Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Everything old is new again, especially in this 1995 reissue originally titled Wishes. You’ll find the characters a little more developed and the suspense ramped up and if you’re familiar with the original novel you’ll recognize the story and the players.
Fifteen years ago Kate Summers did something that even with the purest of hearts was still illegal and to some unethical but so be it. Now however her past is about to collide with her present and the results might just be explosive. Daegan O’Rourke has matured in fifteen years from the angry young man with the chip on his shoulder, he has some secrets and done some things he’s not proud of. One of those voices from the past is about to shake up his life and shake it up good. Kate and Daegan are definitely attracted to each other but they both have hardened their hearts and maybe that’s a good thing.
In this classic Lisa Jackson romance turned romantic suspense the bare bones of Lisa’s talent is obvious even so many years ago and with it’s spit and shine for today’s audience it makes a grand entry. The dialogue flows smoothly. The plot is unique in it’s context and the original romance as previously written wouldn’t appeal to today’s more sophisticated reader so the update is needed. The characters are really well handled in their portrayals and well balanced so that every one of them has their place in the story and every place is needed to tell it. Her main protagonists Kate and Daegan along with Kate’s son Jon are especially likeable people and at times tragic in their roles and we readers will find empathy with them and at times be angry with them and at other times be sad with them. The romance is not at all your perfect boy meets girl scenario, but one loaded with perils and pitfalls and they climb mountains to get to their Happy Ever After. The love scenes are few in number but expressive and impressive enough to stay with you long after the scene is over.
So come try on for size one of Lisa Jackson’s early works revamped and revved up for the contemporary crowd. You won’t be sorry you did.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Live to Tell
Those of us who have come to adore the writing of Lisa Gardner will stand up and cheer at her latest thriller Live to Tell.
Sergeant DD Warren has had some really bad cases before but she may have just been given the worst of her life. What looks like a whole family annihilation has just been doubled and now it looks as though it just might have been staged, but for who and why. Well DD will soon be looking for all the answers and isn’t she lucky that a retired cop turned professor is tagging along with her team to keep his feet in field work and just maybe lend a helping hand.
Lisa Gardner is one serious lady when it comes to crime dramas. She will wow her audience with her latest chilling thrilling tale of madness, mayhem and murder and she takes us deep into forbidden territories of the psyches of mentally ill children, their families and their caretakers, yet she does it with so much care and compassion that her audience will yet again celebrate her victory over some of the baddest dudes on the planet. Her quick paced dialogue is filled with tough cop speak and no nonsense narrative as she takes us on some of the most chilling and horrifying detective work ever to come out of someone’s imagination and yet during it all we get introspection into the characters by reading their thoughts, their hopes and their fears. Now let’s talk about her characters, they all really steal the show as they either inch their way into our hearts or our nightmares and not only her protagonist DD but her team of cops, the children, the care givers to the frazzled parents we get a realistic glimpse of a world most of us will never see or imagine as someone’s everyday life and then we get to see the malevolence of her villain as we try with usually no success to pick him/her out of the line up. As with all Ms. Gardner’s novels there is a love story of sorts, but this is definitely not a romance.
So if you’re up for being scared out of your mind, who else would you turn to but Lisa Gardner, if you want to read the results of a world class storyteller, that’s right Lisa’s your girl, if you want to kick some butt and take names go no farther that Live to Tell, your next must read, believe me you wont be sorry. Kudos to you Ms. Gardner.
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Barely a Lady
Olivia was betrayed by the one person who should have believed in her and she’s survived these five years by relying solely on her wits, keeping her secrets buried deep and each day hoping for the best. That was until Waterloo. While stranded in Belgium she helps the wounded from battle, only one particular fellow is all too familiar and to make matters worse, he’s in the wrong uniform. Jack Wyndham the Earl of Gracechurch wakes up from the battleground only to have lost the last five years of his life where very important things have occurred that he no longer remembers, one of which is that he divorced his young wife. Put together in an uncomfortable situation it’s obvious that Olivia and Jack still have feelings for each other, she because she never quite got over him, he because he can’t remember. What will happen when they face the ultimate betrayal will they survive and will they do it together or alone.
