AUTHOR: Saul, John TITLE: Faces of Fear DATE READ: 10/09/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Horror-Suspense/2007/Random House/394 pgs SERIES...moreAUTHOR: Saul, John TITLE: Faces of Fear DATE READ: 10/09/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Horror-Suspense/2007/Random House/394 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: S/A TIME/PLACE: Present/Southern California CHARACTERS: Alison Shaw 15-yrs old; Risa Shaw: mother & realtor; Michael Shaw; Alison's father and newspaper journalist; Dr. Conrad Dunn; plastic surgeon & Alison's step-father FIRST LINES: Alison Shaw felt good. Really good. She made the final turn around the smooth cinder track w/ long, easy strides. COMMENTS: It's been awhile since I've read a John Saul book but I have read most of them over the years. Most of them involve the supernatural and are classified as horror and some are more suspenseful than horror but have elements of horror. Faces of Fear has undertones of horror -- certainly this book can instill fear & terror by what is going on. Alison is an average girl living in Santa Monica -- a nice area of S. CA, but in comparison to Beverly Hills it is low key. She has her friends here and enjoys her school but when her parents separate -- her father leaves her mother for another man, her world is changed. Her parents eventually realize they are better suited as friends and divorce. Her mother is a career woman and becomes involved w/ Dr. Dunn -- a very famous plastic surgeon to the area's celebrities. When they marry, Alison starts at a new school The Academy and moves into a mansion in Beverly Hills. She is not so sure about all of this but is soon adapting and accepting of this different lifestyle … even going as far as to want breast augmentation for her 16th birthday. Her friends from before are horrified but the current ones have all had multiple surgical enhancements. At this time there is a serial killer in the area who is honing in on one feature of each woman he kills. One murder involves the removal of the ears, another a nose and so on. There are several things very unnatural and disturbing about these killings -- in addition to the surgical removal of one body part there is also the removal of certain glands. There is no doubt that Dr. Dunn is somehow involved but the suspense and surprise lies in who his accomplice is and then even more so in the true identity of this person and also in what the intentions were to for these body parts. A good read and a reminder why I have enjoyed reading Saul over the years. (less)
AUTHOR: CARR, Robyn TITLE: A Virgin River Christmas DATE READ: 09/03/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Romance/2008/Mira/285 Pgs SERIES/STA...moreAUTHOR: CARR, Robyn TITLE: A Virgin River Christmas DATE READ: 09/03/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Romance/2008/Mira/285 Pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: #4 in Virgin River Series TIME/PLACE: Present, Virgin River, CA CHARACTERS: Marcie Sullivan/widow; Ian Buchanan/former Marine FIRST LINES: Marcie Sullivan drove into the small town, her 6th small mountain town of the day, & found herself fact-to-face w/ a Christmas-tree trimming. COMMENTS: I enjoy this series for a comforting romance read. The characters are in transition after a relationship that ended and tend to be a little more mature, not first-love stories. Set in an a rather isolated but congenial town in Northern California these are comfort reads for me. This can be read as a stand-alone and would also recommend as a heartwarming Christmas read. This is the story of Marcie & Ian. Marcie is a young widow, she was married to Bobbie. They were high school sweethearts and very much in love. He was critically injured in Iraq and his best friend and officer had saved his life … altho' Bobbie remained in a coma for several years before dying. Marcie had been in contact w/ Ian because Bobbie had so much respect for him and she was grateful to him. After a while Ian stopped answering her letters even tho' Marcie thought they were friends and had a loved one, Bobbie, in common. After Bobbie dies Marcie feels she needs some closure and wants to find out what happened to Ian. This takes her on a journey into the mountains and she finally stumbles upon him. He looks different because he hasn't shaved in years and is beard has grown in red. Ian keeps to himself and no one really knows much about him. Marcie has spent most of her $, and many a time she has slept in her car to save on motel bills. When she finally does meet Ian she collapses and is sick from fatigue. They may be forced together but Ian still doesn't want to talk. He is harboring a lot of unresolved guilt for not being able to really save Bobbie. This is a very sweet love story about 2 people who have carried around a lot of sadness and eventually open up to each other and find happiness. (less)
