I read this as part of Harlequin's 'Just Can't Get Enough' Campaign.
I really liked the way Brody was portrayed as the resident bad boy - but we were...moreI read this as part of Harlequin's 'Just Can't Get Enough' Campaign.
I really liked the way Brody was portrayed as the resident bad boy - but we were allowed a glimpse inside that showed it was mostly an act. When his best friend's little sister comes on to him one night, he tries to fight it. He thought he had done a good job of staying away from her, even though it wasn't really what he wanted. Unfortunately, soon after he gives in, her sheriff father shows up and reads him the riot act. He allows himself to be run out of town to save Genna any more wrath from her father and to save his grandmother any more embarrassment. It was no surprise to me that he rose to the top as a Navy SEAL.
He thought he has put Genna and the small town prejudices behind him, but after receiving a letter from Genna with sad news about his friend and her brother, he seems compelled to writer her back - and so a flirtation develops through the U.S. Mail. He doesn't think that anything will come of it as he never plans to return - but then a mission goes bad and his grandmother insists he come home to heal. It is his psyche that is more damaged than his body though, and he doesn't think that it will heal anywhere.
While he has been gone, Genna has become friends with his grandmother, and is secretly thrilled that he is returning home. She is still under daddy's watchful eye, and thumb, and is even working for the Mayor in a position that her father 'created' and insisted that she take. It is under this guise that she first visits Brody upon his return home. The sparks fly, but the reunion ends in flames.
I really enjoyed the way the author brought these two back together after their one fateful tryst - and she doesn't make it easy for them. She throws conflict after conflict at them and they have to fight each other, circumstances, and Genna's parents to finally realize what it is they really want.
I can't wait to read A SEAL's Kiss and will be reviewing that for you next month as well as bringing you an interview with the series author - Tawny Weber.(less)
I read this book as part of Harlequin's 'Just Can't Get Enough' Campaign. I must say that I really enjoyed it! Our main characters are Marsha and Will...moreI read this book as part of Harlequin's 'Just Can't Get Enough' Campaign. I must say that I really enjoyed it! Our main characters are Marsha and Will. They only had one date - prom night their senior year. Marsha had had a crush on Will forever, and had arranged the date through Will's brother Buck. You see, she was a pastor's daughter and he was the resident bad boy. This one night would change the course of their lives forever.
Marsha leaves town to go to college, letting Will believe she has 'taken care of the baby'. In reality, she goes off to college, without even telling her parents that she is pregnant. She is determined to do it on her own, and get the degree that she has always wanted. Her parents don't find out about the baby, Ryan, until he is already born, and they soon stop asking her who the father is. She does come back for visits, but always manages to stay clear of Will -- until she decides not to.
You see, her father is dying of cancer, and she has decided that Ryan will need another male in his life. You see a pattern here? Marsha has taken all the decision making away from Will, and now that Ryan is a teenager she is going to introduce him to his father? And what about how Will is going to react to having a son that he is just now finding out about? As you can see, this is a recipe for what could be a huge disaster.
What Marsha or Will doesn't count on is that they might actually have feelings for each other. With them both tiptoeing around trying not to upset Marsha's dad or Ryan you wonder if the truth is ever going to come out!
This was a quick read and had a lot of heart. Both families, Marsha's and Will's were very close knit and you could see that they cared deeply for one another. I liked the way the story was resolved and look forward to reading more about the Cash brothers in the future!(less)
I was familiar with James Patterson having read a handful of the Women's Murder Club books years ago, but I wasn't sure what to expect with this New A...moreI was familiar with James Patterson having read a handful of the Women's Murder Club books years ago, but I wasn't sure what to expect with this New Adult novel. I noticed it one night at work and just thought it looked good so thought I would check it out. I was not disappointed.
I loved Axi and Robinson's relationship. They were friends who shared a very sad past. Something that not a lot of kids their age would be able to relate to, and it had bonded them together. Axi only has her father at home, and he doesn't know whether she is there or not most of the time, so when she got this idea for a cross-country road trip, she knew she wouldn't have to worry about him. Robinson lives with an uncle, and that is about as much as Axi knows, but she also knows she can't make this trip without him.
Axi thinks she has it all planned out, but before they can even leave town, Robinson has derailed her plans on how they are going to travel and she finds herself on the back of a motorcycle! Through the next few days/weeks Axi finds herself living more and more in the moment, but also realizing that she is going to have to face the future. Robinson is very cavalier and carefree, not wanting to face the future at all. He eventually leads Axi to his parents' house on the East Coast. It is here that they both come to terms with what the future holds.
