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Outland: The Novelization
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A somewhat "hard SF" combination of "High Noon" and any number of recent movies of corporate greed and tough guys to assassinate the opponents. A novelization of the director's (Peter Hyams) screenplay of the 1981 movie. The novel follows the movie very closely except the novel is more descriptive in the details, especially in the science parts. Neither the movie nor the novel are poorly done; the movie is limited by the late 70s SFX; the novel by the re-hash of the well-known story line. Worth the read, however, once.

The Proposal (Survivor's Club, Bk 1)
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This novel is the opening of a seven-part series about members of the so-called Survivor's Club - people who sustained various wounds during the Napoleonic Wars. The author introduces the readers to each member of the club and then hones in on Hugo and Gwen's story.

I found reading about a romance across social lines to be very interesting. Hugo has become a lord through his heroics on the battlefield, not through birth. At the death of his father, Hugo became wealthy and the owner of a successful business. He promised his father that he would take care of the business and pass it on to his son. Now, Hugo is looking for a wife.

Lady Gwen has been a widow for seven years; she was married to an often depressed and morose man. Although she does not plan to remarry, if she did decide to wed, it would be to a quiet man.

Much of the story is about coming to grips with the choices one has made and the outcomes of those choices. When Gwen and Hugo meet, they are not really impressed with each other. However, there is a spark that will not die.

The author slowly allows the couple to understand each other. This is a great story. However, there seemed to be too much repetition of inner thoughts by each character. It seemed to slow the story down too much.

Survivor's Club
** 1. The Proposal (2012)
2. The Arrangement (2013)
3. The Escape (2014)
4. Only Enchanting (2014)
5. Only a Promise (2015)
6. Only a Kiss (2015)
7. Only Beloved (2016)

Birds of a Feather (Maisie Dobbs, Bk 2)
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Very good second entry in the Maisie Dobbs series. This one takes place in 1930, over 12 years since the end of The Great War but the war is still a constant reminder to many who lost loved ones because of it. Maisie is hired by a rich market owner to find his missing daughter. He is sure that the young woman, Charlotte, has left his house on her own because this had happened before. But as Maisie delves into the disappearance she finds that three of Charlotte's old friends, that she knew back during the Great War, have been murdered. Are the murders related to Charlotte's disappearance and could Charlotte be next on the murderer's list? And why would anyone want to kill these young women? Maisie, along with her assistant, Billy Beale, sort through the morass of false leads and of course are able to get to the who's and why's of the mystery of Charlotte's disappearance as well as the murders of her friends.

I read and enjoyed the first book in this series a few months ago and I thought this second book further developed Maisie's character and I will be looking forward to reading more of Maisie.

Rocky Mountain Revenge (Rocky Mountain Ranger, Bk 1) (Harlequin Intrigue, No 1475)
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Good second chance story. A year ago, Anne was Elizabeth Giardino, loved and spoiled daughter of mob boss Sam Giardino. She was used to getting anything she wanted. She fell hard for one of her father's men, Jake West, who made her see past the lifestyle to what was behind it. Then in one horrifying night, she saw Jake gunned down in a shootout between US Marshals and her father. Devastated, she cooperated with the feds, who then gave her a new life far different than her old one. Now she is Anne, first-grade teacher in a small Colorado town, but still watching over her shoulder - and with good reason. In spite of the efforts of the WitSec people, she came home from work one night to find a man waiting inside her house. Fortunately for her safety, it was Jake, who she thought was dead.

Jake had died that night - several times - but in the end, came out on top. After weeks in the hospital, and months in rehab, he finally discovered that Elizabeth had survived. By calling in many favors, he was able to track her down. First to make sure that she is safe, but also to enlist her help to find her fugitive father. He knows it won't be easy, but it is something he has to do if he is going to make sure she stays safe.

I liked the relationship between Jake and Anne. There isn't a lot of detail about their past, but I definitely got the feeling that they had become friends before they became lovers. I really liked the parts that showed that Jake had appreciated her warmth and intelligence far more than her family did. It was also clear that he felt guilty about the way he had deceived her about who he was. Anne wasn't in a very forgiving mood when he showed up, especially when she found out what he wanted from her, and she just wanted him gone. Fortunately, he didn't listen to her, as hired guns found her right after Jake did.

