A little boy is teased by three other boys in his neighborhood. Timmy, Johnny and Mark question why is his skin darker than theirs? Why is his hair noA little boy is teased by three other boys in his neighborhood. Timmy, Johnny and Mark question why is his skin darker than theirs? Why is his hair not straight? The little boy begins to feel bad about himself because he is different. He goes home and tells his mother what happened. She explains being different is not bad. In fact it's good. She tells him how she sees him and how special he is. She brings him a mirror and tells him to always love what he sees. He believes his mother and realizes his friends may not know everything....more
It's About: Lindsey Norris is the newest resident of Briar Creek. She is the director of the Briar Creek Public Library. After experiencing several peIt's About: Lindsey Norris is the newest resident of Briar Creek. She is the director of the Briar Creek Public Library. After experiencing several personal setbacks, Lindsey finally believes she has found her new home.
When Sydney Carlisle, a hot-shot New York editor, comes to town for a quiet getaway, Beth Stanley, Lindsey's best friend, is excited to meet her. Beth has aspirations of becoming a published children's author. Her boyfriend, Rick, considers her work to amateurish and she doesn't think she has a chance to be published.
When Rick is found murdered, Beth is the police's number one suspect. Can Lindsey find the killer's identity before Beth is arrested?
Thoughts: First, how cute is this cover? The library is so inviting; I just want to go inside and browse the shelves! Which is the main reason I was looking forward to starting this series. A cozy series that takes place in the library! As I library lover, this is right up my alley.
In Books Can Be Deceiving, McKinlay takes her time setting up the murder. This doesn't mean it's a slow-moving plot. Quite the opposite. I actually preferred this because it allowed me to get to know the characters. The scenes are written so vividly, I had no problem picturing the library, which in a way is another character in the book.
Lindsey, Beth and the supporting characters make this cozy a delightful read. There's a hint of romance for Lindsey, which I am glad the author didn't rush into in the first book. The mystery is light, with several twists as Lindsey finds each clue that eventually leads her to the killer's identity.
Lasting impression: Books Can Be Deceiving is book and library lover's wish for a cozy series. It's off to a good start and I cannot wait to read the second book, Due or Die. Luckily for me I have a copy sitting on my bookshelves. ...more
Mini-Review: I first began reading about Gino and Lucky Santangelo in high school. My summer vacations were spent devouring Collins’s books. Goddess oMini-Review: I first began reading about Gino and Lucky Santangelo in high school. My summer vacations were spent devouring Collins’s books. Goddess of Vengeance is just as good as the first books in the Lucky series.
In Goddess of Vengeance, we find Lucky and Lennie still married and crazy about each other. Lucky hasn’t slowed down and is still the successful business woman. She’s trying to find a balance between work and family as her daughter’s Max’s 18th birthday is fast approaching. Max has dropped several hints that she wants to move to New York City, however Lucky has her reservations. Lucky was wild and ambitious at Max’s age, however she wants a different, settled life for her daughter. Max is determined to get from underneath her mother’s watchful eye.
Armand is a successful business man and is not use to the word “no”. He views women as inferior, as they should be seen and not heard. He has his eyes set on The Keys and will do everything it takes to own it. When his offer is turned down, he’s infuriated. He arranges a meeting with the owner and is dumbfounded to learn it’s Lucky. Lucky is not threatened by Armand and refuses to meet his demands. Armand has decided to take matters into his own hands, as Lucky hasn’t given him a choice.
I suggest reading Poor Little Bitch Girl prior to Goddess of Vengeance. Characters from the former book appear in the latter. Collins continues their storyline and makes minimum reference to their back story. Goddess of Vengeance is the perfect companion for a day at the beach. I hope Collins continues to write more in the Lucky series.
It's About: When Piper is offered an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to bake a wedding cake for Jillian Abernathy, she's a bit hesitant. After spIt's About: When Piper is offered an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles to bake a wedding cake for Jillian Abernathy, she's a bit hesitant. After spending New Year's Eve with Jack, the man she's seeing, she thinks it's best to leave Jersey for awhile to think about where their relationship is going.
Her father is not sold on the idea of her going. Jillian's housekeeper was recently attacked⎯an attack meant for Jillian. He warns Piper to be careful and not to get involved with the investigation. Upon Piper's arrival to the elite spa where Jillian is the head director, a murder has just taken place. Soon Piper finds herself in the middle of trying to solve the crime.
