I was starting to get bored with this series and was debating whether or not to continue reading it. Im so happy I gave the series another shot, because 10th Anniversary brings back the intensity that I felt was starting to lack in previous books. I really enjoyed how this installment brings major changes to several of the characters, starting with Lindsays wedding to Joe. One of the reasons I have enjoyed this series so much is that each member of the Womens Murder Club is vital and have to play a central role in the storyline. In addition to Lindsays marriage, Yuki is in a new relationship and Cindys relationship moves to the next level. Claire didnt have any changes, but she was present throughout the book interacting with the rest of the group.
I also enjoyed the multiple plots. I thought the missing baby case was intriguing and the case Yuki is prosecuting was full of intrigue. Both cases threw a few surprise curve balls at me but I really enjoy that. Cindy is working on a serial rapist story that brings her a little too close for comfort but I enjoyed the way it played out. The story ends with a bang that left me excited and looking forward to the next one.
My Final Verdict: If you enjoy long running series, this series delivers on so many levels with characters you really care about and plots that keep you interested in what happens. Some of the books werent as enjoyable as others in the series, but overall this is a very good series that any fan of the thriller or mystery genre will lose themselves completely in the books.
I am not a fan of the horror genre so I have not followed the writing of Stephen King and must admit I have not read many of his books. Stephen King has proven himself as a master storyteller over the years with his ability to weave a story outside the genre he is known for. I was intrigued by the premise of 11/22/1963 because the concept of being able to go back in time to stop the most pivotal moment in our history is something many Americans have thought about. What if? How would our world change if Kennedy had lived? What other tragic events would have changed as well? Would stopping Kennedys assassination make the world a better place or worse?
The main character, Jake Epping, is a high school English teacher in Maine. One evening he reads an essay by one of his adult GED students named Harry Dunning about how he is the sole survivor of his fathers vicious murder of his entire family. Jakes friend, Al, tells Jake about a time portal in his diners storeroom and asks him to help him stop Kennedys assassination, Jake is filled with doubt it could work. Jake goes back in time and arrives in 1958 and decides to stop the murder of Harrys family first. Jake learns that the past doesnt want to be changed and it will fight back to deter Jake from his goals. Jake is told that every time he uses the portal to go back to the past, everything is reset to the way it originally happens. After a few practice attempts involving many stops and starts, Jake decides to stay in the past to stop Kennedys assassination. He finds himself in the small community of Jodie, Texas going by the alias of George Amberson and teaching high school. He meets and falls in love with Sadie Dunhill, the school librarian. Meanwhile the clock is ticking forward to the infamous date of 11/22/63 and Jake is torn between letting history play itself out or following through on his promise to Al.
I really enjoyed this story and the suspenseful build-up of events leading Jake to his date with destiny. The author gives us a close-up into the life of Lee Harvey Oswald and his wife. Life in Dallas and the surrounding area in the late 1950s-early 1960s is described with such detail, I got a very good sense of what it was like for Jake. I really loved the secondary characters, especially the people Jake meets in Jodie, Texas. I was torn as to whether or not Jake should continue with his mission or not. Loyal fans of Stephen King will also enjoy the references to his other work in this book.
I highly recommend this story if you enjoy books loaded with details and a storyline that sucks you in and keeps you guessing at the outcome. I thought the ending was very unexpected, but I wouldnt change anything about this story.
Very enjoyable story with very likable characters. Emma is a woman you can easily relate to as she deals with the daily life issues of her job, love and friends. After she picks herself up from the indignity of being tossed aside by her bastard of a boyfriend, she relies on her friends to take her in and help her cope with the betrayal not only in her love life but also on the job as she is denied an opportunity she is perfect for. Add into the mix that her father is one of the top plastic surgeons in the area, Emma is continuously reminded of everytime she looks in the mirror and sees her completely inadequate 32AA chest.
Join Emma as she navigates through her life looking to fill her days (and hopefully a bikini) with the happiness she longs for.
