Thursday, July 30, 2015

"The Duke & The Lady in Red" By: Lorraine Heath Review

Duke and the Lady in Red
By: Lorraine Heath
When Rosalind Sharpe gains the attention of the deliciously wicked Duke of Avendale, she’s torn between her distracting attraction to the notorious rogue and the knowledge that he—rich as Croesus—is the perfect target for a deception that will put her swindling days behind her.
However, Avendale is no fool. After he discovers the tantalizing lady packing up to leave London with his coins in tow, he confronts her with a scandalous proposition: she can have all the money she requires…for a week in his bed.
Desperate for the funds, Rose agrees, but on one condition: he must never question her motives. Avendale quickly sees beneath her mask and discovers she is more than passion and pleasure—she is everything he has ever desired. But claiming her requires he unveil her secrets and lose her forever. Unless he can put his own dark past aside and risk everything for a chance at love.
My Thoughts
     First off, I decided to read this book because the synopsis drew me in so. I adore Lorraine Heath’s writing anyway but somehow I had missed her newest series. I can’t tell you how glad I was to pick this one up, because it led me to two other great historical romances.
     Rose is a grifter, always looking for her next mark, constantly moving around the country. Fresh in London, she is quickly approached by the Duke of Avendale. Alone and used to being singled out for his money, Avendale is surprised to find himself drawn to Rose, a woman who doesn’t seem to want anything from him. Rose initially just views the rich Duke as a means to an end but as she grows closer to him and learns more about his life, she begins to want him for more than his fortune. Unfortunately for Rose, she has people depending on her and she must face unimaginable odds to help those she loves the most.
     The book starts off a little differently and it took me a bit to really understand exactly what is happening. Rose is shrouded in mystery and I initially didn’t like her. However, as Heath unveils the motives behind Rose and her illicit dealing with London’s elite, I couldn’t help but be drawn in and find common ground with this misunderstood woman. Avendale is a wonderful hero and you can’t help but find his honesty refreshing and loving.
    Heath is a master storyteller and it’s never been more clear than with her newest romance. Starting slow, I was drawn into the story of Rose, Avendale and a tribe of misfits looking to belong. Well written, fast paced, and with a fantastic finish, I immediately began reading the first two in this series.  As I said before, reading the previous two in this series is unnecessary but you will absolutely want to when you finish. Another great one, I can’t wait to see what Heath has planned next.
Book Details
Publisher: Avon
Date of Publication: April 28, 2015
# of Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780062276278
Source: ARC for Review

Monday, July 27, 2015

Texas tough (The Tylers of Texas) by Janet Dailey

 He’s everything she doesn’t need.
The quiet horse whisperer whose touch still ignites her dreams—and is everything wealthy Lauren Prescott is not. She can think of a million reasons why she should never ever fall into Sky Fletcher's sure embrace again. Until she clashes head-on with the dangerous complications of her privileged life and needs his protection like air to breathe . . .
The heiress Sky can't get out of his heart, no matter how much he tries. And being the secret third Tyler son doesn't change a thing. All he wants from his two brothers is help uncovering a dangerous conspiracy threatening his land, their ranch, and the spirited beauty he never should have touched. . .

  • Series: The Tylers of Texas
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Kensington; First Edition first Printing edition (May 26, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0758293976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0758293978
  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo


    The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing                by Marie Kondo

    Hardcover: 224 pages  October 14, 2014
    Publisher: Ten Speed Press (October 14, 2014)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1607747308

    This #1 New York Times best-selling guide to decluttering your home from Japanese cleaning consultant Marie Kondo takes readers step-by-step through her revolutionary KonMari Method for simplifying, organizing, and storing.

    My thoughts:
    I noticed the book repeated the phrase "Does it give you joy?". She suggested you pick up every item and asked yourself that question. I felt a little brainwashed when I finished reading the book. 
    The author did offer a few tips that would be helpful to the person getting overwhelmed with clutter but I wouldn't say it offered the best ideas.  I seem to be going against the flow of the highly acclaimed ideas but to each his own.  This may well have worked for many.
         The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing                                                              

    Friday, July 24, 2015

    Ross Poldark by Winston Graham

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    Ross Poldark:  A novel of Cornwall, 1783-1787 by Winston Graham
    Sourcebook Landmark, 2015
    400 pages

    Ross Poldark is the first in a series of books written by Winston Graham about the Poldark family in Cornwall.  This novel was first published in 1945.  There are 12 books in the series with the first set in 1783 Cornwall and the 12th ending in 1820.

