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Melanie (MELNELYNN) - Reviews

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After Caroline
After Caroline
Author: Kay Hooper
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 143
Review Date: 8/28/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Kay Hooper has done it again. After Caroline is a story about a woman (Joanne) that dies at the exact same time as Carolina both in car accidents but on different sides of the United States. Only difference is Joanne is brought back to life and survives. After the car accident she starts to experience a dream that repeats itself every night. Haunted by the images in her dream Joanne starts to investigate her dream and follows the clues to a small oceanside town in Oregon. Here she meets people that knew Caroline and the picture that is drawn for her about this woman is distressing. She is not a likeable person and she has left behind her husband and a daughter.
Joanne starts to ask questions and this sleepy town wants to keep it's secerts. People start to die and it looks like Caroline's accident was no accident.

Plenty of page turning suspense and many twists and turns will leave you wanting to only put the book down after the story is finished. Well worth the time it takes to read.


After Dark
After Dark
Author: Beverly Barton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 47
Review Date: 7/9/2008


In her first romantic suspense novel, Beverly Barton tells the story of Johnny Mack Cahill, a redeemable bad boy in AFTER DARK. Set in the small town of Noble's Crossing, the streets roll up after dark leaving a quiet, sleeping town. Nothing wild goes on -- at least in public. Indeed, Noble's Crossing's secrets go on behind closed doors and mostly after dark.
Everyone in town knew that Johnny Mack Cahill was John Graham's illegitimate son, making him Kent Graham's half-brother. Fifteen years ago Kent hated his half-brother with a passion only matched by his determination to marry Lane Noble. When Kent found out about Lane's crush on Johnny Mack, he arranged for his half-brother's murder. Beaten nearly to death by Sheriff Buddy Lawler and his thugs, Johnny Mack was thrown into the cold waters of the Chickasaw River. Only Lane's discovery of his nearly dead body on the river's shore saved his life.

Johnny Mack returns to Noble's Crossing when an anonymous letter arrives stating that he has a son. He's stayed away from Noble's Crossing for fifteen years, but learning that he has son and that Lane stands accused of Kent's murder brings him back. Johnny Mack quickly discovers that fourteen year-old Will's life has been formed by lies, one stacked neatly on top of the next.

A dying woman's letter to adopted father Kent tore Will's world to shreds, revealing not only his adoption, but that his birth father is none other than Johnny Mack. Kent couldn't forgive the boy for being Johnny Mack's son. Nor could he forgive Lane for orchestrating the adoption of Johnny Mack's child.

Johnny Mack can't be scared off. He can't be run off. And he can't be bought off. He doesn't play by the rules and these days he's the one who always wins. Four years of college and eight years of sharing a compassionate man's home had polished Johnny Mack's rough edges, giving him the ability to pass himself off as a gentleman.

Edith runs Noble's Crossing, declaring that it is her town, her county and her state. Johnny Mack may be a big shot in Texas, but in Noble's Crossing he's still white trash with money. When her son Kent has been dead for two weeks, Edith persuades the DA to take the case to the grand jury. Further, she demands that the DA get a capital murder indictment against Lane. Edith wants Lane punished for her son's murder, she wants Will protected, and she wants Johnny Mack to learn that she still rules Noble's Crossing.

AFTER DARK present a chilling account of small town intrigue. Beverly Barton presents the hidden motivations of each character with precision, creating a twisting plot line that keeps the pages turning. Indeed, the characters are multi-dimensional and realistic while acting in a believable and consistent manner.


After the Night
After the Night
Author: Linda Howard
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 263
Review Date: 6/25/2008
Helpful Score: 1


I read and enjoy everything Linda writes and in my opinion this one is her best effort and Gray is her most romatic hero ever. Faith has been in love with Gray since she was a child. Although he finds Faith attractive, he is tortured by the fact that his beloved father ran off with Faith's mother and neither have been heard from for years. The night Gray realizes his father is gone, he evicts Faith and her family from the shack where they live on his family's land and runs them out of town. Years later Faith returns and Gray is determined to run her off again, but he cannot deny his attraction to her and admires the way she will not back down from him. In a small town where his wealthy family "owns" just about everything and everyone Gray makes sure the local supermarket and gas station will not sell to Faith so she must purchase food and gas at a nearby town. This from a ruthless hero who is at her doorstep 10 minutes after she phones him for help, terrified after finding roadkill in her mailbox. Believe me you'll love this book. Linda also writes the best love scenes. The porch scene.......what can be said that already hasn't been said about it except for the fact that it has to be one of the most erotic love scenes ever written. You'll laugh your way through the public restroom love scene and I also enjoyed Faith's massage from Gray on her custom made kitchen table. This is a very sensual and sexy read as only Linda can write. Handle this one with asbestos gloves. After The Night is my all-time favorite and I wish I could rate it ten stars.