I read this book for the Newbery Challenge. It won the Newbery award in 2013.
When I first started it, I didn't know how I was ever going to get into...moreI read this book for the Newbery Challenge. It won the Newbery award in 2013.
When I first started it, I didn't know how I was ever going to get into it - as the dialogue was between Ivan, Stella and Bob - a gorilla, elephant and dog. I thought it was going to be very childlike. Well, I thought wrong.
It wasn't long before I was genuinely interested in the well-being of these three friends. They cared about one another and were really more family than friends. This family expands when a baby elephant is brought into this strange zoo-in-a-mall. Her name is Ruby and Stella takes her under her wing. Unfortunately Stella is old and her health is failing. She teaches Ruby as much as she can before she passes. Ivan does promise her that he will make sure that Ruby does not stay at the mall forever like they have.
With that promise on his mind and in his heart, he starts a campaign to try to get people to understand that they want to be outside with other animals like them. He has been creating "art" that is sold at the mall for years, but now he starts to draw a bigger picture using many pieces of paper. He hopes the young girl who always comes to visit him will be able to figure out what he is trying to say.
I really enjoyed reading this book, and found it even more interesting when I discovered it was loosely patterned after a real gorilla named Ivan. This gorilla also lived at a mall for twenty seven years before the public outcry that sent him to live at Zoo Atlanta with other primates. There are some great themes here regarding friendship, bravery and cruelty to animals. And yes, it does deal with death, but I think it handles it in a way that young children can handle. (less)
I chose this book to read as it is a Newbery Award winner. I was pleasantly surprised how a book written in 1958 - about 1687 - still touched on many...moreI chose this book to read as it is a Newbery Award winner. I was pleasantly surprised how a book written in 1958 - about 1687 - still touched on many issues that can be found in today's society - prejudice, religious freedom/persecution, trying to find out where we fit in, love and loyalty. Why is it that the more things change, the more they stay the same? The persecution of the Quakers in 1687 - Jews in Hitler's Germany - and some would say Christians in America today. And I bet that everyone could name at least one person who had suffered prejudice in some way, shape or form.
Kit is targeted as being a witch on the ship over by a mean-spirited woman for the simple reasons that she can swim and read. Evidently if you don't "sink" in the water, it means you are a witch. Being raised in Barbados though, Kit grew up in the water and swimming was second nature to her. She was forced to leave Barbados though when her grandfather died and she was forced to sell off everything to pay his debts.
She makes her way to the home of her mother's sister, a woman she has never met, but to whom she has corresponded. They were not aware that she was coming for a visit, let alone an extended stay. But as she is family, they cannot turn her away.
Kit has a hard time fitting in her new family. Her clothes are more flamboyant than the Puritan community where she now finds herself. She has no work ethic as she had been allowed to run free on the island until her grandfather died. She feels she is working from sun up to sun down and is still a burden on the family. With what free time she does have, she finds herself in a nearby meadow befriending an old woman, Widow Tupper. Because she is a Quaker, the townspeople believe she is a witch and avoid her at all costs. She also has garnered the unwanted attention of a local boy, William, who seems to have set his sights on her as his future wife.
Whew, how much can a teenage girl handle in just a few months? I really enjoyed the final conflict in the book and how loyalties are shown and love is offered. I am glad that I chose this book for my first Newbery Medal Winner to read.(less)
I must admit that to me this book started out kind of slow. I nearly put it down as I didn't think I was going to be able to stick with it. But I did...more I must admit that to me this book started out kind of slow. I nearly put it down as I didn't think I was going to be able to stick with it. But I did and am glad. Once it picked up I became invested in the characters a bit more.
Cayden seemed like a sweetheart, even though I think he was a little dense when it came to his love life. He did seem to mature in other ways during the course of the story though. He went from having to keep the largest part of his life a secret to being able to share it with his family and close friend. Along the way though he finds family he never knew he had as well as discovers new powers. He finds out that he may have enemies because of these powers, so it is even more important to keep them hidden.
I liked the relationship between Cayden and Camilla. The strong friendship and how they are both fighting feelings for each other that run deeper.
Even with the slow start, the book picked up and once rolling along kept up the speed. I would probably pick up the second book in the series as there is still a lot about Cayden and his family that remains a mystery. (less)
This book is marketed as a cozy mystery, and while those books have their fair share of humor, this one tops them all. You know the saying "If it was...more This book is marketed as a cozy mystery, and while those books have their fair share of humor, this one tops them all. You know the saying "If it wasn't for Bad Luck, I'd have no Luck at all?" Well that sums up Austin Carr. His income has tanked, he has lost most of his material possessions because of it. He lives in a rusty camper and can't see his kids - which is what he wants more than anything. When the story starts out you think this is just a deadbeat dad, sort of homeless, alcoholic. But, in spite of all that he has a heart that makes you love him - you just can't help it!
