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Topic: It's December 2013 - What Are You Reading

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Subject: It's December 2013 - What Are You Reading
Date Posted: 11/30/2013 11:21 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
Posts: 527
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FINISHED -

  1. "MONTANA LEGACY: JESSE" by R.C. Ryan (McCords #1) (A++++) They're the McCords...three rugged, sexy cowboy cousins who'll inherit the family range - if they seek the treasure hidden on it. But even more precious are the women who can tame their wild hearts. - She was the one person who shook Jesse McCord's quiet determination. She was the only one he ever let in, body and soul. Then suddenly Amy Parrish was gone and the oldest McCord cousin devoted his life to the family ranch. Now Amy is back, offering to help Jesse find the McCord gold. Yet Jesse's not about to give her a second chance, and he hopes his pride will protect him from her irresistible charms. But under the wide prairie skies a dangerous, unseen enemy is fast closing in, threatening Amy and Jesse's very lives and the promise of their Montana Legacy.
  2. "CAN'T STAND THE HEAT" by Louisa Edwards (A Recipe for Love #1) (Market Trilogy #1) (A++++++) She's hungry for experience. And he knows just how to satisfy her cravings. For sharp-tongued food critic Miranda Wake, the chance to spend a month in Adam Temple's kitchen to write an expose is a journalistic dream come true. Surely Miranda can find a way to cut the hothot chef down to size once she learns what really goes on at his trendy Manhattan restaurant. The trouble is, she never expected Adam to find out her most embarrassing secret: she has no idea how to cook. Adam's not about to have his reputation burned by a critic who doesn't even know the difference between poaching and paring. He'll just have to give the tempting redhead a few private lessons of his own - teaching her what it means to cook with passion...and doing more with his hands than preparing sumptuous food.
  3. "MAYBE THIS TIME" by Jennifer Crusie (A+++++) (unabridged audio CD) Andie Miller is ready to move on with her life. She wants to marry her fiance and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her. A distant cousin has died and left North the guardian of two orphans who have driven away three nannies already and things are getting worse. He needs someone to take care of the situation and he knows Andie can handle anything. When Andie meets the two children, she realizes the situation is much worse than she feared. Carter and Alice aren't your average delinquents and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. Complicating matters is Andie's fiance's suspicion that this is all a plan by North to get Andie back He may be right because Andie's dreams have been haunted by North since she arrived at the old house. And that's not the only haunting. Then her ex-brother-in-law arrives with a duplicitous journalist and a self doubting parapsychologist, closely followed by an annoyed medium, Andie's tarot card-reading mother, her avenging ex-mother-in-law and her jealous fiance. Just when Andie's sure things couldn't get more complicated, North arrives to make her wonder if maybe this time things could just turn out differently.
  4. "PERFECT FLING" by Carly Phillips (Serendipity #7) (Serendipity's Finest #2) (A+++++) In the picturesque town of Serendipity, New York, three siblings have grown up in the shadow of their proud and respected police chief father. But what do love, fate and fortune have in store for the next generation of Serendipity's finest? Assistant D.A. Erin Marsden is Serendipity's quintessential good girl. The daughter of the former police chief, she's never made a misstep, content with her quiet predictable life - or so she thinks. Until Cole Sanders shows up with heated interest in his eyes and shadows in his past. After seven years of deep undercover work in New York, Cole returns to town to help his aging father and find his moral compass again. Not to get involved with wholesome Erin Marsden. Even as a rebellious teen, he knew a girl like Erin was off limits. But neither can resist their off-the-charts chemistry, and a one-night stand brings complications neither expected. Then a case puts Erin in a killer's crosshairs and Erin succumbs to Cole's take-charge attitude. As a bodyguard, he's the best. As a lover, he's even better. But there's more than ERin's safety at stake. And Cole must forgive the sins of his past and prove to himself - and to Erin - that he's capable of the love and the forever she so desperately needs.
  5. "INKED BY AN ANGEL" by Shauna Allen (Cupid Chronicles #1) (New Author For Me) (Kindle) (ebook that I received to do a review for the publisher) (A+++++) Tattoos...Jed Gentry is doing just fine, thank you very much, running his tattoo studio in Austin Texas. So what if people think he's a bit on the surly side? He's been burned by his ex who sticks around to torture him and he lives with a family heartache that he'd rather not talk about. But he's got a thriving business, his dream car and good friends. Not much to complicate things. At least, not until she walked in. Accountants...Kyle O'Neill has had it with being the sheltered daddy's girl at the family accounting firm and is ready to spread her wings and fly on her own for the first time. Unfortunately, it seems she's about to fall flat on her face when her first and only client is - gulp - a tattoo artist! Her country club upbringing certainly hasn't prepared her for this place or the sizzling attraction her traitorous body feels for the grumpy owner. And...Cupid? But there is a Divine conspiracy at work here pushing these two together. And they are hell bent on bucking the Heavenly plan all the way. Luckily, their angel is a true believer and pulls every trick he knows from under his halo to make this a match made in Heaven. Who says God doesn't have a sense of humor?
