Saturday, July 30, 2016

Rake's Redemption by Chantal Fernando

While out at a local bar, single mother and schoolteacher Bailey runs into Lana and Anna, friends who she hasn’t seen since high school, as well as Anna’s brother, Adam, her old boyfriend and former love of her life. Adam, who now goes by Rake, is a member of the Wild Dragon’s MC and not the Adam she remembers.

This new gruff and oversexed Rake makes it clear that she is to stay far away from his friends and family, but Anna won’t let her brother get in the way of her and Bailey’s friendship. Rake finally relents and the sexual tension between him and Bailey becomes more than either of them can stand. They soon fall back into each other’s arms even though the thing from the past that kept them apart remains unspoken.

Just when they work out their differences, the father of Bailey’s daughter unexpectedly appears and uses her child to exploit money out of the Wind Dragons MC. Rake will have to fight to save his family or lose it all - again.

The romance and action play out agreeably, but readers will find it unrealistic that a single mother who works full time would be able to party and drink as much as Bailey does. Even if you can look past Bailey’s irresponsibleness, Fernando’s (Tracker’s End) fourth Wind Dragons MC series offering is only a middling addition to MC romance.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

All Chained Up by Sophie Jordan

Briar Davis is a nurse who has agreed to volunteer at Devil's Rock prison. She doesn't know what she was thinking when she agreed and is terrified. It doesn't help that her first patient is the sexiest, most dangerous looking man she has ever seen.

Knox Callaghan is just trying to stay alive and do his time. It doesn't hurt that he gets to look at the new nurse. But when he hears some of the inmates talking about hurting her, he has to step in. He ends up getting early parole for saving Briar from being attacked and is now a free man.

Briar can't stop thinking about Knox. And then fate steps in and they run into each other. They decide to give into fate and have a steamy night together. But is once going to be enough?

This is the first book in Sophie Jordan's new series and I really liked it. I look forward to the next book, Hell Breaks Loose.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

New Fiction 7/26/2016

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.

Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
Killer Look by Linda A. Fairstein
Deadly Fate by Heather Graham
The Angels Share by J.R. Ward
Just Can't Let Go by Mary B. Morrison
Heroes of the Frontier by Dave Eggers
The Muse by Jessie Burton
One Less Problem Without You by Beth Harbison
Live and Let Growl by Laurien Berenson
Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
Cold Silence by James Abel
Valley of the Moon by Valerie Gideon

Saturday, July 23, 2016

The Wicked + The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie

Every 90 years, 12 gods return to Earth, reincarnated as humans and worshiped as much as any modern day pop star by their masses of adoring fans - but only for two years, when they die, and the cycle begins again. Laura is among the fascinated crowd, mesmerized and desperate to be one of them. Until a chance encounter and near death experience brings her face to face with her idols - one of whom needs her help.

Fast paced and gorgeously drawn, the first volume in this series (collects #1-5) puts you right in the thick of the story - a small bit of backstory, and you’re on your way. Drawing from gods and goddesses across world religions, these deities are brash, complicated, and larger than life, both in presence and attitude. Laura, by comparison, is wonderfully human - her wholehearted devotion to the fandom is as recognizable as it is relatable.

Volume 1 gives the reader a quick glimpse into an interesting story with a massive cliffhanger of an ending. The series is original and enticing with the kind of “blink and you’ll miss it” action that requires a bit of attention to detail (which won’t be hard to provide at all). The artwork will draw you in (no pun intended), the characters will pique your interest, but the ending will have you checking out the next volume in a heartbeat. For a newbie graphic novel reader like myself, this series has me excited to read on.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Chicago physics professor Jason Dessen is walking home one night, looking forward to seeing his wife and son, when he is assaulted and abducted by a masked man dressed all in black.

Something about the man seems so familiar he thinks, before blacking out.  He comes to, only to find himself the subject of a bizarre experiment done against his will.

When he escapes and tries to make his way back to his family, he discovers that he has landed in an alternate reality where his wife and son do not exist. Instead, he is wildly successful and brilliantly famous, but single.

And now dangerous people are after him. Lots of people. But whom and, more importantly, why? And the REAL question. Can Jason ever get back to his old life?

This atmospheric thriller, often disorienting, ponders serious questions about the paths we choose to follow in life and the “roads not traveled”.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Fiction 7/19/2016

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.

Night and Day by Iris Johansen
White Bone by Ridley Pearson
Guilty Minds by Joseph Finder
Falling by Jane Green
Outfoxed by David Rosenfelt
Fallout by Harry Turtledove

Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee

Lilliet Berne is a star of the Paris Opera, singing in a gorgeous and fragile Falcon soprano that has made her an icon. All she needs to make her a legend of the stage is an original role - and soon enough, she’s offered the opportunity. But her joy soon turns to alarm as she realizes the libretto bears an unnerving resemblance to her past - a past she’d thought was long buried.

Only four people know the truth of Lilliet’s rise to fame, beyond the facade she’s created as “La Générale.” As she searches for libretto’s true author, Lilliet revisits the story of her past, which transports the reader from 19th century frontier Minnesota to a circus that provided her escape; to the Paris of Emperor Napoleon III and the ensuing Commune; and back to the stage that would be her sanctuary (and possibly, her undoing).

