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Love's Fortune, Ballantyne Legacy Series #3
reviewed on + 871 more book reviews


Rowena Ballantyne had lived in Kentucky from the time she was born. Now it was just her father, as her mother had died. She was content with her home, enjoying the beautiful country side and helping her father make violins and bows. Wren, her nickname, was passionate about music and playing the violin. It brought her great joy. Their lives were simple and unfettered by the trappings of the world. She knew her father came from a very wealthy family, but it mattered nothing to her.
That is until he is summoned to family home by his father, Silas Ballantyne. Never having left her home, she is overwhelmed by the trip on a Ballantyne steam boat named after her, "The Rowena". While the journey was trying for her, she was nowhere near prepared what she would face when they reached the family estate.. She is not only thrown into living with her family she never met, but also all the expectations and entrapments of high society. Her father makes the change with ease, stepping back into the life he once had. Thinking this is simply a visit, Wren soon learns that this is her new home.
She attempts to meet her new family's expectations and adapt to their ways, but she is a simple girl at heart. All the finery and airs are a burden. Her grandparents were both very sweet and unpretentious, unlike Silas's haughty, overbearing sister Andra. Her Uncle Jack and Aunt Ellie's big family and home were a welcome respite, especially her cousin Izzannah that was near her age. Andra is determined transform Wren into one of the aristocracy. Her purpose is to secure Wren a wealthy suitor to save their family's business and lavish lifestyle. Wren's wants nothing of it and yearns to be with James Sackett, a dear family friend and steamboat pilot. Along the way she learns of many secrets and dangers she must face. Will she yield to her aunt's wishes or follow her heart?
I have not read the other 2 books in this series but now I certainly want to! This book stood alone. Each character was distinct and well developed. I learned so much about the wealthy during this time. I knew they had balls and were rather, what can I say, fake, but I never dreamed high society was so rigid and detailed to the point it was ridiculous. I loved the descriptions of Wren's attire and lavish gowns. I too felt weary as I read about all she was expected to do not only in dress, but also manners, conversation, and endless social events. I could feel her frustration with the senselessness of it all.
Wren was such a beautiful character. Even in the midst of such lavishness, she maintained her character and she was not swayed nor impressed my all the pomp and glitter. Her values remained intact. Wren's compassion and concern for people no matter where they were on the social ladder was foremost. This book was well written and a very enjoyable read!
I received this book free from Revell Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Frontier Fires
Frontier Fires
Author: Rosanne Bittner
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 8 more book reviews


I loved it. I enjoy all of Rosanne Bittner's books.

Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough
reviewed on + 36 more book reviews


Well written.
I have some issues with some of the theology. such as "God punished Jesus" when the Bible clearly teaches that Jesus was God! and Jesus came willingly.
Otherwise good.

The Iron Angel: And Other Tales of the Gypsy Sleuth
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I really enjoyed this book. Michael Vlado, the Gypsy detective, is really a Gypsy king (he becomes king partway through the series of stories in the book) of a small tribe of Rom in Romania. He raises horses on a small farm. He is also an unusually observant and wise man, who is often called upon by the police to help with cases involving Gypsies. The stories span many years and show the development of the cultures and politics of eastern European countries. He visits Moscow twice, and several other countries in the area.

The stories are fascinating for what you learn about the cultures of the area. They are also first-rate crime and detection stories. If you've ever read Hoch (he's had a story in EVERY issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine for 30 or 40 years) and enjoyed the story, you'll want this book.

The Iron Angel: And Other Tales of the Gypsy Sleuth
reviewed on + 381 more book reviews


I really enjoyed this book. Michael Vlado, the Gypsy detective, is really a Gypsy king (he becomes king partway through the series of stories in the book) of a small tribe of Rom in Romania. He raises horses on a small farm. He is also an unusually observant and wise man, who is often called upon by the police to help with cases involving Gypsies. The stories span many years and show the development of the cultures and politics of eastern European countries. He visits Moscow twice, and several other countries in the area.

The stories are fascinating for what you learn about the cultures of the area. They are also first-rate crime and detection stories. If you've ever read Hoch (he's had a story in EVERY issue of Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine for 30 or 40 years) and enjoyed the story, you'll want this book.

Perfect Nightmare
reviewed on + 3 more book reviews


I enjoyed this book. It has a different twist for John Saul. And it has just enough suspense to keep your interest. Not the usual knuckle biter I've come to expect, but the ending was worth the read.

Death Drops (Natural Remedies, Bk 1)
reviewed on + 11 more book reviews


This book is mediocre at best. The main character was to preachy and the author's style of writing wasn't very captivating.

