May 30, 2014

Dark Bites

Dark Bites (Dream-Hunter, #1; Hellchaser, #1; Were-Hunter, #1; Dark-Hunter, #2.5, 2.6, 7.5, 9.5, 9.6, 10.5)Dark Bites by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Collection of short stories.

House of the Rising Sun - Wish I had read it before I read Styxx. The story of Aricles (Styxx) and Bathymaas.

Phantom Lover - The story of V'Aidan and Erin

Winter Born - The story of Dante and Pandora

A Dark Hunter Christmas - Gallagher spends Christmas at Sanctuary.

Until Death We Do Part - Retta forgives her husband Prince Velkan.

A Hard Day's Night Searcher - When Rafael's squire publishes a story about the Dark Hunters, Rafael seduces Celena in hopes of getting him off the hook with the council.

Shadow of the Moon - The story of Fury and Angelia. They deserved a much longer book.

Fear the Darkness - Nick Gautier returns to New Orleans.

Where Angels Fear to Tread - Zeke wishes his life was more exciting and discovers he has been "chosen" to replace his Granduncle as a Seraph.

Love Bytes - Computer Geek Adrian puts the moves on Sam.

Santa Wears Spurs - Catherine's husband walked out on her five years ago. Now he walks back into her life and all his secrets are revealed. Will she expose him or keep his secret so they can live happily ever after.

Redemption: A Bonus Scene from The Guardian - Seth and Lydia's wedding.

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May 27, 2014

Left to Die

Left To DieLeft To Die by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When Jillian River's car is found the police assume she is a victim of the Star Crossed Killer. But actually her first husband's (Aaron who is suppose to be dead) deranged lover is out to kill her. Luckily for Jillian before the jealous Falda can finish her off Zane MacGregor arrives and takes her to his cabin where they are snowed in. Once the weather breaks MacGregor attempts to find a way off the mountain, while he is gone Falda shows up and shoots his dog and takes Jillian into the woods where she leaves her naked and tied to a tree. MacGregor arrives in time to save her and the police show up shortly thereafter. Once Jillian is well she teams up with MacGregor to track down Aaron.

Meanwhile Regan whose ex has taken her kids becomes the next victim of the Star Crossed Killer

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May 25, 2014

The Lady of the Rivers

The Lady of the Rivers (The Cousins' War, #3)The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book is about Jacquetta of Luxembourg (Elizabeth Woodville's Mother).

When the Book opens her family is holding Joan of Arc prisoner. Jacquetta's Great Aunt the Demoiselle of Luxembourg promises to keep Joan safe and she is allowed to spend time with the family. But after the Demoiselle dies, they turn her over to the Church and Joan is burned at the stake. Jacquetta learns early that a woman with power is in grave danger.

As a teen she is married to John of Lancaster 1st Duke of Bedford, the most powerful man in France and heir to the throne of England. He knows of her family's descent from Melusine, and is convinced that Jacquetta has "the gift". He forces her to scry for him but she is unable to translate the things she sees. When he dies, she takes his squire Richard Woodville as a lover and they return to England. They marry without the King's permission but he forgives them after heavily fining them. The Duchess of Gloucester,is accused of ill wishing the King. She flees into sanctuary but is forced to do public penance, divorce the Duke and is imprisoned for the rest of her life on the Isle of Man.

Jacquetta and Richard are sent to fetch the King's betrothed Margaret of Anjou. Henry VI is very pious and fails to consummate the marriage, in a timely manner. The King and Queen spend excesses of money on extravagances while failing to pay the troops and merchants and become very unpopular with the country side which is heavily taxed to support their life style. The Queen eventually takes Edmund Beaufort as a lover and becomes pregnant. When the King sees them in an embrace he falls asleep and refuses to wake until long after the baby is born. When he eventually awakens Richard Duke of York has been named Protector and he has no memory of what he saw before he fell asleep. Margaret urges him to regain the crown and punish the Yorks. He regains the crown but it soon becomes apparent he is merely a puppet for his wife and Edmund Beaufort. Richard of York attacks, Edmond Beaufort is killed and the King is taken into Richard's custody. The King agrees that Richard should serve as Regent and that he will be King after his death (disinheriting the Queen's son). The Queen and her son escape and go to the Tudors (the King's half brothers).

Jacquetta returns to the countryside and her children. Her eldest daughter Elizabeth is married to Sir John Grey and has two sons with him.

