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: CLARE, Cassandra TITLE: CITY OF BONES DATE READ: 08/29/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS YA/2007/Margaret K. McElderry Books/485 p...more AUTHOR: CLARE, Cassandra TITLE: CITY OF BONES DATE READ: 08/29/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS YA/2007/Margaret K. McElderry Books/485 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: #1 in series TIME/PLACE: Present/NY CHARACTERS: Clary Fray/ teenager; Simon her friend and a band of Shadowhunters including Jace, Isabelle, Alec FIRST LINES: "You've got to be kidding me," the bouncer said, folding his arms across his massive chest. He stared down at the boy in the red zip-up jacket and shook his shaved head. COMMENTS: I chose this book for several reasons … one I had started it a few times & it just never had the time for it. I saw this listed in a group of YA books classified as Dystopian & thought this was my chance to read it. LOL After reading it my first response is this is not dystopian & why did someone list it as such… oh well. I guess there are so many YA books out right now reflecting the bleakness of the times -- ergo, Dystopian fiction -- that sometimes they are just all jumbled together. In a dystopian novel there is a sense of hopelessness & negativity and overbearing control, loss of individualism, freedom etc. (at least that is the way I see it). I think w/ Urban Fantasy -- there is a belief in a rightness/ justice and a sense of order where Good can overcome Bad. Thus… the Shadowhunters in this book are the warriors fighting the demons w/ a sense that they will w/o a doubt have battles and losses but WILL overcome! This book is the 1st in a series and there are prequels and sequels -- I think I will be going on. I liked the characters, the plotting was imaginative and didn't feel I was in a totally strange world -- that is when I do not like the fantasy books when I feel that disconnect and I am thrown into too strange of another world -- at least here there are very familiar aspects being in NY, etc altho' there are parts that are other-worldly -- this is fine for me as long as the whole thing isn't entirely fabricated. I suppose it shouldn't make a difference but I guess I just need something that I can connect to as a reference to really get my reading rhythm flowing. In this first book of the The Mortal Instruments we are introduced to Clary Fray an average teenaged girl living w/ her Mom in Brooklyn. She goes to a club, Pandemonium, and starts seeing things/people that mere mortals/mundanes cannot see. She is not aware of anything different about her until now. She is unaware that her mother has hidden from her the true beginnings of her life -- she grew up on Idris -- a world between worlds -- invisible to the mundanes. A world inhabited by Shadowhunters who rid the world of the demons -- werewolves & vampires are not demons but not a mundane being either and one that usually can be used as an ally w/ the Shadowhunters. The mortal instruments consist of a cup, a sword and mirror -- these were tools given by an angel to the order of nephillium (Shadowhunters) to use as tools to make the world right from demons. As this story goes… the focus is on the search for the Mortal Cup. And quite an entertaining and clever romp it is to find the cup. Clary begins to recognize qualities in her that set her apart from the mundane but her mind has been "controlled" and there are certain things blocked off to her that she has no memory of. Her mother wanted to make sure when she departed from Idris pregnant w/ Clary that Clary would grow up mundane and not have to know about the world of demons, etc. However, when Clary's mother is kidnapped…that all changes and Clary has to connect to her true self (nephillium) in order to rescue her mother. (less)
AUTHOR: Evanovich, Janet TITLE: Notorious Nineteen DATE READ: 08/20/14 RATING: 4.5/B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Mystery/2012/RandomHouse/356LP SER...moreAUTHOR: Evanovich, Janet TITLE: Notorious Nineteen DATE READ: 08/20/14 RATING: 4.5/B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Mystery/2012/RandomHouse/356LP SERIES/STAND-ALONE: #19 TIME/PLACE: Present/ Trenton , NJ CHARACTERS: Stephanie Plum/Bounty Hunter FIRST LINES: " I don't know why we gotta sit here baking in your car in the middle of the day, in the middle of the summer, in the middle of this crummy neighborhood," Lula said. COMMENTS: I enjoy reading the Stephanie Plum books (usually) every year…somehow I got a tad behind & kept taking this out but never being able to get to it. Yesterday I had a lengthy dental appt & started & finished this book. It was just the right book at just the right time. These books are always fun for me … even if each book is a tad the same as the previous one, a car blows up, excuse me, correction: one of Stephanie's cars blows up, dinners at the Plum home where Stephanie's mother seems to imbibe a lot of very strong iced tea, hey think she even forgoes the ice and sips it neat, Lula