Thursday, April 24, 2008

Book 71: Abby Cooper, Psychic Eye by Victoria Laurie

Abby Cooper has P.I. on her business cards and she gets a laugh out of that since she is a Psychic Intuitive not a private investigator. In fact it only takes a little to get a laugh out of her since her life is so ordinary - so vanilla-ice cream (in her words). Then things start happening around Abby, people are turning up dead and she has a date with the handsome man named Dutch who she later finds out is a police detective (Abby doesn't like the police).

As Abby gets closer and closer to the truth about an apparent suicide, her life becomes in danger and her intuition is telling her things that she can't quite figure out. Add in the attraction to Dutch and their general distrust of each other and you have a very interesting book.

I enjoyed the mystery and it wasn't a giveaway to figure out. I also loved the characters. Abby is quirky in a normal-kind of way and her sister is great. Dutch's character is also interesting and add in Dutch's partner Milo and Abby's handyman Dave and you have a bunch of characters that you really like and want to learn more about.

I can't wait to start the second in this series.

Date Started
: 04-22-08
Date Finished: 04-24-08
From: My bookshelf (via paperbackswap)
Rating: 4.5/5.0
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Setting: Suburb of Detroit Michigan
Series: Psychic Eye (book 1)
Characters: Abby Cooper, Cat, Dutch, Dave
Pages: 295

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Book 70: Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline

Mary is happily going along with the flow, she helps out people from the neighborhood with various civil suits and helping wherever she can. Her clients pay and she's moving her way up. Then Trish Gambone from Mary's high school days shows up. Trish, was one of the mean girls that made Mary's high school years difficult and not to mention that they have a boyfriend in common (Mary's from the past and Trish's current). However Trish's boyfriend has been threating her and Trish has come in seeking help.

Next thing you know Trish disappears, the neighborhood turns on Mary and Mary is on the run seeking Trish, the truth and herself.

A great novel of suspense, and also one of self-realization, it's fun to watch Mary try and solve the crime and also learn about herself. There is great character development in this and I loved learning about the various people from the neighborhood.

The reader on the unabriged cd set was excellent, with differing voices and accents for the characters, they really came to life for me.

An overall wonderful book that I didn't want to end. This is the latest installment in the Rosato and Associates books, but I haven't read any of the others and this one was easy to follow. I do plan on going back and starting with the beginning now though.

I became a fan of Lisa Scottoline with Dirty Blonde and Daddy's Girl and now it looks like I will get to enjoy all the Rosato and Associates books too.

Date Started
: 13 April 2008
Date Finished: 23 April 2008
From: Library (audiobook)
Rating: 4.5/5.0
Genre: Suspense
Setting: Philadelphia, PA
Characters: Mary DeNunzio, Trish Gambone
Pages: I listened to the audio

Book 69: Crazy Cool by Tara Janzen

When Christian is suddenly pulled out of a tough situation in South America and thrust back into Denver as a bodyguard, he isn't too happy. He has left some of his teammates and best friends behind and he really wants to get back to them. When he realizes that he has been hired as bodyguard for Kat "bad luck" Dekker, he is furious. Then things go crazy.

Kat sees Christian across the lawn at the art auction she is at and she can't believe it is him. A boy when she knew him first, he is all man now and her body still reacts to him. Then he saves her life and kidnaps her to keep her safe and she's not sure she's safe from herself an the feelings she still carries for Christian.

A mix of suspense with a healthy dose of sexy romance, this book was another excellent installment in the stories of the boys from Steele Street. Once they were all car thieves, but now they are part of an elite squad that goes where they are told to and always succeed at their missions.

So when Christian makes Kat's safety his mission and then sets his sights on her, you can be sure he won't fail.

With some flashbacks to get the back story and a lot of heat, this was a fun ride from beginning to end. Also there was more development of other characters to come that have me ready to read the next installment.

Date Started
: 04/19/2008
Date Finished: 04/21/2008
From: My Bookshelf (via paperbackswap)
Rating: 4.5/5.0
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Setting: Denver, CO
Characters: Kat Dekker, Christian Hawkins
Series: Steele Street (book 2)
Pages: 415

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Book 68: Missing Persons by Shirlee McCoy

Lauren Owens has returned to Magnolia College to help out with an auction fundraiser and reconnect with her sister and college friends. However the time she chooses to come happens to coincide with a body being found underneath the sidewalk just a few weeks earlier on the Magnolia College Campus. She also happens to run into her high school sweetheart at the auction.

Seth Chartrand left Magnolia College looking for a more adventurous life and a more adventurous girlfriend than high school sweetheart Lauren Owens. Now he's returned to the small town with his son who he would do anything for, even bid on his old flame's services for a week.