The Queen summons Richard, Anthony and Sir John to her army. She has brought the Welsh to terrorize the countryside and Richard Duke of York has been killed along with his son Edmond.Jacquetta and Richard believe the Yorks have been defeated. But London refuses to open it's doors to the Queen and her Army and Richard's son Edward arrives. The Londoners name Edward King and open their doors to him. A battle ensues and Sir John (Elizabeth's husband) is killed. Richard and Anthony are paroled and agree never again to raise a sword against York. They return home.

Elizabeth has been left penniless as her Mother in Law refuses to return her dowry. Elizabeth takes her sons to stand by the road, in order to ask King Edward to intercede for her when he rides by. Jacquetta adds a love potion to a drink she prepares to serve the king.

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May 23, 2014

Stolen Prey

Stolen Prey (Lucas Davenport, #22)Stolen Prey by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Typical Davenport novel.

It starts out with Lucas Davenport getting mugged by two meth addicts and breaking his wrist. He is rather preoccupied with finding them and sics Flowers on the case. In typical Flowers fashion he doesn't just find the two muggers he stumbles on a large scale magic mushroom ring.

Meanwhile Davenport is part of the investigation into the torture and brutal slaying of the Brooks family and their pets. Everyone agrees it is the work of a Mexican gang, but the question is why, what did they want from the Brooks family.

Lucas realizes Brooks was using his software company to laundry drug money and realizes someone (not the Brooks) must have stolen the money. He starts looking for the thieves. The Mexican government sends two agents (Rivera & Martinez) to work with him. Lucas figures out the identity of one of the thieves (Kline), but doesn't get anywhere when he questions him. After Lucas leaves the the three killers the gang sent to Minnesota  arrives at his apartment, but Kline manages to escape by fleeing into his bathroom and yelling for help.

Rivera uses his Mexican contacts to find the killers the gang sent and kills one of the killers and has the other two corned when Martinez shoots him in the back and tells the other two members of the gang to flee. She concocts a story for Lucas, that he initially buys.

Slowly Lucas figures out that Martinez is working with the gang and sets a trap for her but she escapes with the remaining killer. He then tells the media that Martinez recovered the laundered money that had been converted to gold.

The gang kills one of the thieves (Ivan), Sanderson and Albitis have a falling out and Sanderson hits Albitis over the head with a golf club. Albitis supposedly has lost her memory. Sanderson and Kline arrange for the police to find the majority of the gold so the Mexicans will no longer be looking for them and hide the remainder. They get away with stealing the money as Lucas has no way to prove they took it.

Martinez realizes "The Voice" will never believe she doesn't have the gold and decides to kill Lucas. She and Tres (the remaining killer) go to Davenport's home and think he is there because they see his SUV in the drive (he took his Porsche), Letty spots them before they enter the house and yells at her Mom to run with the baby and lock herself in the maids apartment. Letty heads for Lucas' bedroom and gets his gun out of the gun safe. She kills Tres who comes after her, and with a broken arm goes after Martinez who she also kills, saving her adopted family.



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May 20, 2014

Inherit the Dead

Inherit the Dead: A NovelInherit the Dead: A Novel by Jonathan Santlofer and others
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

It was for a good cause but the book was a huge disappointment. The only thing Lee Child wrote was the introduction.

A rich socialite who is supposedly dying hires Perry to find her daughter. The daughter kills her Mother and when the half brother who has been stalking her, kills her Father she takes the opportunity to kill him. But Perry doesn't fall for her innocent routine ...............

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May 18, 2014

Nevermore

Nevermore (Maximum Ride, #8)Nevermore by James Patterson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Fang returns to the flock after Maya is killed by Ari. Jeb wants to kill Fang because his DNA holds the secret to immortality. They discover Angel is still alive and the Flock rescue her only to be attacked by Ari and a large number of Erasers. They defeat the Erasers only to have Dylan try to kill Fang. Then Dr Martinez (Max's Mom) shows up and whisks them away to an island paradise only to have a large meteor hit Earth. Fang, Max, Angel & Dylan survive.

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May 16, 2014

The Goldfinch

The GoldfinchThe Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a book you will either hate or love. I also found it very depressing until the very end when the hero finally finds a reason for living.

