Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Playdate by Louise Millar

Callie has a secret. She wants to tell her friend, Suzy, but she is scared. Suzy has a secret. Her husband wants nothing to do with her. Debs has a secret. A secret that could rock this London neighborhood. Callie is a single mom to Rae, and she wants to go back to work. But Rae has a heart condition and her ex doesn't think Callie should leave Rae with strangers. Suzy is a mom of three boys and is desperate for a little girl but her husband barely touches her anymore. Debs has just moved into the neighborhood has a problem with anxiety. Any little thing could set her off.

Callie starts work and everything is going good until Rae has an accident when she is with Debs. And Callie is starting to realize that Suzy and her aren't as good of friends as she thought. Now Callie doesn't know who to trust especially when the unimaginable happens.

Each chapter of this book is told by the three different women, Callie, Suzy, and Debs. I wanted to like this book better than I did. In the end I didn't really care for any of the women in the story.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

New Fiction 11/27/12

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Broken Like This by Monica Trasandes
Cold City by F. Paul Wilson
Cold Days by Jim Butcher
Experiment in Murder by Margaret Truman
The Fractal Prince by Hannu Rajaniemi
The Legend of Broken by Caleb Carr
Target Lancer by Max Allan Collins
Seal Team 666 by Weston Ochse
Mandarin Gate by Eliot Pattison
Lethal Investments by K.O. Dahl
The Thieves of Legend by Rchard Doetsch

Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Racketeer by John Grisham

An exciting enough read, but certainly not one of Grisham's best.   When you are such a prolific novelist, I imagine it is hard to top some of your most popular works. This was still entertaining and a good choice if you need to kill some time, but to really see Grisham shine, you may want consider A Time to Kill or The Confession.

In The Racketeer, attorney Malcolm Bannister is serving a ten-year sentence at Frostburg, a federal prison in Virginia, for unknowingly laundering money on behalf of a shady client.  He is the librarian and a lawyer who has been known to get a fellow inmate out of prison a time or two through loopholes he discovers.

While in prison, Bannister learns from the papers that federal judge Ray Fawcett and his secretary have been violently murdered at the judge's lakeside cabin and that his safe has been broken into.  The FBI have no motive, no suspect, and no leads.  Enter Rule 35, which allows for a prison sentence to be reduced if a inmate provides government assistance in convicting another person.

Bannister claims that he knows the identity of the killer and will offer this information up if he can be a free man, have his face altered through plastic surgery as protection from the killer, and be granted a new life under witness protection.  After several negotiations, the FBI complies, but the reader soon learns that Bannister has more up his sleeve than what he is telling the Feds.

I liked that you never really knew what Bannister was up to until the very end, and Grisham again proves that he is at adept at using the intricacies of our law as the foundation for an engrossing story.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Change of Fortune by Jen Turano

I picked up A Change of Fortune, because I had read a good review of it. However, I was disappointed by the story.

A Change of Fortune is an inspirational historical romance set in New York in the eighteen eighties. Lady Eliza Sumner has traveled from England to New York, in the hopes of recovering her stolen fortune. She has taken a post as a governess, and is hoping to find the man who had stolen her fortune and lied about her family.

Mr. Hamilton Beckett, is a widower, successful businessman and highly eligible bachelor to the women of New York. He is also investigating a man who seems to have insider knowledge of Beckett's business. As it turns out, the man he is investigating and the man Lady Eliza is looking for are one and the same. Eliza ends up losing her job due to her investigation, and she ends up moving in with Hamilton. Hamilton's mother immediately hopes to set Eliza up with her son, and Eliza bonds with Hamilton's precocious children. However, Eliza believes that Hamilton isn't interested in her, and he believes that she will return to London, as soon as her fortune is recovered.  Eventually, the mystery is solved, Eliza recovers her money, and two lovers realize they belong together and decide to get married.