With 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover, new to me author Linda Wisdom introduces her series starring a feisty witch named Jazz and a vampire named Nick who have been in an on then off relationship for several hundred years. Unfortunately, most of it has not been good and the last time Jazz and Nick were together several decades ago, he had her arrested. Understandably, Jazz is a tad cranky when she and Nick cross paths. He is definitely the last person, dead or alive, she wants to deal with and I was given a very good idea just how angry she is with him when she conjures up fire balls and wooden stakes ready to end his existence mere seconds after laying eyes on him again. Jazz doesnt need any more trouble. Her temper and bad behavior have gotten her in trouble with the Witches Council and she was banished so she is trying to walk the straight and narrow. I was very intrigued to say the least.
Fortunately for the future of this story, Nick doesnt give up so easily and continues to try to persuade her to help him track down who is responsible for several vampires going missing. I liked Nick and his persistence. I liked that he and Jazz have an extensive history and they always manage to find their way back to one another. Jazz has a lot on her plate already and the last thing she wants is Nick back in her life. In addition to hiring her witchy services out to disarm curses and her job as a driver for a limousine company she has to deal with Irma, a chain smoking nag of a ghost, who haunts Jazzs T-Bird, her ghoul boss, Dweezil, who walks a very fine line between good and evil and her carnivorous bunny slippers, just to name a few. On top of that, her boss insists she is the only one who can drive his best customer (because he pays in gold bars), who also emits an odor so noxious that Jazz has to throw away the clothing she wears when she drives him. For Jazz, having Nick show up again after all these years is like the final straw for her. Of course, Jazz eventually agrees to help him, especially when she discovers that the most evil and foulest of creatures she thought had been destroyed in the 30s is actually still around.
I would have liked a little more background history with Jazz (and whatever names she used throughout the years) and Nick. How they met, more detail about her banishment and the relationships with her sister witches Stasi and Blair, how Nick became a vampire and his history with the Protectorate. There were a lot of references and inferences to these issues and a lot of jumping back and forth between past and present, but it left me with more questions that pulled me out of the story many times. Even still, these issues did not keep me from wanting to know more and connecting with the characters.
My Final Verdict: Overall, this was a good start to a series that has three more books and one short story. Jazz and Nick will return in the next book, Hex Appeal and Stasi and Blair will each get their story. I am hopeful more will be revealed and explained as we go forward. If you like your vampire heroes to be hot and your witch heroines to be smart, feisty and full of snarky attitude, with vibrant supporting characters throughout that threaten to take over the whole story, then I recommend 50 Ways To Hex Your Lover as a good place to start.
I keep thinking that this will be the last installment of "The Women's Murder Club" series that I will read as I have assumed, incorrectly, that Patterson can't take these characters any further without them becoming redundant. I love to be surprised and Patterson doesn't dissapoint as, once again, I am pleasantly surprised at what Lindsay, Claire, Yuki and Cindy find themselves thrust into.
I enjoyed the developing attraction between Lindsay and Conklin initially, but I am glad to see Patterson take it in a different direction; besides, I love Joe and have been rooting for them for a very long time. I've also wanted to see Cindy in a more central role and with this book, I get my wish as she not only gets a relationship but also plays an active position in one of the murder cases. Yuki seems to be at odds in her career and her personal life, but I am hopeful that Patterson will turn that around. Claire is always great as the glue that holds the group together with her common sense and logic.
The cases were riveting and kept me on the edge of my seat trying to figure out whodunit. I am back to being deeply addicted to this series and eagerly looking forward to #9.
With the 9th installment of the Womens Murder Club, I feel pretty well connected to the characters, having gotten to know them over the last nine books. I love them all equally, but hats off go to Claire as the one in the group who really stood out for me in this book. Shes very direct and isnt afraid to speak her mind. I dont want to give anything away, but the last chapter of the book was so much better, thanks to Claire.
