Book Review: Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

Fearless Fourteen by Janet Evanovich

So I’ve read another book by Janet Evanovich before, it was called Metro Girl and while I don’t remember much of the story line I do remember laughing my ass off and recommending the book to pretty much everyone I came across.

I’ve seen this particular series (Stephanie Plum series) in stores for quite some time now but I’ve never picked up one of the books because I always feel like if I buy one book in a series, I have to buy them all… and there are 19 books in this series.  Who can realistically afford to buy 19 books at one time?  I realize that this is my craziness showing but still, that’s why I’ve never purchased them.

Anyway, it just so happens that I purchased this book with a group of books-in-a-box that I got at a garage sale a while back.  I put it in my back and started reading it on a Friday afternoon when I went after work to get a pedicure….

Ya’ll, I laughed so hard during the pedicure that the lady working on my toes was 1) yelling at me to quit moving my feet and 2) giggling at my hysterics.  In fact, pretty much every single person in the salon asked me what I was reading because I was making such a ruckus laughing so hard that tears were streaming down my face.

I read 130 pages in the time it took for me to get a pedicure.  I’m a fast reader normally but that’s fast even for me.  The book flows so naturally that you practically speed read the thing.  It’s 300-someodd pages and I finished it in less than 24 hours… the only time I read was during my pedicure, about an hour before bed, and about an hour the next morning.  It was THAT good.

I highly recommend it and any of her other books.  She’s 2 for 2 as far as I’m concerned and I imagine that all the rest are just as good.  I might just have to go to Half Price this weekend and score the rest of the series.  J  (speaking of which… even though this book is #14 out of #19 I didn’t feel like I was coming in on the middle.  They can totally be read as individual novels or a series.)

Here’s a synopsis from her website:

The Crime: Armed robbery to the tune of nine million dollars

Dom Rizzi robbed a bank, stashed the money and did the time. His family couldn’t be more proud. He always was the smart one.

The Cousin: Joe Morelli

Joe Morelli, Dom Rizzi and Dom’s sister Loretta are cousins. Morelli is a cop, Rizzi robs banks, and Loretta is a single mother waiting tables at the firehouse. The all American family.

The Complications: Murder, kidnapping, destruction of personal property, and acid reflux

Less than a week after Dom’s release from prison, Joe Morelli has shadowy figures breaking into his house and dying in his basement. He’s getting threatening messages, Loretta is kidnapped, and Dom is missing.

The Catastrophe: Moonman

Morelli hires Walter “Mooner” Dunphy, stoner and “inventor” turned crime-fighter to protect his house. Morelli can’t afford a lot on a cop’s salary, and Mooner will work for potatoes.

The Cupcake: Stephanie Plum

Stephanie and Morelli have a long-standing relationship that involves sex, affection and driving each other nuts. She’s a bond enforcement agent with more luck than talent, and she’s involved in this bank-robbery-gone-bad disaster from day one.

The Crisis: A favor for Ranger

Security expert Carlos Manoso, street name Ranger, has a job for Stephanie that will involve night-work. Morelli has his own ideas regarding Stephanie’s evening activities.

The Conclusion: Only the fearless should read fourteen

Thrills, chills and possible incontinence may result.

Book Review: A Prisoner of Birth by Jeffrey Archer

jeffrey archer a prisoner of birth

Again, this is one of those books that I picked up from a garage sale.  I’d never heard of the author.  I didn’t even read the synopsis.  I just bought it, brought it home, stuck it on my bookshelves and started reading one day. 

I truly enjoyed this book.  It took a day or two for me to really get into it but once there was an injustice and there were wrongs that needed to be righted I was alllll over it.  Plus, I totally fell in love with the characters.  The main character, Danny Cartwright, is compelling in his own way but I truly fell for the supporting characters more than anything else.  Sir Nicholas Moncrieff, a fellow cellmate of Danny’s and his other cellmate Big Al were such wonderfully written and perfectly thought-out characters.  Then there’s Alex Redmayne, Danny’s tenacious defense lawyer, and his father the Hon. Sir Matthew Redmayne.  What a team they make!  If I’m ever in a legal mess, I want them to come defend me. 