The Alamosa Trail (Trail Drive, Bk 15)
The Alamosa Trail (Trail Drive, Bk 15)
Author: Robert Vaughan, Ralph Compton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.4/5 Stars.
 8
Review Date: 10/26/2008


Jim Robison, Barry Riggsbee and Gene Curry were just three of the cowboys who were let go from the Trailback ranch after the Blizzard of 1886. Thus begins Robert Vaughn's exciting continuation of Ralph Compton's trail drive series in THE ALAMOSA TRAIL. After losing their money in a poker game some of the cowboys decide to rob a train but are unsucessful. However Jim is in El Paso, meeting with the gunman Clay Allison about delivering some horses to Allison's ranch in Alamosa, Colorado. Along the way are some adventures like the poker game Jim has, Clay Allison's gun fight and the outlaw Shardeen taking Katie Kincaid and her daughters captive to sell in Mexico. All this and the trail drive has not even started yet. THE ALAMOSA TRAIL will have you turning pages in anticipation of what is going to happen next. THE ALAMOSA TRAIL IS A MUST READ!!!!!!!!


All Fall Down
All Fall Down
Author: Carlene Thompson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 49
Review Date: 4/16/2007
Helpful Score: 1


I really enjoyed this book! It was fun, suspenseful, and it knew when to end. I would much rather read a 300 page book that is entertaining, gets to the point and keeps you turning the pages, than a 500 page story that drags on and on, making you long for the ending.

Blaine Avery is a beautiful, young vibrant woman who was suspected but never charged in the apparent suicide death of her older and wealthy husband. Now, 6 months later, people around Blaine are dying, shortly after being in her company. Are the rumors true? Is Blaine a cold-hearted killer, or is she being setup to take the blame for someone elses' crimes? Blaine claims to receive mysterious phone calls playing childrens songs right before the bodies are discovered. Is she lying to throw the police off track?

This book flowed so easily and was over before I knew it. It is a completely entertaining read. It won't take long to finish this book, but you'll be glad you took the time.


All Night Long
All Night Long
Author: Jayne Ann Krentz
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 312
Review Date: 2/24/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Whether writing as Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle or Jayne Ann Krentz, this author knows how to mix a sure-to-please readers' cocktail: Take 2 parts suspense, blend in 1 part sex, add a dash of surprises, and garnish with a satisfying conclusion. It's irresistible - after one sip you down it. Or, in the case of All Night Long read it from cover to cover.


All Through the Night (Troubleshooters, Bk 12)
All Through the Night (Troubleshooters, Bk 12)
Author: Suzanne Brockmann
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4.1/5 Stars.
 137
Review Date: 5/1/2008


Jules Cassidy and Robin Chadwick have been through a lot together over the years and through this series. When they first met Robin was still deeply in the closet, then he got involved with Jules' ex, Adam. Then Robin finally admits to himself that he is gay, but refuses to come out to the world; hiding his torment behind alcohol and meaningless one night stands. This is not the man I would have handpicked for wonderful Jules, but by the last book, Force of Nature (Troubleshooters, Book 11), I ended up liking Robin, too.

This is Suzanne Brockmann's Christmas novella where we finally get to see Jules and Robin make their commitment to each other both legal and permanent in a wedding ceremony in Boston, Massachusetts. Of course the story wouldn't be a story without a few more obstacles to overcome, including the always annoying ex, Adam, a news reporter, and a crazy fanatic.

This was a romantic story and a quick and enjoyable read. However I have a few bones to pick. At times it read like an extra schmaltzy family reunion. The Troubleshooter and Team Sixteen updates seemed a little forced and a tad corny. I want Ms. Brockmann to update me on the past characters I have come to know and love, but in this book it was a case of too much, too many. My other major problem was Jules' and his jealousy issues. It was dragged out throughout the entire story and I just wanted to yell "Get over it already! Let's Move On!"

The highpoints of the story were of course finally getting to watch Jules and Robin enjoy each other completely. Openly embracing each other and the life they are going to share, forever. Another highlight was a romance blossoming for Dolphina, the faithful assistant, and of course the appearance of the always entertaining Sam and Alyssa.