Lindsay has two very high profile murder cases in this book. First up is Hello Kitty, so named by Cindy. Kitty is a cat burglar, a very successful cat burglar I might add, but her job at famous movie star, Marcus Dowlings house ends with a murder that Kitty did not commit. The second is the Lipstick Killer, so named because he guns down women and children and then leaves his calling card in lipstick on the victims windshield. Unfortunately, the powers that be at SFPD feel the Marcus Dowling case is more important and demands Lindsay devote all her attention to this one instead of the other one. Lindsay soon learns that working one will bring her closer to the other one.
As the layers of both cases are peeled back, Lindsay finds herself trying to stay one step ahead of a woman and child hating sadistic killer and an elusive cat burglar torn between risking her freedom by coming forward to set the record straight or doing just one more job that will ensure her financial security and freedom.
I really loved how the story played out but I do have a few grievances. First of all, Lindsay and Joe are still together and still engaged. I really dont understand and definitely dont like where Patterson is going with Lindsays attraction to her partner, Rich Conklin. Rich has just started a relationship with Cindy and I would love to see where that leads. I think Lindsay and Joe make an excellent couple and I want them to stay together. Mr. Patterson, please stop stirring the pot of deception. If Lindsay cheats on Joe with Rich, she will lose Joe and Cindy and Mr. Patterson will lose me as a fan. I get that adultery is a plot device that elevates tension in the story, but I cant stand it, especially when its the storys protagonist who does it.
Secondly, the entire epilogue was cold-blooded and I felt didnt need to be included in the story. It had no bearing on the story or anything that had happened. It left more questions at the end than answers, especially regarding Lindsays career and position at SFPD. James Patterson usually does an excellent job of tying up loose ends and ripping the rug out from under me with some of the plot twists and turns, so I really didnt understand the need for this epilogue. If the epilogue puts to rest any of the confusing feelings Lindsay is having for Rich, then all is forgiven, but I dont think it will. So, unfortunately, I am not rating this book as high as I would, because the epilogue really pulled me out of the story and left me without any closure. I am anticipating the 10th book with the hopes that there will be some tying up of the loose ends. Overall, I am still a fan of this series and look forward to what Lindsay, Claire, Cindy and Yuki face next.
To begin with, the description of this book completely misled me as the Goddess of Love made no appearance in this story, whatsoever. I quickly got over that, however, and became so immersed in Stacy Temples life that I finished this book in 5 days! Im still surprised by that because Im a notoriously slow reader and there just havent been many books that I literally inhale so quickly.
Stacy Temple is your typical young working gal who has had her share of ups and downs in the relationship arena. After her last relationship ended nearly a year ago, Stacys focus turned to her career at an Internet start-up company selling sexy lingerie that she has neglected her sexual needs. No big deal, right? Apparently Stacy discovers it is a very big deal. She learns through a sex column emailed to her by a friend that after one year of celibacy, a girl gets re-virginated. No, it doesnt grow back, but according to the column, it may as well as you are officially a virgin again. This sends Stacy on a quest to get lucky before the one year mark. With failure after failure with several prospective partners (one of which is a paid escort gifted to Stacy by her boss!!!), Stacys desperation rockets upward.
This book was hilarious. I laughed out loud throughout the book while shaking my head combined with a little bit of eye-rolling at what was waiting on the next page. However, I couldnt help but cheer Stacy on. I had to give the girl points for seeing it through despite the odds of overall failure. Who knew it would be so hard to find someone to have sex with in New York City? Finding out how this would all shake out kept my anticipation level rising at the same pace as Stacys desperation.
This was a very fast read for me that made me laugh out loud several times. I highly recommend this to fans of both the chick-lit and contemporary romance genre who are looking for an entertaining and humorous book to escape intoeye-rolling optional.
This wasnt the best by Nora Roberts in terms of her standard romantic suspense titles, but I did enjoy the story. I thought Reece was a likeable character and once I learned why she was so jittery and tense, I felt a lot of empathy for her. She came across as a very believable character, having experienced what she went through in her previous life and I thought she was very brave for taking charge of her life and trying new experiences, despite her anxiety. I liked Brody immediately and didnt let his gruff exterior fool me. Reeces boss, Joanie and coworker, Linda Gail were wonderful supporting characters. The story flowed well, but was a little predictable, especially when the killer started stalking Reece, trying to make her think she was going crazy. I guessed early on who the killer was, but enjoyed finding out why he did it at the end.
