Kristine M. (cerveza) - Reviews

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Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Angels & Demons (Robert Langdon, Bk 1)
Author: Dan Brown
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 3674
Review Date: 12/4/2005


When world-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a mysterious symbol -- seared into the chest of a murdered physicist -- he discovers evidence of the unimaginable: the resurgence of an ancient secret brotherhood known as the Illuminati... the most powerful underground organization ever to walk the earth.

The Illuminati has surfaced from the shadows to carry out the final phase of its legendary vendetta against its most hated enemy... the Catholic Church.

Langdon's worst fears are confirmed on the eve of the Vatican's holy conclave, when a messenger of the Illuminati announces he has hidden an unstoppable time bomb at the very heart of Vatican City. With the countdown under way, Langdon jets to Rome to join forces with Vittoria Vetra, a beautiful and mysterious Italian scientist, to assist the Vatican in a desperate bid for survival.

Embarking on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, deserted cathedrals, and even to the heart of the most secretive vault on earth, Langdon and Vetra follow a 400-year old trail of ancient symbols that snakes across Rome toward the long-forgotten Illuminati lair... a secret location that contains the only hope for Vatican salvation.

An explosive international thriller, ANGELS & DEMONS careens from enlightening epiphanies to dark truths as the battle between science and religion turns to war...


At the Stroke of Madness (Maggie O'Dell, Bk 4)
At the Stroke of Madness (Maggie O'Dell, Bk 4)
Author: Alex Kava
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 171
Review Date: 12/4/2005


I have not read this book but here is a brief review.....

The fourth novel in the Maggie O'Dell series (A Perfect Evil; Split Second; Soul Catcher) features a serial killer with a taste for grisly butchery. At the outset of a long overdue vacation, FBI special agent O'Dell agrees to investigate a simple missing person case for her good friend, psychologist Gwen Patterson. Coincidentally, in the quiet Connecticut small town where Gwen's patient was last seen, a barrel containing a dead body is discovered in an abandoned rock quarry. Maggie offers her services to the local sheriff because she needs to rule out the possibility that the victim is Gwen's patient. Professor Adam Bonzado, a forensic anthropologist and friend of the sheriff, is already at work; a dozen or more 55-gallon barrels have surfaced. As they're pried open, releasing the telltale nauseating stench, an odd assortment of cannibalized victims come to light, including a female breast cancer survivor-her breast implants cut out and removed-and an embalmed corpse, brain missing. Chapters narrated from the point of view of Gwen's missing patient (she's alive but in dire straits) and the paranoid killer alternate with accounts of the tedious work of the coroner and the anthropologist. As Maggie processes the information they provide, she also ministers to elderly but endearing Luc Racine, who lives near the quarry. His Jack Russell terrier keeps bringing him human bones, but since Luc is fighting Alzheimer's he may or may not be a viable witness. Kava's plotting is capable, but there's only a hint of romance and little humor to provide relief from the lashings of gore.


The Bad Witness (Sally Harrington, Bk 4)
The Bad Witness (Sally Harrington, Bk 4)
Author: Laura Van Wormer
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 37
Review Date: 12/4/2005


amazon.com review....

If you like perky, you'll love Sally Harrington, girl reporter-producer-TV newswoman, here in her newest starring role as a witness at the murder trial of a movie exec who's really the son of an ex-Mob boss, and who may have been seeking revenge on the son of another gangster who's been tormenting his family for years. Sally's relevance to the case at hand is somewhat tediously retold in a flashback to the events surrounding the murder, most of which were recounted in her last adventure in this breathlessly girlish series, and which take up at least half of this one. As used to making news as she is reporting it, our Sally is a sexy gal whose romantic exploits take up the other half. This is not the author's or her heroine's liveliest outing, but their fans probably won't be disappointed.


Chesapeake Tide (Marshy Hope Creek, Bk 1)
Chesapeake Tide (Marshy Hope Creek, Bk 1)
Author: Jeanette Baker
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 12/4/2005


Amazon.com review....

A lot can happen in fifteen years, but falling out of love isn't one of them.
Pride has always kept a tight rein on Libba Delacourt. The pride that drove her away from Russ Hennessey and into the arms of a traveling actor is the same pride that kept her far away from her home and family in Maryland. It's not until she receives word her mother is ill that Libba finally swallows that pride, quits her job as a genetic biologist, packs up her fifteen-year-old daughter, Chloe, and heads back east. The moment she takes her first breath of the humid salty air of the Chesapeake Bay, Libba knows she is home for good.