My Thoughts: Last year I was introduced to Piper in book one, To Have and To Kill. Having enjoyed it, I immediately accepted the pitch to review The Look of Love. The Look of Love picks up where To Have and To Kill left off. We find Piper still living at home and helping her mother in her bakery. Piper continues to pursue her acting career and is casually dating Jack. Jack, however, wants a committed relationship. Piper isn't sure about her feelings for him nor is she ready for anything serious. Jillian's offer to travel to LA comes at the right time. She'll go to auditions, she'll create and bake Jillian's wedding cake and she'll take time to think about what she wants with Jack. Little does Piper know, once she lands, she'll find herself deep in a murder investigation.
Piper is a likeable character and ideal for an amateur sleuth. She doesn't rush into anything impulsively, but instead is cautious and tries to see the big picture. Each step she takes leads her in the right direction to finding the killer's identity. She's compassionate and genuinely wants to help Jillian move on from the tragic events.
I figured out the killer's identity early on. It didn't prevent me from enjoying the mystery. I wanted to see how the characters would react when they learned the killer's identity and motive behind the attack. The Look of Love is a quick weekend read. Grab your favorite throw, curl up on your couch or reading chair and settle in for a light, cozy mystery....more
Outside the Lines is a book that grabs the reader from page one. Early on I was invested in Eden and her search for her father. I wanted Eden to reconOutside the Lines is a book that grabs the reader from page one. Early on I was invested in Eden and her search for her father. I wanted Eden to reconnect with David in order for her to heal from the void his absence had created. With each new clue to his whereabouts, I found myself filled with emotion: excited that she may see him again, but yet fearful that David's story may not have a happy ending.
Hatvany tells the story of David and Eden in both their voices, which was the strength of the novel for me. Chapters alternate from the past to the present as David and Eden take turns narrating. Hatvany's transitions are so smooth, that I quickly adjusted and did not have to rely on the chapter headings to inform me if it was David or Eden, past or present.
Reading David's struggles with staying on his medication and trying to live a "normal" life in his voice was refreshing. I don't think I would have been as captivated with him had I read about him from Eden's (or her mother's) perspective. Hatvany's talent lies within creating characters the reader cares about and keeps in her thoughts long after the book is put down.
Eden is a complicated character. She's successful in her career, dreams about owning a restaurant, and has family and friends who care about her. But yet it's hard for her to truly love another man because of the unresolved issues she has with her father. She's dedicated to finding David, not only to see him again, but she also realizes it's necessary for her self-growth and to face the future that awaits her.
Outside the Lines is a gripping novel about how mental illness not only impacts the individual with the diagnosis, but also the family. If you're looking for a story rich with family dynamics and likeable, flawed characters, you will not want to miss Outside the Lines. Highly recommended.
I had high expectations for Lola and the Boy Next Door from page one. Perkins immediately sucked me in with her successful and realistic story of teenI had high expectations for Lola and the Boy Next Door from page one. Perkins immediately sucked me in with her successful and realistic story of teenage love in Anna and the French Kiss. I practically devoured it in one afternoon and thought I would do the same with Lola and the Boy Next Door.
So I was a bit surprised that it took me awhile to get acquainted with the characters. Lola is quirky. She dresses in colorful wigs and clothes that one may describe as "costumes". She's a bit of a loner, although she has a best friend that she hangs with. She's raised by two gay fathers and is dating a 22-year old guy in a band.
Buried underneath the wigs and outlandish clothes is a young girl with issues. She's discovering who she is, she's insecure and she desperately tries to do the right thing. In some cases, she doesn't make the best of decisions. Most of her struggles are played out in her relationship with Max. Early on, the reader gets the sense this relationship will not end well. As much as I didn't like Lola with Max, he played an important role with her self-discovery.
And then there's Cricket. The boy next door. The guy she can't allow herself to forget no matter how hard she tries. But when he returns, Lola comes to a crossroads: continue moving forward with Max or confront her unresolved feelings for Cricket.
Although I was not enamored with Lola and the Boy Next Door as I was with Anna and the French Kiss, I still enjoyed it. Perkins is a talented author and I am looking forward to reading her next novel....more
Emily is disappointed when her daughter Heather announces she’s not coming home for Christmas. She calls her friend Faith and explains she will be speEmily is disappointed when her daughter Heather announces she’s not coming home for Christmas. She calls her friend Faith and explains she will be spending the holidays alone. Faith, being a good friend, decides to surprise Emily by paying her visit. Meanwhile, Emily has researched swapping houses for the holiday. If Heather can’t come home, she’ll go to her. After all, family should be together during the Christmas season. In her haste to leave, she doesn’t call Faith to tell her her new holiday plans.
Charles is the man Emily is swapping houses with. He can’t get out of Boston fast enough. The holiday carolers, the last minute shoppers and the festivities are too much for him. Escaping to a small town is just what this man needs. Until he realizes the town of Leavenworth is even more festive than Boston. When Faith arrives at Emily’s, she finds Charles there instead. Not sure what to make of him or their situation, Faith decides not to allow this scrooge to ruin her holiday.
