Dec 31, 2014

Twice Kissed

Twice KissedTwice Kissed by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Maggie's identical twin goes missing she rushes to Denver in the company of her lost love to find her. Seems like Marquis has lead a life of deception and as Maggie unravels the deceit from the past she will rekindle her relationship with Thane Walker.

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Dec 27, 2014

Alice at Heart (Waterlilies, #1)

Alice at Heart (Waterlilies, #1)Alice at Heart by Deborah Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A fanciful tale of "mermaids". Alice who has been raised by her Mother's kin has been treated as an oddity and despised by her kin since her birth. When she rescues a young girl from drowning her name makes the national news and her half-sisters who were told she died at birth come to find her. Lilith, Mara and Pearl Bonavendier invite her to come live with them on Sainte's Point Island, the Bonavendier family enclave. There Ali (Alice) discovers her mermaid origins.

Griffin is determined to find out what happened to his Mother (Undiline Bonavendier Randolph) and Father (Porter Randolph) who died at sea. When Ali falls in love with him she risk her life to find the answers he needs to heal. Ali's entrapment in the sunken boat spurs Griffin to embrace his merman abilities and call for his Mother's family (who he blamed for his parents death) to help in order to save the woman he loves.

The rift between the Randolphs and Bonavendier's will heal with the romance of Griffin and Ali

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Dec 21, 2014

Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, #2)

Shadow Spell (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, #2)Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the story of how long time friends Connor O'Dwyer and Meara Quinn realize that their friendship is more and fall in love. While at the same time battling the ancient evil that has bedeviled Sorcha's family for centuries.

The final showdown comes but the O'Dwyer's and their friends do not succeed in the quest to kill Cabhan. Branna wonders what she has missed, but swears on Sorcha's grave that they will not stop until they defeat Cabhan.

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Dec 15, 2014

Second Son (Jack Reacher, #15.5)

Second Son (Jack Reacher, #15.5)Second Son by Lee Child
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Terrific short story about 13 year old Jack Reacher and his family.

Reacher's family is in the process of moving to Okinawa when his elderly French Grandfather becomes ill, the housekeeper is trying to let Josephine Reacher (Jack's Mother) know her Father is dying but is having trouble contacting her, due to the move.

The Reacher Family arrive on Okinawa, Jack (the younger brother who is always called Reacher) and Joe are confronted by the island bully and his cohorts when they attempt to go to the beach. The bully informs them they will have to pay a toll. The arrival of the Fathers (home from their shift) ends the confrontation, but Reacher is already making plans to deal with the bully.

Reacher and Joe are informed they will have to take a "new" placement test. Joe is insulted that they think he has fallen behind in school and goes to the school to talk to the principal about the test. While he is there the test goes missing and Joe is blamed for it. After their phone is installed, Reacher goes to the beach where he meets Helen. The bully and his friends are supposedly at a baseball game, but Reacher notes that he wasn't on the bus when the kids return. Once Josephine arrives home she uses the newly installed phone to call her Father and finds out he is dying, the family takes her to the airport and thus miss burning their trash (apparently there is some weird military rule that everyone has to burn their trash at the same day and time). Josephine tells Reacher to take care of his Father and older brother before she boards the plane.

The next day when he awakens he discovers Stan (Reacher's Father) and Joe are in trouble. Stan because of a missing code book and Joe because of the missing test. Reacher answers the door to a delivery of electric cable which Stan claims isn't what he ordered. But Reacher realizes Stan ordered it for Reacher to use in a fight to wrap his hands.

Reacher and Helen go to the beach again where they kiss. On the way back they are confronted by the bully and Reacher beats him up. He intentionally breaks the bully's arm so that he and his family will have to go to the hospital. He then tells his Father to call the military police to search the bully's home. Where the missing binder with the test is found partially burned under the bully's bed. Reacher tells the MPs to fix things for Joe at the school and he will tell them where the code book can be found. They do and he reveals Helen's Father took the code book home to work on it (against regulations) and fell asleep from exhaustion. It's still at his house.

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Dec 14, 2014

The Returned

The ReturnedThe Returned by Jason Mott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the book the TV show Resurrection is based on and is much better than the TV show which diverges from the book in several important ways.

People are returning all over the place and the world is in an uproar about it. The Returned are easy to identify in the book unlike the TV show where they look just like everyone else. Eight year old Jacob shows up in China and at that point the Returned are still being returned to their families so he is sent back to Harold and Lucille Hargrave who are now in their seventies (much older and frailer than in the TV show).

The Wilson family also returns to Arcadia upsetting the town further. The entire Wilson family was murdered (before Jacob's death) and their murder was never solved. At first they seek sanctuary in the Church but as the Anti-Returned fraction of the town gets more vocal they disappear.

Eventually the President orders the Returned to stay in their homes under quarantine. The school in Arcadia is being turned into a "camp" and the Returned whose families do not want them are being housed their from all over the place. Eventually all the Returned are being sent to "camps" to be processed. Jacob and Harold wind up there when they are caught going out for a swim and Harold refuses to leave his son.

Agent Martin Bellamy befriends Harold and Jacob and sees that they and an elderly black woman suffering from dementia have a room together even as the school becomes overcrowded and space is at a premium. Harold figures out the woman is Martin's Mother.

Pastor Robert Peters (in his 50s) is notified that his teenage love 16 year old Elizabeth has Returned and is being held in Meridian, Mississippi. Eventually he leaves a note for his mousy wife whom he never loved as he loved Elizabeth and goes to Mississippi to seek Elizabeth out. They are reunited and he promises to get her out of the holding facility but like he did all those years ago he leaves her. Pastor Peters returns to his wife and eventually they decide to adopt children.

Fred angry that his wife, Mary, who died from breast cancer didn't return leads an Anti Returned group who frequently protest outside the "camp".

Lucille who is no longer allowed to visit her husband and son every day is feeling the effects of her isolation. She is overjoyed when she catches the Wilson girl stealing food in her kitchen and instructs her to bring her family to the house where she hides them from the authorities. Fred finds out and while Lucille is at the store the authorities bust in and take them.

Lucille comes to believe the Returned are being treated unfairly gets her husbands gun and goes to the "camp" to liberate her family. Jim Wilson is killed. Lucille, Harold, Jacob and the remaining Wilson's flee back to the Hargrave's home where Fred burns them out. Lucille is shot and killed, the Wilson's escape but the truck is found abandoned with no trace of the Wilson's around.

Harold rebuilds his house and like the other Returned, Jacob disappears.

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Dec 12, 2014

Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, #1)

Dark Witch (The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy, #1)Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lovely romance. Iona sets out for Ireland to meet her Irish cousins and explore her roots.

Descended from Teagon (the youngest of Sorcha's daughters) Iona is one of the three who will end an ancient curse once and for all. With her horse Alastar her friends (Meara, Fin, and Boyle) and family (Conner and Branna) by her side she'll survive Cabhan's attack and live to fight another day.

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Dec 10, 2014

Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy, #3)

Edge of Eternity (The Century Trilogy, #3)Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the last book in the trilogy and it seemed a bit rushed. It also covers a lot of history 1961-2008, which I think would have been better presented if he had written additional books instead of trying to cover so much material in one book.

Cameron Dewar (Woody's son with Bella) is a Republican prick who can't forgive Evie Williams for preferring Jasper Murray when they were teens. Working in the Nixon White House he will use his position to ruin her acting career in the U.S. Cameron manages to escape from Watergate unscathed and goes to work for the CIA where he takes part in the Iran Contra Affair.

George Jakes the biracial son of Senator Greg Peshakov and Jacky Jakes he will face discrimination and work for Civil Rights. After graduating from law school he takes part in the Freedom Rides which cost him his cushy job in a prestigious law firm Greg had engineered for him, but earns him a place working for Attorney General Bobby Kennedy. He is devastated when JFK is assassinated. He urges Bobby Kennedy to run for the Senate and works on his Presidential Campaign. Bobby's assassination temporarily ends his career in politics and he goes to work for the prestigious law firm that rejected him after he took part in the Freedom Rides. When a former girlfriend (Maria Summers) who works in the State Department comes to him with information about President Nixon's wrong doing he funnels the insider information to Jasper Murray who is now a T.V. reporter. Eventually George Jakes runs for Congress and wins, when the same girlfriend brings him information about Regan he again takes the information to Jasper Murray (who is sleeping with George's ex-wife Verena Marquand). But Regan survives the scandal and Jasper Murry is fired. The only job he can find is in Eastern Europe where Communism is collapsing fast. For Congressman George Jakes and his family the election of President Barack Obama is the culmination of a lifetime of Civil Rights Work.

