Saturday, August 30, 2014

Delicious! by Ruth Reichl

Billie Breslin has a golden palate, expertly identifying even the most out of the ordinary ingredients in any dish she tries.  She also has absolutely no interest in cooking.  Still, she leaves her home in California in the hopes of getting an assistant job at Delicious, the iconic New York food magazine.  After passing a number of peculiar “tests,” Billie finds herself immersed in a world of food, quickly connecting with a series of offbeat and passionate characters that help open the culinary world of the city to her.

But a year into her new job, Billie finds the worst has happened – Delicious is to be closed for good.  Offered the opportunity to stay on to answer customer letters about the “Delicious Guarantee,” Billie finds herself wandering the now empty mansion, soon stumbling upon the deserted library and it’s interesting collection of customer letters.  As she delves deeper into a set of mysteriously cataloged letters, she finds she is learning about herself in the process.

With its rich descriptions of food and the culinary life of New York City, Delicious! is a sensory experience.  No doubt drawing from her time as editor of Gourmet magazine, Reichl creates a world that is full of interesting and quirky characters that are as unique as some of the dishes served.  A perfect book for those with a passion for food, or just those looking for a light and airy read for the end of summer.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Tycoon's Convenient Bride...and Baby by Soshanna Evers

Lauren Peters is pleasantly surprised to find her twin brother’s sexy business partner, Mack Hansen, at the door, if only the circumstances were different. Mack has important news: Lauren’s brother and his wife are missing. As far as Lauren knew, they are supposed to away on their yacht working on their marriage and is the reason why Lauren is watching their infant baby. Mack, however, believes that some shady dealings Joe accidentally became involved in is forcing him to hide out until it is safe.

Either way, Joe’s will stipulates that Lauren or Mack can be Callie’s legal guardian, but only if they are married. Since neither of them are, Mack’s solution is for them to marry each other, to keep Callie out of the foster system, until Joe and Marisol’s return.

Macks finds Lauren too irresistible to stay celibate and plans to consummate their marriage. Lauren is afraid that she will fall too deep, even though the marriage is sham. In order to provide her niece the family her brother dreamed of in his absence, she will have to keep her heart close to the vest no matter what the expense.

Although readers can be certain of the outcome of the prolific Ever’s (Pulse and Enslaved trilogies) sexily “Evers” after, getting to know her characters and watching their heated chemistry unfold in sensual fashion makes for a pleasurable ride that is an added touch to this romantic contemporary.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Fiction 8/26/2014

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.

Private Down Under by James Patterson
The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Harbor Island by Carla Neggers
Close to Home by Lisa Jackson
Death of a Dog Whisperer by Laurien Berenson
Lisette's List by Susan Vreeland
Her Last Whisper by Karen Robards
The Broken Eye by Brent Weeks
Strange Shores by Arnaldur Indridason

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick

Amity Doncaster is walking back to her ship when she hears a cry for help. She finds a man bleeding in the alley from a gunshot wound. He wants her to deliever a letter to his uncle if he doesn't make it. Amity is determined to save him. She gets him back to the ship and tends to him. He recovers and they part when the ship arrives in New York. Benedict is on to California and Amity is going home to London. He promises to see her when he gets back to London.

A month later, Amity has not heard a peep from Benedict. But she has had her own adventure. She was abducted in broad daylight by the madman known as the Bridegroom. Amity is able to escape and wound him. As soon as Benedict arrives back in London he goes directly to Amity's. He has read about the attack and needs to make sure she is okay. Also there has been talk about about what happened on the ship between Amity and Benedict.

Benedict comes up with a plan to stop the gossip and protect Amity: become fake engaged. As they work together to find the Bridegroom, they soon realize their feelings are anything but fake. But will they get their happy ending?

Finally Amanda Quick has written a straight historical romance without the paranormal twist. Don't get me wrong I love everything Amanda Quick writes but I was ready for this book. It was another great story. I eagerly await her next offering.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eyes on You by Kate White

In this standalone from White, NYC TV news anchor Robin Trainer's career is on the rise and all her hard work is finally paying off. Aside from the stellar ratings for her news show, she just published a book that is slated to be a bestseller.

