This is my first Harlan Coben book. Occasionally I venture into the suspense genre to read/discuss books with my mother.
I picked up this book yesterd...moreThis is my first Harlan Coben book. Occasionally I venture into the suspense genre to read/discuss books with my mother.
I picked up this book yesterday morning just to read the inside flap and add it to my to-read schedule/pile, and wound up finally putting it down at 1:30 a.m. this morning. This book captivated me from the very beginning and kept me interested and wanting to know more until the very last page... the "whodunnit" portion of the story had so many twists and turns that I couldn't even speculate who did the crime... and then when I thought I finally had it figured all out - POW it threw me a curve ball and I was back at square one again.
Coben's writing is light and highly readable. My beef with many suspense books is that the books are too meaty and I just can't get into them. This book will appeal to those who have less time with the microscopic details but still want to read a good suspense book.
My only criticism for this book with be the first person narrative in the epilogue. It works in the prologue, but just seems a bit off the mark. I wish he had spent a little more time on that part. Felt very tacked on - as if he was just trying to give the reader the HEA we all look for. This was one of those suspense novels that in the end, if nobody wins I'm okay with.(note: the rest of the book was written in 3rd person)
Rating: 4 stars Warning: some violence, topics involving child crimes and murder. (less)
Its been a long time since I've read a book that at times made me laugh so hard I cried. Shuffle Up and Deal really delivered in that respect. This is...moreIts been a long time since I've read a book that at times made me laugh so hard I cried. Shuffle Up and Deal really delivered in that respect. This is a great erotic romance that had a rocky beginning, but ended with a bang.
The beginning of this book was pretty painful to read. The heroine gets walked all over by her family and finds herself in some pretty embarassing situations. Because of this I *almost* put the book down. However, after throwing it against the wall, I picked it up an hour later to finish reading. After all, I did win this on a GR give-away and the author took the time to write a brief inscription and sign it for me. Thanks Ms. DiPlacido!
I am SO glad I picked the book back up. What followed was a journey into the world of professional poker playing. I think it should be mentioned that I have NEVER played a hand of poker in my life. I know NOTHING about the game. I cannot attest to the accuracy of the card-playing in this book, but after looking up some poker wiki I can tell that the author did her research.
The premise of the story is that the 30-something heroine Izzy is a travel writer and has the opportunity to visit a poker competition featuring Nick Nolan, a poker player that she has a celebrity crush on. After a chance (um FREAKish) encounter they wind up together on a high stakes poker adventure that takes them to poker rooms across the country.
For me what makes a good erotic romance is when the plot of the story comes first and the erotic portions come second, and are not the focus of the story, but just naturally fall into place during the course of the story telling. In this story, the encounters did not seem forced into the book and are very well placed.
I think my only criticism in this book is that it was written in the 1st person p.o.v. It is a little confusing because it goes back and forth between being from the hero and the heroine's p.o.v. and it makes it harder to identify with the characters. I'm not sure though how difficulty it would've been to tell this story from the 3rd person because so much of the humor is from being able to read what is going through the character's head.
Izzy and Nick's relationship is full of ups and downs, and the relationship between Izzy and her family is unbelievably hilarious. If you are looking for a steamy romantic comedy, this is the book for you.
Rated: 3 stars for an enjoyable read. Warning: 1st person p.o.v., erotica, exhibitionism
I want to love Jodi Picoult. I really do. Everyone I come in contact with raves about her books. Something about this book is lacking for me... The wr...moreI want to love Jodi Picoult. I really do. Everyone I come in contact with raves about her books. Something about this book is lacking for me... The writing seems too disjointed and thrown together. I'm 1/4 of the way through and I'm getting ready to throw the towel in on this one. Maybe I picked a bad first Picoult book to start with. I'm going to try and come back to this after the weekend and see if I feel the same way. I don't even feel I feel funny giving it even 1 start because I haven't read it enough to even try to decide if I like it or not - I'm that miserable with it.
edit: I read 20 more pages and honestly I'm done. Please tell me I'm not off the mark here. I just can't get into this book and the idea of picking up another Picoult novel makes me nauseous. (less)
Okay I guess I am ready to write my review for this book. Reading it was definitely a labor of love for me. I feel as though now that I've read my fir...moreOkay I guess I am ready to write my review for this book. Reading it was definitely a labor of love for me. I feel as though now that I've read my first Woodiwiss novel I can officially label myself a fan of the bodice-ripper genre.
That said, never in all my years of reading have I encountered a heroine I wanted to slap more than Alaina "Al" MacGaren. Admittedly, one of my biggest pet peeves in a story is the whole "girl-in-pants" deal. I can't wrap my head around the idea of a woman passing off as a man for any long period of time. I didn't buy it in the movie Just One of The Guys, and I didn't buy it in Ashes in the Wind.
The book starts off with Alaina fleeing her home dressed as Al because she is being accused of being a rebel spy. She journeys to her Uncle's home and along the way has an encounter with Cole Lattimer, the heroe of the story. He believes her guise as Al and gives her a job at the hospital he works at in New Orleans. She is able to keep up this sham for a good portion of the book. Being that as I stated earlier girls-in-pants don't do it for me, it made for a VERY long first half of the book.
In the 2nd half of the book Cole & Alaina eventually come together, but in true bodice-ripper fashion she makes every stupid cliche mistake a heroine could make. She's stubborn, runs away a lot, puts herself in danger and finally realizes almost too late how much she loves our hero Cole. Really she treated him like a piece of garbage for 75% of the book. It was like a really bad 80's horror flick, only bodice-ripper style. I kept waiting for Freddy Crueger to jump out from around the corner.
And the hero Cole... sigh. I had very little respect for this man. He was bullied into a marriage he didn't really want in the beginning, and was very much the tortured "big-baby" hero for most of the 2nd half of the book. I just can't believe he was so blind and stupid he didn't figure out that Al was a actually a girl. And I hated the way Alaina treated him. He doesn't really pony up for me until the end, where it seems too little too late.
Part I and Part II of this book really felt disconnected to me. They felt as though they were almost two completely different stories. Although I was completely bored with Part I, Part II really picked up the pace and was a much more enjoyable read. It was however, so completely over the top that it left me breathless at the end... I felt like I had just run the mile in highschool (that seems to take forever) and then just like that its done and time for a cold shower in the locker room with no cool-down time before its time for my next class.
In the end I don't think this book was a complete waste of time for me. It did leave me with some enjoyable moments. It will not however, be a book that I will be re-reading any time soon.
Rating: 2.5 stars. I'll rate it 3 stars here for the fact that the last 200 or so pages were VERY entertaining and true to the art form of bodice-ripper writing. Warning: Rape scene(less)
Although its more of a 2nd generation Babar book, this book is still great. The premise is that a train station closes and rather than let a beautiful...moreAlthough its more of a 2nd generation Babar book, this book is still great. The premise is that a train station closes and rather than let a beautiful building go to waste Babar takes his gorgeous art collection that he has amassed through his travels and creates an Art Museum so everyone can enjoy the collection. I love how it encourages children to appreciate and interpret the art however they want, rather than "fitting the mold". Uncle Cornelius offers bit of comedy as he tries to force lessons on the children. I imagine we'll be checking this one out of the library again. (less)