Dave Williams(Lloyd & Daisy's son) teams up with his German cousin Walli Franck and they become famous pop stars. Walli risked his life to escape from East Germany, to late he learns the reason his girlfriend Karolin didn't show up to escape with him was because she was pregnant with his daughter Alice. Unable to return to East Germany as he killed a Guard crashing through the barricade at the Wall he will be separated from his family for decades until the Wall comes down.

Tanya Dvorkin (Grigori Peshkov's granddaughter) is a Russian journalist who will risk her life to smuggle Vasili Yenkov's manuscripts out of Russia so they can be published under a pseudonym. They dream of escaping from Russia together and marrying.

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Nov 23, 2014

Extraction (Pendergast, #12.5)

Extraction (Pendergast, #12.5)Extraction by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This extremely short story is about Diogenes and Aloisius' childhood in New Orleans. As the older brother Aloisius is appalled that Diogenes believes in the New Orleans version of the tooth fairy. In an attempt to teach his brother a lesson he hides in the yard of the "Tooth Fairy's" run down mansion and retrieves the tooth Diogenes leaves behind. At first he plans to place the tooth under Diogenes pillow, but then becomes disgusted with the entire affair and throws the tooth down a storm drain.

Diogenes becomes distraught when Aloisius tells him what he has done and shortly after that disappears. Their Uncle Everett who was babysitting the children while their parents are out of town goes to look for Diogenes. He comes back with a badly scared Diogenes who locks himself in his room, Everett writes a letter to Linnaeus (the children's Father) and disappears after leaving the housekeeper in charge of the children. When Linnaeus returns he and Aloisius go to the Tooth Fairy's mansion and break in, they discover the walls are covered with teeth but the Dufour Mansion is eerily empty, and Everett is never seen again.

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Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)

Deadline (Virgil Flowers, #8)Deadline by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My favorite in the Flowers series. Virgil gets a dog!!!!!

Johnson Johnson calls Virgil to ask for help, his friend's dogs have been dognapped and a lot of other people in Trippton are missing dogs too. They have an idea who is stealing the dogs (the man is on posters inside the Humane Society warning about his adopting dogs for medical laboratories) and they can hear the dogs close to where the man lives but nobody can find them. The man lives in an isolated area where outsiders aren't welcomed. Virgil and Johnson Johnson do some exploring, meet a young boy named Muddy who spends his days exploring the woods, and Virgil and Johnson Johnson stumble on a meth lab. Virgil calls the DEA and is instructed to discontinue looking for the dogs until the Meth Lab can be busted.

(OK this really made me mad. If this was human kids instead of fur kids that were kidnapped would the authorities say they had to wait for the Meth Lab to be busted? I think not, really sickening how little authorities will do if your pet dog or cat is kidnapped Virgil isn't even "officially" investigating the dognapping)

While they are waiting for the Meth Lab to be busted Virgil starts investigating the murder of a reporter (Clancy) who worked for the local paper. He finds out that Clancy uncovered a scheme by the local school board to steal millions from the school system. When Clancy took the story to the owner of the paper, the owner went to the school board and sold Clancy out for a cut of the money, and the school board voted to kill Clancy. When Virgil starts getting close other people are killed to cover up the embezzlement scheme and murder. As usual Virgil uses "civilians" in his investigation, one of which is the janitor Will Bacon. Will plants a camera in the auditorium where the school board meets, before he can give the camera to Virgil he is killed and the camera is taken. Virgil sets up a scheme to capture the killer by making him think Will hid the camera chip for him to find, but to his surprise discovers that Will really did hide the chip for him to find and he has all the evidence he needs to bust the school board.

The Meth Lab is eventually busted and with Muddy's help Virgil and Johnson Johnson find some of the dogs hidden in a cave. The dogs are reunited with their owners but many dogs are still missing, including the dogs of Johnson Johnson's friend. The dog people find out where a "dog sale" is going to be held and Virgil arranges to be there to arrest D. Wayne Sharf. Things get a little out of hand when Johnson Johnson arranges for a TV crew, The Minnesota Women's Anti-Vivisection League, numerous dog lovers and the Buchanan County Humane Society to show up. The dog stealer's are attacked, the dogs are freed and the Humane Society legally takes charge of the distressed and stolen dogs and reunites them with their owners. One of the dogs attaches himself to Virgil and appears not to have an owner so after protesting that "he really can't have a dog" Virgil winds up with the dog.

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Nov 17, 2014

Robogenesis (Robopocalypse, #2)

Robogenesis (Robopocalypse, #2)Robogenesis by Daniel H. Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The New War ended with Archos R-14's death, but everything isn't as it seems. Archos never saw himself as our enemy but as our savior and he still lives, and he is still trying to help mankind survive.

Lark Iron Cloud died in Robopocalypse when he was attacked by a parasite. But after Archos' death he was able to wrest control of the parasite. He attempts to rejoin Grey Horse Army but as a parasite he is unwelcome. In fact Grey Horse Army lead by Hank Cotton (who is controlled by Arayt Shah) decides to purge everyone from their ranks who isn't a Native Osage, and make war on the modified, the surviving parasites, and the Freeborn. Lark Iron Cloud finds a home with the Freeborn.

Mathilda Perez (the modified girl who helped destroy Archos) with her "normal" brother, Nolan attempts to escape from New York City where the modified are being hunted by The Tribe lead by Felix (who is also controlled by Arayt Shah). They are betrayed by Thomas Scissorhands (who cut off his hand to hide the fact he is a modified). Nolan is captured by the Tribe and he believes that Mathilda is trapped in a burning building. Mathilda escapes and tries to find her brother who has been forced into Felix's army as a slave soldier, who must kill or die. Mathilda joins up with Nine Oh Two and rescues modified Gracie and her Mother. Gracie is able to tell Mathilda where Nolan is at and with Nine Oh Two's help Mathilda rescues Nolan and Sherman.

Cormac Wallace and Cherrah are attempting to make it back to Grey Horse when they are ambushed thanks to the timely arrival of Houdini (controlled by Archos) they survive. Cormac and Cherrah discover things have changed at Grey Horse once they arrive and even though Cherrah is pregnant and close to her due date they flee to join the refuges who are headed to the Freeborn City. Unfortunately the Freeborn plan to flee instead of staying and making a stand with the humans against the Tribe and Grey Horse Army who are attacking them. Nomura and Mikiko make a sacrifice in order to save the Freeborn and the Humans.

I am assuming there will be another book as this one ends with Archos and Arayt Shah fighting in the bowls of a destroyed Freeborn City.

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Nov 11, 2014

Personal (Jack Reacher #19)

Personal (Jack Reacher, #19)Personal by Lee Child
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love em and leave em Reacher has no love interest in this book, which I found rather disappointing.

When a sniper takes a shot at the President of France in Paris the intelligence community comes to the conclusion that only 4 snipers were capable of the shot. The Israelis quickly ascertain their man had an alibi so the Russians, British and Americans each send an investigator. The Americans (meaning General Tom O'Day) choose Reacher for the job. Reacher is sent to Paris, where things go South when the Russian investigator who is standing next to him on the balcony is killed by the sniper. Reacher realizes the bullet was meant for him and only a timely gust of wind saved his life. The hunt is on for Kott and his partner, because Reacher also realizes that there is no way one man acting alone could have taken out the President of France.

Teamed up with Zoloft popping rookie Casey Nice he goes to London where Bennett (the British investigator) offers his aid. As the puzzle pieces fall in place Reacher realizes the President of France was never the target and the only one the sniper is gunning for is him. Determined to take out Kott and anyone who gets in his way Reacher does the unexpected and lives to confront the man who mastermind the elaborate scheme to raise his own falling star, and as Reacher tells him "He Never forgives and Never forgets"

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Nov 6, 2014

Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)

Winter of the World (The Century Trilogy #2)Winter of the World by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fascism is on the rise ................

Lloyd Williams goes to Spain (Spanish Civil War) to fight Fascism. He and his cousin Dave Williams (Billy's son) endure great hardship under the leadership of a Russian Commander. When they are ordered to attack a Fascist stronghold without sufficient ammunition the Commander executes Dave for disobeying orders, because Lloyd is wounded his life is spared and he slowly makes his way back to England with a heavy heart.

