Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rush Me by Allison Parr

In Parr’s wining debut, Rachael Hamilton walks into the wrong party while looking for her roommate. Realizing Eva is nowhere and the exit is blocked by gyrating bodies, she heads upstairs and walks in on a cocky jock in a comprising position. If that isn't humiliating enough, she returns the next day to look for her scarf and discovers that last night’s dumb jock is New York Leopard’s hunky quarterback Ryan Carter.

Ryan has yet to meet a woman who doesn't fall at his feet, and Rachael, a self-proclaimed nerd trying to make her way in New York City’s publishing industry, doesn't believe Ryan could be her intellectual match. Getting to know each other first as friends and then as lovers, they are both taken aback at how compatible they are, but Rachael’s fierce sense of independence and deep-seated trust issues may be one game Ryan can’t win.

Parr successfully captures the core of new adult romance, which infuses the immaturity of young love with the sense of freedom and growing responsibility found in adulthood. Those who fancy Jamie McGuire’s Beautiful Disaster should pick up Rush Me as their next read.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

New Fiction 5/28/13

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 Blood of Heaven by Kent Wascom
The Bookman's Tale by  Charlie Lovett
Classified by Fern Michaels
A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen
Deeply Odd by Dean Koontz
The First Rule of Swimming by Courtney Angela Brkic
Good Kings, Bad Kings by Susan Nussbaum
Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman
Lost Daughters by Mary Monroe
The Son by Philipp Meyer
A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die by Edith Maxwell
Triumph by Janet Dailey
Zero Hour by Clive Cussler

Saturday, May 25, 2013

If Snow Hadn't Fallen by SJ Bolton

DC Lacey Flint has just come off a harrowing case (Now You See Me). On the way home from work, Lacey sees a fire down the street from her house in the park. She goes to investigate and discovers a person on fire and a group of people wearing masks surrounding the person. Lacey acts and tries to put out the fire but she is too late and the person dies.

Lacey wants to investigate. She is badly shaken by the experience and convinces her boss to look into it. All the evidence points to a hate crime, but Lacey is not convinced. She starts digging on her own and what she discovers is shocking.

I don't want to write too much since it is only about 100 pages. If Snow Hadn't Fallen is only available in e-book format. It was just what I needed before S.J. Bolton's new book Lost is released in June.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts

Whiskey Beach is the latest novel by Nora Roberts, and one of her romantic suspense novels.

Eli Landon was accused f murdering his estranged wife, and has spent the last year dealing with shock, guilt, grief, as well as the suspicion of almost everyone around him. He has lost his job, most of his friends, and his sense of place in the world. After his grandmother has a fall and ends up in the hospital and then in the care of relatives, Eli agrees to return to Bluff House, her home above Whiskey Beach, to take care of it.

In Whiskey Beach, Eli encounters Abra Walsh, the woman who cleans Bluff House for his grandmother, cooks, runs yoga classes, works at the local bar, is a masseuse, and basically a woman of all trades. Abra is strong, capable, a lover of life, and a survivor. Slowly, we learn her history, and realize why she has such a deep understanding of what Eli is going through.

As Eli begins to heal, and the relationship between Abra and Eli deepens, they are threatened by a break-in, the murder of a P.I. who was investigating Eli, and the discovery that someone has been breaking into Bluff House for a while and digging a huge trench in the basement. Once again, fingers point to Eli, but this time he fights backs and tries to prove both his innocence and find out the identity of his wife's killer.

Whiskey Beach is a satisfying read, with interesting, strong characters. Once again, Roberts excels at creating a sense of place, and adding whimsical local color. While at times Abra seems a little too perfect, Eli's slow journey back to peace and self is rewarding. Definitely an entertaining read.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

New Fiction 5/21/13

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.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
A Chain of Thunder by Jeff Shaara
Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
King of Cuba by Cristina Garcia
The Last Girl by Jane Casey
Norwegian by Night by Derek Miller
Redeemer by Jo Nesbo
Requiem Mass by Elizabeth Corley
Sacred Games by Gary Corby
Storm Front by Richard Castle

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Cutest Couple by Kate Davies

Davies’s breezy novella, a follow-up to Girl Most Likely To Succeed, centers on single mom Bree, who has not seen her high school sweetheart in ten years.

Although Marc and Bree were voted cutest couple, their relationship never stood a chance when Marc left for boot camp. Bree’s father died fighting for his country, so Marc’s dedication to the military became a deal breaker for Bree, one that shattered both of their hearts. Marc left before Bree knew she was pregnant, and he never responded to her letter with the news.

This weekend is their ten-year high school reunion, and the bomb she drops doesn’t get them off to a smooth start. However, the chemistry they once shared comes back with a vengeance, and even though the mix of familiar and new may feel so good, can they find enough love and forgiveness in their hearts for their family to survive?