The action heated up fast as Jake and Anne worked together to avoid her pursuers. The spoiled socialite is nowhere to be found as Anne showed incredible courage and resourcefulness. I also loved Jake's determination to keep her safe, even at the risk of his own life. I ached for Anne as she had to face the fact that the father she still loved in spite of everything was trying to kill her. In spite of all that was going on, the feelings that Jake and Anne had shared before flared back to life and continued to grow. There were some pretty sweet moments between the two of them as they got to know each other again. I felt bad for Jake, who believed that there was no way that they could ever be together thanks to his past actions.

The final confrontation came after some interesting twists and turns. I was impressed by Anne's courage in walking willingly into the lion's den and facing her father in person. Knowing that Jake was nearby gave her some extra confidence. The showdown was intense, with a couple of big surprises. I enjoyed the aftermath and seeing Anne stand up to her WitSec handler, as she and Jake take charge of their own future.

Her Surprise Sister (Texas Twins, Bk 1) (Love Inspired, No 716)
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Very good beginning to this series. Hope the rest are as good.

Chance (Rusted and Reckless) (Volume 1)
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Wow- I was very pleasantly surprised by this book! Surprising depth, a good plot with great characterization, and scorching chemistry combine to create Chance- the first installment in the Rusted and Reckless series.

Aveline Michaels has a lot on her plate. She attends online classes to earn her college degree, while also working two jobs and acting as caregiver for her mother (who is in a virtually vegetative state following a tragic car accident.) Aveline has no time for a social life outside of her chats with fellow online students. Her virtual best friend Greer is in several of her classes, and talking with him for the past semester has helped her to stay sane as she struggles to manage everything happening in her daily life.

Greer McQueen loves his online chats with Aveline (aka Ava), arguing about the finer points of English literature and grammar. He calls her "University Girl" to his friends, and speaks of her often. Greer is working on an English degree, in addition to already having collected three other bachelors' degrees and a masters' degree that he will probably never use. He hasn't told Ava about his biggest secret- that his online classes are merely for personal enjoyment, since his real job is as the bassist in the double platinum country/rock band Rusted and Reckless, with whom he happens to be on tour.

When Ava tells Greer online that she will finally be taking a little time for herself to go and see one of her favorite bands in concert (Rusted and Reckless), Greer knows that he has to meet her. With the help of his bandmates Jason, Rory, and Sawyer, Greer's "University Girl" is found in the crowd and brought up to watch the show from just offstage. Once the two meet, their chemistry is undeniable, and they find it hard to part when it is time for the band to go on to their next tour location.
Greer finds ways to continue seeing Ava, although distance begins to take its toll on their relationship.
Ava's guilt over leaving her mother and Greer's issues with an addict twin brother create further problems for the couple. But when disaster strikes, will Ava be able to move beyond her fear and regret to take a chance on love?

This really was a great story. I love the rocker trope, so this book was right up my alley. One thing I really liked about it was that this wasn't a case of insta-love, since the characters had spent time chatting online and had already become friends. It created depth and believable chemistry between Greer and Ava. Both characters were socially awkward, so watching them grow together was especially sweet. The sexy scenes were super hot and fit well within the story (without taking over the whole plot.)
Greer was a great hero- super alpha and sexy in the bedroom, but he also very considerate and patient. I wasn't as fond of Ava due to her immaturity. She was constantly running away from Greer, which started to get really old. I also felt that at times Ava was unnecessarily cruel- it really bugged me when she went to Greer's band mates for comfort, especially since she was ignoring him. I do give props to the author for showing her transformation as she learned to deal with her emotions, which helped to make her final reconciliation with Greer more believable. I also really liked the other band members, and I look forward to reading their stories next.

Overall, this was a good read that really held my attention, and I am looking forward to reading Jolt (Jason's story.)
I received an ARC of this book from BookSprout (although I also now have a finished copy), and I voluntarily chose to write an honest review.

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments)
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Clary, Jace, and Simon are still appealing characters. The others are pretty much backdrop, and Valentine is not real believable to me. I don't feel like this book advanced the story much, although I gather there are six of these so we're just getting started. (I deliberately have not looked ahead to see what happens.) Seemed to me it was mostly about Clary's and Jace's feelings for each other...and I suspect some revelation that will allow them to act on it. What happened to Simon was inevitable if he were going to stay part of the story arc - and this may be the most interesting part of the book because what's going to happen when the vampires realize his secret? Valentine knew about it...hmmm. So, still an interesting storyline and lots of action but not a lot of forward progress.