Daisy (Lev Peshkov's daughter) craves acceptance into Buffalo high society. She is crushed when Charlie Farquharson jilts her at a society ball due to her Father's actions. She flees to England where she meets and marries Boy Fitzherbert (Fitz's son with Princess Bea), Viscount of Aberowen. But the marriage is an unhappy one and Daisy falls in love with Lloyd Williams (Fitz's son with Ethel Leckwith). Lloyd is sent to France (WWII) to help hold off the German invasion. He is presumed dead when his name doesn't show up on any Prisoner of War list, but he actually managed to escape from his captors and walk across the Pyrenees Mountains to Spain and the British Consulate there. Daisy winds up driving ambulances in London during the blitz and is on hand to greet Lloyd when he gets home. They become lovers but Boy refuses to grant her a divorce even after they reveal that Lloyd is his half-brother. Lloyd goes to work with British intelligence and returns to France to aid the French Resistance. When Boy's aircraft goes down Lloyd pulls Boy from the wreckage and Boy dies in his arms. At the end of the war Lloyd returns to England and marries Daisy and goes to work in the Government.

Woody Dewar (Gus & Rosa's eldest son) and his fiance Joanne Rouzrokh are in Hawaii visiting his brother Chuck when Pearl Harbor is attacked. Joanne dies in the attack.

Greg Peshkov (Lev's son) works on the Manhattan Project, as part of Army Intelligence. Greg also fathered a son (Georgy) with the black girl (Jacky Jakes) Lev hired to lie about Dave Rouzrokh (Joanne's Father).

Walter von Ulrich and Maude are appalled when the Nazis take control of Germany. When their maid's retarded son Kurt is murdered by the Nazis' Walter tries to uncover the truth and is brutally beaten by the Nazis and dies as a result, his daughter Carla is determined to uncover the truth and works with her best friend Frieda Franck whose retarded brother Axel was also murdered to uncover the truth. They eventually get proof and take it to a Catholic Priest who uses his pulpit to denounce the murder of the retarded, sick and elderly the Nazis are engaged in. Carla is disappointed that Werner Franck (Frieda's brother and her boyfriend) will not help them and they break up. What she doesn't know is that Werner is spying for the Russians (Volodya Peshkov) and can't risk drawing attention to himself. She eventually learns his secret and takes over his spy network when he is sent to the front.

When the Russians liberate Germany Carla is raped by Russian soldiers and becomes pregnant as a result. The Russians treat the Germans harshly unlike the American, French and British soldiers but unfortunately the von Ulrich's live in the area of Germany under Russian control.

Dr Isaac Rothmann (Jewish) was taken away with his mentally ill patients and is presumed dead. His wife Hannelore survives thanks to Carla and they sent their daughter Eva to the States where Daisy befriends her. She accompanies Daisy to England and marries Jimmy Murray.

Volodya Peshkov discovers that Lev is his Father and that Grigori is actually his Uncle when Greg comes to Russia with the American delegation. Volodya is married to a Russian Scientist (Zoya) who is taken into custody by the Secret Police to insure that when they send Volodya to America to steal the atomic bomb he will return to Russia. He meets with his old school friend Wilhelm Frunze who was part of the Manhattan Project and convinces him to give him the plans for "Fat Boy". Wilhelm Frunze is executed when his treason is discovered.

Follett does an excellent job of explaining the conditions that lead up to World War II and the importance of various events before and after the war. Looking forward to reading the third book in the trilogy and finding out what he has in store for the next generation.

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Oct 26, 2014

Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1)

Fall of Giants (The Century Trilogy, #1)Fall of Giants by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book brings the era before, during and immediately after WWI alive.

Gus Dewar, the son of an American Senator works for President Woodrow Wilson. He watches in dismay as Europe moves toward war and is horrified when Germany's scheming brings America into the war. Germany believing that all out submarine warfare would end the war in their favor by preventing Britain and France from receiving goods from America attempts to make a deal with Mexico. When the British intercept the Germans' message to the Mexicans they leak it to the American Press ensuring America will enter the War. After a brief engagement to Olga Vyalov that ends when Olga becomes pregnant with Lev's child before America enters the War Gus marries Rosa Hellman a journalist, at the end of the War.

Earl Fitzherbert (Fitz) owns a mine in Wales where the Welsh miners work and live in horrible conditions. Billy Williams is forced to go down in the mine at age 13, the same mine his older brother died in. He becomes something of a hero after a mine explosion when he risked his life to get other miners out. His sister Ethel works as Earl Fitzherbert's housekeeper until Earl Fitzherbert gets her pregnant. Fitz discards Ethel and she is forced to leave her home in Aberowen and start over in London. She goes to work as a newspaper editor and forms a friendship with Lady Maud (Fitz's sister). She begins working for the Labor Party and eventually marries one of the Labor Leaders Bernie Leckwith. At the end of the book Ethel Leckwith is the M.P. from Aldgate and her brother Billy is the M.P. from Aberowen.

Before the War Maud falls in love with (German) Walter von Ulrich a friend of Fitz's. They secretly marry before the War and manage to keep the marriage a secret until the end of the War. Fitz disowns Maud for marrying without his permission and she goes to live in subjugated Germany with Walter, where food is scarce and inflation is high. His cousin Graf (Count) Robert von Ulrich joins the National Socialists (Adolf Hitler is the leader).

Grigori Peshkov and his brother (Lev) work in a St Petersburg factory. Their Father and other peasants were hanged by Princess Bea (Fitz's wife) for allowing their cattle to graze on her land and their Mother was killed by tsarist troops during the Bloody Sunday Massacre. Grigori dreams of going to America and is saving his money for a ticket when Lev gets in trouble with the authorities, Grigori gives Lev his ticket. Grigori stays in Russia and marries Lev's pregnant girlfriend Katerina. Conscripted into the army he becomes a leader in the Red Army that overthrows Tsar Nicholas. The Red Army makes peace with Germany. After Germany ask for an armistice with the Allies Fitz tries to use the British Army to overthrow the Bolshevik Government in Russia by backing the White Army. Fitz wants to regain his sons Russian inheritance (As Princess Bea's brother died without children her children are his heirs). Billy had the misfortune to be part of the army Fitz took to Russia and using a secret childhood code alerted Ethel to what was going on. Ethel wrote about it in the papers and British sentiment forced Fitz to return home with his army. Lev wound up being seconded to them as an interpreter. He was captured by the Red Army and briefly meet with Grigori. He offered Grigori the money to come to America with Katrina and their children but Grigori turned him down as he believed in the New Russia. Grigori had a rude awakening when he got back to Moscow and discovered the secret police were executing anyone who disagrees with Lenin. His friend Konstantin was scheduled to be executed, the book ends with Grigori's intervention in the execution but we don't know if Grigori is able to save Konstantin or if it causes problems for him later.

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Oct 15, 2014

Son of No One (Hellchasers, #6; Dark-Hunter, #14)

Son of No One (Hellchasers, #6; Dark-Hunter, #14)Son of No One by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OK, I am not exactly sure why this was labeled a Dark Hunter Book, Cadegan was never a Dark Hunter. That aside I LOVED this book. I also wonder if she is tying her Lords of Avalon series in with the Dark Hunter/Hellchasers, and if you are familiar with the Lords of Avalon series you will enjoy this book far more as you need the background to fully appreciate this book.

Jo (cousin to Tabitha, Selena and Karma) doesn't believe in all the paranormal nonsense her family peddles, but after a nasty divorce that leaves her penniless she agrees to be the cameraman for a paranormal show Karma and Selena are making when she falls into a mirror and is trapped in Glastonbury Tor - Terre Derriere le Voile (the shadowlands between Avalon and Camelot). Cadegan saves her from the graylings that are attacking her and takes her to his home. The quickly fall in bed together and fall in love (we find out later that they are reincarnated lovers (Britomartis and Arthegall ap Tyr, Brit is also Artemis cousin). The next day Cadegan takes her to the portal so she can return home but she is inexplicably unable to go through it. Desperate to get her to safety he makes a deal with the Shadow King Brenin Gwyn ap Nudd to get a Dragon Key to the world of man so he can open the portal for Jo. Gwyn sets a steep price Cadegan must allow himself to be handed over to Cadegan's Father, Paimon. We find out later that Paimon is actually Cadegan's Grandfather, for some reason Thorn doesn't want Cadegan to know that he is his Father and not his older brother. Cadegan agrees and Gwyn sends him to fetch some things supposedly needed to make the Dragon Key.

