Category: contemporary



Bad Luck And Trouble (Jack Reacher, #11) View a preview of this book online

Bad Luck And Trouble (Jack Reacher #11) by Lee Child

 

 

YOU DO NOT MESS WITH THE SPECIAL INVESTIGATORS!

 
Jack Reacher, ex military policeman, lives off the grid. He has no cell phone, no address, and no belongings outside of his folding toothbrush. He’s happy in his solitude until he receives a coded message from an old military comrade, Frances Neagley. She took a lot of trouble to track him down, using his bank account to send a cry for help.

 
When Jack reaches Los Angeles, he tracks Neagley to a Denny’s restaurant. She’s waiting for him as she knew he would track her there. She imparts some very disturbing news, one of their former investigators in their unit is dead. It was not a pretty death, and as an autopsy later confirmed, he had been tortured, starved and beaten prior to being thrown alive out of a helicopter. Neagley reminds Reacher of their pledge ‘You do not mess with the Special Investigators’

 
When Neagley and Reacher try to contact the remaining members of their former special investigators unit, the worry latches up a notch, with each unanswered phone call. None of their old unit is answering, where are they? Are they all missing? Or are they all dead?

 
When O’Donnell and then Dixon show up in Los Angeles, they unite with Neagley and Reacher. With the discovery of another body, and no contact with the remaining team, they realize that someone is after their team, and doing a pretty good job of it.

 
As the team delves deeper and deeper into the events leading up to their friends demises, they realize that what they have discovered points to a major threat to nation security, with the possibility of thousands of deaths.

 
The team races to save the country and two more of their own are now gone. Will they hand the problem over to the FBI and Homeland Security or will they decide the lives of two more of their own are worth more? With time quickly running out will they be able to save their friends or will they lose them and more?

 
This is a great stand alone book. I love the pace, the action starts at the beginning and continues to grow as the book moves quickly along. The tension gets tighter and tighter, the characters more nervous and unsure of themselves. The scenes are very well written, very descriptive and colorful. The characters, even the bad guys, are 3 dimensional and believable. What makes this book even more of a heart pounder is the believability of what is happening and what could potentially happen. An awesome read!

 


What the Heck, Dec?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What the Heck, Dec?! by Elizabeth Dudak

 

 

Martina Karnawski, red haired and freckled, is quite tall and she carries most of her weight around the boob and hip areas. She’s a week away from graduating with her teaching degree and needs a job badly. She applies for a position at Noteah North Middle School as a grade 6 teacher. The school is reputed to be the Beverly Hills of Illinois and the teacher turnover rate is ‘higher then a coaching position with the Chicago Cubs.’ But they pay very well and Marti needs to start paying off her bills.

 
Waiting at the school office for her interview she meets the two Dawns, two gossipy women employees at the school. They show little interest in Marti until a very gorgeous man comes. Declan Reed is late for his appointment, he was once a teacher but is now a social worker and is here for a job interview. After a few embarrassing moments with him and the two Dawns, Marti and Declan say  good luck to each other and head off for their individual meetings.

 
Marti is nervous, this is her first professional interview. She is shocked, but very happy to accept the job offer at the end of her interview.

 
On her first day at her new school, she sees Declan again. He’s been hired too. She also meets the very handsome gym teacher, Josh York who seems very interested in her. After a series of humorous events, Marti makes a decision about the men that will change her life. If its the right decision, as she keeps telling herself, why then is she constantly thinking of the other man? And why does she keep thinking that there is something more going on then what she knows about.

 
This is a great chick lit read. A very humorous, strong female lead character with loads of personality and 2 gorgeous men, both smart but with different attributes, both interested in Marti. Good romantic flavor throughout. The story is set at a posh school and is filled with quite the collection of people, including the two Dawns, Harper and Esther. A smooth story line that leads up to some  surprising revelations.

 

 

I received my copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.


"Ransom" ("The Light-Bearer Series" #2)

“Ransom” (“The Light-Bearer Series” #2) by Emily Guido

 

 

Charmeine is a Light-Bearer sent to Earth by God to battle Lucifer‘s minions. By looking into your eyes she can tell if you are lying. Her powers are growing and no one, including herself, is aware of just how powerful she is. Tabbruis is a Blood-Hunter, he needs blood to survive. While human blood is the best, he has given up human blood (unless it is given voluntarily) and exists on animal blood. He is very smart and capable and is trying to get all other Blood-Hunters to stop hunting humans. They are soul mates and together they are the Queen of Light and King of Darkness.