I don’t want to give too much away because there are several stories and secrets going on in this book but let’s just say you won’t be bored.  It’s so much more than just a guy being wrongly accused of murder.  It’s been billed as a contemporary retelling of Alexander Dumas The Count of Monte Cristo.

What a fantastic read!  Here’s hoping I come across another Jeffrey Archer book in a garage sale sometime soon!

If Danny Cartwright had proposed to Beth Wilson the day before, or the day after, he would not have been arrested and charged with the murder of his best friend. And when the four prosecution witnesses are a barrister, a popular actor, an aristocrat and the youngest partner in an established firm’s history, who is going to believe his side of the story?

Danny is sentenced to 22 years and sent to Belmarsh prison, the highest security jail in the land, from where no inmate has ever escaped. But Spencer Craig, Lawrence Davenport, Gerald Payne and Toby Mortimer all underestimate Danny’s determination to seek revenge and Beth’s relentless quest to win justice, which forces all four protagonists to fight for their lives.

Synopsis from here.  

Remember, today is the 14th so it’s your day to practice a Random Act of Kindness in honor of Sandy Hook Elementary.  I’d love to hear what you do!  Please feel free to leave comments!  I will be posting my RAOK on the 16th.  See you then!

raok sandy hook

Book Review: Strange Bedpersons by Jennifer Crusie

strange bedpersons

So I read a really cute book over the weekend by an author I’d never heard of before. Her name is Jennifer (Jenny) Crusie and she’s got lots of books out there for your reading pleasure.

This book is rather short (only 249 pages) and was a very quick read. It’s witty and interesting and I blew through it in just a couple of hours. If you’re looking for a light-hearted fun read then this is the story for you. It’d make a great poolside book. It’s one of those stories where you pretty much know from the get-go what’s going to happen but you’re still wondering how the characters are ever going to get there. I would definitely pick up another of Crusies’ books.

It is a fictional story and there’s romance between the two main characters but don’t mistake this for a romance book. There’s not much in the hot and steamy category where this book is concerned. (Amanda, I think you’d like this one!) The characters are really believable (I think we’ve all been friends with at least one of them in our lives) and isn’t it so darn typical to fall in love with someone who is totally wrong for you? I think we all do that at some point. Sometimes though you find that those things you thought were wrong, really aren’t or in the case of the main characters in Strange Bedpersons, sometimes love does conquer all.

I really enjoyed this fun read and it was just the perfect book for a cold, rainy weekend. I hope you’ll take the time to check out Jennifer Crusie and perhaps pick up this book. (sidenote: I did just notice that her latest book is up for grabs on Amazon for Kindle at only $2.99!)

Here’s the synopsis:

Tess Newhart knows her ex-boyfriend Nick Jamieson isn’t the right guy for her. He’s caviar and champagne; she’s take-out Chinese pot stickers. He’s an uptight Republican lawyer; she was raised in a commune. He wants to get ahead in business; she just wants…him. But there’s no way Tess will play second fiddle to his job.

Yet somehow she finds herself agreeing to play his fiancée on a weekend business trip that could make or break Nick’s career. And while he’s trying to convince Tess that he needs her in his respectable world, Tess is doing her best to keep her opinions to herself and her hands off Nick.

Book Review: The Premonition Series

It’s been quite a while since my last book review.  This is definitely not because I haven’t been reading.  In fact, I’ve been reading a lot.  Instead, it’s because I’ve been so completely and utterly obsessed with this new series that my friend L introduced me too.  I haven’t wanted to take the time to put the book down and write a post about it.  I COULD BE READING!  Haha. 

So this series that I absolutely cannot put down is called The Premonition Series by Amy Bartol.  So far, there’s four books…

Inescapable

Inescapable

            My name is Evie Claremont and this was to be the making of me–my freshman year of college. I had been hoping that once I had arrived on Crestwood’s campus, the nightmare that I’ve been having would go away. It hasn’t. 