The first thing needed is a Dragon Claw and Gwyn expects him to be killed getting it. But Jo talks to the Dragon, Illarion, and he befriends the couple. That night when Jo and Cadegan are together Gwyn uses a spell to exchange bodies with Cadegan and Jo. Just about the time their bodies are switched Thorn brings Jo (Cadegan) back through the mirror. The two "brothers" are not pleased to see each other and Cadegan quickly explains the danger Jo is in while inhibiting his body. Thorn and Cadegan go through the mirror to rescue Jo. Gwyn handed her over to Morgen who intends to torture the girl until she tells where the Shield of Dagda is. Cadegan's mother is Brigid (the daughter of Dagda) and she intrusted the shield to him. Morgen wants to use the Shield of Dagda to destroy the world of men. But Illarion rescued Jo before she could be turned over to Morgen. Once Cadegan and Jo are reunited the group plans to return to New Orleans but before they can Morgen attacks and they are captured by Queen Cordelia who wants Cadegan for her own. During the battle Cordelia arranges Cadegan turns into the demon addanc (a fierce water monster). Thorn assumes his demon form to battle him but before he can Queen Cordelia sends every one but Cadegan back to New Orleans. To Illarion's suprise he sees his brother Max, amongst Jo's friends.

After consulting with Acheron and Styxx who are now good friends everyone decides that they owe it to Cadegan to try to save him. Styxx leads a rescue party (Acheron can't go because he is a God from another Parthenon and would lose his powers forever) to Glastonbury Tor. Jo talks to Cadegan and he resumes his human form. They return to New Orleans, and everyone helps Cadegan adjust to his new life.

The book ends with Cadegan and Jo having a son (Drystan) on the same day Acheron and Styxx were born. Thorn finds it odd that his Grandson was born on the Atlantean Day of Fire in the Year of the Blood Moon and Styxx admits they are aware of the prophecy.

Puzzle Karma has a son in this book nicknamed ET but we aren't told who the Father is.

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Oct 11, 2014

Close to Home by Lisa Jackson

Close to HomeClose to Home by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Sarah Stewart McAdams returns to Stewart Crossing (named for her family) to fix up Blue Peacock Manor and escape from an employer (Evan Tolliver) turned stalker. Her two daughters are less then thrilled to be taken from the big city and stuck in this rural backwater where they can't even get Internet or decent cell reception.

Gracie becomes obsessed with the ghost of Angelique and after she finds Helen's diary (Angelique's step-daughter) spends all her time trying to translate it. She finally tells her Mom about the diary and Sarah helps her translate it. They discover that the family legend of Maxim killing his wife wasn't true, it was her step-son George who killed her and most likely killed Maxim too. Sarah also realizes that the ghost she sees isn't the same one Gracie sees.

Sarah sees the ghost of her "older sister", Theresa. Theresa leads Sarah to her tomb which also houses the body of Maxim. While they are at the family cemetery , Gracie finds the body of Evan Tolliver. Then Roger Anderson (Theresa's brother) grabs her to keep her safe. When the police and Clint arrive and let Sarah out of the vault she remembers that Roger saved her from being molested by her Father years ago. Roger reveals that Theresa is really Sarah's Mother and that Arlene killed her husband to prevent him from molesting Sarah the same way he did his step-daughter Theresa.

Jade has mixed emotions about discovering the identity of her biological Father, a secret Sarah kept for 17 years from both Father and daughter. Happy to have her car out of the shop she is dismayed when she is rear ended. Her dismay quickly turns to fear when she realizes the creep that has been kidnapping teenage girls rear ended her on purpose. Jade makes plans with the other kidnapping victims to escape from the barn where they are being held before the creep can sale them as brides to the "mountain men". Noticing traffic headed toward the abandoned Stewart Barn Sarah and Clint alert the police and go to rescue their daughter.

The book dragged on at places and it seemed that none of the the various threads got the attention it deserved.

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Oct 1, 2014

Private Down Under aka Private Oz (Other Private Offices)

Private Down UnderPrivate Down Under by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fast paced thriller still annoyed that it took so long to come out in the States and that it came out under a different name.

Craig Gisto heads up the Private Offices in Australia. While he is close friends with the Deputy Commissioner of NSW Police and his wife (who just happens to be Justine's sister) he is a bit at odds with his cousin Mark who is on the force. Their rivalry leads to Private not being notified in a timely manner on some evidence but in the end they come through for each other.

First case literally arrives dead on their doorstep, when a young kidnap victim is killed outside their opening party. His Father is being blackmailed to smuggle drugs into the country. When his older son is also kidnapped by the Triads Private works with the police to get him back alive.

Second case a rock star thinks his manager is out to kill him and hires Private to find out. Turns out that it's the rock stars girlfriend that wants him dead and the manager winds up saving the rock stars life. In return the rock star pays off the managers gambling debts.

The third case involves a psycho on the lose torturing and murdering wealthy women and stuffing their "private parts" full of fake money. A stray hair on one of the bodies leads to the discover that the killer is a woman and when a man's body is found the trail leads back to his ex-girlfriend.

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Sep 30, 2014

Festive in Death (In Death, #39)

Festive in Death (In Death, #39)Festive in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When Trina stumbles on the body of Personal Trainer Trey Ziegler she immediately calls Dallas. And Dallas finds a list of suspects a mile long, from competitors & co-workers who competed against him for cash and awards, discarded ex-lovers, the women he drugged and took advantage of and their husbands and lovers, as well as those he blackmailed.

But slowly she narrows the list down and zeroes in on JJ Copley when his sister-in-law's social secretary, Catiana is killed in his home and his wife, Natasha Quigley is severely injured.

But when she discovers that JJ Copley wasn't paying Trey Ziegler to keep his mistress a secret but to seduce his wife into an affair so he can get his wife's money when he divorces her, her attention turns to another suspect.

With Roarke's help she wraps things up in time to celebrate Christmas with him.

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Sep 27, 2014

The King's Curse (The Cousins' War, #6)

The King's Curse (The Cousins' War, #6)The King's Curse by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

It was a bit slow going and very depressing. Margaret Pole daughter of George, Duke of Clarence (King Edward IV and King Richard III's brother) tells the tale. The book opens with the execution of her brother whose only crime is being the Plantagenet male heir. Margaret herself was married off to one of the King's poor relations Sir Richard Pole, who is the Prince of Wales' (Arthur) guardian. When Arthur marries Katherine of Aragon, Margaret becomes close to the young wife. When Arthur dies of The Sweat, Katherine begs Margaret to support her claim, that she is still a virgin untouched by her young husband, so she will be free to marry his brother Henry. Margaret agrees to know nothing of what went on in their bed.

When Margaret's husband dies she is left destitute. The King's Mother (Margaret Beaufort) tries to use this to force Margaret to betray Katherine. When she refuses to betray Katherine she is forced by poverty to send her children away and go into a nunnery. Upon the death of Margaret Beaufort and Henry the VII, Henry the VIII marries Katherine of Aragon and Margaret Pole becomes one of her ladies in waiting, and her children are brought to court except for Reginald Pole (Margaret was forced to give him to the church when she was destitute). Reginald is sent abroad to study theology. Margaret is also made Countess of Salisbury and her family lands are restored to her making her one of the richest peers in England. Her oldest son (Henry) becomes Baron Montague. When Henry and Katherine have a son she is appointed as his Governess, but sadly the child dies soon after it's birth. She is appointed Governess to each child that is born to the couple and watches with dismay as the child dies after a few hours. Finally a baby is born that lives, but alas it is a girl. Margaret is devoted to her charge Princess Mary. King Henry VIII starts looking for reasons why his children are dieing after becoming enchanted by Anne Boleyn and decides it is because Katherine was his brother's wife. Margaret recalls the curse that Elizabeth Woodville and Elizabeth of York placed on the murderer of the Princes in the Tower and believes it has fallen on Henry VII and his line. But she wisely doesn't remember a curse whenever she is asked about it.

Margaret Pole and her family fall out of favor with Henry VIII's "marriage" to Anne Boleyn especially when Reginald finds it invalid. They are outraged when Princess Mary is declared a bastard and their support of Lady Mary puts them in danger.

Henry the VIII descends further into paranoia and madness with the execution of Anne Boleyn. Even the birth of Edward Prince of Wales doesn't reassure him, he begins to see enemies everywhere and eventually trumps up a reason to execute Margaret Pole her son Baron Montague, imprison Montague's son (who disappears in the Tower) and execute the rest of his Plantagenet cousins and imprison their heirs. The surviving Plantagenet heirs are only released from the Tower when Princess Mary becomes Queen of England.

