Jun 29, 2014

The Fire

The Fire (Witch & Wizard, #3)The Fire by James Patterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Easy to read which is perfect since I have a cold and don't feel like concentrating on something heavy.

When the story starts Wisteria is dying of the Blood Plague "The One" unleashed on the populace. Whit manages to carry her to safety and is eventually able to use his healing powers to heal her.

When they find out their parents are alive in the Shadowland Whit goes there to free them and Wisty goes to confront "The One". Wisty learns to use her powers in different ways but ultimately seems outmatched by "The One", she flees to The Shadowland with Byron. "The One" follows her and Whit, Wisty and Celia (Half-Light) kill him.

Whit and Wisty return home with their parents after Whit tearfully says goodby to Celia who crosses over to the other side.

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Jun 28, 2014

The Angel of Darkness

The Angel of Darkness (Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, #2)The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wish I hadn't been sick when reading it as I was finding it hard to concentrate but this is a great psychological thriller. It starts with the kidnapping of a Spanish Official's daughter in New York. The husband refuses to allow his wife to go to the police so she seeks aid from Miss Howard. Miss Howard quickly assembles her team and the kidnapper is identified.

Libby Hatch has a troubled past and more aliases then I care to list. When Miss Howard and her team are unable to rescue Ana Linares from Libby's home they delve into Libby's past for ammunition to use against her.The search leads them to Ballston Spa where they discover Libby killed two of her children and left another for dead. The daughter that survived has been unable to speak since the attack. With Dr. Kreizler's help Mr Picton gathers enough evidence to charge Libby with murder. With Clarence Darrow defending her and Elizabeth Cady Stanton as a witness on her behalf she seems assured of getting off, but further digging turns up Libby's first murder. Libby with help from one of her guards attacks Mr. Picton and escapes to New York.

With the help of Teddy Roosevelt Libby's home is stormed and Ana is rescued.

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Jun 24, 2014

Wicked Appetite

Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel #1)Wicked Appetite by Janet Evanovich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Cute romance perfect for reading poolside.

For centuries, treasure hunters have been eager to possess the stones, undeterred by their corrupting nature.  The list is long — Genghis Khan, Alexander the Great, Napoleon, to name a few.  Now the Stones have found their way to Salem, Massachusetts, and so has Gerwulf Grimoire, adding himself to this rogues’ gallery of power seekers.  He’s an uncommonly dangerous man, with a hunger for the forbidden, and a set of abilities that are way beyond ordinary.  Abilities that he feels entitle him to possess anything he might desire.
That would include Elizabeth Tucker, the woman he needs to find the Stones.  She’s freshly transplanted from New York City to Boston’s North Shore.  With a new job as pastry chef at Dazzle’s bakery and an old house inherited from her Aunt Ophelia, her life is pretty much on track …until it’s suddenly derailed by a guy named Diesel, a rude monkey, and a ninja cat.
Lizzy can handle the monkey and the cat.  She’s not sure about Diesel.  He’s offering up his own set of unusual talents, promising to protect her from Grimoire.  The kind of protection that Lizzy suspects might involve guarding her body day and night.
The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy wrath, sloth and gluttony.  That pretty much covers everything that is wicked.  Diesel thinks it also pretty much covers everything that’s fun.  And Lizzy thinks Diesel and the Seven Deadly Sins cover everything her mother warned her about.


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The Anne Boleyn Collection: The Real Truth about the Tudors

The Anne Boleyn Collection: The Real Truth about the TudorsThe Anne Boleyn Collection: The Real Truth about the Tudors by Claire Ridgway
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Very boring, she repeats the same material over and over. She also spends a large part of the book criticizing authors who don't share her adoration of Anne Boleyn.

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Jun 18, 2014

The Innocents Abroad

The Innocents AbroadThe Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Twain definitely knows how to convey the tedium of a ship voyage, but his trademark wit saves the book from being boring.

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Jun 15, 2014

The Invention of Wings

The Invention of WingsThe Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A fictionalized account of Sarah Grimke's life. I don't know how the book I read can be the same that has received 4 and 5 stars. I found the book to be mediocre at best. With very little character development. It alternates between Sarah's voice and Handful's voice and to be honest I found Handful's story the more compelling of the two. Sarah seems to spend a lot of time feeling sorry for herself while Handful, her Mother Charlotte and sister Sky are struggling just to stay alive and together. Would have probably enjoyed the book more if Kidd had chosen to just tell Handful's story and develop her character more, the story seemed contrived when Sarah was speaking.

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Jun 12, 2014

Skin Game

Skin Game (The Dresden Files, #15)Skin Game by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Mab owes a "debt" to Nicodemus and loans her Winter Knight (Harry Dresden) to him. Nicodemus wants to break into Hades' vault in the Nevernever and steal the Holy Grail and has assembled a team to facilitate the break in. Harry demands the privilege of bringing someone along to watch his back and picks Karrin Murphy.

