Monday, June 30, 2014

"Craving Constellations" By: Nicole Jacquelyn Review

Craving Constellations
By: Nicole Jacquelyn
"How is it, that someone can make decision after decision attempting to get away from their past and somehow end up right back where they started?"When Brenna decided to leave the only life she'd ever known, she never thought she'd ever be back. Now, five years later she's running from her clean cut husband straight back to the motorcycle club that raised her... and the man she left behind. She left with a secret, and as soon as she returns the truth will break her carefully constructed life wide open.

My Thoughts
Brenna returns to her father's home after five years away, bring back with her bruises from her soon to be ex-husband and a daughter. Fighting to stay away from her abusive ex, Brenna knows returning to her father means returning to the motorcycle club that was once her family and the man who had fathered her daughter. Dragon, Brenna's one time love and daughter's father, is shocked to see Brenna back but that quickly turns to unbelievable anger when he discovers the daughter he never knew existed. Filled with angst, drama, and unrequited love, Brenna and Dragon's love story takes years to come to fruition but the ride is worth it.
Motorcycle club romances are kind of the “in” thing right now but Nicole Jacquelyn has distinguished herself from the pack. Her characters are faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles that are unique in this new wave of romances. Brenna left her father's club with every intention of making it on her own, until she just couldn't anymore. Faced with extraordinary abuses, she returns to the people she has always known, the motorcycle club. I enjoyed how the MC were never framed as particularly law abiding and upstanding people. They have a choice and even when that choice may be illegal, it doesn't make them good or bad, it just makes them people.
Well written and fast paced, Craving Constellations begins a new series featuring the Aces Motorcycle Club. With a wide variety of secondary characters, I can see a long future for this series. I enjoyed Brenna's strength when she returned, but I think I enjoyed the simple pleasures of family she found with Dragon more. Sweet but the right kind of naughty, I'm looking forward to what comes next.

The Aces Series
Book Details
Publisher: Author Self-Published
# of Pages: 212
Date of Publication: August 27, 2013
Source: Personal Purchase
Location: Eugene, Oregon

Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog

Friday, June 27, 2014

"The Wanderer" by Robyn Carr

Product DetailsThe story takes place in Thunder Point, a remote community on the rocky coast of Oregon. Hank Cooper comes to town after his friend Ben dies and leaves him an old run-down bar/bait shack and a huge chunk of beachfront property. I enjoyed how the book started out with a mystery - even though there was no evidence found, Cooper suspects there was foul play involved in Ben's death. He befriends Mac McCain, the town's deputy sheriff, and together they look for clues as to what really happened to Ben.

Cooper is a loner-type who doesn't like to stay in one place long, but he owes it to Ben to fix up his place and decide what's best for the property. Along the way he meets Sarah, a Coast Guard helicopter pilot raising her teenage brother, Landon. There is a strong attraction between Cooper and Sarah, but Sarah's been burned by men in the past, and doesn't want to risk she and Landon being abandoned again. How can an emotionally unavailable man and an emotionally scarred woman overcome their hurdles and make it work?

Comments:  I've recently read the first couple of books from Robyn Carr's Virgin River series and absolutely loved them, so I was excited to get started with her new series on the ground floor. It did not disappoint! Once again, Ms. Carr delivers strong characters who draw you into the story with their depth and emotion, and an amazing small-town setting that is an engaging character in and of itself.

477 pages

"Can't Stop Believing" by Jodi Thomas

Product DetailsCord McDowell gave up his freedom at eighteen when he went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, ten years later, he’s about to give it up again for a piece of land. Nevada Britain, his neighbor, has just made him an offer he can’t refuse: If he’ll marry her, she’ll sign over a section of property that their families have been fighting over for a hundred years. Nevada refuses to explain why, but Cord knows the bargain is in his favor. He just has one condition—she has to sleep in his bed every night for as long as their doomed marriage lasts. Nevada only wants to maintain her family’s legacy—and redeem herself for a wrong she did Cord years ago. But as she spends more time with her husband of necessity, she discovers something unexpected—a love so deep it takes her breath away.

Comments:  This was a really good book.  There were two romances going on at the same time, plus a little mystery.  The setting involved a ranch with horses.   It was my kind of book.