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Sep 19, 2014

Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5)

Illusion (Chronicles of Nick, #5)Illusion by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

OK, these books are kinda hard to follow because Ambrose keeps messing with the time line and now we are in an alternate reality.

Nick wakens to a new reality where he is not only without his powers he is a blond wimp named Nick Burdette, his Mother is married to Michael Burdette (known as Bubba in Nick Gautier's reality) and his former allies are now his enemies or perfectly normal thus not much help.

When Karma (sister of former friends Amanda and Tabitha) takes him to her house and he is attacked by Thorn he calls for Kody and somehow she is able to join him in the "alternate reality" she beats up Thorn but not realizing Karma and her sisters are enemies in this reality she sends Nick to the Cathedral with Amanda and Tabitha after she becomes trapped in Karma's house since she is a ghost. Ambrose killed her and her entire family in the future. Realizing to late that Amanda and Tabitha are enemies Nick gets away from them and runs to the Cathedral. They can't enter but they claim he is a thief and send a policeman in to bring him out. Before the policeman can Kody arrives with "alternate Savitar" (who has lost most of his powers since he had a bad day and killed a few to many Gods) and Michael Burdette, they take Nick to a nunnery but he is snatched by flying Monkeys sent by Acheron (in this reality Acheron was married to Artemis and the Ash and Simi that go to Nick's school are his grandchildren) who is concerned about his Grandchildren safety. He is moments away from killing Nick when his home is attacked and Simi is mortally wounded. Nick somehow manages to save her life, earning Acheron's gratitude and help. He sends his grandchildren to safety with Xirena (older sister of Simi) and takes Nick to Michael, Savitar and Kody. Unfortunately the forces that are coming for Nick are stronger and they are losing badly when Nick gets pulled into another reality.

Adrian is furious that Nick isn't doing a better job defending himself and protecting his Mother he gives him some good advice and tells him Caleb's true name so he can call him. Nick then regains consciousness in Kody's arms, he calls for Caleb and together Caleb and Kody restore Nick's powers. Nick defeats Thorn and with Kody's help is able to return to his reality in "spirit" form. He is joined shortly by Caleb and Simi but they have to break the bad news to him that because Kody is a ghost she can NEVER come back to their reality. When they are attacked he isn't much use in his spirit form when he hears alternate Nick screaming he rushes upstairs and finds him cowering in fear from a spider, when he goes to pick up the spider it turns into a beautiful woman who carts him off to another realm. It turns out to be one of his General's Livia and she is shortly joined by Xevikan. They return to Caleb's where they join the battle. Ameretat stabs alternate Nick and he starts to die (his soul goes back to his own reality where he is fine) Caleb quickly heals Nick's body after Nick's soul reenters it.

Nick refuses to imprison Livia and Xevikan after they helped him much to Caleb's disgust (Caleb hates Xevikan). Xevikan and Livia pledge their loyalty to Nick and Nick takes Xev (Xevikan) home with him, since Caleb will not allow him to say with him although Caleb lets Livia and Zavid stay with him.

Xev is overwhelmed by Cherise's kindness. Determined to repay Nick Xev goes to get Kody (something only a God could do). After she is reunited with Nick she realizes that Xev is the most dangerous ancient God of all time.

We also finally learn that Kody is the daughter of Styxx and Bethany.

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Sep 18, 2014

Deception Point by Dan Brown

Deception PointDeception Point by Dan Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Really what sort of POS justifies killing sled dogs as a matter of National Security?

The book begins with the U.S. Delta Force intercepting Canadian Geologist Charles Brophy and his sled dogs, they force him to transmit a message then force him and his dogs onto their helicopter only to throw them to their deaths.

We are then introduced to Rachael Sexton whose Father (Senator Sexton) is running for President while as a NRO analyst she works for the current President. They bicker over her job but her summons to the White House is a total surprise and she is flabbergasted when the President chooses to send her to the Milne Ice Shelf to verify an important NSA discovery. Rachael is one of the civilians sent to verify NSA's find the others are Norah Mangor, Mike Tolland, Corky and Ming. Everyone is amazed by the meteorite that contains fossils, but then things start going wrong. Ming notices that the water the meteorite came out of has saltwater life forms in it, throwing into doubt that the meteor was encased in solid freshwater ice, Delta force push him to his death. Norah, Mike Corky and Rachael make the same discovery and Norah insist on going out to verify her ice core data. Delta force attacks them and Norah is killed. Corky, Mike and Rachael escape onto the ice where they are picked up by a submarine. Rachael attempts to contact the President, but Marjorie Tench intercepts her call and Delta Force is sent after them yet again to prevent Rachael from telling the world that the "meteor" was inserted in the ice by someone.

Mike takes them to his ship where they find further evidence that the meteor isn't a meteor, but is a sea rock, they are again attacked by Delta Force but manage to fight off their attackers and get word to the President about the sham.

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Sep 13, 2014

The Third Twin

The Third TwinThe Third Twin by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jeannie Ferrami is researching the genetic components of criminality, by comparing identical twins who were raised apart. She has created a search engine that can comb databases and find twins. But then her world starts falling apart after her boss meets Steve (law student) who is one of the "twins" in her study. Steve had no idea he was a twin or that he was adopted. A call to his Mother confirms Steve is her biological son and that he was an only child so how can Dennis (convicted murderer) have the exact same DNA? Before she can find out Jeannie is fired from her job and Steve is accused of raping Jeannie's assistant Lisa.

Determined to solve the mystery Jeannie and Steve work together, and when Jeannie is attacked by someone who looks just like Steve they realize there is a third twin. Determined to discover the identity of "the rapist" Jeannie gets her Father to break into her office at the University she was fired from so she can see if the search of the FBI data base turned up another match. They discover Wayne Stattner a millionaire club owner who looks identical to Steve except for his dyed black hair. Obviously he isn't "the rapist" so there must be more then three men who share the same DNA. Soon she realizes that "cloned embryos" were placed inside eight women without their knowledge. She sets out to track down the remaining clones and discovers Harvey "the rapist" and her former boss' son.

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Sep 11, 2014

A Dangerous Fortune

A Dangerous FortuneA Dangerous Fortune by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hugh Pilaster's life changes in 1866. He is at the swimming hole with his friends Tonio Silva and Peter Middleton when his cousin Edward Pilaster and his friend Micky Miranda show up. They start bullying the younger boys Hugh runs away, but Edward catches Peter and starts ducking his head under water, Tonio throws a rock at Edward which hits him in the forehead and enraged he starts chasing Tonio and Peter drowns. A very upset Tonio catches up to Hugh and repeats over and over I didn't see it. But all thoughts of what happened at the swimming hole are driven out of Hugh's head when he learns his Father Tobias committed suicide after becoming bankrupt. Micky uses the events at the swimming hole to ingratiate himself with the wealthy Pilaster Family, especially with Edward's Mother Augusta who manipulates the family.

Years have gone by and an ailing Seth Pilaster plans to step down as Senior Partner of Pilaster's Bank. Everyone assumes that his son Samuel will become Senior Partner but Augusta starts a smear campaign saying Samuel isn't fit to be senior partner because he is a homosexual, her husband Joseph gets the position after Seth "conveniently" dies. Joseph then loans the Miranda family money that they use to take over a nitrate mine from a competing family, in South America. When Lady Florence shows interest in Hugh Augusta tells her family that Hugh has a gambling problem (which he doesn't) because she doesn't want Hugh to make a better match then Edward. Outraged that Hugh is being promoted faster then Edward at the bank she schemes to get him in trouble and when Edward catches him with street urchin Maisie, Augusta uses the scandal to have Hugh sent to America. Maisie discovers she is pregnant after Hugh has left for America with no way to contact him she marries the wealthy Solly Greenbourne (from a competing banking family) and becomes the darling of Society.

Hugh returns to England with enough clout to be made a partner, but when he is trapped into marriage with Nora and Augusta tricks her into slapping a wealthy client the partnership offer is rescinded, and Joseph states he will never be made a partner due to his unfortunate wife. Meanwhile Edward is made partner as a reward for marrying Emily and the Miranda family receive another loan. Hugh decides to leave Pilaster's and ask Solly for a job. Solly not only gets him a job at the Greenbourne bank, he ask Maisie to teach Nora how to behave like a lady. Maisie then arranges for Nora to charm the Prince of Wales and Joseph makes Hugh a partner to Augusta's dismay.

