I am shocked and amazed at the number of books I acquired this month...
Time Of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch
Description: Jillian Westfield has the perfect suburban life straight out of the upscale women's magazines that she obsessively reads. She’s got the modern-print rugs of Metropolitan Home, the elegant meals from Gourmet, the clutter-free closets out of Real Simple, and the elaborate Easter egg hunts seen in Parents. With her successful investment banker husband behind the wheel and her cherubic eighteen-month-old in the backseat, hers could be the family in the magazines’ glossy Range Rover ads.
Yet somehow all of the how-to magazine stories in the world can’t seem to fix her faltering marriage, banish the tedium of days spent changing diapers, or stop her from asking, “What if?”
Then one morning Jillian wakes up seven years in the past. Before her daughter was born. Before she married Henry. Suddenly she’s back in her post–grad school Ikea-furnished Manhattan apartment. She’s back in her fast-paced job with the advertising agency. And she’s still with Jackson, the ex-boyfriend and star of her what-if fantasies.
Armed with twenty-twenty hindsight, she’s free to choose all over again. She can use the zippy ad campaigns from her future to wow the clients and bosses in her present. She can reconnect with the mother who abandoned her so many years before. She can fix the fights at every juncture that doomed her relationship with Jackson. Or can she?
With each new choice setting off a trajectory of unforeseen consequences, Jillian soon realizes that getting to happily ever after is more complicated than changing the lines in her part of the script. Happiness, it turns out, isn’t an either-or proposition. As she closes in on all the things she thought she wanted, Jillian must confront the greatest what-if of all: What if the problem was never Henry or Jackson, but her?
Sharp, funny, and heartwarming, Time of My Life will appeal to anyone who has ever wanted to redo the past and will leave readers pondering, “Do we get the reality we deserve?”
Description: Conrad had it pretty good in life -- a Porsche, pretty girls, and a trust fund full of oil money. But now, thanks to a brutal hazing incident at Louisiana State University's Gamma Chi fraternity, Conrad is dead -- a nineteen-year-old spirit suddenly without an earthly body.
Make no mistake, the newly deceased Conrad is one angry ghost, and the object of his wrath is chapter president Ryan Hutchins, a "big, bright, rising star" who, in Conrad's view, is really "the darkest black hole you'll ever meet -- and I'm not just saying that because he killed me." Conrad's ghostly ability to see all but be seen by no one (except Miss Etta, Gamma Chi's elderly cook, who is gifted with paranormal powers) confirms his suspicion that Ryan's dark hand has a wide reach, from beating his girlfriend, Maggie Meadows, to terrorizing Sarah Jane Bradford, a religious student who senses that Ryan must be stopped.
Out for revenge, Conrad possesses an unsuspecting pledge's body so he can finish what Ryan started, steering them toward a depraved confrontation with a surprising outcome that will leave readers gasping.
Description: Rebecca Abbot's life has just gone from vintage feather boas to boring office casual. Thanks to Sylvie Arnaud's heart attack, she's out of a job. But it's Sylvie's French, vaguely famous name on Rebecca's creatively embellished resume that lands her an associate editor position at romance heavyweight Candlelight Books. Editing is a far cry from scouting out exotic groceries, which is pretty much all Rebecca did for Sylvie, but Candlelight is offering an actual salary to go with her position's actual workload, and the rent is way overdue on the railroad flat she shares with her friend Wendy and her mooching ex, wanna-be writer Fleishman. Working for Candlelight is nothing like the plots of their syrupy novels, though. In fact, it's a lot like being stuck in an estrogen-heavy Fellini film. Between protecting her back from rival editor Cassie's repeated stabs, attempting a relationship with a sexy literary agent, wondering about Fleishman's new secret "project," and discovering her first truly talented author, Rebecca's learning that the business of romance is hardly a nine-to-five thing - and that editing out all her mistakes will never lead her to "happily ever after..."
Description: The year is 2006, the apex of excess. Married to the founder of Comet Capital, Holly Talbott is slowly becoming a reluctant Mrs. Hedgefund. Sure, it's great to live in a world that is seemingly sheltered from the threat of economic collapse and the risk of having to downsize from new Roger Viviers to consignment Manolos. Holly loves being a stay-at-home mom to her son, Miles, keeping house accounts at all the best places in town, and having a Rolodex of eager donors for her fund-raisers for the local hospital, but there are some downsides to this world of excess and secluded luxury. For starters, there are endless black tie functions where the hedgie men vie to show up their competition with bids at charity auctions on matzoh ball soup cooked by Rachael Ray ($675,000) and fifteen minutes with Warren Buffett ($700,000). Holly and her sister-in-law, Kiki, joke that lunches are called luncheons because they take eons, that even BOTOX can't stop their mother-in-law's withering stares, and that their husbands are away so often it almost feels like they are single again.