As it turns out, Libba is not the only person to return home that long, hot summer. Russ Hennessey has made his way back as well with plans to resurrect his family's fishing business -- plans that collapse when an unseen menace sabotages his ambitions.

Together, Libba and Russ discover some awful truths about life in their small town -- truths that hit closer to home than they ever imagined.


Clear and Convincing Proof (Barbara Holloway, Bk 7)
Clear and Convincing Proof (Barbara Holloway, Bk 7)
Author: Kate Wilhelm
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 64
Review Date: 12/4/2005


A talented but abrasive surgeon turns up dead in the garden of a not-for-profit rehab clinic. The entire devoted staff has reason to want him out of the way. So who dunnit? According to an elderly witness, a demon in a black "carapace" with a tail!
Barbara Holloway is hired to represent the two most likely suspects, the surgeons much-abused young wife, and the brilliant and charismatic physical therapist who would lose his job if the surgeon had his way.
This well-written mystery is somewhat slow moving, but sustains interest to the end. A fun and entertaining summer read.


The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, Bk 2)
The Da Vinci Code (Robert Langdon, Bk 2)
Author: Dan Brown
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 3346
Review Date: 1/16/2006


With The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown masterfully concocts an intelligent and lucid thriller that marries the gusto of an international murder mystery with a collection of fascinating esoteria culled from 2,000 years of Western history.

A murder in the silent after-hour halls of the Louvre museum reveals a sinister plot to uncover a secret that has been protected by a clandestine society since the days of Christ. The victim is a high-ranking agent of this ancient society who, in the moments before his death, manages to leave gruesome clues at the scene that only his granddaughter, noted cryptographer Sophie Neveu, and Robert Langdon, a famed symbologist, can untangle. The duo become both suspects and detectives searching for not only Neveu's grandfather's murderer but also the stunning secret of the ages he was charged to protect. Mere steps ahead of the authorities and the deadly competition, the mystery leads Neveu and Langdon on a breathless flight through France, England, and history itself. Brown (Angels and Demons) has created a page-turning thriller that also provides an amazing interpretation of Western history. Brown's hero and heroine embark on a lofty and intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries--from the nature of the Mona Lisa's smile to the secret of the Holy Grail. Though some will quibble with the veracity of Brown's conjectures, therein lies the fun. The Da Vinci Code is an enthralling read that provides rich food for thought.


Dark Harvest (Maplecreek Amish, Bk 2)
Dark Harvest (Maplecreek Amish, Bk 2)
Author: Karen Harper
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 173
Review Date: 12/4/2005


Amazon.com review.....

Widower Luke Brand is a leader in the peaceful Amish community of Maplecreek. But now his people are under attack from unknown assailants -- and the main target appears to be the children. Although the community is reluctant to turn to the outside world for help, a particularly vicious assault leads Luke to the local police.
Policewoman Kat Lindley is running from the big-city job that nearly got her killed, and from the memories of the abused boy she failed to save. Now she agrees to undertake a dangerous masquerade within the Amish community, desperate to save Maplecreek's children.

Together Luke and Kat are determined to bring justice to the perpetrators, while struggling to suppress the unspoken and forbidden feelings growing between them. But when the case takes a deadly turn, Kat must race to uncover the menace that threatens the people she has grown to deeply respect -- before Luke becomes the next target.


Dark Road Home (Amish Maplecreek, Bk 1)
Dark Road Home (Amish Maplecreek, Bk 1)
Author: Karen Harper
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 126
Review Date: 12/4/2005
Helpful Score: 1


An Amazon.com Review:

An Ohio Amish community is the setting for this romantic suspenser by award-winning historical novelist Harper (The Wings of Morning). Terrorized by a stalker, Columbus attorney Brooke Benton flees with her seven-year-old niece to an isolated community, where she takes over the running of a friend's quilt shop. When a hit-and-run driver kills four Amish teenagers who had just visited her, Brooke is drawn into the investigation. Soon she finds herself knee-deep in suspects, facing new threats and falling in love with a man seeking to return to his Amish roots. The book is strongest in its loving depiction of Amish life, its creation of a dark mood and its development of the central romance. Subplots involving several unrelated evildoers diffuse the tension, however, especially since key developments are telegraphed. Credibility vanishes during the climax, which stems from an implausible story line involving two cartoonish villains whose machinations are awkwardly contrived.