Augusta wants a title and schemes to buy one, but her scheme to advocate for a banker being given a peerage backfires when the Prime Minister plans to give the peerage to Ben Greenbourne (Solly's Father). Augusta immediately starts a smear campaign against Jews and the peerage is given to Joseph instead. When Solly finds out what happened through the Prince of Wales he confronts Edward and plans to end the partnership between Pilaster's and Greenbourne's on a deal for the Miranda family. Micky overhears the confrontation and Solly is pushed in front of a carriage before he can tell anyone.

Joseph dies and Augusta insist that Edward be made Senior Partner. Micky's Father needs yet another loan and Edward tries to push it through put the partners refuse to underwrite the loan but agree to handle it on a commission basis, which isn't good enough for Micky. He uses sex to get Edward to go behind the partners back and underwrite the loan. The partners are furious and force Edward to resign and Hugh is made partner. When war breaks out (Micky's Father is attempting to overthrow the President of Cordova) the bank goes bankrupt. Hugh insist the partners must sell off their assets in order to repay the bank's debts. Nora who only married Hugh for his money leaves him and their three kids.

Hugh marries Maisie, starts a syndicate backed by Ben Greenbourne to pay off the banks debts and thanks to Tonio Silva is even able to make a modest profit for the syndicate. He then plans to launch a new bank Pilaster's Limited.

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Eradicate, Treat, Stop, Prevent Breast Cancer just don't Cure it

I saw the PINK out again and thought I would republish.

After deciding to boycott Susan G. Komen "for the Cure®" Foundation I decided to search for other ways to help eradicate, treat, stop, prevent (I don't dare use the C word cause Komen's bullies might accuse me of copyright infringement) breast cancer. Here are some ideas:

 Donate to
  1. Breast Cancer Action
  2. Breast Cancer Fund
  3. Planned Parenthood (for those who wish you can specify that the donation only be used for Mammograms)
  4. Avon Walk for Breast Cancer
Organize Walks, Runs, and other Fundraisers to ERADICATE BREAST CANCER, TREAT BREAST CANCER, STOP BREAST CANCER, PREVENT BREAST CANCER.  Don't use Komen's trademark slogan so they can't sic their bullies on your fundraiser. 

Since I will no longer purchase products sporting Komen's pink ribbon I'll donate the difference between the product I do buy and the pink ribbon product. For example when I buy cereal I'll bypass the brand sporting the pink ribbon (which generally cost more) and buy another cereal. If it's cheaper I'll donate the difference to one of the above charities. If the price is the same I'll figure out the percentage the charity would have received and send that at the end of the month. So while Komen's will not be getting any of my cash breast cancer research and prevention will not be losing out. And yes, it'll mean more work for me, as I'll have to keep track of the difference/precentage and mail in a check to the charity instead of conveniently paying at the cash register BUT knowing a bully won't be receiving my funds makes the extra work worth it.

Cervical Cancer  and Ovarian Cancer which don't have cute little pink ribbons and a foundation giant like Komen associated with them lose out on funding and research to breast cancer. So please consider remembering Cervical and Ovarian Cancer as well when you donate.

Ovarian Cancer Research Fund
Foundation for Women's Cancer

and the American Cancer Society helps fight ALL cancer.

To read all my post on why I am boycotting Komen click here.

Sep 9, 2014

Night Over Water

Night Over WaterNight Over Water by Ken Follett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The world’s most luxurious airliner—the legendary Pan Am clipper—takes off for its final flight to neutral America. On board Eddie the Engineer agonizes over Tom Luther's demands that he force the plane to land prematurely. Luther's associates have kidnapped Eddie's wife (Carol-Ann), so he feels he has no choice but determines to find a way to thwart Luther's plot if possible.

The Fascist Lord Oxenford flees England, with his families fortune hidden in the suitcases.

Diana Lovesey having left her husband for Mark Alder is dismayed when Mervyn Lovesey shows up in Ireland and gets accommodations on the plane in the honeymoon suit along with Nancy Lenehan who is determined to prevent her brother Peter Black from selling their shoe company to Nate Ridgeway.

The con artist Harry Marks decides to go straight for the chance to win Margaret Oxenford's love.

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Sep 6, 2014

Triple by Ken Follett

TripleTriple by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Al Cortone (American soldier), stopped off in England to find Nate Dickstein (British soldier) who saved his life in Italy (WWII). Dickstein had been captured by the Nazis and taken to a concentration camp so he isn't in the best shape. They go to a Sherry Party given by Professor Ashford of Oxford University where Nate is a student. Other guest include Rostov (Russian), Hassan (Palestinian) Ashford's wife Eila and their daughter Suza.

Years later Nate has immigrated to Israel where he works for Mossad. The Egyptians are getting nuclear weapons with the help of the Russians and the Israelis are determined to get their own nuclear weapons first but they need plutonium in order to do so. Nate is tasked with stealing plutonium in such a way that the Israelis will not be suspected when it is eventually missed. Unfortunately when he is in Luxemburg he is confronted by Hassan (who is working for the Egyptians) and his cover is blown. Rostov (who is KGB) is tasked with stopping Nate.

Meanwhile Nate has meet Suza and they have fallen deeply in love which leads Nate to make some serious mistakes. Not only do the Russians know his plans and have a plan to stop him, but Hassan is a double agent working for the Fedayeen who make plans to steal the plutonium themselves. Suza overhears her Father and Hassan talking about killing Nate and she pretends to work with them to find him in hopes of warning him. Nate believes her to be a Palestinian agent after he is told she is helping Hassan.

But the resourceful Suza convinces Rostov to warn Nate of Hassan's plans, supposedly so Rostov can then carry out his own plot. Forewarned that Hassan's Fedayeen have taken the ship he manages to take it from them but then gets a desperate message from Suza telling him Rostov plans to attack the ship. He instructs her to create a diversion and goes to rescue her while instructing his men to carry on to Israel with the plutonium.

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Sep 5, 2014

The Jester

The JesterThe Jester by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hugh whose early life was spent traveling with an itinerant band of goliards (a group of clergy who wrote bibulous, satirical Latin poetry in the 12th and 13th centuries) after his Mother (a cleric's mistress) died, now runs an inn with his wife Sophie in a small French village.

When the miller's son is viciously drowned by Norcross (acting for Baldwin) Hugh determines to fight with Stephen in the Crusade and win his freedom so he will not have to fear the same thing happening to his future children. The Crusades are a brutal nasty affair and the Tafurs are viewed with fear and disgust by everyone including their allies. Hugh decides to desert and return home with a few small souvenirs of his trip including a staff. When he gets home he finds that Sophie gave birth to his son during his absence but that raiders dressed in black and with a black cross threw his young son into a fire and carted Sophie off. Believing it to be the work of Baldwin Hugh sets out for Treille in hopes of finding Sophie in the dungeons and freeing her. Before he gets there he is attacked by a boar and Emilie finds him near death. She has him taken to Boree and nurses him back to health.

Once he recover Emilie suggest he pose as a Jester in order to get into Treille. He takes her advice and sets out for Treille dressed as a Jester. He doesn't find Sophie in the dungeon but after Norcross sets him up for a crime he didn't commit he escapes from the dungeons and kills Norcross before going back to Boree. When he sees Tafurs at Boree he is shocked and goes to the dungeon to ask one of the prisoners what the Tafurs seek. He is further dismayed when he barely recognizes his wife who is being held in Stephen's dungeons. She dies in Hugh's arms after imploring him not to give them what they seek. Hugh leaves Boree and returns to his village.

Some of the villagers are very happy to see Hugh but others are afraid of Baldwin's wrath if he discovers Hugh there, but Hugh convinces them to fight for their freedom. Emilie soon arrives at the village and her and Hugh quickly become lovers. Stephen sends Tafurs to attack the village, but they are quickly dispatched by Hugh and the villagers. Realizing the danger they are now in Hugh convinces the villagers to march on Treille. Hugh with the aid of his friends inside Treille take Baldwin prisoner. But Emile fearing for Anne (Stephen's wife) returns to Boree. Hugh leaves for Boree on his own but his army soon follows.

He lays siege to Boree and when he defeats the Tafurs, Stephen threatens to hang Eimile unless Hugh and his men surrender. With the help of Anne Hugh comes up with a plan to rescue Emilie. Then Emilie's father (The King of France) shows up.

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Sep 2, 2014

The City

The CityThe City by Dean Koontz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Different then his other books but still very good. The young boy Jonah Ellington Basie Hines Eldridge Wilson Hampton Armstrong Kirk in some indefinable way reminds me of Odd Thomas.