I may be an inexperienced seventeen-year-old, but I’m grounded…sane. I look for rational explanations to even the strangest circumstances. Since meeting sophomore Reed Wellington, however, nothing makes any sense. Whenever he’s near, I feel an attraction to him–a magnetic kind of force pulling me towards him. I know what you’re thinking…that sounds fairly awesome. Yeah, it would be…if he liked me, but Reed acts as if I’m the worst thing that has ever happened to Crestwood…or him. But get this, for some reason every time I turn around he’s there, barging into my life. 

What is the secret that he’s keeping from me? I’m hoping that it’s anything but what I suspect: that he’s not exactly normal…and neither am I. So, maybe Crestwood won’t be the making of me, but it could be the breaking of me. I’ve been left to wonder if the dark future my dream is foretelling is…inescapable.

 

Intuition

Intuition

            I don’t open my eyes so I can’t see him, but I can smell him. He thickens the air I breathe, choking me with his scent…his aroma. I shiver. I have to resist. If I’m not strong, then I will be relegated to the same fate as this predator whose sickness infects me even now. But now, I crave him and he knows that; he has been counting on my need to end the gnawing pain. How he would savor my surrender. I’m alive, but how much longer will it take until I beg him not to be?

 

Indebted

Indebted

I hang my head in sorrow for just a moment when I know I am truly alone. I feel like I’m going to my execution, just as he had said. Then I move forward again. I hop a fence of fieldstone and cross a field dotted with Queen Anne’s lace. Goose bumps rise on my arms as I pass the cluster of windmills that I have seen in a dream. The scent is sweet in the field though, not the scent of heat, like it had been when it was forced upon me in visions. I gaze down the hill, beyond the small, whitewashed house that I knew would be there. The church looms dark and grim with its rough-hewn, timber façade, capped by tall, oblong spires reaching to the sky. Black, ominous clouds have collected above the roofline, as if Heaven is showing me the way.

 

Incendiary

Incendiary

            Cold, fine drops of rain fall softly on my cheeks as I emerge from the darkness of the ship’s interior to the gray, overcast sky of the main deck. Pulling my dark pea coat tighter to my body, the wind lifts red tendrils of my hair. I walk slowly to the railing overlooking the water. I catch my first sight of the Irish coastline; its craggy landscape makes me shiver in dread. I find it difficult to imagine now how the Gancanagh had made this their home for so long without anyone realizing it. The cold, moss-covered edifices practically scream their presence. As I study the shadows between the falling-down stone, I imagine creeping shapes of undead Faeries grasping the rock, waiting for our ship to draw nearer to their position. Tipping my face up, I let the rain wash over me. It bathes away the frigid sweat of fear that has broken on my brow. “You don’t know how fiercely beautiful you are, do you?” A quiet voice behind me asks, causing me to stiffen and fix my eyes on the rocks along the shoreline.         

 

You can click here to find out where to purchase them (they’re TOTALLY worth it!).

Ok, so I’m sure you can tell that I love these books.  And I’m dying waiting for the next one.  HURRY UP AMY!  I need to stop reading series books until the entire series is available.  This is torture people! 

I won’t lie to you though – these are definitely written for a young adult audience to some degree; and the first book seemed loosely based on Twilight.  But I loved the Twilight books (not the movies), so that wasn’t a bad thing as far as I was concerned.  If you in any way, shape, or form like Twilight or paranormal romance in general please check this series out! 

To make it even more fun, Amy has a blog where she posts pictures of what she thinks the characters would look like and even the playlists that they would listen to!  How cool is that?  In addition, she likes to review other paranormal romance books. 

Ahem – her rendition of Reed Wellington (main character):

YUM!

YUM!

Seriously, go check this series out today!

Book Review: Rapture by Jacquelyn Frank

So the other day I wrote about another book by Jacquelyn Frank called Pleasure.  This book, Rapture, is actually the 2nd book in a 3 book ‘series.’  I put series in quotations because although these books do tell one larger story, they’re also super easy to read independently of each other.