Theo suspended from school has been called in for a conference along with his Mother . Theo had apparently been struggling ever since his Father walked out on them, with no way to find him. Having some spare time before the conference and loving art Theo's Mom takes him to see "Portraiture and Nature Morte: Northern Masterworks of The Golden Age". The piece she particular wants to see is The Goldfinch. Theo being a typical 13 year old boy is more interested in the red headed girl who is at the museum with her Uncle Welty. When the bomb goes off Theo and his Mom are in different parts of the Museum. When Theo awakens the only one in the room with him is a dying Welty. Welty gives him his ring and tells him where to take it and also encourages him to save The Goldfinch. Dazed and confused Theo puts various things in a shopping bag including The Goldfinch and wanders out of the deserted Museum after Welty dies. Not knowing what to do he follows the plan, to go to their apartment to wait for his Mom if they are separated. When night falls and she hasn't returned he frantically starts making phone calls.

Child Protective Services show up and intend to stick him in the Foster care system until he gives them the name of his friend Andy. Both of these bright boys have been promoted a grade level and are picked on by their classmates at the private school Theo has a scholarship too. Andy's well to do parents take Theo in after his Grandparents refuse to and his Dad can't be tracked down. Slowly Theo starts to remember things and he takes Welty's ring to Hobie and discovers the red headed girl (Pippa) is alive. The three become friends and Theo begins to come out of his depression. Then Pippa's Aunt arrives and takes her away. Shortly after Theo's Dad shows up with his girlfriend and takes Theo to Las Vegas. Theo doesn't know what to do with the painting and is afraid if anyone finds out he has it he will get in trouble so he hides it in his suitcase.

Theo's Dad pretty much neglects him and he starts hanging out and drinking and doing drugs with Boris. Theo's Dad tries to get his hand on money Theo's Mom put away for his education but the lawyer Mr. Bracegirdle thwarts him and Theo's Dad gets drunk and drives into the desert where he crashes his car and dies. Afraid that Child Protective Services will come for him Theo flees to New York with his dog on the bus, ignoring Boris' plea for him to stay just one more day. Scared and sick he arrives on Hobie's doorstep and Hobie takes him in. Eventually they become partners and Theo runs the antique shop while Hobie repairs and makes furniture. Theo still terrified he will get in trouble if anyone finds out he has The Goldfinch hides it in a storage facility.

Out of the blue Boris shows up to apologize to Theo, who has been unaware all these years that Boris stole The Goldfinch from him. He has been using The Goldfinch as collateral, a deal went bad and he lost it. Determined to make things right with Theo, Boris and Theo head to Amsterdam to get the painting, they briefly recover it before the bad guys take it from them. Separated from Boris Theo is sick and scared and contemplates suicide before Boris shows up and reveals he called the Art Crimes people and they have retrieved The Goldfinch and several other paintings, with the reward money Theo and Boris are now rich, and Theo is able to correct some of his mistakes.



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May 9, 2014

Cloak and Silence (The League, #5.5)

Cloak and Silence (The League, #6)Cloak and Silence by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure I would like this book since it is about two guys hooking up but since I liked both Ture and Maris from the previous book in the series I wanted to find out more about them.

Maris is determined not to fall for Ture as he is still "in love" with Darling, even though he knows Darling (who is heterosexual) will never return his feelings and in the past his boyfriends have been jealous over the special relationship he shares with Darling. But when Ture ask him to come to dinner at his restaurant it's an invitation Maris can't refuse. And he soon finds himself moving in with Ture and working at his restaurant. He also befriends Anachelle who Ture took in after her married boyfriend abandoned her. When she gives birth to Terek she list Maris as his Father on the birth certificate. The only thing that mars Maris' happiness is the price the League has put on his head. On the way to Ture's apartment with his bags he is attacked by League assassins including his brother Draygon, he manages to kill the other assassins, but can't bring himself to kill his own brother although Draygon has fatally stabbed him with a dagger. Ture knocks Draygon unconscious and calls Ture to tell him he loves him. Ture calls Darling and Darling tells him Maris will try to find a place to hide, Ture sets out to look for him while Darling traces the call and assembles forces to rescue Maris. Ture finds Maris and Darling arrives minutes later with reinforcements. When Maris realizes that Darling is in the ambulance with him instead of Ture he panics thinking that Ture is angry with him for telling Darling he loves him, especially as he has refused to say those words to Ture. Ture sent Darling because he was afraid someone would attack the injured Maris and he realized Darling was better able to defend him. Darling is having to deal with his own jealousy over the fact that his dying friend called Ture instead of him. When Maris comes to in his hospital room Ture explains why he sent Darling in the ambulance.