On the surface, this seemed like an interesting plot, with interesting characters. However, I didn't feel like the characters had much depth. The relationship between Eliza and Hamilton failed to captivate me, and I felt like many of the story twists were too obvious. Furthermore, because this is an inspirational romance, Eliza's faith is mentioned sporadically, but I felt like the parts of the story that dealt with faith and belief were tacked on just to make this inspirational, not because it was an integral part of the story. Overall, I was let down by this book, and happy to pick up another one.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

New Fiction 11/20/12

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Cat Bearing Gifts by Shirley Rousseau Murphy
The Buzzard Table by Margaret Maron 

The Forgotten by David Baldacci
Fox Tracks by Rita Mae Brown 
Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood

Olivia Mackenzie works for the IRS. But there are talks of lay offs so she is being proactive and looking for a new job. That is what brings her to that restaurant where she is assaulted. And that is where she meets FBI agent, Grayson Kincaid. Olivia is mistaken for a FBI agent by her prospective employee and he gets a little rough. Grayson steps in and saves Olivia.

Two months later, Olivia needs Grayson's help again. She has been working on a way to bring her father down. He is running a Ponzi scheme and Olivia will do anything to put him in jail. But someone will do anything to make her stop. Including shooting her. Now Grayson is helping her and acting as her bodyguard. She is reluctant for him to be her bodyguard since two months ago they kissed and he never called.
The deeper they dig, the more danger Olivia is in from the bad guys and from falling for Grayson.

I always enjoy Julie Garwood's books and Sweet Talk was just as great!  The characters are always likable and the story keeps you guessing until the end.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers

Whose Body? is the first book in Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries, and a great read for those who like more literary mysteries. Lord Peter Wimsey has come back from the war with what we would call PTSD. In an attempt to recover, he begins helping Mr. Parker, a Scotland Yard detective, with his investigations. By the time this story begins, he has made a name for himself by solving a case involving missing emeralds.

In Whose Body?, the story revolves around a body that mysteriously appears in a bathtub, and the simultaneous disappearance of a powerful and well known man of finance, Mr. Levy. Wimsey looks into the mystery of the body, and Parker is trying to figure out what happened to Mr. Levy. The two men work together, and eventually begin to suspect that there is a connection to the two seemingly unrelated incidents.
The final result is both satisfying and sorrowful.

The mystery is interesting in Whose Body?, but the real appeal for me was in Lord Peter Wimsey, and the small moments when bits of his past and character are revealed. Wimsey loves to portray himself as a shallow dilettante, but the deeper man peeks out at times. The characterization of his mother, friends and assistants is equally satisfying, and these are the reasons I enjoyed this novel.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Fiction 11/13/12

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Broken Like This by Monica Trasandes
The Colony by A.J. Colucci
Cross Roads by William Paul Young
Crown of Vengeance by Mercedes Lackey
Dear Life by Alice Munro
A Drop of Chinese Blood by James Church
The Heat of the Sun by David Rain
The Last Man by Vince Flynn
The Lawgiver by Herman Wouk
Life Among Giants by Bill Roorbach
Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
The Right Hand by Derek Haas
River Road by Suzanne Johnson
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan
Victory at Yorktown by Newt Gingrich
Woes of the True Policeman by Roberto Bolano
Young Philby by Robert Littell

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Overdrive by Chloe Cole

Vintage-car mechanic Frankie Sepkaski has a reputation for being wanton, and even though it may not be entirely founded in truth, it is a rep she is determined to protect. Wealthy architect Mac Galbraith is an antique-car collector who just happens to find his mechanic hotter than his vintage Mustang’s engine.

When Mac promises only friendship, Frankie stops hiding behind her reputation and succumbs to his advances. But her revelation at dinner leaves him offering much more. Frankie can handle a bedroom mentor as long as there are no emotional attachments, as she knows a man of Mac’s means and this grease monkey will never be a match. When Mac finally has her convinced otherwise, the issue of their class differences is brought to light and jeopardizes their romantic future and a chance at real happiness.

Although the narrative fizzles briefly when a character’s abrupt attitude change proves unlikely, the sensual romance between these two protagonists will have the reader devouring the pages of this amusing yarn. Cole (Just One Night) also writes as Christine Bell.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

If Only She Knew by Lisa Jackson

Although I like Jackson's New Orleans series better, If Only She Knew is an oldie standalone that showcases Jackson's early talents.  Readers of romantic suspense who don't want to invest in a series will find much to like here.

