Monday, August 31, 2009
OR JUST WISHFUL THINKING?
Hannah hadn't been thrilled at the idea of marrying a man she didn't know...until she had a good look at the lean and rugged cowboy who was her destiny. But how is she going to convince a man who doesn't believe in magic that he's got the power to save a town from a terrible fate? And that it all boils down to his belief in his legacy, his heart, and in the most powerful magic of all...their love?
This is going to be a meh review. I'm terrible at writing these - maybe this blog will improve my mediocre book review skills but I doubt it.
To me this book had soooooo much potential it had a very cute premise that should have worked for me but didn't. I spent most of my time reading it rolling my eyes. My biggest problem with this book were the characters they annoyed me to death. Hannah started off okay as one of those - dare I say it - fiesty heriones but wow did she ever decline in my books. At the beginning of the book when all the cowhands refused to even so much as wash their hands before eating she stepped up took charge (in a memorable and funny scene) and made darn sure they had polite table manners the next time they wanted to eat a decent meal. So you would think that when it comes to something important like... oh I don't know the lives of all her friends and family she'd be darn sure she made her point. But no. Hannah spends weeks trying to convince Jonas that he is a warlock who needs to step up, marry her and destroy the evil warlock taking over the town. How does she take on this mighy task you ask (or maybe you don't but I'm going to tell you). She keeps talking about helping the guild. That's right rather than talk about the danger to herself, her friends and her family she keeps telling him about his obligation to the guild. To Jonas the guild is nothing but a large group of faceless crazies half way across the country why would he even bother to bust his ass to help them. She never says anything about what Blake Wolcott has done that is so horrible or that he plans to force her to marry him to take her powers, that he makes non-magical people dissappear etc. etc. and she can't understand why he won't help her. Yeesh - enough about Hannah.
I didn't have as many problems with Jonas. He was stubborn and irratating at times but I could understand where he was coming from and why he had so much baggage. Jonas also completely redeemed himself by the end of the book while Hannah continued to go on like a silly twit.
The other problem I had was with the romance. I just don't buy these two falling in love. I'm sure they were very attracted to one another but how they could fall in love is beyond me. The majority of the book was spent with Jonas doing his darndest to avoid Hannah and Hannah silently musing to herself about how Jonas was avoiding her. There was almost no time spent showing me how they fell in love with one another - they would be in the same room long enough to get in an arguement about witchcraft and then Jonas would leave. Like I said I'm not buying it.
Otherwise the book was well written and I generally enjoyed the story. I thought the final conflict was done well and I actually enjoyed the last 50 or so pages of this book tremendously - the rest of it though... not so much. It just didn't grab me - but then light books never really do - yes I can enjoy them and sometimes they are keepers but they don't have the same effect on me as angsty books.
All in all it was a pretty mediocre read for me and the exact opposite of the last Kathleen Kane book I read (This Time for Keeps) which I absolutely loved right up to the ending which I found incredibly dissappointing although I can't remember why now.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
After the murder of a teenage girl, a mysterious man in a black leather jacket was seen lurking near the crime scene. Investigative reporter Tessa Novak has him in her sights as the culprit…
That man was Julian Darcangelo—an undercover FBI agent working with the Denver police. He’s closing in on the trail of a human trafficker and killer. Tessa’s accusations could blow his cover—and he wants her off the investigation.
But just as Tessa has made Julian a target of interest, she is now a target—of the killer. And as they are forced to trust each other, their physical attraction escalates as intensely as the threat from a ruthless murderer who wants to see both of them dead…
Okay, before I launch into the problems I had with Ms. Tessa Novak let me just say I did enjoy this book. It was fast paced and kept me turning the pages. Julian was a great tortured anti-hero and I will be picking up the other books in this series however...
I hope to God none of the other heroines are going to be as dumb as Tessa Novak. How this girl is not dead or horribly maimed still remains a mystery to me. Why Julian would even waste his time trying to protect her is also beyond me.
