts soon.

Nora Roberts/ Romance/ Chunkster/ 432 pages/ 5 out of 5

Back off to review books!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Veil of Roses by Laura Fitzgerald

Tamila Soroush is lucky enough to get a visa to come to America. Now with three months to find a husband, she has so much to learn. From her first trip to Victoria’s Secret to her first country line dance, she learns to embrace the freedoms she never got to experience in Iran. Her sister is so determined for her to stay that she does her best to find a suitable husband for her. Tami, on the other hand, finds herself falling in love with just the man her sister warned her about. Tami sees nothing wrong with Ike but her sister won’t agree.

Ms. Fitzgerald writes a novel of the heart. The struggles women face in Iran are very real. I found this book to be realistic but at the same time not over done. Things are just the way they are and Tamila has a difficult time understanding what freedom is like. I found the reactions to the situations in this book very normal. I applaud Ms. Fitzgerald to write this book. I enjoyed it immensely.

Tamila is a woman I could admire. She wanted to enjoy freedoms though it took her awhile to accept them. Her friends in her English Language class certainly helped her in ways I could never imagine. They had been in her same boat in one way or another and so could reach out to her better. Ike was a man who knew what he wanted just had to be patient to get it. Though with a little help from Eva, a girl Tami knew from her class, was a good thing.

I do not want to give this book away but I cannot say enough of how wonderful it was. This author has a way with words that wowed me. Things were so simple that it was fun and light. The issues were not at all of that sort but the book dealt with it in a way that was enough to try to grasp what was going so I could try to emphasize. This is one author that I hope writes more cause it would be interesting to see what she writes next.
Laura Fitzgerald/320 pages/ New Author/ Fiction/ 5 out of 5

I finished this one last night really late. :) But it was well wroth the read in one day! Off to A review books then then one from my pile!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

The Rich Die Young by Carolyn G. Hart

Ann Farrell goes back to her old school to teach. She needs to do something to take her mind off things. She finds a horrible threatening note in her desk and is shocked. Then she comes across the body of a student at the bottom of a barranca. She cannot believe that he was the one who wrote the notes but has no proof either way. She decides to ask some questions. Along the way she finds herself attracted to the policeman on case Alonzo Fox. Before she can answer all the questions, she will face a deadly killer.

Ms. Hart has vastly improved between this book and the last one I read. Mind you there was not much of a happy ending but I didn’t feel quite so confused and stunned at the ending. Her writing is getting better and I know these are older books so I am curious to see what her writing looks like now. I’ll get there. I am glad I picked up a second book by this author. It was well worth my time.

Ann is someone who is nosey and I liked that about her. She wanted the truth to be told and clear the student’s name. Alonzo Fox was a sweetheart. It was fun to read about the two of them. The relationship was only in the beginning stages when the book ended but that was okay with me. The other teachers had their issues but then that made it more interesting. The reasons for all the pink notes were intriguing. I felt bad that they might have come out but you’d think people would be more careful.

This was a good mystery and the outcome surprised me. I didn’t see it coming. Definitely a good author and one I want to read more by her. Yeah, there were loose ends but nearly as many as the last book. They just keep getting better thank goodness!

Carolyn G. Hart/Mystery/ 179 pages/ 4 out of 5

I am off to read couple more reivew books and then back to my own pile. lol

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Pushing Up Bluebonnets by Leann Sweeney

Abby Rose is actually called in to help the police for once. She needs to identify a woman who is lying in a coma after a horrible accident. Cooper has no idea what he has just gotten himself into. The chance that the woman is connected to a prominent family in Texas only raises the stakes on this one. She better learn to watch where she is going or it might hurt her this time.

Ms. Sweeney is a fabulous writer! I felt like I was coming home again to these characters. Repeat performances from my favorites were great to see. Things got really interesting between quite a few of them. The situations that Abby sees herself in are realistic. The woman does her research. I was very pleased with this book but this is one author who would have to do quite a lot to make me upset.

Abby is so sweet and I love her relationship with her boyfriend Jeff. Everything is so genuine and they do their best to include everyone in the family for time together. Jeff realizes how important Kate is to Abby. These men are not stupid and they know how to relate. I love it about them!

This series moved right along in this book. I was proud of Abby since she had to keep things secret. She was not for an easy time but I knew she was doing her best. The situation with the rich family certainly had her on the outs. I could sympthasize with her because I wanted to strangle them too. They thought they had their best interests at heart but always got involved in horrible things. Oh, well, Abby sure set them straight and I like that about her. She did get herself in sticky situations but then was able to work her way through it. This is a great series and I hope there are more to come!
Leann Sweeney/ Mystery/ Texas/ 288 pages/ 4 out of 5

Well off to reading another review book, then it will be The Rich Die Young by Carolyn G. Hart and then another review book.