AUTHOR: Steel, Danielle TITLE: Power Play DATE READ: 05/11/14 RATING: 4.5/B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Fiction/2014/Random House/499 pgs LP SERIE...moreAUTHOR: Steel, Danielle TITLE: Power Play DATE READ: 05/11/14 RATING: 4.5/B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Fiction/2014/Random House/499 pgs LP SERIES/STAND-ALONE: SA TIME/PLACE: Present/ CA CHARACTERS: Fiona Carson/ CEO of National Technology Advancement; Marshall Weston/CEO of UPI
FIRST LINES: " Fiona Carson left her office w/ the perfect amount of time to get to the boardroom for an important meeting." COMMENTS: Are men and women CEO's different? In this story they most certainly are. Fiona is a CEO of a large tech company in Northern California. She is a Harvard graduate and mother of 2 college age children. She is divorced - her former husband wanted someone more domestic and not such a powerhouse in the boardroom. She has been single for 7-8 years and likes it that way. Her focus is on her career and her children -- she's very happy w/ her life. The occasional blind date has been less than satisfying. She's accepted that her life is full and complete as is and she doesn't need a romantic relationship…after all, she was a failure in her marriage. Her older sister is a psychologist especially interested in the differences between men and women CEO's and is convinced that Fiona could lighten up have more fun in her life, even tho' she readily admits she's not cut out for the family life for herself. Fiona eventually meets a journalist and they become friends. At this point she is willing to have a friend but not sure about anything else . Fiona's story is juxtaposed against that of Marshall Weston -- the man who has it all (and then some!). Marshall is an uber successful businessman w/ a supportive wife and 3 children. He plays golf on the weekends w/ Int'l clients and his wife entertains their wives. Everything seems perfect. So perfect he feels he can get away w/ another life in LA 2-3 days a week. He is involved w/ a younger woman who he has 7-yr-old twins w/. The younger woman knows about his other life but his wife of 30+ years is totally unaware of what really happens in LA every week. Marshall feels he is entitled to both his wife & his mistress and everything should be fine as long as he hides it all from his wife. He keeps promising the younger woman that he will eventually marry her when his daughter graduates from high school in the next 2 yrs. When his company finds out about his double life… he is forced to make a decision… (less)
AUTHOR: Campbell, Drusilla TITLE: Blood Orange Date Read: 03/17/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Fiction/2005/Kensington Books/335 pgs SE...moreAUTHOR: Campbell, Drusilla TITLE: Blood Orange Date Read: 03/17/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Fiction/2005/Kensington Books/335 pgs SERIES/STAND ALONE: SA TIME/PLACE: 2005/San Diego, CA CHARACTERS: Dana Cabot
FIRST LINES: Dana Cabot stood in the doorway to the undercroft holding a pastry box full of $26 worth of still-warm croissants.
COMMENTS: 1st time reading this author & have quite a few in my TBR. Dana Cabot is in her early 40's married w/ a 7-yr-old daughter. Her husband a workaholic attorney is defending a rather despicable man -- accused of murdering a young girl. It is a high-profile case and altho' this man is entitled to legal defense Dana wonders why it has to be her husband. She feels he is putting their family at risk and has skewed priorities. Dana has put her career on hold -- she has studied art history & has intentions to someday work on her graduate degree, meanwhile she is dabbling in her art history part-time while focusing on her 7-yr old daughter, Bailey, who has some learning disabilities. When Bailey disappears from their home one afternoon … Dana is sure it is related to her husband's new case. Bailey is missing for 3 months and then suddenly is returned home. This has put a major strain on their marriage. There is a bit of suspense in wondering who the kidnapper is, altho' it quickly became apparent to me of who was guilty. This was OK because I think the story was more of a relationship study than a thriller-suspense. I was not overly keen on Dana so wasn't overly impressed but it was still a nice way to pass the time. I am interested in reading more by this author. (less)
AUTHOR: Goudge, Eileen TITLE: Once in A Blue Moon Date Read: 03/12/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Women's Fiction; 2009;Vanguard Pres...moreAUTHOR: Goudge, Eileen TITLE: Once in A Blue Moon Date Read: 03/12/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Women's Fiction; 2009;Vanguard Press; 323 pgs SERIES/STAND ALONE: SA TIME/PLACE: 2009; Blue Moon Bay, CA CHARACTERS: Lindsay/bookstore owner; Kerrie-Ann; sister
FIRST LINES: "You get off on pawing through ladies' underwear?" Kerrie Ann sniped.