Just to clarify Tessa witnessed the murder in gas station and promptly went to work and wrote up a front page article revealing every single detail of the crime. I don't work with the police on a daily basis like say... an investigative reporter would and even I understand why police withhold certain details from the public to help them catch the killer. Tessa however, can't really grasp the concept of police catching the bad guys and reporters reporting. I'm supposed to believe that Tessa is only out to help get these guys off the streets, protect all the other girls like the one who was murdered and it's not all about getting her big headlines but honestly, her headlines are driving the bad guys further underground and potentially exposing the identity of an undercover agent who is thisclose to catching them. How is that helping Tessa??? Please explain it to me.
On top of all that this girl is dumb. Let me just list a few of the bajillion stupid things she's done.
1. Writing a first person account of an unsolved murder for a major newspaper in Denver announcing to the bad guys that she Tessa Novak witnessed everything.
2. Assumes the murder was gang related and announces to the world in her article that she Tessa Novak witnessed the murder and will be singlehandedly tracking down the killers to see that they are arrested. Then the ninny goes waltzing into gang territory and starts asking around to talk to the head of the local Crips chapter.
3. After starting a media frenzy with the intention of getting the cops to start cracking down on gang activity Tessa slips her protective cover and goes back into gang territory to finish her interview with the Crips.
4. Even after she finds out that the killers are worse than your average gangbanger, has a man break into her apartment who molests her while she is in the bathtub, has a cop get shot by the same man after he trys to break into her apartment for a second time she still insists on evading the protective custody the police have on her and doing things no her own. Oh and perhaps I should mention her best friend ( a fellow reporter) was almost killed for trying to take a story too far in a previous book.
There are just too many issues with Tessa for me to write about them all. It's enough to say that she was a complete airhead for the majority of the book and by the time reality actually hit her in the face and she started exercising common sense it was too little too late.
I do have to say that I love the cover of this book.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
The Deep Blue Alibi: A Solomon vs. Lord Novel… by Paul Levine
Back Cover Blurb
They are Florida’s most mismatched legal duo–one a glamorous Miami blue blood, the other a Coconut Grove beach bum. And when they get together, you can throw every law right out the window….
What do you get when you mix beautiful people, family secrets, and a yacht washed up on Sunset Key with a hundred grand in cash and a dying man? If you’re Steve Solomon, you see a case that can get Solomon & Lord off the ground. If you’re Victoria Lord, you see a golden opportunity to go out on your own. With her uncle a murder suspect and her hunky ex-boyfriend back in the picture, Victoria is pushing to take control as Solomon struggles to keep from losing it.
As an explosive trial looms, they’re fighting against time, the law, and each other–to expose a killer who came to paradise…and hasn’t left.
This is going to be a quick review. I finished this book two weeks ago, unfortunatly my computer was being held hostage by a 5 day house guest who turned into a 14 day house guest. As such, this book isn't very fresh in my mind any more so I will just quickly sum up what I liked and what I didn't.
What I liked.
1. Steve Solomon - I'm in love with him he's definitely one of my favourite characters ever.
2. The Plot - The plot was quick paced and fascinating. Most books about lawyers bore me but I love to see how what kind of unorthodox methods Steve is going to use to get his client off the hook.
3. Steve Solomon - I want to marry him. Oops, did I mention him already??
What I didn't like.
1. Victoria - what the hell does Steve see in this woman?? I can't stand to be around up tight people in real life and I don't want to read about them as a heroine in my books. I would much prefer if Victoria had remained a prosecution lawyer or even a partner but the two had never got into an actual relationship. She is uptight, bitchy and totally takes Steve for granted. I don't understand why she is always holding the upper card in the relationship she should be thanking her lucky stars that she found such a decent guy but no she's constantly whining about everything he does and questioning if she should even be with him while fantasizing about her ex and resenting Steve.