When Butters is caught spying on them Harry and Karrin risk breaking their agreement with Nicodemus to save his life. A show down issues in front of the Carpenter's home where Butters' ran to seek sanctuary. Karrin uses Fidelacchius, to defeat Nicodemus but he tricks her into attacking him after he has put aside the Noose and coin causing Fidelacchius to shatter. He then severely injures Karrin and is about to kill her when Michael comes to the gate. Michael says if he lets Karrin and Harry go he will come out (where he will no longer be protected by Angels). Uriel attempts to talk Michael out of making the trade but when he can't bestows his grace on Michael. Michael's body is restored to it's fighting prime and he once more takes up Amoracchius. Nicodemus and Genoskwa quickly back down when faced with a Knight of the Cross, and Harry demands that Michael be allowed to accompany him since Karrin will no longer be in condition to do so.

Anna Valmont opens Marcone's vault and Harry opens the way but closes it behind them so Nicodemus won't be tempted to kill him to soon. Hannah Ascher opens the first gate (fire) and Harry opens the second gate (ice), leaving Nicodemus to sacrifice his daughter Dierdre in order to open the third gate.

Harry gets to the artifacts and quickly hides the majority of them leaving the Holy Grail for Nicodemus. Nicodemus, Genoskwa (hosting Ursiel) and Ascher (hosting Lasciel) attack Harry, Michael and Goodman Grey (who Harry hired before Nicodemus could). Genoskwa and Ascher are killed but Michael is badly injured. Nicodemus manages to escape and threatens to kill Maggie (Harry's daughter). Harry gets Anna, Binder, Grey and Michael out of Marcone's building. Grey takes the shape of a horse and carries Harry to the Carpenter house moments before Nicodemus and his squires arrive.

Nicodemus captures Charity and plans to make her watch while he burns her house down with the children inside. Harry is able to fend off the molotov cocktails but then is overcome with pain due to a new spirit of intellect (like Bob) that is growing in his head and is ready to be born (it's the offspring of Harry and Lash). Barely conscious Harry is horrified by Butter's plan to take Harry's duster and using Bob to power it go outside to attempt to fight Nicodemus and Tessa until help can get there. Harry uses the last of his strength to throw the broken hilt of Fidelacchius to Charity, she misses it but Butters catches it and it turns into a light saber that cuts right through Nicodemus' sword. Nicodemus and Tessa flee.

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Jun 11, 2014

Possession in Death

Possession in Death (In Death, #31.5)Possession in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Gizi Szabo came to America to find her granddaughter who disappeared without a trace, she has no intention of letting a little thing like death stop her.

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Jun 10, 2014

On Bear Mountain

On Bear MountainOn Bear Mountain by Deborah Smith
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Charming as always.

Quentin Riconni's life falls apart after his Father Richard Riconni gets a commission to build a bear out of "junk" for the campus of a small Southern College (Mountain State College). Richard uses the money from the commission to move away from his wife and son and devote his time to his art. Richard fails to see the abject poverty his wife and son endure for his sake and when a wealthy patron notices his art Richard falls prey to her charms. When Quentin learns of his Father's infidelity he decides to do whatever necessary to help his Mother out of poverty and starts stealing cars for a local chop shop. His Father learning of the thefts confronts his son and harsh words are exchanged. For awhile Quentin is back on the right path and earns a scholarship to MIT but when he goes to share the news with Richard he finds him dead of a self inflicted gunshot wound. He goes back to stealing cars and his girlfriend's Father (Police Detective Alfonse Esposito) catches him. Alfonse gets a deal for Quentin that keeps his record clean as long as he enters the army. Quentin's dreams of being an architect and going to MIT are ruthlessly taken from him and Quentin vows to never care about anything or anyone again.

Ursula's Father, Tom Powell loves the Iron Bear (aka Bare Wisdom) and repairs it from the vandalism that it endures on the college campus. When Betty Tiber Habersham dies John Tiber (who inherited her estate) vows to destroy the Iron Bear that he feels has made a laughingstock of his family. Tom saves the Iron Bear by buying it for $200 that he can ill afford and moves it to his family's homestead. When his wife goes into labor there is no money for a Doctor, the midwives assume the premature baby is dead but Ursula remembering what her and her Daddy do for the baby chickens snatches the baby's body off the table dumps him in some cold water and manages to revive him. Arthur lives but is autistic. Unfortunately Tom's wife dies due to the difficult delivery and Ursula blames her Father and the Iron Bear for her Mother's death.