Jonah is a young African American boy growing up in the 1960s. His Father (Tilton Kirk) married his Mother because she was pregnant and then deserted his family. He comes back to her briefly when Jonah was eight. Tilton soon takes up with an upstairs neighbor Aurora Delvane, and Jonah's parents divorce.

Jonah meets the mysterious Miss Pearl who claims to be the soul of the city and helps him at various times throughout the book mainly by sending him prophetic dreams.

When Fiona (a girl from his dreams) moves into Jonah's aparmtment building Jonah is suspicious of her, she threatens him when she catches him snooping and he goes to his neighbor Mr. Yoshioka (Japanese American who was placed in the internment camps during WWII). Mr Yoshioka uses his network of friends from the internment camps to check out Fiona, Mr Smaller (the apartment building superintendent) and Lucas Drackman (a killer from Jonah's dreams). Unfortunately the information is gathered to late to save Jonah.

When Jonah's Mother (Sylvia) loses her singing job they move in with Grandpa Teddy. Jonah (a piano prodigy) then makes friends with two white children who live in he neighborhood Malcolm (who plays the saxophone) and his older sister Amelia. Amelia starts taking the two younger children on field trips when she has the time. When they visit a bank renown for it's architecture Jonah spots his Father and Fiona and realizes they have planted a bomb in the bank. Jonah attempts to warn everyone. Amelia is killed and Jonah is severely injured and will never walk again.

Lucas is infuriated that Jonah and Mr. Yoshioka thwarted his plot and the terrorist make plans to exact revenge on them.

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Aug 31, 2014

The Perfect Hope (Inn Boonsboro, #3)

The Perfect Hope (Inn Boonsboro, #3)The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My absolute favorite of the trilogy.

Sparks fly between Ryder and Hope when they decide to give a relationship a chance, after Lizzy locks them in a guest room until they kiss.

Hope finally figures out that when Lizzy says Joseph William Ryder, she is telling her Billy's last name and not asking her about Ryder. It did take her long enough.

Ryder is Justine's (Ryder's Mother) maiden name. There is an old cemetery on the old Ryder Farm, when they visit the cemetery Ryder immediately goes to Billy's grave. That night he dreams of Billy's death. They tell Lizzy what they discovered and she is pleased, she says Billy can find her now.

Avery's new Restaurant and Tap house opens and after the grand opening Ryder ask Hope to marry him. And as he slips the ring on Hope's finger they see Billy and Lizzy together.

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Aug 29, 2014

Storm Front (A Virgil Flower's Novel)

Storm FrontStorm Front by John Sandford
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book just made me really sad.

Elijah Jones is a respected archaeologist and minister until he smuggles an important artifact out of Israel and back to the Sates where he arranges to sale the stone to the highest bidder.

Virgil is hot on his trail and on the trail of the potential buyers. He is also busy trying to shut down Ma Nobles' (aka Frankie by Virgil after they become lovers) lumber scam and trying to stay out of her pants.

He manages to recover the stone and arrest Elijah after he is shot by one of the potential buyers, but Ma Nobles helps Elijah escape from the hospital, and the chase is on again, after Elijah steals the stone from Virgil.

Tal Zahavi kidnaps Ellen (Elijah's daughter) but after Virgil plasters Tal's face all over the TV releases her.

Meanwhile Elijah uses Ma Nobles as a decoy long enough to sell the stone. Virgil arrest Elijah just as he slips into a coma (Elijah is dying of cancer) and retrieves the stone from Ma Nobles.

After Elijah dies Ellen ask Virgil to take his ashes to Israel and place them in the grave prepared next to a family friend, and tells him that Elijah said the case wouldn't be closed until he did. Virgil goes to Israel and discovers the priceless artifact was actually part of the tombstone of the family friend.

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Aug 27, 2014

The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro, #2)

The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro, #2)The Last Boyfriend by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Very sweet.

Avery told Owen she was going to marry him when she was five years old, he bought her a bubble gum ring. Now they are all grown up and ready to play house for real.

Avery has to deal with the Mother who abandoned her when she was 12 coming back and asking for money.

Owen discovers that Hope is a distant relative of Lizzy the ghost.

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Aug 26, 2014

Deserves To Die (To Die, #6)

Deserves To Die (To Die, #6)Deserves To Die by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Grayson dies under mysterious circumstances (wonder if they will explore that in another book).

Anne-Marie is counting on Sheriff Grayson to help her escape from her husband (Calderone) who tried to kill her, he cut off her ring finger and left her for dead in a Louisianan Bayou. In New Orleans Calderone is a respected surgeon, and Anne-Marie is a known liar who spent time in a mental hospital. Anne-Marie has been on the run ever since. She was briefly involved with Cade (Grayson's brother) and Cade told her that Grayson was fair, so she headed to Grizzly Falls for help.

Women are turning up dead in Grizzly Falls with their ring fingers missing and the only clue is Anne-Marie's fingerprint.

Ryder a former boyfriend that can't forget Anne-Marie followed her to Grizzly Falls on behalf of her Father. When he tries to bring her back to New Orleans she outsmarts him and handcuffs him to his steering wheel. But before she can escape her husband shows up and holds her at gunpoint. Determined to save Anne-Marie, Ryder does the only thing he can do and runs Calderone down.

Regan and Santana finally tie the knot. Regan is expecting a baby.

The new Sheriff (Blackwater) seems to have a secret.

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Aug 24, 2014

Mad River (Virgil Flowers, #6)

Mad River (Virgil Flowers, #6)Mad River by John Sandford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Dick Murphy's wife wants a divorce he decides that hiring local punk Jimmy Sharpe to get rid of her is the better option. In an effort to make it look like a robbery gone bad Jimmy takes along his girlfriend Becky (and promises her Mrs. O'Leary's diamond necklace) and his pal Tom.

After they kill Agatha Murphy (the O'Leary's daughter) they hastily leave the house without taking anything, when their car won't start they carjack a car, killing the car's owner. And they are off on a killing spree, with Virgil Flowers hot on their trail.

Jimmy is shot when they rob a bank, when Becky and Tom go to get medicine for Jimmy Tom rapes Becky and takes off on his on. He turns himself into Flowers and reveals that Murphy hired Jimmy to kill Agatha. Flowers starts looking into the allegation and finds enough circumstantial evidence to convince him of Murphy's guilt but without the testimony of Jimmy or Becky he doesn't have a strong enough case to put Murphy away.

Becky goes back to Jimmy and tries to nurse him back to health but the wound is infected and he is fading fast. Becky calls Flowers and arranges to meet him to turn herself and an unconscious Jimmy in. Flowers calls the local Sheriff (Duke) for back up. Duke sets up an ambush and Virgil Flowers doesn't find out about it in time to prevent the unarmed teens from being gunned down. He goes to the press with his allegations that the cops murdered the teens and becomes very unpopular in town.

The case against Murphy is dropped due to lack of evidence. Murphy disappears and Flowers suspects the O'Leary's killed him but decides to take Davenport's advice and not to look for proof.

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Aug 23, 2014

The Virgin's Lover (The Tudor Court, #5)

The Virgin's Lover (The Tudor Court, #5)The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Robert Dudley plots to divorce his wife Amy and marry Elizabeth and become King of England.

Elizabeth who wants to keep Robert's love but doesn't want a King plots to prevent him from ever being able to marry her. With Cecil's help she concocts a plot that will dash Robert's hopes to marry her forever.

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Aug 20, 2014

Sweet Hush

Sweet HushSweet Hush by Deborah Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hush has spent her life trying to survive first the death of her parents when she was a young teen, then having to fight to hold on to her family orchard and raise her baby brother. Through it all Davy was there to help, but when his "help" leads to an unwanted pregnancy he can't deal with the fact that Hush is less than pleased about giving up her dreams of college to marry him and raise a baby.

As Hush creates a successful business out of the apple orchard and raises Davis to be a successful young man Davy spends his time racing cars and discretely chasing women until one secret to many drives him to his death. But through it all Hush maintained appearances and Davis hero worships his Father.

At Harvard Davis secretly marries Eddie (the President's Daughter) and brings her home to The Hollow. Eddie's parents are none to please and send Nick to bring her home. But Nick soon falls under Hush's spell and she under his.

But the reporters won't stay away and soon they start to uncover the Family Secrets, Hush has worked so hard to keep. Will Hush lose her family or will the truth bring them closer together?

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Aug 19, 2014

The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro, #1)

The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro, #1)The Next Always by Nora Roberts
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sweet romance.

