Saturday, March 30, 2013

Waltz with a Stranger by Pamela Sherwood

James Trelawnley is not a fan of balls. But this is his aunt's so he has to make an appearance. What he doesn't expect to find is a beautiful girl alone in the conservatory. When a waltz starts to play, James asks the girl to dance. 

Aurelia Newbold is depressed and feeling sorry for herself. It has been three years since her accident were she was left with a scar on her face and a limp. But when this handsome stranger asks her to dance, Aurelia isn't feeling so bad. 

A year has passed and Aurelia is back to her old cheerful self. She has been away rehabilitating her leg and is eager to get back to London. She is always hoping to meet the stranger who waltzed with her and to see her beloved twin sister, Amelia. But to her shock and dismay, Amelia is engaged to her mystery man.

The Newbold family has been invited to the ancestral home of James. There Aurelia and James spend time together and James is starting to see he picked the wrong sister. Will true love prevail or will they be destined to be apart?

This is the first book by Pamela Sherwood. I loved it. It was such a sweet, romantic story. I eagerly await her next book!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Book 1 by Denise Mina

After the huge success of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, Vertigo decided to release each of the titles as graphic novels. Last year, Book 1 of Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was released. Written by Denise Mina and illustrated by Leonardo Manco and Andrea Mutti, Book 1 covers the first half of the original novel.

I loved Larsson's book, so I was interested to see whether I'd enjoy reading the graphic novel version. Happily, I did.

Mina does a wonderful job of condensing this nearly 500 page novel into graphic novel form. The story moves quickly, doesn't get bogged down in details, captures the original's essence, and is easy to follow. The artwork is wonderful as well. The style is realistic and gritty which suits the tone of the story, and the visual details add important story elements. The characters are well drawn, and fit the novel's descriptions of them.

Overall, this was a fun graphic novel to read, and I am looking forward to the next installment.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

New Fiction 3/26/13

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
Capital Punishment by Robert Wilson
Death of Yesterday by M.C. Beaton
Frozen Solid by James Tabor
The Golden Egg by Donna Leon
The Guardian by Beverly Lewis
Hellhole Awakening by Brian Herbert
Island 731 by Jeremy Robinson
Killer Honeymoon by G.A. McKevett
Leaving Everything Most Loved by Jacquleine Winspear
Let the Dead Sleep by Heather Graham
Life After Life by Jill McCorkle
Lover at Last by J.R. Ward
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
The Rich Girls' Club by HoneyB
Robert Ludlum's The Utopia Experiment by Kyle Mills
Wolfhound Century by Peter Higgins
Z by Therese Anne Fowler

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Veil of Night by Linda Howard

Although not as sexy as Howard's Mr. Perfect or Up Close and Dangerous, Veil of Night packs plenty of suspense and the characters are interesting enough that this makes for an entertaining read and enjoyable read.

Jaclyn Wilde and her mother own their own business called Premier, which plans all kind of events, but mostly weddings, in Atlanta and the surrounding area.  This is a busy week for Jaclyn and Madelyn. being overbooked with 6 weddings in 5 days.  Worst of all is Jaclyn's appointment with Carrie Edwards, the mother of all bridezillas who won't stop in her rudeness and demands until she gets her way.  When Jaclyn confronts Carrie and explains that it is too late to make some of the last minute changes she desires, Carrie slaps her across the face and fires her on the spot, in front of the florist and the other humiliated  vendors.

Jaclyn can't be happier to have lost Carrie's business, but her life is about to go into a tailspin when she learns that Carrie was murdered at the reception hall later that afternoon.  Police believe it was a very personal crime, not a random act of violence, since Carrie was literary skewered to death with her veil placed over her face.  Since the public argument with Carrie, they are looking at Jaclyn as their number one suspect

The leading detective on the case is none other than Eric Wilder, the cop she met at the bar the night before and had the most pleasure night of love making she has ever experienced.  Jaclyn is never one to lose control, so she is in hurt to learn that her one night stand doesn't believe in her innocence.

Clearing the name is only half her problem, because the real killer is determined to make sure she keeps her mouth shut.  Eric will do anything to protect her, but how can she trust him with her life when she can't even trust him with her heart?

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Lady Sophie's Christmas Wish by Grace Burrowes

Lady Sophie Windham is finally alone. Her family has gone to their home in Kent for Christmas and think Sophie is staying with friends for a few days. But Sophie is staying home alone. When the housemaid decides to go back home with her  baby, Sophie accompanies her to the inn where the stage coach is. But to Sophie's surprise, the maid takes off and leaves the baby with Sophie.

Wilhelm Charpentier aka Vim is at the inn when he sees Sophie and a crying baby. Having raised his half siblings, Vim comes to the rescue. Gladly delaying his return to the home he grew up in, Vim agrees to help  Sophie with the baby.  Now they are alone at Sophie's and a winter storm has stranded Vim there.    