Almost Dead (San Francisco, Bk 2)
Almost Dead (San Francisco, Bk 2)
Author: Lisa Jackson
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.8/5 Stars.
 458
Review Date: 9/15/2007


After reading this book, I found out that it was a sequel to a previous book, "If She Only Knew." This book did fine as a stand alone though. We learn that the main character, Cissy's mother is (or was) serving time in prison for murder and was crazy. This book picks up 10 years later after her mother has just escaped from prison.

The murders soon begin piling up and the clues could lead anywhere. The book moves quickly and at times is reminiscent of an Alfred Hitchcock movie. It was full of surprises, twists and turns. All in all, a good, fast read.


Always a Thief (Quinn / Thief, Bk 2)
Always a Thief (Quinn / Thief, Bk 2)
Author: Kay Hooper
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 220
Review Date: 3/29/2006


The priceless, rarely displayed Bannister collection is about to be exhibited--and the shows director, Morgan West, cant ignore her growing uneasiness. Shes certain she hasnt seen the last of the infamous cat burglar Quinn. But she never expected him to turn up at her apartment one dark night in desperate need of her help--help she cant refuse. The mysterious master thief is playing a dangerous game, and its a game that just might get him killed.

With Morgans help, Quinn sets a trap intended to catch someone far more elusiveand more deadlythan a thief. But an unseen threat shadows him in the fog-shrouded San Francisco night, an unknown adversary more cunning than any he has yet encountered. Now, just when the stakes are higher than even Quinn can imagine, no one can be trusted--and everythings at risk.
The conclusion to "Once a Thief". It really helps to read the first book before beginning this one. Give the history of the characters.


Amanda
Amanda
Author: Kay Hooper
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 111
Review Date: 7/30/2008
Helpful Score: 1


Amanda is a wonderful story, full of colorful characters and a quick plot. "Amanda" has returned home after 20 years when she and her mother left when she was a child. She cannot prove that she is the real Amanda, and her relatives are all sceptical. Amanda doesn't really care if they believe her or not. She just wants to know why her mother took her and ran so many years ago. Amanda must deal with an unexpected romantic intrest in her family's lawyer and her old friend, Walker. As she asks questions however horrible things begin to happen. A trainer at the stable is killed, Amanda is poisoned, and her protective dogs go missing, and she can only asume they have been taken. Amanda must find out why her mother took her and ran before it's too late.
This was a very good book, that drew me in. The characters are interesting and the plot keeps you guessing. I've read it many times over the years, and if you like suspenseful romances you will too.


The Angel (BPD-FBI, Bk 2)
The Angel (BPD-FBI, Bk 2)
Author: Carla Neggers
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.
 53
Review Date: 3/23/2009
Helpful Score: 1


The story about an Ancient Celtic stone angel has been passed down for centuries. Keira Sullivan learns of the angel through a story told by Patsy McCarthy. Patsy has told the story to many people but only Keira decides that she will go to Ireland and seek the angel on her own. Keira is a folklorist and illustrator and Patsy's story fascinates her. Before Keira can leave Boston to travel to Ireland, she finds a body. It is that of Victor Sarakis, a man who has spent a lot of time studying the devil.

The story alternates settings between Ireland and Boston. Simon Cahill, a friend of the family and also a member of the FBI, winds up involved and follows Keira to Ireland¬-which is a good thing since she winds up in some danger. Kiera has lived a strange life. Her mother Eileen made a trip to Ireland and came home pregnant with Kiera. Now Kiera's mother lives alone in a hermit-like existence. Bob O'Reilly, Kiera's uncle, is not happy over Kiera's decision to go to Ireland and try to locate the angel. Bob has good reason to feel this way because of past events.

This is a marvelous story of family, legends, and age-old truths that finally come to light. The book is also filled with suspense and many surprises. Author Carla Neggers traveled to Ireland and visited a pub such as the one described in The Angel. The scenery described makes one wish for a trip to Ireland.

***If you read The Widow, this book lets you know what is happening with Abigail Browning after he solved her husband's murder.***


Angel Fire (Lydia Strong, Bk 1)
Angel Fire (Lydia Strong, Bk 1)
Author: Lisa Unger (writing as Lisa Miscione)
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 12
Review Date: 6/10/2012


As a teenager, Lydia Strong learned how to live up to her surname following the murder of her mother by a serial killer. The homicide shaped her personal and professional lives. She molded herself into a non-caring person so that she would never hurt again. Professionally she became a successful true crime writer who depends on her intuition to learn the truth.