Overall, this was a good story and fans of Nora Roberts and romantic suspense stories will enjoy it, but may not be blown away by it.
I usually prefer my mysteries and thrillers on audio. For me, the tension, suspense, anxiety and, yes, sometimes fear are more heightened through the audible performance of the narrator. If done correctly, it makes the story more enjoyable for me. Unfortunately, not every audiobook has provided the nail-biting edge of my seat anticipation. When this happens, I find it a struggle to continue the book. Depending on the storys subject matter, I may give up on the book entirely or start over with a print edition. I decided to start over with Angels Tip. This is the second book in the Ellie Hatcher series and she is a character that intrigued me in the first book, Dead Connection.
This book picks up not long where the first one ended, so I recommend you read this series in order to maintain character and storyline continuity. Ellie has new challenges in this story as well. She still has to prove herself in a Unit where she is the least experienced and where her boss appears to hate her and everything about her. She is given a new partner and she and J.J. Rogan have to learn to work together as a team while getting to know one another. She is also trying to process where her relationship with Peter is going and she still lives with her brother, Jess. A pretty average and typical day in the life of an NYPD Homicide Detective.
As with the last book, I think Ellie is a fantastic character. She maintains her composure when she is face to face with people who are openly hostile, like her boss or with people whose motives I certainly question, like her boyfriend. I enjoy the teamwork and budding friendship between Ellie and Rogan and the domestic relationship between her and her brother. Ms. Burke does an amazing job of creating characters with depth and personalities that are a joy to get to know and understand.
Ellie and Rogans first case involves the murder of a college student from Indiana who is visiting Manhattan on her spring break. She has been strangled and stabbed repeatedly and her hair has been chopped off. Ellie and Rogan quickly identify a suspect and the Department is satisfied that the case has been solved. The more Ellie looks at the case, however, the more she doubts that they have the right suspect. She begins following up on similar cases that her last partner was working on that happened decades ago. With the assistance of her partner and ADA Max Donovan, Ellie is trying to race the clock to put the pieces together before this psychopath claims another victim.
This story was very complex and it was impossible for me to figure out who the killer was. When Ellie figures it out, my reaction was Huh? Where did she come up with that? I had not even come up with a near guess, but thats really OK. I dont want to be the one to have to figure it out. It takes all of the enjoyment of the story away from me. I enjoy not knowing and being surprised and even shocked when it is revealed. Even better, the adrenaline doesnt stop with the big reveal. The story kicks into high gear as the stakes have gone up once Ellie knows. I give Ms. Burke a double high five for ripping the rug out from under me.
Overall, this was a very good story that I am glad I stuck with. This book will appeal to fans of J.D. Robbs Eve Dallas series or James Pattersons Womens Murder Club series. If you enjoy strong female protagonists who are not afraid to get their hands dirty and have guts and courage, I recommend this series. I am looking forward to the next book in the series to see what Ellie gets into next and who she gets into it with.
Started out slow and a little dull but picked up at the 100 page mark where I would normally give up and move on.
I really enjoyed Shari's trip to London and Abbey Road. :o) The supporting characters were very interesting as well. I thought things were left hanging with Shari's mother and Owen's father and unfortunately Owen really didn't develop into a three dimensional character. Shari's Aunt Dot was entertaining as well as the scenes involving the funeral of the skunk.
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein was recommended to me by a very good friend and is nothing at all like the books I normally read. For starters, the narrator of the book is a dog named Enzo and the story is told entirely from his perspective. Its given me a whole new insight on animals and what they are really thinking and how they feel and the fact that they understand so much more than we give them credit for.
The story begins on the eve of Enzos death. Hes an old dog, you see, and as we all have done and will do, hes reflecting back on his life with his master, Denny, a race car driver and his family. Enzos view of the world is very funny and thought provoking. Enzo shares with us his love of television and watching car races as well as a documentary that people in Mongolia believe when a dog passes from this life, he will be reincarnated as a human. Enzo is very clear that his ultimate dream is to come back as a man, find Denny and shake his hand.
