Thursday, August 29, 2013

Review: Chasing Carole by: Barbara Washburn

Chasing CaroleChasing Carole by Barbara Washburn
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I must say that Ms. Washburn certainly took the time and effort for the history of Ms. Lombard and the Golden Age - but the story fell flat. A woman finds out that her mother is really Carole's child and not her cousin - goes on an adventure into the life of Carole through her journals and papers that she has received (quite easily) from John Clark Gable. From seeing ghosts, to listening to her mother's tales, and through the headaches - Cassandra makes it through.
Filled with great believable conversations but with the author's stretching to take Hollywood fact and fiction and turn it into the truth of the book leaves me ambivalent.
Storyline - ok
Description and detail - great
Truth - some (I am amazed by people thinking this is a biography like that one Loretta Young's daughter panned out)
I did enjoy losing myself in the time and into Carole. Just for that fact you will enjoy it.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Review; The Eye of God By: James Rollins

The Eye of God (Sigma Force #9)The Eye of God by James Rollins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

James Rollins to me is the perfect mixture - a bit of Bond, Indiana Jones, a dash of Crichton, some myth/lore, and an amazing adventure that is distinctly his own.
What does Attila, Genghis, St Thomas and a comet have in common - the end of the world. Sigma forces are all out once the images of a different space/time due to dark matter on a comet come forth. Seichan has found the greatest link to her past, her mother - yet it seems they all have bounty on their hands and a man that is out to claim it. Vigor and Rachael return and give a great story to follow and a lesson in what is truly meaningful in life.
All of Rollins novels will have you on the edge, flipping through every page just to ease your mind as your heart thrums at an uneasy race with the countdown charging into your cells.
There is no going wrong picking up any Rollins book to get lost in - Enjoy!

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Review: Gone Girl By: Gillian Flynn

<Gone GirlGone Girl by Gillian Flynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I could not put this one down, filled with so many twists and turns, told by two voices - this strange tale unwinds and leaves the reader entering the darkness of the mind.
It is the fifth wedding anniversary of Nick and Amy Dunne. Two people so beautiful they were made for each other. The reader is introduced that morning into the ugly dark homicidal thoughts that cover Nick's brain. Hours later his wife is gone, quite literally has disappeared with a tossed scene, cleaned up blood, and the only clues to the Treasure Hunt she created every year for him.
I don't want to give too much away, but this is an amazing tale of a psychopath, a sociopath, the dirt and grit of two humans under one roof. Just how well do you know that person that shares your bed?
Don't start this before bed, you will not want to put it down and as I finished the last page after 5 am. This is a book to be savored in it's entirety.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 23, 2013

Review: The Recipe Box By: Sandra Lee

The Recipe BoxThe Recipe Box by Sandra Lee
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Oh, Sandra Lee, I had such high hopes for this book. How could I have been so wrong and disappointed.
Filled with one dimension characters with one dimensional problems, a magical solution, a none mystery, and recipes that you could pull off the internet using any cooking site. I found myself looking like a fool for actually paying for this and waiting until 150 pages in to get a grip that this is not going to get better.
With so much potential in the storyline, a friend dies, friends reunite, coming home means reconciling with the past - even if there are a few skeletons hanging in the closet that have to be put out in the open, old loves and new -- but nothing was there to enjoy. The main character was a paper doll with no real depth, the secrets were blown way out of proportion, and the wonderful way it all came together felt as fake as cubic zirconia.
I just stick to Sandra Lee's cooking tips and recipes - writing is not her forte

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Review: Lake Como By: Anita Hughes

Lake ComoLake Como by Anita Hughes
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Hallie Elliot thought she had it all, the career, the man, the wedding season bringing her closer and closer to a ring on her finger. That is until she witnesses her boyfriend with her boss. No one in San Francisco can understand her not taking him for his word, that there hasn't been anything, but all she can do is run. Lake Como has her half-sister, Portia in the middle of a martial crisis and what better place to find yourself.
Hallie finds a job she can lose herself in and the estate manager, Angus, a little too hard to resist. She has been burned and does not take well to lies or betrayal, and when she uncovers a few that even have lasted her lifetime - well, things can never be the same, but if she can give it a chance it could be better.

