Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Gilded Life of Matilda Duplaine by Alex Brunkhorst

Thomas Cleary, a disgraced NY journalist, struggles to reinvent himself in L.A. as an entertainment reporter on the Hollywood beat. When assigned to write an obituary for a Tinseltown "mover and shaker", he is thrust into a group of Hollywood elite and desperate to get close to the very people that can further his career.

In the group, but not of it, Thomas knows his future depends upon remaining in the good graces of his new benefactors. That would include steering clear of the eccentric daughter of mogul David Duplaine. But there is something amiss about Matilda, and the smitten young journalist cannot stay away.

Reminiscent of The Great Gatsby, this is a story about love, power, and ambition, and the price you pay for wanting it all.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Fiction 12/29/2015

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 Forgotten Soldier by Brad Taylor
After She's Gone by Lisa Jackson
The First Hostage by Joel C. Rosenberg
The Hunting Trip by William E. Butterworth, III
The Lady's Command by  Stephanie Laurens

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Hidden Heat by Carla Swafford

Born to a family with ties to the Brothers of Mayhem MC, Cassidy wants to save her younger brother from a life of violence. So she marches into the club’s bar with a bat in tow searching for Storm, but is saved from a beat down from the Skull, the club’s president, by bartender Thorn.

There is something different about Thorn; he doesn’t quite fit the persona of your typical biker gang member and she soon learns that he is a cop working undercover to take down the club. In order to insert himself more closely in their world and legitimize himself to the MC, he convinces Cassidy to become his old lady. But the physical attraction they feel goes deeper than for show.

When the club’s president, Stonewell, and his thugs learn that there might be a snitch among them, Thorn will do what it takes to protect the feisty woman that fulfills him in every way, even though her safety comes at the expense of their love affair.

Although the action in Swafford’s (Circle of Deception) plot takes a bit to rise, there is plenty in the way of fast bikes, leather, and inside details into the culture of this MC to keep readers invested in the romance. This is Bk.1 in the Brothers of Mayhem series.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | January 15, 2016

Thursday, December 24, 2015

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Violet and Finch, two damaged teenagers, meet for the first time on the top of a high school bell tower, both inclined to jump. Finch talks Violet off the ledge, and gallantly forces her to be the hero, as his reputation as a "freak" is already beyond repair. As their relationship grows, we see the physical and emotional scars from trying to navigate in a world where accidents happen and good people suffer. 

The story of Violet and Finch is wonderful and heartbreaking. The characters are compelling, and the tone very similar to Eleanor and Park. It's a vivid window into the teenage heart, and one you won't soon forget. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Hurricane by R.J. Prescott

Emily McCarthy is just trying to survive. She has escaped her abusive home and is starting a new life with a new name. She is still terrified but determined to make something of herself. Her first step is completing college.  While waitressing at a local diner, Emily becomes friends with Danny. He is the owner of the local gym and offers her a job to keep the books. Emily isn't sure at first but gives it a try.

Cormac "The Hurricane" O'Connell has just be floating through life. Never serious about anything. Until he sees Emily. As he gets to know her and fall for her, he decides to change his life. He is know focusing on making a career for himself in boxing.

Emily is weary at first of O'Connell but also attracted. He slowly wins her over and Emily starts to realize that maybe she can be happy. But a threat from her past is back and Emily might not get her happy ending.

I loved this book. The story was great. The characters were great. It is only available as an ebook in our catalog. Go to eRead Illinois to check it out! I am eagerly awaiting the next book, Aftermath!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

As the narrator of her own audiobook, Jenny Lawson is fantastic at expressing the tsunami of words flooding out of her brain. Like her first memoir, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, this book is a window into what goes on in her head, which seems like an awfully frantic place to be as we follow her again and again down the rabbit hole.

This book is more dark and introspective than her first, but still with a light-ish touch. It's not quite as ha-ha funny, as Jenny reveals much more about her panic/anxiety disorder, and how incredibly debilitating her depression, Rheumatoid Arthritis, and other autoimmune issues can be. (But with a light-ish touch.)