Through Enzos eyes, we are introduced to Dennys future wife, Eve and meet their daughter Zoe. With Enzos help, I learned more about racing cars than I ever did. Most importantly, we learn from Enzo exactly how loyal a dog is to his pack master and the love he feels for his entire pack. When Denny faces the ultimate adversity, we see it through Enzos eyes and feel his helplessness that he cant fix it. You cant help but love Enzo. While reading this book, I wished he were with me several times so I could hug him.
This book will make you smile, laugh and cry. This book will make you angry (I absolutely hated the twins and if I had been Enzo, I would have bit them). For me, only a book that truly speaks to my heart is capable of bringing out so many emotions when I read it and The Art of Racing in the Rain did that and more. Get this book, but dont just read itsavor it. Life is short and Enzo showed me how important it is to make every moment count.
This was an OK story but I expected a much more explosive ending that Grisham has been known to deliver in the past. Grisham does a good job of laying the groundwork and drawing the reader into Kyle's world giving us a bird's eye view into the mess Kyle has found himself as well as the intense pressure of trying to out maneuver the bad guys and come out on top. I'm not sure what happened, but this book, though is a decent story had the potential to be so much more.
So often, a series begins to get stale and redundant by the third book. Happily, that doesnt seem to be the case with this series and if this book is any indicator, it wont. My failure to read this book sooner is why there was so much confusion when I read First Drop of Crimson in January. Now that I have rectified that situation, I can happily report that this At Graves End was well worth the wait! I cannot gush enough about how much I love Cat and Bones. As a couple and individually, these two characters sure know how to get the job done.
This story really opens up more of the Night Huntress world that I wasnt aware of. We get to see more about Cats father, Max and what a truly deviated and pitiful excuse of a former human he truly was. We get to see more of Cats mom and there are some interesting twists and surprises with Justina that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. We see one of Cats men, Tate, getting more of a storyline and so far, I am enjoying the triangle his character is trying to create with Cat and Bones. I definitely see potential there for Tate to get his own book.
I know if I decided to leave my current career path and become a vampire slayer, then Cat is the one I would want to mentor and train me. This series and in particular, this book, delivers everything I look for and want in my reading selections. In addition to the intense action and fighting scenes, theres humor and even some very heart wrenching sad moments.
I cant think of one thing in this book that didnt work for me so instead I will say if you havent yet read this series, get off your tush and get started. Youll be glad you did.
In the romance genre, time travel and paranormal themes rate very high for me and I usually can't get enough of them. I liked this story but unfortunately it took way too long to read and too many distractions pulling me out of the story. When that happens, I give up on the story and move on. Since it took me a month to get this book read, I probably should have done that. Instead, I stuck with it and ended up enjoying the story for the most part.
I liked Bree and Faelan but didn't LOVE them. I actually liked Ronan more and wished he had made an appearance in the story sooner. Hopefully he will get his own story. I really liked Conall too.
There were several "I can't believe she did that" moments with Bree that put her safety at risk. I can certainly see why Faelan felt like she needed a protector because she had no difficulty putting herself in danger on her own! Personally, I felt that she needed a babysitter. I was quite surprised she didn't suffer more serious injury than the few bruises and scrapes she did.
There were too many of the "big misunderstandings" between Bree and Faelan for my liking. Bree assumes he doesn't want her and is sleeping with someone else so she misunderstands why Faelan wants her to leave and Faelan doesn't do a very good job of explaining why either. Faelan jumps to the mother of wrong conclusions when he sees what he assumes is Bree in bed with the demon he has been trying to destroy and assumes Bree is a half-ling (half demon and half human) and he's ready to plan her demise as well until he is reminded that demons don't deal in truth.
The nice thing about this book is the introduction of many of the other warriors in Faelan's clan that may have their own story later on in this series. So, while I wasn't completely in love with this book or the characters, I liked the story and am intrigued in this series and what happens next.
