Sunday, March 02, 2008

Books Added To The TBR Pile In February

Thanks to the annual VNSA booksale held in Phoenix, I acquired more books in February than normal. Finding room for them all will be the challenge...



Life, Love And The Pursuit Of Hotties by Katie Maxwell

Subject: Reasons Why My Life Sucks Right Now

From: Emster@ seattlegrrl.com


1. The end of high school. You'd think that's good, right? Remember that epidsode of Buffy where the demon snake eats everyone at her graduation? That would be an improvement over mine.

2. Dorm life. Thumbs way up on moving away from home, but down, down, down on the Geek Dorm where I'll spend the next four years. It's going to take forever to hipify all those science and techno geeks.

3. Dru's fantasy wedding. She may be one of my best friends, but if she thinks I'm going to wear a pink and yellow plaid bridesmaid's dress, she's completely wacked out of her gourd.

4. Romantic graduation present cruise ... without the nummiest boyfriend on the face of the earth? One word: Waaaaaaaaah!




Romantically Challenged by Beth Orsoff


Flying in a two seat Cessna with a guy who's just admitted that he can't land the plane...

A Friday night date at the gym that ends in an emergency room visit...

Speed dating a plastic surgeon who offers to do something about those little lines around her eyes...

Think your love life is rotten? Meet Julie Burns, an L.A. entertainment lawyer who, after being dumped and disgraced by her boyfriend, is now reentering dating hell. All because she wants to find that one elusive commodity: a decent guy ... who, of course, steals her heart.

When Julie becomes convinced that finding The One is "just a numbers game," she sets out to increase her numbers by any means necessary. From chance meetings and blind dates to dating services ande the wonderful world of the Internet, Julie Burns will try anything to meet her man. And in the process, she discovers a couple of secrets about the single life: Sometimes love sneaks up on you when you least expect it --- and even the worst first impressions can have surprising results...




High Noon by Nora Roberts

Police Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara found her calling at an early age, when a violently unstable man broke into her family's home, trapping and terrorizing them for hours. Now she's Savannah's top hostage negotiator, who puts her life on the line every day to defuse powder-keg situations. Phoebe knows when to reach out and when to pull back - and when to jump in and take action, even if it means risking everything.

It's satisfying work - and sometimes those skills come in handy at home when Phoebe deals with her agoraphobic mother, still traumatized by the break-in after all these years, and her precocious seven-year-old daughter, Carly.

It's exactly that heady combination of steely courage and sensitivity that first attracts Duncan Swift to Phoebe. After watching her talk one of his employees off a roof ledge, he is committed to keeping this intriguing, take-charge woman in his life. Phoebe's used to working solo, but she's finding that no amount of negotiation can keep Duncan at arm's length.

When she's grabbed by a man who throws a hood over her head and brutally assaults her - in her own precinct house - Phoebe can't help being deeply shaken. And when threatening messages appear on her doorstep, she's not just alarmed but frustrated. How do you go face-to-face with an opponent who refuses to look you in the eye?

Now, with Duncan backing her up every step of the way, she must establish contact with the faceless tormentor who is determined to make her a hostage to fear - before she becomes the final showdown.



Undercover In High Heels by Gemma Halliday

HIGH CRIME MEETS HIGH FASHION

Secret affairs, hunky gardeners, and housewives desperate enough to bare it all... welcome to Magnolia Lane, TV's newest hit show. As the new wardrobe assistant, shoe designer Maddie Springer is in fashion heaven. But then a young starlet is found dead. Now it's up to Maddie to sift through a secretive leading lady, an actor on the verge of a nervous breakdown, a sexy cyber scandal, and one tabloid reporter who'll stop at nothing to get the story of the century. Not to mention her tangles with the infuriatingly sexy lead detective, Jack Ramirez. In a biz where lies and deception earn Emmys, Maddie will have to play the role of a lifetime to catch Hollywood's hottest killer. But if she doesn't watch her step, Maddie's fifteen minutes of fame just may be her last.




Demons Are Forever: Confessions Of A Demon-Hunting Soccer Mom by Julie Kenner

MINIONS OF THE OCCULT IN A DEMON-FREE SCHOOL ZONE? TIME TO RAISE HELL...

It isn't easy when your daughter's figured out that her mom's a demon hunter-and wants to grow up to be just like her. Or when you suspect your dead husband used the forces of darkness to filch the body of another human. And your living husband isn't the man you married anymore either.