  6. "A FOOL'S GOLD CHRISTMAS" by Susan Mallery (Fool's Gold, California #9.5) (A+++++) The cheer in Fool's Gold, California, is bringing out the humbug in dancer Evie Stryker. An injury has forced her to return home to her estranged family. So she won't add to the awkward scenario by falling for the charms of her brother's best friend, no matter how tempting he is. When she's recruited to stage the winter festival, she vows to do as promised, then move on, anywhere but here. Jaded lawyer Dante Jefferson is getting used to the town he now calls home, but the pounding of little dancers' feet above his office is more than he can take. When he confronts their gorgeous teacher, he's unprepared for their searing attraction. Evie is his best friend's sister - off-limits unless he's willing to risk his heart. Dante has always believed that love is dangerous, but that was before he had to reckon with the magic of a certain small town, where miracles do seem to happen.
  7. "TO THE LIMIT" by Cindy Gerard (The Bodyguards #2) (A+++++) Her rules: Never doubt your instincts...Please come...and hurry. The frantic message was for securities specialist Eve Garrett, left by her friend, Tiffany, the missing teenage daughter of Florida's most reclusive multi-billionaire, Jeremy Clayborne. However, the only thing Eve found at the stormy midnight rendezvous was a nameless, faceless attacker who left her for dead. But the biggest knockout was yet to come. Never trust the bad boys...Tyler "Mac" McClain, the arrogantly sexy beach bum who seduced and abandoned Eve years ago is back. Now he's a P.I. hired by Clayborne's own camp to find Tiffany, a party girl on a party run. With two attempts on Eve's life, Mac has reason to suspect it's something more sinister. And never say never...Where the search is taking Eve and Mac is into the dark secrets of the rich and famous, into the menacing shadow of a killer playing by his own rules and into the heart of a sizzling desire re-ignited by the danger that threatens to claim them both.
  8. "COME UP AND SEE ME SOMETIME" by Lucy Monroe (CSI Duo #1) (A++++) Like father like daughter...That's what businessman Alex Trahern thinks about Isabel Harrison. If the prestigious headhunter thinks she can steal his top employee, just like her father stole his dad's ideas, she's dead wrong. Alex is always a man with a plan, and his plan is to get revenge on John Harrison through his daughter. But there's no contingency plan for the impact Isabel's sparkling green eyes and honey brown hair have on the decidedly non-business side of his brain. If at first you don't succeed, change the game. After some relationship flameouts, Isabel's decided to leave love out of it and approach her search for a husband like finding a suitable job candidate. And according to her list requirements, Alex Trahern certainly has potential. He's sexy. (Check.) Forceful and fascinating. (Check, check.) Also arrogant, obnoxious and way too hot for her own good. (Erase. Start over.) Now, if only she could find out what he's really after.
  9. "BUTTERFLY COVE" by Christina Skye (Summer Island #3) (A++++) Maybe opposites don't always attract. If they did, architect Olivia Sullivan would have run away with bad boy Rafe Russo when they were teenagers. Instead, Olivia has spent ten years dreaming up designs for a life that hasn't gone the way she planned. Still reeling from her career's implosion and her father's death, Olivia thanks her lucky stars for the support of her three lifelong friends. But this good girl is through sitting on the sidelines. When Rafe returns to the beautiful Oregon coast where they grew up, her former flame ignites a new desire. Now Olivia must take a walk on the wild side to show the new deputy that in matters of love...being bad can feel very good. Freshly back from Afghanistan, rugged ex-Marine and new deputy Rafe is done breaking laws and hearts. He's always regretted leaving Olivia behind, but now she's after adventure and he'd better proceed with caution. Because wanting her again might be easy, but fighting for a future together will be his biggest risk yet.
  10. "KNIT THE SEASON" by Kate Jacobs (Friday Night Knitting Club #3) (A+++++) The upcoming holiday season is all about showing off her talents as a pastry chef for college-age Dakota Walker - when she's not busy stitching at Walker & Daughter, the coziest little yarn shop on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Now, with the help of the family that's always sustained her, including the women of the Friday Night Knitting Club, Dakota remembers what is truly important. As the year draws to a close, Peri, Darwin, Lucie, KC and Catherine gather to plan the long-awaited wedding of elegant Anita Lowenstein and her beau, Marty. With a new romance in bloom, Catherine is making plans of her own, and she's not the only one. The possibility of a Christmas visit to Dakota's beloved Gran in Scotland, accompanied by her mother's parents and brother, tempts with the potential for illuminating revelations about her mother, Georgia Walker, from her childhood pranks to her happy holidays past to her blissful moments as a doting young mom.
  11. "CHRISTMAS ON 4TH STREET" by Susan Mallery (Fool's Gold #12.5) (A+++++) Noelle Perkins just got a second chance at life, and she intends to make the most of every minute. That's why she ditched a frustrating legal career to open her own store in Fool's Gold, California. The Christmas Attic celebrates everything that's magical about her favorite season. Business is booming, and as a bonus, gorgeous army doctor Gabriel Boylan has offered to help out during the holiday rush. Gabriel's memories of Christmas past contain more sour grapes than sugarplums, thanks to a drill sergeant father who ran his home like a boot camp. Spending the holidays with his family while he recovers from injury sounds as appetizing as last year's eggnog. Still, there are some enjoyable distractions in town, including sunny, sexy Noelle...and the red-hot mistletoe kisses they can't stop sharing. Gabriel didn't think he was made for happily-ever-afters. But when fate hands you a love as sweet and surprising as this, only a fool could refuse.
