Sunday, April 14, 2013

Vengeance In Death by J D Robb

Vengeance In Death
by J D Robb

He is an expert with the latest technology...a madman with the mind of a genius and the heart of a killer. He quietly stalks his prey. Then he haunts the police with cryptic riddles about the crimes he is about to commit--always solved moments too late to save his victims' lives.Police lieutenant Eve Dallas found the first victim butchered in his own home. The second lost his life in a vacant luxury apartment. The two men had little in common. Both suffered unspeakable torture before their deaths. And both had ties to an ugly secret of ten years past--a secret shared by none other than Eve's new husband, Roarke.

In this 6th installment of the In Death series, J D Robb continues to weave the compelling tale of hard nosed homicide detective, Eve Dallas, and her powerful, billionaire husband, Roarke. In this book, people are self terminating with smiles on their faces. Even though the first two deaths are suicides and happen on different planets (off planet travel is possible in 2059), Eve feels strongly that these two deaths are related and are more than they appear. Weaving the worlds of law enforcement, luxury off planet living, and video gaming, this book has great energy and keeps the reader on the edge wondering how Eve will prove what she believes and finally who the killer really is.

You can't go wrong with this series. Eve and Roarke are the ultimate Power Couple. Jump in here, or start at the beginning with Naked In Death, trust me, you will not be disappointed.

Intended Audience: 18+ for sex scenes

Also in this series:
Naked in Death, July 1995
Glory in Death, December 1995
Immortal in Death, July 1996
Rapture in Death, October 1996
Ceremony in Death, May 1997
Vengeance in Death, October 1997
Holiday in Death, June 1998
Conspiracy in Death, April 1999
Loyalty in Death, October 1999
Witness in Death, March 2000
Judgment in Death, September 2000
Betrayal in Death, March 2001
Seduction in Death, September 2001
Reunion in Death, March 2002
Purity in Death, September 2002
Portrait in Death, March 2003
Imitation in Death, September 2003
Divided in Death, January 2004
Visions in Death, August 2004
Survivor in Death, February 2005
Origin in Death, July 2005
Memory in Death, January 2006
Born in Death, November 2006
Innocent in Death, February 2007
Creation in Death, November 2007
Strangers in Death, February 2008
Salvation in Death, November 2008
Promises in Death, February 2009
Kindred in Death, November 2009
Fantasy in Death, February 2010
Indulgence in Death, November 2010
Treachery in Death, February 2011
New York to Dallas, September 2011
Celebrity in Death, February 2012
Delusion in Death, September 2012
In Death Novella
Robb novella included in Remember When (featuring two connected stories from Nora Roberts and J. D. Robb), May 2004
Big Jack, March 2010 (stand-alone publication)
In Death stories included in Anthologies
“Midnight in Death,” Silent Night, November 1998
“Interlude in Death,” Out of This World, August 2001
“Haunted in Death,” Bump in the Night, April 2006
“Eternity in Death,” Dead of Night, November 2007
“Ritual in Death,” Suite 606, November 2008
“Missing in Death,” The Lost, December 2009
“Possession in Death,” The Otherside, November 2010
"Chaos in Death," The Unquiet, September 2011

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

Marriage can be a real killer. 
   One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn. 
   On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 
   As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?
   With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around.

A friend of mine recommended this book, and after I was done reading it I slammed it shut and contemplated driving to Houston and cussing her out. This book made me so angry and I really, really want to hate it...but I just can't. The reason I can't hate it is because it was really challenging and well written. It was like a psycho movie thriller on paper.

This book is broken up into three parts. In part one I HATED Nick. I mean I loathed him. In part two: I HATED Amy! Oh I just wanted to crawl through the pages and kill her myself. In part three of the book I HATED both of them. I dislike strong emotions in general, but it has it's place and this book made me feel it every time I picked it up. I also lost sleep because I read for hours at a time because I couldn't put it down. I just needed to know what happened next.

If you like drama, psyco thrillers, film noir, and dark subjects you will love this book. It's not a "beachy" feel good book, at all. I'm glad I read it, but I'm glad I am done with it. I need a good cheap frilly romance to wash the taste out of my head.

Intended Audience: If it was a movie, I would rate it R, so probably 17+ due to violence, adult scenes and language.

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Fifty Shades Freed by E L James

Fifty Shades Freed (Book #3)
by E L James

When unworldly student Anastasia Steele first encountered the driven and dazzling young entrepreneur Christian Grey it sparked a sensual affair that changed both of their lives irrevocably. Shocked, intrigued, and, ultimately, repelled by Christian’s singular erotic tastes, Ana demands a deeper commitment. Determined to keep her, Christian agrees.