I would give this 3.5 stars, I rounded up for a couple reasons. 1. The description of the Lake and all the beauty had me falling through the pages and entering Italy on the other side. 2. I loved some of the secondary characters. While, some characters seem disjointed and almost rushed (and the ending does feel this way), there is heart and magic given to those that stand out.
Now, this isn't the best read of the year - but this is a great escape, a great beach read, and simply something to lose yourself in for a couple hours.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Tampa By: Alissa Nutting

TampaTampa by Alissa Nutting
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Enter the mind of Celeste Price, a sociopath, a woman filled with lies and fantasies, a woman who put herself as a middle school teacher to be with her prey. She is complicated and yet only driven by the need to feed sexually off fourteen year old boys. At times I felt for her, but then she would just have no redeeming qualities that the reader could hold on to. Yet, you can't hate a shark for going into a frenzy when blood is in the water and that is just what you are reminded of in Celeste.
Married, wealthy, beautiful, with an education, Celeste moves forward picking a child from one of her English classes. She has it all worked out, from where to go, to already paying for prepaid cell phones - almost like a serial killer with a kill room already done shopping for the bleach. She is driven by youth, her need to hold it, to recreate it in herself, to discover an innocence already gone from within her. There is also a cat and mouse game inside her head, from the one she chooses, to actually getting caught - it is like she has to be the smartest, the one with the plan and the right words to get out of every situation, and it is all there on the tip of her tongue, waiting.
I also saw in these pages a take on society. How appropriate to choose a young beautiful woman to be the predator and what society turns a blind eye to or chooses to look upon without the same disdain and judgement of a male. These are issues definitely in need for discussion, but the answers won't come from this book, only more questions.
You might not like the subject matter, but the writing is amazing. Paragraphs filled with descriptive narratives that leave you immersed into the world of Tampa.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 19, 2013

Review: The Seventeen Second Miracle By: Jason F Wright

The Seventeen Second MiracleThe Seventeen Second Miracle by Jason F. Wright
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How long can it take to change a person's life? Their day? How hard can it be to step outside of yourself and be fully aware? To grab a moment?
Rex Conner took his eyes off of the lake for seventeen seconds and it resulted in the death of a little girl. His life changed in that moment and so did a million others. It took some time, but seventeen seconds to create a miracle for someone else reaches beyond yourself to all those that person comes in contact with.
Cole Conner has picked up his father's lesson and taken the steps a bit further. Working with the local high school, he receives three to eight kids a year to sit in "Discussions" where he teaches them the seventeen second miracle. This year is especially hard, a smaller than usual class of three - a cheerleader, a basketball star, and a boy in a wheelchair. He doesn't know the reasons the principal has chosen these three in particular, but as the time unfolds, so do their stories.
I am a Jason F Wright junkie, I love the messages and stories that he produces. The way the lessons can be instilled in your own life. I find them to be spiritually nurturing and often calling to me to challenge myself, to make a difference, to answer the call to reach outward. You won't go wrong picking any of his books and you will find that this is one that will stay on your shelf to be pulled down over and over.

View all my reviews

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Review: Winds of Salem By: Melissa de la Cruz

Winds of Salem: A Witches of East End Novel (The Beauchamp Family #3)Winds of Salem: A Witches of East End Novel by Melissa de la Cruz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

First and foremost - I HOPE this is not the end of this series. I have loved and enjoyed it and want more.
Picking up right where Serpent's Kiss left off - Freya has been sucked back into time, the seventeenth century to be exact and to Salem. This time if she dies, she will not come back. The fabric of travel and time have somehow been warped. Freddie has leads on his trident and uses the pixies for help, even if his marriage to Gert is falling apart. Ingrid's past pops up as she has to resolve herself with the Sophia Loren look a like that is the mother of his child.
Enter the world of the Norse Gods and Goddesses, where bridges and time can be traveled and explored. Where amazing men Killian, Loki, Thor, Fryr leaving you wanting more. A story of love throughout time in Norm and Joanna.
I found the amazing story that held on it's own with the Salem hysteria that swept the area. I think that one would really like something new and a bit different, yes, it is an easy read, but very pleasurable. One thought though, borrow it or get it from the library, it is $24 and could easily be replaced with a book you really want for $17.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 16, 2013

Review: Elegy By: Amanda Hocking

Elegy (Watersong, #4)Elegy by Amanda Hocking
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The final of the Watersong Series will not disappoint.
Gemma must find a way to stop being a siren, Daniel is ready to make a deal that could seal the fate of the people he loves, especially Harper, Penn has her hands full with the crazy new siren she created. This is fast paced and the action scenes leave you on the edge of every page.
The mystery with the scroll, the great secondary characters (Lydia, Marcy, Alex) wrap up this book and series in a way that leaves me wondering what will Ms. Hocking be up to next, and how soon?
Enjoy this series, perfect for the end of summer.

