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Peony in Love (Audio CD)
reviewed on + 11 more book reviews


I enjoyed this, even the supernatural parts...but I had to keep reminding myself that Peony was a teenager and not a full grown woman, which explained a great deal of her general dumbness. 16 year-olds are the same no matter where and no matter when!

The Swordsman's Oath (Tale of Einarinn, 2)
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What a disappointment after the first book! I put this one down for a LONG time before finally picking it back up to finish it.

A large section of the story is this big detour -- I can think of no other way to describe it -- that does nothing to forward the plot or develop characters. I just really still can't say why it's there.

There's also an alternate story being told concurrently that has no clear connection with the rest of the plot until near the end, when it's supposed to be a big deal -- except it just doesn't feel like one.

Then there's the fact that Ryshad, not Livak, narrates the first-person sections, and he's just not nearly as interesting as Livak.

I thought I had stumbled onto a great series, but now I suspect McKenna's world is so elaborate as to make the separate parts of the series unwieldy or dull (or both).

The Swordsman's Oath (Tale of Einarinn, Bk 2)
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What a disappointment after the first book! I put this one down for a LONG time before finally picking it back up to finish it.

A large section of the story is this big detour -- I can think of no other way to describe it -- that does nothing to forward the plot or develop characters. I just really still can't say why it's there.

There's also an alternate story being told concurrently that has no clear connection with the rest of the plot until near the end, when it's supposed to be a big deal -- except it just doesn't feel like one.

Then there's the fact that Ryshad, not Livak, narrates the first-person sections, and he's just not nearly as interesting as Livak.

I thought I had stumbled onto a great series, but now I suspect McKenna's world is so elaborate as to make the separate parts of the series unwieldy or dull (or both).

The Swordsman's Oath (The second tale of Einarinn)
reviewed on + 142 more book reviews


What a disappointment after the first book! I put this one down for a LONG time before finally picking it back up to finish it.

A large section of the story is this big detour -- I can think of no other way to describe it -- that does nothing to forward the plot or develop characters. I just really still can't say why it's there.

There's also an alternate story being told concurrently that has no clear connection with the rest of the plot until near the end, when it's supposed to be a big deal -- except it just doesn't feel like one.

Then there's the fact that Ryshad, not Livak, narrates the first-person sections, and he's just not nearly as interesting as Livak.

I thought I had stumbled onto a great series, but now I suspect McKenna's world is so elaborate as to make the separate parts of the series unwieldy or dull (or both).

Double Exposure (Kovak & Quaid, Bk 1)
reviewed on


This book was great. I cannot wait to read the next one.

reviewed on + 2 more book reviews


Wow! This book was very hard to put down I read it in a weekend. It's an excellent guide to live by! Easy to read and relate to. Definitely, keeping this one on the bookshelf and referring to it many times. If you don't have this book...buy it!!

Haunting Violet
Haunting Violet
Author: Alyxandra Harvey
Genre: Teen & Young Adult
Book Type: Paperback


This was an okay read but nothing more than that. It wasn't poorly written or slow or florid but I just didn't connect with the characters. None of the characters stuck with me at all and I found myself not really caring about them. I need to be invested in a characters story to enjoy the book and for this one that connection just didn't happen for me. I give it a 3 out if 5.

Abandon
Abandon
Author: Meg Cabot
Genre: Teen & Young Adult
Book Type: Hardcover
reviewed on


I suppose it had to happen sooner or later. I finally came across a book, a whole series actually, by Meg Cabot that I really don't like. Abandon, which is based on the myth of Persephone the Greek Goddess of the Underworld, just didn't do it for me.

The story centers around Pierce Oliviera, a teenage girl who has a near death experience. The book loosely covers the following two years through flashbacks, which was my first problem: too much jumping around. Normally I don't mind flashbacks in a book. They are an important tool to add structure and interest to a story. Unfortunately the flashbacks in Abandon seemed oddly placed to me. Add this to the fact that I took two whole weeks to read the book (my problem) and I had a difficult time keeping track.