What I love about Jenny is her refusal to allow all of the "crazy" (her term, not mine) to deny her moments of furious happiness. She is a triumph of tenacity, and a beacon of hope to all who suffer with mental illness.

If you are fascinated by being in someone else’s brain for a while, this audiobook is for you. In addition to this memoir, you might also like her first book Let’s Pretend This Never Happened or Fiction Ruined My Family by Jeanne Darst.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Persuasion by Violetta Rand

High school counselor Lily moved to Corpus Texas to escape family troubles back home. Hoping to let loose, she hits a club with her best friend where she is harassed by a nasty biker. Fortunately Lang Anderson has come to her rescue, and Lily finds herself intrigued by her savior, who’s outlaw status is equal parts exciting and troubling.

Even though a girl like her could never understand his world, he learns fate has other ideas when they meet again at his kid sister’s school where Lily will be counseling Maya. As newly appointed president of the Sons of Odin MC, he will take what is rightfully his, and that includes the blond counselor who drives him wild.

 But when someone from his world threatens the women in his life, he’ll be driven to bring down justice, no matter the cost.

A decision by Lang at the novel’s close discredits some of the potency Rand (Devil’s Den series) generates in this MC’s culture, especially since loyalty to the brotherhood is a cardinal rule, and readers won’t respect Lily, who so quickly gives up feminist values, even for love. Sexy and mildly diverting, this MC has potential but doesn’t deliver at full throttle this reviewer had hoped. This is book 1 of the Sons of Odin MC series.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | December 18, 2015

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The Do-Right by Lisa Sandlin

It's 1973 and Delpha Wade is fresh out of a Louisiana prison after a 14-year stint for murdering her attacker. She arrives at the doorstep of PI Tim Phelan, looking for a job.

Phelan has no intention of hiring her as his assistant, but Delpha simply sits down and starts working, quickly making herself indispensable. The unlikely pair make a great team as they successfully resolve issues for their clients, until loose threads from one case point to Big Oil involvement. And did I mention the serial killer?

The main characters in this book are well drawn, and I found myself rooting for Delpha from the very first page.  She is strong, and smart, and unwilling to give up, which makes for a compelling character in this moderately-paced, historical mystery.

If you enjoy books with a strong female lead set in the south in the 1970's, I would also recommend the Edgar-nominated Cop Town by Karin Slaughter.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

New Fiction 12/8/2015

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 Relic Master by Christopher Buckley
Ashley Bell by Dean R. Koontz
Secret Sisters by Jayne Ann Krentz
Desperate Measures by Jo Bannister

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith

A box arrives by messenger at the London office of Private Investigator and amputee Cormoran Strike addressed to his assistant, Robin.  In it lies a woman’s leg.  Was is sent by someone from Strike’s past to mess with him, someone with a grudge, or is it from one of the “nutters” sending amputee fan mail?  The bigger question, of course, is whose leg is it?

During the investigation, Robin drops a bombshell about her past, and struggles with her decision to marry, as her fiance is not supportive about her career choice.  Or her boss.

In this much-awaited 3rd novel in the series, Cormoran and Robin come to personal and professional crossroads as they try to navigate their complicated relationship.  Are they simply colleagues?  Friends?  More?

J.K. Rowling continues to delight with her well-drawn characters, and intense plotting. If you have not already, I recommend reading the first two, The Cuckoo’s Calling, and The Silkworm. This book strongly builds on story lines started in the first two, and deliciously teases you with the relationship between Cormoran and Robin.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

Henry Hayden is quite confused.  Would things be easier if his wife disappeared, or his mistress?  Henry’s musings on the subject begin a long, dark journey into the mind of a popular author bent on simplifying his life by “losing” one or the other. The ante is upped when his mistress reveals a pregnancy, forcing Henry to choose, and choose quickly.

Then one of the two woman dies, wreaking havoc on Henry’s well-ordered life.  He claims he didn’t do it.  Should we believe him?

Fast-paced and full of hairpin turns, this book will keep you guessing until the very end.  If you like psychological thrillers with unreliable narrators, you might also want to try The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson, or In the Blood by Lisa Unger.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

New Fiction 12/1/2015

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.