  12. "TEXAS BLUE" by Jodi Thomas (Whispering Mountain #5) (A+++++) Gambling man Lewton Paterson wants to marry into a respectable family, even if it costs him his friendship with Duncan McMurray. After fleecing a train ticket from one of the three gentlemen picked to call on Duncan's cousins, Lewt makes his way to Whispering Mountain. But seducing a well-bred woman is harder than Lewt thought, and he realizes that to entice a McMurray sister, he'll need to learn a thing or two about ranching - and love. Emily McMurray has no intention of ever getting married, so she convinces a friend to take her place when the suitors arrive, leaving her free to run the ranch as usual. But when Lewt insists that Em teach him about ranching, she finds herself struggling to keep up both her disguise and the walls around her heart. Because the more time Em spends with Lewt, the more she desires the man she's determined to escape.
  13. "SADDLED AND SPURRED" by Lorelei James (Blacktop Cowboys #2) (A+++++) Cattleman Bran Turner is left shorthanded during busy calving season when a bull tramples his hired hand. Rural Wyoming isn't exactly a hotbed of qualified candidates, and the only applicant for the position is the pampered town beauty, Harper Masterson. The curvy cowgirl gets under Bran's skin at every turn, but with no other options, he reluctantly hires her. When sexual sparks ignite, down-on-her-luck Harper enjoys convincing ran that not only is she capable of pulling calves, feeding livestock and handling backbreaking ranch chores, but she doesn't mind getting down and dirty, either. Harper also discovers the hot-bodied vcowboy isn't all work and no horseplay...and he's got more than a few tricks up his sleeve. Bran will learn quickly that Harper is no country mouse - and that she might just have what it takes to stick around for the long haul.
  14. "HOMECOMING RANCH" by Julia London (Homecoming Ranch #1) (A++++++) A lonely childhood and an irresponsible mother has lead Madeline Pruett to create a predictable, solitary world for herself. But she is shocked from her cushy cocoon when a father she never knew dies and leaves her an inheritance, and two unknown sisters. Madeline intends to fly to Colorado, meet these mysterious sisters, and quickly return to Orlando to close the biggest deal of her budding real estate career. For years, Luke Kendrick has juggled school and career and rescuing family from illness, death and financial crisis, all without losing sight of his goals: building and selling his own dream homes. On the verge of realizing his dream, Luke is called home to Pine River to reclaim the ranch his father has inexplicably lost. Luke's family knows he will put his life on hold to rescue them...again. Luke is not prepared for a uptight yet sexy woman in impractical shoes who thinks his ranch now belongs to her. Madeline isn't sure how to put order to a rundown ranch, a pair of sisters who do not cooperate, or a place where roads have names like Sometimes Pass and men as ruggedly handsome as Luke Kendrick behave unpredictably. Sparks fly as Luke and Madeline clash over the future of the ranch. Madeline knows what she wants...until Luke teaches her a thing or two - about breaking down walls, finding home, and the true meaning of family.
  15. "DANGEROUS WOMEN" edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois - original fiction by Jim Butcher, Diana Gabaldon, Lev Crossman, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Brandon Sanderson, Sharon Kay Penman, Joe Abercrombie, Carrie Vaughn and many more. (I read a few of the other stories and didn't care for them) "VIRGINS" by Diana Gabaldon (A++++) Young Jamie Fraser is forced out of his Scottish home and set to wandering in the world, with many new experiences waiting ahead of him, some pleasant, some decidedly not - and some dangerous and dark.
  16. "DREAM LAKE" by Lisa Kleypas (Friday Harbor #3) (A++++++) Alex Nolan is as bitter and cynical as they come. One of three Nolan brothers who call Friday Harbor home, he's nothing like Sam or Mark. They actually believe in love; t;hey think the risk or pain is worth the chance of happiness. But Alex battles his demons with the help of a whiskey bottle and he lives in his own private hell. And then a ghost shows up. Only Alex can see him. Has Alex finally crossed over the threshold to insanity? Zoe Hoffman is as gentle and romantic as they come. When she meets the startlingly gorgeous Alex Nolan, all her instincts tell her to run. Even Alex tells her to run. But something in him calls to Zoe and she forces him to take a look at his life with a clear eye and to open his mind to the possibility that love isn't for the foolish. The ghost has been existing in the half-light of this world for decades. He doesn't know who he is, or why he is stuck in the Nolan's Victorian house. All he knows is that he loved a girl once. And Alex and Zoe hold the key to unlocking a mystery that keeps him trapped here. Zoe and Alex are oil and water, fire and ice, sunshine and shadow. But sometimes it takes only a glimmer of light to chase away the dark, and sometimes love can reach beyond time, space and reason to take hold of hearts that yearn for it.