Enchanting Delights
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I thought this book would be fantasy style designs. It is definetly not. While there are many cute designs the title and the cover are pretty deceiving. It is alot of birds, flowers and quotes for stitching but no fantasy designs.

Leopard's Prey (Leopard, Bk 6)
Leopard's Prey (Leopard, Bk 6)
Author: Christine Feehan
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 3 more book reviews


I loved Leopard's Prey. As always, Christine Feehan never disappoints. She mixes new characters with the old and makes every one of them come to life.

Full Moon Rising (Riley Jenson, Guardian, Bk 1)
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Riley Jensen, Quinn O'Conner

Rhoan Jensen, Talon, Misha, Jack


That was a hell of a week for Riley. I'm very intrigued by this series. It has pretty much everything, action, humor, hot smexin, mystery, etc. Can't wait to see where the next book takes us. 4 Stars

Lover Reborn (Black Dagger Brotherhood, Bk 10)
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I really loved Thor and Autumn's story. John and Xhex really went through some things in this book too. I love the way Ward keeps all the story lines intertwined.

On Dublin Street
On Dublin Street
Author: Samantha Young
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 35 more book reviews


Jocelyn "Joss" Butler
Braden Carmichael

I see why everyone is so up in arms about this book. It's GREAT! I made a joke about "drinking the koolaid" when I first started reading this book but now all I want to do is pass out cups to every one I know. It's so emotional and sexy with out being overt and crude, well Braden can be a little crude but it looks good on him. They must read this! 5 Stars

House of Hades, The (Heroes of Olympus, The, Book Four, Special Limited Edition)
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I wasn't as drawn into this book as I was the last book especially (Mark of Athena was really amazing). I think to go from that one to this was a rough one to follow-up with. I constantly love the character build-up though. There are a lot of things that happen mainly for Leo, Frank, and Hazel in this book and something out of the blue that was unexpected from Nico. Of course we end up cheering for those we previously may have rooted against in this book. "Bob" is the reason I liked this book, honestly. There were so many things going on in this story that it is hard to really talk about them. I mean the book is nearly 600 pages long. Percy and Annabeth go on their own adventure and make us all say, "Aww" over their sweetness with one another too. Piper and Jason each got maybe one section of perspective this entire book, though Jason may have had two, but Piper only had one which made me feel sorry for her. More Piper please! Hopefully next book she'll have some fun.

That's that. Now to wait for the release of the next book...

Bad Boy
Bad Boy
Author: Diana J. Wieler
Genres: Teen & Young Adult, Gay & Lesbian
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 128 more book reviews


A.J. Brandiosa and his best friend Tully have finally made it! They're on the Moose Jaw Saskathewan AAA hockey team The Cyclones. All that working out has finally gotten rid of A.J.'s pesky baby fat and he's starting to like the way that he looks and the way that he can accomplish things on the ice that have always eluded him. Tully has always been the popular showboat both on and off the rink. But when A.J. gets a bit too physical in an early game and gets labelled as a "Bad Boy" and the team's enforcer it's A.J.'s name that gets in the paper and A.J kinda likes the attention. But then A.J. discovers that his best friend is gay. Worried about his own reputation and even more worried by his feelings about Tully that he now sees in a different light, A.J. must re-evaluate everything in his life and how's he gonna do that when it was always Tully that he could confide in?

Born and raised in rural Michigan, when I first heard about this book I was intrigued. What's not to like about an award winning coming out story that features masculine rural guys and hockey players no less? Then I read some of the negative reviews...

One 2012 review called this 1989 Governor General Award winner incredibly dated. After reading the book myself I believe that that's a bit unfair. Growing up in a remote rural area is a bit like growing up in the past and I'm pretty certain that much of the way that Moose Jaw is painted in this book is just as true today as when the book was first published.

Another reviewer objected to Tully's telling A.J. that A.J. wasn't gay and because Tully was a gay guy, A.J. took his word for it. Fact is, I believe that A.J. really wasn't gay, though he might have been willing to try it for Tully. A.J. was attracted to women throughout the book. Yes, he had some erotic thoughts about Tully as well but they mostly unsettling for him. And the guy's had a dynamic where Tully did tell A.J. how to think about things. This was really just an extension of their instigator-follower type of relationship.

On the whole this was really a well thought out story of two guys redefining their relationship in the aftermath of one of them coming out. For me it read as realistic and insightful and still as relevant as when it was published over 20 years ago. I'd recommend it.

Callahan's Legacy (Callahan's Crosstime Saloon)
reviewed on + 1454 more book reviews


Another great chapter in the continuing saga of the Mick of Time, the famous Callahan.
Jake Stonebender has been trying to carry on Callahan's Legacy with his own bar, 'Mary's Place.' Unfortunately Mary's Place develops some problems with bureaucratic red tape--not to mention facing another supremely powerful and murderous alien bent on destroying the Earth and all the humans upon it.