Out Comes the Evil by Stella Cameron
Blood, Salt, Water by Denise Mina
House of the Rising Sun by James Lee Burke
Tom Clancy Commander In Chief by Mark Greaney
Dead to the Last Drop by Cleo Coyle
Precious Gifts by Danielle Steel
Splinter the Silence by Val McDermid
Harbour Street by Ann Cleeves

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fast Track by Julie Garwood

After her beloved father passes away, Cordelia Kane decides it is time to move on with her life. But before she can there is one last thing she needs to do. On his deathbed, her father confessed that her mother was alive and had abandoned them when Cordie was a baby. Cordie is determined to find her mother and find out why she left them.

She travels from Chicago to Sydney, Australia with the Aiden Madison, her best friend's brother and the man she has loved all her life. Not that he would know it.  Part of moving on is to get over her ridiculous crush on Aiden. But it is easier said than done especially when Aiden seduces her.

After a confrontation with her mother, Cordie is more than ready to move on. But someone won't let her and is threatening her life. Will she get to the bottom of it before it is too late?

I enjoyed this book but is was not my favorite by Julie Garwood. I did like the recurring characters from The Murder List and Fire and Ice. I do eagerly await her next book, Wired.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Dora Bruder by Patrick Modiano

In 1988, novelist Patrick Modiano notices an ad from a 1941 French newspaper about a missing 15 year-old girl and investigates to see if he can determine her fate. Dora Bruder, a French citizen born of Hungarian immigrant parents, runs away from a boarding school as the net closes around all Jewish people in Europe. What happened to her? Was she ever found?

Using spare prose, Modiano intertwines his life in Paris with Mademoiselle Bruder's, as he walks streets she surely walked, and tries to fill in the many blanks between the occasional official records where her name appears.  This book is heartbreaking in its simplicity, and devastating in its sparseness. There is so much we can never know about Dora Bruder, but we do learn how her story ends.

This slim, non-fiction book is a good counterpoint to All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, a historical novel, as they are both about Jewish teenage girls  in France during WWII.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

New Fiction 11/24/2015

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.

Wyoming Rugged by Diana Palmer
Chimera by Mira Grant

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Louisa "Lou" Clark has been laid off from her cafe job. Untrained for anything and desperate for a job, she takes a chance and interviews for a short term caretaker position to a wealthy paraplegic man, and surprising to both Louisa and her family, she gets the job.

Attractive, smart and at the top of his game, thirty-five year old adventurer  and Londoner Will Traynor's life suddenly changed when he was hit by a car crossing the street two years earlier. Wheelchair bound with no use of his legs or arms, Will sees no reason to continue living and is miserable to anyone who tries to be kind or helpful, so Louisa has her work cut out for her.

Louisa finally summons the courage to give Will a little bit of what he dishes out, and a friendship soon blossoms. While accidentally overhearing a conversation between Will's mother and sister, she learns exactly why the position is only for six months, as Will wants to end his life ala assisted suicide. Louisa is determined to show Will that life is worth living after all, and perhaps they both will change each other.

This story is moving and emotional but is also punctuated with moments of humor that uplift the heavy moments. Not all readers will be happen with the decision Moyes makes for her characters, but this is still highly recommended and worthwhile read. Readers who want more from Louisa can continue her story in the recently released sequel, After You (reviewed 11/12/15).

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Unfortunate Decisions of Dahlia Moss by Max Wirestone

Millenial Dahlia Moss is unemployed and crashing at her friends place, trying to get her life on track. Seriously in need of cash, she is offered a job (and 10 benjamins up front!) as a private detective hired to recover a digital sword stolen by an avatar in an RPG (Role Playing Game).

When she finds her employer stabbed with a REAL version of the digital sword, she gets sucked into the world of Kingdom of Zoth, looking for the murderer.

This contemporary mystery is for readers who enjoy lots of characters/suspects, and a lighter-hearted, semi-snarky touch to their whodunits.  If you like Veronica Mars, this book is for you.  