This is a very quick moving book, with lots of twists as a mystery should have - but it will definitely keep you laughing! I found it very entertaining, quick to read, and though it is a mystery - it also has a light hearted feel to it. It is a fun book to the beginning of a new series. Can't wait to see what other troubles Austin will get in to!(less)
This was a somewhat normal scenario that quickly spiraled out of control.... Oh who am I kidding - this was not a normal scenario. Ex-wife, Ceri, goin...moreThis was a somewhat normal scenario that quickly spiraled out of control.... Oh who am I kidding - this was not a normal scenario. Ex-wife, Ceri, going to see ex-husband, Russell, about his visitation with their daughter Skye. Runs into ex-fiance, Jason, and his father, Max, who also wants to see her ex-husband - to try to get the body of his brother Peter back. Peter was hurt on the night of Jason's bachelor party - only Jason had opted to spend the evening with Ceri. He feels that Peter's accident would not have happened if he hadn't stayed with Ceri.
Russell had used some experimental procedures on Peter and had saved his life but made him a cyborg in the process. His cyborg half-life had been snuffed out during an attempted robbery in which he was shot and killed. Or so everyone thought. As Ceri, Jason and Max soon learn, Russell has reanimated Peter and turned him into a zombie - one with a chip in his head to do Russell's bidding.
The situation goes from bad to worse. Peter infects the secretary, who starts a zombie outbreak. Russell is killed by none other than Peter, and Ceri and Jason find themselves locked into Russell's safe room. At least from there they can get out the word about the outbreak and get them some help. That help turns out to be the military planning to bomb the establishment in two hours. This would be okay except that Ceri has seen her mother and daughter huddled under a desk in Russell's office on the top floor. The true story starts here as Jason and Ceri set off to rescue them through a zombie infested building.
This one had a lot of suspense and was an interesting take on the outbreak of zombies. Enjoyed reading it and turns out according to my spreadsheet, it is the 100th book I have read this year!(less)
This was probably the least favorite of the novellas that I read this week. It had sort of a campy feel to me. I couldn't help picturing the girl from...moreThis was probably the least favorite of the novellas that I read this week. It had sort of a campy feel to me. I couldn't help picturing the girl from The Ring crawling out of the T.V. when she was describing the ghost girl crawling out of the cupboard.
I did like the romantic aspect of the story, Alexis and Ian running into each other just as the ghost makes her first appearance. Alexis having to overcome the awkwardness of being stood up at the end of spring semester and Ian trying to come up with the way to tell her why he had missed the date. Meanwhile, the ghost kidnaps Tri, her cat and takes her through the walls down to the laundry room. Ian has read somewhere that salt works against ghosts so taking a handful they head off for the laundry room. But of course, a handful of salt isn't much against a vengeful ghost!
This was another quick read, and while it didn't hold the same suspense as the other novella's have had for me, it did keep me entertained. (less)
Now this was an interesting ghost story. Julia and Amy (mother and daughter) go away for a weekend after Amy is suspended from school for aggression....moreNow this was an interesting ghost story. Julia and Amy (mother and daughter) go away for a weekend after Amy is suspended from school for aggression. Julia doesn't believe her daughter is guilty, but Amy hasn't spoken since she was in a car accident with her father in which he was killed. At the hotel, Amy is befriended by Mercy, a young ghost who shows her a secret cupboard in the room of the inn at which they are staying. Meanwhile, Julia begins to have horrific dreams involving rape and hangings. But are they dreams or a ghost's memories?
When Garrett surprises them at the inn, the ghost's rage escalates. Personally witnessing the ghost's wrath, he starts delving into the inn's past and discovers that there have been multiple deaths involving a mother and daughter hanging themselves in the very room in which they are staying. Will he be able to fix the misdeeds and miscommunications of the past before they claim two more victims?
It has been awhile since I have read a ghost story, and this novella was a good start to get me interested in them again. Care to recommend any good ghost stories for this month?(less)
Sheri has been bitten by a zombie - many times over - but the infection has never materialized like it would with anybody else, and no one knows wheth...moreSheri has been bitten by a zombie - many times over - but the infection has never materialized like it would with anybody else, and no one knows whether it is just lying dormant, or if she is somehow immune. For a few months she lived in a remote cabin with her sister Dani, but they knew that would not last forever.
