Tuesday, February 28, 2006
John Grisham is back to his old form with this book. After years of reading dreadful stuff by this author it's great to see him comeback with a book that kept you wanting more until the very end. At the end it was an edge of your seat thriller.
The Broker refers to Joel Backman who, in his prime as a Washington lawyer, rubbed elbows with the crème de la crème. He earned over 10 million a year and had the largest, most successful firm in all Washington. Then he took on as a client three young Pakistani men that had written software to manipulate a satellite that was not suppose to be in orbit. When they went after the highest bidder for the technology, they were arrested (to tell you the truth, the whole reason why Joel was arrested escaped me but since it really didn't change the story, I moved on). After his partner was murdered, Joel confesses and goes into protective custody at the Federal Prison. There he spends 6 out of his 20 year sentence in solitaire confinement, until the outgoing president gives him a pardon he has not asked for.
The CIA wants him out so they can have another country assassinate him. Seems Joel has too many secrets he is not willing to share with the USA, so the CIA would rather the secrets die with him before he has a chance to share them with anyone else. He is taken out of the prison and sent to Italy where he is supplied a new identity and a tutor to get him acclimated to the new life the US, supposedly, has bought him. He knows better and the game of Cloak and Dagger that takes place in the following months is the juice of this story.
The story reminded me of Grisham when he was at his best, with stories like The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client & Runaway Jury. Well worth picking this one up, even if you had given up on Grisham.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
As part of my yahoo group's (Historical Romance Chat) Author of the Month series, I selected Elizabeth Grayson's Color of the Wind as my February read. As things worked out the title also met the requirements for Angie W's TBR challenge.
These are the questions that Angie W had asked about the book selected:
Title: Color of the Night
Author: Elizabeth Grayson
Year published: 1999
Why did you get this book? As an Author of the Month selection for my yahoo group.
Do you like the cover? Yes, it's not overly cheesy.
Did you enjoy the book? Absolutely
Was the author new to you and would you read something by this author again? Grayson was a new to me author and I will definitely be looking for her work in the future.
Are you keeping it or passing it on? I will be trading this copy since I don't usually keep books.
With that said... on to my thoughts of the book.
Baird Northcross & Ardith Merritt are damaged individuals. Baird due to overindulgence and being spoiled, and Ardith due to being the ugly duckling. Baird was once betrothed to Ardith but during their engagement party he met Ariel, Ardith's half sister and fell for her beauty and passion for life. They eloped on the day he was to marry Ardith. Shamed over the scandal, Ardith abandons
16 years later, Baird is banished to
She expects to just dump the kids and get back to her life, but realizes that Baird is even more clueless as to the needs of his children than she is. So an agreement is reached where Ardith will stay until Baird can acclimate himself to his new role as a single parent.
Grayson's vivid descriptions of life on the frontier, makes the story just bounce off the pages. I admit that the book can be put down but you will carry with you the detailed images that the author has painted. I also love that Grayson doesn't rush the romance between Baird and Ardith. Instead she lets them develop a relationship based off their common need to assure the children's well being. The characters grow into people that you can admire. Baird stopped being the selfish man we meet at the beginning and Ardith is a stronger woman, more self assured. The soft transition between who they were at the beginning of the book and who they became really gives credence to the talent of this author.
Monday, February 20, 2006
It seems that I'm a down roll... The last two books have been such a disappointment. This is the third book int he Eclipse series but Krentz did a good job making it readable without having read the first two.
Nick Harte is a widow who has avoided commitment until Ocatvia Brightwell. The Art Shop owner is the great niece of Claudia, the woman who caused a huge rift between the two most powerful families in
I'm not too sure if it was that I had not read the first two books (although I doubt it since this one did well as a stand alone) but the characters and
Sunday, February 19, 2006
Wow.. This one was bad. Not completely horrendous but bad enough. I am so disappointed because I actually liked her Stuck with You book (or at least, I remember liking it).
This is the story of Jake Donnelly, an FBI agent that has just inherited his Aunt Sophie's pet bulldog. Muffin inherited everything else. If Jake cannot deal with Muffin, he can give up claim on all properties and give it all to LeAnne Crosby, psychologist to the dogs and owner of Happy Hound resort. As part of the stipulations in the will Jake has to spend two weeks at the doggie resort. Of course Jake is skeptical of LeAnne and believes her to be a fraud as well as a gold digger, that is until he meets her, then he thinks she's a hot and sexy gold digger.