This was my first book by Grace Burrowes and I am hooked. This was the first book in the The Duke's Daughters series and book 3 of the Windham series.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

New Fiction 3/19/13

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Deadly Virtues by Jo Bannister
Double Feature by Owen King
Family Pictures by Jane Green
The Gate Thief by Orson Scott Card
Halo: Silentium by Greg Bear
A Matter of Trust by Lis Wiehl
Oleander Girl by Chitra Divakaruni
Queen Victoria's Book of Spells by Ellen Datlow
Shattered Pillars by Elizbeth Bear
Six Years by Harlan Coben
When Jesus Wept by Bodie Thoene
You and I, Me and You by MaryJanice Davidson

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Missing Child by Patricia MacDonald

Patricia MacDonald's novels of suspense are consistently what we call "sure bets." The characters are consistently believable and sympathetic and the plot always unfolds in unexpected ways.

In Missing Child, Caitlin and Noah Eckhart have been only married a few years.  They met at the memorial for Noah's deceased wife, Emily, who was killed in a hit and run accident.  Caitlin attended the memorial to confess to the family that her brother, who has died of a drug overdose, was responsible for Emily's death.  But Noah and Caitlin hit it off and there just was never a good opportunity for her to come forward.

In addition to marrying Noah, Caitlin also became the stepmom for Geordie, who was just a toddler when Emily died.  While dropping Geordie off at school for the Fall festival, he disappears into the bustling crowd of parents, teachers, and students in the gymnasium   Knowing he is safe at school, Caitlin leaves for work, but later receives a unsettling phone call that Geordie never showed up in class.  Immediately the police are notified and an Amber alert is issued, but as the days pass there are no solid leads into Geordie's disappearance.

While Caitlin's world is crumbling around her, so is her marriage.  A friend from James's past unexpectantly shows up, revealing Caitlin's secret.  Already distraught over his missing son, Noah is not too understanding of Caitlin's deception and starts questing whether Caitlin had something to do with Geordie's disappearance.  Caitlin loves Geordie and thinks of herself as his mother, so she will do anything to bring him home, even if following the clues puts her own life at risk.

This is a sold and thoroughly entertaining mystery that fans of Mary Higgins Clark will quickly gravitate towards.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Killing Lincoln by Bill O'Reilly

Conservative political commentator O'Reilly's Killing Lincoln doesn't cover any new ground and is another work focusing on the last weeks of the Civil War, Lincoln's Assassination, and the subsequent manhunt for James Wilkes Booth and his co-conspirators.  So, I am not sure why it is still on the NYT best seller list and has been 74 weeks now.

I am glad to have read this, though.  It was a good refresher on the events leading up to the most horrific crime in American history.  What happens to Lincoln is absolutely chilling, especially since he had dreams and premonitions of his own death.  O'Reilly paints Booth has the true dramatist he was.  Sometimes I questioned how much Booth really believed in what he was doing.  He was the ultimate martyr but I think his desire for infamy was equal to his plight for a Confederate America.

It is also chilling how Lincoln's murder seemed almost destined since all the perfect conditions existed for it to transpire.  Lincoln's bodyguard left his post outside of the state room door at Ford's theater to get a drink, leaving it unmanned. Lincoln would have preferred to stay in that evening but went to the theater to appease his wife Mary.  At that time, the gates to the Navy Yard bridge were closed after 9:00 PM, but the officer manning the bridge let Booth through anyway, allowing his escape from Washington into the Maryland countryside.

If you don't know a lot about Lincoln's assassination, this book also covers the attempted murders of Secretary of State Seward and Vice President Johnson that happened at the same time. German simpleton George Atzerodt couldn't go through with killing Johnson but Lewis Powell was successful in stabbing Seward, although not fatally.  After being surrounded in a barn, David Herold surrendered while Booth wouldn't come out and was shot.

Four co-conspirators were tried and hanged for the crimes, including Mary Surratt who was a confederate sympathizer and owned the boarding house where the conspiracy was plotted.  You have to wonder if she really deserved the punishment she received.  O'Reilly claims she is the only female to be hanged in American history.

Overall, O'Reilly scripts a compelling narrative based on true events.  But if you are going to choose a book to read on Lincoln's assassination, I would recommend James L. Swanson's Manhunt over Killing Lincoln.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

New Fiction 3/12/13

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

All the Light There Was by Nancy Kricorian
Andalucian Friend by Alexander Soderberg
Bay of Fires by Poppy Gee
Bloodfire Quest by Terry Brooks
The Blue Book by A.L. Kennedy
Breaking Point by C.J. Box
Child of Vengeance by David Kirk
Fever by Mary Beth Keane
Rage Against the Dying by Becky Masterman

Middle C by William Gass
The Supremes at Earls All-You-Can-Eat by Edward Kelsey Moore
Swimming at Night by Lucy Clarke
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
A Thousand Pardons by Jonathan Dee
Truth-Stained Lies by Terri Blackstock

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Kiss of Midnight by Lara Adrian

The first in the Midnight Breed series, Kiss of Midnight grabbed me right away, then I felt bored halfway through, but it picked up again towards the end.  Everything isn't tied up neatly in the end and there is a shocking twist, so interested readers will want to pick up the next book in the series, Kiss of Crimson.