Aleksy stumbled upon them and told them about a compound where there were other survivors and took them in. Upon arriving, Sheri's bites were discovered and she was immediately chained and caged. The only thing that saved her from death was when Aleksy overheard her telling stories to her sister and he was mesmerized. He eventually took her to his room - keeping her chained of course - so that she could tell him stories.
As he starts to see more of Sheri and less of her bites, will he be able to let his guard down and let her in?
Another quick little story that was a fun read. I liked the storytelling aspect and that it was that little nugget that kept her alive. She would travel into abandoned towns looking for libraries and books to bring back to read to Aleksy and there is just something life affirming about that to me.(less)
I was pulled into this story right away just for the fact that it was set at an asylum. Just the word asylum evokes thoughts of despair, horror, tortu...moreI was pulled into this story right away just for the fact that it was set at an asylum. Just the word asylum evokes thoughts of despair, horror, torture, general creep factor. Corbin was there to "babysit" some ghost chasers. They thought that a ghost had been killing women at the asylum. Skeptical Corbin doesn't believe that for a minute. His night just keeps getting better when he discovers the paranormal investigator is his ex, Ashley. When his brother died in the very same asylum months earlier, it drove a wedge between him and Ashley.
During the next few hours he encounters the unexpected and at times questions his own eyes. He discovers the victims all had ties to the asylum in some way, including his brother. But Ashley also had ties to the asylum. As it dawns on him that she may be the next victim, his skepticism starts to fade.
This was a good little horror story, just right to start off October's readings. (less)
This is one of the best books that I have read in quite awhile. Touching in its simplicity, yet full of emotion. A boy's love for baseball; a mother's...moreThis is one of the best books that I have read in quite awhile. Touching in its simplicity, yet full of emotion. A boy's love for baseball; a mother's love for her son; a man's love for his deceased wife. These all fill the story with meaning and bring about the choices each makes. Choices that intertwine their lives with unbreakable bonds.
I love the way the author drew me into the lives of Ricky and his mother Maria. You feel Maria's struggle of trying to raise her boy as a single mom with an ex who shows up to steal from them and abuse them. To add to her struggles, she has lupus and has lost her health insurance so refuses to go back to the doctor until she can pay the thousands in bills that she has racked up. Ricky has struggles of his own. Dyslexia has dogged him in school as has his Mexican heritage. "Beano" and "Wetback" are names he hears often on and off the baseball field.
Together they convince, entice, coerce their next door neighbor into coaching Ricky with his pitching. This neighbor just happens to be an old MLB pitcher who won a World Series in the 1970's. He has been living in his garage for years, drinking Good Times beer, chewing Skoal and watching baseball on TV. His life basically ended when his wife died. He has been unable to move forward and has accepted his existence as a washed-up, drunk ex-MLB Pitcher.
Apart, their lives are stagnant, but together, they combine into a sometimes chaotic, sometimes heartbreaking, but altogether joyful life. (less)
I read this book in two sittings and it definitely fits the Cozy Mystery genre. My first thought when reading it, was it reminded me a little of Agath...moreI read this book in two sittings and it definitely fits the Cozy Mystery genre. My first thought when reading it, was it reminded me a little of Agatha Christie - now keep in mind, I have only read And Then There Were None, so that is what I am comparing it to!
It has a fairly large cast of characters, the first being Guy LaFevre. This is not his real name, as he spent time in prison and upon getting out created a new identity for himself. He then embezzled money from a company that was doing it's own embezzling and disappeared again before they were on to him. So now he is Guy and living in a boarding house in Iowa. He becomes friends with Caleb, a taxi driver who wants to be a detective. Together they start an agency and before long are called in to go over the books at Eggstone Farms. Gordon Eggstone thinks someone is embezzling from him. They do find a curious entry, but it is explained away. Guy thinks there is more to it, but before they can explore it someone is murdered on the farm.
Things get convoluted from there with the Sheriff asking for their help, but he may be involved with some of the suspects in ways that he doesn't want to come out. Before it is over, the murders do get solved, and Guy does some creative justice of his own.
This was a nice change from the books that I usually read. It doesn't have a lot of action, but there is a lot of studying human nature and just watching for things out of the ordinary. If you like cozy mysteries, then definitely give this one a try.(less)
I found this book to be a fun, sweet read. I instantly liked Paige. She was young, energetic, with a big heart - but very independent and not afraid...more I found this book to be a fun, sweet read. I instantly liked Paige. She was young, energetic, with a big heart - but very independent and not afraid to speak her mind. I think the pink streak in her hair showed that she was a little rebellious and not afraid to have a little fun. Because she was living in a town with mostly retired folks, she liked to liven things up a little.