Fifteen years later, Lydia is in Santa Fe where three people with no real ties to anyone recently vanished. She and the cops disagree as her instincts scream sly serial killer while Police Chief Simon Morrow insists just a trio of losers escaping from their mundane lonely lives. Lydia persuades private eye Jeffrey Mark to help her prove she is right. Jeffrey would do anything for Lydia, who he unrequitedly has loved since he met her when he was a FBI agent investigating her mother's murder. Soon corpses appear and Simon reluctantly begins to believe in Lydia's intuition that dangerously takes the trio to the Church of the Holy Name for a final confrontation with evil.


ANGEL FIRE is a police procedural tale with an ESP-like private investigative twist to the plot. The lead trio makes an interesting team as a strange yet engaging relational triangle forms. The story line is gory and all over the place losing at times sight of the prime theme, but those readers who enjoy a bloodstained tale with likable protagonists will find Lisa Miscione's debut novel to be heaven sent.


Another Life
Another Life
Author: Donna Anders
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 15
Review Date: 6/26/2008
Helpful Score: 4


I have read both of Donna Ander's other thrillers, "The Flower Man" and "Dead Silence" but this book is far better. Even though they were both suspensful, they were not as well written as this book. This book is so superior in it's writing that it is hard to believe the same author created it. The characters are well developed and the protagonist, Sharon, is so loveable. I found myself rooting for her and almost crying out when I thought her evil husband, Paul, would catch her at something she was not supposed to be doing! This was an intense read and I could not put it down! I never wanted it to end and the characters became as real people to me. That is a sign of a great book. It keeps you on the edge of your seat and it is worth buying! I highly recommend it!


Are You Scared Yet?
Are You Scared Yet?
Author: Hunter Morgan
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 9/29/2007


In southern Delaware, the small town of Stephen Kill is usually a quiet place and very little crime occurs there. It is mostly from domestics or drunk and disorderly conducts. There was a serial killer who worked her trade in the town last year but she was found in large part due to detective Delilah Swift. She comes from the south and has a relationship with Chief Snowden Calloway although there are two problems working against it: his biracial background that he family would condemn and he is her superior which is against the rules.

When a young man disappears, his parents are frantic because he is a good person who would never do anything to worry them. His car with the cell phone and wallet on the seat is found; a few days later his body is found in the same pond where last year's serial killer drowned. Several other women disappear. Their cars and bodies found in the same way. Snowden and Delilah know they have another serial killing on their hands. The culprit believes in providing a service to people by killing these sinners and hopes one day to obtain Delilah's approval.

Hunter Morgan has written another exciting thriller that sends chills up and down the readers' spines because almost anyone could be kidnapped and killed. The heroine is a multi-dimensional character who deals with several problems at once and like normal people, not all of them she handles successfully. Though the probability of two serial killers working Stephen Kill seems overwhelmingly unlikely, readers will believe in the validity of these murders. ARE YOU SCARED YET is a must read for reader who love romantic suspense police procedurals with the accent on the investigation.


As Good as Dead (Cherokee Pointe, Bk 3)
As Good as Dead (Cherokee Pointe, Bk 3)
Author: Beverly Barton
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 120
Review Date: 3/9/2006


Suspensful! Kept you guessing until the end! I love all Beverly Barton books and this one is no exception. There are a lot of characters mentioned and it's hard to keep up with everyone but still a good read.


Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea (Aunt Dimity, Bk 11)
Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea (Aunt Dimity, Bk 11)
Author: Nancy Atherton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 65
Review Date: 3/24/2007
Helpful Score: 1


Once again Lori Shepherd finds herself in the middle of a mystery but this time there is nothing she can do. Bill has been threatened with the death of his family (Lori and the 5-year-old twins). The police are working to try to identify the person writing the letters and advise that Lori and the children go into hiding. While in exile Lori, of course, finds a less threatening mystery to solve.

I have enjoyed all ten of the previous Aunt Dimity stories and Nancy Atherton's latest book did not disappoint. Aunt Dimity and the Deep Blue Sea has everything a cozy reader could hope for. Readers who are put off by the idea of a ghost among the cast of characters should know that Aunt Dimity has recently begun to play much less of a role in the stories; Lori is very much center stage. She's a strong heroine who is only getting better with age.


Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin (Aunt Dimity, Bk 10)
Aunt Dimity and the Next of Kin (Aunt Dimity, Bk 10)
Author: Nancy Atherton
Book Type: Paperback
  • Currently 4.2/5 Stars.
 86
Review Date: 11/6/2006
Helpful Score: 1


I love this series. The premise is that Aunt Dimity, who is dead, can communicate with Lori Shepherd via a journal. Lori talks and Dimity writes her responses for Lori to read. I can accept this because these stories are rich in friendship, love, trust, caring, and community.