is usually on a diet that includes visits to Cluck in a Basket and other fine eatery establishments focusing on healthy dining, Grandma Mazur regales us w/ her active social life that are highlighted by viewings at the local funeral homes… And there is the push-pull between her love interests of Morelli -- the hometown cop and the dark, exotic Ranger. Heck, I'll admit it each book is worth it for me just to hear Ranger say "Babe…" Something about that man… Despite the formula for each book, I am not complaining and expect to be entertained w/ all these facets of what makes up a Stephanie Plum book. AND… there is new story line for each one. In this one a local nursing home administrator has skipped out of the hospital after gall bladder surgery … he also took all the $ from the nursing home, $5 million dollars. This was another fun romp and the plot did have some surprises in it. (less)
AUTHOR: Berckman, Evelyn TITLE: The Evil of Time DATE READ: 08/13/14 RATING: 4.5/B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Gothic /1954/Dodd Mead & co./ 1...moreAUTHOR: Berckman, Evelyn TITLE: The Evil of Time DATE READ: 08/13/14 RATING: 4.5/B+ GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS Gothic /1954/Dodd Mead & co./ 159 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: SA TIME/PLACE: 1950's/ Germany CHARACTERS: Keith Elgin/Asst Curator FIRST LINES: " The inscription on the ancient strip of brass was slowly revealing itself. " COMMENTS: This is one of those old Gothic books, it was more suspense focused than romance. The young woman featured was an asst curator to a Museum in Germany. This was the 1st time for me seeing the name Keith used for a female, and in the beginning I kept having to remind myself of that. She was very career focused and jumped at the opportunity to go to Dragonsgrab (Dragon's Grave) and old castle set in the marshlands of South Germany. This old castle was in a remote area inhabited by 2 sisters, Luise & Maria -- one was paralyzed and rarely seen (Maria) and Luise was a very crotchety unwelcoming woman. Keith's mission was to see if she could find the hidden treasures that others were unable to find. There is believed to be Art that was taken by the Hitler regime and hidden away. One piece a minor Rembrandt and another a golden cup. These pieces are of significance but the interest that was shown by various groups led her to believe that something else was also hidden along w/ the Art. Overall, a good layered story focusing on WWII, an old castle, mysterious sightings and also hearings going on at Dragonsgrab, and several former attempts for the treasure had been thwarted -- the most recent by a fatal accident. There are two men that are of interest in Keith's life but romance was a minor angle…at least until the very end. This was an older book I had on my shelf & really surpassed my expectations. I did grow up reading a lot of the gothic type novels written by Victoria Holt, Phyllis Whitney & others and still carry a nostalgic fondness for these types of books. I have never heard of Evelyn Berckman before so this was a new to me author. There was one comment made re: the German people that I thought was dated/politically incorrect but otherwise it stood the stand of time.
AUTHOR: Taylor, Laini TITLE: Daughter of Smoke & Bone DATE READ: 08/11/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS YA Fantasy/2012/Little Brown/...moreAUTHOR: Taylor, Laini TITLE: Daughter of Smoke & Bone DATE READ: 08/11/14 RATING: 4/B GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS YA Fantasy/2012/Little Brown/418 pgs SERIES/STAND-ALONE: 1st in a series TIME/PLACE: Present/Prague CHARACTERS: ODD -- there were some that were all-human and some that were part human/part some type of animal FIRST LINES: " Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonitions about the day. It seemed like just another Monday, innocent but for its essential Mondayness, not to mention its Januaryness. COMMENTS I chose this from the bookstore because it seemed like something that would be a quick read for the July book of the month read w/ Carpe Librum but for some reason maybe just my life as it is right now … I couldn't make much headway. I did like the beginning when it was mostly this world and some slight other-worldly type things going on and there was a definite intrigue about Karou and how she came into the world since she didn't know much of her past. She is a young woman/student mingling w/ the other students in Prague but has connections to these odd creatures and takes trips all over to purchase teeth. When it was finally revealed what the significance of the teeth were … I thought it was very imaginative and not something I would have ever thought of. I certainly liked the idea of a book being set in Prague … but I don't really think there was too much "Prague" in it & wonder why the author chose this city as opposed to any other. Since fantasy really doesn't take my fancy … I did get lost at times but overall the story is interesting and worthwhile for being unique. (less)