Archive for the ‘review’ Category
That’s the challenge Robin Bricker faces as her show The Holdout airs. To keep herself busy, she relishes the idea of being on a jury and losing herself in a trial of possibly faulty Greek yachts that may or may not have been improperly stored in Iowa.
Laurel Osterkamp brings us Robin’s story in the aptly titled The Holdout. Robin played the Survivor-like game the best she could. It isn’t her fault she also fell for fellow-castaway Grant. Too bad everyone in America, including her family and her fellow jury members, get to witness her humiliation as she sees exactly how Grant plays her and another female castaway. Creative camera editing doesn’t help maintain her dignity either.
Osterkamp weaves the tale, alternating chapters between the island contest and the television season. It’s nice to see how Robin evolves. The supporting characters are fun, with dramatic side stories that add to the overall drama of the book.
This is a quick, easy read. Definitely a nice way to spend a cold winter’s night!
I was given an advance copy of Accidental Boyfriend in exchange for this review. All opinions are my own as are any mistakes! Read to the end for details about the giveaway!
Accidental Boyfriend by Robin Bielman is a fun romance. Tossed together to fool Kagan’s father’s choice for his daughter, Kagan and Shane certainly have some fun. There’s camping, kayaking, cooking, and movie watching. Both these characters are fun to read about. Yes, they are a little perfect…but not syrupy. That really does make a difference. The setting of Cascade is picture-perfect and made me want to live there!
All sex is off-page, but there is some making out and fantasizing. Nothing too hard core, though.
This is a definite fun read. Kept me turning pages and enjoying myself. Can’t ask for anything more!
Kagan Owens has a secret. One she thought she’d escaped by leaving New York, but when her past follows her to her temporary new life, Kagan lets a teeny lie slip. And now the town’s biggest playboy and flirt, Shane Sullivan, has become her pretend boyfriend–just until she’s ready to return to NYC. But the handsome, fun-loving Shane makes it tough to determine where their friendly agreement begins and ends…
Shane has no intention of settling down–in fact, his job depends on it, and nothing’s more important than his work. Still, he can’t help but agree to Kagan’s scheme, if only to find out more about the mysterious beauty. But when every touch from her sets his heart and body on fire, he realizes playing an accidental boyfriend may be more than he bargained for–and more than he can give.
About the author:
Robin Bielman lives in Southern California with her high school sweetheart husband, two sons, and crazy-cute mini Labradoodle, Harry (named after Harry Dresden from Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files books). When not attached to her laptop, she can almost always be found with her nose in a book. She also likes to run, hike, and dip her toes in the ocean. Filled with wanderlust, she longs to visit many different places and fulfill her curiosity. She wouldn’t mind indulging her sweet tooth in every location either. She’s a lover of Post-it notes, cable television shows and café mochas. Writing is a dream come true, and she still pinches herself to be sure it’s real.
Her other novels include Kissing the Maid of Honor, Worth the Risk, Risky Surrender and Yours At Midnight. She loves to connect with readers. Learn more and sign up for her newsletter on her website.
In Her Accidental Boyfriend Kagan designs jewelry similar to this beautiful pink pearl double wrap bracelet that is up for grabs.
Praise for Robin Bielman
“Robin Bielman is a must-read!” NYT Bestselling author Vicki Lewis Thompson
“Sweet, sassy, and toe-curlingly sexy, my ‘secret wish’ is to live inside the pages of this story!” Rachel Harris, author of Seven Day Fiance
I bought this book for my e-reader eons ago.
I don’t know how she does it, but each Jennifer Crusie book I read becomes my favorite. I’ve been stuck on Agnes & The Hitman (co-written with Bob Mayer) for quite awhile, but now I’m declaring Maybe This Time as my new (latest?!) favorite.
