- "A MATCH FOR MIKE" (California Comedy #3) by Jason T. and Ed Gaffney (A++++) Attorney Mike Davis has just about everything he's ever wanted - a great job and a beautiful condo in LA. Basically, he's all set-except for the fact that romance disappeared from his life some years ago, and hasn't been heard from since. So when a work assignment brings him to the small mountain resort town of Dancing Elk, the home of his estranged childhood crush, Mike expects his nonexistent love-life to go from bad to awkward mess. Handyman and amateur photographer Jeremy Schofield grew up in sleepy Dancing Elk, and got used to being left behind when vacations ended and the visiting families went back home. As a child, Jeremy lived for the long, lazy summer days when his best friend Mike was in town. Mike was his match in so many ways - he'd even learned sign language to communicate with Jeremy, who is deaf. But the year they turned seventeen, both Jeremy and Mike fell under the spell of the same boy, and at the end of that summer, when Mike left, he left for good. But now Mike's back, and he surprises Jeremy by asking for his help in repairing an important client's estate. When the two old friends work side-by-side, sparks fly and passion ignites as a kamikaze bat, a collapsing floor, a stray alpaca, and an elderly woman with the worst plumbing in California conspire to bring them back together.
- "SAVAGE NATURE" (Leopard #5) by Christine Feehan (A+++++) When Saria Boudreaux finds a dead body in the Louisiana bayou near her home, her first instinct is to go to the police. But there's a problem: it looks like the victim may have been killed by a big cat - and her brothers are all shape-shifting leopards. Sent by the land's owner to investigate, leopard-shifter Drake Donovan is ready for anything - except the insatiable hunger that rocks him when he meets Saria. Deep in his soul he knows that she is destined to be his mate. Torn between protecting her brothers and finding the truth, Saria treads warily around the powerful shifter. Yet as they venture deep into the mysterious bayou on a hunt for the killer, Saria finds herself longing for Drake's touch and the sweet release of surrender.
- "TURNING ANGEL" (Penn Cage #2) by Greg Iles (unabridged audio CD) (A+++++) As two of the most prominent citizens of Natchez, Drew and Penn sit on the school board of their alma mater, St. Stephen's Prep. When the nude body of a young female student is found near the Mississippi River, the entire community is shocked - but no one more than Penn, who discovers that his best friend was entangled in a passionate relationship with the girl and may be accused of her murder. On the surface, Kate Townsend seems the most unlikely murder victim imaginable. A star student and athlete, she'd been accepted to Harvard and carried the hope and pride of the town on her shoulders. But like her school and her town, Kate also had a secret life - one about which her adult lover knew little. When Drew begs Penn to defend him, Penn allows his sense of obligation to override his instinct and agrees. Yet before he can begin, both men are drawn into a dangerous web of blackmail and violence. Drew reacts like anything but an innocent man, and Penn finds himself doubting his friend's motives and searching for a path out of harm's way. More dangerous yet is Shad Johnson, the black district attorney whose dream is to send a rich white man to death row in Mississippi. At Shad's order, Drew is jailed, the police cease hunting Kate's killer, and Penn realizes that only by finding Kate's murderer himself can he save his friend's life. With his daughter's babysitter as his guide, Penn penetrates the secret world of St. Stephen's, a place that parents never see,where reality veers so radically from appearance that Penn risks losing his own moral compass. St. Stephen's is a dark mirror of the adult world, one populated by steroid-crazed jocks, girls desperate for attention, jaded teens flirting with nihilism, and hidden among them all - one true psychopath. It is Penn's journey into the heart of his alma mater. On that journey he finds that the intersection of the adult and nearly adult worlds is a dangerous place indeed. By the time Penn arrives at the shattering truth behind Kate Townsend's death, his quiet Southern town will never be the same.
- "BLUE MOON" (Louisiana #3) (The Runaways #3) by Jill Marie Landis (A++++) Lost in the watery backwoods of an Illinois swamp, a frightened young runaway meets a lonely stranger...two wounded souls hiding from the world. Together, in a treetop sanctuary, they would learn the importance of trust, and forgiveness - and moonlight. Noah LeCroix, half-French and half-Cherokee is convinced he's the oldest living male virgin in southern Illinois and certain he's destined to be alone forever...until one fateful night when he hears a bone chilling scream from the depths of the swamp. Olivia Bond is on the run from a terrible year as a captive in a whorehouse in New Orleans. Hopelessly lost, Olivia is unconscious by the time Noah finds her, a disgraced heroine who finds freedom in forgiveness and the love of a reclusive hero who dares to stay and give his heart when running would be easier.
- "THE CHESAPEAKE BRIDE" (Chesapeake Diaries #11) by Mariah Stewart (A++++) Architect Cassidy Logan has sworn off good-looking adventurers. Newly divorced, she’s focused on building ecologically friendly, historically accurate homes on the Chesapeake Bay for her father’s construction company. Traveling to Cannonball Island - where there has been no new construction in nearly one hundred years - Cass is sensitive to the heritage of the island, and has come up with plans so perfect she’s determined to buy a home for herself. Even the fact that Owen Parker - a local who she dismisses as a lightweight and a player - seems to be everywhere isn’t enough to deter her from building her dream house. Owen Parker is and always has been sinfully handsome and wickedly clever, a magnet for mischief as well as girls. He’s a rolling stone, going and doing whatever appeals to him, from flying a mail plane in Alaska, to working on a cattle ranch in Australia, a shrimp boat in Louisiana, and surfing and diving in Costa Rica. When an old friend offers him a job salvaging a sunken ship on the Chesapeake Bay, Owen gladly accepts. Something’s been telling him it was time to head home to Cannonball Island, and a job is as good an excuse as any. And he’s totally smitten by the pretty architect on the scene, but it seems he’s finally met a woman who’s immune to his charms. Sooner or later, Owen will have to face the reason why he always runs, because this time, leaving just might be harder than staying.