The premise of the story made me think it would be a blast but there was a lot of doggie moments that just seemed out of place. There was more on how Jake fell in love with his role as a dog owner than on how he fell in love with LeAnne. There was lust but I was not convinced that he fell for her or at least why he fell for her. Then there was the lack of real sexual tension, there was an attraction but I never got the raw feelings I have perceived in other work where "if I don't have her, I'll just die". The subplot of some goons going after them because they want to get to the witness that Mark Colson and Jake were protecting just didn't fly either.
I really thought I would drop this one but I felt committed to finishing it and as I said, it was bad but not horrendous.
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
This author never disappoints, at least not with her romantic suspense books. They always grab you and throw you for a loop in one way or another and this one follows suit.
Five disappearances in the small town of
Ben and Lilly had met the summer before while white water rafting and felt attracted to each other but Lilly was still married and trying to recover from the death of her daughter, so things had gone no where. Now she is stranded in a cabin with him and, although the attraction is still there, something does not feel right.Back in town the FBI finds newspaper clippings in Tierney's hotel room and all hell breaks lose. Dutch who is still obsessed with his wife is going over the deep end (as well as mountainous cliffs) as he tries to reach her at their cabin. The local High School coach, Wes, has secrets of his own as he tries to protect his son from the FBI because he thinks Scott might have something to do with the disappearance of the latest victim. The story weaves itself around the people in Cleary and the secrets just keep popping up all over the place. Brown keeps you on your toes, guessing as to the identity of the serial killer 'Blue'. Halfway through the book you just cannot accept that Tierney is the killer and start looking elsewhere and then Brown throws you a fast one that has you questioning your judgment.
The culminating scene at the end has you at the edge of your seat and cringing with every shot fired. Brown is a queen at her game and Chill Factor just reinforces her position as one of the best romantic suspense authors of her time.
Sunday, February 12, 2006
Dorchester Publishing sent out a few Advanced Readers Copies of this release, and I was fortunate enough to receive one. This is the first book in a new trilogy by Pamela Clare which tells the story of the MacKinnon brothers, who have been pressed to serve the British after being falsely accused of Murder.
In this first installment we meet the brothers and get to know the circumstances that has the brothers, as highlanders and jacobites, working as Rangers in the French / British war. We then meet Lady Anne Burness Campbell who also has been falsely accused of a crime and is sold into indentured labor to the colonies.
When Iain (the eldest of the MacKinnon brothers decides to intervene and save Anne from rape and then death, the writing is set on the wall.
This was my first book by Clare and I was pleasantly surprised. I received the book as an ARC and to be honest, I had no expectations for the piece. The blurb on the back of the book just didn't make it sound that exciting and I found that I had no real interest in reading it right away, but I had committed myself to read the book and so I started it as soon as I got it.
As soon as I situated where in history the events took place, the book came alive. I am a BIG Last of the Mohicans fan and the atmosphere that was created in the book reminded me of that movie/book. The brothers had been adopted by a tribe of Indians and they fought crudely like the Highlanders and Indians were known to fight. The romance between Iain and Annie was not rushed or hindered by a bunch of silly misunderstandings. When Iain reacted stupidly, he admitted it and accepted his flaw. He realized the importance in life and treasured his time alive. This is how I would expect a sensible man would act in a time of war like the brothers lived in.
The rhythm Clare set in the plot had great timing and the characters were all well developed. When you closed the book you felt as if you were leaving good friends behind. This is something that an author writing a series needs to establish from book one. You need to want to go back and read about those other two brothers. You need to care about the characters and feel the need to revisit them. I must admit that even the 'villain' of the book, at the end, had me wanting a HEA for him as well.
Besides all that... the book was quite steamy. Lord William and his friendly fingers and Iain with his handy razor, made the book sizzle with scenes that were just not your typical 'let's go tupping!'. Definitely a series to watch out for and an author with great talent.