My second problem had to do with the tone of the book. I was interested to see how Cabot treated the dark subject matter of death and the Underworld. She has done dark before in Jinx and The Mediator series which I enjoyed very much. However what made these previous books work were the heroines who faced the dark subject matters of danger and death head on with feisty determination. Unfortunately Pierce Oliviera did not embody the typical "Meg Caboty" spunk and her attempts at perky humor just fell flat.

Given Pierce's situation I guess I can't blame her. The poor girl did die, visit the Underworld and then came back to life which sounds pretty traumatizing. Not only that but the next two years are fraught with creepy and dangerous experiences that she narrowly escapes thanks to John, the mysterious guy she met in The Underworld, who may or may not be into her. That said, I still had a hard time feeling sympathetic for Pierce. She came off as too victimized for me.

In loyalty to Meg Cabot I am planning to finish the series. In fact I have already read book 2, Underworld, which I did find a little better. Full review is pending.

If you are interested in Greek mythology, particularly the myth of Persephone, I highly recommend these books. Also a bit of practical advice: read the books in large chunks of time so you don't get lost in all the flashbacks.

Hot Silk (Rodesson's Daughters, Bk 3)
reviewed on + 538 more book reviews


wow i read this one fast! good one too!

Yellow Eyes (Posleen War, Bk 8)
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Another all-out Invasion-of-Earth chapter from unabashed military SF fanatic John Ringo, who is noted for his KILDAR series, and Tom Kratman.

From back cover: The Posleen Invaders are Coming -- and the models all say the same thing: Without the Panama Canal, the U.S. is doomed to starvation and defeat. Despite being overstretched preparing to defend the U.S., the military sends everything it has left: a handful of advanced Armored Combat Suits, rejuvenated U.S. veterans from the many decades that Panama was a virtual colony and three antiquated warships. Other than that, the Panamanians are on their own against the swarming alien horde they will have to face. But the humans do have one thing going for them: one of the warships is haunted.

'Round the Corner (Sister Circle, Bk 2)
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Very good I shared it with a friend.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven
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I really enjoyed reading this book. I love the creativity and imagination of the author. I also appreciated his detail, not too little and not over doing it, it was perfect!

Vintage Knit Knacks: 20 Cool, Creative Knitting Projects to Enhance Your Home
reviewed on


Contains some cute and clever projects, some of which I haven't seen anywhere else. Although I haven't made any of them yet, I know they would make nice gifts for family members, hostess gifts and for myself.

There are large, colorful photographs of all the projects. Instructions are clear and easy to read as are the pattern charts. This would be a nice gift for a knitter.

Submission
Submission
Author: Marthe Blau
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 72 more book reviews


I couldn't get into this one! I read the first couple of chapters until I had to put it down. The writing was horrible. Maybe the story line wasn't too bad, but I couldn't get past the elementary writing. Two thumbs down from me!

Kabbalistic Tarot: Hebraic Wisdom in the Major and Minor Arcana
reviewed on + 5 more book reviews


It looks like the author just needed to publish something because he needed the money. It's a very poorly written book, about the same quality as a college paper prepared at the last minute, did the research and put it together in a hurry.

But there are still a few good insights and the book is still worth reading for anyone who is interested in the subject. The author might know more than he let on. Writers on the subject never seem to spell it all out exactly right. And I have to say that there isn't any book on this subject that is satisfactory. You have to read a lot and put it all together for your self.

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag . . . and Other Things You Can't Ask Martha


Cleaning isn't the most thrilling chore I could think of--in fact, I can say with certainty that no one actually looks forward to the dirtiest job around--but Jolie Kerr's devotion and simply outlined tips really make me want to get my butt off the couch and clean the damn house. It's like when you read food blogs and become motivated to start taking the time to cook and eat healthier; I see someone being really productive with their life which motivates me to at least attempt to reach that level.