Gah - obviously she's touched a nerve. Either way the book was great I love Steve Solomon and I hate Victoria Lord
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Well, here's another not so nice review from my archives...
Back Cover Blurb
Blair Mallory lives the good life. She’s pretty, confident, and the owner of a thriving up-scale fitness center. But in the shadow of success, a troubled member of the club develops a strange fixation on Blair, imitating her style and dress. Matters take a darker turn when the look-alike is shot dead–and Blair witnesses the horror.
As the media speculates on the tawdry details of the homicide and pushes Blair into the harsh spotlight, she locks horns with police lieutenant Wyatt Bloodsworth. He wants to lead an investigation without interference, while Blair is determined to probe the dead woman’s life on her own. But when someone begins to menace Blair with mounting threats, Wyatt takes notice: Was this murder indeed a lethal case of mistaken identity–and was Blair the intended victim?
Okay, let me sum this up quickly for you.
Blair Mallory our heroine is annoying, snarky, self-delusional and pathetic. The worst part - you are stuck in this girls head for the entire book and have to listen to her constantly tell her self that she isn't going to sleep with Wyatt again because you know the Mallory girls are made of better stuff then that only to roll over and sleep with him again the next time he kisses her neck which is alot.
Wyatt Bloodsworth - our hero is a total jackass in every sense of the word. Don't get me wrong I like alpha heros but they have to have a redeeming quality among there many resemblance's to neanderthals. Not this guy.
The relationship - considering there isn't too much to like about either character do I actually believe in the relationship? Umm well they are both like totally hot so I guess considering the integrity of these two already is enough to build a relationship on. Maybe I'd have a better idea if the relationship actually grew or evolved through out this book but no - I'm supposed to believe that these two fell in love on three dates two years ago and when they get together again they are already in love with one another and just don't want to admit it.
The suspense plot - this was the only ok part of the book for me. I've read a thousand better plots but this one was okay enough to compel me to finish the book despite the irritating characters.
Over all it was not worth the aggravation those two caused me to get to the end of the book. I've read one other Howard and I hope most of her books are more like that one and not To Die For. Yeesh
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I'm definitely late to the party on this one. I've been hearing about this book on-line for ages and it's been in my TBR pile for almost as long. I stayed away from it though because I'm starting to get burned out on European Historicals and I've only been pulling them out when I'm almost certain they will be wonderful.
This book was most definitely wonderful.
Back Cover Blurb
Widowed Anna Wren is having a wretched day. After an arrogant male on horseback nearly squashes her, she arrives home to learn that she is in dire financial straits. What is a gently bred lady to do?
The Earl of Swartingham is in a quandary. Having frightened off two secretaries, Edward de Raaf needs someone who can withstand his bad temper and boorish behavior. Dammit! How hard can it be to find a decent secretary?
When Anna becomes the earl’s secretary, both their problems are solved. Then she discovers he plans to visit the most notorious brothel in London for his “manly” needs. Well! Anna sees red—and decides to assuage her “womanly” desires . . . with the earl as her unknowing lover.
What can I say about this book that hasn't already been said? Not much actually. Edward and Anna make a wonderful couple and their love story is sweet and touching. Both these characters are fully realized and well developed. The supporting characters are all equally well drawn and each bring a little something extra to the story. I know some people had some issues with the historical accuracy of the book but the whole thing had such a fairytale feel to it that I didn't even notice. To me it felt like arguing that Cinderella is rubish because we all know a pumpkin really couldn't turn into coach. I also really enjoyed the snippets of The Raven Prince fairytale at the beginning of each chapter.
I only had a couple of minor quibbles. The first was the blackmail plot which I found kind of unnecessary but I was happy to see that not alot of time was spent on it. The second was the epilogue which really isn't a problem with the book but more with me. I generally don't enjoy epilogues but I always feel compelled to read them only to find that they really don't add anything to the story for me. I don't need details once I've been assured that the characters are going to get their happily ever after.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Thunder and Roses – Mary Jo Putney
Back Cover Blurb
They called him the Demon Earl. They said he could do anything. Son of a rogue and a gypsy, Nicholas Davies was a notorious rake until a shattering betrayal left him alone and embittered in the Welsh countryside.