Angele Riconni promoted her husband's art after his death and his work is now worth millions, when Quentin leaves the army he is a very wealth man and starts a salvage business. Ursula owns a small bookstore in Atlanta and runs a small publishing company. When her Father dies she is forced to return to Tiberville to care for Arthur who refuses to live in Atlanta. Quentin shows up on her doorstep during a tornado and saves her from the collapsing barn. He wants to buy the Iron Bear for his Mother and offers Ursula millions for it, but Arthur who refers to the bear as Mother Bear and talks to it refuses to part with it. Quentin sticks around in hopes of changing his mind and Arthur begins to refer to him as Brother Bear. Quentin and Ursula begin to fall in love but both fight their feelings for one another. Arthur eventually states that Mother Bear is lonely and that Quentin must build her a companion. Quentin says he isn't an artist and can't, but goes back to New York to find an artist who can.

John Tiber hires men to sneak on the Powell homestead while the family is out and destroy the Iron Bear. They cut the head of the Iron Bear off before Ursula gets back and chases them off. Arthur collapses and declares Mother Bear is dead. When Quentin hears the news he returns and repairs Mother Bear and vows to build her a companion himself. In order to do so he must reach deep inside and understand his Father in a way he never did before.

In an attempt to save the live bears on the property Arthur and Esme (special needs girl) lure them into a trailer and drive them deeper into the mountains. Quentin and Ursula go after them and find them on Bear Mountain. Esme has a loaded gun in a knapsack the bear cub is playing with. The gun goes off and Quentin is shot miles away from help. In an act of faith in her brother and Esme Ursula sends them for help and stays with Quentin while he slowly bleeds to death.

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Jun 8, 2014

The White Princess

The White Princess (The Cousins' War,  #5)The White Princess by Philippa Gregory
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book is told from Elizabeth of York's point of view. Her lover King Richard III has just been killed by Henry VII when the book opens. It's suspected that Henry had the boys in the tower killed (one of whom was Elizabeth of York's brother Edward and the other was a peasant boy Queen Elizabeth Woodville substituted for Elizabeth of York's brother Richard). Parliament forces Henry to marry Elizabeth and unite the houses of York and Lancaster but Henry forces Elizabeth to submit to him before marriage to prove she isn't barren. The marriage only takes place after she becomes pregnant with Arthur.

Henry's Mother occupies the Queens apartments and the court is in a constant state of turmoil with Henry trusting no one other then his Mother and Uncle Jasper.

Elizabeth Woodville plots to put her surviving son Richard on the throne and funds a number of uprisings until she dies in the nunnery where Henry has her shut away.

When the boy is finally captured Henry threatens Elizabeth of York with never seeing her children again if she dares to recognize him. Surprisingly Henry brings the boy to court as his honored guest and is infatuated with the boy's wife Katherine Huntly. Eventually Henry comes up with several plots to kill the boy.

The book ends with both the boy and Teddy (Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick) being executed and Arthur being betrothed to Catherine of Aragon, whose parents insisted on their execution before a marriage could take place.

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Jun 7, 2014

Chosen to Die

Chosen To DieChosen To Die by Lisa Jackson
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

It really bugs me when authors "forget" or change what happened in the previous book. In Left to Die the copycat killer who was after Jillian River was killed by Jillian in her hotel room, and was never seriously considered to be the Star Crossed Killer as there were several discrepancies in Jillian's attempted murder. Now the copycat is alive and being questioned (at least they didn't change the fact that it is a woman) in the murders until Regan's abduction comes to light.

Regan's boyfriend Nate Santana realizes that he is in love with Regan and vows to do whatever it takes to find her. When the Star Crossed Killer, kills billionaire Brady Long, Santana digs for a connection and comes up with William Liam Hicks (another stupidity on the authors part Liam is a nickname for William so it's a bit redundant and would have made more sense if his name had been William Kress Hicks), known as Billy Hicks around town and Liam Kress to his victims. Nate rushes to Billy's house only to find that Regan escaped and is being tracked by Billy. In a desperate maneuver to escape from Billy who is gaining on her she runs out into the frozen lake in the hopes the ice will crack under Billy's weight. Billy catches her but their combined weight cracks the ice and they go under. Nate manages to get to Regan in time to keep her from drowning, Billy's body is never found.

Meanwhile Padgett Long leaves the mental institution she was in saying she is "safe" now that her brother is dead. Padgett then strikes out for San Fransisco to find the son she was forced to give up. (Cahill House plays a role for those of you familiar with Jackson's books)

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Jun 6, 2014

Silken Prey

Silken Prey (Lucas Davenport, #23)Silken Prey by John Sandford
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Filthy rich Taryn Grant will do anything to get elected, but can Davenport prove she committed murder to win the election?

It was really nice to see Lauren and Kidd again in a book, glad they had a chance to work with Lucas Davenport, even though Davenport now knows Lauren's secret.

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Jun 4, 2014

World Without End

World Without EndWorld Without End by Ken Follett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The book is about the lives of four children and the secret they kept for decades.