Ms. Dreyer is most known for her contemporary chilling tales of suspense and that talent really shines through here in her first Historical Romance Barely a Lady. Her story line is well thought out and historically speaking pretty true and she embellishes the story with smooth and flowing dialogue that will catch the readers attention and not let it go. But don’t for one moment think that this is a fluff romance novel, her descriptions of battlefield scenes and the ravages that war cause are very dark and very realistic and she carries that darkness through the novel as she lays out the plot for her readers. But the real shining stars are her wonderful characters and I mean all of them from the one liners to the hero and heroine they all play their parts well and they all play a very important part in the telling of her tale. The hero Jack and heroine Olivia are incredibly detailed characters, characters that you cry with, feel fear with, sympathize and empathize with. The romance is one of my favorites that of second chances and Ms. Dreyer pulls her audience into the drama of the read. The love scenes are physical and descriptive, but done in the best of taste.
This is a historical romance that will appeal to all types of readers, lovers of romance, lovers of history, lovers of war stories. But most of all lovers of great characters and descriptive dialogue all wrapped up by a genius storyteller. Don’t miss out on a great end of summer read or any season for that matter. Kudos to you Ms. Dreyer you’ve definitely got a hit on your hands. Me I’m just (im) patiently waiting for the next in the series due out in Spring 2011.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Antiphon is the 3rd of 5 in the Psalms of Isaak series.
Welcome to the wonderful world of Mr. Schole’s brilliant imagination where in a world far- far away where the mode of transportation is still horseback he gives us unimaginable wonders like thinking talking metal men one of which is called Isaak and these are his Psalms.
In this volume “war is coming” as we were warned in the previous novel, but there’s more going on than meets the glowing eyes of the Mechoservitors . There’s unrest in the Ninefold Forest as well as all the other nations in the Named Lands. The problem is who is driving it? Is it Ria, the new queen of the Machtvolk who disposed her little sister? Is it the strange metal man known as the watcher? Or is it something more dire and more sinister. Well my friends you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out if the Andofrancine Order will survive, if the Younger Gods or the Wizard Kings have any part in this and what does the house Li Tam have to do with it all.
Ken Scholes is a master storyteller who’s imaginative mind brings us this make-believe world with some of the most unforgettable characters ever to grace a page of a book. His Named Lands and Nine Fold Forest come alive with his descriptive dialogue along with those characters mentioned before. Underlying plots are all going on at once and Mr. Scholes brings them all together brilliantly as he weaves his own “Whymer Maze” for his audience’s entertainment. He has many protagonists in his series so it’s hard to bring one to the forefront without ignoring someone else, so I’ll just say that they’re all amazing in their development and their portrayal. They are all an important instrument in bringing his story to life, and life is what this tale is all about, life and the pursuit of “the light”. And hidden beneath all the strife and hardships are classic love stories, stories about alliances that turn to love about two opposites who attract about love of family and love of friends, about sacrifices made for the love of a child, and about the love of one’s people and the need to go forward into the unknown for a better way of life. You readers will not want to stop turning pages in this epic adventure series any more than you’d want to stop breathing.
This series will appeal to a multitude of audiences, don’t be afraid to give it a try just because it bears the label Science Fiction. Inside lovers of mysteries will find a great one, thriller lovers will find none more chilling, lovers of adventure will find it hard to catch their breath, lovers of romance will get their love story and lovers of make believe will get it all. So bring out your inner child and use your imagination and enter the magnificent mind of Mr. Ken Scholes. This novel is a great story on it’s own, but if you neglect the first two you will loose valuable information given there.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Infamous is an amazingly intense, superbly written example of romantic suspense by the queen of suspense herself Suzanne Brockmann.
History Professor Allison Carter hired to consult on the filming of a movie about the life of an American West legend Silas Quinn isn’t prepared to have that legend’s name tarnished. A J Gallagher is going to do just that, you see his great-grandfather Jamie Gallagher was the villain to Silas’s hero, except according to AJ the story is backwards. Allison and A J have some major sparks flying, but she’s not going to let that get in the way of the truth, and the truth is hard to take especially when sexy AJ claims to see Jaimie’s ghost. But specters are the least of this couple’s worries when bodies start showing up, the question is will they become one of them.