  17. "ONE IMPERFECT CHRISTMAS" by Myra Johnson (New Author For Me) (A++++) Only love makes a Christmas perfect. Christmas is the season of miracles, but when blame and guilt keep two people apart, sometimes a miracle needs a helping hand. Natalie Pearce loves Christmas so much she'd gladly make it a year-round celebration - until her mother suffers a massive stroke while taking down the decorations. Natalie's guilt over not being there to help her mom soon builds a wall that separates her from the rest of her family, including her husband Daniel and their teenage daughter. As the next December approaches, the last thing Nataie wants to be reminded of is another Christmas season. Will her family's tenacious love and unexpected Christmas gift from her mother help Natalie mend the broken pieces of their lives? 
  18. "LAST CHANCE KNIT & STITCH" by Hope Ramsay (Last Chance #6) (A+++++) Molly Canaday wishes she could repair her life as easily as she fixes cars. She was all set to open her own body shop in Last Chance when her mother ran off and left her to manage the family yard shop instead. Now guided by the unsolicited - though well-intended - advice of the weekly knitting club, Molly works to untangle this mess. But her plan unravels when the new landlord turns out to be difficult - as well as tall, dark and handsome. Simon Wolfe returns to quickly settle his father's estate and then leave Last Chance for good. Still wounded by a broken heart, Simon is surprised when the town's charming streets and gentle spirit bring back good memories. Soon the beautiful, strong-willed Molly sparks a powerful attraction that tempts him to break his iron-clad no-commitment rule. Can Simon and Molly find a way to share work space - and build a future together in Last Chance?
  19. "HOLIDAY ROOMMATES" by Tere Michaels (A+++++) Nate Brandywine is an actor without prospects in need of an emergency roommate for the month of December. In the middle of a humiliating gig as a Christmas elf at a NYC department store, he meets Sean Callahan - his producer - a man struggling under the weight of a loan coming due and desperate for a place in the city for a few weeks. One month of sharing a workplace and an apartment with someone you can't stop flirting with? Maybe this isn't going to be a terrible holiday after all.
  20. "HOME TO WHISKEY CREEK" by Brenda Novak (Whiskey Creek #4) (A++++++) Sometimes home is the refuge you need - and sometimes it isn't. Adelaide Davies, who's been living in Sacramento, returns to Whiskey Creek, the place she once called home. She's there to take care of her aging grandmother and to help with Gran's restaurant, Just Like Mom's. But Adelaide isn't happy to be back. There are too many people here she'd rather avoid, people who were involved in that terrible June night fifteen years ago. Ever since the graduation party that changed her life, she's wanted to go to the police and make sure the boys responsible - men now - are punished. But she can't, not without revealing an even darker secret. So it's better to pretend. Noah Rackham, popular, attractive, successful, is shocked when Adelaide won't have anything to do with him. He has no idea that his very presence reminds her of something she'd rather forget. He only knows that he's finally met a woman he could love.
  21. "RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW" by HelenKay Dimon (A++++) It's not you, it's me...It's me wanting you completely...Right here, right now. Problem? For Gabby Pearson, being dumped in public before the dessert course has to be the lowest of the low - especially when it's the old, "It's not you, it's me" speech. Honestly, how about something original: "I have five minutes to live" (very possible); "it's not you, it's the voices in my head" (thanks for the warning); or "I am such a powerful sexual being I could put you into a coma with one kiss" (wishful thinking). Not that Gabby would ever know since Reed Larkin never bothered to take her to bed. Why does a girl bother (to shave)? The only thing left to do is offer the guy a goodbye-forever drink...on his head. Damn. Reed did his job - he walked away from Gabby rather than drag her into his unstable life and danger. Now he's wearing her full glass of wine instead of throwing her onto his sheets. It doesn't help that the woman is smart as hell and could stop a man's breath with that wide smile and those shapely curves. Gabby has it all and Reed wants every inch of her. And now the joke's on him, because new intel says Gabby has just become his assignment: He has one day to win her back, get information from her she may not know she has and somehow protect her at the same time. The stakes are high. The odds are impossible. And the mutual attraction is as hot and strong as Gabby's anger. And Reed can only hope his next speech - "It's you, baby, it's definitely you..." - will be the start of something wild, something crazy, something dangerous, something wonderful.
  22. "CHRISTMAS IN SNOWFLAKE CANYON" by RaeAnne Thayne (Hope's Crossing #6) (A+++++) Holiday gifts don't always come in expected packages...especially in the town of Hope's Crossing. No one has ever felt sorry for Genevieve Beaumont. After all, she has everything money can buy. That is, until she discovers her fiance has been two-timing her and she's left with two choices: marry the philanderer to please her controlling father or be disinherited and find a means to support herself. Genevieve's salvation appears in the most unlikely of prospects: Dylan Caine, a sexy, wounded war vet whose life is as messy as hers. Dylan's struggling to adjust after his time in Afghanistan and the last thing he needs is a spoiled socialite learning about the real world for the first time. True, she may have unexpected depths and beauty to match. But he knows he could never be the man she needs...and she knows he could never be the man she thinks she wants. So why are they each hoping that a Christmas miracle will prove them both wrong?
