I Liked my life

I Liked my life
I Liked My Life

The Widow of Wall Street

The Widow of Wall Street
The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers

Friday, May 24, 2013

SWEET LAUREL FALLS


My rating:4 of 5 stars
Sweet Laurel Falls is the third book in the Hope Crossing series. This book was published by Harlequin and released in September 2012. Maura is trying to live one day to the next the best she can after her youngest daughter is killed in an accident. The holiday season is here and Maura is trying to focus on her book store and not on the first Christmas without her daughter. She is surrounded by her family and friends who are trying to as supportive a possible. But, when her oldest daughter comes home for the holidays with a visitor, Maura's world does another flip. Jack hated his hometown and his father. He left for college and never looked back. What he didn't know was that when he left his girlfriend had been pregnant with his child. Twenty years later he discovers he is a father and is furious that he lost twenty years with his daughter. He comes back to his hometown with his daughter Sage and to confront the mother of his child. Sage, delighted to have found her father, but going through some intense personal challenges has a shocking announcement that will require the help and support of both her parents. This book is more on the Women's fiction side that contemporary romance but works in both categories. It is a sweet story about second chances and new beginnings and forgiveness. I think all of us have made choices that we thought were right at the time, but later found that we should have done things differently. Maura finally realizes her mistakes and owns up them, while Jack must learn to forgive the wrongs done to him by Maura, the town and his father. The chemistry is still alive between Jack and Maura, though the timing is not the best. Will they be able to let go of past hurts and rebuild a solid relationship?  give this on a B+ Thanks to edelweiss for the ARC.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book was originally published back in 1996, I believe. This is a digital copy provided to me by Open Road Media and Netgalley. The book has been re-issued and updated in e-book format and is available through Open Road Media and anywhere e-books are sold. Heather Graham has been writing novels for many years. She is the author of historical romances and paranormal romances, as well as romantic suspense. This book is a romantic suspense novel with a touch of the paranormal. This month Heather Graham has been giving us 31 reasons why she loves New Orleans. This book lines up nice with her blogs and facebook  posts. Jon and Ann are still best friends even though they are divorced. Both are artist and recently Jon has been doing drawings of a high class group of strippers at an infamous Jazz club. He meets and falls in love with Gina, but then both Jon and Gina are stabbed. Gina dies, and Jon is in a coma, accused of Gina's murder. Ann doesn't believe for a minute that Jon killed Gina. She is determined to find out the truth. This puts her in direct opposition to the two detectives working the case. Mark is sure that Jon is guilty. All the evidence points to him. But, he is immediately impressed with Ann and her determination to see her ex-husband exonerated. For some reason, Mark just can't shake the impression that Ann is in danger. He also can't shake his intense attraction to her. As Ann digs into the jazz club's other workers, the musicians, managers and strippers, she uncovers a link to voodoo rituals, another murder and more questions than answers. I enjoyed the atmosphere in this one and confess to missing Heather Graham's romantic suspense novels. New Orleans is one of my favorite destinations and I love it when a book is set in this location. Our hero is a bit of a jerk at first. He comes on a little too strong and is a bit bossy. As the novel progresses, Mark still attempts to steer Ann away from the investigation for her own safety, but the chemistry between the two is undeniable. I am happy to see several of these older books being released in e book format. It is fun to go back and read an author's older material and see it updated for new fans to enjoy. Over all I give this one a B.

Monday, May 20, 2013

DANGEROUS RACE BY DEE J ADAMS - FREE FROM CARINA PRESS AND AMAZON KINDLE STORE

This romantic suspense novel is free today from Carina Press in epub format or in the Amazon kindle store. Please make sure the price hasn't increased before purchase, as special pricing is subject to end without notice.
Enjoy!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

THE GRAY GHOST MURDERS


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Gray Ghost Murders by Keith McCafferty is a Viking publication released in February 2013. Sean Stanahan, a former detective in a law firm, now living in Montana, working as a guide and various other odd jobs, is helping the Sherriff, Martha Ettinger and her crew as they try to determine what caused the deaths of two men they found buried while on a routine missing persons search. Sean is also  helping a group of fly fisherman that were robbed of some valuable flies. The story deals with controversial issues about life and death and the right to die with dignity. This issue is handled exactly the way an author should handle it. The focus is on the mystery and murders and not on social commentary. How does Sean's investigation into the stolen flies tie in with the murder investigation? A clever plot, quirky Montana characters, and the bittersweet complications that plague the personal relationships of the main characters made this a very thought provoking and tense mystery. I am not familiar with Montana, nor fly fishing, guns, or big game hunting. There are some in depth conversations regarding those topics that went a little over my head, but didn't take away from the heart of the story. Men will find those topics quite interesting, and women reading the book will enjoy the drama regarding the love lives of Sean and Martha and everyone will enjoy the complex mystery that will keep Thanks to Viking and Netgalley for the ARC digital copy of this book. This one gets an A.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