At the launch party of her book thrown by her friend Bettina, she discovers a threatening note in her purse that puts her on alert, although perhaps it is just a prank. But then the threats start to escalate to the point she has no choice but to report it to the CEO and network security.

Robin suspects Vicky Cruz, the network's star reporter who has a reputation for getting what she wants no matter the cost. It is absurd to think that Vicky would see Robin as a threat, but she is the most likely culprit. Then there is Carter, the co-anchor who she mistakenly slept with and is now paying the consequences. Her intern Maddy also seems to have a chip on her shoulder after Robin confronts her about her missteps. Reporting the threats ultimately backfire, and the network believes that Robin staged the threats to frame Vicky.

Furthermore, her past problems with her stepmom have been leaked, which diminish any credibility she had. Robin had only confided to her closest friends about her past, so now she doesn't know now who she can trust. Robin is determined to stop the person who has ruined her life and clear her name and accepts the unsolicited help of Alex Lucca, a coworker from the network.

Another winner from the author of the Bailey Wiggens series that is a quick and suspenseful read. If you like Mary Higgins Clark, then Kate White is the author for you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Fiction 8/19/2014

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.

Haunted by Randy Wayne White
Etta Mae's Worst Bad-Luck Day by Ann B. Ross
Adultery by Paolo Coelho
Mean Streak by Sandra Brown
Bittersweet by Colleen McCullough
Windigo Island by William Kent Krueger
One of Us by Tawni O'Dell
One Kick by Chelsea Cain
Visions by Kelley Armstrong
Don't Look Back by Gregg Hurwitz

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

In the wake of her mother’s death and the slow disintegration of her marriage, Cheryl Strayed is lost, seeking solace in drugs, reckless decisions, and the wrong men.  Then she accidently stumbles upon a book that gives her the idea that will change her life: hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. 

Feeling further and further from the woman she once was, 26 year old Strayed makes the decision to take the journey from California to Oregon alone.  Inexperienced and over-burdened with supplies, Strayed hikes the trail that would take her 1,100 miles through California and Oregon, facing extreme conditions, physical exertion, and breathtaking beauty. 

Strayed relates her journey with honesty, humor, and grit.  Her description is rich and vivid - the trail that redeemed her and the people along the way that became her trail family come alive for the reader.  She doesn’t shy away from some of the darker aspects of her past or the grueling reality of the obstacles facing PCT hikers, but these elements helped me appreciate her story all the more.  I’d recommend to anyone looking for an authentic, candidly written story.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase

Samantha Rousseau is working on her master's degree in wildlife biology when her world is turned upside down. She is invited to dinner with the visiting duchess and her nephew, Alex,  from a small country called Lilaria. She assumes it's because they want to make a donation but she is shocked when she finds out she is actually a long lost heiress to a title and land.

She agrees to go and puts her schooling on hold. The main reason is the health care. It is more advanced and can help her stepfather. Leaving her life behind in Minnesota, Sam is whisked away in a private jet. Before she can see her land she must meet the Queen. Through it all, Alex has been there. She tries not to have feelings for him because he is a Prince and she needs to focus on figuring out this new life. But Alex is always there for her and she can't help but fall for him.

She finally makes it to her new home after being at the palace. She instantly falls in love with it. Her life is falling into place but when tragedy strikes, where will Samantha end up?

I loved this book. I loved the characters, the dialogue and the story. I will definitely be reading the next two in the series, Recklessly Royal and Reluctantly Royal.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

New Fiction 8/12/2014

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.

Love Letters:  A Rose Harbor Novel by Debbie Macomber
Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb
Designated Daughters by Margaret Maron
Fatal Conceit by Robert K. Tanenbaum
Cold, Cold Heart by Tami Hoag
An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd
Clam Wake by Mary Daheim
The 6th Extinction by James Rollins
Hellhole Inferno by Brian Herbert
The Second Deadly Sin by Asa Larsson
I Can See in the Dark by Karin Fossum

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Georgie McCool is worried.  She knows her job as a TV writer has been a strain on her marriage, but now she has the chance to pitch the show she’s been working on since college.  Which means she’ll miss Christmas in Omaha with her husband and daughters.  As Georgie watches them leave for the airport, she begins to wonder if she’s done the right thing, or if she’s pushed her marriage past its breaking point.

