Crystal F. (readingcrystal) - Reviews

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14 (Taylor Jackson, Bk 2)
14 (Taylor Jackson, Bk 2)
Author: J. T. Ellison
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 80
Review Date: 4/2/2009
Helpful Score: 2


I remember enjoying All the Pretty Girls - the first in the Taylor Jackson series, but it's been awhile. However it will not be awhile before I read Judas Kiss, the third in the series. 14 was just that good. Taylor is now engaged and dealing with her wedding coming up but also with this Snow White Killer case. More insight is given into her fiancee, her father and her co-workers. I really enjoyed her co-workers, their banter and how well they worked together. Romance figures into this but I would say it is suspense first and foremost since the couple is already involved. Taylor continues to grow as a person and as a detective and I look forward to seeing how well she does in Judas Kiss. If you enjoy suspense and continuing series, I fully recommend getting started with this series. You won't regret it.


Against Medical Advice
Against Medical Advice
Author: Cory Friedman, Hal Friedman, James Patterson
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 151
Review Date: 3/27/2009
Helpful Score: 11


A nonfiction work about what it was like growing up with Tourette's Syndrome. The book was co-written by James Patterson and Hal Friedman. Hal is the father of Cory who the book is about. This book chronicles Cory's journey of 13 years from being diagnosed at 5 years old to high school. It goes through his treatments and he he felt and how he and his family dealt with all the changes he was going through.

While very sad at times, this book was very uplifting too. Cory has gone through just about everything, but you feel his strength and it reminds you that there are very strong people out there. It also reminds you to be kind to all, that you just don't know what they are going through.

I'm not a big reader of non-fiction, but I checked this out on audio from my local library. I'm not sorry at all that I did. It's a wonderful book, it held my interest and I kept wanting to learn more about Cory. Some moments I was in tears (I am a mother to two boys), and other moments I was laughing. Cory's story will stay in my mind for quite awhile to come.


The Bachelor (Chandler Brothers, No 1)
The Bachelor (Chandler Brothers, No 1)
Author: Carly Phillips
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 531
Review Date: 6/30/2005


Cute book - a very enjoyable read.


Betrayed (House of Night, Bk 2)
Betrayed (House of Night, Bk 2)
Author: Kristin Cast, P. C. Cast
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 917
Review Date: 4/22/2009


This was another great journey into the lives of the teenagers at the House of Night. I am in total love with this world. The school is amazing, the characters witty and strong and the second installment in this series I believe is stronger than the first (and I really liked the first one as well!) Come along and learn more about Zoey, Stevie Rae, Erin, Shaunee, Damien, Erik and Aphrodite, along with some other new faces. The friendships are strong still and honor is important among the group of friends, they watch out for each other and others they deem important (which is most everyone but Aphrodite). More comes to light in this book about the House of Night and the characters, but I don't want to say too much and give something away. Just know if you enjoyed the first one, you will enjoy this one. I kind of knew where the whole thing was going, but didn't expect the way it got there, so it was a fun and interesting read. It kept me reading and I couldn't wait to see what happened next. Now I can't wait to see what happens in Chosen.

If you enjoy a strong teen heroine who still has some self-doubt (as we all do) then you will enjoy this series and this book. The Casts make a great team for these books and I can see why they are such a hit!


A Chance Worth Taking (Harlequin NASCAR)
A Chance Worth Taking (Harlequin NASCAR)
Author: Carrie Weaver
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.
 16
Review Date: 3/17/2008


Great book - loved the play of the slightly older than normal characters. Especially loved that the mom was very realistic, she was looking out for her son but learning to have a life of her own too. Great romance and the son's character was a lot of fun too. The NASCAR setting was realistic and well-done. No major errors here so if you enjoy NASCAR you should enjoy this book.


Christmas Letters
Christmas Letters
Author: Debbie Macomber
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 218
Review Date: 11/24/2006


Cute and quick read, my first by Debbie Macomber and it won't be my last. Katherine doesn't like Dr. Wynn Jeffries at all since his book has prompted her sister to not set boundaries for K.O.'s twin neices and they have become demons overnight. Then she meets him and he isn't as bad as she thinks. Dr. Wynn Jeffries doesn't know what to think of the woman who publicly denounces his book to his face, but he slowly begins to fall for her.

Just a fun read, cute love story, nothing seems contrived, just fun. I want to read more in the series, though I don't think it took away from this book at all that I haven't read the previous two books. A great Christmas season read.


