Saturday, December 29, 2012

Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke by Suzanne Enoch

Suzanne Enoch's Rules to Catch a Devilish Duke was a delightful historical romance. It's the second book in Enoch's The Scandalous Brides series, and it deals with two characters that were introduced in the previous book.

Sophia White is the illegitimate and unacknowledged daughter of the Duke of Hennessy, who has been scorned and shunned her whole life. The first time she meets her father, he threatens her livelihood and her friends if she doesn't marry the man of his choice, something that Sophia knows will doom her to misery. In order to have one last golden memory, she accepts the Duke of Greaves' invitation to spend the Christmas holidays at his estate.

The Duke of Greaves is also going to have to marry immediately, due to terms in his late father's will. He invites a number of eligible women to his party, and also Sophia, purely to thumb his nose at society and his family. When an unexpected accident causes Sophia to be his only guest for much of the holidays, Adam and Sophia have a chance to realize that their brief impressions of one another are inadequate. Sophia is intelligent, loyal, caring, principled and resilient. The Duke is also intelligent, damaged, strong and caring.

Watching these two characters open up to one another,  fall in love, and overcome the obstacles in their path is satisfying, and I thoroughly enjoyed their love story. Furthermore, the secondary characters are also well drawn. All in all this is a well written, and moving romance.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Sand Angel by Mackenzie McKade

After freelance photographer Drew Thompson returns from Iraq, his first order of business is to reclaim the relationship he left behind three years ago. But Zoë Davis is not the same person Drew once knew. Her youthful innocence has been replaced by a wild toughness she created as a wall to her emotions when Drew walked out of her life. Zoë now lives for danger, and even as a professional biker, her antics have left everyone worried.

This weekend in the sand dunes of Glamis California may be Drew’s only opportunity to convince her that he made a mistake, but will Zoë’s craving for adrenaline have her spiraling out of control before it’s too late?

McKade (Wild; Bound by an Angel) knows how to push the bounds of erotic romance with a story that contains a steady stream of carnal sex and, when coupled with the thrill of fast machines and daring drivers, makes for a wild ride. Readers will be drawn to the rarity of the female protagonist’s passion for a male-dominated sport and will be rooting for Zoë to have her desires fulfilled by something more lasting than the rush of danger.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, December 21, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

New Fiction 12/25/12 - 12/31/12

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.

Empire and Honor by W.E.B. Griffin
Forbidden by Kelley Armstrong
The Intercept by Dick Wolf
Luck of the Draw by Piers Anthony
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
The Road to Cardinal Valley by Earlene Fowler
Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See by Julian Garey
The Wheel of Ice by Stephen Baxter

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor by Lisa Kleypas

Mark Nolan has just lost his sister. He is now the guardian of his six year old niece Holly. Ever since Holly lost her mom, she hasn't spoken a word. Mark takes Holly to live with him and his brother Alex in Friday Harbor, Washington. There Mark has a coffee chain and Alex has a vineyard. Together they will try and raise this little girl.

Maggie Collins has just moved to Friday Harbor and has opened a toy store. She is still mourning the loss of her husband and isn't looking for anyone new. But she didn't count on Mark and his adorable niece.

Mark has a girlfriend and is thinking of asking her to marry him so Holly will have a mom. But he can't stop thinking about Maggie. Will Holly get her Christmas wish of a new mom?

This a light, quick read to get you in the holiday spirit. This book was actually made into a Hallmark movie called Christmas with Holly. It is the first book in a new series about the Nolan brothers. The second one is Rainshadow Road and the the third is Dream Lake. A fourth one called Crystal Cove will available in 2013.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Stark Naked by Desiree Holt

In this erotic novella from Holt, leaving behind her broken heart in California, Reenie Davenport is hoping a new job and a new life where her old college roommate lives in San Antonio will give her a chance to start over.

When Reenie is just starting to reconnect with Amy at their family ranch, in walks her brother Matt Stark, who is not only inebriated but is also revealing all his assets.   Even though Reenie is suddenly filed with unavoidable desire, it is clear that Matt is the type of guy who has a black book full of numbers at his disposal.   Matt wants a chance to make it up to Reenie, and he soon realizes that she might be the one woman who can tame this wild cowboy, but can Reenie trust him enough to give him her heart?

Behind all the steamy love making that consumes this book resides a quaint little love story that is entertaining enough to fill a lazy afternoon and would be a good suggestion for readers of Linda Lael Miller’s western romances.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

To Whisper Her Name by Tamera Alexander

Tamera Alexander is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors!  To Whisper Her Name is the first in the Belle Meade Plantation novels.  The book is set just after the Civil War in Nashville, Tennessee on the Belle Meade Plantation, a real plantation known for raising thoroughbred race horses.

Olivia Aberdeen is a young widow without family and shunned from society because her husband was considered a traitor to the South.  Having nowhere to go, she moves to Belle Meade to be head housekeeper for long time family friend Elizabeth Harding.  However, Elizabeth’s husband, General Harding, has different plans for her and promises to find her a suitable husband.