The story has the undercurrent of the dead body found on the campus but doesn't advance it a whole lot. It was a good suspense, though I figured out what was going on about midway. It was still good. I don't think I ever connected with Seth or Lauren though. Which is unusual for me. She seemed a little cold and the final getting together a little too contrived. With that said it was still an enjoyable read and I will continue to read in this series to see where it leads. I was also disappointed that the first couple wasn't in the book very much - I really liked them and wanted to hear a little more about them. But the series is written by different authors so I realize that may be more difficult than when a series is written by one author.

Date Started
: 18 April 2008
Date Finished: 19 April 2008
From: My Bookshelf (via paperbackswap)
Rating: 3.5/5.0
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Christian
Category Line: Love Inspired Suspense
Miniseries: Reunion Revelations 2
Setting: Magnolia College, Georgia
Characters: Lauren Owens, Seth Chartrand
Pages: 247

Book 67: Positive I.D. by Kathleen Long

Will Connor gave up his family 17 years ago when he was assumed dead and he stayed that way to protect them from a crime family bent on revenge. However Will is about to be thrust back into their lives when his teenage daughter goes missing on her senior trip. Will is part of the group called "The Body Hunters" whose specialty is recovering "bodies" from kidnappings and the like. But Will has never had one that hit this close to home.

Maggie became a recluse after her husband died and she almost died in an automobile accident. She really doesn't want Jordan to go away but gives in finally. Then she finds out Jordan has been kidnapped and she steps outside her little world to travel and find out what happened to her daughter. The last person she expects to run into on Isle de Cielo is her dead husband Will.

This was a nice introduction to The Body Hunters and I'm looking forward to the rest of the books in this series. I enjoyed the suspense and the romance of husband and wife reaquainting again. The romance is secondary in this though but that didn't bother me. They were already married, but had been apart for 17 years, still I didn't find the instant attraction unbelievable. I really enjoyed this book from the characters to the romance and the suspense.

Date Started
: 17 April 2008
Date Finished: 18 April 2008
From: My Bookshelf (via paperbackswap)
Rating: 4.0/5.0
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Category Line: Harlequin Intrigue
Miniseries: The Body Hunters 1
Setting: Isle de Cielo
Characters: Will, Maggie and Jordan Connor
Pages: 211

Book 66: Baby on the Run by Kate Little

Carey Mooreland just wants to get to Canada with her baby girl to outrun the one man obsessed enough with her to track her across the country. However her plans are changed when she runs off the road outside of Greenbriar, ME. Thankfully police deputy Ben Martin comes along and helps her out. Soon she becomes part of Ben's family, helping at the inn and falling for Ben. But she needs to leave because first and foremost she will protect her daughter and she feels horrible lying to Ben all this time.

Ben has been through heartbreak and he's not eagerly letting any woman into his life at this time. However Carey Mooreland and her precious baby girl come along and start to change his mind. As he begins falling for her he realizes all is not what it seems with her, but he's willing to overlook it for the time being.

This was a good story, the character development really had me liking all the characters from Ben and Carey to Ben's mom and sister and his mom's boyfriend. The inn is a great setting and I found myself wanting to visit. The plot line really worked and was not contrived in the least and the ending was satisfactory to me.

This is part of a series, but I did not read the first one, and did not feel lost, I will however go back and read the first one and eagerly anticipate the third one.

Just a fun feel-good read that reminds you what love is all about.

Date Started: 16 April 2008
Date Finished: 17 April 2008
From: My bookshelf (via paperbackswap)
Rating: 4.0/5.0
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Category Line: Silhouette Special Edition
Miniseries: Baby Daze 2
Setting: Greenbriar, ME
Characters: Carey Mooreland, Ben Martin
Pages: 211

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Book 65: The Millionaire and the M.D. by Teresa Southwick

Gabe Thorne is steel reeling from the life that fate dealt him several years ago. He has escaped to Las Vegas to get away from the memories and start a new construction project to help his company break into the Las Vegas market. But then his pregnant teenage sister comes along and the memories coming flooding back. Then he meets his sister's OB who he is sure can't be old enough to be a doctor and his life changes.

Rebecca Hamilton is trying to get away from her past also. She was a victim and she sees trouble in Amy Thorne that she can't seem to break through. Not to mention that Amy's attractive older brother is also taking up her thoughts.

This was a great book that brought two people who thought their problems were insurrmountable together to find that fate can be kind and they can both have a second chance. I liked the themes in this book and enjoyed reading it. I also really liked the characters, you got to see their problems and see how they worked through them with help from Amy, each other and even Gabe and Amy's father. It was a fun book to read watching both Gabe and Rebecca grow and also watching their love grow too.