Suzanne Brockman takes a rest from her Troubleshooter’s series to give us a whopper of a stand-a-lone. Her story line is quite unique giving a ghost a starring role in her novel, a novel that’s not a paranormal tale, but rather a wonderful contemporary romantic suspense that just so happens to have a ghost on board as one of the main characters. Her dialogue is all you’d expect on the set of a motion picture from the tough talking troublesome male hero to the all demanding Diva. Speaking of divas and heroes, her characters are a combination film professionals, film stars, film extras, set employees and those all important bad guys and they all are a necessary part of the telling of the story, from the villains who are some of the most notorious you’ll ever see to the one liners we only see for an instant. Her hero and heroine are exceptional studies in humanity, both with skeletons in their closets and both afraid of them falling out, both tortured by their own personal demons, both afraid to step out of their comfort zone, that is until one or both of them is put in danger which brings the tiger out in them to defend their mate. They are sensational examples of love is blind and yet the readers will see in them something that must bring them together when so many things conspire to keep them apart. This duo really earns their happy ever after. The romance will have you scratching your head one minute, laughing the next and sitting on the edge of your seat one minute after that. The love scenes are emotionally charged and very physical and yet the author gives her audience that sense of rightness about it too.
So if you like your romance served up with a healthy dose of suspense, a roller coaster emotional thriller set in a contemporary scene, let this be the one you choose. Suzanne Brockmann is a quintessential genius in the genre of romantic suspense and she will not disappoint any reader with this exceptional example of her skills. It’s the perfect end of summer read, the perfect novel to sink your teeth in as you see the kids off to the bus for the first day of school. So treat yourself to a novel you won’t soon forget and give Infamous a try.
Monday, August 16, 2010
Austin – The McKettricks of Texas
Linda Lael Miller
Austin is book three of the McKettricks of Texas series
Youngest McKettrick brother Austin is the hell raiser of the bunch, only staying in one place long enough to ride the rodeo, but he never forgot his first love Paige Remington and now that her two sisters are marrying his two brothers that puts them in close proximity more than is comfortable for him because part of his guilt about the past has a lot to do with Paige. Paige is between jobs and between homes so she finds herself staying at the McKettrick ranch and within arms distance of her old nemesis Austin, he caused her a lot of pain in the past when he broke her heart so when she’s asked by his brothers to be his nurse she has to wonder if her heart will stand being so close to the only man she’s ever loved enough to hurt her.
Linda Lael Miller is the quintessential western romance author and there’s no better subjects then her cherished McKettrick tribe who’s numbers are countless and members who range from sea to shining sea and this McKettrick part of the family lives up to it’s larger than life persona, they are the descendants of Clay McKettrick the grandson of the grand patriarch Angus, Clay moved to Texas from Arizona to carve out his own story. Her plot is far from unique and yet she makes us crave every word she writes, her dialogue is sometimes a little on the rowdy side but there’s plenty of Texas chivalry and good manners in there to let you know what kind of mamma raised these boys. Her characters like I said before are larger than life and yet they are down to earth enough to come to the aid of any one they meet who needs it. The romance of Austin and Paige is that of unfinished business, reacquainted love and that’s my favorite kind, because there’s no better character than one with a past that gets reexamined. Her love scenes are hot, spicy and sensual but on the sensitive and sweet side also.
So if you like the kind of romance where there’s boots under the bed and you’ve never given Linda Lael Miller a try this is the series you should start with. I would recommend that this series be read in order. Tate – Garrett – Austin.
Friday, August 13, 2010
St. Martin’s Press
Sugar Daddy is the first of Lisa’s contemporary novels staring the Travis Family of Texas.
First of all I have to admit that this is my first foray into the wonderful world created by Lisa Kleypas, it was only by way of a bet between my friend Melanie Murray a talented author in her own right and myself that I even took up the gauntlet, one I’m so glad I did. So thanks Melanie, I owe you yet another thanks for introducing me to yet another incredible author.