Desperation drives quiet schoolteacher Clare Morgan to ask the Demon Earl to help save her village. Unwilling to involve himself in the problems of others, Nicholas sets an impossible price on his aid — only if Clare agrees to live with him for three months, letting the world think the worst, will he intervene.
Furiously, Clare accepts his outrageous challenge, and finds herself drawn into a glittering Regency world of danger and desire. As allies, she and Nicholas fight to save her community. As adversaries, they explore the hazardous terrain of power and sensuality. And as lovers, they surrender to passion that threatens the very foundations of their lives….
As much as I’ve loved the previous books I read by Putney I’ve been avoiding starting this series for a few years because I was tired of reading European Historicals set in the regency period. After finishing this book I was reminded that in the hands of a great writer it doesn’t matter what the subject matter is.
I was sucked into this book almost immediately and barely came up for air all weekend. Clare is a wonderful heroine. Although she was conflicted about her feelings for Nicholas and her religon she never came across as whiney or annoying. Nicholas definitely had baggage but he wasn’t going to let that totally drag him down which made him come across as troubled but not tortured. It was obvious from the get go that he needed Clare even if he didn’t know it yet and Clare and Nicholas’s story was one of the most romantic I’ve read in a long time. Oh and I should mention the sexual tension between the two was sizzling and the loves scenes were all integral to the plot and although not explicit when you finished reading them you felt like they were.
The suspense in the book also had something to do with me not putting the book down. Throughout the first half you couldn’t help but sense that something bad was going to happen in the mine if they didn’t hurry up and improve conditions and the threat to Nicholas life in the second half had my stomach in knots until I finished the book.
I am definitely looking forward to reading the rest of this series and I believe Putney is returning to writing European historicals which I am thrilled about.
Okay, here it is the very first negative review to be posted on my blog. Luckily I don’t very often continue to read books I’m not enjoying so there will be very few of these.
Sleep Tight – Laura Marie Altom
I tried I really, really tried but after 150 pages of torture I can’t take it anymore.
I know that seems dramatic but this has been my last week in my house.
Come home from stressful day at work and curl up on couch with pretty purple book that has such a fun sounding plot. Think to myself really Danielle it can’t be that bad you must of have been in a bad mood yesterday. Commence reading. Read 5 pages and unconsciously start grinding teeth. Get kicked in leg by hubby telling me to please stop making that god awful noise. Read 10 more pages sigh in exasperation and throw book across the room. Get told by hubby if I chip the paint on the wall one more time there will be no more book buying for a month.
So in an effort to keep my TBR pile from shrinking I’m officially giving up on this book. Just can’t do it anymore. So if your still with me at this point (and kudos to you if you are) I’ll tell you why.
First of all, the writing style way way way to descriptive and repetitive. Now I don’t have the book with me so I can’t give an exact quote but I can give you an idea. In the first 5 pages I’ve been told 3 or 4 times that hero’s mothers house has a very elaborate marble staircase… great I get it enough with the staircase. Of course that’s not it then I read a line like this (remember it’s not an exact quote but close enough to give you an idea). “… on the staircase that Archtectural Digest called the Architectural Bottecelli…” I KNOW IT”S A GRAND WONDERFUL ELABORATE STAIRCASE PLEASE STOP BEATING ME OVER THE HEAD WITH IT!!
Then later on the main character is described as striking a Rhett Butler pose at the staircase (yeah were back to the staircase).
This is fine I don’t mind allusions in my books but then please don’t describe in great detail what exactly that Rhett Butler pose entails down to the type of smirk the main character has on his face. If you don’t think anyone is going to know what your talking about please just don’t put it in there.
