Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant

Cecilia Grant's debut, A Lady Awakened is a wonderful historical romance, with an unusual premise: Martha Russell, who is recently widowed, propositions Theophilus Mirkwood, in the hopes of conceiving a child and preventing her estate from falling into cruel hands.

Martha is reserved, stern, and full of ideals about improving the lives of her tenants and women. Theo is reckless, fun loving, and has lived his life avoiding responsibility. He has been exiled to the country by his father who is tired of his frivolous ways. Martha and Theo are seemingly completely incompatible, their first meetings are stiff and awkward, and the sex is terrible.

However, both of them have good hearts, and strive to treat the people in their lives with decency. Slowly, Martha helps Theo to see the good that he could do, and Theo begins to tentatively make connections with the neighbors. Martha is full of ideas, but struggles to relate easily with others, while Theo is at ease with most people. Together, they balance each other out, and help each other to grow.

A Lady Awakened was sweet, gentle and sexy, with intelligent and engaging characters. I look forward to reading more of Grant's work.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

New Fiction 1/29/13

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 Alpine Xanadu by Mary Daheim
The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee
A Deeper Love Inside by Sister Souljah
Easter Bunny Murder
by Leslie Meier
Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster
The Imposter Bride by Nancy Richler
Insane City by Dave Barry
The Man in 3B by Carl Weber
The Marlowe Papers by Ros Barber
News From Heaven by Jennifer Haigh
Proof of Guilt by Charles Todd
Scent of Darkness by Margot Berwin
Speaking From Among the Bones by Alan Bradley
Until the End of Time by Danielle Steel
The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Love in the Afternoon by Alison Packard

Packard’s debut features a refreshing venue for her two protagonists, Kayla Maxwell and Sean Barrett, soap stars on A New Dawn.

Sean, a veteran of the show, is a Hollywood heartthrob who has been burnt from women using him to get to his famous father.  Kayla, still trying to prove herself as a serious actress, also carries emotional baggage from her ex and vows to never date another actor again.

When the writers start scripting a new romance featuring Kayla and Sean’s characters, it is clear that the chemistry is just as hot off screen as it is on.  While they are navigating this new relationship, Kayla starts receiving hate mail that indicates the threat is more serious than just another crazy fan. Sean and Kayla look to each other for safety as they work to stop the person who endangers more than just their relationship.

Most readers will peg Kayla’s stalker early on, but that is a minor defect in a novel that succeeds in crafting an engaging and substantive romance with likable characters. Packard’s next book (The Winning Season) featuring Kayla’s sister Kelly and Sean’s best friend Matt is set for release in July.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, January 18, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne

Amy Wilde is a gardener who is socially awkward around men.  When her roommate and best friend decides to throw a party, Amy is determined to get over it. She meets Leo and something just clicks. She has no problem talking to this great guy. They start dating and everything is going well and then Amy finds out the truth. Leo is a Prince!

Amy adjusts to the idea that her boyfriend is a prince. And then he proposes and Amy is suddenly thrown into the world of the royals. There are so many rules and so many tabloid reports, Amy is overwhelmed. Plus she doesn't want her parents in the spotlight because a scandal from the past could ruin the lives they have built. Now Amy is beginning to question if her love for Leo is enough to deal with this mad chaos.

I am a huge Hester Browne fan and The Runaway Princess did not disappoint! I totally recommend this book and her Little Lady Agency series!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

New Fiction 1/22/13

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.

Arsenic and Old Puzzles by Parnell Hall
Ever After by Kim Harrison
Miss Dimple Suspects by Mignon Ballard
Out of Warranty by Haywood Smith
The Riptide Ultra-Glide by Tim Dorsey
Suspect by Robert Crais

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler

I don't know what to say about Tempest Rising, the first book in the Jane True series. I didn't LOVE it, but it was interesting enough that I wanted to keep reading.  The protagonist is likable enough, but there were a lot of different supernatural species to understand and keep track of that made for a more difficult read than I would have liked.  On the other hand, all the supernatural beings are what make this book unique and there was enough sexy love scenes for romance readers to enjoy.

Jane True works at a bookstore in a small town called Rockabill, Maine and is somewhat of an outcast.  Ever since her boyfriend died and her mother disappeared, the town's rumor mill began their vicious lies about Jane, so she has never quite fit in.  The only reprieve she has is her secret swimming adventures in the aggressive sea, which Rockabill is known for.