Liberty Jones has from childhood taken a can do attitude which has helped her a great deal with her less then wonderful life. Her father, the love of her mother’s life died in a tragic accident on an oil rig. Since then her mother has tried to comfort herself by quantity and not quality of boyfriends none of who seem to stay around. But there’s a lot that momma’s not telling her and it will follow her all her life. Her one solid thing through the whole of it is Hardy Cates. Hardy has not got an easy life either, but he’s convinced that Liberty is someone who needs caring for and he’s going to do it, the only thing wrong with this is that as soon as Hardy can get out of Welcome Texas he’s gone so the one thing he doesn’t want Liberty to do is to count on him indefinitely.
Ms Kleypas gives us a unique modern day Cinderella story, one where the heroine has a lot of spunk, wit and panache and the fact that Cinderella only wants to take care of herself and not rely on some rich “Sugar Daddy” for her livelihood. The dialogue is a mix of urban sophistication and Texas twang, interspersed with common man slang and it’s a great fit for the diversity of the characters. And let’s talk about the characters which are all tremendously important to the story no matter their standing in the story line, they all fill a certain role and do it wonderfully. Her heroine Liberty is unequalled in the ranks of heroines, she’s got everything in life going against her and yet just like the little engine that could, she did and she does it with style, grace and that Unsinkable Molly Brown attitude. She shares the stage with multiple heros that all stand out for their various reasons and some of them more than others. Ms. Kleypas doesn’t introduce us to all of them in the beginning so I’ll just say they’re great and let the reader find out who, what, when and where for themselves. The romance is novel worthy, it’s met with constant sink holes and pit falls and she really makes her couple work hard for their Happy Ever After. Her love scenes are sensual and spicy and descriptive without being too risqué, but believe me when I tell you that romance lovers like me who love their baser love scenes, we will not be cheated.
So if like me you’ve never had the pleasure of reading Lisa Kleypas, what are you waiting for. For those who love a great contemporary romance with a lot of heart and soul, this one’s for you. Don’t forget to read the other two volumes dedicated to the Travis Family. I know I’m on my way to get the next one now.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
The Darkest Lie
The Darkest Lie is the 6th in the Lords of the Underworld series.
Back when the world was young and Gods ruled the Heavens Zeus created mighty immortal warriors as his elite guard. Curiosity got the cat when the guards decided to open Pandora’s Box. As punishment Zeus made each lord host a demon trapped inside the box, the earth and her human citizens barley survived the ensuing years as the lords became accustomed to their symbiotic partners. This is Gideon’s story, Gideon was given the demon of Lies so he can never tell the truth without suffering great pain. Throughout his lonely existence he’s experienced memories of a woman but he’s not sure where they came from or if they’re even true. Suddenly the object of those memories appears before him claiming to be his wife. Scarlet born of a match between the God Queen Rhea and a mortal has never known a moment of peace. Hated by her mother she’s put in prison as a child until the fall of Greeks and the rise of the Titans when she escapes and tries to find her husband. Gideon and Scarlet have more in common than they think, but is marriage one of those things.
Gena Showalter has a hit of a series going with her Lords of the Underworld tales, they are each more fantastical than the previous one all filled with larger than life incredible characters, characters that you will be grateful to revisit in future novels. Her storyline is about as far out there as any of the other thousands of urban fantasy romance but she remains very popular because of her storytelling. She makes her readers unable to wait to finish a page or a chapter and before you know it, it’s 4am and you’re still turning pages. Her characters as I’ve said before are larger than life and yet you’ll find yourself yearning to be the heroine to the very manly heros of her books. The romance is sweet, sad and full of pitfalls. The love scenes are raw, physical and expressional.
This is not your mother’s romance, so keep it on the top shelf and out of the hands of curious young readers. But pull it down again often to totally enjoy the magic of Gena Showalter and her Lords of the Underworld. They can be read as stand-a-lones but I would suggest reading the series in order to understand all the special relationships and connections.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Swept Aside is the third and final novel in Sharon Sala’s Storm Front series.