View all my reviews

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: The Life List By: Lori Nelson Spielman

The Life ListThe Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Brett Bohlinger has just lost her mom, her world feels unraveled, and although she assumed that things would be just fine.. at the reading of the will her mother has demanded that she finish a life list that was made when Brett was fourteen.
At thirty four Brett doesn't want a pony, she doesn't even know whether she wants a dog and these are the "easy" parts of the list. Falling in love, well, the man she is with in the beginning truly holds a lesson on what love isn't and having a child. She has one year to complete these things, and life as you live it will throw a few curve balls.
I LOVED this and know I will share this one with everyone and keep a copy on my shelf. I laughed and I cried. I found the writing style and story similar to Cecelia Ahern (which I can't resist). This is a great read that can leave you feeling a little better, filled with hope, and wanting to find your life list to check off.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Review: the Husband's Secret By: Liane Moriarty

The Husband's SecretThe Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How interconnected are we to each other? Do you really know the person beside you and all their secrets?
It all starts with a long forgotten letter sealed with "For my wife, Cecelia Fitzpatrick To be opened only in the event of my death" and the unforgettable curiosity that made her break the seal.
Tess O'Leary thought she had a wonderful marriage, she was even happy - that is until her cousin and husband sit her down to tell her about them falling in love. Tess runs home to her mother taking her son Liam and runs into Connor, the what if guy.
Rachael Crowley's daughter Janie was murdered 28 years ago, husband has passed, her now only child is planning on moving with his wife and son to New York, and she believes that she has been working with her daughter's murderer for a couple years.
All these women threaded together in an amazing can't put down book. Think the movie Crash added with the depth of each character, the multidimensional layers upon layers. I was amazed buy this story and the writing style. This is a must for any book club, there is so much to discuss and question. You will not be disappointed.

View all my reviews

Review: Beautiful Day By: Elin Hilderbrand

Beautiful DayBeautiful Day by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Carmichaels are ready to have a wedding in Nantucket for the youngest daughter thanks to a handwritten notebook that her deceased mother wrote - a guide listing everything from the registry to the decorations.
Written in different views - Margot, the oldest daughter, her mother wrote "anything I can do, she can do better". Margot has a divorce behind her, a secret affair going, three children that have issues, and a weekend with her family. Trying to live up to what her mother wants and her family's needs, Margot has overlooked herself and at times finds a mess at her feet to clean up. Doug, the Carmichael father, whose wife Beth died seven years ago and yet he loves her still today. Doug, the man whose current wife he sees but doesn't and has found a discontent starting to smother him. He is a divorce attorney that has seen it all yet is sensitive to feel it and know that good or bad "Family is All You Need". Ann Graham, the groom's mother, a politician that had lost her husband to another woman years before only to divorce and than remarry him years later, now has to deal with the tramp for a weekend, along with the son her husband created. Ann's pain, jealousy, and fear is so raw although years have passed and she is as powerful as she is - yet, this woman brings out the worst in her.
Weddings are crazy affairs, if ever after drama - go to one... this is no exception. I loved the different voices and takes on the same incident, the way Ms. Hilderbrand let the reader enter the mind of multiple players. I enjoyed the power and storyline of simply the notebook, and when compounded with affairs, divorces, arguments, flirtations, past engagements -- I simply wouldn't have missed this wedding weekend for the world.