524 Pages

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

I AM LIVIA by Phyllis T. Smith

Her life would be marked by scandal and suspicion, worship and adoration…

At the tender age of fourteen, Livia Drusilla overhears her father and fellow aristocrats plotting the assassination of Julius Caesar. Proving herself an astute confidante, she becomes her father’s chief political asset—and reluctantly enters into an advantageous marriage to a prominent military officer. Her mother tells her, “It is possible for a woman to influence public affairs,” reminding Livia that—while she possesses a keen sense for the machinations of the Roman senate—she must also remain patient and practical.

But patience and practicality disappear from Livia’s mind when she meets Caesar’s heir, Octavianus. At only eighteen, he displays both power and modesty. A young wife by that point, Livia finds herself drawn to the golden-haired boy. In time, his fortunes will rise as Livia’s family faces terrible danger. But her sharp intellect—and her heart—will lead Livia to make an unbelievable choice: one that will give her greater sway over Rome than she could have ever foreseen.

My Thoughts:  This was a Kindle Prime free book of the month and since I love historical fiction thought I would read this.  I was happily surprised it brought Livia and 'Tavius' to life more than the history books for me.  I would recommend this the way it was written and for the look at this time in history from a woman who possibly was given a bad reputation that was unwarranted. 

Monday, June 23, 2014

"Lord of Scoundrels" By: Loretta Chase Review

Lord of Scoundrels
By: Loretta Chase

Tough-minded Jessica Trent's sole intention is to free her nitwit brother from the destructive influence of Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain. She never expects to desire the arrogant, amoral cad. And when Dain's reciprocal passion places them in a scandalously compromising, and public, position, Jessica is left with no choice but to seek satisfaction ...

Damn the minx for tempting him, kissing him ... and then forcing him to salvage her reputation! Lord Dain can't wait to put the infuriating bluestocking in her place --- and in some amorous position, And if that means marriage, so be it! --- though Sebastian is less than certain he can continue to remain aloof ... and steel his heart to the sensuous, headstrong lady's considerable charms

My Thoughts
    Jessica Trent is in Paris for the season with her wily grandmother and her idiot brother in tow. In an effort to curb her dumb brothers antics, she approaches Sebastian Ballister, in an effort to cut down on drinking and partying involving her brother and his cohorts. Initially intrigued by this small woman expecting him to listen to her, its no time at all until Sebastian falls completely under her spell.
    Consistently on the best of lists almost 20 years after publication is quite a feat but a well deserved one at that. This is hands down one of my favorite books to read, EVER! With witty dialogue, fantastically fleshed out characters, and a well rounded story with plenty of sexy times, Lord of Scoundrels is what others books can only hope to be.
     Many reviews have been written about how fantastic this book is, so I will refrain. I will however share some of my favorite quotes to influence you to run to your local library or bookstore to read this book today, if not in the next twenty minutes. Oh and by the way, you are welcome! :)  

“Jessica, you are a pain in the arse, do you know that? If I were not so immensely fond of you, I should throw you out the window."
She wrapped her arms about his waist and laid her head against his chest. "Not merely 'fond,' but 'immensely fond.' Oh Dain, I do believe I shall swoon."
"Not now," he said crossly. "I haven't time to pick you up.” 

“We've been wed more than a month. Since it appears you mean to stay, I might as well give you leave to call me by my christian name. It is preferable, at any rate, to 'clodpole.” 

“Women don't have a sense of humor. They don't need one. The Almighty made them as a permanent joke on men. From which one may logically deduce tha the Almighty is a female.”  

Book Details
Publisher: Avon
# of Pages: 375
Date of Publication: January 1995
ISBN: 978-0380776160
Location: England
Source: Personal Purchase

Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog

Friday, June 20, 2014

"Hard Time" By: Cara McKenna Review

Hard Time
By: Cara McKenna
Annie Goodhouse doesn’t need to be warned about bad boys; good sense and an abusive ex have given her plenty of reasons to play it safe. But when she steps into her new role as outreach librarian for Cousins Correctional Facility, no amount of good sense can keep her mind—or eyes—off inmate Eric Collier.
Eric doesn’t claim to be innocent of the crime that landed him in prison. In fact, he’d do it again if that’s what it took to keep his family safe. Loyalty and force are what he knows. But meeting Annie makes him want to know more.
When Eric begins courting Annie through letters, they embark on a reckless, secret romance—a forbidden fantasy that neither imagines could ever be real…until early parole for Eric changes everything, and forces them both to face a past they can’t forget, and a desire they can’t deny.
My Thoughts
     Annie is a small town librarian with an interesting job. Having been hired for Outreach services, Annie is expected to spend one day a week at the local prison reading to them while also teaching skills they can use on the outside. At first nervous, her nerves are really shaken when she locks eyes with Eric Collier, an inmate convicted of assault.
      Eric begins writing letters to Annie, romantic and heartfelt. Knowing there couldn’t be anything between them while he was locked up, Eric spills his heart to Annie each week. Telling her of his dreams and wishes, every week the letters get a little more deeper and a bit sexier. Annie becomes entranced by Eric and his letters carry her through the week. It isn’t until he is released for good behavior and actually a part of her community that she comes to terms with Eric as a man, and not just an inmate on the inside.
      Sweet and heartfelt, McKenna does an absolutely fantastic job of writing the insecurities inmates have and those who love them. Dealing with the isolation, the uncertainty, and the dire need for contact with the outside world, Eric is on rocky ground...both with himself and in his life outside of the walls. I loved the uncertainty of their relationship when Eric was released too, how each would react to the sudden change in dynamics.
      This is my only complaint, and while minor, I think I should address. I absolutely hated the ending. HATED IT. I’m sure the author had reasons for doing what she did, but to me it felt abrupt and there really didn’t seem to be a climax to the story at all. I loved it and was waiting for something to happen and then suddenly, the book was done. As you're reading it, you feel the build up and think something major will happen with one of the characters. So when it doesn’t, it kind of seems to be a bit of a let down.
      That aside though, Hard Time is an extremely sweet love story between two people kicked around in life. Striving to better their circumstances, both Annie and Eric grab life by the horns and decide to give their relationship everything they can. The letter writing was a genius way to grow their relationship while also being realistic to the circumstances surrounding them. The sensuality that McKenna puts into their time away from the prison...wowzas. Very well done if you know what I mean.
I would suggest Cara McKenna’s 
After Hours as a great read after reading Hard Time.

Book Details
Publisher: InterMix
# of Pages: 310
ISBN: 978-1101622018H
Date of Publication: April 15, 2014
Source: Personal Purchase
Location: Darren, MI

Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog

Thursday, June 19, 2014

"The Fault In Our Stars" By: John Green Review

The Fault in Our Stars
By: John Green

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

My Thoughts
What can I say about this book that hasn't been written? Gorgeous, sweet, heartbreaking, sensitive, fun, and completely and utterly wonderful are the first words that come to mind to be quite honest. I devoured this book on a Sunday afternoon complete with ugly snot crying in my bedroom before bed.
I fell in love with Hazel Grace and Augustus because of their hearts. Living with a deadly disease, Hazel could have fallen into a deep depression. She could have given up on life. As could Augustus to be honest, but they used the strength from one another to be strong. They were so strong, even in the face of death, sickness and heartache.
My friend Katy from southern Missouri has written a fantastic review on Goodreads if you want to find it. Her words on the cover got to me though and I completely agree with her view. People ask about the cover and what it has to do with the book. Here's my thoughts: In the book Augustus and Hazel talk about when they were kids and dreamt about living on a cloud before Augustus's teacher slashed his dream by telling him it was too windy and cold and he would die on the cloud. So I think the black cloud represents death and broken dreams and the white cloud represents hope and life. Kind of a huge symbol for this book.
Never have I had a book grab me and stay with me like this one has. Even now, over a week later, its still in my head. Just watching the trailer makes me want to tear up. Highly emotional but so worth it, my only regret is that I didn't read it sooner.