Now, Ana and Christian have it all—love, passion, intimacy, wealth, and a world of possibilities for their future. But Ana knows that loving her Fifty Shades will not be easy, and that being together will pose challenges that neither of them would anticipate. Ana must somehow learn to share Christian’s opulent lifestyle without sacrificing her own identity. And Christian must overcome his compulsion to control as he wrestles with the demons of a tormented past.

Just when it seems that their strength together will eclipse any obstacle, misfortune, malice, and fate conspire to make Ana’s deepest fears turn to reality.


Well, I did it, I finally finished the series. If I had the appropriate graphic, I'd give this 3.5 stars, but I'll be generous. I did appreciate that the last two books had a plot and some conflict, but it felt like a chore trying to get through all three books solely because of the amateurish writing. The author tried to save the sub-par writing by throwing in token SAT vocabulary words in places where they were not needed, kind of annoying.

I get why these books are so popular, it's basically girl porn. Thankfully there is actually some well written erotic fiction out there, check out some of the titles under that category to the right.  Please don't give up on this genre, try another author. Here is why some of the other issues with this series:

The repetitive phrases: Holy F@&k, Laters Baby, Don't be made at me, Stop biting your lip. Ugh!

The editing errors: grammatical errors, misused vocabulary words, please proofread!!

Unrealistic sex scenes: yes, it's fiction, but really who has that much sex and that many orgasms? I'm not sure how Ana could even walk...Christian did a lot of "ramming" (not cool)

Christian's Issues: where do I start? his tragic childhood, the statutory rape by Elena, his mommy issues, his BDSM fetish, his control issues, and on and on. Yes, he's rich and gorgeous, but so so damaged. 

Whiny, immature Ana: Oh Ana, please grow up! I love a strong heroine and she was NOT one. I wanted to drive to Seattle and smack the crap out her. Her basic formula: Break a rule or her word, Admit to herself she knew she did wrong and would hurt Christian, Fight with Christian, Bat her eyes and say "Please don't be mad at me," Make up sex. Over and over!

What I liked: I get it, I really do, it's pure escapism. We read these books because it's all our secret fantasies come to life. Crappy writing and the above issues aside, sometimes it's nice just to get away from real life and there was enough plot and conflict to keep you wondering, what is going to happen? 

Should you read it? Eh, why not, it is fun and kinky. Would I understand why you would refuse to read it? Absolutely! If you liked the Twilight series, you'll probably like this series, they are quite similar (except for the kinky sex). To each her own, read it or don't but don't judge...let us have our sexy escape fantasies.

Intended Audience: Mature Audience, 18+

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Also by E L James
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades Freed

Friday, August 17, 2012

On the Nightstand...coming soon

These are the books that I am currently or will soon be reading and will soon review:


Read Review Here
Read Review Here

Fifty Shades Darker by E L James

Fifty Shades Darker (Book #2)
by E L James

Daunted by the singular tastes and dark secrets of the beautiful, tormented young entrepreneur Christian Grey, Anastasia Steele has broken off their relationship to start a new career with a Seattle publishing house. 

But desire for Christian still dominates her every waking thought, and when he proposes a new arrangement, Anastasia cannot resist. They rekindle their searing sensual affair, and Anastasia learns more about the harrowing past of her damaged, driven and demanding Fifty Shades.

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her, and make the most important decision of her life.


This one was better than the first one. The writing was better and the characters seemed more well rounded. Ana is still rather annoying. She is petty and clueless one minute and empathetic and caring the next. Christian's demons finally come to light and watching him trying to figure out how to deal with a "normal" relationship is sometimes difficult. 

The mature content is about the same level as the first book, so if you can handle that one, you can handle this one. Be ready to download or buy the third book because this one leaves you hanging at the end and eager to find out what happens.

Audience: This book is intended for a mature audience, 18 and up.

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Also by E L James
Fifty Shades of Grey
Fifty Shades Darker
Fifty Shades Freed

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz

A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog Named Trixie
by Dean Koontz

In a profound, funny, and beautifully rendered portrait of a beloved companion, bestselling novelist Dean Koontz remembers the golden retriever who changed his life. A retired service dog, Trixie was three when Dean and his wife, Gerda, welcomed her into their home. She was superbly trained, but her greatest gifts couldn’t be taught: her keen intelligence, her innate joy, and an uncanny knack for living in the moment. Whether chasing a tennis ball or protecting those she loved, Trixie gave all she had to everything she did, inspiring Dean and Gerda to trust their instincts and recapture a sense of wonder that will remain with them always. Trixie lived fewer than twelve years; in this wide world, she was a little thing. But in every way that mattered, she lived a big life.