After ten years of being divorced, Andie Miller visits her ex-husband, North Archer, to return all the alimony checks he had sent. She’s engaged to another man and needs to close the door on her relationship with North. It doesn’t matter that she hasn’t seen nor spoken to him in any of those ten years. Somehow she ends up agreeing to be a nanny for the orphaned children of a distant cousin in his care. Nannies have been coming and going. There are wild stories about ghosts at the remote mansion where they live. He just needs the children to feel secure enough to be moved to his house.
Andie finds the ghosts, the kids, servants…and a nosy reporter who’s looking for her next big break. Her former brother-in-law brings the reporter, who brings the paranormal investigator, the psychic, and her cameraman. Andie’s mother comes to see what’s happening. Her mother-in-law does the same. And North follows, not quite ready to let Andie go.
Yet another book that goes against the claim I don’t like paranormal books. I guess as long as it’s done right I can handle. I just wish I knew how to define “right.” Because the ghosts in this book are perfectly done.
Andie is a wonderful character, as are the two children in her care. Crusie doesn’t spend a lot of time on description, but through actions and words you get a real sense of who these characters would be in real life.
As with every Crusie book I’ve read, I was sorry to see it end. I want to know the daily ins and outs of these kooky, lovable people.
This is a must-read. As with all the other Crusie books I’ve read, I’ll be re-reading this one again soon. I want to go back to southern Ohio…
I was provided an ARC of this title to review.
Authors like J.A. Jance who speak through many different characters amaze me. Each character has their own distinct and separate personality. Initially, I discovered J.A. Jance through the Joanna Brady series, but quickly went on to read her other series. If I’ve ever had a crush on a character, it would be J.P. Beaumont, investigator for the state of Washington. In Second Watch (which was released on September 10, 2013) Beaumont has just come out of knee replacement surgery–both knees at once! He’s dreaming or hallucinating, and his past comes hurtling into the present.
J.P. Beaumont is visited by the ghost of his first homicide victim and the ghost of the man who saved his life back in Vietnam in 1966. He had made a vow to the mother of the first victim that he never fulfilled: he had never been able to discover the identity of the person who killed her and left her body in a barrel of dirty cooking grease. As memories come flooding back about Vietnam, he feels the need all these years later to contact the fiance of the man who saved his life.
While Jance tells the tale of these two ghosts, seamlessly weaving the past and present together, Beaumont is forced to face other facts. How did he get his promotion into the homicide division of the Seattle Police Department when one wasn’t available? Who perpetuated the tale that his first homicide victim was killed by Ted Bundy? Who altered records and stole evidence?
This book made me cry. Jance states on her website: “Once you read it, I think you’ll agree that this story belongs to so many in my generation who remain haunted by the Vietnam war.” Through Beaumont, I hope she was able to put some of her own ghosts to rest.
Read this book and be prepared to live through Beaumont’s ghosts. Jance has a way of making them your own.
I was given a $25 gift card from Ross Dress for Less to write this post. All opinions and words are my own. Any misinformation is mine.
Information on the giveaway is at the end of this post!
It’s back to school time, people! It caught me by surprise, too. Need a great place to shop for school clothes, shoes, back packs, purses, and home goods at great prices? All under one roof!? Then you need to get to Ross Dress for Less.
Right now Ross has a contest on their facebook page–their Back To School Fashion Face Off. It’s in the final round right now, but through September 6, 2013, you can vote for your favorite outfit. One lucky voter will win a Ross Dress for Less gift card for $125! Check it out and vote! The outfits are really cute!
I visited my local Ross Dress for Less in Bloomingdale, Illinois (Bloomingdale Court, 350 W Army Trail Rd., Bloomingdale, IL 60108, 630-351-1218) prepared to get a new purse. Then I was overwhelmed by the purse selection. I’m not allowed to name names, but I was in awe of some of the designers whose purses were hanging on those racks. And the colors! They are so pretty! Purses of every color, size, and material–honestly anything you might be looking for!