Reading Rapture after reading Pleasure was a bit odd because I already basically knew what was going to happen – I just didn’t know how.  I still found the book compelling and I definitely got sucked in wanting to know what was going to happen next.  Rapture is actually a bit darker than Pleasure.  There’s more sinister activity going on. 

Again – this book, just like Pleasure, is heavy on the romance part of paranormal romance.  The sex scenes are vividly described and last for several pages.  Again, just like I said about the book Pleasure, I get it if that’s not your gig.  And the same thing still goes… even if she had taken out all the sex stuff, I think the book still would have been good (although to be honest it would have been hard to write this particular story without the sex stuff). 

So far, I have definitely enjoyed this series and I’m more than likely going to purchase the first book in the series (it wasn’t in my Half Price book box that the Husband got me). 

Here’s the synopsis from Barnes and Noble:  The Shadowdwellers live in a realm of darkness and sensuality, where order is prized and sin must be punished. Yet for Magnus, the head priest of Sanctuary, salvation rests with the one woman who can entice him to break every rule…

She Was The Ultimate Temptation

Magnus is a man of contradictions—a spiritual leader in a warrior’s body. To him, laws are for enforcing and visions must be followed—even if that means freeing a beautiful slave and making her his reluctant handmaiden. Betrayed once before, Magnus can barely bring himself to trust another woman. Yet Daenaira’s fiery innocence is drawing them both into a reckless inferno of desire.

 Have you read anything good lately?

Book Review: Pleasure by Jacquelyn Frank

So I pulled this book out of the Half Price box o’ books my husband bought me.  I’d never heard of Jacquelyn Frank and let me tell you, if you like paranormal romance that’s heavy on the romance, this writer is for you.  The sex scenes in her books are vividly described and frequent.  It’s more like romantic erotica.  I get it if that’s not your thing.  To be honest, this is the first book that I’ve read in the paranormal romance category that is so focused on the sex.  All that being said however, the story line itself is quite good.  Had she left out the romance (or even just shortened the scenes) I think the book would still have been just as good of a read.  If you’re looking to get your fire burning though then I suggest you pick up a Jacquelyn Frank book today.  She’ll get your motor running. 

This story actually has dual stories running at the same time.  One is between Guin and Malaya and the other is between Sagan and Valera.  In truth, I wish that the Sagan/Valera story had been fleshed out a little further.  I would have liked to know more about them and well… how things were going with them I guess.  There is some light humor in Valera’s character which I appreciated because it’s about her cats and her love for them and let’s just say that I share the same love of furbabies that she does. 

The story between Guin and Malaya is a bit frustrating just in the fact that you wish that Malaya would catch on already!  Truthfully I don’t know that any woman is really that dense. 

There’s definitely some shock factor in the book regarding twists and turns that you don’t see coming.  It’ll keep you on your toes. 

I enjoyed the read enough to pick up another one of her books which I’ll tell you about in a later post. 

Synopsis from Jacquelyn Frank’s website:

Beyond our world lies a land where darkness reigns—the land of the virile, sensual Shadowdwellers. Yet their mysterious abilities are no match for the power of desire…

DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE…

As Chancellor of the Shadowdwellers, Malaya’s first duty is to her people. Her bodyguard, Guin, knows this only too well. For tradition’s sake, Malaya must marry, and the thought of this lush, vibrant, woman in a loveless union is impossible for him to bear. Guin loves Malaya—not as a subject loves his queen but as a man craves a woman. And even if he cannot keep her, he’ll show her everything she stands to lose…

Discipline. Penance. Order. A Sanctuary priest’s life revolves around such things. But when Sagan is taken captive and thrust into the Alaskan wilderness, he encounters a woman who challenges his faith and his self-control. Valera is a natural born witch who almost lost herself to the lure of dark magic. By rights, Sagan should shun her, but convention will count for nothing in the face of a passion that could change the realms of Shadowscape forever…

What are you reading these days?

