Wednesday, April 27, 2011

REVIEW: Nothing To Fear by Karen Rose

Title: Nothing to Fear
Author: Karen Rose
Publisher: Warner
Publication Date: August, 2005
Paperback: 515 pages
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Rating: 10/10

Description: NOTHING TO SEE

As director of an inner-city women's shelter, Dana Dupinsky safeguards many secrets. Some are new identities; some are new addresses; and some are even hidden truths about herself. Passionately dedicated to Hanover House and the women she protects, Dana has always been reluctant to look for love. But now, just as a case puts her and a child in mortal danger, it seems that love has come looking for her.


Security expert Ethan Buchanan learned to stalk men in the Afghan desert. Now he vows to track down the ruthless woman who kidnapped his godson --- and falling for Dana is not in the plan. Yet her very presence seems to chase away the ghosts that haunt him, and her skillful evasion of personal questions raises his hunting instincts. For there's a deadly new secret at Hanover House. A brutal killer is weaving a web of revenge with a stolen boy at its center. And Dana is the next victim on the list...

My Thoughts: This is my fourth Karen Rose romantic suspense novel and by far, this one is my favorite. With this story, the author delivers characters that come alive within the pages. Several scenes in the story even brought me to tears in addition to the heart racing adrenaline. The author has created a villain so vile and evil that wishing her dead doesn’t begin to describe the level of emotion I felt while reading this book. Maybe because one of her victims is a deaf and mute child and the cruelty she demonstrates in her quest of personal revenge goes beyond appalling.

As with so many other series, characters from the previous books make an appearance and it was great to see them again and to catch up with what has been happening in their lives since I read their stories.

I loved Dana. Besides being compassionate and caring, which is so important if you are going to shelter battered women, Dana is hiding secrets about herself. She isn’t perfect, she isn’t an angel. She’s had her own trail of misdeeds and continues to take risks to help the residents of Hanover House begin new lives.

I loved Ethan. He carries tremendous amounts of guilt over the death of his best friend, Richard when they were stationed in Afghanistan. Because of the injuries he received in combat, he suffers debilitating migraines and having to depend on others isn’t something that is easy for him.

Dana and Ethan are two souls who need each other but don’t want to, who come together in their mutual desire to protect an innocent helpless child. Their individual human weaknesses make them stronger people when they are together than when they are apart.

Romance fans who enjoy their books with suspense and high octane action and adrenaline charged scenes will enjoy Karen Rose’s novels.

Monday, April 25, 2011

REVIEW: Infinity by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Title: Infinity (Chronicles of Nick #1)
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
Publisher: St. Martin’s
Publication Date: May, 2010
Hardcover: 448 pages
Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 10/10

Description: At fourteen, Nick Gautier thinks he knows everything about the world around him. Streetwise, tough and savvy, his quick sarcasm is the stuff of legends ... until the night when his best friends try to kill him. Saved by a mysterious warrior who has more fighting skills than Chuck Norris, Nick is sucked into the realm of the Dark-Hunters: immortal vampire slayers who risk everything to save humanity.

Nick quickly learns that the human world is only a veil for a much larger and more dangerous one: a world where the captain of the football team is a werewolf and the girl he has a crush on goes out at night to stake the undead.

But before he can even learn the rules of this new world, his fellow students are turning into flesh eating zombies. And he’s next on the menu.

As if starting high school isn't hard enough ... now Nick has to hide his new friends from his mom, his chainsaw from the principal, and keep the zombies and the demon Simi from eating his brains, all without getting grounded or suspended. How in the world is he supposed to do that?

My Thoughts: I have been a fan of the Dark-Hunters ever since I met Kyrian Hunter so many years ago. I’ve always liked Nick and even though I only knew him as Kyrian’s Squire, there was potential there for him to be so much more and I wasn’t disappointed. With this series, we now get to meet Nick when he was just a kid before he got involved with the Dark-Hunters, before he even knew vampires, demons and shape shifters existed. Sherrilyn Kenyon has created a fantastic reality with the Dark-Hunters that draws the reader into this world wide eyed with astonishment but also keeps the reader entertained with the range of different types of characters and their personalities. Nick is sarcastic and smart-mouthed, but has a softer vulnerable side. Even though he gets dragged into some messy situations, he has good intentions. Even knowing what happens to him, (you have to read the Dark-Hunter series to understand some of this book) I can’t help but think that this series is going to play a pivotal role in Nick’s fate.

Fans of the Dark-Hunter series will be pleased to see the appearance of some of their favorite characters such as Kyrian, Acheron, Simi and Tabitha Devereaux. This series has introduced some new characters too, my favorite is Bubba. He kills zombies and owns a gun store and plays a major role in this story helping Nick figure out why his fellow classmates are turning into zombies. He’s hilarious and provides some fantastic redneck comic relief.