After surviving a Columbine type shooting Amalie Pope is coming home to Bordelaise Louisiana to lick her wounds and reclaim the only place that’s ever been home. Nick Aroyo is far from home working for the DEA undercover on a drug case bad karma or fate has him and his three compatriots arrested and thrown in jail in small town Bordelaise Louisiana. But there’s a killer storm brewing and the biggest question is will Nick and Amalie survive or will they be Swept Aside.
Ms. Sala has given us a whopper of a finish for her Storm Front series. Her plot could be straight from the headlines, it’s fraught with all the emotional tension and angst as if it were true. Her dialogue is what you’d expect from 4 escaped convicts plus one demure High School Art teacher, but you’d be surprised by that teacher’s spunk especially after living through what she has. Her characters are intense and seem the genuine article even though they are a figment of Ms. Sala’s very fertile imagination. Her hero Nick and heroine Amalie are great especially authentic feeling and you can’t help but hope them through all their hardships and setbacks. The character development genius doesn’t stop with Nick and Amalie, it makes it’s way to the three real convicts where Ms. Sala divides them into human and devil. The romance is edgy and what you’d expect from a couple who don’t know if they’ll live to see each other or the next day, it’s that life affirming coming together you need in the face of death and because of that the love scenes are really physical and very intuitive and even though you know there’s real feelings between the couple she makes us wait and wonder if and when they’ll get that great ending that they of all characters so rightly deserve.
If you like a little action, adventure and terror with your romance Swept Aside is the one for you. This is the third and final volume in the Storm Front series and it does well as a stand-a-lone, but why stop here, experience the "Perfect Storm" and get all three Blown Away Torn Apart and Swept Aside believe me you will not be sorry.
Monday, August 9, 2010
Torn Apart is the second of Sharon Sala’s Storm Front series.
The Earles are a loving, caring family but they’re in a crisis right now seeded in JR’s job and Katie’s fear of leaving Bordelaise. But soon none of that will matter because a tornado that hit’s town takes away more than they could ever fear and their family may never recover from being “Torn Apart”.
Ms. Sala has given us a dramatic, heart stopping thriller in Torn Apart. Her story line is the darkest fear of any parent and could have been taken from the front pages of any newspaper or the headlines of any TV new program. Her dialogue flows so well that you won’t be able to stop turning pages until the end and her words bring the tale to life in your minds eye, as her scenes take us through the hell of a family and back. It’s a tale filled with terror and hopelessness and light at the end of the tunnel. Her characters are wonderfully depicted and you will love and hate them as their parts predict. Her protagonists the Earles are an amazing show of talent on her part as her audience will cry, feel fear and hurt with them. Her romance is tender and heart wrenching and healing. Her love scenes are spicy enough to please the most hardcore romance lover and yet leave enough to the imagination for those who don’t need explicit descriptions.
This is an amazing piece of fiction dedicated to all the lost and found souls that the story is about. It’s a thrill a minute roller coaster ride of horror and will leave you gasping for breath in one minute and crying the next. So if you need a lot of angst with your romance and you need your happy ever after to be hard reaching, run, do not walk to your nearest bookstore for this great novel. This is the second in her Storm Front series but could be easily read as a stand-a-lone, the series share a town and a tornado and a few characters.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Blown Away is the first of three of Sharon Sala’s Storm Front Series. It’s a thriller, a romance and a great read in one.
Bestselling Mystery author Carolina North lives a much quieter life in the Louisiana Bayou town of Bordelaise then she writes about until one morning during a walk she comes upon something she never thought she’d see a man she once loved burying a body, in her frantic rush to get home to her parents and report what she’s seen she’s unaware that everything she’s loved and known up until this point is about to be “Blown Away”. Mike Boudreaux, Baton Rouge business man is notified that his personal assistant is in the hospital only when he arrives he sees an imposter in the bed. He wants answers and as soon as this look-a-like wake up, he’s going to get them.