 
Charmeine and Tabbruis are at Castle Charmeine in Romania. They are there with their large family awaiting the birth of their child, nicknamed Baby Hunter. All the family are eagerly awaiting the birth. They aren’t idle while they wait, they are continuing to learn self defense and how better to use their unique powers.  Athena can see what you are feeling by the light radiating around your body; Hera, like Charmeine can see when you are lying; Neal is an extremely large and powerful blood-hunter and the other members of the family also have extraordinary powers. An attack by evil minions is always a concern, even with all the security measures and guards they have in place.

 
A group of Temple Guards arrive at the castle unannounced and demand to talk to the Queen of Light and the King of Darkness. They claim the Queen and King need to go to Athens to bring harmony and justice to the Blood-Hunters. It is actually a diversion so that the mysteriously alluring Bathsheba can enter the castle and get to Charmeine. Bathsheba says she is doing her Master’s bidding and then threatens Charmeine’s unborn child. Charmeine turns the tables on Bathsheba, however before she can get more information, Bathsheba injects herself with something and falls to the floor.

 
When Tabbruis and Dmitri come face to face with Bathsheba, it is as if time has stood still. Seeing her leaves both men in shock. As Charmeine demands to know who Bathsheba is and how Tabbruis knows her, Tabbruis turns on Charmeine, almost attacking her in his defense of Bathsheba. It is as if Tabbruis no longer sees Charmeine, only Bathsheba.

 
The action heats up as Charmeine and her family race to get answers to find and stop the Master before the next Blood-Hunter meeting.

 
Beautifully detailed locations from Romania to London to the shores of the Black Sea. interesting characters that are well fleshed out and who are slowly evolving from the first novel, and new characters that are both interesting and integral to the story are believable and very human but have surprising powers.  Add a well paced story and this all makes for a great read. A good mix of angels, blood-hunters (vampires), paranormal, action and romance. It continues the story told in the novel Charmeine, but also can be read as a stand alone novel.

 
The Light-Bearer Series will continue with the third novel “Conundrum”. I am really looking forward to the continuation of this series. I really enjoy how the characters are evolving and how the story continues to move forward, while containing additional information on the pasts of the characters.


Two Sisters: prattle tales of playful girls by Laura Wright LaRoche

 

 

 

10 little stories starring two little girls, 6 year old Addy and her younger sister, 4 year old Izzy. The girls have very different styles, Izzy always wears dresses and Addy’s favorite color is green. They do have one thing in common, they love to torment each other.

 

 

 
In each of the stories entitled Butterfly, Sticks, School Day, Mushroom Hunting, Her Party, Fishing, Garden, Zoo, Rainy Day,  and Vacation, Addy and Izzy are together (except School Day when Addy is at her first day of grade 1 and Rainy Day where Izzy is at home with her mom while Addy is at school) and each wants things her own way and will do whatever it takes to get her way even if it means tattling, hitting, crying or lying.

 

 

 
The stories are well written and at times, humorous and the descriptions of the girls is very well done.  However I don’t necessarily see the girls as playful. To me they’re spoiled brats that say and do whatever they like while their mother is absolutely oblivious. If my children were young, I’m not sure if I would want them to read this book, they had enough of their own bad ideas.

 

 

 
I won this book through GoodReads giveaway and my review was unsolicited.


Crimson Midnight

Crimson Midnight by Amos Cassidy

 

 

 

Six years ago, 15 year old Rose was mugged. The kids were never caught. Since then the petite blonde had learned all about self defense and was sure she could take care of herself.  Leaving home for the first time, Rose and her friend Faye, are moving to London. Rose is going to live with her godmother while Faye is renting rooms with several kids from university.

 

 
Rose meets and becomes friendly with several people including the brooding Harold, Kris the peace maker, Raven, Roman and his very strange girl friend, Thistle.
Not all of Rose’s friends are what they appear to be and to trust the wrong person can cost you your life. People are going missing and Rose knows that somehow she is involved and must stop whatever demons are haunting London.

 

 
A fine urban fantasy novel filled with the supernatural, werewolves, demons, vampires and other paranormal things that go bump in the night.

 

 
Great character descriptions and good mood setting are a few of the highlights of this book. I really enjoyed some of the twists the story took and look forward to the next book.

 

 
I didn’t like that some of the storylines appear and then just disappear making you wonder if they were just a product of your imagination. I also think it should have had a few less main characters, at times I found it hard to remember who was who.

 

 
Overall, a great read for magical, werewolf, vampire, supernatural loving, urban fantasy readers.