I highly recommend this series for all the Dark-Hunter fans who want to know more about Nick’s background. If you haven’t read the Dark-Hunter books yet, I recommend you start with them first as this series may be a little confusing otherwise.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

REVIEW: What's A Ghoul To Do? by Victoria Laurie

Title: What’s A Ghoul To Do? (Ghost Hunters Mystery #1)
Author: Victoria Laurie
Publisher: Signet
Publication Date: April, 2007
Paperback: 281 pages
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Rating: 5/10

Description: M.J. Holliday's a medium with a message --- her business is helping lost souls cross over to the other side. But what if ghosts want to stay put?

M.J. Holliday has two rules. One, she and her partner, Gilley Gillespie, work alone; and two, she doesn't date clients. But when handsome Dr. Steven Sable needs her help, the specter-spotting sleuth is ready to break both of her rules.

It seems the hot doc's grandfather jumped from the roof of the family lodge in an apparent suicide. But Dr. Sable knows in his bones it was foul play, and strange things keep happening at the lodge. He'll hire M.J. and Gilley ---but only if he can come along. Hey, the duo needs the money --- and looking at eye candy all weekend doesn't sound too bad, either.....

But once they reach the lodge, the three realize they're dealing with more ghosts than just Grandpa Sable's. And the spooks keep playing nasty tricks on their human visitors. To the untrained eye, it would appear that ghouls just want to have fun. But M.J. knows they're communicating their distress --- and it's up to her to figure out why....

My Thoughts: I am going to start this review by stating that I prefer this author’s Psychic Eye series. Having said that, don’t let that sway you from checking out this series. I enjoyed meeting M.J. and her partner Gilley. I also liked that M.J. has a parrot she named “Doc” after her infamous ancestor, Doc Holliday. The bird is quite the character. He talks and sometimes says some very inappropriate things, such as singing Y.M.C.A. or some cute things like calling M.J.’s client Dr. Delicious. Steven Sable is M.J.’s love interest and client and has his plate full just trying to make himself understood. He didn’t grow up in America, so his vocabulary is a little different. When he and M.J. share a drink one night, he refers to it as a “nightgown” instead of a night cap.

Though I found the story to be interesting, I felt like there were a lot of details that didn’t seem to fit and made it a little bit hard to follow. First of all, Steven’s grandfather has died under mysterious circumstances so he hired M.J. to look into it to determine if it was really suicide. During this time, Gilley has a nasty encounter with an angry ghost who pushes him down the stairs. Obviously, I am led to think that Steven’s grandfather was pushed to his death by the same ghost. The story veers off into a sub-plot involving Steven’s birthright, the father who has never acknowledged his existence, paternity tests and shady land deals. When I got to the end, I am left still wondering if Steven’s father is really his father and what his intentions were throughout the story.

I’m hoping some of these details get clarified in the next book as it appears that Steven will be a regular part of M.J.’s life. Overall, though there are a lot of confusing details that left me with more questions than answers, I am curious enough about the series to find out where it will lead me to next.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

REVIEW: Bitten & Smitten by Michelle Rowen

Title: Bitten & Smitten (Immortality Bites #1)
Author: Michelle Rowen
Publisher: Warner Forever
Publication Date: January, 2006
Paperback: 369 pages
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Rating: 7/10

Description: THERE's A NEW VAMP IN TOWN...

Dear Mom,

I might be a wee bit late for Cousin Missy's wedding. It's been a tough week. Turns out, my blind date from hell was literally from hell. Guy bit me. Next thing I know, I'm being chased all over the city by vampire hunters. And did I mention that I got fired, too?

Bright side -- I met a man. Thierry de Bennicoeur. How great is that name? Anyway, he's sexy, six-hundred years old, and a tad suicidal, but no one's perfect, right? And we have a deal -- he's gonna show me the ropes of the vampire world, and I'm supposed to help him end his existence. Or maybe I'll just try to convince him life is worth living -- no small challenge with the mostly immortal, let me tell you. I'll admit it's a complicated relationship. But with any luck, I just might have a date for that wedding after all....

Hugs and Kisses,

My Thoughts: Dating in the modern world isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as our heroine, Sarah Dearly finds out when her blind date turns out not only to be a vampire, but bites her and turns her into one of the undead. Then to make matters worse, Sarah’s sire is murdered by vampire hunters just mere minutes after she’s turned and she has no idea what to do next. Luckily, self-preservation kicks in and Sarah does what any self-respecting woman, undead or alive, would do when faced with imminent violence…she hauls ass out of there. When she comes across 600+ year old vampire Thierry de Bennicoeur preparing to commit suicide, Sarah takes a leap of faith (literally) in the hope that she can convince Thierry that life is worth living and herself that she can continue to live her own life before this minor derailment into the vampire community. Along the way, Sarah meets other vampires, some nice and some she would probably like to stake herself and a vampire hunter who is intent on killing her despite her numerous protests that she isn’t evil.