COMMENTS: I like this author & hadn't read her in sometime -- I loved the Carson Springs trilogy. This was a nice read about 2 sisters who lived together until they were 11 & 3. They were fostered out to different homes when their mother was arrested on drug charges. Lindsay had the good fortune to be adopted by an older couple who never were able to have children. She had a great upbringing but was always in search of her little sister. Kerrie Anne did not have the luck that Lindsay had and bounced around from one set of foster parents to the next, she was out on her own as a teenager. She had a child w/ her live-in boyfriend who left shortly after their daughter was born. At this point Kerrie Ann was involved in drugs and lost custody of her daughter. This was enough to get her on the road to recovery. She got a lawyer to help her and he recommended getting help from family. She didn't know she had any until he had looked into her earlier records & found her sister. Almost 30 years later they reunite and needless to say there are many bumps in the road to forming a sibling relationship. A nice story. (less)
FIRST LINES: The pilot's voice on the Alitalia flight to Paris from Milan work Timmie from a brief nap.
COMMENTS: Pretty much typical Danielle Steel…if you are expecting to escape into a fast read w/ a glimpse into a glamorous lifestyle/setting and meeting characters who struggle w/ overcoming tragedy both past & present then this is another D. Steele book you will like. Timmie O'Neill was orphaned @ 5 yrs old and left the orphanage @ 16 to strike out on her own. She built an Int'l Fashion Empire. Professional has usually trumped Personal and @ age 48 she seems to be on top w/ her business but has little in the way of family or love life. She has various tragedies to overcome and wants to concentrate on what is positive in her life -- her fashion world. And… what man wants such an independent , successful, savvy woman… so far all she meets are glorified boy toys. When she becomes ill while in Paris she is taken care of by a physician…neither is expecting more than a doctor-patient relationship … (less)
AUTHOR: Evanovich, Janet & Goldberg, Lee TITLE: The Heist
Date Read: 08/17/13 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Mystery/2013/Random Hous...moreAUTHOR: Evanovich, Janet & Goldberg, Lee TITLE: The Heist
Date Read: 08/17/13 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Mystery/2013/Random House/285 pgs SERIES/STAND ALONE: 1st in a series
TIME/PLACE: California, Indonesia CHARACTERS: Kate O'Hare/FBI Agent, Nick Fox/con man
FIRST LINES: Kate O'Hare's favorite outfit was her blue windbreaker w/ the letters FBI written in yellow on the back, worn over a basic black T-shirt & matching black Kevlar vest.
COMMENTS: Kate is very driven & ambitious and her focus is on her job. Her off-time is spent w/ her married sister & her father. She is determined to reel in the elusive Nick Fox, con man-extraordinaire. She's nabbed him finally…or has she? Nick has worked a deal w/ the FBI where he will assist them in catching some high-profile criminals w/ his elaborate schemes. Nick & Kate become a team. A light fun read. If you like Stephanie Plum you most likely will like Kate O'Hare. (less)
CARR, Robyn -- Whispering Rock 4.5/B+ 12/04/11 Romance/2007/Mira books/363 pgs #3 in Virgin River series Time/Place -- Current/Virgin River, CA Characters...moreCARR, Robyn -- Whispering Rock 4.5/B+ 12/04/11 Romance/2007/Mira books/363 pgs #3 in Virgin River series Time/Place -- Current/Virgin River, CA Characters -- Brie, lawyer -- Jack's sister; Mike Valenzuela/retired Marine officer, former LAPD officer 1st Lines: Mike Valenzuela was up & had his Jeep SUV packed long before sunrise. Comments: A very nice return visit to Virgin River, so good to meet up w/ the residents and meet some newcomers. This entry focuses on Brie & Mike -- both have experienced physical & emotional on-the-job traumas and also failed marriages. They form a friendship that grows into something more. Several other storylines ensue: date rape in the high school, 1 birth, 2 new pregancies and sadly, the loss of 2 VR characters. Look forward to continuing this series. (less)