    In this first of the series, Ross Poldark has just returned from America where he was involved in the Revolutionary War.  Upon his return, he finds that the woman who had been promised to him was about to marry his cousin, his father has died, and his family home is in shambles.  Ross decides to overcome his great disappointment by rebuilding his life and his family home.

    An interesting cast of characters, many plots with twists and turns make this historical novel a very enjoyable read.

    Finding Jacob by Bryan Reardon

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    Finding Jake by Bryan Reardon

    William Morrow, 2015
    272 pages

    Simon a stay-at-home dad  of two teens, Jake and Laney, gets an emergency text from his children's high school that there has been a shooting.   All of the  parents begin to assemble at a church near the school and Simon watches as other students enter the church to meet their parents.  Finally, Laney shows up, but not his son, Jake. They hear that there were two shooters and one is friend of Jake, a boy named Doug.  Doug is different from others, but Jake, following Simon's advice, always tried to be nice to Doug. The police believe that Jake was Doug's accomplice. Over the next few days, angry neighbors, the media, and the police as they try to find out where Jake is and what really happened.  Simon thinks back over Jake's life to find some answers and clues to what has happened to Jake.  Can Simon put the piece together to solve this horrible tragedy and find Jake?  This is an interesting look at the other side of a tragedy - not from the victims side but from the suspect's side.

    In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

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    In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
    Knopf, 2015
    416 pages

    Three planes crash in a small town in New Jersey over the course of just two short months and sounds like something is terribly wrong. Our author Judy Blume actually experienced this in the early '50's when she was growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Who, or what, was happening to them.  Was it a communist conspiracy?  Was it Martians or some other unearthly happening?   Everyone is confused and upset because they have no answers and no one really talks about it especially to teen girls and their families.

    In the story we learn how this fateful series of events change the lives of Miri, Natalie, Morgan, and a long list of friends and family.

    Gray Mountain by John Grisham

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    Gray Mountain by John Grisham
    Doubleday, 2014
    384 pages

    Samantha, a lawyer in New York, is caught up in the wall street crash and forced rethink her future when she is laid off.

    Within a week, Samantha is out of New York and has become an unpaid intern in a legal aid clinic in small town Appalachia, where for the first time she deals with real clients with real problems; those real problems start uncovering a sinister world of big coal, with its impacts on the environment, the health of its miners, but, as the only real industry in town, with an overbearing influence on a community and its people. Her character's intelligence and resourcefulness leads her deeper into this world.  

    This story while fiction does give the reader an insight into the world of the big coal interests and how they have destroyed the land and lives of many people.   

    Memory Man by David Baldacci

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    Memory Man by David Baldacci
    Grand Central Publishing, 2015
    416 pages

    David Baldacci in his latest novel,  Memory Man, introduces us to another character who is unlike anything you’ve read before. Amos Decker is an ex-football star and a highly decorated ex-cop. Life has a way of dealing cruel and harsh blows and Decker, a  promising professional football player has his career cut short by an accident during his first game. The injury begins  a new way of life, resulting in a condition of possessing an extremely detailed autobiographical memory wherein he forgets nothing. Grisly murders of his loved ones deal him another blow.  The chance arrest of Sebastian Leopold who was suspected of being involved in a mass shooting at the local high school brought his family's cold case back to life, and reunites Decker with his former partner, detective Mary Lancaster.   They have to dig deep to close the cold cases. 

    Thursday, July 23, 2015

    "Reclaimed" By: River Savage Review

    By: River Savage

    When the woman you love is lost, how hard will you fight to get her back? Following the birth of her daughter, Kadence Knight finds herself in a battle she never prepared for. With desperation and unhappiness threatening to overwhelm her, a sense of hopelessness pulls her away from the one thing she has always longed for: a family. As Nix watches his wife struggle with something he doesn't understand, he can't help but feel disconnected to his woman. The Kadence he once knew has drifted into the darkness. In her place is a shadow of the woman she once was, one who is fearful of the impossible...failing their daughter. This Valentine’s Day, Nix has one goal — to reclaim the woman who gave him everything.