When an adventure with Kiki to trendy Williamsburg leads to a shocking discovery, Holly soon learns that not all of her husband's trips have been for business. Forced to choose between compromising her integrity and living honestly, Holly begins to navigate a new New York existence. And while being a divorc e may make her a pariah to the other moms on the Upper East Side, below Fifty-seventh Street there is a world of new career and dating prospects to explore. Holly soon finds that sometimes exes have all the fun, and in the most unexpected places. . . .
Sucker Bet by Erin McCarthy
Description: A night of indulgence can feel like an eternity. Gwenna Carrick has a history- 900 years of it. As the vampiress ex-wife of the notorious vampire Roberto Donatelli, she must keep a low profile. Not easy when you're bathed in the neon glow of Las Vegas-especially when there's a whole online group of vampire slayers bent on dealing you your last hand.
A wild night with a stranger was not in the cards for Gwenna. But that's what happened when she met the ruggedly handsome detective Nate Thomas. Their passion made her feel alive again. But when Donatelli catches wind of the tryst, he's determined to clean house, with Nate the first on his to-off list. Gwenna knows she hit the jackpot with Nate and won't let anyone stand in the way. But both soon realize they have far more enemies than Donatelli- both on the strip and underground.
Staked by J.F. Lewis
Description: UNREPENTANT. UNIMPRESSED.AND TOTALLY UNDEAD.
Being undead isn't easy. All Eric wants to do is run his strip club, drink a little blood, and be left alone. Instead, he's got business troubles (his best friend is souring on their co-ownership of the Demon Heart) and relationship troubles (his girlfriend is pressuring him to turn her so she can join him in undeath). And then there's the memory loss: He can't recall who he ate for dinner yesterday, much less how he became a vampire in the first place. But when he kills a werewolf in self-defense, things really get out of hand. Now he's got a pack of born-again lycanthropes out for holy retribution--and his head. It's almost enough to put lad off his appetite. Almost.
Description: Emily, London's famous twenty-four-year-old virgin, has to wonder if it's really so crazy to wait for Mr. Right. To enjoy the anticipation. To make sure she's totally, truly, no-turning-back in love. Especially when her friends fall in and out of lust on a daily basis.
But Emily gets the surprise of her life when Oliver Mills comes back to town after a year in America. When they were sixteen, she and Oliver made out behind some sand dunes at the beach, and deep down, he's the one she's been waiting for all this time. Already, Emily can feel her defenses crumbling. She's got six good reasons to stay a virgin. But six might not be enough.
Description: A woman wakes to find herself lying in a graveyard, hurt and bleeding, her memory wiped clean. She doesn't know what she's doing there --- or even who she is.
She is rescued by a police officer, himself a newcomer to Los Angeles. After days of waiting, she is taken by complete surprise when she is finally identified by Alex Rivers, Hollywood's biggest movie star --- and her husband.
Cassie is dazzled and bewildered by the fairytale in which she suddenly finds herself. But everything is not quite right, and there is something dark and disturbing behind this glamorous life. It is only as her memory gradually returns that her picture perfect life comes crumbling down, and Cassie is faced with choices she never dreamed she would have to make.
Description: When Lake Warren learns that her husband Jack is suing for full custody of their two kids, four months after their separation, she's pretty certain that things can't get any worse. The upside is that she's working with the Advanced Fertility Center as a marketing consultant, alongside the attractive, flirtatious Dr. Keaton. But when, the morning after their one-night stand, she finds Keaton with his throat slashed, Lake learns that things can indeed become worse - they can become deadly. So not to jeopardise her case for custody, Lake is forced to lie to the police. Having just been intimate with a man who has been murdered, and wanting to protect herself from being charged with the crime, she begins her own investigation. But when the police start looking at her closely, people at the clinic start treating her with hostility, and strange and dangerous clues begin dropping-quite literally-on her doorstep, Lake realises that she is dangerously close to dark truths about Keaton and the clinic. But can Lake stop what she's started before it's too late?