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

New Fiction 11/17/2015

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 Mistletoe Inn by Richard Paul Evans
All Dressed in White by Mary Higgins Clark
The Guilty by David Baldacci
The Pharaoh's Secret by  Clive Cussler
Tricky Twenty-two by Janet Evanovich
Warheart by Terry Goodkind
Death Wave by Ben Bova
Away in a Manger by Rhys Bowen

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Taking It Off by Claire Kent

Dutifully performing her bridesmaid duties, prim and proper Elizabeth Marks is anything but turned on by the strip club dancers at the bachelorette party; for Elizabeth it takes something real. Her awkwardness catches the attention of Bare Assets owner Matt Stokes, who believes that the fantasy his dancers create can turn her on if she learns to let loose, so he challenges Elizabeth to attend the club every week for a month.

She takes him up on that challenge and this art therapy teacher is about to find out how much pleasure she can experience if she lets go of the idyllic life she envisions for herself, even if only for a couple of nights. And while the physical chemistry is off the charts, Matt knows that someone from an affluent family like Elizabeth’s could never love someone from his upbringing.

Elizabeth, however, falls for Matt who is much more to her than just a hot body, but when this experiment jeopardizes her father’s chance to run for governor, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to be the perfect girl her parents envisioned or to embrace the woman she is with the only man who fulfills her every desire - physically and emotionally.

The publisher makes comparisons to Magic Mike, but the only real similarity is that the male lead is a stripper, as Kent’s (Nameless) story offers readers much more in the way of teeth by bringing together two unlikely but completely compatible heroes. Readers can also bank on more going on between the sheets than on the stage, which makes for a sexy and titillating read.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | November 19, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

After You by Jojo Moyes

**Spoiler Alert**  If the novel Me Before You is on your holds list or currently on your nightstand, you might want to stop reading here.  After You is the sequel to that bestseller.

Louisa Clark has been stuck in park since losing Will, unable to move forward, and unwilling to examine why.  Grief therapy doesn’t seem to be helping.  After suffering injuries in a fall, Louisa is forced to convalesce with her parents, landing her smack in the middle of a family feud.  Then a troubled and spoiled young woman shows up on Louisa’s doorstep, dropping a bombshell.  Meanwhile, the wryly funny Louisa is juggling, a low-wage job, a terrible boss, and a potential boyfriend.  Is there hope for the future?

This heartwarming story takes us on Louisa’s journey as she struggles to overcome the things that hold her back in life.  With pluck and perseverance, she gets on with life after Will, one step at a time.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

New Fiction 11/10/2015

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.

Crimson Shore by Douglas Preston
A Moment of Silence by Sister Souljah
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom
Sidney Sheldon's Reckless by Sidney Sheldon
The Sundown Speech by Loren D. Estleman
Home By Nightfall by Charles Finch
A Wild Swan by Michael Cunningham
The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya
A Christmas Escape by Anne Perry

Saturday, November 7, 2015

His to Take by Shayla Black

Joaquin Munoz is determined to avenge his friend's death. On leave from the NSA, his only mission is to track down the little girl who vanished twenty years ago before she is killed. He thinks he has find her and with not much time he decides to kidnap her and then explain what is going on.

Bailey Benson just wants to dance. She thinks her dreams and life are over when she is kidnapped from her home. Bailey wakes up and finds Joaquin Munoz. He explains that he thinks that she the daughter of a scientist with deadly connections. Bailey thinks he is crazy. But ever since she was little she has had a recurring nightmare of herself covered in blood.

Bailey slowly starts to trust Joaquin and starts to recover her memories. They leave their safe haven and try to retrace her father's footsteps. But danger is following. Will they uncover the truth or will they be too late?

This in the ninth book in the Wicked Lovers series and one of my favorites in the series. I liked the characters and the story line. And she brought back our favorite characters from the previous books, which is always fun!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Scribe by Matthew Guinn

In this Southern gothic, a serial killer is on the loose in Reconstruction Atlanta, killing in a particularly gruesome manner.  His post-mortem calling card? He carves a letter into each victim’s forehead.