Lori's twins boys are now 5 and as active as ever. Lori stays active in the town of Finch, the church, and now visits at the Radcliffe Infirmary those patients who have no other visitors. It's at the Radcliffe that Lori meets Elizabeth Beacham, a retired legal secretary. They hit it off immediately and become friends. But as is the nature of cancer, Miss Beacham dies and Lori is devastated. Then she learns that Miss Beacham has left her a desk in her will. Lori feels that she has to find Miss Beacham's brother who disappeared years ago to find out why his sister died with no family at her side.

Of course this starts the chain of events that cause Lori to learn that Miss Beacham was more than she appeared to be. She also learns that cities can also have communities as tight knit as Finch. She recruits helper on her journey to find Kenneth Beacham and manages to lose her temper, jump to conclusions, and finally approach her goal.

As usual, there is a message to the book. This one examines our preconceptions of people and their roles. If you haven't read any of the previous Aunt Dimity books you can start with any of them including this one but why rob yourself of a wonderful, relaxing, reading experience--start at the beginning with Aunt Dimity's Death. Enjoy!


Aunt Dimity Goes West (Aunt Dimity, Bk 12)
Aunt Dimity Goes West (Aunt Dimity, Bk 12)
Author: Nancy Atherton
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 67
Review Date: 5/24/2008


I love the way that Nancy Atherton writes her stories, they are clean wholesome stories that the whole family can read and enjoy. Ms. Atherton keeps you in suspense and Aunty Dimity is so sensible and causes Lori to think straight. This book was very good because it had a surprise in it that I had not read in the other Aunt Dimity series - and I have read them all. I believe that anyone who reads this one book will want the whole series as I did when I bought my first book a few years ago, now I have the whole collection and will pass them on to my grandchildren who also loves to read as much as I do.


Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon (Aunt Dimity, Bk 14)
Aunt Dimity Slays the Dragon (Aunt Dimity, Bk 14)
Author: Nancy Atherton
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 35
Review Date: 9/15/2009


I always enjoy an "Aunt Dimity " book. This one has Lori helping out with "King Wilfred's Faire." It has knights, jugglers, wenches, jousting and other faire activities. Of course, there is a murder and Lori just has to find out who "did it".
I love the idea of her 2 boys going to the faire and coming back with phrases such as, " They were drunk as Lords". "sloshed", "Pie eyed'". Poor Lori has her hands full keeping her boys from learning too much about lords and wenches while also solving a murder. The town of Finch will never be the same.
This book had a good plot and some very interesting characters filling in at the faire.
As usual a good read from Nancy Atherton.


Aunt Dimity Snowbound (Aunt Dimity, Bk 9)
Aunt Dimity Snowbound (Aunt Dimity, Bk 9)
Author: Nancy Atherton
Book Type: Hardcover
  • Currently 4/5 Stars.
 65
Review Date: 3/22/2007


When her friend persuades her to break her post-Christmas funk with a hike, Lori Shepherd figures on a pleasant five hours walking through the beautiful English countryside, possibly watching lambs gamboling (whatever that is). But when she takes a wrong turn and England is hit by the blizzard of the century, Lori finds herself snowbound in a strange house--deserted except for an ancient caretaker with a shotgun, and two fellow Americans, similarly caught by the unexpected snowfall. Those, along with her stuffed rabbit and the notebook that contains the spirit of Lori's Aunt Dimity.
The odds of three Americans being caught by snow in one small building don't seem high and Lori is suspicious. She gets even more suspicious when Catchpole, the caretaker, tells the tragic story of the late owner of the building--and her hatred for anything American. Following Aunt Dimity's advice, Lori starts a treasure hunt for whatever the building's owner supposedly lost--or had stolen. But Lori isn't the only person hunting and her suspicions quickly turn to Wendy--the American backpacker who just happens to have a crowbar in her pack.

Author Nancy Atherton serves up a fun light mystery. The ghostly Aunt Dimity serves up hints for both Lori and the reader but Lori uses her own common sense and judgment as well. Wendy and Jamie, along with Catchpole are interesting and well developed characters. Lori has an unfortunate habit of being terribly attracted to one of the suspects in each of the Dimity mysteries and this is no exception. Jamie turns out to be exactly the tall handsome and intelligent types that get Lori going--husband and children not-withstanding. In this book, Lori's little weakness (which she womanfully suppresses) adds rather than detracting from the narrative.

Fans of light English-set cozies will definitely want to grab this one.


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