Ray, Charles’s brother decides to visit him after receiving a phone call from their meddling mother. She claims a woman answered the phone and demands to know if she’s “the one” for her son. Ray travels to Boston to find out the woman’s identity and meets Emily.
Trading Christmas is a predictable holiday romance. Grab a plate of holiday cookies, a glass of eggnog and your favorite throw. Curl up on a cold winter’s day and enjoy this festive story....more
What can I say about Creep? It is a edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller. It makes you think how well do you really know someone? Appearances canWhat can I say about Creep? It is a edge-of-your-seat psychological thriller. It makes you think how well do you really know someone? Appearances can definitely be deceiving. Sheila is a flawed, broken character, one the reader wants to see have a happy ending. The demons she's fighting are intense and it's uncertain if she'll win the battle.
Ethan is a sick, twisted, perverted antagonist whom, at first sight, appears to be charming, gorgeous and smart. He wants Sheila and becomes obsessed with her when she ends their affair. Hillier did a fantastic job allowing the reader to get inside his mind.
What I loved most about Creep was it read like a movie. I vividly pictured each scene in my mind and found myself reading faster to see what would happen next. When I put the book down, I couldn't stop thinking about it and wanted to pick it up once more just so I read one more chapter. As I got closer and closer to the last pages, I couldn't figure out how it would end. One significant sentence (a clue regarding one of the characters) stayed with me and I wondered how the author would tie it in with the ending. That sentence and the twist paved the way to a gripping conclusion. I cannot wait to get my hands on Hillier's follow-up thriller Freak, to be released this summer....more
It's Christmas and Sophie Winston is spending the holiday with her family. When she arrives at her brother George's house, she learns a thief3.5 Stars
It's Christmas and Sophie Winston is spending the holiday with her family. When she arrives at her brother George's house, she learns a thief has stolen all their presents from under the tree. As it turns out, the neighbors' presents were also stolen. Sophie finds herself involved in another case as she tries to track down the thief and salvage Christmas.
The Domestic Diva is one of my favorite cozy series. Like previous novels, the author introduces the readers to many characters, but thankfully a list of characters is noted at the beginning of the book in case one needs a reminder. They mystery moves quickly and the author throws in several twists to hide the killer's identity until the end of the novel. I'm looking forward to reading the fifth book, The Diva Haunts the House....more
When I first started reading Girls in White Dresses, I didn't know what to expect. It took a few chapters for me to adjust to the author's writing styWhen I first started reading Girls in White Dresses, I didn't know what to expect. It took a few chapters for me to adjust to the author's writing style. When I began to look at each chapter as a short story with recurring characters, I was able to delve deeper into the novel.
I'm no longer in my 20s, however I thought Close painted an accurate portrait of the anxieties, insecurities, and doubts I felt when I graduated from college. As my friends were getting engaged and married, I was pursuing my Master's degree. I wondered if I would ever find myself on the path of marriage and children.
Girls in White Dresses is a a perfect companion to a lazy summer afternoon. If you find yourself feeling frustrated at the beginning, I would advise you to keep reading, it's worth it. If you are like me and not twenty-something anymore, it's also a walk down memory lane. Recommended.
Mini-Review: Poor Little Bitch Girl centers around Bobby Stanislopoulos, Lucky Santangelo’s twenty-something son. He’s the co-owner of Mood, a ManhattMini-Review: Poor Little Bitch Girl centers around Bobby Stanislopoulos, Lucky Santangelo’s twenty-something son. He’s the co-owner of Mood, a Manhattan club. Bobby and M.J., his business partner and high school friend, decide to expand Mood and seek to open clubs in Miami and Vegas.
Bobby also went to school with Annabelle. Originally from LA, she now lives in New York City with her boyfriend Frankie. The pair run a high-price dating service. Money is rolling in and Annabelle is starting to make a name for herself. When her mother is found murdered, her father is arrested. Annabelle returns to L.A. to grieve and seeks answers to her mother’s death.
Denver is the attorney assigned to case. She also has a history with Bobby and Annabelle. Although she doubts either will remember her. As Denver throws herself into the case, a case which could advance her career, her friend, Carolyn has secrets of her own. Carolyn has been dating a married Senator and learns she is pregnant. Anticipating he will finally leave his wife, Carolyn tells him about their baby, but he is less than thrilled.
Poor Little Bitch Girl is Collins at her best. The story moves quickly and soon the characters are reunited. What comes next is sure to keep the reader turning pages.