On one of her late night swimming excursions, Jane comes across a body that she pulls onto shore.  Unfortunately, the body, which belongs to tourist, Peter Jakes, is already dead. Not wanting to give the town more reason to despise Jane, she leaves it for the police to discover, hoping the authorities don't connect her to the body.

What she doesn't expect is to be contacted by a different kind of authority.  On her walk home, Jane is approached by Nell (part Gnome), Trill (a kelpie; part pony), and Anyan (a hellhound) who fill her in on her history.  Jane is what is known to the supernatural world as a half-ling  as she is half human, half selkie, which means she is part seal and explains why the water is always calling her.  Trill informs her that she will receive a visit from Ryu, an investigator for supernatural beings, regarding Jakes death.

Ryu, a sexy vampire who feeds on the lust of humans, brings Jane in on his investigation.  The two work together to figure out who and why Jakes was killed, and why two of goblins investigating the murder were also killed.  Along the way, Jane learns a little more about her secret past and is introduced to a whole world of supernatural beings she never knew existed.

Like I said, this wasn't my favorite book, but it kept me intrigued enough that I hope to pick up the second book in the series.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Lantern by Deborah Lawrenson

She meet him in Switzerland and a month later is living in France with him. We never learn her name but Dom calls her Eve. She is totally in love with Dom and couldn't be happier. Except for his former wife. He won't talk about her and makes her promise not to ask anymore questions. She has her books and he has his music and they are happy. Except for the bodies that are found in the bottom of their pool they are having renovated. Oh and do I mention the ghost?

Benedicte Lincel grow up in the house with her mother, father; sister and brother. Her sister because a famous perfumer and then disappears. The brother was always cruel. But the big mystery was where did Benedicte's sister go?

Now Eve is suspicious of Dom. He had been to that area before with his former wife and the locals are whispering dreadful things in Eve's ear. She doesn't know who or what to believe. Is she in love with a killer?

I really enjoyed this book. It reminded me of Rebecca and it is even mentioned in the book! It was a bit descriptive but that added to the story. The chapters go back and forth from present day and the past. I will definitely pick up the next book by Deborah Lawrenson.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Fiction 1/15/13

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 Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
Blood of War by Larry Bond
Enemy of Mine by Brad Taylor
The Fifth Assassin by Brad Meltzer
Habits of the House by Fay Weldon
Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
Standing in Another Man's Grave by Ian Rankin
The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Romancing the Holiday by Jaci Burton, et al.

Recently divorced Lila Payne is hoping to turn a new leaf when she inherits her uncle’s dilapidated resort in Dimon’s cheerful “We’ll Be Home for Christmas.”  The furthest thing from her mind is a run in with Spence Thomas, a man she had an incredible three-night stand with but was never to going to see again.  Spence, on the other hand, has plans to mend more than just Lila’s cabins.

Chicago’s magical skyline is the perfect back drop for “Ask Her At Christmas,” where Caitlin McIntyre is shocked that her best friend (and secret crush) Kyle Lockhart not only intends to propose to his girlfriend of only six months, but also enlists Caitlin’s help.  This proposal comes with a business merger that will finally grant Kyle the respect of his dying father. How can Caitlin refuse, even if it is at the expense of her own heart?

Burton’s characters from her Kent Brothers series provide a dash of welcomed spice in “The Best Thing.” An unexpected (but much desired kiss) at last year’s company Christmas party between Tori and her love’ em and leave’ em boss, Brody Kent has left her uneasy. Brody is intent on fixing their relationship, but Tori is unsure that she can trust him. Fortunately, Christmas is rolling around again, and this may just be the right time for him to get past his commitment issues and win Tori’s heart once and for all.

This feel-good anthology provides three perfectly suited stories that will warm the hearts of all readers this holiday season. Those who want more holiday romance should also try this year’s other themed romance anthologies from Carina, Red Hot Holiday and A Galactic Holiday.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, January 4, 2013

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Death Warmed Over by Kevin J. Anderson

Loved, loved, loved this series starter!  Lots of quirky characters of the supernatural persuasion and an interesting enough mystery to keep the pages quickly turning.  If you like Butcher's Harry Dresden series, then you will find Death Warmed Over just as pleasing.

Dan Chambeaux (aka Shamble) is a private investigator in the Unnatural Quarter (I am assuming this is New Orleans, although the author never says specifically) working with his partner, attorney Robin Dreyer.  Robin handles the legal aspect whereas Shamble does the investigative work.  Shamble also works with his old college buddy, Unnatural Quarter beat cop McGoo.

He has only been back to work a few months since he was shot in the back of the head.  He rewoke as a Zombie but decided to go back to work and his old life, such as it is.  Shamble's motto is "the cases don't solve themselves."