  23. "FIRED UP" by Jayne Ann Krentz (Arcane Society #7) (Dreamlight #1) (A+++++) (unabridged audio CD) More than three centuries, Nicholas Winters irrevocably altered his genetic makeup in an obsession-fueled competition with alchemist and Arcane Society founder Sylvester Jones. /Both men are driven to control their psychic abilities, and their decisions have reverberated throughout the family line, rewarding some with powers beyond their wildest dreams, and cursing others to a life filled with madness and hallucinations. Jack Winters, descendant of Nicholas, has been experiencing nightmares and black-outs - just the beginning, he believes, of the manisfestation of the Winters family curse. The legend says that he must find the Burning Lamp or risk turning into a monster. But he can't do it alone; he needs the help of a woman with the talent to read the lamp's dreamlight. Jack is convinced that private investigator Chloe Harper is that woman. Her talent for finding objects and accessing dream energy are what will save him, but a sudden and powerful sexual pull threatens to overwhelm them both. Danger surrounds them and it doesn't take Chloe to pick up the trail of the missing lamp. And as she and Jack draw closer to it, the raw power that dwells within it threatens to sweep them into a hurricane of psychic power.
  24. ​"THE TRUTH SEEKER" by Dee Henderson (O'Malley's #3) (A++++++) Women are missing...they are turning up dead. Lisa O'Malley is running out of time and now she's missing, too. Amy Ireland disappeared twenty years ago without a trace. For U.S. Marshal Quinn Diamond, it's a case that has never closed. He's still searching - determined to learn the truth. Lisa O'Malley is a forensic pathologist; mysteries are her domain. She has worked crime scenes in Chicago for years. Examining a sea of evidence, the connections between victims are so faint they fade into illl-defined wisps as she searches for a pattern. The threads are pulling Lisa's and Quinn's cases together. And where they intersect there's a killer who will stop at nothing to see his secret remain buried. Quinn wanted Lisa's help. He never planned to put her in danger. She didn't expect him to invade her heart...or his God to change her life. And while Lisa understands death and darkness all too well, she's about to discover love and the Resurrection.
  25. "CHRISTMAS ON MIMOSA LANE" by Anna DeStefano (Seasons of the Heart #1) (A++++++) (New Author For Me) (Unabridged MP3-CD that I listened to on iTunes) A woman trying to escape a painful past, an emotionally fragile child eager for something to hold on to, a man caught between grief and opening his heart. Can these Mimosa Lane residents discover a happy future together? A childhood on the streets taught Mallory Phillips to never trust love again. Years later, she longs for a peaceful existence and a community to call home, only she can't quite settle into the picturesque, cozy world around her. When Polly Lombard sneaks into Mallory's house to look at her Christmas tree, Mallory connects with Polly and Polly's grieving father in wonderous ways, helping them heal. But when Mallory's past returns to haunt her, will she trust her new family to be there for her?
  26. "CHASING SETH" by J.R. Loveless (A+++++) (unabridged Audible - listened to on iTunes) Veterinarian Seth Davies comes to Senaka, Wyoming, looking for peace and anonymity, trying to escape his past. He's always been a target for trouble and pain, and Seth has had more than his share of both. Kasey Whitedove takes one look at Seth and assumes the worst. No white man could love animals the way the mostly Cheyenne population expects, and Kasey makes Seth's first days in Senaka more than unpleasant. Then an accident puts Kasey in the uncomfortable position of eating crow - and helplessly desiring Seth - despite the danger of Kasey's life as a werewolf and Seth's stressful secrets. Chasing Seth down and keeping him safe from his past has just become Kasey's most important job.
  27. "JUST ONE TASTE" by Louisa Edwards (Recipe For Love #3) (Market Trilogy #1) (A+++++) He has a hungry mind...she's got love down to a science. Bad-boy chef Wes Murphy is dreading his final semester cooking class - Food Chemistry 101 - until he meets the new substitute teacher. Dr. Rosemary Wilkins is a feast for the eyes, though her approach to food is strictly academic. So Wes decides to rattle her Bunsen burner by asking for her hands-on advice - on aphrodisiacs. Rosemary is a little wary about working with Wes, whose casual flirtations make her hot under the collar. But once they begin testing the love-enhancing power of chocolate, oysters and strawberries, it becomes scientifically evident that the brainy science nerd and the boyish chef have some major chemistry together - and it's delicious.
  28. "TAKEDOWN TWENTY" by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum #20) (unabridged Audio - listened on iTunes) (A+++++) New Jersey bounty hunter Stephanie Plum knows better than to mess with family. But when powerful mobster Salvatore "Uncle Sunny" Sunucchi goes on the lam in Trenton, it's up to Stephanie to find him. Uncle Sunny charged with murder for running over a guy (twice), and nobody wants to turn him in - not his poker buddies, not his bimbo girlfriend, not his two right-hand men, Shorty and Moe. Even Trenton's hottest cop, Joe Morelli, has skin in the game, because - just Stephanie's luck - the godfather is his actual godfather. And while Morelli understands that the law is the law, his old-world grandmother, Bella, is doing everything she can to throw Stephanie off the trail. It's not just Uncle Sunny giving Stephanie the run-around. Security specialist Ranger needs her help to solve the bizarre death of a top client's mother, a woman who happened to play bingo with Stephanie's Grandma Mazur. Before Stephanie knows it, she's working side by side with Ranger and Grandma at the senior center, trying to catch a killer on the loose - and the bingo balls are not rolling in their favor. With bullet holes in her car, henchmen on her tail and a giraffe named Kevin running wild in the streets of Trenton, Stephanie will have to up her game for the ultimate takedown.