Second… the plot. This book starts out with the most absurd big misunderstanding I’ve ever read. Not to mention the main characters actions are just ridiculous. Belle (our heroine) no longer has money to leave under children’s pillows anymore. So to make extra money she accepts a job from our “hero’s” (and I use that term loosely) mother to pretend to be royalty at a party she’s throwing. During the party Boone (that’s our hero) overhears her talking on the phone while she is in the bathtub, which is in the bathroom, which is in her room (please someone explain what this creep was doing camping outside her bathroom door) and realizes her accent is fake. At this point he decides she must be scamming his wonderful innocent and naive mother and he’s going to put a stop to it. So what does he do??? Climbs into her bed right that makes sense. At which point Belle comes out of the bathroom gets undressed and into bed to take a nap (I’m not even going to ask what the guest of honour is doing taking a bath and a nap in the middle of her party). That whole time she is completely unaware of the 6 ft man laying in her bed waiting for her. She actually falls asleep and then wakes up when she rolls against him. So of course this leads to a confrontation where two people talk at one another rather than to one another that culminates in Boone putting his shirt on her and “kidnapping” her for six weeks until his mother goes on vacation. Belle in all her wonderful wisdom decides to go along with it because he’s offered to pay her at the end of the six weeks so she sits outside in his truck all night waiting for him while he goes back to the fancy party (sans shirt).
Okay, I have to stop now this review is already long enough as it is and I’m only done venting about the first 25 pages or so. Let me just say it doesn’t get better the hero stays a jerk, the heroine continues to act like an airhead, and the never ending descriptions just go on, and on and on (at least for 150 pages I just didn’t care after that).
Grade - DNF
This the second John Sandford book I’ve read. I read Chosen Prey sometime in 2004 and although I remember nothing about it I must have liked it well enough since I went out a picked up Rules of Prey – the first book in the series. To me this seemed like a pretty standard suspense novel. Lucas Davenport is a cop who doesn’t particularly care for following the rules. If someone’s guilty Lucas will do whatever it takes to bring them to justice. The local police force have given Davenport his own unit and pretty much allowed him free run to work the local vice cases. Now a madman has started killing local dark haired young women and the chief wants Davenport on the case.
The best part of the book for me was Lucas Davenport. He is tough guy who will do whatever it takes to see justice served even if it means bending the rules a bit – or a lot. Add to that the fact that he’s a womanizer who geniunely cares about the women who share his bed and the fact that he creates video games in his spare time and you have a very well developed and interesting character. By the time you get to the end of the book you’re practically in love with him until you realize that you still no almost nothing about him.
The story moved along at pretty good pace. I found it slowed down in a few places but all in all I finished this book rather quickly. I didn’t find it particularly scary or suspenseful but I kept turning the pages because I wanted to find out how Davenport was finally going to catch this guy.
The weakest part of the book for me was the serial killer – considering how three dimensional Davenport is I was disappointed to find that the serial killer fell flat. He was just your standard run of the mill serial killer that you could find in any number of thriller novels.
All in all I really did enjoy this book. I will continue to read the series if only to find out more about Lucas Davenport.
After having his wife, money and all his earthly belongings taken away by the church, 17 year old Ruck is spiraling down into hopelessness when he receives a gift of two very valuable jewels from a Princess he had a brief encounter with earlier in the day. Although it hurts his pride to accept charity he takes the two jewels and makes a personal vow to serve the lady (whoever she is) for the rest of his life.
Kinsale’s medieval setting is definitely not a wall paper historical setting. Kinsale doesn’t skimp on the nitty gritty of the time and she makes sure to show the role religion played in the lives of the people living during the time.
All in all this is my favourite Kinsale book so far and not only is it definitely in my top 5 romances of all time but Melanthe is by far my favourite heroine ever and Ruck is in the top 5 heroes. If you like meaty and involved historicals I heartily recommend this book.