When she calls Neal that night, it’s not the same man who has been dodging her calls all day.  Instead, her old yellow rotary phone connects her to her pre-engagement boyfriend Neal.  As she worries more and more that her husband’s present icy silence is a sign that he’s had enough, she clings desperately to the past Neal that is still in love with her, and wonders if the “magic” phone is an opportunity to fix her relationship, or a means to save them from the heartache of their current broken state.

Having loved Eleanor and Park, I was really excited to start this book.  I love the way Rowell writes – it’s lyrical and candid at the same time, and you’ll end up finishing it way too soon.  I found myself enjoying the fact that I was equally rooting for and frustrated with Georgie and Neal, and even liked the open-ended ending because it was realistic.  I definitely recommend Landline to anyone looking for a quirky but honest book about relationships and marriage.  And as a bonus for Rowell fans: be on the lookout for an update on a couple from one of Rowell’s earlier books (I won’t say who!).

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Girl He Knows by Kristi Rose

After a night of mind blowing sex, Paisley finds herself waking up with her best friend’s brother, Hank Lancaster. This is not the way to start off her renewed dating life after a painful divorce from her cheating ex husband. Hank comes up with a plan: they see each other casually for sex but are upfront with each other when they date other people.

Paisley has some serious doubts, especially since this means lying to Gigi, but relents because she can’t seem to say no to Hank. The plan works well enough until Paisley allows her friends to set her up and she begins a seeing badboy bartender Jake. She convinces herself that while Hank is comfortable, he is clearly her rebound guy and because he is a sailor with a military schedule, no serious relationship can ever develop.

Hank has loved Paisley all is life but doesn’t know if he can risk his heart forever. Paisley better have the epiphany she needs to realize Hank is the man for her before it is too late and she regrets it forever.

The issues of Paisley’s divorce coupled with her father’s untimely death provide emotional depth and galvanize her plight, and Hank is one of the more authentic male leads I have encountered in my reading as of late. Rose’s lighthearted Florida set debut with mild lovemaking has broad enough appeal to satisfy most readers.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, July 31, 2014

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

New Fiction 8/5/2014

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.

 Severed Souls by Terry Goodkind
The Lost Island by Douglas Preston
Rise of the King by R.A. Salvatore
Islands of Rage and Hope by John Ringo
I, Paul by Jerry B. Jenkins
Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen
No Safe House by Linwood Barclay
Deadly Assets by W.E.B. Griffin
A Little Night Murder by Nancy Martin
Fish Tails by Sheri S. Tepper
Driving With the Top Down by Beth Harbison
Dead Line by Chris Ewan
A Colder War by Charles Cumming
Crave the Night by Lara Adrian
The House of the Four Winds by Mercedes Lackey

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Mrs. Hemingway by Naomi Wood

Ernest Hemingway remains one of the most famous American writers of the 20th century, not only for his books and stories, but also for his notorious love life.  What was it like to love the enigmatic Hemingway?  Mrs. Hemingway seeks to answer just that.

Following the lives of Hadley, Pauline, Martha, and Mary, author Naomi Wood weaves a tale that begins at the end of each relationship, with each wife facing the reality of life without Ernest and reminiscing about happier times.

Though based on true events, the book itself is a work of fiction.  Even so, each character stands out as very real and sympathetic, stripped of the aura of celebrity that clings to Hemingway’s legend.  At its core, this is a story of the end of a marriage. Each woman’s interactions with Ernest and with one another are honest and emotional, drawing you in to a story that is destined for sadness, but engaging nonetheless. 

Recommended for those with an interest in Hemingway (particularly those who enjoyed The Paris Wife or Paris Without End), historical fiction fans, or those looking for an emotional, character driven story in general.