Later when Maris is well on the road to recovery, he persuades Ture to go back to work. Ture's brother (Bristol) shows up with League soldiers they kidnap Ture and kill Anachelle. Ture refuses to tell them where Maris is no matter how badly they torture him so they decide to kill Bristol if Ture won't give Maris up. Ture tells Bristol he loves him but that he loves Maris more and refuses to reveal Maris' whereabouts but at that moment Maris and his friends bust into Ture's cell, saving Bristol's life. The ungrateful Bristol attempts to shoot Maris but Ture kills him before he can. Outnumbered and unable to carry Ture due to his own injuries Maris instructs Hauk and Darling to take Ture and get on the ship, while he draws the League's fire. When he stumbles into one of the League soldiers he thinks he is dead until he realizes it is Safir(his youngest brother who helps him with information when he can) Safir tells Maris to use him as a hostage even though he knows he will be demoted and that their brother Kyr will severely beat him for it. Maris gets on the ship and they escape.

Maris and Ture agree to raise Terek as their own.

Looking forward to reading Hauk's story in Born of Fury.

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Never Go Back

Never Go Back (Jack Reacher, #18)Never Go Back by Lee Child
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Reacher has been trying to get to Virginia to meet Susan Turner ever since 61 Hours when he talked to her on the phone. He finally gets there only to discover she is no longer in charge of the 110th and has seemingly disappeared.

Then Romeo and Juliet make their first mistake they instruct Major Morgan to recall Reacher to military service and hit him with two cases against him. The first involves Juan Rodriguez (Dog) and Reacher is accused of his homicide the second is a paternity case where he supposedly has a daughter (Sam) with Candice Dayton (a woman he doesn't remember). If that isn't enough to make Reacher run they send two guys to beat him up and send him on his way. But of course Reacher doesn't run and the two guys are the ones who get beat up.

Eventually Reacher is able to break Susan Turner out of jail and they try to unravel what she knows that makes her dangerous to Romeo and Juliet (high placed military officials). They realize that the only thing she knows is who the rogue American was going to meet in Afghanistan, but he seems like a nobody. Why is he important?

While they are working on that mystery they head out to LA so Reacher can meet his daughter. Her home is surrounded by various government agents as well as the bad guys just waiting for Reacher to show up. But they fail to follow her to the Diner where she eats most of her meals. In true Reacher style she confronts him and he is enchanted with the tall blond pedant teen. Realizing the bad guys may try to use her as leverage Reacher is determined to meet her Mother and protect them, but Sam confidently states that Reacher doesn't know her Mother and she doesn't know him. Reacher ask how she knows as their involvement would have occurred before she was born and Sam reveals she is the blond waitress that Reacher has seen a dozen times at the diner. The paternity case was a hoax.

The Rodriguez case was a scam. Rodriguez was beaten up by a LA gang, the beating was witnessed by the LPD who used undue force when they arrested the gang members and as a result purged their files of the incident. When Rodriguez and his lawyer tried to go after the LPD they were discouraged by the missing files so went after Reacher instead. Leon Gerber had the incident investigated and uncovered the scam, Reacher was never aware of the investigation.

Now that Reacher's legal troubles are over he can concentrate fully on catching Romeo and Juliet and ending their opium trade, thus clearing Susan Turner. A cleared Susan Turner chooses to stay with the 110th and Reacher (who may or may not still be in the military) leaves town alone.

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May 8, 2014

Bound by Death

Bound By Death (Blood of the Gods, #2)Bound By Death by Marie Symeou
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Jumps around a lot and is very confusing (some of which may be due to the fact I read it on my Kindle. Lady Eleanor FitzOsbern who is suppose to be the reincarnated Amaranthea, is very cruel.

Philip finds Polyxena being raped, he kills her rapist and cares for Polyxena and when the rape results in pregnancy marries her. She gives birth to identical twins but Melitta kidnaps one of the boys (Athos). Philip and Polyxena raise Thomas as their own and they are a happy family until one day when Philip and Thomas are fishing villagers burn Polyxena as a witch. They eventually go to England where Eleanor is married to Hugh against her will and in love with her step-daughter's husband Robert.

Melitta goes to Demar in hopes of freeing Scylla. Grannus calls to Philip for help and he goes to Demar. Melitta and Athos have stolen Grannus' harp. Philip gets the harp back, kills Melitta and reveals to Athos that she stole him from Polyxena and that he has a twin brother. Athos changes into a panther and flees.

Philip turns Lady Eleanor, she immediately kills her step-daughter who she is very jealous of. Eventually she kills her husband and plans to flee with Robert to the Holy Land. But before she can Philip kills Robert.