Initially, the story started out pretty good. It held a lot of promise as I was introduced to two characters that know what they want in life and were fortunate to find their common interests, desires and goals in each other. Unfortunately, this story can never have a happily ever after. So, there really isnt anything to like about this story. As soon as Ben changed his mind about not wanting children, he began to try to manipulate Claudia into changing hers by constantly bringing up the subject. For Claudia, that just increased the stress and tension. She hopes that Ben changing his mind is just a phase. At this point, logic should dictate to one or both of them that their marriage is in serious trouble and they should have gone to a counselor. Instead, they quit communicating, except to fight about having a baby, and from there things get progressively worse. After one particularly ugly evening, Claudia packs her bags and leaves and moves in with her best friend. From there, the impending divorce is just a formality and before I had time to process that they are having serious problems, the divorce is final!
They end up together, obviously, but this book gets the lowest rating because nothing is resolved! Ben still wants children, Claudia doesnt. Im left asking myself WHY GET BACK TOGETHER? Oh, because you love each other and cant to be apart? That didnt stop you the first time from packing your crap and moving out! That didnt stop you from jumping straight into a divorce! So, I ask myself, what could possibly be gained by getting back together now? Claudia hasnt changed her mind about not wanting children, so if she decides to have them because she doesnt want to lose Ben, then that makes her TOO STUPID TO LIVE. If Ben decides he is willing to live without children because he doesnt want to lose Claudia, then hes giving up his dream to be a father and thats always going to be a source of resentment. Its not like they both decided they wanted children and found out they couldnt and then agreed that living without children to save the marriage any damage from the stress of trying was their next step. On such an important issue as whether or not to have children, how can you expect either one to compromise and have a successful marriage? You compromise on the color you will paint the kitchen or the breed of dog you take in or where you will go on vacation, but never on whether or not to have children.
Nothing about this story ends up working for me. What should have happened is when Ben announces he has changed his mind about children, Claudia should have told him that she hadnt and suggested counseling to help them decide where they would go from there. Then we see them trying to work out this major difference and dealing with the obstacles in their way. Then, either Ben would realize it was just a phase and he really doesnt want children or Claudia would change her mind and her biological clock would begin ticking. Either way, it would have been resolved. Nobody would have had to sacrifice anything by compromising. Win-win!
In addition, I didnt like most of the supporting characters. Claudias friend having an affair with a married man who obviously will never leave his wife for her and she should be asking herself, what makes her think that a man who will cheat to be with her wont cheat on her? Her name should have been Cleopatra because she is the Queen of Denial. Then there are Claudias sisters, Maura and Daphne. Maura has the perfect life on the outside. Beautiful children, married to a, hot rich guy, living in a mansion. Its all a fantasy. Hes cheating on her and shes too stupid to live because she is putting up with it. She gets a spine near the end of the book and is no longer a doormat, but for how long? Daphne is desperate for children and her inability to have them makes her a basket case. Things work out for her in the end, but I want to know why they werent trying to adopt all along? I felt like she wasted too much time moaning and boo-hooing about her infertility instead of just looking into adoption sooner. I thought Claudias dad was OK but her mother is a wacko who I could barely tolerate. Most of these people needed a serious slap upside the head, including Claudia and Ben.
Overall, if you like a story with stupid people making bad decisions and then wondering why their lives arent turning out the way they planned, then grab this one. Otherwise, steer clear of this one and go for something else.
I immediately got a clear sense of how miserable Annas life is when I began this book. The author doesnt waste precious time or pages dragging the reader through a maze of miscommunication and inner dialogue to bring us to the conclusion that Annas life is crap. I rather enjoyed that this information is thrown into the mix right from the start. Its important that I learned this sooner rather than later because only then would I understand how Anna could end up working for Cassandra Knight, a vile, cruel, rude beyond belief, arrogant witch of a woman who is so full of herself it will make you sick. Anna takes a job with this horrible person, thinking the position will be as an assistant to a best-selling author. Instead, she somehow gets roped into being the nanny to Cassandras son, Zak, who is just as vile as she is. Unfortunately, desperate times call for desperate measures on Annas part.