First let me grab a Kleenex...oh my!

I love Dean Koontz, Lightning and Watchers are two of my favorite books of ALL time! I also love Golden Retrievers, we had a sweet little girl named Belle that we lost a few years ago that will always hold a special place in my heart. So...I am pretty sure Dean wrote this book just for me, but you are welcome to read it, too.

At first, I thought this book is going to have a limited audience, but after the first few chapters, this book transcends an author and his dog and illuminates the need we all have for joy and beauty in our lives. Trixie is the vessel that brought light and love in the Koontz's lives, but for others it can be other breeds, other types of pets, a hobby, a friend, or a child. The important thing is to recognize these vessels of joy and embrace them when they come into your life. 

I am so glad I read this book. It was sad, everyone that cares for a dog knows that eventually you will have to deal with it's loss, and meeting Trixie was no different. I came to care for her and the Koontz family through Dean's words and the beautiful pictures of Trixie. The loss of Trixie brought all the feelings back of the loss of my Belle, but it also brought back the beauty and joy of her life, too. That is a precious gift.  

Intended Audience: any

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Also by this author:
A Big Little Life

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Smart Mouth Waitress by Dayla Moon

Smart Mouth Waitress
by Dayla Moon

Perry makes a strong first impression, from her white-girl dreadlocks to her uncensored opinions. When she combs out her dreads on a whim, she catches the eye of a cute guy who's a regular at The Whistle, the diner where she works as a waitress. He mistakes Perry for someone completely different: the girl of his dreams.

Perry tries to become that girl.

But it's so hard to be normal.

And eyebrow piercings are so cute.

With her mother down in LA recording her comeback album, Perry's in charge of the family household, and things are going to change. She starts with paint colors and moves on to doling out retributive punishments for her fifteen-year-old brother.

What Perry really wants, though, is her first boyfriend. She's eighteen, and it's about time!

Boyfriend candidates include: the cute but quiet restaurant regular, the all-too-willing coworker, or the outgoing artist who's eager to whip off his clothes and model. One of these guys loves Perry exactly how she is, but how can she tell which one?

This novel is in the Young Adult category, but it is a little mature for anyone 18 and under. That said, I don't think anyone 18 and over would find this book very interesting. It is also called a romantic comedy. Well, it isn't very romantic and it it's not funny at all. Like The Princess and the Pea, this one starts out with awkward and childish writing, unlike Princess, this one doesn't get any better. I finished it because I wanted to write the review, and I wanted to see which guy, if any, won Perry's heart.

Perry is 18 and she is ready to lose her virginity and get a boyfriend. Her heart is torn between two guys, Marc a customer at the restaurant she works at and Cooper, Marc's friend. She also considers Toph, a goofy guy that works in the kitchen at her restaurant. 

Watching Perry trying to decide between Marc and Cooper was not exciting. She bounces back and forth more than a tennis ball, with about as much intelligence. I didn't like her. I really cannot recommend this book. For younger teens, its inappropriate with talks about sex and masturbation, and to adults, its just silly and trite. Move on, there are better books.

Intended Audience: Young Adult, I recommend at least 17

Monday, July 30, 2012

The Frog Prince by Elle Lothlorien

The Frog Prince
by Elle Lothlorien

It was his pheromones that did it. With one sniff, sex researcher Leigh Fromm recognizes that any offspring she might have with the mysterious stranger would have a better-than-average chance of surviving any number of impending pandemics.

But when Leigh finds out that the handsome “someone” at her great aunt’s wake is Prince Roman Habsburg von Lorraine of Austria, she suddenly doubts her instincts—not that she was intending to sleep with the guy. The royal house of Habsburg was once completely inbred, insanity and impotency among the highlights of their genetic pedigree. (The extreme “bulldog underbite” that plagued them wasn’t called the Habsburg Jaw for nothing.)

It doesn’t matter that his family hasn’t sat on a throne (other than the ones in their Toilette) since 1918, or that Austria is now a parliamentary democracy. Their lives couldn’t be more different: Roman is routinely mobbed by paparazzi in Europe. Leigh is regularly mocked for having the social skills of a potted plant. Even if she suddenly developed grace, charm and a pedigree that would withstand the scrutiny of the press and his family, what exactly is she supposed to do with this would-have-been king of Austria who is in self-imposed exile in Denver, Colorado?