Charmeine (The Light-Bearer Series, #1)

Charmeine (The Light-Bearer Series, #1) by Emily Guido

 

 

 

I consider myself to be very lucky. As a book reviewer I am often asked by an author if I will give them an honest review of their book, usually in return for a copy of the book. I don’t often buy books anymore, I usually have a stack of to-reads waiting for me, although I never let my to-read list get so large that I can’t get to a book within 1 to 2 weeks.

 

 

 
I started following http://emilyguido.com  She is the author of Charmeine, the first book in the new Light Bearer Series. Everyday I would impatiently check my email waiting for another excerpt from her book Charmeine. When I found out that the next book in the series is going to be released soon, I decided that I needed to read the entire book, not just the snippets. So I purchased my copy (first book I’ve bought in ages) and started to read…

 

 

 
In Heaven, Charmeine and Tabbruis are worried. Charmeine, an Angel of Harmony, has a mission to provide harmony and peace in times of trouble. Lately she feels a serious drain on her power and her ability to provide harmony was lessening daily. Tabbruis is the Angel of Self-Determination and is several levels higher than Charmeine. He allows us to use our free will and inspires us to think of new ways to do things. He must  help an Archangel to have conviction in his beliefs and will therefore be unavailable to the family for most of the day. They are waiting to hear what the Prophecy will bring but neither believes it will be good news.

 

 

 
We then go back, back to a time before Tabbruis and Charmeine have met. When Tabbruis used another name and Charmeine had no idea who she really was or what her real name was. Back before love had finally made them complete.

 

 

 
Tabbruis is a Blood Drinker, a vampire. He believes his destiny is to walk earth always in need of blood. Human blood is best, but Tabbruis has learned to use wild animal blood instead to curb his craving. He can go out in sunlight, but prefers the darkness, he seldom sleeps, he is very wealth and very handsome. People usually bend to his will with little or no problem. He prefers to be alone. The sound, the smell and the action of the sea calms him.

 

 

 
Charleen has beautiful brown eyes and a very sweet nature. Summer is her favorite time of year, she loves the feel of sun on her skin. She learned Judo so she will never be a victim. She has never really dated and has never really been attracted to any man, and she has no interest in finding out why. She tries to tell herself she is happy but she knows that really she wants a man in her life, someone to share with. Charleen loves to go and watch the waves at the sea shore. its very peaceful.

 

 

 
Tabbruis and Charleen meet. They stare deep into each others eyes and they know. They have found the other half of themselves. But will it be enough to overcome all the obstacles both known and unknown in their paths? Can there be happiness between two such different creatures?

 

 

 
I am very satisfied with this story. There were many things to like such as vampires, the supernatural, action scenes, good characters who throughout the book evolve and a very emotional romance involving two people of different races/cultures.

 

 

 
I did at times feel the writing was a little stilted and it did effect the flow of the story. (I have the kindle edition from Amazon and like several kindle ebooks from Amazon that I have read there are many errors involving jumbled sentences, misspelled words and wrong punctuation. As I can’t be sure with whom the problem lies, I am not factoring those errors into my review).

 

 

 
This is a great read, and a terrific debut novel for Emily Guido! I look forward to the next book in the series. Check out some scenes from the book at http://emilyguido.com/


I am not much of a movie watcher (although I will admit to having a weakness for those really, really bad B-movies from the late 40’s into the early 70’s, especially if they have creatures or aliens…you get the picture) I do however love episodic books.

 

 
Explosive Eighteen is the 18th (actually if you include the 4 between-the-numbers books its 22) Stephanie Plum novel. It follows the exploits of a well intentioned, though fairly inept female bounty hunter in Trenton, New Jersey.

 

 

 

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum, #18) View a preview of this book online

Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum #18) by Janet Evanovich

 

 

 

As she tries to bring in skips (people who make bail using her cousin’s bail bond service and then fail to appear at the scheduled court date) there are some amusing situations that can and do arise. With Lulu, her coworker, usually by her side (or on their backsides as the case may be) they cruise around Trenton dating, fighting, shopping and trace skipping. Who are the jokers who show up at her door? Are they for real or is this someone’s idea of a practical joke? Vinnie’s a weasel, Joyce is a bitch but who are the rats? And oh, what, oh what, is Stephanie going to do about Ranger and Morelli?

 

 
Now here is my dilemma. As a book in the Stephanie Plum series, I was disappointed. It was at times romantic, humorous, mysterious and yet so, so just a repeat of previous books. There was no real character development over previous books, no new action scenes that hadn’t previously been used (though with other names or species), and no real new romantic developments either. As a book in the series, I rate it a 3.