All Fall Down: A Novel
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A middle class housewife decided she need a drugs to endure the stresses of her life. Aging parents, demanding young child,indifferent husband.And than it all comes apart with the threat of losing everying she has.

The Lost Girls
The Lost Girls
Author: Heather Young
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
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Wow! This is a book that will stay with me. The story alternates between the summer of 1935 when devastating events changed the lives and legacies of an entire family and the winter of 1999, just before the millennium as we discover the consequences on future generations. Justine (in 1999) is discovering who she is and what she wants for her own life and for her daughters' lives. Lucy, now an old woman who is dying, finally tells the long kept secrets and the tragic story surrounding the mystery of that summer in 1935. It is an absorbing, surprising, emotional unfolding that kept me turning pages. Very well done!

The Summer Wives: A Novel
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An advance copy was sent to me by the publisher,probably from a contest I clicked on Facebook. Anything with the word summer or beach in the title-and I'm on it! This was a great story about two girls who ended up sisters when their parents wed, and the story of their parents and grandparents goes way back. It was confusing a bit,because it did keep going back and forth from 30's through the 60's to the 70's. But there was so much history of the families of Winthrop Island, and how the locals and the summer folks didn't mix-or did they? I loved all the characters and rooted for the underdogs all the way through!

The Noticer: Sometimes, all a person needs is a little perspective
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This is a GREAT book! It reads like a story but has some wonderful little insights that you may want to read again and again! It was a delight to read and I have gone in search for the sequels and other books by Andy Andrews! Enjoy!

The Promise of Stardust
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Matt and Elle are literally the couple who grew up as the boy next door/the girl next door. They were high school sweethearts and then separated, had other relationships but were best friends until they finally married. She is a NASA astrophysicist and he is a neurosurgeon. From the first pages she suffers a fall and is brain dead. They quickly learn she was pregnant and he wants to keep her alive until the baby is born. But she had an advanced directive so there is a legal battle. This story was a tear jerker! Very emotional and beautifully told. We see a relationship between husband and wife and the baby that is true love.

Go Set a Watchman
Go Set a Watchman
Author: Harper Lee
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Hardcover
reviewed on

What a disappointment. Doesn't feel like it was written by the same author as To Kill a Mockingbird. Yes, it includes the same characters, but it lacks the beautiful prose of TKAM. Also lacks a solid plot.

The Wonder
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An extraordinary book about religious zealotry and science and common sense colliding. A nurse hired to watch an 11 year old girl as she fasts for religious reasons becomes quite something else as the nurse learns of the true reasons behind the fast, and the girl nears death. Great ending!

Abigail Adams: An American Woman
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This book was not as well written or as factual as Janet Whitney's book. At times it was quite dry and exaggerated.I have read many books on John and Abigail Adams. I found this one to be a poor book to give to a college or high school kid to read.

Chaser (Dive Bar Book 3)
Chaser (Dive Bar Book 3)
Author: Kylie Scott
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on

Kylie Scott sets the standard for this genre, and it's high. Like Empire State Building high! Chaser is no exception, with Eric's wry internal dialogue and his quirky, lovable epiphanies on life, family, and commitment. Kylie's writing clips along at a perfect pace, and the conversations between the characters made me laugh, cringe, and want to get in a car headed to Idaho so that I could hang out at Dive Bar. Eric's clumsy yet perfect journey from irresponsible, self-absorbed guy to mature, thoughtful, loving man was a pleasure, page after page.

Abigail Adams: A Biography
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An excellent Biography taken from family history and correspondence. Janet Whitney did so much work to get the facts straight. She is a great author and knows how to write information to make a most enjoyable read. I have read many books about Abigail Adams and this is one of my favorites.

The Wrong Side of Goodbye (Harry Bosch, Bk 21)
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This book is a typical Bosch police procedural. No big surprises or twists. Just good, solid character development. Certainly worth the read. Especially if you're vested in the Bosch series.