Finding Mary Blaine
Finding Mary Blaine
Author: Jodi Thomas
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 61
Review Date: 12/4/2005


Amazon.com review...

Beautiful Blaine Anderson, who lives in a posh Austin, Tex., townhouse with her lawyer husband, Mark, seems to have it all. In reality, she's a timid trophy wife who's secretly terrified by city traffic, threatened by change and especially frightened that her possible pregnancy might further alienate the career-driven Mark. To find out if she really is pregnant, Blaine visits a women's free clinic, but while she's there, the clinic is bombed in an apparent act of anti-abortion terrorism. Blaine soon realizes that the bombing was an unfathomable attempt by Mark's senior partner to kill her. Unable to contact her husband without endangering him, the injured and bewildered Blaine lives among the homeless, and in doing so confronts her fears as well as a relentless killer. Thomas (The Widows of Wichita County, etc.) skillfully, and at times humorously, depicts the various street characters who assist Blaine, and she does an excellent job of portraying Mark's moving metamorphosiswith the help of an irresistibly eccentric old lady neighborfrom cold careerist to caring human being. By the book's end, the author has believably revitalized the dead-end relationship of two emotionally numbed people.


Fourth Victim
Fourth Victim
Author: Jan Coffey
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 25
Review Date: 12/4/2005


Amazon.com review....

Two decades ago, the mass suicide of the members of a New Mexico cult shocked the nation. Miraculously, four people -- one adult and three children -- managed to get away safely. But now it appears that none of them will escape the tragedy that took so many innocent lives . . . Someone is completing the process of ushering the last of Reverend Butler's chosen disciples into the next world. He has claimed three of his final victims and only Kelly Stone remains.
A survivor of the Butler Divinity Mission cult suicide, Kelly grew up safely in the arms of an adoptive family, her identity concealed from public record. Now the owner of a New Hampshire inn and the single mother of a three-year-old daughter, Kelly is content with her life. But the past is closing in on her and this time there is nowhere to run.

Ian Campbell -- a determined cop with personal ties to the New Mexico tragedy -- will risk everything to keep Kelly alive. But it all comes down to a daring game of courage and confrontation to finally decide the fate of the fourth victim . . .


Harvard's Education (Tall, Dark and Dangerous, Bk 5)
Harvard's Education (Tall, Dark and Dangerous, Bk 5)
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 195
Review Date: 12/4/2005


For eight weeks FInCOM agent P.J. Richards is being given access to the absolutely-no-women-allowed world of the U.S. Navy SEALs, and she isn't about to let anyone tell her she can't hack it. P.J. can't afford to be distracted by anything . . .or anyone. And that includes Senior Chief "Harvard" Becker.

Harvard believes that there is no room for women in a combat zone. It's too dangerous, too tough . . .and with P.J. involved, too distracting. He might respect her sharp intellect and her shooting abilities, but he still doesn't want the responsibility of making sure she stays alive. But P.J. isn't a woman who backs down easily, and to her mind, Harvard has a lot to learn. She just doesn't expect him to be so eager to instruct her on other subjects . . .like trust, desire and maybe even love.


In Silence
In Silence
Author: Erica Spindler
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 196
Review Date: 12/4/2005


The rating is according the Amazon.com since I have not read the book.

Here is a bried review.....

The old adage, "You can't go home again," doesn't apply to Cypress Springs, La., a picaresque little town that goes to extreme-and sometimes deadly-lengths to keep the outside world and its corrupting influences at bay. The town's outward calm provides an eerie counterpoint to the struggle occurring beneath the surface, which makes it the perfect setting for Spindler's latest thriller (after Dead Run). When investigative reporter Avery Chauvin returns to Cypress Springs to put her father's affairs in order after his apparent suicide, she takes comfort in the familiar attentions of her high school sweetheart, Matt Stevens, and his loving family, who treat her as one of their own. It soon becomes apparent, however, that things aren't as they seem. For starters, the Stevens clan seems uneasy, particularly when she mentions Hunter, Matt's fraternal twin. Then she receives a call that leads her to suspect that her dad was murdered. Her fears are sharpened when a local woman turns up dead, and "outsider" Gwen Lancaster tells Avery about her brother's disappearance. Despite the overwhelming evidence, Avery's investigative instincts take a while to kick in, but once they do, she uncovers clues indicating that a vigilante group has taken it upon itself to police and punish the town's citizens. Most disturbing is the fact that Hunter, with whom Avery becomes romantically involved, fits the killer's profile. While smoothly written, the book's absurdly macabre (and somewhat implausible) denouement will disappoint. Still, once readers get past the sluggish first half, they'll be chilled by the town's creepy Big Brother rhetoric and pulled inexorably onward by the question of whodunit.