Moreover, Kate's acquired a precious but deadly item that every demon within commuting distance wants. With husband woes playing havoc with her emotions, an ambitious teenage protege at her heels, and hell to pay, this stay-at-home mom's putting in a lot of overtime.



Big Boned by Meg Cabot

Life is reasonably rosy for plus-size ex-pop star turned Assistant Dormitory Director and sometime sleuth Heather Wells. Her freeloading ex-con dad is finally moving out. She still yearns for her hot landlord, Cooper Cartwright, but her relationship with "rebound beau," vigorous vegan math professor Tad Tocco, is more than satisfactory. Best of all, nobody has died lately in "Death Dorm," the aptly nicknamed student residence that Heather assistant-directs. Of course every silver lining ultimately has some black cloud attached. And when the latest murdered corpse to clutter up her jurisdiction turns out to be her exceedingly unlovable boss, Heather finds herself on the shortlist of prime suspects�along with the rabble-rousing boyfriend of her high-strung student assistant and an indecently handsome young campus minister who's been accused of taking liberties with certain girls' choir members.

With fame beckoning her back into show business (as the star of a new kids' show!) it's a really bad time to get wrapped up in another homicide. Plus Tad's been working himself up to ask her a Big Question, which Heather's not sure she has an answer for . . .



Close To Perfect by Tina Donahue

Better than the best. He's...CLOSE TO PERFECT

COVER ME, BABY

Real estate mogul Josh Wyatt is hotter than hot. That body. That wicked grin. Those eyes. The man can melt panty elastic with just one look --- hell, he could melt driveway ice with just one look. And the tabloid photos of him emerging --- naked --- from his very secluded Florida pool just got him voted the year's most delectable hunk by women all across America. Time to get a bodyguard and fast. But the minute he meets sultry, leggy ex-cop Tess Franklin, Josh knows he's met his match.

Kick paparazzi butt? Check. Scare away his lust-crazed fans? No problem. Pretend to be his girlfriend? Sure. Practical Tess would never say no to an easy gig like that. But Josh is even hotter in person than he is in those amazing photos --- and Tess Franklin is about to experience an extreme meltdown...in his arms.




Ex, Why, And Me by Susanna Carr

Somebody's putting the "S" in "Ex"...

Who knew that horseradish was an aphrodisiac?

Not Michelle Nelson. She signed up again to help promote her hometown's annual Horseradish Festival out of the goodness of her heart. No one said anything about a major publicity stunt, a romantic local legend, and prize money for the team voted "sexiest couple." And she is absolutely sure no one mentioned her new partner in this dubious event: Ryan Slater, a guy rumored to be an aphrodisiac for a lot of satisfied women. Yeah, right.

Michelle and Ryan shared one disastrous evening together --- a romantic catastrophe if ever there was one. There's no way this former Miss Horseradish is going to suffer that humiliation again. But Ryan --- every denim-clad muscle and wicked, grinning, I-know-what-you're-thinking inch of him --- is equally determined to get another chance with Michelle. And once the hunt is on, there's no turning back...

You Don't Know Jack by Erin McCarthy

Love. Sex. Destiny. And A Six-Foot-Four Psychic In A Bridesmaid's Dress? Honey, You Don't Know Jack...

Jamie Peters no longer believes in true love. True idiots, true scumbags, true moochers -- these she believes in wholeheartedly, and she's got the checkered dating history to prove it. So she's more than a little skeptical when her cross-dressing psychic tells her she's about to meet her soul mate -- during an accident. Yeah, sounds about right. And then it happens. A knight in shining armor steps between her and a mugger on a subway platform. Just a regular, honest, upright Jack. The kind they don't make anymore...

Jonathon Davidson doesn't believe in destiny -- or lying to beautiful women as a rule. But now that Jamie thinks he's just an ordinary guy, how can he possibly tell her that he's really, (A) her roommate's brother, (B) a millionaire to boot, and (C) the jerk who's investigating her application to his grandfather's charitable trust because she may be involved in something illegal? Yeah, rhetorical question. He can't. Not until he knows what's going on. Besides, it would require being able to resist Jamie's luscious curves long enough to say, "Hi, my name is Big Liar. Let's get naked." Sometimes, destiny sucks...

Somewhere between truth and flat-out-let's-talk-about-this-waaay-later fiction, between fate and delicious accidental insanity, lies a whole lot of mind-blowing sex, delirious passion, unfortunate sundresses, fighting, deception, big mistakes and small hopes, and two people are about to discover that everything happens for a reason...