Distant Waves
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Really enjoyed this historical novel. Suzanne Weyn cleverly used historical facts, added a "what if factor" , fictional characters and real life Americans that helped shape America. This is a novel for fourth or fifth grade students, but also entertaining for adults. Would highly recommend this book.

Rocky Mountain Rescue (Harlequin Intrigue, No 1482)
Rocky Mountain Rescue (Harlequin Intrigue, No 1482)
Author: Cindi Myers
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
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Good book that started with a bang and kept me hooked all the way through. Stacy had been forced into marriage with a mobster by her father. With no way out, her son Carlo is all that keeps her going. When her husband and father-in-law are killed in a raid by federal agents, Stacy has high hopes that she will now be free to live the life she wants - until federal agents want to put her into protective custody.

I loved Stacy's independence. She refuses to put herself under the control of any man ever again. Even though she had been treated like arm candy by her husband, Stacy was very intelligent. I loved watching her mind work as she observed the people around her. She is also very protective of her son and will do anything to keep him safe.

I enjoyed the development of their relationship, fast though it was. When they first met, there was a great deal of mistrust between them. Because of who she was, she had been taught that law enforcement were the bad guys. Patrick isn't sure just how involved Stacy was in her husband's dealings, and was determined to keep an eye on her. I loved his reaction when he discovered that she had simply walked out of the police station and disappeared. No matter what, he was going to keep her safe, so he was nearby when little Carlo was kidnapped. I loved Stacy's fierceness when Patrick tried to get her to stay behind while he looked for Carlo, and Patrick's quick realization that it would be better to keep her with him. I liked seeing them work together to figure out who had taken Carlo. It didn't take long for the mistrust to turn to respect. I liked seeing Patrick develop an appreciation for Stacy's quick wits and steady nerves. I also liked his sensitivity and understanding of what her life had been like. Stacy was surprised by how quickly she felt safe when Patrick was near. The way he treated her went a long way toward making her feel better about herself. Neither of them expected the intensity of the attraction that flared between them. Patrick's tenderness and understanding were heartwarming and Stacy blossomed under his attention.

The suspense of the story was great. From the moment Carlo disappeared, the questions came fast and furious. Who was behind it? Why was Carlo taken? And who was now after Stacy and why? The attacks came one after another with increasing intensity. There were some great examples of Stacy's quick thinking along the way - I especially loved how she got away from the guys who grabbed her. The final showdown was intense, with multiple twists and turns before it was over. I was a little surprised by the uncle and grandmother at the end, but overall, I think it worked.

I really liked the epilogue. Even though Patrick and Stacy had fallen quickly, I liked that they were smart enough to take the time to really get to know each other. I liked seeing Stacy get to follow her dream for a change, with Patrick's full support.

The Marmalade Murders
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The Marmalade Murders by Elizabeth J. Duncan is the ninth book in A Penny Brannigan Mystery series. Mrs. Lloyd has wrangled Penny Brannigan into assisting with the annual Llanelen agriculture show. Penny and Victoria Hopkirk co-own Llanelen Spa in Llanelen, North Wales. They are accepting the domestic arts entries and get their instructions from Joyce Devlin, president of the show committee. A half an hour before the deadline, they notice that Florence Semble has yet to drop off her entries and give her a call. It seems that someone had telephoned and told her she could drop off her entries the next morning (odd). Penny is judging the children's pet competition the next day when a little girl gets upset because her grandmother, Gaynor Lewis failed to show up. Gaynor is not the only thing missing at the agriculture show. Florence's carrot cake and her marmalade entries have disappeared as well. Joyce's dog soon finds Florence's cake under a table in the judging tent along with Gaynor Lewis. Was someone trying to eliminate the competition? Penny looks into the victim's life to see who could have wished her harm and soon discovers that these competitions are taken seriously by the competitors. One women has something to important to tell Penny, but she ends up dead before she can speak with her. Penny needs to work quickly to expose the killer or she could be next.