I wandered through the clothing section and they had a nice selection of plus-sized clothes. There were some really pretty dresses that made me wish–yet again–that I had places to wear pretty dresses.
I ended up spending my gift card in housewares. I had my eye on a gorgeous blue bowl. Then talked myself out of it, because I’m trying to move less things to dust and that went right against those plans. But it was sooo pretty! I’ve been pondering going back and getting it. Wonder if it’s still there?
I needed new measuring spoons. Who the heck loses their tablespoon measuring device? Well, someone in KlineLand did! So I got a nice, new sturdy set of measuring spoons. Name brand, of course. I’ve seen these in department stores costing way more than I paid.
Then I got a set of melamine mixing bowls. I never seem to have the right size of bowl, so this took care of that dilemma. I can whip up a cake, some cucumber salad, and some salsa from our overflowing tomato stash–and have the perfect bowl for every recipe!
My final purchase was a holder for the spare toilet paper rolls in the powder room. We always have a few extras sitting around and this little thing will corral them. Every once in awhile a roll gets dropped into the toilet and is wasted. This will, hopefully, put an end to that!
I was so happy when I got home with my treasures! Now, enter the giveaway and get to your local Ross Dress for Less so you can get some treasures of your own. Let me know what you get!
Please use the Rafflecopter form below to enter!
Detective Archie Sheridan is thoroughly flawed. Female serial killer Gretchen Lowell does her job horrifically well. Heartsick weaves together the tales of a current police investigation and the torture of Sheridan at the hands of Lowell two years earlier.
Detective Archie Sheridan is two years into medical leave after Gretchen Lowell, the female serial killer he was pursuing, kidnapped, tortured, nearly killed him, and, inexplicably, turned herself in to save his life. He is called back to the job when another serial killer surfaces; this time one hunting young high school girls. Sheridan is addicted to pain pills, addicted to his weekly visits to Lowell at a nearby prison, and doing his best to keep the body count from rising. In order to appease the city and the press, this time around he agrees to have a local reporter, pink-haired Susan Ward, profile him and the work on the case. What he learns is that the present is always linked to the past and some people are so good at manipulation you don’t know until it’s to late.
Caine weaves the present-day investigation with flashbacks of the torture of Sheridan at the hands of Lowell. There is nothing more chilling in anything I’ve read than Lowell’s description of how she killed a victim. I’m not sure I can crochet ever again…
This novel is equal parts horror and hope. While Archie’s visits to Lowell are to learn about more of her victims, there is also a link between the two that gave me the creeps. But he has an ex-wife and children who could give him the light necessary to excise the dark that Lowell imposes on his world. If only he will let them. Susan Ward is a delightfully flawed journalist with her own links to Lowell.
Number one in a series…you know I’m one happy reader!
I checked this out from the Roselle Public Library.
Are you ready for this? I absolutely loved Glass Houses by Rachel Caine! I read it in one day. Devoured it, actually. Then I was sad it was done. But it’s the first book in a continuing series, so I’m not all that bereft. In fact, book 15, Daylighters, will be released this November.
Claire Danvers, child prodigy, goes off to college. Because her parents want her nearby, she attends Texas Prairie Tech, in the strange town of Morganville, Texas. She starts off on the wrong foot with fellow students and that’s when the mean-girl activities start. When her life is actually threatened, she decides a place off-campus is exactly what she needs to survive her freshman year. When she finds herself in front of the Glass House, it’s not exactly calling her name. But she’s whisked inside for her own safety and they let her stay.
Because Morganville isn’t just strange. It’s downright spooky. Vampires rule the town, letting humans live in safety if they play by the rules. Claire hasn’t played by the rules and needs to keep on her toes. Luckily, her three roommates have her back. Because nothing in Morganville is what is seems on the surface. Maybe no one plays by the rules…
I was more than half-way done with this book before I realized it was a young adult novel. No, I’m not completely clueless, it was just so riveting. The writing is excellent, the characters are probably, and I absolutely believe that vampires exist in Morganville, Texas. This is the way paranormal needs to be written.