This story was wonderfully written - operatic in structure and lush in detail. Chee weaves in historical figures and events in an effortless way - moments fitting perfectly with Lilliet’s fantastic and heartbreaking past. This book moves swiftly and feels so full of suspense that it’s difficult not to finish in a few sittings, even at close to 600 pages.

A truly sweeping and engaging read. Perfect for book clubs, historical and literary fiction fans, and those looking for a really engrossing story.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Redemption Road by John Hart

Severely neglected by his alcoholic father, thirteen year-old Gideon Strange thinks being a man means killing the person responsible for his mother’s murder when he was an infant.

When ex-cop Adrian Wall is released from prison, that’s just what Gideon sets out to do, but gets shot by a bartender in the process.  In the meantime, Gideon’s guardian angel, police officer Elizabeth Black finds herself under investigation for the shooting deaths of two men who kidnapped and tortured a teenager.

Suspended from duty and struggling with her own demons, Officer Black still believes that Adrian was framed for Julia Strange’s murder.  So does his geriatric lawyer, Crybaby Jones, who supports Elizabeth in her quest to find the truth.

But can the truth be found?  Will justice be served?  These characters, and many more will be driven to the edge of disaster in this dark, twisting tale of brutality and mayhem in a small North Carolina town.  You will root for some, wish a horrible and painful death upon others, but you will not be able to put this book down.  Intense and powerful, the characters will haunt you long after you’ve read the last page.  (The audio book is also incredibly tense.  The slow pacing of the narration just underscores the small town southern setting, and serves to ratchet the stress up to unbearable levels.)

For readers of John Grisham’s A Time to Kill.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Fiction 07/12/2016

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 Black Widow by Daniel Silva
The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger
Among the Wicked by Linda Castillo
The Innocents by Ace Atkins
Daughters of the Bride by Susan Mallery
The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown
Wolf Lake by John Verdon

Saturday, July 9, 2016

The Girls by Emma Cline

It was the summer of 1969, and for Evie Boyd, it was the kind of summer that stands on the edge of something. Lonely and longing, Evie resents the slow pace of life in her sleepy Northern California town. Until she meets Suzanne - free and unrestrained, and even a bit dangerous.

Evie soon finds herself caught up life on the ranch - a place where you seem free to accept and be accepted. As she becomes more entwined with Suzanne and the group’s charismatic leader Russell, her desperation for approval and independence grows stronger - never realizing the dangerous turn her life just might take if she lets it.

Loosely based on the horrific Manson murders, this book isn't just about a girl falling into a cult - it’s about growing up, and the intricate, intense, and often consuming power of female friendships.

Wonderfully written, with sharp insight and lyrical prose, Cline recreates the feeling of yearning for meaning that seems to go hand in hand with adolescence. Told from the perspectives of teenage and adult Evie, the story thrums with longing and foreboding alike - it's the kind of book that is difficult to put down, and is sure to linger long after you finish the last page. Recommended for anyone looking for a visceral, engrossing read.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L. Rosen

For fashion mavens, every new season brings must-haves.  A must-have handbag (Birkin),  must-have shoes (Louboutin), and the eponymous little black dress.  Must-haves are always in great demand and invariably in short supply, so when only one shop in midtown Manhattan has THE little black dress (Max Hammer), store assistants scramble to fulfill their clients’ needs by allowing the dress to be worn for one-night-only appearances by nine of their best (or most deserving) shoppers (friends).

There’s Natalie, who wants to show her ex-boyfriend what he is missing, and Felicia, who wants her widower boss to see her as more than an assistant.  There’s Andrea, the private investigator trying to catch another cheating husband in the act, and the model, straight from Georgia to the runway whose career is made by wearing this lovely creation.

A charming tale full of longing, romance, and fashion, this book is for anyone looking for a light summer read.  Perfect for the beach, or for your jitney to the Hamptons, this light romp will get you 272 pages closer to earning a prize in our Summer Reading Contest.  For fans of The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.

***Publisher Release Date: July 12, 2016***

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

New Fiction 7/5/2016

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.
Make Me Love You by Johanna Lindsey
Magic by Danielle Steel
Insidious by Catherine Coulter
Another One Goes Tonight by Peter Lovesey
A Last Adventure of Constance Verity by A. Lee Martinez
House Revenge by Mike Lawson
Panacea by F. Paul Wilson
The Trap by Melanie Raabe
Someone Always Knows by Marcia Muller
The Second Half by Lauraine Snelling

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

In their 20’s, Elizabeth, Andrew, and Zoe were fierce musicians with an effortless cool and a college band with just enough fame to suit them. As they graduate and settle in their quiet Brooklyn neighborhood, they spend the easy years watching their friends marry, have children, get jobs, and set down roots, somehow managing to keep an almost impossible feeling of youthfulness between them.

Until a movie studio approaches the group about a Hollywood biopic of their former band mate who made it big. And their children are suddenly no longer children - seemingly in the blink of an eye - beginning to explore the world of almost adulthood their parents could have sworn they had just inhabited themselves.

Straub beautifully captures the suddenness of middle age and the newness of adulthood in the small, intimate details of a group of friends and their teenage children. The characters feel real - in that you can imagine being friends with and wanting to smack some sense into them (often in equal measure). Each character struggles on the precipice of a new chapter, and the feelings of hope, longing, and apprehension are beautifully illustrated and viscerally felt. It's an interesting mix of coming of age and coming to terms. Definitely recommended to anyone that enjoys thoughtful, character driven stories.