Lao Tzu: Tao Te Ching (Asian Institute Translations, No 1)
Review Date: 12/4/2005


I have not read this book either, I belonged to a book club which my boyfriend signed me up for my b-day and I just don't have the time to read them all, so I thought I would let other people read them instead of collecting dust on my shelf. There are really good reviews for this book on Amazon.com, if you are truly interested in this book.


Making Over Mike
Making Over Mike
Author: Lisa Plumley
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 55
Review Date: 12/4/2005


amazon.com review.....

Begin with a career girl determined jump-start her business. Add one out-of-work chef working as a part-time taxi driver. Include heated attraction. The result a delicious, eclectic romance light on the palate and heavy on the fun.
Serial dieter and personal life coach Amanda Connor will go to any lengths to make Aspirations, Inc a success. She sets up a lottery and anxiously waits at the last minute for a winner, while the TV station manager threatens to withdrawal all support of her company. She brags that she can transform any man, but secretly hopes for one with strong possibilities. So when the taxi guy shows up with the winning ticket, she finds herself making good on her promise, despite the condition of his clothes and attitude. Mike doesn't want to be on TV and he doesn't want to discuss his personal goals -- even if he had any. When she enters Mike's world, however, she has absolutely no idea how to cope with it.

Mike Cavaco finds the Lotto tickets in the backseat cushions of his taxi. He only agrees to go along with the Lotto because he "can't stand to see a perfectly nice girl lose her TV-news deal because of him." Despite his determination to be a nice guy, however, he doesn't think much of Amanda's plans for a makeover at a posh resort and a shopping spree. Mike thinks he gets all the "buff and polish" he needs every morning in the shower. Yet he finds himself swept away by Amanda, into an outrageous world of women whistling at his knees and toe waxing.

MAKING OVER MIKE is an outlandish comic delight for the poolside summer reader. Witty dialogue, pleasing characters and a humorous plot, this novel has all the necessary elements to satisfy a craving for romance. The secondary characters are also a lot of fun, including the mother with paste handprints on her pants and the creator of modern art. Such detail gives MAKING OVER MIKE a hint of depth without bogging down the narrative. MAKING OVER MIKE is great mind candy! Very highly recommended.


Melody (Logan Family, Bk 1)
Melody (Logan Family, Bk 1)
Author: V. C. Andrews
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 181
Review Date: 12/31/2005


Typical V.C. Andrews. This book was awesome like all the other books and series.


Night's Landing (U.S. Marshall, Bk 2)
Night's Landing (U.S. Marshall, Bk 2)
Author: Carla Neggers
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 202
Review Date: 12/4/2005


Another amazon.com review.....

This middling romantic suspense novel from Neggers revolves around the mysterious parentage of United States President Wesley Poe, who, as an infant, had been left on the doorstep of two spinster sisters. After deputy U.S. marshal Nate Winter (brother to the heroine from Neggers's previous offering, Cold Ridge) and his partner, deputy Rob Dunnemore, are shot and wounded in Central Park, Nate tries to find out who would want them dead and why. He soon learns that Rob may have been the killer's primary target since his prominent Tennessee family has strong ties to President Poe, and his twin sister Sarah, a historical archaeologist, is working on a documentary of Poe's life. When a threatening letter suggests that Sarah may be next on the shooter's hit list, Sarah and Nate hole up at Night's Landing, her family's rural Tennessee home. Both the romance and mystery are lukewarm, and Neggers ties up the story's loose ends in an uninspired, journalistic fashion. However, an intriguing cast of charactersincluding a bottom-feeding tabloid reporter constantly lurking in the shadows, a property manager who definitely is not who he seems and an expatriate looking for a presidential pardonlends complexity to this romantic intrigue.


The Origin of Species (Barnes  Noble Classics Series) (BN Classics Trade Paper)
Review Date: 12/4/2005


I found this to be a very hard book to follow, it seem to repeat itself a lot, but that could be just me. Other people seemed to enjoy his philosophy regarding natural selection. But here is a barnesandnoble.com review of what they have to say about the book....