    My Thoughts
         Reclaimed is the ultimate companion to one of my favorite Mc novels. Struggling with postpartum depression after the birth of her daughter, Kadence is at a crossroads. Trying to find a balance between being a Mother, a wife, and maintaining her career. Nix, the ultimate bad boy motorcycle man, is at his wits end trying to solve his problems at home and keep up his duty to the club.
        A companion novel to Incandescent, fans of the Knights Rebels MC series will adore this brief glimpse into the lives of Nix and Kadence after the miraculous birth of their first child together. River Savage breaks your heart but puts it back together as these two characters work through their problems and eventually reconnect.
        I think the thing I admire most about this book (beyond the smokin’ hot sex scenes and accurate portrayal of parenthood) is how River Savage tackles the taboo subject of life after baby. For some women, it sometimes is a battle and for Kadence she fights every step of the way. Savage shows its ok to not be perfect and relates the importance of keeping on, keeping on. Tackling this subject in a romance no less shows Savage’s talent in storytelling and the strength of her characters.
        A fantastic novella tackling one of life’s biggest challenges, Savage has another hit on her hands. A great companion to her full length novels, Nix and Kadence are showcased in both their best and worst. I can’t say enough great things about it and luckily, we have more Nix and Kadence coming up! Brava River, Brava! 

    Book Details
    # of Pages: 80
    Date of Publication: February 16, 2015
    Source: ARC review

    Review originally published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog

    Monday, July 20, 2015

    "King of Hearts" By: L.H. Cosway Review

    King of Hearts
    By: L.H. Cosway
    Welcome to the City, London’s most prestigious square mile, where finance reigns and Oliver King is a rising prince.
    I used to rule the world. There might be wolves on Wall Street, but there were crocodiles in Canary Wharf. Some of us craved money. Some of us craved power. I liked money, and power had its advantages, but what I really wanted was to excel, to surpass the men who came before me. I never cared much for love and romance until I met Alexis. I could feel it the very moment she walked into the interview, with her outspoken charm and vivacious personality. She cast all the others in shadow, made me laugh when life held no humour. Our friendship should have remained professional, but it wasn’t long before the lines started to blur. You know what they say about the best laid plans of mice and men? Well, I never foresaw where my plans would lead, and only in my darkest hour did I finally see the light… You can have all the money and prestige in the world and still be the poorest man alive. And love, well, I hate to use a tired old cliché, but love can be the thing that truly sets you free.
    My Thoughts
         What do you do when you think everything is lost? King of Hearts is a truly magnificent story of redemption and love. Fans of L.H. Cosway will recognize her trademark wit while enjoying the unique view of her truly scrumptious story.
        King is first viewed in Hearts of Fire. Drunk, dirty, poor, and a wreck, King travels with his sister’s circus in despair. Broken hearted and down on his luck, the other performers have wide berth to the dirty, sunken man. So this is where we originally see King…
        As King of Hearts begins, we are thrown into the past. Oliver King is a super successful investment broker with a fancy office and loads of money. Incredibly suave, King has the world at his feet. Women want to date him, men want to be him.
        This is the environment that Alexis Clark is hired into. Entranced by the enigmatic King, she is quickly swept up into his world. Alexis is a young 20-something finding her way in London. Smart, she is enchanted by the mysterious King and ultimately falls deeply in love with him. After something truly heartbreaking happens, King goes missing and Alexis is left alone with a secret she can never reveal.
        Fast forward a number of years and we are once again seeing King as the drunken mess that he has become. Concerned, Alexis receives a letter from a performer at the circus encouraging her to come and help. It is up to Alexis to bring King out of his stupor and once again make him the man he once was.
        An extremely well written book, I adored the before and after look at these two dynamic characters. Each one grows and changes as the years and memories take their toll. I recently tweeted LH Cosway worried that King may not get the happy ending he deserved, and she quickly reassured me. Without a doubt, King has a utterly lovely story and is given a perfect queen for his “King.”

    Please note: King of Hearts can absolutely be read alone, but I strongly suggest reading Six of Hearts and Hearts of Fire because they are both absolutely wonderful!
    Book Details
    Date of Publication: July 16, 2015
    # of Pages: 304
    ISBN: 9781310520273
    Location: London, England
    Source: ARC for Review from Author

    Review originally published at The Brunette Librarian's Blog