Date Started
: 04-14-2008
Date Finished: 04-16-2008
From: My bookshelf (by way of paperbackswap)
Rating: 4.0/5.0
Genre: Romance
Category Line: Silhouette Special Edition
Miniseries: The Men of Mercy Medical, book 1
Setting: Las Vegas, NV, Mercy Medical Hospital
Characters: Gabe Thorne, Rebecca Hamilton, Amy Thorne
Pages: 211

Monday, April 14, 2008

Book 64: Once Upon a Pregnancy by Judy Duarte

Just over a month after Simone Gardner's one-night stand with sexy paramedic Mike O'Rourke, she finds herself staring at a positive pregnancy test. Due to her past she is sure she won't make a good mother and she doesn't think she makes a good girlfriend wife either so she keeps pushing persistent Mike away.

Mike has enjoyed being an eligible bachelor for awhile, but one glimpse of a loosened up Simone at a hospital function and one night with her has changed his mind. Now he's ready to settle down and start a family, but Simone keeps pushing him away.

This is a great story that felt really real to me for some reason. I really can't explain it, except that this was really well done and a very interesting book. I hardly put it down after starting it.

This book is part of a series, but I hadn't read the previous books and I didn't have any problems. I am going back and planning on reading the others because I find the hospital an interesting setting.

I highly recommend this gem for others to read!

Date Started
: 04/13/2008
Date Finished: 04/14/2008
From: My bookshelf (paperbackswap)
Rating: 4.5/5.0
Genre: Contemporary romance
Category Line: Silhouette Special Edition
Setting: Walnut River
Characters: Mike O'Rourke, Simone Gardner
Pages: 214

Book 63: Last Seen Alive by Carlene Thompson

Chyna Greer returns to Black Willow because her mother has passed away. She hasn't spent much time in her home town since college and she dislikes coming back since the one summer when her best friend Zoey disappeared into the night to never be heard from again and also from the talk of her special talent, her ESP.

Shortly after returning she finds out that other girls have gone missing during the time she has been away. She also runs into her old high school crush, Scott Kendrick who is at home recovering from a plane crash.

Then another girl disappears and Chyna starts having more visions, that involve several people in town. As Chyna and Scott try to figure out all that is going on around them the mystery continues to build.

The suspense element of this book was great. I actually figured out who the murderer was, but it really was only a guess. The suspects abound and you are guessing who has done it. I also enjoyed the romance of two people who knew each other in the past come together in a time of trial. The last 200 pages had me not wanting to put the book down.

A good read for those who don't mind graphic romantic suspense.

Date Started
: 2008-04-09
Date Finished: 2008-04-13
From: My bookshelf
Rating: 4.0/5.0
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Paranormal
Setting: Black Willow, WV
Characters: Chyna Greer, Scott Kendrick
Pages: 342

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Book 62: Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

An amazing story told from the perspective of 5 different people who all center around Shay Bourne, a man convicted of killing a young girl and her policeman stepfather. Father Michael was on the jury that convicted Shay and 11 years later he becomes Shay's spritual advisor in prison. Lucius is one of Shay's I-tier cellmates who is in for murdering his lover. June is the mother of the child and wife of the man that Shay killed, she was pregnant with Claire when the murders occurred. And finally Maggie is the ACLU attorney that quickly attaches herself to Shay's case to highlight the wrongness of the death penalty.

Through all of these characters we see the life of Shay Bourne and how he touched them all. All of them have learning experiences and some have crisis of faith. This is a wonderful book that is not really trying to push any agenda, it just looks at the what-ifs of human life and human nature. We all have a crisis of faith sometime and faith really comes down to what we believe in and not something that we can touch. The book is very enjoyable and hard to put down. I can't say that I have read anything like it and it was a very refreshing read. Most books like this seem to push a political or religious agenda or try and shock you, but this did not, it is written straight from the heart of a woman who obviously knows a lot about human nature, and wants each of us to question the absolutes and decide for ourselves what we believe.

Date Started: 3 April 2008
Date Finished: 9 April 2008
From: Library
Rating: 4.5/5.0
Genre: Fiction, general
Setting: New Hampshire
Characters: June and Claire Nealon, Shay Bourne, Maggie, Father Michael, Lucius
Pages: 447

Other Reviews:

Natasha @ Mawbooks

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Book 61: Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich

Classic Stephanie Plum - this is my first time reding through this series and I am loving it. I love laughing at Stephanie and Lula's crazy antics in this one. I missed Grandma Mazur in this one since she was really in Two for the Dough, but when she was there, she was funny.

Stephanie is hot on the trail of one of Trenton's favorite uncles. Uncle Moe who owns the town candy store. In this one she fights against people out to protect Moe, one of her former teachers, her new truck, her hairdresser and of course Joe Morelli. As things start to unravel it gets even crazier. Just a fun read and C.J. Critt does a wonderful job on the audio - I love her different voices and the accents are great.