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher, Bk 1) (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
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Jack Reacher, loner, drifter, lost soul. An army brat, who followed his fathers footsteps; after being RIF'd from the military, at 36 Jack is finally seeing America for the first time. And within minutes of arrival in Margrave, GA his freedom is being taken away. He is being framed... for murder!

After hearing a Lee Child interview for his newest Jack Reacher novel, I began to wonder how much Jack Reacher the book character and Jack Reacher the film character really have in common. Does Tom Cruise do justice to the star of 21 novels? The only way to find out is to start at the beginning of the series, Book 1, Killing Floor.

This 12 disc, unabridged CD set is well done. Dick Hill does more than a dozen voices as he reads this first person story. The novel itself is good for a first time out. The character is believable, and the author is already working on development for the future stories that have now followed.

This book has aged well, and the technology (rather, the lack of) will not detract from the storyline. There is a bit of sensationalism toward the end as one character won't seem to die. But overall well worth your time.

Blind Hope: An Unwanted Dog and the Woman She Rescued
reviewed on + 90 more book reviews


I loved this book from start to finish. I am a huge animal lover and adopted a rescue dog a few years ago so I could relate to many of the feelings that the author had. Perhaps that is why this book grabbed me so much. If you are an animal lover, this book might just grab you too.

Dave Barry Is Not Making This Up
reviewed on


Dave Barry writes entertaining humor, covering topics like UFOs, reader mail, travel, boating, personal adventures, family and music. The book has many columns based on real happenings and longer articles out of the Miami Herald.

The Art Of Fielding: A Novel
The Art Of Fielding: A Novel
Author: Chad Harbach
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 86 more book reviews


I read the trade paperback version of this book, and the thing that struck me immediately was the volume of favorable blurbs I waded through before I even got to the text - forty-one favorable reviews! I've been a voracious reader for more than sixty years, and don't recall ever running across this volume of slavish adulation. War and Peace didn't get write-ups like this.

I'm enough of a cynic that I wondered if it could really be this good. I started out very favorably impressed by the prose style and the over-all writing, but as I got further into the book I uncovered some disappointing trends. Maybe I'm showing my age and experience (I'm 75 and twice married - one bad and one good) when I say that I was a little dismayed to discover that each main character's solution to all his/her problems was having sex with somebody. I'm all in favor of a healthy sex life, but it is NOT the answer to every problem I've ever had.

I was put off by the rather casual acceptance of the school president's homosexual affair with one of his students - that is definitely not the answer to everyone's life problems.

I finished the book disappointed; the book gets 3 stars for the writing alone, but no extras for the gratuitous sex - both homo and heterosexual.

I've thought about the 41 blurbs for several months, and have come to the conclusion that they were written by critics who went out of their way to prove how homophobic they are not. This compares favorably with the liberals who elected a totally unqualified man president to prove how racially prejudiced they are not.

When I run across a book that I have a lot of reservations about, I usually refer to Amazon's reviews to see how far off track I am. 431 Amazon customers gave the book 5 stars, but 107 gave it one star - I'm not the only person who didn't think it was the best book of this or any year.

Wave
reviewed on + 14 more book reviews


I was so looking forward to reading this. I was then so disappointed when I did. Although the author suffered a tragic loss, it was hard to connect with her. She seemed very selfish, cold and removed from the tragedy around her and I still can't get over the fact that she did not warn her parents.

I Heart My Little A-Holes
reviewed on + 6 more book reviews


I don't get how humor=profanity these days. You can be hilarious w/o using profanity. It's ALL through this book. I know the title gives that away, but I didn't buy it; it was a gift. Just a warning. It was kind of funny.

Southwest Cooking 2003 Engagement Calendar
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Another old calendar full of great recipes and colorful photos of "southwest" dishes.

Southwest Cooking 1998 Engagement Calendar
reviewed on + 35 more book reviews


It's an old calender, but the recipes are timeless and so easy, with great colorful accompanying photos.

Shaped Board Book Chili
Shaped Board Book Chili
Book Type: Hardcover
reviewed on + 35 more book reviews


Yummy recipes in a neat cookbook in the shape of a bowl of chili.

Reader's Digest Select Editions
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These are great stories...James Patterson's "soft" side really came out in "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas". The Ice Child was wonderful; it's actually two easy to follow stories running parallel...both a happy and a sad ending at the same time. One of my very favorite reads. For all you computer fans, "The Blue Nowhere" is another great read. A terrific fast paced story with a thrilling conclusion. Anne Tyler really came through with "Back When we Were Grownups". Interesting story with hits on your emotions.

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