Ridley Cooper, a southerner who fought for the North, met Belle Meade’s hostler during the war and wants to learn how to handle horses from him.  He plans to only stay a short time at Belle Meade and move on to the West.  Ridley has secrets, and he wants to put the war (and the south) behind him.

Olivia and Ridley meet on their way to Belle Meade when her carriage loses a wheel.  Neither is looking for love, and Olivia is officially in mourning.  They develop a close friendship, but their hopes and dreams go in different directions.  Will they find love?

I enjoy historical fiction that incorporates real people, events and locations into the story, and Tamera Alexander does a wonderful job bringing Belle Meade to life.  The plantation is open to visitors today.  This book is recommended for those who enjoy historical fiction, gentle reads, and Christian fiction.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Fiction 12/11/12

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.

The Bones of the Old Ones by Howard Andrew Jones
Extra Credit by Maggie Barbieri
A Possible Life by Sebastian Faulks
Orders From Berlin by Simon Tolkien
Political Suicide by Michael Palmer
Two Graves by Douglas Preston
Valley of the Shadow by Carola Dunn

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich

Nothing new happens here in Evanovich's nineteenth Stephanie Plum mystery, just the same mindless entertainment.

In Notorious Nineteen, Stephanie's latest bounty is Jeffrey Cubbin, out on bail after swindling thousands from his employer and residents of Cranberry Manor.  He disappeared after being hospitalized for his appendix.  There is no record of him leaving on any of the hospital security cameras.  The evening nurse claims the last time she checked on him he was asleep.

Stephanie and Lula soon learn that Cubbin's nurse moonlights at The Clinic, a luxury medical facility that seems mostly deserted except for the few cars that come and go.  Stephanie believes there is something going on here that has to do with Cubbin and talks Briggs from the hospital security into breaking in through the drop box (he is the only one small enough to fit).

Meanwhile, Stephanie has taken on a side gig with Ranger that involves providing security detail at his friend's wedding.  Both Ranger and his former military buddy have been receiving threatening messages, and Ranger needs Stephanie to stick close to the bride.  No surprise that her car blows up a few times along the way.  Fortunately, Ranger is always close at hand with a replacement.

If it weren't for Cluck-in-a-Bucket and Lula, I probably wouldn't be reading this series anymore.  Those are the best elements that make this series still worth reading, but the whole Morelli and Ranger love triangle and the usual Stephanie antics are getting old.  I imagine many readers will feel the same way.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell

What ultimately makes a person successful? Are people successful purely through their own merit, or are there other factors in play? This book by Malcolm Gladwell explores these ideas through statistics and analysis.

The book proves it's point by showing that seemingly insignificant factors can actually play a huge role in someone's life. Gladwell explains why most of the successful hockey players are born in January, and he explains the surprising factors that made people such as Bill Gates successful.

I really enjoyed this book. The way Gladwell writes is makes the book fairly accessible, but despite that he goes into detail on some very interesting subjects. At times the book has a dry sense of humor which makes it even more enjoyable to read.

Despite it technically being categorized as a self-help book, thankfully it isn't. It's more about sociology and statistics than telling people how to improve their lives. I'm not a fan of the "10 Ways to Improve Your Life!" style of books, so it's good to see a book about that kind of topic avoid this pitfall.

One thing I did dislike about the book is that when it seemed to hit its stride and explained one of its main points it ended. Don't get me wrong, one of the best things about the book is that manages to brief yet detailed, but I would have liked to see some more information at the end.

Despite that, I heartily recommend reading this book. I would also recommend checking out some of his other work, as it all is very well done. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

New Fiction 12/4/12

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.

All Fall Down by Harry Turtledove
And Then You Dye by Monica Ferris
The Child's Child by Barbara Vine
Dying on the Vine by Aaron J. Elkins
Nano by Robin Cook
Private London by James Patterson
Raised from the Ground by Jose Saramago
Shiver by Karen Robards
Shadow Creek by Joy Fielding
Threat Vector by Tom Clancy

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Once and Again by Lauren Dane

In this offshoot of Dane’s Chase Brothers series featuring one of Tate’s siblings, strong-willed Lily Travis returns to her small Georgia town to take care of younger brother Chris, who is failing school while their depressed mother drowns herself in the bottle after their father left with a much younger mistress.

With getting Chris back on track as her focus, the last thing she needs as a distraction is his teacher, Nathan Murphy, who caused the broken heart that made her leave Petal behind all those years ago.  With the Chase and Murphy families on his side, Nathan will not give up until he wins her back, and Lily is finding it difficult to resist the full package of sex appeal and heart that only comes around once in a lifetime.

Readers will be smitten by the southern charm of this sexy starter to the Petal, Georgia series.  The sensual romance between the likable protagonists, the focus on family and ample rolls in the hay make for an entertaining read for your contemporary set.