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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