AUTHOR: Carr, Robyn TITLE: Shelter Mountain DATE READ: 03/15/11 RATING: 4.5/B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Romance/Mira/2007/368 pgs SERIES/STAND AL...moreAUTHOR: Carr, Robyn TITLE: Shelter Mountain DATE READ: 03/15/11 RATING: 4.5/B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Romance/Mira/2007/368 pgs SERIES/STAND ALONE: #2 Virgin River series TIME/PLACE: Early 2000's/Virgin River, CA CHARACTERS: Preacher/cook, former Marine/ Paige/abused wife on the run FIRST LINES: A fierce & unseasonably cold September wind blew chilly rain against the windows. COMMENTS: Really good continuation in the VR series. Paige flees LA w/ her 4 yr old son & gets lost in the rain. She stops at Jack's bar and Preacher provides a safe haven for her. Very sweet romance between Paige & Preacher, good suspense involving Wes, Paige's abusive husband. Additionally we continue w/ Rick & Liz, Mel & Jack having their baby. Enjoyed #2 more than the 1st.(less)
AUTHOR: CARR, Robyn TITLE: Virgin River DATE READ: 12/27/10 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Romance/2007/Mira/386 pgs SERIES/STAND ALONE: #1...moreAUTHOR: CARR, Robyn TITLE: Virgin River DATE READ: 12/27/10 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Romance/2007/Mira/386 pgs SERIES/STAND ALONE: #1 Virgin River TIME/PLACE: 2000's, Northern CA CHARACTERS: Mel Monroe/Nurse Practitioner & Midwife; Jack/Former Marine, owner of local bar/restaurant FIRST LINES:Mel squinted into the rain and darkness, creeping along the narrow, twisting, muddy, tree-enshrouded road and for the hundredth time thought, am I out of my mind? COMMENTS: Virgin River is set in Northern California, amongst the Redwood Forests somewhere east of the Coast and not too far from Eureka. It is a small country town, most have lived there for many years and farm. There are some newer inhabitants that have set-up pot farms deep in the forests, along w/ vagrants that just hide out away from it all. Mel lived in LA and had a busy life at an inner city hospital. She was happily married until her husband an ER Dr stopped at a convenience store and interrupted a robbery and was killed. Mel decides she needs a change & moves up to Virgin River...where she does feel needed not only by the town & the new mothers-to-be but Jack, who never wanted to get involved...until he met Mel. (less)
CHASING DARKNESS by Robert Crais 2008, Simon & Schuster, 273 pgs/ PI Mystery-Suspense Read: 06/27/09 Rating: 5/A 1st Line (Prologue): Beakman & T...moreCHASING DARKNESS by Robert Crais 2008, Simon & Schuster, 273 pgs/ PI Mystery-Suspense Read: 06/27/09 Rating: 5/A 1st Line (Prologue): Beakman & Trencherd could smell the fire -- it was still a mile away, but a sick desert wind carried the promise of Hell 1st Line (Ch 1): Our office was a good place to be that morning. There was only the tocking of the Pinocchio clock, the scratch of my pen, & the hiss of the air-conditioning fighting a terrible heat
Several years back, Elvis Cole was hired by an attorney to prove w/ video evidence that Lionel Byrd could not have killed Yvonne Bennet because he was in another part of town in a bar. When Byrd turns up dead, appearing as a suicide, w/ a photo album of 7 murder victims (all unsolved cases) including Yvonne Bennett -- it seems Elvis may have cleared the wrong man. Complex, layered plot -- great writing & of course I LOVE Elvis Cole & Joe Pike. Hope this series keeps on & on.(less)
12/29/08 TITLE/AUTHOR: IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? by Kim Green RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: Chick lit/2003/334 pgs SERIES/STAND ALONE: Stand...more12/29/08 TITLE/AUTHOR: IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? by Kim Green RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/# OF PGS: Chick lit/2003/334 pgs SERIES/STAND ALONE: Stand Alone TIME/PLACE: Early 2000's/California & Montana CHARACTERS: Jen/journalist FIRST LINES: It started w/ an email, as things often do these days. COMMENTS: Witty, author has good sense of humor. Story so-so but fun to read. Jen, is a Jewish young woman brought up in Miami. She and her long-time boyfriend, Damon, are separated. He is engaged to Kristen and Jen is very single. Jen and Damon are now living in San Francisco. Jen is a journalist at a magazine & was hoping for a promotion. When she is passed over she takes leave to work on a small newspaper in Montana and has herself some unexpected adventures, as well as, meeting some men of interest.