View all my reviews

Monday, August 12, 2013

Review: Big Girl Panties by: Stephanie Evanovich

Big Girl PantiesBig Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Holly Brennan finds herself on a flight next to the Adonis, Logan Montgomery - the private trainer to star athletes. She also finds his immediately disgust with her being a large girl. Soon after a conversation and him offering to train her and help her, she takes him up on his offer.
A mating dance of sorts occurs, when strangers become friends, and when the person you are looking at seems a little more than you thought. Unfortunate for Logan his friends, Chase and Amanda Walker, are plotting a little matchmaking and he doesn't have the willpower or the capability to stop it.
Filled with the ups and downs of any relationship - from the friendship development to holding on to a good thing - you will cheer on this relationship. Filled with wit, a bit of humor, and unguarded honesty especially from the internal workings of Logan's mind - this would make a nice beach read.
I only gave 3 stars because I found that I liked the secondary characters more than the main and often found myself hurrying through pages when I could find my interest slipping.

View all my reviews

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Review: The Last Original Wife By: Dorothea Benton Frank

The Last Original WifeThe Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Welcome to the elusive world of the elite and being the last original wife in a world that has the trophy wives coming in.
Written between Leslie and Wesley Carter's voices, the breakdown of a marriage occurs and the understanding of what led to the demise. With thirty years together, two grown children, a perfect house one would not expect the drama that ensues behind the doors and in the minds of each person. Ms. Frank is giving a glimpse into this destruction, dissecting the inner and outer motivators and incidences through both the male and the female - leaving the reader "caught" in the middle. Is there really a fault when you have lies, hookers, resentment, and outgrowing the one you chose to spend the rest of your life with?
To be honest, I read this one through the night - I couldn't put it down, but for unusual reasons. Yes, I had to see where this was ending, but I felt uncomfortable and knew I would not sleep well with this on my mind. The author takes the reader into a harsh lighting (think dressing room lights that make every flaw come out) and yet the characters remain childish and distant, you are unable to emotionally connect to them.

View all my reviews

Friday, August 9, 2013

Review: Finding Colin Firth By: Mia March

Finding Colin FirthFinding Colin Firth by Mia March
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ok, I am a hopeless romantic and who better than to epitomize that image than Colin Firth. A book set in small town Boothbay Harbor Maine awaiting the arrival of Colin Firth on set is the backdrop of a story of three women- their lives, hopes, dreams, fears, and the innerweaving of the people they meet.
Gemma Hendricks has disappeared for a week or two from her husband, her in-laws, and life in the city (which has been the arguments within her marriage). Since being fired, she has been searching for anything other than a meddling mother in law that has designs to pull her from the city to live next door in the suburbs. While visiting friends, Gemma has found work at the local/regional newspaper doing a feature story on Hope Home and the lives that have been affected while dealing with her own issues of a pink plus sign.
Bea Crane lost her mother a year ago, only to have a letter to open filled with a deathbed confession - that she was adopted. With nothing holding her in Boston and the name and address of her biological mother, she makes her way to a little town in Maine. Filled with more questions than answers and en route of discovering not just where she came from but where she is going to and what is possible.
Veronica Russo left town as unwed pregnant 16 year old. Her family had turned their back as she walked through the door of Hope Home and delivered a baby girl that has haunted her all these years later. She has run from the memory, from the town, until a whisper brought her back. She has made her living baking special pies and building the wall around her heart -- that is until the phone rings.
A wonderful story that leaves the reader wishing for more simply to stay in the pages and with the characters - You won't go wrong picking this up, this one I guarantee you will reach to read again and again.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Review: Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend By: Louise Rozett

Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend (Confessions, #2)Confessions of an Almost-Girlfriend by Louise Rozett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

***** This was a Goodreads Giveaway*******
Thank you Goodreads!!

This is the second in the Confessions series - it follows sophomore year of Rose Zarelli's life. If one knows high school, one knows that things don't always get easier. Rose is still dealing with her issues of her father's death and that of the elusive Jaime Forta.
The author has decided to hit on some very hard issues in this book - from hate crime/bullying to drugs, from child abuse to boyfriend/girlfriend abuse. I found the way these issues were brought to surface and worked on very enlightening.
I found Rose's character to start off rather two dimensional but as she grew a depth to her grew (but isn't that what high school girls must do) and I found her to be much more. I liked how she begins to shape herself, find her voice, and even some direction --- even when it leads to a very complicated boy.
Sometimes who we thought we are, isn't at all who we really are or are intended to be.

View all my reviews