Bled Dry by Erin McCarthy

A TALE OF VEGAS VAMPIRES...

One night with a Vegas Vampire could break the bank --- or your heart...

Hooking up with a vampire has its risks-but getting pregnant usually isn't one of them. Tell that to Brittany Baldizzi, who finds herself in the family way with no father in sight. After their one night of passion, vampire Corbin Jean Michel disappeared off the face of the earth-or at least off the Vegas strip.

Corbin is a vampire with a cause, secretly trying to find a cure for his condition. But when he finds out Brittany is pregnant with his child, Corbin can't keep his paternal instincts from trumping his bloodsucking ones. Even when showing his hand could cost him the woman he can't help but love.




Welcome To The Real World by Carole Matthews

Scraping by for years on pub gigs and odd jobs, Fern Kendal has always subpected she might actually have a decent voice. But caring for her feuding parents and sickly nephew took all her energy --- until now. During one crazy week, she lands a spot on the reality television talent show Fame Game and a glam new job as personal assistant to world-famous singer Evan David.

Fern's handsome new boss lives in the spotlight, but memories of a childhood tragedy keeps Evan from truly enjoying all he's achieved. Though flanked by a hovering entourage and adoring fans, he feels isolated and set apart. That is, until free-spirited Fern is added to the mix. Though she can't seem to master her assistant duties, Fern brings a rare smile to Evan's face and makes him long to rejoin the real world.

Through a twist of fate, Evan becomes the newest judge on Fame Game, a sour note for Fern, who has reasons for keeping her ambitions under wraps. She goes on the run, but Evan can't forget her, and thus begins the adventure of a lifetime --- both onstage and off!


Dead And Loving It by MaryJanice Davidson


Four stories of love, lust, and howling laughter...



Do They Wear High Heels In Heaven? by Erica Orloff

I'm Lily, a New York newspaper columnist, mother of two, divorcee of one and partner in crime to Michael, English professor, novelist and best friend extraordinaire. We've been friends forever -- well, since I nearly burned down our apartment building while trying to cook. Michael and I have weathered disco, bad fashion, bad perms, bad boyfriends -- for both of us -- my failed marriage, parenthood and writer's block. Laughter has helped -- and so have the martinis.

But now we face our biggest challenge: the C word. And if I have my way, Michael will be giving up his freewheeling bachelor ways and settling down once and for all. Because I have some very specific wishes for who should take over parental duty when I'm gone. Of course, I refuse to take this lying down -- even when the doctors tell me to lie down and shut up. Because although I'm sick, I'm determined to wear my high heels and lipstick. I'm gonna look good or die trying, dammit.



Meri Strikes Back by M. Apostolina

Meri is back with a vengeance!

When we last left our tale of deceit, blackmail, and really great shoes, our heroine Cindy Bixby had gotten rid of Meri Sugarman, the diabolical sorority president of Alpha Beta Delta.

Now Cindy, along with her sorority sisters and friends at Rumson U., including her ├╝ber-hottie boyfriend, Keith (yum!), is working hard to rebuild the sorority . . . but then along comes Meri.

She's back. Sure, she's not allowed anywhere near Rumson U., but do you really think that will stop her? (Get real!) Meri's still got a few tricks up those Dolce & Gabbana sleeves, and she's determined to destroy Alpha Beta Delta once and for all -- and exact her cruelest revenge on Cindy!

But Cindy is nobody's fool anymore. She's ready to do whatever it takes to beat Meri!




Insider Dating by Jennifer O'Connell

Recently divorced, top financial analyst Abby Dunn has learned the hard way that when it comes to relationships, there's no sure thing. But Abby has decided to use her knack for risk management to change all that --- and give a whole new meaning to mergers and acquisitions. She's creating a members-only club in which women share the inside-dating information they need to invest in their greatest assets: themselves. And she has underperforming men running scared.

But while Abby is busy hedging bets, someone is skewing her data and threatening to ruin her business. Now Abby is is about to find out that sometimes even the savviest market wizards can be headed for a crash.

While it may be perfectly legal, nothing good can come from insider dating...



The Hopeless Romantic's Handbook by Gemma Townley

Knight wanted. Must have shiny armor and own horse, preferably white.

When it comes to romance, are magic, fireworks, and a dashing knight in shining Armani really too much to ask? Apparently so, since Kate Hetherington has yet to find an appropriate mate in all of London. Her lifelong friends (and confirmed pragmatists) Sally and Tom tease her endlessly about her hopeless romanticism. But Kate knows that she's right to want her own fairy tale.