Fun, fun, fun is what you get when reading this book and I'm looking forward to reading more about Stephanie Plum, Lula, Grandma Mazur, Morelli and Ranger.

Date Started
: 25 march 08
Date Finished: 08 april 08
From: Library
Rating: 4.0/5.0
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Setting: Trenton, NJ
Characters: Stephanie Plum, Grandma Mazur, Lula, Morelli, Ranger, Uncle Moe

Book 60: Swimming with the Dead by Kathy Brandt

Hannah Sampson is a detective on the Denver police force and she is also a search and rescue diver. Due to her diving knowledge and her reputation for never giving up on a case, the police commissioner asks Hannah to investigate his son's death in the British Virgin Islands.

So Hannah heads down there reluctantly and falls in love with the area, but it seems someone doesn't like her digging. As she begins to investigate, everyone seems guilty even the guy she starts to fall for.

Lots of local color of the island and plenty of people to make you wonder who exactly did it. Fun book to read and get to know Hannah. I look forward to more books in this series.

Date Started
: 04 apr 2008
Date Finished: 05 apr 2008
From: My bookshelf
Rating: 4.5/5.0
Genre: Mystery/Suspense
Setting: Denver, CO, and British Virgin Islands
Characters: Hannah Sampson, Chief Dunn, Peter O'Brien, Michael Duvall
Pages: 258

Friday, April 4, 2008

Book 59: Forget-Me-Not by Marliss Melton

Helen Renault has finally decided to move on with her life, almost a year after her husband was declared missing after a SEAL mission gone wrong. The truth is he was gone from her life long before that so she is through with her mourning when he is officially declared dead. On the night she makes the decision to move on, she gets a phone call that her husband is still alive but he can't remember the last year or the two before that - the whole time that Helen and her daughter Mallory were in his life. She tentatively goes to see him sure she has the resolve to not fall for the cold, emotionally devoid man he had become before that mission.

Gabe has had a rough past but thankfully through some great role models he really made something of himself. Part of a SEAL team that were as close as family to him and he finally settles down with a woman. But because of his past he has remained somewhat aloof to his wife and step-daughter. Now sitting in a hospital bed, his wife and step-daughter step back into his life though he has no recollection of them.

Through time the memories start to come back and Helen is somewhat surprised that the man who her husband was before is not the man who has returned to her.

I'm never really sure how I like the husband/wife thing in romance books, I mean they are already together. This one it worked really well. Both sides had some giving to do and you really get to watch both of them grow. The daughter Mallory is a nice additional primary character. She really adds to the story. I also liked getting to know the other members of Gabe's SEAL team whose books will follow. Also the storyline is finalized enough for the end of the book, but there are some unanswered questions that lead into the next book.

A great start to a series and I can't wait to read more about this SEAL team. With real characters and a plausible scenario, the romance touches you and the action never stops. This book was a joy to read and I highly recommend it.

Date Started: 02 april 2008
Date Finished: 04 april 2008
From: my bookshelf (by way of paperbackswap)
Rating: 4.5/5.0
Genre: Romantic suspense
Setting: Coastal Virginia (Portsmouth area)
Characters: Gabe and Helen Renault, Mallory, Master Chief Sebastian Leon
Pages: 355

Book 58: The First Patient by Michael Palmer

When Gabe Singleton's old friend calls on him one day what other choice does he have but to follow his old friend to Washington and become his personal doctor. It becomes a little more complicated since his old friend is the President of the United States. Gabe, who in the past has been in prison and who is a recovering alcoholic with a divorce in his past and a current addiction to pills, does just that and heads to Washington to replace Andrew's current doctor who has turned up missing.

Then things begin to get interesting. The President hasn't told him everything that is going on and then things get really crazy.

Wow - this book was really a wild ride. I loved the twists and turns and this is one of those books where the action never really stops and just when you think you might know who is behind it all - you might be really surprised. I know I was. With a little romance and a few other storylines, this book kept me hooked to the very last page. The characters were flawed but not too flawed to where you didn't like them, just enough where you can relate to them. Another great work by Michael Palmer.

Date Started: 26 march 2008
Date Finished: 02 april 2008
From: the library
Rating: 4.5/5.0
Genre: Medical/Political suspense
Setting: Washington DC
Characters: Gabe Singleton, Drew Stoddard, Alison Cromartie
Pages: 602 (large print edition - the first copy my library got in)

Thursday, April 3, 2008

100+ Reading Challenge and finally starting this blog!

I'm joining in the 100+ Reading Challenge. My goal for the year is 175 books (I made this goal at the beginning of the year). I'm currently at 57 so that should be easy to achieve. It will be the most books that I have read in one year! So here goes to keep working on my goal. Come back and as I finish books I will post about them and as I have time I will try and post about the books I have already finished.