Book Details
Publisher: Dutton Books
Date of Publication: January 10, 2012
# of Pages: 318
ISBN: 9780525478812
Source: Library Checkout
Location: Indianapolis, IN

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

"Crazy Good" By: Rachel Robinson Review


Crazy Good
Before there were bikers, or fighters, or even good old-fashioned jerks, there were Navy SEALs. They put the bad in badass because, well…it’s their job.
Navy SEAL Maverick Hart has everything. Women want him. Grown men idolize him. Little boys want to grow up and be like him. The job, the glory—it’s all his. Not because it’s handed to him…because he works hard for it. The second his sights lock on something, he owns it—or destroys it. Unfortunately he does both at the same time.
Windsor Forbes only takes calculated risks in her profession and in her personal life. After being left at the altar by the only person she’s ever loved, the very last thing she’s looking for is a relationship—especially the insane brand an arrogant Navy SEAL is offering. Hesitant, yet trusting to a fault, she gives in.
She knew she shouldn’t take the chance, especially a second time, but love is irrational and their love is perfect, infallible. Or so she thought…The downfall to having everything is you have that much more to lose. A man like Maverick can’t have it all without something slipping out of grasp.
Crazy people perish for love. Good people live for it. Love doesn’t die. No matter how many bullets you put in it.
My Thoughts
     When Maverick Hart first meets Windsor Forbes, all he sees is a challenge. Windsor is coming off of a bad relationship and definitely knows she doesn’t want another womanizer, in any way shape or form. Maverick takes the challenge of Windsor and runs with it, slowly seducing her through late night phone calls, texts, and his daredevil antics.
      This book absolutely wrung the emotions through me. Happy, laughing one minute and absolutely devastated the next, Crazy Good may be just that...crazy good. I hate to give too much away about what the book is about, but at its core it is a relationship book about these two wildly different individuals. Maverick is a Navy Seal so danger follows him at every turn, while Windsor is a CPA. Reserved and quiet, Windsor is entranced by how Maverick’s wild actions and in your face attitude translates into her world. 
     About ⅔ of the way through the story, something absolutely terrible happens. Broke my heart and had me whispering no, this inconceivable event rocks everything both Maverick and Windsor hold dear. It also absolutely changes the secondary characters and how everyone relates to everything else. Its after this traumatic and heart wrenching moment that you truly see why Maverick and Windsor belong together.
      An absolutely gut wrenching few hours was spent with Crazy Good and even when I was done, I didn't know if I truly wanted to be done. It was that good. Lovely new title from a new to me author, Rachel Robinson broke my heart and then glued it back together within a few short hours.
Book Details
Publisher: Rachel Robinson

Date of Publication: April 7, 2014
# of Pages: 303
Location: Virginia Beach, VA
Source: Personal Purchase

Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Whole Enchilada by Diana Mott Davidson

Series: Goldy Schulz (#17)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (May 27, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-13: 9780061348174
  • Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat

Summary: From "Goldy Schulz knows her food is to die for, but she never expected one of her best friends to actually keel over as she left a birthday party Goldy catered. It turns out to be a generous serving of cold-blooded murder. And the clever culprit is just getting cooking.
When a colleague—a woman who resembles Goldy—is stabbed, and Goldy is attacked outside her house, it becomes clear that the popular caterer is the main course on a killer menu. With time running out, Goldy must roll up her sleeves, sharpen her knives, and make a meal out of a devious murderer, before the killer can serve her up cold."

My Thoughts: Goldy Schulz books are a light and fast read. It helps to read them in order, just to get to know the characters better.  I have liked the later books in the series better than the first few.  The first few I could never understand why she put up with things from the ex husband that she did.  Since the ex is out of the picture (dead) I like her a lot better.  Barbara Rosenblat is a fabulous narrator!.  She is one of the best!. If you have a chance to listen to audio books anything by her is a must.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