After her husband dies Clare moves back to Boonsboro with her three young sons and buys the bookstore across from the Inn, that Beckett and his family are renovating. Beckett and Clare soon fall and love.

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Aug 18, 2014

Private London (Other Private Offices)

Private London (Other Private Offices)Private London by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fast paced thriller. When Hannah is 13 years old she and her Mother are kidnapped her Father (Harlan) refuses to pay the ransom but hires Jack Morgan (who is working for another agency at the time) to rescue them. Hannah sees her mother raped and killed before Jack gets there. The young girl blames her Father for not paying the ransom.

7 years later Hannah is attending University in London. Dan Carter has been assigned to keep an eye on the young girl and he places his god-daughter Chloe at the school to keep tabs on her. Hannah, Chloe and Laura are at a bar parting. Chloe, who hasn't been drinking like the other girls begins to feel bad. She loses track of Hannah and Laura and when she goes to catch up with them she finds them being attacked. She goes to their rescue but is viciously clubbed down, Laura receives a scratch and Hannah is kidnapped.

Harlan fearing for his daughter's life and desperate not to make the same mistake agrees to pay the ransom. The first drop goes wrong when the police show up, but another drop is arranged. The kidnappers release Hannah but now Harlan is their prisoner, and due to his work the game has been greatly upped.

Meanwhile Dan's ex Kirsty is investigating murders where the ring finger is removed from the victims hand and organs are removed. Private offers her their services in unraveling the crimes.

Dan slowly realizes that Hannah and Laura were part of the kidnapping plot and that it was masterminded by their University Professor Annabelle Weston who has ties to Palestinian activist. The only question is will Private be able to save Harlan.

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Aug 17, 2014

Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers, #5)

Shock Wave (Virgil Flowers, #5)Shock Wave by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As always Virgil entertains.

Someone is trying to prevent a PyeMart from being built in Butternut Falls, the key is finding out how they snuck a bomb into the highly secure PyeMart headquarters.

Virgil is also investigating the bribing of local officials who changed the zoning code allowing the PyeMart to be built. When he discovers one of the officials who took a bribe is cheating on his wife, Virgil uses the info to get her to betray her husband. The cheating hubby then agrees to wear a wire so they can get the goods on the other officials.

Then it appears the bomber blew himself up, but Virgil isn't buying it. He continues to investigate and when all clues point to Wyatt sticks a tail on him. But when he is blown up shortly after entering the old farmhouse on his property, Virgil knows he is being manipulated and the key is Wyatt's wife.

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Aug 16, 2014

The Lost Island (Gideon Crew, #3)

The Lost Island (Gideon Crew, #3)The Lost Island by Douglas Preston
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A real page turner

Gideon steals a page from The Book of Kells at Eli Glinn's request. The page turns out to be a treasure map that Glinn believes will lead them to a plant with curative properties. Teamed up with Amy (aka Amiko) Gideon sets out to retrace Odysseus journey to the Land of the Lotus Eaters.

After a run in with pirates Gideon and Amy find themselves shipwrecked on Mosquito Island where the natives give them shelter and food. An exchange of gifts nets them a Lotus Plant, but in an effort to find the source of the plant Amy fakes being sick and is given the Lotus Plant. The natives then take them to the island that the Lotus Plant grows on but the catch is the natives plan to sacrifice Gideon. Amy rescues him and they flee only to be captured by the last remaining Cyclops. Amy and Gideon make friends with the Cyclops and he takes Gideon Lotus hunting. Gideon realizes the plant is actually a type of fungus (like Truffles) that grows completely underground. The Cyclops also takes them to the crypt where his ancestors are buried. Amy and Gideon make plants to take some of the Lotus and sneak off the island and vow they won't tell Glinn the location in order to protect the Cyclops (who is in love with Amy). But before they can Glinn shows up with a small army and a cage. Glinn plans to capture the Cyclops. When Gideon and Amy go to confront Glinn her screams bring the Cyclops to the camp and he is taken prisoner. Glinn arranges to fly Amy and Gideon off the Island but Garza who fears Glinn has become unhinged puts them back down on the island.

Gideon and Amy retrieve the Lotus from the crypts but Amy double crosses Gideon and takes the Lotus (except for one she leaves with Gideon) and goes to rescue the Cyclops. Gideon gives the Lotus to Garza and attempts to save the Cyclops who has gone on a killing spree and taken Amy with him. The island is inadvertently set on fire and Gideon and Amy barely escape with their lives.

Months later Glinn (who is recovering after eating some of the Lotus) visits Gideon and ask him to help retrieve/kill the meteorite (seed) from The Ice Limit. Gideon's terminal medical condition appears to still be unchanged. And Amy has disappeared.

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Aug 14, 2014

The Queen's Fool (The Tudor Court, #4)

The Queen's Fool (The Tudor Court, #4)The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hannah flees Spain with her Father when her Mother is burned as a heretic. Disguised as her Father's apprentice Robert Dudley begs her as a Fool for King Edward. John Dudley (Robert's Father) rules England as Edward lies dying. In an attempt to prolong his rule of England John marries his younger son Lord Guildford Dudley (as Robert was already married to Amy) to Lady Jane Grey, the King Edward's Protestant heir to the throne. Robert sends Hannah to Mary to spy on her.

Mary becomes Queen and keeps Hannah in her service. Robert is kept in the tower, but John and Guildford Dudley along with Jane Grey are executed. When Mary chooses to marry Prince Philip of Spain the English people turn against her, and when her pregnancy proves to be false her popularity further falls. When Mary brings the Inquisition to England Hannah is terrified, but agrees to stay with Elizabeth who expects to be executed any day. Hannah's Father, her fiancee Daniel and his family flee to Calais. Daniel promises to come when Hannah sends for him. Elizabeth manages to enchant Prince of Spain, King Regent of England Philip and wins her freedom, but Hannah stays on at court until she is arrested for heresy. John Dee who managed to become Bishop Bonner's secretary after his own arrest for treason manages to free her. Terrified for her life Hannah send for Daniel and goes to Calais with him. They live together somewhat happily except for the Mother in law from hell until her Mother in law reveals that Daniel has a son by another woman that he goes to visit on the days he is supposedly working late. Hannah leaves her husband and opens a bookstore with her Father. Her Father soon dies from a growth in his belly, but Hannah refuses to return to Daniel.

The French invade Calais. Robert Dudley is leading the English troops and when he sees Hannah gives her his ring so she can board his ship and safely return to England. Hannah sees Daniel's mistress moments before she is killed by French soldiers and she gives Daniel's son (also named Daniel) into Hannah's care. Robert takes Hannah and the boy to England with him and sends her to the countryside with his wife Amy. Robert eventually brings Hannah back to court to spy on Mary, who is supposedly again pregnant. Again there is no child. Mary sickens and dies, Elizabeth who is besotted with Robert becomes Queen and Hannah is reunited with Daniel.

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Aug 11, 2014

Ready to Die (To Die, #5)

Ready to Die (To Die, #5)Ready to Die by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Sheriff Dan Grayson is shot Regan Pescoli and Selena Alvarez are determined to find the shooter before he harms Grayson again. When Judge Kathryn Samuels-Piquard is found dead the investigation turns to ex-cons with a beef with the Sheriff and the Judge. Pescoli zeroes in on ex-con Verdago who has disappeared to a cabin in the mountains. Unfortunately her first attempt to corner Verdago leads her to (Kathryn Samuels-Piquard's brother)Vincent Samuels' cabin, where the hermit is told of his sister's death at gun point to the glee of the media who make a big deal out of Pescoli's wild elk chase, so when she gets a lead to where Verdago may be holed up she goes in alone. Only to discover his girlfriend Carnival dead minutes before Verdago arrives at the cabin. Before Pescoli can arrest him acting Sheriff Brewster and Alvarez arrive. Brewster guns down Verdago supposedly to save Pescoli's life.

But Selena doesn't buy Verdago's guilt and thinks things worked out a little to neatly so with the help of a computer hacker she digs deeper and discovers that Brewster was having an affair with the Judge. Worried about Grayson's safety she heads to the hospital to make sure Brewster can't harm him.

Meanwhile Jeremy (Regan's son) calls begging Regan to meet him. Heidi (Brewster's daughter, Jeremy's girlfriend) found a sex tape and incriminating pictures on her Dad's computer. Regan heads to the Brewster cabin to arrest the acting sheriff. But before she can Heidi and Jeremy arrive and Brewster gets the drop on her forcing Jeremy to shoot him.

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