She fits in well in the community, having moved back home to help take care of her mother, who has recently died of cancer. She took over Sweet Bee's bakery and has made a go of it with the help of the town doctor. He lets her know his patient's needs and she bakes up goodies that stick with their dietary limitations. It's a win-win-win. She gets business, patients get to eat goodies, and they get healthier. Until said doc goes on a month long vacation and leaves his nephew, Lane, to run his practice. He doesn't share with him the "partnership" he has with Paige and will not honor it.
See, Lane was recently burned by his ex-partner/ex-fiance when it was discovered that she was prescribing medicine that wasn't needed. He was found guilty by association. So, even though Paige and his uncle have covered things technically, he doesn't even want to come close to anything that might look illegal. He might disagree with Paige over this, but the air around them crackles whenever the two of them are in the same room. When they end up on a tropical island for a friend's wedding, they decide to put their differences aside and see where it takes them.
I liked the way the author created the sexual tension and situations, without being really graphic about it. She also writes with a great sense of humor - with I find necessary with any romance! This is the second book in the series, and I didn't have the pleasure of reading the first one. I do not think this detracted from this book at all though and would recommend this to anyone looking for a light, fun, romantic read!(less)
For a first book for Patricia Hale, this one was very good! I can't wait to see what she will write in the future. I liked the bond between Cecily, H...more For a first book for Patricia Hale, this one was very good! I can't wait to see what she will write in the future. I liked the bond between Cecily, Hillary and Amelia, and given what they have gone through, it is very understandable and believable. Something like that either tears you apart or brings you together forever.
The story unfolds with us learning more and more about the girls' childhoods and the women they have become today. You learn how they each have developed coping mechanisms to get them past the memories that haunt them. Cecily seems to bear the most guilt and it is linked to a Ouiji board that they had played with as children. She has a link to the board which she is sure comes from her deceased Grandmother. She feels that the answers that she has been given through the board may have been guidance from her Grandmother all along.
The more involved Cecily becomes in the investigation concerning the assault from 18 years before, the more danger she finds herself in, and the more muddy the lines between being loyal to friends or being loyal to family become.
Again, loved this book - and I loved the touch of paranormal that was thrown in!(less)
This is my fifth book that I have read and reviewed on Books and Needlepoint by Dan Walsh. (You can find all my reviews here. ) I continue to be touch...moreThis is my fifth book that I have read and reviewed on Books and Needlepoint by Dan Walsh. (You can find all my reviews here. ) I continue to be touched and renewed while reading his books. This latest, the second in the Restoration Series is no exception. I would recommend reading The Dance first though as you get some background information that not knowing won't detract from the story, but I felt it gave me a better understanding of the family dynamics.
I enjoy these books because the foundation for the restoration is based in God's love and forgiveness. This is portrayed though, without being preachy and in-your-face. It is simply a story, that could be anyone's story, about things that disrupt a marriage, a family, and the importance of communication and prayer. These books have touched me on a deeper level the last couple of years as my family has faced some trials where communication and understanding have played a very big role. For awhile the communication was lost and it is just coming back to the level where it used to be. The difference that it has made in our marriage and in our family is tremendous.
So, whether or not your family is whole, struggling, on the brink of disaster - I am sure that you will take something away with you after reading them.(less)
I really liked the way this book started out, with Lainie dragging into Last Chance in a car that dies in the first parking lot in town. For the firs...more I really liked the way this book started out, with Lainie dragging into Last Chance in a car that dies in the first parking lot in town. For the first few days, she doesn't know whether she is having good luck or bad luck with the things that are happening. Before she can blink, though, she has a place to stay and a job - just no car.
She has been on her own for so long that she doesn't recognize it when someone cares about her and is not just ordering her around. She has had her fill of being ordered around, but because of situations in her past, can't quite feel comfortable anywhere. She is afraid that her ex is going to come looking for her, and she can't let him find her.
I loved Lainie. When she discovered that she was in a situation that she didn't like - rather than staying to try to change her boyfriend - she packed up and left. Something I think not a lot of young girls would do. Especially ones that didn't have anywhere else they could call home. When she arrived in Last Chance, she was cautious, but she was not afraid of work. She was a good person who had just not had a perfect life.
Like the people of Last Chance, this book was warm and welcoming and presented the gospel in a very laid back way. For them it was just a fact of life - something they lived every day. They did not need to rub your face in it. Now don't get me wrong - Last Chance had some characters that weren't living the life they should, and even had some Christians whose heart was in the right place even if what came out of their mouths sometimes wasn't.
I thought it was a very strong debut novel and will happily read whatever Cathleen Armstrong comes out with next. (less)