With the International Cotton Expo right around the corner, the power brokers in Atlanta do not want any interference in their grand plans for the city.

Cue ex-police officer Thomas Canby, who is recruited to solve the murders.  As he investigates the horrific crimes, Canby must consider all the possibilities, and whether or not pure evil is loose in Atlanta.  Is the killer human, or something supernatural?

Rich in historical detail, this suspenseful mystery reads like The Alienist by Caleb Carr and The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons. If you enjoy this genre, but in movie form, Sherlock Holmes starring Robert Downey Jr., and From Hell starring Johnny Depp would be great viewing options.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

New Fiction 11/3/2015

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 Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
The Bazaar of Bad Dreams : Stories by Stephen King
Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving
Twain and Stanley Enter Paradise by Oscar Hijuelos
The Crossing by Michael Connelly
Together For Christmas by Katherine Spencer
The Golem of Paris by Jonathan Kellerman
The Chocolate Falcon Fraud by Joanna Carl
Murder on St. Nicholas Avenue by Victoria Thompson
Miss Ruffles Inherits Everything by Nancy Martin
Born of Betrayal by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Air and Darkness by David Drake
The Cloud Collector by Brian Freemantle

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Gumshoe by Rob Leininger

Former IRS agent turned Private Investigator, Mort Angel, is having a stimulating week. His ex-wife's fiance, who happens to be the mayor of Reno, goes missing at the same time as the city's District Attorney. Heads start to roll. Literally.

Next, Mort comes home to a naked stranger passed out in his bed, a woman he has never seen before, who has disappeared by the time he rolls off the couch in the morning. Then things get really interesting.

This fast-paced mystery puts the pedal to the metal and never lets up. If you like a quick moving story with great characters, lots of suspects, and tons of twists and turns, this one's for you.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Kill by Jane Casey

D.C. Maeve Kerrigan, along with her abrasive boss, D.I. Josh Derwent,  is called away from a countryside wedding to investigate a fellow London police officer’s murder.  The victim was found in a compromising position, so the investigators must navigate the politics of the situation, as well as deal with the media.

The pressure for a quick and uncontroversial wrap-up of the case steadily builds.  To be successful, Kerrigan must skirt the internal politics of the department, and deftly handle the testosterone dominated squad room.  Will the secret she keeps come back to haunt her?

This atmospheric, character-driven, fast-paced police procedural is for readers who enjoy Tana French’s, or Robert Galbraith’s (J.K. Rowling) mysteries.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

New Fiction 10/27/2015

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.

Playing With Fire by Tess Gerritsen
The Theory of Death by Faye Kellerman
Corrupted by Lisa Scottoline
The Woman Who Walked in Sunshine by Alexander McCall Smith
Naughtier Than Nice by Eric Jerome Dickey
Christmas Bells by Jennifer Chiaverini
After Alice by Gregory Maguire
A Banquet of Consequences by Elizabeth George
Bittersweet Dreams by V.C. Andrews

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Blush by Cherry Adair

Amelia Wentworth is a billionaire CEO of a cosmetics company and someone is trying to kill her. She decides to disappear in Louisana. She now goes by Mia Hayworth and is restoring a house. She has also completing a to do list: learn to cook, buy a truck, have sex with a stranger. She never imagined the sex with a stranger would lead to more.

Cruz Barcelona is a hit man. His last job is to kill Amelia Wentworth. But things don't go as planned. His gut is telling him that something is off. He decides to act has her handyman and find out if she is as despicable as he was lead to believe. He ends up getting up close and personal with her, which is a big no-no in his profession.

As Cruz is trying to figure out what is really going on, Amelia becomes suspicious of Cruz. But not enough to fire him. Because she is falling for him just as much as he is falling for her. But will they be able to uncover the truth before it is too late?

I am a big fan of Cherry Adair's but I wasn't sure at first about this book. It took awhile for me to get into the story and I wasn't a big fan of Amelia's. But I soon warmed up to the characters and we have another winner by Cherry Adair!