Even as horrible as Annas time under the Knight household is, this book made me laugh deeply and loudly at some of the antics going on. Cassandra takes center stage with her drunken outbursts and anger management issues. Her son, Zak, is a spoiled brat who behaves like a troll, while managing to deflect it back onto his mother. Then theres Cassandras husband, Jett, an aging rock-star, who cant seem to keep his trousers on. Throw into the mix several supporting characters who I found to be quite interesting makes for an enjoyable story.
I liked this book. The story does a good job of making the reader forget her troubles for a while by bringing to light a whole new dysfunctional group of people. It made me laugh a lot and I am still amazed that there wasnt any bloodshed in the Knight home. I cheered Anna on when she finally gets the opportunity to leave but continued to empathize with her situation when it appears she jumped from the frying pan straight into the fire. This story has many twists which make the plot so interesting.
Fans of chick-lit will enjoy the snarky British humor laced throughout the story, but be prepared for the profanity that comes along with it. It didnt offend me or pull my attention out of the story at all, most likely because I, myself, was directing quite a few profane statements in Cassandras direction. This was my first book by Wendy Holden and I am looking forward to reading more from her.
When I pick up a James Patterson novel, I am guaranteed to be entertained, sometimes shocked, but always entertained. In Pattersons novels, I almost always find stories filled with very interesting characters; even the villains are intriguing. I cant ignore the fact that they reel me in, regardless of whether I love or hate the character. Pattersons ability to make these characters come to life and leap off the page is very impressive. In Beach Road, he does it again.
Tom Dunleavy is a likeable guy. Hes a guy you could be buddies with. After his career with the NBA is sidelined, he becomes a lawyer, though hes not a very prominent lawyer.
Kate Costello is tough as nails. If you are the underdog, you will want her in your corner. She demonstrates a dogged determination to do the right thing; she even walks away from her law firm rather than defend a man she knows is guilty. She is one of those people that will walk through fire for the people she cares for. She used to care for Tom Dunleavy until he broke her heart and she hasnt forgiven him yet.
Dante Halleyville is a young man that bad luck seems to follow. Raised by his grandmother, he struggles to overcome the adversity that has plagued his life and rise above the tragedy that has followed him. He is talented and intelligent and is on his way to a superstar career in the NBA. When he is accused of murder, his life hangs in the balance.
This book is narrated by several points of view. Tom, Kate, Dante and Loco, a local drug dealer, who has a keen sense of what is going on, offer their perceptions on the events surrounding them. Tom and Kate agreed to defend Dante and are convinced hes being set up. Convincing a jury of enough reasonable doubt leaves Tom and Kate with their work cut out for them.
This story was a little slow to get going in the beginning, but it changes direction without warning and takes off at high speed. Suddenly, I am caught in the story watching the events unfold, unable to look away. With every visit Tom and Kate make to Dante in jail, the tension mounts. If Dante is innocent, then the killer is still out there and loose ends will need to be tied up. I found myself worrying about the safety of Dante, Tom and Kate. Defending Dante doesnt sit well with the community and Tom and Kate arent highly experienced lawyers.
This isnt one of James Pattersons best stories, but Beach Road is a story that will pull you in and rip the rug out from under you. When everything is revealed, I felt like I had been hit by a bus. I was shocked and surprised and that is what Patterson is good at. Fans of James Patterson will enjoy this story knowing they are in for a great ride and readers new to his books will enjoy the suspense and intense twists.
Definitely not your typical chick-lit that I usually am drawn to. Though there are several witty and entertaining characters, the core of the story deals with the serious issue of date rape and the aftermath. The author does an excellent job of drawing you into Holly's life as she tries to cope with her experience while trying to maintain a sense of normalcy in her life. Though she stumbles along the way, she proves to herself that she is a survivor.
Several sub-plots involving Holly's sisters, parents and friends that I found intriguing as well.