Code of Honor (Special Operations, Bk 1)
Code of Honor (Special Operations, Bk 1)
Author: Catherine Mann
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 99
Review Date: 9/28/2005
Helpful Score: 2


Great book - lots of suspense and great romance.


Cold Hearted (Powell Agency, Bk 5)
Cold Hearted (Powell Agency, Bk 5)
Author: Beverly Barton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 97
Review Date: 4/2/2009
Helpful Score: 6


Wow - I must say this book was excellent. I can see where it may figure in to an earlier series, but I read it as a standalone and no real clues were given away to what took place in the earlier books (besides the one married couple). I really liked Rick and Jordan as characters and at times it could be frustrating watching them fight their feelings, but you understood they had good reasons. The suspense was built really well. I went back and forth on who I suspected and really didn't get it right at the end. Ms. Barton was great at throwing the suspicion on every one that made sense in the story and keeping you guessing. I honestly had a hard time putting this one down (but work, cooking and the kids kind of demanded some of my attention). This wasn't my first by Ms. Barton and it definitely won't be my last. I enjoy her romantic suspense immensely. She has a good balance of romance with the suspense.


Exclusive
Exclusive
Author: Sandra Brown
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 247
Review Date: 6/30/2005


Great read - I had a hard time putting this one down.


The First Mistake (Cleo North, Bk 1)
The First Mistake (Cleo North, Bk 1)
Author: Merline Lovelace
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 54
Review Date: 6/30/2005


A definite page-turner!


Flirting With Danger (Samantha Jellicoe, Bk 1)
Flirting With Danger (Samantha Jellicoe, Bk 1)
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 167
Review Date: 11/28/2005
Helpful Score: 3


Great book, love the suspense, humor and romance. This book has great sexual tension between the hero - Rick Addison and the heroine Samantha Jellicoe. I never knew what would happen next. If you love a strong female heroine, suspense, laughs, a gorgeous Brit and some steamy scenes, this book is for you!


Flirting with Temptation
Flirting with Temptation
Author: Kelley St. John
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 31
Review Date: 6/10/2009
Helpful Score: 1


What a fun book - it's loaded with everything a lighthearted contemporary romance needs. It has a great heroine and hero, good characterization, fun secondary characters, some of which come from an earlier book, it has a plot that moves along steadily, it has humor and so much more.

I really liked Babette as the heroine. She's confident and spunky, but she still has doubts about herself so she feels like a normal woman, one anyone can relate to. I also like Jeff, he seems torn and bitter, but Babette seems to bring out the best in him and he in her.

I loved the journey to get them back together, with Babette trying to get him back together with Kitty to prove she can commit to something (her job). I also enjoyed the side story of Granny Gert, who is very amusing. And the additional characters from Sunny Beaches, the retirement type community next door to Jeff's condo are great. I love Rose especially when Babette first gets there and they are spying on Jeff. That scene is just hysterical.

So if you enjoy humor and love mixed together, this is just the book for you. I have read several books by Kelley St. John and not a one of them has disappointed and this one by far does not. I was sad when it was over, I want more of the Robinson family, but it ends in a good way and I am satisfied there.


Forbidden Attraction (Harlequin NASCAR)
Forbidden Attraction (Harlequin NASCAR)
Author: Marisa Carroll
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 20
Review Date: 3/17/2008


Good book - I believe this is actually the second in the series that is called Secrets and Legends, but I read this first and don't think much is ruined for the first book.

It's an interesting Romeo and Juliet type story but with older characters and set in the world of racing. Ms. Carroll has her facts right on the races and it gives a great general feel of the world of NASCAR. The characters are realistic and even the feuding. Fun book - If you love NASCAR and these Harlequin NASCAR novels you should really enjoy this one. I breezed through it and wished it would continue on.


The Future Widows' Club (Signature Select)
The Future Widows' Club (Signature Select)
Author: Rhonda Nelson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 18
Review Date: 11/18/2005


Fun book - I couldn't put it down. Great humor, plot, characters and the romance was wonderful. A must read!


Getting Over Jack Wagner
Getting Over Jack Wagner
Author: Elise Juska
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.2/5 Stars.
 13
Review Date: 9/28/2005
Helpful Score: 1


Funny book - loved all the music references.