Ms. Sala really knows how to get to the heart of a reader by giving them what they want in a plot, a force of nature followed by a great romantic suspense read and knows just where to place it, in the Louisiana Bayous a place of majestic beauty that can and does turn deadly. Her dialogue is flowing and filled with that wonderful Cajun jargon that really gets to the heart of any romance lover. I mean who can resist that all inclusive “cher”. She’s also a genius at painting pictures in our heads with her words as we live through the tornado and fear for the lives of the characters as they play out their roles. And let’s talk about the characters who are all wonderfully portrayed and developed especially her hero Mike and heroine Carolina who you can’t help but cheer for as they reach for that all elusive Happily Ever After. Her romance is sweet while the love scenes are hot, spicy and intense.
So if you love a great romance, that grand passion, this is your read. If you shutter with excitement at suspense then this is definitely what you want. If you like your romance on the sizzle burner, look no farther. And if you like series, well you’re in luck because there are two more coming your way so stay tuned for my review of them.
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Hurricanes in Paradise
Hurricanes in Paradise is a wonderfully written inspirational and riveting novel by a wonderful storyteller.
At the famous Atlantis resort in the picturesque Bahamas there is more stirring than the weather as four very different women are soon to find out. Riley Sinclair is seeking a new beginning for her and her small daughter accepting a position at the resort. Best selling author Laine Fulton is seeking information for her next novel and using the resort as background while she deals with demons of her own making. Beauty pageant winner Tamyra Larsen has been hiding from everyone after receiving devastating news, news that will change her life forever. Widow Winnie Harris has been forced on this vacation by her too caring and children. As these three women’s lives connect they will experience a myriad of emotions from fear, hurt, rage and finally redemption when they finally look to the one source who can solve their problems and heal their hearts and souls.
Denise Hildreth brings to life for her readers the tropic breezes, the soulful Atlantic ocean and the characters that are obviously close to her heart. Her plot is four overlapping stories that intertwine together to make one beautiful story. Her dialogue is witty and expressively devout. Her characters are far from perfect and yet they are very earnest and honest which makes them unbelievably real. They are well rounded and precocious and funny and sad and readers will find themselves pulled toward each of them while finding similarities to our own struggles as they stumble toward a better road. There are love stories here that are genuine and sweet and there are losses that are hard to comprehend.
This is a tale of what was and what can be, a story of loss and of gain, but most of all it’s a story of faith and healing and of how friendship helps get us there.
Monday, August 2, 2010
Outside the Ordinary World
It’s the rare novel that stays in your mind for a long time after you read it and yet that’s exactly what you’ll get with “Outside the Ordinary World”.
Sylvia Sandon is a complicated woman, which stems from her complicated childhood. Married with two daughters of her own she finds herself following in the footsteps of her mother, footsteps that she doesn’t want to walk in and yet seemingly without conscience thought she’s doing. The secrets of her past have found their way into her present and by reliving them finds herself on a precipice she would rather not straddle.
Dori Ostermiller gives us a remarkable and unforgettable story of family crisis, family failure and possible triumph and she does it with her amazing skill of storytelling. Her eloquent prose like dialogue takes us deep into the psyche
of a troubled woman and the people who surround her. She’s not afraid to use hard language to tell us her tale and yet at the same time uses literary phrases to describe a scene or thought that enables her readers the ability to visualize her words. Her characters are all well thought out, three dimensional and all totally necessary to the novel. Her protagonist Sylvia is an exceptionally portrayed character and readers will find themselves entranced by her and will share in her sorrow and cheer in her triumphs and at times will want to slap her silly. This is no romance but there is a thought provoking love story here, one that will make her audience sit up and take notice, one that will resonate within all of us, especially those of us who like me can relate to it. The love scenes are creative and thoughtful and here is where you’ll find her most imaginative prose.
Outside the Ordinary World is a masterpiece of the written word. It’s a hard story to tell and yet one that needs to be told. So if you’re looking for a world class piece of literary fiction, a story on the dark side of family turmoil with that all elusive light at the end of the tunnel, then give this wonderful novel a try. It’s not an easy read but it’s one that needs to be read. So if this is the kind of tale that floats your boat believe me you will not be sorry that you took the plunge. It’s bound to get critical accolades, it’s that good.