While spending the night out at a club with her friends, photographer Gabrielle Maxwell feels the place giving off a weird vibe, especially since a man in dark glasses has been watching her all night.  While leaving early and waiting for a cab, she sees a group of thugs beating up a young man in the alley.  In fact, they are more than roughing him up, it appears they are killing him and doing something that is leaving their mouths bloody.  She manages to grab a few photos with her phone before hopping in the cab.

The police check it out, and there are not signs of any fight in the alley and Gabrielle's pictures are too fuzzy to make anything out, so they don't take her complaints seriously.  Fortunately, detective Lucan Thorne checks on her the next evening and confiscates her phone.  Gabrielle is relieved that someone believes her story, and she is intrigued with the sexy detective.

But there is something suspect about him, especially when the Boston PD have no record of such a name.  What Gabrielle doesn't yet know is that Lucan is a vampire and warrior, who works with the Breeds, a group of vampires fighting a war again the Rogues, which are vampires who gave into Bloodlust and are responsible for the savage killings of humans.  Gabby also doesn't yet know why she is drawn to Lucan, despite his deception and that she has been marked as a breedmate, which explains her troubled beginnings and lays out the path for her future.

The romantic scenes between Lucan and Gabby were hot enough, so I liked that part.  I guess I just got bored with all the fighting and preparing for war between the rogues and breeds.  But in general, readers of J.R. Ward will find Adrian's series to be a comparable offering.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Adventures with Max and Louise by Ellyn Oaksmith

Originally published under the title Knockers, Oaksmith’s pedestrian debut tells the story of food critic Molly Gallagher, who expects the surgery she undergoes to correct some minor scars to be routine; unfortunately, the results are anything but.

Owing to a mix-up with the charts, she is mistakenly given breast implants that bring her from a tiny A to an enormous D. Until the medical board can approve another surgery, Molly is saddled with these new appendages that have some mixed side effects. She lands a date with Chas Bowerman, an old crush who would have never given her a passing glance otherwise, but soon hears voices coming from beneath her bra. “Max” and “Louise” give her advice on everything from her career to her love life, and along the way Molly learns about confidence, love, and forgiveness from the most unexpected source.

With a chick lit vibe that will placate readers of Carole Matthews’s and Jennifer Crusie’s books, Adventures displays some real heartfelt moments despite the outlandish premise, but not every reader will be charmed by talking breasts.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, February 22, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

New Fiction 3/5/13

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.


The Boyfriend by Thomas Perry
The Carriage House by Louisa Hall
The Chance by Karen Kingsbury
A Conspiracy of Alchemists by Liesel Schwarz
The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver
Evil in All Its Disguises by Hilary Davidson
The Family Way by Rhys Bowen
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
The Good Cop by Brad Parks
The Last Threshold by R.A. Salvatore
Lessons in French by Hilary Reyl
Murder Below Montparnasse by Cara Black
Night Moves by Randy Wayne White
The Romanov Cross by Robert Masello
Room No. 10 by Ake Edwarson
Shadow of Freedom by David Weber
Silenced by Kristina Ohlsson
Some Like it Hot by K.J. Larsen
The Striker by Clive Cussler
Sweet Tea Revenge by Laura Childs
What Darkness Brings by C.S. Harris
Written in Red by Anne Bishop

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Weekends Required by Sydney Landon

Claire Walters needs money. As the assistant to Jason Danvers at Danvers International, Claire makes decent money but she has to pay her mom's medical bills. She ends up getting a weekend job at a party planning company. She soon finds out the best money is by jumping out of cakes.

Jason Danvers needs his assistant to work a weekend. A big merger is in the works and Jason needs help. It also happens to be his friends' wedding, so he'll need Claire to travel with him out of town to their farm. Claire arranges to have Saturday night off to still make her party planning event.

Imagine his shock while at the bachelor party his plain Jane assistant pops out of the cake barely wearing anything. Now all he can think about is her and how he can't believe he never noticed Claire before. And Claire has always fantasied about Jason but doesn't want to jeopardize her job. But what else can a girl do when her hot boss is putting the moves on her but give in.

This is the first book in the Danvers series. I enjoyed it but there a few things that the author mentions but never explains them. For example, Claire is claustrophobic but she has no problem hiding in a cake. But it didn't bother me enough because I will be reading the rest of the series!