Book Review: Kill Shot by Vince Flynn

So back in June I told you about this great book I’d read called American Assassin by Vince Flynn.  Well, I ended up insisting that my husband read it and he loved it just as much as I did.  So, he started buying all of Flynns’ books.  Presently we own the entire series.  The next book comes out in November. 

So the first book, American Assassin, is actually the 11th book in the series but it’s the prequel to the first 10.  This book, Kill Shot, is the sequel to the prequel (say that 10 times fast).  Basically that means it’s the 12th book he wrote but it falls 2nd chronologically. 

Here’s the synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Vince Flynn is back with another nail-biting political thriller that follows the young Mitch Rapp on a deadly mission to hunt down the men responsible for the Pan Am Lockerbie terrorist attack.

For months, Mitch Rapp has been steadily working his way through a list of men, bullet by bullet. With each kill, the tangled network of monsters responsible for the slaughter of 270 civilians becomes increasingly clear. He is given his next target: a plump Libyan diplomat who is prone to drink and is currently in Paris without a single bodyguard.

Rapp finds him completely unprotected and asleep in his bed. With confidence in his well-honed skills and conviction of the man’s guilt, he easily sends a bullet into the man’s skull. But in the split second it takes the bullet to leave the silenced pistol, everything changes. The door to the hotel room is kicked open and gunfire erupts all around Rapp. In an instant the hunter has become the hunted. Rapp is left wounded and must flee for his life.

The next morning, the news breaks in Washington that Libya’s Oil Minister has been killed along with three innocent civilians and four unidentified men. The French authorities are certain that the gunman is wounded and on the loose in Paris. As the finger pointing begins, Rapp’s handlers have only one choice-deny any responsibility for the incident and pray that their newest secret weapon stays that way, avoiding capture and dying quietly. One person in the group, however, is not prone to leaving things to chance. Rapp has become a liability, and he absolutely cannot be allowed to be taken alive by the French authorities. But it will soon become clear that nothing is more dangerous than a wounded and cornered Mitch Rapp.

So I got about a quarter of the way into this book and I texted my husband to tell him that he was going to be hell to live with when he started reading this book.  He asked me why and I said ‘because it’s going to piss you off.’  You see, there’s a character in this book (well, several actually) that you just are itching to run over with your car.  He repeatedly does stuff that just infuriates you as the reader!  My husband actually just started reading the book so I’m doing all I can to keep him in a good mood when he comes home.  LOL.  This book was fantastic!  Yes, I was miffed at the characters but I totally got sucked in.  I’m so glad that we’re reading this series!!

Book Review: Lady Killer by Lisa Scottoline

Sadly, I didn’t enjoy this book at all. I couldn’t wait for it to be over.  I’m sort of sad about that because this book had great potential if there’d been a completely different leading character.  Here’s the synopsis from Barnes and Noble

Mary DiNunzio has become a big-time business-getter at Rosato & Associates. But the last person she expects to walk into her office one morning—in mile-high stilettos—is super-sexy Trish Gambone, her high-school rival. Back when Mary was becoming the straight-A president of the Latin Club and Most Likely to Achieve Sainthood, Trish was the head Mean Girl, who flunked religion and excelled at smoking in the bathroom.

These days, however, Trish needs help. She is terrified of her live-in boyfriend, an abusive, gun-toting drug dealer for the South Philly mob. Mary remembers the guy from high school, too. She had a major crush on him.

Then Trish vanishes, a dead body turns up in an alley, and Mary is plunged into a nightmare that threatens her job, her family, and even her life. She goes on a one-woman crusade to unmask the killer, and on the way finds new love in a very unexpected place.

Want to know my problem with this book? The main character (Mary) is a big, giant weenie.  I mean we’re talking a total pushover.  No, that doesn’t even cover it… she’s a doormat.  She gets pushed around, insulted, and guilted throughout the entire book and she just takes it.  I just kept wanting her to stand up for herself.  God help the person ever stupid enough to talk to me the way that people talk to her in this book.  Grrrr…. It just made me angry!