The unnaturals came about from the Big Uneasy, a time in which the planets aligned in such a way that made a percentage of the dead come back to life in various supernatural forms.  And just like the human race, the unnatural have their share of crimes that need to be solved

While back in business, he gets started on a few new cases including a recently awoken mummy who demands his freedom from the Metropolitan Museum, a vampire convinced that all his neighbors have been murdered, and a witch who turned her sister into a pig due to a typo in a spell book.  Although he has his worked cut out for him, he also hopes to solve his own murder as well as the murder of their agency's administrative assistant and Shamble's girlfriend, Sheyenne, who has returned as a ghost.

While investigating a cosmetics company who caters to the undead, he comes across some clues that may lead him to his own murderer.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

New Fiction 1/8/13

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.

1356 by Bernard Cornwell
The Blood Gospel by James Rollins
Blood Money by James Grippando
The Bughouse Affair by Marcia Muller
Collateral Damage by Stuart Woods
Daddy Love by Joyce Carol Oates
Dream Eyes by Jayne Ann Krentz
Footprints in the Sand by Mary Jane Clark
The Husband List by Janet Evanovich
Ironhorse by Robert Knott
A Killer in the Wind by Andrew Klavan
Kinsey and Me by Sue Grafton
The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier
The Perfect Marriage by Kimberla Lawson Roby
The River Swimmer by Jim Harrison
Watching the Dark by Peter Robinson

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Storm Cycle by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

Rachel Kirby has one mission in life. Find a cure for her sister's fatal disease. With the help of her super computer, Jonsey, Rachel is always looking for a cure. One day going into the building that houses Jonesy, Rachel is shot at. The bullet grazes her temple and she gets a concussion. Not sure why she is a target, Rachel goes about her business. She receives a mysterious email from a man in Egypt. He is stuck in a tomb and needs help to get out. If Rachel helps him, he will help her safe her sister.

John Tanek is stuck in a tomb. John was sabotaged and needs help. He reaches out to Rachel Kirby with the promise to help her sister. He is trying to find out all he can on an Egyptian woman named Peseshat. She was a healer in ancient Egypt and John wants her information.

Rachel cannot resist the temptation to find out if John has the answers for the cure. She shows up with the rescue crew to save him. And then begins the adventure. Rachel and John aren't the only ones who want Peseshat's secrets. Now it is a race around the world to find the cure before it is to late for everyone.

I really enjoyed this book. I actually listened to the audio version and the narrator did an excellent job!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Body to Die for by Kate White

Bailey Wiggens is by far my favorite female sleuth.  I like that White puts the reader in Bailey's head as she is figuring out the crime.  If you like the investigative element as seen in Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware series, then you will be sure to find Bailey Wiggens to your liking.

In this second series offering, A Body to Die For, freelance crime reporter Bailey is visiting the Cedar Inn and Spa in Warren, Massachusetts at the urging of her mother, who is worried about Danny, the Inn's owner and a family friend. Bailey could also use a few days of relaxation, so this weekend will be the perfect getaway.

After reconnecting with Danny and taking advantage of the evening's last appointment for a massage, Bailey realizes that she left her watch at the spa.  Because of its sentimental value, she asks that Piper, one of the only therapists available that late at night with keys, to reopen the doors. In one of the spa's dark rooms, Bailey and Piper stumble across a body wrapped in mylar paper, the paper used for mud wraps.  Bailey quickly unwraps the mylar from the face, hoping that there is still a chance to save this person, but it becomes clear that she is already dead.

Bailey and Piper soon learn that the dead woman is Anna, one of the spa's masseuses.  As she is snooping around, Bailey learns of Anna's secretive past.  There are also Anna's ex lovers and even Danny's husband that could all have motive for murder. Bailey promises Danny she will get to the bottom of it all, but the sexy Detective Jeffrey Beck tries to stop her involvement.  And Beck isn't the only one annoyed with her nosing around.  A few cryptic threats make it clear that Bailey should mind her own business if she knows what's good for her.  Can Bailey help Danny and find justice for Anna without risking her own life?

If you like a good, solid mystery with a thorough and detailed investigation, then this series is for you.  I can't wait to pick up the next book, 'Til Death Do Us Part to see what crime Bailey will solve next and where her romantic relationship is headed.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Fiction 1/1/13

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.

Ratlines by Stuart Neville
Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn
Shadow Woman by Linda Howard
Tiger by the Tail by John Ringo
To Honor and Trust by Tracie Peterson
The Wrath of Angels by John Connolly