Davies’s perky novella about second chances will have readers reminiscing about old high school flames and what could have been. The final offering, Life of the Party, will be released by Carina in June.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, April 26, 2013

Thursday, May 16, 2013

After Hours by Cara McKenna

Starting a new job to be close to her reckless sister, Erin Coffey is the newest licensed practical nurse at Larkhaven’s psychiatric ward, the mental illness unit of a Michigan hospital. Among the staff is orderly Kelly Robak, a hulking muscle of a man whose brute strength coupled with persistent calm keep the staff and patients safe.

Kelly is interested in Erin, but she is leery to start a relationship with a coworker, especially when she learns that what is on the table is not a relationship at all but a few days of mind-blowing sex. And what Kelly desires requires his having all the control while Erin becomes his submissive. Erin has had a preview of what’s in store but has always played it safe. She may be able to give up control for a weekend but worries about what it will cost her heart in the long run.

Since the Fifty Shades phenomenon, there has been an abundance of substandard erotica diluting the genre, but McKenna’s (Exposure) After Hours stands out for its depth of characterization. The complexities, story line, and pulsating heat will keep readers immersed.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, April 19, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

New Fiction 5/14/13

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.

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Angel Baby by Richard Lange
The Conditions of Love by Dale Kushner
The Human Division by John Scalzi
The Ice Bridge by D.R. MacDonald
Inferno by Dan Brown
Little Green by Walter Mosley
Lucky Bastard by Deborah Coonts
Magician's End by Raymond Feist
Poppet by Mo Hayder
Questions of Travel by Michelle De Kretser
Shotgun Lullaby by Steve Ulfelder

Monday, May 13, 2013

Just Deception by Adrienne Giordano

In this second book in the series, following Man Law, former Navy SEAL Peter Jessup never suspected a routine security install would introduce him to lawyer Isabelle DeRosa, an emotionally broken woman with both major sex appeal and major intimacy issues.

When Isabelle's cousin Kendrick is murdered, the Feds send her undercover to his Ohio compound, now run by Kendrick's business partner, Seth Donner, who claims to lead a charitable organization helping poor families. Seth's disturbing and controlling behavior toward the young, pregnant women he shelters leaves no doubt that the compound is a front for something very perverse. Peter will protect Izzy at all costs, but Izzy's determination to do whatever it takes to save these girls may just be too much for Peter to handle.

Although the plot is slow-going at first, readers will be rooting for Giordano's flawed characters to prevail in this perfect blend of sexy romance and page-turning suspense. The next series installment is Risking Trust.  The introduction of new characters allows each title to be enjoyed as a stand-alone.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, September 2, 2011

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Sisters by Patricia MacDonald

MacDonald's latest, Sisters, was entertaining enough for its interesting and not terribly violent plot, but this isn't one of her best. If you are a fan, you will want to read this one, but first time MacDonald readers should pick up Stolen in the Night or Cast Into Doubt, which really showcase her talents for suspense.

Losing both parents in an automobile accident, Alex Woods moves back home to her family's Boston suburb to take care of the house.  Her parent's attorney gives her a special message that was in his care in the event her mother died.  The letter reveals that Alex has a biological sister she never met because her mother was very young when she got pregnant and gave her up for adoption.

Through a private investigator, Alex locates her long lost sister Dory, who is in prison serving a sentence for murder.  Dory's adoptive parents had a biological child shortly after her adoption. Lauren, who was working on a country music career, was murdered in their parent's home. Dory was the one to find her sister dead after returning from walking the dogs.

While visiting Dory in prison, Alex learns that a law student from the injustice program is working to get the conviction reversed after learning that her public defender was disbarred.  Alex's first encounter with Dory was tough, but she believes in her sister's innocence and will do anything to help her get released.  That is, until Dory eventually comes in her care and her own life is put at risk.  Could her sister really be capable of murdering her own flesh and blood?

MacDonald keeps you guessing since there is always a cloud of suspicion over Dory, which keeps the book moving at a fast pace.  However, I was a bit disappointed in the end and felt that the mystery behind Dory's father fell flat.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Breath of Scandal by Elizabeth Essex

A Breath of Scandal by Elizabeth Essex, is an historical romance that takes place during Napoleon's initial exile. Antigone Preston's father has suddenly died, and she, her sister Cassandra, and their mother are in shock and grieving. Soon, Antigone finds out that her mother has betrothed her, without her consent, to a much older neighbor. Mrs. Preston claims the betrothal is necessary to keep the family from the poorhouse and to arrange a suitable entrance into society, and marriage for Cassandra. Antigone is horrified, but finally agrees to pretend to be betrothed and then break it off, once Cassandra's future is secured.