Saturday, February 11, 2006
I discovered Christopher Paolini at the end of last year when I picked up the Audiobook of Eragon. Eldest is the second book in the Inheritance Trilogy and it picks up just a few hours after the battle at the end of Eragon. These books are not independent of each other. They are not like romance novels, where a trilogy indicates that there are three separate characters and each book will cover the story of a separate couple. No, this trilogy is more of the Saga type of books, where you need to read the first book to know what is happening in the next. The Inheritance trilogy reminds me very much of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
When we last left Eragon he had just slain the Shade, Durza, in the battle of Farthen Dur, where the urgals had attacked the Varden. The success of the battle was the beginning of the war against Galbatorix's Empire. The wound that Durza, the Shade, gave Eragon leaves him crippled, in a sense. He now has a scar on his back, like Murtagh, that pains him into oblivion. Ajihad has been slain in the battle and the Varden need a new leader. The elders on the council decide to ask Nasuada to replace her father and be a puppethead, but she has other plans and after accepting the confirmation she surprises them all by proving to be an independent leader and worthy of the title. After Nasuada takes command and decides to move the Varden out of Farthen Dur to Gil'ead, Arya, the elf, takes Eragon to Ellesmera for his training as a Rider.
In this installment we also follow Roran, Eragon's cousin as the Ra-zac attack Carvahall in search of him. They want to use him to get to Eragon. The villagers abandon Carvahall through the Spine to get to the Varden, in hopes that they can join the fight against the Empire and protect themselves from Galbatorix. I enjoyed Roran's storyline more than Eragon's even though Eragon goes through many transformations (he becomes more elf-like and takes on apprenticeship from Oramis, a hidden Rider) there is no real action until the very end. Roran's story is stronger because we see him encounter many obstacles in his trail to the Varden. During the last battle a twist is revealed that leaves the reader stunned, not just by the revelation into the prophesy Angela had made to Eragon in the first book but also by revealing who the prophesy was referring to. Angela had told Eragon that he would be betrayed but someone of his blood and when Eragon's paternity is revealed we discover exactly who betrays him.
Excellent Saga! If you are into Fantasy, this is the book you cannot miss. In the same line as the Harry Potter series, this book is not just for the young. The story and characters come alive with the fight between good and evil. The characters are multifaceted, where they are flawed and human-like. A code of honor keeps the good true and all creatures have a separate code.
If you want more information about the book you can visit http://www.dragonriders.co.uk/, which has tons of info. The first book, Eragon, has already been picked up by Fox to make as a movie. The next installment, tentatively titled Empire, will be published in 2007. Can't wait!!
Friday, February 10, 2006
This is the last book in the Duncan Sister Trilogy. The first two books are The Bachelor List & The Bride Hunt which tell the stories of Constance and Prudence Duncan. This trio of sisters has had to find ways to supplement their income after their father loses a large portion of his wealth on a bad investment. The stories take place in the early 1900 which was quite different for me. There really aren't that many books that take place during this time, when the women's suffragist movement was taking root and women were testing the limits society had imposed on them for so long. The sisters decide to continue the suffragist work their deceased mother had started by printing a broadsheet called The Mayfair Lady where not only do they talk about the movement but also run advertisements, an advice column and a matchmaking service. The Go-Between is the matchmaking service which we have seen has had some success in the previous books.
The book covers Chastity and Douglas romance, but also Lord Duncan's (the sister's widowed father) romance to an Italian Countess, whose daughter, Laura, is the candidate the Go-Between have chosen for
Thursday, February 09, 2006
After many discussions about this series, I picked up the first two books. This is the story of Wolf Mackenzie and Mary Elizabeth Potter.
Wolf is an Indian half breed and Mary is a school teacher just arrived to
When Mary challenges the community's prejudice a threat is presented against everyone who talks in favor of the Mackenzie's. When Mary is almost raped Wolf takes it personally and claims her as his woman, giving into his desires. The book was nice and spicy. Even though it was short, the story was well weaved and made sense, it didn't seem rushed at all. I also liked that although you suspected who was behind the events taking place in the town, you were never really sure until the very end. I can see how it would be hard for Howard to top the success of this book.
Joe's story is told in the sequel, Mackenzie's Mission.