CAPTAIN DURANT'S COUNTESS

3 of 5 stars
Captain Durant's Countess is the second in the "The London List" series. This is a regency period historical romance, published  by Kensington and released in February of 2013. Maris married Henry, an Earl, many years older than herself. Although they attempted a "normal" marriage, the Earl was impotent. Now Henry is in his eighties and his health is very poor. The only male heir is a nephew that Henry holds responsible for his daughter's death. To keep him from inheriting, Henry devises a plan. Maris feels she owes Henry everything and she is completely devoted to him. She is also suffering from guilt and sadness because of the situation with David, the Earl's nephew. So, even though she detest Henry's idea of preventing David from becoming the heir, she goes along with it. Captain Durant, Reyn, was commissioned by Henry to impregnate Maris. He is paid a handsome sum of money, which is needed terribly because his dear sister is quite ill. But, then he has second thoughts. I have read other romance novels that employed a variation of this theme. So, the storyline isn't completely original, but it is at least different from the usual regency period historical romances that focus on society rules, balls, gowns and so on. For me this one was a little bland and predictable. Things just work out too easily. The villainous David came up with the most surprising twist in the book toward the end and I really liked the way all of it turned out. The story ends up being a sweet romance. Captain Durant finally gets a real job and grows up emotionally. Maris gets her happily ever after as do all the other secondary characters. There were some rather modern thoughts and phrases again, which has become my big pet peeve in current historical romances, but for the most part this one stuck to the script in that regard. The story is enjoyable enough, but it didn't have anything that made it really standout especially. I'm giving this one a C+.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

SUMMERSET ABBEY


My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Summerset Abbey is the first of series by T.J. Brown. This is a Gallery Books publication. This book was released in January of 2013. Set in 1913 London, three girls were raised by an eccentric father. Rowena the oldest, Victoria, and their best friend, Prudence. When their father dies the terms of his will upend the girls lives. They lose their father, their home and along the way, each other. The girl's uncle is given control of the their money until they are either married or turn a certain age. They have no choice but to move out of the home they love and live with their aunt and uncle in Summerset Abbey. Rowena takes on the burden of looking out for her frail, sickly sister and arranges for Prudence to live with them for Victoria's sake. The catch is that Prudence must live as a ladies maid and not as a guest. This opens up a chasm between the girls. Victoria is physically weak, but has the nerve to stand up to her relatives against the rules of the society they hold so dear. Rowena, guilt ridden, grief stricken and completely unprepared for this turn of events, flounders a bit. She gives in to her relatives and even begins to forget the sisterly bond she has once shared with Prudence. Prudence learns there is a secret about her mother and her mother's life here at Summerset Abbey. She learns that her life up to this point was a sham. She was the daughter of a maid, not a member of the society that Ro and Vic were born into. When the girls discover the shocking truth behind Prudence's heritage, things may never be the same again. Compared to Downton Abbey, the TV show, this novel highlights the differences between the classes. When the girls find themselves having to adhere to these rules, the true nature of their personalities comes out. We are supposed to feel for Rowena and see the good she has in her. She doesn't agree with the rules her relatives live by, but neither does she do a great deal to change things. Her manta is to repeatedly apologize for the situation they all find themselves in, and not much more. Victoria is the one I really like. While she battles her health, her spirit is strong. She is just as much of a victim as Prudence in some ways because her sister lacks the temerity to do the right thing. Prudence learns the hardest lessons of all. She is the main focus of this novel as her story is at the heart of everything. She struggles with letting go of the life she had become accustomed to and life she forced to live now. Prudence really gets the chance to live the life of "society" and the life of service. I had a hard time getting into the book at first, but the mystery of Prudence's heritage kept me engaged. This series has promise and I wanted to rate this one a bit higher, but I was a bit disappointed with the abrupt, spur of the moment decisions that are made at the end. I had hoped for more for these girls. But, there will be more books in this series and hopefully we will get an update on how things are going for Prudence. Overall, this one gets a B-

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

ANONYMOUS SOURCES


My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I was a little confused when I tried to add this book to my Goodreads list. My book is a digital ARC entitled Anonymous Sources that I received through Edelweiss and Gallery publications. The name of the book must have been changed because it is listed as Unnamed Sources on Goodreads and a few other book club sites. So, if you go looking for this one be aware of the name change. Alex is a reporter. Her usual beat is Education. But, when Thom Carlyle flies out of a fifth story window on the famed Harvard campus, Alex discovers that Thom's father is the lawyer to the President of the United States. This makes the death high profile. It could have been suicide, an accident or murder. Alex makes it her mission to find out what really happened to Thom. Never in her wildest imagination would she have guessed where that investigation would lead. Alex talks her boss into allowing her to travel to England where Thom had spent some time at Cambridge. There she finds out that Thom had indeed had some heavy personal issues. She meets Thom's ex-girlfriend and her new lover and few other of Thom's friends. Then a weird incident sets Alex of on an entirely different course. She finds herself a target and on the run from terrorist. From British Intelligence to the CIA to the white house, Alex is in the fight of a lifetime as she tries to convince everyone that the US is in danger of another major terrorist plot. Alex is a troubled woman with a tragic past. She deals with it by keeping herself busy with her career. After having suffered such a terrible blow, Alex has no fear of anything. She's suffered the worst thing she can imagine, so she feels nothing could ever top that pain. So, she is very brave, and takes risk others might think twice about. But, despite all that, Alex is in way over her head and is running out of time. I noticed that there were no other books listed by this author, so I am going to assume this is the first novel written by Mary Louise Kelly. If indeed this is the author's first effort as a novelist, then hats off to her. The thriller and spy genre needs to be given a great deal of latitude when it comes to plausibility. There were some parts where one had to play along even though the events were not all that likely to actually work that way. But, the author did a good job of building suspense. There was even a lot of food for thought about how clever criminals and terrorist can be.  This was a fast paced novel, which kept me engaged all the way through. There is also a bit of romance to round out the novel. Looks like a nice start for a series. I think the author is off to a good start here and I hope there will be more adventures for Alex. Overall a B.