"At Peace" By: Kristen Ashley Review

At Peace
By: Kristen Ashley
Violet Winters once had it all but lost it when her husband was murdered by a criminal madman. During a cold winter night Violet has to leave her warm bed to tell her neighbor to turn the music down. And that’s when she meets sinister, scarred, scarily attractive security specialist, Joe Callahan.
She wants to deny it, but Violet can’t beat back the hunger she feels for Joe so she gives in again and again. Feeling it himself, Joe feeds Vi’s hunger, breaking his own rules to keep her in his bed.
Even though Violet had only one man in her life, she’s sure Joe is giving her the signals and Vi decides she’s ready to take a second chance at life and, maybe, love. But Violet doesn’t know the dark secrets in Joe’s past, secrets so soul-wrenching, they’ve drained him dry. With nothing left to give, Joe’s determined to live his life alone and he breaks Violet’s heart.
Crushed by Joe’s betrayal, Violet comes to terms with the fact that, no matter what signals he gave, Joe was not theirs to win. But Violet’s husband’s murderer is obsessed with her and heartbreak again haunts the door of the Winters home. When it does Joe is forced to face the knowledge that he can’t fight Violet’s pull, she’s under his skin and filled him full to bursting.
Joe needs to win her back and put his life on the line to keep Violet safe. But, having had it all once, can Violet endure losing Joe?
My Thoughts
     Violet is starting over in Indiana after a heartbreaking ending in Chicago. Her husband has been murdered and with a stalker haunting her every movement, she flees to a small town in Indiana to lick her wounds, raise her girls, and find herself. In the midst of all of that, she finds her sexy next door neighbor, security expert, and ultimate hottie, Joe Callahan.
      Upon their meeting, Violet hated Joe. Pushy and invasive, Joe seems to think he knows what’s always right. Suddenly a surprisingly passionate kiss leads to more and both Vi and Joe want to see where it goes. And even though the two begin to care for one another, they spend much of their time finding ways to push one another away in fear of hurting each other. Heartbreaking at times, Vi and Joe seem to be pulled together as if they are two halves of the same whole.
      At Peace is a huge, huge book coming in at over 500 pages. It’s daunting when it starts, but honestly, once you are wrapped up in the story, you don’t even notice it. Violet and Joe’s story is so volatile and engaging, I knew it was an Ashley book because I never wanted it to end!
      I think the major theme I would associate with At Peace would be...drama, drama, drama! Now I like drama don’t get me wrong, but there is something happening on every single page. Vi’s got a crazy stalker that is basically hunting her family down in order to gain her attention. Super creepy and discomforting, but absolutely an integral part of Joe’s continued involvement with Vi until he finally admits that she truly means something to him.
      Vi has two teenage daughters, who while dealing with a murdered father, are also dealing with a new home, new town, teen drama and their mother finding a new man. Well written though, I found the two girls to be the comic relief for much of the book, and it helped tone down some of the more serious themes.
      I can’t not talk about Vi and Joe themselves! Wonderful together and worse apart, these two fought their relationship with everything they had. Joe was intesne but in such a good way! Oye. Makes me a little hot under the collar, in a very good way, wink wink! No holds barred, Joe made his own way in the world and taught Vi some pretty valuable lessons in never having any regrets.
      Utterly romantic and unforgettable, At Peace is likely to stay with me for a while. I reread Ashley books quite a bit and I’ve already began the epic reread. Part of the Burg series, I haven’t read the other titles but am planning on picking up the others. I had heard At Peace was a roller coaster, and I’m here to say, it was one of the best!

The Burg Series
1. For You
3. Golden Trail
4. Games of the Heart
5. The Promise (2014)

Book Details
# of Pages: 568
Date of Publication: May 2nd, 2011
Location: Brownsburg, Indiana
Source: Self Purchased

Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

"Shade's Fall" By: Jamie Begley Review

Shade’s Fall
By: Jamie Begley

Shade is everything Lily doesn't want in a man. He's rude, obnoxious and he's definitely not a cowboy. The tattooed enforcer for The Last Riders is a mystery Lily doesn't want to solve. He's too much for her to handle, especially with the nightmares from her past constantly threatening her sanity.

Lily is everything Shade wants in a woman. She's sweet, kind and submissive. When she discovers the truth about The Last Riders, it threatens to tear apart every relationship within the club. Her rebellion causes the predatory instincts to rise in the ex Navy SEAL sniper.

When The Last Riders are threatened by another motorcycle club just as determined to claim Lily, Shade is her only hope of surviving the approaching confrontation. Could their passion be Shade's downfall?