 

 
Now if I take away the ‘book in a series’ aspect, I liked it quite a bit more. The characters are crazy and funny, the situations are sometimes tense, sometimes romantic and again sometimes puzzling, but again it reads better if you take away the series aspect. If I were to rate it as a stand alone book, discarding the previous novels in the series, I would rate it a 4.

 

 
So overall if you’re looking for a light, romance with some slapstick comedy and action scenes this would be a good book to read. I do know that this an unusual way to review a book but those are my thoghts. I have enjoyed the Stephanie Plum books just a little less each time. I would have loved some, heck any, growth by the characters. I do adore Lula. I don’t care that she was once a whore as they say , she is a great comedic relief. I just wish her character would develop more as well.


Against All Enemies View a preview of this book online

Against All Enemies (Max Moore #1) by Tom Clancy, Peter Telep

 

 

This novel started with such promise! Spies spying, good guys, bad guys, bullets flying and then the reader finds out that our main protagonist, Maxwell Moore, isn’t just your everyday upstanding, smart, handsome ex Navy Seal paramilitary operations officer for he has something, its a secret (I know what a surprise right?) but wait it gets better, its a deep, dark, never told anyone, secret that he has.

 

 

So for the next 400 pages (the softcover edition I have is 709 pages) this secret keeps popping into his head at the most inopportune times but instead of using that to build up the story it dragged it on and on and on, until I had to stop reading. This happened several times. Story is moving right along and boom, instant interruption, it just slowed the pace to molasses. And then finally on page 426 we’re told his secret which, when you considered all the people, bad guys and good guys, he had killed in his career, it really didn’t explain well enough for me anyway, why so much time and plot advancement was put into this when that was it, gone! Just suddenly didn’t matter anymore. At the very end, after 300 pages of silence about it, all he says is I’ll always feel guilty. This subplot made the protagonist not more human,loving or understandable but made him seem like a big and I mean really big whiner. It was just so out of place in this book.

 

 

But that certainly wasn’t the only issue with this monotonous book…we had all the acronyms you can think of, there was the TSA, GAO, DHS, CIA, FBI ATF, SVTCs, NCTC, BOLO, FAA, CNN, KFC (yup even Colonel Sanders Kentucky Fried Chicken made it in)…and these we’re all on 2 pages. It would have taken much to long to list all the acronyms listed in this book.

 

 

I’m afraid I could sit here all day tearing this book apart for various other problems, sub plots that start and go no where, and inconsistencies (my personal favorite being: “The pilot knew he’d lose precious altitude if he started a turnaround with only 1 working engine”and then 1 paragraph later and no explanation given This is Captain Ethan Whitman. As most of you know we’ve lost an engine but plan to make our turn and head back to the airport” there is more but doesn’t explain why the captain suddenly changes his mind. Just one more thing about this book that made no logical sense, but I just want to put this horrible book behind me.

 

 

You know, I have only ever not finished 1 book before, ever, and that was “—and Ladies of the Club” and this book was almost as bad. I think when you have 2 writers contributing to one story, they have to really be in sync. I think there were 2 writers, with 2 different views for the same book and couldn’t pull it together into one harmonious novel.

 

 

Now for a little positive thinking:

Would I read another Tom Clancy novel? Definitely!
Would I recommend any of his other novels that I have read? Absolutely
I don’t believe I can recall reading anything else by Peter Telep but I certainly would give his writing another try.
Would I recommend this book to anyone? Hmmmm. Nope, there is no one I dislike enough to suggest they try and slog through that horrible, horrible book.


Two Graves

Two Graves by D.A. Graystone

 

Gregg Mann, Lieutenant at Southside Division in Kesle, Is uneasy when he views the first body.  While to some it looks like a gang related murder, there is just something that doesn’t sit well with Mann. Could this be the start of something else?

 
Preston Peterson, lonely, overweight and under-appreciated his entire life, has finally had enough. The first kill was an accident, technically not even a murder. Oh but the thrill, the rush, the feeling of power! Its not over until Preston Peterson says it is!

 
As Preston Peterson slips deeper into madness, the city becomes aware that there is a serial killer in their midst. What the people don’t know however could kill them, kill them all!

 
The first book in the Kesle City Homicide novels is a winner! An engrossing read from start to finish, its a true mystery thriller novel. An amazing cast of characters, some good, some bad, all believable. With a secondary plot line that ties into the murders and to good cops gone bad, it will keep you guessing as to who is the ultimate traitor.

 
I received this copy through GoodReads and my review was unsolicited.

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