If you can get around her being a complete and utter wuss, then the book probably is pretty good.  There’s lots of interesting backstory and it’s a fairly decent ‘who dun it.’  It didn’t sell me though, and although this is the first Lisa Scottoline that I’ve ever read, I won’t be hurrying to grab another off a bookshelf anytime soon.

Book Review: Back in Black by Lori Foster

So I told you guys not that long ago about this great book that I’d read by an author named Lori Foster (who I’d previously never heard of).  I mentioned at the end of that post that I’d started reading another one of her books and that one is called Back in Black.

The book is based on a character (Drew Black) who makes a brief debut in the first book of Fosters that I read.  Here’s the synopsis of the book from Lori Fosters website

SBC president Drew Black is as controversial as they come. But the hot-headed entrepreneur is a perfect match for his popular sports club venture: uncompromising and extreme. Maybe too extreme. With a reputation for saying what he thinks, Drew’s been causing a lot of friction. That’s why someone’s been called in to clean up his image—before he does any permanent damage.

The lucky lady is Gillian Noode, a PR expert who’s smoothed out the rough edges on many a man. But Drew is rougher than anyone she’s ever met, and he refuses to change for any woman, for any reason. To make matters more complicated, Gillian’s starting to like him raw. Now, opposites aren’t only attracting, they’re igniting. But in the rising heat, which one of them will end up on top?

I didn’t love this story as much as the first one that I read but I’m not honestly sure I could tell you why.  I liked the characters, the story keeps you on your toes, and the sex scenes are well written – there’s really not much to complain about.  Perhaps it’s like a really good chocolate cake – nothing beats the first bite.

*Congrats to Tonya – the winner of my Blog Birthday giveaway.  I’ve sent you an email!

Book Review: My Man, Michael by Lori Foster

Do you guys remember the last book I told you about and how much I reeeeeeally didn’t like it?  Well I’m so happy to have read this book afterwards because it was fun and entertaining and I blew through it in two days.  This book is in a “series” of books that Lori Foster has written called the SBC Fighters Series.  Basically they all center around MMA fighters but you don’t have to read them in any particular order for them to make sense.  In fact, they don’t even reference each other (besides some similar characters).

The Hubs bought me a box of books from Half Price the other day and this was one of the books in there.  Honestly I’ve just been grabbing books off of my bookshelves and reading them without putting any thought into what book I’m picking out.  But, as we’ve established, I prefer it that way.

I really enjoyed this book, so much so that I checked to see if there was another Lori Foster book in the box that the Hubs bought and low and behold there was – I’m reading it now so I’ll give you a review soon.  This book is definitely a romance book and there are several steamy scenes but they’re well written and believable.  I tell ya, you might seriously want to have your significant other give you some sparring lessons and get all hot and sweaty and then read this book together.  It’ll definitely get your motor going. 

I’ll admit, when the book starts, it’s a little ‘out there.’  As in literally.  We’re talking people from the future.  Nope, I’m not kidding.  However, once you get past that part, it’s really enjoyable (and you honestly kinda forget about it).  It’s a breeze to read (assuming you don’t go back and re-read the steamy scenes) and you’ll kinda fall in love with the main characters.  The only part that bothered me was that Kayli’s mom & sisters go from seriously-need-to-be-bitch-slapped to no-problem-at-all in the flip of a page and there’s no real explanation as to why.  Also, you’ll totally see the ending coming but that didn’t stop me from wanting to get there! 

Here’s the synopsis from the author’s website:

On the verge of a title shot match, fighter Michael “Mallet” Manchester is injured in a car accident. And just as quickly as his career was taking off, it’s over. Then Kayli Raine appears, offering him a second chance at becoming whole. Even though Mallet thinks it’s the pain medication talking, he accepts her challenge. And on an extraordinary journey with Kayli, he’ll get a chance to fight again—to save the woman who has saved him.