Ghost Walk (Harrison Investigations, Bk 2)
Ghost Walk (Harrison Investigations, Bk 2)
Author: Heather Graham
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 478
Review Date: 11/28/2005


Great book - loved the paranormal element. I also really liked the characters, both the hero/heroine and the supporting characters too. Good suspense, good romance, a definite read in my book.


Gossip Girl
Gossip Girl
Author: Cecily von Ziegesar
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 33
Review Date: 4/22/2009


Wow - young adult books have changed a lot since I was a young adult (don't ask how many years that has been). Or maybe there just weren't too many young adult books and I moved on to adult books. Either way I think that it's wonderful that there are so many young adult books out there for adults and teenagers to choose from. So - I heard about this series and wanted to read it. The first one was definitely interesting. It seems so different from how it was when I was a teenager, but then again I didn't live in New York or have extremely wealthy parents, so these kids are different from me. Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading about them. Remove the fast and rich lifestyle and they have the same problems as any other teenager, plus there own set of problems. This book does not glamorize the life of the rich, but shows how these kids are like other kids. They are insecure, they do dumb things, they fall in love, make tough decisions and decide on the path their life will take them. They have trouble with friends and with boyfriends, they pick on other kids, sometimes they are picked on. Their parents fight, divorce, date, sometimes act like parents and embarass them.

So I really enjoyed reading about Blair, Nate, Serena and the other characters. The book centers around gossip that is reported and how it can be expounded upon and everyone seems to believe it. Thankfully as the reader you have a little more insight into the characters and you can see that the gossip hurts. But it sucks you in. I flew through this book and have the second one on the way so I can learn more about this crowd. It's a worthwhile, fun read and I can't wait to read more about them.


Handle with Care
Handle with Care
Author: Jodi Picoult
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 426
Review Date: 4/16/2009
Helpful Score: 4


Wow - since I read my first Jodi Picoult about three years ago I knew to expect a thought-provoking book. One thing I love about Ms. Picoult's novels is the fact that she brings interesting and controversial topics to light but doesn't tell you how to feel one way or the other about it, which is unusual in today's world. We all have our opinions and believe they are right. No doubt Ms. Picoult has her opinions too, but she chooses to bring all sides of a topic to light. Handle with Care is another great example of this. Making the wrongful birth lawsuit front and center and how it really makes different people feel. From the one who is being told that she shouldn't have been born (but that is a lie mommy is telling), to the sibling who is unintentionallly left behind in the dust of the lawsuit, to the marriage that takes second place at this point and to others it affects such as the doctor and best friend and the whole community of disabled people who essentially are told that their lives are not perfect and therefore not worth living. I think I have had the same thoughts as each of the characters and it really pointed out some things to me that I feel that are wrong in my own beliefs. It's definitely opened my eyes to several different things.

While the issue is a part of this book, but definitely not the whole. I felt like I truly got to know all the characters. I listened to this on audio and it was wonderful. They used different people for the different characters in the book who were writing to Willow at the time. The distinguing voices were a big help with listening. It was a true joy to listen to. The story never lagged for me, in fact I would find myself listening in the car a few extra minutes, carrying my mp3 player with me to listen when I could. The story moves forward at a good pace, the characters seem real and the story is just riveting.

This book is wonderful and heartbreaking and so much more. It is well worth the time it takes to read it (it's a large book) and I highly recommend it!


Hard Day's Knight
Hard Day's Knight
Author: Katie MacAlister
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 422
Review Date: 11/16/2005


Definitely a fun book - loved the romance and the look at a Renaissance Faire. I will definitely be reading more of her books.


I Am Not a Cop!
I Am Not a Cop!
Author: Richard Belzer, Michael Black
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 12/9/2008
Helpful Score: 3


An interesting fictional account of what it would be like if Richard Belzer was to try and solve a mystery on his own. If you have enjoyed his Detective Munch and like his sense of humor then you will enjoy this book.

I have liked him since Homicide and couldn't wait to read the book and was not disappointed. It never lagged and kept me reading until the end. It reads like real life though it is fiction (as he stresses). His first foray into fiction is a winner. Good suspense, interesting characters and good humor.

After a good friend acts strange during a dinner and the mysteriously disappears, Richard Belzer becomes concerned. Add in the disinterest of the police and you find him on the trail to find out what happened to his dear friend. His sidekick personal assistant Kali adds to the story and as they go off on their own investigation you are taken along for the ride. Cleverly mixing his personal crusade to find his friend with periods of time spent on the set, you feel like you are looking into his life even though again, this is fiction.


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