FROM OUR EDITORS
Barnes & Noble Classics offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
Biographies of the authors
Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
Footnotes and endnotes
Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
Comments by other famous authors
Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
Bibliographies for further reading
Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics pulls together a constellation of influencesbiographical, historical, and literaryto enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
FROM THE PUBLISHER
On December 27, 1831, the young naturalist Charles Darwin left Plymouth Harbor aboard the HMS Beagle. For the next five years, he conducted research on plants and animals from around the globe, amassing a body of evidence that would culminate in one of the greatest discoveries in the history of mankindthe theory of evolution.
Darwin presented his stunning insights in a landmark book that forever altered the way human beings view themselves and the world they live in. In The Origin of Species, he convincingly demonstrates the fact of evolution: that existing animals and plants cannot have appeared separately but must have slowly transformed from ancestral creatures. Most important, the book fully explains the mechanism that effects such a transformation: natural selection, the idea that made evolution scientifically intelligible for the first time.

One of the few revolutionary works of science that is engrossingly readable, The Origin of Species not only launched the science of modern biology but also has influenced virtually all subsequent literary, philosophical, and religious thinking.

George Levine, Kenneth Burke Professor of English Literature at Rutgers University, has written extensively about Darwin and the relation of science and literature, particularly in Darwin and the Novelists. He is the author of many related books, including The Realistic Imagination, Dying to Know, and his birdwatching memoirs, Lifebirds.


The Parting Glass (Whiskey Island, Bk 2)
The Parting Glass (Whiskey Island, Bk 2)
Author: Emilie Richards
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 72
Review Date: 12/4/2005


Amazon.com review.....

Whiskey Island (2000) introduced a large Irish-American family, including the three Donaghue sisters who share ownership of the historic Whiskey Island Saloon in Cleveland overlooking Lake Erie. In this sequel, Megan, the eldest, runs the business and is about to tie the knot with Nick, an ex-priest who works with troubled adolescents; Casey, newly married, is happily pregnant; and Peggy, the youngest, is a single mother who has interrupted her medical studies to care for infant son Kieran, recently diagnosed as autistic. During Megan's gala wedding reception at the saloon, a tornado strikes and the guests are trapped. Luckily, Megan's father remembers the secret tunnel constructed during Prohibition (to accommodate bootleggers) through which the guests crawl to safety. The narrative shifts to a tiny village in Ireland where Peggy has been invited to stay with elderly cousin Irene. Irene's remote cottage is ideal for the rigorous therapy Peggy plans for Kieran, and Irene hopes that the Donaghue sisters may help her solve the mystery of her father's death-he had emigrated to Cleveland. Meanwhile, Peggy is grudgingly attracted to handsome but dour Finn O'Malley, formerly the village physician, who gave up his practice after a tragic accident decimated his family. In Cleveland, restoration of the saloon is in progress but Megan's unhappiness in her new marriage drives her to join Peggy in Ireland. When Casey also arrives, Irene and the three sisters fit the puzzling pieces of their lineage together. A bit of Irish humor might have made this melodramatic tale an easier read, but Richards's heartfelt paeans to love and loyalty sweeten the mix.


Reconsidering Riley
Reconsidering Riley
Author: Lisa Plumley
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 28
Review Date: 12/4/2005


This is a cute story - it's kind of on the line of high-school girl hate boy and boy tries everything to do to get her back and hurtful breakups and then years later you find you still have feeling for this person only after you have to work with that person, it was a cute and funny love story.


Street Smart (Mira)
Street Smart (Mira)
Author: Tara Taylor Quinn
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
 22
Review Date: 12/4/2005


Amazon.com review....

Las Vegas is about escape.
But the teenage runaways who end up there too often find a world far worse than the one they left behind. A world of prostitution, of danger and fear. One of these runaways is Autumn Stevens, whose half sister, Francesca Witting, comes to Vegas to search for her.

Las Vegas is about illusions.

Francesca meets Luke Everson, ex-marine and head of security for the luxurious Bonaparte Hotel. But Luke doesn't know whether his relationship with her is real or as illusory as everything else in this neon city. He's not even sure it matters. He's consumed by work -- investigating a scam in the hotel's casino. He's also trying to adopt a child, because he wants a family without the "claustrophobia" of marriage.

Las Vegas is about connections. Francesca eventually tracks down her sister -- and learns that there's an unexpected connection, an unknown connection, between Autumn and Luke.

Las Vegas is about dreaming big.

And despite everything, finding love with Luke is the biggest dream Francesca has.


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