This book was provided by the publisher in return for an honest review. With Bella Summer Takes A Chance, new-to-me author Michele Gorman introduces the reader to a character who grabs her life by both hands and gives it a thorough shake and toss despite no guarantee that she will end up successful. When we first meet Bella, she is coming to the realization that her life has become stagnant. She is not in love with her boyfriend of ten years and never has been. She wants the grand passion and romance and in spite of her best friend Kats assertion that there is no such thing, Bella is determined not to settle. Not with love or her career. Bella also decides to begin seriously pursuing her singing career.
She moves in with Frederick after she answers his advertisement for a roommate and begins pounding the pavement looking for singing gigs. I really enjoyed reading Bellas story. I found it to be a fast read and very entertaining with several laugh out loud moments. Many of my favorite parts of this book were scenes that Frederick was in. Bella is convinced he is gay, despite his insistence that hes as straight as George Bush. Several times while reading, I laughed until tears ran down my face. From the outrageous things Fred says to Bellas first post-breakup hook-up to the birth of a baby, I had to keep my tissue box nearby at all times to wipe my eyes and my glasses. Theres even a reference in this book to Sliding Doors, which is one of my all-time favorite movies.
Bellas best friends, Kat, Clare and Faith brought a different but also wonderful angle to the story. Kat is Austrian and very direct. Clare and Bella work together. Faith works at a newspaper and by all outward appearances seems to be frivolous with shopping and going through boyfriends like water because they possessed irritating personality characteristics. I was actually prepared to not like Faith because I thought she was judgmental, but she turns out to be the most grounded of Bellas friends and I found myself quickly liking her. Bella also befriends Marjorie, a ninety year old woman living in a care facility where Bella volunteers. Marjorie has lived a full and quite colorful and exciting life that she gleefully shares the details of with Bella.
Overall, I loved this story. I hated to see it end and I didnt want to say goodbye to any of the characters. This book had a lot of surprises and left me with a good feeling for the direction the characters were all heading in. I highly recommend this story if you are looking for a hilarious chick-lit that pulls the reader in immediately for outrageous fun. Michele Gorman definitely knows how to tickle a readers funny bone and she has made me a devoted fan.
This was a very good story about long-lost friends reconnecting under less than joyous circumstances. After Amy discovers her best friend from childhood is using Amy's mother's recipes as her own, Amy decides to take a stand and confront Bella. Amy isn't having the best Christmas holiday. Her husband has left her for a pole-dancing colleague and her children have other plans. While watching her old friend, Bella Bradley, on television, Amy learns that her friend is deceiving the world by passing off recipes as her own. Amy wins a contest to appear on Bella's cooking show and is determined to right many wrongs.
I liked Amy very much and felt great empathy with her situation. I liked that in the middle of her heartbreak and despair, she shows great strength and courage to everyone around her. She reminisces about her friendship with Bella and how they are no longer friends due to something Amy did and the guilt that Amy carries with her all these years later. As much as I liked Amy, I was equally prepared to dislike Bella. I found her arrogant, presumptuous, conceited, selfish and haughty. In spite of all these negative personality traits, Bella intrigued me. I knew there had to be much more to Bella's attitude and demeanor than just what Amy had done when they were younger. Once Bella's true personality starts to emerge, I found it easy to see why Amy and Bella were friends and was hopeful they could resolve all of the issues standing between them. I liked that Amy was not impressed with Bella's glitzy and glamorous lifestyle and willingly stood up to Bella. I liked that there are several layers covering up the real Bella and when she lowers her guard and the layers start to peel back, we get to see a character who lives in constant dread of her life being exposed to the media. She harbors many secrets in her celebrity life and has to walk on eggshells with everyone around her. I enjoyed the tension between Amy and Bella as they worked through their animosity to get back to the friendship they had lost. Numerous supporting characters add to the story to make it more intriguing and entertaining with their personalities. A few surprises are in store with some of the characters that I felt added to the story's charm.
Sue Watson delivers up another sparkly Christmas filled winner with all the festive trimmings and is an author that readers should be on the lookout for. I am looking forward to next Christmas and Sue Watson's next book. I recommend this book to readers who enjoy feel good stories sprinkled with the magic of Christmas.