Description: Lola Somerville has a husband and a new apartment in Brooklyn, but what she really wants is for her novel to make a splash. Unfortunately it hasn't even made a ripple. Then at a book party, Lola finds her author friend Mimi McKee with her throat slashed. When the bodies of It-Girl writers begin to pile up, Lola starts asking dangerous questions: Are the murders connected? Am I next? If not, um, why not? If I solve the mystery, then will my agent remember my name? As Lola digs deeper, the stakes grow higher. Will getting her hands on the killer- and the book deal bound to follow-mean losing the people she loves most?
Description: Tall, Dark & Dead introduced Garnet Lacey, a bookstore manager/witch who accidentally unleashed the dark goddess Lilith on Vatican assassins. Now she has other things to worry about-like pesky frat boy zombies, a gorgeous FBI agent hot on her trail, love spells gone wrong, and keeping her vampire boyfriend a safe distance from her vampire ex-boyfriend. There's just no rest for this Wiccan...
Description: Izobel Brannigan is an ordinary girl, working a good but dull public relations job, and with a lousy--but slightly less dull--boyfriend. Out of boredom, she decides to Google herself and finds an entire Web site devoted to her, describing a fun, exciting, and glamorous lifestyle that she's certain she's not living. Curious, she starts searching for the mysterious admirer who thinks so highly of her, and no one is safe from her questions. Her friends, her coworkers, old boyfriends...even new flames are all at risk. The more she searches, the more her life begins to reflect what she read on the Internet. After dumping the boyfriend and doing some serious soul-searching, Izobel begins to wonder who's more real: Izobel Brannigan the person, or Izobel Brannigan.com?
Description: Eve has seen this crime scene before: the artfully arranged body of a young brunette, arms spread, palms up, body marked by the signs of prolonged and painful torture. Carved into her torso is the time it took her to die - in hours, minutes, and seconds. And on the third finger of her left hand has been placed a silver ring.
Eve is catapulted back to a case nine years earlier, when a man whom the media tagged “The Groom” put the city on edge with a killing spree that took the lives of four women in fifteen days. Eve and her partner Feeney, her friend and mentor, couldn't stop him before he disappeared, only to resurface in other parts of the world to kill and kill again. But now The Groom seems to have come back to where he started.
When it turns out that The Groom's most recent victim was employed by Eve's billionaire husband, Roarke, she brings him onto the case. A move that proves fitting when it becomes chillingly clear that the killer has made it personal. The corpse was washed in products from a store Roarke owns and laid out on a sheet his company manufactures. With the Groom's monstrous return, Eve is determined to finish him once and for all. Familiar with his methods, she knows that he has already grabbed his next victim.
But his sights are set on the biggest challenge of his illustrious career - an abduction that will test his skills and that promises to give him satisfaction as he's never known. Time is running out on another woman's life…and for Eve.
Description: To the dismay of her high society mother, Cissy, Dallas heiress Andy Kendricks wants no part of the Junior League life -- opting instead for a job as a website designer and a passel of unpedigreed pals. Now her good friend Molly O'Brien is in bad trouble, accused of killing her boss at the local restaurant "Jugs."
Though no proper deb would ever set foot in such a sleazy dive, Andy's soon slipping into skintight hot pants and a stuffed triple-D bra to gain employment there and somehow help clear Molly's name. But Andy's undercover lark is soon bringing her into too-close contact with all manner of dangerous adversaries -- including a shady TV preacher, a fanatical Mothers Against Porn activist ... and a killer who is none too keen on meddling rich girls.
Description: No one ever said motherhood was a walk in the park, but Juliet Applebaum is doing her best. She's been showing up (more or less) on time to pick up her daughter from preschool. She's trying (in vain) to discourage her two-and-a-half-year-old sons's interest in firearms. And in between planning playdates and playing dress up, she's even managed to fit in some much-needed kid-free time, working out with a personal trainer at the local health club. It's going well. She's losing weight. She's even happy - until her trainer commits suicide. A charming, cheerful aspiring actor, Bobby Katz seemed to have it all - and Juliet just can't believe he died at his own hand. She suspects that there's a much more sinister explanation - and that it may lie with Bobby's parents, who never told him he was adopted. Or with his grieving fiancee, a recovering addict who just fell off the wagon. Or with his birth mother, a woman he had recently started to look for - who had gone to great lengths to ensure that she would never be found. Always up for a task that will get her out of the house, Juliet keeps running down secrets - until, at last, she runs into the truth.