I found this book to be a cute and entertaining story to a series that looks to be very entertaining. I liked Sarah quite a bit. She reminds me of Betsy Taylor from the Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson. If you like that series, you will enjoy this one. Sarah has a lot of attitude and isn’t shy about expressing herself. I thought she had a lot of spunk. Even after being fired from her job and no financial windfalls looming on the horizon, Sarah manages to take charge of the situation and plows forward instead of wallowing in self-pity.

I didn’t warm up to Thierry, unfortunately. He seemed too stuffy and stuck-up for me. Even though it was quite obvious to me that he was attracted to Sarah, I didn’t like that he went out of his way to push her away and wasn’t very nice about it. The fact that she stuck around and had his back says more about her and her integrity and compassion, however. I liked Michael Quinn, the vampire hunter who is after Sarah. I was glad to see he turned out to be one of the major characters. I found his personality very likeable. Sarah befriends one of the vampires at Thierry’s nightclub named George who I found to be very likeable and funny.

Though the jury is still out on whether I want to see Sarah and Thierry end up together, I am looking forward to reading the second book to find out what happens next.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

REVIEW: Girls Who Gossip by Theresa Alan

Title: Girls Who Gossip
Author: Theresa Alan
Publisher: Strapless Kensington
Publication Date: April, 2006
Paperback: 311 pages
Genre: Chick-Lit
Rating: 5/10

Description: It's not mean if it's true...

Yes the rumors are true...

I'm actually coming home to Colorado for the summer. Maybe it won't be so bad. After all, I've got cocktails, shopping, and gab sessions with my girlfriends to look forward to. Plus time with my dysfunctional family. Yippee. I'm Helaina, by the way. Helaina Denner if you've known me since junior high, like Hannah and Marni. Helaina Merrill if you know me from film school at NYU. See, I lead a bit of a double life: "starving" student when in Manhattan, daughter of privilege when in Denver

And it gets even better...

...depending on your definition of "better." First off, I've picked this time to try and reconnect with my father. Which would be easier if we'd ever had anything resembling a relationship to begin with. I guess this is one of the pitfalls of having a parent as rich as Bill Gates and as accessible as the Pope...

Seriously, some of this stuff you cannot repeat...

like what I'll tell you about Owen, the adorable journalist I just met. He's sweet, sincere, sexy...real soul mate material. But something's keeping me from letting him get too close. What's my problem, anyway? No need to answer: that's what friends are for. Now, amid high-altitude parties in Aspen, bikini waxes gone mad, and caught-on-tape blackmail fodder, I'm about to find out exactly what one heiress's problems amount to in this crazy world. Just remember, whatever I discover is off the record - for the moment, at least...

My Thoughts: I found the title and book cover very misleading as the story turned out to be something else than what I was expecting. I was expecting a light, fun chick-lit read about, well, girls who gossip. I wouldn’t classify this book as a chick-lit, though that’s what it is marketed as. Don’t get me wrong; I still enjoyed the book once I got over the initial surprise at the punch this book packs. Instead of gossip, this story is actually more about death, the grieving process, dysfunctional families, and revenge. Add in some friends, an internship at a magazine and a budding relationship and you get this book.

The main character is Helaina Denner and she is returning home to Denver for the summer. Her mother recently died under mysterious circumstances a few months back and Helaina is still reeling from the shock and having a difficult time coping with the grieving process. For the most part, she is happy to be back at home and reconnecting with her best friends, Hannah and Marni. She is hoping to reconnect with her father but that proves next to impossible. Helaina discovers that her mother’s sister, Claudia, has moved in and is most likely having an affair with Helaina’s father. I know…ewwwww, right?

Helaina is offered an intern position at a local magazine by a friend of the family and meets Owen who is her boss’ stepson and, it turns out, is also working at the magazine. Helaina thinks the experience gained will be beneficial to her budding filmmaker career.

Things get interesting when Helaina decides to do a little investigating and locates her mother’s journal hidden away in a secret compartment of her mother’s desk. Upon reading the journal, Helaina is given a front-row seat into the despair her mother was feeling, knowing her husband has been unfaithful for most of their marriage, but to also learn that her husband is having an affair with her own sister. The sister she has allowed to move into her home, who she has given money to over the years. Sadly, Helaina’s mother is the victim of gossip as everyone seems to know about her marriage problems, even her hairdresser. Helaina decides she wants revenge on her father and aunt for their part in destroying her mother’s happiness which she believes is the reason behind her death, though the issue of whether Helaina’s mother committed suicide or died because she lost control of her car in a tragic accident is never clarified.

I liked Helaina and felt a lot of sympathy for her. I found her behavior very understandable under the circumstances and hated the way her father treated her. I thought he was a very selfish man who didn’t deserve one smidgen of success or happiness. The outcome of the story leads me to believe that her father and aunt get their comeuppance but there were still a lot of unresolved issues. Fortunately, Helaina makes a major breakthrough when she realizes that we don’t get to choose our family and that working through her grief brings her closer to her mother.

So, chick-lit fans, this is not a light, funny, typical chick-lit read, but it’s a good story that’s worth a look.


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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 Happy Reading! :o)