After stumbling upon an old tome titled The Hopeless Romantic's Handbook, Kate decides to give its advice a whirl. Incredibly, the book lives up to its money-back guarantee, because before Kate can say "Cinderella" she meets Joe Rogers, a drop-dead-gorgeous American actor. Frankly, he's perfect---and Kate thinks she might have finally found The One. He certainly has the muscles required to sweep her off her feet. But Sal and Tom are less thrilled with Kate's dreamboat. Are they just jealous, or do they know something about love that isn't in Kate's handbook? Kate's pretty sure that finding true love isn't supposed to alienate you from your friends, but what she doesn't know is that her real knight is still waiting for her---and he's closer than she ever imagined.




Some Nerve by Jane Heller

Thirty-year-old Celebrity journalist Ann Roth has one last chance to prove herself. She is different from the other reporters at Famous, the L.A. magazine, where she has her dream job interviewing stars like Britney Spears and Angelina Jolie. She values her ethics-;she doesn't pick through people's garbage, doesn't print rumor and gossip, doesn't try to pervert the truth. But when her editor tells her she's too nice, that what he needs is a killer journalist who'll do whatever it takes to get a story, she realizes that she must do something drastic. Of course, her plan backfires. Not only does she fail to score an interview with the notoriously media-averse actor Malcolm Goddard (he'll only do the interview while piloting his Cessna and she has a terrible fear of flying), she gets fired. Her disappointment turns to rage when she learns that Malcolm knew about her phobia all along. He insisted on doing the interview on his plane just to get her off his back.