The trick is that Kerr actually makes cleaning seem fun; her enthusiasm is contagious and her anecdotes uproariously funny. She's kooky, fanatical, and just becomes your weird best friend who loves cleaning--a hyped-up Martha Stewart, you could say. But unlike Martha, Jolie Kerr isn't a domestic ideal; she's been through real world, real girl problems (like boyfriends barfing in handbags) and isn't afraid to get her hands dirty--literally.

My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag is conveniently sectioned off into eight different cleaning categories:
1. Kitchen
2. Floors, Ceilings, Walls, and Other Immovable Things
3. Bathroom
4. Personal Hygiene Tools and Appliances (brushes, hair dryers, razors, etc.)
5. Wedding Cleaning
6. Laundry
7. Car
8. Things You Really Can't Ask Martha (or Mom, for that Matter)
I love how each chapter is outlined, making the book all the more useful as a reference tool. Just look up your problem area in the index and you'll find the solution Kerr suggests--super easy!

I was pleasantly surprised by how helpful the guide is. There's lots of cleaning advice that I have never come across (or, let's be honest--have never had the opportunity to need) before, things that aren't just common knowledge. The book is filled with comprehensive tables and charts that streamline specific cleaning methods and materials; it's a nice break from huge chunks of text every once in a while. And to make your life even easier, Kerr provides DIY cleaning solution recipes--made with ingredients that are probably already in your cupboards!--as well as specific brands and products she recommends for targeted problems.

There's definitely a lot of spunk in Kerr's voice, but that's what makes the book so entertaining; the rambling, direct style doesn't hold back. There's absolutely no BS and readers are taken straight to the emergency, no matter how mortifying--and isn't that what we all want in a cleaning guide?

Pros: Extensive, easy-to-follow tips for any spill and situation // Humorous, light // Organized into sections (bathroom, kitchen, car, etc.) // Helpful graphics to compare and contrast different cleaning methods

Cons: A reference book... not exactly something I would sit down and read cover to cover

Verdict: Highly charged, full of personality, and conscientiously charming, My Boyfriend Barfed in My Handbag is a stylish but frenetic cleaning guide for the everyday woman in everyday situations. With advice that ranges from generic but crucial (how to do laundry in a way that won't wear clothes out, how to clean the toilet, how to get rid of mildew, etc.) to ridiculously specific and quirky (how to deal with a Laffy Taffy that's melted in your pocket, how to get embarrassing fluids out of your bedsheets, how to even wrap your head around poop stains, etc.), this book is a handy reference tool that's simultaneously thoroughly entertaining. Jolie Kerr zealously combines chick-lit with how-to by contributing her and her readers' own experiences, just for kicks--who knew cleaning would be so fun to read?

Rating: 9 out of 10 hearts (5 stars): Loved it! This book has a spot on my favorites shelf.

Source: Complimentary copy provided by publisher via tour publicist in exchange for an honest and unbiased review (thank you, Penguin and TLC!).

Guidebook to Murder
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1 member(s) found this review helpful.


Jill Gardner owns a small bookstore/coffeeshop in South Cove, California. She moved there after a divorce and made fast friends with Miss Emily, an elderly woman who took an instant liking to her. When Emily dies suddenly, Jill has suspicions that she was murdered, since Emily never seemed sick at all. After Emily leaves everything - house, belongings, money, etc., to Jill, and people start coming out of the woodwork wanting the house, she's more than convinced of that.

While the local police detective, Greg King, warns her to leave the investigation to him, Jill knows she should, but still thinks that she would be disloyal to Emily if she didn't try and find out who killed her. And when 'accidents' and vandalism start following her around, she knows she's closer to the killer than she ought to be. It doesn't help any that she is highly attracted to the good-looking detective, and he appears to be attracted to her also, but keeps her at arms' length (sort of) while he considers it his personal mission to protect her from danger. The interaction between these two is believable and delightful.

I absolutely loved this book. It kept the mystery right up until the end, which was great. There are plenty of twists and turns, suspects, and red herrings. The plot is interesting without getting bogged down in too many extraneous details, and as Jill went through her emotions, I could amost feel them myself. I really enjoy being pulled into the story, not just reading the book and going through the motions. I have always felt that a book should draw you in, not keep you to the sidelines as a mere observer, and this book definitely fills that area. This is the author's first title in this series, and I look forward to reading the next. Highly recommended.