Gwenda who is forced to steal for her family and who is eventually sold by her Father, follows the older children into the forest to retrieve her dog Hop. The friendship she forges with Caris will help her survive.

Merthin made a bow when the adults refuse to allow him to practice with them Caris leads Merthin and his brother Alfred into the forest. Merthin proves unable to use the bow but Alfred is a natural with it. He shoots and kills Hop minutes before a knight fleeing his pursuers burst into the clearing. The children hide behind a bush but a desperate Thomas uses their presence to distract his pursuers. Ralph shoots and kills one of the men and Thomas manages to kill the other. Merthin stays behind when the other children leave and helps Thomas bury a dangerous letter that could get him killed if any one learns he knows about it.

Thomas shows up at the priory and blackmails the Queen into allowing him to stay at the monastery and become a monk. Merthin is apprenticed to a carpenter and Ralph becomes Earl Roland's squire.

Through hard work and intelligence Merthin becomes an excellent architect (like his ancestor Jack the Builder), his only disappointment is that Caris refuses to marry him as she doesn't wish to give up her independence. While they are apart he begins visiting with Elizabeth Clerk. When he refuses her advances she enters the nunnery. When Merthin and Caris eventually get back together and plan to marry Elizabeth accuses Caris of witchcraft and claims that Merthin and she were in love and planning to marry before Caris put a spell on him. She is backed up by Caris' cousin Prior Godwyn (who wants to prevent Kingsbridge from becoming a borough) his side kick Philemon (Gwenda's brother), and her brother-in-law Elfric (who will inherit her Father's money if she is hanged before Edmond dies). The only way for Caris to escape hanging is to enter the nunnery, which she does. Merthin leaves Kingsbridge and eventually becomes a successful architect in Florence where he marries Silvia and they have a daughter (Lolla). The plague strikes and Silvia dies, Merthin survives and Lolla never catches it. With no reason to stay in Florence Merthin decides to return to Kingsbridge.

Ralph's life has it's ups and downs. Due to his service he is made Lord of Wigleigh, where he persecutes Wulfric for breaking his nose when he flirted with Wulfric's fiancee Annet. When he refuses to allow Wulfric to inherit his families land (Wulfric's entire family died when the Kingsbridge bridge collapsed) Annet marries someone else. Gwenda who has been in love with Wulfric for years helps him and he eventually turns to her for comfort and marries her. In an attempt to help Wulfric get his land back Gwenda sleeps with Ralph, but he reneges on the promise he made her and gives the land to Annet's father. Ralph eventually rapes Annet and the peasants try to press charges against him, with the help of Lord William of Caster, later Earl William of Shiring. Ralph is found guilty of murder and briefly becomes an outlaw until Earl Roland pardons him. Earl Roland and his son Richard die in France, but Ralph becomes a favorite after saving the Prince of Wales life and Earl William is forced to allow his ward Tilly (Matilda of Tench) to marry him. When William and his sons die in the plague Ralph has a chance to become Earl but Tilly is in her way so he kills her so he can marry Lady Philippa (Earl William's widow). Lady Philippa despises him and takes refuge in the priory. She discretely has an affair with Merthin. When she becomes pregnant she breaks things off with Merthin and seduces Ralph so he will believe the child is his.

Earl Ralph takes great pleasure when Gwenda's eldest son is accused of murder. He delights in the fear in Wulfric's eyes when Sam is sentenced to be hanged. A desperate Gwenda visit Ralph and tells him that Sam is his son. Ralph pardons Sam and makes him a squire. But when he realizes that Wulfric doesn't know blackmails Gwenda into sleeping with him. Sam stumbles upon them when Ralph is forcing himself on her and kills him. Gwenda and Sam are able to hide their crime.

Caris is able to leave the nunnery and marry Merthin. When Thomas dies Merthin digs up the letter and is able to use it to prevent Philemon from destroying Kingsbridge.

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Playing Easy to Get - Turn up the Heat (B.A.D. Series #1.5)

Playing Easy to Get (Includes: B.A.D. Series, #1.5; Vikings Underground, #3; Immortals After Dark, #1)Playing Easy to Get by Sherrilyn Kenyon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Turn up the Heat (B.A.D. Series #1.5) I have always wanted to know more about the mysterious Joe, in this book we get to meet his cousin Vince.

Vince is hiding out from "The Family" on his brother in law's island when he meets Allison who has won a fantasy vacation. But when "The Family" catches up with Vince it looks like their romance will be very short lived. With Allison's help Vince is able to make it to the other side of the island that Z has rented out to some mysterious federal agency.

Just when it looks as if the bad guys are going to take Vince out his cousin Joe walks into the room and saves the day. The bad guys go to prison and Vince and Allison get brand new jobs working for Joe.

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