A horrific car accident that killed her friend Pam has left Marla Cahill in a coma.  When she wakes, she has no recollection that she has a newborn baby, a sixteen year old daughter, and is married to the wealthy Alex Cahill.  Her doctor believes the amnesia will only be temporary, but it isn't just that she doesn't remember; it's that none of it seems real.  The only person that seems vaguely familiar is Nick Cahill, Alex's brother and the black sheep of the family, who has returned to San Francisco to investigate the family company's finances.  According to her everyone, Marla had been in a relationship with Nick until she left him to marry his brother.

There is something very wrong going on at the cold Cahill mansion, where her family is determined to keep her from learning about her past.  Alex leaves in the middle of the night with no explanation. Eugenia, Marla's mother in law, has the keys to an office Alex keeps locked at all times.  No one seems to know what happened to her purse, where she kept her identification, after the accident.  None of what she is being told rings true and it is hard to fathom that Marla was the woman every says she is, especially when some of her memory returns and contradicts what she is being told.

Nick also finds the family's behavior suspicious and feels that there is something very sinister at work.  Marla can trust no one, not even her own family, expect for Nick, the only man she feels a connection with.  Can Nick help her discover the truth that everyone is determined she not know?

If Only She Knew is also available as an eBook from MyMediaMall.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

New Fiction 11/6/12

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. Please click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Bronze Summer by Stephen Baxter
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance by Lois McMaster Bujold
The Cassandra Project by Jack McDevitt
Collateral by Ellen Hopkins
Eight Girls Taking Pictures by Whitney Otto
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
The Labyrinth of Osiris by Paul Susssman
Looking for Yesterday by Marcia Muller
The Marseille Caper by Peter Mayle
Poseidon's Arrow by Clive Cussler
The Prodigal Son by Colleen McCullough
Prosperous Friends by Christine Schutt
A Season of Angels by Thomas Kinkade
The Silvered by Tanya Huff
Still Life with Shape-Shifter by Sharon Shinn
The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hell on Wheels by Julie Ann Walker

Nate Weller has always had a thing for Ali Morgan. But she was off limits because she is his best friend and fellow Marine Grigg's baby sister. Ten years after there first meeting, Grigg has been killed and Ali is being stalked. No longer a Marine, Nate now works for Black Knight Inc., a black ops organization, based in Chicago. They use a motorcycle shop as their front. Grigg also worked there at the time of his death.

Not sure what to do, Ali drives from Florida to Chicago to see Nate. Not getting a warm welcome, Ali nonetheless asks for help.Nate reluctantly agrees to find out why a kindergarten teacher is being stalked. What they find out is that Grigg sent Ali something important and certain people will do anything to get it back.And as much as Nate wants Ali he still can't have her. Because he is keeping a terrible secret about how her brother died.

This is the first book in the Black Knight Inc series and I am hooked. The premise did remind me of Tara Janzen's Steele Street series but it is different enough that I wasn't comparing the two.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Name of the Wind & The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

I loved The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear, the first two books in the Kingkiller Chronicle by Patrick Rothfuss. I had heard good things about Rothfuss for awhile, so I decided to give him a try. I wasn't disappointed. This is easily the most enjoyable, well written fantasy series I've read in awhile. The world is fascinating, and richly detailed, full of its own history, mythology and legends. The characters are three dimensional, and layered, and Rothfuss does a wonderful job with both his male and female characters. I loved the main character, Kvothe, who is both the narrator and main character. He is brilliant, proud, damaged, haunted and kind.

When we first meet Kvothe, he seems to be a broken man, living under an assumed name and running an unsuccessful inn. As we start to hear his story, we learn about his audacious past, and begin to get clues about what brought him to his present state. We follow his story through learning magic at the University, wild escapades, the constant struggle for money, and his quest to find out about the Chandrian, the beings responsible for the worst tragedy of his young life. We learn about the woman he loves, and his struggle to win her heart.

The books also delve into the nature of fame and history, and how often the truth is found in neither one. These books take you on a wild journey through adventure, romance and the human heart, and I cannot wait for the third book to be published.