Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware by Cristyn West

Plain Jane: Brunettes Beware

Title: Plain Jane:Brunettes Beware
Author: Cristyn West
Format: Paperback and Ebook
Found at: Amazon and Smashwords

This book keep me captivated from beginning to end!  The story was wonderful and repulsive at the same time.  The hunt for this serial killer took so many twists and turns yet left you wondering who was more insane, the killer or the profiler on their trail!

I loved the main female character in Nicole.  She was a strong and smart woman yet vulnerable in affairs of the heart.  Her job is first and foremost in her mind except when it comes to dealing with her ex, Kent.  He brilliant, deranged and obsessive, all the hallmarks of a top profiler.  He was an ass to her and their co-workers and I cheered at the times she found her moxie and let him know how she felt.  Their relationship is as intriguing as the mystery of the serial killer and I was totally satisfied with the way it played out in the end. 

The serial killer was spooky and the reveal was a total surprise  There were several viable suspects and the author really kept you guessing until the end.  The suspense lasted the entire novel and I came away from the novel with a  sense of "WOW". There is definitely a gross factor with the more visits and the "prize" that the serial killer took from it's victims.  This story may bother you a little if you are a touch squeamish.

A few things I would have like to have seen was more of the back story of the characters.  There was discussion in the book about previous cases and previous relationships but since this was the first book, I only know what was mentioned.  It would be nice to see a prequel book showing how Nicole and Kent wound up together in the first place.  I hope there will be more with these two!  They work together well and it'll be interesting to see another case with them!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: Dead Barchetta by Kathryn Lively

Dead Barchetta, a Mystery (Dead Barchetta #1)

Title: Dead Barchetta
Author: Kathryn Lively
Format: Paperback and Ebook
Available at Amazon and Smashwords

From Amazon: “Lerxst” Johnston doesn’t have an enemy in the world…so he thinks. Armed only with a guitar and endless questions, Lerxst escapes the discomfort of his beach home and hides out in New York City to learn the true identity of his would-be assailant. Instead he learns more about himself and what he needs to do to survive the next attempt on his life. What a long, strange trip it is.


I read this one from beginning to end!  The story started off with the simple question of "Why was the mysterious woman was trying to kill him?" to a bigger plot that no one saw coming until it sprang up!  The story was engaging and you couldn't help but love Lerxst and the characters he meets along the way.

It had plenty of musical references and a great deal of dark humor but the book didn't bogged down at any point.  Instead, it moved at a quick pace and had you looking for answers as if you were Lerxst!  The characters were also wonderful.  There's the grandma who grows "medical herbs", a brother that has a huge secret and the female bass player that becomes his partner in the hunt for answers.   In spite of everything going on, Lerxst keeps a level head as he searches for the truth.

This was a wonderful read!  I read it from beginning to end and I wouldn't mind picking up again to discover any wonderful nuances I may have missed the first time around!  Music fans will also enjoy the rock references (especially for Rush) but you don't have to be a music fan to enjoy it.  It's great to see an ordinary, unexpected guy be the detective for a change.  Grab this one!  You'll enjoy it!

Think No Evil... by Jonas Beiler

Think No Evil: Inside the Story of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting...and BeyondThink No Evil: Inside the Story of the Amish Schoolhouse Shooting...and Beyond by Jonas Beiler

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a wonderful, quick read. This book is all about the Amish schoolhouse shooting and how the Amish community reacted to that violence with forgiveness. I thought it was very well written. The time spent on the actual events of that day was relatively little, so the tone was not morbid or upsetting. Instead, the focus was mostly on the people, both inside and outside the Amish community, and how the events impacted them emotionally. It explains a lot about Amish culture and how forgiveness is always the natural response for them because Christ is at the center of everything they do. It explores how we non-Amish can better implement forgiveness in our own lives.

I would definitely recommend this to anyone.

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Friday, April 8, 2011

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have read a lot of mixed reviews on this book. I love the first book, as so many others did. The Name of the Wind is on my all-time-favorites list. And though I liked book two slightly less than book one, it is only slightly less. Many of the people who loved book one and were not satisfied with book two, went into this book with a lot of expectations. They hoped to have all their questions answered. But you have to keep in mind that this is epic fantasy; epic. You will not find all the answers in book two of a trilogy. There is a reason Luke did not defeat Vader in The Empire Strikes Back. Frodo did not destroy the ring in Two Towers. Instead, we are left with more questions than answers. That's what keeps us hanging on for the third installment.

I thought The Wise Man's Fear was an excellent follow-up to The Name of the Wind. I felt very satisfied at the end, but I cannot wait to read book three and would not be the least bit sad if this trilogy turned into a much longer series. It was a bit longer than it needed to be, but I didn't mind that very much. Rothfuss' writing has such a natural flow that the pages fly by without my noticing. My only disappointment in that regard is that my life didn't allow me to lock myself away and do nothing but read. However, I did manage to neglect some important things so I could have time to read.

It was funny. Rothfuss has such a great sense of humor. His blog has me cracking up pretty frequently, and this book was no different. But it was also tragic. Kvothe has quite a knack for destroying his own happiness. It was almost painful to watch his mistakes.

The frame story aspect continues to delight me. The inner story unfolds with dramatic ups and downs. The outer story tantalizes. I may be more anxious to find out what will happen in Kvothe's immediate future than I am to discover the truth about his past.

My one gripe with this story: a lot of sex. This series is partly a coming of age story. So book one was fairly clean because Kvothe was just a young kid. But he's grown up a bit now, so OBVIOUSLY he has to be an unrestrained, hormone driven, sex-fiend, right? I knew going into it that there was going to be a lot of sex, but I will say this- it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. A large portion of the sex scenes were dream-like. Some of the ideas about sex that are brought up are just ridiculous. Others I simply don't agree with. I didn't think the sex scenes were terribly graphic, but they were frequent enough to detract from my over all enjoyment of the story.

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Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Fierce Dawn by Amber Scott

Fierce Dawn

Title: Fierce Dawn
Author: Amber Scott
Found at : Amazon
Format: E-Book

When I was sent the ARC copy, I admittedly was eager.  I read Irish Moon by the author and I truly enjoyed it!  I am overjoyed to say Fierce Dawn met and exceeded my expectations.  It had all the elements that I really enjoy: supernatural, sexual tension and a great story!

Starting off, we meet the young Sadie Graves, who is taking care of a mentally ill mother and her little sister, Heather.  Her mother is obsessed with her rambling journals and all Sadie wants is to be a normal teen.  Little does she know her life is going to be anything but.

Flashing forward to adulthood, we find Sadie and her sister's positions reversed.  With their mother dead, Heather has turned caretaker to the now broken Sadie.  Sadie is trying to find herself again while convincing her sister and the psychiatrist she's OK.  What she doesn't mention is the dreams of a gorgeous man that have been haunting her for the past 6 months.  Imagine her shock to discover the man of her dreams coming to the library where she works!

It's not a coincidence that has Elijah there.  Something is after Sadie and her life is getting ready to change in ways she never dreamed.  He is there to protect her and try to fight the strong physical attraction that has developed between them.  He keeps telling her (and himself) the attraction is not real but it sure feels like it is!

This book was so wonderful!  The story is gripping and entertaining.  The realization there's another world in the shadow of this one is compelling.  I also LOVED the sexual tension between Elijah and Sadie as they tried to fight the strong mutual attraction between them while trying to get to the bottom of the conspiracy to destroy the human world.

I read this book in one day, it was just that good!  It's up for Blog Tour De Force author Cage Match on April 18 and Bestseller For A Day on May 18, but don't wait that long!  Download this now!  You'll be glad you did!