CURRENTLY READING -

  1. "The Immortality Clause" by Abigail Hawk (The Immortelle #1) (New Author For Me) (ebook that I received to do a review for the publisher)
  2. "Fool's Gold Cookbook: A Love Story Told Through 150 Recipes" by Susan Mallery (Fool's Gold #12.1)
  3. "Full Moon" by Rebecca York (Marshall Werewolves Omnibus #1 and #2)
  4. "Catch of a Lifetime" by LuAnn McLane (Cricket Creek #2)

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO -

  1. "Temptation" by Sherryl Woods (Unabridged Audio CD)


Last Edited on: 12/31/13 6:41 PM ET - Total times edited: 70
Date Posted: 12/1/2013 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 6/30/2008
Posts: 2,667
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just finished last night At the Bertram by A Christie. enjoyed it. Scotland Yard did most of the detecting. Miss Marple was only incidentally involved.

Finished a few days ago The Old Gringo by Carlos Fuentes. didn't like it. too hard to read. Too much style and not enough story for me. The ending was interesting but I wouldn't have minded if I had not read the book.

Since I am in a mystery mode I am thinking of reading The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett.

I am about 40 pages into Out by Natsuo Kirino. The culture is so different it adds to the foreign ness of the book and the story. Pretty good so far.

Barb S. (okbye) - ,
Date Posted: 12/1/2013 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2011
Posts: 5,767
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I finished one already about 3 am. Couldn't sleep.

Doctor Whom by Adam Roberts - Humor book, parody of Doctor Who. It was ok, got a little old after awhile so good thing it wasn't terribly long. This Doctor roams the galaxy correcting improper grammar and messy timelines, keeping everything in order. There was a bit of a go at Grammar Nazis, I liked that part. The underlying theme is that we aren't meant to be perfect and neat, loose ends are the spice of life.

The Silent Wife by A S A Harrison - listed as a thriller, there is almost no thrill. It's mentioned at the beginning that she can't believe that in ess than a month she will be a murderer and the last 5% or so contains the murder. That's all about the crime, 95% of it is a relationship study. That's not a bad thing, it was actually for the most part quite interesting. It does mention murder early not who and there are a couple possibilities so it's a small mystery but mostly just a relationship study. I still enjoyed it.

Killer Girlfriend: The Jodi Arias Story by Josh Hoffner - True crime, story of the Arizona murder of a guy by his crazy girlfriend. Really badly written, made it a little harder to read. It read like a long tabloid article. Sensationalistic and bad structure. Gave a lot of facts though, what an odd thing to have happened. What she did doesn't really make semse but I guess murder by nuts doesn't have to. Not particularly enjoyable but informative.

Mack the Life by Lee Mack - Memoir by a well known (in Britain) comedian. He did his a bit differently, he had a psychiatrist read his book and he did sessions with her (at least he says he did). Each chapter opens with a bit of back and forth from one of their sessions and is pretty amusing. Pretty standard memoir, almost exclusively about his career for the adult part. Just the basics about his wife and the fact that one was born whenever a kid enters the picture. He's presented everything positively and mostly talks sbout good people and events, no bashing or whining about anything. It did give things a little of an idyllic feel but it was ok.

Here I Go Again by Jen Lancaster - Novel from the usual memoirist. I swear, when first reading this book I had to keep stopping to see if it was a joke. The first quarter or so is so horrifically written I had to keep checking I was actually reading a Jen Lancaster book. So far over the line of the stereotypical "Jen" it becomes absurd. After the first half it did grab me and I had to finish it to see what happened and the writing does improve in wuality but it never gets past essay level. I'm no English professor but man could one have fun with this and a red pen. I'm not a big stickler for propriety, you don't have to put out art for it to be entertaining, but it's such a far cry from the quality of her memoirs. She can wring any situation for maximum fun but her fiction work just isn't good. It's always something that could have happened in her life, her characters are people she really knows, her heroine is always her. She is an excellent wordsmith (usually) with no imigination.

Life Means Life by Nick Appleyard - Compilation of the stories behind 37 people in British prison for life. Most of them are big news stories and I didn't learn much of anything new. Pretty much just the news facts already out there. Not much need for this book.