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May 6, 2014

The Pillars of the Earth

The Pillars of the Earth  (The Pillars of the Earth, #1)The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book begins with Ellen cursing the killers (Prior James, Percy Hamleigh, and Bishop Waleran Bigod) of Jack's Father, then disappearing into the woods, as the years go by we see how the curse played out.

Tom is building a house for William and Aliena but when Aliena refuses to marry William Tom is thrown out of work. He and his family are forced to tramp from town to town looking for work. Near starvation Tom's wife, Agnes, gives birth on the side of the road and dies. Having no way to feed the newborn baby Tom leaves it on his wife's grave and takes his two remaining children Alfred and Martha to continue tramping the roads looking for work. Regretting his decision he goes back for the baby only to discover it missing. Ellen tells him that a priest (Francis) found the baby and took it to a nearby monastery. Later she leads Tom to the monastery so he can see his baby (Jonathan) being cared for by the priest. Francis came to tell his brother (Philip) about a conspiracy to unseat King Stephen. Philip sets out for Kingsbridge to tell his superior, Prior James. He meets Tom, his children, Ellen and Jack (Ellen's son) on the way and tells Tom about the baby his monastery has taken in. When Philip arrives in Kingsbridge he discovers Prior James is dead (Prior James dies wracked with regret about lying about an innocent man and sending him to the gallows.)and winds up being elected Prior of Kingsbridge. Tom finds work with Earl Bartholomew but because of Philips meddling Bartholomew is attacked by William and is taken prisoner. Tom and his family (Tom has taken Ellen as his lover) flee to Kingsbridge. They are given shelter and food but Prior Philip says they can't hire him to repair the Cathedral because there is no money. Jack realizing his family will starve if they are forced to tramp the roads again sneaks into the Cathedral and sets it on fire. Tom agrees to rebuild the Cathedral in exchange for food and shelter until Prior Philip can pay him. All is going well until Remigius accuses Tom of adultery, and reveals to Prior Philip that Tom and Ellen aren't married. Ellen leaves Kingsbridge with Jack but as she is leaving she sings the song her lover sang on the gallows in Bishop Waleran Bigod's hearing, greatly frightening him.

Waleran approaches Prior Philip with a way to get money to rebuild the Cathedral by getting Bartholomew's earldom for the church. Percy Hamleigh and his family want it for themselves. They reveal to Prior Philip that Waleran plans to double cross him and take the earldom to build a castle for himself. Philip works with the Hamleigh's to divide the earldom between them. After King Stephen agrees to their division the Hamleigh's doublecross Philip and attempt to keep him from getting stones from the quarry. Before throwing Aliena and Richard out of the castle William rapes Aliena and cuts off Richard's ear. Ellen returns to Tom and they are married. With Prior Philip's help Aliena has become a successful wool merchant in Kingsbridge. Aliena falls in love with Jack but denies her feeling for him due to the rape. Jack and Alfred fight and Jack is forced to join the monastery in order to stay in Kingsbridge. William burns Kingsbridge and destroys all of Aliena's wool, broke she has no money to outfit Richard as a knight. Richard forces her to marry Alfred who agrees to give him the money he needs. Tom dies in the attack. Jack escapes from the monastery and makes love to Aliena before he leaves for The Holy Land. Ellen curses Alfred's wedding to Aliena and makes him impotent. When Aliena gives birth to Jack's son (Tommy) he throws her out of his house. Aliena leaves for The Holy Land in search of Jack.

Aliena and Jack return to Kingsbridge with the Weeping Madona and Jack is appointed Master Builder of the Cathedral but Prior Philip forces him to live apart from Aliena until she can get an annulment. Due to the malice of William and Waleran she is unable to get an annulment.

King Stephen and King Henry (Richard was fighting for Henry) reach an agreement and Aliena finds a way for Richard to reclaim the castle and the earldom. Earl Richard prevents Alfred from raping Aliena but William and Waleran accuse him of murder and Richard is forced to flee to The Holy Land. Aliena marries Jack and assumes the earldom in Richard's absence, when he dies Tommy becomes Earl. William is part of a group of knights that killed Thomas Beckett and as a result is hanged.

Waleran reveals that Jack's Father was killed because he survived the shipwreck that killed the first Henry's heir and allowed the Earl's to become more powerful. Philip becomes Bishop of Kingsbridge and Jonathan becomes Prior of Kingsbridge.



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