This was such a cute book. I laughed out loud at least twice a chapter. I almost put it down after the first chapter because the writing seemed a little weak and choppy, but the author worked out the kinks and it got much better as the plot thickened.

Leigh looks like a model but has no social skills. Roman is a handsome "almost royal" prince that seems to have it all, but when he sees Leigh at her Great Aunt's funeral he knows she is what is missing from his life. Roman introduces Leigh to dancing and also introduces her to his "almost royal" and actually royal friends. Watching Leigh navigate the "almost royal" group with her limited social skills is hilarious and make Roman and the reader love her even more.

This book is a great escape into a fun, romantic comedy romp. I highly recommend it, just plow through the first chapter, it is funny, but the writing is choppy and cliche, but like I said, it gets much better. This would make a great romantic comedy movie!

Intended Audience: 14+

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Friday, July 27, 2012

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
by Douglas Adams

Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
Together this dynamic pair begin a journey through space aided by quotes from The Hitchhiker's Guide ("A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have") and a galaxy-full of fellow travelers: Zaphod Beeblebrox--the two-headed, three-armed ex-hippie and totally out-to-lunch president of the galaxy; Trillian, Zaphod's girlfriend (formally Tricia McMillan), whom Arthur tried to pick up at a cocktail party once upon a time zone; Marvin, a paranoid, brilliant, and chronically depressed robo Veet Voojagig, a former graduate student who is obsessed with the disappearance of all the ballpoint pens he bought over the years. 
Where are these pens? Why are we born? Why do we die? Why do we spend so much time between wearing digital watches? For all the answers stick your thumb to the stars. And don't forget to bring a towel!

Review: (from my 14 year old)
This is easily my favorite book. I rate other books by comparing them to this one. Ford is one of my favorite characters from any book. He is, essentially, the worst guide in the universe, with little empathy, no grasp of sarcasm, and an absurd answer to any question Arthur throws at him. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is action-packed, hysterically funny, and surprisingly deep, delving into the end of the world, the British obsession with tea, and the answer to life, the universe, and everything

This book made me laugh more than any book I've ever read, but it also made me think about how I would respond to the chaos of having my home, and shortly thereafter, my planet, destroyed, then being shot across the galaxy on a quest for ultimate answer to the ultimate question.

Don't panic.

Intended Audience: fun, adventure 14 and up

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Other books in this series:
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
Life, The Universe and Everything
So Long, and Thanks for the Fish
Mostly Harmless
And Another Thing...

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

The Lucky One
by Nicholas Sparks

Is there really such thing as a lucky charm? The hero of Nicholas Sparks's new novel believes he's found one in the form of a photograph of a smiling woman he's never met, but who he comes to believe holds the key to his destiny. The chain of events that leads to him possessing the photograph and finding the woman pictured in it is the stuff of love stories only a master such as Sparks can write.

Logan Thibault is on his third tour in Iraq when he finds a photo of a beautiful girl lying in the sand. He posts the photo on the base's bulletin board but no one claims it, so Logan decides to keep it. The photo seems to bring him good luck, helped him win at poker and most importantly kept him alive in harrowing combat situations.

When Logan gets out of military he sets out on foot from Colorado with his dog Zeus to find the woman in the picture and thank her. Using clues from the picture, Logan and Zeus wind up in Hampton, North Carolina. There they find the mystery woman, Elizabeth with her son Ben and her Nana running a dog boarding facility. Logan rents a house nearby and Nana hires him as a dog trainer. Here, working with the dogs, he finds peace and gets to know Elizabeth and discovers who the true owner of the photo was.

Elizabeth's exhusband, Keith Clayton is the sheriff of Hampton. He is a hateful man used to getting what he wants and he wants Elizabeth back and to destroy Logan. Logan stays to protect Elizabeth and Ben from Clayton. The final scene is a heart stopping scene between the three main characters and Ben that will leave you stunned and probably going back to reread that part to make sure you read it right.

This was a great book by Nicholas Sparks, true to his adventurous past romances. Sparks is a best seller for a reason and this book does not disappoint. I think you will enjoy it as much as I did, at least I hope so. I look forward to seeing the movie adaption of this book that is coming out soon. 

(I struggled to pick a category for this book. It does have an element of mystery and suspense in it and while it is romantic, I would not put it in the Romance section, therefore the addition of the Fiction-Romantic category)

Intended Audience: 16 and up

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