Diva Takes The Cake by Krista Davis - Book 2 in the cozy series. I like this series, it doesn't have the things that usually annoy me about cozies. There's just a hint of romance but it's much more realistic, the situations are kind of mad cap but not ridiculous. I just like this series. She does like to have a million characters going on and it can be hard to keep everyone straight but it's not a big problem.

I Dreamed I Was A Very Clean Tramp by Richard Hell - Bit of a memoir, mostly covers his career as a musician. He's had a prolific career as a writer after leaving music but he stops at the music. It was ok, much more about who he was having sex with at the time (and every woman wanted him) than anything. He holds nothing back though, about himself or those around him. I would imagine a lot of people weren't happy with this book if they read it. He's good at finding personality flaws in himself and those around him, and he tells all. Some good info about the birth of punk but not a huge revalation.

Shirley Jones A Memoir by Shirley Jones - What an odd memoir, it's all sex. Right down to the fact that not only does she still masterbate but how. All about her sex life with her husbands and many, many others (Girl got around) with a bit about here career thrown in. A little about the kids but not too much, just where it impacted her marriage mostly. Her first husband comes across as a real jerk, but I have seen some cries of bull about a lot of tstuff in this book. Who knows. It was a quick read and if you've ever wondered about Mrs. Partridges sex life go for it. If not, eh, not much else here.

Porn King: The Autiobiograpjy of John Holmes - Compiled posthumously from tapes he made before he died. He wanted to make sure his story got out so he dictated it before he got too sick to do it. His wife put it down on paper and wrapped it up. He goes into quite a bit of detail about the Wonderland murders, very specific details, claiing he doesn't know who committed the murders but assuring us it wasn't him. Was it? No idea. He gives a lot of details about the scene, it's not pleasant. Other than that it's predictably all about sex, personal and in the porn industry. He doesn't talk crap about anyone except his former business partner who comes off as quite a dick. Is it all true? Don't know. Doubt anyone will ever know who did the murders and his wife isn't exactly an impartial observer but it was interesting none the less.

A Big Hand For The Doctor by Eoin Colfer - Short work, part of the 50th anniversary celebration. Interesting story involving the first Doctor and some soul stealing space pirates. They never knew what hit them!

Reamde by Neal Stephenson - Complex fiction about a pot smuggler, a MMORPG, terrorists, and hackers. Looong book, could have been shorter, but never really lagged. Unusual story, can't really shorten it. Gotta give it a try.



Last Edited on: 12/31/13 10:53 PM ET - Total times edited: 12
Date Posted: 12/1/2013 5:14 PM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 75
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Finished

  • The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
  • I Hate to Leave this Beautiful Place by Howard Norman
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
  • Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

Currently Reading

  • TransAtlantic by Colum McCann

Listening To

  • Guests on Earth by Lee Smith


Last Edited on: 12/19/13 3:26 PM ET - Total times edited: 10
Date Posted: 12/2/2013 11:51 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 1,572
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I seem to be reading a lot of the older series for some reason...maybe because I just discovered them!!

Finished this month:

Burglars Can't Be Choosers by Lawrence Block --- What a fun read!! I really like Block's style and Bernie Rhodenbarr is the perfect burglar.  Bernie is paid to steal a box from a man, but when the man ends up dead and Bernie is accused of the murder, he has to find out who, what and why he has been set up.

Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reichs --- Reichs does it again with another Tempe Brennan novel.  This time Tempe looks for a long-lost childhood friend and becomes involved with child porn and murder. Sometimes the reader is overwhelmed with information, in this case medical and historical, but I tend to skip over a lot of the medical I don't understand and absorb the historical. All in all a page-turner.

Sleeping Beauty by Phillip Margolin --- Ashley Spencer survived a brutal attack from a serial killer, but her father and best friend died. For reasons unknown to Ashley, the killer keeps coming after her.  The plot is intense, keeps switching from present time to previous events, but it all ties together in the end with a climax that's totally unpredictable. Highly recommended if you love a good, spine-tingling mystery.

Home at Last Chance by Hope Ramsay --- 2nd in the Last Chance series. This time Ruby's son Tulane, a NASCAR Sprint Cup driver, has been picked as the spokesperson for a disposable diaper company, along with a new bunny logo, pink car and pink uniforms for the pit crew. They are not a happy crew to say the least. So Sarah Murray is sent to South Carolina as the liaison between the marketing firm and Tulane. Lots of good old Southern charm and quirky characters.

Mrs. Pollifax on the China Station by Dorothy Gilman --- The Mrs. Pollifax series is so good!! Even though Gilman doesn't have a lot of blood and gore, her books are filled with tension and excitement.  Mrs. Pollifax is one neat lady, I hope I can stay as alert as she is in my later years.  In this book, she helps a young agent smuggle a Chinese man out of China while, as a seemingly innocent tourist, she is part of a group of interesting people touring China.

Don't Turn Around by Hunter Morgan --- My first Hunter Morgan book...at first I wasn't sure I was going to like it; there are several sub-plots going on and Morgan jumps from one to the other and it takes a few seconds to realize he's off on one of them, then he comes back to the main story line of Casey McDaniels who is a victim's advocate at a hospital. Some one is stalking her and as the story progresses the reader is left wondering which of the two new men in her life it is. The ending is exciting although by then I knew which man it was.