I discovered this book when I was looking for something else to read. Link after link led me to a recommendation for it and I got it from the local library.
I think I might have to retire Catherine Coulter from my reading list. The last few novels from her have been less than riveting. In this age of reading materials at a premium, life is to short to read books that don’t excite you. Her latest novel, Bombshell, was not exciting at all.
This is the latest in her FBI thriller series; the 17th to be exact. Initially I loved the series. Then came the inevitable dabbling into paranormal, which seems gratuitous instead of honest and natural. Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savage, the married FBI agents, continue to evolve into cutout characters without flaws or depth. Reading about their perfection does nothing to advance the story lines.
Griffin Hammersmith has been recruited by Dillon Savage for the FBI. On his way to D.C., he learns about an attack on his sister, who is a student at the music school in Maestro, Virginia. She has no recollection of what happened when she returned to her apartment after a party at a professor’s home. Meanwhile, back in D.C., Savage and Sherlock are investigating the death of the college-aged grandson of the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank. His body was posed provocatively at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial and people are wondering if it is a revenge killing for the poor financial decisions made by his grandfather. In both cities, people aren’t who they appear to be and the bodies start piling up.
This isn’t the worst book I’ve read, but it isn’t exciting either. I give it a solid meh.
I am so sad to say that I wasn’t really impressed with The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg. You know I’m a giant Evanovich fan. I count Stephanie Plum and Lula as some of my best friends. (Sure, they only come around when I open a book…still…) Lee Goldberg is a television producer and he produced Monk, which is one of my favorite shows.
Kate O’Hare is an FBI agent and former Navy SEAL. She’s dedicated and ferocious. And she’s determined to nail the elusive con man and thief, Nicholas Fox. But Fox is wily, as well as sexy as hell. Maybe she wants to do more than put him in jail. When she manages to snag him–albeit by running into him with a bus–he escapes in a dramatic, theatrical way and she’s on his tail once again. When she finally catches up with him again she finds that nothing is what she thought. Can she be trusted to work with Nicholas Fox without letting her attraction for him getting in the way?
This isn’t a bad read, but it lacks the spark of earlier Evanovich works. The characters are boring. Even Nicholas Fox the super con man seems like a cardboard cutout. Kare O’Hare is dull, but her father is the one character I really liked in the book. The settings are exotic. The geography lessons intense. But the overall novel is meh.
I’d love to hear what you think about this one! Let me know!
Today I’m bringing you an oldie but goodie, ‘Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. In case you’ve forgotten, King is on my short list of authors to be stranded with. I’ve been saying that for a long time, but after reading ‘Salem’s Lot, I remember why I say it!
King tells a tale like no other author. His words are magical, transporting you to the town of ‘Salem’s Lot. You fall in love with Ben Mears and Susan Norton. You experience the horror of knowing that something is so wrong with your town–well, their town.
Eons ago I saw the movie, and only recently realized I had never read the book. While the movie and the book are very different, they both are enjoyable. I mean, the movie has David Soul in it. Starsky & Hutch anyone? (I always was a Hutch fan…)
Ben Mears returns to ‘Salem’s Lot, the town where he spent time as a child. His encounter with the town’s haunted house, the old Marsten house, still gives him nightmares years later. His family gone, Mears returns to put the nightmare to rest. Emotionally raw from the death of his wife, he takes a room at a local boarding house. From his room he has a view of the menacing Marsten house. He meets and falls in love with Susan Norton. He makes friends with townspeople who also sense the evil within the Marsten house. When they discover the source of the evil, they set out to save the town together.
The characters are rich. The settings richer. King never uses two words two hundred will do better. It’s how he excels as an author and it’s what makes his books a reader’s treasure. His text allows you to lose yourself in his world. He lures you in, making you never want to put the book down. Nor for the story to ever end…