- "DEAN AND ME" by Jerry Lewis (new author for me) (abridged audio CD) (A+++++) They were the unlikeliest of pairs - a handsome crooner and a skinny monkey, an Italian from Steubenville, Ohio, and a Jew from Newark, New Jersey. Before they teamed up, Dean Martin seemed destined for a mediocre career as a nightclub singer, and Jerry Lewis was dressing up as Carmen Miranda and miming records on stage. But the moment they got together, something clicked - something miraculous - and audiences saw it at once. Before long, they were as big as Elvis or the Beatles would be after them, creating hysteria wherever they went and grabbing an unprecedented hold over every entertainment outlet of the era: radio, television, movies, stage shows, and nightclubs. Martin and Lewis were a national craze, an American institution. The millions (and the women) flowed in, seemingly without end - and then, on July 24, 1956, ten years from the day when the two men joined forces, it all ended. After that traumatic day, the two wouldn’t speak again for twenty years. And while both went on to forge triumphant individual careers - Martin as a movie and television star, recording artist, and nightclub luminary (and charter member of the Rat Pack); Lewis as the groundbreaking writer, producer, director, and star of a series of hugely successful movie comedies - their parting left a hole in the national psyche, as well as in each man’s heart. In a memoir by turns moving, tragic, and hilarious, Jerry Lewis recounts with crystal clarity every step of a fifty-year friendship, from the springtime, 1945 afternoon when the two vibrant young performers destined to conquer the world together met on Broadway and Fifty-fourth Street, to their tragic final encounter in the 1990s, when Lewis and his wife ran into Dean Martin, a broken and haunted old man. In Dean & Me, Jerry Lewis makes a convincing case for Dean Martin as one of the great - and most underrated - comic talents of our era. But what comes across most powerfully in this definitive memoir is the depth of love Lewis felt, and still feels, for his partner, and which his partner felt for him: truly a love to last for all time.
- "JAGGED" (Whiskey Sharp #2) by Lauren Dane (A+++++) Vicktor Orlov took one look at the wary gaze and slow-to-trust personality of the deliciously sexy and fascinating Rachel Dolan and knew he wanted more than just a casual friendship. But as a natural protector, he also knew bossiness and overprotective maneuvering would push her away rather than draw her close. He’ll use every tool in his easygoing arsenal to convince her to take a chance on them. Rachel’s flourishing new career as a tattoo artist has brought color back into a life previously damaged by a series of bad choices and violence. She knows she can trust Vic - it’s herself she’s not sure of. She doesn’t want to be caged or controlled. Doesn’t want to be protected so much she has no ability to make her own choices. And damn if the man doesn’t know it. When Vic finally drops all pretenses of “just friends” and focuses all his careful affection and irresistible seduction on her, Rachel knows she’s falling hard for the laid-back pretty-boy Russian she discovers has a relentlessly steel spine when it comes to her. And she can’t resist.
- SECRETS TO THE GRAVE" by Tami Hoag (unabridged audio CD) (A+++++) Marissa Fordham had a past full of secrets, a present full of lies. Everyone knew of her, but no one knew her. When Marissa is found brutally murdered, with her young daughter, Haley, resting her head on her mother's bloody breast, she sends the idyllic California town of Oak Knoll into a tailspin. Already on edge with the upcoming trial of the See-No-Evil killer, residents are shocked by reports of the crime scene, which might not have been discovered for days had it not been for a chilling 911 call: a small child's voice saying, "My daddy hurt my mommy." Sheriff's detective Tony Mendez faces a puzzle with nothing but pieces that won't fit. To assist with his witness, Haley, he calls teacher-turned-child advocate Anne Leone. Anne's life is hectic enough - she's a newlywed and a part-time student in child psychology, and she's the star witness in the See-No-Evil trial. But one look at Haley, alone and terrified, and Anne's heart is stolen. As Tony and Anne begin to peel back the layers of Marissa Fordham's life, they find a clue fragment here, another there. And just when it seems Marissa has taken her secrets to the grave, they uncover a fact that puts Anne and Haley directly in the sights of a killer: Marissa Fordham never existed.
CURRENTLY READING -
- "Gastien: From Dream to Destiny" (Gastien #2) by Caddie Rowland (reading on a Kindle app on my computer)
- "Seven Stones to Stand or Fall" by Diana Gabaldon
- "Ryan's Return" by Barbara Freethy
CURRENTLY LISTENING TO -
- "Dark in Death" (In Death #46) by J.D. Robb (listening on an Audible application on my cell phone)
- "The Quiet Game" (Penn Cage #1) by David Baldacci (abridged audio CD)
Last Edited on: 5/13/19 6:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 30