Dead in the Water by Dana Stabenow --- Kate Shugak is one tough lady!! She's working undercover for the Anchorage, Alaska DA's office on a fishing boat in the Bering Sea off the Aleutian Islands, trying to find out how two former crew members died. It's a dangereous job, both on the boat and trying to avoid getting caught. Great read!!

The Red Hat Club Rides Again by Haywood Smith --- Every woman needs friends like The Red Hat Club, especially when one of them has a gajillion million dollars!!!  These ladies know how to take care of their friends, stand by each other and aren't afraid to step in and rescue one of their own when she's in trouble. A fun follow-up read to The Red Hat Club.

'B' is for Burglar by Sue Grafton --- The Kinsey Millhone series....this is dated as far as technology goes [no cell phones, using typewriters, etc.] but as far as being a very good mystery, it can't be beat. Kinsey is a P.I. who really knows how to track down clues, put them together and solve her cases. I rate Grafton along side Dorothy Gilman, Mary Higgins Clark, Margaret Truman and Dick Francis.  They all have the ability to write an edge-of-your-seat, spine-tingling page-turner without resorting to a lot of blood and gore. I enjoy that type of mystery, too, but sometimes the reader needs a break and this type of story fits the bill. I definitely will continue reading this series.

Currently reading: Undecided

Up Next: ???



Last Edited on: 12/30/13 9:13 PM ET - Total times edited: 11
Subject: snowy snowy
Date Posted: 12/2/2013 5:01 PM ET
Member Since: 2/15/2006
Posts: 167
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Just Finished

The Lighthouse Road~Peter Geye: local author, my best book for November, see thread: Your Best Book of the Month:Hidden Gems

On my Kindle:

Sister~ Rosamund Lupton: Interesting mystery which explores just how much you know someone, esp. in your own family!

Print:

Mr. Penumbra's 24hr bookshop~ Robin Sloan: A casual story about working in a bookshop and the cyberworld, fun & fantasy!


 


 


 

Date Posted: 12/3/2013 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 2/23/2006
Posts: 190
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CURRENTLY READING:

After the Rain - Karen White

 

 

FINISHED:

The Shadowy Horses - Susannah Kearsley   3.00 Stars  - I love Susannah Kearsley.  This book wasn't bad, but it is definitely my least favorite of the ones I have read by her.

Never Knowing - Chevy Stevens  4.00 Stars - I could not put this one down

Defending Jacob - William Landay  4.00 Stars

One Thousand White Women -  The Journals of May Dodd - Jim Fergus  3.50 Stars

Summerland - Elin Hilderbrand  3.00 Stars

Falling Home - Karen White  3.50 Stars



Last Edited on: 12/18/13 12:33 PM ET - Total times edited: 7
Date Posted: 12/3/2013 1:17 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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Read "The Goldfinch." Had delayed, thinking it did not sound that great, and could not possibly be as great as the reviews said.

It was indeed all that. An incredible novel.

Date Posted: 12/10/2013 11:43 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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I'm dying to read The Goldfinch.

I just finished Saplings, a book for adults by Noel Streatfeild. It's about a family in Britain during WWII. It's completely devastating, but so good.

Date Posted: 12/10/2013 2:15 PM ET
Member Since: 6/12/2007
Posts: 1,905
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Nan Z, how is/was A Constellation of Vital Phenomena?  I have it on my kindle, i'll get to it soon, I hope. 

Date Posted: 12/13/2013 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 2/2/2010
Posts: 1,206
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I finished “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” on audio; I had given up on the print but tried the audio.  I didn’t love it, skimmed quite a bit, but I finished it.  Too slow for me right now, I am going through and impatient stage in my reading.  I am reading “Ocean at the End of the Lane” on my kindle, and the only thing I am reading in print right now is my daily reading in “The Uncluttered Heart Making Room for God During Advent and Christmas”.  Honestly I am finding my TBR too daunting these days, I don’t like going in there to look for a new book, I think that is why I have been doing so many audio and kindle books recently.  I started “Game of Thrones” on audio last night, but I may just watch the show instead.

Date Posted: 12/14/2013 7:24 AM ET
Member Since: 3/14/2009
Posts: 75
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Melissa,

The Constellation of Vital Phenomena is an excellent book – have no problem recommending it.  It takes place in Chechnya.  It spans the time between two wars 1994 and 2004.  Chapters flip flop from one time to the other.  The characters are very strong because they have survived, but each has a weakness.   There are some gruesome scenes, but there is also humor and humility.   The author repeatedly introduces minor characters, and immediately tells you his/her fate. Have about 70 pages to go.

Hope you enjoy it too!

Nan

P.S.  Best juggling scene in a book.

Date Posted: 12/18/2013 3:56 PM ET
Member Since: 4/19/2006
Posts: 20,710
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I just read:

Knit the Season by Kate Jacobs.  It was just ok.  If you hadn't read the earlier books in the series, I think you might have been unable to follow the story.

 

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline.  This was a great read and I look forward to some of her other books.