Hurt, disappointed, not to mention unemployed, she trudges to her tiny hometown in Missouri to try to regroup, vowing to cure herself of her fears and reclaim her career. And suddenly her life takes a surprising twist: Ann hears that the great Malcolm himself is in Middletown as a patient at the local hospital-;under an alias. Opportunity knocks. Ann sees a chance for payback and her ticket out of Missouri. She volunteers at the hospital with the sole intention of pretending to befriend Malcolm in order to worm the story of a lifetime out of him without his knowledge. If she writes it, she'll have her job back and prove she's the killer journalist her editor had wanted her to be. But after facing her fear of falling in love, how much is she willing to risk for her career?
Something Blue by Emily Giffin
Darcy Rhone thought she had it all figured out: the more beautiful the girl, the more charmed her life. Never mind substance. Never mind playing by the rules. Never mind karma.
But Darcy's neat, perfect world turns upside down when her best friend Rachel White, the plain-Jane "good girl," steals her fiance, while Darcy finds herself completely alone for the first time in her life...with a baby on the way.
Darcy tries to recover , fleeing to her childhood friend living in London and resorting to her tried-and-true methods for getting what she wants. But as she attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent, Darcy finds that her rules no longer apply. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward self-awareness, forgiveness, and motherhood.
Something Blue is a novel about one woman's surprising discoveries about the true meaning of friendship, love, and happily-ever-after. It's a novel for anyone who has ever, even secretly, wondered if the last thing you want is really the one thing you need.
Suburbanistas by Pamela Redmond Satran
Greetings from New Jersey
Stella Powers is an A-list movie star who has just landed an Oscar-worthy role and a hot new rock-star husband when her mother's death brings her world tumbling down. Floundering as her life becomes one tabloid horror after another, Stella finds herself stuck in the New Jersey suburb she fled twenty years ago. But Homewood is no longer the sleepy town she remembers: housing prices are skyrocketing and glitzy new stores -- and people -- are moving in. To Stella and her young daughter, this is good news.
Wish you weren't here.
The bad news: Stella's childhood best friend, Mary Jean, who married Stella's old boyfriend and raised four kids in Homewood, can no longer afford to live there. Mary Jean is determined to wrest back the town but needs Stella on her side. The stakes for both women are high, but how can these old friends reconnect after so much time has passed? Or more importantly, how can they not?
Reality Chick by Lauren Barnholdt
All-hour study fests . . . all-night parties . . .
Going away to college means total independence and freedom. Unless of course your freshman year is taped and televised for all the world to watch. On uncensored cable.
Sweet and normal Ally Cavanaugh is one of five freshpeople shacking up on In the House, a reality show filmed on her college campus. (As if school isn't panic-inducing enough!) The cameras stalk her like paparazzi, but they also capture the fun that is new friends, old crushes, and learning to live on your own. Sure, the camera adds ten pounds, but with the freshman fifteen a given anyway, who cares? Ally's got bigger issues -- like how her long-distance bf can watch her loopy late-night "episode" with a certain housemate. . . .
Freshman year on film.
It's outrageous.
It's juicy.
And like all good reality TV,
it's impossible to turn off.
Eyeliner Of The Gods by Katie Maxwell
Fun title...not sure if it will be good but will give it a shot.
Accessory To Murder by Elaine Viets
Retail spy and single mom Josie Marcus knows that mystery shopping isn't always glamorous --- like when she has to sample greasy fast food...or when her best friend's husband, Jake, is accused of murder. Someone has killed Halley Hardwicke, the hot young designer of thousand-dollar Italian silk scarves, in the mall parking lot-and police have their eye on Jake, the husband of Josie's best friend Alyce. The couple lived near the wrap maven, but it seems Halley and Jake were a little too neighborly.
So Josie decides to do what she does best to help out her friend-go undercover and see if she can find some clues. Because this time, there's a lot more at stake than a scarf, even if it's to die for...
Upon The Midnight Clear by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Ever think Scrooge had it right before the ghosts ruined his life? Meet Aidan O'Conner.
At one time he was a world-renowned celebrity who gave freely of himself and his money without wanting anything in return...until those around him took without asking. Now Aidan wants nothing of the world-or anyone who's a part of it.
When a stranger appears at his doorstep, Aidan knows he's seen her before...in his dreams.
Born on Olympus as a goddess, Leta knows nothing of the human world. But a ruthless enemy has driven her from the world of dreams and into the home of the only man who can help her: Aidan. Her immortal powers are derived from human emotions-and his anger is just the fuel she needs to defend herself...
One cold winter's night will change their lives forever...
Trapped together in a brutal winter storm, Aidan and Leta must turn to the only power capable of saving them-or destroying them both: trust.
The Second Wives Club by Jane Moore
It's Alison's wedding and she and her groom, Luca, have just exchanged vows and are preparing to cap off their perfect day at the reception. But before the champagne even hits the crystal stemware, Luca's first wife storms in and snatches back her children in front of the horrified guests. When the fuss has died down, Alison finds an ally in Fiona, who confides that a few women she knows have recently started something called the Second Wives Club --- a group of female friends who get together to bitch and gossip about the drama that inevitably unfolds when you marry someone else's husband.
The club's founding members include Julia, a stunning self-proclaimed trophy wife whose husband insists on remaining uncomfortably close to his former spouse; Susan, whose live-in boyfriend is the classic widower who can't let go of his beloved ex's memory; and, of course, Fiona, whose cross to bear is the teenage stepson from hell and an ex who's bent on sabotaging her relationship. Fortunately, the Club gives them a place to vent, and together they contend with malicious rumors, scheming divorce lawyers, and ex-wives intent on revenge --- until they decide that it's time to stop settling for second best...and then the fun really begins.
More To Life Than This by Carole Matthews
Sure, I have it all.
Except . . .wait, what's that word again?
Oh, right: FUN!
I'm exactly what every woman dreams of being at thirty-five: I have a lovely house, a handsome, loving husband and two perfect children. All right, so Jeffrey's "loving" can only be counted on to happen once a week, with lights off and pajamas on. And the children -- well, is it normal for children to remind their mother to eat her vegetables? It might be time to make a few changes -- which is why I signed up for this Tai Chi retreat, to concentrate on finding myself. Yes, this is the week for thinking about ME. Not my bumptious best friend Sonia's attempts to shag our instructor. Not the perils of leaving Jeffrey alone for the week with a stunning Australian au pair. And definitely, definitely not my handsome classmate Ben Mahler . . .
Indelible by Karin Slaughter
In Karin Slaughter's exciting new thriller, an officer is shot point-blank in the Grant County police station and police chief Jeffrey Tolliver is wounded, setting off a terrifying hostage situation with medical examiner Sara Linton at the center. Working outside the station, Lena Adams, newly reinstated to the force, and Frank Wallace, Jeffrey's second in command, must try to piece together who the shooter is and how to rescue their friends before Jeffrey dies. For the sins of the past have caught up with Sara and Jeffrey -- with a vengeance ...
Deftly interweaving present and past, Slaughter -- dubbed "the new face of crime" by Book magazine -- offers another brilliant knife-edge tale of suspense that cements her place among the most outstanding practitioners of crime fiction today.

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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at sharalsbooks@yahoo.com Happy Reading! :o)