The Marmalade Murders can be read alone. The information a reader needs is included in the book. I thought The Marmalade Murders was well-written and had a nice pace which made the story easy to read and enjoy. The characters are established and relatable (especially to those who live in small towns). Mrs. Lloyd and Florence are delightful. They provide levity to the story. I especially appreciate that the main character is in her 50s. It is a refreshing change from other cozy mysteries where the characters are in their late 20s and early 30s. Penny is smart, friendly, caring and level-headed. The village of Llanelen is charming and the author's descriptions of the Welsh countryside brought it alive for me. Llanelen is a small village where the people grew up together, everyone knows each other's business, and the rumor mill is alive and well. I think it is funny that after living in Llanelen for thirty years, Penny is still considered an outsider. The mystery has several suspects who each have a good motive for doing in the victim. I liked the misdirection that could easily lead readers down the wrong path. The investigation consists of Penny asking questions of the various townspeople. I felt that the story could have used some action. Inspector Bethan Morgan is a friendly detective who values Penny's input into the case. She realizes that Penny has access to information that she does not. I did enjoy the historical information on Speke Hall (there really is a Speke Hall outside Liverpool). The Speke Hall in the book has a priest hole and an eavesdropper (just like the real Speke Hall). The Marmalade Murders has a sweet, heartwarming moment at the end. I am giving The Marmalade Murders 4 out of 5 stars (I liked it). It was lovely to visit Llanelen again and spend time with Penny, Mrs. Lloyd and the other villagers. I look forward to returning to Wales in the next A Penny Brannigan Mystery.

Grilled for Murder (Country Store, Bk 2)
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This 2nd in the series remains just as fresh and readable as the first, the flow from one to the other is flawless, and my enjoyment of the series is continuing , I like all the characters, and the diner life is very appitizing. Mysteries not too terrible easy to guess at, and Robbie is a great main interest, not to perfect, not to weak or know it all. Story line explains well, and names are able to be followed along with remembering who is who.

Endangered (Joe Pickett, Bk 15)
reviewed on

oe Pickett had good reason to dislike Dallas Cates, and now he has even moreâJoe's eighteen-year-old daughter, April, has run off with him. And then comes even worse news: She has been found in a ditch along the highwayâalive, but just barely, the victim of blunt force trauma. Cates denies having anything to do with it, but Joe knows in his gut who's responsible. What he doesn't know is the kind of danger he's about to encounter. Cates is bad enough, but Cates's family is like none Joe has ever met.

When Shadows Fall (Samantha Owens, Bk 3)
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This is book 3 of the Samantha Owens series. Sam has now switched to teaching forensics. She receives a disturbing letter from a dead man imploring her to solve his murder but all signs point to suicide. When Sam learns Savage left a will requesting she autopsy his body, she feels compelled to look into the case. Sam's own postmortem discovers clear signs that Savage was indeed murdered. And she finds DNA from a kidnapped child whose remains were recovered years earlier. The investigation takes Sam into the shadows of a twenty-year-old mystery that must be solved to determine what really happened to Timothy Savage. Nothing about the case makes sense, but it is clear someone is unwilling to let anyone, especially Samantha Owens, discover the truth.

This fast moving thriller kept me on the edge of my seat until the very end. The characters were well-developed and the plot was well paced. J.T. Ellison has a knack of keeping you riveted and wanting more. Lots of twists and turns make you change your mind about what is going on. I can't wait to read the next book in the series. I would highly recommend this series to those who like suspenseful thrillers.

Author: Elana Johnson
Genre: Teen & Young Adult
Book Type: Paperback
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This is the first book in the Possession trilogy. I got through the first 100 pages of this book and then decided to stop reading it. The whole book was very juvenile sounding; the writing was choppy and didn't flow well and the characters and story were not at all engaging.

I really struggled with this author's writing style it was just to choppy and simple. I felt like I was reading a âlearning to readâ book at times; very short simple sentences and dialogue that are grammatically correct but sound awkward. Scenes and characters are almost impossible to picture because of the lack of description and for some reason the author likes to discuss people's hair a lot.

I picked this up a number of years ago when I was in my YA dystopian phase. I am pretty sick of YA dystopias at this point and this book definitely did not have anything special to recommend it. Pretty typical story about a girl who lives in a dystopian society and is matched with a certain boy. However, she keeps breaking the rules of the Goodies and gets sent to the Badlands to live with the Baddies. There is a very blatant love triangle going on almost right from the beginning.

Overall this wasn't something I enjoyed and I wouldn't recommend. None of this is very good technically or creatively.

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