Sunday, October 30, 2011

Review: New York to Dallas by J. D. Robb

New York to Dallas by J. D. Robb
(a spicy, full length futuristic romantic suspense published by Penguin Group)

The number-one New York Times-bestselling author J. D. Robb presents an intense and terrifying new case for New York homicide cop Eve Dallas, one that will take her all the way to the city that gave her her name-and plunge her into the nightmares of her childhood.

When a monster named Isaac McQueen-taken down by Eve back in her uniform days-escapes from Rikers, he has two things in mind. One is to pick up where he left off, abducting young victims and leaving them scarred in both mind and body. The other is to get revenge on the woman who stopped him all those years ago.

The reading world was thrown into a dither when J. D. Robb announced this book -- and it wasn't titled "... In Death". I admit, I was puzzled, too, but this book's title difference made more sense once I'd read the book.

The fact is, this book is less about the mystery and more about Eve facing her past. Yes, she's done a lot of facing her past in the previous books, but this book was a real turning point. For me, it made the book both better in some ways and worse in some ways than the others in the series.

I enjoyed watching the emotional struggles Eve faced. She's such a strong character so to see her brought low here, to show both weaknesses and needs, was fascinating. However, it really slowed the action, and it took me significantly longer to finish this book than others in the series.

Still, the author's skill is undeniable, and this is a worthy addition to the ongoing love story of Eve and Roarke. I missed the rest of the crew, Peabody, McNabb, Mavis (especially Mavis!) and Feeney. They showed for a moment or two, but this was really the "Eve and Roarke" show. This may have contributed to my slight apathy as well, since the entire set of characters, both primary and secondary, contribute greatly to these stories, and it felt as though something was missing.

Overall, however, I enjoyed this book. While it may not have been my favorite in the series, it was still quite good and I look forward to Eve's return to New York for the next "In Death" book.

FTC Disclaimer: This book is from my personal library.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: A Challenging Read

What’s the hardest/most challenging book you’ve ever read? Was it worth the effort? Did you read it by choice or was it an assignment/obligation?

Anything by John Steinbeck. Of Mice and Men and Cannery Row are standard fare for any English Lit class, and mine was no exception. I was force fed them until I wanted to scream.

I'm a fan of lighter books with happy endings. The deep, symbolic, depressing "Oprah" books aren't something for me. I prefer genre fiction: romance, cozy mysteries, fantasy, science fiction where the good guys typically win. I like to close a book after reading the last page and have a smile on my face and a sigh in my heart.

Steinbeck does neither of those things. Perhaps I'm edified now, but when I think of authors I would never purposely read, he is the first to cross my mind. So, was it worth the effort? I passed the class, so I suppose it was. But it wasn't fun or even interesting.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Waiting On Wednesday: The Next Always

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

The Next Always: Book One of the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy by Nora Roberts

Publication date: November 1, 2011 (so I don't have long to wait!)

The historic hotel in BoonsBoro, Maryland, has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it's getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect of the family, Beckett's social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there's another project he's got his eye on: the girl he's been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen...

What are YOU waiting for?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Review: Plain Jane's Prince Charming by Melissa McClone

Plain Jane’s Prince Charming by Melissa McClone
(A sweet, full length romance published by Harlequin Romance)

For waitress Jane Dawson, happily-ever-afters only happen in fairy tales…So when she approaches sexy millionaire Chase Ryder, she’s thrilled he’ll sponsor her charity. Of course, there’s no chance Chase will be interested in a girl like her!

Chase has always dated women like him, focused and controlled. But Jane’s passion to help others is like a breath of fresh air. Can Chase let down his guard? Because Jane’s a woman in a million and deserves her very own happy ending.

This book probably is one of the best stories I have read in a long time. The synopsis doesn’t give you enough of an idea of how good the writing is. Within a few pages I was hooked. I felt I knew all the characters intimately, not just the main two characters, but most of the other people in the story as well. It made the story so much more interesting and fun that I just couldn’t put it down until I finished.

The story line is sweet, but believable and so tender and kind. The plot line is wonderful and caring, and although I knew how it was going to probably end, I was never quite certain about the other characters, and they are essential to the story line. I was really impressed with the author’s ability to keep my focus while covering so much that was important. None of it was boring, and some times, it was almost heartbreaking, but still kept my attention.

This is the first book I have read by this author, but it won’t be the last. I am already looking for other titles by her. If you love sweet and tender stories, don’t miss this one.

FTC Disclaimer: I purchased this book on my own.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


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