My Thoughts
     Lily hasn’t had the easiest life. Adopted at a young age by incredibly strict parents, forced to forget her past and raised in a religious zealot’s home, the only real light in her life is her sister Beth. When Beth married a motorcycle club member Razer, Lily’s life was flipped upside down and hasn’t necessarily settled yet.
      Shade first saw Lily when Razer met his wife Beth. Knowing she was too young for any sort of relationship, Shade has bided his time and watched from afar. Yet as life and circumstances seem to have Lily falling farther and farther into a black hole, Shade finds himself the only one that can break into her psyche. At first Lily is appalled at the lifestyle the bikers, their blatant disregard for privacy and their openness with one another. However, as she gets to know the people within the club, she realizes she has never been more wrong in her life. 
     I had enjoyed the Last Riders Series but have been looking forward to Shade and Lily’s story from the very beginning. I was worried I may have been building the story up in my head but was happy to realize that I was worried for nothing. Longer than I remember her other novels being, Begley takes her time and really tells the story that needs to be told.      Lily had seemed like such an injured kitten in the previous books. She still seems like an injured soul, don’t get me wrong, but the background is finally explained. A horrific history and an especially horrible early childhood has created this manic young woman who honestly doesn't know who she is.
      A well developed romance, Shade and Lily’s road to romance is rocky but ultimately completely satisfying. At times I found Shade’s behavior overbearing and a bit hard to believe, but I think within the context of the story Begley was trying to tell it worked. A well rounded, very sensual romance that is easily my favorite of the series so far.
Last Riders Series

Book Details
Publisher: Young Ink Press
# of Pages: 415
Date of Publication: March 19, 2014
Source: Personal Purchase
Location: Kentucky

Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Target by David Baldacci

The President knows it's a perilous, high-risk assignment. If he gives the order, he has the opportunity to take down a global menace, once and for all. If the mission fails, he would face certain impeachment, and the threats against the nation would multiply. So the president turns to the one team that can pull off the impossible: Will Robie and his partner, Jessica Reel.

Together, Robie and Reel's talents as assassins are unmatched. But there are some in power who don't trust the pair. They doubt their willingness to follow orders. And they will do anything to see that the two assassins succeed, but that they do not survive.

As they prepare for their mission, Reel faces a personal crisis that could well lead old enemies right to her doorstep, resurrecting the ghosts of her earlier life and bringing stark danger to all those close to her. And all the while, Robie and Reel are stalked by a new adversary: an unknown and unlikely assassin, a woman who has trained her entire life to kill, and who has her own list of targets--a list that includes Will Robie and Jessica Reel.(Amazon)

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First Edition edition (April 22, 2014)
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455521203

My Thoughts:  I enjoyed David Baldacci's latest novel.  The story have several stories going on at the same time.  Of course - the story line at times is a bit far-fetched and Jessica and Will are way above super heroes but it was a  good read and never a dull moment.  
Spiderwoman's daughter by Ann Hillerman

  • Series: Leaphorn and Chee
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; First Edition edition (October 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062270486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062270481

  • Summary:  From Booklist Hillerman, who has written some nonfiction, now tries her hand at fiction, incorporating some of her late father Tony’s characters into the story. Although billed as a “Leaphorn & Chee Novel,” neither character is really in the spotlight here. That position is reserved for Navajo Tribal Police Officer Bernadette “Bernie” Manualito, Chee’s wife. When the retired Leaphorn is shot right in front of Bernie, and the assailant escapes, Bernie swears she’ll find the person responsible. As a witness, however, Bernie is removed from the case and relegated to finding Leaphorn’s family. Jim Chee is put in charge, but he knows very well that stubborn, determined Bernie won’t stand down, especially when someone she considers an “uncle” is the victim. Hillerman builds upon characters and themes from her father’s Thief of Time (1988), applying her own knowledge of contemporary Navajo culture. The spiritual elements prominent in previous Leaphorn-Chee books are downplayed, and the measured plot (with perhaps too much attention to the desert landscape) has few surprises. What intrigues is Bernie herself, a devoted young Native American balancing her heritage and family obligations with the demands of a difficult job. --Stephanie Zvirin

    My Thoughts:  Ms Hillerman doesn't do a bad job in bringing back the characters from her father's novels.  I think the publisher stated it would be a Leaphorn Chee novel in the hopes of getting Mr Hillerman's followers.  The story wasn't bad.  There were some "plot line threads" that I though could have been expanded on.
       If you are an audio book person.  The narrator for this book is not as good as George Guidall, who narrated her father's stories.  Western in the same sense as Longmire series or Kevin Kerney series.

    The Museum of Extraordinary Things : By: Alice Hoffman

    Mesmerizing and illuminating, Alice Hoffman&amp's The Museum of Extraordinary Things is the story of an electric and impassioned love between two vastly different souls in New York during the volatile first decades of the twentieth century.