The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet, Bk 3)
The Sum of All Kisses (Smythe-Smith Quartet, Bk 3)
Author: Julia Quinn
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on + 28 more book reviews


Julia Quinn gets better and better. (True Daniel's story wasn't that great?!) I really don't know how she does it. I find myself teary-eyed one minute and the next minute I am laughing out loud. I feel what the hero feels and I feel what the heroine feels. Maybe I just identified with these characters more than the last book? I don't think so...I was feeling the sunshine and the rain. Loved this book. I knew there was a 'happily ever after' coming, but at times I was in doubt. I just couldn't figure out how they were going to get there. Not only did this book have romance, but Ms. Quinn through in a mystery to keep me wondering if there was one or not. There is a mystery! No Spoiler here...read it and see if you get it!

Mr. Loverman
reviewed on + 50 more book reviews


I loved this story, the people, the language, the flow. I can't find one fault. The moment I started reading, I knew I was in for a new experience. The moment I finished, I knew I would miss all the wonderful new characters I'd come to know.

I never faltered between the two distinct voices and points of view of the "verbious" Barry and the long suffering Carmel. Ms. Evaristo found a stylistic solution to what is often (in lesser books) a confusing jumping from first-person attitudes with a poetic flow for Carmel and a nearly jet-fueled jazz blast from Barry. Morris needs no one to speak for him as he is all but a very welcome omnipresence in this tale of a lovely "old married couple."

From beginning to end, I found myself laughing out loud at the most unexpected times and at others, my heart broke into frustrated pieces over this family's life with fear, anger, bitter divides and ever lasting love. Some of the paragraphs dropped me in my tracks and I found myself reading them over and over again to get the full measure and flavor of a distinctly Antiguan accent and world view.

This novel is a gem of sparkling witticisms that I will not soon forget.

I received this book to review and am I ever greatful that I did!

The Spider (Elemental Assassin, Bk 10)
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While I loved reading this backstory on Gin, I didn't feel like it deserved a whole book. However, since Estep gives us two or three Gin books a year instead of only one, I'm not going to grip too much because a little Gin is better than none! It was definitely well worth reading even if the overall storyline did not progress a lot.

Heart of Venom (Elemental Assassin, Bk 9)
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As I stated in my review of the Spider, I so love that we get two or three Gin books a year and Estep continues to have me adding her books as an auto buy as soon as I see one due for release. I'm not overly thrilled with a backstory taking up a whole book but this one really gives you an insight to the history of Jo-Jo & Sophia. I waited until there were 6 or 7 books out in this series and then binge read them all in less than two weeks and while books 9 &10 weren't as strong, I still highly recommend this series for lovers of Urban Fantasy. I'm also not real fond of the recapping as I read this series back to back but I guess if you had a 5 to 6 month break between books or you read them out of order (shuddering ) you would want this. Definitely, pumped since we have another Gin book due out in July & Nov!

The Sisters from Hardscrabble Bay: Fiction
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The 2 sisters Della and Avis along with their brother Dalton are raised by their daddy on a farm on the coast of Canada. In the South we label this non productive farm as hardscrabble, so I knew the poor lifestyle inflected in the title. Their determination to reach a level of survival is the essence of the book, their determination to succeed will keep you enthralled and your interest high.
The time line is from 1916 until the present. I'm sure it will be amazing to some who read the book how closely aligned their thoughts are to those of modern times, enjoy.

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
reviewed on


Entertaining and deeply moving...Divine Secrets is about the complex bonds between mother and daughter. You'll laugh and you'll cry, and you'll never look at relationships quite the same.

reviewed on + 8 more book reviews


Short synopsis of various US mysteries. Author obviously forms his own opinion/judgment in some cases, and in others proof of a verdict has been reached independently. A FUN book to read.

Chopping Spree (Goldy Schulz, Bk 11)
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I enjoyed the book.

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