However, fate intervenes when Antigone meets Captain William Jellicoe at a party. She is attempting to hide in the library, and so is Will, who has recently returned from the war. They bond over stiff drinks that Antigone finds hidden in a cabinet, and soon find themselves having wild adventures around the countryside. After bar brawls, horse rides, bloodied noses, and hours of conversation, their bond is unmistakable, but they have plenty of obstacles in the way, before they can ride off into the sunset.

Antigone and Will are both colorful, likable characters, full of verve and honesty. The story moves along quickly, and their courtship is unique and full of laughter. Will isn't afraid of Antigone's brain or brawn, and Antigone appreciates Will's honor, honesty and loyalty. My only complaint is that Antigone's mother is too caricatured, and I found it hard to believe that she was the wife of Antigone's father, and mother to Antigone and Cassandra. Her utter lack of morals and love is hard to believe.

Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the latest novel in the Reckless Brides series by Elizabeth Essex, and I would recommend it to anyone enjoying a good romance full of humor and interesting characters.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New Fiction 5/7/13

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 Barbed Crown by William Dietrich
Board Stiff by Elaine Viets
Complex 90 by Mickey Spillane
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
Dead, White and Blue by Carolyn Hart
A Delicate Truth by John LeCarre
A Dual Inheritance by Joanna Hershon
Flora by Gail Godwin
Foal Play by Kathryn O'Sullivan
Hour of the Red God by Richard Crompton
A House Divided by Kimberla Lawson Roby
The Innocence Game by Michael Harvey
The Kings and Queens of Roam by Daniel Wallace
Long Live the King by Fay Weldon
Montaro Caine by Sydney Poitier
Murder As a Fine Art by David Morrell
Murder in Chelsea by Victoria Thompson
The Night Detectives by Jon Talton
The Ophelia Cut by John Lescroart
Pirate Alley by Stephen Coonts
Portal by Eric Flint
Red  Handed by Matt Kindt
Red Moon by Percy Benjamin
Robert B. Parker's Wonderland by Ace Atkins
Seduction by M.J. Rose
Shattered Trident by Larry Bone
Silent Voices by Ann Cleeves
Silken Prey by John Sandford
Southern Cross the Dog by Bill Cheng
Step of Faith by Richard Paul Evans
Time to Kill by Jack Coughlin

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants is Tina Fey’s first book and hopefully not her last. Here we get a glimpse of how this girl from Pennsylvania became the successful comedienne that she is today. Fey only briefly discusses her childhood, but it gives a good view of how she may have been drawn to the path of entertainment.  Being eight years younger than her only sibling, a brother, she was used to being the center of attention at home, and after an incident resulting in her bearing a facial scar, she achieved celebrity status among the neighborhood kids. 

Fey never reveals too much about her personal life, but gives the reader an overview of her journey from theater camp director to unemployed college graduate to star and producer of the award winning 30 Rock. We read of how she helped change the status quo at Second City, being in the first gender equal improvisational cast. From there she takes us through her first interview with Lorne Michaels for her Saturday Night Live writing job and her second interview years later for her Weekend Update gig.  Along the way we learn that traveling improvisational casts don’t always follow the rules, male SNL writers tend to pee in jars, and if Oprah thinks you are stretching yourself too thin that is saying something.

Mixed in with the stories of Fey’s life we learn her beauty secrets and her hopes for her daughter as she grows older. And we cannot forget the behind the scenes view of a real photo shoot where after hours of hair and makeup and squeezing into too small clothes, they just Photoshop the whole thing anyway.  There are moments that will make you laugh, and moments that will make you cry because you are laughing so hard.  For anyone who is a fan of Tina Fey or any of the work that she has done this is a must read. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Does Jesus Really Love Me? by Jeff Chu

Does Jesus Really Love Me? A Gay Christian's Pilgrimage in Search of God in America is Jeff Chu's story of his cross country pilgrimage to find how homosexuality and Christianity intersect in our society. Jeff grew up in an evangelical household, and his growing awareness of his homosexuality clashed with his upbringing and his own faith. His parents were distraught after he finally came out to them, and Jeff continued to struggle with merging his faith and his sexuality.

Eventually, Jeff decided to take a trip across the continent to see how various people, denominations, families, and churches were dealing with questions of faith, sexuality and redemption. This journey took him from the Westboro Baptist Church to an MCC church in San Francisco. He interviewed people who decided to live a celibate life, people who were in long term committed relationships, and people who wanted to find a partner. He met people who were still struggling with questions, people who had walked away from the church, and people who felt that the church still had a place for them.

This book tells a moving story of one man's quest for answers, and the stories of people from many backgrounds who struggle to live according to their faith. Jeff Chu is a good writer, and he tells his stories with compassion, humility and grace. This is a powerful book.