    Coralie Sardie is the daughter of the sinister impresario behind The Museum of Extraordinary Things, a Coney Island boardwalk freak show that thrills the masses. An exceptional swimmer, Coralie appears as the Mermaid in her father's museum, alongside performers like the Wolfman, the Butterfly Girl, and a one-hundred-year-old turtle. One night Coralie stumbles upon a striking young man taking pictures of moonlit trees in the woods off the Hudson River.

    The dashing photographer is Eddie Cohen, a Russian immigrant who has run away from his father's Lower East Side Orthodox community and his job as a tailor's apprentice. When Eddie photographs the devastation on the streets of New York following the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, he becomes embroiled in the suspicious mystery behind a young woman's disappearance and ignites the heart of Coralie.

    With its colorful crowds of bootleggers, heiresses, thugs, and idealists, New York itself becomes a riveting character as Hoffman weaves her trademark magic, romance, and masterful storytelling to unite Coralie and Eddie in a sizzling, tender, and moving story of young love in tumultuous times. The Museum of Extraordinary Things is Alice Hoffman at her most spellbinding. (

    Hardcover, 368 pages
    Published February 18th 2014 by Scribner (first published January 1st 2014) 
    This book was amazingly well written!   Its was a combination of fantasy, history, and romance mingled into 
    one book! I could not put it down, and am definitely going to read more of Alice Hoffman's books!  

    "Devil's Game" By: Joanna Wylde Review

    Devil's Game
    By: Joanna Wylde
    Liam "Hunter" Blake hates the Reapers MC. Born and raised a Devil's Jack, he knows his duty. He'll defend his club from their oldest enemies-the Reapers-using whatever weapons he can find. But why use force when the Reapers' president has a daughter who's alone and vulnerable? Hunter has wanted her from the minute he saw her, and now he has an excuse to take her.
    Em has lived her entire life in the shadow of the Reapers. Her overprotective father, Picnic, is the club's president. The last time she had a boyfriend, Picnic shot him. Now the men in her life are far more interested in keeping her daddy happy than showing her a good time. Then she meets a handsome stranger-a man who isn't afraid to treat her like a real woman. One who isn't afraid of her father. His name is Liam, and he's The One. Or so she thinks.
    My Thoughts
          Liam “Hunter” Blake grew up in foster care, with his only real family being the MC he belongs to, the Devil’s Jack. A string of broken homes and fairly miserable past experiences, Hunter will do anything for his club. Anything. Even deliberately getting close to a rival MC President’s daughter.
         Em is a princess within the motorcycle club. Her father is the President of the Reaper’s and has kept her guarded from the outside world. With no boyfriend experience to speak of, Em is enchanted with her online boyfriend Liam. Its when she’s kidnapped and ransomed, that she discovers Liam is no other than one of the top dogs in a rival MC who is determined to bring down her friends and family.
         After reading Reaper’s Legacy, I was on pins and needles getting ready to read Em and Hunter’s story. A large majority of the book takes place during the same time as the events from the previous book, so reading the second book is fairly necessary to completely understanding the complexities at play during Hunter and Em’s exchanges.
          Liam is challenged by Em. She’s so different from anyone he knows. She doesn’t immediately bow down to his alpha tendencies, but she understands him and his code. There's a very poignant scene near the end when Liam confronts Em’s dad. Circumstances being what they are, Liam comes back black and blue. While Em is furious, she knows pride, love, confusion and new intermingled personal issues are at play. As they fall in love, Em and Liam have to move past their shattered histories and find a future together.
        Passionate and moving, I fell in love with Liam. Fighting for his future and his club, he devises a way to keep Em in his life while also never giving in on his principles. Well written and poignant, Devil’s Game was fantastic. The right amount of sexual tension, action, and glimpses of our favorite characters may make this one the favorite of mine in this series.      

    Reaper’s MC
    1. Reaper’s Property
    4. Reaper’s Stand (October 7, 2014)

    Book Details
    Publisher: Berkley Trade
    # of Pages: 352
    Date of Publication: June 3, 2014
    ISBN: 9780425272350
    Source: Personal Purchase
    Location Spokane, Washington

    Originally Published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog